Saturday, August 23, 2014

Join the Army for a sex change, and the town that requires all citizens to have guns

Chelsea Manning Says Military Still Denying Gender TreatmentGood Day World!

When I went in the Army in 1969, it wasn’t unusual to see men dressed up as women in the induction line.

The draft was on and many men wanted no part of being in the military – especially with the specter of going to Vietnam.

(Photo – Chelsea Manning)

By dressing up in panties and bras, some guys managed to get “Section Eights” (a free pass from playing soldier because they didn’t think you’d fit in, or whatever).

It didn’t always work. At some point, the military realized what was going on when too many men tried this ploy. Even the normally clueless (about societal fashions) Army was aware that there weren’t that many men in society (1 in 4?) walking around in women’s clothing. Remember, this was 1969.

Flash forward to August 2014.

Oh, how things have changed in 41 years.

Take the case of the former Army private once known as Bradley Manning now known as Chelsea Manning. He/She is serving a 35-year sentence after being convicted of sending classified documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

The 21st century version of the Army had no problem letting Bradley become Chelsea. One year ago Chelsea became the first military inmate to ask for treatment for gender dysphoria and went public with her decision to live life as a woman.

Now Chelsea is upset that being in military lockup at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, has restricted her ability to express her gender identity. No dresses have been forthcoming. Thought: where would she go shopping? A Victoria’s Secret catalogue perhaps?

Last month, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved an Army recommendation to begin the early stages of gender reassignment, including counseling and approval to dress as a woman, officials said. But Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, said in a statement that the military has failed to carry out the recommendation and that he is prepared to sue.


IMAGE: Richard Craig dances with his wife, Sherry, at the 75th anniversary picnic for the local power plant in Nucla, Colo.

Colorado Town That Requires a Gun in Every Home Fights for its Life

Buy a gun, or else!

In May 2013, the Nucla Town Board passed the Family Protection Order, requiring every head of household in the town of 700 to own a firearm.

Photo - Richard Craig dances with his wife, Sherry, at a 75th anniversary picnic for the local coal-fired power plant in Nucla, Colorado on June 17.

Nucla’s population is dwindling and aging. Its remaining residents will do anything to get their town on the map. By adopting a gun ordinance they hoped to catch the attention of those far-off lawmakers in Washington DC. They wanted to make a statement that says, “Hey! Remember us? We matter too.”

Board trustee Richard Craig says it all started as an offhand remark.

He was upset when state lawmakers began discussing a series of stricter gun-control measures in early 2013. So he came into the next board meeting and suggested adopting a mandatory gun ordinance. “People said that’s a good idea, and I said, ‘whoa,’” Craig explained with a laugh during a recent media interview.

Somewhere, in the dank corridors of the NRA’s headquarters corporations and people are celebrating. The idea of “making” every American have a gun is a wet dream the organization’s members have had for a long time!

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Friday, August 22, 2014

Vintage Friday: Ads From the Past – What Were They Thinking?

Good Day World!

Imagine dentists and doctors recommending cigarettes. Once upon a time, they did.

The following vintage ads will leave you shaking your head in wonderment.




A parent today would be horrified to see their baby drinking bubbling beverages!


Look at my weiner – Blowing smoke in  her eye – and babies wrapped in cellophane!


Try it, you’ll like it! Health professionals singing the praise of cigarettes pucker-up for Winfield!  (All photos from Google Images)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Reflections on the Possibility of a Republican Congress in November

Good Day World!

Have you ever heard the sound of a steel-trap smashing shut?

It’ll be the sound you’ll hear if the Republicans take over the Senate on Nov.4th. There’ll be a big rush of hot air and any chance President Obama had of passing meaningful legislation in the next two years will be gone.

Many forecasters now give Republicans a slightly better-than-even chance of winning control of the Senate. They are heavily favored to pick up open Democratic seats in South Dakota, Montana and West Virginia, and six other competitive races will be fought in conservative-leaning states that President Barack Obama lost when he ran for re-election in 2012.

How close are the Republicans to picking up the necessary six seats from the Democrats to win control of the 100-seat chamber? Close enough. They’ve shrugged off the stigma of the emerging Tea Party and people are going to take them more seriously now.

With no Todd Akin asserting victims of "legitimate rape" have the ability to block a pregnancy, the candidates look more legitimate . Without Richard Mourdock  asserting pregnancy resulting from rape was something "God intended to happen," people may listen to their message now.

