Sunday, March 4, 2018
Of course, what happened at the high school in Parkland, Florida was horrific.
It was a systemic failure in culture (fatherless boys, violent movies and video games), common sense (an 18-year-old can waltz in and buy a powerful weapon), Federal law enforcement ("So, you want to make us aware of this kid. Let me get a pen. Wait a second, this one doesn't work. Bob, you got a pen that works?") and local law enforcement ("I'm not going in there...You go in there...").
The aftermath has been one gigantic cluster mess.
A few of the surviving students have hooked up with The Democratic Party and decided to blame Marco Rubio (mainly because there is an R after his name) and The National Rifle Association (NRA) They have been successful in vilifying The NRA that around 15 companies have cut ties or distanced themselves from the group. One company, Delta Airlines, dropped the NRA discount for their members. A grand total of 13 people used the discount last year.
So, the answer to gun violence is taking away airline discounts. Great job, kids!
There is an answer and it is not blowing in the wind.
Make the schools harder to get into.
The students should be only able to enter the school from one direction and go through a metal detector, much like an airport. Every day.
The students will be issued a key card, like what their parents have to get into their office. If a kid "loses" their card, they will be detained by security and they will have to call their parents. They will not be able to enter the school and will not be given an excused absence until they obtain their replacement card.
Backpacks will be banned and the students will be issued a locker to store their books. If you have raised a high schooler within the past twenty years, you know they have used backpacks to carry every single stupid book around. Trust me, these things weigh a ton and half the time the boy students never look in the backpack once the book is placed in there.
There will be armed personnel on campus. It doesn't have to be teachers. However, if a teacher can use a gun and is NOT A TOTAL NUT JOB, then he can be part of the force. However, there are some logistical things that would have to be worked out. I don't think it is a good idea for Coach Joe Bagofdonuts to be packing heat during a Geography class.
These things can be done and quickly. There are problems with some other answers.
One, you are not going to "get rid of guns". It simply isn't going to happen. If you want to get rid of guns, repeal The Second Amendment. Good luck with trying to repeal an amendment that is so high on the amendment chain.
Here was an example of a meme that was flying around.
True, as far it goes. The problem is the next step: taking away other people's sticks so we have a stick-free society because sticks are used to hit people.
Two, background checks, while necessary are iffy at best. The church shooter in Texas "passed" a background check due to a bureaucratic error. Additionally, there is this little thing called HIPPIA which protects an individual's (mental) health information and cannot be shared without the patient's written consent.
Three, and this has almost a zero chance, but we do need more responsibility from the news media. One thing to keep in mind about events like this: most of the early reports are wrong
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 kids on April 20, 1999, which began this era of school shootings. They were portrayed as "outcasts" (which has been debunked) and members of a school clique called "The Trenchcoat Mafia" (which they were not). They were also "bullied" as if being bullied in high school is a good explanation for why someone would kill thirteen people.
Jared Lee Loughner shot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and early reports said he was influenced by Sarah Palin. It wasn't close to the truth. James Holmes killed 12 people in an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre. Brian Ross of ABC announced there was a James Holmes in the area and he was a member of the TEA PARTY. Wrong guy.
The other thing to remember is people will use the events to push a political agenda.
History tells us that a young man who had just immigrated back from Russia and was an avowed Communist shot the President of The United States thirteen months after The Cuban Missile Crisis. On YouTube, you can watch the news reports from the time and you will hear a lot about "hate" and civil rights. Which, as history tells us, had nothing to do with The Kennedy Assassination.
CNN has made stars out of the protesting students. "Hey Kids, let's have a protest!" Two weeks after the massacre Buzzfeed (that's right-Buzzfeed) reported "Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz aiding in the lobbying in Tallahassee, a teacher’s union organizing the buses that got the kids there, Michael Bloomberg’s groups and the Women’s March working on the upcoming March For Our Lives, MoveOn.org doing social media promotion and (potentially) march logistics, and training for student activists provided by federally funded Planned Parenthood." (David Hines, The Federalist)
Additionally, the President of the American Federation of Teachers told Buzzfeed they were behind the national school walkout which our fourth estate assured us was the idea of one plucky teenager.
