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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Friday, December 14, 2012

Oh my god...

Utterly horrified just now to hear about the K-4 Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. I went to school not far from there myself, grades 1-4 and later grades 7-10.  I just cannot believe it. How unbelievably horrible.  My thoughts go out to the families and friends of everyone affected.

I have nothing more to say, politically speaking, as I am not exactly an anti-gun advocate myself, and I do truly believe that emotional cases make for bad laws, but I have to ask: After Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, now Newtown, and so many others... How many more, America?  How many are going to die before we can at least have an intelligent discussion about the issue?

Unbelievable. What an utterly senseless loss.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Woo-Hoo!


I'm very happy about the results last night. Congratulations to Presdient Obama, and congratulations to Alan Grayson, to Joe Donnely, to Claire McKaskill, to Elizabeth Warren, to Angus King, to Tammy Baldwin, to Debbie Stabenow, to so many others and especially to the record number of women elected to Congress last night.  Congratulations to Pot Smokers in Colorado and Wisconsin, to supporters of marriage equality and to same-sex couples and to all those who voted for progress over dogma, acceptance and toelrance over bigotry and hate, personal liberty over corporate dominance, reproductive freedom over mysogynistioc theocracy, excellence over anti-intellectualism, and reality over Right Wing Propaganda.

It was a great night for Democracy, for America and for Progress, and I have no doubt that the best IS, in fact, yet to come.

And to Karl Rove, Dick Morris, Rush Limbaugh and every other numerically illiterate pundit out there who, if there were any justice in this world, should NEVER be given their credibility back...

SUCK IT, FUCKERS! WE WON!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Unfit to serve



People like Paul Broun are unfit to serve.

Unfit.
To.
Serve.

This level of reality denial should, absolutely, be enough to remove you from office, remove you from the ballot, hell... remove you from polite society so that you can get the medical and psychiatric help you need to deal with your delusional mental illnesses.

Unfit to serve the public, shit... unfit to serve fries at a drive-through. (I never take food from crazy people!)

And if he's a Doctor, then he should lose his licence. He's dangerous and so is every other reality-denying, science-denying, Right-Wing Jack-Hole like him.

Unfit to serve.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Debate?!

So there was a 'debate' the other night.  Yeah. Woo-hoo!  And usually these 'debates' are little more than political theatre. This one was actually a little bit LESS than that. And once again we were treated to a milquetoast Obama who let one lie after another out of Mitt Romney go unchallenged, leaving his supporters wondering just what the hell he was thinking, and who the hell is advising him!  Mittens 'won' on the basis that none of his points were challenged!

Now... I have read in various places people complaining about the MODERATOR. Suggesting it was THEIR job to point out when Romney was lying. Bullshit. It wasn't. That's OBAMA's job. It is ALWAYS the job of the person IN THE DEBATE to contest the points being made by their opponent. That he chose to do otherwise, as he has done for four strait years now, is why he 'lost.'  And if Romney, against steep odds, manages to WIN the election, it will once again be a case of teh stupid triumphing over the weak.

Barbara Morill over at the Daily Kos did an excellent write-up enumerating Mitt's many falsehoods.  Just the highlights:

When he claimed that "pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan." They're not.


When he said that President Obama had "cut Medicare by $716 billion to pay for Obamacare." Obama didn't.

When he denied proposing a $5 trillion tax cut. He did.

When he said President Obama had "added almost as much to the federal debt as all the prior presidents combined." Not even close.

When he resurrected "death panels." That was called "one of the biggest whoppers of the night."

When he stated that half the green energy companies given stimulus funds had failed. Only if three out of nearly three dozen is half.
Well done. And the FACT-CHECKERS are, in general, ripping Mitt apart.  Too bad facts are for Liberals, and the rest of the Country keeps hearing about how "strong" Mitt was.  (Notice how no one is saying how 'well informed' (or, more accurately, mis-informed) he was.

No. He was "Strong."


BEHOLD: Your liberal media!

So once again we're left to choose between the "Strong" and the "Smart."

Oh hell, who am I kidding? 

Once Paul Ryan was added to the ticket, there became no doubt at all this was a race between the STUPID (-R) and the WEAK (-D).

That being said, as I just told Steeve, I will continue to vote for the Party that's shitty at implementing great ideas over the one that great at implementing shitty ones.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ban Corporate Profits! [/sarcasm]

I recently got the following video in an email that asks, "How for to the Left are the Democrats willing to go?" and follows up with "What's happening to this country?!"



A couple of observations...

First of all, I'm always amazed how easily some people are taken in by Right Wing Propaganda.  I suppose the same people who would be swayed by this crap probably bought "Head-On" because they heard a couple of testimonials in their television commercials.

What they DIDN'T hear was the opinions of the thousands of user who said, "This stuff smells funny and doesn't work." You know... Because "Head-On" was found (by SCIENCE, no less!) to be nothing more than a placebo. Which is why they don't sell it anymore.  Funny that the Republican platform is being sold to us the same way here.

I mean... WOW. In a building full of thousands of people he managed to find a dozen of so who would humor him long enough that he'd have some video he could deceptively crop. (Notice who DIDN'T fall for this trap? Van Jones, right at the beginning, because he KNOWS who Peter Schiff is, and how these Right-Wing douchebags operate.

I wonder how long it took him to find that many people?  I really have no idea. Nor do I have any idea how many people just nodded their heads politely and then walked away thinking, "Wow THAT GUY was pretty weird!" Again, I have no idea...

But I wonder.

I also wonder how long it would take, and how many people I'd have to interview at the Republican National Convention to find...

...an Evolution denier,

...or a Global Warming denier,

...or an Autism denier,

...or someone who thinks spending cuts will create jobs,

...or that tax cuts will close deficits,

...or that a rape victim should, at a minimum, be subject to any kind of government harassment, and burdens of proof, if she wants to terminate the resulting pregnancy - assuming  they would allow her to AT ALL,

...or that equal right for Gays constitutes giving them "special rights"

...of that having Freedom of Religion, by means of having No Established State Religion, means that we're a Christian Nation,

...or that Corporations are both People and Citizens,

...or that Money is Protected Free Speech, but anything one finds "indecent" is NOT,

...or that the SIZE (read: COST) of the Government is more important that what actual POWERS they have and what DIRECTION they are leading this country, and VALUES they have, OR LACK.

Again, I don't know how long it would take me to find these people, but the really sad thing?

Is that at the RNC I could start with the TWO GUYS RIGHT AT THE TOP OF THEIR TICKET.

So fuck Peter Schiff and his goofy propaganda videos!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Gold Star Awards, September, 2012

Been away a couple weeks.  So much crazy shit going on, don't even know where to start.

So instead, here are some award winner from September.  It's 1979 and we've got one of each...


The WILLIE MAYS Gold Star #55: How Conservatives Drove Me Away

I got turned onto this site through the link on LeftHook.  I like this blog in particular because in addition to the well-reasoned, informative and entertaining posts, it's coming from someone whom I seem to have a lot in common with, politically speaking.  His tag line says it perfectly: I support smaller government, lower taxes, less spending, and more individual freedom, yet I want nothing to do with modern conservatism.  Hey: ME TOO!  Of course, you first have to know what these words ACTUALLY MEAN, and about the only thing the modern Republicans and Conservatives embrace now is fear, ignorance and stupidity. And while I've mentioned it before, newer readers might find it hard to believe that I also once identified as a Conservative. I voted for Bush in '92 and Bob Dole in '96.  But then... then whole movement found religion and got... stupid. And bigoted. And ignorant.  Well... Fair enough it always was, but I started to recognize it and they stopped trying to hide it. And I always like hearing hear from those folks who they LOST in their Rightward march towards insanity. So check him outGreat stuff.


The HACK WILSON Silver Star #54: BUSTYGIRL COMICS

All right... let's get all the joking and snickering out of the way right up front:

BIG BOOBS

OK.  Now that's out of the way, let me explain in all seriousness what impresses me most about this web-comic.  Putting aside it's primary subject matter (see above), this strip does a fantastic job dealing with such serious socila issues as self-acceptance, body image, objectification, sexualization, double-standards, sexism, stereotypes, tolerance and discrimination in a manner that is at once ironic, pointed, effective and FUNNY.  Throw in all the practical advice, and the Rampaige's highly enlightened political and social philosophy, and you've got something really great here. (Plus... you know... boobs!)

*ducking the brick*

*a-hem*

...And if I had any lingering doubts about including this here, they were solidly dashed away this morning as I read her latest reply in an ongoing discussion about sexism, as experienced by people of the same gender and by men:

Okay, let me clarify. A sexist comment towards a man is upsetting and hurtful and he has every reason to be upset. But put that comment in context. When men show emotion, they’re told to “stop being so girly” because women are stereotypically “overemotional” (the same is true if he’s not especially strong or is gentle, etc.). Okay, in that instance, the man is being compared to a woman. The only reason why this would be hurtful is if there was something wrong with being a woman, which society insists there is.

So that man experienced an insult and it hurt but he’s also silently buying into the idea that to be a woman is beneath him and insulting at the same time. Yes, it harms him but it’s also harming half of the population as well.

