Monday, July 08, 2013

The Last Insult...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'll be very blunt and honest with you. Google has made a very terrible decision. They along with many others have clauses that strictly tell you that if you use their services, you nod and agree to let them gather all the info on you they can so they can target ads specifically at you. Seems innocent enough. I mean if you really think about it I'm the last guy you want to be pandering to to buy lavender-scented body wash, right? No, to a guy like me you'd probably toss some electronics ads. High end ones at that.

But that's not the end of it. Oh, that it were! It seems they also keep copies of EVERYTHING you post whether it's on Google+, Blogger, GMail and they even keep a record of everything you search. Why? Well with the recent Snowden Bomb about how our government's alphabet agencies are tracking us it's a nice logical answer to that question, isn't it?

So with that I'm shutting this blog down.

The new blog will be located at https://EMWaveRyder.wordpress.com/

If you have a favorite post or something, email me and as we go bit by bit I'll more than happily move them over to the new blog. Seems this blog has had a few thousand reads collectively in it's lifetime. Hey, that's fine by me. On my new blog I'll detail everything that's going on.

See you there. This is Damien Cross from Night City...over and out...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Episode 61: The Philosophy of A Yo-Yo Wrangler

It's such a simple toy. String wrapped around one short steel axle flanked by two walls of wheel-shaped colored plastic, wood or even aircraft-grade aluminum if that's your thing. They come in two shapes. Imperial and Butterfly. Done right and it rolls down the string, reaches the end and then rolls back up the other.

But it's more than that isn't it? There's a grace and fluidity to it. There's a style, a sophistication. There are people who hang their preferred from their hips like they're carrying their favorite sidearm. Fitting seeing as how it started out as a weapon at one time. It took skill to wield it only now it takes more to do the many precision tricks that there are involving both on and off-string play. Anyone can own many but there's always the one.

The One is the yo-yo you pick...or does it choose you. You love the feel of it, when it glides down the string and it makes you feel like a superhero or a rock star when you catch it in your hand when it comes flying back to you. It doesn't frustrate you or make you say things you normally wouldn't. It makes your tricks flow in ways that other yo-yos just won't cut it. It's your signature style and the price can be anything from $3.50 all the way up to that $150 one you saved up for for months of just putting a little here and a little there away. Sure everyone else picked on you but only you understand it. Only you really truly get it. You're at peace when those magic moments happen. When it all comes together and every trick is flawlessly executed  and every movement is perfect. That's yours. Let them laugh...they wish they had your skill. They wish they had your relationship with that one...perfect...yo-yo.

Everyone is different. The guy that is sitting there throwing the old wooden Duncan Imperial talking about Yo-Yo Man Smothers...that's his era and that old wooden beater is one that he will never let go of. There is something organic to it. It speaks to a simpler time and place when the yo-yo was something that made you the swellest on your block. To be the first in your neighborhood to own a Duncan Imperial yo-yo was a high honor. Then there's that thirty something there throwing a Duncan Butterfly he snagged at WalMart or some other retailer. Brings back memories of earning his butterfly on the playground at school. He started with a plastic Imperial much like the wooden beater the old man uses and he learned through the yo-yo hitting him in the face and everywhere but where it needed to go but when he got the movements down, damn right that Butterfly was well earned and damned right if he was going to let those memories slip away. All the youngsters with the Drifters, Raptors, X-Brains and the many other Sleeper devices including the novelty Pulses that light up brilliantly...they're learning that the yo-yo is as individual as a car is. Each owner may have a thousand of them but there's only one they trust in tournaments. There's only one they trust when they show off their skill set. There Can Be Only One...

The One is you and you own it. I look at mine and I can pick it out. I see my Yo-Tility Holster holding onto my favorite. It's a Duncan, much like every yo-yo I own. I had a Yomega once with the X-Brain. Unfortunately I lost it before I moved and I'd give anything to have it back. Come to think of it, I had two but the one with the X-Brain was my favorite. Still, all throughout my childhood, I was a Duncan guy. Now I own six. Imperials in blue, red and green, a red Butterfly, A Metal Drifter and a Pro Z with Mod Spacers. When I have one in my hand, I throw it and catch it like normal but one day, I will be "up to my old tricks" again. After I've mastered those, I'll become a ninja with these things. Am I aiming for the pros? No. I'm just aiming for that sense of normalcy and reason. That place of calm. That one piece of satisfaction when I execute each move flawlessly with style and a fluid sense of grace. To feel that flow of movement again would brighten each day and to be able to show some kid that a simple toy of physics could be a magical gateway into another world, one that all the XBoxes and Playstations and Nintendos, Tablets and cellphones can't touch.

A simple toy of physics and momentum...Perhaps. I still think it's much more than that.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Episode 60: Exactly What Stardate Am I Living In This Time?

Ladies And Gentlemen I have another article for you and, as usual, please read this one before getting my take on it.

Wired: Star Trek's History of Progressive Values-And Why It Faltered on LGBT Crew Members

Okay now that you've done that I have to completely disagree based on what I have seen from Star Trek. Majel Barrett (Gene Roddenberry's Wife) did not get her part shitcanned because the studios hated her as a first officer, it tested badly with female members of the test audiences. Keep that in mind. I don't know if we'll come back to it later, but we might so just keep that in mind.

When it has come right down to the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) community, I haven't really minded. I have friends since childhood that have since come out recently and my response was simply that we've been friends this long, it would kinda be stupid for me to suddenly have a hangup now. On top of that. If you'd read my last blog then you'd know that I put human being before all the rest. Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Gender...none of that will make a lick of difference to me. You're a human being and you have something that will make a difference to me...character. If you have a shit character then I want nothing to do with you. If your character shows that you're a person true to their word and you're you without apologies and able to function because of it, that's really all that matters.

Know where I learned that? Star Trek.

Star Wars taught me to mistrust my government and resist true evil and oppression but Star Trek showed me what a society nearly devoid of that would look like. It taught me that if you and I simply treat each other well or just stay the hell away from each other then we would have no problems.

In the 1960s, a multiracial cast clearly outlined that. There was even a race none of us had ever met before...Vulcans. We had a black communications officer (Uhura), a Japanese-American navigations officer (Sulu), a very grumpy doctor (McCoy), a Vulcan First Officer (Spock), a Scottish Engineer (Mr. Scott) and a whole cast of expendable Red Shirted Crew.