It is just common sense. Make schools a difficult target. That way kids don't die.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Since our current President is REALLY into Twitter--here are some tweets from the 44 (really 43) before President Trump
George Washington: "Martha said I was rockin' the wooden teeth! Yeah, come on!"
John Adams: "You sux, @bigthomjefferson76".
Thomas Jefferson: "15 million for Louisiana? Really?!"
James Madison: "My wife makes the best cupcakes!"
James Monroe: "Hmmm, I'm pretty sure the other four don't have a doctrine named after him. Just saying."
John Quincy Adams: "I wish I had a better initial besides Q. Something like W would be awesome".
Andrew Jackson: "I kilt fiddy men"
Martin Van Buren: "I have the coolest sideburns of all of them- including @ChesterAlanArthur."
William Henry Harrison: "I've got a great idea: why don't I give a very long speech on a cold and wet day? It's not like I'm going to get sick or anything."
John Tyler: "I still have grandchildren alive in 2018. For reals".
James Polk: "Call me President Mullet".
Zachary Taylor: "Wait. Does anyone know the difference between the symptoms of cholera and aresenic poisoning? Just asking."
Millard Fillmore: "Oh yeah?! How many of you have ever been President of The United States?"
Franklin Pierce: "Could I have been a worse President?"
James Buchanan: "Welp, I've done nothing to prevent The Civil War. I guess this isn't the right time to announce I'm gay".
Abraham Lincoln: "Wow, I feel great now that The Civil War has ended. I think me and my gal pal will take in a play!"
Andrew Johnson: "I've got this great idea: Let's get impeached!"
Ulysses S. Grant: "Guess where I am buried."
Rutherford B. Hayes: "I am the Duck Dynasty President!"
James Garfield: "Hey, let's go down to the train station and see if there are some disappointed office seekers."
Chester Alan Arthur: "I pronounce 'Alan' as "Alon", because I'm a dandy with great sideburns!"
Grover Clevland: "It is easy to get young chicks when you are The President".
Benjamin Harrison: "I stayed alive for all of my administration unlike a certain grandfather of mine."
Grover Cleveland: "Back again. Did you miss me? What do you mean no?"
William McKinley: "Yeah, I'll go to Buffalo. What's the worst that could happen?"
Theodore Roosevelt: "Let you in on a little secret-I don't even know what 'bully' means."
William Howard Taft: "I'm just big boned! Stop fat shaming me!"
Woodrow Wilson: "I have this real progressive idea: racism!"
Warren G. Harding: "I did things in The Oval Office that Bill Clinton could only dream of."
Calvin Coolidge: "I was just as exciting as I looked".
Herbert Hoover: "I am going to punch the next person who says I invented the vaccum cleaner because I sucked".
Franklin Delno Roosevelt: "I'm going to roll into The Oval Office and stay for a long time. Roll! Did you get it? Man, I am great."
Harry S. Truman: "You'd act like a crazy man too if your middle name was S."
Dwight Eisenhower: "Sorry about Nixon. He had a great resume."
John Kennedy: "Sure, put the top down. What could it hurt?
Lyndon Johnson: "An undeclared ground war against guerilla forces in a far off Asia country? Count me in!"
Richard Nixon: "<expletive deleted> I should have burned those <expletive deleted> tapes. Ah <expletive>"
Gerald Ford: "Chevy Chase is a very funny suburb."
Jimmy Carter: "I'm going to declare a Moral Equivalence of War on The Energy Crisis and I urge your support by tweeting this: #MEOW."
Ronald Reagan: "Sell arms to Iran for hostages? Why not?"
George H. W. Bush: "I hate being the least popular Bush".
Bill Clinton: "#Monica was worth every article of impeachment!"
