Dave Stancliff AS IT STANDS blogarama.com

Friday, August 26, 2016

Now Tell Me, 'Why Do You Watch Fox News Again?'

Good Day World!

If you follow Fox News I'd like to ask you a few questions.

Is that okay?

Me: Why do you watch Fox News?
Follower: For fair and balanced news coverage.
Me: I see. Like Sean Hannity?
Follower: Yeah.
Me: Here's the latest in Fox News embarrassment about Sean Hannity.

Me: What do you like about Fox News?
Follower: It's family values.
Me: Oh, I see. What about former Fox news host Andrea Tantaros?
Follower: What about her?
Me: She's sueing former network chief Roger Ailes and other top executives for sexual harassment - a poor reflection on family values don't you think?
Follower: I didn't hear about that. Are you sure that's true?
Me: Go to a real news channel and you'll see. You might even pick up a newspaper.

Me: What do you think about Global Warming?
Follower: It's a liberal hoax.
Me: A Standford University study has found "more exposure to Fox News was associated with more rejection of many mainstream scientists' claims about global warming, and with less trust for scientists."
Follower: I don't trust scientists' because they're all liberals.
Me: All of them? Climatologists and scientists?
Follower: No doubt about it. Fox says it's so.
Me: Okay. Thanks for stopping by.

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

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Chicago (And America) Is Losing The War Against Domestic Terrorists

Good Day World!

Things weren't this bad in Chicago since Al Capone ruled the roost there.

Just last weekend there was a 14-hour stretch of violence that left one person shot in the city every 33 minutes, according to the Chicago Tribune. The total count for the weekend; 4 killed, and 35 wounded.

Regardless of Donald Trump's crazy claim to end the violence in one week by letting police get "tougher" on crime, it isn't going to happen.

Consider: There's one hundred gangs (aka domestic terrorists) in Chicago. If that isn't reason enough to be worried, things have gotten considerably worse in the last year.

Some startling statistics according to Chicago police:

* There's been more than 2000 shooting incidents so far this year - a 48 percent increase over the same period last year and a 73 percent spike from the same period two years ago.

* Killings in Chicago have shot up more than 300 percent compared with this time last year.

What's happening in Chicago? National headlines faithfully give regular body counts. It reminds me of Vietnam. That's about all the recognition the dire situation in Chicago seems to warrant however.

Americans are obsessed with foreign terrorists. Meanwhile we turn a blind eye on our domestic terrorists. Americans are being shot down like cattle in Chicago every week (and across the nation) and people are worrying about ISIS.

Maybe we ought to start worrying about what's actually happening here in America.

There's no national headlines about sucesses in fighting the gangs because Chicago is losing the war.

It's like the rest of America has turned it's back on a major city that has become more dangerous than a third world country at war.

Chicago isn't the only city in America that has domestic terrorists (aka gangs). There's over 33,000 gangs and an estimated 1.5 million gangbangers roaming the cities and rural areas.

If we want to make America safe again then we better take it back from the domestic terrorists who are threatening our lives daily.

That calls for a detailed plan of action.

Related:
10 of the most lethal gangs in America


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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Foundation Firmed Up For Future Fibbers Running For President of The United States

Good Day World!

American politics have been reduced to a walk through the Valley of Lies.

You better get use to liars, because that's all we're ever going to elect as President of the United States from now on.

Two world-class liars contending for the White House this election are the foundation for a future of fibbers who are judged on the volume of lies they tell, as opposed to their lying opponent.

Outright lies have been outed this year, but they're being overlooked as partisans stick to their party brands. With the help of social media those lies are repeated so often that they become reality in some people's minds.

The point is, lies won't stop our future presidential candidates from being elected. Once upon a time it wasn't like this. 

One reason why is that every minute detail of a person's life is under incredible scrutiny from multiple sources...and who hasn't lied at one time or another in their life?

Americans know a liar is going to be the next president. We have settled for what the parties have given us, and sunken into the slim of hateful rhetoric that will decide this race.

