Friday, March 30, 2012

"...And Speaking Of Irony...How About Prominent Black Leaders Essentially Involved In Lynching?..."

Nothing new under the sun.

Put less graciously...

...same shit, different day.

One of the more paradoxical traits manifested by those who would zealously regard themselves as compassionate and loving human beings is the ease with which said beings can so quickly, and often tragically, give themselves over to the "mob mentality."

A glitch in the synaptic processing or an inherent and unavoidable flaw in the primary human hard wiring?

That's a diagnosis best left to physicians and/or sociologists.

As the media and the masses blather on ad nauseum about how Trayvon Martin died, there is, at the core, one indisputable fact.

Only three people know what really happened.

George Zimmerman.

Trayvon Martin.


Everyone else is speculating.


And while subscribing to a "group mentality", engaging in spirited water cooler chit chat might make for an entertaining, and relatively harmless, intellectual exercise, crossing over the line into a "mob mentality" can ultimately, and inevitably, do nothing more than make a bad situation worse.

Any reasonable person knows that without having to be told.

But even normally reasonable people seem unable to resist signing up for mob detail.

Jesse Jackson. Al Sharpton. Spike Lee.

Et al.

And as if the mentality itself weren't enough to process, we can't overlook that it comes with a side order of irony.

A noted film maker "joins the mob" and Tweets an address that drives an innocent couple from their home.

And a noted film documents exactly the kind of emotional knee jerking that too often results in tragedy.

A movie made almost seventy years ago.

From a novel written over seventy years ago.

The Ox Bow Incident.

Same cow shit....different day....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"...This Just In....Satan Learns There's Always A Faster Gun...."

Devoted Christians will tell you that this time of year, ironically, tends to be a little rough.

The irony stemming from the premise that as we draw closer to Easter Sunday and all that it represents, Satan ramps up the vitriol and venom in an attempt to distract the believers from their commemoration and celebration.

I claim no theological expertise.

That said, I'm not convinced Satan is involved here.

A snowplow driver and his wife went to great lengths to dispose of the body of a popular teacher they had just beaten and strangled, putting her nude body on a tarp, pouring bleach on it, weighing the corpse down with concrete blocks and tossing it into the Connecticut River, court documents allege.

Allen Prue, 30, and his wife, 33-year-old Patricia Prue, were riding around when he got the idea “to get a girl,” a police affidavit said. They are accused of luring single mother Melissa Jenkins from her home by pretending their vehicle had broken down. Her vehicle was found idling Sunday with her unharmed 2-year-old son inside. The child apparently witnessed at least part of the attack.

The couple pleaded not guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder in the death of Jenkins, a 33-year-old science teacher at the prestigious St. Johnsbury Academy, and unauthorized burial or removal of a dead body. More charges are possible, police said.

People in the close-knit communities of northeastern Vermont had been speculating about the crime and who was responsible.

“But they didn’t expect the gruesome” details, said a tearful Marion Beattie Cairns, the owner of The Creamery Restaurant, where Jenkins had worked part-time as a waitress and people had gathered since her disappearance to console each other.

Vermont State Police Maj. Ed Ledo said he hoped the arrests would bring closure for Jenkins’ family and friends.

“We can now turn our full attention to healing from this tragic loss, celebrating Melissa’s life and mourning her death,” said Joe Healy, a spokesman for St. Johnsbury Academy, which will hold a memorial service for her on Friday. The school counts President Calvin Coolidge among its alumni.

Police said the Prues hadn’t planned a use of force. But they gave few details on a possible motive in Jenkins’ death. The Prues were ordered held without bail.

“They knew Miss Jenkins and had snowplowed her driveway a couple of years ago,” Vermont State Police Maj. Ed Ledo said at a news conference announcing the arrests.

A friend told police that Allen Prue had asked Jenkins out a couple of times and that she felt uncomfortable around him, according to the documents. She stopped having him plow, and in autumn 2011 he showed up drunk at her home asking if he could plow her driveway the following year.

After the court appearance, Allen Prue’s mother, Donna Prue, said that her son has never been in trouble with the law before and that she has faith he didn’t commit the crime.