Bravo. Couldn't have said it any better myself. And I really couldn't have, because until reading that, I hadn't really considered it that way!  And after reading it, I will never think of sexism and double-standards the same way again. It's not every day that a single, short post has such a profound influence on my general world-view, and for the better. And for that? I THANK YOU.

Friday, August 24, 2012

"No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised." 
~Willard  Mitt Romney, 8/24/2012



Way to keep it classy, Mitt.

BTW, regarding those "dirty" attack ads?

Stop telling lies about Democrats and they'll stop telling the truth about you!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More on Akin / Moron Akin


...And the shitstain is still running.

THIS is what's wrong with this country...

So I get back from Lunch today, and the guy who sits across from me (good guy, Progressive, Democrat, John Stewart fan) asks me if I was one of the 1% of Americans who could name all nine Supreme Court Justices.

So I look at him like he asked what 2 + 2 was and rattled off, "Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia, Kennedy, Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsberg and Breyer." And then, just to show off a little, I added, "And if you want me to go back a little, "Souter, Stevens, O'Connor, and Rehnquist." Now, I did have to admit that I couldn't go farther back but, now with a few more co-workers egging me on (yeah: we're wierd that way) I did manage to up with "Warren, Burger, Marshal and Taft."

And which point I got a little pissed off...

1%?!  Seriously?!

So he hooked me up with this link to an MSNBC article citing that statistic.

And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I read:
Despite all the media attention, a national survey by FindLaw.com, a legal information Web site, found that nearly two-thirds of Americans can't name any of the nine members of the Supreme Court of the United States. In fact, results show that only 34 percent of Americans can name any member of the nation's highest court, and only one percent can correctly name all nine justices.
 
And if I wasn't in the office, I would have lost my shit over this.  Because, IMHO, the Supreme Court of the United States of America is the single most powerful and important branch of the Government in terms of both protecting our rights and freedoms and in making social progress.  It is the last line of defense against the Right Wing tyranny that encroaches more and more on our rights with each passing Bill, and seeks to keep freedom from those whom [the Right] decide are "less equal than others," to quote George Orwell.

Now, OK, to be fair, being able to name the Supreme Court Justices doesn't mean you know JACK about the Constitution, Civics, Civil Liberty, Freedom in general or Public Policy. (I mean... I'd bet you a Coke that William could name all nine, so... There you go!)  It's just that considering the oft used, and sadly effective, scaremongering Conservative trope about Activist Liberal Judges (despite the fact that the majority of ACTUAL judicial activism comes mostly from Republican appointees) and how effective it is at getting both the Bible-Humpers' and Libertarians' panties all in a twist, you'd think these fools would at least know WHO SOME OF THESE JUDGES SUPPOSEDLY ARE.

I truly had no idea that the voting base of this country was so detached from things. So UNinformed, in addition to being consistently MISinformed.  As far as I'm concerned, the potential appointees to the SCOTUS are not only my NUMBER ONE voting issue, but actually outweigh ALL OTHERS. Now I should point out that it's highly unlikely that a Nominee could have a Supreme Court nomination that I'd LOVE and policies that I'd HATE.  It's just not really a very feasible hypothetical. But if I had to weigh all of the various issues and considerations, I submit that potential SC Nominations would be weighted at 50% and all other issues would be ranked and weighted within the remaining 50%.

Remember:
1) Lifetime term.
2) Absolute ability to strike down laws that the system fails to.
3) The ability to do this without regard for any political consequences.

Hey: The RIGHT knows how important the SC is! They've made it a voting issue, even though 2/3 of American couldn't name a single justice!

I still have trouble believing that.  My friend (the guy sitting next me at work) told me that I'm too optimistic, and think way to highly of people.

I told him that it must be "this guy I sit next to at work," skewing the average of my perception.

ANYWAY... Here're some fun quizzes for you guys to take.  Just for fun. Please try and report your results. Mine are as follows:

Could you pass the US Citizens Test?

I did, with 90%. I missed the number of Amendments (I could narrow it down to just one of two answers, but then guessed the wrong one) and the Powers of the Federal Gov't question.  (I actually KNEW the answer, I just over-thought it, and talked myself out of it.) (Don't do that!) LOL

Personally I think that every politician and citizen that has even a single anti-immigrant bone in their body ought to take that test, and if they can't pass (or beat the score that the average LIBERAL gets) they ought to STFU about it!

And here are a few appropriate ones from SPORCLE, with my scores...

Name the Presidents
(44/44, with 8:13 to spare, top 27.1%)

Name the Vice-Presidents
(28/47, with time expired, top 33.7%) (A bit of guesswork there, I'll admit).
 
Name the Supreme Court Justices
(39/117, with time expired, top 42.5%) (A shit-ton of guesswork on this one, but it does give me more hope than the MSNBC article!)
 King and Queens of England (cause I'm such a Patriot. LOL)(41/41, with 4:35 to spare, top 32.1%) (Hint: Five first names and a knowledge of Roman Numerals will get you about 80% of them!) Anyway... if you feel like taking the challenge, try 'em out and post your scores.

How much ignorance?

OK. The other day, I completely lost my shit over some ball-bashingly ignorant comments made by the soon-to-be former Congressman, Todd Akin (R-MO.) (Or should that be: MO-R-on?)  Now, in the course of my (well deserved) rant, I made a few general statements about Conservatives and Republicans regarding OTHER comments that have been made over the years (equating pedophilia and homosexuality, claiming that Autism isn't a real condition, belittling the poor, etc...) Well, far be it for this Liberal to not be evidence-based, even in his rants.  So here are just a quick smattering of the Right-Wing's greatest hits, to show the kind of thing that I'm talking about.  And before anyone tries to look intelligent by pointing out (as I often do) that anectdoltal evidence isn't evidence, please allow me to retort: These comments cover a wide smattering of issues, come from a diverse source of speakers, over many years, are very much aligned with the official Republican platform and policies, and, most importatntly, only took me about five minutes (on Google, Wiki and MMFA) to find. This last point is important, becuase had I been up all might assembling the list, one might be able to infer that this type of ignorance is rare and therefore anomalous. Rest assured: This only scratches the surface. HAD I been up all night? I would have been able to write book.

So here they are, and feel free to add more in the comments section if you have some good ones, the Right Wing's Greatest Hits:


What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right?

~Rush Limbaugh, February 29, 2012



“Sandusky does not represent all of homosexuality, just like the priests in the Catholic Church don't represent all of homosexuality, just like the aberrant criminals in heterosexual society don't represent all heterosexuals. But because the gay lobby is very powerful, people don't go there. People don't address it, they don't talk about it, and as such, an element of the problem never gets dealt with.”

~Rush Limbaugh, November 18, 2011



A small item but the point is Nixon came in, shut it down, there was the shooting at Kent State, and gosh, I know liberals don't like it and when you look on Nexis and oh, the whole country was embarrassed. Well, I'm not embarrassed. That's what you do with a mob. They were monstrous at Kent State. It was being led by Bill Ayers.

~Ann Coulter, June 6, 2011



The Ryan White Care Act provides money for community-based counseling centers. While that may sound noble and compassionate, we know from experience that "AIDS education" becomes a platform for the homosexual community to recruit adolescents and lure teens into a self-destructive sexual lifestyle.

~Christine O’Donnell, October 20, 2010



“Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

Brian Kilmeade, October 15, 2010



They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.' True story. And so the devil said, 'Ok it’s a deal.' And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another."

~Pat Robertson, January 13, 2010 (discussing the earthquake in Haiti)



“This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture, I don't know what it is.

~Glenn Beck, July 28, 2009



You know, people are poor in America, Steve, not because they lack money; they're poor because they lack values, morals, and ethics.

~Bill Cunningham, October 89, 2008



Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, "Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot."

~Mike Savage, July 16, 2008



“These self-obsessed women seemed genuinely unaware that 9/11 was an attack on our nation and acted as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them. The whole nation was wounded, all our lives reduced. But they believed the entire country was required to marinate in their exquisite personal agony. Apparently denouncing Bush was an important part of their closure process. These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.”

Ann Coulter, June 8, 2006 (regarding widows of 9/11 victims.)



“If gays are granted rights, next we'll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nailbiters.”

Anita Bryant, February 2, 2006



“Cindy Sheehan is a tragedy slut.”

~Glenn Beck, August 15, 2005



“It probably would be a lot cheaper to just exterminate male homosexuals.”

Paul Cameron, November, 1985

Monday, August 20, 2012

What a vile pool of subhuman scum!

First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work, or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.


Todd Akin, -R (MO)

Republicans are scum.

Oh, not surprisingly every Right-Wing Politician in the country right now is scrambling to distance themselves from these remarks?  But WHY?!  OK, I know WHY, but doing so is a dishonest attempt to try and hide the fact that this kind of ignorance is fundamental to their Anti-Choice political platform!

What's more, this is just the latest in a long line of vile, venomous lies told about women, gays, transfolk, immigrants, Muslims, Jews, atheists, liberals, the poor, unions, teachers, scientists, etc... They are lying, ignorant scum and these comments are far from out of the norm.


