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. ;)

Brick-and-Happy-Gun logo (above) by Munky Wrench, of Bent Wrench Studios

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gold Star Awards, November, 2012

2nd of Four. LOL. November 2102 = 1981 = 1 Gold, 1 Silver...


The Bob Gibson GOLD STAR #58: Everyone is a Sith!

A funny, poignant, and socially relevant Blog.  Although Liberal-leaning, it is not exclusively political. He spends at least as much time talking about Movies, Video Games, Anime and other hunorous miscellenia.  But when it does delve into politics, I find  the posts to be generally well-written and insightful.  He writes like a Philosophy Major, which is a good thing (says the guys who MARRIED ONE.)  There's not much else I can say that I haven't said about so many others, but check it out. Great stuff.


The Johnny Mize SILVER STAR #56: A Softer World

Looks like a web-comic at first, but is more of an artistic / personal expression blog that is consistently deep, meaningful, irreverent, intelligent, emotional, dark, inspirational, cynical, nihilistic and enlightening.  Sound complicated? Well, Emily Horne and Joey Comeau do amazing work, post after post, matching cool photography with dark poetry, to create so amazing work.  I would also like to thank them personally for giving me permission to (eventually) use the following as inside cover-art for Utopia, once I finish it and hammer it into book-form:


Thanks guys! You're awesome!

Gold Star Awards, October, 2012

Yep. THAT'S how far behind I am. I haven't given Gold Star's since last September.  And while I could just pick up NOW where I left, I don't want to do that. And while I know these generally don't get read (or at least commented on) as often as other posts, I do really encourage people to check out the site's I'll be highlighting in my next four posts. There are some really important people, doing really important work that I think really deserve some publicity and support.  So for the next four posts, over what I hope is the next four days, I'm going to get my awards list caught up.  Please check these guys out.

October, 2012 = 1980 = 2 Golds, 1 Silver. Without further ado...

The Duke Snider GOLD STAR #56: WikiLeaks

OK, I know that I'm going to get in some trouble from several corners for this one, but fuck it. While I don't necessarily approve of everything he/they have done, and don't know that I like the man personally, I DO applaud his mission. Government SHOULD be more transparent, and they've had more than enough chances to become so.  Conservatives and Liberals alike will argue that the Obama administration is no more transparent that the Bush administration was, and they would be right. (Though... still hardly a reason to vote Republican.) So fuck 'em.. They had they're change. I say, "You go, minions of Julian Asange!" and let the chips fall where they may.  Maybe after a little anarchy, this Democracy might start becoming accountable to the People again!


The Al Kaline GOLD STAR #57: Human Rights Campaign

HRC has emerged as the premier organization lobbying for LGBT Equality.  With 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide, HRC envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.  They have reached the point where they were relevant in the last election, and one of the driving factors behind the repeals of DADT and DOMA and the legalization and recognition of Same-Sex Marriage is the States.  They do great work. Check them out, and be sure to sign up for their email alerts.


The Chuck Klein SILVER STAR #55: Head Trip

Admittedly I am not as regular a reader of this as I am so many of the other web-comics that I've Silver-starred, but I always get a laugh when I tune into Head Trip.  Amanda Russell is a geek-girl, either at-heart or in reality (not sure, I don't know her personally) and it really comes through in this quirky, sometimes dark, usually twisted, and often absurd "trip" of a web-strip.  I love her sense of humor.  There's no ONE story line, so you can pick it up anywhere.  (But if you can find any of the "Adventures of EmoKid and ChemoKid... those are classic!)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

You go girl!

THIS GIRL is a thousand times as awesome as anyone who would respond to this post (or that one) with hate. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy New Year's, part two

*phew*

Sorry. I really needed that break.  I'm still sick, so I took a nap, made a quick jaunt to the store, and now I'm back, rested, and somewhat fed. Worst part about being sick: You're really hungry, because you haven't eaten anything, but you haven't eaten because NOTHING sounds the least bit appetizing! (Even junk-food has lost it's appeal at the moment, and that's saying something!)

So, in the last post I mentioned that there were a few things I wanted to share.  The first one is intended for my cousin Justin, who I watched run full-smack into "the bubble" as he debated economic policy with my Dad. This was a few days before Congress decided to punt on "the fiscal cliff" (arguably the most over-dramatized and over-sold news stories of the year, I might add, and an overblown "crisis" fabricated whole-cloth, entirely by Congressional Republicans, I might add!)  And Fox (of course) is lamenting (I guess?) the "lack of Presidential Leadership" on the issue of the fiscal cliff.  This is VERY STRANGE for several reasons...

