Dave Stancliff AS IT STANDS blogarama.com

Friday, December 9, 2016

Would You Like To Be Famous?

Good Day World!

What would it be like to be famous?

Do you think you'd enjoy fame?


do you crave fame
in the big game?
a one syllable name
with endless acclaim?
have you taken aim
at an historical claim?
a biography with no blame
a mea culpa computer game
under an assumed name
and rewired frame
that sounds the same
as the original game
that people call fame
a brief flame
a popular nickname
in a short timeframe
a numbers game
that's sometimes lame
and never tame
a burning flame
but just the same
we all want fame!

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Conservatives Are Not Dumb, They Just Aren't Wild About Reality

Good Day World!

The dumbing down of America didn't start in classrooms.

It started when conservative think tanks popped up in the last couple of decades to challenge inconvenient facts.

I've read numerous reports highlighting how fake news creators began targeting conservative readers after finding them receptive to stories that reinforced their existing worldview.

For example:

A fake news creator told NPR, "We've tried to do fake news with liberals. It just never worked, it never takes off. You'll be debunked within the first two comments and then the whole thing just kinds of fizzles out."

Still, while the apparent one-sidedness of the fake news ecosystem is striking, some researchers of partisan psychology say it's not particularly surprising. 

A robust body of academic research has sprung up in the past decade or so, documenting the different ways conservatives and liberals process the world.

Psychologist John Jost of New York University is one of the pioneering researchers in this realm.

In a forthcoming chapter of his upcoming book, Jost, and his colleagues analyzed decades of research on political psychology and found that a number of personality traits are strongly associated with conservatism.

It all boils down to critical thinking. 

Conservatives may be perfectly able to do the kind of cognitive exploration that would lead them to be more skeptical of nonsense and fake news - they just choose not to, preferring instead to seek out information that allows them to make quick decisions that reinforce their existing views.

That's how America is being dumbed down.

Unrealistic thinking. Millions have chosen to ignore reality and to replace it with fake news stories that project their own flawed world view.

Anyone with any sense has to challenge the flat earth philosophy of conservatives today at every turn in order to restore sanity to our society.

Related: Why Conservatives Might Be More Likely To Fall For Fake News Stories

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

You're So Vain That You Probably Think This Post Is About You!

Good Day World!

Sometimes you hear a song and it stays with you forever.

That's the case with one of my favorite singers, Carly Simon, who sang "You're So Vain."

Simon revealed (In 2010) who she was singing about in her seventies hit song; and it wasn't Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, Cat Stevens, or Kris Kristofferson.

The song was about David Geffen, a gay record producer.

Over the years I've seen people who bring the lyrics to life with the way they act.

For example: A recent news article about a Harlem man named, Eric Jones, rings the vain bell. He was so vain that he thought nothing of inconviencing a train full of passengers to get his cell phone.

"New Jersey Transit officials say a passenger pulled the emergency stop on a train so he could retrieve the cellphone he dropped on the tracks." 

Moving on.

Tell me that Donald Trump doesn't sound like the person Simon describes:

"You walked into the party
Like you were walking on a yacht
your hat strategically dipped below one eye..."

Listen to, and watch, this Anti-Trump ad that Carly Simon created this year.

Seriously, I've read about, and met, so many people who that song seems to be apply to that I've lost track of them.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

'Pizzagate' - Reluctant Riders On The Storm of Fake News

                                        Good Day World!

This is how bizarre things are today: fake news gets circulated faster than the real news, and it now poses a very real physical threat to innocent people.

I'll explain.

One of the many fake news stories this year involved a restaurant, and a conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton and John Podesta running a pedophile ring.

You'd think anyone with half a brain and the ability to read and reason things out would realize it was a fake story.

But no. This outlandish story was passed from one conspiracy theorist to another until one of the morons totally lost touch with reality and entered the restaurant in question with a rifle, firing it a couple of times.

As the police were arresting the clown they discovered he was there to investigate "Pizzagate" because of that fake story.

Here's what happened:

The theories, collectively known as Pizzagate, resulted in social media attacks and death threats against the restaurant’s staff and their families.

Gets worse.

This theory was even spread by retired General Michael Flynn, who recently landed a national security advisor offer from Donald Trump!
What we have here is a case of one restaurant owner, and his 40 employees, being intimidated by an armed gunman who lost touch with reality...or, he was simply - stunningly - that naive or stupid!
The whole business was caught up in the middle of a storm of fake news. The FBI helped out as much as they could by taking the story down off the Internet, but the damage was done.
Employees continued to receive threats. The BBC points towards the story as an illustration of the ease with which fake news spreads
The outlet interviewed James Alefantis (restaurant owner), who pointed out how conspiracy theorists didn’t even bother to verify the accuracy of key details, including the allegation that the sex ring operated out of the building’s basement: “We don’t even have a basement” he said.
No surprise that the culprits behind this fake story are alt-right weasels (which is the label that white nationalists and neo-Nazis enjoy hiding behind). 
Who knows when the next alt-right reader/supporter will walk into that pizzeria hoping to solve Pizzagate with a gun?
Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, December 5, 2016

Not Your Usual War Story: A Tale of 'George The Smoking Monkey'

Good Day World!

