The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday Music "Back in the Chain Gang" by The Pretenders

I remembered this song making the circuit on MTV and I really liked it.  It was an easy listening song with the new wave flair that I have associated with the 2nd British invasion.  Even now I can listen to the song as I am rolling down the interstate.

"Back on the Chain Gang" was recorded after James Honeyman-Scott, the Pretenders guitarist, died of a drug overdose at the age of 25 on June 16, 1982. This came two days after the Pretenders fired their longtime bassist, Pete Farndon, because of his drug abuse problem. On July 20, 1982, the band began recording the song at AIR Studios in London. At that time, only two Pretenders were left: singer-songwriter Chrissie Hynde who was about three months pregnant with her first daughter, and drummer Martin Chambers. Other musicians were hired to fill out the session: lead guitarist Billy Bremner of Rockpile, guitarist Robbie McIntosh, and bassist Tony Butler who was already at the studio for a Big Country recording project. The producer was Chris Thomas who was familiar to the band from his integral role in making the Pretenders' earlier records, using Bill Price as his engineer, but for this session Steve Churchyard replaced Price because Price was committed to another AIR project at Wessex Sound Studios.
Most of the song was recorded quickly with the band placed close together in the studio, arranged as if performing live, with Chambers' drums up on a riser. Small loudspeakers were aimed at the musicians from behind Chambers to reinforce the sound of selected drums such as the snare. Bremner's featured guitar solo was performed in one take. Later, alone in the studio as was her preference, Hynde performed her main vocal line with three or four overdubs dropped in to fix minor imperfections. She then recorded her own backing vocals. Finally, the rest of the backing vocals were performed by Chambers and Butler, along with the chain-gang chant. The sound of clanging hammers was made by banging various metal pieces together, especially the 25-pound (11 kg) weights that the studio used as ballast for large boom stands. The recording of extra parts for the song and the final mixing process continued for several days after initial recording began.

Hynde wrote "Back on the Chain Gang" as a memorial to Honeyman-Scott, and she dedicated it to him.
The hammering sounds and the chain-gang chant heard during the chorus of the song echoes the earlier production of Sam Cooke's song "Chain Gang", released in 1960.

In an interview with Guitar Player in 1992, George Harrison claimed that "Back On The Chain Gang" utilizes a chord that he had "invented" and incorporated into the Beatles song "I Want to Tell You": "That's an A7 with an F on top and I'm really proud of that because I invented that chord… There's only been one other song, to my knowledge, where somebody copped that chord – Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders on 'Back On The Chain Gang.' However, the chord Harrison describes is widely known as A7+5 or augmented A7 or A7#5 and is a standard use of harmony in many genres.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Unorthodox Military Commanders through History.

I ran across this article while surfing and it sounded pretty neat, so I added some information to the original article to flesh it out and "google" provided the pictures.  

Some commanders achieve exceptional results by following the rules and sticking with the normal approach. Others achieve greatness through innovation and outlandishness.
These are some of those mavericks.

Alexander the Great

Building on his father’s achievements, this Macedonian leader transformed his army. He abandoned heavy supply trains for fast movement, pushed relentlessly into new territory, and did what others considered impossible.

Always ready to adapt, he adopted new weapons and fighting styles, including turning his shield-bearers into a commando-style strike force. As he roamed the world, he was always ready to embrace new ways of fighting.  His defeat of the Romans time and again raised doubts about the survivability of the Roman republic and Rome survived until the sack of Rome in AD 410 by the VisiGoths lead by Alaric whom was a Roman trained barbarian who used the training and experience against them.

Oliver Cromwell

An unshakable personality in a time of tumultuous change,  Oliver rose from Obscurity to be come King of England in all but name.  He achieved it through decisive use of his cavalry and a dedication to professionalism.  Under him, England developed a highly trained professional standing army for the first time in her history. Almost like Marius of Ancient Rome fame, he set a standard that was emulated by all around him.   Oliver Cromwell lead his "New Model Army" and decimated the Royals in the battle of Nasby in the English civil war.

Napoleon reviewing the troops


One of Cromwell’s admirers, Napoleon began his career as a swift and cunning commander. In Italy, he darted around the country, dividing and conquering. In central Europe, he defeated superior numbers through battlefield cunning and an army transformed by his leadership. Although his tactics later stagnated, he had a metamorphic effect on European command.  For years his tactics were the ones to emulate, his throries were sound, but many people viewed Napoleon as the penultimate commander and copied his tactics despite the increase of lethality of more modern weapons, the Crimean war and the Civil War in the United States showed the flaws of linear tactics.

Shaka Zulu

One of Africa’s most daring commanders, Shaka Zulu inherited a tribe and forged an empire. Like many military greats, he instilled discipline and strict training.
His work went far beyond that in reconstructing Zulu society to support his armies. He abandoned long throwing spears for short stabbing ones making his troops deadly in close quarters fighting. He trained his men to run dozens of miles barefoot and then immediately fight in battles.   His tactics immediately overwhelmed the other African tribes in the area and the discipline and tactics that he had instituted handed the British their worst defeat by a indigenous power in 1879 at Isandlwana when the tactics and training overwhelmed a overconfident British Regiment that believed that the Zulu's were no match for modern firepower.

Simón Bolívar

The man known as the Great Liberator, Bolívar believed with unswerving passion in the cause of Latin American independence. When Spanish control of its colonies began to waver, he led armies that freed an area now occupied by a dozen different countries. He marched his men through mountains and jungles, taking enemies by surprise, and emancipated the region’s slaves to ensure support for his war.

Stonewall Jackson

Perhaps the most eccentric commander of the American Civil War, Jackson was also one of the war’s greatest generals. A strict disciplinarian, he offended his men with his harsh punishments even as he won them over with concern for their welfare.
Through fast and unexpected maneuvers, he consistently outflanked and surprised his enemies. He defeated four Union armies in the Valley Campaign alone. In a time of industrialized war, he served near the front, sometimes taking part in hand to hand fighting alongside his troops.

Giuseppe Garibaldi

More than any other figure, Garibaldi was responsible for uniting Italy. He raised an army of volunteers that became a movement, outfought professional armies, and drove the Habsburg Empire out of Italy. Uncompromising in his principles, he forced the hands of politicians through successes they had not sought and thereby created a nation.

Lawrence of Arabia

T. E. Lawrence was a British officer working in the Middle East during the First World War. Deeply attached to the Arab people, he led their forces in a succession of raids against Turkish supply lines. He adopted Arab culture to the extent it shocked his superiors and he became caught between the two cultures. As Britain reneged on promises to its Arab allies, Lawrence kept fighting for their rights.  In the end Lawrence suffered deep depression because of the what he believed as the betrayal of the arabs by the British after WWI

Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck

The commander of German forces in East Africa in World War One, Lettow-Vorbeck knew he was completely outnumbered by the British. He, therefore, reorganized his men for guerrilla fighting and withdrew into the interior. Through four years of rough living and guerrilla raids, he distracted armies a dozen times the size of his own.  At the end he was feted as a hero by the Germans because he had never surrendered to the British and it gave them pride in the accomplishments

The Red Baron

Baron Manfred von Richthofen was the greatest air ace of the First World War. His daring, cunning, and mastery of aerial tactics were unmatched. He began a trend among German fliers for brightly painted planes, earning his unit the title of the Flying Circus. Serving as a mobile force up and down the lines, they struck terror into their enemies.  Richthofen was later shot down by an Anti Aircraft gun toward the end of the war, but he had become a legend that endures now.

