Friday, September 30, 2016

USA Today, WSJ: Not So Much ‘Vote For Clinton’ As ‘Don't Vote For Trump’

This is as much as one could reasonably hope for from America's mainstream conservative news source and America's exceedingly conservative news source. I echo their positions on this. I hope, for America's sake, you will elect Secy. Clinton, but at the very least, don't encourage an ignorant, hostile, possibly criminal, clearly crazy man by giving him your vote. Thank you.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Herbert von Karajan Gives Us A Great Break From The Great Grate Of Donald


Donald makes America grate again; here's a brief respite.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Houston ‘Active Shooter, Active Shootee’ Incident

Some of you may have seen this incident on your local news; if not, you'll surely see it on your national news.

It's one thing to read/view a story about an active shooter incident in a somewhat upscale residential and commercial neighborhood, the shooting focused first on a very nice condo, then on a tidy strip center with nice stores and a post office. It's another thing altogether to have a direct association with the place, though not with the incident.

I once considered it as a place to live, but the prices were beyond my means. Nonetheless, Stella and I have a pair of PO boxes at the post office in the aforementioned strip center, both boxes left over from our respective independent-contractor days. Stella headed out to work this morning with our rent checks to mail. But her car refused to start: we had to call AAA and buy a new battery.

The delay may have saved Stella's life.

A lawyer whose firm was failing financially filled his Porsche with a lot of guns (yes, he owned and carried them all legally), parked outside the very nice condo which apparently contained his home, took a position behind a large tree, unpacked several guns (handguns and rifles including, it is believed, a semiautomatic) and plenty of ammo and clips... and started shooting. At anyone. People he didn't know. People who just happened to be on the street before sunrise, on the way to work, or taking their kids to school. People driving cars: the shooter pointed straight at their windshields, and once those were shattered, directly in the faces of their drivers and/or passengers. Several neighbors risked their lives, not merely to call 911 but to inform their neighbors face-to-face... yes, the shooter was firing through the windows of his neighbors' condos... that they needed to GET DOWN within their homes, below window level, immediately.

Police and firefighters were quick to respond, literally dozens of cars full of them, equipped with robots on the chance that the crazy was distributing bombs. The neighborhood was basically cordoned off as a crime scene; traffic is still being routed around the area, and residents are observing an obligatory shelter-in-place.

Amazingly, as of the time I began writing this post, none of the victims had died, though one was in critical condition and another in serious condition. It's a good thing Houston has a lot of fine hospitals, which in turn have personnel well-trained in emergency response.

Both of us are safe and well, not even as shaken as people who were actually in the middle of the incident.

I read this week in The Guardian that "half of all guns in the US are owned by 3% of Americans." IMNSHO this is more than a mere statistic; it's a substantive fact regarding gun ownership: no one really needs 17 guns (that's the average among the 3% of gun owners who own half of all individually owned guns) for any legal, sane, societally nondestructive purpose. My farmer Granddad owned two shotguns and two rifles; he and my Dad and I had plenty of guns to go hunting together (I hated that activity), with one to spare if Mom, should she choose to participate. (Do not mock my mother's skills with a firearm! She might return from the grave to haunt you!)

Is it too much to ask that the 3% who own half the guns come in once a year and re-qualify in the use of those weapons? Is it too much to ask that every few years they come in for a psychological screening to show that they still understand the social limitations on the uses of such firepower? Is it too much to restrict automatic and rapid-fire weapons to use by military personnel and police? The 2nd Amendment assures you the right to "keep and bear" arms as part of "[a] well-regulated militia," but I still haven't seen the clause that permits you to use them to shoot your fellow citizens dead because you had a bad day at the office.

Remember: the 2nd Amendment was intended to protect the freedom and personal safety of the citizenry. Modern firearms, used as they are being used in real life in America today, are not contributing at all to that goal.

AFTERTHOUGHT: Get this. The name of the street full of condos is... Law. Oh, the irony!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Guardian Offers ‘Lyin' Trump: A Weekly Fact Check’

I just discovered this series this week, but I can tell already that it is going to save all of us a great deal of googling/reading/transcribing in pursuit of the Donald's endless lies:
‘Lyin' Trump: A Weekly Fact Check’.
Good luck; keep your antacid supply handy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

‘I Just Don’t Think She Has A Presidential Look’

That's Donald, speaking of Hillary. Personally, I think Donald DOES have a presidential look... think of former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević, for example, crank down the charm by about 10 percent, and you've got Trump.

But that's not my real point. My real point is that Trump evaluates women entirely by their physical appearance. His wife... er, wives... are good evidence of that: not that any one of them is stupid, but all of them are attention-getting for their looks alone. So the statement that Hillary lacks "a presidential look" means exactly two things:
  • she is not male, and
  • she does not meet Trump's standard of femininity.
Go figure... when Hillary was First Lady, my father used to remark on her good looks. But what part of a president's toolkit is her looks, anyway? My mother was bright and articulate from my earliest memories, but I have pics of her in her young adult years, and she was striking... it's no surprise my father went for the whole package, brains, looks, speaking ability, writing ability, etc. (Occasionally, perhaps just to prove a point, Mom would tune the family car. Farm girls often acquire skills like that, though in her case I think it was probably the tractor she tuned.) But Trump clearly evaluates women with one thing in mind. What a schmuck that man is.

A reminder for poll-watching voters. Lately the big three broadcasting networks have been saying that Trump and Clinton are in a dead heat, statistically tied, use your own favorite phrase (but please... not "neck and neck"). Before you believe that statement in its usual sense, go read; it's on this site's blogroll. You'll find the networks are cherry-picking the polls they average, and rotten-apple-tossing the tweaked results at you. If you can put aside their "methodology" (heh) for long enough to see what Nate Silver & Co. are saying, you'll see Hillary is still several points in the lead... and noticeably more likely to win the office. This does not mean she or her supporters can afford to be complacent, but neither is it time for them to tear their hair out.

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