The Tea Party challengers failed to unseat any of the 12 sitting Republican senators who are up for re-election. It looks like the ill winds that bore the Tea Party along the last four years have shifted. They’ve been reduced to wearing 17th costumes and making outrageous claims.

Think about what will happen if the Republicans control Congress. Does anyone believe it will be a victory resulting in the common man winning? You might re-think the dynamics – or lack of – progress that will result.

How is that a win for the American people? It’s been tough enough to get meaningful legislation passed in the last four years with a Democratic Senate counter-balancing the House.

The only sound a Republican Congress will make is hallow echoes in the not-so-hallowed halls of our government. Of course, it’s the people who will suffer most when that trap is sprung.

Time for me to walk on down the road…   

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Ku Klux Klan is Busy This Summer Hating on Minorities

One of the oldest hate groups in America – the Ku Klux Klan - has been active lately.

Members of the New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) from three separate states announced plans to travel to Ferguson, Missouri, to guard “white businesses” near riots that have erupted after a police officer shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

“With blacks out of control, we have our Missouri Realm going to areas near Ferguson,” wrote Charles Murray, the group’s Imperial Wizard. “We can’t have blacks robbing and murdering innocent whites.”

As of today, those cowardly Klan members that claimed they were going to Ferguson have kept a low profile. They could be holed up in a local bar singing “The Night They Tore Old Dixie Down,” but I doubt it.

Law enforcement officials monitoring the situation told VICE News that they have not encountered any known KKK members in the area, nor have they recorded any official incidents or clashes between the white supremacist group and Ferguson residents. A VICE News crew operating in and around Ferguson has also not seen any indication that the Klan is active in the area.

A Klan group based in South Carolina recently announced that its Missouri chapter would be holding a fundraiser this weekend for Darren Wilson, the police officer accused of shooting and killing Brown. The location is supposed to be somewhere in Sullivan, a town about an hour outside of Ferguson.

"All money will go to the cop who did his job against the negro criminal," the announcement said.

This is only latest from the Klan, which has sought to capitalize on the violence and discord in Ferguson when it announced that their members would travel to Sullivan, to prepare for a fundraiser for “a cop who shot a nigger criminal.”

Murray, who posted a picture of a masked man carrying an assault riffle (top photo) along with the announcement of the group’s intentions to travel to Ferguson, has already warned readers of the group’s blog that they “have guns (and more).” (Full story)

Time for me to walk on down the road…



A Longer Life Doesn’t Always Equate to a Better Life

Good Day World!

I’m not sold on the idea that living a longer life – beyond normal expectations - means a better life.

I’m probably in the minority on this subject as most Americans seem to focus on living longer lives. That focus comes in the form of aging creams, surgeries, and diets designed to extend life.

Throw in the fact that most people fear death and do whatever they can to dodge the Grim Reaper, and you have the stuff of a national fixation for extending life.

There’s always people who want to go the next step, and live forever. I don’t see that as happening so let’s stay focused on living longer.

“There are approximately 35 million people in the United States age 65 or older, accounting for about 13 percent of the total population. In 1900, the number of older Americans was about 3.1 million.

With the aging of baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, America’s older population will double by 2030, reaching some 70 million.

The study, “Older Americans 2000: Key Indicators of Well-Being,” compiles for the first time statistics from various agencies “to provide a unified picture of the overall health and well-being of older Americans (ABC News).”

The thing about us baby boomers is we tend to be more active – and to live longer than the generation before us. We also spend a lot of time and money looking for that famous fable – the Fountain of Youth.

“The Fountain of Youth is a spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. Tales of such a fountain have been recounted across the world for thousands of years, appearing in writings by Herodotus (5th century BC), the Alexander romance (3rd century CE), and the stories of Prester John (early Crusades, 11th/12th centuries CE).

Ponce de León was searching for the Fountain of Youth when he traveled to what is now Florida in 1513.” – (via Wikipedia)

The 21st century answer to Ponce de León, David Sinclair, thinks the secret to stopping the aging process is closer than we think. Sinclair, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, has spent the past 20 years looking for ways to help people live longer, healthier lives.

It was Sinclair's research on resveratrol, a molecule found in grapes, that made headlines a decade ago when it showed promising results in keeping overfed mice as healthy as lean mice.

Sinclair even chose to test resveratrol on himself, something he has been doing for the past 10 years, and he says he's feeling fit and healthy.