Is there a politican somewhere in America that hasn't lied? I don't know.

I do know that it's going to be virtually impossible to find a candidate to run for the presidency who hasn't publicly, or privately, lied about something.

Sadly, I can't see this trend reversing itself. I do think however we should make a title change for our new president - Liar-In-Chief.

What do you think?

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

English 'Bobbies' Control Crime Without Guns - What's America doing Wrong?

Good Day World!

Gun control in England is not controversial. Check it out for yourself.
(London's bobbies have traditionally been armed with nothing other than batons. Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images file)

England has one of the lowest rates of gun homicide in the world.

Members of the public may own sporting rifles and shot guns, subject to licensing, but handguns were effectively banned after the Dunblane school massacre in 1996.

So what are American authorities doing wrong? Why is our country one of the worst in the world when it comes to gun homicides?

America's police force is becoming increasingly militarized, the British tradition of unarmed "bobbies-on-the-beat" has endured.


The statistics surrounding police shootings in the U.K. are startling when compared to the U.S.
  • Officers in England and Wales fired just seven bullets between March 2015 and this March. (Not including accidental shots, shooting out tires, or putting down dangerous or injured animals.)
  • During that period, just five people were shot dead by police in England and Wales, according to British charity Inquest, which helps families after police-related deaths.
  • Police Scotland — tasked with guarding 5.3 million people in an area the size of Maine — reports only one officer-involved shooting since the national force was created in 2013.
  • In London, the Metropolitan Police has fatally shot just 10 people in the past 10 years.
U.S. law enforcement officials have this year killed 693 people and counting,according to figures compiled by The Guardian.
The U.S. is addicted to guns. Americans love their guns. The National Rifle Association stays busy bribing congressional members to not vote for gun control.
Is it that we're not as civilized as we'd like to think? Let's face it, our society is so violent that no one feels safe anymore. Regardless of how many guns they have.
America has entered an era where chaos reigns in all aspects of our lives. Our politicians are frozen in partisan battles while the country's infrastructure crumbles.
In our world it's shoot first, ask questions later.
So how do those bobbies manage to control crime without guns? 
It's simple. Gun control works in England because the people buy into a philosophy much less violent than ours.
Imagine this; the bobbie's prime tool for defusing any situation or conflict is always talking to someone.
Instead of reaching for a gun like our cops, they use a studied approach that seldoms ends in death for either party - cop or criminal. 
The sad thing is American cops can't go without guns because the entire country is heavily armed - from criminals to law-abiding citizens.
You can't bring a batton to a gun fight. 
In conclusion; American society is no better than a third world country mired in hate and gun violence. Make sure to thank the NRA and the gun and ammo industries...they've effectively reduced us to violent savages.
Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Seeking Common Sense In A Stressed-Out Society

Good Day World!

Where has common sense gone? 

Was there ever any in our society?

I stalk the headlines of major newspapers and magazines daily, seeking examples where people have used common sense in solving problems. 

It's a barren landscape out there in the American hinterlands and cities. 
The lack of common sense has manifested itself in two of the most unpopular presidential candidates for major political parties in U.S. history.

How could anyone with common sense have let this happen? 

Look to the stresses in our society - racial unrest and a disappearing middle class - and how they evoke visceral emotions that cloud common sense.

With all the experts in our society why isn't there a correlation between schooling and common sense? 

I've known people with master degrees that lack basic common sense, and people with high school educations (or GED equivalents) that are well grounded in common sense.

As Victor Hugo suggested, "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education."

Here's a column I wrote for the Times-Standard newspaper in Eureka, California, three years ago talking about common sense.

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

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Questions You May Find Odd...Or Not

Good Day World!

Some quick questions:

Can you hear it?

That deep sucking sound of civility collapsing like a deflated balloon in our society?

Can you see it?

Racism. The great divide that continues to expose gaping canyons in the American Dream?
The "Haves" and "Have Nots" experiencing further separation every year?

Can you feel it?

A growing fear gnawing at you brain's frontal lobe, like a rat chewing off it's leg to escape a trap, that you are not safe anymore?