George W. Bush: "Hold my beer, Dad".
Barack Obama: "If you liked your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Yeah, I had a hard time keeping a straight face on that one, tbh."
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Last week, The 2017 NFL season mercifully came to a close when the Philadephia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots. If that doesn't prove there is a God in heaven, I don't know what will.
I know it is easy to complain about the domination of the Patriots. Since my son was in FIFTH GRADE, they have been going to The Super Bowl. By the way, my son graduated college in 2013.
The head coach of The Patriots, Bill Belichick, would be celebrated as THE GREATEST COACH OF ANYTHING FOR ALL TIME except for the fact he has the personality of prune juice and looks/dresses like he just came off of a three-week bender.
The quarterback of the Patriots is Tom Brady, the most handsome man in the world.
Back when I was a kid, the "handsome" quarterback was Joe Namath.
When I came along, they wanted quarterbacks to look like the District Manager in Charge of Something Important. Handsome, but not sexy. Not flashy. Serious. Like Bart Starr.
|"I would like to talk to you about an exciting Whole Life policy we have"|
Bart Starr was the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers back in the sixties. He looked like he would sell you some insurance. I saw him one time at Town Center Mall in Kennesaw, Georiga. I kept pointing at him saying "Bart Starr. Bart Starr". My wife reminded me Starr knew his name.
But Joe came along and he was "Broadway Joe"- all flash and a smile.
|"I happen to notice you are a tight end".|
First of all, Brady has won five Super Bowls, which by definition means he is five times better than the rest of us schlubs, and I don't care how many cures for cancer you have discovered.
Secondly, he is married to a Super Model, Gisele Bundchen. I'm not quite sure what separates Super Model from a Regular Model, except you would probably never see a Super Model in a Sears catalog. I will say, from a strictly scientific viewpoint, Gisele Bundchen is smoking hot.
Finally, Tom had an actress girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan, who happened to learn she was pregnant with Tom's baby after they had broken up and he began his relationship with his Super Model wife.
The website Heavy says, "Being married to and having two children with Bundchen while trying to maintain a relationship with Moynahan and their son Jack certainly sounds complicated, but they seem to have it all figured out." Only a quarterback that has won five Super Bowls could have figured out something like this. I know I couldn't.
The Patriots were the favorites to win the game. The Eagles had a good season, but their second string quarterback, Nick Foles, was starting.
It was one of those games, like last year's Super Bowl, you just kept expecting Tom Terrific to lead the Patriots to a comeback victory. But it didn't happen. It made you want to become a Calvinist because it seemed so predestined and seem to confirm that the Lord isn't thrilled with the Atlanta Falcons for some reason.
It has been a rough year for The NFL.
The combination of CTE, the kneeling non-sense, and the flat-out oversaturation of the product ("Welcome to Wednesday Morning Football with the Cleveland Browns at home against The New York Jets") along with the dominance of New England has left some watching the sport out of obligation, sort of like the way some people go to church only at Christmas and Easter.
Until Philadelphia's victory in The Super Bowl, the season's lone highlight was the Viking quarterback Case Keenum's pass to Stefon Diggs on the last play of their playoff game versus the Saints. That play reminded people what they liked about football. Anything can happen at any time and when it does you want to be there.
Maybe, one day, it will be that way again.
Monday, February 5, 2018
Have you seen David Letterman lately?
He simply looks ridiculous. I don't know any other way to describe it.
He no longer shaves and must be auditioning for a part on "Duck Dynasty. That's the only explanation I can come up with. He looks like an off-season Santa Claus. By the way, before everybody starts defending Dave and his choice to look like a hobo, remember twenty years ago Dave would be doing a "TOP TEN THINGS LIVING IN THAT GUY'S BEARD" regarding anyone with a beard like his.
Well, Dave's "retired" now and no longer does "Top Ten Lists", "Stupid Pet Tricks", or jumps in a pool wearing a suit lined with Alka-Seltzer tablets. No, Dave has decided to work for Netflix, and has a monthly show called "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction". His first guest was former President Barack Obama.