I saw this old picture (left) of Jon Stewart with a pot- smoking monkey the other day and it reminded me of my monkey in Vietnam.

His name was George and he smoked pot every chance he got! 

I spotted George while working on a construction project in the bush. He came up to me when I offered him a stale roll and I decided to bring him back to my company.

To my utter amazement George seemed interested in trying pot from Day One. He snatched a doob out of my hand one morning and ate it.

About 45 minutes later George was dancing around on his hind legs and making funny gestures. He chirped like a bird and laughed like a hyena!

The next step was getting him to take a hit from my doob and to give it back to me. That took about two weeks of intensive training. I finally decided he was ready to be presented to my fellow Stoners in the company.

We use to meet in an old Buddhist graveyard and swap stories and weed. George caused quite a stir from day one when I took a deep hit from my doobie and handed it to him and he politely accepted it.

There was a moment of silence as all eyes watched George's every move. When he put the doobie to his lips and took a long drag bedlam broke out!

My fellow Stoners were blown away by him and immediately wanted to share their smoke too. It didn't take long for word to get out to other nearby units that we had a mascot monkey that got stoned.

I think it was the fact that he shared doobies that made him stand out. There were other monkeys in units, but none of them shared pot (that I was aware of).

Let's just say I never heard of another pot-loving simian smoking weed while I was there.

I had plans to bring George home with me when the time came to rotate out of Vietnam. But, as they say, the plans of monkeys and men oft go astray!

I don't want to harsh your high today and tell you exactly what happened to George. Suffice to say he didn't come home with me.

I only had George for seven months, but in that time I grew attached to him. To preserve his memory I share George's story whenever I can.

I suppose you could say it's not your usual war story.

Time for me to walk on down the road....

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Modern Day Fable: A Clown In A President's Clothing

                                Good Day World!

It looks like America is going to settle for a clown in a president's clothing when Donald Trump gets sworn in to office in January.

I'm reminded of this warning in the King James version of the Bible:

Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, which comes to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." 

But long before Matthew's warning there was a famous story-teller and slave named Aesop whose fables are still popular today

Aesop's version of a wolf in sheep's clothing is best known to us today from George Fyler Townsend's 1886 translation: 

"Once upon a time a Wolf resolved to disguise his appearance in order to secure food more easily. Encased in the skin of a sheep, he pastured with the flock deceiving the shepherd by his costume. 

In the evening he was shut up by the shepherd in the fold; the gate was closed, and the entrance made thoroughly secure.

But the shepherd, returning to the fold during the night to obtain meat for the next day, mistakenly caught up the Wolf instead of a sheep, and killed him instantly."

If you voted for Trump the signs that he's already conned you are coming fast and furious. 

Remember his promise to you that he was going to "drain the swamp" of Washington insiders and Wall Street moguls?

You can forget that. Take a look at this lot of "outsiders" (wink wink!) that Donnie has already appointed and tell me how that's draining the swamp?

He just added his own family and billionaire buddies and their all laughing at the rubes who fell for his corny slogan. I can just imagine the conversations Trump and his new cabinet of clowns will have in the future.

Can you imagine this bunch representing you? Caring about the poor, and/or the fading middle class? Social justice? LBGT rights?

We're talking the corporate elite, and they have two goals; power and profits.

Related: Donald Trump Will Not be Draining Any Swamps As President

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Suddenly Interested In Sado-Masochistic Fantasies? Did You Just Get A Cat?

Good Day World!

Did you recently get a cat in your life? 

If not, you may still find this post interesting...

According to a recent issue of the journal Evolutionary Psychology, if you own a cat it may put you at risk of becoming obsessed with sado-masochism and other bizarre sexual practices.

No really. This is not a fake news item. The researchers say cat owners could be infected with a brain parasite that makes you lust for un-natural sex.

Toxoplasmosis Gondii is a common brain parasite in cats. Did you know that? Researchers claim there's a direct relationship between it and deviate sexual urges. 

Oh, by the way...you get it from coming in contact with cat crap. 

The researchers concluded that people infected with Toxoplasma, "...expressed higher attraction to bondage, violence, zoophilia, fetishism, and, in men, also to masochism, and raping and being raped." 

Jaroslav Flegr, the lead author of the study, said that the parasite, "...succeeds in using the fact that sex-related stimuli and fear-related stimuli affect very similar circuits in the brain."
I admit it took me a while, and some extra research, to believe this can actually happen. If you doubt the veracity of this post please don't hestitate to fact-check it.
The moral of this story is simple; don't play with cat shit unless you plan on becoming a pervert!
Time for me to walk on down the road...

Friday, December 2, 2016

Trump's Triumph With Carrier A Classic Example of Bait and Switch

                                       Good Day World!

If you're not careful you'll miss the con.

When it comes to Trump it means knowing the rest of the story.

For example: Did you see where Donny Little Hands paraded around like a rooster for Carrier corporation employees yesterday, crowing that he had saved their jobs?

Are you familiar with the term "bait and switch?" 

