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Archive for March 2012

The Deep Dive…


Good morning, Netizens…


Last week when James Cameron took a one-man submersible submarine to the depths of the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench, thus establishing a new record for a one man dive, I guess I suspected that Cameron would probably make a film of his unprecedented exploit. In fact, so it is. He is planning a TV special for National Geographic and a 3-D release of his travel to the depths of the ocean.


The film could be ready as early as late this year or the beginning of next year, depending upon how much additional filming he and his colleagues need to do. After all, it isn't every day that someone engineers, develops and builds a 3-D camera that can survive the depths of the Mariana Trench. In fact, it's never been done before. That is one of the things about Cameron that has so captivates my imagination.


Having studied how the film “Titanic” came to be made appears to be small pittance compared to the technological array of developments that Cameron had to do in order to make the 3-D version of Titanic.


Hollywood simply has nothing that will compare to Cameron's drive to achieve. I am in awe.



Did Trayvon Martin die because he was black?

Good morning, Netizens…


There is a great deal of righteous indignation surrounding the shooting death of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin and according to cartoonist David Horsey, rightfully so, and I couldn't agree more.


The shooter, George Zimmerman, an overzealous block watch volunteer carrying a gun, shot the unarmed Martin while on his way back to his father's house after a trip to a convenience store. It was raining, and young Trayvon Martin had his hood up, and was on his cell phone to his girlfriend, and, according to her, was getting nervous about the big guy following him. The guy was Zimmerman.


Zimmerman considered Martin a suspicious character — at least that's what he was telling the 911 dispatcher he had on the line. He also told the dispatcher that “these … always get away,” according to a recording of the call that has been released. Then he took off running after Martin and uttered to the dispatcher a word that some listeners heard to be a racial epithet.


This killing a month ago has now become a national cause with demands for Zimmerman to be arrested and put on trial. A grand jury has been invoked. The Justice Department has stepped in. The Sanford police chief has taken a temporary leave. A groundswell of African-Americans are furious; even President Obama has spoken out about the death of Trayvon Martin.


This is not about black nor white, but of right and wrong. Had Trayvon Martin been a white kid walking home in the rain he would still be alive. That makes this an act of racism, which is both very sad and wrong. They need to put Zimmerman behind bars.


Of course, your thoughts and beliefs about the death of Trayvon Martin at the hands of Zimmerman may differ.



Insanity Wild Card

Let's talk about something that really riles me in a big way - the proposed bill to invasive ultrasound testing required for women who are considering abortion.

First - I am for all life.  I love babies.  I loved being pregnant.  But I was fortunate to be married, in love, and wanted my babies more than my own life.  I wasn't raped.  I wasn't ill so that a pregnancy would cause harm to me.  I wasn't a teenager.

Now, I'm not saying go willy nilly and have an abortion - I think some counseling would be helpful - but not an internal ultrasound - which is like being invaded twice.

How ridiculous is this?????

I see that it has been aborted, and well it should have.  

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one shocked by this.  It's barbaric and a total insult to all women everywhere.

This is my humble opinion and yours may differ and we agree to disagree.


Take one for all of us?

Good morning, Netizens…


Sgt. Robert Bales is accused of murdering 16 civilian villagers, including 9 children. This atrocity appears to be the work of one man, but according to cartoonist David Horsey, we all should share the blame.


Our all-volunteer Army has been fighting for a decade in Afghanistan, and in Iraq as well, for most of that time. The burden of battle has fallen mainly on a tiny number of Americans — men like Bales, who was on his fourth combat deployment. Multiple journeys into the hell of war have taken a terrible toll. The number of suicides among service members has skyrocketed, and incidences of post traumatic stress disorder among returning soldiers are so common they seem almost the norm. We try to ignore those grim statistics, attributing them as the price of war, and we praise our returning soldiers as heroes.


Yet all the adulation and public praise aside, as a nation we have chosen to ignore the bitter truth. They are not necessarily better than those who do not don a uniform. Excluding singular exceptions — the Navy SEALs, for example — our soldiers are people not all that different from any of us. War does subvert the mind and sears the human soul with every battle fought, every person killed in the line of duty.


According to everything we know about Bales, he was a good soldier, one of our best. However, if one of our best soldiers can snap and commit such a terrible crime, we should all ask ourselves if the soldiers who come from among us are being pushed to sacrifice far too much while the rest of us sacrifice nothing at all. Our volunteer Army lets us all conveniently off the hook. The politicians, who it seems cannot even balance our own national budget, speak with glowing terms about how we are standing up to tyrants and bearing obscene burdens in the name of liberty. Then they sign us all up for yet another war fought on the verge of Hell.


Yet it is not the Sgt. Bales in our midst that goes to war. We have all those yellow ribbons on the backs of our pick uptrucks to help us forget all the horrors he has seen, all the horrors of war that reminds him of what he has done. We need to stop war before it claim another soldiers' life who simply snapped after fighting a war we all helped create.