“I do not believe he would ever do this, because he didn’t have it in him. I have nothing against her (Patricia); I don’t have nothing bad to say about either one,” said Donna Prue, who lives with the couple and her daughter. She said she did not know Jenkins.

Police were called Sunday night after Jenkins’ son was found alone in her vehicle. Court documents said the boy tried to tell police what happened to his mother by grabbing the back of his neck and saying “mommy cried.”

Her former boyfriend told police she called him saying that she had gotten a weird call from a couple who used to plow her driveway and that she was going to help them. She wanted someone to know what she was doing, the documents say.

When he couldn’t reach her two hours later, he went to check on her. He told police he found her vehicle, with her son sleeping in it, and one of her shoes nearby.

Allen Prue later told police that Patricia Prue had called Jenkins and said they were broken down hear her home, documents said.

The police affidavit said:

When Jenkins got out of her vehicle, Allen Prue grabbed her and strangled her. He then put the body in the backseat of their car, and they drove to their home. At some point, Patricia Prue choked Jenkins in the car “to ensure she wasn’t breathing.”

Back at their home, he put Jenkins’ body on a tarp, removed her clothes and poured bleach on her body. The Prues also removed their clothes and put them on the tarp.

They then drove to a boat access at the Connecticut River, which separates Vermont from New Hampshire, and put Jenkins’ body in the water, weighing it down with cinder blocks and concealing it with brush.

The devil, imagined or incarnate, is certainly deserving of whatever condemnation comes his, or her, way for all the malice manufactured in the cause of leading us astray.

But when it comes to two sub-humans like the Prues, I think pitchfork boy is getting credit he doesn't deserve.

Because I think it possible that even Satan would be appalled at what happened to Melissa Jenkins and her son.

And might agree with the idea that there are, simply, creatures that exist in nature that don't deserve the gift of life.

Two such creatures come immediately to mind.

Monday, March 26, 2012

"...The Reality Of It Is That Reality Really Isn't It...."

Finances ain't my strong suit.

Grammar, from time to time, likewise.

To a paycheck to paycheck guy like me, a portfolio is something you pick up at Wal Mart in September along with the three ring binders, glue sticks and assorted other back to school paraphenalia.

So I would neither flatter myself nor insult your intelligence by wasting time and typing offering any thing resembling conjecture on what will or will not happen with the economy, national or global, in the coming days, weeks or months.

I realize that it's considered trendy to follow trends, stock prices, gas prices, commodities prices, gold prices and/or futures prices-wise.

I'm just not the trendy type.

At least when it comes to dollars and cents.

Dispensed disclaimers notwithstanding, I do, however, recognize a certain gift, even flair if you will, for reading the signs of a different kind of commodity.

Here's some proof fresh from the pudding.

A survey running, at this moment, on Yahoo dot com, asks...

"Have you grown tired of reality TV shows?"

Out of 675,000 votes cast, at this writing, the results are:



Again, I claim no expertise when it comes to financial prognostication.

On the other hand, given the empirical data from the Yahoo survey, I am rock solid confident in my interpretation of the obvious trend.

Clearly, the level of intelligence of the American television viewing audience is beginning a long and much hoped for recovery.

That's one portfolio that has been near empty far too long.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"...The Punishment Can't Fit The Crime If He Doesn't Even Have To Try It On In the First Place...."

Stand by for blasphemy.

Primarily if you are a fervent and/or fanatical NFL fan.

Suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton will have a lot of free time in the upcoming season -- he's out of the game for the entire 2012 campaign, and he's $5.8 million lighter in the pocket after Roger Goodell told him that he was not needed this year as a result of BountyGate. Fox Sports would like to fill Payton's Sundays by making an analyst for the network's NFL broadcasts.

"Our feeling about Sean is that he's bright, articulate and obviously contemporary," said Lou D'Ermilio, FOX's senior vice president for communications in a statement. "Any network with NFL rights would have to consider it."

While the league can prevent Payton from finding gainful employment in a coaching or administrative position until his one-year suspension is done, there's no mandate to keep him out of the booth.

