Who IS this guy?!

'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, (original, huh?) airs on Tuesdays at 10:PM and Saturdays at 8:PM, Eastern time on RainbowRadio.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to You All!




Many's the time I've been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and I've often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
Oh, but I'm all right, I'm all right
I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don't expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
or driven to its knees
but it's all right, it's all right
for we lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the
road we're traveling on
I wonder what's gone wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what's gone wrong

(me too, Paul)

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying

For we come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age's most uncertain hours
and sing an American tune
Oh, and it's alright, it's all right, it's all right
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest
That's all I'm trying to get some rest



I'm signing off for the year, folks. I hope to hear again from all of you (and I do mean ALL of you!) in the New Year.  Until then, take care of yourselves, have a safe and happy holiday and thank you so much for the time we've shared.  It means more to me than it probably should.  LOL.

The last two year have each been better than the one before them.  Let all make sure to keep that trend going and make it three.

Cheers.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

RIP, Rapid Robert



Abbott: Now, you've got to get ready for the opening game.
Costello: Yes, I think we're gonna play the Cleveland Indians.
Abbott: Cleveland Indians, eh?
Costello: Uh-huh.
Abbott: Feller pitching?
Costello: Certainly there's a feller pitching. Who do you think they'd use, a girl?
Abbott: I know they don't use a girl. I said, “Feller pitching?”
Costello: What feller?
Abbott: Feller with the Cleveland Indians.
Costello: Look, Abbott, there's nine guys on the Cleveland Indians team. Now which feller are you talking about?
Abbott: Feller that's pitching. There is only one Feller with Cleveland.
Costello: You mean nine Yankees are gonna play against one feller?
Abbott: That's right.
Costello: You mean there's no fellers in the outfield?
Abbott: No.
Costello: And there's no fellers in the infield?
Abbott: No, Cleveland only has one Feller.
Costello: Well, this feller must be pretty good if they don't need any other players for themselves.
Abbott: Look, all the players'll be out there helping him.
Costello: You just said there was only one feller on the team.
Abbott: That's right.
Costello: Then where did all them other fellers come from?
Abbott: Aw, you idiot, when I say there's only one Feller on the team, I mean there is only one Feller that pitches.
Costello: Well, Abbott, when the manager of the team wants this pitcher, what does he call him?
Abbott: Feller.
Costello: You mean he just hollers, “Hey, feller!” And this guy knows that they mean him?
Abbott: That's right.
Costello: Ho-hooo!
Abbott: His name is Feller. Feller. Bob Feller. And when I say there is only one Feller on the team that pitches, that's it. And the feller that pitches is Feller. There's the other fellers on the team, but there's only one Feller.
Costello: Boy are you mixed up! You mean the feller that pitches is Feller? And there's other fellers on the team but they're not Fellers?
Abbott: Now you've grasped it.
Costello: Yes, I grasp it but it keeps slippin' out of my hands!

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On December 15th, Cleveland Indians Great Bob Feller died just a few months after being diagnosed with Leukemia.  He was 92.  Feller broke into the majors in 1936 at the age of 17, never having thrown a single pitch in the minors.  In that season, he struck out 17 batters in a single game, becoming the first and last pitcher to strike out his age in a game until 20-Year old Kerry Wood in 1998.  He threw three no-hitters, including the only one ever on opening day.  He won 266 Games (against 166 losses) and Struck out 2581 batters.  And while he fell short of two of baseball's hallowed milestones (300 wins & 3000 Strikeouts), this is largely due to to his sacrificing three full seasons, and almost all of a fourth, to serve his country in World War II.  He was the first Major Leaguer to enlist, immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor.  A decorated combat veteran, with  five campaign ribbons and eight battle stars, (no cushy, PR assignments for "Bullet Bob!") Feller is the only Chief Petty Officer in the history of the Untied States Navy to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in ANY of the four major North American Sports.  BTW those years he "gave up?" were in the prime of his career, from the ages of 23-26.  He won 20 or more games in each of the three seasons that preceded them and each of the two that followed. He also struck out over 240 batter in each of the four preceding years, and 348 the year he returned.  When asked about his (well earned) status as a War Hero, Feller replied, “I’m no hero. Heroes don’t come back. Survivors return home. Heroes never come home. If anyone thinks I’m a hero, I’m not.”

It might be wrong to make heroes out of athletes, but that's only because they don't make 'em like Bob Feller anymore.

Gold Star Awards, December, 2010

This is a day later than I'd expected, mainly because I've spent about 42 of the last 44 hours in bed, sick as a dog.  (The other two hours were spent visiting Doctor Obvious who told me to "get lots of rest" and "stay hydrated.")  And on a different note, modeling these personal  "Hall of Fame" inductees after the MLB Hall of Fame Election has taken on an increasing somber feeling these past couple of weeks, first with the passing of former Cubs Third Basemen, Ron Santo (who's not in the Hall of Fame, but should be!) and then last week with the passing of former Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame Pitcher, Bob Feller.  I'm actually going to do a piece on Feller before signing off for the year, but BOTH of these men were not only fine ballplayers, but fine gentlemen, citizens, human beings and heroes.  Too often in our society, we put athletes on pedestals who don't belong there.  Part of that, however, is due to the fact that they just don't make 'em like Santo and Feller any more.

Now without further ado, here's thins month's HoF inductees.  In accordance with the 1956 HoF election, there will be two Gold Stars.


The Joe Cronin Gold Star #33: FAIR

I want to thank ClassicLiberal for turning me on to these guys.  Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting has been in the media watchdog biz since 1986.  And despite the rapid growth of rabidly Right Wing media in that time, they have not allowed that to cause them to narrow their focus and start giving mainstream media a pass (a trap that a certain other media watchdog has unfortunately fallen into.)  While the individual piece do not have the same depth as the average MMFA piece, and the comment sections are not nearly as interesting (which means that haven't attracted a high enough class of partisan troll) FAIR gets full credit for staying true to its original mission, and not being distracted by the loudest clown vying for their attention.


The Hank Greenberg Gold Star #34: The Democratic Underground

Putting aside the reams of great content and ironic humor, can you really come up with a cooler site-name that this one?  I mean... who doesn't want to be part of an "underground?" (Sorry, I'm tapped. Just like with the last blog I nominated, not much I can say that I haven't said a dozen before. Great stuff, though. Check it out.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

S'more Rambling...

Just some random rambling, because I feel to compelled to write something tonight, but as too sick, achy and tired to be profound.  So I want to share something with you that will make you laugh your asses off.  BUT... I want to share the emotional roller coaster that got me there as well. (Of course, you may also feel free to skip down to the link if you don't care! I won't mind!) ;)

Earlier tonight I was giving my two boys a bath.  And when I do that, i sing to them.  I sing both loudly, and fairly badly.  But they don't really care, the bathroom tile does wonders with acoustics and since it is the first fifteen minutes since they got home from school that my wife doesn't have to deal with them, she's usually keen to keep her otherwise witty comments to herself during this time.

So I'm drying them off, and singing Paul Simon's 'American Tune' (yeah, we sing GOOD SONGS here, not this 'wheel's on the bus' shit!) and he's gently rocking to the music, and I just feel... good.  But the song is pretty moving, and it's not entirely a feel-good tune. (It's not depressing, juts... solemn.) So, after we were finished, I tried looking on you-tube for a karaoke  version (no vocals), that I could sing to while my wife was out. (Being a firm believer in the eighth amendment, after all!)  And I found one, but... a very different version than the one I knew (from the "Concert in Central Park" Live Album?)  So I couldn't really sing to it.  (Even beyond the fact that I can't really sing!)