Manfred von Richthofen (in the cockpit) by his famous Rote Flugzeug (“Red Aircraft”), with other members of Jasta 11. His brother, Lothar, is seated on the ground. Photographed 23 April 1917. By Bundesarchiv –

Heinz Guderian

Having seen British tanks at the tail end of World War One, Guderian became fascinated by them. He developed the tanks and used tactics that brought Germany so much early success in World War Two. He was also one of the few officers able to stand up to Hitler, repeatedly arguing with the Fuhrer and yet surviving.  I bought one of his books alomg with Rommel, Guderain was the developer of what is called "Blitzkreig" basically fast moving armored columns supported by aircraft to clear key points for the advance.  His tactics enabled a numerically inferior German force to defeat the French whom had better tanks but poor training and tactics.


Trained as a Calvary Officer Patton like Guderain saw the rise of tanks and wanted to make use of them.  Patton became America's most gifted Tank commander  and one of its leading generals during World War II.  Patton drove so decisively that his tanks ran out of fuel because he outran his supply lines.  Patton was known for his aggressiveness and "Not paying for the same real estate twice.  Patton maneuvers during the Ardennes offensive when he turned his army 90 degrees and headed north to rescue the surrounded Airborne units in Bastogne.  His Army attacked in a 2 division front and moved over 100 miles under the worst snow and ice that Europe hasn't seen for 100 years. 
Clip from the Movie "Patton", Yes it was Hollywood but the words were accurate
Colorful and opinionated, Patton clashed with colleagues and superiors and was relieved of his command on more than one occasion.  Patton died in November 1945 in an auto accident

Orde Wingate

A singular figure who did not get on well with his peers, Wingate was a great commando leader. Leading British Chindit forces in World War Two, he launched penetrating attacks far behind Japanese lines. His created strongholds deep in the jungle, untouchable by conventional forces. He repeatedly clashed with his more traditional peers, who undid much of his work after he died in service.  

Vo Nguyen Giap

Vietnam’s greatest general, Giap led his nation to success against the French and Americans, reuniting north and south. His supply systems and guerrilla tactics allowed him to strike deep into enemy territory. He cut off heavily armed opponents and achieved significant victories with inferior technology.  Giap's defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 ended the french attempts to reimpose colonial rule in Indochina.  Giap's success against the Americans was mostly due to the loss of support of the war on the home front. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Boy Scout Issues...and the Trump Speech

Today on the way home, I gotten a messenger from the Diva of hotness, my favorite Blog Babe sent me a messenger with these articles attached to it and she had asked my opinion.  The first one was an apology from Boy Scouts of America apologizing for President Trump's speech, the second thing was an opinion piece from a commenter at FoxNews.  

July 27, 2017
Scouting Family,
In the last two weeks, we have celebrated the best of Scouting at our 20th National Jamboree with nearly 40,000 participants, volunteers, staff and visitors. The 2017 National Jamboree has showcased and furthered the Scouting mission by combining adventure and leadership development to give youth life-changing experiences. Scouts from Alaska met Scouts from Alabama; Scouts from New Mexico met those from New York, and American youth met youth from 59 other countries.
Over the course of ten days, Scouts have taken part in adventures, learned new skills, made new and lasting friendships and completed over 200 community service projects that offered 100,000 hours of service to the community by young men and women eager to do the right thing for the right reasons.
These character-building experiences have not diminished in recent days at the jamboree –  Scouts have continued to trade patches, climb rock walls, and share stories about the day’s adventures. But for our Scouting family at home not able to see these real moments of Scouting, we know the past few days have been overshadowed by the remarks offered by the President of the United States.
I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree. That was never our intent. The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition that has been extended to the leader of our nation that has had a Jamboree during his term since 1937. It is in no way an endorsement of any person, party or policies. For years, people have called upon us to take a position on political issues, and we have steadfastly remained non-partisan and refused to comment on political matters. We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.
While we live in a challenging time in a country divided along political lines, the focus of Scouting remains the same today as every day.
Trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness and bravery are just a few of the admirable traits Scouts aspire to develop – in fact, they make up the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
As part of our program’s duty to country, we teach youth to become active citizens, to participate in their government, respect the variety of perspectives and to stand up for individual rights.
Few will argue the importance of teaching values and responsibility to our youth — not only right from wrong, but specific positive values such as fairness, courage, honor and respect for others.
For all of the adventure we provide youth such as hiking, camping and zip-lining, those activities actually serve as proven pathways and opportunities to develop leadership skills and become people of character.
In a time when differences seem to separate our country, we hope the true spirit of Scouting will empower our next generation of leaders to bring people together to do good in the world.
Yours in Scouting,

Now I read this article.....

The time has come for every red-blooded, God-loving patriot to sever ties with the Boy Scouts of America.
On Thursday the Boy Scouts (and those who identify as Boy Scouts) took it upon themselves to apologize for President Trump’s speech delivered to some 40,000 people at the National Scout Jamboree.
In doing so the leadership of the BSA has brought shame and disgrace upon what was once a storied and revered organization.
“I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree. That was never our intent,” BSA Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh wrote.
He went on to say the BSA regrets “that politics were inserted in the Scouting program.”  You can read his entire screed by clicking here. 
Who – exactly – was offended by the president’s remarks?
He was greeted with a tremendous welcome – thunderous applause and cheers. Thousands of scouts chanted his name. If there were those who took offense, their numbers were considerably small.
Quite frankly, I contend the only people truly offended by the president’s remarks were liberals, the Mainstream Media, Hollywood starlets and BSA leadership. And I suspect they were more offended that Trump’s name elicited cheers while former President Obama’s name elicited jeers – with great gusto.
Surbaugh went on to write in a lengthy blog posting that the Boy scouts have “steadfastly remained non-partisan and refused to comment on political matters.”
That is a patently false statement.
The adult leadership of the BSA has allowed the organization to become a playground for the gender and sex revolutionaries. In January, the BSA sacrificed its last vestige of integrity on the altar of political correctness by allowing girls who identify as boys to join scout troops.
And where was the BSA leadership when the Mainstream Media compared the president’s speech to a Hitler Nazi Youth speech?
So spare us the righteous indignation, Mr. Surbaugh.
I would urge every parent with a child in the Boy Scouts to consider an alternative scouting organization – Trail Life USA. Trail Life is a faith-based scouting program that stands on a firm foundation.  
There was a time when the Boy Scouts of America taught young boys and young men to make moral and ethical decisions. But those days are long gone.

