Goals

Just for those who don’t know, the Naugler saga isn’t my first rodeo. If you’re even slightly interested (I wouldn’t be, if I were you, but whatever), there is an archive of material here about another controversial situation.

One of the things that I learned from that experience is that it’s useful to reassess your goals from time to time.

So what are my goals? What am I trying to accomplish, if anything, and how much of that have I succeeded doing?

I began writing this blog entirely as a rebuttal to a situation that was occurring in the news, nationally, and even internationally. It was something that was honestly a minor blip for most people, but interested me because it involved stuff I know about.

It involved the state where I live. It involved the issue of homeschooling, which is something that I have experience with and about which I have strong opinions. It involved people who were claiming to do something (“homestead”) that I also know a great deal about and have strong opinions as a result. And finally, there were overtones of religion involved, and that’s a hot button issue for me.

The bonus was that these folks were actively soliciting money online, and that drives me up a wall.

But, I still was only a spectator until Joe came over to my Facebook page and threatened to sue me for making a single negative comment on a news page.

Add it all up. Kentucky people who are fake homeschoolers, fake “homesteaders,” using religion to do online begging, and then trying to bully me—it was a perfect storm.

The choice of a blog was also due to my experience with this. Facebook is a problem and turns into a cat fight, accomplishing almost nothing. I wanted a Google presence I couldn’t get there. I wanted to be able to say what I wanted without Facebook getting all ruffled. I wanted to stay out of reach.

Dave asked me to stay anonymous. I knew it wouldn’t be possible in the long run, but I started out that way to accede to his request. It wasn’t possible, as I surmised. I write a certain way. It’s nearly impossible to hide that. (We all have that characteristic, so those of you who comment trying to hide who you are need to realize that.)

The blog, quite obviously, was named to mimic the “Blessed Little Homestead.” I hate the name, and that is one major factor in determining my next steps. I hate the name. I’ve always hated it.

At one point, I tried to move to another blog that I had already going, and then gave up because folks were resistant, and hey, I already had a bazillion page views and a large Google presence. But I hate the name. It’s hokey, and silly, and horrible. It sounds vaguely religious and that gives me hives.

But I knew it would mean that people would find it easily and that was important.

It was important because I knew I wasn’t going to advertise it. I have never advertised it, anywhere, ever. This blog has always been a place that you have to seek out yourself. You’re not going to be notified about it by anyone, ever, unless you solicit that sort of information by signing up to be notified, or by being amenable to word-of-mouth notifications.

So what were my goals?

I watched, in horror, as the state of Kentucky returned those kids to those conditions with only minimal improvement in their living conditions, and allowed them to continue to grow up without being educated. This appalled me, and still does. I discussed this with our neighbor, who is a deputy sheriff, and he helped me understand it a bit (lack of money in the county to deal with that many kids, an overload of cases necessitating a bit of triage which means there are worse situations that come first) and of course, I already knew that this is a very red state and the homeschool lobby has been successful in watering down the regulations to the point that they might as well not exist, something which I strongly oppose.

I wanted to provide a place where people could come, read about the situation, and see the other side of the argument.

It is, in fact, an argument. That’s why “Blessed Little Homestead” exists. It’s not a personal Facebook page. It’s Nicole, making the case for why living in a garden shed and shitting in a bucket, and refusing to make even the slightest attempt to educate her children, while simultaneously begging for money online, is a good thing. That’s what she has done, relentlessly, endlessly.

This blog stood in opposition to that view.

It’s about two opposing worldviews, two philosophies about religion, parenting, society, government, politics, you name it.

So, here I am, opposing.

But part of establishing goals is not just figuring out what those goals are and how you’re going to set out to accomplish them, but also how you would know if you reached them.

I mean, goals can have finite results (“I will plant a garden this spring”) and infinite results (“world peace”). Determining your success at a goal like a vegetable garden is easy. Either you did or you didn’t plant it. Either the tomatoes grew or they didn’t, or maybe they grew but poorly. It’s simple.

Assessing a more complex goal is much harder. How do you know if you achieved “world peace”? Is it even possible? Once you get there, what about tomorrow? Wouldn’t you have to stay vigilant forever?

As I write this, Camille Lewis (from the Romancing blog) is still on Facebook, writing her silly stuff and pretending she’s an expert on everything. Cathy Harris is still playing victim on Twitter.

