OH Shut the hell up!

I wake up, get coffee, wake up the computer, sit down…

The very first thing I see as I’m firing up my browser to check which bills need to be paid is an AP headline article. 

Trump family dinner raises issues on press access

You have got to be freaking kidding me!

Other articles report it like, Trump leaves his Dark Tower.

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Really? So you’re using a literary allusion implying that President Elect Trump is Sauron from the Tolkien classics.  Oh For pete’s sake.

The man hasn’t taken his oath of office, he’s the President Elect, not the President yet. 

And let’s face it Journalists, you haven’t done anything to endear yourselves to the President Elect. Is it really all that surprising that he’d like to have a dinner with his family away from your scrutiny?

After all how many poison pens have you emptied on how many thousands of reams of paper trying to tear the man and his family down.

God knows, I wouldn’t want to have my food turn to ash on my tongue (obscure literary allusion) because some reporter saw me not using a salad fork.

I can see that headline.

Can wwducat be trusted at state dinners, he doesn’t know which fork to use!

 Look Journalists…

You’ve betrayed the public trust. You’ve been caught time and again displaying incredible bias over the past eight years. That is your responsibility, you have no-one to blame but yourselves. So it’s time for you to own it.

Decide if you want to continue to be yellow journalists or if you want to move back toward being the folks the nation looks to for truth.

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I’m sorry, but it’s going to take consistent unbiased fact checking, for years, to regain the people’s trust. The mistakes and excesses of  the past will be visited upon newly minted journalists, today and well into the future.

Stop looking for the fluff pieces. WHO the hell cares if Trump goes to dinner with his family away from prying eyes? Why does that matter?

If you must report on the President Elect; report on his cabinet postings, his advisors, his plans for uniting the country, improving the economy, and all the other major issues we face.

You might begin by being polite and checking your privilege. It probably wouldn’t hurt if you quit your whinging about being shunned as well. 

We don’t need moment by moment coverage of the President Elect’s flatulence.

We need you to understand that the duty of your profession is to provide information.

That information, should consist of simply the facts of a situation with as little personal opinion or bias as possible.

You’re rather tough job is to report what you see and what you’ve discovered via investigation, not hearsay. Then you must leave it to the people to decide what they want to do with the information. It’s a tough job, and often thankless, but it’s a vital job to ensure the freedoms we enjoy in this country.

Recently, you’ve gone wrong; a bit off the rails… Fortunately, Americans are generally forgiving and it’s not too late to regain the respect that you one enjoyed.

If you want to express your opinions write Op-Ed pieces. Otherwise keep your opinions to yourselves and report the facts.

Just my opinion…

Justice? Ferguson, I don’t that that word means what YOU think it means.

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By now we’ve all heard that Ferguson is essentially in a panic, (or so the main stream media would have us believe) and that regardless of the Grand Jury’s decision there is going to be rioting, looting, demonstrations, and all sorts of mayhem. I strongly suspect that Wilson will be indicted, not because of the evidence but out of fear of the looters and damage that will be done to the community if the Grand Jury doesn’t indict him.

I feel sorry for officer Wilson, his life will never be the same, his life was forever altered the moment he encountered Michael Brown. When officer Wilson fired his weapon even, without the controversy Wilson himself was irrevocably changed. 

Ferguson Exm2

I’ve personally witnessed the grief, guilt, and depression that follows an officer involved shooting. What no-one sees is the officer’s torment and second guessing themselves. “Did I do the right thing? Was there an alternative? Why did I have to be on duty then?” If the suspect dies, there’s this; “My God, I just killed another human being.”

I’ve held a cop in my arms while he cried. I watched a kangaroo court of “Justice” destroy him and his wife.

Even after the inquest determined that the shooting was justified and in defense of he and his partner, his career was destroyed… sacrificed on the altar of Politically Correct bullshit, in the wake of the Rodney King riots.

Truth

My friend was never right again, his relationship with his wife was almost destroyed, certainly it was permanently altered. That’s what’s not covered by the media.

When he moved to a new city, he became a heavy equipment operator trying to pick up the pieces of his life I realized for the first time; Lady Justice is lying on the court house steps beaten, bloody, and raped

There is no law or justice, when the whims of public opinion rule the day. 


I may write more after we hear the decision.

I’m surprised that the Grand Jury didn’t indict officer Wilson

 

People are so weird.

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Big news yesterday was that a bear wandered down from a mountain to the East, walked along my fence line and then through a neighbors garden then up the mountain to the South of the house.

Nothing at all unusual about that, well not to me at any rate.

I live in a canyon on a mountain. The peak to the south of me tops 8000 ft (maybe higher, I don’t  feel like digging out the topo maps for an exact altitude.) I live at 6250 FT above sea level.

