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Happiness IS a warm gun

21 Oct

Well, the gun advocates were right! If you allow people to have more guns and more freedom to use them in public places, the world will become a safer place.

Case in point: Prominent feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian, was planning on appearing at a speaking engagement at Utah State University last Wednesday to discuss the portrayal of women in video games, but the University received an anonymous Email that threatened “The deadliest school shooting in American History” if her appearance and speech were not canceled.

The Email even went on to describe the nature of the attack and stated:

“If you do not cancel her talk, a Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out against the attendees, as well as students and staff at the nearby Women’s Center. I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs.”

Ms. Sarkeesian however had decided to go ahead with her presentation because she always receives similar threats whenever she plans a speaking engagement… that is until she was informed by Utah University’s campus security that Utah’s concealed carry laws meant it would be possible for guns to be present at the University’s speaking event.

Utah has an Open Carry law and permits the concealed carry of loaded weapons with a permit and in Utah a person may carry firearms into banks, bars, public universities, and state parks… and with a permit, a person may also carry those weapons into public schools…but Utah does not require concealed carry permit holders to notify police officers of their permit or possession of firearms…even when stopped by police officers.

So how would anyone know if there were a person or persons in the audience with concealed weapons who might be potential mass murders as opposed to law abiding avengers in waiting? In light of that simple dilemma, Ms. Sarkeesian decided not to try and find out and so she canceled her speaking engagement and everyone stayed home…where they were safe and at least knew who had the guns.

Sounds like a perfect solution wouldn’t you say?

Save Money and Live Better?

17 Oct

The Waltons of WalMart fame and not the ones of television fame, are among the richest Americans in the United States, if not the richest. They employ over 1.4 million Americans (that’s 1% of the American work force!) who work for them in their more than 4,100 stores nation wide. Their average employee earns $11.43 per hour and most employees earn less than $25,000 per year.

As a result of Walmarts low average employee wage many of their workers are forced to rely on taxpayer-funded programs through public assistance costs, including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing. These expenses cost the taxpayers an estimated 6 billion dollars each year even though Walmart earns a yearly profit upwards of 15 billion dollars. In fact a Walmart spokesperson even told analysts last year that Walmart has even captured 18 percent of the SNAP market (food stamps) and that the company accounted for $13.5 billion out of $76 billion in food stamp sales in 2013. That’s 18% of the subsidy that we the taxpayers pay because companies like Walmart under pay their workers. Walmart just can’t lose!

And to be fair to Walmart, many other large U.S. retailers have a similar percentage of their workers who receive Medicaid and Food stamps etc. at taxpayer expense…and at the same time these giant corporations and retailers are also taking billions and billions of dollars a year in tax breaks that also subsidize their low-wage businesses – and add to their profits…not to mention special trusts and tax loop holes that save them even more billions of dollars in taxes that they would otherwise have to pay to the U.S. government.

But can you blame these rich companies and their owners for the billions of dollars they pass on to the taxpayers? Everything they do is legal and in accordance with federal laws, rules and regulations as set forth by the United States Congress. Of course they could very simply raise their employee wages and help bring those employees out of poverty and pay more taxes on their billions of dollars of annual income… all in an effort to be more… Patriotic? American? Fair? Philanthropic? Christian?…but really, why should they?

Walmart’s motto is “Save money. Live Better.” And even though most Walmart workers probably shop there too, I’m willing to bet that in the long run they are not very successful at saving any money at all… or live better for that matter. Perhaps Walmart’s motto is a bit tongue in cheek as in: Walmart saves money and the Walton’s live better.

So now here is my question to you:

If a Walmart employee, (or any other employee of a similar retail or fast food chain) after a long hard day, or week, or month, or lifetime, of work, walks into a grocery store and purchases a T-Bone steak and large bottle of orange soda and uses their government issued food stamps to pay for it…Do you have a problem with that?

I don’t, because a steak and a nice sugary soda might just be all of the “better living” they’re going to get… but many people do have a problem with that. And when they cast their votes this November it will be for a politician who is promising to cut food stamps and limit the freedom of choice of those who need to spend them, while also promising to make it easier for companies like Walmart to increase their profits through new tax cuts and other new tax “freedoms”.

Is that really the way for America and Americans to Save money and live better?