Were my efforts to thwart them in vain? I barely pay attention to either of them now, and haven’t in a long time. That’s because what used to be loud voices, with lots of influence (influence that actually very negatively impacted real people’s lives), are now whimpers.

It’s easy to get caught up in the “battle,” in the heat of it all, and lose sight of the goal. The gunfire and smoke can obscure it for a time. The adrenaline of the moment can take over and you find yourself just smashing away at your opponent long after the opponent is either gone or diminished beyond recognition.

When I started doing this, a new post on “Blessed Little Homestead,” especially if it was even slightly controversial, would garner 300 comments easily. That was practically the norm, and that number could go much higher if it was really something earth-shattering. Hell, Nicole made all sorts of little subgroups, on homeschooling and “homesteading,” just to handle all of the traffic.

Her latest video, the Great Lawsuit Threat, has, by my admittedly rapid and probably slightly inaccurate count, less than 40 comments (not counting a few with threads under them). This is miniscule, considering that a sizable percentage of those are Nicole commenting herself.

But several things have happened as well that I’ve been mulling over for quite some time, since before we left for Europe. Getting completely out of touch for a while is useful sometimes. I was totally disconnected from this blog for 50 straight days, and really only half-bothering for a couple of months prior to that.

Nicole actually voiced one of them for me in that video.

Sally’s going to watch this, she’s probably going to transcribe it, so transcribe this IN BIG BOLD LETTERS.

She’s dictating to me, like I’m some sort of servant or perhaps her secretary.

She lives for this controversy, of course. It’s her diversion, nearly a constant one, from the reality of her life.

And I am feeding that.

In fact, she’s on life support and I am supplying the oxygen. Another analogy is that she’s a drug addict, hooked on attention, and I am her supplier.

Exactly. This was a comment on Joe’s page when he was complaining about “trolls.”

So, let’s return to my goal, which was to be the opposition view to a philosophy I found abhorrent and which had garnered a whole lot of attention. I remain committed to the basic idea, which is that the philosophy involved here is just terrible (“ain’t no gubmint gonna tell me what to do”), but my opposition is no longer holding a megaphone. She’s whimpering.

I need to talk about issues that are being heard. Nicole is not being heard anymore.

Now then, what will ensue here is predictable. Nicole will crow. She “won.” She “took down” the “tabloid blogger.” Yippee. That’s fine. She can crow to her 30 or so followers. And then she can wake up tomorrow, and. . . what? She will go on the hunt, guaranteed. She will go looking for someone to insult her so she can be outraged and do a Facebook live. If a tree falls in the forest. . .

So, what is on my agenda?

First, I am moving to a new blog with a much better name. It’s called “Leaving Revolution Lane” and it’s located here.

This blog will remain in place except for all the Naugler shit. I will be in moving mode over the next few weeks (or months, whatever it takes), taking content that I want to keep (turkeys, for example) over there.

You can follow me, or not, as you desire.

It had a good run, no?

Note: I am closing comments. If you want to talk to me, I’ll be at the new blog. Thanks for your kind words, all of you.

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Gaspee

This little bit of history was news to me. I have taken both high school and collegiate level American History and never heard of this incident.

A big toast to Rhode Island, a state that is little but loud. The best line is this (paraphrased): “It’s fine, I suppose, to throw some bales of tea into a harbor. In Rhode Island, we blew the whole ship to smithereens.”

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Day 27 – Civitavecchia

October 28, 2018

Civitavecchia, Italy

THE PLAN:

Today we’ll be jumping ship. We leave the Koningsdam and board MSC’s beautiful Meraviglia (pronounced “Mare-a-vee-lee-a” – in Italian, that “g” is silent).

Here’s a picture of it.

That is one monster ship.

They don’t get much larger than that.

We’re not sure about this, frankly. It’s a huge ship. We’re not sure we’ll like a huge ship.  We’re not sure about any of it. But the timing worked out, the price was good, the ports were good, and so here we are.  It’s just a one week cruise. For us, that’s very brief.

THE PLAN:

We disembark the Koningsdam in the morning. They usually tell you when to get off, having given you an opportunity to eat breakfast before you leave. There is a port-operated shuttle bus that takes passengers to town (the dock is very long and very industrial, walking would be decidedly unpleasant).

From there, we’re going to head straight for the laundromat.

I know, it’s so exciting I can barely contain myself.

Then, we’ll go back to the port shuttle area and find our bus for the Meraviglia, hoping to get on board by lunch time.

Sailaway is at 5 pm.

THE REALITY:

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