Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Fences Make Good Neighbors, Walls Make Safe Countries

God as my witness I never thought I'd utter these words, "Trump is the logical, sane, adult in the border battle."

I've quit Twitter because of the ridiculous partisan bickering.  The ones who oppose Trump will not listen to any reason or accept any proof for facts (except from sites like Mother Jones, Vice, CNN and MSNBC), and drop to ad hominem attacks if you continue to stand your ground.

There is no "Good Faith Debate" in the US anymore.  The exchange of differing ideas is dead and has been replaced with, "You don't think like me so you're a Nazi."

I'm at the point I'm having to remove friends from Facebook because all I see is REEEEEing about "Trump did this" or "Liar Liar said this."  These are lifelong friends who have become so deranged I can't view my feed to see what everyone is doing without having to wade through their vitriol.

I can bring up the Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986 and the fact we DID NOTHING to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the country afterward.  We "Corrected" a problem, a "One time" event with the promise of border control t follow. (Spoiler alert: border control never came.)  Fact like this (and many, many others) are blown off with "WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN??? REEEEE!!!"

Last night I saw the completely ignorant response of "TRUMP HAS HAD TWO YEARS OF A REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED CONGRESS! HE SHOULD HAVE FUNDED THE WALL IN THOSE TWO YEARS!"  This one is partially correct since he's only had ONE budget to approve since he's been in office. 

Trump was elected in November 2016 and sworn in January 2017.  The budget for fiscal year 2017 was already in place since it was passed in the Autumn of 2016 prior to him taking the oath of office. 

In the autumn of 2017 he was handed a budget where he said, “I say to Congress: I will never sign another bill like this again. I’m not going to do it.”  He said he wouldn't sign another budget like the one for fiscal year 2018 again because Congress gave the border wall funding $1.6 billion.  Keep that in mind, Trump specifically told them he would not sign another budget without the requested funding. 

The left now has the audacity to pretend to be shocked that Trump is sticking to what he said.  Of course, they get away with it due to the ignorance of their side and the weak-willed Republicans who didn't say "To Hell with my 'Career' in politics, I need to do what's right for America."  They also know if they can get Trump to back down, that will be his "Read my lips, no new taxes," moment.  Besides, they don't have skin in the game, they aren't the ones suffering.

How long will it take before you realize YOU ARE BEING USED?

How completely, utterly stupid is the Democrat leadership?  Rather than take this advantage to leverage the President for something they really, really want and give him the border wall, they are forcing the government shutdown.

But the media, and the uninformed, blame Trump.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Amusing Myself - January, 7th Edition

These are the things I do to amuse myself and prevent me from committing homicide.

First up, a drawing I did for Dan Bongino (which he'll probably never find).  I thought it might make a funny shirt for his "Chum Store."

Dan Bongino - Action Figure!


Or, he could let his youngest daughter print this one off and use her daddy as a coloring sheet.


Dan Bongino - The Coloring Book!

Next up, YouTuber Nick Rekieta (aka Nicky Rackets) of Rekieta Law.  I wanted to give him something I enjoyed more than his "Anime Lawyer" look.  It's... OK...


"Eat a hand grenade" is my favorite Nicky Rackets quote of all time.  Suck it Mark Zaid.

Finally... I got some slight amusement from Ya Boi Zack at COMICS MATTER (formerly Diversity and Comics).  In a video review for the comic "Hex Wives" he read and commented this:



I didn't specify Kanji in my translation, but he led to this line of thinking for me.  This is what happens when I get an idea stuck in my head.
 
 
Yeah... I think I need therapy.


Sunday, January 06, 2019

People Who "Love" Nature But Actually Suck

I found an interesting article about nature loving folks taking advantage of free admission or lowered supervision during the government shut down.

First off, what is wrong with you people?  Seriously, were you dropped on your head as a child, to you have some deficiency other than common sense which leaves you unable to think?

What is wrong with you people?

I sincerely hope I make people angry with this.  The point is to SHAME you!