In the late '80s - early '90s we got to know a different crew. This time we had a new breed of Klingon, the cast was more racially diverse and we even had a sort of clairvoyant (Troi) and even someone suffering a disability (LaForge). They had a blind guy as the freakin' engineer! Not once did anyone ever worry that he was going to trip over something and cause a warp core rupture or anything like that. They gave him jobs and let his Hacker Flag Fly. At the end of the day, he always wanted to curl up with a book and relax...that's right....the blind guy wanted to read. Then you also had an Android Navigation Officer (Data) and he was arguably one of my favorite characters.

Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise...new crews, some old crews, the movies....this franchise had a list of people working with each other, resisting each other, solving their problems with each other, banding together, falling apart but throughout every series or movie, the crew remained like family though none of them were ever related.

Still...they failed because they didn't have a gay or bisexual character? Complete...Bull...Shit...

Enter Kurzon Dax (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) in which you have a race called Trills. These Trills meld with a symbiote and live with it's memories and experiences. When we first meet Dax it's under the name Jadzia Dax and Commander Sisko does let us, the audience, know that it's odd talking to his old friend as a woman. Kurzon had died and the Dax Symbiote had melded with a young Jadzia, thus creating a transgendered character. Sisko was always calling Dax "Old Man" even though there was a decidedly young woman (and rather attractive) standing in front of him. Dax also tells us that He or She has been a Mother and a Father though not at the same time but at differing lifetimes with various other Trills. This is a character that has experienced both sides of the gender coin and has loved on both sides of the gender coin.

Deep Space Nine addressed the LGBT issue without forcing it down our throats. As an audience member I could appreciate that and I have met many who wish to undergo gender changes. None of that offends me but to say that Star Trek failed the LGBT Community by not including a character that is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered is completely ridiculous. If the Star Trek franchise wishes to include such a character, then as long as it's not overly done, I wouldn't mind in the least but the thing I would like to know is will the story be sacrified just to show off Star Trek's progressive nature? If so then exclude the character but if it can be worked in then by all means, be my guest. I would rather Star Trek bring  me the adventure and all the wonder without having to become heavy-handed and preachy.

Personally, I have no problems with a character that may be an arachnid, polydactyl with blue skin and red eyes as long as the story isn't going to be sacrificed to tell me I need to be kind to my web-footed friend. I already know that but show me that perhaps the character I'm underestimating is hiding a huge character bonus that will save our butts in the nick of time...they just can't employ it until the nick of time. Yanno I don't think that is much to ask.

With cast members coming out of the closet, I honestly would ask them if they feel as though Star Trek has failed them. If not then you have voices closest to the franchise that will confirm what it is I'm saying here.

Interestingly enough Majel Barrett was the voice of the Computer in The Next Generation, the LCARS app and she's played the hedonist mother of Cousellor Troi. She was also supposed to provide the voice of a series of GPS devices but she died before that could happen. I'd say that's turning a frown upside-down

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Episode 59: Forward or Forward-Reverse?

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Strap in this one is going to be long and may require quite a bit of your time. I had recently read two articles as I'd been challenged by a friend on facebook though not directly. I will provide them here as well as my response. Please read these through thoroughly first and then my response. Afterwards you may respond as you see fit:

 The Article Every Liberal Needs To Show A Conservative

The Article Every Liberal Needs To Show A Conservative Part 2

He has also promised to produce a part three which I may or may not cover but here are my responses almost point-by-point. 

Gun Rights:


1. Universal Background Checks - Name a criminal that got his gun legally. Most of these Universal Background checks are already in place. I've been through three of them. Two to purchase handguns and one to purchase a shotgun. You tell me who with a felony record will proudly walk in and attempt to purchase a handgun from Federally Approved Outlets? Tying the hands of the citizen who abides by the law when criminals get their weapons by bypassing laws already in place makes less sense. It has nothing to do with being Republican or Democrat in presidency leaning. Each of the presidents mentioned then failed in their duties to Protect and Preserve The Constitution of The United States to the best of their abilities if they actually supported such measures.

2. Banning High-Capacity Magazines - Yet another vague term that can be applied anywhere. What actually comes out of this one is simply this. Today let's say it's a 30 round magazine. Why ban that? You can cite a question of need all day long but consider whether or not you really NEED to speak out against a wrong somewhere in our representative(?) government. It's not called a Bill of Needs it's called a Bill of Rights and the magazine itself does one thing...it contains ammunition. That's all it does aside from feeding it into a chamber. Only one round of ammunition is all it would take to effectively end someone's life and in many of the stories we see in the news, there are no high capacity Magazines employed. Okay so let's ban the 30 round mags. Then someone figures out a way to terrorize the populace with 29 rounds. Did you know having a shotgun with a barrel that's less than 18 inches is illegal? This is why most of your shotguns purchased for home protection have 18.5 inch barrels. if I shorten it to an 18 inch barrel then it becomes a hair splitting match between me and law enforcement agents. What's the correlation? It's simple and almost quite literal: Give and inch and find a mile taken.
Even more simply put, I will decide what I need. As this is my right I do not need your permission or that of Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.

3. Assault Weapons - An Assault is defined as an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact in Common Law and is the same in Criminal and Tort law. There is, however, an additional Criminal Law category of assault consisting of an attempted but unsuccessful Battery.
The problem is that ANY weapon can be defined as an assault weapon once it's employed in the ACT of an assault. The mere threat to harm is not an assault so therefore, those big scary guns in the gun shops you see in those states that allow for "Gun-Toting Maniacs" are NOT assault weapons. I can understand that no one wants some gang-affiliated thug running around with an AK-47 spraying rounds wantonly but the many people who go through the background checks (Reminder: They're Already There!!!) to purchase one have effectively taken the gun out of the hands of the thug and off the streets. It resides in the home of the law-abiding gun owner. Turning it into an argument over "need" again further proves that most of your anti-gun crowd have structured the argument against disarmament of the law-abiding citizen to never admit when they have a logical and even constitutional flaw in their argument.

The Same Sex Marriage Argument:

If it's one thing I can't stand it's the argument that's structured beginning with "I'm tired/exhausted with..." and ending with "X is Invalid. The End."

I'm sorry but who the hell are you? You've provided a lot of rather decisively endgame answers as though you were given authority but I still have no idea who the hell you are. That which puzzles me is that you've actually been published doing that literary hack-up job meaning you've just hacked away at the argument rather than actually saying something and settling the debate. Now I'm no authority. I am a Christian and I struggle with it every day. Every moment of my day is faced with the choices I have to make to either do the right thing or do the selfish thing and it's NOT as easy as you make it out to be. In terms of Same Sex Marriage the fact of the matter is that the states issue the licenses to marry and justices of the peace can marry anyone for any reason. It never once had to involve a church or a deity of any type, that much is true but let's approach this topic from a justice and even a logical perspective.

