Wednesday, April 16, 2014

High Noon at the Bundy Ranch




I have to laugh when people talk about “freedom” these days.  It’s never about your freedom or my freedom—it’s about their freedom.  Typically it’s some bigoted idiotic selfish point of view they conveniently wrapped in the altruistic and noble label of “freedom.”  You won’t hear these dolts championing “freedom” in other matters that don’t concern them.  Their silence is deafening when it comes to laws designed to suppress voting based on unsubstantiated “voter fraud” allegations.  You won’t hear a peep from them over the any number of laws and court actions against same sex marriage.  They’re perfectly fine with the Supreme Court handing over elections to the wealthy and the corporations.  They’re even mum when their own brethren decide invetro-ultrasounds are necessary.  No sir—you won’t hear anything about the “big bad government,” “big brother,” or “police state” from them then.  After all—it isn’t their freedom at stake.  It's also laughable how real issues of freedom are ignored or even justified.  But find yourself one whiny ass would-be conservative (and it ain't hard to do) and you have yourself a Bundy Ranch.

No--not that Bundy.  We like him!

 The saga at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada is quite a mess.  While Fox has spun this story any way it can, what remains clear is that this saga has gone on for 20 years.  Whatever gripe Mr. Bundy has he’s lost on numerous occasions.  He’s ignored court orders for years and I for one am fairly disturbed it’s taken 20 years to take action!  Can you and I do this?  Can we ignore court orders now?  This works?!?  What else do we get to pick and choose to follow and obey?

Great in School Hallways, but not when pointed at Anarchists.
My favorite part of this whole exercise in lunacy was listening to one of Bundy’s supporters on Hannity.  The man was quite animated and emphatic about the government having men with “high powered rifles and scopes” up on the ridge line.  What?!?  When the fuck did this become an issue for these clowns?  Aren’t these “freedom sticks?”  “Modern Muskets?”  “The Original Homeland Security?”  Come on boys!!  These are God-given rights these government people are wielding.  Hell—some of these clowns are making the case that gun rights are supported by the Bible.  What’s the big deal?!?

Of course worshiping a stupid gun and concocting any number of ridiculous and supposedly noble names and reasons isn’t quite as much fun when those “Modern Muskets” are trained upon you-- is it boys?  I guess the only time these cowards think high powered rifles and scopes are cool is when one is being carried down the aisle of a movie theater, mall hallway, or grade school.  

In the end, the Bureau of Land Management backed off, after a settlement was reached by the local sheriff, who Bundy insisted come to him.  Ya gotta love these cowardly criminal lil’ conservatives—so demanding!  Apparently there are enough anti-government types in Nevada, who apparently don’t mind Bundy doesn’t pay his grazing fees or scoffs at laws and court rulings, who came to his support.  Many of whom were armed.  It could’ve been a real Lexington & Concord and part of me wishes it was.  I wouldn’t lose a moment’s sleep over anarchists getting put down like diseased cattle.  While they preach “freedom” they condone anarchy.  News reports tell how the demonstrators and supporters of Bundy recited the Pledge of Allegiance as the Bureau left the area.  Ain’t that a hoot!  Hypocrisy at its finest!

Anarchy has been real trendy lately.  If you’re under the age of 30 you should know that our country wasn’t always this goddamn strange.  We didn’t always have counties wanting to leave their State, or whole States wanting to secede from the country.  We didn’t have bizarre unsubstantiated conspiracy theories like the Army intentionally flooding a town or the government creating sinkholes and tornadoes.  Sure!  You had your crackpots and mental cases, but for the most part they stayed in the deep South and mountains and at least wore tin foil hats so you can tell them apart.  

Nowadays hating the government is the stylish thing to do.  Ironically, the same group of people who are so mistrustful of the government are usually quite keen on wars.  Jon Stewart said it best:  If government is so bad, why do we continue to let them fight our wars?  We were all supposed to be rounded up into FEMA camps after the 2012 election.  I’ve lost count as to the number of ways the government was going to enslave us.  Obama better hurry up—time is running out!

Obviously some of us have been planning ahead.

Creating this hate has been a masterful work of marketing by Fox, Conservatives, and their punditry shock jocks.  “State’s Rights” have become their battle-cry and there is a reason for this.  It’s easier to screw you and I at the local level.  Read your papers and you’ll see these Tea Party anarchists weaseling their way into school boards taking issue with everything from ethnic studies, to history, to trying to stick Jesus up on a goddamn wall, as if that will solve anything other than appease their own mental illness of religion.
Conservatives and Tea Partiers hate being called racists.  Well some of them do—others embrace it.  But if you haven’t been paying attention, a lot of legalized bigotry and racism has been introduced since 2008.  It’s been masqueraded any number of ways and the most recent case was in Arizona, where the bigoted religious nut jobs tried to keep the gays out of their diners and businesses on the grounds of “religious freedom.”  Again, this isn’t about your freedom or mine—it’s about their own petty wants and needs and classy marketing.

Two kinds of people find their way into the Tea Party and this line of thinking:  Billionaires and suckers.  You can usually tell them apart by checking their wallet.

~Unless

Monday, March 10, 2014

The annaul CPAC convention has come and gone and what would a CPAC convention be without another possible war?  According to Sarah Palin, "Only a good guy with a nuke can stop a bad guy with a nuke."  Now Sarah wasn't suggesting that we start hurling nukes at the Russians because of their invasion of Ukraine, but she wasn't not-not saying that either.  Conservatives love war.  They really do.