The Arrogance of Conservatism

Good evening, Netizens…


As is typical, cartoonist David Horsey applied clinically-correct punctuation to a series of events involving Rush Limbaugh this week.


In case you hadn't been paying attention, America's favorite windbag, Rush Limbaugh, went after a 30 year-old Georgetown Law Student named Sandra Fluke for supporting the inclusion of contraceptives in employee health plans.


It's a familiar and commonplace tactic, it seems, that given the choice between expressing an opinion about what others have to say, Limbaugh nearly always reaches for character assassination. In the case of Sandra Fluke, this time Rush called Fluke a prostitute and a slut who expected the government to pay her to have sex.


“She’s having so much sex, she can’t afford the contraception,” Limbaugh told his vast audience of angry white males. “She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”


He went on to say that women who want their birth control covered by insurance should clamp a couple of aspirin between their legs, instead. Oh, Lord! Then he further assaulted the sensibilities of women everywhere by adding that if Fluke wants to get her pills paid for, she should videotape herself having sex. “We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch,” he said.


Later on, after the tidal wave of public opinion came crashing down on his head, Rush apologized. It isn't the first time he's had to apologize under fire, either. He seems to have a proven history of assaulting the senses of people under the guise of entertainment. He is a schoolyard bully who delights in picking on women, or feminazis as he delights in calling them. He has made it cool for conservative Republicans to talk trash and swagger while doing it. He is an arrogant thug, and in David Horsey's own words, what is wrong with politics in America today.


Of course, your opinions may differ.



Kill the computer

Good evening, Netizens…


My beloved spouse and myself have been discussing the case of the father and daughter who recently tripped their way onto the news headlines when the father shot her laptop full of holes with a pistol. When we first broached this topic of conversation between us, the hubbub surrounding this news story was new, and both father and daughter compounded matters by taking their spat to Facebook, not to mention most of the major news shows.


It made quite a story as the father shot her laptop full of holes on-camera. On a slow news day I am always on the alert for a story that either flabbergasts or otherwise leaves me speechless, and in this instance, I didn't need to go past the lead-in where Proud Daddy introduces members of the Online world to his .45 caliber pistol, just shortly before blasting half a dozen holes in his daughter's laptop. Suddenly it was a news item, albeit one that spoke of how fathers and daughters should never communicate with one another, regardless what the cause.


In this case, this all begins, as every good moment of warfare has a beginning, when the daughter posted something abusive about her father on her Facebook account, something which he felt was wrong. He apparently had tried various other cures for his mouthy daughter's commentaries on Facebook, and nothing seemed to be working. When he felt he had exhausted all possible avenues of communications, he thoughtfully removed the hard disk from her laptop and took the laptop (and a video camera to record its demise for the rest of posterity) out into their back yard whereupon he shot the laptop full of holes.


An awkward silence took over in lieu of their back-and-forth spats on Facebook once the news of the death of her laptop finally hit the news media.


Only today did the two of them meet on national television, and admitted they had patched up their differences. Just before we were about to interrupt this heart-warming moment with another advertisement for soap products, Dad handed his daughter back her hard disk which he had removed from her computer before shooting the computer to death on the Internet.


Perhaps Suzanne, one of my all-time favorite songs, written by Leonard Cohen, states it best when he writes:


Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you've always been her lover
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind.



Whatever was Edwards thinking?

Good morning, Netizens…


Another one bites the dust, for misusing city equipment to obtain the personal information of a woman he met at a Valley bar.


Alan D. Edwards, a former Spokane Police Officer, has been fired by interim Police Chief Scott Stevens subsequent to a complaint filed by a bar tender at the Sullivan Scoreboard Tavern. She had called 911 in the pre-dawn hours of December 16, because of a man at her door, who it turned out to be officer Edwards.


Edwards, who was off duty, contacted an unnamed on-duty officer and said he was investigating a theft and needed the woman’s address. He told the officer, whose name has not been released, he was at a bar when the woman stole his friend’s credit card. But police say Edwards was not investigating a crime – he simply wanted information about the woman for personal purposes.


This tale gets even more bizarre the deeper you peer into it. Ostensibly Edwards had been at the Sullivan Scoreboard Tavern earlier where he encountered the bartender, accosting numerous female patrons and even a female customer in the bathroom. Gee, you have to wonder why Edwards was at her doorway at three in the morning, don't you?


Last week Edwards and interim Chief Stevens and a Guild representative met with Edwards whereupon he was terminated.


Edwards' Letter of termination:


For other comments relating to this story, you should also read:


It is suddenly certain, based upon comments by Chief Scott Stevens, that behavior of this nature will not be tolerated. That is certainly as it should be. Of course, your results may differ.



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