Who IS this guy?!

'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.

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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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Silver Star Awards, January, 2011

We're up to the year 1957, and there was only inductee, from the Veterans Committee.




The Wahoo Sam Crawford Silver Star #23: How it Should Have Ended


I’ve said it many times, about many Silver Star Winners, but these guys are absolutely freaking hilarious.  They take popular and/or classic movies, change one or two obvious details that the writer and director managed to miss, and show you how it SHOULD HAVE  ended.  They’re website and/or their you-tube channel is a must–see for any movie buff.  Just to give you a sampling (and since there’s only one award this month, and thus super-short post) here’s a few of my favorites:
Star Wars:


Lord of the Rings:


Inception:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wow.

Wow.

Guilty as charged, on most counts, and just... Wow.

Cracked hits it on the head once again.  Very intersting bit about the media, BTW.  Right on the nose.  But seriously, read the whole thing.  It's just...

Wow.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Good Night, and Good Luck, Keith.

I am very saddened to learn that Keith Olbermann will be leaving MSNBC.  I couldn't sum up his importance an better than MMFA founder David Brock did, saying that "led the charge" against "conservative misinformation in prime time," and "showed there was a market for progressive views on cable news."  Of all the opinion shown on Cable, and in the media in General, Countdown was arguably the one that most resembled actual journalism, the way it is supposed to be practiced, and his practice of criticising democrats and President Obama inarguably sets him apart from the "Left-Wing version of Fox" stereotype that lesser people in the media and the blogosphere would have you believe he represents.

I am curious to see if he DOES end up on CNN.  That would be pretty cool; though I laugh at the statement that it would "mean a dramatic shift in the network's determined nonpartisan stance.  I think it would be more accurate to say that it would "represent a return to balance, and an end to their leaning to the right." Hey, CNN: "Balance" isn't worth anything if it means you've got to let a Conservative Lie, because you've featured a Liberal telling the truth!" In any case, it would be nice to have another major Cable network featuring a strong, popular, and professional Liberal voice. (It would kind of poke a hole or two in the Right's perpetual argument about ratings and the market for Liberal opinion, huh?)  And I'm sure Rachael Maddow will do fine taking over his spot at MSNBC.  She's a great talent and actually, even a bit funnier than Keith. I will miss the "Worst Person in the World" segments though.  That has been my favorite two-minutes of television every week for the past few years now!  (Even if I missed the show, I'd tune in at the end, just to see that.  And if I missed it, I'd faithfully check the transcipts online the next day.)


Another thing I gleaned from this article was about Keith being "hard to work with." The example they give is his leaving MSNBC in the late 1990's because his bosses wanted him to do more about the absurd, non-story that was the Clinton "scandal."  I guess "hard to work with" is a euphemism for "principled and independent."  Like I said: More than any other opiner, what Keith does most closely resembles ACTUAL JOURNALISM.  I've NEVER seen him do PROPAGANDA, I challenge ANYONE on the Right to prove me wrong.

Anyway, Keith? You will be missed, but I'll be sure to tune in wherever you end up. Keep speaking truth to power, and never lose that principled, independent streak you've got.  It's your single greatest asset.  I'd watch a "hard to work with" truth-telling over an easy-going liar ANY day.  So keep fighting the good fight.  There's a generation of truth-tellers waiting to follow in your footsteps.

Good night and good luck, my friend.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Utopia, Chapter One, Cover Page Posted

I guess this means I've officially started, even if it IS just the cover page.  I'll link to the new pages from here, but if you're interested, you can see them all (rigth now, just this one) over at: http://niceguy-eddie.deviantart.com/. (For now.  I don't know if I'll stick with Deviantart or not.)

The comic is titled, "Utopia." The complete (and more pretentious) title is, "Utopia: What Would You Do with Absolute Power?"

Anyway, here's the cover page for Chapter One:

(click to enlarge it)



















I DO have to fix the lettering, and probably add a border I guess, but this is the picture anyway.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  The cover pages will typically (always?) feature some piece of architecture, with the Title and Chapter Number placed somewhere on it.  There will also be a quote, which sets up the theme of the chapter.  This is a representation of an anceint set of chortens, from Nepal.  The royal family once worshiped at the particular one I was using for inspiration.  The quote, in case you live under a rock, is from The Lord of the Rings.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Times flies and Civil discourse...

Before I begin, I want to say that this was written last week and I still haven't posted it.  I have be so busy, there is like no time left in my week anymore.  3 Blogs, an art class, and I've joined a gym.  Plus my wife still does aikido twice a week, which is (1) time I have to watch the kids, so can't blog; and (2) time I can't go to the gym, so I have to find other time.  Not that I mind her doing Aikido - I'm happy she's doing it, and doing well in it, I might add.  But somethig's got to give and SO FAR, it's been IMHO.  Now, without any further pitchign and moaning: On with the show...