First, a free nation is not always going to be a morally correct nation. EVERYONE has a choice they must make. Much like myself, how I deal with people each moment I run into someone gets my HUD going and there's that old menu that reads something like Identify Target Person: Assist Y/N? Then my subroutines kick in and I pick one. If I choose to help then morally and ethically I'm doing the right thing. If I choose not to then I may be doing the wrong thing. Sometimes it's a roll of the dice but at the end of the day, it's MY choice, right? Precisely. Now let's take that over to marriage. I would not choose to marry someone of the same sex but me getting irate at George Takei for marrying his husband Brad is like me getting pissed at my wife for eating a candy bar because I'm on a diet. See what I did there? I just pointed out how completely ridiculous the argument was without having to come across as an insufferable know-it-all. Now...here's phase two (and understand I'm doing a hell of a lot of work for you here, more work than I would normally do for someone attempting to bully me into a way of thinking) but let's take the straight marriage. Divorce in this country has turned marriage into a nightmare. I've been through one. To hear someone actually tell you that you have to give up most of what you've worked for and then pay someone because he or she has a life to which their accustomed while you get to starve...that's a hard as all get out pill to have to swallow. By telling someone who's gay, lesbian, transgendered, or bisexual that they can't marry, we essentially exclude them from that misery. Am I saying that it's done them a favor? No! I'm saying it's done straight people a huge disservice! Is this not a Justice System where things should be fair even in civil matters? Would allowing same sex marriage also not allow states to generate more revenue through marriage licensing? Yes! So I'm agreeing with your point that allowing the same sex marriage will not harm one living soul on this planet. Let them marry. If I have to go through all of that pain involved in divorce, so should they! I say Equal treatment all around. That is what you're arguing for if I'm correct. The Church doesn't have to support it. No one has to like it or agree that it's right. It is a Right (three basic inalienables: Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness) and so, the true price of freedom is paid by simply allowing others to live as they wish without anyone else sticking their damn nose in it. They'll cohabitate anyway as many others including people who are straight. Much like criminals getting guns from the Rearovan Emporium, Back Alley, USA.

Republicans Are The Party of Small Government:

Let me start by quoting your article here

"Big government regulations, they’re un-American!  They’re unconstitutional and ruining your way of life!

Unless that big government regulates:

    What language to speak
    Religion to follow
    When life is created
    Who can marry
    Who can serve in the military
    Invasive health procedures on women
    That we have prayer in school
    Mosques aren’t built in certain locations
    Corporations are people
    The Patriot Act
    Unions don’t have rights
    When alcohol can be sold
    The requirement of an ID to vote

Then those government regulations are just fine.  How “small government” of you, Republicans!"

You kinda forgot to throw in one thing...

How, When or even IF you may defend yourself against a threat against your home, property or persons.

Pot...Kettle. Kettle...Pot.

The thing is if you're not willing to protect the very thing that protects your freedoms then none of the others will matter. Eventually they will be taken and our formerly representative government will be...oh...right...FORMERLY-representative government. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the Democrats are at fault on that. If you pay attention to your history here in America you'll see that both sides are clearly at fault in more ways than just one for that. If you doubt me use the Bill of Rights as a measuring stick against the voting records of your politicians and acknowledge their failures as well.


Okay I'm a pro lifer all the way. I believe that we are Endowed by Our Creator with the Right to LIFE. Hey notice how that one comes first when we declared independence? We also kinda acknowledged that it was sacred when we produced measures (called the Bill of Rights) to protect it but there again...let's go back to what I said previously. This nation is free not a moral nation. You've railed pretty hard in favor of a Constitutionally protected right and I'm going to show you something that will support what you're saying but you're not going to like it.

See as a Christian, I was taught that unless it threatens the health and safety of the mother, abortion was a sin. Let me tell you I've been privvy to a family having to make that decision and live with the guilt involved. Having to make that choice is never easy. I've had to be the comforter from time to time. If you can make that decision and never bat an eye then yeah that's plain wrong and I get to think that and thanks to my First Amendment (if they haven't recinded that one yet) I get to say it.

Here's the part you are not going to like: Killing someone in self-defense is a Constitutionally-Protected Individual Right whether assisted by a doctor or a gun with a high capacity magazine.

The Debt Ceiling is About More Government Spending:

Quotiong YOUR Article

"No, it’s not.  The debt ceiling is about our government paying our bills on money we’ve already spent."

That we now owe by spending money we never had to begin with. Ommission of that fact doesn't make it go away.

"But guess what?  Ronald Reagan raised it 18 times and George W. Bush raised it 7 times."

Making it okay on both sides, I suppose?

The U.S. is in a financial hole and the thing is paying the debt with more debt makes as much sense as me eating burgers and drinking sodas to lose weight. The real problem we have is that those in office have spent us into oblivion and are now they are asking you and me to foot the bill when we have bills of our own.

I Want Big Intrusive Government–That Never Does Anything Good–Out of My Life!:

"Did you drive today? Did you take your children to public school?  Did you enjoy a safe commute as you traveled thanks to traffic signals and signs?  Did you whisk through your city or state on an Interstate Highway?  Did you enjoy running water and plumbing that properly, and safely, disposes of waste?  Did you get a college degree at a public university because it was much cheaper than a private one?

Hey genius, that’s all government."

Did you allow federal agents in your home today? Did you have anything to hide? Do you have this vague if not weak assumption that you have a right to privacy?

Well since we're throwing compliments around, my fellow colleague, that wasn't the point. The point was that we would like to live our private lives without our (what are supposed to be) representatives telling us what to do and what not to do while claiming that they're looking out for our welfare when we know better. It's not all government it's beaurocracy. If you doubt me than go to the white house for your driver's license or state ID renewal. If water and waste disposal are all government then why am I paying private companies for that? Shouldn't that come with me paying taxes? Seems like someone's supporting an invasion of privacy AND making me pay for the privilege.

Tax Cuts:

This is one that I can agree with but your argument is completely wrong in it's structure (seriously can I get a job writing stuff like this? I could use one!) The Rich have never ever created jobs that would provide people with the means to raise themselves up and bolster the economy. The reason they're rich is because there's always more money coming in than going out. They didn't get rich by spending it, they got rich by keeping it. It's just too bad some of them are in office and they didn't want to pledge their fortunes protecting our way of life.

