From the Archives – 12/04/15

Beat The Drums, Wolf

Posted by Ty Keenum on

The shootings in San Bernadino, California have shocked the nation. San Berdoo, the birthplace of The Hell’s Angels, is an otherwise non-notable city sixty fives miles East of Los Angeles. We just never hear about anything happening in San Bernadino, until yesterday. Now San Bernadino is the center of the universe for CNN and others to take facts and suppositions and weave them into a plot that can not leave Americans feeling safe.

All of America is waiting anxiously to hear the answer of how and why, and sadly, I must report, I was completely caught up in the coverage myself. I know better. I do, really. I know that it’s better to wait and read about events a week after they have happened than it is to stay glued to the TV as the events unfold. It wasn’t until the second hour of Wolf Blitzer asking loaded questions of “experts”, experts who had clearly been brought in based on their point of view, that I realized I was being played. Ok, big statement, if I’m being played, why, and who stands to benefit from influencing my opinion?

Let’s start with how the news was being fed to us. Initial reports were of three tactically armed assailants with “long rifles”. Let me interject here that the way Wolf loves the phrase “long rifle”, there must be something else going on here, maybe something Freudian. Anyway, the suspects, dressed like SWAT team members, broke into a facility charged with treating the disabled. The shooters were supposed to be dressed in full body armor, militarily trained and based off of their quick exit, carrying out a plan that had taken weeks to prepare. Speculation ran high that these “terrorists” were targeting a “soft target” where the people would be defenseless.

It took hours to report that the attack actually took place at a leased conference room that was being used by county employees for a holiday party. It took many, many hours to report that the police knew who they were looking for from the get go. The shooter was actually at the meeting and got mad, left and came back with his wife. They were wearing ammo vests that can be bought from Amazon for $34.99. No body armor, no extensive planning for a “soft target”. In one sense, just another pissed off mentally unstable worker that had had enough. I think we use to call it, “going postal”, before it became a requirement of all news agencies to look for an ISIS link.

The repeated interviews of terrorism “experts” through out  the broadcast was one of the clues to me, that I, and the rest of the public, were being played. I think the second clue was Wolf’s repeated call to carpet bomb all of the Middle East, Israel excepted of course, and turn the desert to glass. I would think that in the interest of maintaining the motto, “the most trusted name in news” that CNN would sit King Wolf Hyperbole down and explain the rules. Quit creating news “links” that support your personal agenda. The “news” are the verifiable facts that are known at a specific point in time, the news are not, “what if”.

I had to laugh out loud at one of the speculations by Wolf that only a terrorist would have four guns and thousand of rounds of ammunition in their house. Most Americans can look out their front door and see one or two neighbors who qualify as terrorists based off of the Wolfman’s narrow definition.

Whipping the American people into hysteria is a shameless, but tried and true method used by the powerful people to foment their agenda. Why do we want the shooters to be Isis and not “postal workers”? Very simply, we don’t want to do anything to diminish gun sales in the U.S. Part two, we don’t want to spend any money to help the mentally unstable get the help they need. We do however want to help all of those brave freedom fighters in foreign lands by providing them with all of the arms they will ever need. Perhaps another “fight them there before we have to fight them here” war is in order. It worked really well in Iraq.

Sorry, I am a sad, cynical, old man that feels abused by the people who are supposed to being truthful with me. BTW, gun sales for Black Friday this year topped all records with 185,345 requests for background checks. That would be the people who are legally obtaining guns.

See, CNN, advertising does work. I’m sure your check is in the mail.

Defund the Police

Bernard “Barney” P. Milton Oliver Fife was a character on The Andy Griffith Show. Barney was played to absolute hilarity by Don Knotts.

If you don’t remember the show, Barney was deputy sheriff in a town where absolutely nothing ever happened, but Barney was always at Defcon One. It was his constant over reaction to every situation that provided much of the hilarity in the show. Sheriff Taylor was routinely tasked with having to minimize the damage that Barney wrecked upon the citizenry.