Wow. So a couple of weeks have flown right on by, and I didn’t make any time to write anything down about it! And what a couple of weeks it’s been. “Speaker” Boehner. *shudder* We’ll see how long that lasts! The unfortunate events in Tucson, and the terrible fate that played out on January 8th. And part of me wants to say “Thank God” that it WASN’T some deranged Tea-Bagger or Glenn Beck fan, or else there would now be some liberal, somewhere, embarrassing himself and the rest of us the way Sarah Palin did for her crowd. Hey: I watched it happen after Seung-Hui Cho and Virginia Tech – the closest thing I have to hallowed ground, I might add. The vigil hadn’t ended before you had assholes on one side calling for more gun control laws (note: the ones we already have weren’t enforced, and the existing system was not operating the way it was designed to, or even being used) and assholes on the other side saying that it's just proof that we ALL need to start carrying guns. Right. Because apparently what Blacksburg and Tucson needed on those terrible days were MORE confused, panicked people finring weapons through the crowd. Anyway, the one guy I think had the best take on the inevitable politicization of public tragedies was Professor Bob Carrol, someone who I usually think has the best take on just about everything. Check it out: Contrary-to-fact Conditionals & Media Vultures in my Crosshairs

I’m not saying that we SHOULDN’T be more civil in our discourse, but using tragedy to highlight even THAT (which to some people STILL constitutes an “agenda”) is still politicizing it. At some point, we need to let the families grieve in piece and realize that the WORLD is not like the INTERNET: People don’t want to hear our opinions immediately after a loved one has died, and no one is looking to us to solve all the world’s problems with a proposal that can fit on a bumper sticker. It’s tempting, I know. But this was nothing more than “just one of those crazy things that happens in this fucked up world.” Civil discourse would not have prevented it. Nor would gun control laws. Nor would MORE guns. Nor would the death penalty. Nor would anything that some dipshit in our sad excuse for the media has to suggest. And little they’re going to say will help anyone make sense of what happened either. There’s not a lesson to be learned, nor is there any hidden meaning, and God doesn’t have a grand plan, here. Each was simply the random act of a madman.

Personally? I might say it’s the price we pay to live in a free and open society. I don’t know if I REALLY DO believe that, entirely, in this case. But the principles are there, and I’ve argued it before. But if I DID decide to make that case, I’d at least have the decency to wait until the dead had been buried and mourned, and not say that in a forum where one of the family would hear it! (Which means… NATIONAL TV is probably out!) What I WILL say is this: My heart goes out to the victims and their families. I can not imagine the pain they must be feeling. They have my sincerest condolences, and I do hope that in time they will find peace.

Was that so hard?

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A quick adendum... my condolences also go out to the Kennedy and Shriver families for their loss today of Sargent Shriver.  I can't wait to read about Ann Coulter's summary of the man's life, as she evicerates him for the crimes of being (1) a democrat, (2) a Kennedy (sort of) and (3) someone who actually accomplished some GOOD with their life.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Welcome back!

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday. I spent about a week visiting relatives in Massachusetts. Since my parents live in Florida, we don’t get up to Massachusetts very often. So from that perspective, it was good to see everybody again. From another… Well, one thing I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older and presumably, though probably not proportionately, wiser is that I’ve become more aware of what’s going on under the surface of things. Underneath that polite veneer that’s presented to the world, and which as a child I assumed there was nothing behind – that we were just a big happy family with no politics or strife. And that’s not to say that we aren’t, but my god… It drives me nuts just how much into everyone else business they insist of getting, and how much petty sniping goes on in terms of who’s thinks what, and who said what, and who didn’t go to who’s party, or who’s more generous or more stingy, who got the better gifts… Holy hot hopping hell, it’s like going around the table at Thanksgiving and everyone declaring how good everyone else has it! (And realize that these folks are all very well off! No one’s losing their house, or living on the edge.) But seriously, I could never stand having that many people up in my business all time! Oh my God… It drives you nuts after a while! (And the relative lack of that in my life is one of the advantages of living where I do!)

Anyway, we’re home now. And I must say that while overall we DID have a good time, there were some interesting political discussions that happened on this trip that I’d like to share with you all. I’ll say up front, that most of these I was little more than an observer or a devil’s advocate. For the most part I’m keen to let the family partisans fight it out – no one’s really listening to anyone else anyway, or has any intention of changing their position, so I’d rather not waste my breath burning bridges.

