Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Let's Think About this Logically

Guns don’t save lives. Guns "trade" lives. A gun trades one life for another. It conducts a transaction that takes a life in exchange for… well, what it’s actually exchanged for depends solely on the disposition of the person pulling the trigger. A life can be traded for a pack of cigarettes, or cashed in for a thrill, or it can be snuffed out just because it was walking around in the wrong color skin. The gun doesn’t care. It’s just the middle man. It looks the other way. Its conscience is clean.

In a best case scenario a second gun may be used to amend the terms of a transaction, but still the gun doesn’t care if the terms are fair, or if the result is just. It doesn’t care who is good or who is bad. It just handles the logistics… You know, 20 grams of lead at 1400 feet per second, stuff like that.

Blades save lives… Knives may kill, but scalpels can save.
Cars save lives… Drunk driver may kill, but ambulances can save.
Electricity saves lives… Lightning may kill, but defibrillators can save.

Yes, deadly things can save lives, but not guns. Guns merely trade lives, in exchange for ____________ (fill in the blank).

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Few Thoughts About Us vs. Them (cops, civilians, and race relations)

As I continue to read comments from people condemning and defending cops, and from people condemning and defending protestors I have to wonder… Should we really be pointing fingers at each other? We all know what it’s like to watch a football game (or other sport) where the officials seem to be cheating for the other side… Right? Well do we blame the other side or do we blame the officials?  What I’m trying to say is that maybe we’re wrongly pointing fingers at each other… Maybe it’s the referees, or even the rules of the game that we should be questioning.

Every time a prosecutor fails to hold a bad cop accountable they put every good cop in danger. Cops hold more power than the public, but the public vastly outnumber the cops so we're sitting on a powder keg, with people on both sides are throwing matches… with the most dangerous match throwers being white supremacists who continue to fantasize about starting a race war. I don't blame the cops or the protestors (though there are bad actors on both sides). I blame a prosecutorial system that has failed miserably. When prosecutors who vigorously prosecute civilian criminals hesitate to treat uniformed criminals the same way there’s going to be a problem. Conflict of interest inherently creates lack of trust, and our current system undoubtedly creates a conflict of interest in these cases.

Instead of using our voices against each other... because lets face it folks, we need cops, and most of them are great men and women... Instead of using our voices against each other, why don't we join our voices and change the system? Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

First Holiday Grumblings

Here we go again… The Christians (not all of them, but you know who I'm talking about) are circling the wagons in preparation for the annual war on Christmas. I’m really surprised that I haven’t seen a “War on Christmas Sale” yet… at some hallowed place like Hobby Lobby or something.


Hey Christians: When I say “Happy Holidays” what I’m saying is “Hey, it’s cold outside and you look like a decent person so I would like to wish you happiness during this time of year regardless of how you may celebrate it.” You can understand that right? I’m including the others. I’m not excluding you.

Now if you tell you me that “Happy Holidays” offends you, and that I should be saying “Merry Christmas” instead, what I hear is, “I’m Christian. You should be too. Screw everybody else.” And as I walk away...  your voice continues to echo in my head, “Can’t you see all the decorations? We fuckin’ own December!” and then I regret having ever said “Happy Holidays” to you. In fact, I regret saying anything at all. It kind of ruins my Christmas. Yes by the way, I do celebrate Christmas. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Back from Hiatus

Monday Morning Musings of a Moody Old Man:

Our government represents “We the People” and… Um, is this thing on? Is anybody reading this? What?! Oh, somebody’s there?

Hey Jack! It’s fixed! The blog seems to be up and running again. Yeah, someone’s reading it right now. You were right. It was the green wires. I twisted ‘em together and it seems to be working. Hold on, I think I’m losing the reader's attention… What? Yeah, get some electrical tape, or one of those wire nut things.

Hello reader. Thank you for reading along, Feel free to muse as well. Now where was I? Oh yeah…  

Our government represents “We the People".  Multinational mega-corporations don't. So instead of fixating on shrinking our government until it’s “small enough to drowned in a bathtub” (as Grover Norquist once coined) why don’t we focus instead on shrinking mega-corporations until they’re small enough to be held accountable to “We the People”?  I don’t know about you, but this recently accepted strategy of trying to make government fail while giving mega-corporations “too big to fail” status just seems like a bad idea…And designating “We the People” as the automatic cosigners to every mega-corporate loan no matter how risky it may be seems like a really bad way to run a country and build an economy (unless of course the object is to replace a democracy with a plutocracy.)

Just a thought from me, an official member of “We the People” as I ponder why so many fellow members of “We the People” keep casting their precious votes on behalf of “They the Corporations.”