And besides... Why back off of these comments, but not ones suggesting that...:
1) Gays are pedophiles?
2) Transgendrism is merely a sexual fetish?
3) Poor people without health care deserve their poverty
4) That there mustn't be any real poverty in this country, since we have poor people who are fat?
5) Autistic children are just faking it?
6) In a disaster Black "loot" while Whites "scavenge?"
7) Earthquake and Flood victims are being punished by God?
8) AIDS is punishment for being Gay?
9) Islam is not a Religion, and that it shouldn't be protected under the First Ammendment?

Obviously, I could on and on. And it's statements like these, and the fact that they are NOT anomalous, but in fact FUNDAMENTAL to Conservative thynking, that are the reason I'm Liberal! And any media stroy that suggests these comments come from merely the frings of the Right-Wing reveal only their own systematic Right-Wing bias and an allergy to acknowledging simple reality.

And what's the Liberal Equivalent of this? Boycotting Chik-Fil-E because they donate money to hate groups? Refusing to allow their Corporate Sponsorhip to use OUR MONEY to pay the salaries of teh likes of Mike Savage and Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh?! Give me a break! The Right whines about Christians being "persecuted" when the extent of their "persecution" is that THINKING PEOPLE are no longer willing to give them cart-blanche to LEGALLY PERSECUTE EVERYONE ELSE! And it's about damned time as well! Akin's comment should be hung around the necks of EVERY REPUBLICAN, seeing as how they all want to outlaw all abortions.
This comment SHOULD be the END of the pro-life movement as a political force. It WON'T be, because there is not shortage of COMPLETE FUCKING MORONS in this country who keep voting for these Right-Wing Shitstains.

But it still SHOULD be. Because it reveals the ignorance that permeates the entirety of the Right Wing in this country, on each and every issue.

The only thing "unusual" about these comments is the rarity in which we get a Republican to actually tell the truth about what their Party, Platform and Philosophy believe and stand for.

Scum like Todd Akin are unfit for Public Service. And it is not enough to redeem yourself [Republicans] by distancing yourselves from these COMMENTS. You must distance yourself from the PLATFORM these comments come from and support.

IOW: You have to stop being Republicans.

Every single one of these scumbags should be removed from office. Each and every last one of them. They have nothing to offer anyone on any issue.


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...And to THINK that I almost felt bad for killing this asshole off!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

LOL... I love this guy!

Please read, try and comment!

I took one of those "political quizzes" today, that purported to tell me who I should vote for.  It was pretty comprehensive for something that was still relatively quick and simple, and it allowed for a weight of the issues in terms of their importance to you.  Some of the questions did use the Conservative framing, but overall I felt it did a pretty good job. 

I'd really like you all take take a few minutes and take the quiz and then report back with your results.  Here are mine:

I side with...
Jill Stein, 98%
Barack Obama, 94%
Stewart Alexander, 84%
Gary Johnson, 66%
Jimmy McMillan, 39%
Ron Paul, 36%
Virgil Goode, 17%
Mitt Romney, 3%

In addition, I agree with 60% of Michigan Voters (my home state) and 61% of American Voters.

Also, I side with the Democrats 99%, Greens 95%, Libertarians 53% and Republicans 3% of the time.

A couple of observations...

1) I was surprised that I was so aligned with President Obama. I knew it would be strong, but I was shocked it was that strong.  Of course, my disagreements with the President have far more to do with strategy and "leadership" style (IOW: that he's the physical embodiment of compromise) than with actual policies or positions, so I guess I really shouldn't have been too surprised.

2) I was shocked that Romney was only 3%. Really. Again, I KNEW it would be low, by 3%?! Really?! This guy has historically been (along with McCain) one of the few Republicasn I didn't venomously despise on a deeply emotional, spiritual and philosophical level. So... 3%? What would Rick Santorum have been? -5%?! Is that even possisble?!

3) The fact that I agree with Libertarians 53% of the time, and with Republicans just 3% of the time, pretty much sums up everything that's wrong with the Republicans.

4) Who the hell is Jill Stein?! Well, I looked her up and let me tell you: She is one incredible woman! Reading her story, about some of her activism, the fact that she's a physician from Massachusetts, all on top of the fact that she appears to be my hand-picked candidate? Well, I can certainly understand why that the case.  She's amazing. A force of nature. That being said? If we end up with a President Mitt Romney who wins the decisive State with a margin of victory less than the number of votes she gets? I will personally track her down and beat her to death.  (And I still say, "Fuck you, Nader!")

5) The fact that I agree with the Democrats 99% of the time and AMERICA 61% of the time, can someone please explain to me how the Democrats don't have a 60% to 40% Majority in the House?! Kind of ass-rapes the idea that theirs a Liberal bias in the media, no? (Or that out "representative democracy" does anything but a piss-shit poor job of it!) (And that, as Fox and the Right claim, Obama is "defying gravity" with his polling numbers. Nope. You assholes are just THAT out of touch.)

So while Jill Stein (98%) might be my candidate, I think 94% is good enough considering that we're talking about someone with more than a snowball's chance in hell of carrying even a single state.

My vote is settled!

So please: TAKE THE QUIZ

And PLEASE post here with your results. I'm really curious to see how everyone shakes out!

Oh, and don't miss it: Some of the sections have a "click here for more questions" link. MAKE SURE YOU DO THAT, and that the ENTIRE QUIZ. (Seriously, it's only like 5 minutes long.)

PLEASE? THANKS!



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Three Bizarre Emails...

I've recently received some emails recently that I'd like to share with you.
The first one, from a few days back, had the subject line:

FW: THESE PEOPLE ARE FLAT OUT EVIL
Obnoxious ALL-CAPS and everything. The body had only one line:

Emails: Treasury drove cutoff of non-union Delphi workers’ pensions---can anyone say “Adolph”?
And it looks like another line was added along the way, saying "There a lot of truth here."  Because apparently Hitler wanted to get rid of Jewish pensions. Who knew?  The rest was cut and pasted (and ridiculously highlighted, by "a conservative friend") from a Brietbart.com article:
http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/07/emails-geithner-treasury-drove-cutoff-of-non-union-delphi-workers-pensions/

(How has litefart.com NOT gotten a brown-star award yet?!)
Now, check out the article. It very long on insinuation.  Do you know what it's lacking in? That would be excerpts from E-MAILS showing how GEITNER DROVE THE CUTOFF OF NON UNION WORKERS AT DELPHI!
Now don't get me wrong: I'm not suggesting it didn't happen. I have no idea. Thing is? Even after reviewing all these emails? Apparently neither does Matthew Boyle.  This is Right-Wing Yellow Journalism at its finest.  Make a lot of insinuations, supported by your assertions that this is not how things are supposed to be, and then throw it all under a "smoking gun" headline, before you even have a body.
And this isn't just me being a liberal. Because this was the kind of thing that used to piss me off when an amateurish (and ostensibly liberal) writer would try to do the same thing during the Bush administration.  I'd see some post that said "BUSH'S SMOKING GUN" or some such sensationalist thing, and as a loud and proud Bush-hater, I'd click and look forward to seeing what would finally bring that red-neck DOWN.
And I'd inevitably be disappointed, finding no more than insinuation and the same old complaints that we've ALL had for YEARS.  The Brietbart piece does the same thing.  The DIFFERENCE is that Liberals don't tend to engage in that sort of thing as often, probably because we're not so easily impressed (and led) by someone re-hashing the same old insinuation we've been making for YEARS. It's nice to have your political and philosophical ego stroke, but we want PROOF, damnit! The Right is happy enough with the stroking, apparently
BTW... Republican have been trying to eliminate public sector and union pensions for YEARS.  Why is it suddenly "ADOLF" territory when it happens to some non-union folks?  I mean... I don't want to see ANYONE loose their pension.  But if anyone is on record going after PENSIONS, it's far and away the Republicans! (But then... their basic understanding of hypocrisy is, "IOKIYAR.")
The Second e-mail I'd like to share, form earlier today, had the subject line:

It's a Miracle! MUST SEE... ONE AMAZING MAN...BARACK OBAMA!
Well, then: Let's see it! The body just said:

Do NOT miss this one! It IS all a "MIRACLE"!! 6 minutes!!
And followed with a link to a YouTube video. And apparently the LENGTH of the video is every bit as exciting as it's contents. LOL. I PROMISE you that I will never email you about something I've written and end it by saying:

654 words!!
It's from "Afterburner" with Bill Whittle. And it's yet another patently obtuse misrepresentation of Obama pointing out that successful businesses are not built by a single person acting on their own, in a vacuum.

A few interesting statements...  First [Whittle] described the US economy as "5% of the World's Population producing 20% of it's GDP, largely through the efforts of small business men and women..."

You know, like Microsoft. Or Exxon Mobil. Of that famous mom-and-pop operation Google. Or that "small business" social networking site, Facebook.  There no doubt that small firms (less than 500 people) employ just under half of the workers in this country. So I'm not dissing them. But he used the benchmakr of "20% f the World's GDP." On that basis, if this guy thinks we're number one in the world because of the Corner Coney Shops and NOT because of General Motors or General Electrics or Disney or Delta Airlines of the world? He's a damned fool.

