Dave Stancliff 2013-03-24 blogarama.com

Saturday, March 30, 2013

And the Hate Goes on: KKK to Celebrate White Unity Today In Tennessee

         Good Day World!

Today’s topic is a reminder that racial hatred is alive and thriving in the south these days. The KKK are rallying today in Memphis, in what’s being termed a “White Unity Day.”

Organizers promise hundreds of Klansmen will descend on Memphis from North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Alabama, Georgia and Maryland today.
"There's so many coming, it's hard for me to keep track of 'em," said Imperial Wizard Chris Barker, who is the head of the Loyal White Knights, which has a presence in 15 states, mostly east of the Mississippi.

The Klan's agenda is pretty simple: Send the immigrants back where they came from, silence the homosexuals and the communists (known as liberals today), promote sobriety and abstinence, end abortion, and discourage the mingling of races in a way "God never intended."

Anyone that thinks racism isn’t a major problem in this country today has their head in the sand.

Related articles:

KKK plans rally in Memphis Saturday to celebrate white peoples' rights

KKK plans huge rally in Memphis, Tennessee

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, March 29, 2013

AS IT STANDS offers a new feature for readers – A serialized novella

forest-sunlight-thumb

       Good Day World!

 I’m excited about sharing my new novella with you today – RAFTER’S REDEMPTION.

This blog is a multi-purpose platform for my work in print and digital media. I want to continue to add features that will bring you back. Any input on the following novella will be appreciated. Each installment will start here, but you’ll be directed by a link to continue reading at the RAFTER’S REDEMPTION home page. Thanks for stopping by!

us-history-vietnam-war

RAFTER’S REDEMPTION 

Chapter One

FREEDOM

   Rafter Rabago barely managed to get his diploma from Covina High School in 1968, surprising friends, family, and the school’s entire faculty. Some of his detractors said he shouldn’t have graduated, based on the time he missed. His commonly known distain for the whole process of education had pushed more than one teacher to the limit.
  He was never interested in organized school sports. His physical education coaches constantly tried to get him to play football, basketball, or to wrestle. The reason? He was probably the most gifted athlete in the school. Except he didn’t want to be an athlete. A jock. It drove his PE coaches crazy to watch him dribble the basketball around others and to slam dunk it with apparent ease during PE class.
  When it came to football he could pass, defend, and receive the ball effortlessly. He was faster and more agile than any student in the school. At six-feet, and 180 pounds by his senior year, he was a force few physically challenged. In his physical education tests he did more pushups, sit-ups, chin-ups, and pull-ups than anyone on the varsity football squad.
 He set school records in all of them. He was faster than anyone on the school’s track team, and tied the fastest 100 meters record in the school’s history as his PE coach clocked him in awe.
   With all his physical gifts, Rafter should have been groomed as a professional athlete. The coaches daydreamed about his potential. Friends didn’t ask why he didn’t participate in sports. They knew why. He didn’t like the discipline. Didn’t like the idea of being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.
   Rafter was not a good student either. That discipline thing was a problem in classrooms. He wasn’t stupid, but he sometimes did have trouble focusing on the lessons. The teacher’s words sometimes sounded like angry bees in his head and his attention wandered off to other subjects. As could be expected, this lack of attention hadn’t gone unnoticed by his teachers since the first day of his first grade class. His eyes gave him away, staring into space. Or, his other extreme; class clown. Getting laughs while earning Ds in Mathematics and English.
   Some of the contorted faces he made caused teachers to grin in spite of themselves. He was a natural clown. A rubber face. A teller of off-color jokes when adults weren’t nearby. Despite being a poor student and a non-jock with a perfect record of never having made the honor roll in 12 years of basic education, Rafter was popular. People liked being around him because he exuded a certain air of adventure. Of discovery. And his sense of humor was a hit, especially when it came to getting girl friends. (GO HERE to continue reading)
 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Big Brother launches latest attack against your privacy and freedom

           Good Day World!

