Back In My Day

                 As I sat down to write, I wondered what I should write about.  I considered continuing my History of the World series, but I don't want to run the risk of this blog getting stale with what are, quite frankly, reruns.  Considering I enjoy writing nonsense, though, I have another subject ready to go.  I'll probably post that one on a delayed basis.

"You can't be riding that Rerun Horse forever, you know."

                Then, I realized that I haven't really kept my "Stuff" posts on the same level as my "Nonsense"  ones.  In fact, it's been quite awhile since I've opined on anything serious.  To be sure, there are plenty of topics from which to choose.  Our world is a very precarious place nowadays.  From the war in Ukraine to skyrocketing inflation to the pandemic hanging on for dear life to government shelling out millions of taxpayer dollars to fund sports stadium to Disney going absolutely Goofy over Florida's "Don't Say Gay Bill" which does not say "gay" at all.

To say nothing of the fact that Donald Duck doesn't wear pants.

                It can't possibly surprise you that I have an opinion on each of those.

                For this evening, though, I chose the campaign by irresponsible nitwits to have the federal government waive their student loans.  While I'm sure their appeal falls on the deaf ears of most Americans, there are those who see nothing wrong with it.

                Yes, yes, I know the Eggplant-in-Chief promised that he would forgive student debt.  

"I also promised unity.  How'd that work out?"

                Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, noted loonies from New England, are two of the most prominent folks calling on Joe Biden to wave his magic wand and cause millions of dollars of student debt to disappear like energy independence.

                There are many others, of course.  To their dismay, though, a PhD in Norwegian Folk Dancing isn't up to the task of settling hundreds of thousands in loan debt.  Starbucks doesn't pay that well.  

"Even with tips?  Son of a..."

                Look, I get it.  A college education is substantially more expensive than it was after I graduated from high school.  While I want to smack one of these smarmy millennials with a "back in my day" revelation, I won't.  Well, mostly.  Facts are facts.  It does cost more now.

                But, the colleges I looked at when I was a senior didn't offer the "perks" that most do today.  They didn't have lavish meal plans,  workout facilities which would make Planet Fitness look like Average Joe's gym, lazy rivers at the Student Union, and free laptops to incoming freshmen.

What I could have had.

What I did have.

Of course, there was a time when it was worse.

                Oh, can I even say freshmen, anymore?

"Freshpeople.  Hater."
                They also weren't awash in tenured professors who got paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach one class.  I'm talking to you, Pocahontas.

                At any rate, back in my day (sigh...I said it), I enlisted in the Navy when it became clear that my mother was unprepared to finance higher education.  My goal was to spend four years seeing the world and then, when I got out, go to school on the GI Bill to become a teacher.

"Yeah, those poor bastards at college.  Who needs sleeping in on weekends, toga parties, and women when you live on an aircraft carrier with five thousand of your close personal friends?  Hey.  Wait a minute."

                Well, plans changed a bit, but that's another story.

                I'm not sure the quality of education is commensurate with the outlandish tuition.  Maybe, maybe not, probably not.

                A college/university education is a business, a competitive business.  Meaning, College 'A' has to offer a youngster something that College 'B' does not have.

                Add to that out-of-control tuition and you have a scenario where kids do incur a staggering financial burden.

                There are ways to ease this financial albatross, to be sure.  Sure, they have a bad rap, but why not consider a community college for two years before you head off to the four-year school?  I guarantee you that degrees from Stanford will not have a line saying you started in junior college.  Or maybe try to get a ROTC scholarship, which will pay most, if not all, the freight of a college education.

                Or, now here's a crazy thought, but hear me out.  How about a trade school?  That way, you'll could be making thousands of dollars wiring the house of a barista with a degree in Pygmy Gender Studies.

"I'm working on my doctoral thesis. 
Which of you are girls and which are bo...oh, wait.  I think I can guess."
                Now, before you think I've gone soft, let me be clear.  Just because I acknowledge they basically got screwed, that's their problem.  They signed a piece of paper, promising they would pay it back.  And, from personal experience, I know that someone else, probably parents, had to co-sign the note.

