For Knavery, Licentiousness, Thievery, Pillage, Arson, Drunkenness, Looting, Running Away, Cheating at Dice, Avarice, Duplicity, Drunkenness, Telling of Falsehoods to Maidens, Monarchism, Klotting with Orcs, Drunkenness, Spreading Falsehoods of Plague, Spreading of Plague, Dueling, Not Dueling, Carrying of Weapons, Poaching, Drunkenness, Paganism, Witchcraft, acting to spread fear and Chaos, Keeping of Vermin, Eating of Vermin, Consorting with Vermin (You know who you are), Treachery, Acting the fool, sinking Atlantis and killing Cock Robyn.
If you have seen this man, do not attempt to approach unless you are well armed and bear tokens of Fealty(a good single malt should do the trick). Fleeing Felon is rumored to have changed his appearance by enchantments which make his hair to appear white and his bearing to be that of an older man. He is rumored to have retreated to his estates in Salisbury, and with his wife intends to raise a squadron of Kavalrie. He was last spied by Muninn at the realm firstname.lastname@example.org . We shall invite him to defend and explain his bizarre behaviour here at "Quoth The Raven". He is best known as Barchan the Kipchack, slayer of the Turk, defender of the nine realms, Lord of Markland, etc... and is also known to travel under the alias..."Greg". Caution is advised.
February 28, 2007
February 22, 2007
Posted by Aethelred at 7:31 AM
February 21, 2007
Country Music Video of the Year
Click on the title at top of page. It will take you to You Tube Where you can see Trace Adkins new video"Fightin Words" It is the Best!
P.S. Sorry about the scary picture. Loki made me do it!
February 18, 2007
Children of Decadence
The family is the foundation of human society. This is true for all cultures regardless of race, language, location or millennia. Marriage is recognized universally as the institution that binds male and female for the purpose of procreation and raising children. Contemporary society has construed marriage to include a variety of ancillary benefits such as emotional security, domesticity, and sexual gratification. The incidental benefits of the union do not negate the fact that all cultures through time have recognized that child-rearing is performed best by a partnership between male and female. The extended family and polygamy offer variants on the covenant of marriage whithout detracting from its essential character as a child-rearing institution. Humans are compelled by a recognition that children are the future to provide a system by which succeeding generations are properly socialized, educated, and integrated into the overall structure of society. The initial steps begin at home and are gradually extended to include the more complex relationships of the individual to the community and nation.
Marriage in contemporary America is a system in default of its basic obligations. Divorce rates have soared over the past fifty years to a rate above fifty percent. The trend can be blaimed on the belief that the ancillary benefits of marriage take precedence over the obligation to provide for progeny. Only childless couples can make this claim. Once children enter the relationship, the fundamental reason for marriage must become paramount. The current situation is aggravated further by the increase in out-of-wedlock births. The recognition of marriage as the basis for a healthy society has been deeply compromised by easy divorce, and defied outright by feminists who denigrate men in general, and the value of fatherhood in particular. The stigmas formerly associated with divorce and bastardy have been dismantled in the name of "compassion". But absent a social mechanism to enforce the former norm, our society has tumbled down a slope into self-gratification and illiberality. The current situation is surely a mark of our decadence that we take the welfare of our children for granted.
I know that historians have been complaining about the youth of their day since Herodotus, but our contemporary youth have embraced a cultural ethic all their own. Never has so much been given to a generation with so little expected in return. Today's kids have become the ultimate consumers, always demanding the latest gadget or fashion trend, without ever contributing a dime of their own through wage labor. Material goods like cell phones, Ipods, and even automobiles come as if by right. Today's generation believes they are entitled. This regardless of what they might be achieving in school. I have a roster of failing students, kids who will never graduate high school, who drive brand new vehicles provided by parents. There is no quid pro quo, no demand that good grades are a prerequisite, no insistence that things must be earned. The perks simply arrive at the appointed time, and always for the asking. How is this possible?
