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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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.