So I started surfing YouTube, watching Paul Simon videos, when I saw one with Paul and John Lennon, appearing in some really chessy 1970's talk show together.  No music, really awful jokes.  But from there I started watching some John Lennon videos, and eventually came to the one's related to John death.  Now... I was 7 years old when John Lennon died, and my parents were not Beatles fans. I have no first hand memories of John Lennon from when he was alive, and was not really aware of the man or the story at the time.  (The first artist's death that I was aware of was Harry Chapin's, two years later.  I didn't cry then; but I almost do now, thinking of it.)  And something just struck me... Between Paul McCartney trying to play it cool to the British press later that evening, yet obviously too stunned to pull it off (probably the first time in his life that's happened) to the news casters, half of whom treated it like the weather report. (And fine, I do truly long for the days when the news was presented without all the sensationalist grandstanding, but considering what John Lennon meant to the world, reading the release with the emotional involvement that you give a sports score from a game that doesn't matter in a sport that you don't even follow hardly seems appropriate.) And finally there was the reaction of then President-Elect Reagan, who it seemed to me could barely contain his apathy. Granted it was the Reporter who brought up gun control, but Reagan positively BOOKED it from the interview at that point.  He actually answered the question with a talking point as he walked quickly away. The "great communicator." The president elect.  Upon being informed of the grisly murder of music's greatest living icon.  (Even if his was a damned, dirty, pinko, commie, hippy -  A fact that no doubt drove Reagan crazy!)  Anyway, I don't know why but after watching so many utterly lifeless news reports about this terrible event, possibly the first "JFK" moment of my lifetime, albeit one I don't remember, I started feeling depressed. 

Really depressed.  (And to be honest, it hasn't taken much lately.)

So I decided I needed to laugh. A lot.  I needed a good dose of the only alternative medicine that's worth a damn.  And my dose was expertly doled out by Seanbaby, the two-time Silver Star winning contributer to Cracked.com.

Here you go:
The four most irresponsible sex advice books of all time

(The funniest part might be that they're all written by the same guy!  I guess... Seanbaby wants his money back? IDK.) (Sorry, Seanbaby: You know I love you, man! PLEASE don't give me the "Godek" treatment if you happen to read this!)

It's 99% genius, and here's a piece of gold worth remembering:

#132: There's always nude dusting, nude room painting, nude dish washing... (You get the idea)

To which Seanbaby replies:

Yeah, I get the idea that after you clean something, there's more pubic hair on it than when you started.
There's more, but I almost fell out my chair when reading that.  So you'll have to check out the rest for yourselves.  If you ever need a really good laugh (and you know who you are!) there are few writers out there better than Seanbaby to give you an overdose.

Cheers!

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BTW... I only plan to do two more posts this year, since we'll be busy with the holidays, and travelling to boot. (No, not to "Boot," to BOSTON.  I meant "as well!") The next one will be the December Gold Star Winners, and the last is just a year's-end / holiday sign off.  Starting next year, I'll be trying to go back to something resembling my former writing schedule, but I don't see another month like October anytime soon.  Plus I'm finally taking an actual drawing class, (which I've never actually done before!) so I should be getting my next comic strip off the ground a couple of weeks in.  I'll probably create a tab at the top of the blog, where I can stash anything related to the project, and have a place to link to any of the older posts that I've put up about it.  Anyway, until then, take care, get your shopping done (the economy needs it!) and enjoy your holidays!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Some Random Stuff...

1) Check this out: The 10 Most Irreplaceable Performances in Comedy Films.

The article is almost as funny as the movies it's talking about. But then... That's Seanbaby. Who before his gig at Cracked, created the website that won my Silver Star #5: Seanbaby's Super Friends. (So technically, between that and his contributions to Cracked, he's got two Silver Stars.)


 
2) So... the repeal of DADT failed. Nice.  Nice political calculus, Obama.  (God, he's so useless.)  But I want to point of someting about these Republicans. Does anyone else find it ironic that they're so willing and eager to send other people's children halfway around the world to fight for "freedom," but they're unwilling to fight for actual freedom themselves, from the comfort of their own desks? Disgraceful.

 
 
3) My son is upstairs watching Rankin & Bass's Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (and the island of misfit toys) for the 2nd time tonight.  IDK... Holiday Specials don't seem so special on DVD - when you can watch them anytime you want, or five times in a row.  But there's something I noticed just now...
 
I think everyone is aware that Rudolph himself is a pretty heavey-ham-handed metaphor for racism.  He's like the Jackie Robinson of Reindeer.  Coach Comet telling eveyone how they're not going to let Rudolph play in the reindeer games?  Yeah, it seems pretty silly today, but this was 1964: Pre-Civil Rights Act, etc...  
 
And to be honest, I really don't know if that was intentional or not.
 
But there's another charecter that's a near perfect metaphor that couldn't POSSIBLY have been intentional at the time: Hermey the Elf (who wants to be a Dentist, even though Elves are all supposed to make toys) is a near-perfect metaphor for Transgenderism.  I don't know if I'm late in coming to this realization or  what, but evrything about his character, and how he is treated by others (until they finally accept him as a dentist) is a perfect fit for transgenderism. 
 
I just noticed that.
 

 
4) The following is... incredibly filthy.  (But IMHO, freaking hilarious.) But if you're easily offended, fuck off you probably shouldn't click any of the following links.  The latest post / issue (what do call the latest offering of a web-comic anyway?) of OGLAF made me LOL.  To get the joke, you have to read one of the back issues first.  All I can say is...
 
(1) Poor Wizard.
(2) ROTFLMAO
(3) Shame of you! That's some filthy, smutty excuse for humor!
 
The "backstory" (I'm sorry, but the look on the Wizard's face in the 2nd to last panel is priceless!
The Latest, page 1
The Latest, page 2
 
Yeah... that strip's generally NSFW.  It's... filthy.  There's no two ways about it.  Most of it still make me laugh my ass off though.
 
 
Later!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tax Cuts for Millonaires

And to think that just this morning, I was arguing with someone over whether or not Obama had a tendency to cave to the Right...

Well, the Right got their tax cuts extended.  All of them.  And this after two years of hammering Obama about the DEFICIT!  Un-be-fucking-lievable.

And the best line out of the whole debate?

After having to jetison the Making Work Pay tax credit (for individuals making under $75K and couples making less than $150K) which was part of last year's (Obama's) stimulus bill, the biggest SOB in the Senate, Orin Hatch had the nerve to complain that the Make Work Pay tax credit in effect exempted too many middle-income Americans from having to pay income taxes.

Give that one to you RW friends to stick in their pipe and smoke the next time they tell you the Republicans aren't just out for "tax cuts for millionares," of for that matter that Obama doesn't cave to the Right:

The top 2% got their tax break, but the rest of us lost a big one of ours. 

Why the fuck do we even need this guy? (Obama.)  What has he done that the GUYS WHO LOST (when he came into office) wouldn't have done?  Seriously.  Fifty-nine votes in the Senate and they give the tax cut to the top 2% and screw over everyone else.

That's actually WORSE than Bush.  At least Bush gave me SOMETHING.

The only cut I'm getting?  My social security tax.  AT A TIME WHEN WE'RE CONSTANTLY HEARING THAT SOCIAL SECURITY IS GOING BROKE!  (And from the Republicans, no less! How does this shit even HAPPEN?!)

He's actually worse than Bush.  Relative to what he was given and what he had to work with, politically?   Obama is worse than Bush.

It's un-fucking-believable.

The only thing worse are these idiots who are STILL going around trying to call him a socialist.

This is not what I voted for. Not at all. Lemme know who the 2012 primary challenger is, ASAP.  Because unless Sarah Palin is leading the other ticket, and it's someone who can't beat her?

They've already got my vote.

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And BTW, I'm very sorry to hear about the passing of Elizabeth Edwards.  It's been a rough week, first Ron Santo, and now Edwards.  My thoughts are with both of their families.  You have my sincerest condolences.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Glenn Beck is amazing!