Goodnight and Good Luck…

16 Oct

Well, I honestly don’t know where to begin…The television set is positively aglow with the Ebola virus: the wheres, the hows and the whyfors. It’s here. It’s on the move. Is it an epidemic? A pandemic? Can it be stopped? who’s to blame? How can we stop it? Can it be stopped?… And of course don’t forget to check out your favorite networks’ new fall lineups! Let’s not get too crazy, I guess.

Over at MSNBC there seems to be genuine concern over the growing crisis and their guests seem to be pointing fingers at the fact that it’s a very big world out there filled with lots of people on the go, which makes it quite difficult to keep them from going where they want to. And there’s the question of our country’s lack of investment and interest in our nation’s infrastructure over the last 2 decades or so. Even though corporations are still making billions of dollars and especially so in the healthcare industries, not a lot of that money is trickling down to the first response workers when it comes to equipment, training and proper regulations and protocols…perhaps you have even felt or experienced this trend as a worker in your place of business, wherever and whatever that may be. It seems that Money has a habit of rising to the top and then staying there these days.

But over at Fox News there was nothing but non-stop hysteria. We’re doomed! Hide under the bed and change your paper money into gold and silver and lock it in your safe! (seriously, it was one of their commercials) And Fox’s experts (All Fox employees) know exactly who is to blame. And it took only a few minutes to impart all of this info to me as I surfed by their channel… Fox News is like a lighthouse beacon that shines one bright light around and around and around all day so you can’t miss the message…

Anyway, it is all President Obama’s fault because he is an African and not an American and has personally seen to it to allow the first Ebola case to enter the USA. He chose Texas because they didn’t vote for him in the last election. He is not closing the borders and isolating Africa into quarantine because he and his henchmen (damn Democrats) mean to kill us all. This is why me must all vote for Republicans in the upcoming election so that they can stop him before he is allowed to complete his dastardly plan. (Even though they pretty much intimated that it was too late to save any of us…but just in case vote Republican)

Finally Bill O’ Reilly and resident Fox comedian, (er…expert comedian) Dennis Miller summed it all up with a few jokes and laughs about how sad things have gotten in America and even though it’s too late to do anything about it and we’re all gonna die, they wanted us to know that later this month they’ll be appearing together in South Carolina where I guess their comedy routine will be appearing on the road…no doubt they’ll be making lots of money and converting it to gold for their post apocalyptic shopping spree.

I just sincerely hope that somewhere in America tonight there are still serious people doing serious work, who are non-partisan, earnest and industrious and seriously interested in doing their jobs because it is the right thing to do and not because there’s a bucket of money or a re-election campaign to win.

Of course there is. There has to be, right? We haven’t jumped that shark yet…have we?

Goodnight and good luck…

How to Defeat Aliens and Save the World

14 Oct

Something occurred to me last night while watching television…

If you watch a lot of television like I do (I admit it) then you may have noticed what I have noticed. In all police dramas, police officers always carry handguns and the bad guys that they face almost always carry machine guns of one variety or another. But no matter how many rounds the bad guys fire, they never hit any policemen. And when the police officer finally returns fire he/she always hits his target.

Now, in all science fiction shows the good guys (usually military) almost always carry machine guns (of one type or another) while defending the planet Earth or when traveling to distant worlds (also to defend planet Earth). And the Aliens always use strange and deadly laser weapons of one kind or another. But…no matter how many times those aliens use their powerfully advanced laser weapons they never hit any Earthlings (besides hitting everything else). And when the humans return fire with their machine guns…well, it’s always bad news for the aliens. And no matter what alien race we meet and no matter how advanced their alien species may be, those aliens have never ever seen a machine gun nor developed any defense against them.

Has anyone else ever noticed this?

So handgun defeats machine gun defeats alien, ergo: any policeman could defeat any alien!

According to the United Nations the world employs about 300 police officers for every 100 thousand citizens so that means we have about 21 million law enforcement officers in the world with guns.

This is what 50+ years of watching television has taught me: the planet Earth is safe from aliens!

So, People of Earth, rest easy…at least as far as an alien invasion goes…everything else? Go ahead and worry…

Club Country

12 Oct

I understand that a lot of wealthy folks have had it with poor folks! They are at their wits end trying to figure out ways to stop spending all of their money on entitlement programs for poor people who are lazy, shiftless and lets face it, just not hard workers like they are. So much money is being spent on Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security and unemployment insurance and welfare and food stamps and who knows what all and it is just crippling the rich in America. Why I have heard that some women out there get pregnant just so they can have their government pay for the abortion. (which apparently is a lot of fun for women) Then they get pregnant again and have the baby for the government welfare. Then it’s abortion, baby, abortion, baby etc. etc. etc. until; pretty soon most of this country will be pregnant ladies and babies and everyone of them illegal aliens too!