Today’s topic is Big Brother, aka our government. Who sends spies in the skies with drones over our amber waves of grain – leaving the battle fields across the planet and now poking their nose in every American’s business.

We all know the Patriot Act took away some of our liberties. They continue to be chipped away by whatever means the government can come up with. As if there isn’t enough real time surveillance in our society, the moles in Washington want to hack our Gmail, Google Voice, and Dropbox in real time.

Privacy is rapidly disappearing for everyone nowadays. You don’t have to be a celebrity or famous. Someone is tracking you as you read this. Somewhere, in the course of your day, strangers will be watching or listening to you. 

Here’s the latest attack on your privacy:

Despite the pervasiveness of law enforcement surveillance of digital communication, the FBI still has a difficult time monitoring Gmail, Google Voice, and Dropbox in real time. But that may change soon, because the bureau says it has made gaining more powers to wiretap all forms of Internet conversation and cloud storage a “top priority” this year.

Last week, during a talk for the American Bar Association in Washington, D.C., FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann discussed some of the pressing surveillance and national security issues facing the bureau. He gave a few updates on the FBI’s efforts to address what it calls the “going dark” problem—how the rise in popularity of email and social networks has stifled its ability to monitor communications as they are being transmitted.

It’s no secret that under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the feds can easily obtain archive copies of emails. When it comes to spying on emails or Gchat in real time, however, it’s a different story.” (Read the rest of the story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Free Novella for ‘As It Stands’ Readers: ‘Rafter’s Redemption’

I’ve decided to do something crazy. If it works out, I may continue to do it. My idea is to offer readers an original fiction novella by yours truly for free.

I enjoy sharing and who knows? Maybe the right person will read them and they’ll be interested in representing my writings in the future. If not…oh well. I hope you enjoy it. (photo via history.com)

Prologue: Rafter’s Redemption – an original novella by Dave Stancliff       Copywrite @2013

1976 Humboldt County, California
When he woke up his arms ached. He was lying on his stomach somewhere in a dark place. A basement? Minutes crawled by as his brain attempted to clear the fog clinging to it since he opened his eyes.

Dawning awareness. His fingers dug into dirt. Soft, wet, smelly. Odor of decay. Not buried in it. Lying on it. His body pressed up against it. His arm muscles were spastic snakes, stilling his movements. He waited for them to settle down.

Alive. In pain, but alive. What happened? He raised his head slightly and felt a gentle breeze. His eyes, growing accustomed to the darkness, revealed he was under a house. He had no idea whose house. He could just make out some porch steps. Irregular rows of lattice-work lined the house perimeter. There were several broken openings.

What was he doing here? The thought paralyzed him. No memory at all. There had to be a reason why he was under this house. Who was he hiding from? More important, who was he? He didn’t even know his name. Or, how long he’d been lying there.

More pain. Bright lights went off behind his eyes like slivers of lightning. His head sank back onto the cold earth. Throbbing. Suddenly a thunderous roar and muzzle flash, and his hip exploded in pain!
I’ve got you now you son of a bitch!” A voice roared. He rolled over, off the wounded hip, and wondered what terrible thing he must have done to deserve an ending like this?

The first chapter of “Rafter’s Redemption” will be posted Friday, March 29th. Hope to see you there.

 

Good Riddance Gingrich! Now veterans have hope of VA services improving

       Good Day World!

Today’s topic is John Gingrich, soon to be former chief of staff for the Department of Veteran Affairs. He’s history this Sunday, and I say good riddance! He’s officially retiring (instead of being held accountable for the waste under his watch). His legacy is chaos.

Photo of John Gingrich via Department of Veteran Affairs

This retirement announcement comes seven days after members of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America met with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough about the chronically long claims-benefits backlog, which is managed by VA. Specifically by John Gingrich whose track-record is pathetic and borders on criminal.

Paul Rieckhoff, called on President Obama to find an immediate fix for the backlog, adding the time had come "to go above the VA" on the problem. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, called for Gingrich to resign in October after revelations surfaced detailing improper VA spending.