In the Quentin Tarantino-written movie, True Romance,  Don Vincenzo (played by Christopher Walken) explains to the soon-to-be-tortured-and-executed  Clifford Whorley (played by the late Dennis Hopper) that “Sicilians are great liars,” and that “[his] father was the world heavy weight champion of Sicilian liars.”  That may have been true in the Tarantino-verse, but I’m betting that his Don Vincenzo’s father couldn’t hold a CANDLE to the new heavyweight champion of American, Right Wing Liars: GLENN “BOOM-BOOM” BECK.
Consider this. As of earlier today, Media Matters has 4,424 items from this oracle of obfuscation, dating back to January 17th of 2006, when CNN first hired him.  That’s exactly 1,781 days ago.  Which means that Glenn Beck has lied an average of two and half (2.48) times a day*, every day, for the past FIVE YEARS! And that doesn’t even account for the time he was off the air between his ouster at CNN and when Fox picked him up.  Now… one might say that maybe he’s not “lying,” per se, because he actually believes this stuff, or that he’s not “lying,” just really bad at research, journalism, etc…  But I’m not willing to give him the benefit of that doubt here.  Because when you rake in over $30 Million Dollars a year to talk about current events, you really should GET IT RIGHT occasionally.  If you’re paid that much, and screw up two and half times a day for five years?  You’re a paid liar, and you know it.
This past week however, Glenn Beck has truly outdone himself, both with the number of lies, the diversity of subject matter, and the absolute, utter absurdity of the claims being made.  The following are just SOME of the items from MMFA, just in past couple of days:
That last one is particularly artful/egregious, as it manages to conflate the RW distortion of the Fairness Doctrine, which was taken off the books almost 10 years before the Internet was even a thing, and their idiotic opposition to Net Neutrality which (usually) amounts to little more than “It’s a violation of their freedom of speech to prohibit them from censoring you. ”  It’s also truly amazing, when you consider the long established RW opposition to Net Neutrality, that he could seriously manage to screw up the basic premise of the issue that badly.
But then… He’s Glenn Beck.  A very good candidate to become MMFA’s very first TWO-TIME Misinformer of the year!  (He’s definitely got MY vote!)
(And no, I don’t get a vote.)

*As a point of comparison, Rush Limbaugh had only 2,953 items, dating back to 1/6/06, for an average of just 1.65 lies a day. And Rush has his own section on the website! And yet Glenn Beck is still about 50% more dishonest – by just under a lie a day, over five years – than Rush Limbaugh!  Who have thought that was possible?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gold Star Awards, November, 2010

The Joe DiMaggio Gold Star #29: ALECWatch

Well, this month started with a piece about ALEC, which may have (finally) represented my loss of innocence when it comes to American Democracy and the death of any remaining idealistic misconceptions I may have had about who’s really in charge in this country. So it’s only appropriate that I start out the final post of the month by awarding the prestigious (ha!) Joe DiMaggio Gold Star to a group dedicated to exposing the truth behind the greatest shadowy political conspiracy the world over that nobody’s talking about.  Now… Unfortunately, it seems that this site has not been updated for several years. And I think that’s a shame, because what they DO have there is critically important information that people need to know about. So, if anyone has some information about a more up-to-date ALEC watchdog site, PLEASE let me know and I will be sure to highlight them as well. IMHO, ALEC, more so than any other organization in the world, represents the single greatest threat to the American Democracy. Al Qaeda are bush-league compared to ALEC. Al Qaeda can only know down buildings and kill a few people. That’s horrible, to be sure, but we lost more Americans last year due to reduced vaccination rates than we typically lose to terrorism.  (So Al Qaeda's roughly as dangerous  to America as Jenny McCarthy.) ALEC, OTOH, is actively and effectively destroying the very soul and fabric of the Country and of the very ideals of popular, representative Democracy that the terrorists hate so much. And at least we’re actually FIGHTING Al-Qaeda. ALEC is a CANCER that we WELCOME into our political system the way an addict welcomes his own chosen poison. They are WINNING in territory that terrorists never even considered fighting for.


The Gabby Hartnett Gold Star #30: Mother Jones

I’ve made no secret of the contempt that I feel for what remains of mainstream journalism. IMHO, even the least of the bloggers do a passably better job of analysis than the average Cable news show, who so often can’t even get basic FACTS right. But if there is a website anywhere that’s more than a blog, and yet practiced journalism the way it is MEANT to be practiced, that site is Mother Jones. I’m a newcomer to their publication, but I have been consistently impressed at the depth and fearlessness with which the pursue their stories. To call them the “NPR of the web” would not even be complimentary. Check them out.


The Ted Lyons Gold Star #31: Down with Tyranny

I’ll have to apologize to the folks at DWT… I am having an increasingly difficult time finding ways to praise my favorite blogs in a way that differentiates them from those that I’ve honored before. The problem is that when I come across a blog that I want to add here, it is usually for the same reasons that I’ve included so many others: Well written; witty, if not humorous; makes me think / challenges me intellectually; etc… And in that regard Down With Tyranny is right up there with Left Hook, Midnight Review, Political Irony, etc… So while I hate to say, “One more great blog that I follow,” unfortunately there is not much I can say that hasn’t been said two or three times before. But they rock. So check them out!


The Dazzy Vance Gold Star #32: Beck Unhinged

Who can’t admire a site that highlight just how utterly bat-shit crazy the now face of Fox News, Glenn Beck, is. Funny in the same way as “$#!t my Dad Says” or Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin (using Palin’s own words) this site makes Glenn Beck look ridiculous but using only quotes from… GLENN BECK. If that’s not doing the Lord’s good work, I don’t know what is. LOL.


The Frank “Home Run” Baker Silver Star #21: Blip

Blip is another of my favorite web comics. It’s about a girl who’s existence was not fated to happen, and thus represents a threat to fabric of reality itself. Heaven has set about suppressing the girl’s creative talents – in order to save the universe, but making her miserable in the process – while Lucifer attempts to unleash her power – by allowing her a modicum of well-deserved happiness. It’s a well written story, with crative and original characters, taking place in a well conceived world of angels, demos and even ancient Gods. It’s at times philosophical, hilarious, poignant, romantic and (recently) tear-jerking. In short this is #1 on my list of favorite web comics at the moments, and well worth checking out. As with all web-comics, I recommend reading it from the beginning.


The Ray Schalk Silver Star #22: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

I’ve recently used several pieces of SMBC that I’ve found relevant, but in truth, if I didn’t stop myself, I’d probably be able to find a use for about 99% of the site’s content. They’re absolutely hilarious and absolute relevant, politically and philosophically. You will seldom find a comic that is both finnier and more intelligent. Check them out. You’ll laugh. A lot. (And since the strip is not serial, this is not one you have to read in any particular order.)


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BTW... The Fred Clarke Silver Star winner, Item Not as Described has been taken down and/or been devoured by the Cheeseburger Network.  And that's cool, but since (1) They're no longer maintaining the "Free Shit from Craig's List" content, and (2) they already has several Silver Stars to their credit already (FailBlog, Ugliest Tattoos, Engrish) I'm going to replace this link with a new one at some point.


One More Piece of News... The Hughie Jennings' Silver Star winner, web comic YU&ME: Dream has finished it's run. (*sad*) The author, Megan Gedris, finished the story on her own terms and created what I honestly believe to be one of the most complex, creative, whimsical, romantic, thoughtful, and just flat out cool, (not to mention COMPLETED!) web comic around, and has now moved on to another project, which is also totally worth checking out.  I'll read anything she writes at this point, but only time will tell if it'll get a Star of it's own in the future.  If you haven't read YU&ME: Dream yet, you can do so now, knowing that you will actually be able to FINISH it.  And I guarantee you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Bible Kicks ASS!

Ok, I know I've bashed Religion plenty in this blog, and there's no shortage of verbiage on my part showing my contempt towards the completely nonsensical things one is asked to believe in the name of society's most recent trend in organized superstition.

But as well as religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular,  has done for itself, believe it or not it really has missed the bus on a HUGE marketing opportunity.  See... I just had no idea, truly no idea, just how much ASS the bible kicks.  Check that out. Seriously.  I laughed my ass off and gained a whole new respect for the Chistianity, sure, but it Judaic origins in particular, all at the same time. 

If that nun who's bullshit I called at the age of five had whipped some of THIS SHIT out?  Dude, I'd STILL probably be a believer!

Kudos to Cracked.com for another masterpiece.