Have you heard about this? Apparently it’s the poor who are getting all of the money! Well, the poor and THEIR government! The government used to be run by wealthy people but somehow they lost control and now the teaming irresponsible masses have taken over and socialized everything. (Damned that Statue of Liberty and her beckoning light) OK let’s not go crazy. I know it’s not ALL of the money but it is MOST of it, or soon will be. What is a wealthy person in America to do now that the poor have taken control? It’s getting so it’s no fun at all to be rich anymore.

Have you heard about this too? It makes me glad that I’m not wealthy. Boy would I be mad then! I mean really, rich people must be getting pretty fed up because where have all of the wealthy people gone? I can tell you that they all moved out of my neighborhood! Where did they go?

I suspect they are about to form their own private country club that will be so big they are going to call it Club Country; with their own flag and government and everything. But since only wealthy people will be allowed into the new country, they will have no need for a government (why would they need one?) because they will need no entitlement programs! Everyone will just pay for themselves for whatever they need. No taxes, no police (why would there be any crime in Club Country?) no government workers on an ever growing and endless payroll…just wealthy people for as far as the eye can see.

I hear that Club Country will be on an island because poor people will of course try to get in. And if the poor folks try to swim or sail or organize flotillas to get to the island (looking all poor and destitute and hungry blah, blah, blah) there will be no bleeding heart liberal socialist government force to rescue their sorry asses and bring them to the island and then shower them with government services against their will! Nope, because club country is for rich, hard working, upper class, well to do folks who know how to work hard and take care of themselves through their own initiative, self sacrifice and did I mention hard work?!

It will be paradise! What could go wrong? And without the poor around to sap all of their wealth away the citizens of Club Country will remain wealthy and free forever!

Imagine being able to live in a country without the poor?! Wouldn’t it be great!?

The Next Bubble to Burst?

11 Oct

According to the U.S. department of Agriculture It will cost an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child born in 2013 for the next 18 years. That’s an average of over 13,000 dollars per year, and like most things in life you can count on it getting more and more expensive each year. Of course the more money a child rearing couple makes the more they will spend on their child and conversely a couple with less income will spend less on raising their child.

But sadly, while costs continue to increase each year, salaries in America have not been keeping up, especially when it comes to health care, child care and education where the financial gap has widened at a pace faster than more ordinary cost of living expenses.

And what happens when your child, born in 2013, turns 18 in 2031 and wants to go to college? By 2031 you and your spouse might be facing bills for college tuition and room and board that will equal or eclipse the 241,000 dollars that you just spent raising your child to the age of 18!

When I attended college in the 1970’s tuition at a state college cost around $900 per semester. That figure is now 10 times more and if the trend continues state tuition plus room and board should easily top $30,000 per year with private school costs easily topping $50,000 per year…if they haven’t already. I’m not sure because I haven’t sent a child to college since last year!

Besides, what parents in 2031 are going to want to spend as much money sending their children to college for 4 years as they just spent raising them for 18? Especially when you consider that children (and parents) here in 2014 already owe over 1 trillion dollars in student college loans! That’s more than people in the U.S. owe on credit cards and by 2031 (if these trends continue over the next 18 years) College loan debt will probably be greater than the national debt…if you can possibly believe that…but after all, we are trying to pay down our national debt. Can anyone say that about college loan debt? Certainly not banks and colleges.

I’m sure that students are trying but they need jobs first and getting a well paying job is not something that banks or governments or even colleges and universities guarantee to someone with a college education. You’d think that for 1 trillion dollars in loans that (thanks to Congress) can never be erased or forgiven like ordinary debt, college students might be guaranteed something, (besides debt) wouldn’t you?

So, what will parents of the future, do? And how will colleges of the future sell their bucolic educational resorts and the future trillions of dollars of debt that will go along with it, to the young students of the future whose parents and families will most probably still be paying off their own trillion dollar college debt?

Perhaps they will offer some college courses on how that can and will be done?

Where Have all the Fauna Gone?

8 Oct

Perhaps you have heard about or read about this: Half the Earth’s animals – birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, have disappeared between 1970 and 2010, according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund…and they don’t mean disappeared as in hiding, but rather disappeared as in no longer living on the planet! Two years ago they estimated the decline at 30 percent so we humans have really stepped up our exterminating efforts lately.