North Korea, Iran, Syria, and now Ukraine--conservatives are forever frustrated and disappointed that we aren't sprinkling our soldiers all over the globe to fight, die, or get disfigured.  The theme "Peace through Strength" is dotting a lot of social media.  If we respond to every crisis, we'll show the world we're willing to fight and we'll be "safe."  This is the thinking.  A poll on CNN, they only one I've seen so far, shows that only one in eight Americans want to send troops into the Ukraine.  Guess who the "one" in eight was?  Mark my words, if we ever stupid enough to elect one of these Tea Bagger clowns to the White House, our children will be marched off to another endless war.  If the conservatives can't justify it, history goddamn well shows they'll invent it!

The disconnect in the group think of conservatives is astonishing.  Do they not keep notes?  Do they not remember what they've said months ago?  Their very statements and positions change with the wind.  They contradict themselves.  No matter if you hate Obama or if you feel there is a "liberal agenda," does that automatically mean you have to be a moron?  You have to be incredibly stupid or extremely hateful of Obama to ignore the contrariness of conservative stances.

Repeatedly we hear these clowns whimper and whine about the deficit, but not the cost of wars.  Because of the deficit we can't afford health care, to educate our young, or feed or poor.  Yet, we're able to feed Syrian children because of the "humanitarian crisis."  Syrian children can eat.  Our own children should go hungry or sweep for a reduced or free school lunch.  Drones are bad.  We should stop violating countries borders with our drones.  Yet months ago, when North Korea paraded a captured 70 year old U.S. warship, the conservatives wanted to sink the ship with a cruise missile.  In October of 2011, Obama sent 100 troops to Africa as military advisers.  Conservatives howled that Obama was starting another war in Africa and was stretching our resources thin.  Oh...and let's not forget the cost.  This movement has lowered itself to "tater tot" issues.  Truly.  School lunches are a "thing" for them.

As for Ukraine, am I the only one noticing that the Ukrainian troops are still in their bases?  It's not as if the Ukraines are running to engage the Russians, but according to conservative thinking--we should--to be "safe."  I've got a problem when the invaded country's soldiers are looking out the window and ours are doing the actual fighting.  It's also another case of divergent thinking for conservatives.  Last year, our conservative dominated House of Representatives decided to decrease food stamp benefits and end unemployment insurance for money.  Their reasoning?  Obviously these people would not do for themselves, so why should we?  We were "enabling" them in their condition.  It seems that Ukraine itself doesn't want to do for itself, yet we should do for them.

Let me tell you--if you're a non-American suffering and/or there is a chance to get some of our soldiers killed--conservatives are willing to open the checkbook and do for you.  If you're American--go fuck yerself!

You may not have heard it  above the din of the war drums, but the CPAC conference had some other low-lights as well.  In an effort to reach out to minority voters, CPAC rented out a huge ballroom for expected attendees.  No one showed up!  This has surprised no one and it shouldn't come as a surprise to CPAC organizers either.  Again this year, CPAC organizers uninvited their own "minorities," specifically the Log Cabin (gay) Republicans and atheist Republican groups.  They won't even embrace the minority groups that actually like them; does anyone believe Hispanics and Blacks are going to show up?!?

You also won't hear the CPAC prices rose this year.  Some say this was in an attempt to weed out college age Ron Paul supporters who aren't terrified of gays, don't believe we should invade everyone at the drop of a hat, and care more about the economy than God.  You also won't hear many clips of Ron Paul's speech urging the U.S. to stop policing the world and police our own borders.

If you "hear" anything in this post, I hope you've heard the contrariness, hypocrisy, and double-standards of the conservative mindset.  Where is the coherency?  Where is the policy?  Where is the consistency?  It seems to be chaotic and whimsical mess.  You're guaranteed one consistent thing with a vote for conservatives:  war.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Gov. Cuomo's Convict College

Governor Cuomo has an idea to try and reduce the recidivism rate for criminals:  a free college education.  It's not a plan that is being greeted with a lot enthusiasm.  In fact, people hate it.  Why?  Self-interest.  We're really not all that interested in solving problems anymore.  We're just wonder how it affects us.  If it doesn't affect us, well we bitch about it.

I've had some interesting discussions with close friends over Cuomo's idea and at this point it is still but an idea.  That doesn't stop the emotion from entering the discussion to consider the idea.  Cuomo's idea seeks to curb the number of inmates retaining to our jails and prisons and costing us $60K a year each.  I don't know if Cuomo considered the college graduates with crushing student debt, or the high school seniors who have no idea how they will afford college, or out of work people who could seriously use some job retraining for another line of work, but I can say this:  Those groups who I just mentioned aren't costing the tax payers $60,000 each...at least not yet.  When looking at the NYS budget, Cuomo can't point to any of these groups I've mentioned and say with any certainty that these groups are costing tax payers $60,000 each.

"But They're Criminals!!!"

...and?  ...so?  Have we become so vindictive in this country that we're willing to continue to pay $60,000 a year for the same guy who keeps stealing TVs?  We're "good" with this?  That's pretty goddamn stupid! We love to look down on criminals.  For some of us, we can't punish them enough!  Many think Sheriff Joe in Arizona has it all figured out.  The more draconian and medieval we make our prisons, the less likely those same inmates will be back--right?  Does anyone really think that's working well?  I would imagine that those inmates being released aren't the most well-adjusted adults coming out confinement.

