Saturday, June 18, 2016

Beware of those 'Good Old Days!'

Good Day World!          

  There are people who pine for the years following WW II, from 1945 to 1965, when “everything was better.” 
   Why not? America had emerged as a superpower and a manufacturing force second to none in the world. We were number one.
   Historians quickly called the generation that won the war the “Greatest Generation.” Their children were given the best of everything in life. The American Dream was within every man’s or woman’s grasp.
   But something happened. When those children became teenagers, the world shifted slightly and societal changes came hard and fast. Vietnam, Hippies, Drugs, Free Love, and college students leading  protests against an unjust war.
   Let’s hold it right there. I want to discuss the Good Old Days (as defined above) a little further. Do you think African Americans and other people of color thought those were the Good Old Days? Frankly, I doubt it.
   If you were an African American living in the deep south from 1945 to1965, you lived in another America. One that had no dreams. No hope. You survived at the whim of the white man. You couldn’t eat in the same building or shop in the same store because of your color.
   Let’s not linger on this aspect of the supposed Good Old Days too long, but it does have to be examined. Instead, let’s look at a whole new view of the Good Old Days.
   The reason they were considered the Good Old Days was simple; people didn’t know what was happening everywhere in the country and the world. They were uninformed for the most part, especially in rural America.
   Most people didn’t know all the terrible things that happened in a 24 hour news cycle worldwide. There was no internet.
   Sure, people heard news stories on the radio, but music dominated the airwaves and the movies from 1945 thru 1965. 
   I wouldn’t say ignorance is bliss, but in some cases it seems preferable to knowing too much and being stressed out about things you can’t do anything about.
   Some people have selective memories, which can make those days of yore so special. Which leads me to a warning about politicians who use our faulty memories of a golden age that never existed to political advantage.
     You know who I’m talking about. Donald Trump. He says he’s going to “Make America Great Again.” A classic example of demogogue rhetoric. 
    The next time you hear someone calling for those Good Old Days, take a moment and ask them what Good Old Days are they actually referring to? 

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

Friday, June 17, 2016

Surprise! AR-15 Style Rifles Weren't Made for Civilians

Good Day World!

Today's news may surprise some people. 

That's why I'm going to spell out the reasons why AR-15 style weapons weren't meant for civilians to hunt with, or even for target practice. 
And certainly not for home protection. 
Their only purpose was to kill as many people as possible in war using semiautomatic bursts of .223 shells capable of piercing an enemy's helmet at 500 yards.

Question: why would you need night vision and a powerful scope unless you use them for hunting - or, have plans for sneaking up on someone you want to eliminate? These are just two of the popular add-ons you can put on these weapons.

Want to increase your ARs ammo capacity? No problem. Get the Ares Shrike 5.56 Conversion kit (photo above) and you can throw that lead out like the big boys all day!

The man who created the AR-15 style weapon (later re-named the M-16 by the American military) expressly made them for war to counter the communist AK-47.

Ronald Reagan spoke out against AR-15 style weapons being used by civilians back in the day. 


AR-15 style rifles now form a nearly $1 billion industry supported by gun owners who spend thousands of dollars collecting these firearms and upgrading them.


The NRA and other gun-rights lobbyists keep invoking the right of "self defense" to defend Americans' right to buy these guns (whatever happened to shotguns and pistols?), but home protection is low on the list of reasons why gun enthusiasts keep buying military-style weapons.

The biggest reason given? They're fun. That's right. They're fun.

How did warfare enter the civilian market?

AR-15 rifles were sold to the public as early as the 1960s. Their popularity really took off in the 80s after Chinese manufacturers began exporting the AR's Russian counterpart - the AK-47 - to the U.S. 

Pop culture helped the market along. Shows like Miami Vice made military-style firearms look sexy.

However, those sexy AR's are the mass murderer's choice of weapon. Look at what happened in Orlando. San Bernadino. Sandy Hook. On and on...

Something has to be done. There are an estimated 20-30 million "lawfull owned" AR-style weapons (AK's, HK's,SKS's, and other types of modern sporting rifles) in America.

Imagine how many illegal ones are out there? 

We need to stem the tide by banning sales of AR-style weapons. Rather than recalling the ones that have already been sold; just grandfather them in, and then start fresh with a ban on new ARs.

It's a start. We'll still have to deal with what's already out there, but cutting the flow off at the source will reduce the numbers eventually.

Meanwhile it goes without saying, Congress needs to get their collective heads out of their asses and start serving the people - not the weapon and ammo industries!

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

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Home Remodel Shows vs Our Remodel Experience

Good Day World!

My wife really enjoys watching those shows on the Home & Garden channel that deal with remodeling homes. 

You know, "Fixer Upper," "Extreme Makeover," "Hidden Potential, Property Brothers," etc. 

That's how she started prepping me for our remodel, by asking me to watch some of them with her. She would ask pointed questions like "Do you like those white kitchen cabinets?"

Being a guy, my first impulse was to answer truthfully, but after 41 years of martial bliss, I knew better. Without saying yes, or no, I asked what she thought of them?

That works, sometimes. But, after viewing numerous shows peppered with questions, my wife knew exactly where I really stood on the remodeling questions she asked about.

It was time to take the wall down between the kitchen and the living room. 
It was time to tear out all the kitchen cabinets and re-do them (sand and prime) a semi-gloss white.
It was time to put new flooring in throughout the house. One continuous pattern.
It was time to move gas lines and electrical outlets around to accommodate a new island and counter tops.
It was time for new lighting - can lights - in the kitchen and livingroom and matching ceiling lights.
It was time to repaint a couple of walls.
It was time to pull out the old water heater and to put in a tankless one on the exterior of the house.

