Monday, March 12, 2018

Winter Rat

In this case, winter is the rat, as yet a third Nor'easter gallops up the East Coast, and I look forward to something resembling spring in the U.S. soon.  I'll return to the blog later, but in the meantime please stay informed with the links.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Gunning For You

The Oscars:  Film reviewer Rex Reed may well have jumped off the roof of a tall building by now because he apparently hated The Shape of Water as one hates the thought of acquiring leprosy.  I guess I'll put this movie on a long list of features one never lives long enough to see, but that's okay because I can simply return to those golden days of yesteryear and re-experience The Creature From the Black Lagoon and its sequels.  Once you've seen a diver in a rubber suit portraying a human-like fish that kills men, but prefers to make women scream and faint, what's left?  Oh, right, a timeless love story about a women who falls, not faints, for an aquatic creature (a science product) all geared up for cinematic fish-o-eroticism in 2018.  The current crop of man-hating ladies will adore this film, no doubt, as "fish night" takes on a whole new meaning.

We were a bit surprised when Hollywood's biggest night allowed a brief tribute to American military personnel, though we wonder whether the West Coast crowd realizes the armed services are composed of more than gays, lesbians and transgendered personnel.  Anyway, the tribute was okay, but host Jimmy Kimmel might have allowed a few seconds for the tribute to sink in before immediately resorting to humor just as the film concluded -- something "they" would NEVER do when they present the annual segment regarding actors and other industry folk who died in the past year. 

Prolific and well-established actor Gary Oldman's bold words thanking America for being so good to him seemed strangely alien, once we looked around at much of the USA-hating phonies blossoming on stage.  Of course, after the show Internet attacks on Oldman began.

An observation that only people of a certain age could appreciate is the overwhelming realization that Hollywood no longer flatters itself with a stable of "stars."  The stage time occupied by actress Eva Marie Saint, Rita Moreno and only a handful of veteran performers reminds us that we now encounter personalities and one or two-hit wonders, but names and faces unaffected by the motion picture standard time clock and calendar have diminished greatly.

Post World War II and Korea, when all kinds of talented former military people -- who knew what was worth fighting for -- became involved in the movie industry, they also brought fresh thinking and an incredible succession of great motion pictures.  What's out there now?  Looks like a lot of film time taken up by scenes involving cell phones and other forms of technology which sometimes obscure whatever story line might have been intended or actually constructed painstakingly.  Computer graphics likewise "solve" dilemmas and issues which formerly required critical thinking, candid conversation and realistic emoting by humans.  When emotion is supplanted by an emoji, run for your life.  Yep, we are in hell.

Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?  For as much time as I spend discussing guns, you may be surprised to know that I'm not really a "gun person."  Do I fire weapons now and then, or have I access to firearms?  That's a question which is best seldom answered publicly, though I will admit to firing the M-16 rifle during Air Force basic training (no, this one didn't jam, though you're probably familiar with M-16 jamming horror stories from the Vietnam Era).

Which returns me to the Oscars momentarily:  Imagine all the movies which depend upon firearms and explosives -- kinda makes Hollywood stars, starlets and executives look rather disingenuous as they complain about guns.  Anyway. . .

A few years ago, when progressive leftist presidential wannabe and megalomaniac NY governor Andrew Cuomo twisted legislative arms and succeeded in drastically curtailing New York State residents' firearm rights, while simultaneously urinating on the Second Amendment, he posed a question about just how much gun and how much ammo was required to hunt deer.  His attitude, as we're sure even he knew, was absurd.  The entire foundation of gun rights in the U.S. is based upon the need for a people to protect themselves from an enemy, not the need to hunt animals -- and the most feared potential enemy for Americans was our own government, which might one day turn against us, thus necessitating a measured firearm response.  How many foreign nations' "captive audience" residents wish they had access to firearms when bullied and threatened by their own rulers (hello-o-o-o-o, Iran. . .)?

Our leftist friends never wish to remember that firearms built this country in no small way, and though school shootings tragically claim many lives, thousands and thousands more lives were lost making sure we could keep our basic rights, and one of those is the right to protect ourselves with those dreaded guns.  Nevertheless, the left continues to foolishly, stupidly, chip. . .chip. . .chip away at that which we will never regain once it's gone.

Guns were not created needlessly, and to plant concentrated hatred and thoughtless blame upon the National Rifle Association borders upon group hysteria and/or insanity.  Meanwhile, the left will continue attempting to take away, the innocence of those taken from be damned.  Beware, beware, beware.

Confused:  We're told we must reference colored people as people of color now, so how come the NAACP is called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People?  This is what happens when you mess around with the language, and I just can't wait until "hate speech" limits are put into effect (at least that should be blown apart in the courts. . .oh, the courts. . .).

