Saturday, November 30, 2013

Things to Stay Thankful For

My mighty liberal savior still reigns in Washington, D.C.

Does anyone have any vacuum tubes?  No, reallly?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Half wits ought not have wars of wits

Wow, Wal-Mart--posssibly one of the most profitable corporations on earth and the gave the 6 heirs to Sam Walton's fortune worth that of the lowest 41.5% of the bottom rungs of their fellow Americans--and Ashton Kutcher got into a Twtitter spat with a Wal-Mart public relations flunky.

[Celebrity actor/producer Ashton Kutcher and retail giant Wal-Mart had a spirited Twitter debate Tuesday over Wal-Mart workers’ wages.
Kutcher (@aplusk) kicked off the dust-up by tweeting about the news that an Ohio Wal-Mart took up an employee-to-employee food charity collection “so Associates in Need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.”  He wrote, “Walmart is your profit margin so important you can’t Pay Your Employees enough to be above the poverty line?”
Fourteen minutes later, the company’s @WalmartNewsroom account, echoing its replies to others on the topic, tweeted back at Kutcher, “It’s unfortunate that an act of human kindness has been taken so out of context. We’re proud of our associates in Canton.” After 10 minutes, Kutcher shot back, “you should be proud of your associates but I’m not sure if they should be proud of you.”
Wal-Mart then offered Kutcher a video on “Opportunity and Benefits at Walmart,” saying, “We know you believe in opportunity like we do & we’d love to talk to you more about it.”
Kutcher quickly countered, “you had 17 billion in profits last year. You’re a 260 billion$ company. What are we missing?”]

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sports of Sorts

No one knows why God in her infinite wisdom made sports and handed them down to humankind and yet theories abound.

First, sports helps people to get in and stay in shape.  Like Rule # 1 from Zombieland, cardio.  Good cardio health helps people outrun those zombie bastards and help us live longer even in normal times.  Of course, don't go overboard with it; exercise can kill you.

Next after solo sport like jogging or skiing, we have team sports.  These allow us to escape our mundane lives and identify with a concept greater than ourselves, often a college or university or perhaps pro sports

Of course, people often take things too far like Raiders fans.

'Nuff said.

Or we scream and yell in our living rooms as if that will influence outcomes of games 1000 miles away.  It also seems silly for us to wear all our game gear, putting in the aggregate millions of dollars into the maw of greedy schools supposedly concerned with student athletes and horrible graduation rates and billionaire owners of pro teams.

Nevertheless, in my time of stress--dialysis, paralysis, physiatrists and physical rehab--it helps me to root for my home team, the Florida Gators.  Sheesh, good thing life taught me to deal with soul crushing defeat before this season.

At least I have my Miami Dolphins.

What, a bullying scandal and team turmoil?  Can't a brother catch a break?

Well, at least I have my Chicago Cubs to root for for eternity.

Muddy Waters with Some Old Dudes

The New Dr Who!

Forgive me for geeking out over science fiction, especially that with British accents.  Missed the 50th year anniversary episode but hope to catch upcoming Christmas special.

To explain the show....Oh forget it.  If you haven't seen the show, you should have and ought to consider yourself an uncultured Philistine.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Role in Rape Culture

Although never having forced my self on a woman, my nieces off in college at THE University of FL and recent tragic events in US high schools have made me re-evaluate my entire life.

As the diarist at Daily Kos refllected, my life at times had me silent when teammates and male friends spoke derogatively about females and people  attracted to others of their same sex.

I participated in conversations objectifying females and spoke of them as merely objects for sexual conquest, and that was wrong.  Even though for the life of me never perceived of those conversations condoning rape and rape culture, they dd, and it was wrong.

Sadly having now realized that and perhps now consigned to a wheelchair and maybe never to return to my local, I'll never get to make amends--and never get to give a birthday present book to and rejected again by Deidre, my favorite and amazingly literate bartender.  Serves me right to suffer

Oh heck, that reads depressing.  Let me make myself feel better bagging on bumpkin Old Testament Christians condmning Ho-Mo-SEX-uals and sodomy and other stuff.  Methinks they doth protest too much!

They invent figments of their own imagination when they decry the "homosexual agenda."  Most differently gendered people I've known just try to make it through life without getting their asses beat while looking for love--except for the lesbian block layers I saw who cleaned the clocks of some 7-11 cowboys at Nancy's Guys and Dolls in Orlando.

