About Me

My photo
Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023



Today's challenge: Recent Song I've Loved.

If by recent does that means within the last two years or decades? The answer is a resounding NO! Somebody strutting around the stage preaching hate and misogyny while seeing how fast they can hic up doesn't count as music in my dictionary.

In church for the last twenty years all the praise choruses are cotton candy meaningless drivel tailor made to turn the congregation into sheep and accept assholes like Trump as God's anointed.

I'm a seventy-year-old curmudgeon that grew up on Elvis, Pat Boone, Sam Cooke, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Connie Francis, The Everly Brothers and that was until I turned ten. Then it was Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Herman's Hermits, Rolling Stones (hated the Beatles), The Turtles, Elvis movies and songs, loved the girls doing "the shake," Barbara Streisand, Neil Diamond, The Monkees, etc.

God, don't get me started on 70's music there's too many to list. Still sad that Bill Chase, and Jim Croce died so young.

 Went a little country with George Strait and Garth Brooks, Shania Twain in the 90's as decent pop music went belly up.

I live in an age where I can still enjoy all my music, and I have the bread to pay a little a month to have a dozen lists of my favorite artists and songs from all decades all on my smart phone through the magic of Amazon Music and Spotify.

Really pissed here, I converted all my LP's to digital and on my computer. For years I could download them to my phone and play them while driving to work and back. Then 5G hit and the phones wouldn't let me download them forcing me to pay for steaming. The other side is I now have a lot of music that wasn't on my computer. I confess, I listen to the Partridge Family from time to time.

When I go to the gym I play my hard rock music, Iron Butterfly, Grand Funk Railroad, Bob Seger, Chase, Chicago, Creedence Clear Water Revival. I go to the gym to work out and listen to my music. From time to time there's a couple of assholes wanting to talk next to me or on his cell phone, or some chatty Kathys, I always warn them that if they talk I sing, if they persist I belt out Innagoddadavida or I'm a Man, Yes I am. I love making noises from drum solos.

There's only one song I can't get, it's from the early seventies, Toast and Marmalade for Tea by Tin Tin. Spotify has it only as an instrumental. It's on Wikipedia, but that doesn't get it on my phone.

Took a trip a couple of weeks ago and had a great time over four days listening to all my favorite songs while dodging 18 wheelers on the highway.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Greed Caused the Civil War


Greed Caused the Civil War

Patrick Prescott

 Tariffs in the 1800’s

All my life I was taught, in Jr. High, High School and College that the issue dividing the North and South was slavery. The north were the good guys and the south the bad guys.

The only reason offered by southerners to defend the south’s right to secede was on the issue of Tariffs, but historians always scoffed at this and dismissed it as an excuse, not a reason. The North won and their point of view prevailed.

In my study of the life of Mattew Fontaine Maury I came upon his reasons for leaving the union and siding with the south. It opened my eyes to how greedy northern merchants were as much responsible for the bloodshed of that war as slave owners.

The first thing that opened my eyes was the association of the word Tariff in today’s context with the time period in question. Actually, the word that best explains the duty placed on the south should be Subsidy.

Today’s meaning of tariff: Example: March 5, 2022, President Trump imposed a 25% tariff on Chinese imports. What this meant was that all goods imported by China in the U. S. were assessed 25% extra in cost. An item normally priced at $100, would be $125. The idea is not to make money for the treasury, but to make the Chinese product more expensive and the American consumer would prefer to buy the American product.

The Tariff of 1816, did not raise the price of British goods. It taxed the southern states 25% on cotton, then gave that money to the northern merchants so they could compete on the open market with England. This is today known as a subsidy.

This is an excerpt from:

 “A Vindication of the South and of Virginia”

By M. F. Maury”

 [After the War of 1812], “it was thought wise to encourage manufacturing in New England, until American Labor could be educated for it and the requisite skill acquired for the establishment of workshops. The Southern statesmen took the lead in the passage of a tariff to encourage and protect the manufacturing industries of the North.