Can you taste it?

The bitter pill that comes with having to pick either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump at the voting booth? Does the taste of bile rise from your gut in protest at what's happened this presidential election cycle?

Can you imagine it?

A time of ethics, morality, and truth in our electoral system? Safeguards installed to make sure we never see another presidential candidate like Donald Trump?

Do You Have Nightmares?

Of domestic and foreign terrorists dancing through your dreams like obscene ballerinas packing modified AR-15's?

If any of these questions

Spark a constructive conversation between you and a friend (or stranger), then my day will be complete. Peace.

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

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Why The War On Marijuana Continues Despite Research Showing It's Benefits

Good Day World!

The Obama Administration, and the DEA, refused to reschedule marijuana from Schedule 1 - right alongside heroin, LSD, and Meth, to a lesser classification last week.

Again.

The War On Weed has continued during President Obama's two terms. Facts bear that out.

This most recent refusal is just the same refrain coming from Congress and President Obama..."more research needs to be done" was the hypocritical reason given for not rescheduling it and ending the farce.

Oh, really? I'd like to point out the following links as just a sampling of the research that's been going on for over two decades:

60 Peer-Reviewed Studies On Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Research: What The Research Shows

Marijuana and Your Health: What 20 years of Research Reveals

So what's spurring this apparent hypocrisy among the ruling powers?

Remember when Wikileaks released information that was hacked from the DNC? The leak revealed a damning connection with Big Booze.

Inside the leak was an email from the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America which spread the idea that marijuana was causing more traffic accidents and fatalities than ever before.

The message was that weed was bad and needed to be regulated more, not less. 

The alcohol industry has a massive issue with drunk driving, so it makes sense that they would want to turn the heat of that pressure somewhere else.

There's more to this issue than just the alcohol industry's attacks. 

Big Pharma is afraid of cannabis. 

The pharmaceutical and alcohol industries both have powerful lobbying influences in Washington, They have long lobbied against cannabis legalization in order to protect their profits. 

This study has both industries shaking because it shows that 87% of those surveyed have replaced prescription drugs, alcohol, and other substances with marijuana.  

The War On Marijuana will continue, not for the people's benefit (as this most recent ruling proves), but for the benefit of a corrupt administration and Congress.

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

Friday, August 19, 2016

Don't be alarmed -- just get up fast and find the flying saucer!