To prevent fatal damage, Sheriff Taylor authorized Barney to have one bullet, and that was to be kept safely in Barney’s shirt pocket. Sheriff Taylor felt that by the time that Barney unbuttoned his shirt pocket, fumbled out the bullet and got it loaded in his gun, that whatever “imminent danger” Barney perceived would have passed. Hundreds of fictional lives were saved over the years by this policy.

I bring up this humorous fiction to talk about the vast disparity between the police reaction in Uvalde and the nationwide day to day interaction of police with the public. Newsweek has provided a list of 229 black people killed by the police since George Floyd’s murder. Obviously keeping the bullets separate from the gun is not a real-world solution to the problem that plagues us now, but some sort of “time out” needs to be implemented.

To visually display what I see is a huge disconnect in policing I posted this meme, where I hoped to point out humorously that the police were less concerned with the lives at stake than the police’s break time.

The meme gathered what I would call a minimal of responses. I deduced from the lack of response to the meme that either the joke was “too soon” or that the readers accepted that the police could be standing in the hallway of the elementary school in Uvalde, up armored to the gills, listening to the screams of children and be more concerned with their own comfort than trying to end the crisis.

What I find most disturbing about the situation, other than the paralysis by the police, is the litany of excuses offered by the police afterwards for their inactivity. We are accustomed to the various police excuses for shooting an unarmed man walking away with his hands held above his head, not the “we didn’t have enough guns or the right kind of guns” to stop the pedicide taking place twenty feet away. I ask myself the question, “What was different in their training, or their psychological makeup?”

From this bodycam footage you can see that there are more officers arriving and the officers clearly have a numbers advantage. They even have a helicopter overhead. There are enough armored vehicles surrounding the school to attack Normandy again. The “perp” wasn’t going anywhere. What was missing from the equation was the courage of a Barney Fife to run into danger to “serve and protect”.

It’s hard to imagine anything breaking down as badly as it did in Uvalde. I’m sure that the writers of The Andy Griffith Show would have rejected the story idea just because of the cravenness displayed by the officers. Not even Barney Fife was that incompetent or scared of the public he was supposed to be protecting.

Which brings us to the call to defund the police. Clearly buying the latest most expensive military grade weapons isn’t protecting the public from those who would do us harm. Certainly, funding for the police could be better spent on training and the employee selection process. A very stringent fitness standard should be instituted for officers in the field. Every threat from a person in better condition than the officer should not be resolved by the gun.

There should be psychologists on staff to teach officers how to deal with the mentally ill. Methods for confronting people having a mental crisis should be rehearsed as often as “active shooter” drills. You can get a lot of psychology training for the cost of one SWAT truck. Maybe we don’t defund the police but defund the armaments manufacturers.

Rule Britannia

If you are an Anglophile, run, hide, find a book, and bury your head in it, this column is not for you. This column is for those of us who remember that our country gained our independence from the degenerate tea-sippers two hundred and fifty years ago. This column is for those of us who remember that a petulant monarch sent his armies to burn our capital in 1812. This column is for those of us that remember that hundreds of thousands of Americans fought in World War Two so that the monarchy would be preserved, and some other stuff too, but you get my point.

Now we are supposed to be overcome with the news that a really old woman has died. As always, when I hear anything about the “royal” family, I think, who cares? Haven’t we been divorced long enough to not have to worry about the precious “royal” family anymore? Haven’t we sacrificed enough in terms of toil and treasure to not have to be concerned about the comings and goings of some inbred yahoos?

Take a look at the current winner of the conception lottery. Through no fault of his own, the current king inherited wealth, power, and servitude from peoples scattered all over the globe. Peoples scattered all over the world, because that used to be the family business for the royals, exploit others. At the peak of its power, “the empire on which the sun never sets,” controlled over one fifth of the world’s population.

The “family” business was full time world domination. Whole countries were laid waste to provide materials to keep England’s war machine humming. Ireland, the “Emerald Isle” was almost completely clear cut to provide England with wood for ship building and gunpowder. England’s desire to gather up all of the world’s treasures and hide them in the Tower of London was insatiable. England set up colonies from Australia to Africa and was responsible for bringing the slave trade to America. And the monarchy spoke, “Let no moral go un-compromised in your quest to bring me riches.”