It applies here with Trump's con game with Carrier. He bragged about saving Carrier's American workforce throughout his campaign and it appears he did save 1000 jobs.

Trump put together a $7 million package funded by taxpayers for Carrier to stay.

Here's the rest of the story:

Carrier's plant in Huntington, Indiana is closing it's doors and 700 jobs will be lost. Employees from the Huntington facility protested the Trump event with signs reading "What about our jobs in Huntington?"

Related: Plant Workers Still Losing Jobs Tell Trump: Don't Forget About Us

Guess they didn't make a good photo-op. No one seems to know this was part of the bait and switch tactic Trump often uses with impunity.

As Trump paddles on in his "victory tour" I'm reminded that he threatened to punish Carrier with a tariff on imported goods to prevent it from taking jobs out of the country.

Instead he bribed them with multi-year tax cuts that critics say doesn't bode well for future deals. And those 1,000 jobs Trump is trumpeting - that we now know is more like 300 jobs saved - are still less than 1% of what the US economy created last month!

Related: Trump's Carrier Speech 'Absolutely Chilling' Economic Analyst Says

Trump's deal-making skills in this arena appear to be mostly bribing corporations to stay for agreed upon amounts of time with taxpayer money.

United Technologies is a giant international company with many different divisions and subsidiaries. It owns Carrier corporation, and was the real winner in this con game because it also gets to keep it's billion-dollar contract with the government.

Oh yeah...there's one more thing glossed over by Trump and company on their little victory tour; Carrier is still opening a plant in Mexico.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, December 1, 2016

America's Gun Store Owners Need To Tighten Security Measures

                                          Good Day World!

There's another kind of gun control in this country that needs to get more attention.

I'm not talking about coming up with more laws to control purchasing guns either.

The gun control I'm talking about starts at the source. The gun stores. 

Gun store burglaries have become an alarming trend according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

For example, gun store burglaries rose 28 percent from 2013 to 2015. What's really alarming is there's no signs these smash-and-grab robberies are letting up.

The ATF is predicting 500 gun store robberies by the end of this year.

Not counting this year, there's more than 12,000 weapons, including handguns, shotguns, and assault rifles, that have been stolen in the past two years.

That's a hell of a lot of illegal weapons in America's black market. So, what kind of action needs to be taken to reverse this trend?

Backround Note:There are no federal laws governing security measures for federally licensed gun dealers. It’s up to individual gun store owners to protect their merchandise.

ATF makes recommendations to the industry and to the gun dealers about steps that can take to secure their facilities secure their stock of weapons.

Solving this problem rests squarely in the gun dealer's court. If they don't provide updated technology to protect their stores, then not only will they lose out...but so will millions of innocent Americans.

A Virginia gun dealer, Kevin Penrose, whose American Family Pawn was burglarized last year told ABC news how he was robbed.

The thieves came through a window and were gone in 30 seconds. They had made off with 30 firearms.

Here's the problem; Penrose waited until he was robbed to update his security. The window was not shatter-proof glass, something Penrose did fix after the fact.

It seems to me that more information about the need for gun store owners to fully protect themselves should be shared in public announcements or a campaign targeting the problem.

Apparently the ATF's warnings haven't been enough for store-owners like Penrose who didn't prioritize security for his store until after the fact.

If we want to see a reversal of this deadly trend it's going to take some education and commitment on the parts of gun store owners.

Watch this dramatic smash and grab on video

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

An Absolute Scandal: One Example Why Most Americans Don't Trust The Federal Government

                                         Good Day World!

What I'm about to share may come as a surprise to you.
America has an underground Chernobyl just waiting to happen.

Seventy years ago, the Hanford Site produced plutonium for America's nuclear arsenal. Today, it's run by the Department of Energy (DOE) through its contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions

The contractor is managing a $110 billion cleanup of 56 million gallons of chemical and nuclear waste, stored in 177 underground tanks — a task that's expected to last the next 50 years.

Here's what's happening today:

The DOE knows they have a problem with worker's health issues after conducting 20 studies in 24 years, but they're not doing anything about it!

Just two years ago, a report found toxins in the air "far exceeding occupational limits" and a "causal link" between vapor exposure and lung and brain damage. 

The DOE has also said that the site "cannot effectively control" dangers and gives workers "no warning."

Contract Workers were repeatedly lied to about the dangers of working at Handford and warned they would lose their jobs if they insisted upon safety equipment.

Some Washington state officials are now intervening, including Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, who has pledged to investigate and called the federal government's response "an absolute scandal."

Washington River Protection Solutions, the contractor that runs Hanford for the DOE, recently agreed with workers' unions to provide oxygen masks to all workers.

Experts told NBC News that the masks can help — but that they can also be withdrawn by the government at any time. They also say it doesn't solve the broader safety problems underscored by 24 years of DOE studies about the risks of working at Hanford.

It's no wonder why so many Americans believe their government is corrupt. This Rasmussen Report update shows that 81% of Americans think our government is crooked. 

Related: Leak Worsens In Massive Handford Tank Holding Nuclear Waste 

Time for me to walk on down the road...