Likewise, his parents, who are in their 70s, report similar results from taking resveratrol.

While I think it would be nice to live longer, it doesn’t mean much unless I’m in good enough shape to enjoy it. There are no guarantees that’ll happen. I can’t see myself wheelchair-bound and dependent upon other people just for the sake of saying I made it to 150 years-old.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Violence in Ferguson and the Meaning of ‘Dog Days of Summer’

Summer is slowly receding, although it’s still scorching many states. We’re in what is called, the “dog days of summer.”

The “dog days” can be a time for violence and short tempers, or just long lazy days spent relaxing before school starts up.

Historically it’s been a time when riots occur. The infamous Watts riots in LA happened during the “dog days of summer” (Aug.11-17).

Most recently, criminals are inciting violence and hijacking peaceful protests in Ferguson, Missouri.The protests were peaceful during the day but bottles were later thrown and police came under "heavy gunfire” according to Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The trouble started in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson where Michael Brown was fatally shot by police on August 9. Since then the town has been in chaos. Add the fact that there’s a real high unemployment rate among young black men in the city, and you have additional fuel for the fires.

The dog days of summer aren’t always violent. It just seems to be a bad time of the year for some folks. The actual meaning of the historical term is has nothing to do with violence.

If you thought that the term “dog days of summer” was something your grandma made up, you'll be surprised to learn the phrase dates back to ancient Rome.

“Caniculares dies,” or days of the dogs, was what the Romans called the period from the first week of July to the second week of August.

Therefore, the dog days of summer only refer to the last part of the summer, not the whole season.

So that explains when and where the phrase comes from, but why dogs? The explanation is cool, especially if you like astronomy.

You might have heard of a constellation named Orion. Often referred to as "The Hunter," Orion is a prominent constellation visible throughout the world.

Nearby is the constellation Canis Major, which is Latin for "greater dog." According to constellation lore, Canis Major is one of Orion’s hunting dogs.

Because Sirius is so bright, it was easy to track even for early astronomers. During April and early May, Sirius was visible in the southwest after sunset.

But by the time mid-summer would come along, Sirius would rise and fall with the sun and get lost in the daytime light.

However, the ancients knew that the "Dog Star" was still there, up in the sky with the sun during the hottest time of the year.

They reasoned that since Sirius was so bright and up there with the sun, it must be adding to the heat to produce the hottest time of the year.

That’s about it. I hope you enjoyed this brief explanation of the term “dog days of summer,” and where it came from. Stay cool.

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Degree in the Fundamentals of Chocolate? Why not?

           Try to imagine the sweetest job you could ever have.

Now imagine what it would be like to get paid big money for studying - wait for it – Chocolate! Oh yeah. It’s not just a pie-in-the-sky job either.

Cambridge University in England is seeking a doctoral student to pursue what sounds like the sweetest job in the world: studying the fundamentals of chocolate.

The research goal, according to the job description, is to identify ways of keeping chocolate-based food from melting in warm climates.

What nobler job could a person have? Making chocolate more accessible to people in the Mojave desert and other scorching corners of the world.

It’s a real challenge because even the best-quality chocolate starts going soft around 34 degrees Celsius (93 Fahrenheit), below human body temperature.

But think of the rewards! A solution could fatten the profits of the world's top 10 chocolate companies, which last year posted confectionary sales exceeding $85 billion.

There’s just one problem with getting this job – well two, if you count having to have a doctoral degree: only European Union citizens can apply for the post!

How bogus is that? I’m not sure a duel citizenship is the answer either.

Wake up America! It’s obvious we need sweeter jobs to fatten up our depressed economy. We need Doctors of Chocolate, like Willy Wonka needed lots of milk to work his magic…

Time for me to walk on down the road…

If Solar Power is so Safe Why is it Turning Birds into Smoke Plumes?

Perhaps I’ve been naïve.

I always thought solar power was environmentally safe. I had no idea that it was killing thousands of birds (in one location) every year.

It’s a “birder’s” nightmare. The poor things get incinerated when they flew over mega solar plants like the one in the Mojave Desert.

It appears that we are conceding wildlife as collateral damage in our race to promote alternative energies. My take on the following article is that there’s really nothing to be done about it.

There’s talk about year-long studies and stuff, but the bottom line is, mega solar plants are here to stay: 

“Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays — "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair

Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one "streamer" every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator's application to build a still-bigger version.

The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.