People don't really want jobs. I can get a job anywhere but what we want are Careers. I want to be able to get up and go to work in a field that I enjoy. I want to be able to get paid well to do things like that even if it is as banal as tech support. The problem is ...and here is the kicker...those jobs aren't here anymore. Back in 2004, I called Virgin Mobile's live support and actually got someone from here in the states. Problems were resolved in less than five minutes and that was with a brief hold time. Now, it takes at least double that time and that's without a brief hold because I can't understand the person with who I am working. The accent's too thick or they're following a script and when I go off script they panic. The argument has been that if a company pays higher taxes here to employ me to do something in 5 minutes then why can't someone in Dubai do it in 10 and they pay far less in taxes? That's only part of it. They also pay lower wages to people in other countries to do the same job. Then again...you get what you pay for. 

On to Part Two.


You know what? I think he has me there I mean what's four deaths in Libya right? Point is if it's wrong on one side then it's wrong all the way around...period. It's not that we didn't care about the deaths that were happening in Iraq or Afghanistan. I have hundreds of hours of footage about the atrocities that occurred over there and I know what I saw. My point is I didn't like it then and I surely don't like it know. I will stop "pretending" to care when you do.

The Second Amendment and National Defense:

Let's talk about giving aid and Comfort to enemies. CIA funded the Muhajadeen against the Russians in Afghanistan through Pakistan's ISI and thus Al Qaeda was created led by Saudi Arabian Osama bin Laden. So those in our government created, nurtured, aided and gave comfort to an enemy. Nevermind that the bin Laden family were here as George W. Bush's guests during 9/11 and how he had them whisked out very quickly. Before that we depose the elected leader of Iraq and toss in Sadaam Hussein, yet another CIA asset. When he failed to do what we were telling him we found a pretext to go toss him as well. He went from Ally to "Evil Dictator" when what had been in office wasn't anywhere near Dictatorial status in the first place. That is two examples of our government CREATING enemies. So going back to the Civil War when the Second Armed Revolution really happened (Yeah you missed something in History here) how many of them were labelled traitors? None. After the defeat of the South, those that were left over were sent home. This is what I pointed out in my last blog about bullying. Now to just flat label anyone who won't support Gun Control Legislation an "outlaw", "Traitor", or "terrorist" is exactly the type of behavior that would stem from someone who loves writing articles screaming "It's My Way Or No Way!"

National Defense left in the hands of the people is how it was meant to be. Many groups formed militias of their own. Their philosophy is that they depend on themselves to defend their property, lives and families. They're thinking very locally. They get to know their terrain and they meet and train regularly. Before you think that they're paranoid I want you to ask yourself why we need a law requiring us all to wear seatbelts? Are you so paranoid you'll get into a car accident that you have to strap yourself down? Do you really have such a lack of faith in your own driving ability? To any sensible person the answer is no. If it seems like I've gone off topic it's because you've asked the wrong question. So the next question may be why not join the military? My answer: I do not trust anyone that takes an oath to protect and preserve the constitution to the best of his ability and then does everything he can to destroy it. And that's our current commander in chief and the ones before him.

The Sequester:

The question that I have here is how high is this ceiling going to go before we understand that we're broke and we have no one to blame BUT those in office for creating it. Past and present it's been tax, spend, tax, spend, borrow, spend, tax higher, spend more, borrow more and it snowballs. The problem is those elected officials do not want to pay it and they will pass that buck until there are simply no more bucks left to pass. I'm beginning to wonder if these articles are less about showing conservatives ANYTHING and blaming republicans for any fault in our country.

One Nation Under God:

Remove it if you want, I'll keep saying it anyway.

Constitutional rights:

Allow me to provide you with yet another example

The Second Amendment: Allowing me the right to choose my weapon, means of carry, training, amount of ammunition/lack of ammunition, etc doesn't mean you have to carry one or that anyone MUST carry one. It simply means you cannot prevent me from doing so. It means you cannot force me into a position to where I submit to a criminal and face a very high liklihood of probability that my life will end. It means I am able to tip those odds in my favor and possibly the right person will go home to their family. Since it is my right...I won't ask your permission.

Keep in mind one thing. I live in a state where gun laws are so strict they have failed to curtail murders that have happened very close to where I work. I Am Always Armed. Am I carrying a gun? Perhaps? What about a knife? Well anyone who comes into where I work will see me with a knife, cutting open boxes, possibly using the edge to pop something open, perhaps even using it as a screwdriver for slotted screws so yes, that's a possibility. I do carry a pen and I don't need a knife to stab when I can do it with a pen and yes I can even deal some pretty fatal blows with a solid ballpoint pen. Hell even my flashlight...that can do some damage if so employed.

It is the right to keep and bear ARMS. Not select magazines and guns that don't appear so scary.

See the difference?

Christian Values:

I hate to break this to you, charity, good will, caring for people, Jesus asked us to CHOOSE to do it. He never forced it. He clearly indicated this in every part of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke And John. You just spent half your article denouncing any involvement of Christian values in aspects of government however you now leverage it in the final part of part two as a means of attempting to further bully everyone into buying what it is you're selling.

So let me get this straight. Let's say I sell every armament I have and I give that money to charity. Good thing right?

Now let's say I do it because You say I must. Then where was the meaning behind that?

Perhaps you should ask the right questions before letting the sun go down on your anger not once but twice as you've indicated you will write a third part.

Final Question:

If you hate all the rhetoric so much why haven't you simply approached it with a more logical tangent rather than two missives filled with more holes than my last shotgun target at the range?

Monday, May 06, 2013

Episode 58: How To Really End Bullying (Anatomy And Plan of Attack)

Ah there you are, dear readers. I have to make a bit of a confession. I haven't exactly done the smart thing lately. See on my official facebook page, I actually posted a link to Penn And Teller's Bullshit episode regarding gun control. Both sides were represented pretty fairly in terms of guests but thanks largely to Penn Jillette's ad hominem attacks on those with dissenting points of view it really came out biased. Keep in mind even I don't agree with everything that Penn Jillette calls bullshit as a matter of fact my chiropractor has helped me immensely when doctors just wanted to medicate and be done with me, I find a special kind of peace with Christianity, I firmly believe that gun control means hitting your target and our tax system taking a whopping 40% of everything we make is complete and utter crap but what I have found on my facebook news feed as of just a few minutes ago just flat offends me. It got me to thinking.

You know we say an awful lot about bullying these days and it has been one of the biggest and most controversial subjects floating around these days. Just about every organization has some huge burly tough guys stressing to kids how important it is for them to stop bullying each other but what I can't understand is why it's okay for us to do it to each other.

Still not getting it?

We slap a kid and tell them "Don't hit Johnny! That's not nice!" Yeah we're pretty much hypocrites as far as adults go. We tell kids to stop bullying each other while we go about it pretty damn freely. How? Well allow me to illustrate.