In this area we have bears, coyotes, bobcats, and the occasional cougar (mountain lion). We also have rabbits, raccoons, deer, bats, owls, and hawks. Not to mention a variety of snakes, poisonous and non poisonous.

Part of the reason I like living here is that there are birds in the trees, and wildlife is pretty abundant.

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I get a kick out of the way people down below get their panties in a bunch when they see a critter.

On the one hand they’ll oooh and ahhh and protest about the destruction of the Brazilian habitat and yet they’ll freak out when they encounter a Coyote on a trail near their tract homes.

God forbid a Bear should walk through a neighborhood…  Mountain Lions? You’d think that a T-Rex had been found alive.

(Down Below… That’s how we refer to the areas which are not Mountain towns. Yes it sounds effete and I guess it is, so what? Even my Orange County friends live on the top of a mountain, Yes, we do look down on some areas.)

I understand that these people are so disconnected from nature that the only way they ever interact with wildlife is via the Discover Channel, Green Peace, or a nice safe zoo.

Their support of environmental causes doesn’t do anything to minimize their blatant hypocrisy. There are times when I want to slap them and point out that protecting the environment starts at home.

Maybe people should tear down some of their 15FT high concrete walls around their homes. How about creating easements so that critters could once again migrate to better hunting grounds and sources of water easily?

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Oh I see, that’s too scary… You’d have to be responsible and keep an eye on your kids & pets.

I get it, it’s the same mentality that says “put criminals in prison, but don’t build the prison near me.” Or “I want cheap clean electricity but it can’t be nuclear and solar panels are so ugly… Thank goodness my homeowner association won’t let those in our development.”

I got to thinking about these things because a neighbor has family visiting. The family is from one of the most artificial warrens of humanity I’ve ever seen… New York City.

The Grandmother was so freaked out by the fact that a bear had been sighted she’d been keeping the children inside for fear that the bear would carry them off and devour them.

She kept asking why no-one was concerned and why didn’t we contact animal control or the police? (I heard it all through the open windows, sound carries here in the canyon.)

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She just assumed that the locals (us) didn’t have a plan.

Obviously we were ignorant savages because we weren’t freaking out about it. (Hummm now that sounds familiar… in what other context are people presumed to be too unintelligent to handle their own affairs?)

We do have a plan. When we see a bear we contact those people we know have kids first. Then folks with small pets. We inform each other that a bear or other critter is in the neighborhood and to take appropriate action.

Often this results in families gathered on their decks well above ground watching the critter pass harmlessly by. It’s a great show and we feel privileged to have been able to watch.

Then when the critter has gone, the kids, and dogs go back outside to play and life returns to normal.

We’re prepared, we keep our garbage in special containers and we don’t leave edible things outside to attract critters. We also know that most critters aren’t at all interested in us.

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Coyotes & Hawks keep the rabbits, mice, and other rodents in check.

We don’t as a rule have to worry about gophers, squirrels, or rabbits, getting out of control in our gardens.

Sure, we might have to replant a few plants one morning but the telltale blood on the ground tells us that the rodent met it’s end.

Replanting a few plants is a small price to pay for not having to poison the environment.

Notice I said, “out of control”… I lose a few raspberries, blackberries, and apples each year to rodents and birds. I’m content to share, they have to eat too.

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FYI there is nothing like watching a Hawk snatch a critter off the ground and fly off. It’s amazing. Yeah, I feel sorry for the critter but it’s not going to suffer.

I do my part, I accept losses in my garden so that I can witness hawks and snakes doing what comes naturally.

Watching coyotes hunt in the evening or the early morning is a study in teamwork. It’s very interesting to watch and surprisingly often, the prey slips between the coyotes paws and the pack goes hungry.

I enjoy the acrobatic flight of bats snagging insects out of the air.

When I get to watch a bear wander around. The light on their fur makes them look shiny. The last bear I saw had dark black fur but the sunlight playing across its shoulders hinted at a reddish undertone.

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You think about bears and cougars as being somewhat monochromatic but they’re not. They have variations and each one is unique, just like people.

You can’t really appreciate that unless you get to watch them in their natural habitat.

All of these things are worth the minimal risks. The kids learn a lot more practical lessons and hopefully appreciate nature a little more than the denizens of glass and concrete.

My neighbors were trying to explain all of this to Grandma, but she was having none of it.

This was wild and uncontrolled (therefore dangerous) and we have to protect the children! I knew for sure that Grandma was from a big city when she said that.

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Protecting children is obvious, for the most part instinctive, and even those like myself without children will go out of our way to protect them.

(“Protect the children” as a phrase has lost all meaning as it has been overused to forward an agenda. I personally believe that agenda will in fact increase the danger that children face. I’m a believer in knowledge and experience being far better protectors of children than fear and insulation from the world. That’s another completely different story, for another time.)