I don't know what ignorant pile of crap the people in this story crawled out of, but this is a shameful example of "Humanity."

First off, trash everywhere is INEXCUSABLE! Period, hard stop.  We are not a third world country.  There is absolutely no excuse for trash to be all over a national park! NONE!  Don't give me any crap about "The Shutdown" because anyone, ANYONE who claims to love nature knows when you leave a location , you leave it like you found it or better than you found it.

Better than you found it means YOU pick up any trash you find OTHERS have left before you arrived.  It's a shame that it is now necessary to remind "Nature Lovers" of this basic rule, but apparently it is now necessary.  I can only imagine the god awful mess our park workers have to clean up daily when they are working.

You people need to hump your own trash OUT OF THE PARK and throw it away when you get HOME!  You brought it in, you can bring it back out to be disposed of properly.

Sadly, our country is filled with people who expect others to clean up after them.  I know this for a fact because I've had people I know ask my children why they picked up a piece of trash from the ground and threw it away.  "Someone gets paid to do that.  You're going to take away his job," was the unironic way they phrased it.

The idea of someone "Losing their job" because we don't throw our crap on the ground is ludicrous.  Knowing people tell their children crap like that honestly enrages me.

One final jab.  I've heard for years now how "Conservatives hate the environment," but then I see disgusting behavior by both sides.  It isn't a "Left vs Right" problem.  It's a "Right vs Wrong" problem.


Saturday, January 05, 2019

Communism Today

I ran across an article titled Rich kid of Communism: Fidel Castro's model grandson flashes his wealth and love of the high life on Instagram as he travels the world and I had questions.

The first question was, whatever happened to "Keep it Brief"?  That title is awful.

The second question was, "Why is this noteworthy?"  Then I remembered, this is 2019 and everyone thinks Socialism is great and Communism is simply misunderstood, or not implemented correctly.

As for the first question, I'll leave that to better minds than mine to address.  The second question is the one I'm much more interested in.

Summarizing the article, Tony Castro, the grandson of Fidel Castro, has been on the receiving end of criticism for "Flaunting" his family's wealth through a series of posts on social media.  (Link to his Instagram which is currently set to private.)

The article shares some photos grabbed from the account.  Photos of Castro taking a holiday in Madrid, Spain, relaxing on a yacht in the ocean, driving around in a BMW, visiting Barcelona, Panama City, etc...

Where did the Castro wealth come from? I'm a Capitalist at heart so an individual's EARNED wealth doesn't bother me, however, wealth earned through years of brutal dictatorship does bother me.  I've watched with dismay the rise of Socialists in America and the public embrace of their beliefs.  Socialism is best described as a stepping stone to Communism and I'd like to take this opportunity to remind readers, Cuba is a Communist state.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.


The idea behind Socialism is to redistribute the wealth of the masses so all are taken care of. (Sound familiar? "Spread the Wealth Around" anyone?)  The high level difference between the two is how the wealth is distributed. 

Socialism is the Utopian idea that everyone works, doing what they can and the fruit of their labor is shared for the benefit of all.  Often, the Pilgrims are cited as an example of Socialism.  I find it odd that a Kibbutz is never listed, but that's a separate story to itself.

Communism is the Utopian idea that everyone works and "Gives" a central authority the fruit of their labor.  The central authority then distributes the wealth to the masses.  This is what we faced in the Cold War and is the economic structure of Cuba.

While Socialism can work, at least in theory on a small level, and while governments around the world implement some Socialistic ideas, large scale Socialism and Communism will fail, and has failed, every time it has been implemented.  (To cut off the arguments about the UK has socialized medicine in the NHS and the US has Medicare and Social Security so Socialism WORKS, read the links included.)

This is where I have to point out, people who argue for Socialism and Communism state it has failed every single time because it wasn't a "True" implementation.  No, I refute that by saying it wasn't the flaws in implementation, it was the flaws in humanity.