Anatomy of Bullying:

Let's take me for example. I spent a lot of time being bullied in school. We're talking from Elementary School all the way up through adulthood. During the course of my grade school years I didn't quite have a social aptitude for most things and didn't have a taste for dealing with people who weren't into the same things I was into. I didn't necessarily mind that other kids were more into Go-Bots than they were Transformers and vice versa, hell, I liked them both but oddly enough I found that some like to ridicule Go-Bots fans. The ridicule started out harmless enough but over time...it grew. As the kids began forming into cliques or just groups of kids who gathered under common interests, the same little group of small-minded, overprivileged overachievers began to intensify their efforts on fewer and fewer select targets. They refused to find the common ground that we all shared and we did share some common ground, they just wanted to spend their time making everyone else miserable.

Getting a little past that, I grew into books, comic books, music and the other normal interests of those in junior high. By then, the comments just became hateful and the social ostracism came. Aside from a few solid friends, you could expect that no one else wanted you around. About that time, I had carefully weighed my options and figured it all out. Why should I have to defend the choices I make? Wasn't it enough that what I was into was harmless to everyone around me and, dammit, I'm entitled to it. I made my decision and I was standing by it. I tried to do things their way but they always found fault with me. Well that means they just didn't like me. Fine. I gave them the good old college try and now I would find what I liked and truly just dive into it.

And that's when it really amped up. Now it wasn't just ridicule. From a socioeconomic perspective I've had to fight to keep jobs, arm myself, train myself to defend myself and develop attitudes to carry around with me to deal with people who were attempting to get me to conform to the status quo so that they would find me socially acceptable. Eventually, after many rounds of fighting, many rounds of just trying to survive and it's true that my parents don't know the half of what I'd been through including people calling me in the middle of the night with "We Gon' Kill All You Freaks" to which I'd reply, "We'll be here...just remember the door is locked for your protection, not mine, zipperhead." and hang up...yeah after all that I just left. I literally left the state in which I'd been living and moved halfway across the country. About the only thing to which people take exception to around here is when I wear my Jersey Devils cap or jersey. They're Flyers fans down here. This paragraph would be a lot longer if I detailed the scars, both physical and mental and what caused them. Know that several times, my very life was on the line and in some instances, thank God above and the people who provided the instructional videos that helped me train that I didn't have to take a life to save my own...trust me, in those times...trying to keep both lives in tact could have cost me my own.

The point is this, at first the bully feels a need to make a person feel bad over something. Even if that thing is shed and long gone, the bully will make that person feel miserable about themselves. If the person decides to ignore the bully then the bully will escalate things until  eventually, things get really ugly.

Bullies don't have to get physical. We know bullies can use the net to post embarrassing photos or blackmail others. For those who think locking down the internet is a viable solution, keep in mind I lived in a town of about maybe 2500 people and it was just simply local town rumor and word of mouth that had nearly killed me on several occasions. Trust me when I say the internet had nothing at all to do with it so unless you're ready for Amendment One to go, you're barking up the wrong tree here. They can belittle and demean someone into ending their own lives. They don't have to shove you into a locker or pull your hair or do anything that kids are known to do. To be honest, you've probably bullied someone in your own life and if you really think about it...chances are you have. Most of us never realize that we do because we don't think of it as bullying. Let me show you an example.

Why is the action of the WBC supposedly such bullying while...
 this is NOT considered bullying?
In the example above we see that a group (the same group that have attempted to cow hundreds of groups including members of their own "church" that have questioned them) bullying the Hanneman family while trying to lay their loved one to rest. It's disrespectful, it's wrong, it's definitely not Christian and it won't bring anyone to God or give anyone peace. In a word; it is bullying. Keep in mind I found both of these on my facebook page's newsfeed. Then a friend of mine posted the second picture. 
The man pictured with Charlie Sheen is Alex Jones, a radio talk show host, Award-Winning documentary filmmaker and journalist. How do I know this? I was listening to his show and watching his videos long before InfoWars.com was a household name. If you're not familiar with him, watch the film "A Scanner Darkly" in which he appears in true Alex Jones style, on a bullhorn doing a street protest. Then he gets beaten down and roughed up by government goons but that's beside the point. Alex is known for his firebrand style. He's passionate (and believe me that's putting it mildly) often going on tirades after presenting facts. In Alex's defense, his reaction to many issues and his all out rage toward those issues have never once landed him in any serious trouble. He doesn't go home and take it out on the wife and kids. The times he's been arrested have been for misdemeanor charges and they're mostly disturbing the peace. Not exactly reflective of anger issues. His audience has grown nearly exponentially in the past ten years and no doubt it's because many of the issues that he addresses turn out to prove that what he's saying is right whether you want to believe it or not. By posting this the original poster seems to think that this will be enough to discredit Alex Jones and turn people away from being audience members.
...not so fast. See, Alex has a way of even turning ME off as an audience member. Sometimes, it is absolutely painful to get through episodes of his show without wanting to just say, "Alex can you just calm down and lay the news on me so I can research it and get on with it already?" Yeah those tirades he goes on can be pretty tiring. His recent verbal salvo on Piers Morgan, while funny at times, was a good reason he really should not have been selected to have the debate with Morgan at all. All it really seemed to be was two bullies locking horns. Other conspiracists have gone up against Jones and Jones himself has done the same in turn.  Jones has a lot of critics even in the Libertarian arena and I don't mean the political party.
How is one form unacceptable while the other is completely acceptable?  So cowing Slayer fans is unacceptable by a group claiming Divine Right but cowing Alex Jones' fans is completely acceptable?

The answer is a fat, resounding No. It's not acceptable by any means. 

How To Stop Bullying And Really End It:

This is where it's simplest but also the hardest. The structure and shape is extremely simple, however, the act itself is where you're going to have a problem. 

Admit You Have A Problem:

1. Look at any issues that you might address on a daily basis. If you have to resort to name-calling or ridicule or belittling and demeaning comments then you're bullying others. 

Solution: Try attempting your argument from a logical perspective and leave the emotion completely out of it. 

2. Look at your circle of what you call friends. If they ahve to resort to the tactics above, attempt to logically take the other side. If you find yourself being attacked then obviously these are not your friends and you should not associate yourself with them. If you start attacking your friends...perhaps they should dissociate from you. 

3. Realize that this is America and under the Declaration of Independence you have the rights to Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. You don't ask permission for those things. If you don't like guns, don't purchase one. If you don't like gay people being married then don't marry one. If you don't like religion of any kind then simply don't participate. It's really that simple. 

4. Leave everyone else the hell alone. 

That's all there really is to it, people. There's no reason why world peace isn't achievable as long as we treat each other this way. 