                It is their burden, their responsibility.  Last I checked, the Bill of Rights did not include the "Right To Other People's Money."  How in the world they think folks who may not have gone to college or those who have paid off their debt should finance their obligation is beyond me.

                In essence, it is their problem and theirs alone.  If the federal government were to adopt this cockamamie scheme, why not take it to the logical conclusion of forgiving mortgages, erasing car loans, or forgiving risky investments in the Stock Market?  All at taxpayer expense!

                Eventually, though, everybody is going to be riding the Bread and Circuses bandwagon with nobody left to pull it.

                However, if for some reason this hair-brained plan were to see the light of day-and don't think it's impossible.  I wouldn't put anything past this bunch-why not add some requirements before they suckle on Uncle Sam's teat?

"Suckle away, youngster."
                In other words..."Why sure we'll forgive your debt, but you owe us."  Let's say you can convince the Feds to liquidate your loan...that's two years of military service, my friend.  Or for those who aren't physically or otherwise qualified to put on the uniform (or who have a genuine aversion to the very concept-those lunatics are out there), then an equal amount of time in public service should be required.

                I'm thinking something akin to a Peace Corps.

                If you're unwilling to do either of these things, then congratulations.  That monetary millstone remains yours.

                In any event, by requiring that graduates give something back before reaping the benefits of government largesse, the American taxpayer will get something rather than nothing.  I, and many others like me, have zero problem helping the helpless.  We just get a touch ornery when it comes to helping the feckless.

                Plus, perhaps the college graduate will discover that they've also minored in self-respect.

                Now get off my lawn. 

               

History of the World-So Would It Kill You To Not Kill Us?

NOTE:  I'll continue to post this disclaimer.  The past several posts and who-knows-how-many-posts-to-come are merely what I can remember from the Penguin Academy of Our Lady of Barnum Avenue and History Class at Stratford High School while growing up older in Connecticut.  I will research some specifics, mostly dates and the most obscure of names, and I'll try to place historical events in their proper historical context.  Meaning, I won't have the Aztecs land on the moon.  Or...did they?  Trust me, some of this is true; however, don't use any of this nonsense to prepare for the History Advanced Placement Examination.  If you do, the only college you'll get into is Klown Kollege and you'll probably be confused for the Cardassians.  Or Joe Biden.  Especially if you sniff their hair.


Cardassians.
I don't think this is right.

Ohhhhhhhhh, Kardashians.
That's better.
Or is it?


The Hebrews

A whole lotta smiting's been going on here for thousands of years.



    Believe it or not, I do some research when writing these things.  Not so much that I bog down into a scholarly dissertation of facts, but some.  After all, I don't want to bore you and, besides, enough histories of the world have been written already.  Besides, it would take a lot of work.  Work that I wouldn't get paid for.

    That being said, winging it is a lot more fun.

    Anyway, when I first sought to do this series, I went looking for a book from which I could draw certain facts as a resource.  Sure, this internet thingie can provide me with everything I need, but that would take a lot of effort.  Even though the internet never lies.

And does provide some disturbing images.


At any rate, I just like holding a book in my hands.

    When I'm not holding anything else.


    So, to Amazon I went in search of a history of the world.  The book I selected, titled "World History" (duh), looked promising.  It had many positive reviews with only a couple negatives.  Some of the cranky comments concerned the role that the Jews played in world history.  A couple reviewers complained that the book really gave very short shrift to the goings-on with the Hebrews, Israelites, Judeans…whatever.

    These comments are accurate. "World History" covers virtually none of the history of the "Chosen People."  There is one small paragraph which mentions that the religion of Abraham and Moses had a heavy influence on Christianity, but that's about it.

Wrong Abraham

Cecil B. DeMille Moses

NRA Moses

       I'm really not all that miffed about it, though.  Luckily, in my seven years
"And don't ye be thinking thaht
will be keeping ye out of Purgatory, boyo. 
Ye cheeky scamp."
as an inmate of the Penguin Academy (four of which I spent as an altar boy…yeah, huh?), I received an ample history of the people/religion which was the foundation on which Catholicism (and the heathen Protestant faiths) is based.

    So, I'm really going to write this without a net.  Sure, I could consult my Bible (we really didn't get into that book all that much at P.A., though) or delve into internet research.  But, like I commented above, what's the fun in that?