Think of it, a country smaller than Alabama was the dominant power in the world. If that concept doesn’t blow your mind, think about randomly picking any Fred and Ethel out of the local Walmart and elevating them to the rank of King and Queen. Compound your error by ensuring that only Fred and Ethel’s progeny would rise to the throne. No matter how harelipped, wall eyed, degenerate, or feeble minded the lineage might become, they were guaranteed a life of privilege and power.

This life of privilege and power was sanctioned by various religions entities granting to the “royals” the concept of “Divine Right.” Divine Right says that the “royals” answer to no earthly being, but only to the higher power. Sort of like our Supreme Court. Unlike our Supreme Court, when a “royal” dies in office, he is replaced with a family member. The current line of “royals” goes back hundreds of years and is one of the last monarchies on Earth. The fact that the British people continue this tradition is more a proof of Stockholm syndrome than anything else.

In my mind, just because something is old doesn’t mean you keep it around. No matter how comfortable you get with a pair of shoes, eventually you need to trade them in. Trading those old shoes in might just put a new spring in your step. I think England ought to give that a try. Certainly, Scotland and Ireland should have the opportunity to try to govern themselves.

Great Britain currently has the facade of a democratic government working behind the scenes of their “Constitutional Monarchy”. They just need to cut the cord and stop seeking the “royals” approval on everything. Parliament should divide up all of the royal property through eminent domain and turn the palaces into tourist attractions.

The “royals” can keep what they can carry out in a 40-gallon garbage bag, and they have to carry the bag themselves. Everything else goes to auction. Pseudo public land like Hyde Park should actually become public land. Then the public wouldn’t have to endure a travesty like the one outlined here.

In short, the “royals” should just go away. Don’t care if they give birth, don’t care if they get married, don’t care if they die, don’t care if they setup shop in L.A. That’s why we fought the Revolution, so we wouldn’t have to bothered about one of those pasty-faced “royals” ever again.

Eating Our Aggressions

Due to a schedule that would stretch the patience of Job, I’ve outsourced this week’s column to my dear friend Bud Lite. You can find all of his works here:

Good morning, y’all. The rains have pushed through leaving everything soggy and foggy. I feel for folks who have to get up and drive these mountain roads when they’re all fogged over like they are today. I guess one of the perks of being “self employed” is not having to punch a time clock located somewhere else and fighting the traffic to get there. Of course, my current situation dictates I don’t have to be anywhere but here.

I’d like to blame my house arrest for my gradual ascent into blividity, but, truthfully, that’s only one of the factors. Certainly the abstinence from alcohol has had the largest effect. Now, I’m not saying that swapping a Bud Light at a hundred and ten calories for an apple is anywhere near equivalent. I’m saying when you drink a six pack of Bud Lights, which totals six hundred and sixty calories, you probably missed a meal that you no longer felt like eating. For example, the calories in two double quarter pounders with cheese, one thousand four hundred and sixty eight, plus super size fries, three hundred seventy eight, and a soda, one hundred eighty two, total to two thousand and twenty eight. I didn’t even add a fried pie for dessert, two hundred and thirty two calories. That pushes us to two thousand two hundred and sixty calories for our meal. Or four six-packs.

Now, in truth, four six-packs should be more than enough for a day, even in the worst season the Bulldogs have ever had. And, I just realized as I wrote this, that I may have unearthed a kernel of truth. I swallow my aggressions. Now, previously I was swallowing a lot of alcohol to assuage my feelings. It now appears that I am swallowing everything in sight to help me feel better about a world that constantly fills me with concern. I know Freud has got this all labeled and sorted out. I have detailed at length that I know that I have “Mommy issues“. I just need a quick weight loss fix for the Holiday Season, we can work out the details for a long term program after the New Year.

How did I get here? Well, I could make “Lite” of the situation and say I have a hearty appetite for life, but that would be misleading. It would be more realistic to say I have a hearty anxiety for life, and I soothe that anxiety by swallowing.