 Now I will give my opinion, the Boy Scouts are wrapped in the culture war, the BSA tries to remain non partisan, but the Left views the Boy Scouts as "traditional American values" and like all Marxist, they strive to wipe out the collective history of a people to insert their own values.  The Boy scouts are collateral damage in a culture war that has seen a lot of changes and not all of it good.  The Left has a "Take No Prisoners" attitude and the right tries to "get along" and make compromises to appease the left, but the left is never satisfied.  The goal of the left is to totally remake America in their own twisted image that bore little resemblance to the America that did exist at one time.  If a people don't know their traditions and past, they are easier to manipulate and control and to the left, it all boils down to control.  They know what is best for for the rest of us, and if we would only get with the program the great utopia will arrive.
     Now to the letter from the Scout Executive.  He should not have apologized, I am sure that the corporate donors put pressure on him because the left is big on organizing and boycotting and controlling the outrage machine.  Now that they apologized, the left smells blood in the water, now the BSA will have to do something to "atone" for the great sin and deviating from leftist cultural dogma.  Like I said, the Chief Executive should not have apologized, he needs to realize that to the left, there is no "non partisan", if you ain't with their agenda, then you are to be crushed or forced to heel and toe the line.   The Boy Scouts will have to start developing a backbone, if they espouse traditional values than they need to stand by the traditional or timeless values, then they need to develop a spine and realize that they cannot appease the militant left.  Many people put their kids in the Boy Scouts so they learn traditional or timeless values that have stood the test of time.  Values that have been generational are in danger of being wiped out in the name of political correctness and 
being eradicated on the alter of cultural Marxism. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Trump managed to really spool up the far left

In the past  3 days President Trump managed to really spool up the left..
 On Monday he spoke at the National Jamboree in front of 45,000 boy scouts and adult leaders and they gave him an enthusiastic response, I blogged about it.   A lot of people are butthurt and immediately piled on Trump and the boy scouts.  I heard things like "Hitler Indoctrination camp" among others.   I told people "If you like Trump, you will like the speech, if you hate Trump. you will hate the speech.  I thought it was pretty good but the liberals are all in arms about it, until yesterday then he "Trumped" himself by telling the Military that they don't have to accept "transgender" people.  Aw man it was like the Apocalypse to the liberal left.  They have lost their mind, you have George Takai, Ellen and some other liberal LGBTEIEIO activist tell Trump" You don't want to piss off this community"   Well first off...Here is my opinion on celebrity

That basically sums up my opinion.  The same community that can't stand him and already hate him with a visceral passion....He can't ratchet the pain more to those people than he already does. 
     So anyway He says "No to the Transgender" crowd on serving and I and a lot of veterans and active duty people agree with the new policy.  The Armed service is supposed to be an instrument to hurt people and break things, not there for social engineering policies. 
      Gender dysphoria is classified as a disorder under dual role transvestism in the 2017 ICD-10 CM GID was reclassified to gender dysphoria by the DSM-5.
Studies indicate that transgender people have an extremely high rate of suicide attempts; one study of 6,450 transgender people in the United States found 41% had attempted suicide, compared to a national average of 1.6%.
Transgender people are also at heightened risk for certain mental disorders. Banning people based on mental disorders is just common sense, these are jobs that entail exposure to extreme stress and life and death situations and that's just in training.

Please show me where serving in the military is a constitutionally protected right. This is not discrimination, its an employers ability to establish minimum standards for employment. Its another disqualifying factor for initial entry such as bad knees, poor eye sight, or diagnosed mental conditions. Would I go to war with a transgender person, answer depends on the person, has nothing to do with the gender identity. There is always an exception to every situation.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

President Trump speaks

Yesterday President Trump spoke to 45,000 Boy Scouts at the National Jamboree at Summit Bechel
National campsite.  I had planned on attending the National Jamboree as one of the shooting instructors.  I had prepaid and gotten a staff patch
I had to withdraw when there was a discrephancy in my vacation and I didn't have the time like I though I did.  I really wanted to attend.  Oh well, I will try to attend in 2021 and hopefully Donald Trump will be reelected.    Here is the speech that President Trump gave to the National Jamboree.

President Trump on Monday recounted a story about real estate developer William Levitt as he provided advice to Boy Scouts at the organization’s national jamboree.
Speaking to the crowd in West Virginia, Trump described a party he attended where he saw Levitt after the developer had a series of failed business endeavors in the later portion of his life.
“And in the end he failed and he failed badly. Lost all of his money. He went personally bankrupt. And he was now much older.
“And I saw him at a cocktail party and it was very sad because the hottest people in New York were at this party,” Trump explained.
“And I see sitting in the corner, was a little old man who was all by himself. Nobody was talking to him. I immediately recognized that that man was the once great William Levitt of Levittown.”Trump said he went over to Levitt to introduce himself and ask him what happened in his failed business attempts.
“And he said, ‘Donald, I lost my momentum. I lost my momentum.’ A word you never hear when you’re talking about success,” Trump said.
The president used the anecdote as a means to encourage the Boy Scouts, telling the crowd to “never quit, never give up.”
“He lost his momentum, meaning he took this period of time off long, years, and then when he got back, he didn’t have the same momentum,” Trump added about Levitt.
“In life, I always tell this to people. You have to know whether or not you continue to have the momentum. And if you don’t have it that’s OK.”

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Project Babylon the last Supergun

I had talked about "Dora" and some of the other super-guns back in 2014, and I ran across this article and it talked about super-guns and by the one that was trying to get built by the Iraqi's.  I remembered reading something about it in the late 80's and when we went into Desert Storm, the super-gun was a subject of our briefings, although the SCUDS(pieces of crap that they were) out ranged the super-gun.  We were never sure of the reason for the build except perhaps out of ego.  Saddam had a heck of an ego.  I clipped this off the internet because I ran across the reference and did a bit of research and found a good article. 
Artist rendition of super-gun if completed
Project Babylon was an Iraqi code name for the construction of a super-gun, commissioned by Saddam Hussein in 1988. The engineer in charge of the project was a Canadian named Gerald Bull. Bull had a history of ambitious projects starting with the Canadian government when he first made plans for resurrecting the super-gun technology abandoned during the Second World War.
Super-guns were used by the Germans to bombard areas from a great distance during sieges. Most notable super-guns from this period were Big Gustav and Dora. They’ve used a 31.5-inch (or 80 cm) projectile which could successfully fire at a distance of almost 30 miles (47 kilometers). It was quite impractical, though.
Moving only on rails, manned by a crew of a several hundred people and highly immobile it was an easy target for Allied bombers. The construction was too expensive, and so too was the maintenance.
Bull’s idea was different. If not used in combat the gun could be used for other purposes.

A model of the Dora Supergun. By Scargill – CC BY-SA 3.0
He intended to make a so-called space gun that could launch satellites into orbit. After a series of disagreements with the Canadian Armament and Research Development Establishment (CARDE) in 1960, he went to work at the McGill University in Montreal. The Pentagon soon became interested in his work. He became head of the project HARP – High Altitude Research Program (not to be confused with
He became head of the project HARP – High Altitude Research Program (not to be confused with HAARP). This is where he managed to build a cannon that could fire a projectile miles into orbit.