'Ceptin; for them, most homosexuals plan on driving from Orlando straight through to Tampa because people way less tolerant in counties on the way.

Progressive folk realize we ought not to judge those who look for love from not the opposite sex, even accept the transgenderd and all different permutations thereof.  Can't for the life of me understand it 'cause just ain;t wired that way.

Without further ado, please forgive me for shamelessly cutting and pasting words which made me think and challenged me:

[Let me first say that I am implicated in the rape culture not only in Maryville Missouri, where I played football and grew up, but also that which prevails across our country.  And I owe an apology to girls like Daisy Coleman who have been victims of sexual violence, as well as other who have been bullied or otherwise abused.
Because I was there - literally - in that locker room.  Not during Daisy's time, but years earlier.  And when people called you a skank, or a fag, or said they'd "bone" you or kick your ass, I didn't join in.  But I didn't speak up, either.  For my own reasons of fear and insecurity, I didn't speak up when I could have.  I didn't just put a foot forward in that room and say something even so simple as "hey guys.. come on! I don't really want to hear that stuff." and I could have. I am very sorry that I didn't do more, because clearly the culture didn't change - hasn't changed.  If it had, we wouldn't be having to read about stories like this....
And I really should have taken more of that to heart when I had the opportunity to hold my peers to that standard of accountability.  It's a responsibility guys have as teammates, school peers, brothers, parents, teachers, etc etc.  It's a responsibility I had - to lead - and allowed fear to get the best of me.  And, like I said, I really should have known better, because the above statement was written by my father, who taught me more than enough about respecting and standing up for all people - women and men, popular and unpopular, etc.
So, if you look at the Maryville rape case and are so angry that you want to blame someone for what went wrong - you can start with me  - DKOS UID 5593.  Because I didn't speak out when I should have. Please accept my apologies.]  emphasis added

Don't Text & Drive; Drive Drunk Instead

Recent study showed drivers who text have measurably more impairment than drivers who drink.  (FL Todaay, 12 Nov 2013, p2A)

(Disclaimer for the irony impaired: Take this post to mean don't do either, drive while texting or drinking.)

Update to Below

ONE Week, the accidental shootings cataloged below happened in 1 week in the United States of Gun Rights. 

"Heavy volume this week, as we top 50 listings for the first time in quite a while. But that just gives me a chance to remind you that statistically, I'm capturing only about 20 percent of accidental gun injuries each week, and there's no telling how many accidental discharges or other types of GunFAIL are being missed that don't immediately cause injury."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Equal Pay for Mermaids, Princesses, and Women

Satirical video on equal pay found at Amanda Terkel's google + page:

Christian with a little "c"

People often become confused when told I believe in Jesus but am not a "Christian" with a big "C."  The former has me trying to follow my Savior as found in the Gospels and taking action within my meagre means to put those words in my life.  The latter has become contaminated if not nearly obliterated by right wing neo-conservative politicians, faith healing charlatans, snake handlers, and insufferable, intransigent, intolerable and judgmental prigs who prefer reading the Old Testament and pronouncing judgment on others rather than considering the contradiction of their beliefs with their actions.

Faith for me comes from trying to become a christian.

This becoming happens thought by thought, word after word, and incremental actions, using the good examples learned from my parents and also rising above their negative qualities: the passive aggressiveness of my Moms and the bluster and bullying of my dad.

Then we have the human tendency to do what we want rather than we ought to do.

Given these considerations and realizing one ought not judge other humans, still we must evaluate actions in the political realm and ask whether they comport with becoming a follower of Jesus, He who had such concern and compassion for poor folk.

Thus when one learns Ted Cruz, senator from crazy town, gets a platinum level health plan by means of his wife's employment as managing partner at Goldman Sachs, worth $40,000 tax free, we can evaluate Mr. Cruz's parsimony in trying to deny health insurance to people of modest means and deem him a hypocritical asshat, to put it as politely as I can.

As oft happens, found another who put it better than I: "[I]t's okay if you don't want to feed the hungry, or heal the sick, or house the homeless. Just don't say you're doing it for their own good. Don't say you'd like to help people, but your hands are tied, because if you did it would cause the culture of dependency, or go against the Bible, or worst of all, rob them of their freedom.... to be sick and hungry.