I couldn’t help but think about the noise that kids make. They’re loud and active and every animal on the planet knows that where there are young… Mama’s not too far away.

Nothing is more dangerous than a mother protecting her young. So between the noise and the mama rule… Critters are going to give the area a wide berth.

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I thought I could have some fun by pointing out the wide variety of poisonous snakes and insects that no doubt existed where the kids had been playing. And that the kids were far more likely to break bones or come to other harm by running around barefoot in the yard.

Thus far I’ve refrained.

No sense in terrorizing Grandma, she’d just make it harder on the kids.

My neighbor pointed out to the Grandmother that I tended to keep an eye on the kids too.

I’m sure that raised eyebrows because so many people nowadays automatically assume the worst. At least it gave her something else to fixate on.

I notice the kids are outside running around enjoying themselves again.

 

Time for journalistic responsibility.

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I couldn’t resist the Reagan poster. But you have to admit if anyone aside from James Brady could speak to the subject it’s Reagan. 

CBSNews Is reporting the New York paper responsible for publishing a map showing the addresses of registered gun owners in two NY counties has added to their grandstanding by hiring armed security guards to protect one of their offices.

The so called “journalists” are kinda missing the point.

I love the irony in that they’ve turned to armed security to protect them.

Registered gun owners are law abiding citizens which by default means that these people aren’t likely to go to the newspaper to exact revenge.

Law abiding citizens are going to choose weapons of mass destruction…. LAWYERS!

The Lawyers will be far more devastating to the newspaper than anyone with a gun.

If I were one of the people affected I’d be seriously pissed off. Not because now the world knows I have guns, but because of the invasion of privacy for no good purpose other than headlines.

Essentially this newspaper has stigmatized the gun owners of these counties. What they’ve done is tried to equate gun owners to sex offenders. “Who are the gun owners in your neighborhood?”, Who are the sex offenders in your neighborhood?”

I’m sure that the editors of the newspaper have gotten some really negative mail and deservedly so.

The gun owners affected have committed no crime, they’ve done absolutely nothing that should have resulted in the forfeiture of their privacy and yet… They’ve lost their privacy. Their homes may be targeted for potential break-ins by criminals who would like to steal guns and resell them to other criminals.

Now the newspaper is trying to look like the victim, and spin the story that they’re scared of the gun owners. 

I have a few things to say to that;

1 Buck up. You published the piece, you must have thought about the invasion of privacy you were enabling and if you didn’t well you’re not very good journalists. You need to accept the consequences and responsibility for your actions.

2 You have nothing to fear from the registered gun owners. You need to fear their attorneys.

3 In the years to come you need to fear the criminal element that breaks into these houses and manages to steal the weapons. They’re the people that are going to mug you, rape you, and shoot you. The blood of innocent victims, and the blood of the home owners occupying these houses will be on your hands.

In my opinion, a single injury or god forbid a death caused because a criminal targeted these homes should result in prosecution of the journalists involved in the story.

I’m for freedom of the press, but with that freedom also comes responsibility. 

There’s a quote from one of the Star Trek movies. “Just because we can do a thing, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we should do a thing.”

Yes, it wasn’t said by a statesman, or a scientist, or a politician. But it’s nonetheless a wonderful cautionary statement.

I suspect that the movie quote is based on something Robert Oppenheimer said;

When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb. – J. Robert Oppenheimer”

The point is, sometimes it’s important to take a step back to look beyond your ability to act and decide if the ends are really justified. 

How many wars, how much harm would have been avoided if people had simply considered the ramifications of their actions?

Over-React Much???

In an article this morning in the Christian Science Monitor the pundits and wags are already talking about the probability of increased security at theaters.

Uhhh It was ONE fucked up dude…

Statistically speaking ONE does not represent a trend.

While tragic, the Aurora theater shooting was an incident carried out by exactly 1 crazy person. 

This is not a wake up call to increase the level of fear in our country. Unfortunately that is exactly what the media is doing. 

I already don’t go to the movies very often.

Here’s why

1) the expense,

2) the crowds

3) the idiots texting throughout the whole fucking movie

4) the idiots talking throughout the whole movie

5) most of the movies SUCK!

But if you add metal detectors, and prohibitions on what can and cannot be carried into the theater, For example a shopping bag from another store in the mall then a lot of folks are just not going to bother. Really? I’ll have to carry my $200 of jeans out to my car then come back to the movie theater? Nahhh I’m going to get in my car and go home.

I’ll simply wait until the movie in question is available on pay per view or DVD/BlueRay. Lets face it, the time from theater to DVD has gotten ridiculously short.