Project Harp
Project Harp.
The project was based in Barbados, from where shells were fired eastward toward the Atlantic Ocean using an old U.S. Navy 16-inch (410 mm), 50 caliber gun (20 m). It was later extended to a 100 caliber gun (40 m). In 1966, the project installed its third and final 16-inch gun at a new test site in Yuma, Arizona. On November 18, 1966, the Yuma gun fired a 400 lb (180 kg) projectile at 7,000 ft/s (2,100 m/s) sending it briefly into space and setting an altitude record of 110 mi (180 km). That world record still stands as of 2013.
The project was cancelled, due to the controversies over the Vietnam War policy and preserving the traditional Canadian-American good diplomatic relations shortly after and Bull started his own private company, Space Research Institute, Inc.

Abandoned HARP gun in Barbados.
Abandoned HARP gun in Barbados.
After this, Bull was involved in projects for the South African Republic in the 1970’s, building howitzers to help them defeat the Communists in Angola. The CIA provided this contract to Bull, so he could help change the tide in the war since the Cubans and the Soviets were supporting the Angolan Communists.
He had been accused of gun running by the UN, under the Carter administration, and landed in jail for six months in 1980. This event fueled his mercenary-scientist attitude and in 1988 he agreed to help Saddam Hussein build a super-gun under the title Project Babylon.

A section of the Iraqi supergun from Imperial War Museum Duxford. Photo Credit.
A section of the Iraqi super-gun from Imperial War Museum Duxford. Bluemoose – CC BY-SA 3.0
During this time, Bull had produced two super-guns – Baby Babylon and Big Babylon. Baby Babylon was a prototype which served for test purposes. It used a 13.5 inch (350 mm) projectile which was fired through a barrel 151 ft (46 m) long. It could achieve a range of up to 466 miles, or 750 kilometers and it weighed 102 tonnes. It was completely immobile.
The next step was Big Babylon. The intention was to build a pair of these. Its specifications were a 512 ft (156 m) barrel that fired a 3,3 (1 m) ft projectile. It was supposed to weigh 2,100 tonnes. Bull applied his HARP research on the building of this gun, as it was intended to be a space gun, possibly firing satellites into the orbit.

Photo of a model of the the breech of the Project Babylon Iraqi supergun. Photo Credit.
Photo of a model of the the breech of the Project Babylon Iraqi super-gun. By Geni – GFDL
The other possible purpose was military, but it demanded a terminal guidance system built in the projectile, since the weapon itself was completely immobile and had no possibility to be elevated, or trained. Its ability to fire conventional projectiles was fairly limited. It was impossible to aim with it; it had a slow rate of fire and a “signature” blast that gave away its position almost immediately after firing. Its combat use was of no more significance than the earlier German super-guns.
It was never really clear what purpose Saddam Hussein wanted these guns to be used, for Iraq at that time had already acquired Scud missiles which were both more effective and practical than the super-gun. Nevertheless, Bull planned to deliver an improved version of the Big Babylon, the one that could be fitted on a train cart and moved if necessary. The range of the third gun was to be around 625 miles (1000 km), which would jeopardize both Israel and Iran, with whom Saddam had troubled diplomatic relations, to say the least.

Big sections table of the Babylon of Fort AT Nelson. Photo Credit
Big sections table of the Babylon of Fort AT Nelson.
Big Babylon super-gun was never finished because the mastermind behind it, Gerald Bull was assassinated in Brussels in March 1990. There are a lot of theories about the assassination. Mossad, the Israeli secret service, were the first to distribute information about the involvement of Iraqi agents in the assassination, only hours after it happened.
Others suggest that it could’ve been the governments of Iran, Syria, or South Africa. Some claim that it was the work of Western secret services, such as the CIA, or  MI6, and then again there are even theories that the Chileans did it, for Bull had some ties with the Chilean dictator, General Pinochet.

Gerald Bull, 1964. Photo Credit.
Gerald Bull, 1964. By Gerald Bull, 1964 – CC BY-SA 3.0
Soon after this event, the UK customs confiscated a shipment of parts for the gun which were imported from England. The parts were imported from England, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, under a variety of disguises. In this case, the crates were labeled “petrochemical pressure vessels”. After the Gulf War in 1991, the Iraqis admitted the existence of the unfinished guns, and they were destroyed by the UN as part of the disarmament process, in the aftermath of the end of the First Gulf War.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Music "Safety Dance" by Men without Hats

I remembered this song making the rounds on MTV and it was corny and had a catchy beat and it was popular on MTV so it had a frequent rotation.

Men Without Hats is a Canadian new wave/synthpop group, originally from Montreal, Quebec. Their music is characterized by the distinctive baritone voice of their American-born Canadian lead singer Ivan Doroschuk, as well as their elaborate use of synthesizers and electronic processing. They achieved their greatest popularity in the 1980s with "The Safety Dance", a worldwide Top Ten hit (#3 in the United States) and "Pop Goes the World". After a hiatus for most of the 1990s and 2000s, Doroschuk reformed the band in 2010, and released Love in the Age of War (2012). The reformed group, based in Vancouver, has continued to perform, including a European tour in 2015 and Australia in 2016.

Men Without Hats was founded in Montreal in 1977 as a punk rock band featuring Ivan Doroschuk (vocals), Pete Seabrooke (guitar), Dave Hill (bass) and John Gurin (drums). Ivan had previously sung in a band called Wave 21 with Jérémie Arrobas (vocals, keyboards), Stefan Doroschuk (bass) and Colin Doroschuk (guitar). In 1979, Wave 21 renamed themselves to Men Without Hats, after the punk band.
The Doroschuk brothers, all three of whom are classically trained musicians, were born in Champaign, Illinois while their Canadian father was earning a doctoral degree. They moved to Montreal as young children when their parents returned to Canada. The group's name came about because the brothers, following a self-described principle of "style before comfort," refused to wear hats during Montreal's cold winters, calling themselves "the men without hats."
In addition to the Doroschuks, the group has also included numerous additional members and guest or touring performers, many of whom quickly came and left during the first five years. Frontman and songwriter Ivan Doroschuk was the only constant member, while Stefan and Colin Doroschuk as well as Arrobas remained as relatively steady members through the early 1980s.
Their first recording to be released was the 1980 EP Folk of the 80's. At this point, the band had changed styles from punk to new wave and officially consisted of Ivan (vocals, bass) and Arrobas (keyboards); also appearing on the EP were auxiliary members Stefan Doroschuk (bass), Roman Martyn (guitars), and Lynne Thibodeau (backing vocals).
Shortly after the release of the debut EP, Martyn left and was replaced by Jean-Marc Pisapia, who stayed only a short time before leaving, and later founded The Box. Pisapia was replaced briefly by Tracy Howe, who also left in short order, co-founding Rational Youth shortly after his departure. Arrobas voluntarily left the group just before the recording of their next album.