"He is suspended from the NFL for the season," the league said in a statement to The New York Times. "His involvement in any non-NFL employment or business matters is not our decision." []

My initial reaction to this story can be summed up in two words.

Pissed off.

Actually, one word if you accept pissed as the shortened version of pissed off and don't automatically read it as the British expression for drunk.

But I digress.

As a parent, stepparent, grandparent, et al, I am, like many of you, most blatantly aware of how difficult it is, in an increasingly permissive society, to teach children lessons, moral and/or otherwise, that have any lasting impact.

And, forgive me all my dedicated English grammar teachers of decades past, but teaching kids to do the right thing ain't made any easier when tree stumps like Fox Sports pull shit like this.

Put more succinctly...what is the point of punishing someone for a transgression of the punishment's effect is neutralized?

Put more basically, if Sean Payton committed a transgression and his punishment was to be denied Hershey Bars for a year, said punishment would be pointless if he were allowed to chow down on Reese's Cups instead.

And, get ready fervent NFL'ers, here comes the blasphemy.

Isn't the whole, foundational point of competitive sports to teach our children the critical life lessons of sportsmanship, fair play, honesty, accountability.....

....okay, who are we kidding?

Competitive professional sports hasn't been about any of those qualities for a long, long time.

If it was, Fox Sports would have endorsed those qualities....

...rather than middle finger them by offering Payton a gig for the suspension year.

And, get ready NFL fervents, for one more jab.

If Sean Payton has any class at all, he'll turn it down.

And show future generations of football players that when you break a rule, there's a price you have to pay.

And scarfing down the chocolate your neighbor sneaks to you because mom and dad have cut you off doesn't even come close to paying that price.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"...Law and Order, Cause and Effect...Six of One..."

Time for another "Increase Your Word Power".

Noun: 1.The state of feeling remorseful and penitent.

Chicago (CNN) -- Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is scheduled to arrive at a Colorado federal prison Thursday to begin serving a 14-year sentence on a corruption conviction.

"This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do," he told a crowd of sign-wielding supporters outside his Chicago home Wednesday. "But this is the law and we follow the law."

Noun:The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

"But this is the law and we follow the law".

phrase:what is coming to them; what "they" deserve

She ran over my cat, but got her just desserts when she was hit by a bus.


Friday, March 9, 2012

"...Still Giving It Six Months, Max...But, Props Where Props Are Proper..."

Despite whatever shots I've taken at Snooki since first we learned there was such a thing as Snooki (and, Lord knows, I've taken more than my share of the aforementioned shots), the girl deserves credit, at the very least, for one thing.

It requires a remarkable amount of self confidence/esteem to marry a man whose eyebrows are prettier than your own.

You go, girl.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"...Leader of The Pack, Lord Of The Flies....Potato, Patahto..."

Two sad things here.

One significantly sadder than the other.

More on that in a moment.

(CNN) – A second radio station said it was dropping Rush Limbaugh's radio program Tuesday, calling the conservative host's incendiary comments last week about a law student "unacceptable."

Pittsfield, Massachusetts radio station 1420 AM WBEC, one of hundreds of stations nationwide that carry "The Rush Limbaugh Show," dropped the program from its lineup, according to station general manager Peter Barry. He said the decision was made Monday, and was based upon comments Limbaugh made last week regarding Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, "which we found unacceptable."

Outcry over Limbaugh's comments began last week after he suggested Fluke was a "slut" and a "prostitute" for advocating broad health care coverage for contraception at a hearing on Capitol Hill

Limbaugh made the original comments Wednesday, in which he also suggested Fluke wanted taxpayers to pay for her to have sex.

On Monday, KPUA, a radio station in Hilo, Hawaii announced it would no longer carry the radio program, effective immediately.

"We are strong believers in the first amendment and have recognized Mr. Limbaugh's right to express opinions that often times differ from our own, but it has never been our goal to allow our station to be used for personal attacks and intolerance. The most recent incident has crossed a line of decency and a standard that we expect of programming on KPUA," Chris Leonard, President and General Manager of New West Broadcasting said in a statement.