Consider now that the "family" for many children consists of mom and her boyfriend, dad and his new fiancee. Such parents tend to be self-absorbed, more intent on finding self-fulfillment in a "relationship" than they are with their responsibilities as parents. There's no time for kids. It's easier to bounce them between homes in shared custody situations than to establish a loving and disciplined household. The children of such couples quickly learn that mom and dad will compete for their affections by bestowing material goods rather than quality time. In my opinion, this tendency is a measure of parental guilt for the divorce and subsequent neglect. In my day, when I asked mom for something, the request was usually met by "what did your father say?". In today's household the kids call the shots: "If you won't give it to me, dad will." Or to put it in the words of one of my students: "We're very good at getting what we want." Indeed. But from where comes the character building lessons in learning to do without? Instant gratification has become the norm. Where is the quid pro quo, as in "you'll get a cell phone when I see straight A's."? When nothing is demanded from home, nothing is given at school. It's a one-way street. Everything is due, nothing is expected in return. To quote again one of my students: "When you get bad grades long enough, your parents eventually get used to it." There are never any consequences for poor grades, so why bother putting in the effort?
I would be content with the knowledge that some of these kids are going to get a rude awakening someday. But for too many this is not the case. Many of these children are planning to become life-long dependents of their parents. "What will you do when you get older?" I ask them. "My parents have money," they answer without a shred of shame. So they drop out, hang out at home, party when they feel like it, and are generally incapable of holding a job. You might recall a Hollywood film last year called "Faliure to Launch". When such attitudes reach the movie screen, you know the tendency is already endemic in the culture. Such attitudes are the result of learned behavior, and the expectations continue into adulthood. This nation cannot survive the current generation. They are lazy, demanding, entitled, dependent and utterly without virtue. The behavior is a sign of our societal decadence. Today's kids know only a life of grab and grasp. A recent incident related to me by a parent illustrates the point. He hired two boys to spread a pile of mulch. At the end of the day, nothing had been accomplished. When he refused to pay the two, he was met with outraged howls: "But we were here!" Do they expect to get paid for nothing? Apparently they do. What a pitiful generation. What a pitiful generation of parents who raised them.
February 10, 2007
I will admit to a certain preoccupation of late. I am convinced that Western Civilization has succumbed to the sort of decadence that precedes a fall. The theme is still developing in my mind which is why the essays are somewhat disjointed and lacking coherence as a single idea. I haven't even touched the historical record, an easy task, but that essay is still percolating on a backburner. I hope to put it all together by summer's end.
I find the works of two philosophers particularly useful at the moment: Marcus Aurelius and Confucius. The two men, separated by race, language, culture, and seven-hundred years of history are, nevertheless, so similar as to be almost identical. Marcus is the more introspective and personal, Confucius the more general and holistic. Yet both are deeply concerned with the nature of virtue. The word "virtue" is no longer fashionable in western society, habituated as we are to a life of self-gratification. I offer this quick list of original aphorisms to illustrate my point.
Freedom is a societal virtue. It can only exist amongst a disciplined people who understand the necessity for self-restraint and voluntary compliance with the law and social mores. Modernity offers in its place only license. We have become creatures of appetite, libertines all.
The ability to see and speak the truth is a virtue. Yet our public discourse is dominated by sophists who declare there is no truth. Relativism is a mire of shifting sand upon which no structure will stand for long. To abandon truth is to live in a land of falsehood.
Struggle is a virtue. Man must always be challenged. Ease and leisure are the earned rewards of hard work, not ends to be pursued.
Self-control is the mark of disciplined men. It's opposite is promiscuity, a siren call to personal destruction.
Patriotism is the recognition that society is worth defending, if necessary with martial vigor. Its opposite is faux pacifism, a type of treason masking itself as moral superiority to disguise its cowardice.
Material comfort is a virtue. Aurelius and Confucius agree. But the Chinese sage admonished that poverty must be overcome by right means or otherwise endured. Modernity offers us only consumption, a fool's paradise of self-indulgence at any price.