That's it, that's all I have. Hope you're not too disappointed.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Episode 57: Walmart Proves Evolution Can Go In Reverse

Ladies and Gentlemen allow me to direct your attention to Walmart for a brief moment.

I've been privvy to the frothing at the mouth hatred for Walmart for some time. Some people love Walmart about as much as they love Chainsaw Enemas and while I lived down South...I always asked "Why?"

I mean the Walmart closest to me always had damn near everything I needed, I never had a problem with a return (the few times I needed to return something) and when the staff didn't know something, they let me know but they were completely nice about it. Maybe they weren't my best buds and hell, I'm willing to say that there is the longshot that some of them outright loathed me but I wouldn't have known it because I turned up every two weeks to do grocery shopping and be damned if I didn't come out with stuff that Was Not on my grocery list. Look, because of Walmart, I now have all of the Friday The 13th movies and the entire Superman saga with Christopher Reeve, okay? I got it all cheap there, I never fussed. Walmart in the South was my friend and though I hated working for them, I still loved shopping there. I snuggled up to that big corporate entity and became besties with them. My eye doctor there at the Vision Center was completely friendly and if he ever hated my ass in anyway I would never have known. This guy was friendly on a level that made you feel like he was one step away from propping your feet up on an ottoman and offering you a nice hot cup of green tea with honey in it. Yeah I hated working there but shopping there was never an issue.

Fast forward to two days ago.

I usually pick up my blood pressure scrip from Walmart. $4 and I pay that outta pocket. Never once was there an issue with that. Normally I drop it off, go fart around for about an hour and then, I get a call...it's ready. Whole process takes about 45 minutes at the most. See there's a problem with the Walmart closest to me. It's not enough that one person has to go there but they have to bring the entire fucking massive family with them. Not Walmart's fault but you think they could have laid that store out a little more efficiently.

Before I go on keep in mind that this may seem bigoted...it's not. I'm simply reporting what I observe each and every time I go in there.

I get to hear about the employee's weekends and the myriad meandering clusterbomb of crap they did. Who they screwed, how many of their "dawgs" know and just how many more weekends that will be more of the same.

Those same employees having discussions in the bathroom only for some reason, in here I'm hearing about when they're gonna go light up that spliff they have stashed in the glovebox. Really? Look it's none of my business but damn guys if discussing that is really that important there's something called (correct my slang if my use of the colloquial is wrong) "keepin' it on the fuckin' down low." You speak in hushed tones, no text messages, no documentation, no audio, no video and deny deny deny.

Same employees are obviously on a uniform policy but they wear their clothing three sizes too big. I guess the appearance of professionalism must be one hell of a tall order. Not that I really care but when you're wearing a belt and your pants are sagging....MayDay!

The Shopping Carts. Okay so maybe the employees are a bit on the ghetto side and perhaps the customers are from the Warzone section of the ghetto but look...when the hoodrat who's working for you has a car that's far more flashy than your shopping cart....perhaps it's time to look into some...oh I don't know FUCKING MAINTENANCE! Two days ago I tried four, count 'em, FOUR carts before I found one that remotely worked without randomly veering right or left. Until I put something in it. Then it was BANG...BANG...BANG all the way down every fucking aisle the minute I put a desk lamp into the thing. Thank God I was wearing my BLS colors and sporting a bandanna and a genuine Fuck You Atttitude. Any worse I probably would have started swearing uncontrollably.

Any worse...yeah I spoke too soon on that one.

I have the Walmart App on my Galaxy S III. Yanno what, without that app, this store would have made me just go tell these people to get fucked right then and there. Hardly anything is clearly priced and DO NOT for the love of fuck DO NOT trust that dadgum $5 movie bin. I pulled a DVD out, went to go pay for it...$16. Did I catch a break on the price? Noooope! I bought it anyway. I needed it. Yoga before you ask so yes my well-being was worth the extra $11 that I didn't intend to pay. My point: You Need This Fucking App To Survive in there. It has it's own barcode scanner which is great because you remember those little barcode scanning stations if you had a question? Yeah well they don't fucking exist in there anymore. I don't know where they went but get the app and put it on your phone because you're going to need it. Asking an employee to do it I literally got her walking away from me before hearing "no speaka da Ingles!" She doesn't speak English? And she got hired? Fuck me, just what is this country coming to?

Speaking of the Walmart App let's go back to the blood pressure meds...the reason I'm there in the first place. Let's talk about how my blood pressure pills come. I get this plastic thing. I push a button and the entire blister pack slides out and I punch out the one pill I need each morning. Reverse engineering shows me that all anyone ever needs to do is take one of these blister packs, slap it into the plastic container, slap a label on it...done and done...shouldn't even take forty five minutes right? Well before leaving physical therapy I used the app to call in a refill. Got the email confirmation and headed that way. Took me 45 minutes to get there. I got there and farted around looking for a few things I needed (wrestling the damn cart, having to hear about these two who can't leave the Turkish Skullbong at home, scanning things on my own because I really couldn't find an employee who looked like they might speak something other than Spanish or Hood, etc.) and finally, having everything I felt I needed I made my way to the pharmacy with my clattering cart and a genuinely shit attitude that I hadn't gotten my call and it was fucking two hours past now.

The lady at the counter informed me that it wasn't ready but it was in filling and it would only be a few minutes. I tried to put on my Okay No Problem face and let her know I'd be looking around. I scoured the store...I know how many goldfish this Walmart has plus it's birth to Goldfish death ratio. I know how many will be there this weekend and I've already come to know a couple of their tropicals. They say they dig my battle jacket and I thanked them kindly. Another hour later, nope...still not done and won't be done until after three. I sent the request in at something like 10:45 am...it's not 2pm. I left. Fuck that, I have enough to last me for two days anyways man. Ya think they could have informed me. I paid for my stuff (a whopping $25) and fucking left. I got a call at about 4:30pm that my scrip was ready. Did I go pick it up? No. I'm going to do that tomorrow. Saturday night. I'm going in without my back brace, dressed to the nines in a real Color-Sporting, Fuck With Me And I Will Shove A Bolt Of Valhalla Sized Lightning Bolt Up Your Ass Attitude.

I think after this I'm taking my scrips to Walgreen's. At least they're closer and they ACT like they give a damn. I think I might also ditch my Walmart app for the People of Walmart App.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Episode 56: Two Birds, One Stone

So I'm writing this for two reasons. First I want to address the issue of Gun Control as I've done hundreds of times. I will address the logical fallacies and offer solutions. I will show you that the word “nut” does not come into play here. Second, The Morgan Freeman Debacle on a website called Reddit.

First, let's get onto the subject of Gun Control point by point.