Just admit you're selfish and based on how little your beliefs mirror the actual teachings of Jesus, you might as well claim to worship Despicable Me. […]"  (Transcription from Crooks and Liars)

Don't even get me started on the Epistles, as one ought follow Jesus and not Paul,

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Warrior Myth

All human societies operate with scores of myths to keep us from thinking too deeply or considering our own flaws: the myth of the heroic warrior, the war like Amazons, saints and Presidents above all reproach.

We put these "heroes' on pedastals and imbue them with almost superhuman status and ironically enough endoe our selves with their selfsame qualities.  Perhaps some kernel of truth lies there as ordinary people can show extreme bravery in certain situations; nevertheless, this hero making often carries self delusions, especially for we males.

If only we had worked harder in the weight room or our high school coaches hadn't hated us, we could have gotten that scholarship and then made it to thee NFL or major leagues baseball or whatever flights of fancey we feel when playing Call of Duty in our parents basements.

Pros play kids games after all.

We could have become warriors even without a draft but couldn't volunteer for the wars we cheer from afar because we had important things to do.

Since we have made ourselves heroes in our own eyes, how dare real heroes show weakness and seek counselling or have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or fail to happily cope with getting dwmaged beyond all repair?

How freaking dare they?

[I am here to start a fight, because I'm a man and that's how I solve problems. I'm not here to help you. I am here to fucking hurt you. That's what I've learned in my years as an NFL fan. You have an issue with somebody? You see somebody being stupid? You don't look the other way. You don't back down. You strap on your man boots and you shove it through their teeth.

Let me tell you how I know this. I know it because the NFL told me. Take the Dolphins. They suck, but they're still in the NFL. I'm telling it like it is; that's what men do....

Warriors make war on warriors. There's no room for crying in this game. You have a problem, you handle it on the field. Handle it as a man. Go down swinging. I hear you, NFL, and that's why I'm not here to move you or persuade you. If you have a penis and feelings, you'd better cut one of them off. I'm here to start a fight.

Because this — this idea that Jonathan Martin is a weakling for seeking emotional help — this is some room-temperature faux-macho alpha-pansy nonsense, and I am here to beat it bloody and leave it on the ground. Every writer who's spreading this around, directly or by implication; every player who's reaction-bragging about his own phenomenal hardness; every pundit in a square suit who's braying about the unwritten code of the locker room — every one of these guys should be ashamed of himself, and that's it, and it's not a complicated story.

Let's put some things in context, shall we? We're lucky in this regard, because it's actually fairly easy to put mental-health issues in c ontext in a league whose retirees have a disproportionate tendency to shoot themselves to death. Former Chargers DB Paul Oliver is the most recent. He killed himself in late September at the ripe old age of 29. In 2012, four players or ex-players committed suicide in eight months, including 25-year-old Titans receiver O.J. Murdock, beloved Chargers icon Junior Seau, and Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who — maybe you vaguely remember this — shot himself in the parking lot of the Chiefs' practice facility after murdering his girlfriend in front of his 3-month-old daughter.]

Friday, November 8, 2013

Another sentence I thought I'd never write

More children homeless in America than ever before.

Worse still, this comes as absolutely predictable result of predatory banks creating a bubble in housing prices by violating all standards of underwriting mortgages.  Then when the inevitable bursts--as predicatable as Mafia bustouts of legitimate businesses--those with cash such as Goldman Sachs then buy up the housing stock and rent it out at higher rates.

This leaves working class families living in cars or crowded motel rooms and shelters.

My country tis of thee, sweet land of misery.

[The number of homeless students in the United States has hit a record high, according to new data from the Department of Education.

The raw numbers are shocking: in the 2011 school year, 1,168,354 homeless children were enrolled in preschools and K-12 programs. Even more disturbing is the trend those numbers show: nationally, they represent a 10 percent jump over the previous school year, and a stunning 72 percent increase since the beginning of the recession in 2008.

The crisis is not confined to any one region. Forty-three states reported a rise in the number of homeless kids, and 10 showed jumps of more than 20 percent, according to a compilation of the DOE data assembled by the National Center for Homeless Education [PDF]. The biggest jumps were found in Maine (58 percent), Michigan (42 percent), North Carolina (53 percent), North Dakota (212 percent), South Dakota (35 percent), Vermont (31 percent), and Wyoming (40 percent).

One of the toughest things about this issue is that many of these families are invisible

In terms of raw numbers, California, New York, Texas, and Florida were hardest hit.]