He then shows Obama making his famous "You didn't get [successful] on your own" quote, which they LOVE to distort, but rarely provide context to. He provides... very little. And the goes on to ask "What do you say to that?"

Well, I SAY, "Damned strait!"  The president, at the time, went on to explain (in the part that Whittle cuts out, BTW) that most of tease people were educated in the PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM. (You know: That thing the Right keeps trying to get rid of?) That they depend on POLICE and FIRE FIGHTERS to protect the home, assets and personal safety.  And that they depend on the ROADS and INFRASTRUCTURE that the Government built and maintains.  Now, at no point did the President say that "being smart" or "working hard" wasn't necessary or to your credit. Oh, it's implied that he did. But he never said it.  Those things are still necessary. The thing is? SO IS THE GOVERNMENT AND THE SERVICES THEY PROVIDE!

And what's more, let put politics aside for the moment. Is anyone really so naive as to think you can build a business on good ideas an hard work and nothing else?  Obama was even more right than he knew. Because every successful business person had OTHER PEOPLE that they needed to help and support them. Creditors and Investors, up front. Most had Partners and Angels along the way. Suppliers and a Labor Force to create the product. And CUSTOMERS to consume it!  You know, CUSTOMERS? Who themselves have to have a source of income, be it from the Government, or a Union Contract, or even *gasp* a Salary that some OTHER "successful person" had to pay them, not to mention that they probably had to DRIVE ON A FUCKING ROAD to get to your business!

There is no ONE PERSON that makes a business successful. None. Ever. That's a myth. It's dangerous hero worship.

It actually a myth that these successful people want the rest of us to believe so that we won't unionize. We won't demand better pay and benefits. We won't elect a government that will regulate them, or prevent malfiesence, or tax them fairly.  And they don't care in the least that this benefit for them comes at the cost of economic opportunity and security for everyone else.  (Even though they should, becuase LOSING that security jeopardizes THEIR OWN business interests! But then, no one ever accused the Right of having long-term vision.)

He then goes on to accuse the PRESS of :"criminal negligence" in not fact-checking the story.  (Obama's speech that is, not this clown's diatribe.) And follows with the same tired trope of trying to paint this frustratingly right-of-center President as a Socialist, buy tying to tie other people who they accuse of being socialist and Marxists. (Some admitedly are, to some extent, and many are not.) There more, but it's a lot of crap. Just the same bullshit that gets dressed up because the idiot spouting it happens to be wearing a suit.

Finally, I want to share what I think was by far the most truthful and genuine email I received this week:

It was form "Consuelo Fodor" and the subject line read (SIC):
Can I come over to your life?))

It continued (SIC):
You have not got any imagination what cool girl is all about if you have not relaxed in my company!

Name of mine is Consuelo and I'm so cool!
Ur personal page became my mouth water and so I decided to write you a letter and talk to u.

I wanna know more about you and maybe we could become friends, lovers or maybe even create some serious relations.

Information about me: I am 24 years old and I work as a seller in insurance company. I'm a brown haired and got first size of breasts. 
What can you tell me about u?

LOL. I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. At least there's no Republican propaganda in it!

All I can say about it is: YES, it's a legit email, copied and pasted exactly as I received it. NO, I have no idea where it came from, particularly because it was not receive in niceguy9418@usa.com, which I use on MANY websites (Other Blogs, MMFA, HuffPo, Porn sites...) to set up accounts as "Niceguy Eddie." THIS ONE was received in my personal email's in-box - the one I only use for E-MAIL.

Also, I'm not sure what the "first size" of breast is, but if you put the sizes in order, I can only conclude that they would either non-existent or grotesquely HUGE.  I feel like writing back and saying,

Your seeming like nice girl, but sadly I am man that preferring third or even fourth size of breast. Also English is understanding: So I need it translating more!


What's the truth? Do the reaserch folks. Don't take my word for it, but for fuck's sake don't take theirs!

Well, he's lost my vote!

Not that I was ever going to vote for Mitt Romney anyway, but with the announcement of Paul Ryan as his running mate, I almost think that Romney has thrown in the towel.  Ryan, of course is most famous for pushing an austerity budget that would send in this country into economic ruin, while giving more tax cuts to the rich than Bush & Cheney ever dared to dream, all while, duh-da-daaaaa... ADDING to the deficit, according to the CBO.

Well done, Mitt.  Way to continue the Republican tradition of picking goofball VP's: Spiro Agnew, Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin, and now Paul Ryan.

BTW...

If you ever hear a politician - of any party - tell you they that they're going to boost the economy AND lower the deficit, DO NOT VOTE FOR THEM. Seriously. They are lying to you. And I don't mean in the way that MOST politicians lie, while is more akin to exaggeration.  This is more like making a New Year's Resolution to both LOSE Weight AND GAIN Weight at the same time.

Quick refresher on fiscal policy:

While they can do each of these in a variety of fancifully named ways, the Government can only take two actions to shrink a deficit:

1) RAISE TAXES
2) CUT SPENDING

That's IT. And BOTH, will harm the economy.

The Government can only take two actions to boost the economy:

1) CUT TAXES
2) INCREASE SPENDING

That's IT. And BOTH, will add to the deficit.

Now the difference between the Left and Right boils down to a "debate" over which has the greater effect.  Which the Right has about as much of a leg to stand on as they do in the "debate" about Evolution, or the "debate" about Global Warming. But that's not even important! Because the difference between a person of average intelligence and a complete fucking moron?

Is realizing that you can't go in two directions at the same time!

AT BEST, if Keynes was WRONG, cutting both or increasing both, would just cancel each other out, right?  Deficit neutral, no effect on the economy one way or the other. So here's a test: Go find the most Conservative (in case you think this is just a Liberal thing) Economics professor you can find and ask them about the "balanced budget multiplier."

S/He'll tell you it's "positive 1."

Ask them to explain that.

They'll explain that if you raise taxes and raise spending (in unison) by "X" you will raise the collective income of the Country by "X", while if you lower taxes and lower spending (in unison) by "X" you will lower the collective income of the Country by "X.  Now that's from the Keynes MODEL, but it as undeniable as gravity. The fact is that austerity has precisely NO historical precedent IN ANY COUNTRY, EVER, of bringing about economic prosperity.

None. Zilch. Nada. Dick.

And either Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney KNOW this, and their telling the mother-whopper of all lies, insulting YOU in the process by assuming you have have NO FUCKING IDEA how a market economy functions. (Which in America, is a sadly SAFE bet, but it's every bit as insulting, even if you don't know it.) Or WORSE?

The don't know either.

And that, to me? Is the far more terrifying prospect. That these great buffoons are so out of touch with the needs of the country they are meant to govern, and so ignorant of the mechanisms governing the economy that they will be responsiable for, that they actually think that their bullshit ideas are going to work!  And in all seriousness folks, a person who doesn't understand these basic, simple concepts? SHOULD NOT be placed in charge of the biggest economy in the history of the world.

I've always said that Conservatives only come in two flavors, EVIL and STUPID. One's LYIN' and the other's BUYIN'.  By I had always assumed that it would at least be the LIARS leading the way, which is merely frustrating. Having the BUYERS lead? It downright terrifying.

So I'm going to refer back to a pearl of wisdom that Governor Romney gave us, back on the 2008 campaign trail. The issue of the day was [health care] but you could put almost anything of importance (like the economy or the budget?) into that variable, and I think both HIS point, and MINE will still stand:

"I don't want the people who managed the response to Hurricane Katrina managing [my health care]!"


~Mitt Romney, 2008

"Good point, Mitt! I don't want the Republicans managing [my health care] either!"


~Niceguy Eddie, 2008, 2012.

For the love of God, please vote for the guy who had the slightest, even the very slightest idea what's he's doing!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Gold Star Awards, August, 2012

Wow. Gold Star's in the fist week of the correct month? When was the last time that happened?

1978: Just two. One from the BWAA and one from the Vet's.


The EDDIE MATHEWS Gold Star #54: Crash Course!

Time to go to school!  OK... so it's remedial history and science mostly, but sadly there is such a high percentage of the population (around 45.7% of us, IIRC, the last time it was officially measured, back in November of 2008.)  Anyway, each of these videos is a Crash Course (duh!) in various topics, presenting some information you should already know, and quite a bit more that you should.  I was first drawn to this channel by his video on Islam, but he covers a wide variety of topics that most people will find interesting, in a way that most will also find entertaining. (Granted, he's no Potholer54, but he gets by!) Check it out!


The ADDIE JOSS Silver Star #53: The Poetry of Darkling Plain

Admittedly I am not a huge reader or connoisseur of poetry. (Or prose, if you've read Utopia.)  And to be fair, if I did not lend a hand in creating this particular blog, I probably would never have discovered it on my own. (My contribution was purely technical, BTW, not one bit on the creative side!)  Anyway, while doing this for her, I took the opportunity to READ the works (in most cases for the first time) and was truly struck by the power of her art. So I wanted to share her work with the most intelligent readers I know.

(You guys, for having the good taste to come here, of course!)