  • Let's Ban The “Scary” Ones: First of all, this is a knee-jerk reaction to the fear associated with the mere sight of a gun such as an AK-47, an AR-15, an M-14 or many many other rifles known as “Assault Weapons.” Such fear is easily remedied with a little something called education. Understand Every Gun Works In The Following Manner: First a cartridge is placed into the weapon. Once properly chambered with the bolt closed, the weapon is aimed and once the target is acquired, the trigger is squeezed, releasing the firing pin. The firing pin drops onto the primer which causes a small explosion from the rapid heating of the gun powder thus sending the lead projectile forward through the barrel and out toward the target. The loud “bang” and the recoil aka the kick are a product of the explosion that took place within the weapon. With semiautomatic weapons, the bolt will automatically open and the shell casing which is now empty will be ejected. This is the entire function of the gun itself. Again, every gun works in this manner if it is a semiautomatic rifle, handgun or other type of common weapon. Now, a little more education. You have what is called Single Shot, Semiautomatic and fully automatic. Single shot is just that. You load one round, aim, fire and then repeat the process. Sometimes you will have to pull back the hammer on a pistol in order to fire a round. This type of action is called a Single Action type of weapon. I could go on and on about how you always point the gun in a safe direction (meaning not at anyone and not waving it around) and keeping your finger off of the trigger, Senator Feinstein. Suffice it to say that simply educating yourself on the mechanics of a gun will only show you the difference between what you perceived as a military M-14 and a civillian M-14 is merely cosmetic.

  • The Real Difference Between Automatic and Semi-Automatic: This is perhaps the simplest one to clear up. Many of these weapons are called Automatic but they're not. Automatic rifles require only one squeeze of the trigger and anything from a three-round burst (or burp) to a full unload of the magazine will happen. Some weapons are so fast that they can fire multiple rounds per second. Many Gun Enthusiasts know that a fully automatic weapon is completely impractical for the reason that many more rounds are wasted than are worth spending. A three round burst is more controlled but one thing every gun enthusiast knows is that the Semi-Automatic is far more suitable. Semi-Automatic weapons fire one round per squeeze of the trigger. If you want to structure an argument for a weapons ban, at least know the difference between these two terms.

  • The Laws: As time has progressed more and more laws have been passed, more and more law-abiding gun owners have found more and more restrictions to purchasing weapons. Those with criminal backgrounds or those adjudicated mentally defective have not been able to purchase weapons through these channels. Instead there is a secondary market which you might know as Black Market. These gun deals take place out of the trunks of cars and small arms dealers are making a fortune off the near prohibition. Criminals have a very easy time getting these guns and they do not apply for permits for concealed carry. The question that I have is exactly what aspect of criminal activity have these laws stopped? The answer is a resounding Nothing At All. Those that simply don't have the connections necessary to purchase the Black Market guns have created other improvised projectile weapons or they have resorted to knives as a means of deadly dispatch.

  • Why Won't A Gun Ban Work?: The answer is simple. As an example Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola actually has in their museum improvised guns. One of them being a shotgun comprised of pipe, a spring and a nail. The shotgun shell could be loaded into the pipe, the pipe screwed in and the nail rigged to the screw pulled back and released which would cause the single shot to fire. Granted it would only be good for one shot but when lead spreads that fast, one shot at close range can take out two or three people when it counts. Afterward, the former shotgun can become a lethal object to deliver blunt force trauma. If a total weapons ban is in place there then how did that stop that particular criminal from creating such a weapon? The Answer: it didn't.

  • What If (Insert X Type of Person) Steals The Gun?: This has been a common question in situations where the possibility of teachers carrying guns in school. The truth is, this is another question born purely out of fear. The proposal is not simply to give each teacher a gun and a box of ammo and turn them loose. Part of the proposal is training them thoroughly with the weapons prior to actually allowing them to carry them. When it comes to Civilians having guns in the home or carrying concealed, this is also the case. Civilians carrying concealed go through training and licensing prior to tucking the small weapon on their person to carry it. Though anyone can purchase a firearm for home defense, obviously, keeping it out of the hands of the Little ones and Criminals or anyone who just doesn't know what they're doing is among the first few things anyone should learn. Gun safes, trigger locks and many other devices are wonderful for keeping the hands of the kids from messing with them but what about tactically getting the advantage over your intruder? Certainly this is an issue worth exploring and the truth is, finding that line between securing the weapon to keep it out of the wrong hands and being able to deploy it defensively is not one with which I can issue a guaranteed response. I have found, however, that there is an answer that does work and it is simply this; Be Vigilant And Properly Train, Train, Train, Train! Training eliminates the fear of the weapon but cultivates respect. Furthermore, It allows you to handle it more confidently without being overconfident. While it is no guarantee, this is the right of the individual to make the choice for themselves and to choose wisely and act responsibly.
  • What About The Children? Who Will Protect Them From The Gun?: If you ask that question, I assume that you're a parent who is genuinely concerned for the safety of your children. Rightfully so. You should be and you do have a legitimate concern. My question in response is this. Are you informing me that you are unwilling to take the responsibility to teach your children the facts on guns? Are you that derelict in your parental duties to your children that you wouldn't teach them to respect the weapons that they see and that they shouldn't point it at anything that they do not wish to destroy? I should hope not. In my household, guns were a part of everyday reality. There were guns leaning in corners, sitting atop nightstands, cabinets featuring rifles that hunted and were taken for target shooting that displayed them along with the ammo but the one thing you never saw any of the three of us doing was taking them out to show our friends or acting as though we were going to use them illicitly. Neither did any of our neighborhood friends for that matter. None dared touch them. My own father took the time to sit us down, take us target shooting and educate us thoroughly on the weapons in our home and they came with a grave and dire warning. The Moment You Don't Respect This Weapon, It Will Kill You And You Will Not Come Back. This Is Not The Movies. It did not take much for us to learn the lessons that my dad taught us. He taught us properly and for many years, I didn't want much to do with guns. I preferred swords and knives to guns. I still, however, firmly believed in a man's right to choose for himself.
  • Are You Saying We Should Make It Like The Wild West All Over Again?: Consider this; The bloodiest and most violent year in the Wild West produced only five deaths by gunshots. You are statistically more likely to be killed in your hometown today than you ever would have been had you found yourself unarmed and simply lounging beside the OK Corral. Certainly, five deaths by gun is five deaths too many unless the ones we are speaking of were shot in self-defense by the other party. In that case, five of the right people went home to their families that night and most likely, your lineage still continues because of it.
  • What About Crazy People With Guns?: This has been one of my favorite questions because I like to ask, “what about them?” Most of those whom have been adjudicated mentally defective will be unable to get guns through the proper channels. Most of those people won't even try but let's look at the case of the Aurora shooter. A lone nut with a gun? Yes. But how did he get them. Obviously he didn't waltz into a store and purchase them legally. For a fully automatic weapon, in most places you have to present a level three federal firearms license. Since he was on SSRIs at the time we can safely assume that he did not have the requisite license nor did he purchase them legally. Keep this in mind. Many people died during that shooting and there was mass panic but had there been one trained individual with a pistol who had his or her wits about them, this story may have ended differently. No guarantees that it would have, but the chance still would be there that at least some of those who died could be living to tell the tale today. If someone charges into my home and they're out of their mind, I would rather have some means of defending myself than allow myself or anyone else in my home to be brutally murdered.
  • What Is The Problem With Licensing As We Do Cars?: Then you no longer have a right. The difference between a right and a privilege is that the State grants privileges and revokes them but when it comes to a right, it cannot be taken without due process of law. Drunk/Intoxicated Driving kills Tens of thousands per year. While Drunk drivers fortunate enough to go to prison and serve prison terms have their entire freedom taken from them, many do get their driving licenses back within a very short time of release. Their driving privileges are given back to them when auto accidents kill more per year than gun accidents do. Should someone go to prison for a violent felony, their right to keep and bear arms is taken and NEVER returned. While you may be in favor of this understand that you don't know who behind the wheel has ever been convicted of driving drunk. You also cannot use your car to defend yourself in that situation. With that point being made, should someone become an intruder in your home or accost you, the gun he carries isn't one obtained legally. It's a question of simple logic and take a Civics refresher now. You have, under the Declaration of Independence, three basic inalienable rights. Those are Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. Those rights were guaranteed by the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Those rights are endowed by your Creator, no matter who you think that Creator to be, therefore, you do not have to ask anyone to exercise them. The State does not give you those rights, they are declared as being self-evident. The Constitution does not give you those rights...it Cements Them.

