Thursday, 26 February 2015

Who Ruined America?

Until I was 19 none of the homes I lived in had locks on the doors.

Well, I suppose in the interest of complete honesty I need to be accurate. Up until I was 19 we didn't have keys to the locks in any of the homes we lived in so they were never locked. Not locked  by day, not locked by night, not locked when we were away on vacation. They were never locked. It wouldn't have done us much good to lock them anyway. All the locks in those homes were the old skeleton locks. There were only 20 or 30 different skeleton combinations. The keys could be bought in any hardware store and if you didn't know what key you needed you could buy a skeleton master key that unlocked them all.

Locks in those days were only only for honest people. But apart from trusting your neighbours to not come into your home and to be on the look out for anyone strange in the neighbourhood, we didn't lock our doors because maybe a neighbour might need to borrow something when we weren't there.
Everyone had a gun in their home in those days. Maybe just a 22 single shot rife but everyone had them and that, I am betting, gave anyone who contemplated breaking into a house something to think about but people just didn't break into homes in the New England town I grew up in. It was unheard of.

When I was a boy I would be up and out the door in the summer mornings as soon as I was able. I would holler across the valley to Jay Warren and when I got an answer we would shout until we decided where to meet. We might wander to his house at lunch time and be fed by his mom or we might wander to mine but the chances are quite good that on most days neither of our mothers would see hide nor hair of us again until dinner time when the dinner bells would begin to ring out all over the west harbor area.

We spent our days wandering on foot or riding our bicycles throughout the Boothbay Harbor, Boothbay, and East Boothbay area wandering miles from home through roads, fields, forests or ocean. Our parents never knew where we were and they never had to worry about us.
Kids didn't 'disappear' in those days. They weren't molested. They weren't murdered. They weren't kidnapped. Worries of those sorts never entered our parents heads. They just didn't happen. Children were safe.

When I grew up there were no girlie magazines, no naked boy magazines, at the newsstands fueling the unhinged population.

Shopkeepers kept their displays out at night. No one stole them or vandalized them and if some boy should take a notion to try it his parents would have the offender at the store the next morning where he would spend the rest of the summer working for free as penance.

We didn't worry about someone doing a shoot up at a theater. Everyone in town knew everyone else. Our town knew who the perverts (homosexuals) were and they knew they were known and played within the rules by butt fucking only each other. The drunks stayed holed up by day and stayed mostly hidden at night. Everything was bright and white and clean in that New England fishing village. Vandalism and graffiti were virtually unheard of and should a constable catch someone in the act he would walk them down and alley and 'tune them up' before making them clean it up but that was an act so rare it was almost unheard of.

I am not saying life was idyllic but it was a while lot nicer than it is now. We were safer. People, for the most part, were better.

So what the hell has happened? I think I know. I think you know. But I think most of us don't admit it because it would require we do something and we don't want to do it. It is easier to blame everyone else for society's demise than own up to our own part in it.

Who ruined America? You did. I did. We all did with this constant insistence about our right to do as we pleased.

But mostly? Liberal America ruined America. They ruined it first by virtually outlawing God and teaching children that they were accountable to no one but themselves. Then they ruined it more by insisting there was no sin and crime was a result of poverty, or a poor home, They ruined it further by deciding crime needed soft punishment. hen they finished the country off by refusing to accept responsibility for their errors or changing course.

These days parents are punished for letting their children play outside unsupervised. It isn't safe. Who created that problem?

Just Four Pennies? Just?

(posted to Multiply July 2012)

"Four pennies change." It wasn't as statement. It was a question. She wished to know if I wanted my four pennies change. I did and I took them.

The Canadian government has decided to eliminate the penny from our pockets. After a certain point this fall they will no longer be made. Existing pennies in circulation are supposed to continue to be accepted as legal tender until such time as they just disappear.

Vendors are supposed to handle this by rounding prices up or down to the nearest five cents. If your trip to the grocery store costs $15.78 your bill will be rounded up to $15.80. If it comes to $15.77 it is supposed to be rounded down to $15.75.

In reality? In reality you and I both know some how, some way, things will always work out to where they are rounded up. This doing away with the penny may save the government money but it will cost the consumer billions. This is like the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax all over again where the same rules were to apply but where everything, in reality, rounded up. Or like when we went metric and everything was rounded up. Governments saved. Businesses saved. The consumer payed through their teeth.

When I was a kid you could take a penny to the candy store and buy 3 for a penny or even 5 for a penny candy. A penny had value. Now-a-days it it nearly worthless but I tell you what. Yesterday I saw one on the ground and I bent and picked it up as I always do.

You see, alone that penny may be worthless but together they still have value. Real value like the billions this move to eliminate it will cost the average Joe.

The bread I bought this morning was $2.96 Did I want my four cents change, she asked? You bet your ass because next month you will push the price of that bread to $3.00 not $2.95 and, more to the point, that four cents is almost a nickle. Should we do away with the nickle and round off to the nearest dime?

For some members of our society those pennies still represent real money.

I have saved my change for years. Once a year or once every two years I get it out, roll it, and take it to the bank. Most years it amounts to nearly $300 most of which is in pennies.

If you save pennies they mount up to real money. Real money that will now go into the pockets of the merchants instead of me. Make the pennies out of aluminum. Make them out of rock. I don't care. They still have value.

A Philippine Peso is worth 40 cents. There are 100 'pennies' (centavos/sentimos) in a peso. They are absolutely useless to us, I guess, but they are essential to the economy of the Philippines.

I guess my point is this. I know people who have their own car and home and are debt free because they minded the pennies that people now think are worthless and is this morning's exchange is any indication nickles are next. I wanted to tell that clerk the reason she had nothing was her attitude towards those four pennies but decided against it. There are people who just can't learn anything.

My Favorite Meal

From time to time someone is bound to ask what my favorite meal is. In the past I might rave about my mother's pasta sauce or her standing rib roast. I might salivate while telling someone about Tess' honey garlic ribs. I might mention my maternal grandmother's cornbread and creamed tomatoes or my paternal grandmother's mackerel dinners.

These days the answer is much simpler. What is my favorite meal? Any one I don't have to cook myself.

And You Wonder Why Things Have Gone To Hell In A Hand Basket?


Narcosli Creek

Photos from a hike Tess and I took in Narcosli Creek area in the summer of 2014.