Monday, July 30, 2012

A few more...

Sorry, guys. I had so much fun with the last post, that I would like to share a few more pieces from my collection...

This was my Grandfather's Club:


He was a Cop from the late 1940's to the early 1980's.  In that time he never once fired his gun.  The CLUB, however, as you can see, DID see a bit of use:


(Holy crap!) He passed away back in 1993, and this family heirloom came into my possession around that time. My mother actually had it prior to that, but figured I'd probably appreciate it more. (Also, if you're keeping score, it is precisely 1 foot long, but I have no idea what kind of wood it is.)

This was a college graduation present from DW:


It's a four foot long poleaxe called a "bardiche." It's purely ornamental.  Sure: it would still suck to get HIT by it, but it is in no condition to be used for it's intended purpose of cutting people's heads off.

Finally, this is a piece that I got as a souvenir from our honeymoon in Arizona:



It's a tourist piece, of course, purely ornamental. But it's hand-painted, with some pretty intricate beadwork of turquoise and bone.  It caught my eye anyway.  It is functional in one way, BTW... Not as a tomahawk, mind you - I couldn't scalp anyone, or fight with it - but it is a completely functional peace-pipe.

So the day the legalize marijuana? This little baby MIGHT finally see some action!

KNIVES?!

So... In an earlier post, when I mentioned "more elegant" weapons, William seemed to imply that I would bring a knife to a gun fight.  Well... I wouldn't quite do that. (Although Mythbusters DID  show that your odds aren't nearly as bad as you'd think they are, especially within 16 feet. (And there aren't too many rooms in my house much bigger than that!)  But no, I was not referring to knives.

(Nor "lightsabers," for you all you huge nerds who actually picked up on the reference!)

I was, however, referring to SWORDS. (Which is why I did not add, "from a more civilised age," in case any of the nerds were wondering about that!)  We have several, mostly ornamental, but some functional as well. My personal favorites are these:


For scale, the blade on the Main-Gauche (Parrying Dagger) is just a hair over 12" long and very sharp. (As sharp as any of the chef's knives in my kitchen upstairs.) The Sword has about a 27" blade, Spring Steel, full tang and while not particularly sharp CAN cut you. (I have cut myself with it, just once, while assing around.)  I'm am NOT trained to use them however, I simply have an interest in medieval weapons, and used to collect them.

My WIFE, OTOH, IS trained (currently to the Brown Belt equivalent level) to use HERS:


That sword? Is a 28" forged (not folded) Katana. (She's holding it off of the duvet because of the oil that's on it.)  And it's fucking razor-sharp. Scary sharp. Keep it securely locked in a rifle case sharp. In fact, neither of our two kids have ever seen it or know she has it.  And...? That's not even her GOOD Sword!  Her "good sword" was her 40th birthday present, and is still a month or two away from arriving. It's a folded Katana and it makes this once look like an envelope-opener.

Now I just put these pics up as a bit of fun. I'm not suggesting that our house is secure against some gun-wielding, home-invading psychopath simply because we happen to own a few conveniently-shaped pieces of steel. In any case, the only time I've ever had reason to use mine was one night when my dog came in, all torn up by something. Well, not having a GUN to grab to go looking for it, I grabbed what I had. Because, as my yard is fenced in, there was a chance that whatever attacked her was still out there. And I wasn't going out empty-handed, but as it was? I liked my odds.  Now, against a GUNMAN? Yeah... No thanks. I've seen Kagemusha, and I know full well how that match-up usually ends!

The thing is? A gun does not really increase your chances of survival all that much (if at all) in that situation either.  Bottom line: If you really don't want to get shot? Flee. Or otherwise, whatever you do, DO NOT confront the guy with the gun.

(And yeah, even having said that, I'd probably still confront the guy and get my dumb ass shot for my trouble.)

Also... DW would like me to add that these make us BOTH "pro-gun" folks, because once they come for the guns, the swords will be next!  (And in many paces they already have: Nunchaku, for example, are illegal in New York, for example; and her sword is completely illegal in England, excepting that she is a trained practitioner of Iaido. But she would still have to license it, and herself, to avoid legal issues.)

Gold Star Awards, July, 2012

MADE IT! July's awards will be out on time! (Hey, what can I say? It's the small things!)

The year is 1977 - One BWAA Gold and two Silver's from the Veteran's Committee:


The ERNIE BANKS Gold Star #54: Unnatural Acts That Can Improve Your Thinking

This blog belongs to my all-time online hero, Professor Bob Carroll, author of the [Gold Star Winner] Skeptic's Dictionary and the newly release book Unnatural Acts (which I highly recommend).  This is a sort of platform to highlight and expand on some of the topics in the book, and allow for some discussion on them, questions, examples, etc... It a great supplement to both Skepdic and Unnatural Acts, and I look forward to, well... Pretty mush ANYTHING Professor Carroll does!  So check it out!


The AMOS RUSIE Silver Star #51: This Commercial Sucks!

Are you sick of our way too materialistic culture? How about the fact that Madison Avenue seems to keep making commercials that would be great satire, except that they are intended to be taken in earnest?!  Well, If you've ever seen a Television commercial and thought, "Why is there one black guy going camping with three white guys?" or doubted that Fast Food could really taste THAT GOOD or are just tired of the man on TV talking down to you as if some gadget was all that was standing between you and happiness, then this site if for you.  Funny as hell, skewering commercials both historical and contemporary and (sadly) showing that we haven't come all that far in the process.  Well put together, well written. Check it out!


The JOE SEWELL Silver Star #52: Awesome People Hanging Out Together

Pretty much just what it says!  These tumblr is a beautiful collection of photographs taken over the past half century or so of... well, awesome people hanging out together!  Mostly candid shots of actors, athletes, politicians, philanthropists, captains of industry, artists, authors, directors and other luminaries in their more human moments.  It's impossible for me to pick a favorite, but here's one of Bob Dylan and Muhammad Ali to give you an idea...
So check it out!  Some really great images there, of some truly awesome people.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Aurora Politics

This was written over several days, due mainly to time limitations but this also allowed a little time to pass, which is a good thing in this case.

I'd like to put up some recent comments, some postings I've read, and some some of my own opinions regarding gun control issues, and how these may or may not relate back to deadly shooting in Aurora over the weekend, and contrast these with another deadly shooting, one that hits a lot closer to home for me: the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech.

I'm going to start with the reason I'm even posting ANYTHING about this, the second paragraph of William's comments in the original Aurora thread. To be fair, he DID post the whole "thoughts and prayers" sentiment, but the second half of his comments were bound to lead to more contentious discussion. (Hey: It's WILLIAM.) And I didn't want that thread turning into a flame-war, so to speak.  So, here they are:

However I'm sure this will be used by the anti-gun groups to call for removal of the 1st amendment. I just wish there was an easier way to take mentally ill people off the streets sooner rather than being forced to wait until after they commit horrendous crimes. The stories are he was planning this for months. If only there was a way of profiling the criminally mentally ill. But, alas, that would be criminal in its own. So we must wait until the nut-cases kill multitudes of innocent people before any actions are taken. Then the punishment will be limited for fear of 'cruelty' to the guilty. What a great system we have. We deny the authority's the ability to lock up guilty people until AFTER they commit horrendous crimes, then blame the authorities for not acting sooner, then deny the authorities a viable punishment worthy of the crime.
There are some good (debatable) points buried in there but first, let's have some fun with our resident Right-Wing Punching Bag, shall we?

First of all, the anti-gun lobby has never 'called for the removal of the FIRST Amendment.' Not even in Rush Limbaugh's wettest fever dreams.  I assume you meant the SECOND Amendment.

Second... "I just wish there was an easier way to take mentally ill people off the streets sooner rather than being forced to wait until after they commit horrendous crimes."  Couple things here... So... You advocate LOCKING PEOPLE UP, who HAVE NOT, in fact, committed any crimes?  Also, the obvious Nazism and Fascism of that statement notwithstanding, your bigotry and ignorance regarding mental illness is truly astounding. I have many friends and family members who have death with or are dealing with varying degrees of mental illness, running the gamut from mild depression up to attempted suicide to having had at least episode of a full, psychotic break from reality. Guess what? With therapy and medication, I am happy to say that they are ALL leading happy, productive and independent lives.  Why you think they should be LOCKED UP, simply because their brains (an organ, just like any other than can go bad on you) is slightly more likely to go bad than yours or mine, is beyond me. You complain that I stereotype conservatives, and the you go and say something WORSE than anything I've ascribed to them.  Was this, perhaps, carelessness on your part, or are you really that big a dick

(And if you're suggesting that forced hospitalization is somehow better than jail, I will refer you to Gov. Ronald W. Reagan's signing of the the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act in 1967, which went into effect in 1969 and quickly became the national model for dealing with the mentally ill and their rights.)