(Note:  I sometimes post these entries "on the fly" and temporarily miss typos and occasional serious errors, but generally correct these faults within days.  I'm sorry if my semantic and grammar bumbling on such occasions interferes with the flow, but please be aware that I am generally aware of necessary corrections.  Let's blame my age -- or those famous "gremlins" which some writers hold responsible for various word problems.)

Monday, February 26, 2018

David Hogg: Call You By Their Name

I predict, and keep in mind my predictions tend to suck, that when the trauma of fully realizing he was a sitting duck amidst the mayhem at a Florida high school diminishes, teenager David Hogg may turn out by default to be the luckiest boy in the country. 

As much as I questioned his persona in the previous blog entry, I will confess that after viewing his interview with George Stephanopoulis on Sunday's This Week (ABC-TV) my cage was rattled.  Even before Hogg spoke, one sensed on his facial expression the hint of smoldering emotion, a quiet rage patiently waiting for an opportunity to emerge as words from an otherwise thin, sensitive and wistful-appearing young man.  And what a speaker!  As if presenting himself as the anchor on a TV news show, he wasted precious little time in condemning politicians, big money NRA contributors and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch.  How rare to find somebody of this age piercing, not melting hearts with a camera-captured glare and a word.

Now, I think the kid's wrong about almost everything he said, but his composure and soft-spoken approach was superb, shaking my current attitude about some millennials to the core.  If and when he tones down some of that inner rage after some healing time, his presence will only be enhanced, and our wish list would hope for activism aware of consequences to our basic rights.  Okay, our enemies are many, but counting the NRA and Dana Loesch among them is a misjudgment reserved for the young and the uninformed -- just like the furor over those much-publicized 18 "school shootings," which aren't actually what the media portrays as the total is added up.

Will Hogg and his outspoken schoolmates someday help lead the charge in disinfecting both the Republican and Democrat parties, perhaps as Independents or Libertarians, or by embracing something different altogether?  Please, no socialism.  Not looking forward to becoming Venezuela orchestrated by millennials. 

That millions of dollars are already pouring in to funding pages to "do something" about guns does not give us encouragement about gun freedoms in the future.

Oh, there were moments when I rolled my eyes as Hogg spoke, but after all he is a teenager, and it isn't strictly his fault that he's regurgitating the leftist pap he was probably raised with in school. 

For instance, he tends often to begin his sentences with the word, Honestly. . ., and when people do that to excess I sometimes ponder whether they're truly true at all.  No big deal here, I guess -- but I did shake my head when young Mr. Hogg referenced our "democracy," instead of classifying the U.S. as a democratic republic.  The difference is kinda important, but maybe they'll teach that part before he graduates.

What we're seeing here is a seduction, the seduction of David Hogg by the leftist social media, and unless one considers the press a gender in itself, the conquest and electronic media deflowering of the photogenic Hogg is strictly business with benefits.  The TV networks and print journos have discovered and used a fresh-faced youth -- star power, baby -- anxious to help them sell their wares because he shares what they share, and as time goes by I see the consummation of a marriage involving privilege and worldly pleasures between Mr. Hogg and wedding partners composed of the media, Hollywood and maybe academia.  Education, entertainment, travel -- we suspect the sky is not the limit for David Hogg and, agree or disagree with him, we are today confounded, seemingly too old to know better.

But getting back to the gun issue, I also harbor a temporary in-the-bag love for ABC-TV because on multiple occasions they aired a dramatic video of a mother and daughter at a convenience store in Oklahoma, perhaps saving their lives when they engaged in a gunfight with an armed robber.  If anything shouts love your guns, this surveillance video is the poster child.

Meanwhile, yep, here it comes, proposed firearm restrictions emanating from every frightened place in the country:  Ban bump stocks (the Internet easily tells you how to make your own using belts and other easily utilized items), nobody should get a gun until reaching age 21 (why -- are all young folk aged 18, 19 and 20 convicted criminals devoid of Second Amendment rights, declared dangerous en masse via psychic revelations or something?) and people with mental illness must be deprived of owning a firearm.  The last is interesting, because just who is mentally ill and to what degree will this blanket effort succeed?  Should individuals (love that police word) with epilepsy and other neurological disorders be banned, too?  Should migraines rule out potential owners -- and how about ocular migraines, which I experienced myself a few years ago, when a miniature "TV screen" flashing colors appeared in my line of sight and kept me spellbound for about two minutes?  Does that make me unqualified to even look at a gun?

I don't mean to keep pushing this little tidbit, but increasingly popular 3-D printers are making and will continue to make firearms as I type this, and they shoot just fine and are untraceable for anybody considering doing the deed, if you know what I mean.