1) No matter how you read the tea leaves, the BUDGET is Congresses issue to fix. Given how gleefully Fox has pointed out every (imagined) time the President has exceeded his Constitutional Authority, it seems odd that they would want him to do so here. Especially when...

2) It would mean placing full blame for the entire problem firmly on the laps of the Republicans and then insisting that the shut the front door, and exclude them ENTIRELY from the process moving forward, and seeing that the ADULTS in the room (which at the moment all happen to be Democrats) fix the problem.

And all that is before you consider that the Republicans have done everything they could to sabotage the economy, the budget and the Government, since the very minute Obama was sworn in!  And that not just me bitching here, that not hyperbole, that was MITCH McCONNELL'S STATED PLAN! He said it very clearly: His top priority was making sure Obama would be a one-term President. Well, he FAILED at that. But it certainly was for a lack of trying!

SO, quite frankly, the next time I here a Republican whining about how Obama "isn't working with them" or "lacks leadership," I sincerely hoped that get hit in the head with a brick, bearing the words "FUCK YOU, YOU TRAITOROUS SCUMBAG" etched into the side.

ANYWAY... Whatever Right-Wing Wind-Bag they were hosting that day (I was in the other room, so admittedly I don't now who it was, or who's program it was on - I don't watch that shit) was cheerleading the expiration of unemployment benefits. My father jumped on that bandwagon, crying out, "Yeah, get the lazy bastards an incentive to get off their asses and go find a job!" Now, I'm paraphrasing, but this was NOT meant as satire. This nugget of idiocy was said with the utmost enthusiasm and sincerity. You know... Because the existence of poor people and the unemployed is evidence of their own personal failures, rather than a failure of the American brand of Capitalism!

Now my cousin is a Democrat, a Liberal and well-educated. He's currently a grad-student and he's generally a pretty sharp guy. But he's young. It's not his fault, I know: we all were once. And I know from experience that he's likely to grow out of it. (Most of it, anyway. LOL) And he argues like a very young, very idealistic Liberal.  He pointed out that there are simply more people than there are jobs, and that there's just not enough work right now to go around.  Which,of course, if very true and very accurate.  So my Father suggested putting them to work somehow, like FDR did. (Odd, coming from a Conservative, but that's what he said.) To which my cousin replied, "Doing what? There's NO WORK for these people!" To which my father replied (jokingly, I hope) "Well, put them in CAMPS them, like FDR did!"

(But Daaaaad... They're not Japanese Muslim!)

He then went on to explain, doing a fair impression of Rush Limbaugh, from the early days, how whenever Liberals try to help people, it always ends up doing more harm than good, and that helping poor people only forces them to remain dependant on the Government. He finished up by saying, "You can't be EMOTIONAL about these things!"

You know... Because we Liberals always think with our [bleeding]  hearts, whilst Conservative always think with their heads.

Well, Justin, if you're reading this, I'm here to tell that it not a question of Hearts versus Heads. Liberals feel with our hearts, and think with our heads, and Conservatives mostly talk out of their asses. (Where, if you're brave enough to look, is where you'll typically find their heads!) 

There is a basic, simple reason that we have unemployment benefits, food stamps, welfare and many other social safety nets, and believe it or not it has absolutely nothing to do with it being the humane thing to do when your economic system, even at the best of times, has a targeted unemployment rate that's higher than zero. The FACT is that we do these things because, even after taxes are paid, the economy is better off because of it.  Here's a chart that you might find handy in the future. It was put together by Mark Zandi of Moody's, and it shows how much economic benefit we get per dollar spent (or not collected) by the Government:

 
So, for every dollar we would "save" by not paying out unemployment benefits, our economy would LOSE $1.64.  This happens, because no jobs will be created by eliminating these benefits. In fact, so many people suddenly having less (no) income (at all) will have the exact same affect as them losing their jobs in the first place did: Depressed demand. Which will only lead to... duh-da-daaaa: FEWER Jobs. No business hires MORE people when the see their demand FALL.  The only reason the Right keeps championing this nonsense is because (1) they're idiots who (2) live in a bubble that (3) encourages them to keep ignoring real-world evidence. Also, they're (4) short-sighted, (5) greedy, (6) petty little people who's political mantra can be summed up in eight words: I've got mine, screw the rest of you!
 