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Speech is not Money (and vice versa)

“Speech is not money.” Most of us can at least agree on that much, so you'd think it would be enough to simply say, "Therefore money is not speech." But in our logic-starved world, that just isn’t enough anymore. I must convince you further that money is not speech or you might falsely believe, as our corporate sponsored Supreme Court declared again today, that it IS. In an attempt to clear up this confusion about what is and is not “speech” I’ll make an argument to support my view that money is NOT speech, followed by the only logical argument I can think of to support the opposing view (i.e. the Court’s view).

ARGUMENT FOR: Speech is the use of words, written or spoken, to convey a message. If a message is intended to cause an action or influence an opinion, a message must contain relevant information to that end. In addition, that information must make sense to the listener in order to elicit some sort of logical response. Now depending on the predisposition of the listener and the quality of the message, the response may vary from: A.) Total agreement and support, up to and including the smooth completion of a task or action, to B.) Complete disagreement and refusal to cooperate, up to and including a punch in the nose. Other influences that may affect the impact of the message, such as: Which way the wind is blowing? Are the listener’s shoes comfortable? Is there a duck in the room? etc. are not considered speech, even though they may in fact alter the response of the person being addressed. Can you think of anything else that might affect the impact of a message, or alter a listener’s response? …BINGO! You guessed it. A fistful of cash. Of course cash isn’t speech any more than a duck in the room, or a gun to the head is, but it sure gets results when words (i.e. speech) fails. Now here’s why it matters. In some countries guns and intimidation equal power over the masses and in other countries extreme wealth equals power… and in both cases that power is all too often used (after speech fails) to thwart the will of the people. Thank you for listening. I hope you will agree with me that money is NOT free speech.

ARGUMENT AGAINST: Don’t listen to that idiot up there. If you agree with me I'll give you $100.00... Okay, you drive a hard bargain... $200, but you owe me.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

America the Ugly vs. "America the Beautiful”

Thank you Coca-Cola, for luring so many bigots out of the shadows with your recent Super Bowl commercial titled, “It’s Beautiful”. By registering their disgust that a handful of fellow Americans would have the audacity to sing “America the Beautiful” in any language other than English during “their football game,” these bigots showed a nation just how intolerant many of its citizens actually are. They revealed to all of us their ugly hatred of “other” people. They revealed their irrational fear of the very world they live in. Most of all, by registering their disgust that a song written by a lesbian woman about a diverse nation of emigrants was being sung in languages brought here from foreign lands like, umm, let’s see… “ENGLAND!” they revealed their extreme ignorance of our shared history. But best of all, by registering their disgust on twitter, they showed America and the world just who “they” are.

And while I’m thanking big corporations (something I rarely do) thank you Cheerios for doubling down against your own batch of bigots with a sequel to last year’s ad featuring that adorable biracial family. I don’t even eat cheerios, but I bought a few boxes last year just to support the ad. Well, I guess now I should go to the store again and put my money where my mouth is.

SHOPPING LIST:
Cheerios
Coke
milk
rum


If you missed the anti-Coke tweets, you can click here for a sample.
 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Omni-ism

Dear Republicans, Tea Party sympathizers, and European bashers:

Capitalism lovers, especially Libertarians, and even more importantly Ayn Rand fans (who for the most part have absolutely no idea what her core
philosophy, “Objectivism” actually is) need to understand that the United States of America since its very inception has always been a semi-balanced blend of capitalism and democratic socialism. They need to understand this little fact before they put all of their ideological eggs into the mythological unregulated free market basket and join in the chant, “We want our country back!” because failure to understand this will… well frankly, it will make them look a little dumb when someone asks them the question, ”Back from what?”

Now to those people whose reaction to this historical truth is that socialism is evil, I ask them to look at it this way:

Being a purely capitalist society would be a lot like being a nation of absolute carnivores. Now while I’m sure that sounds great to a lot of folks (very macho and American,) it wouldn’t be very healthy for our citizens, and it would no doubt lead to an early death for most of us (not to mention the years of gout we’d have to suffer through.)

On the other hand, being a purely socialist society would be a lot like becoming a nation of complete herbivores. Now while this might appeal to our strict vegetarian friends, it would be unacceptable to the vast majority of us, many of whom would probably stage a revolution after a just few weeks without bacon.

Therefore, just as we humans are naturally omnivores, I suggest that we should accept omni-ism as an economic model as well. A nice juicy capitalistic steak (USDA approved of course) along with a crispy green socialistic salad makes for a balanced meal, and a historically sustainable society. Yes, yes I know we Americans will keep arguing about how much meat we should eat and how many vegetables we need… and Texans will keep gorging on giant steaks while refusing to finish their peas… and Californians will continue nibbling on carrots and greens while exporting almonds to the rest of us, but in the end the value of private (for profit) enterprise, and the sensible benefits of social (share the risk, share the wealth) contracts will serve us all well... just as our founding fathers intended