Practical Advice for the media...

Practical Advice for the media, from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:





































Oh hells yes this is a good rule!

Home again, DADT

Did you hear? It turns out even the troops don't support "Don't ask don't tell!"

This country is so absurd.  DADT costs us a fortune in recruiting, undermines our National security (in the same way: it eliminates qualified people) and isn't even supported by the very troops who's morale it's repeal is supposed to undermine.  This is a policy that exsists for no other other reason than to pander to the funny mentalists.  And it's high time the whack-jobs were kicked to the curb. As far as I'm concerned, they don't even deserve a seat at the table, they should not even be allowed into this debate or any other, because they don't possess even an elementary understanding of the Constitution and how our laws our SUPPOSED to be made.  Their opinions on matters of law have no validity and their differences are in no way legitimate.

Speaking of people who's differences are far from legitimate and who's opinions deserve nothing more that the most rank derision, check out the view from our hotel room when we were visiting my Brother-in -Law in Lynchburg...





Yes folks, we slept in the shadow of the late Reverend Jerry Falwelll's Orwellianly-named LIBERTY UNIVERSITY; truly one of the greatest temples of ignorance ever constructed by mankind.

(Young earth creationism is another viewpoint that deserves nothing but scorn, and whose proponents have no place in any debate either, as they do not possess even an elementary knowledge of how science works or how knowledge is created.)

God, I hate that place.

BUT... It's good to be back.  Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ironic

We're in Washington D.C. visiting my sister for a few days before heading [even farther] South for Thanksgiving.  And we took the kids on a tour of the Capital building this morning.  The tour begins with a very patriotic film about the history of democracy and the trials and tribulation that our country in general and the Capitol building in particular had been though, from being torched in the war of 1812, to the dome's construction being continued during the Civil War, to demonstrate Lincoln's commitment to keeping the union together.  And the ongoing theme was that CONGRESS was the place where we find COMMON GROUND, despite our many LEGITIMATE DIFFERENCES.

It was hard not be awestruck by the place, and the the trials it had endured and the ideals it represents.

Unfortunately, it was equally hard not to be dumbstruck at the though of some of the absolute CLOWNS now responsible for governing and safeguarding those ideals.

I mean... What part of "legitimate differences" or "finding common ground" is it when the Senate Minority Leader makes it his TOP PRIORITY (not "A" priority, but his "TOP" priority!) to deny the President a second term.  It like he thinks all of the problems facing this county magically came into existence sometime between Pelosi and Reid taking power in 2007, and Barack Obama taking office in 2009! His TOP Priority?

The deficit? The economy? The War on Terror? Education? Health Care? The Environment? 

Nope.

The most important thing for this asshat to accomplish is to put an "-R" after the next President's name.  I wouldn't mind it half as much if they planned on accomplishing this by actually DOING ANYTHING, as opposed to just sabotaging the current government.  I'll just never understand how someone can listen to an inspiring tale of Patriotism and Democracy and then think of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner and do ANYTHING other than laugh their asses off or cry in their soup. 

We know that so many of today's politicians are little more than cheap rent boys for the special (read: corporate) interests, but standing in the halls of power this morning only served to diminished them even farther in my eyes; to make them seem even more petty and out of place.  The Tea Party yokels won't last 5 minutes here.  I have a feeling this incoming class of Right Wing amateurs is going to lose it's "idealism" faster than any other.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

For mish...

Since you were foolish enough to indulge me helpful enough to offer some constructive feedback, here are the pencils for the first page.  Let me know what you think.








































Hands are hard. :(
LOL.
Like I said... A little cleanup is needed. ;)

First Panel Pencilled!

First Panel - Pencils.

I'm sorry that I keep posting this kind of stuff.  It's a bit indulgant, I suppose.  I'm just really happy with how this turned out.  A few line-errors here and there, but nothing I can't fix in the inkining. (LH Window & Starcase, for example? LOL.)  I don't plan on posting to much more of it here.  (We'll see.) But to finish a panel, even in pencil, and be pretty satsified with the result?  For me? That's EPIC. LOL. (One down, sixteen thousand to go!)

Also, in case anyone was wondering, I do still plan on maintaining a political blog.  Probably more angry rants than realy thoughtful pieces (which take more time) but the rants sometimes seem to get a better response anyway. LOL.  I'm also going to keep up with the Hall of Fame inductees, if nothing else.  Even though they don't get many replies, I take it as a bit of a civic duty to link to good stuff in order to help it rank higher in teh Google.

But I have made a goal to myself to spend at least an hour a night drawing.  And unfortunately that will leave less time for blogging.  BUT... I think it will be better fo my mental health, in the long run.  Sorry.  AND, as I've said before, this thing is going to have Religious, Philosopcial and Political themes running throughout it, not to mention some references to pop-culture-y stuff that I just like.

And to answer ClassicLiberal's and Conchobhar's inevitable quetsion about the club name: YES. 


Monday, November 15, 2010

Doodles & Sketches

And the amazing part...?



















When someone in the meeting asked me a question, I was still able to answer as if I'd been paying attention!

LOL.  Yeah... it's was one of those days.

This is mostly crap, but I am fairly proud of the chick on the upper right.  I think we've got a decent intial sketch down for Epiphany there.  Gabriel (upper left) needs a lot of work. (But that was also done much earlier in the meeting, before I got too bored. LOL)   Gretchen* (lower right) needs some additional translating to make her look a little more realistic, and a little less like her inspriration (Sora Hasegawa from Ah! My Goddess) but I can live with it for now.  The guy in the middle (and lower left) started out as the protagonist, Edward, but I'm think he'll change a bit first.  He may yet end up as either John or Paul, who are kind of like Edward's Left Hand and Right Hand men, respectively, or I might just keep him as he is, we'll see.  (Yes, I realize I'm babbling here, and no one knows WTF I'm talking about, but these notes are as much for my own reference later on as anything else.)  In any case I said I might throw up some of the early sketches, and this is about as early as it gets, although I didn't figured they'd come out of being bored in a team meeting. LOL.

Oh well. 

You gotta have some fun wherever you are.  That's my philosphy anyway.

*The other half of Gretchen's inspiration, comes from Faust which is a HUGE influence on the overall story. It's really sort of a modern, reinterpretation of Faust.  Other influences include Death Note, Hell Girl, King Lear/Ran, MacBeth/Throne of Blood, and various non-Canonical Judeo-Christian (and other) mythologies, heavily re-interpreted.  Meh... We'l see how it goes.  Hopefully it will interest some one other than me, but I plan to do it anyway.

Glenn Beck meets Donald Duck

OMG! Have you seen this yet?


Funny as hell.  Captures the spirit and message of that hypocritical, lying snake PERFECTLY, not to mention the double-speak!  The gap between rich and poor keeps growng, so vote REPUBLICAN?! 

That he is both (1) somewhat popular and (2) still a net positive for the GOP, is proof of just how stupid this country has become.  Listening to this, I've decided that Glenn Beck is NOT crazy, and NOT stupid.  He's a very, VERY EVIL MAN.  And I never would have thought I'd have underestimated that quality in one of these Right -Wingers.  But he is, and I did.  He's an damned evil genius!  He rubs people faces in everything the Right-wing has done to them, and yet somehow convinces then it's all the LEET's fault! (And they you should give him money!) It abso-fucking-lutely BRILLIANT!

For more like this, check out http://www.rebelliouspixels.com/.

And if you haven't given me your two cents yet, here's my paypal address... no, just kidding! LOL If  you haven't given me your two cents yet, please be sure to comment on my Question for y'all post.  I've got about 3/4 of the overall plot roughly outlined, but I still want to know how "real" (or how fictional)  this 'real world' shoudl be. Thanks!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fiction Writing Style Question for Y'all...

I'm asking this because I know you guys to be readers with the highest quality of taste.  (And not just because you read my stuff either! LOL) 

You see... I've been kicking around some new ideas web-comic for a little while now.  I do have some web-comic / artistic credentials, although my other project is kept separate from this blog in order to maintain its completely apolitical nature.  But this new one would be HIGHLY political, so I'm thinking about doing it under "Niceguy Eddie" rather than my other pseudonym.