BTW... Those Bush tax cuts that have added TWO-TRILLION DOLLARS to that vaunted National Debt they keep yammering on about? Well, going forward, every dollar that these so-called "Job-creators" get to keep only brings about $0.29 of economic benefit. Why? Well, first, because people aren't hired out of a person's bank account, or even a company's profits.  And second: because Rich People don't tend to spend all of their money. (Hence WHY THEY'RE RICH!) And that's FINE, but it's a lousy, inefficvent and very expensive way to stimulate an economy!  Anyway, the next time a Conservative accuses these programs of resulting from nothing more than Liberal gullibility and over-sensitivity, you might consider pointing out an emotion that they can better relate to: SELF-INTEREST.
 
There's another thing I'd like to point out about this whole debt "crisis." When I say it's manufactured, I'm going WAY beyond the whole "Republicans pitched a bitch about the debt ceiling back in 2011" thing.  They DID, and that's what created the current "crisis" (the absurdly named 'fiscal cliff'.) But there is another reason that this whole National Debt thing is a completely phony issue, and it comes, surprising, from Fox news, and there insistence on invoking GREECE'S fiscal and economic troubles when discussing our own.  Well, MMFA had a great write-up last week contrasting the differences between the situations in the U.S. and Greece. Basically...
 
  • Greece's current debt is currenlty at 142% of their GDP. Ours is projected to top out at around 74%.  That's the TOTAL DEBT, mind you, not the deficit or the cost of the interest.
  • Austerity in Greece, and other European countries had stifled economic growth.  See the Moody's chart above to understand why that is, and consider that Republicans never say SHIT about the debt or deficit when they're in office.  No... wrecking the economy is only something they actually TRY to do when a Democrat occupies 1600.
  • Despite Spending Cuts, Greek Debt Has Increased.  Well.... Their economy tanked. So go figure. Recessions can only tend to lower Government revenue while increasing the demand for Government services. What the hell did they expect to happen?!
  • We have our own Central Bank. Greece doesn't. (Anymore.) So It's basically impossible for us to run out of money, even if things did go fantastically badly for us.
 
And the actual COST of all this debt?  Well, you might hear some scary numbers being thrown around like "$46,000" per person or some bullshit like that. Well... it's not. In fact, the cost of financing this debt is currently LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of our overall budget.
 
That's it. That's what having a more robust economy (or allowing one, while a Democrat remains in office) amounts to: 1% of what we're spending anyway.  It's a bullshit issue, and if you have any doubts, try to find any Conservative hand-wringing over the deficit when Bush was in office. Either one! Or Reagan for that matter!  No, fear-mongering about the debt is a pastime they save for when Democrats are in office, in hopes that the can scapegoat them when the economy turns sour, and frighten people enough that they don't notice how much better we're doing with them in control.
 
OK, that's enough of that.  See... This is what I'm talking about: To me this stuff is so self-evident that I get no satisfaction from writing about it. Most of my regular readers already know this stuff, and William won't accept (or actually address) any of it anyway.  So... What's the point?
 
(Well, maybe my cousin and some of his other young, idealistic friends will come away better informed, and better armed. Who knows?)
 
Anyway, speaking of... he who should not have been named...

Jerome Corsi, of WorldNetDaily shame, recently penned an interestingly informative piece on how to recognize TROLLS.  Now... he intended this ito be applied to LIBERAL trolls, but in yet another example of Right-Wing projecting leading to some unintentional honestly, I believe that with only a very few changes (for objectivity's sake) much of his piece might serve as a VERY handy guideline in identify trolls in general.  Check it out:

  • Making outrageous comments designed to distract or frustrate. This is a [...] tactic employed to stir emotion and angry reactions.

  • Posing as a [member of a political group] and making comments that discredit the movement. After claiming to be a member of the movement, [...] the troll then proceeds to post long, incoherent diatribes to appear either racist or insane. In some cases, these “Trojan Horse Trolls” have been known to make posts that advocate or incite to the use of violence in an apparent attempt to provide evidence to [...] critics and government sources that [said group] is comprised of “radical extremists.”

  • Dominating discussions. Trolls may attempt to throw a discussion off course and frustrate participants whose purpose is to engage in a serious and respectful exchange of views.

  • Posting pre-written responses. Many trolls appear to have been supplied with a list or database of pre-planned “talking points” designed as generalized and deceptive responses to honest arguments. When trolls post prewritten responses, their words typically feel strangely plastic and rehearsed.

  • Making false associations. In this technique, the position of honest posters is characterized in derogatory terms. For example, a troll may call advocates of [a certain policy or position] “conspiracy theorists” or “lunatics.” Or, by suggesting certain political arguments are “racist” or otherwise outside the accepted confines of serious political discourse, trolls attempt to dissuade readers from examining the evidence objectively.