 By the way, when does a criminal "pay his due?"  As a criminal, you're convicted, you have a permanent record that follows you, serve time, there may be a fine or restitution, you've lost your job (if you had one), and you family is in turmoil (if it wasn't already).  When do we consider criminals "even with the board?"  Do they ever pay their debt to society?  

"That Money Ought to Go to Schools, so They Don't Become Criminals"

Yeah...we've tried that.  Obviously it didn't work because we still have criminals and repeat offenders.  Let's not forget we have people in this State and country who feel our schools get "enough" money already.  We actually have a national debate about the ethics of giving a grade school a hot well-balanced lunch to perform better in school.  As a nation, we've become so cheap and selfish, that this has become a "thing."  Are we really expecting more money to go into education to prevent criminal behavior without anyone squawking about it?  

"Well They Shouldn't Have Committed a Crime"

But they did!  And I'll ask again, do we really want to continue paying for the same thing over and over again?  We have at least three television shows that show ordinary, sometimes well-adjusted, educated people who decided to turn to crime to make ends meet:  Weeds, Breaking Bad, and Moonshiners.  Our entertainment is watching other people commit crimes to make better money.  We now televise what has been going on for years and they get great ratings for it!

In Weeds, we have a housewife subsidizing her income through marijuana sales.  The character of Walter White is diagnosed with cancer and decides to turn to meth manufacturing to be able to leave his family something when he dies.  These are the fictional shows!  Moonshiners has hill-billies evading the police to send their kids off to college.

I watched an episode of "Undercover Boss" the other night.  The CEO for Subway was getting barked at by some shrewish, hateful, would-be dictator, who referred to the CEO as "fresh meat."  She spent a good portion of the episode just being an obnoxious superior bitch, just for the sake of being an obnoxious superior bitch.  Are we to believe our teens and young adults,with all the risk factors associated with criminals are going to put with the likes of the Subway Twat and make less than $60 a day?  With no health insurance?  

Cuomo's idea is to solve one issue.  I personally don't think it'll get very far or that it is even a "good" idea.  However considering how to lower recidivism rates deserves attention--not emotion--but attention.  We could teach every convict to be an astronaut and it is still no guarantee they would be hired.  They are still criminals and that begs the question I asked before, when have they paid their debt?  I'm not so naive as to believe that every inmate, given the chance, will blossom into a productive citizen.  In fact, $60,000 is a bit of a "bargain" when you consider how volatile, murderous, psychotic, etc...some of the prisoners are.  We can't rehabilitate every one of them and the reason is some of them are just evil to their core.

The idea to solve this problem is good--the method needs some work!  Employers need an incentive to give recently released person a shot at a job.  Those incarcerated need some supports in place before they are released.  We have agencies like this in every county in the State but this information isn't shared with prisoners.  These are under utilized resources we're already paying for!  Having a place to live, knowing a place where you can look for work, and having a skill could do a lot for a parolee.  They might be less likely to fall back into their old lifestyle if they knew where they were sleeping that night.

There's a lot of resources virtually untapped in our State that are paid for but under utilized.  Most importantly there is the stigma.  When is the debt paid?  There's a way forward on this, but it requires attention and receptiveness, not blind emotion.  Until then, we'll continue to pay $60,000 a year, per inmate so that we can appease that vindictive draconian nature of ours.

~Unless.



 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Personal Responsibility and Free Lunches

"Personal responsibility" has become a buzz phrase amongst conservatives during the past five years.  It raised its head mightily during the "Occupy" movement and it has become a key battle cry since for conservatives.  As a buzz phrase "personal responsibility" has been used as a tool in attempts to dismantle social programs, vilify the poor, and foster resentment against our fellow citizens.  It has become an excuse for some to turn a blind eye to the condition of their neighbors and chastise them for their misfortune.

Having trouble finding work with that college degree?  Well you should've picked a different major.  Lost your job due to cut backs?  You should have seen that coming!  Can't make ends meet financially?  You should have had a job that paid more or get another job.  Your child needs medication for asthma or diabetes and your job doesn't offer insurance?  You ought to have thought about that before you had the child or took the job(s).  Elderly and can't afford your medications?  You should have saved more when you were working.

Isn't this a fun game?  You get to be that moralizing mother-fucker-in-law, Monday morning quarterback.  If you're unemployed, working but can't make ends meet, or have a medical condition--you are "flawed."  The talking point of "personal responsibility" goes something like this:  *ahem*  ::grumble:: ::grumble::  People staying home ::grumble::  stealing my tax money ::grumble:: ::grumble::  can't work--don't eat ::grumble:: personal responsibility!!

For those of this mindset, homelessness, exposure, starvation, suffering, and dying are perfectly acceptable ends to these supposedly flawed people.  No matter one's situation, what they have done with their life, or why they are in need, they are clumped into a sad, but very real demographic, of this country--"the takers" as they are called.  ...and there are "takers" in this country.  To make matters worse, these "takers" come from a looong line of generational "takers."  For them, it has become a sad family tradition.