Ivan and Stefan (now promoted to full membership status) subsequently recruited Allan McCarthy (percussion, electronics) to join the group, and recorded their 1982 full-length debut album Rhythm of Youth. The trio subsequently enjoyed a hit in Canada with "The Safety Dance", which peaked at No. 11 in May 1983. The song soon charted in the United States, spending four weeks at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was a major hit in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at No. 6.[4] The song also reached the top ten in various other European countries, peaked at No. 2 in New Zealand, and was rated the 11th biggest-selling single of the year in South Africa in 1983.
Adding Colin (who had guested on Rhythm of Youth) as an official fourth member, Men Without Hats released the album Folk of the 80's (Part III) in 1984. While lead single "Where Do The Boys Go?" was a top 40 hit in Canada, the album failed to match the international success of Rhythm of Youth.
In 1985, the band released the EP Freeways, consisting of multiple (and multi-lingual) remixes of one of their earliest efforts, Ivan and Arrobas's 1980 song "Freeways" (which had previously been released as a B-side in 1982). To support the EP, the group undertook a related tour, footage from which would later (in 2006) be released on DVD as Live Hats.
Reshuffling the line-up again, the band released the album Pop Goes the World in 1987 with Ivan, Stefan, and Lenny Pinkas. The song "Pop Goes the World" reached No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 2 on the Canadian Singles Chart, and was No. 1 in Austria. The song was later featured in the 1987 film Date with an Angel, and became the fifteenth biggest selling single in South Africa for 1988.

The group's next album, The Adventures of Women & Men Without Hate in the 21st Century, released in 1989, featured a cover of ABBA's song "SOS." The musicians on the album were essentially the touring band from Pop Goes the World, which included Bruce Murphy on keyboards and guitar, Marika Tjelios on bass, Richard Sampson on drums, and Heidi Garcia on vocals and keyboards.
The 1991 album Sideways, dominated by electric guitars instead of keyboards, revealed a dramatically different sound for the band, based in part on Ivan's exposure to Nirvana. According to Ivan, "We had a contractual obligation for one more album with Polygram so I said to them, we'll take half of the allotted budget if they would allow us to do the record I wanted... so we did this guitar-oriented record but Polygram were horrified. 'Men Without Hats without keyboards aren't going to work,' they claimed and that was the end of the story with Polygram." The line-up on the album was Ivan on vocals, Felix Matte on lead guitar, John Kastner on rhythm guitar, Stefan on bass, Michel Langevin on drums and Colin on keyboards.
The group officially disbanded in 1993, after the career setback of failing to attract another American label as a result of the negative reception to Sideways. The band's final concert was a benefit to support a women's shelter in Montreal, with guitarist Denis D'Amour replacing Matte and Kastner, who both had left the band in 1992.

The writer/lead singer, Ivan Doroschuk, has explained that "The Safety Dance" is a protest against bouncers stopping dancers pogoing to 1980s new wave music in clubs when disco was dying and new wave was up and coming. New wave dancing, especially pogoing, was different from disco dancing, because it was done individually instead of with partners and involved holding the torso rigid and thrashing about. To uninformed bystanders this could look dangerous, especially if pogoers accidentally bounced into one another (the more deliberately violent evolution of pogoing is slamdancing). The bouncers did not like pogoing so they would tell pogoers to stop or be kicked out of the club. Thus, the song is a protest and a call for freedom of expression.
In 2003, on an episode of VH1's True Spin, Doroschuk responded to two common interpretations of the song. Firstly, he notes it is not a call for safe sex. Doroschuk says that is reading too much into the lyrics. Secondly, he explained that it is not an anti-nuclear protest song per se despite the nuclear imagery at the end of the video. Doroschuk stated that "it wasn't a question of just being anti-nuclear, it was a question of being anti-establishment."

The music video for the song (which uses the shorter single version), directed by Tim Pope, is notable for its English folk revival imagery, featuring Morris dancers, Mummers, Punch and Judy and a Maypole. It was filmed in the village of West Kington, in Wiltshire, England. Ivan Doroschuk is the only member of the band actually to perform in the video. Doroschuk, and others in the video, can be seen repeatedly forming an "S" sign by jerking both arms into a stiff pose, one arm in an upward curve and the other in a downward curve, apparently referring to the first letter in "safety". The Morris dancers seen in the video were the Chippenham Town Morris Men, performing a dance called Monkton Park. The dwarf actor is Mike Edmonds, whose T-shirt in the video shows the Rhythm of Youth album cover. The identity of the young blonde woman dancing in the video remained unknown until 2013, when she was identified as Louise Court, a journalist who served as editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan and became a director at Hearst Magazines UK in 2015

Saturday, July 22, 2017

How I feel right now.......

How I feel right now,
    I want to write about the continuing Russiagate crap that is the nothing burger that the democrats keep pushing to excuse the crappy candidate when they ran the PIAP* and they haven't accepted the decision of the election process.

     I keep wanting to write about the continuing leaks and other crap coming out of the whitehouse where different groups are trying to shank President Trump.   I also am wearied about some of the decisions that are being made by President Trump lately.   I am wearied about continuing to argue with the same group of people on Facebook about the President, they live in an echo chamber and I am tired of arguing with these people.  I am starting to wonder if we need to start fracturing along political lines, it is apparent that the people from the other side of the aisle have no interest in "live and let live", we can disagree but we are American first.  They have adopted a "scorched Earth" policies and is implementing this policy now. 
     I want to talk about Al Gore and his latest comment that "parts of the planet have gone past the point of no return", really?   The Earth dying racket had made Al millions of dollars and I wish he would just go away.
     I see where in Minneapolis where a Somali"Refugee"  cop capped an Australian girl and how the leftist over there are bending over backwards not to insult certain identity groups over this shooting by a  PC police officer that should have never graduated from the academy, but was pushed through because the Mayor and Police chief wanted to"Be stylish" and be on the forefront of the leftist causes.
    I am tired of the do nothing Congress for the first time we own both the Presidency and Congress, those bozo's couldn't get anything done, they have spent more time shanking Trump than doing what they are supposed to so.  I understand that with the democrats whom are group animals like ants or lemmings, I know the GOP is like herding cats, but damm, they can't get anything done.

 Now they are worried about the 2018 election cycle and they are wanting to distance themselves from Trump to hope they get reelected, they forgot that we put them in there to help the President get his agenda through the process.  They don't understand that the democrats will vote for the other guy anyway so they kowtowing to the democrat special interest group ain't going to matter except show weakness. going into the 2018 election process.
    I think I will go to the range today.

   Pig in a Pantsuit*

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Possible assassination attempt of the Duke?

 I couldn't post Yesterday, I had a lot of ...you Guessed it..

