Fiddling While Rome Burns

Was watching the movie Quo Vadis on TCM today. The movie is a historical fiction that takes place amidst the backdrop of the great fire of Rome under the emperor Nero. So I got to reading up on the actual events.

For those unfamiliar with the history, the historian Tacitus, who was but a boy at the time of the fire, tells us the great fire was covertly set by Nero.

His reason? The Roman Senate refused to let him tear down a large portion of Rome to construct what Nero believed would be his enduring monument, a complex to be called Neropolis.

As Tacitus told it, Nero not only made zero effort to stop the flames… he actually watched and played an instrument while Rome burned. Violent gangs of thugs prevented many citizens from escaping to safety. Many died.

Whether Nero really authorized the fire is not proven fact, but it is known that he immediately set forth building his long-wanted but until then denied complex atop the ruins where the inferno had ravaged the city.

That said Tacitus tells us that in the wake of the fire, the people blamed Nero. Clearly Nero needed someone besides himself to be blamed, so he blamed it on a growing but unpopular religious sect known as Christians.

He commenced to have them publicly crucified, slaughtered in the arena by lions, used as torches to light his feasts, and generally exterminated. It was during this hysteria the disciple Peter and the apostle Paul were arrested and executed.

There is of course no reason to believe the thousands he had tortured and killed had anything whatsoever to do with the flames.  But hey,  they were unpopular, they bucked the prevalent idiology. They were different. Religious zealots. Bottom line,  very convenient scapegoats.

Besides,  Nero was suddenly generously spending Rome’s money giving wine and grain to the Roman public, and the Christians were not.

I’m not going to try to draw your conclusions for you. I’m just going to point out once again that those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it, and the tactics and strategies of tyrants don’t necessarily change much with time.

Be careful out there.

I’m Rob Jones… and I approved this message.

Bring out your dead!

There are 29.9 million people in Texas. Reports say approximately 1000 are dead of Covid-19. That’s 1 in 29,900.

Odds I’ll be hit by LIGHTNING in my lifetime?

1 in 3000. Roughly 10 times higher. So when IS government going to do something to mitigate this Lightning Pandemic?

No, I’m NOT belittling the value of the lives lost. I’m putting it in perspective, because, let’s face it, people die of something every day. Does getting in your car mean you don’t care about the 3000+ people who die on Texas highways every year?

What? You still drive? You selfish bastard. It isn’t just about YOUR safety. By driving you could kill my grandmother. Or is that your plan? Hmmm?

No matter how hard the news spins this thing, we are not seeing people with oxcarts collecting bodies from house to house. Instead, we are seeing the equivalent of a bad flu season.

The US… as depicted by our news media.

Even then most of it is centered in the Northeast states, so expecting Texans to hide out because the death roll in far away high-rises is bad is statistically heretical.

Take what precautions you think necessary, but no matter what you do, the only people safe from death are those who already died.

I’m Rob Jones… and I approved this post.

If Govt is arming for bear, how should we respond?

MRAPs are designed for "asynchronous warfare"... aka "an insurgency"
MRAPs are designed for “asynchronous warfare”… aka “an insurgency”


Regardless of WHY the government is preparing for civil unrest, the indisputable point is that they’re doing it. It isn’t “conspiracy theorists” alone pointing out that DHS alone purchased 20 times the ammo the US Army expended the hottest year of the Iraq war.

Notwithstanding explanations that make “I read Playboy for the articles” sound credible, they’re scared of something, not stocking up for target practice. Their purchases are heavy on hollow points, frangibles and “sniper” ammo.

Coupled with the other military hardware being gobbled up by domestic agencies… body armor, night vision equipment, Barrett .50 rifles, MRAPs designed for asynchronous warfare… they are arming for a serious fight and they don’t expect it to be easy.

There are a couple of very good articles written by bank industry insiders in the past year that say the probable reason the government expects unrest is they are anticipating another and profoundly worse economic collapse.

Think about the day the EBT cards went down for a few hours recently, then imagine the reaction if ONLY that happened, but lasted longer. Riots would be the result.

Now expand that to the rest of the citizens in the event of a financial collapse. People in cities have no food source but the store. What happens when their VISA wont work? What happens if shelves go empty? How soon before people without food start to break windows to obtain it?

Once windows start breaking in a riot… does it typically trail off quickly, or escalate? Traditionally breaking windows are followed by fires, overturned cars, violence, generalized looting.

If the govt is preparing for an economic collapse appended by a crash of society that requires martial law to restore order… the wise thing to do would be for us to have a plan for the same and prepare accordingly.

That would include a plan to exit the city, a place to go, provisions in the event food/gas is not available… and arms to protect all the above. If things break down, ownership will quickly devolve into a simple matter of possession.

Life isn’t fair. It won’t matter HOW well prepared you are if someone else can simply take it away.  In the probable case scenario of a societal collapse, even a brief one… Be prepared to deal with that reality.


I'm Rob Jones... and I approve this message.
I’m Rob Jones… and I approve this message.



State of the Union – Much Like the Titanic

titanicShips captains are chosen based on long years of experience and a proven history of performance excellence.

In other words, pretty much the opposite of the way we selected a president the last two elections.

In April of 1912 the supposedly unsinkable Titanic was steaming full speed through the perilous north Atlantic when it struck an iceberg and began to sink. Her captain was a seasoned veteran of the seas, in fact this was to be his last voyage prior to retirement.

What if Barack Obama had been the captain?
Based on his record, here are his probable responses to news he’d plowed into an iceberg.