Moving on...
"What a great system we have. We deny the authority's the ability to lock up guilty people until AFTER they commit horrendous crimes, then blame the authorities for not acting sooner, then deny the authorities a viable punishment worthy of the crime."
REALLY?!  Again, you suggest that we should  "lock up guilty people" before they commit crimes.  Um... If they haven't committed a crime (as Holmes had not) then what are the "guilty" of? And on what basis should we "lock them up?" Are you TRYING to make Conservatives look ad? I thoiught that was MY job! Also - WHO'S "blaming the authorities for not acting sooner" here? Um... That would be NO ONE. Holmes had no record, and purchased his guns legally. And how have we "den[ied] the authorities a viable punishment?"  Colorado allows the Death Penalty, for better or worse. (And that's mighty Christian of you, to want this man killed, BTW. I'm sure Jesus would be very proud and feel the same way.) In any case, do you seriously believe that this man will ever be free again? Do you have any doubt that, if convicted (and how could he not be?), he will at least receive Life without possibility of parole?  And he's already torpedoed his own "insanity" defense with the efforts at his apartment to cover his tracks and destroy evidence.

We'll see how it plays out. Any less that Life Without, and I'll buy you a Coke.

OK.  That's enough of that from me. (But feel free to join the pile on, if you wish.)  There IS the question of how the "anti-gun" lobby will use this to further their agenda.  And, yes, there is no doubt they will.  I saw as much after Virgina Tech.  And while this is both wrong and misguided, I'll have to say that it shows infinitely more wisdom that the propaganda spread by the NRA and the rest of the Pro-Gun lobby, suggesting that IF ONLY there had been at least ONE PERSON in that theatre (or those classrooms) with a GUN, all this could have been avoided!

...Which, of course, is completely idiotic.

Consider for a moment the best case scenario: One other guy in the theatre with a gun, and the presence of mind to use it before the tear gas gets to him.This great patriot would still be shooting at Holmes in the dark, in a theatre PACKED full of panicking people.

Yeah, I’m sure that would work out exactly as he’d envisioned it.

Then consider the ultimate Right-Wing wet dream of MANY armed people being in that crowd! Between the noise and the chaos and the crowd and the darkness and the tear gas, and MULTIPLE SHOOTERS… how would you even know who to shoot?! How would you still know who the ‘bad guy’ was?! The answer, of course, is that you wouldn’t, and the only possible outcomes of adding MORE GUNS to an inherently chaotic situation would be that MORE PEOPLE will die. Controlled, well-executed combat under those circumstances is something that out military and police forces train intensely for. It is not something your average dirty-Harry wanna-be is prepared for. Like most Right-Wing opinions, it makes for an interesting fantasy, but completely ignore reality.

But there some political symmetry here, no? I mean… If the right is going to say “I told you so,” even idiotically, the Left will no doubt do the same, right? And no doubt, true to form, they have. But, as with most situations of (bogus) political symmetry, the Left’s “insanity,” the Left’s “assault on our freedom,” isn’t so easily debunked. MMFA recently ran a piece in the wake of Aurora showing what those “gun hating Liberals” are proposing, which have overwhelming public support:

(For the record, you may consider me a supported of ALL of these measures as well.)
• 86 percent support requiring all gun buyers to pass a criminal background check, no matter where they purchase the weapon or from whom they buy it. (January 2011 American ViewPoint/Momentum Analysis poll)

• 63 percent favor a ban on high capacity magazines or clips. (January 2011 CBS News poll)

• 69 percent support "limiting the number of guns a person could purchase in a given time frame." (April 2012 Ipsos/Reuters poll)

• 66 percent support requiring gun owners to register their firearms as part of a national gun registry. (January 2011 American ViewPoint/Momentum Analysis poll)

• 88 percent support banning those on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns. (January 2011 American ViewPoint/Momentum Analysis poll)

Now the background check / terror watch list stuff does not apply here. I’m a bigger criminal than Holmes was. (I have more than one speeding ticket to my name.) It would have prevented Seung Hui Cho from getting his guns… But then, that law was already on the books, and was ineffective because the multiple background databases don’t overlap or communicate with each other. The magazine capacity limit… Really would not have changed much – it doesn’t take that long to re-load an AR-15 with a new magazine. OTOH… Who really NEEDS that much ammunition at once? What the hell are going to DO with that kind of destructive capacity that WOULDN’T be illegal?! And while the National Gun Registry wouldn’t matter much in the case of most spree shooters (and would not have dissuaded Holmes) it would remain an invaluable too to law enforcement, to be forewarned and forearmed going into a situation where this knowledge might dictate their approach. It would also help the FBI profile the kinds of people who might be likely to commit crimes like this. You know: Kind of like William was suggesting we do, only without actually taking away people’s freedom.

The other item that I wanted to bring up was the recent expired Assault Weapons Ban. It’s been widely bandied about that the AWB may have prevented this. Um… No, not really. “Assauolt Weapons” were defined having either (1) a bayonet attachment lug, (2) a collapsible stock or (3) a flash suppressor. Now, I don’t know if Holmes’ particular AR-15 had ANY of these features, but if even if it DID, he could have simply acquired an AR-15 that DIDN’T and the lack of these would not have saved even a single life in Aurora. (Unless he bayoneted someone that I’m not aware of.)

But back to the Gun registry, and the fear that this will be the first step to disarming the populace…

Are the Democrats “coming for your guns?"

No. They aren’t.

Moron.

That’s a NRA propaganda-fueled fantasy. Unfortunately, the NRA is such a powerful lobby that ALL politicians have been emasculated to the point that none will propose even one of the very moderate proposals listed above, despite that fact that enjoy such broad public support, even amongst registered Republicans!

Can anyone “take away” your guns? Not without amending the U.S. Constitution, or five new justices on the Supreme Court who are not only gun-phobic, but precedent-phobic as well. (And to date, it is really only the Right Wing judges who have shown such a breathtaking willingness to break precedent.

Anyway… Those are the facts, as I see them. As for my OPINION…?

Well, regarding the LAW, I support the second amendment, and I believe that people should have the right to own guns. I would support reinstating the AWB, as described above, and I support all of the measures mentioned in the MMFA article. These are all basic, common sense safety measures that do not curtail anyone’s freedom in the least. What I DO NOT support is any legal measure aimed at ACTUALLY taking peoples’ guns away or limiting their access in acquiring them. (Criminals and some of the Mentally Ill excepted, of course, as common sense dictates.) My reasoning is simple: If a gun registry and system of background checks have any inherent value, then it is too important to risk people skipping those steps if the State decides it going to play games by issuing only so many licenses, or tries to actually stop people from buying what they way. If a person wants a gun for protection, and the State says, “Sorry, we’re not issuing any more licenses this year,” (which various municipalities in Massachusetts have been know to do,) the SOME OF these people are just going to buy a gun of the street. An unregistered gun. An unlicensed gun. A gun that may have been involved in a crime. Who knows? NOBODY, because the State was stupid enough to pass a law that PUNISHES people for complying with it! (The same logic applies to the RIGHT’S idiotic stance on immigration, but let’s leave that for another time, OK?)

That’s how I view the issue LEGALLY. As for how I feel about GUNS THEMSELVES…?

I despise guns. They can be tremendous TOOLS. (In hunting, for example.) But as personal arms go, a gun is a coward’s weapon. A liar’s weapon. A weapon which makes it far too easy for us to kill, by taking away the WORK and the COMMITMENT to the act. Don't get me wrong - I recognize that this is a necessary tool for our Soldiers and Police Forces. (Because the people they face inevitably have them! Duh!) And despite my feelings about guns in general, and there essential uselessness in situations such as Aurora and Virgina Tech, not to mention the potential LEGAL issues surrounding their usage in more personal encounters (see Martin / Zimmerman) at the end of the day I will still zealously protect my right to own one.  While I hate guns, I love freedom. And I love the fact that the CHOICE to own a gun remains my own to make.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Terrorsim

Conchobhar: I've checked my email. Thank you for the article.

Normally I have a policy about talking politics relevant to a specific tragedy so soon after it happens. After the massacre at Virginia Tech (my alma matter) in 2007, my in-box was flooded with emails saying one of two things, either: "This is why EVERYONE should carry a gun, and the policy of no guns on campus is BULLSHIT!" (which is completely idiotic) to "This is why we need to ban handguns!" (which is equally idiotic.) (Note: There were precious few moderate emails calling for 'common sense' legislation that would have made a difference at Va-Tech because under Virginia State Law at the time, Sung Hui Cho SHOULD NOT have been able to acquire a firearm!) In any case the lesson that I took away from it was, "No, you're BOTH wrong! And THIS is why you don't politicize tragedy!"

A friend of mine, who's a lawyer, (and one who predicted ahead of time that Justice Roberts would be the deciding vote in UPHOLDING the Affordable Care Act no less!)(we all thought she was CRAZY for making that prediction) (we listen to her more carefully now! LOL) put it a different way: Tough cases make bad laws.

And that was why, even though I saw the article the same day [Conchobhar] sent it, it didn't read it and didn't comment on it.  BUT... I'll have to admit that this one is a little bit different. It's not overly political, in terms of pending, partisan legislation anyway, and it brings up an interesting question:

How do you define "terrorism?" 