The first involved the Massachusetts State Law regarding care for the elderly. In Massachusetts, as in many other places, If a person cannot pay for their own long term care - and let’s face it: if you don’t have a lot of money, LTC insurance and a decent source of income into retirement, few can – then when you need to enter a nursing home, the state will provide this service, taking care of those elderly and indigent people who can no longer care for themselves. These facilities are not great places of course – the one in question was a real shithole. And yet… the costs are still astronomical. Well beyond what most people could afford even for a short time, let alone indefinitely. Now, when you are in these institutions, you are now a ward of the State. The State gets your pension, your social security, and gives you just a small weekly allowance (to spend on what, I wonder? No one ever leaves the building!) They also take any assets you have, to cover the costs of your care. If you own a house? The state will take it. Car? Same. (Etc…) There are ways around this, of course. Since laws are written by lawyers, to give more work to other lawyers, there are trusts and other estate planning tools that will allow your family to keep most or all of these assets. One has to wonder why you would write a law, and then immediately create another law whose sole purpose is to circumvent the first law, but that’s the biggest problem with politics and legislation. Beyond any Liberal or Conservative issues, the primary problem is that laws are written by legislators who are primarily – like 90% of them – LAWYERS. And their “secret agenda” is not Liberal or Conservative per se - it’s primarily to drum up more business for lawyers. If they can write a law that will result in more law suits? Or that can further complicate tax law or estate law and thus make even more work for tax and estate lawyers? They’re all over it.

ANYWAY… Feel as you will about the idea of the State taking your house, or about the fact that if you pay a lawyer to write up a new trust every couple of years, your family can keep the house, the fact is that caring for the elderly is expensive. And SOMEONE, SOMEHOW needs to pay for it! The real point of contention, and where my Father – a staunch Conservative, Republican, borderline Tea-Party type - started chiming in is that in addition to what I’ve mentioned already, Massachusetts does what they call a “five-year look back” to see if you made any large gifts over the past five years. And if you did? The State can go after the recipient to get them back! Again, this sounds really unfair, but MANY States have these look-back periods. They’re basically meant to prevent people from giving their assets away to family in order to get around paying for the care they’ll receive from the State. And, while it seems like it sucks at first, when you think about it, it’s basically FAIR. Well… My father’s having none of that: To him it’s bullshit that the State would take property, let alone look back five years and take it from other people! Now, he understood WHY they do this. He KNOWS that people could easily cheat the system, were it not for the look back system. So I asked him: How would you pay for it then? Shitty a lifestyle though it may be, this is a necessary, expensive service that’s being provided! Why is it wrong to ask the recipients of that service to pay whatever they can for it? I then added the kicker, reminding him that the alternative was socializing it, through higher taxes, spreading the cost across everyone, and making everyone pay for it. That’s a solution that I don’t really have a problem with: it would be part of my overall health care system. But I KNEW he’d never go for it. And, big surprise, he admitted that he had no ideas for alternatives, although he did point out that the family themselves used to care for their elderly relatives in house. (Yeah: Back when you could raise a family on one income, and people didn’t live nearly as long!) Anyway, I learned a long time ago that you can never get a Conservative to admit he’s wrong, but if you can get them to admit that they have no ideas? Count that as a win. For me? I just see it as evidence that Conservatives are basically whiny little bitches who want something for nothing. (And in this case a Government handout and socialized medicine! Imagine that!) But PAY FOR IT? What kind of liberal nonsense is that?!

Also hilarious, to me anyway, is hearing someone like my dad (a very wealthy man, I should add) talk about how we should just go to a “flat tax.” Now… first off all, he’s a deficit hawk, big time. Granted, he’s your typical Right Winger when it comes to the deficit: Lower Taxes (huh?), cut entitlements, trim defense (at worst), no earmarks, no pork, etc… in other words, basically shitty ideas that will do nothing to fix the deficit, and do great harm to the economy and to people’s lifestyles. But when he talks about a flat tax, I wonder if he’s even capable of basic arithmetic. Because if you assume a rate that doesn’t INCREASE the deficit, YES, his rate would go down, but the rates of ~98% of Americans would go UP. A LOT. When 1% of you population make 20% of the income (note: I just made that up – whatever the actual numbers are, it pretty bad) you cannot lower their tax bracket without raising everyone else’s, if you (1) want everyone to have the same rate. And (2) don’t want to increase the deficit / debt. So… why, you might ask would a Conservative be so much in favor or RAISING everyone’s taxes? I don’t have a clue. No, my dad’s not a stupid man. A bit self-centered in his perspective maybe, but he’s not DUMB. He just suffers for the typical Conservative’s disease of completely lacking logical consistently, self-awareness and principled pragmatism.

