Dave Stancliff 2013-12-15 blogarama.com

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I’m back with some good news…

094

Good Day World!

After waking up with my vision so blurred I couldn’t see out of my left eye a couple of days ago, I found out what was wrong with it. The good news is my condition isn’t permanent.

Basically, for reasons that can be attributed to age, my left eye hemorrhaged and the resulting bleeding caused black ghosts and jelly-fish to frolic behind my eyeball!

I had to go to a doctor in White City, Oregon, who sent me to a specialist in Portland to discover this.

When the specialist in Portland said the blurred vision will go away in 4-6 weeks I was thrilled. Nothing serious. Often happens to people who receive a blow to the head or eye.

After my initial elation, I still had a tiny surprise in store.

You see, the doctor in White City didn’t just look at the offending eyeball, she discovered a hole in my right retina! She was responsible for getting me an immediate appointment to see Dr. Campbell, a retina specialist in Portland.

Before I knew it, Dr. Campbell did laser surgery on it and I walked out the door a happy man. I call it an early Christmas present. I treasure my eyesight and feel very blessed to have had such a positive ending to what could have been a miserable future.

One more thing, as a service-connected disabled veteran I didn’t have to worry about paying a big medical bill. Thank you Oregon VA.

I really want to thank both the White City VA and the Portland VA, for such quick and quality care. I really believe Oregon takes care of it’s veterans.

Merry Christmas to all of you…

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, December 20, 2013

“Duck Dynasty” star’s homophobic remarks got him canned – was that fair?

 SEE Note To Readers at bottom of post    

      Good Day World!

 Was Phil Robertson, star of the TV series “Duck Dynasty” railroaded by the Political Correctness Police?

Or, were the remarks he made an unfair attack on a segment of American society that should be addressed? Gays and Lesbians felt his words were intolerant and hateful. The fact of the matter is, he was stating his beliefs and the LBGT community became infuriated.

He lost his job. But right wing conservatives have decided to take up his cause and say that his freedom of speech was taken away. There’s other, less political people, who feel the same way.

My take is simple: live and let live. I abhor his statements regarding homosexuals, but it’s his opinion. He should be entitled to it. And, I’m not a right wing conservative speaking here. To me, it’s a matter that should be worked out between the two parties involved.  Quite simply, I’m prepared to take the good,bad,and ugly that comes along with our 1st Amendment.

Here’s the story: 

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal jumped to the defense of Phil Robertson, the star of the A&E megahit “Duck Dynasty” who was indefinitely suspended from the program Wednesday after making graphic statements about homosexuality.

In a statement, Jindal praised Robertson and his family as “great citizens” of his home state, where the lucrative show is filmed, and he slammed the “politically correct crowd” for criticizing his comments.

“I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV.  In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive,” Jindal said. “But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views.  In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”

At first glance, the Indian-American convert to Roman Catholicism with a national political profile and the crossbow-wielding, bearded patriarch of a television show about a duck-hunting call business wouldn’t seem to be completely natural allies.

But some conservative Christians are arguing that Robertson, a self-described “Bible-thumper,” was singled out for expressing a religious belief that homosexuality is wrong.

Asked in an interview with GQ what he believes in sinful, Robertson replied “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

Robertson also described the mechanics of homosexuality in explicit terms, saying that a woman’s anatomy is “more desirable” than a man’s.

“I'm just thinking: There's more there!” the reality star said. “She's got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I'm saying? But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man. It's just not logical."

In a statement, Robertson said he is committed to speaking about the teachings of the Bible.

"My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together," he said. "However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other."

A&E Networks said that Robertson’s “personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.”

GLAAD, a top advocacy organization for the LGBT community, called the comments “vile and extreme” and said Robertson’s statements are “ littered with outdated stereotypes and blatant misinformation.”

Jindal was not the only prominent GOP political figure to weigh in on the controversy.

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin expressed her support for Robertson in a Facebook post.

“Free speech is an endangered species. Those “intolerants” hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us,” she said.

And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz posted on his Facebook page that Americans should be "deeply dismayed" about Robertson's treatment.

"Phil expressed his personal views and his own religious faith; for that, he was suspended from his job," he said. "In a free society, anyone is free to disagree with him--but the mainstream media should not behave as the thought police censoring the views with which they disagree."

(Originally ran by NBC News)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

NOTE TO MY READERS

I have to take a blog break for a couple of days because I’m going to an eye specialist today.

Woke up and couldn’t see out of my left eye. I’m hoping it’s something that can be fixed.