Which an important question, because it's kind of like defining "pornography." (You can't quite  DEFINE it, but you know it when you see it!) And it IS a label that is often used self-centeredly but the media and politician with a certain agenda.  For example: I just could see the Fort Hood shooting as "terrorism." I don't know why, exactly, but for some reason that label just didn't seem right. (Question: Would they have called it terrorism if he'd been a Christian? Or was not or middle-eastern decent?)

And, for me anyway, the idea of "state sponsored terrorism" just seems to be a contradiction in terms. Like... "Moderate Republican" or "Biblical Scholar." See... From my POV any violence carried out on the orders of a Sovereign State are acts of WAR.  But that just my own opinion. That's not legally binding or anything. (Of Course.) But it's a CRITCIAL QUESTION, and one worth thinking about, because the answer can get you killed.

So... In the comments section, please let me know what YOU THINK a good, working definition of TERRORISM or an ACT OF TERRORISM is.  What defines it for you?

For my part...

1) There must be SOME FORM of agenda in play.  This excludes MOST random, psychotic, spree-shooters, although the jury is still out on this asshole in Colorado.

2) It must NOT be "state-sponsored."For me, that makes it an act of WAR.

3) If the targets are CIVILIAN, that helps clarify it. Which is not to say that MILITARY targets can't be victims of Terrorism, but other factors must be considered in those cases. I think this is why I didn't see Fort Hood as "terrorism," but I'll admit that I couldn't exactly argue WHY I felt this way. After all, terrorists attack Military targets ALL THE TIME.

4) I'd also like to see a weapon that goes beyond a mere handgun or even rifle. I'm not saying it HAS to be BOMB, per se... (no bombs were used on 9/11 after all!) but... IDK... A guy with a gun... once shot or apprehended? The threat is OVER. But a bomb goes off in a theatre? (Or planes are crashed into buildings?) That shit reverberates for a WHILE after the event.  The point here is this: Was John Muhammad more a terrorist or a serial killer?  And, more importanly, WHY do you feel that way?

And in the end it still all adds up to an issue of JUDGEMNENT. Subjective judgment.

So... I'm curious. What, in all y'all's minds, constitutes an acceptable definition of "terrorism?"

And also... How does the idea of "insanity" play into it? I didn't touch that, though it's a big theme in the article Conchobhar sent me, because I'll admit... I just don't know how to consider it? I have a hard time believe that ANYONE who would hurt or kill people for a cause - who aren't even involved in opposing said cause - cannot possibly be in their right mind.  But that's not even close to the CRIMINAL definition of "insanity," let alone a useful one for use in terror case.

So I'm curious: What does the word "terrorism" mean to you, and how do you define it?

NOTE: Please do not use this forum to discuss GUN CONTROL issues, or "What should have happened" in Colorado. I don't want to say that I will delete such comments, but I would appreciate not being put in that position!

Did you hear...?

Penn  State is taking down the statue of Joe Paterno that stood in front of the stadium.

At first I thought they were just getting rid of it, but apprently they're going to put it the Library, where it will serve as a reminder to keep quiet and not say anything.

Also... I seem to remeber a certain poster, can't quite remember which one, although he did have a penchant for missng the point and being argumentive, who's probably feeling like a great nitwit right about now. Or... at least he would be, were he capable of such introspection.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Colorado

Regrettably, I did not get a chance to post yesterday, but I heard the news throughout the day as the story unfolded.

My thoughts go out to the victims of yesterday's deadly shooting spree in Colorado and to their families.  I cannot imagine the anguish of having to bury one's child, and they have my deepest and most sincere condolences for their losses.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Please comment!

OK, not so sure how this will work, but...

I'm finally clearing out my in-box, and over the past few months I've gotten emails from both Willam and Conchobhar complaining that they've had trouble posting comments.

...And part of me would LOVE to say (in all its ironic glory) "So anyone having trouble, please leave a comment and let me know!"

Hardy-har-har.

I'd still like to test the system though so, if you could, if you're reading this, would you PLEASE leave a simple comment on this thread ("hi" would work just fine) letting me know that you STILL CAN.  And if you CAN'T (and would like to let me know this) please email me at niceguy9418@usa.com, if you're having trouble.

THANKS!

Religious Conservatism creates atheists...

Should I say, "big surprise" or "who knew"?

LOL

Thank you to my good friend Conchobhar for hooking me up with an article that, to paraphase his own words, "gave me a chuckle" (and some serious philosophical validation) and should give a certain Right-Wing, Conservative Religious commenter here "heartburn."

(Though I actually doubt it, since that particular person is always right, on every topic, regardless of the evidence. That's why Conservatism and Religion are such attractive philosophies: They mean never having to admit you're wrong!)

Anyway, here it is: http://www.irishcentral.com/story/ent/manhattan_diary/conservative-christians-creating-next-generation-of-atheists-and-agnostics-160940985.html

Great read!

Batman:Vengence of Bain

I didn't feel like typing this all out, so I just recorded it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

RTFLMAO

OK, I know I'm not shy about doling out the verbakl abuse; when it's called for, of course.

I do however possess the necessary humitily to recogniz emy own rank ameteruism when it's pointed out to me. And thatwas made clear when I found the following... (enjoy)




and here's 100 more...



Hey: When you're right? You're right.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A couple of great 'bad chemicals'

"No Time Like the Present"

"Maintaining Perspective"


"Feeling Patrotic"





Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gold Star Awards, June, 2012

Only four posts last month. That's what happens when work kicks up and you're travelling. (OK, fair enough: That's what happens when work kicks up and I'M travelling. Other people still manage to update their blogs on a regular basis!) And the first casualty of that, aside from spelling, grammar and the profundity of content, is the Monthly Gold Star Awards.  So here they are for June.  I'll have July's up... sometime in July. (Hopefully.)

1976, if you're still counting - 2 Golds and 2 Silvers...


The ROBIN ROBERTS Gold Star #52: Imagine2050

I came across this fairly recently. Great blog / news site, covering the stories that the so-called "liberal press" won't touch, with a focus on issues of race, immigration, cultural diversity and tolerance.

On their website, they describe themselves as: Activists, immigrants, artists and students who are invested in a future nation that embodies a multiracial democracy. By the year 2050, one out of five Americans will be foreign born. Latino and Asian communities will increase significantly. There will be no clear racial or ethnic majority.  We will become a nation of minorities. Today’s perceptions of foreignness will challenge how Americans identify themselves over the coming decades. In light of these challenges, Imagine 2050 is committed to igniting candid conversations around race, immigration, environment, and American identity.

Great and profound stuff.  Check them out!


The BOB LEMON Gold Star #53: Press Pass TV

Most of my regular readers are already of the opinion that the main stream media is useless and that journalism is a dying art.  Well, the work being done by this organization, teaching young people about the issues that go unreported on, and training them in the skills they'll need to present these issues, may just revive it. And that's a good thing. I'll let their own site speak for itself:

We work with Boston and Worcester area youth to produce short news segments that tackle underrepresented social justice issues and celebrates those organizations and individuals working to make their community a better place. Middle school, High school, and College age students engage in all aspects of production, from developing questions to editing video.
Our content is intended to promote civic awareness and action. We create curriculum around our segments to increase awareness, action and accountability. We also hold meetings to continue the discussion of issues raised in our work and support local campaigns for civic action by producing stories on their initiatives.

Recent psychological studies show that when people are exposed to others engaging in benevolent acts, they are more likely to do the same. At Press Pass TV, we operate on this principle and know that for real change to occur, people must regularly witness the amazing acts that others commit on a daily basis.


The Freddie Lindstrom Linoleum Star: Accuracy in Media

Just as Freddie Lindstrom does not belong in Baseball's Hall of Fame, the almost comically Orwellian named "Accuracy in Media" does not belong on anyone's list of honors. (Right-wing Jackasses notwithstanding.) But just as the Baseball Hall of Fame has the dubious distinction of honoring mediocre talents like Lindstrom, so do does this mediocre blog occasionally hand out a dubious honor to an outfit like AIM.  What can I say? A Liberal will prove you're wrong, while a Conservative will prove you're Liberal. 

(BTW... I wish I had though of reserving the Chick Hafey's and Lloyd Waner's and Highpocket's Kelly's of the world for the dogshit sites that I sometimes "highlight"back at the beginning. Unfortunately so good sites were linked to lousy players and some lousy sites were linked to good ones. Oh well.)


The Roger Connor Silver Star #50: Invisible Bread

This is a webcomic about every day humor.  Elegant in it's simplicity, it features just stick figures and smiley faces (like Political Symmetry, if it were in color) and yet still manages to convey emotion and depth and touch on all of the funny situation that we've had to deal with, or (thankfully) managed to avoid as well as soem truly abstract and absurdly off the wall stuff.  There a lot of college humor, about late night cram sessions, video games addiction and snack food, as well as awkward social and relationship material. Hey: It's funny. Read it! ;)

The Avengers

Did you see it? Good flic.

It's not exactly Kurosawa meets Shakespeare, mind you, but you'll never see more ass kicked in two and a half hours anywhere else!

I saw this on a buddy of mine's Facebook page. LOL

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wow.

Wow.

I just noticed that the 'Delusions of Grandeur' post is up to 311 comments.