  • Exhibiting false moderation. By pretending to be the “voice of reason” in an argument with obvious well-defined sides, trolls attempt to move readers to relegate the argument to a “gray area,” such that holding or seriously considering the argument is a leap away from reasoned judgment.

  • Raising straw-man arguments. Here a troll will accuse his opposition of subscribing to a certain point of view, even if the argument is irrelevant and never actually raised.

  • You may observe that I've removed some details that Corsi included solely for the purpose of implying that only LIBERALS engage in this sort behavior. You'll also notice that I've added nothing of my own to make this list exclusively apply to Conservatives. This is, for all intents and purposes, a very useful test in identifying a TROLL.  And it is with that in mind that I would invite anyone to apply this list to literally ANYTHING William has evey posted in the comments section on this blog.

    ROTFLMAO! Thank you, Jerome Corsi!

    Oh, and uh... thanks for the email's, Will, but I don't do one-on-one's. I replied to you once, and your next email just showed me that you have no intention of treating my in-bow any differently that you did my blog. If you want to waste your time and everyone else's writing meaningless drivel, I will gladly debate you on THIS forum, so that someone else might get some amusement out of it. (Or at least share in my frustration.)  So if you want to talk about anything non-political, free free to e-mail me. I've got a pretty good record getting back to people. If you want to debate politics (or do whatever it is that one calls what you do) I will only do that HERE, on this blog. (And if you force my hand, I'll simply post your email, along with the address it came from. So I would appreciate if you would respect that request.) I realize that you've been posting here as well, even though I've been away, I just wanted to know why I'm responding to your emails.

    Anyway, thanks again, welcome back and I hope that everyone has a healthy and prosperous new year!

    Happy New Year, part one

    I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday.  For my part, in 2013, I have hit the ground stumbling, having been sick as a dog (along with my wife, two sons, parents and grandmother) for the past week and a half now.  I'd say 'it serves me right' for not getting a flu shot this year, but 'patient zero' (my son, Michael) DID, as did my Parents and Grandmother. So a fat lot of good it did anyway!

    I hope (resolve?) to get back to writing more, either here, or over on Utopia, on a regular basis. My lack of writing here over the past couple months certainly has NOT been a reflection of a lack of absurd things going on in the world, mostly perpetrated by Republicans and Right-Wingers, but rather a sort of burn-out that I suppose inevitably sets in when you've had your outrage-meter pinned in the red-zone for so long.  It just seems like I've reached a point that we are so saturated with such complete absurdity, that it seems almost inane to have to write about it.  I mean... the level of intellectual dishonestly and hypocrisy on the part of Republicans has reached a point, at least in my mind, of complete and utter self-evidence. So.. What the hell am I suppose to say about it?  I mean... for me it's become akin to predicting the sun will rise tomorrow (12/21/12 notwithstanding, LOL) and acting like this is some kind of profound thing! So I don't know where to even begin anymore.

    One thing I will point out is that, very much like Congressional Republicans, I have a lot of unfinished business carrying over from 2012. (The last three(?) months worth of Hall of Fame posts, for example.) Unlike Congressional Republicans, I have only myself to blame.  Wait a 'sec... On second thought, that's EXACTLY like Congressional Republicans! But unlike Congressional Republicans, I won't actually TRY to blame anyone else, I'll just take responsibility for it, move on and try to do better.  So at some point, there's going to be a post or three getting my Hall of Fame caught up. And I really need to do it, because I've come across some REALLY strong sites in the past few months - outfits I REALLY want everyone to know about and get involved with. I've just be too lazy/busy to be bothered to post them.  My bad.

    One bit of good news for readers of Utopia, is that despite that blog's (intentional) lack of updates (and the removal of most of the content) of late, I have now written up through Chapter Thirty-Nine, and plan to post a new chapter every week for the next three or four months or so, until the work is finally finished. So if you, like me, agree with Steeve that pretty much every one of our problems can be solved simply by getting rid of the Republicans, check out my exploration of that proposal in  Utopia

    (And if  j.riddle happens to be reading this, I hope he's gotten his computer issues sorted out and look forward to getting back to working with him on a more regular basis.  Everyone else is welcome and encouraged to leave comments, questions or suggestions as well.)

    I've got a handful of other things I want to touch on, mostly about my holiday, but I'm going to leave those for a moment, and try to post them later today. In the meantime, welcome back, and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and had a fun, safe, happy and HEALTHY holiday.