It would be....just great, if the story-book happy ending view of conservatives could happen in this country.  Imagine a couple bringing a wanted child into their solid marriage.  A child raised in secure financial environment and one who concentrates first on themselves as an individual before concentrating on their sex life.  A child who is career focused and enters into his own healthy, productive, adult relationship.  It's not a hard concept to envision.  It's not an awful concept to envision.  But as a wise man...or was it a woman...said:  "Shit happens."  And so, barring a policy where rampant homelessness, sickness, and starvation is embraced, this story-book view of America will forever elude conservatives.

That doesn't mean they aren't trying!  The collective group think is that by reducing aid, eliminating it, or erecting barriers such as drug testing, some magical things will happen.  The unemployed will suddenly find jobs.  It doesn't matter if these jobs will worsen that person's condition.  What matters is that they won't be supported anymore.  The "takers" will magically rise up and find gainful employment or go to college.  This sick will...who the hell knows...win the lotto?

What is often conveniently left out of the "personal responsibility" talking points are the those people who have worked for the majority of their lives and find themselves now in need.  Seniors and far too many military families are included in this demographic.  Couples and families who never before needed assistance, now do; a fact that the conservatives love to point out and pin to our "Food Stamp President."  These families that have fallen on hard times are clumped in with the takers.

As for those "takers," let's be real:  These people don't have much to offer.  No one ever decided that sitting around and being beholden to the first and fifteenth of the month was a good idea.  In fourth grade, no one came into our classrooms and talked about the wonders of government assistance.  It just didn't happen that way!  I've run agencies that have been work sites for "welfare to work" candidates and there isn't much to work with.  Their personal lives are a dysfunctional mess.  They are immature fractured individuals who have little to offer socially or through a skill set.

We missed the boat on these people.  They've failed to launch.  Pick your issue:  family, education, gangs, early pregnancy--the list goes on.  The causes are many.  It isn't just conservatives who are frustrated with this demographic--it's everyone.  While we should look for solutions to chronic generational welfare, starving them out isn't the answer. 

Nor is humiliation--which is the latest tactic and "big idea" offered by conservatives.  Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) recently proposed the idea that children who receive a free lunch, should be made to sweep the cafeteria floors to teach them that there is no such thing as a "free lunch."  Citing the expense of the school lunch program, Kingston has even proposed that children receiving a subsidized lunch or breakfast be made to pay a dime or a nickel for their meal, just to get that pesky "free lunch" notion out of their head.  Yet, even Kingston concedes that his idea may cause more administrative costs or cost the program to lose to money.  "I understand that that would be an administrative problem, and I understand that it would probably lose you money. But think what we would gain as a society in getting people – getting the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch."  While we're purging myths--can we work on that moronic Christianity thing as well?

This is the "big idea" to save the country.

Thankfully, Kingston's idea will go nowhere, mostly due to the fact that he even acknowledges it's an awful idea.  But then again...it wasn't supposed to go anywhere or even be credible.  It's served it purpose.  That purpose was to keep you and I angry.  Do you feel chiseled?  Do you feel robbed?  Are you aghast that a 9 year old will eat a "hockey puck hamburger" that has been swimming in its own grease under a heat lamp without any recompense to you or I?

Probably not and I'd wager neither are the majority (50.6%) of today's conservatives.  Yet for the other half of conservatives, humiliating children and demanding some sort of task from them to justify the conservative mentality is delicious red meat to toss out to the masses.  Kingston's entire disastrous idea is built on the usual conservative sleight-of-hand politics.  Jump lackeys!  Roll over!  Condemn the child for robbing you! Forget that Kingston's plan, by his own admission, is awful!  As a die-hard conservative, Kingston just needs you angry and full of contempt.  Perhaps if you're angry enough, you'll one day stop remembering key issues like that and just cede control right over to the likes of Kingston.

Then, that story-book view of this country might just happen.  Sure--we'll have more homeless and starving people.  Hell, a few of them might even die!  But isn't that worth it, so that we have nation that understands there is no such thing as a "free lunch?"

This is the part where we all start chanting, "USA," "USA," "USA!!"

~Unless

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sandy Hook: One Year Later

This year, as the first anniversary Sandy Hook approaches, 26 families will try very hard to go on about their lives during the Holiday Season.  For each of these families, there will always be an "empty chair" at their family gatherings.  While the families of Newtown, Connecticut have become the face of one side of the gun-violence debate, they are not alone.  The Washington Post reported today that 91 other children have been killed by gun violence since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012--a third of that total were killed by their own parents.

What have we learned, decided, or solved since Sandy Hook?  Nothing.  As a country, gun violence has become the most divisive issue amongst Americans, perhaps more so than abortion.  Neither side of the debate has adopted any new tactics or talking points.  Like two trash talking WWE wrestlers they taunt each other from opposite sides of the ring.  Meanwhile the body count continues to climb to a point where both sides have blood on their hands.





Elements of the pro-gun side have completely jumped the shark in their thinking.  They are a selfish lot.  Today's shooting at Arapahoe High School underscores this fact.  One of the first commentators of the story leaped to the defense of the 2nd Amendment.  Neither the suicide of the shooter or the two wounded students was mentioned, neither was relief expressed that more weren't injured.  No--for this individual and many more like him, they don't care.  They care about their gun(s).  We've seen this before.  When the crazed gunman borrowed a gun and planned to die by suicide-by-cop at the Florida school, many of this insane pro-gun element wondered what the big deal was--he only had 500 rounds of ammo.  It wasn't even a "powerful" gun.