I am a huge John Wayne fan, his rendition of the "Scout Law" I have posted 2 times on my blog.  John Wayne was a fervent supporter of the Boy Scouts of America.  John Wayne also played the all American hero, his attitudes and beliefs became the what the average American boy ascribed to when he became a man.  John Wayne Had several phrases that I have used, one was this one, I have it on my toolbox at work
I also use this one when I am talking to a scout when I am talking about ethics and doing the right thing. I would say "Courage is being scared and doing the right thing anyway".  I also remembered when John Wayne passed on beyond the rim in 1979, a Japanese Newspaper had a quote "Mr. America passes on" and that was pretty much accurate, John Wayne embodied the traditional American values that used to be celebrated.
    I clipped this from the Guardian, I had seen something in my Facebook feed about an assassination attempt on John Wayne and when I clicked it, it was clickbait, so after I extricated myself from that mess, I figured I would look up the story and "googled" it.    I knew that John Wayne was virulently anti-communist, when he made the movie "Green Beret" in 1968, it was direct "shot across the bow" of the anti-war movement. 

Joseph Stalin ordered the KGB to assassinate John Wayne because he considered his anti-communist rhetoric a threat to the Soviet Union, according to a new biography of the film star based on interviews with Wayne's close associates and the movie legend Orson Welles.

Stalin apparently learned of Wayne's popularity from the Russian filmmaker Sergei Gerasimov, who attended a peace conference in New York in 1949. Michael Munn, a film historian and author of John Wayne - The Man Behind The Myth, said Gerasimov told Stalin of Wayne's fervent anti-communist beliefs.
"Stalin decided that he would have him killed," said Mr Munn, who says he was told of the plot by Orson Welles at a dinner in 1983. Welles had said that the KGB was given the task of assassinating Wayne.
"Mr Welles was a great storyteller," said Mr Munn, "but he had no particular admiration for John Wayne." He said that Welles had offered the story without prompting, and that his sources were excellent.
Alexei Kapler after 10 years in a Soviet Prison
A prominent Russian filmmaker, Alexei Kapler (who was imprisoned for an affair with Stalin's 16-year-old daughter, Svetlana), had told another Russian filmmaker, Sergei Bondachuk, about the order. Bondachuk was sceptical at first, but after Gerasimov confirmed the story, Bondachuk told Welles.
Mr Munn said Wayne had also told him that his friend, the stuntman Yakima Canutt, had "saved his life once". Mr Munn later asked Mr Canutt what he had meant by this comment. The incident is thought to have taken place in the early 50s.
"Yakima told me that the FBI had discovered there were agents sent to Hollywood to kill John Wayne," said Mr Munn. "He said the FBI had come to tell John about the plot. John told the FBI to let the men show up and he would deal with them."
Wayne then apparently hatched a plot with his scriptwriter at the time, Jimmy Grant, to abduct the assassins, drive to a beach and stage a mock execution to frighten them. Mr Munn said he did not know what transpired, but heard the two men stayed in the US to work for the FBI.
"Afterwards though, John shunned FBI protection and did not want his family to know. He moved into a house with a big wall around it."
Wayne then relied upon a group of loyal stuntmen who infiltrated communist cells in America and learned of plots to kill him.
"He then gathered all the stuntmen, went to the communist meetings, and had a huge fight," Mr Munn said. This was when Wayne believes Mr Canutt saved his life.
A further attempt to kill Wayne was made in Mexico on the set of the film Hondo (which was released in 1953), led by a communist cell, according to Mr Munn.

The book claims that Stalin's order was cancelled by his successor Nikita Krushchev after the dictator's death in 1953. The book says Krushchev told Wayne in a private meeting in 1958: "That was a decision of Stalin during his last five mad years. When Stalin died, I rescinded that order."
Wayne also told Mr Munn about an attempt to kill him by an enemy sniper while he was visiting the troops in Vietnam in 1966. "One of the snipers was captured," said Mr Munn, "and said there was a price on John's head, put there by [China's communist leader] Mao Tse Tung."
Mr Munn said he had gathered the anecdotes over decades of work in the film industry. "I am quite convinced that it was not propagated by John or his inner circle," he added.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Why is Stormtrooper Armor white? and other Star War factoids.

I am a Star Wars fan, I use star wars material on my blog. I ran across this video talking about why Storm trooper armor is white....It actually is pretty good
Also some facts about Storm trooper
Imperial Stormtrooper vs Clone Troopers
Or First Order Storm Trooper Vs the Imperial Stormtrooper vs the Clone troopers

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Music "Shakin" by Eddie Money

I ran another song by Eddie Murphy last week called "I think I am in Love" and the bio mentioned "Shakin" and I remembered that song making the playlist in MTV also back in the day when they played Music.

Well Anyway I remembered some of Eddie Money's music but I never really saw him until the video for the song called "Shakin" hit the airways.  and it was a real cool video, it had hot chicks and fast cars and to a 15/16 year old kid, that was a good combination.

"Shakin'" is a song by American rock singer Eddie Money from his Platinum-certified album No Control, released in 1982. It was co-written by Eddie Money, Elizabeth Myers, and Ralph Carter, and released as a single, reaching #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #9 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks.

The video for the single featured actress/model Patricia Kotero, better known as Apollonia, as the female doing the "shakin". She would later go on to co-star in the film Purple Rain.
The song is a playable track on the music video game Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s.

The song's video was featured on an episode of Beavis and Butthead. The duo enjoyed the video, particularly Money's faces while watching the model dance around.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Some dangerous things we can let our kids do.

I have read on some other Blogs, for example about the how it was for us growing up versus what the kids nowaday experience.  for example this gem..
I and my brother rode in the back of my Dads 1970 Dodge "Camper Special" in middle Georgia and Alabama in the late 70's all the time.  Dad scored a "bench seat" from somewhere and dropped it in the bed so we could ride in relative comfort.  I used to sit on top of the fender-well or sit against the cab or if we were not on the interstate, we would sit in the corner of the bed by the tailgate and it was awesome.  I have a pic of my son in the back of my "disgruntled Veteran" Ranger and that would be the closest he would ever come to really riding in the back of my truck.
This was from a few years ago when the Couch went to the "happy Hunting Ground"  A.K.A. "Good will".  My son rode in the cab with me.  He so wanted to ride in the bed, but the law is real strict about such a thing so my son misses out on something magical because of the "Nanny State" and their rules.  
    A lot of what is shown here my son has done with the Boy Scouts, This is one of the things that I like about the Boy Scouts, besides teaching him the rules to be an honorable man, he has the experience that a lot of his peers don't get and they miss out on.  
    I shamelessly clipped this from "Art of Manliness"