Barack Obama Takes Campaign Bus Tour Through Pennsylvania-1- blame crash on a do-nothing Congress
-2- “I heard about it on the news just like you did”
-3- explain the ship isn’t sinking, the sea is rising due to global warming
-4- tour boat giving upbeat speeches about anything but crash
-5- “If you LIKE your lifeboat, you can KEEP your lifeboat”
-6- characterize crash as a “false scandal”
-7- promote lookouts who were on duty
-8- draft executive order forbidding ships from sinking
-9- throw party in his cabin with Jayzee and Beyonce

Tonight we’ll be treated to his State of the Union speech
The president took the helm at a time of crisis and has managed to,  through almost studied inattention and mismanagement,  drive the boat further into the iceberg.

This is what we get for entrusting the most important role in the nation to an untested dilettante when the highlight of his legislative career was a massive record of voting “present”.

I'm Rob Jones, and I approve this message.
I’m Rob Jones, and I approve this message.

The Big Issue of 2012 is Women’s Rights?

Welcome to the 70s. So fun we decided to do ’em again
Been watching the speakers at the DNC Convention. For those of you that thought this election was about things like a staggering economy with unemployment rates that have risen during his term, gas prices that’ve roughly doubled, a deficit the president promised to cut in half by the end of his first term {it nearly doubled instead}… WRONG.

The election is REALLY all about women’s rights.

Why? Because they say so I guess
Heck, I thought we’d hammered out “the war between the sexes” when I was a kid. Not so according to the speakers tonite… apparently this is a MUCH more important issue than a bunch of numbers.

Last night they featured noted champion of woman… Ted Kennedy
Teddy {you remember, Mary Jo’s buddy} returned from the grave to heartily endorse Obama. This surprises pretty much nobody. The dead have been voting Democratic for years, it’s high time they had a voice at the convention.

Tonite, famous fem-respector… Bill Clinton
I’m thinking whoever picked their speakers did not have his irony alarm turned on. Hell, I’m a little surprised they didn’t bring in Anthony Wiener and John Edwards. Hey, why not?

Meanwhile… the national debt just passed 16 TRILLION

Just sayin.

Naah, screw it, let’s talk about the burning issue on everyone’s mind in this economy, trans-gender medical treatment.

I’m Rob Jones… and I approve this message.


The Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives

RE: Forwarded Emails
OK, I’m constitutionally disposed against personally forwarding funny and/or thought provoking emails myself because I’m firmly aware that my sense of humor isn’t universally shared by my friends.

That said, if you read my blog… aside from already having questionable tastes, you’re also subject to being stuck seeing what I really think.

The following showed up in my inbox today, compliments of the lovely & talented Mr Watson. My contribution aside from posting it here is limited to formatting. Fwiw, here’s the difference between a Liberal and a Conservative laid out pretty clearly:

The Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives

  • If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
    If a liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
  • .

  • If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
    If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
  • .

  • If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
    If a liberal sees a foreign threat, he wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.
  • .

  • If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
    If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.
  • .

  • If a person of color is conservative, they see themselves as independently successful.
    Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.
  • .

  • If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
    A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
  • .

  • If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
    Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down.
  • .

  • If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
    A liberal non-believer says he’s offended and wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
  • .

  • If a conservative slips and falls in a store, he gets up, laughs and is embarrassed.
    If a liberal slips and falls, he grabs his neck, moans like he’s in labor and then sues.
  • .

  • If a conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
    A liberal will delete it because he’s “offended”.
  • .
    If anyone on the same email list as myself is paying close attention, they might notice I removed the part about healthcare. That wasn’t an accident because I think our existing system is a clusterfuck of fraud, graft, and ridiculous lawsuits that drive costs thru the roof… but that’s a whole nuther post.

    I applaud those sincerely interested in fixing it, a group which unfortunately doesn’t include most in Congress. Expect them to talk a lot and do nothing to fix it, and you’re pretty safe.

    Meantime, the list above is IMO… pretty accurate
    I don’t worry a helluvalot about offending any friends of a liberal bent, because if they’re my friend, it’s a safe bet they already have a pretty tough skin and can accept a difference of opinion.

    If any of my friends on the other side of the spectrum are certain it doesn’t portray their views, then it’s entirely possible they aren’t who I’m talking about. It does however match what I’ve seen from many others, so… if the shoe fits…. :)

    I'm Rob Jones... and I approve this message.
    I'm Rob Jones... and I approve this message.

    The Recession Ate My Homework

    What a Glorious Time We Live In
    How can you not appreciate the availability of a universal excuse?

    Much as it pains my soul to give credit to someone whose thoughts I’d much rather steal… here’s what I consider the definitive “get off your ass and do something about it” dictum from someone that is practicing what they preach, the girls (or “ladies”, “women”… pick a descriptive noun of your liking) of Outspoken Media.

    Without further fanfare, take a moment to read “It’s Not the Recession, You Just Suck”.

    [And yes, this *will* be on the test.]

    Bottom line…
    Yeah, sure… there have been better times in our economy, times when “showing up” was all that was required. For those that haven’t been paying attention, this ain’t one of ’em. That doesn’t mean we wring our hands and wish for a different time.

    In golf you play the ball where it lies, in poker you play the hand you’re dealt. In whitewater canoing you ride the rapids that are present, not the water you’d prefer… and dodge the rocks that are really there. In life you work with the economic conditions you’re in, not those you long for.

    Opportunity is *always* there for those that actively seek it out and act on it. Thanks for the reminder, girls. Only thing I could add to their message is the wisdom of our grandfathers…

    You don’t learn a damned thing when you get kicked by the mule the second time.

    I'm Rob Jones... and I approve this message.
    I'm Rob Jones... and I approve this message.