Pay no attention to this babble about "patriotism," or "holding on to the 2nd Amendment" so that they can one day "restore the other freedoms we've lost."  These talking points are just words and bravado.  They are not "patriots."  They are gun owners.  Patriots don't sit by while 20 grade school children get gunned down in a classroom.  These people are unworthy of being called "patriots."  The six teachers who gave their lives at Sandy Hook--they are patriots!

Of course the single greatest talking point for having a gun is revolution.  These ding-bats are constantly talking about "rising up" and "taking back their country."  It's not your country or even our country--it's "their country."  I asked several of them a while back:  What the fuck are you waiting for?  Surely by now they've seen enough political corruption and moral decay to "rise up" and "save" us all--or even just themselves.  Hey--if they needed a "sign" to show them the train has left the tracks, I'd say 20 kids getting gunned down in their classroom by bullets bigger than their crayons was a pretty big sign!!

Yet for these gutless windbags, they will do nothing.  As I said, they are a selfish lot and it doesn't affect them or their gun, they just aren't all that motivated or interested.  Another favorite talking point is, what I like to call, the "Red Dawn" scenario.  But when these "patriots" can turn a blind eye to children being gunned down with increasing frequency, I hardly think these individuals are really going to rally to protect us from a  like Chinese invasion of the continental United States.  About all these windbags can do is whine about how "victimized" they are and how one day--one day--they'll "rise up."  Wolverines!!!!!  Maybe not...  Sloths!!!

As callous, insensitive, ridiculous, and obnoxious as the pro-gun crowd has been, even common sense measures have been opposed.  Maryland crafted a bill with the help of the N.R.A.to remove firearms from the mentally ill or those in crisis.  It wasn't the most efficient or timely bill, but it was progress.  Unfortunately, the "victimized" gun owners of Maryland felt this was an over reach and the bill was scrapped.  Apparently, Maryland gun owners are fine with emotionally volatile people having their guns.

Feminist Tyranny?

Murder has even been justified by the pro-gun crowd.  The shooting in Ross Township, Pennsylvania and shooting of an Arizona lawyer and the plantiff in an arbitration case and even the LAX shooter were dismissed by many gun owners.  Quite often, they summed up it as "...sometimes you push a man too far ..." or justified as killing a "jack booted thug" (TSA agent) of a corrupt government.

But the most outrageous and insane response to common sense measures comes from Arizona.  The school district of Tucson put out a letter to parents urging them to talk to their children about guns, gun violence and ask the students to sign a meaningless, toothless pledge to not a bring a gun onto school property.  The local Arizona gun club took issue with this and the school district apologized.  Apparently, talking to your children and reminding them that guns can't go to school is "an assault on the Second Amendment."

Now as nauseating as the pro-gun crowd can be, the sheer stupidity of the anti-gun crowd easily rivals that nausea.  A year later and the anti-gun crowd is still hell bent on gun control.  As one lucid pro-gun owner stated, "Which ones?  The hundred of thousands already in circulation?  Or just the new ones?"  He had a point.  Legislation will not work!  Crazy people don't fill out forms.

When not running into legislative walls, the anti-gun crowd is perhaps the most useless, inefficient, collection of morons I've ever observed.  I leave The Sandy Hook Promise on my Facebook feed as a guilty pleasure.  So help me, I have a morbid fascination with the useless tactics of uber-liberalism.  How the fuck book fairs, signing cards, James Ingram singing, and bar-be-ques are going to stop the next slaughter, I have no idea.  But it's almost exclusively what these clowns do.

I threw in the towel on this organization when they posted about how the cop at the front of the school regularly dresses in a panda costume and greets the children.  Because you know--nothing terrifies a gun man like a 6 foot panda waving!  I literally laughed out loud in contempt of the idiocy when I read this.  No doubt this organization is well funded, but as the one year anniversary of Sandy Hook nears--don't give these dolts a dime!  They have done nothing in their time.  Find Gabby Gifford's SuperPAC, throw money at your school for a metal detector, offset the cost of a security guard...but send these ineffectual clowns nothing.

I know where to start!
Where both sides can find common ground is the issue of mental health.  They acknowledge it, but aren't doing anything about it.  Eventually the "libs" are going to have let go of the pipe dream that little Johnny, his sackful of anti-psychotics, and anti-social behaviors just isn't going to be able to be "mainstreamed."  We can't count on these medications and we can't count on parents.  Too often we've read how the crazed gunman's parent watched silently as the armory was amassed.  For the "cons," worrying about their gun would be passe.  They'll have bigger issues!  Are they nuts?  Am I?  Are you?  Who gets to make the call?  But what standards?

Meddling with the mental health system in this country is a slippery slope and one that will cause us to look at patient's rights and civil rights.  The one thing we can agree on is that all of these mass shooters are "crazy."  Borrowed gun, registered gun, unregistered gun--it really doesn't matter.  It's the crazy guy with the complex that's the issue.  The choose guns because guns are "power" and quite often, people don't bother to lock them up.  There is no 7-11 black market gun franchise.  Hell we don't need it!

Until these two sides come together to seriously discuss this issue, kids will continue to die.  This country was built upon compromise.  It's how solutions were made.  Until then, the "victims" will continue to profess their faux-patriotism and drone about the Constitution, while those that supposedly want "change" will send out...an online card for you to sign to show your support.