  • But We Have Police And Military!: Then by virtue of that logic, you should stop wearing your seatbelt. Quit being so paranoid that you'll get into an auto accident or that a drunken driver will slam into you at any moment. You should also stop carrying a fire extinguisher in the home. That's what we have firefighters for. Hard Fact: By the time a crime is committed, the police are merely the cleanup crew. Truth is a pizza is more likely to reach your home quickly than the police are. The police cannot protect you. The Military is only sworn to Protect And Defend THE CONSTITUTION of The United States Against All Enemies; Foreign And Domestic. Remember That.

  • You Don't Need An AR-15 For Hunting: You've missed the point. This is not about Need. This is about Rights. I have the right to own any type of weapon I wish. I also have a responsibility to exercise good judgment when choosing my weapon for the situation. I personally have no need that I can see for an AR-15, that much I can concede for the time being. Still, I find nothing wrong with the desire to own one and fire it at a range. I find nothing wrong with wanting to own a tank should someone so desire but the question I have is where would you park it? For someone like myself, it would be completely impractical to own a tank, a LAWS rocket launcher, An RPG (Rocket-Propelled Grenade) or any other type of heavy ordinance but while it's impractical for me, others who abide by the law and wish to prepare themselves for Worst Case Scenarios...this is America. As American Citizens, it is your right to do so no matter what I think of it. Let me think it crazy or foolish. If it happens you may take delight in the fact that I've been caught unprepared while you have the ability to fight off nearly any threat.

  • What Possible Good Can Come From Any of This?: Allow me to give you, my reader, one scenario with a couple possible outcomes. As my girl and I are walking out of a movie, someone pulls a gun and demands all of our money, cellphones, etc. Outcome 1. We comply. He decides that we, as witnesses are a liability and kills us both, taking his loot and running into the night. My family now must attend my funeral. Outcome 2. I pull my weapon and shoot him at close range, killing our attacker. I go to jail for having a concealed weapon but we both live. Outcome 3. I pull my weapon and shoot him at close range, killing our assailant. The police rule it self defense and at some point, my family attends a wedding. I don't know which one of those outcomes you'd rather see but I'll take my chances with two and three. I know you probably do not approve but that is the wonderful thing about exercising a basic right, I do not have to ask for anyone's approval.
  • Are You Saying EVERYONE Should Own Guns?: Absolutely not. I obviously do not have any definite answers on who should own guns but in my lifetime I have personally observed people that have no business owning a flashlight. Some people shouldn't breed or drive. I however will defend their right to do all of the above. What I am saying is that everyone should have the option to decide for themselves whether gun ownership is right for them. In an age where we are able to speak to a doctor and actually obtain a prescription for drugs like Chantix with the litany of rather horrible side effects if we decide it's right for us. I find it confusing that we cannot simply agree to allow each other to make their own decisions as to how they'll defend themselves from psychopaths or tyrants. We want to end the epidemic of bullying so badly that we set the poorest examples for our children by giving into the desires of criminals and tyrants. Do we not deserve to live our lives as adults without being cowed by someone or group thereof?

  • So Who Protects Us And Keeps Us Safe And Secure?: You do. As shocking as this may sound, in a free nation there is no guarantee of safety or security. That may sound terrifying but life in a free civilization requires you to be responsible for YOU and your affairs. Should you not find this particular situation to your liking, understand that I can sympathize. We all would like our things that we've toiled and worked so hard for all of our lives to remain ours. We all would like to walk about in the world unmolested and we all would simply like nothing more than to be left in peace to tend to our affairs but it is no one else's business to see to it that those things occur in safety than ours.

In conclusion to this particular point, gun owners and enthusiasts, for the most part are reasonable human beings preparing for what they perceive to be an eventuality that, hopefully, will never occur. Should you choose not to own a gun or any other type of weapon for any reason, then know that I understand and fully support your right to refrain from owning a device that you don't think is right for you. Remember that you do have the right to choose for yourself, you do not have the right to choose for me.

Finally, onto the second point. On a website called Reddit.com (one I visit daily) there was an AMA (Ask Me Anything) posted by Morgan Freeman. Needless to say, it did not go well. Redditors (name for the site's visitors) sent cries of “FAKE!!” over and over again. If you simply do a search on Morgan Freeman AMA at Reddit.com you'll find many many posts all surrounding this rather controversial AMA. To that I have only this reply to offer. First, this is the Internet where anyone can be anyone they desire for any reason and by any means. That being said, remember that you do not have to believe anything posted by anyone at anytime. You also don't have to become so emotionally invested. Was it Morgan Freeman? Possibly. Was it some PR guy answering questions, I suppose that's also true. Then again, the fact that you may be reading these lines in Morgan Freeman's voice is enough to make me smile and that's just fine by me.