In course of time the restrictive laws in England were repealed… Nevertheless, the protection continued, and was so effectual that the manufacturers of New England began to compete in the foreign markets with the manufacturers of Old England. Whereupon the South said “Enough...” the Atlantic Ocean rolls between this country and Europe; the expense of freight and transportation across it, with moderate duties for revenue alone, ought to be the protection enough for these Northern industries. Therefore, let us do away with tariffs for protection. They have not, by reason of geographical laws, turned a wheel in the South; moreover, they have proved a grievous burden to our people.”

The Tariff of 1816 exacted 25% of all cotton to be exported abroad and the money put into the pockets of Northern Merchants. This was agreed to by the Southern leaders as a temporary measure to increase industry and fair trade.

The Tariff of 1824 increased the tariff to 30%. This was not agreed to by the Southern States, it was not needed and certainly adding an extra 5% was excessive, but by this time the Northern and Western States could outvote the South.

The Tariff of 1828 became known as the Tariff of Abomination. It placed the amount to 40%. At this point South Carolina and other states started passing laws to nullify the tariff. Andrew Jackson became president in 1829 and threatened a military invasion if any state refused to pay the tariff.

The compromise Tariff of 1833 began a 2% reduction of the tariff rate until it was down to 20% by 1842.

I want to emphasize here that the Northern Merchants were not only competing on an even playing field with England in 1824, but because of the Monroe Doctrine had almost exclusive rights with Central and South America. They were also expanding into the Pacific and Asia. The theft, (what else could you call it?) from southern cotton was an added bonus, but there is nothing more permanent than a temporary solution. The merchants liked their subsidy even though they didn’t need it.

Again, quoting Maury:

Moreover, peace, progress, and development had, dictated Free Trade as the true policy of all nations. Our senators proceeded to demonstrate by the example of hardships of submitting any longer to tariffs for protection. In their arguments they quoted examples to this effect—The Northern farmer clips his hundred bales of wool, and the Southern planter picks his hundred bales of cotton. So far, they are equal, It went further—re-protected the industry of one section and taxed that of the other… And now came the injustice and the grievance. They both, so the case was made to run, preferred the Charleston market; each with his invoices of one hundred bales, to the Custom House. There the Northern man is told he may land his hundred bales duty free, but the Southern man is required to leave forty of his for the privilege of landing the remaining sixty.

The Real Burden of the Tariff

Here I come to another eye-opening moment. History books always wonder why the poor farmer with no slaves or only a few would go and fight for the plantation owners with large land holdings and many slaves? This is a fallacy.

How many farmers today could live off of only 60% of the crop they produced?

The plantation owners resented the loss of profits, but still lived a life of wealth. It was the small farmer who needed the whole 100% of the fruits of his labors to turn a profit! They shouldered the burden. The tariff kept them poor and barely and on a subsistence level.

Northern and Western farmers were not taxed like this. This is expressly forbidden in the Constitution.

Section 10 states:

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.

 Notice the constitution says taxes shall go to the treasury, not the pockets of Northern Merchants.

 In 1840 when the Compromise Tariff was down to 24% Maury says:

  Fifteen years before the war, it was stated officially from the Treasury Department at Washington, that under the tariff then in force the self-sustaining industry of the country was taxed in this indirect way in the sum of $80,000,000 annually, none of which went into the coffers of the Government, but all into the pocket of the protected manufacturer.

Thus, dealt by, there was a cumulative dissatisfaction in the Southern mind towards the Federal Government, and the Southern men began to ask each other, “Should we not be better off out of the Union than we are in it?”

The south rose up because the northern and western farmers weren’t singled out like them. They saw this not as a way of helping their northern merchants in need, but as it was—a sin tax. Slavery was a part of the issue. It was the way for the north's to justify the unfair taxation placed on the south… 

the result of all this Federal partiality, of this unequal protection and encouragement, was that New England and the North fattened upon the tribute forced from the South and prospered as few people have ever done.