Miller also condemned Gingrich’s approval of an $8 million budget for a pair of VA human resources conferences held in Florida during 2011. The pressure is on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to find a suitable arrangement ASAP. 

Here’s some backround links:

DOD, VA sluggish helping returning veterans, study says

Obama urged to step in to fix VA backlog

CALLS FOR MORE REFORM AT VA AMID SPENDING SCANDAL

Researchers say officials covered up Vet’s health data

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mock Combat Veterans: You can’t steal valor – it has to be earned

        Good Day World!

 Today’s topic is about stolen valor. If you’re not familiar with the term go here for a complete explanation. I’ll summarize the term for you here: scum buckets who pretend they were war heroes and parade around with unearned medals.

Take a good look at the clown below with the blue tuft of hair. His name is Danny Crane and he lied to people about his military record claiming to be a combat veteran with war wounds. He even called himself the “…most decorated veteran in the state of Florida.”

The problem with that story was Crane only served less than three months in the Army and never came close to combat of any kind. He paraded around in public with two Purple Hearts, a Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal on a Class A uniform. None earned of course. The good news is he was caught and is spending time behind bars.

Here’s just one example of this clown’s gall; he conned the Department of Veterans Affairs out of $7,000 by claiming he was half blind, had once been shot in the back, suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and had 24 metal plates inserted in his face.

Unknown to Danny Crane there is a strong network of veterans out there chasing down liars like him.  People like Crane take on these fake identities to impress women, scam federal benefits and reap undeserved praise in their communities.

Danny Crane - Photo via Pinellas Country Sheriff's Office

Enter Guardian of Valor a virtual detective agency ran by Sgt. Fred Campbell, one of 10 veterans who volunteer their time exposing creeps like Crane. There are others too.

Meet Mary Schantag, a Marine widow who lives in Missouri and operates the Fake Warriors Project. Since launching that veteran-vetting venture on a shoe-string budget in 1998, Schantag said her nonprofit group — along with partners at similar sites — has revealed more than 4,000 hoaxers who falsely claimed military service or battlefield glory. It’s unclear how many of those 4,000 frauds later were prosecuted. A VA spokesman said such cases are not tracked by the agency.

Once upon a time there was a law – the Federal Stolen Valor Act – that dealt with scum like Crane, but the Supreme Court last June struck it down.  A majority of justices ruled that invented battlefield brags should be protected by the First Amendment right of free speech.

While I don’t fully agree with that decision, I feel better knowing that there are people out there exposing these fake warriors. The Supreme Court did say that it’s criminal fraud if the mock vets obtain money or gifts from charities or from the government by using their ruse. Mr. Crane was the latest clown to find this out.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cockroaches won’t inherit the world some day, cell phones will!

               Good Day World! 

 I don’t like cell phones. If they didn’t have some real emergency applications, I’d smash them on sight! We can thank them for a quantum leap in public rudeness. Have you ever stood in a store check-out line and the customer is too busy talking on their cell phone to even pay attention to what the cashier is asking? That’s just rude.

Cell phones are multiplying faster than our national debt.There are now more wireless devices being used in the United States than there are people, and Americans have doubled the amount of Internet data traffic they generate on smartphones, according to the trade group CTIA.

Countless cell phones squawk during movies in public theatres across the country and when airline stewards ask passengers to turn them off they’re ignored. Users walking along streets drop into manholes and off of piers they’re so focused on texting.

People are killed every day driving with a hand held cell phone glued to their ear while careening down the road at breakneck speeds. And we can’t forget driving and texting. Those wonderful little cell phones have more applications than a Swiss knife on steroids! For some reason people think they can text and drive – until it’s too late and they end up a road statistic.

Talk about creepy. When you walk through airports and malls and other places where people are packed in like sardines, most are plugged in to their cell phones nearly unaware of others around them. Kinda like zombies. It use to be when you saw someone walking along and talking to themselves you knew they had a mental problem. Not anymore.  