WTF?  How the hell will...oh never mind.

~Unless

List of School Shootings

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cashing in on George Zimmerman

You Fuckin' Putz

"He's Like a Ticking Time Bomb."

~Shellie Zimmerman


As I predicted back in September, Shellie Zimmerman is back in the news.  Our favorite plus-size shrewish cosmetologist has begun cashing in on her former husband, George Zimmerman's infamy.  Appearing on Katie Couric's talk show, Shellie described George as a "ticking time bomb" and claimed "something had snapped in his spirit."   Shellie hopes that George will find help for his "situation" and that "no one else will get hurt."  No one else?  Who got hurt?  Not Shellie!  Even after her altercation with George at her father's house, where Shellie claimed George punched her father and broke her I-Pad because she recorded George threatening to shoot her, Shellie never pressed charges.  So who got hurt?  Her father?  Trayvon Martin?  I find the statement odd.  Did she let the cat out of the bag?  Is there a deeper meaning to that?

Shellie could not have picked a more fortuitous time to begin the talk show rounds, as George's current girl friend, one Samantha Sheibe, is now making her own accusations about George and providing intimate details of their life together.  For Shellie, when those hundreds of thousand--maybe millions--of dollars started flowing in from every racist, lunatic libertarian, and gun-owners chomping at the bit to kill someone--legally of course--Shellie was on board enough to hide some of their assets for the bail hearing, even though her relationship with George was already volatile.   As soon as that particular honey hole of fortune dried up, so did Shellie's honey hole.  While George walked free on a not guilty verdict, Shellie found herself on the hook for hiding their assets.  The picture above is from that hearing and I think we can all agree, by the look of her in that picture, Shellie decided it was over.

Mark "Pay Me" O'Mara
George had walked free, yet she did not.  It was estimated that Zimmerman's trial would cost the defense team nearly half a million dollars.  This was considered "cheap" and roughly "half" of what would normally be needed due to donations that flooded in.  Of the initial $200,000 raised, Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's lawyer, took $150,000, $30,000 was set aside for moving expenses, and $20,000 set aside for living expenses.  There's talk of other websites where significant donations were raised and O'Mara had even resorted to blogging to raise funds.  Mark O'Mara made sure he was getting paid.  It's unclear if Shellie or George ever saw any of this windfall or profited, as it was reported that Zimmerman was asking Florida to foot the bill for $200,000-$300,000 in attorney fees. 

O'Mara fired George as a client after the altercation with his wife at her father's home. When asked if O'Mara had any advice for George, O'Mara responded, "Pay me."  Gotta love the lawyers!  O'Mara has since gone on to be a legal analyst for CNN, with undisclosed terms and compensation.

I expected for Shellie Zimmerman to announce a book deal.  It hasn't happened yet, but I haven't ruled it out yet.  Her interview with Couric corresponded roughly around the time George's current girlfriend, Scheibe started giving her own inside info on Zimmerman.

Definite Trade Up from Shellie
Scheibe claims that ol' Georgie leveled a shotgun at her chest and smashed a glass coffee table in a domestic dispute.  In this same dispute George ordered Scheibe out of her home and barricaded the door.  Scheibe claims in an extensive interview with WKMG that ol' Georgie hasn't been doing all that well in the aftermath of his not guilty verdict.  As the media furor died down around ol' Georgie, Scheibie describes a deep depression marked by medication and bouts of inability for ol' Georgie to get out of bed.  Scheibie goes on to make the accusations that ol' Georgie would make suicidal statements when he wasn't in the news even though George knew he wouldn't be able to carve out a normal existence while being a headline. She even stated that there was at least one, she believes, suicide attempt, involving sleeping pills and several instances where George would put a gun in his mouth threatening to "end it all."




Oh the drama!!

There is an attempt already to discredit Scheibe as someone "looking for her 15 minutes of fame."  Scheibe's relationship with George goes back farther than George's relationship with Shellie.  Scheibe stood at George's side throughout the trial and their previous romance rekindled after Shellie and George parted ways.  Perhaps Scheibe is trying to cash in on Zimmerman and why not?  It seems everyone else is!  Scheibe's interview does provide a lot of information to consider and her claims can't be dismissed entirely.


For the record, George was found not guilty.  Whether we agree with that is immaterial.  He had his day in court and whether he was truly not guilty or the prosecution of Florida was simply inept is a matter of debate still.  The interviews given by Shellie and Scheibe, along with George's actions following the verdict, are painting a different picture.


Scheibe claims that on the night Martin was shot, Shellie and George had argued causing Shellie to leave the house.  George went on patrol.  Armed.  Whether it's patrol, confronting his ex-wife, being stopped by the police in Forney, Texas, or with his girlfriend--George always seems to have an gun with him.


There's a history of violence and domestic violence associated with George.  In 2005, George got into a scuffle (push) with an officer about a friend's underage drinking.  Through a pre-trial diversion program and anger-management classes, George avoided any serious consequences.  It's this event that many speculate spurred George's interest in the law.  During the same year, an ex-fiancee filed a restraining order and against Geroge and he filed a reciprocal order as well.