Since Dave is all serious now, he asked President Obama what is the most dangerous threat to democracy: a President demeaning the press (like a certain unspoken current President with orange hair) or a foreign power sabotaging the voting process (on behalf of the orange hair President).
Obama took a deep breath and said, "One of the biggest challenges we have to our democracy is the degree to which we don’t share a common baseline of facts. If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you are listening to NPR.”
As long as we are talking about "demeaning", let's look at the last sentence in the above quote from President Obama. People that watch Fox News ain't from around here, Buddy. They're from Planet Redneck with their My Pillows and Liberator Medical Catheters.
However, President Obama didn't answer the question. The answer is a foreign power sabotaging the voting process because Presidents have always been demeaning to the press. Personally, I think a President spying on a reporter is worse than him blowing raspberries at him, but that's just me.
A lot of the news media, like with most things during Obama's public career, treated this as some sort of new incredible insight, when it really wasn't. I remember reading Peggy Noonan complaining about the same thing a couple of years ago.
In the past, Americans basically got their news from three sources: the 30-minute nightly newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC. When Walter Cronkite said "And that's the way it is", that was the way it was, dadgum it.
Now, we have three major 24-hour news networks and all of that has supposedly changed. But it really hasn't.
We all "share a common baseline of facts". After all, it is a fact Donald Trump is the President of The United States. It is the interpretation of those facts that is different. Five of the six television news outlets think the Trump Presidency is THE APOCALYPSE and we must do what we can to resist THIS EVIL ORANGE HAIRED, FAT, TINY FINGERED MAN, including resisting a tax cut.
Meanwhile, over at Fox, Trump is treated with more respect. I personally think Sean Hannity would be in favor of Same-Sex Marriage if it meant he could marry President Trump.
All of this gives some people a headache, including me. I don't mind people having different opinions than me. I do mind people shouting about it 24/7.
Back during The Obama Years, there was all of this talk about "his birth certificate". I was never sure why this was important. A lot of energy was put into this topic by various people of various levels of "conservatism". It came up bupkis.
However, when he was a Senator, Obama met with Louis Farrakhan and had his picture taken with him. The nicest thing you can say about Farrakhan is that he has a great selection of bow ties. Other than that, he is a hot mess of hate. The journalist that took the picture said he didn't release it because he didn't want to hurt Obama's Presidential ambitions.
That, my friends, is why there is a Fox News. Four years ago, five out of the six news outlets were doing cartwheels and waving pom-poms about President Obama.
It may not have made a difference, but it would have been interesting to hear President Obama explain the meeting and the picture. My guess is that he would have tried to distance himself from Farrakhan like he did with his preacher. But you never know and you never will because we are more interested in making fun of people that don't agree with us.
Sunday, January 21, 2018
The latest battle in the War of The Sexes is over Aziz Ansari. Really.
In case you don't recognize the name, Aziz Ansari is a comedian and was on the hit TV show "Parks and Recreation". He played Tom Haverford, a stylish member of a mythical parks and recreation departement in Indiana. He was pretty funny on the show, although I can only take him in small doses.
Stop me if you had heard this before. He meets a woman at a party. They go to his place. Yadda, yadda.
Actually, if you want to read more about this encounter, you can find an article on Babe. Net about it. Until this week, I never heard of Babe.Net, but I assume the mission of Babe. Net is to keep everybody woke.
"Grace" (the young lady) describes meeting Mr. Ansari, going on the date, and then going back to his apartment in the fashionable Manhattan Tribeca neighborhood. You can almost hear the squeal when the writer notes Taylor Swift lives in the same apartment building.
From there, the article reads like a "Letter to Penthouse" gone wrong. The article goes into great detail about what Ansari and "Grace" did.
As a dude, I will say it was a lot for a first date. Things must have changed from the time when I was on prowl.