More than 300,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect solar rays onto three boiler towers each looming up to 40 stories high. The water inside is heated to produce steam, which turns turbines that generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes.

Sun rays sent up by the field of mirrors are bright enough to dazzle pilots flying in and out of Las Vegas and Los Angeles.” (read the full story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Bad Ship Perry is Floundering: Waiting for an ‘Oops’ Moment

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s hopes for occupying the White House in 2016 are sinking fast.

Perhaps that’s because of his severe “take no prisoners attitude” towards everyone who disagrees with him. He’s been the governor/king for too long. He’s done everything but succeed from the Union. Not that he hasn’t thought about it though.

Texas Governor Rick Perry was indicted Friday on charges of abuse of power—a first degree felony—and coercion—a third degree felony. The charges stem from a 2013 scandal that has been quietly rumbling in the Lone Star State as Perry has been floated as a viable contender for the Republican nomination in 2016.

Perry, as a means of intimidating the DA into resigning, publicly threatened to veto the Public Integrity Unit’s budget. And when she didn’t step down, he made good on his tough talk, gutting all of its funding ($8 million) for two years.

Perry has become the first sitting Texas governor to be indicted since 1917, and the fifth governor to be indicted in the 21st Century (the last was Illinois’ Rod Blagojevich, in 2008).

As this drama unfolds it’s going to get real ugly. I’m hoping that it’s televised and we all get to see it in real time. I’m looking forward to when Perry tells his side of the story.

I can just see it…he’ll be rattling on until that “oops” moment when he forgets certain facts.

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

Scumbag Rush Limbaugh Gets Called Out By Lewis Black for Robin Williams Comments

Good Day World!

The politically outspoken comedian, Lewis Black, lashed out at Rush Limbaugh for Limbaugh's recent comments about the late Robin Williams.

Black posted on his own Facebook page:

Fuck You Rush Limbaugh. Your statements were beyond cruel and stupid. They were intolerable. Enough is enough from you. You are an idiot. Don't you ever demean the death of another human being. He was my friend. You disgust me."

Lewis Black is not alone in his sentiments. The 'Hate Radio' talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, disgusts the majority of people in and outside of the country.

He has been getting away with racism, homophobia, misogyny and bigotry, on our tax-paid public radio, for decades. Finally, the public is doing something about it. There are several ways to protest Rush Limbaugh.

Sign: Limbaugh Sponsor & Clear Channel Petition
Visit/Like: BoycottRush Facebook Group
Join: The Fight To Flush Rush
Visit: for a list of Limbaugh Sponsors

On Tuesday, Lewis Black reminisced, in a piece, about his friendship and collaboration with Robin Williams. They entertained troops together during two USO tours in the late 2000's.

Many stories of sorrow, love, and respect for Robin Williams continue to flood mainstream and social media. If there is a heaven, he is there, out of his pain. Millions around the world will love and miss him dearly.

H/T and special thanks to Kimberly A. Johnson/Liberals Unite and Kimberly A. Johnson on Facebook


(Load) (Load) (Load) (Load) (Load) (Load) (Load)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X (This article originally ran in the Daily Kos)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Call it Destiny: When Love Ties Two Hearts Together Forever


Good Day World!

Two weeks from today, is my wife and I’s 40th anniversary.

Little did I suspect when I first met her – she was in 5th grade – and I was in high school – that we would end up falling in love and living together for the rest of our lives.

Her brother was my best friend in high school, and I considered her a pesky little sister. Years later, after I returned from serving in Vietnam (1970), things changed.

She was no longer this pesky little kid that wanted to follow me around. She was in high school and had bloomed into a beautiful woman. Three years later we got married on August 31st, 1974.

Three sons, and five grandchildren later, we’re more in love now then when we first got married. Love is like that. It grows stronger with time. 

Here’s another good example of two people meant for each other:

Married couple discovers they first met as preschoolers

Jason and Jessica Roth are coming up on their 10 year anniversary, but an old photo rPreschool photo of Jason and Jessica Roth.
evealed that what they originally thought was a relationship that began as students at Florida State University in Tallahassee actually began much, much earlier - in preschool.

PHOTO-Jason Roth is in the Superman costume in the front right of this preschool photo, while Jessica is the genie in the dark red vest at the far left.

The couple now live in Jacksonville with their three children. Jessica says she’s always happy to talk about where this love story really began.

“It’s our story and that’s where it started," she said. "We just didn’t know it at the time. You never know what doors are going to open.”

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...