Rather than boring you further by vomiting up reference after reference, which the vast majority never read, I'll keep it simple and ask you to think back to school:

Your assignment is to create a presentation for your class.  You are in a team of four and the work is to be divided equally among you.  Additionally, the end grade will be the same for all of you.  Each of you divide up the assigned tasks, and the plan is set.

As the deadline for the presentation draws near, two of the team have already completed their portion, one is struggling with their portion and needs assistance, while the last hasn't done anything but post selfies on Social Media.

The two team members who have completed their portion, pitch in to assist the struggling team member to complete their portion of the project.  The three of them then team up to push the final member to complete their portion.

Now, my question for you is, "How does the presentation end?"  I ask this because this has happened to me when I was in school, it has happened to others I know and it has happened to my children.  I'm curious how did it end for you, Reader?

Sometimes the lazy team member throws their portion together at the last moment dragging everyone else's overall grade down due to their shoddy work.

Sometimes the other team members all band together like they did for the struggling team member and do the work for the lazy member.

Sometimes, the other three are angry enough, that they refuse to do the work for the lazy team member and let the blame fall.  Of course, in this ending, they take the grade hit for their stance.  (Keep in mind the lazy team member did nothing and benefits with a partial grade rather than the deserved "0".)

Socialism, can only work when everyone works.  Yes, some people cannot work due to disability or other factors.  Some will have to work harder than others.  Some people simply will not work because they are lazy and know they will get the same regardless if they work or not.  Some people step up as leaders and take more than their fair share so there is not enough to be distributed.

I worked with a brilliant man as a co-worker for 11 years who escaped from Romania during the height of the cold war.  He was a long time friend of another man who I worked under for most of those 11 years who had also escaped from Romania.  I had the honor of hearing their story of escape from my friend and what life was like under Communist rule.  Their story reinforced my belief in the blessings America has been given and also reinforced that what we learned from the Cold War was true.  I don't believe the youth of today understand that the US didn't need propaganda to paint Communist countries in a poor light, Communism in itself took care of that.  The US only had to share the truth.

The evening of November 9, 1989 I watched on television as, for the first time in my life, people climbed on top of the Berlin Wall and began tearing it down.  All of my life it was an established, indisputable fact that trying to cross from East Berlin to the West would result in being shot on the spot.  The Berlin Wall coming down marked the death of the Cold War.  Little did I realize that with the end of the Cold War, Socialism and Communism would begin spreading their lies with renewed vigor.  I never imagined that within  thirty years, people around the world would have already begun to have forgotten the horrors of what went on behind the Iron Curtain.

Age has made me cynical, but it has also made me realize how naive humans are.  I will always remember the stories of my friends' struggles and I swear to "Never Forget."  I vow to speak out so my children and grandchildren will be safe and secure in their future.

I pray we never move beyond a war of words.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

A Thought Experiment For 2019 - Part One - Honesty

No one thinks they are a "Bad" person.  We all want to believe if we are fasces with a difficult choice we will chose the noble, righteous path.  That we will face evil in all its forms and spit in its eye.

Let's do a though experiment.  Think back to a time when you were faced with a bad decision and, for whatever reason, you made the wrong choice.  It doesn't have to be horrible, evil or anything life altering.  The point is only a wrong choice; one that caused you regret, guilt, perhaps shame.  If you are being really honest, this could be something you've never shared with anyone else.  Perhaps you have something you've shoved into the dark corners of your mind to prevent the pain it caused you.

Do you have one?  If not, think on it.  We all have something at some level.

This decision from your past is yours, and yours alone.  Don't share it with me (it's honestly none of my business).  Don't share it with anyone you don't want to.  This is a thought experiment to see how honest we can be with ourselves.

We need to confront the evil nature of ourselves.  This is going somewhere and I hope you'll join me in this.





The Anti American Dream

Great video. i'd definitely recommend everyone watch or listen to this and think about why we allow speech we don't agree with in the United States.




Silencing opposing views, no matter how abhorrent, is the first step to allowing corruption to take hold.  It allows someone, other than yourself, to decide what has value in your life.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Emo Goofy Part Duex

The random immaturity continues.  I finally finished this after getting the will to draw back.