And no: I haven't read them all yet.  But that's a record. And it's more than 100 comments more that the runner up.

Consinder the *ahem* profound  nature of that post, I find this to be downright hilarious.

Yeah: Wow.

Back from the road...

I’ve been out of town for the past two weeks.  First I was down in the Phoenix area on business, and then this past week (of the 4th) I was down in Fort Myers on Vacation.  And it’s THAT experience, or part of it, that I would like to share with you.  Because OMFG… the level of Right Wing indoctrination that I witnessed down there… Holy crap. It was downright CREEPY. I had no idea it was that bad ANYWHERE.
The first incident happened before we were even home from the airport. My mother is always good for some political “gems,” but it’s usually at least a DAY OR TWO before she really gets going. Not this time.  We’re driving home from the airport, talking about my sister, who happens to be an MD. Now, even at age 33, she’s still at the point in her career where she’s working 80-hour weeks and getting paid shit for it.  Oh: she’s done with her residency! Apparently, for Doctors, the fun continues LONG after that!  Anyway, my Mother tells me that she’s in the final year of her Fellowship, and FINALLY, next year she’ll be making some decent money…
“…Unless this Obamacare screws it all up.”
Now, I’ve mentioned this before: I don’t argue politics with my parents. There’s no point. They’re both completely indoctrinated, and they’re also pretty much top 2%’ers anyway, so… whatever works for you. (Plus if I did bother to argue politics with them, there would be little time left in the day for anything ELSE between the all the Fox News, RW Emails, Wall Street Journal, Phone Calls, bad Jokes etc… The cavalcade of RW Propaganda and misinformation pretty much never stops.)  But I’ll admit I was a little bit curious how she thought “Obamacare” was going to “screw everything up” for my sister in terms of “making decent money.”
Fortunately for me, I didn’t even have to ask. (When people have no idea how stupid what they’re saying truly is, they do tend to KEEP TALKING, you see!)
“They’re going to make these hospitals take three times as many patients, and the doctors won’t be able to spend ANY time with them at all!”
OK…
Putting aside that the lack of time Doctors have to spend with patients is an issue NOW, and is driven entirely by the need to MAKE MORE MONEY…
And even if I were to accept that “Obamacare,” (which, BTW, has become the go-to, RW catch-all for everything that’s wrong with our health care system, even though basically NONE of it has even been implemented yet) even if I were to accept that “Obamacare” would magically triple my sister’s patient load (she’s a cardiologist with a concentration in imaging, BTW), even were I to accept that everything she was saying about “Obamacare” was actually TRUE…
Can someone explain to me how a hospital with three times the patients coming in, with 99% of them now carrying health insurance mind you, makes LESS MONEY?
Think about that.
This just shows you how warped the Right-Wing Brain can get: The problem of having TOO MANY patients, 99% now insured – and I can’t stress that point enough – magically transmogrifies into a problem of REVENUE GENERATION.  I don’t care what you think of Obamacare, or where you fall on the Economic or Political spectrum, the fact is that there is not a business or industry on earth that can TRIPLE ITS CUSTOMER BASE and go from [whatever percentage is paying now] to almost EVERYONE paying, and LOSE MONEY.
And that ain’t a ‘Liberal talking point’: IT’S MATH.
And that’s before you even take into account that only about 20%, if that, of this our population currently goes without ANY form of coverage. How does increasing the insured population by about 20% TRIPLE any hospital’s case load? Especially that of a specialist! I don’t know how you can multiply “X” by 1.2 and get 3X, but then… that’s the conservative brain for you!
A couple of days later, I had the pleasure of attending the 4th of July Parade in Naples. (Florida, not Italy!)  Now granted… the last time I’ve been to a 4th of July Parade was in 1991, and I was IN the god damned thing! (1st Percussion.) So I know things have changed a bit in the last 20+ years, but this was a rather bizarre spectacle.
First of all… No marching bands. And that’s fine. It’s July. School’s out, and it’s a majority retiree population anyway, so no big surprise there. I get that. And yeah, they had the first trucks, and the sherrif’s dept., and the VFW, and the Shriners and the Boy and Girl Scouts…  All of the usual fair. Oh, and they had the National Guard firing blanks from a machine gun on the back of a jeep! That was pretty cool! But despite all that… I would say about eighty percent (4 out of 5 at least) of the vehicles were for POLITICIANS.  Senate this, State Representative that, Sherriff, Judge, Clerk, County Executive, District Attorney… TAX COLLECTOR, for Pete’s sake! TAX COLLECTOR!  Now… Like I said, it’s been 20+ years since I’d been to one of these, but I have NO MEMORY of ANY parade I’ve ever been to being politicized to the extent that everyone right down to the fucking Dog Catcher is driving his car in it, and handing out everything from baseball hats to balloons, to hand-fans to fridge magnets, saying “Vote for Dick Sellout – Sewage Manager!”
At what point does the Right’s co-opting of our National Pride and Patriotism become… I don’t know… tacky, even to their fellow flag-fellaters-wavers?
And it probably goes without saying, but with only a SINGLE EXCEPTION, every one of these mobile Political billboards in this Independence-Day-parade-for-the-1%’ers was for a REPUBLICAN. OK, TWO Exceptions. There was ONE Libertarian, who’s brochure I’d like to share with you all in a later post because I’m hard pressed to see the difference between HIS platform and that of the GOP. And let’s face it: The GOP treats their Libertarian wing about as well as the Democrats threat their Liberal wing. So you’d think if the guy was going to go “Independent” he’d be offering at least SOMETHING different!
The other exception was not for any particular candidate, but there was a car for the “Collier County Democratic Party.”  It was a car followed by people hold signed reading “Alternative Energy,” “Worker’s Rights,” “Equality,” “No Unnecessary Wars,” and other basically common sense stuff. Nothing particularly controversial, that I can remember. (No Pro-Choice signs, for example.)
They were BOOED.  My father actually started it, I’m rather ashamed to say, and the crowd immediately joined in.
Because, yeah: Who’s wants clean energy anyway? It's 100+ degrees for a week strait in Michigan, but no: There’s no global warming going. Worker’s rights? Fuck ‘em. If they want rights, they should get rich or die trying, right?  It’s pretty sickening that a group that isn’t even presenting a CANDIDATE can say “We’re for equality” and get BOOED.  The rest of Florida must be very different from these folks, because if it were all like the Naples-Fort Myers Area, I don’t think Al Gore would have gotten a single vote in 2000, let alone win the State. (Which we all know he did!) And Florida’s been in play for the last five or six elections or thereabouts.  Not in Naples though, apparently.
Whatever. I get creeped out by group-think in general, so THIS PLACE was downright creepy all around.
Finally, sitting on the beach later that night, watching the fireworks, I heard some people in the row behind us talking politics. Admittedly I couldn’t hear everything  they were saying – and I was more interested in paying attention to my children and the fireworks than listening to these assholes – but the JIST of what they were saying was “The Democrats are trying to implement socialism and we’ve got to stop them.”
Now… If you’re a literate, educated adult… and you’re actually talking about SOCIALISM like it’s an ACTUAL THING in this country?  You’re a moron. You’re an idiot. Plain and simple. And if you’re voting Republican because you’re trying to stop SOCIALISM? You’re DELUSIONAL. You should not only lose your right to vote, but you should be declared incompetent and committed to a mental institution and heavily medicated until you have regained your grasp on REALITY.  I don’t care who any one person wants to vote for. I really don't: It’s their right, after all. But if you’re voting Republican because Fox News and the Wall Street Journal told you some vague thing about SOCIALISM? (1) You should definitely expand your information sources beyond Rupert Murdoch’s TELEVISED propaganda and Rupert Murdoch’s PRINTED propaganda.  You know… like maybe trying out an ACTUAL NEWS SOURCE? And (2) you should be hit in the head repeatedly until either your body goes limp or your brain conjures up an ACTUAL REASON for you to vote the way you do. Preferably something that is FACTUALLY ACCURATE, BASED IN REALITY and actually IN YOUR OWN PERSONAL INTERESTS. 
I used to wonder why the Right was so opposed to teaching about Socialism in the Public Schools. You might think it's simply because they're afraid that young people might actually find the idea more attractive.  And them getting them OFF of the idea of Socialism might require PAYING THEM more, you know: Letting more than just the top 1% actually BENEFIT from this great Capitalist system we keep hearing about?  But that’s not it.
The REAL reason they don’t want young people (or anyone) learning about Socialism is that once people actually knew what Socialism WAS?
THEY’D REALIZE JUST HOW FULL OF SHIT THE REPUBLICANS ARE FOR TALKING ABOUT IT LIKE IT WAS AN ACTUAL THING!
(But then… the vast majority of Republicans think the GRADEN OF EDEN was an ACTUAL THING as well, so why am I not surprised?)
Now these are just a few isolated example that stuck in my memory, but it was like this EVERYWHERE WE WENT, pretty much all week. It was unbelievable.
Anyway, happy belated fourth.  The portion of the week I DIDN’T spend listen to Right Wing Jackasses was rather enjoyable. Plus the kids had a good time, and that’s important.