Even though the modern world isn’t any more dangerous than it was thirty or forty years ago, it feels like a more perilous place. Or, more accurately, we inhabit the world today in a way that’s much more risk averse; for a variety of very interesting and nuanced reasons, our tolerance for risk, especially concerning our children’s safety, has steadily declined.
So we remove jungle gyms from playgrounds, ban football at recess, prohibit knives (even the butter variety) at school, and would rather have our kids playing with an iPad than rummaging through the garage or roaming around the neighborhood.
Unfortunately, as we discussed in-depth earlier this year, when you control for one set of risks, another simply arises in its place. In this case, in trying to prevent some bruises and broken bones, we also inhibit our children’s development of autonomy, competence, confidence, and resilience. In pulling them back from firsthand experiences, from handling tangible materials and demonstrating concrete efficacy, we ensconce them in a life of abstraction rather than action. By insisting on doing everything ourselves, because we can do things better and more safely, we deprive kids of the chance to make and test observations, to experiment and tinker, to fail and bounce back. In treating everything like a major risk, we prevent kids from learning how to judge the truly dangerous, from the simply unfamiliar.
Fortunately, we can restore the positive traits that have been smothered by overprotective parenting, by restoring some of the “dangerous” activities that have lately gone missing from childhood. The suggestions below on this score were taken both from 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do), as well as memories from my own more “free range” childhood. If you grew up a few decades back, these activities may seem “obvious” to you, but they’re less a part of kids’ lives today, and hopefully these reminders can help spark their revival.
While each contains a element of danger and chance of injury, these risks can be thoroughly mitigated and managed by you, the parent: Permit or disallow activities based on your child’s individual age, maturity level, and abilities. Take necessary precautions (which are common sense and which I’m not going to entirely spell out for you; you’re a grown-up, not a moron). Teach and demonstrate correct principles, and supervise some practice runs. Once you’ve created this scaffolding of safety, however, try to step back and give your child some independence. Step in only when a real danger exists, or when your adult strength/dexterity/know-how is absolutely necessary. And don’t be afraid to let your kids fail. That’s how they learn and become more resilient.
In return for letting your children grapple with a little bit of healthy risk, the activities below teach motor skills, develop confidence, and get kids acquainted with the use of tools and some of the basic principles of science. Outside any educational justification, however, they’re just plain fun — something we’ve forgotten can be a worthy childhood pursuit in and of itself!

Play With Fireworks

Playing with fireworks is not only a fun way to celebrate freedom, it teaches your kids how to responsibly handle fire and to have a healthy respect for exploding objects. Unfortunately, thanks to stringent fireworks laws and parents freaked out from viral stories of children losing eyeballs while lighting Roman candles, many kids today have never experienced the pure excitement and joy of igniting a fuse and waiting for the impending explosion.
Introduce your 3-5 year olds to the world of fireworks with “pop-pops” — those little paper-wrapped tadpole-like things you throw on the ground. They’re safe and the kids can have fun with them without injuring themselves or anybody else. You can also get them acquainted with sparklers. These preparatory “fireworks” offer a chance for children to learn general principles of safety: not to throw lit objects at others, touch people with a hot sparkler, handle a dud, etc.
When your kids hit age 6, you can start letting them light innocuous fireworks like snakes and smoke bombs. These don’t explode and will teach your kids how to light a fuse safely and to be aware of others as they use firecrackers.
By age 9 or 10, your kid should be ready to fire off pretty much anything you can find at a fireworks stand. You should continue to supervise their pyrotechnics until they’re teens, though.

Hammer a Nail

Hammering a nail is a basic life skill every person should master, but many parents don’t let their kids attempt this task out of fear of them smashing their fingers. Yes, little children are uncoordinated, but the only way they’ll ever become coordinated is if they gain hands-on experience in using tools. Start letting your 3-year-old practice hammering nails with a ball peen hammer. They’re lighter than the traditional claw variety and thus easier to handle. As your child’s dexterity and strength improve, upgrade him to a full-sized claw hammer, lay out a 2×4 and a box of nails, and let him go to town.
Talk about cheap entertainment.

Stick Your Arm Out a Car Window

Sticking their arm out the window of a moving car and letting their hand ride the wind is a great way for kids to get acquainted with the basic principles of aerodynamics — it’s like a personal wind tunnel. Encourage your child to play with different positions  — moving the angle of her hand, closing and opening her fingers — to observe how these variations affect lift and drag.
Yes, an arm could be severed if it hit an object alongside the road, but objects are very, very rarely positioned close enough to cause a collision. And if they are, your kid’s got eyes, doesn’t she?

Jump Off a Cliff

When you jump from a cliff 20 feet high, you’ll hit the water at 25 miles an hour. That’s enough force to do some serious bodily damage. But making such jumps, and even those which are higher, is certainly doable, even for small kids, as long as you take precautions and teach them proper technique.
Make sure the water is deep enough; for a jump of 20 feet, the water should be at least 8 feet deep. Then add 2 feet of water depth for every additional 10 feet of jump height. Ensure the landing spot is free from underwater obstacles like rocks. And teach your child to jump in a pencil dive: body straight, arms overhead, back slightly arched to avoid rotating forward. For little ones who aren’t strong swimmers, put them in a life jacket before they Geronimo! into the water.

Use a Bow and Arrow

After watching a Robin Hood flick or reading The Hunger Games, your kids will probably want to shoot a bow and arrow. Instead of getting him (or her) the wimpy Nerf variety, let them use the real thing. A youth archery set can be found for less than $50, will provide hours of entertainment, and will teach your kids how to be responsible with potentially dangerous objects. They’ll also pick up skills like judging distance and how to aim.

Cook a Meal

Cooking might not seem that dangerous, but once your kids start wanting to help make dinner, you begin noticing how many tasks prompt a “Whoa, be careful there!” response. Sharp knives, stove fire, and hot pans present hazards. I remember when I was five, I decided to nuke a bowl of milk by myself; when I took the bowl out of the microwave, I spilled its scalding hot contents all over my arm. At first I hid from my mom, but as a huge blister formed, I had to confess and get it tended to by a doctor.
Despite such potential mishaps, it’s worth not only letting your children assist you in the kitchen, but allowing them to try cooking on their own too. More so than any other activity on this list, it’ll teach them a valuable skill towards grown-up self-sufficiency.

Climb a Tree

Few activities feel more liberating than climbing a tree. It’s thrilling to leave the ground and test your physical deftness, as well as your daring as you decide just how high up you’ll go. The air seems fresher among the branches. The most classic of classic childhood activities, hopefully tree climbing will continue on for another millennia.


Roughhousing may just look like a primitive-level melee of potentially injury-causing wrestling and hair pulling, but it actually has a bunch of high-level benefits. Whether children are mixing it up with Dad, or with each other, research has shown that good old fashioned horseplay develops kids’ resilience, intelligence, and even empathy — it teaches them how to negotiate the dynamics of aggression, cooperation, and fair play. So suplex your children more often, and don’t break up the good natured battle royales they put on between themselves.

Go Sledding

Yes, it’s hard to believe this needs to be mentioned — that sledding isn’t an intrinsic part of every childhood (at least for those who live in colder climes). But I’ve met an alarming number of kids who grew up where there was at least occasional snow, and yet never went sledding. It’s hard to know if this is because parents are worried about the danger of the activity, or are just too lazy to leave their toasty, climate-controlled home to take the kids to a local hill. Either way, while sledding invariably comes with some bumps and bruises, as well as environmental discomforts, there’s hardly a more fun and memorable childhood activity. Especially when mitten-molded snow ramps are involved.

Drive a Car

Not by themselves, mind you. Or on public streets, of course, which would be illegal. But in a big parking lot, largely free of obstacles, positioned on Dad’s lap, who can work the pedals and grab the steering wheel if needs be. From this position, a kid can experience the thrill of learning how to steer a 2-ton hunk of metal in relative safety.