Good Day World


I hate getting up early in the morning. 
I recall when my three sons were little, waking them with music. 
Now, you might be think, “How sweet. He gently woke his children with the soothing sounds of music.
You'd be wrong. I had a vinyl record of Snoopy and the Red Baron that featured the sounds of World War I planes in combat! 
At full volume, it never failed to bring them out of their beds in record (pardon the pun) time. I quit using this method when they hit their teens and loud music had no effect upon them.
We didn't have alarm clocks in Army basic training. We woke up at the crack of dawn out of pure survival instinct. 
Having to wake up at a certain time has always been a challenge. The Greek philosopher Plato had a large water clock alarm that was said to sound like an organ.
The goal of getting up at a prescribed time encompasses cultures throughout recorded history.
The Roman senator Cassiodorus (c. 485-585) had a water clock. In China, a striking clock was made by the Buddhist monk and inventor Yi Xing (683-727). An Arab engineer named al-Kaysarani made a striking clock in Damascus, Syria in 1154.
All of these devices utilize loud noise to do the job. It wasn't until James F. Reynolds and Paul L. Schroth Sr. came along in the 1940s that the first radio alarm clock was invented. 
It still made a loud noise, but you could wake up to music set at the volume you wanted.
Now we have digital alarm clocks featuring all kinds of bells and whistles. They come with “snooze” buttons, and “sleep” buttons, and battery backup to maintain the time in the event of a power outage.
The next-generation alarm clocks promise some pretty interesting stuff. You know how it is when you suddenly wake up and feel kinda groggy? The clock gurus are promoting “Progressive alarm clocks these days to address the problem. 
They involve stuff like a simulated sunrise (lights that slowly come on in phases), dawn simulators, and progressive auditory clocks.
There are tons of strange alarm clocks out there. Here are some of my favorites:
The Flying Alarm Clock is designed to get your rear end out of bed. It goes off at the time you set. The catch is, it literally goes off. The top portion flies off the base and lands somewhere in your room. It will continue to make a racket until you get up, find that flying saucer, and place it back on the base.
The Drag Racing Alarm Clock is constructed to look like that Christmas tree at the local drag strip. All the lights, sounds and actions of the dragster make for a fun way to start your day. Imagine the engine revving up and the tires warming up, the staging lights showing your position and the starting lights going off in sequence. Then an 8,000 horsepower engine screams into action, sending you hurtling down the strip! For added effect, you can also have working temperature and humidity gauges.
The Bomb Alarm Clock was invented by a Japanese company. Three minutes before it goes off, a voice starts a countdown. You have three minutes to disconnect a wire from the blinking light. If you make it in time you're fine. If not, be ready for a bang that will rock the house!
Finally, there's the Sfera Alarm Clock that makes you get up whether you like it or not. It is mounted on the ceiling above your bed and when it goes off you simply reach up and touch it to turn it off. 
But wait! There's more. This alarm clock retracts toward the ceiling and goes off again, getting a little higher each time. At some point you'll find yourself standing on the bed trying to turn it off!
As It Stands, my wife and I recently got an alarm clock that simulates a sunrise (slowly getting lighter), emits a scent called “energy,” and ends up with chirping birds. For the record, we slept in the first time we tried it!
(This column originally ran in The Times-Standard in Eureka, California on 1/12/10)
Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Stuck In Infotainment Hell: America Need a 'News' Revolution'


                                         Good Day World!

It's bad.

We can't turn to MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, or any other so-called news channel because they aren't providing any real news anymore!

Donald Trump's latest stupid remarks dominate the airways in spite of what else is going on in the country, or the world.
  
"Trump took a dump in a golden toilet today..."

"Donald Trump said president Obama is the founder of ISIS..."

You get the idea.

We have to face it, infotainment TV has taken over because it gets higher ratings than just boring real news stories. That's our reality today when we turn on the boob tube (there's never been a better nickname for TV).

Corporations own the airways. They really don't want you to be informed because you may find out something bad about their business practises.

Ready to give up and swear off so-called news stations yet? I'm not. 

I'd like to see a grassroots effort by the American people to establish a real news channel funded by only donations from the public. 

Not a combination of donations and government grants like PBS gets. No other source of income would be acceptable.

The staff and editors will be held under scrutiny daily - all stories to be fact checked and vetted before they are released.

With social media today it's not too far-fetched to think a group of serious professional journalists could put something like this together. They could even Crowd Fund to get started.

I have a hunch it would become the most watched channel of all without any corporate influence or advertisers stuffing stories.

What do you think?

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

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The World Is A Stage; What Parts Have You Played In Your Life?

Good Day World!

As William Shakespeare once said;

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts." - from As You Like Itopening Monologue.

Sometimes, I reflect on the many parts I've played thus far in my life. Son. Brother. Vietnam veteran. Father. Journalist. Uncle. Grandfather...and I wonder what's left?

I look around and see my sons, and their children, and I wonder what roles lie ahead for all of them? 

The challenges they are going to face will revolve around their personal milestones as they take on their parts of parent or soldier. 

Being a father, or mother for example, is the greatest challenge you'll ever face. Trust me. 

Are there roles you hope to play yet in your life? Are you aspiring for greatness or happiness? Or, both. Is there a fire within you that sets you apart from others?

Have you played the role of the villain and enjoyed it? Have you been a good samaritan by choice, or chance? What has life thrust upon you, and what do you want to do?

Is there yet a part unplayed that you dream about? Remember, life is short and your part but a flicker of the eternal flame.

As my grandfather George Baxter once told me, " ..and The Merry Game goes on..." 

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