I have some more stuff coming soon.  I've made some commitments which I'm late on and need to finish start.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Get The Old Almonds Activated

If you keep up with internet drama you may very well be aware Sargon of Akkad was banned from Patreon for saying mean things.  It's somewhat interesting that those mean things were said several months ago on a channel not belonging to Sargon and not on the Patreon platform.

Here is the statement from Patreon.  And if you'd like to view the offending video, here is a link to the full stream so all context can be reviewed.

To be frank, I don't like Sargon and prefer to think of him using Mister Metokur's tag of "Smuckles" (Smug Chuckles).  I find him to be a self-righteous, overconfident jerk who engaged in petty internet drama to get clicks from outraged followers.  I also find his ideals and speech misguided at best and abhorrent at worst.  Personally, my main reason for knowing of him is due to my laughter at the failures of his group of allies.

Regardless of my feelings concerning Sargon, much like Alex Jones, this is another situation where we need to be concerned about overreach.  We're in a time where our society is more concerned about people saying mean things than they are people actually DOING mean things.  The question everyone should be asking is "Who decides the line between free speech and hate speech?"

Was what Sargon did nice?  No.  Was it illegal?  Not in the US.  Was Patreon banning him illegal? No.

Then why bother wasting bandwidth if Patreon was within their rights to do this?  For me, the fact he was banned isn't surprising, chalk it up to "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes," the concern is where does he turn after the ban for income and how does this affect all users going forward?

If you have 6 minutes and 37 seconds to spare, please watch this video.  It asks some interesting questions and makes you wonder how much the different platforms are working together as one.



It is interesting that as some users moved from Patreon to SubscribeStar as a crowdfunding option, PayPal pulled support from SubscribeStar ,essentially killing SubscribeStar as an alternative.  Normally if you are banned from a platform, you find another platform, or medium, to work with.  If the different platforms work together to essentially blacklist a creator, then the free market system fails.

Thankfully YouTube is losing its monopolistic hold on video hosting with alternatives such as BitChute and Stream.me, but it is still the preferred platform for many.  What alternatives are there for payment for creators?  Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin have plans to open an alternative payment platform.  Perhaps it can fill the gap, we'll have to wait and see.

For the current time, the question every person need to ask themselves is, "How long will it take 'The Overton Window' to move until what "I" think, say or write is considered 'Hate'?"

Saturday, December 29, 2018

When Disney Fails You

This guy gets it.  Before we go any further, take 15 minutes and watch this video.


You back? Good. 
The channel is called Star Wars Theory and the guy running the channel has a deep respect and love for the franchise.  I know the film isn't perfect and there are some things I would change, BUT he gets it.  He understands what makes a Star Wars film, Star Wars.  Conflict, tragedy, adventure, but above all else, HOPE.

He got Disney's blessing to make the film and he isn't allowed to monetize it per their rules on fan films.  I have to give him amazing respect because this film looks, sounds and feels like a real Star Wars film (Looking at you Ruin Johnson).  Even though he can't make money off of it, he got Danny Ramirez to direct a great fan film THAT WASN'T SHOT IN A FRIGGING FOREST LIKE EVERY OTHER FAN FILM!  May God smile on you for that alone.

I'm anxiously awaiting the next episode in this series.  Go give him a subscribe and help him reach his goal for the next episode.





The Death Of Logic And Critical Thinking In The Twenty First Century


While sipping my coffee this morning I ran across a Wall Street Journal article written by Terry Teachout entitled, "What’s Wrong With ‘Green Book’?"  I'm a bit dismayed reading through it.

For those of you who missed this movie,  "Green Book" is the story of the meeting, and eventual friendship between Dr. Don Shirley and Tony “Lip” Vallelonga.  Dr. Shirley was a musician who, in the movie, is embarking on a tour of the American deep South.  For the tour, Dr. Shirley hires Tony "Lip" Vallelonga as his driver.  During the course of the movie, we see their travels on this tour and the beginning of a friendship between the two.