Which is interesting, because quite often we've seen George introduced as the victim.  The altercation with the ex-wife was significant as George destroyed the I-Pad allegedly containing video of the dispute.  Previous to this altercation, Shellie had described George as, "reckless" and "feeling invincible" in the aftermath of the verdict.  "I have a selfish husband and I think George is all about George." She told Good Morning America.  During the altercation with Scheibe, George placed a 9-1-1 call himself claiming his girlfriend was going nuts.  And of course, during the Martin trial, Martin was the aggressor. By George's recount, he's a humble guy often carrying a gun, in explosive situations through no fault of his own.  It's always the other person.

What stood out the most to me in the Scheibe interview was George's obsession with fame.  His bouts of depression when not in the headlines and  knowing that he'd never life a normal life if in the headlines presents a bizarre dichotomy.  While we don't know if Scheibe is telling the truth, I am inclined to believe her on this point.  During his traffic stop in Forney, Texas, George felt the need to share his "celebrity," with the officer. 


I don't know who, in their right mind, during a traffic stop feels the need to bring attention to their second degree murder charge.  Maybe I'm the oddball, but I don't feel the need to draw undue attention to myself during traffic stops.

Scheibe claims and the subsequent news story confirms, the George barricaded himself in Scheibe's house.  Why?  By Scheibe's own account, George always had a gun with him and even though it was in his own mouth half the time, was George that fearful of Scheibe?  I don't think so.  He was fearful of what was coming after Scheibe left the house.

As for George, it's hard to say if George is wracked with guilt after killing Martin.  I doubt it.  Against the advice of his then lawyer O'Mara and "good taste" in general, George went to visit the manufacturer of the gun that killed Martin.  "We certainly would not have advised him to go to the factory that made the gun that he used to shoot Trayvon Martin through the heart. That was not part of our public relations plan."  More like a victory lap for George. 

I suspect George's depression is due to the weird dichotomy of his fame.  It had to be terribly validating for George to see so many unknown people flock to his defense fund with words of encouragement and support.  While George was elected the proverbial poster child for Stand Your Ground and gun rights, that level of fame vanished a mere two weeks after his not guilty verdict.  One can imagine the disappointment George experienced when that Texas officer didn't know who George Zimmerman was.

Now in a moment of almost delicious karmic repercussion, the very fame George sought is eluding him.  Sure...in the entertainment world...even bad publicity is publicity, but for George it's becoming his undoing.  His lawyer and ex-wife have already begun to profit off of his "celebrity" and now it seems his girlfriend will see a pay day or two as well.  As for George, there's probably a part of him that is pleased he's back in the headlines--even if it is because he had to post a $9,000 bail because of the Scheibe incident.  This "fame" will quickly pass too, as more people begin to connect the dots as to who George Zimmerman is, thanks to the closest people in his life, who are cashing in on George.

George is running out of people to point fingers at and sooner or later George will realize his biggest problem is George Zimmerman.  It may take a long time.  It will probably be very awkward and embarrassing for George.  It may cost George all the material possessions in his life or might even result in George taking his own life.  "Not guilty," should not be assumed as "innocent."  In the continuing saga that is George Zimmerman, it would seem that karma has only begun to play its role, helped along and due in no small part, to George Zimmerman himself.

You should have stayed in the car George.

 



Monday, November 4, 2013

The Jones Effect

It was bound to happen.  After five years of fear-mongering, fiction, and out-and-out lies, some poor damn deluded, dim-witted, son-of-a-bitch was going to take matters into their own hands.  Time, repetition, and the ever casualness of up ending our government by the likes of Alex Jones and many others has finally produced some results.

Jones doesn't get full credit for the LAX shooting of three TSA guards and he may not even be directly responsible for the event.  However, since Jones sits at the top of the hierarchy of anti-government fear- mongering, with many smaller market wanna-be fear-mongers emulating his distrustful anti-government stances, for now I'll give credit where credit is due.

As I wrote back in May ("Seeds of Doubt"), Jones's website describes his show as:  "The Alex Jones Show is three hours of intense, gripping, can't-miss radio. Every day, Alex relentlessly exposes the dirty doings of the global elite, educating his listeners and giving them motivation to take back their freedom. Alex is not your typical talk radio host. He goes beyond being non-partisan. Rather, he smashes the left/right political paradigm to pieces."  Translation:  Be prepared to be scared shit-less for three hours with lies, innuendo, and government conspiracy plots.  At the time I wrote "Seeds of Doubt," Jones was entertaining the idea that the Moore, Oklahmoa tornado was caused by "weather weapon stuff" of the U.S. military.  It gets better!  Previous to this asinine statement, Jones was speaking with a caller who was convinced the frequency of sinkholes occurring in Florida was due to some "government machine."  Rather than dismiss his obviously deranged caller, Jones ran with this idea and pivoted to "weather weapon stuff" in Oklahoma.  If you're an Alex Jones listener, the notion that the government is trying to kill isn't just a thought--it's a certainty!  As for why the government is doing this, well Jones and his ever fearful flock of listeners are really short on details.  Details and motivation don't seem to matter.