I should be back on December 23rd.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

No more cheap booze for US diplomats in India after Indian diplomat strip-searched

 Good Day World!

 Oh yeah! Take that American barbarians!

In a very embarrassing situation, an Indian diplomat in New York was strip-searched after being arrested on fraud charges.

The news didn’t go over very well in India whose government immediately retaliated by cutting off the cheap booze and food that American diplomats enjoyed getting.

What surprises me is this has become a big controversy and is causing a rift between the two countries. Things haven’t been so tense since 1971, when Washington sent a carrier group to the Bay of Bengal during the Bangladesh war.

Really? Over an Indian national who was caught breaking the law? Is there more behind this whole incident that we don’t know about? It makes a person wonder.

Here’s the story:

India has blocked perks such as cheap alcohol and food imports at the U.S. Embassy after one of its top diplomats was arrested on fraud charges and strip-searched in New York City.

Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade has been accused of submitting false documents to obtain a work visa for her Manhattan housekeeper, an Indian national whom she allegedly paid less than $3 an hour.

The 39-year-old diplomat's arrest has sparked a storm between the U.S. and ally India, with lawmakers in Delhi calling her alleged treatment "despicable" and "barbaric."

full story here

Related:

Secretary Kerry expresses regret to India after diplomat strip-searched

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

‘Two Degrees of Association’ - Pre-Crime Fighting Tactic Used in Chicago

 Good Day World!

Some good news for city dwellers in Chicago. Murders are down 20% this year.

What’s caused this significant decrease in crime?

 Here’s what’s happened:

The Chicago Police Department committed to using the new science of social network analysis, the same tools that allow Silicon Valley to predict who you know and what you might like to buy.

Now they’re predicting where trouble will happen, before it happens, based upon a growing database of over 60 gangs and 600 factions. With information on the gang’s slang and locations, authorities are putting together a matrix to fight crime in Chicago.

But at what expense? What civil liberties are being violated? Both questions the ACLU is asking. Read about how the new crime fighting program came into existence and what it’s done thus far in 2013 here..

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cats, rodents, & humans intwined in history - or why a cat will never starve

Good Day World!

 I read an interesting story about a cat, Mazy May by name, that was lost in Oregon for 16 months at a national forest and was discovered by a park ranger who returned the cat to it’s human family.

The park ranger who found the cat said it's amazing she wasn't eaten by a bobcat or a bear and that she survived an entire winter.

Here’s what happened:

Cissy Myers, her husband Ken and their pets went camping at Silver Creek Falls near Silverton, Oregon. At the time, the Myers family said they always took their two cats and their dog camping.They traveled with their pets in the family's tent-trailer because if they didn't, they said, the animals got separation anxiety and stop eating.

But on one of those nights, the trailer wasn't completely secured. "It was not zipped tight and that was the only way she could have gotten out," said Myers. When it was time to pack up and go home, Mazy May was nowhere to be found.

All’s well that ends well, however. But it got me to thinking about how that cat managed to survive. It was domesticated, but apparently had no trouble going feral and eating rodents and other small creatures.

Then I read this story and it all came together:

A cat-and-mouse game that played out in a Chinese village 5,300 years ago is helping scientists understand how wild felines were transformed into the tame pets we know today.

In fact, it was the cat's appetite that started it down the path to domestication, scientists believe. The grain stored by ancient farmers was a magnet for rodents. And that drew wild cats into villages to hunt the little critters. Over time, wild cats adapted to village life and became tamer around their human hosts.

That's the leading theory, anyway, for how wild cats long ago were transformed and became ancestors of today's house cats. That happened in the Middle East, rather than China. But bones from the Chinese village back up the idea that felines took on the pest-control job in ancient times, says researcher Fiona Marshall of Washington University in St. Louis.” read full story here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, December 16, 2013

Girl shops until boyfriend goes crazy and jumps to his death!

China man kills self shopping mall 2013 12 09

Good Day World!

Generally men do not like shopping as much as women. Call my observation sexist if you must, but look at the statistics.

I can not go into a store and just wander around looking at things like a lost soul. I go in, find the item, or items, I already decided I wanted, and I’m out the door. Usually in good time.

My wife, whose insatiable curiosity of all things with a price tag on them, has no problem cruising slowly down aisles full of merchandize. She goes into a dreamy state as she considers her surroundings. Her shopping cart pulls her up and down every aisle in the store like a guide dog.

