Since Mar 6, 1998
Years later Liddy described the many times he used to stand in the alley behind Dillinger's house because he was an old John Dillinger fan, and the oldtimers would sometimes stop by the house, and he'd get a chance to talk to them. I've often wondered if Gordon got a chance to talk to any of my Hovis cousins ~ they used to stop by to see both Mr. Dillinger and my grandfather.
It's a truly small world.
Senator Stevens, who looks remarkably like my dad (they are distant cousins but share virtually all the same ancestors) grew up in Brightwood ~ that's the Indianapolis he came from ~ not the West Side, but the railroad dominated East Side where as you went to sleep at night you heard the rail cars crash at both the Brightwood Yards and the Beech Grove Yards. Looking through the list of old time families I found Senator Stevens arrived in Alaska at an early enough date he would have run into the crowd from Brown County and Ripley County, and probably Morgan County ~ and no doubt the Apostolic Charismatic Church of the First Born. His dad lived in both Brown and Ripley in former years, and his grandpa came from Cleveland (aka the "Western Reserver" just full of Long Island people), and before that New York, and a whole host of folks who probably wouldn't have understood the Scotish pipes at his funeral.
The Post Office
After 38 years with USPS I retired just over 6 years ago. My notes regarding that institution have become more critical than in the past, but then again I don't have to go to work there each morning.
There really are a lot of nice people there, but it does have more than its fair share of alcoholics, psychosociopaths, and brutal thugs in higher levels of management.
For those who are curious, I was never a clerk, nor a carrier, nor a mail handler, nor a technician, nor a field supervisor, nor a ..... etc. What I did was work in the thin veneer of the intellectual elite at Headquarters who do such interesting things as write the rules, collect the bills, figure out how to catch the crooks before they can strike, and put up with a never ending stream of incompetent or uncredentialed top brass brought in by a Board of Governors who I swear hated the institution and the workforce!
BTW, it was all nonpartisan too, although there has been a pattern of every reformer rounding up and firing all the Republicans first. One of those guys, Casey, was back on the Board of Governors when I retired. His term should be about up. The current President can and will do worse. He's shown a phenominal ability to select totally untalented people to work for him ~ or maybe he just can't pick talent. His appointments to the USPS BOG should include at least one black guy ~ preferably a former postal empllyee. USPS is the largest single employer of black people in the entire world. It is the most integrated and desegregated institution in the United States. I've never seen a single individual who ever worked in USPS on the board.
Then there was Marvin Runyon ~ He never saw a lesbian Democrat he didn't like, I'll tell you. Last I heard he was hospitalized for some problem ~ we all cheered when that news was announced. My distant cousin, Lamar Alexander, let Marvin in on his ill-fated Presidential campaign. I have a clue here for Lamar ~ don't hire Runyon or people like Runyon in the future! Get some one else, anyone else. It'll work out much better, I promise.
I do keep up on Postal News. Abpit 4 years ago Senator Grassley, who is supposed to ride herd on USPS, had a small hearing where the Postmaster General and some of his subordinates came in and complained that USPS simply could not hire highly talented executives because(1) They did not offer geographic differential pay so that a guy in a costly city where they have all their regional headquarters, could get paid more, and (2) There was a dearth of highly talented recent graduates with MBA's, etc., willing to go to work downtown where the USPS simply did not provide parking to folks who had to drive in from distant suburbs without public transportation (or something on that order)
Laughed my tail off at that business. The USPS has, from time to time, attracted plenty of high quality talent, however, it always fires the Republicans first.
If Grassley could figure that out he might be able to bring some improvement in the USPS.
I have been trying to recall ever since I retired who the last Republican PCES executive was at USPS Headquarters, and doggone if I can't remember ~ and I don't think it's my mind going.
Well, I'm sure it'll come to me someday.
BTW, when I retired, I did not know a single Republican left at USPS Headquarters ~ now maybe I didn't meet any of them, but you'd think there'd be somebody, eh?!
Grassley has his work cut out for him although I strongly suspect he does not care.
Apostolic Charismatic Church of the First Born in the Fullness of Times Teaching Christ's Commandments Army Cross Training
There are variations on this theme. When you run across this group, which I will refer to as COTFB (Church of the First Born), you might find them also under the name Faith Assembly or General Assembly and the COTFB.
Nope, doesn't have anything to do with any level of spirituality in the LDS or other Mormon related groups ~ it's been in America since 1703 near Brownsville TX, and maybe as early as the 1660s in Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Their theology is simple ~ no doctors ~ although some are affiliated with Church of God and have more theology than that, the "no doctors" part is more important. When their kids die from lack of medical attention they bury them out in the woods somewhere. Actually, being in COTFB and being buried without a grave marker is pretty common, and if you try to provide markers for graves that your COTFB relatives think shouldn't have them, they can and do disappear ~ sometimes in a million pieces.
Tracking these guys down I've been able to associate them with attempts made as early as 1500 on the part of Swedish and Russian priests to Christianize the Sa'ami living in the far North, or in the Finmark.
The old religion, shamanism, held on pretty well since it was centered on the consumption of amanita muscaria, flying reindeer, and a fellow called Little Red Man. There was also an Herb Woman (ta-da), and Thor!
These folks live beyond the grain belt, and grapes are not a native crop.
To a degree the Christianization effort worked, but absent the key ingredients for Christian Communion, many groups simply substituted amanita muscaria. You can find a number of articles on the net that describe how to filter this substance through the kidneys of a shaman or a reindeer to make it pallatible.