A final word on guns today:  NRA, I'm not a member, yet I respect it.  The list of corporations pulling out and refusing to offer member benefits anymore is an American disgrace unworthy of a free country, but certainly characteristic of wussie companies that are OH so good at bending with the wind.

School safety will be addressed and necessary changes made, but those hysterically striking out at the Second Amendment, the NRA and President Trump instead of confronting issues rationally are helping neither solutions nor the memory of Florida school students gone forever.  In a society gone bonkers in so many ways, even assessing the scope of massive tragedies becomes a dizzying chore for authorities who once thought they had all the answers.  No, they did not.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Exigent Youth Born of Instant Electronic Gratification

No, of course we are not surprised at the rage demonstrated in Florida among parents and students, nor were we amazed that CNN's "town hall" about gun violence was a firearm and NRA-hating mob exercise from the start, bringing in everything but the pitchforks and blazing torches.

We've been particularly tuned in to the teenage furor expressed since the latest school shootings occurred -- they're angrier and more passionate this time, helped along no doubt by a bevy of Democrats and others with a stake in the hate game.  Watching some of the same student faces showing up on TV show after TV show does, however, raise certain questions -- for instance, some observers of a questioning mind have focused on young student David Hogg -- and no, I won't submit to low humor by asking if his friends call him "Boss Hogg" in homage to "The Dukes of Hazzard."  Nevertheless, accounts allege that he maintains a deep interest in journalism and actually works as a "stringer" for a news service, and perhaps the thought is that he appears too willing to stand before the cameras to discuss the tragedy at his high school, as TV networks host him more because they consider him their guy who can do the desired talking for them.  What are his politics?  What are those of his friends, wounded or not?  We have heard there are conservative voices among the school folk, but news services certainly aren't playing their lives up for the TV cameras.

So I've been watching all the TV reports and all the reaction, yet at first I was sincerely puzzled over why so many of the young people have slipped into such a heightened, stormy world of outrage seldom witnessed in past years.

But the answer wasn't all that elusive, for these, the 15 and 16-year-old kids in particular grew up in a world gone nuts, a world where fear of strangers and anything lacking electronics is common.

Worst of all, these young adults were raised with electronic devices promising instant gratification -- if they wanted something to happen, it only required tapping on a few keys and it was accomplished.  They always get their way.  They've always been special.

But not this time.

This time, it appears that a good many student protestors really thought that by attending a meeting or two and setting verbal traps for the NRA, Marco Rubio and other Republicans they would gain an instant win and all the guns which they personally detest would go away in one wide swipe of the hand.  Instant gratification.  I suspect they have a problem reconciling instant gratification with functions of the legal system, and when you're young and hysterical and you want something now, but you can't get it now, the shouts and literal tantrums grow.  Where does grief hang out while public displays are orchestrated?

If government leaders took quick action to accommodate the fragmented "hope and change" desires of every group of protesting young people, imagine where the country would be.

Another issue peculiar to the current generation of high school as well as college students is a refusal to even listen to points of view contrary to their own, and "their" opinions are quite often implanted in their brains by progressive teachers and professors -- essentially wrecking opportunities for many young folk to perform any critical or balanced thinking at all.  We've all witnessed the shout-down chaos initiated by the political left on college campuses when guests holding opposing views attempt to speak, and this approach was certainly obvious during CNN's free-range verbal massacre regarding gun violence.

The usual leftist component ranks supreme in this issue, the goal being to (1) rid the country of ALL firearms, no matter how long it takes and (2) win elections in November.  But for now, using heartbroken students as dupes to chomp away at hard-fought rights the kids will likely never see again if poor decisions ultimately prevail, the progressive bunch will ply its trade either in front or behind the scenes, and we only hope the real leaders among students will come to realize how they may condemn their rights to oblivion when wrapped up in misguided efforts engulfed in panic and sadness.

Yet -- imagine if somehow all the major civilian firearm hardware was confiscated and destroyed over a period of years.  Then, say an EMP or some electrical grid-demolishing process infiltrated the United States, perhaps initiated by an enemy with capabilities unknown.  Suddenly, we're back to the 1800s, devoid of modern conveniences and the protection afforded by, truly, "big guns," a situation which goes not unnoticed by said enemy.

Sure, we're fully aware that survivalist or militia members secured in a bunker, expecting during normal times to hold off the entire U.S. military with a cache of weaponry, would be dog food in thirty seconds or less.  But we're talking about a country in the future, devoid of major civilian firepower, and should we get to that point, what if well-armed enemy soldiers invaded the U.S. in numerous areas, many of which may be immediately inaccessible to or unknown to our own military?  Suddenly, people would wish they still maintained the lost tools and era of self-defense, when at least they would have a chance to fend off an enemy attack.