I won't go into great detail except to say at Wheeler High School in 1975 it would have been considered a Double Grand Slam Home Run where your team gets eight runs instead of four.
She said she gave him "verbal" and "non-verbal" cues to indicate she wasn't interested but he ignored them.
I hate to quote myself, but you cannot give cues "verbal" or "non-verbal" to a man especially when he has the itch. Here's what I wrote several weeks ago.
"You cannot say to a man, "go to the store and buy milk" thinking he will automatically know what brand to buy just because it has been magically appearing in the refrigerator for five years. No, you have to say, "Get the milk that has the picture of a cow wearing an apron" or he'll come back with almond milk or maybe a six-pack of Sprite."
If it is difficult to get a man to run an errand, correctly, try to imagine how difficult it is to get a man to understand that "you're not interested" when he is very interested. He understands "cues" like a dog understands Greek.
That's why Grandma slapped her gentleman callers. That's about the only cue a man with loving on his mind understands.
But instead of slapping Ansari, "Grace" kind of mealy-mouthed her way through the encounter.
When she left, she felt embarassed and humiliated because, ewwww, Tom Haverford.
I mean, on the chain of celebraties to date, comedians are not rock stars. Especially, wee ones like Ansari. But still, he was a celebrity and it is not news that celebrities use their celebrity to get what Grandpa used to call nookie.
"Grace" was ready to let the episode fade into her past as a simple twist of fate until she watched The Golden Globes. Ansari won an award and wore a "Times Up" button indicating his support "support for the fight against sexual assault and harassment". Although the Babe.Net article doesn't say, this is probably what drove "Grace" to tell her story.
"Grace" felt like Ansari was a cad. No argument from me.
However, this is where the story gets sort of funny.
The article notes Ansari is not some testosterone filled 18 year old but "a 34-year-old actor and comedian of global renown who’s probably done more thinking about the nuances of dating and sex in the digital age than practically anyone else."
I've done a lot of thinking about "the nuances of dating and sex", too. The difference being I did mine during the paleozoic era.
The article states his routines now focus "less on his own sexual disenfranchisement and more on pressing societal issues like racism and sexual assault, a move that’s earned him tons of praise." One magazine called him a "certified woke bae". That is the second highest praise a millennial can give to a person. (The highest praise: "totally certified woke bae")
A couple of things. Someone in the entertainment industry being hypocritical. Wow. Knock me down with a feather.
Two, even though Ansari has admitted the sex part of the encounter, it is still basically "He said-she said". I'm not sure how we are suppose to react to a knock-down dragged out account of the passion except to accept every word out of "Grace's"mouth and that Ansari should never work again or at the very least have his certification of wokeness revoked. Ansari should be happy he's not a college student or he would have been expelled.
Three, Ansari apparently humilated "Grace" so "Grace" decided to humilate Ansari with a detailed look at his boorish technique. The dude needs to read a couple of books, if you know what I mean.
Of course, there are those that say we need to have a "conversation" about women, men and sex. My causal observation that those who want to have a "conversation" actually want to have a "monologue" and guess who will be talking.
But maybe I'm just not woke enough.
Sunday, January 14, 2018
One of the series I used to do with this blog was called Who Will Not Be President. In it, I examined people who were "planning" or thinking about running for President and explain why they were wasting everyone's time.
Not meaning to brag, but I had a pretty good track record. For example, I said we wouldn't have a President Haley Barbour or a President Newt Gingrich and I was right.
However, I hit a big wall with one person. I wrote not once, but twice, that Donald Trump would never become President. Oops. I'm not exactly the only one who said that, so give me a break.
Because of that, I've decided never to say never when it comes to who will be elected President.
Instead, I will offer my occasional insights into what I think are the strengths and weaknesses of those want to become President.
Before I start, and I shouldn't have to say this, but I will. I am trying to be as "objective" as possible and still write something I think will make you laugh. I have not abandoned any great principles I have and I've certainly haven't gone over to any dark side even though they may have donuts.