My humble observations part of the way through our remodel:

* It's been like camping, but not so pretty. We've had to clear out the entire kitchen, dining room, and livingroom and cram all that stuff into three bedrooms, and the patio.

* No stove to cook on. Only fast food, frozen food (we do have a microwave set up with the coffee maker in one of the rooms) and food that doesn't need preparation.

* The entire house looks like a bomb went off. Still looking at another week of work. It's already been two weeks of bedlam.

The dog and the cats will probably need counseling after the parade of strangers in the house and the noise they made!

* Already over $2,000 on our budget. 

* Next time (if there is one) we do a remodel we're staying at a motel, or staying with whatever friends or family that will have us! 

Unlike the shows where the owners leave the house and return to see the happy results, we made our mistake by living in the middle of the remodel. Lesson learned.

I'm keeping my eye on the prize. When it's all done our living space will be improved, and I won't have to watch any more shows about remodeling!

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Just Another Moment of Silence With No Solutions

Good Day World!

Another moment of silence. This time for 49 people massacred in Orlando, Florida.

Sadly, that's all there will be thanks to the ammo and weapon industries, and their lapdog the National Rifle Association (NRA). 

With the help of Republicans who toady up to those industries and their lobbyists, no federal gun control laws have been passed in over a decade.

Instead, we get moments of silence. 

Fight In House of Representatives After Moment of Silence

A moment of silence was held on June 13th outside the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando. Moments of silence were held worldwide for the 49 victims.

Moments of silence were held in churches, sporting events, and community organizations nationwide.

Lady Gaga speaks at vigil for victims in Los Angeles. They hold a moment of silence.

Yet, for every moment of silence being held an AR-15 style weapon is sold. Gun store owners see huge increase in business selling AR-15 style assault rifles. 

Stock prices go up after massacre.

U.S. security chief urges gun control steps after Orlando attack

These gun sales illustrate the great divide in America today. On one hand, people want more control over the sales of weapons; and on the other hand, people don't want any controls on the sale of weapons.

For example, the Orlando shooter (I won't say his name) could have been stopped if we had a law about people on watch lists not being able to purchase weapons. He was on a watch list.

We are no longer the United States of America. This country is so polarized over issues like gun control that any hopes of compromise are dead upon arrival.

Like the victims of these mass shootings that we can't do anything about. The only national response has been prayers and moments of silence...with no hope for a solution.

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

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Navigating Through a Field Of Lies

Good Day World!

There's too many clouds of smoke and rooms lined with mirrors for the public to get a true picture of anyone nowadays.

Inflexible Ideologies and hate-filled rhetoric masks common sense and the public is forced to wander though a field of lies in search of truth.

Some examples:

"Hillary Clinton Freed Child Rapist"

"Donald Trump Was Never called Racist Before Running For President"

Donald Trump Transported Veterans on Tower Air (Hair Air?) 


These are but a fraction of the lying memes and articles circulating in social media recently. The people who post these lies know they're lies, but they hope if their repeated (shared) enough they will become truth for some haters.

The sad thing is it works. Facts become sand shifting in the desert of falsehoods. Ignored. Even reviled by some who promote hate-filled ideology.

All just a slice of America's story in the 21st century.

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

Monday, June 13, 2016

Has The Line Been Crossed Yet?

Good Day World!

Fifty people were massacred in minutes by one man. 

A new low for mass shootings in America. Double that of the last "worst" mass murder in American history.

The murderer was a homophobic idiot who couldn't let other people live their lives in peace. The gunman - I'm not even going to use the bastard's name and give him any fame here - was a radicalized Muslim who was born in New York.

People will say ISIS told him to do it because he called 911 before the attack to state his loyalty to that group of thugs (who by the way routinely murder homosexuals). 

I think the gunman thought it would give his attack some legtimacy in the world of terrorists, instead of the real reason - he hated gays with a passion. That, according to his own family.

The idiot bought an AR-15 legally. He knew that rifle was good for one thing only...killing a lot of people in a short time.
The NRA knows that too, but argues that Americans should have access to any weapon they so choose.

To the gutless bastards in Congress: it's time to defy the NRA, and the weapon and ammunition industries who want us to keep killing ourselves in increasing numbers.

Let's start with something significant. NO MORE semi-automatic AR-15 style weapons will be sold to civilians. Next, Grandfather clause those that have already been sold. e Has Bloody ree
We have to start somewhere, or we'll continue to see more mass shootings - each eclipsing the last - and done with semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 style.

Has the line been crossed yet?

Related: AR-15 rifle Used in Orlando Massacre Has Bloody Pedigree

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

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Mockery Through The Ages

Good Day World!

Mocking politicians has gone from a past time to a fulltime pursuit, thanks to this year's presidential election.

Satirical hit pieces in the mainstream media are nothing new. 

Political satire can be traced all the way back to Aristopanes, around 400 B.C. In fact, it has been argued that studying satire is one of the best ways to understand the values, tasts and power structures of society.

Thanks to Donald Trump, there has never been a better time to make fun of politicians. I think we've hit the pinnacle of politicial satire with the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

There's also never been a better time than right now to hop on the satire train. The internet has been going full throttle on Trump jokes and memes because the Donald is such an easy target.

The question is, how powerful is satire? Does it make a difference in elections?

Check out this essay on the Power and Perils of Satire.

Meanwhile, enjoy this election and don't hestitate to take advantage of this prime opportunity to show how you feel about politicians this year.

Who knows? Your efforts may go viral!

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...