Thursday, June 16, 2016

School Buses And Lemons

Americans gasped Sunday as they watched reports, from CNN and other sources, of an American-born man, who gunned down 49 people early Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando, after pledging himself to ISIS.
Lemon & School Bus
Subject: Lemon | Date: 02/13/2005 | Photographer: André Karwath |This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.
Subject: School Bus | Date: 12/07/2013 | Photographer: Echtner |This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
This blog is being posted four days after the fact, simply because I've had trouble writing the thing.  I had a whole thing planned regarding the fact that school buses and lemons are different colors, yet they're both same color as well.

One's a very bright sunny color, while the other offers a darker richer hue, but they have equal claim to the label "yellow."

I was going to use it as an analogy for Americans by pointing out we're all different from one another, but we're all Americans.  We may be liberal, conservative, gay, lesbian, bi, straight, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, agnostic, atheist, other, or any combination thereof, but we're all Americans.

I was going to point out that hundreds of Orlando's citizens dropped what they were doing and lined up for blocks to donate blood.  Based on their compassion, I was going to make the observation that there are more good people than bad people in the world.  I'd planned to finish by stating that we're all brothers & sisters under one flag.

I couldn't write the piece though.  Try as I might, I can't put any kind of a hopeful spin on the slaughter of innocent people.  WE'RE KILLING EACH OTHER FOR BEING DIFFERENT!!!

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Enemy Of My Enemy Isn't Necessarily My Friend

A few weeks ago I wrote about a series of Donald Trump quotes in order to define my opinion of the candidate.  This isn't that.  Today I'm much more disturbed by recent trend which has arisen in response to Trump's campaign.

 Mr Donald Trump New Hampshire Town Hall
Subject: Mr Donald Trump New Hampshire Town Hall | Date: 08/19/2015 | Photographer: Michael Vadon |This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
This Thursday, protesters, outside a Donald Trump rally in San Jose, attacked the candidate’s supporters. Perpetrators jumped on cars, pelted Trump supporters with eggs and water balloons, and snatched signs.

If this had been an isolated incident I'd shrug it off as the reaction of a few immature hot heads.  However, over the last several weeks, similar riots have occurred across the country.

Bottles were thrown in San Diego.

Protesters in Kansas City had to be pepper sprayed to stop them from blocking traffic.

31 people were charged with disturbing the peace, and one was charged with third-degree assault in St. Louis.

2 police officers were injured by protesters in Chicago.

Hundreds of demonstrators were seen stomping on cars and hurling rocks at motorists in Los Angeles.

I'm not saying I like Donald Trump's ideas; I don't.  I think his policy stances are foolish to the point of being dangerous.  That being said, nobody has the right to commit acts of violence and damage property because they don't like somebody's ideas.

Say what you will about the candidate, he's speaking to the public to gain favor for his ideas.  The things he's saying are rude and stupid, but he gets to say them.  The second his opposition resorts to violence to silence him, they forfeit the moral high ground.  The minute we allow fists to determine who can speak, we join the league of ordinary nations*.

* = Aaron Sorkin "Posse Comitatus" (The West Wing season 3, episode 21)

Friday, May 20, 2016

TV, It Is A Changin'

Last week I commented on Facebook that I think Marvel does better movies, but DC does better live action TV. I backed my assertion by saying, I love the DC shows; Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, IZombie, and Gotham; but the last 2 Superman movies blew chunks. On the flipside, Marvel's Avengers & X-Men movies are great, but I struggle through Agents Of Shield.

Photo Courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program.

A friend of mine, Kyle, responded by pointing out that Netflix’s DareDevil is one of the best comic book dramatizations being produced today. While I had no trouble agreeing with his statement, I hadn’t thought of web based productions as being “TV” shows before. In my mind, TV shows were shows people watch on a TV set. Apparently, I had been a victim of old fashioned thinking.

Certainly there are reasons to think of online content as belonging to the realm of TV. When the sitcom Community was cancelled by NBC, Sony struck a deal with Yahoo to stream a sixth season online. Additionally, Netflix’s House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black have each beat broadcast shows to win several Emmy Awards.

While the definition of a TV show has evolved to refer to episodic material which can be viewed on a number of devices, in my mind there is fundamental difference between online fare and traditional broadcasts.

The day after a traditional broadcast, viewers can gather around the proverbial water cooler and say, “Did you see that last night? Man, Kunta Kinte stuck to his guns.” However, web content is released a season at a time. This allows people to view material at their own pace, but it eliminates that next day chat and sense of community.

Everything changes and evolves, thus is the nature of the universe. I just hope that as the nature of TV progresses, we don’t sacrifice the aspects which bring people together.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I Have To Speak Up

Back in October, I was on a coffee date with a friend of mine, and I kind of turned her off by talking politics.  I felt bad, so during the holidays I made a resolution to keep political opinions to myself.  Boy, did I pick the wrong year to make that resolution!
 Mr Donald Trump New Hampshire Town Hall
Subject: Mr Donald Trump New Hampshire Town Hall | Date: 08/19/2015 | 
Photographer: Michael Vadon |This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
I did quite well for the first four months of the year.  Then, Donald Trump became the presumptive nominee for the G.O.P., and I could no longer hold my tongue.  Sorry Mallorie.

OK, I wasn't going to vote Republican no matter who they put up, but this selection seems especially misguided.  Don't take my word for it though, look at some of his own statements.

1. “I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

So, not only is he going to build a wall to keep an undesirable race of people out of our country, he's going to bill an already impoverished country for a project which they have NO say in.

2. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.” (sic)

First of all, Mexico isn't "sending" anyone. We're not being invaded by squads of Mexican operatives. Poor people are scrambling across our borders looking for hope. As for the idea that Mexicans are rapists, according to the Sexual Assault Report Online, "The average age of rapists at arrest is 31. Fifty-two percent are white."

3. “It’s freezing and snowing in New York – we need global warming!”

Science must be for them thar other folks.

4. "The point is, you can never be too greedy."

Now there's a fine example for our nation's youth.

5. “I was down there, and I watched our police and our firemen, down on 7-Eleven, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down”

The World Trade Center fell on September 11 (9/11), 2001. I want a President who doesn't confuse a national tragedy with a place to buy Big Gulps and Slim Jims.

I chose these quotes from a list of many more at

Supporters of Trump say they chose him because, "he's not a politician."  This sounds good.  It brings forth mental images of Jimmy Stewart's Mr. Smith ripping the U.S. Senate a new one.

However, there's a problem with this kind of voter reasoning.  Politicians have made a career of politics, and they know how to work the system.  Donald Trump comes from the business world.  He's used to giving orders and having people obey, no matter what outrageous statements he makes.  Washington can't work that way.