Today all history books state that this had a moral cause to end slavery. Not even the Crusades in the middle ages were a moral cause. All wars have as their basis greed. More land, more raw natural resources, tribute, that is what causes wars.

It was the tribute demanded from the south to Northen Merchants that caused the war.

The south was treated as second class citizens, why would they want to stay in such a country and be taxed so unfairly and unconstitutionally?

 All quotes of Matthew Fontaine Maury come from:

 Corbin, Diana Fontaine, A Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury, U.S.N. & C.S.N. Published 1888, Published as E-book on Amazon by Good Earth Press reproduced from original text and artwork January 3, 2013.

 This book contains almost all of Diana’s father’s speeches, articles, and other writings in their entirety. A valuable resource.

 These quotes and more are in: I Maury: The Life and Times of a Rebel

Available as e-book and paperback on Amazon



Wednesday, June 21, 2023

WC062123: Things I like/dislike about the Romance Genre


Things I like/dislike about the Romance Genre.

My wife and daughter went crazy over Bridgerton. We faithfully watch every episode of every season on Netflix, and in order to save money I bought every e-book in the series (nine at last count) and let them get on my Amazon account to read them on their readers. Otherwise, they would both have bought them, and they are not cheap.

Soooo... What do I like about Romance novels?

1. I like the historical settings, if done right. The history has to be based in reality. Get the time period right. It gives great insight into the life and times of the place and time period.

2. The social restrictions of the day and how the heroine of the story either conforms or rebels against them.

3. Attitudes of men concerning women in all ages.

4. The elusive striving for love and happiness.

5. Not all, but many have sex as the hook for the reader. This sometimes has rape or at least coercive sex, not necessarily physical abuse, but other ways of pressuring a woman to consent that today I find at least on WC women are finding offensive

6. Gone With The Wind is a prime example here. The scene in the book and movie when Rhett has had enough of Scarlet refusing him, he picks her up, and carries her up the staircase. That was considered very romantic until recently and now I have read women claiming this is rape culture. The fact that it includes slavery is now putting it on the banned books list.

What I dislike about Romance books 

1. Sometimes the sex can be too blatant or repetitive. Anne Rice's Beauty series becomes too pornographic and treats romance as roadkill.

Jean Auel's Clan of the Caveman series has rape in the first book, but the other books the sex becomes so repetitive I grew bored and skipped them. She must have cut and pasted the scenes whenever she decided to spice up the story between describing fauna and flora.

2. Sometimes what women consider romance is not what I consider it to be.

In college literature class we read The Horse Dealer's Daughter, by D.H. Lawrence. In class I was called upon to tell the plot. I responded by saying a man see's a woman walk into a lake trying to drown herself. He rushes in, takes her to her home and while drying off she attacks him by putting her arms around his legs and not letting him go.

Mrs. C. became indignant and said, Mr. Prescott you may have considered she attacked him, but this is considered to be one of the most romantic stories in English literature."

I stand by my response.

3. For some reason there's a trope involving a stalker. Either the woman is being stalked or in the Fifty Shades trilogy the man is being stalked.

4. Somehow a man can do just about anything if he's rich enough. It's always romantic with a Billionaire, used to be millionaire, but inflation has hit.


Saturday, June 17, 2023

Compromise with Walmart

 Thursday DVD player died. I went to Wally World and ran into a difficulty. The one I bought was broken and they would not refund my money. Had a sleepless night with adrenaline coursing through my veins.

Finally cooled down and wrote this letter to the store:

To: Manager Aaron,

2550 Coors BLDV NW

Albuquerque, NM 87120


Dear Sir,


On June 15, 2023, I purchased a Sony DVD player in your store. I requested the salesclerk in Electronics to get the player out of the glass case it was stored in. She rang up the sale (see receipt 1 attached) and then saw that it had a reduced price on it.