So I personally have no problem waiting until I can rent a movie for 5 bucks and then every one in the whole house can watch it. I save 13 bucks, can make my own popcorn, have a beer and press pause when I have to take a leak. I like my surround sound system better than the theaters most of the time anyway and I don’t have to wear earplugs because the soundtrack is too loud. Everything is under my control and honestly, I like it better that way anyway.

Of greater concern to me is how we as a people react to these situations.

I agree with metal detectors at airports. The metal detectors at airports were not a result of terrorism… They came about as a reaction to NOT ONE… But Several aircraft Hijackings to Cuba. The metal detectors weren’t about making people FEEL safe… they’re about actually doing something to BE SAFER. 

Today we have to take our shoes off at the airport because ONE stupid moron tried… AND FAILED to light explosives in his shoes.

We are patted down and / or XRAYED, Microwaved, or otherwise imaged to determine if we’re carrying weapons or bombs on airplanes because a couple of morons tried to set off explosives in their underwear. We can’t carry liquids on planes because of the threat that someone might make a bomb out of two liquids.

As any 1st year chemistry student knows, there are elements that are inert until they are mixed with plain simple water. There are a variety of chemicals and elements that in even small quantities can make big booms, or poison gases. These chemicals could be carried on planes in a variety of ways.

The only way to be truly safe on an airplane is to not permit luggage, or carry-on bags of any type. And every single passenger and crew member on the plane would have to be naked. In addition,  there could be no in flight services, no moving about the cabin, no bathrooms, and every passenger would have to be locked into their seat for the duration of the flight.

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Even then, you’re only mostly safe… the plane could be sabotaged, or there could be an act of God that causes the plane to fall out of the sky.

In the wake of the theater shooting, New calls for gun control, restriction of ammunition, and greater security in theaters, are being heard from around the country.

Nidal Hasan

When does it stop? Where do you draw the line?

One could argue that James Holmes and Maj. Nidal Hasan were both involved in the study of brains… By the knee jerk logic of the talking heads… ALL psychology and neuroscience study should be halted because it makes gun toting crazies who shoot into crowds of people.

Are we to have TSA style security in all public places?

Should going to the local shopping mall require a pat down? How about the grocery store?

Will we be required to take our shopping bags out to our cars as we complete each purchase?

Done at Macys, out to the car, back through security Second X-ray of the day, done at Pennys back to the car, back through security 3rd X-ray of the day, and so on.

If that’s what we’re heading for we’ll all be glowing in the dark by the end of the year.

Why didn’t we hear calls for tighter security in the wake of the Brian Stow beating? Oh… yeah the criminal thugs who destroyed Mr. Stow’s life did that with their fists and feet, in a parking lot. I suppose that the only way to prevent something like Brian Stow is to shackle everyone from the time they leave their cars until the time they are returned to their cars.

The point is this…

Being completely safe is an illusion. The only way to be completely safe is to never leave your house, even then safety isn’t guaranteed. So whether you acknowledge it or not we all make choices about the level of personal safety that we’re willing to accept.

Gun control, Draconian Security procedures, and restrictions of our freedoms are not the answer.

We as a people, shouldn’t live in fear. We shouldn’t change our lives because of terrorism, or lone gunmen, or the fear mongering of the talking heads on TV, or of the political candidates.

We as a people, can help to insure greater safety of the society at large by paying attention, by choosing not to ignore odd things.

James Holmes reportedly opened an exit door in the theater and then propped that door open while he went to his car to get the guns and body armor.

All it would have taken is for any one of the people in the theater to close that door. Presumably Holmes purchased a ticket… if he’d forgotten something or needed a medication from his car, he’d have a ticket stub and he could have re-entered the theater via the front door. Holmes needed the dark, he needed stealth and inaction on the part of the theater goers. Someone would have raised an alarm if he’d walked through the main lobby with guns and body armor.

This is not to imply that the victims were at fault. They behaved exactly as predicted and exactly as everyone in America would have. They didn’t get involved. They didn’t ask WTF? 

People who are about to do bad things typically “telegraph” their intentions before they act. If everyone in our society would stop ignoring the odd, the out of place, or the strange, then we’d be a long way toward being safer.

If we instead reported odd behavior or odd situations or asked questions of the person that was acting odd then we’d be in a safer environment all the time.

Criminal activity almost always requires stealth. Asking or having a Policeman ask a suspicious individual what they’re doing may be just enough to stop a crime before it happens.

We text, call, email, Facebook and tweet pretty much 24 / 7 you’d think that with that kind of communication there would be no crime.

But in fact we are so glued to the glow of our smart phones that we’re not only driving distracted…

We’re LIVING distracted.

Consider that, the next time you’re in a restaurant and you notice people texting more than talking.