The Republican Debate Potlucks are the worst. I’ve gotten in the habit of returning the potluck dishes to their donors after I’ve cleaned the dishes for them. Some of the leftovers I can resist, but others, like the widow Ferguson’s sweet potato pie, are going to be consumed.

Donald Trump’s stupid statements are going to make me perfectly round if I don’t get a handle on the situation. Chris Christie is a life long Republican, have we found a cause and effect for his size issues? Anyway, when you mix the upcoming election with the Holidays, I’m doomed.

Christmas is that time of year when even the septic tank cleaning company is sending out baskets of assorted fudges to thank you for your business. Food and snacks are coming from every direction, and I seem to be able to get my share and then some. I realize that I might not be able to fit into the Santa Claus outfit this year. It would break my heart to have to pass the role of park Santa to Al Katz this year just because I can’t fit into the suit. I’m pretty sure that Al is Jewish, so I’m not sure it would be ethical for him to be Santa, even though I know he’d jump at the chance. It looks like I’ve eaten myself into a corner. Help me Jenny Craig. 


It Ain’t The Heat

Being a southerner there is a phrase that I’ve heard almost as often as my name, “it ain’t the heat, it’s the humidity.” Depending on my mood and time constraints I may decide to engage in the scientific theory posited that we are only uncomfortable on a 100-degree day because of the humidity.

I might go for the jugular right off and ask the question, “Did you ever notice how people don’t complain about the humidity making them feel uncomfortable when it’s snowing?” That would be the question that I probably would not wait for a response from the prognosticator. Even the dimmest among us recognizes that the humidity is extremely high when it’s snowing. If I do stay around for a rejoinder, I will generally deliver my coup de grâce “It ain’t the humidity, it’s the heat! It’s always been the heat and it ain’t getting any better!”

From, “The nine years from 2013 through 2021 rank among the 10 warmest years on record.” Now being a loyal true blue American I’m always proud when our team comes out on top, and it’s icing on the cake if we break the record while doing it. Unfortunately, there’s some records that we shouldn’t aspire to, like number of cats living in a one room apartment.

There are those among us, fossil fuel companies and their shills, who will make the argument that the earth has always had periods of fluctuating temperature ranges. We do have a lot of historical information to look at, going all of the way back to 1659 in England. The thing is generations before us didn’t have the technology to observe or record the changes in the environment like we do today.

To some degree we have to rely on the writers of the day to record the events of their time like when the Mississippi river ran backwards. For historical reference I’ve reviewed writer’s works from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for diary entries that reference “couldn’t write today, perspiring so profusely my undergarments are soaked.” I found none. Admittedly they may have been too proper to give voice to their distress, but surely a reference to the high humidity would have found its way into their tomes.

The world is in a climate catastrophe and even the “good guys” are not being spared. The drought out west has reached apocalyptic proportions. Lake Mead’s water level is so low they’re uncovering bodies that were hidden were they would never be found. We may find Jimmy Hoffa yet.

It’s An Inconvenient Truth, but Al Gore has been warning us about this coming disaster since 1989. Rising tides, stronger and stronger hurricanes and tornadoes, unseasonable weather affecting crops and growing seasons, the loss of our coral reefs, wildfires, and the loss of the permafrost. It’s all been there for people who were willing to listen to scientists for over thirty years.

Meanwhile, the state of Mississippi is being encouraged to take showers with their mouths closed because the flooding in the state has compromised their water treatment systems. We do want to encourage Mississippians to shower, you know that whole high humidity-soaked undergarments issue. But if you don’t trust just a splash of water in your mouth, what’s it doing to your skin?

Speaking of skin, the loss of our ozone layer has resulted in record skin cancers. “The increase in the incidence of skin cancer can be mainly attributed to the use of artificial sunlamps and intense exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.” Ok, time for a reality check, who still uses a tanning bed or sun lamp? No one.

The same thing that’s giving us skin cancer is melting the polar caps, glaciers, and mountain tops around the world. As that snow melts, the seas rise and that beautiful condo you have in Florida will be accessed only by water taxi like Venice, Italy. Hope your place wasn’t on the first floor.

It ain’t the humidity, it’s the heat and we need to do something about it right away or mother earth will fix it for us.