WARNING:  For those of you who really do know biblical history (e.g., Chris Martin), you will  definitely find inaccuracies here.  The challenge for you will be to spot the exaggerations and/or mistakes and wonder if they are genuine goofs.  Or whether I am genuinely goofing with the material.

    I'll never admit to any of it, though.

WARNING (Part Deux):  This will be the first post that may offend some of you.  Up to now, I've been ragging on Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians, and Assyrians.  But, I'm really not worried about receiving a strongly-worded letter from Nineveh.  However, now I'm heading into territory which can be a bit touchy.  Mean-spirited offense is not intended, though.  Playful smartassery (may not be a real word) is.  Don't worry, I'll probably hack off someone else somewhere along the way.

    I won't poke fun of Hillary Clinton, though.  She's a wonderful
"Just keep an eye on him, though. 
I don't know, just read his f*cking blog to make sure."
lady who can never be accused of wishing harm on anyone, be they whistle-blower or pedophile.  I swear.

    Well, will you look at the time?  I spent this entire time warming up for the Hebrew post that I've run clear out of room.  So, I'll "go without a net" next week when I discuss…

Next time:  The Hebrews-So Would It Kill You Not To Kill Us? For real, trust me.






Cuckoos: It's Not Just About Cocoa Puffs

 Adam, of Neko Random fame (a long time ago, Adam explained what "Neko Random" meant.  Unfortunately, I have since forgotten),  writes a charming blog in which he discusses various fun/not so fun facts, video games and various other bits that would interest most.  His posts are short and colorful, but quickly get to the point.

"Not like the crap you find here."
"Tell me about it.  On and on and on...it's like reading a frikkin' Stephen King book."  

"HEY!"

One recent post was a brief discussion of how mother cuckoos treat their young.  It reminded me of how my childhood was.  Rather than regurgitate (which is pretty much how most birds feed their young), I'll just provide a link here.  So, go ahead and check it out.  



Everyone back?  Good.  You want to return, I know, but hear me out.  Even though I am the oldest of five, I always felt like I was the prototype child.  In fact, I think the reason my parents had four more children was that they wanted to get it right after the disaster of their first-born (plus, Dad was a horn-dog) .  In essence, I felt as if a mother cuckoo (or the Schwartzes from down the street) snuck a "cuckoo baby" into the nest.

Call me cuckoo, but I think this is so.
On a related note, the deer had to be put down due to a catastrophic spinal injury.

Now head on back to Neko Random and learn something, why don'tcha?

"Not like they will here, amirite?"



THIS JUST IN (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID):  IT LOOKS LIKE THE LINK ABOVE DOESN'T WORK.  SO, BRIEFLY WHAT ADAM SAID:  THE CUCKOO MOTHER DEPOSITS HER EGG INTO ANOTHER BIRD'S NEST. THAT WAY, SHE DOESN'T HAVE TO BE BOTHERED WITH RAISING HER OFFSPRING AND IS FREE TO GO OFF TO CUCKOO SINGLE MIXERS. ANYWAY, ADAM TOLD IT MUCH MUCH MORE ELOQUENTLY THAN I (WHICH IS WHY I PUT THE LINK IN.  WHICH DOESN'T WORK). SORRY.

History of the World-Beheading Before Beheading Was Cool

NOTE:  I'll continue to post this disclaimer.  The past several posts and who-knows-how-many-to-come are merely what I remember from the Penguin Academy of Our Lady of Barnum Avenue and History Class at Stratford High School while growing up older in Connecticut.  I'll research some specifics, mostly dates and the most obscure of names, and I'll try to place historical events in their proper historical context.  Meaning, I won't have the Aztecs land on the moon.  Or...did they?  Trust me, some of this is true; however, don't use any of this nonsense to prepare for the History Advanced Placement Examination.  If you do, the only college you'll get into is Klown Kollege and you'll probably be confused for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Or Joe Biden.  Especially if you sniff their hair.  By the way, I originally wrote this two and a half years ago, which included the crack about the cellar dweller from Delaware.  I said then, I continue to say now: that demented turnip is comedy gold!