Actually I cheated and rounded out the decline. It’s really 52% and if you’re a fisherman the decline in fresh-water fish is even worse at 75%…so fishermen, start throwing them back!

PLANET EARTH!: Now with 60% fewer elephants and lions! Oh my!

And wouldn’t you know it, The situation is worst in poorer countries because richer nations actually saw a 10 per cent increase in wildlife numbers. So the rich get richer…even in animals! The report blames the animal loss on human activity, including deforestation, overfishing and hunting, and climate change…if you believe in such things. It seems that rich countries outsource biodiversity loss to poor countries by buying products, such as palm oil, etc. that are unsustainable…and I’m sure they do lots of other things too, like drilling and digging and fracking and slashing and burning and pillaging and other fun stuff…far away from where the wealthy folks live.

But don’t despair… because what do we have more of since 1974? We have more Humans! We’ve gone from 4 billion to 7 billion with a bullet…that’s almost 100% more humans…in just 40 years. So on the bright side, while being human has become more superfluous, being an animal has become more special! Or is that the dark side? Anyway, Back in 1955 when I was born I was 1 in 2,755,823,000…now I’m just 1 in 7,265,872,000. I’m becoming more and more insignificant everyday!

The report also ranked countries by their “ecological footprint”, which is the area of land each person needs to support their lifestyle. Being a Qatari is the worst, or most wasteful or most special, depending upon how you look at such things, because the lifestyle of each Qatari requires 25 acres of resources. The average American only requires about 17 and a half acres while Brits need a measly 12.5. The lowest ecological footprint was in East Timor at a mere one and one quarter acre per person. Ahhh, if only we could all live like East Timorians! (How do they live, I wonder?)

The report went on to add that If all people on the planet had the footprint of the average resident of Qatar, we would need 4.8 planets just to sustain ourselves…Those wasteful Qataris! We Americans could do it with just 3 and 1/3 Earths! Besides, most of us Americans don’t even know where Qataris and Qatar are, let alone how to live like one.

So What are we poor humans to do? Our world’s human population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine and the Black Death in 1350, that was over 600 and 60 years ago! Since then we’ve done our best to control our own growth. We’ve tried religious wars, colonial wars, world wars, slavery. genocide, ethnic cleansing, holocausts, eugenics…but all to no avail. Ever since we solved our difficulties with food production and disease Our human population just keeps on keepin’ on…I suppose nothing can control animal populations like famine and disease can.

And get this. I recently read in a New York Times article that Louisiana loses one acre of land every hour to erosion, sea level rise and wetlands destruction. Thanks in part (and a big part) to our never ending search for more fossil fuels through drilling, fracking and extraction. But can you blame us? We all just want to live more comfortable, happy and exciting lives with the best technologies available for a modern society… can you blame us? Can you stop us? Can we stop ourselves? And that’s just land we’re losing in Louisiana, USA. What about the rest of the world’s land liquidation in the name of progress?

Did you happen to see that photo recently of the 35,000 walruses that came together in record numbers off Alaska’s northwest coast because they couldn’t find enough sea ice to rest on. That can’t be a good sign for anyone, let alone walruses.

PLANET EARTH: Now with 10% less earth!

How will it all end and where will we go from here? Today in the mail I received a brochure to attend a free Bible study class where we can discuss the exciting “End Times” that we are all living in. Whoopee! There’s a positive answer to our problems, which perhaps, according to my brochure, aren’t problems at all?

If you ask politicians they’ll say, “Endless growth is what we need!” Ask theologians and they’ll say, “Endless bounty and dominion over the Earth and its animals is what we’ve been promised!” Ask Red Lobster and they’ll say, “Endless Shrimp!” They can’t all be right…something’s gotta give sometime…doesn’t it?

Isn’t this all at least very interesting…and frightening? Will we humans finally learn to live more humbly and in harmony with each other and our mother, Earth? Will we all finally learn how to share and share alike with each other and with all of God’s creatures… or are we humans simply just modern age dinosaurs waiting to go not so quietly into that meteoric light of someone or something elses brand new day?

So Stay tuned!…because… whether you are interested or simply find this all quite droll and utterly unimportant in the grand scheme of things, considering all of the troubles you have already… How can you not? We Earthlings are a captive audience! We’ve no place else to go!

Now Playing: PLANET EARTH: In its 4.54th billionth season! And still…The only Planet in town!

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