The reason I bring all this up is that I have a kind of stylistic question for y'all.  Let's say, for example, that one is writing a work of fiction about, say, a vast Left-Wing Conspiracy to assassinate, for example, Rush Limbaugh and other high-profile RW Icons and Personalities.  (No, that's not really what this ides of mine is all about, I'm just using that as a non-spoiler containing example.)  Purely as a point of style, would it be better (IOW: less cheesy) simply to refer to these characters as their real world counterparts...

(Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Rielly, Sean Hannity & Glenn Beck)

or to use a substitute that's a pretty obvious allusion to their real world counterparts...

(Skip Harbaugh, Will O'Malley, Sam Haggerty & Ben Glick)

or are both options equally crappy, and names should be used with no real-world affiliation...

(Tom Williams, Joe Smithson, Ed Hanson & Mike Evers)

...even thought the story is supposed to take place in the present day 'real' world, and the identity of some of the background characters involved IS significant, from both a story standpoint and a political one. (And would save me a lot of otherwise unnecessary exposition.)

I'm just curious what you think.  I may post some of the early development work here, though I don't think I'll put the final comic here. (I'll link to it though, of course! LOL) And I'm still a bit way from being able to really get started anyway.  But this is kind of a critical point so I figured I'd see what you all thought about it.  (The names thing, not the overall idea, which is not quite as I described above anyway.)  That's not to say that I'll necessarily TAKE your advice, LOL, but I would like some food for thought on the matter, if you don't mind!

Thanks!

And uh... don't hold you're breath for the first page or anything.  I'm having serious software issues at the moment, and that's before factoring in that my current web-comic is drawn in a very cartoony style and I'd LIKE to do this one in a more realistic style. Which... I've never done before. Also, I'm entirely self-taught. So I've got a bit of a way to go yet before I can eve start any serious character designs, let alone start in with the story.  BUT, just so you know I'm not completely hopeless (but at the same time, so you also have some idea how far I need to go) here's a couple of faces I skecthed out just now.

Male, in profile, female, straight on:























So... I can do it, but... this isn't quite what I'm envisioning.  So we'll see how it goes.  I am serious about it though.  My other project can't go on forever, and there are two others that I REALLY want to do.  One that I've kicking around since college (seriously - it will have been in the back of my head for over 20 years before I even start it!) and this one.

Open Fascism

Many of us have made case that the new American Right Wing are a bunch of fascists. I have. Classic Liberal has. Down With Tyranny has. And so have many others. And the situation on the Right has now devolved to the point where they apparently think Godwin’s Law will continue to shield them from any and all criticism, indefinitely. But they are WAAAY beyond the point of merely abusing that otherwise reasonable principle: they’ve beaten it to a bloody death with their bare hands and ass-raped its still-warm corpse.

And now you can MMFA to the mix: http://mediamatters.org/blog/201011120017

Granted, that piece was exclusively about Glenn Beck (well… and his handlers/enablers at Fox) but we are all grown up enough by now to know full well that this is just the latest, and arguably most blatant, example in what is becoming a disturbing and disgusting trend in American Right-Wing Politics.

I particularly want commenter Duta to read that piece. Because while I won’t ever try to over-simplify the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the online company of someone who LIVES there – there’s no doubt in my mind that there’s nothing I can tell her about it, and plenty she could tell me – I think she (and many others) grossly oversimplify our Right Wing’s policy of unwavering support of Israel.

My advice is just this:

You should be very wary of the support you get from a group of people who LOVE ISREAL, but HATE JEWS.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What the hell is wrong with people?

I saw a story today that, I have to admit, at least at first, caught my eye just do to the strange title:

Google Blogger Accuses Twitter Engineer of Sex Attack

Just for a moment take all of the actual human beings out of that story, and you've got to admit: That's a pretty funny headline.  Now... put all the human beings back INTO it, and read it.  If you want a fuller account of the incident, you can read her blog.

Now... Right up front, I want to say that I have no idea about, nor do I care to  speculate on, the veracity of the accusation.  I have not heard his side, I wasn't there and in any case it's not really relevant to what I want to talk about.  I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I'm also willing to give the other his day in court before crucifying him.  All that being said, I was appalled, for several reasons, at some of the comments being left under the article.

MrMikeBeezy left the following:

I DO NOT agree with her statement that it's not her responsibility to protect herself from such things. I guess if she likes waiting for the rest of the world to give a shit about her safety then, by all means, allow it to happen.


This was, presumably, in response to her statement, "It is not my job to avoid getting assaulted. It is everyone else’s job to avoid assaulting me."

And to Mr. Beezy, all I can say is, "Blame the victim much?"

I guess you shouldn't have bought such a nice car, if you didn't want it stolen.  I guess you shouldn't have put glass in the walls of your house, if you didn't want your windows broken.  I guess you shouldn't have gotten married, if you didn't want to be cheated on.  I guess you shouldn't have had children if you didn't want them kidnapped.

WTF?!

There is basically no other crime that we, as a partially brain-damaged society, are so quick to apply that logic to.  Why is it that every time we hear about an example of  MEN BEHAVING BADLY, there is always an element of the audience that will say, "Well, she should have been more careful!"

WTF?!

That's fucking insane!  It is not up to the woman to protect herself, with no expectation that her professional colleagues will not conduct themselves within the boundaries of the FUCKING LAW!  She wasn't hooking downtown for Christ's sake, she was at a fucking TECH CONVENTION!

And the dude in question can talk about "mixed signals" all he wants.  I've known a lot of women.  And every  single one of them has totally confused the shit out of me at some point.  But I've never received ANY signal that could have been mistaken for "stick your hand in my pants." And that includes from every single one who's pants I've ever had my hand in!

Newsflash: BLAMING THE VICTIM = TOLERATING THE CRIME.  And I defy ANYONE to find me any other crime where we find it so easy to do this.  It's barbaric.

Now...  Let the guy have his day in court, as applicable, of course. If he's falsely accused, than that's almost as bad as the attempted/actual rape since (1) being falsely accused of sexual assault is about the worst thing that can happen to you, legally speaking and (2) false accusations, once exposed, enable the very attitude I'm describing.  They cast suspicion on every other woman's legitimate accusation.  So, yeah, let him have his say.

But for FUCK'S SAKE don't blame the VICTIM! The expectation that one will not be sexually assaulted at random is no less reasonable that the assumption that one will not be shot or mugged at random in such a place.  IOW: It's PERFECTLY REASONABLE! And we should show no more sympathy to the perp, or less sympathy to the victim, in that case than we would for a robbery or a homicide. PERIOD!

Christ, what the hell is wrong with people?!

Then "God's gift to women everywhere," Daniel, posted this steaming pile of horseshit "gem:"
You'd figure he could have assaulted someone better looking. Come on, man. Have some standards.

Nice. 

This is just disgusting on so many levels.  I'd love for his mother to know he said that.  Or his wife/girlfriend.  Actually, I'd like to just  see him hit in the head with a brick, only to have someone ask, "Why were you walking under that falling brick, dumbass?!"

And before anyone tells me that, "Oh. it's just the Internet, people say all kinds of crazy shit." No.  Fuck that. Fuck it right now, because I've heard the exact same thing, said over a few beers at the bar, face to fucking face with people.  And I've heard it MANY TIMES.  So this is hardly the sentiment of a lone provocateur on some Internet blog.  This kind of misogyny is every bit as alive and well as the "blaming the victim kind."  (Though I've met some of the most interesting and coolest women in it, Automotive is still, very much, one of the "good old boy:" industries. So i hear this sort of thing a LOT.)

Now... As if blaming the victim for the rape wasn't enough, now the victim's physical appearance is somehow relevant?  I suppose if she conformed more to the "Barbie Doll" asthetic, she'd somehow make a more sympathetic victim? (Actually, in that case, the opposite might even be true!)  And whether or not that's even true, does that make it RIGHT?!