The wise man seeks contentment with his station in life. The egoist desires power.
Saving is a virtue. Borrowing is a vice.
Manliness is the virtue of a society on the ascendancy. The decadent society is weak and effeminate. The Greeks knew this about Persia and the end was preordained.
A healthy society requires sacrifice from its citizenry as a means to create a vested interest in the whole. Selfishness is the mark of a society in decline.
A wise society understands the need for an educated populace. A society that values entertainment over substance is doomed to fall.
Public manners are a measure of societal rectitude. Vulgarity is a symptom of a society in moral retrograde.
Public service is the duty of a genuine aristocracy, but those who covet power should never be allowed near the reins of government.
Hard work is a virtue in its own right. Public subsidy of idleness corrupts the body politic and saps the spirit of a nation.
Philosophers are men of moral and intellectual substance. A preference for fashion is the characteristic of a fool.
Virtue is universal and timeless. Ask Marcus, ask Confucius. Simple truth is best. Look closely at my aphorisms. Tell me now that we are not set for a fall.
February 07, 2007
February 05, 2007
Romney, Eastern Panhandle, Feb.5th 2017
As you can see, winters around here can be a little trying. God I wish I still had my John Deere Tractor with it's 4 foot snowblower.Of course They took that away in 2012 when they outlawed private ownership of Gasoline powered " Recreational Vehicles". I guess it doesn't really matter much cause I'd never be able to afford enough gasoline to run the thing. After they enacted That $10 per gallon carbon tax, its a wonder I can afford enough to still run the chain saw. If they pass that new law prohibiting 2 cycle motors we will be in deep doo doo for sure. Today me and a few neighbors all chipped in and drove one of our "agricultural" tractors into town. We all bought shovels and the biggest trailer we could find. Seems some of the local boys who used to be in the coal mining business before it was shut down have secretly re-opened one of the shafts and have a warehouse full of the stuff in town. Cant say exactly where, but word gets around if you know the right people. We plan on getting as much as we can carry (or afford). It didn't used to be so hard to find fuel in the old days, but by around 2014 or so we had logged out most of our trees for firewood. I still keep a few around the house for a wind break and because they are truly beautiful in the fall, but they may eventually have to go as well.Almost got into trouble with the tax assayer this winter. They only used to come around every other summer, and I told them I did not have the basement finished yet or the fireplace done. Now they come twice a year and when they showed up in January and saw smoke from the chimney, the jig was up. They inspected the wood stove and gave me a $1200.00 carbon emission fine for not having a catalytic converter in the flue. I told 'em I wasn't working just now and couldn't pay. They could see I was a little long in the tooth and asked what kind of work I did. I kinda looked at the floor and told them that I had spent my life mostly in the automobile business. That kinda made 'em get a little quiet and they shuffled their feet a little and one of 'em asked kinda quiet"You ever see a NASCAR race?" I told 'em about the time I saw Dale Earnhardt race at Daytona once. Came in second place that time. We started to chew the fat a bit about when even private folk could own their own cars, and I finally offered 'em a drink as my fire was really only big enough to keep the pipes from freezing and it was +1degree Fahrenheit outside. Time passed and they turned out not to be such bad guys as you usually meet in the CSC (Civil Service Corps) these days. One even allowed as his dad used to be a mechanic (and still made a little side money doing unauthorized engine repairs). Eventually, they just gave me a verbal warning to get a Cat Converter on that pipe and they would see me again in the summertime. As Their bio-diesel was pulling out, one of them handed me the picture they took of me shoveling snow that their security camera routinely takes on rural approaches. I brought it into town with me and e-mailed it to y'all from the public Internet connection that is still working at the post office. Cost a small fortune, but I know we are not likely to be able to afford to meet in person again as the carb tax makes any kind of long distance travel extravagant.Hope some of you still have your personal PC's. I had to give mine up when the owner fee went to $500.00 per year, and you know the Internet is down to only 16 (official) channels last time I checked. Well, I gotta go shovel me some coal.I guess we should count our blessings and know that we have saved the planet from certain disaster through global climate change. As far as I can see, it hasn't changed one bit. Mission accomplished! God bless Chairman Gore!