My sister makes my wife look like a piker. A shopping novice. She spends so much of her free time strolling through gigantic malls that she often forgets to eat! The term “shop until you drop” was coined by someone who watched my sister’s hourly marathons in malls.  

It’s hard for guys who have girlfriends, and wives, who love shopping more than sex! I’ve sat on many mall benches not-so-patiently waiting for my wife with other husbands and boyfriends. We make small talk, but every one of us is thinking, “Get me the hell out of here!”

I recently read about one poor guy who simply had enough of his girlfriend’s five-hour shopping spree. He threw himself over the balcony (photo) of a local mall after she wanted to go to one more shoe store, according to the local authorities.

I’m just surprised this doesn’t happen more often!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Actor & hard-drinking hellraiser, Peter O’Toole, dead at 81

The actor Peter O'Toole, who found stardom in David Lean's masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia, has died at the age of 81.

The acclaimed leading man who overcame stomach cancer in the 1970s passed away on Saturday at the Wellington hospital in London following a long illness, Steve Kenis said.

O'Toole announced last year he was stopping acting saying: "I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell."

He said his career on stage and screen fulfilled him emotionally and financially, bringing him together "with fine people, good companions with whom I've shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits."

Early in his career O'Toole became emblematic of a new breed of hard-drinking Hollywood hellraiser.

 read full story here

The Rest of the Story: Meet the ‘Black Pimpernel’ aka Nelson Mandela

Good Day World!

I guess it started when world leaders began comparing Nelson Mandela to Mahatma Gandhi and Jesus Christ.

The man, Nelson Mandela, suddenly became a candidate for sainthood when he died recently. Just like that. What, I wondered would make so many people ready to declare him the right hand of God?

After some research, one thing became abundantly clear; world leaders wanted to shore up good relations with mineral rich South Africa and if it meant canonizing a man once called a terrorist, then so be it.

America’s hypocrisy is obvious; Mandela was prominent on our international terrorist list up until 2008 when President Obama had his name removed from it.

Like most Americans, I thought he was a man of peace, which he was in later life, but was completely unaware of his violent past. Somehow, during the week-long celebration of his death, that chapter of his history disappeared like smoke. 

Let me tell you a little bit about the “Black Pimpernel,” aka Nelson Mandala:

Mandela, far from remaining a passive, non-violent activist, became the first commander in chief of the African National Congress' military wing, called the “Umkhonto we Sizwe,” or “Spear of the Nation,” (and better known as “MK” - the South African version of the IRA).

Inspired more by the writings of Mao Zedong and Che Guevara than Gandhi, Mandela built up from scratch a small insurgent force, trained in blowing up easy targets, like electricity transmission towers and rail lines. His recruits learned to make primitive bombs from ingredients normally found on South African farms.

By 1962, Mandela was already an underground “terrorist,” wanted by the police and living an outlaw existence who the media had dubbed the “Black Pimpernel” — a twist on the fictional “Scarlet Pimpernel” who struck at will and, Zoro-like, always avoided capture.

That year, according to multiple historical accounts, he made a secret, six-month-long trip to a dozen African states, seeking political support and money from other African revolutionary armies. He returned to South Africa with about $30,000 in funds and a revived enthusiasm for guerrilla warfare.

He even underwent his own military training, having spent weeks on the firing range and perfecting his explosives skills in Moroccan and Ethiopian military camps. The night before his arrest on charges of treason and sabotage, Mandela was reportedly seen at a party in Durban proudly sporting khaki fatigues, with pistol at his side.

“Plan M” — Mandela’s plan for insurgent victory — left many good intentions in its wake. Over the next 30 years, the MK launched more than 3,000 attacks and killed at least 100 people, mostly civilians, according to subsequent reports from South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

And while Mandela himself spent most of those years in prison, he never gave up on the armed struggle, keeping in touch with successive MK commanders on tactics by secret messages passed through occasional prison visitors, including his (then) wife Winnie Mandela and lawyer George Bizos.

“Mandela was not Gandhi,” said Dooley, the South Africa historian. “Once he had committed himself to armed struggle, he did not waver until the onset of political negotiations in 1990.”

During that era, both the U.S. State and Defense departments dubbed Mandela’s political party, the African National Congress, a terrorist group, and Mandela’s name remained on the U.S. terrorism watch list till 2008.

The U.S. government described it as a “bureaucratic snafu” when it was finally removed 14 years after he was elected president and nine years after he had left power. 

Time for me to walk on down the road…