Putting that aside, for the moment, because it's so despicable as not not even need a comment, I have a newsflash for Daniel:

ALL WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL.

And I, pretty much, truly mean that.  All women are beautiful and the world is a more beautiful place for having all those women IN IT.  Take out the women (and the Homosexual men) and what would the world look like?  It would look like a pissed-on shit-pile, that's what! 

What the fuck is with people who (1) Use a Barbie Doll like a checklist:

Long Blond Hair? Check
Blue Eyes? Check
5'10"? Check
C-Cup? Check
36-24-26? Check
etc...

(Which I think would leave with pretty much just Pamela Anderson - who's a skank) And then (2) feel the need to ridicule anyone who doesn't fit the bill? 

What the fuck is wrong with these people?  Are they dating Pamela Anderson?  (And if they are? They can fucking have her!) And if they aren't?  Then who the fuck are they to talk?!

And that list?  The "barbie doll" asthetic? Fuck that.  Where does that leave a beautiful black woman? Or an beautiful Indian woman? Or a beautiful Japanese woman?  (You ever see blond hair on a Japanese woman? It looks RIDICULOUS!)  And why are we even TALKING ABOUT THAT?!

The sexiest part of a woman's body is BETWEEN HER EARS.  Yes, I'm actually physically attracted by a woman's intelligence.  That's make me a bit unusual, statistically speaking, but what can I say? Men of real quality are not easy to find.  And I'm also far more concerned with what's BEHIND a woman's ribcage that what IN FRONT of it.

Now... I don't know Noirin personally. I've never met her. I don't know if she's nice, and I don't know if she's smart.  I've read a bit of her blog... Not really my thing, but she certainly seems failry intelligent.  (Check.)  And given her quirky sense of humor (check) and the fact that she seems nice enough (check) I'm certainly already finding her far more interesting than your average "Pamela Anderson" type. And there's really not much more that you really need to know!

But then...

Red Hair? (check!)
Tech savy? (omg! check!)
Glasses? (...drool...)

(Yeah, seriously, I have such a thing for chicks in glasses. It borders on sickness. Seriously.)

I'm sorry, where was I?

Oh yeah...

Daniel? MrMikeBeezy?  You guys are fucking douchebags.

And, in the future, if you don't have anything nice - or relevant - to say, then just SHUT THE FUCK UP!

---------------------------------

Oh, and BTW... Should anyone find an inconsistancy in my proceeding to trash Pamela Anderson, right after saying that "all women are beautiful," let me clarify: Women are beautiful the way GOD made them.  Pamela's appearance is what what MAN'S EFFORT looks like.  It's the cheap, plastic result of trying to appease the prejudices of lesser men.  And it's really rather tragic.

---------------------------------

Oh and I uh... kind of apologize for that "really creepy guy" bit at the end there.  It was kind of tongue in cheek (and almost disgustingly over the top) though personally she does strike me, at least initially, as exactly the kind of person I'd usually be attracted to.  Kind of like...




















Oh, I am so fucking there!

(The one with the beard is a guy though, right?)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Controversy
























































































































Yep, that's about it, isn't it? So look forward to President Palin in 2012.

This comes from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal by Zach Weiner, an absolutely brilliant collection of political and philosophical brain droppings.  I'll pay this particular one the highest compliment I can't think of: I'd wish I'd written it! LOL

Friday, November 5, 2010

Proof that MSNBC is not the Left-Wing verison of Fox.

Just a quickie, showing the biggest difference between Fox and MSNBC...

Countdown Anchor Keith Olbermann has been suspended from MSNBC over political donation that appear to be in violation of  that stations standard of ethics.

This is in contrast to Fox News, whose anchors have shamelessly shilled for the Republicans time and time again; who's PAC and Parent company have donated millions to Republicans and Republican backed organizations; who has given a platform to future candidates; and who will not even suspend you if you wish for President Obama's assassination!

They may be mirrors of each other in that one leans Liberal and one leans Conservative, but that is where the symmetry ends.  Because only one has any hosts representing anything that would qualify as opposing viewpoints (such a Joe Scarborough) and only one has an ethics policy that actually MEANS anything, and they they are willing to enforce.

The difference is PRINCIPLES. MSNBC has them.  Fox, time and time again, has shown that they don't.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lighter Fare...

It's election day so I'd like to share with you an episode from a classic British Comedy called "The Black Adder."  This particular episode is rather apt since it deals with politics, elections and particularly political corruption.  BTW... That's Rowan Atkinson of Mr. Bean fame, playing opposite Hugh Laurie, of House. Brilliant stuff, IMHO.

Part One:


Part Two:


Part Three:


Ah, the good old days...


"You could appoint him a high court judge."
     "Is he qualified?"
"He's a violent, biggoted, mindless old fool"
     "Sounds a bit overly qualified!"

(The Roberts court?)

"It's is a triumph of stupidity over common sense."

(I've been predicting that for months now!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Forget Fascists... we're actually Nazi's now

Provocative title, I know.

I had to take a break for a few days.  I heard a story on NPR Frito be day morning that was profoundly disturbing.  And my anger It came through in my posts to MMFA on Friday, it came through in my work / in the office, and even my wife noticed it when I got home.  So I had to take a breather.  And you know what? A few days later, and I don't feel any less repulsed by it.

As if the Citizens United decision wasn't bad enough, NPR did a story about ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.  To put it gently, it's a non-profit that hooks up corporate shills and legislators for the purpose of getting really awful legislation passed, and obfuscating where it comes from, and just who's buying the legislator in question.  And because it's a non-profit, and they provide all the "scholarships," (an utterly Orwellian term that almost makes me throw-up in my mouth to use,) any disclosure the Legislator does make just say "ALEC."  NOT the corporation who's really buying them.  And what's more? Unlike with lobby groups (HOW the HELL is this not a lobby group?! WTF?!) Corporations actually get a TAX WRITE-OFF for their donations to ALEC!

So how does this make u s"Nazi's?"  Am I just being melodramatic?  I don't think so. Not anymore.

Do you know where the new, controversial Arizona immigration law came from?  Well, it came out of an ALEC conference.  And who else was in attendance at that conference? Why, the largest private prison company in the country: the Corrections Corporation of America. So follow me for a second here...

In case you were wondering, YES, they are a for-profit company.  They're traded on the NYSE.  You can look it up.  We actually have for-profit incarceration in this country! Maye I'm just a little slow, but I didn't know that. Of course, it's sold as a cost-cutting measure for states - just like everything else we should never even CONSIDER privatizing.  And sure enough: it's cheaper.  Problem is?  If the prisons aren't filled to at least 90-95% capacity, they don't make a profit.

So.... What to do... What to do?

Well... what they DID do was to craft a bill/ law specifically designed to get MORE PEOPLE thrown in prison!  That's the Arizona Immigration law, requiring police to arrest ANYONE who can't PROVE they're not in this country legally, ON THE SPOT.  And, putting aside the whole "innocent auntil proven guilty" implications, of course anyone with two brain cells to bounce together (which excluded most Conservatives apparently) realizes that this is a law aimed primarily at arresting Mexicans.

Now... normally a law like this might meet with some public backlash, so what to do... what to do...  Well... The politicians could take to the airwaves, making up all kinds of nonsense and slander to turn public sentiment against Illegalls, yes, but also against Mexicans as well as Immigrants in general.  (Hey: That fits right in with thier anti-Muslim agenda anyway, right?) 

So... You've got politicans using the media to vilify an already small and unpopular minority group, with few rights, and no means to recourse, spreading all kinds of false information about them and the affect they have on our society - much of it 180 derees divorced from reality - all to drum up support for a bill designed to do nothing else but to get as many members of this very minority group carted off to prison as possible.

Um... How is that NOT Nazi, exactly?  The only separating this from the gas chambers? Is the GAS!