Burn Things With a Magnifying Glass

There are many fun and interesting ways to start a fire without matches, but using a magnifying glass is one of the most versatile. It provides you with a focused beam of heat that cannot only burn paper and leaves, but melt plastic. A kid can even use it to burn a symbol or his name into a piece of wood.

Walk or Ride a Bike to School

According to one study in the U.K., while 80% of third-graders were allowed to walk to school in 1971, that number had dropped to just 9% in 1990, and is even lower today. Parents started prohibiting their children from walking or riding their bike to and from school by themselves out of the fear that they might be kidnapped along the way. Yet abductions are exceedingly rare, and no more common now than they were several decades ago. Further, a child has a 40X greater risk of dying as a passenger in a car than being kidnapped or killed by a stranger.
If letting your kid walk to school (or even the bus stop) still fills you with dread, work up to it gradually: 1) Walk together with your child to school a few times, pointing out any dangers from traffic and reviewing how to deal with strangers, then 2) walk halfway to school with your child, watching her walk the rest of the way alone, and finally 3) let her walk all the way by herself, without you watching.

Shoot a Gun

Guns and kids is an understandably sensitive topic, but we’d make the case that proactively teaching your kids how to safely use firearms is the best way to teach a healthy respect for them. When they’re 7 or so, introduce them to a pellet gun and begin teaching proper gun safety rules like keeping their finger off the trigger until they’re ready to shoot and treating every weapon as if it were loaded. Set up a a target (tin cans are fun) in your backyard and let them plink away while you watch. As they get a little older, they can tote around their BB gun by themselves. Don’t worry about them shooting their eye out!
When they reach about age 10 or 11, you can introduce them to a .22 caliber rifle or pistol. Again, this should be done under your supervision and you should reinforce good gun safety principles the entire time.

Stand on the Roof

What kid hasn’t wanted to get a bird’s eye view of the neighborhood? Standing on the roof of your home is one of the more risky activities in this list, naturally, so supervise this vertical venture and take the necessary precautions: Only allow your child to attempt if your roof isn’t overly steep and is in good condition, without loose shingles and other potential hazards. Have your kid walk straight up and down the roof, standing with one foot on either side of its peak for stability, as they survey the landscape below.

Squash a Penny on a Railroad Track

Kate did this once in Vermont as a kid. At the exact moment she placed the penny on the track, a car in an adjacent parking lot happened to honk its horn; thinking it was the sound of an oncoming train, she jumped 10 feet in the air. Her family still laughs about it.
You do want to stay aware as you put your penny on a railroad track to be sure a train isn’t coming. If you’re going to wait for the train to come by and smoosh your coin, you also want to stand back at least 30 feet, as it could hypothetically come flying off and hit you. You don’t have to wait around for the train, though. If you decide to come back in a few hours or the next day to see what became of your penny, mark the spot with a stick before you leave for easy finding later on.
There’s a myth that a penny can derail a train, but that’s not true. You don’t want to put anything larger than a penny on the track, though.

Sword Fight With Sticks

Parents are wary of anything involving sharp objects, sticks included. But letting your kid engage in some improvised swashbuckling is too fun an opportunity to pass up because of a negligible risk of injury.

Shoot a Slingshot

In a time not too long ago, the archetypical boy had a handmade slingshot dangling from the back of his pocket. Today, most boys have never touched one. Which is a shame because slingshots can provide hours of fun and they’re a great way to introduce firearm safety to your young ones (e.g., only point at what you plan on hitting).
Yes, you could just buy your kid a fancy manufactured slingshot on Amazon, but how about exposing them to even more positive danger by letting them make their own? (You can find instructions here.) They’ll learn how to handle a saw safely and get to practice some knife wielding skills to boot.

Explore a Construction Site

While I was growing up, the subdivision I lived in was still under construction, so there were always plenty of partially-built houses to explore. After the construction workers left for the day, my boyhood pals and I would cruise down the street on our bikes to check out their work and poke around the skeletal structures rising from the muddy lots. The ones that were the most fun to explore were the two-story houses. You’d have to climb up the railing-less, unfinished stairs and when you got to the top, you were able to walk to the edge of the second story’s framing and throw stuff down on your buds.
It’s a hard way to beat spending an afternoon.

Use a Pocket Knife

In Home Grown, author and homesteader Ben Hewitt describes how he gave his sons their first pocket knives at age four. Hewitt admits that he was worried that they would constantly slice open their pudgy toddler fingers with these sharp implements, but much to his surprise, his young boys rarely injured themselves. “There was something in the seriousness of the blade and the responsibility granted that transformed our son[s],” he notes. By giving them the responsibility of using a knife safely, Hewitt’s kids became responsible.
While you don’t have to give your toddler a pocket knife, consider letting them handle this trusty, handy tool sooner rather than later. It’s the only way they’ll learn how to handle sharp things safely and deftly, and doing so will open up new activities to them — from whittling to mumbley peg.

Climb a Rope

Many schools have banned certain physical activities from recess and P.E. class due to their being too “dangerous.” Football, dodgeball, tag…even all balls of any kind and running itself have gotten the boot in some places. Ropes have also been removed from many school gyms, due to the perceived risk of a child falling from the top — and probably also because of the risk of injury to the self-esteem of the kid who can’t even make it halfway up.
Climbing is one of the crucial physical skills everyone should develop, however, so if schools don’t provide the opportunity for its practice, then parents ought to, perhaps putting up a rope of their own in the backyard.

Ride Your Bike Off a Ramp

As a kid, taking your bike off a ramp is the closest you’ll get to flying without being on a plane. Back when I was a boy, my neighborhood posse and I built a big ol’ ramp out of a pile of dirt. We’d spend hours flying off that thing. For some reason, my favorite thing was to let go of my bike in midair and watch it continue to fly while I hit the dirt.
Building and riding off ramps will teach your kids some basic physics and even some construction skills. They’ll also learn, just as Napoleon Dynamite did, that if you’re not careful, taking your bike off sweet jumps can be hazardous to your junk.

Make a Fire

There’s a primal connection between man and fire. Nurture that connection with your kids while they’re young. Let them play with matches and light candles when they’re pre-school age (with your supervision). They’ll learn that fire indeed burns, but from a flame so small it won’t hurt too much if it glances their skin. When they get to be about 8 or 9, let them build a fire all by themselves (still with your supervision, of course).

Explore a Tunnel

When my father-in-law was a boy in the early 1960s, the post-WWII housing boom was still in full swing, and a huge neighborhood was being built about a mile away from his home. Once the land was cleared, workers laid out gigantic sewer pipes so high he could walk through them without bending down, and so long they became pitch black once you advanced several yards from the openings. Though exploring the tunnels was a favorite activity of the neighborhood boys, my father-in-law recalls being a little terrified by these expeditions. Yet they still became an indelible memory!
Modern explorers should avoid tunnels filled with sewage and unsavory critters or humans, stay away from storm drains after rain, wear gloves, and bring along a flashlight — as well as a heaping helping of courage!
Magnifying glass photo courtesy of George’s Workshop
Penny photo taken by Eli Duke