Your old friend-Svinrod the Snowbound
February 04, 2007
Pain is nature's way of instructing organisms of little or no intellect in the art of survival. Imagine for a moment a lowly snail without pain receptors in its foot. The snail arrives on your barbeque and attempts to cross hot coals oblivious to the affects of pain. Pop! Exit one snail. Pain is a survival mechanism necessary to the continuation of a species. The human animal is no different in this regard except in his capacity to use a superior mind to anticipate painful consequences, and thus avoid them without going through the agony of experience. At least sometimes.
The son of my colleague at school was recently convicted for a series of armed robberies. The judge in the pre-trial hearing decided that the boy was a continuing menace to society. Bail was demanded at an unattainable level. The boy spent four months in the slammer awaiting trial. So traumatized was he by the experience, that he has emerged as a model citizen. At least he appears so. A heavy sentence of twenty-seven years hangs over his head should he repeat his earlier folly. I commend the judge for both compassion and wisdom. The boy is young, but he has a second chance to make good. He knows the consequences now, a lesson driven home by the truly painful experience of time behind bars amongst genuine savages. Did the boy need the experience? Apparently he did. The basic rules of citizenship, like a respect for the law, were never internalized within his consciousness during his formative years. Anticipation of consequences was either absent or suspended during his crime spree. For such people society has recourse to one final method of instruction. We might not be able to make you think anything, but we're quite certain we can make you feel something. Pain is instructive.
I understand that Californians are debating whether or not to outlaw spanking. You have to hand it to California, always on the cutting edge. But I would like to know from the wise men in the state legislature how to impose the necessary lesson in self-control on the person of a cranky three-year-old? At this age the child has little in the way of reasoning faculties. Nor has the child yet a capacity for moral discrimination. I am not recommending the brutalization of children. But it seems to me that a smack to the backside does little harm, while driving home a lesson the only way possible. Call it cellular memory. The little tot will remember the consequences of his behavior. Corporal punishment of children is not cruel. Allowing them to grow into spoiled brats with criminal proclivities is a type of folly that will produce more cruelty than society has a need to endure. But what can you expect from a state legislature dominated by juvenile minds?
I also understand that in Britain it is illegal for a victim of crime to fight back. After all, someone could get hurt. Why make the situation worse by adding physical pain to the equation? I will tell you why. It is because pain in the form of a violent reaction from the victim is the only thing the perpetrator can understand. If the felon had a grasp of ordinary morality, his conscience would veto his behavior. If he could anticipate consequences, he would choose a wiser course. By outlawing pain as a deterrent, nothing is left that might cause the predator to think twice. But pain is cruel. Does anybody speak to the cruelty inflicted on the victim? This policy is morally obtuse, and destructive to the social order. It would seem that the British are well ahead of their American cousins down the road of decadence.
Violence between nations should be unnecessary and rare. Surely no dispute is so beyond reason that negotiation cannot work out a compromise. Did the hijackers of 911 have such a grievance against the United States that they had to make their point by murdering three-thousand innocents? Was this justified? What could possibly justify such a crime? Can't we talk it out even now? No, we can't. Our enemies hold to such a primitive morality that a massive amount of pain is the only detterent they understand. Apparently some people, Gaza comes to mind, have a rather high tolerance for pain. After a time, a sort of national masochism becomes the norm. The Gazans seem to revel in it. There is one detterent even more effective than pain. But it's application carries with it a certain finality. Then again, extinction has a place in the natural order.
The problem with liberal theology, and the word is fully intended, is that it too often attempts to mitigate against pain. But pain was evolved by nature as part of a survival strategy. Primitive though it is, pain is a mechanism for behavioral modification. And for those who understand nothing else, pain is the final warning shot that just might inform miscreants that the next step will have lethal consequences. So why outlaw it? Pain is good for you.