And you know what?  Putting aside that we're not actually KILLING them - fair enough - from a certain POV, we're actually WORSE than the Nazi's.  Yeah, seriously.  Stay with me now... You see... Hitler, in his own perverse way, actually believed that what he was doing was right.  As despicable, and unimaginably inhuman as it was? His "final solution" was being done for purely idealistic reasons: to "save" Germany.  Of course... his ideals were utterly monstrous. But why are WE doing the same thing? Sure, the politicians would have you believe that it's all to "save" America.  (Sound familiar?) And in that way it's every bit as misguided as Hitler's persecution of the Jews was.  But the fact is? That's all bullshit. I almost wish they were being that twistedly idealistic about it.  The REAL reason we're vilifying and incarcerating Mexicans?

Is so that a for-profit corporation can make more money.

That's it.

And that's beyond fascist... that NAZI territory, plain and simple.  I've taken some time to try and view this from any other perspective and I just can't see one.  We're fucking Nazi's.  Congratulations America, you now incarcerate minorities for no greater, misguided "ideal" than INCREASED CORPORATE PROFITS.

And you know what? Goebbels would be utterly HUMBLED by what the Right has managed to do to OUR media.  HE had to at least make an EFFORT! OUR Right-Wing scumbags?  Have Fox News cheerleading for them, propagandizing for them, as a matter course, no longer even bothering to keep up the PRETENSE of doing otherwise... and MAKING A PROFIT DOING IT!!! And the rest of the media follows suit for fear of being branded as "Liberal biased!"  They've turned the media against their opposition, either vehemently or passively (which is far more effective anyway) and they didn't have to spend a single Penny of government money to do it!  Goebbels's could certainly have learn a thing or two from Murdoch, Ailes and company. He had to make an effort.  The Right in this country? Has made it the natural default perspective!

Anyway, I'm done.

For awhile, actually.

Seriously.

I'm going to take a little break.  I have to.  You can't wake up to the realization that your country incarcerates people for profit, and that politicians use the media to market the policty, FALSELY vilifying the people in question, and yet only one, single arm of this so-called "liberal media" (NPR) is even talking about it...and think that anything you can do or say is going to accomplish ANYTHING.  This story just... crushed me.  It swept away my last hope that this country even has a soul left to save.

George Carlin once said that fascism would not come to America in Brown-Shirts and Jack-Boots, but rather wearing Nike's.  Well... it's not about Nike, but the point was positively and prfoundly prophetic.  And it will simply not serve my mental health to keep railing against such utter hopelessness.  I need a little time to recharge my batteries.  Find a different direction to take this in.  So... we'll see how it and where it goes.

Oh, ad uh... BTW...

There's an election tomorrow.  So, vote. I guess.  It's supposed to be important... or something.

And just like Glenn Beck, I'm not going to tell you who to vote for.  Honestly, I don't really think it matters anymore anyway.  But UNLIKE Glenn Beck, I'm going to give you this advice:  WHATEVER you do, don't vote for


As three wise men once said...

"All we have to fear, is fear itself!" ~Franklin Roosevelt

"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." ~Yoda

and, perhaps the most important lesson for these spineless, useless Democrats to learn:

"Given a choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, they'll choose the Republican every time" ~Harry Truman

...

WHY, with 20th Century icons like Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson to draw inspiration from, do they decide instead to take their lead from the likes of BILL CLINTON? 

WHY?!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gold Star Awards, October, 2010

Wow.  It's been a busy month, here at IMHO.  26 Posts to date - well over my previous, personal record.  And some of them were even pretty good, if I do say so myself.  I've got at least one more post that needs to go up before election day, and there are some un-replied-to comments that I have to answer (or at least acknowledge) as well.  (And hanks again to everyone who comments - it's hearing from all of you that really makes this worthwhile for me!) And before the month is over, I want to make sure I get the new GOLD STAR's announced for October, while we're still IN October.  So, without further ado, we're up to 1954 now, and that means three Gold's, no Silver's.


The Bill Dickey Gold Star #26: YouTube

This has been SUCH a long time coming.  Of all of the iconic, marquis web pages out there (ebay, google, amazon, etc...) YouTube is, far and away, the most important. In fact, I'll go so far as to call it the greatest innovation in and tool for freedom of speech and freedom of information since the First Amendment.  YouTube makes each and every one of us a journalist, as political commentator, an infotainer, a pundit, a talk show host, and an activist.  It gives everyone a voice and everyone a platform.  And with the Mainstream Media growing more useless every year, stories such as those of Lauren Valle and Kenneth Gladney get what might be the best, most objective treatment, in the chaotic free-for-all that is YouTube.  Never again will "they" be able to suppress the story, or hide the truth.  It' possible that YouTube didn't think they'd change the world when they started out.  And given the preponderance of 10 year old i-Carly wannabe's, there's some fairness in rolling your eye's at this depiction of them.  But we now live in a world in which the information is controlled by the people, and once a single person has it, the WORLD has it.  And that may be the most powerful tool for Democracy since the Constitution.


The Rabbit Maranville Gold Star #27: HuffPo

Right up front, let me clear something up: I am not a huge fan of HuffPo.  But "Rabbit Maranville" is about as obscure a Gold Star as you can get, so now is as good a time as any to acknowledge, and give due credit, to what HuffPo represents.  A Liberal Platform, yes, but far more importantly a MODEL combining blogging, journalism, editorializing, punditry and reader input.  Many have followed, and few have achieved the scope, reach, audience or level of name recognition that the Huffington Post has.  Arianna is the reason many of us are here, doing what we do, and why we might be taken the least bit seriously by anyone outside our core audience.  So what DON'T I like?  Meh...  IMHO, there's just too much Celebrity Fluff more my tastes.  Not enough Kutner and Reich, and way to much Baldwin.  But that's fine.  It is what it is.  It's not The American Prospect, after all, nor is it...


The Bill Terry Gold Star #28: The Humanist

THIS is more like it.  I'll admit that I read them less than I read some other (like TAP) and less than I probably SHOULD or NEED TO, because they really do a fantastic job of digging into the really meaty, political and philosophical issues, going well beyond merely a liberal, or even a humanist perspective and looking at things from all angles.  Which, if they have one, may be their biggest flaw: They make my head spin.  But I highly recommend them for anyone who really wants to THINK.  (Of course, given the polls of late, that's a painfully minute audience, but still: It's still about the strongest endorsement I can give.)


I should get to everyone's comments tonight.  Have great weekend and a safe and fun Halloween everybody!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

GPS Tracking

I heard an interesting story this morning on NPR about the FBI (and other law enforcement agencies) using GPS tracking devices, magnetically attached to cars, to track people; typically drug dealers, and the occasional terrorism suspects. They say it’s easier than doing traditional visual surveillance: You can gather more data, with less manpower. Also they claimed that it was “fail-safe” (which I think means something different… I think they meant “fool-proof”) since you don’t run the risk of the tail being made and lost by the quarry. And as I listened I could already hear the Conservatives complaining about Liberals wanting to take this critical tool away from Law Enforcement. And of course I had to tell those voices in my head that it’s not about whether or not they can DO it, but whether or not they should have a warrant. (Yes, I often have these little conversations with myself. I do so love good conversation!)


But for the moment, I’d like to put aside the legal issues here and the subtle differences between visually tailing someone (which typically can be done without a warrant) and tracking them (which is in question, but for now is typically being done without a warrant.) I mean… Yeah, I think they should need a warrant. But it’s a point that I can certainly see being debated either way. In any case, that’s not what I really want to talk about right now. I want to put all that aside for the moment, and instead give the following advice to anyone who should come across one of these devices on their cars:

1) If they're tracking you? It’s because they don’t have enough agents to actually WATCH you. (That’s the whole cost-effectiveness argument, remember?) So there’s a good chance they won’t see you do what I’m about to suggest.

2) Remove the device, but just leave it in the back seat, so they won’t notice anything. (Yeah, and whatever you do, don’t take pictures of it and put them on the internet!)

3) Drive into the city, or whatever your “downtown” is.

4) Look for a car with out-of-state plates.

5) Park next to them.

6) Attach the device to THAT car.

