Friday, April 20, 2007


An Essex firm is making stab-proof hoodies lined with Kevlar, the material used in body armour for British troops. Romford-based Bladerunner, which makes protective clothes for police forces and security guards, is selling the tops for £65. Boss Adrian Davis claims to be in discussion with schools in east London about putting Kevlar linings into school uniforms. "It's all in development but we're at an advanced stage," he said. "We've sent examples of school jumpers to the manufacturers and we're waiting for the costings. I really believe it's needed," he told The Sun. His colleague Barry Samms says a policeman friend has come across 14 and 15-year-olds wearing stab-proof vests for protection on the streets.
I think a "hoodie" may be a sweat shirt with a hood. Perhaps any top with a hood.
But that's not really the point. London, as we all know, has anti gun laws in place. Has had, for a long, long time now. Even the cops there have to go back to the station house to get a gun to defend themselves, I'm told.
But guns are as easily available in England as they are here. They've got the "Chunnel" you know. It isn't any more difficult to smuggle guns there, than it is here at the Rio Grande river.
For some reason, the English are ahead of us with protective clothing for our kids. (It's difficult for me to write that. Whoever heard of children needing bullet resistant clothing?) The worst thing we worried about when we were kids was the class bully whopping up on us. And if a teacher caught him, there very likely would have been physical punishment from the teacher.
But somewhere, maybe around the sorry Dr. Benjamin Spock's era, things started to change.
Violence for the sake of violence permeated our and our children's lives. Movies, television, comic books, eventually video games and then computer games introduced gratuitous violence. Shock jocks ruled the radio waves for a long time.
We decided that maybe religion was all lies and we didn't have to worry about the hereafter. Kids were no longer permitted to learn about the various religions in school. We didn't care that, whether you believed or not, the moral principles were worth hearing about.
Interesting to me: I talked to more than a dozen kids recently, ranging from 9 to 12 years of age, and none, not one, had ever heard of Aesop. Nor Brer Rabbit. Nor Alger. Seven of them had heard of the ten commandments. None of them knew more than three commandments.
Maybe it's me. But I was taught about several different religions when I was growing up. I had the books of Aesop and Alger and Harris and Twain. All of them dogeared. I also memorized the Ten Commandments. And my cronies all knew of them, too.
Different strokes for different folks? An age of morality? The modern era is too busy? Our leaders, Presidents and congressmen all lie anyway? The modernity of this time? The effort it takes to learn universal truths?
Maybe that pint of free milk had far greater reach than even I imagined. Schools are forbidden to use anything that smacks of Christianity nowadays. No more comparative religion study now until you reach College.
I'm not particularly religious at this phase of my life, but I still carry the messages instilled during my youth. Baptist, Catholic, Judaism and more. All were present then. All have left me with things I prefer to think were good.


On a California freeway: Fine for Littering On the wall of a British Columbia cleaning service: Able to Do the Worst Possible Job In a New York jeweler store: Genuine Faux Pearls In a Kansas City oculist's office: Broken lenses duplicated here In a Boston fast-food parking lot: Parking for Drive-Through Customers Only Billboard on Florida highway: If You Can't Read, We Can Help On the Triborough Bridge in New York: In Event of Air Attack Drive Off Bridge On a Lockhart, Texas, gas station and minimart: We're out of Rolaids, but we've got gas. At the basketball court in a Gastonton, North Carolina, YMCA: Anyone caught hanging from the rim will be suspended On a Rapid City store: Give That Bride a Good Case of Worms or Other Fine Bait On the door of an Ellsworth, Maine, restaurant: The Indian Trading Post will be closed for Yom Kippur In a Grand Rapids restaurant: Half baked chicken In a Dayton barbershop: During vacation of owner, a competent hair stylist will be here On a Jacksonville, Florida, bookstore: Rare, out-of-print, and nonexistent books On a library in Marlboro, New Hampshire, honouring Robert Frost: Frost Free Library

Thursday, April 19, 2007


It's been a few days since I have posted anything. Not that interesting stuff isn't happening in New Mexico. But I've been in a kind of blue funk since the horror of VA Tech.
I have no intention of giving in to it, yet it has affected me greatly. There are events that cause one to smile, to laugh, to cry, to sob and run a gamut of emotions. But what happened in Virginia doesn't leave one much intellectual room to launch even satirical attacks on those who so richly them.
I'll get over this soon and be back making war on the idiocies of politicians and people in power, but for the time being there is not much joy in my little Mudville.
I intend to apply some kind of logic to the "pundits" who are telling us how to avoid this kind of happening, the overreactions of some cities and school districts, the lack of a unified mental health program and those who are screaming for the old bugaboo of gun control.
Please bear with me.
Love, Catmoves.