The Assyrians
Proto Crazy People


I'm sorry, can you read this?
I can't.
But, I'm old.
Still...maybe you can zoom in?
It'll be worth it.
I hope.

Giving Credit Where Credit's Due DepartmentDuring my earlier discussion of the Babylon Empire, "Babble On," the sharp-eyed Chris Martin, from the globally-acclaimed Tilting At Windmills, reminded me that the Assyrians predated such Babylonians as Nebuchadnezzar.  My bad.  Anyway, I'm thrilled that at least someone is paying attention to these things.  Rehashed repeats though they be (just so you know, I'm providing these snippets for the benefit of my followers from my Nit Nats website, which includes Gerry).  I'll eventually get to brand new posts for everyone.


    Around 2,000 BC (give or take a hundred years), the civilization of Assyria grew to prominence.  Situated in between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, it soon came to dominate the region.  This included Babylon, after they tricked their neighbors into letting them into the city by posing as Jehovah's Witnesses.  With swords.  

    After a lavish victory celebration that lasted for weeks and featured delicacies from throughout the land (including sandwiches on fertile crescent rolls with cheese and the now-extinct Mesopotamian Moose), their mothers told them they needed to get a job.

    So, they began a copper trading business with 
"Here for cornhole tourney."
Anatolia, in modern-day Turkey, when projected sales of "Severed Head Cornhole" fell through.

    Why Anatolia and not someplace a little closer is lost to history.  They could have started a business with Egypt, I suppose.  Either they were dissuaded by having to cross the desert or were a little skeeved out by all that cat-worship and brother-sister nonsense.  No one knows unfortunately.  Likewise, no one knows exactly who had the copper.  Perhaps the Anatolians traded their copper for goats, who knows?

"Heartless bastards.  At least the Persians are friendlier."

"Hey, check out the eyes."


    Unfortunately for the Assyrians, the largesse created by the thriving "Goats For Copper" business came to an end sometime around 1,200 BC (give or take a hun…oh, you know the drill) when they were invaded and conquered by a group known as the "Sea Peoples."  
Wrong Sea People

    For many years, I had thought they were conquered by Aquaman
"I hear you people have copper.  And goats."
(the Jason Momoa Aquaman, not the Saturday morning cartoon Aquaman), but when I started to write this, I didn't think that sounded right.  So, I did a little research.

    And, by a "little research," I mean "very little research."  After viewing Why Justice League Sucked (co-starring, incredibly, Jason Momoa) on You Tube, I found out that nobody really knows who the Sea Peoples were.  Whoever, though, they terrorized the region and even beat up on the Egyptians.  Scholars (and by "scholars," I mean "guys who can't get jobs") theorize they came from the sea (sounds legit)...maybe the Aegean, Asia Minor, Southern Europe, East River, or Atlantis.

"Disappointing."
    Eventually, though, the Assyrians rose back up and kicked the
interlopers out of their country.  Thus began the "Neo-Assyrian Empire" (which, shockingly, had nothing to do with The Matrix).  Maybe because they finally figured out what they were doing or maybe they were hacked off by being occupied by people who talk to fish, these Assyrians were not your grandfather's Assyrians.

"Holy CRAP!  They marry their sisters???
Sure, we impale people, but that's just plain sick."
    Armed with the newest technology of iron weaponry (developed by the Ur Chapter of Lockheed Martin), they ran roughshod over the neighborhood for the next several hundred years.  They expanded their territory to invaded parts of Asia Minor, Judea (seriously, those people never caught a break), and, under the rule of Assurbanipal, even swallowed Egypt (well, that's a clumsy way of putting it).  They even sacked Babylon (hee hee hee..."sacked") after King Sennacherib received a tweet accusing him of low energy, small hands, and having hair plugs.

"Swallowed'."

    The Assyrians became known for implementing tactics to 
After all, beheading can get tedious.
terrorize their subjects to include mass executions, impalements, ritual beheadings, showing family vacation hieroglyphs, mass deportations of Mexicans, and fingernail scratching on chalkboards.  




   These fierce warriors pioneered the optimum use of cavalry, infantry, chariots, dutch rubs, and taunting.

Especially once they learned to not shoot their horses in the back of the head.