Another bit topic of conversation was the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” To which I say, “It’s about damned time, and what the hell took so long?!” But my Brother in Law was in the Navy and my Cousin was a Marine, and they’re both Conservatives – my brother-in-law to a kind of annoying, Sean Hannity degree, my cousin to a more psychotic G.Gordon Liddy / Mike Savage degree. And of course, despite the fact that they both served with gays, whether they knew it or not, this was of course going to signal the death knell of American Military Dominance. Putting aside of course that we spend twice on defense what England, France, Russia and China do combined. Putting aside that almost every other non-Muslim country has already done the same thing, and it’s had no impact. Putting aside that polls showed that even 70% of White Evangelical Christians supported its repeal… It all over. We’re doomed. And it seemed like everyone else (most of whom range from Massachusetts Democrats to Massachusetts Liberals) just LOVED to get my cousin torqued up about it, and get him going on one of his homophobic rants. Don’t get me wrong: I love a good rant as much as the next guy, even when I disagree with the speaker. It’s fun to see a man feeding off his own hatred, anger and fears. It’s fun to see someone just lose it. I know. I’m human too! But as I listened to him, a theme started to emerge that I found rather… disturbing.

I can’t really cite any one thing he said, but he acted like the Marines were their own entity. As if they were a club that could make their own rules and their own policies, rather than an arm of the democratically elected Government, created to enforce theirs. He acted like the Marines existed only to fight – which, yes, they do – but beyond that, as if their whole raison detre was fighting for fighting’s sake alone, or for any reason they alone saw fit, and that other factors, like actual foreign policy and actual American Values like freedom and equality were not the REASON they were fighting. I’m not going to suggest that he speaks for all Marines, but to hear him going off, in an almost thug-like, borderline-Nazi manner, you’d think he thought that it was the Marines, and the mentality of Marines like him that decided (not SHOULD decide, but ACTUALLY decided) what they should be fighting for, what the country stands for, and how the laws should be made and that somehow anything that goes against that fascist psychosis somehow constitutes a betrayal of our brave men and women in uniform. But answer me this: If you’re in the Middle East fighting a bunch of misogynistic, theocratic homophobes, and yet you DON’T believe in religious freedom, or equality, then WHAT THE FUCK ARE FIGHTING FOR?! At that point, you can only be fighting for fighting’s sake. I don’t believe, as he does, that America is betraying that part of the Military by allowing Gays to serve openly. I believe that for many years, large parts of the Military have been betraying American values by not respecting, supporting and fighting for what America actually believes and stands for: Equality and religious freedom.

And one point he actually said, “I don’t judge them [gays], but they’re deviants!” Remember what I said about lacking self-awareness?

Of course, the TSA and Muslim profiling came up. At which point I had to point out (again) that the terrorists were not the ones with long beards and turbans, but rather the clean-shaven ones wearing suits. Also that a turban was rarely indicative of a MUSLIM, and far more often indicative of a HINDU. And that the average Hindu hates Muslims even more that then average American bigot does. Now this lead to a brief conversation about other religions, and which point my Mom asked me what religion “those kids I went to school with were.” I knew the ones she meant: The ones who wore turbans and never, in their life, have cut their hair. To which I answered that they were Sikhs. My brother-in-law chimed in, adding that they “wear daggers around their necks” which is technically true, but also a grossly misleading oversimplification. After which my Father commented that it was a religious with “weird beliefs.” I asked him, “What religion DIDN’T ask you to believe weird things?” and then said, “Do you know what you call a religion without weird beliefs? SCIENCE. (And maybe Philosophy.)” That earned me a wink and a nod from my Uncle, by far the most liberal man in the room, and one of the most liberal men I know.

Speaking of weird beliefs… Do notice how some people will believe anything about someone they don’t like politically?

There was an article – on the front page of the Boston Globe no less – about the fact that the late Senator Edward Kennedy’s dog died. (Yes the Kennedy’s are still royalty in Massachusetts to the point where the death of a dead Kennedy’s dog is front page news!) Now… I noticed something in the article that, I thought, revealed either a gross display of bad taste, or a complete lack of self-awareness on the part of the late Senator. The dog’s name? SPLASH. Seriously. A guy who will forever be remember for driving his car off a bridge, drunk, into a river and allowing a female campaign aid worker to die in the icy water… named his dog SPASH. Now… although I’m not a particular critic of the late Senator, I found this point to be at least a bit perversely humorous - my favorite kind of humor - so I pointed it out. At which point Sean Hannity my brother-in-law started talking about how Kennedy often used to “joke about killing that woman,” and how he was such a scumbag, etc… Now… He works at the Pentagon. And he does occasionally rub elbows with people who actually may have had conversations and even a relationship with the late Senator. But the way he told the story? “I heard,” “People say,” that sort of thing? Just makes me file it under “People will believe anything about someone they disagree with politically.” I don’t know if it happened or not. I have no idea. It could have. But what I do know? Is that a Conservative’s burden of proof is fairly low, when it comes to bad things being said about Progressives or Liberalism.

Anyway, while it was still a good time overall… It’s definitely good to be home


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BTW… There’s was this John Stossell thing that ran on Fox while we were up there that I’d like to debunk, but this post is long enough, and that’s a post that should probably be its own post anyway.