Of course this sounds crazy, but so will the nutty gun legislation ideas poised to inundate us as election season approaches. 

The school victims and the shooter?  Oh, right, almost forgot about them. . .

Don't do it, Florida:  The Florida governor wants to raise the age for purchasing any guns from 18 to 21.  As a Republican, he should be a little more tuned in to the fact that not all 18-20 year old people are potential criminals.  We realize he's trying to DO SOMETHING, but taking part in the chipping away of a basic right to please the grief-stricken in the short term is not the way to go, and he should stand up and say so.  Alas, politics gets in the way and leftists in waiting will probably get their way, as they so often do.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Holster the Leftist Hysteria

"It's not a mental health issue!" the Florida high school student screamed into the microphone, herself sounding like a candidate for the funny farm wagon, and right then and there with those words I knew these kids were likely so immersed in leftist classroom poop since they shed diapers that there was no way for them to swim out of it.

DO SOMETHING! MAKE IT STOP! they demand.  How lucky for these teenagers that, yes, there are people nearby who can make it stop -- but the price is their freedom, and they're too damned young and mind-manipulated to know the importance of  delayed consequences.  What goes up must come down, and what goes away usually cannot be brought back, particularly freedoms that others died for long before school shootings materialized.

Now the Hollywood crowd begins to sprout like fungi on TV talk shows, condemning everybody with a gun except for the characters they brutally portray on the silver screen, perhaps explaining, well, THAT's just fiction.  And big money for the backers, of course.

So what do you do?  Well, if you're Florida students stumbling through a blind panic you announce a student march on Washington and other cities scheduled for March 24.

March or don't march, we don't care, but it requires no brains whatsoever to realize that unsuspecting school children headed for the streets will he "helped," "supported" and encouraged by the most devious and conveniently established leftist America-hating rats who ever walked the earth, and those will be the voices most loudly expressed, no matter from whose lips they lovingly flow.  By late March, the tragic shootings won't matter nearly as much as the progeny of leftist dogma, and not even honor roll students will recognize how easily they can be enlisted to jeopardize their own rights by endorsing poison.

Already inexplicably, yet predictably, shouting at and blaming Donald Trump for the Florida carnage, we can bet that students attending these proposed marches will include a mandatory we-hate-Trump speech or demonstration as icing on the cake.  Don't forget to denounce the NRA.  The customary itinerary must be followed.

Want to depend upon the mental health industry to determine fitness for firearm ownership?  Wow -- that worked out well for young shooter N. Cruz, didn't it?  Dare I suggest that a fair portion of the mind-checker bunch hosts its own share of crazies who protect one another in the spirit of camaraderie?

Meanwhile, as everybody moans, cries, stomps and shakes their fists at either skies or at President Trump and every Republican in sight, may I almost absent-mindedly remind one and all that, even as we all occupy ourselves with something motivational, one or more potential school or otherwise mass murderers are out there right now as the clock ticks, preparing in earnest to beat the system -- any system -- according to their own timetable.  At least to some degree they'll succeed, too.  They will not be terminated until the deed is done.

Gun "control?"  Really?

You deserve a break today.  You deserve to avoid controversy.  You deserve to not get the flu.  You deserve to be safe.

We do not "deserve" a damned thing, unfortunately.

Looking for a foolproof solution to school shootings?  Here it is, lick it up:

First, let's close all public schools and insist upon home schooling for the masses.  Yes, this requires a crash program delegating enormous resources, but if we can send kids about your age off to war, surely we can patch something together for education without risk.

Of course, no public schools also means no more football, basketball, golf, bowling, baseball, track or rock-watching teams, and no more cheerleaders.  No dangerous bus journeys.  No more field trips, either.  Bonus:  Nobody will laugh at naked people in the gym showers anymore and there will be no towels to snap.  No bullying, either.

The motto is, stay home and stay safe.

We make this suggestion for your own good, kids, because here's the thing:  You can take every careful step to curtail the possibility of mass killings.  However, you know far better than I what's coming:  3-D printers, for instance, with which folks can and already have produced guns -- fully operational with the addition of a little metal here and there, and voila!  Untraceable, deadly, simple to modify and just the sweetest little darling of death one can imagine.

And the fun doesn't stop there, because high-energy weapons using microwaves, ultrasound, infrasound -- and whatever screwed up U.S. diplomats  in Cuba -- are on the horizon, and as we all know, whenever the military improves upon a weapon some kid sitting in his basement eventually wants to play copycat.

What did you have for lunch today?  How about yesterday's dinner?  Did something living need to die so you could have nutrition?  Maybe serial killers and the rest of us aren't so far apart. 

March your butts off next month, kids, but anticipate no cure for the dark things lurking inside us.  We all choose our weapons and eventually murder something, in our own way.