    Eventually, though, the Assyrians got a little too big for their 
Now you can answer
the bridgekeeper's question.
britches.  An alliance of Babylonians and Medes (Known as "The Coalition of the Willing") sacked their capital city of Nineveh.

    And, just like that (and, let's face it, you're just as tired of reading as I am of writing), in 610 BC, the Assyrian Empire went the way of the Sumerians, Babylonians, lower gas prices, and the Jeb! candidacy.


The Ancient Shriners developed the
concept of Ancient Little Cars
    Oh sure, there were other civilizations flourishing in the Near East and Northern Africa: the Lydians, Phoenicians, Scientologists, Cimmerians, Shriners, Scythians, Dothraki, Hittites, Nubians, Urartus (I seriously don't know who the frik they were), Phrygians, Scythians, Masons, and countless others.  

    Plus, as I've said before, we mustn't rule out the civilizations in India, China, and Mesoamerica, either.  But, I will because we only got "White People History" growing up in the 60s.

"Don't forget the invention of cheese and Wonder Bread.  There's a good lad."

    Besides, remember, none of them were Catholics, either.  So, there's that.
"Praise the Lord, saints be praised, show me your knuckles."

   Before we go on to the hyper-crazy Persians and how they buggered bothered the Greeks, I'll need to pay a visit to a group of people seen mostly in the Bible and Cecil B. DeMille movies.

Next time:  The Hebrews-So, Would It Kill You To Not Kill Us?
  
"Behold!  The Lord will lead you out of bondage into the Promised Land.  Where you'll be kidnapped by the Babylonians.  Killed by the Assyrians.  And the Macedonians.  And the Romans.  And the Muslims.  And the Crusaders.  And the Germans.  And the British.
But, it'll totally be cool in the 21st century, you watch."



   

A Little Comic Relief

Well, at least I hope it's comic relief.  Anything to take our minds off the horrors in Europe and potential global nightmare should be welcome.  That is, unless you're addicted to agonies inflicted on innocent people.  In that case, go right on watching FOX, CNN, and MSNBC, even though there is precious little you can do except get upset.  Don't ignore, by any means.  But, don't constantly obsess, either.  

At any rate, what follows isn't my joke; it's a rehash of something I heard long ago.  Like looking at myself naked, it made me chuckle.  Hopefully, you'll do the same.  Not chuckle (and perhaps vomit) at naked pictures of me.  I mean the joke.

Anyway...

    At a local college one day (okay, I'm starting off with a fib.  Just go with it), a professor was giving an introductory lecture on Sex Ed, Mister Ed's rebellious brother.

"I got the brains, but he got the looks."

  The professor started off with, "How many of you have sex once a day?"

  A dozen or so raised their hands.

  Nodding, he then asked, "How about once a week?"

  Quite a few more raised their hands.

  "I see," he said as he bent to his notes.

  "Once a month?"

  A couple ones admitted to it.


  "Okay," he sighed.  "How about once a year?"

  In the back row, a young man leapt from his seat, waving both arms.  "Me, professor!  Me!!"

  A bit perplexed, the educator asked, "Did you understand the question?  I asked who had sex once a year."

  "I understand, I understand!!" a huge grin crossed his face.

  "Well, your excitement is quite puzzling.  Why are you so happy?"

"TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT!!!"

     Now go ahead and watch a Seinfeld rerun or something, why don'tcha?





The Beast Within

I am mightily depressed today.  Mind you, I've been in a bit of a funk for two years now.  A pandemic will do that, don't you know.  I'm reminded of something a great man once said.  Okay, it was me.  And I'm not great.  But, I AM a man.  A little one, mind you, but a man all the same.

Idealists view the world for how it should be.  Full of (and I am NOT being flippant here) sunshine, unicorns, and lollipops.  A world in which each man and each woman seeks only to better others before themselves.  For that will result in a beautiful world.  I so desperately wish it was so.  I honestly do.

But, it will never be.

Because...

Realists view the world for how it has been, how the world is now, and how the world shall always be.

For within each of us is a beast.  Which the vast majority have tamed.

Then there's Vladimir Putin.

And that depresses me.






Happy Independence Day!

     Or "Fourth of July" to the rest of the world.     Yes, yes, sigh, I know.  Many other countries, other than the United State...