The stations' decisions come as advertisers continue to drop their support of Limbaugh's program.

On Monday, AOL joined 11 other companies announcing they were removing ads from "The Rush Limbaugh Show," which is the most listened to talk radio show in the United States.

"At AOL one of our core values is that we act with integrity," the company wrote in a post on their corporate Facebook page. "We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh's comments are not in line with our values. As a result we have made the decision to suspend advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Radio show."

Other sponsors dropping spots from Limbaugh's show include mattress companies like Sleep Number and The Sleep Train, and companies that assist small businesses like Citrix, LegalZoom and QuickenLoans.

One company, Carbonite, a data backup service, said feedback from customers led to the decision to remove advertising from Limbaugh's show. The company's CEO said Limbaugh's apology Saturday wasn't enough to put his company's ads back on the air.

"No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady," Carbonite CEO David Friend said. "Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse."

In Limbaugh's apology Saturday, he admitted his "choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir."

He added, "I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

Appearing on the ABC program "The View" Monday, Fluke said Limbaugh's apology was issued under pressure from advertisers.

"I don't think that a statement like this, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything," Fluke said. "And especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support from the show."

It was not clear Monday whether other companies who suspended their advertising before Limbaugh's apology would reinstate their support following the host's apology. Calls to Sleep Number, The Sleep Train and Legal Zoom were not immediately returned.

ProFlowers, an online flower delivery service, said in a Facebook posting Sunday Limbaugh's comments were at odds with their corporate image.

"At ProFlowers, our mission is to delight our customers with fresh and long lasting flowers, and that is our singular focus each and every day," the statement read.

It continued, "Mr. Limbaugh's recent comments went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company. As such, ProFlowers has suspended advertising on The Rush Limbaugh radio program."

On Monday, Pentagon press secretary George Little said the Defense Department had no plans to stop broadcasting Rush Limbaugh's show to service members on the American Forces Network. Limbaugh's show is part of the Defense Department's policy to broadcast shows that "reflect a wide range" of opinion, Little said.

Little said he had "not heard" of any review of whether Limbaugh's show remains suitable for broadcast after the controversy surrounding Limbaugh. Little also said he could not immediately say what the standards are for whether certain broadcasts are considered suitable by the Defense Department., a veterans advocacy organization, released a statement from female service members calling on Defense Department to stop airing "The Rush Limbaugh Show" on the American Forces Network.

"Rush Limbaugh has a freedom of speech and can say what he wants, but in light of his horribly misogynistic comments, American Forces Radio should no longer give him a platform," the statement said. "Our entire military depends on troops respecting each other – women and men. There simply can be no place on military airwaves for sentiments that would undermine that respect."

On his radio show Monday, Limbaugh addressed the advertisers who dropped their spots from his program, telling his audience, "I'm sorry to see them go. They have profited handsomely from you. These advertisers who have split the scene have done very well from their access to you, my audience on this program."

He added, "That's a business decision and it's theirs alone to make. They've decided they don't want you or your business anymore."

First sad thing.

Any foolish belief that Limblow's "apology" was sincere gets dashed on the rocks of hope with that last quote, the not even thinly veiled "I talked out of my ass, but the advertisers leaving my show is really about them not liking you anymore...".

The second, and even sadder, sad thing.

There is now, always has been and always will be no such thing as bad publicity.

Rush Limbaugh didn't become the number one radio talk show host in America without an awful lot of people who respect, believe in and zealously follow a guy who talks out of his ass.

He's not going anywhere, kids.

How sad is that?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"...Rush...From The Latin, "Blowhole".......

A valid point, especially when offered up in the swirl of social commentary can often be a complex amalgam of nuance sketched on a palette tinted with a thousand shades of gray.

Every now and again, though, usually when soaked in common sense, a valid point is as obvious and irrefutable as a rock hitting one smack in the forehead.

To wit...

Rush Limbaugh is a moron.

And anyone who takes seriously anything that Rush Limbaugh has to say from this point forward is, also, a moron.

Sorry about that rock thing.

A little ice will help.