I put in that disclaimer because the first subject is Oprah Winfrey.
In case you missed it, Oprah was given an award at The Golden Globes, for some unknown reason. I'm not quite sure what The Golden Globes are, except up until last year it was a time you could turn on your TV and see your favorite Hollywood star three sheets in the wind.
Then last year happened and Meryl Streep felt this great need to address her unwashed subjects on the election of Donald Trump. It was a snide, most elite, condescending address to a group of people that used to be called "the public" or "the people who buy overpriced movie tickets to watch your goofy movies". Of course, Hollywood loved it.
This year, because of Harvey Weinstein and the #metoo movement, Hollywood felt like they had to put these awful horn-dogs in their place. So, the ladies wore black in solidarity and they invited the biggest gun to speak-bigger than Meryl Streep. So big, this person is known only by one name: Oprah.
She gave, by all accounts, a stem-winder of a speech. In it, she said, "For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up."
A cynical person, for example like me, would have responded. That's true. For too long, people didn't believe Paula Jones because if you drag a $100 bill through a trailer park, there's no telling what you'd find. And we didn't believe Linda Tripp because she was tubby and wore glasses.
But no matter. Hollywood lapped up Oprah's speech and they are really excited about her running for President. While she hasn't really said if she would or would not, here's what I think is her strengths and weaknesses.
First of all, Oprah Winfrey is a masterful communicator. This separates her from the current occupant of The White House and frankly everybody else in politics. She knows what she wants to say and how she wants to say it. As they say in sports in regards to speed, you can't coach that. You either have it or you don't and she has it.
Secondly, as part of her talk show career, she knows how to listen. Again, this separates her from everybody in politics. Additionally, she knows how to appear sympathetic. That goes a long way in politics, especially the Presidency.
Third and this is big, Americans know her and like her. She was a guest in their living rooms for over 25 years. My mother, who was a person of her times, loved Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey connects with people. Elizabeth Warren doesn't. Boom.
Fourth, Winfrey is the creator and CEO of a cable network. She is a very rich person who started from nothing. Nobody gave her a million dollars to start a company.
Finally, Winfrey is younger than Biden, Warren, Sanders, and Hickenlooper. Okay, I'm not sure why being younger than Gov. Hickenlooper is a strength, but I just like writing the name.
This first weakness isn't really personal to Winfrey herself. It just seems a little too cute for the Democrats to bring Winfrey up. Okay, Middle America, you want a TV star president? Here you go!
Her second weakness is we don't know too much of what she believes in, politically. We assume she is your Barack Obama generic garden-variety left-wing Democrat, but we really don't know. She might be to the right of Obama on some issues. She may be to the left of Bernie Sanders.We don't know.
Her third weakness is Presidents have to make unpopular decisions. It is easy to be popular when you give everybody a car. It is more difficult to say, "I'm sending your son to war...and your son to war...and your son to war." She's always been one of the most popular people on the planet. I wonder what she would think of being compared to Hitler.
Then, there is this.
Harvey Weinstein and "his ways" could have been called an "open secret" in the entertainment industry except it wasn't so secret. It doesn't look like Winfrey "spoke the truth to power" when she had the opportunity.
She has a couple of other areas in which could be a problem, but since Trump (a thrice-married man who built casinos and has a model wife who has done nude sessions but still managed to be the candidate of a lot of Evangelicals), I have no idea.
One, she is not married but has a significant other. I would think that would matter but it might not.
Two, she is being attacked, already, for "spreading the anti-vaccine pseudoscience" (she had Jenny McCarthy on and basically didn't challenge McCarthy's statements that childhood vaccines cause autism). Winfrey says she was just presenting information and letting the viewers make up their own minds. If this is correct, we need to all apologize to Michelle Bauchman.
It may be way too early to think Oprah Winfrey is going to run for President. All I know, she has a really weak field in the Democratic party and Trump shouldn't take her too lightly.