In his own blog, "The Rant," my friend Tom Degan labels guys like Jones "anarchic-corporists."  People like Jones aren't simply anti-Obama or believe in State's Rights; they're against all government.  As long as corporations are making money and the government is out of our pockets, life will be swell.  It'll never happen and on some level the Alex Joneses of this world really don't want it to happen.  The all too lucrative advertising dollars of companies who would love for everyone to prepare for Armageddon would be gone.  Whether it's Glen Beck or Alex Jones or any of the smaller market Chicken Littles, their advertising consists of buying gold or silver in the event of an economic collapse, disaster preparedness supplies, and identity theft and fraud protection.  Don't count on hearing a Price Line commercial to visit Disneyland!  If Jones and his cronies have their way, it won't be there.  My personal favorite ads of these shows are the numerous companies who will help resolve your tax liability with the IRS if you owe "$10,000, $20,000, or more."  I can't help myself but to laugh when these commercials air usually during some rant about "welfare queens."  The irony regarding "patriotism" and "individual responsibility" seems to be lost on some producer.


Enter Paul Ciancia, who is young enough, dumb enough, weak enough, and malleable enough to hear the "dog whistles" of the likes of Jones and others.  At age 23, Ciancia may well have subsisted on a daily three hour diet of Alex-Jones-like drivel and like many of "shock radios" listeners, isn't too bright.

Maybe that's unfair for me to say, but none of the goofy mindless bastards have ever questioned how a glorified "DJ" like Alex Jones might have access to"top secret weather weapon stuff" or "sinkhole technology."  Seriously--if in one three hour block Jones can accept that the U.S. government is sponsoring sinkholes, offer that the government is creating tornadoes, while parenthetically adding that the 15 years ago the U.S. Army created a flood in Texas to kill thirty people, how in the hell are these topics "forgotten" about on the next show?!?  What is there to talk about next--Obamacare?!? 

The casualness of how these sensational stories are thrown out there to the public and then discarded the next day is either really bad journalism or one big fucking lie in the first place.  For all of Jones's anti-government posturing and positioning of how he is "in-the-know," you would think that if Jones's "the government is trying to kill you" propaganda were true, Mr. Jones might just vanish via one of his own conspiracy theories.

More Jones Fear-Mongering
Sadly the listeners of "shock radio" just aren't that bright.  Ciancia was one of those quiet kids in school who kept to himself.  In a better world, Ciancia would've enjoyed a life filled with on-line porn and awkward Craig's List hookups.  Yet for possibly at least five years, Ciancia obviously tuned in and fed on the anti-government notions of the likes of Jones and others.  The evidence of the note found in his bag alluding to the "NWO" or New World Order is a common conspiracy theory of anti-government types.  The existence and proof of this shadowy government is only known by, apparently, radio disc jockeys.

Describing himself as "pissed-off patriot," Ciancia's motivations, by his own hand, were to "kill pigs and TSA Agents for violating his civil rights."  The Right, has been conspicuously absent, on this event.  Maybe it's due to several key elections where the GOP is hanging on by a thread.  Perhaps it has something to do with yet another "law-abiding gun-owner who just went n-u-t-s and ruined that whole criminals excuse to gun violence.  I'm told it doesn't matter his political views, the man was "clearly deranged."

I disagree and I think we need to redefine "deranged."  Misguided--yes.  A moron--undoubtedly.  A malcontent--certainly!  A murderer--absolutely!!  But deranged???  "Deranged" to me suggests that the person in question was stark-raving-mad.  Ciancia and too many other shooters aren't striking me as "deranged."  Murderous.  Planful.  Mindful.  Purposeful--all seem to come to mind.  This "we need to stop the crazy people from getting guns excuse" is getting a bit worn out and overused.

Let's agree that anyone who decides to kill random people isn't necessarily well adjusted.  But does it mean the person is "crazy?"  Whatever happened to just good ol' fashion evil?  Ciancia dressed in fatigues for his "moment" and reportedly carried 150 rounds of ammunition.  Why?  I don't know.  I'm divided on the fatigues.  Did this kid think that shooting up an airport in broad daylight was going to require camouflage?  Or was he trying to play para-military boy?  Reports state that Ciancia boarded an escalator and turned around to finish one of the TSA agents off. Not exactly "deranged."  Deranged would've been going into the airport without pants, carrying a bag filled with Twinkies, a double-ended dildo, and a gerbil!  No--Ciancia wasn't deranged, he was convinced.

Which begs the question:  When does free speech reach a limit?  Many don't even want to talk about this.  The whole "slippery slope" argument comes into play.  But in recent years, I've seen free speech completely bastardized.  These days "political correctness" is seen as anti-free speech.  You or I should have the "freedom" to call a black man a nigger and a homosexual a faggot.  This freedom is thought of as "our freedom" and those that adopt this attitude could care less about your freedom.


There used to be a time when it was unthinkable to say or report something over the air that couldn't be backed up with facts.  Now opinion and speculation and fiction are spun as news.  Daily, this abuse occurs and no one has yet called the likes of Jones and his cronies out for it. To be fair, this occurs at both ends of the political spectrum, but I've yet to liberal shows casually mentioning the U.S. Army intentionally causing the death of 30 people by causing a flood.

"The Jones Effect," as I'm calling it, isn't over.  Ciancia is only one of the first.  Conservative talk radio has found it's grip on its listener's souls.  For those listeners who find the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity to "vanilla," there's Jones and his emulators to fill the void.  Black helicopters, false flags, and science fiction are all fair game.  More violence will follow.  The regressive dumbing-down of this country makes it easy for Jones and his ilk.  You have to laugh--you have to!  We live in a country where if hear "fuck" on TV, it's a scandal for the FCC.  If you suggest that the U.S. Government caused a tornado in Oklahoma--silence.