I found a few interesting points in the article, one of which was complaints from the Shirley family that the "Green Book,"

"...not only exaggerates the closeness of his relationship with Vallelonga, but falsely portrays him as having been estranged from his family."

I can understand this and appreciate the criticism.  The movie is tagged as, “Inspired by a true story,” which can make stories gray as far as what is, and is not, factual; a general rule is, no family likes to be painted in a bad light so I get where their frustration comes from.

The frustration for me lies in the criticism turning to the lack of focus on Dr. Shirley in the movie.  From the article (emphasis mine):

"To make matters worse, “Green Book” is a “white savior” film in which Vallelonga is presented as the hero of the piece, with Shirley being seen almost entirely through his eyes. Again, this may be more of a problem for younger, self-consciously “woke” viewers, but it’s absolutely true that “Green Book” doesn’t tell us nearly enough about Shirley, an all-but-forgotten artist who should be far better remembered."

Once again, I can appreciate the criticism for the lack of focus on Dr. Shirley in the movie, but my disagreement is in this being a "White Savior" movie.  How, exactly, did Mr. Vallelonga "Save" Dr. Shirley in the movie?  The movie is as much a journey for Mr. Vallelonga as it is for Dr. Shirley.

In Mr. Vallelonga we have a man who is is following along with the generally racist views of his time.  He's not a caricature of racism, he doesn't participate in Klan rallies, he doesn't burn down black churches, he isn't a closet Nazi; he is an average man of his time.  His actions early in the movie show a distaste for black people.  While he isn't violent to them, it was obvious, from my viewpoint, he thought himself better than them.
Mr. Vallelonga is flawed.

Mr. Vallelonga winds up as Dr. Shirley's driver for his tour and we, the audience, get a glimpse of how Mr. Vallelonga's viewpoint changes when he is faced with a man who is more cultured, better educated, far more eloquent and amazingly talented.  We get a glimpse of what can be, when two people let their guard down, recognize the humanity in each other, and treat each other as human beings.

While the movie could have focused on Dr. Shirley, and could be an excellent movie in its own right, it would be a different movie.  From my view, Dr. Shirley had his own demons to overcome, and while this movie doesn't glance away or sugar coat them, it does the same for Mr. Vallelonga.


Spoiler alert, Mr. Vallelonga grows as a human.  In fairness, Dr. Shirley also grows, BUT the point is, Mr. Vallelonga had much further to grow.  Dr. Shirley's motivation for the tour was presented as an opportunity to advance the cause of black people.  The fact he eventually befriends Mr. Vallelonga is a testament to his success.

From my perspective, the choice to focus on Mr. Vallelonga, and him eventually overcoming his flaws, was an interesting story.  It also gives us an opportunity to see how we can grow as humans, and move beyond needing to categorize and separate everyone.

We are all one race, the human race. 


The reason for me writing this post is my frustration that a story of a man overcoming his prejudices, finding a friend and becoming a better man, is treated as a "White Savior" movie.  I view this as evidence of the inability for modern audiences to understand "Character Development" and growth.  People are flawed. (Yes, you are as well, Reader; so am I.  We ALL are.)  What makes us human, what makes us grow as humans, are the choices we make to better ourselves in spite of our flaws.  My view is, audiences not understanding character growth, is evidence of the slow death of logic and critical thinking.

If you must have a Mary Sue as your protagonist; flawless, intelligent, handsome/beautiful, perfect in every way down to never having bad breath or needing to use the bathroom, (I'm looking at you, Julie Andrews, you magnificent, wonderful woman), then the "Green Book" is not for you.

If you want a movie where the characters have flaws, but are generally good people, have weaknesses, but work to overcome them and, in the end, still aren't perfect, but are a little better because of the journey, then the "Green Book" is the movie for you.


In short, my family and I love this movie.

Link to the Wall Street Journal article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/whats-wrong-with-green-book-11545949461