My main cell phone bitch for today can be found in the article below: 

A new United Nations study has found that more people around the world have access to a cellphone than to a working toilet. The study’s numbers claim that of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones. However, only 4.5 billion have access to a toilet.

I’m telling you, this just isn’t right. It’s a shitty situation!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, March 24, 2013

AS IT STANDS: Evolutionary social flaw? Why is it so much fun to be afraid?

By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard
I’m fascinated by predators like lions, sharks, and lawyers. Stories about rats creep me out, but I continue to read them. I’ve got a hunch there are others like myself who get a perverse thrill from shuddering in terror.
Why else would authors like Stephen King be so popular? I remember watching the original black & white movie Frankenstein on late night television in 1960.

 Like most 10-year olds, I had an active imagination and couldn’t go to sleep afterwards. I nervously waited for the sun to rise, listening and waiting for Frankenstein to appear. I was sure he was lurking outside my room.
For some reason I thought no monster would dare appear during the day. I knew that was the case with werewolves and vampires, and just assumed Frankenstein was a nocturnal monster as well.
     Look at roller coasters. They’re all about scaring us witless. The combination of speed, sudden turns, and gravity defying dives nearly always produces screams of sheer terror from riders. Yet afterward, when the world stops spinning and stomachs stop churning, they get back in line for another go!

I’ll never forget my first Zombie movie. It was October 1968, and my best friend Tom (later to become my brother-in-law) and I went to a drive-in theater to see “The Night of the Living Dead.”
 For those of you who remember going to drive-in movies back then, the food was terrible. Probably the worst, but most popular item, was pizza. It was like eating cardboard with tomato sauce and cheese smeared frugally on top. We ordered one that night.
Ten minutes into the movie we stopped eating our pizza. Miraculously, our appetites disappeared as we watched people chewing on other people. By today’s standards the movie was tame. At the time, it was considered groundbreaking gore on the big screen and paved the way for countless other Zombie movies. Look at their popularity now.


Talking about scary movies, who can forget when The Exorcist came out in 1973? I can still see that disturbing image of demon possessed Linda Blair twisting her head completely around and snarling at the camera.

People liked being terrified by The Exorcist so much it reaped 10 academy award nominations and was the first horror movie ever up for Best Picture. “The Sting” won that year.

  I totally blame the movieJaws (1975), for my fear of sharks. Prior to the movie I thought nothing of swimming at Huntington Beach, Redondo Beach, and numerous other beaches in Southern California. Haven’t been in the ocean since 1975.
I don’t care if the movie happened on the East Coast. We have plenty of Great White Sharks on the northern coast of California. There’s been more than  one incident here in Humboldt County of someone attacked by a Great White while surfing in our frigid waters.
  So why do I like being scared for entertainment? I have no idea. I know I’m not alone, however. Fear sells. Write about the world ending or a Zombie invasion of downtown Keokuk, Iowa,  and it’ll sell.
Of course, you’re going to have a lot of competition because countless others are also dreaming up terrifying global scenarios to scare our pants off. I read somewhere that because man has no dinosaurs chasing him around anymore, he misses that primal instinct of running for his life from something that wants him for dinner.

In other words, we need an adrenaline rush. People love visiting with lions or tigers while safely separated from their teeth and claws. The same goes for shark aquariums. Watching those cold eyes search for prey sends shudders up our spines.
 I think the most feared predators in our society today are lawyers. They look like you and me on the outside, but beneath those suits lurk soulless predators going for our money in court cases. 

 I’m only half-kidding here. Few things can scare people more than knowing their rival in a lawsuit has a high-powered (translation: unscrupulous) lawyer. How many times have you wondered if someone escaped justice by using a “good lawyer” (translation: one who is famous and wins every time)? That’s scary.
As It Stands, here’s an interesting thought; is our fascination with wanting to be scared an evolutionary social flaw that contributes to the violence in our violent society?

Reader’s Speak out about this column:

Dave,

I loved your Sunday column and agree completely--I think the reason people smoke cigarettes, for instance, is not in spite of the danger, but because of it--the moth drawn to the fire.

Cecelia Holland

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