Technically speaking none of these groups are LAESTIDIAN, but they are frequently organized within the framework of a LAESTIDIAN church to fool the religious authorities. I don't know what they did in Russia because almost all the Sa'ami there had fled the place by 1812 or thereabouts to get out of the way of the first of the great drought/famines of 19th Century Eurasia. Tens of millions of North Asians and Chinese starved to death. There's virtually nothing about it in history books, but it may have been the worst one. It just didn't affect much of Europe.
The people who were affected were called the Skolt Sa'ami. Others of their tribe had arrived in America with the New Sweden colony. Almost all the folks in the first group were identified in the list of members of the first colony as "Finn", meaning they were from Finmark or beyond (Sa'amiland), and did not speak Swedish. They also didn't speak Finn. The usage in Norwegian records is similar.
Speaking of where the Skolt Sa'ami lived, it was roughly in the area from the Norway/Russia boundary and down to St. Petersburg. Many of them lived on the Pechanga River. When Jedediah Smith, who grew up in the midst of these folks, blazed his beaver trapping trail in Southern California he is likely the fellow who named one of the valleys Pechanga ~ today folks think that's an Indian word ~ but it's not ~ it's on the casino there.
When their officers abandoned them in Delaware to take over Nieuwe Amsterdam, many of them moved on up river to Pennsylvania and founded York. That name rhymes with "Yoick", their word for a songfest gathering, so I'm guessing that's where it came from until the first English speakers came along to find the town already conveniently named after one of their own.
They had 5 settlements in Pennsylvania, and 2 in Maryland. Best I can tell they were all named deer-this and deer-that, or elk-something~! Besides inventing Santa Claus, these guys were really into deer and elk.
Along that line I recently found an area of Indiana where many of the folks from these settlements moved where reindeer are still quietly raised for use as meat at home. Only recently have they sold any of it publicly ~ which the English call "elk meat".
I've also discovered that many of these people settled at the various towns with Christmasy names, e.g. Santa Claus, Christmas,.... and so forth. Even Gene Autry's wife was from a town in Oklahoma which was, at the time she was born, fairly well dominated by a COTFB. She really, really, really wanted him to sing "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer". BTW, when the reindeer are chowing down on amanita, they run around with these red mushrooms with white dots clamped firmly in their jaws, and it looks like they have "red" noses.
Among other things the early Sa'ami settlers did was get along with the Indians ~ that was pretty much because they didn't criticize the Indians for their use of hallucingenic substances. And, they didn't drink Demon Rum themselves ~ although I would imagine by now that some Sa'ami somewhere has had a beer or two!
Because amanita muscaria ("Minnie Mouse" as Walt Disney's grandfather Keppel-Disney probably called it) doesn't produce a pronounced hallucinogenic effect in North America, and given that there are 238 OTHER, much more potent hallucinogens available here, many of the COTFB congregations adopted peyote as a substitute for amanita.
Yet other COTFB congretations became more Christianized and abandoned amanita and peyote, and may well have rejected Santa Claus and December 24 completely. I have more research to do here, but I do know of some COTFB members who really get excited if you give their kid a Christmas present ~ absolutely ballistic~!
Enough of that ~ would that it were just history. The problem is this ancient group rejects doctors and favors the laying on of hands. This leads to many of them having the highest infant mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere (see Idaho and Church of the First Born on a www.google.com lookup).
I'd like to turn this around. No doubt there are plenty of Christians out there who also reject doctors, but most don't go so far as to reject the germ theory of disease, nor do they use peyote until all their teeth fall out, and most will also take their kid to the doctor to set a broken bone.
I'd kind of like to bring the COTFB folks into the 21st Century. Then I won't have to do my interviewing with cousins who tell me "Well, when I ran away......"
I spent time in the late 1960s in the US Infantry. For you newbies and Navy guys, that's kind of like being in the Marines, but the dress uniform is not as classy. Otherwise, it's the same sort of thing.
I have a personal list of over a dozen friends who were killed in the Nam. Over at the Wall I've only managed to find 5 of them. My best friend was stationed at Marble Mountain as a Marine Corps medevac helicopter pilot. He was awarded a Silver Star ~ spent over 30 years trying to track down any of the guys in his unit ~ finally found them courtesy of the internet.
My own service did not require that I pay the ultimate price, or that I contribute parts ~ in contrast with my best friend it didn't really matter much.
For a number of reasons I ended up adopting the "Seamless Garment" position regarding the right to life ~ but with a self-defense exception. Some of those reasons are the guys on my personal list.
No, not our Viet Nam Veterans Memorial ~ this is his own wall, in his house. McNamara had a batch of custom made bricks whipped up for use on a house he was building. When he was done there were several hundred leftovers. The contractor kept them for awhile, then one day he advertised them for sale at 2 cents each, which is pretty cheap for a brick.
We ran down in the truck and picked them up. For many years I maintained them as a sidewalk in front of my house, and when me and some of my buddies would get together to drink beer on a hot summer's eve, we'd down the bottles and then pee on McNamara's bricks.
I still have a number of them around although I've given many of them away to people who know and appreciate what they are about. Sent one to a fellow in Australia, and he knew a lot of vets ~ almost dissolved in the onslaught.
The New York Times
We really do have to do something about those guys ~ all of 'em.
GOING BLIND ~ yup, you can go blind just like that. That black shadow at the side ~ within hours it can be a black shadow all around ~ and you must go to an opthamologist IMMEDIATELY at the first sign of the problem.
They can pull you back from the brink.
There are a million blind guy stories out there, but not opthamologist stories. This man is the right age that I think I met him when he was 4 years of age and he'd swallowed a quarter or two. His young mother was distraught ~ she couldn't reach her husband on the phone and she didn't speak English.
I helped her out and the doctor got the quarters out.