She directed me to the service department to correct the problem. At the service department the clerk refunded the first purchase price and rang up the other price. (See receipts 2 and 3). The player was taped but did have hole in the front of the box.

I took the player home and found that the on/off button was broken. The remote had batteries in it which I replaced. The remote turned the machine on with a blue light visible, but it would not open the DVD tray. The button on the machine would not open the tray. This made the machine inoperable.

Returning to the store I expected to get a refund for a machine not in working order. I was informed that at the purchase I was told it was “AS IS” and not refundable. I do not remember hearing the salesclerk saying this. I was naturally upset for having paid nearly ninety dollars for a broken machine that was useless. A few words were spoken, but I did not utter any obscenities, though they did enter my mine and still do.

Under the U.S. Uniform Commercial Code: Section 2-314: 2 Goods to be merchandisable must be at least such are, c) are fit for the ordinary purpose for the which goods are used, d) run, within the variations permitted by the agreement of the even kind,…

In layman’s terms this means if I buy a DVD Player and it does not play DVD’s this violates the implied warranty of the product.

To insist that a product that is purchased is not refundable when there is the reasonable expectation that it will work as expected is illegal. This was not a scratch and dent defect, it was broken at the time of sale, and that is not covered by “All Sales Final.”

The item I bought was not on a table with a sign marked it as all sales final. I did not hear the words “All sales final,” because if I did, I would not have bought it.

I was willing to buy the player as new at the new price, as sales receipt 1 indicates. I am willing to buy this product if it is new at the full retail price, by paying the extra $29.36 if the $88.09 already paid is applied.

Your benefit is the sale of a product and a satisfied customer.

Took it to the store.

I now have a new DVD player and am content to have settled the matter.




Tuesday, June 13, 2023

WC061423: What I love about being a blogger/reader


Today's challenge is What I love about being a blogger/reader.

Most of the blogs I read and comment on are about books and reading. Two birds with one stone.

I enjoy telling some things about me and my likes and dislikes concerning books and learning about the likes and dislikes of other bloggers.

This challenge has been my mainstay for the last few years for most of blog posts. I still post musings and other things on my mind, but that's only when I'm between writing on my next novel or anthology of short stories.

I have a good friend in Yogi, who I recently discovered he was a year behind me in high school. Blogging for years and on FB and didn't know.

Berthold has been a really good blogging friend over the years. I've read and given him advice on his writing and he's done the same for me. He's a constant source of books I'd never have heard of and have enjoyed.

I met Lydia through Berthold and she got me interested in Top Ten Tuesday and Wednesday Challenge.

I've been a voracious reader all my life and haven't let up. Today my eyes get tired easily even with a large font on an e-reader, so I'm switching to audio books. It drives my wife crazy when she wants to talk to me and I have to turn off the book on my phone, and it runs my hearing aids battery down real fast, but mostly I enjoy listening and rest my eyes. Allergies are bad this year. 

I made the mistake of downloading a Game of Thrones book. The narrator is horrible and when Martin goes three or four pages on the lineage of ancient kings and kingdoms it's easier to just skip pages than fast forwarding the whole chapter.

It's good to be retired so when I'm not waging war on goat heads, tumble weeds, milk weeds and other unwanted plants in my yards; I can read, listen and write to my hearts content, until my wife wants me to go shopping with her.

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

WC060723: Older books other people should read


Today's challenge is: Older books other people should read. I'm altering the challenge to not just older books, but older authors as well.

Anything and everything by Isaac Asimov.

Also I'll add Robert Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Frank Herbert and many other great science fiction authors.

All of Dr. Seuss, especially the ones that they are trying to ban. 

Absolute best for understanding how prosecutors assemble the evidence and dissect it to discover motive and then prove it in court. Bugliosi has other books out as well.

Anything and everything by Harlan Ellison.

The mother of modern science fiction. She imagined galactic empires, stargates, and much more we take for granted today.

Don't forget the classics. 

Nonfiction is important too. Be it science, medicine, psychology, or history never stop learning.