7) Sit back for a few days and LOL at the FBI, as they try to figure just out what the hell is going on, and why their suspect suddenly up and moved to Wyoming.

So much for this being a more fool-proof way to keep tabs on someone than basic, visual surveillance, huh?

I love the smell of entropy in the morning!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two men, one woman

As much as I would have loved to have left my last post up at the top of the blog, and as much as I really appreciate everyone who played along, unfortunately a story broke that just made me sick, and that I feel I must comment on.

By now I'm sure most of you are familiar with the following video:


Now... I'm going to describe this as objectively and as neutrally as my stomach will allow:

Two large men, grabbed a very small woman, (wearing glasses, no less! hollywood couldn't have cast her that well!) wrestled her to the ground, and stepped on her.

Those are facts, BTW, that are not in denial. They are plain for all to see. No one can look at this attrocity and conclude anything less.  What is also not in duspute in the these large, burly men, who look like they outwieghed her at by least three-to-one, were supporters of TeaParty seperatist candidate, Rand Paul.  Also not in dispute is that the woman, Lauren Valle, is a member of MoveOn.org, a Progressive Political organization that is opposed to Rand Paul and the Tea Party's agenda.  These are facts, that are undistputed and which do not depend upon any party afiliation or political ideology to accept.

Now... there is something else which, until now, I would have though thought could also be universally accepted, regardless of Political Party or Ideology: That violence perpetrated by men, against women is WRONG. Period.

Apparantly this maxim, which is self-evidenct to me, is not universally held by the Right, the Republicans, the Tea Party, or the Conservatives.  Do I say this merely on account of the two hulking rednecks in the Rand Paul tea-shirts? Not at all.  For the true position of the Conservative movement, I'll defer to it's very voice.  Here is Rush Limbaugh, rationalizing this attrocity:



Now... let's take a look at the mentality at work here:

1) The Secret Service would have done the same thing if someone approached Obama.
2) The man stepped on her SHOUDLERS, not her HEAD
and
3) She's a "radcial," "liberal," "professional agitator," who [has protested things before.]

Well... let's start with... the Secret Service.

For those of you who are unfaimilar with that organization, they are an officially sanctioned arm of the Federal, Untied States Government responsible for, among other things, the safety of the President.  You know... as opposed to an unruly mob of violent rednecks.  And I've seen an awful lot of footage of both CANDIDATE Obama, and PRESIDENT Obama being close enough to huge crowds to shake the hands of every person, three rows deep. 

Do you know what I've NEVER seen?

OBAMA'S SECRET SERVICE DETAIL TACKLING A PROTESTER AND KICKING THEM WHILE THEY'RE DOWN!

I've never seen that!  And you have footage of it?  I'd be keen to watch, but I'll simply go back to the more apt point: Authorized Agents of the Federal Government vs. Unruly inbreeds!

Second Point:

Thug #2 stepped on (or "put his foot on" in Limbaugh-speak) her SHOULDERS, not her head.  Well... seeing as how neither of these genetic defectives were authorized agents of law enforcment, and that she had made no violent gestures herself, the instant that they even laid one finger on her, they were guilty of tort assault, at a minimum.  By the time she hit the ground, they were guilty of criminal assault and battery.  Where they stepped on her is immaterial.  THAT they stepped on her is immaterial!  And even "stepped on her" is, by itself, a pretty forgiving description.  I'd say "kicked her while she was on the ground" is a bit more accurate. Take a look.  That fact that it happened to be the bottom of his foot that he drove into her prone body does not magically turn a kick into a "stepping on."  If that were the case, Chuck Norris spent most of his acting career "stepping on" people!

Finally:

She was a  "radcial," "liberal," "professional agitator."

Translation: THE BITCH HAD IT COMING.
 
That's it folks.  He can make the same Glenn Beck-style exculpatory claim about not condoning violence, BUT... whenever there is a "BUT"... he can not at the same time also be making a serious claim to be condemning it either!  In fact, there IS NO condmenation of it here! At all! Not a single word of it! He's says he doesn't condone it, even against against a "radical, liberal woman" (why is that even relevant?) and then spends several minutes RATIONALIZING IT!  And what is his rationale?  That she's been at protests before.
 
I cannot make any more clear a translation of Limbaugh's remarks from conserva-speak to english:
 
THE BITCH HAD IT COMING.
 
And just for the record, I cannot state this any more strongly or clearly: I would absolutely demand that anyone who acted this way towards Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman or Chistine O'Donnell or Sharon Angle, be arrested and punnished to the fullest extent of the law. And I would utterly condemn any such action, on no uncertain terms. It is thuggery, and it is criminal, and it has no place in this Country, or our political process, regardless of the political ideology of the victim. To believe otherwise is profoundly un-American.  And fine, so maybe when it's against the candidate herself it's different. Fine. How about Jenny McCarthy?  Would I forgive or even attempt to rationlize any violenece against even a despicable woman like her, who has the blood of dead children on her hands, due to her her anti-vaccine crusade?

NO. Absolutely not, no way, no how. Not for one single moment. I would not condone it; I would not rationalize it; and I would have the prepetrators punnished to the fullest extent of the law.

Becasue violence against women is wrong. Period.

Any attempt to rationalize this kind of behavior is a clear indication that the speaker DOES NOT believe in America, DOES NOT believe in free speech, DOES NOT believe in civil discourse and debate, DOES NOT believe in Democracy, DOES NOT believe in LAW and ORDER, and DOES NOT believe even in BASIC HUMAN CIVILITY.

Thes men in this video are scumbags. Period. And any attempts to rationalize their behavior is pure scumbaggery. Period.

----------shifting gears------------

Just in the interest of not being a hypocrite - something you just won't get from the Right, BTW - I'd like to take a look at every TeaBagger's favorite malingerer, Kenneth Gladney.

Here's the tape:


Now... I'll be the first to admit that, unlike the video showing the attack on Valle, you can't see shit in this video. (Not that this has stopped the Right from trying to milk it for all its propaganda value) But here's what I see:

1) I see two men pulling Gladney off of an SEIU member, who was on the ground, under him.  That's the guy who's later seen holding his shoulder in pain.

2) I see Gladney, in the tan shirt, end up on the ground, as a result of the attmept to seperate the two men, after which he IMMEDIATELY GETS BACK UP.  So he knows where he can stick stick his sob story about "still being in pain" from the "injuries" he sustained.  Looks to me like the SEIU guy (in the purple tee) by far got the worst of it.

Because do you know what I don't see?

Well for one thing, I don't see Gladney getting kicked while he's on the ground. The way the Right describes it, you'd think he was Rodney King!  (Of course... they all lined up agianst King, but maybe if he voted Republican it would have been different.)

Know what else I don't see? Unlike in the attack on Valle, anyone throwing Gladney to the ground!  Gladney only ends up on the ground becasue the guy pulling him back TRIPS on the guy who was ON THE GROUND!  (You know, the other guy that Gladney was on top of?)

Another difference?  Gladney got up and started SHOUTING again! Whereas Valle stayed in a fetal position in hopes that she wouldn't get KICKED anymore!

And there one more thing I don't see: WHO STARTED THE FIGHT.

And that's pretty improtant.  But fine, let's assume for, the moment, that it really was the SEIU guy.  Does that magically make these two incidents the same?

Umm... NO!

Unfortunate? Yes, absolutely.  There is no (or at least there should be no) place in our political discourse for violence.

But are they the same?  Well... you tell me:

One man, versus one man of roughly equal size.

Two very large men, versus one very small woman.

That sound the same to you?  Would you put the equal money down on the outcome of both of those altercations? Of course not.

It ain't the same thing at all, and not by a damned sight!

But if the SEIU guy DID start it?  I'd still throw his dumb ass in jail for it!

Because, BTW... did you notice?  I did not spend one single word trying to rationalize the actions of the SEIU guy.  I was willing to completely give the Right the benefit of the doubt on this, and they STILL basicaly have nothing. And that's the difference between Liberals and Conservatives: It comes down to having PRINCIPLES.

And no one who attempts to rationalize what happened in the Valle video has them.

Period.