Monday, August 31, 2009


That is "B" as in "billion".

You got it, kids. The comics giant, Marvel Comics, has sold to Disney. You can read all about it at Publisher's Weekly and Hollywood Reporter. What does it all mean? Who knows. We do know that Marvel's stock price increased to $48 (up 25%).

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Skinny Kitty pointed me to an opinion piece in the News-Leader today, the writer claiming that mandatory vaccines are coming, those refusing will be listed as felons and quarantined in concentration camps. It reminds me of the "health care = Nazi" discussion I just had with an elderly family member.

I went on the hunt for validation, legitimate news reports on the subject of mandatory vaccination, something to back up Anne Hartmann-Phipps' claims. I googled "mandatory vaccines" then clicked on "news results". I found plenty of similar claims from bloggers, but nothing from a real news agency. Is this a case of bloggers breaking the story first or of irrational fear mongering run amok?

Apparently, one hospital is requiring flu vaccines for all employees. The story didn't talk about the H1N1 vaccine. It just said a "flu vaccine". That's the closest citation I could find.

I don't know what to make of it all. It seems to me that people are panicking over things that are absolutely baseless. It's disturbing. Why has reason abandoned so many people all of a sudden? Irrational fear is a dangerous thing. It causes people to behave in unethical and erratic ways, making poor decisions they would otherwise not make.

People need to take a deep breath, calm down and practice reason.

I do hope a real news agency will investigate these claims and give us the real news. Is that too much to ask?

Friday, August 28, 2009


I heard it tonight ... from a real person that I know. We are (we being the United States) are heading down the Nazi path to socialism.

No kidding.

I was discussing health care with an elderly family member of mine this evening. She stated she was scared of this health care business because of Nazi Germany. "It could happen," she said. There's no arguing with irrational thoughts so I didn't. But I did get tired of the lengthy tirade and did leave.

She did inform me that she is smart and not easily swayed. If you have to say that ....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Life is running at full tilt these days, what with graduation out of the way and a big boy job having started. I'm finding out just how hard it is to work all day then come home and blog. It's not so easy, but I'll try to keep it up.

I've so many thoughts lately and not near enough time to write them down. I'll give you an idea of some of the things I've considered:

  1. I think it is ridiculous for any news agency to harp on the first lady's shorts. Why do we care if she wears shorts. Women can't catch a break. I mean really ... come on.
  2. Health care is a good thing. Health reform is necessary. All the silly misinfo needs to stop in order for us to have healthy debate. We should have healthy debate.
  3. It's okay to disagree with the President. Dissent is good. I just wish it was for reasons that were not entirely made up by a bunch of crazies. I'd rather dissent came from legit facts.
  4. I am really enjoying my job, but it is hard.
  5. I'm tired. I got to bed about 9:30 p.m. and sleep until 6 p.m. I'm at work at 7:15 a.m. and leave at 4:30 p.m. I usually work a half-day on Saturdays. I'm still happy.
  6. My father is retiring as I am entering a new career. Weird, huh?
  7. I wish my garden grew better. It's frustrating.
  8. I didn't realize how many huge pieces of significant legislation that Ted Kennedy had led. Wow! It's staggering. The ADA is a big one in my book.
Sorry for the lack of posts. I make no promises.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


There is nothing unAmerican or unpatriotic about members of the population offering dissent. Saying so only makes one look the fool. I do think our town hall meetings have turned from civil discourse into a red wash of ridiculousness fueled by the purposeful misinformation from a few radical conservatives. But for people to attend meetings and question the government is as good for the liberal goose as it is the conservative gander.

Typically, I watch Fox News Sunday. Today was particularly interesting as the topic was health care and all the participants were civil, respectful and interesting. Good mix of libs and cons and a nice bit of stamping out the lies regarding euthanasia, death panels and all that other. For once I found a news program actually addressing and discussing the real issues regarding health care. And it was Fox (if you can imagine that)! I don't know what to think of that, but I went with it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck ... we shouldn't call it a duck. Rather, we should label it as an evil plot to euthanize all senior citizens and create a socialized state of Hitlerism complete with death camps.

Judas Priest!


Lately, there has been some talk about urban gardens, organic farming, and the like. You can read about Springfield's connection here and here. The two local bloggers hotlinked in front of this sentence have been covering Springfield's efforts at urban gardening.

Today the wife and I watched an outstanding documentary on farming, focusing on the failure of the family farms in the 1980s, and one man's journey to start organic farming in his community. His community farm became quite successful and connected people to the soil and their local farmer. THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN was just wonderful. I am intrigued by the intimacy between the food and field, the farmer and his patrons. Fascinating!

The nice people of his rural hometown didn't much care for him cause he was different – starting rumors that he was a Satanist, killed people, ran drugs and had crazy orgies. The people, as you have seen in the past few weeks, can conjure up all kinds of fantastic lies when they are scared of something new. It's human nature.

As you can see from the poster above, the movie has received serious accolades and it deserved them all. I highly recommend this documentary for anyone interested in urban gardens, organic farming, farmer's markets, or farming in general.

Farmer John at PBS
Farmer John at IMDb
Trailer from YouTube


I heard a TV show host asking some questions of a Congressman who was against all of this socialist health care reform and it made sense to me.

If you are against health care reform because it is socialist, then you are against Medicare and Social Security, too. They are national socialist programs?

Those programs (with huge voting blocks) was okay. He supports them.

If you had been around during the times these programs were being voted upon then would you have supported them?
He would have voted for those socialist programs.

What's the difference?

And I think it would behoove us all to back up and realize that some national plan is not the devil. We have them now and they protect millions of people. In the case of national health care, the public is being duped into believing all kinds of lies about the program.

In this case, the media is feeding into the frenzy and refusing to meet their mission by writing stories that directly address the issue. That is to say, the media is covering the town hall screaming matches in spades, but the institution is not sending out their brightest and best investigative reports to read the bill, get the facts and publish those facts (good, bad or indifferent) so the public can learn the realities of the proposed plan and make an informed decision.

It's crazy.

Are you against health care for everyone? Are you also against Medicare and Social Security? What's the difference, really? Why would we not want health care for everyone? That would benefit small businesses and help them compete for quality employees against the big corporations. It really makes sense. Assuming it is done right. Who would know because the media is covering the sensational fights and not the issue.

Even the AARP supports health care for everyone and I don't think anyone would consider the AARP some left-wing think tank. It's not an evil concept despite what Sarah Palin thinks or says.

Jane Wiley, state director for AARP in South Carolina wrote this article for The Greenville News. In it, she debunks some myths and misconceptions. Here is a run-down of her points:

  1. AARP has not endorsed any health care bill.
  2. House and Senate plans state employer-sponsored health care will remain in place.
  3. Reform will provide health care to those who lose their jobs (and their employer-sponsored health care) as many who lose their jobs cannot afford COBRA.
  4. "Nothing in current proposals would let government override your doctor's judgment about your treatment."
  5. The bill ensures elderly persons' wishes are respected.
  6. "Comparative effectiveness research" will not hurt care. It is the Consumer Reports of the health care industry and gives patients the chance to review research and discover which practices have the most effective treatments.
  7. Those covered by health care will also benefit. If passed, those who are 65+ and on Medicare Part D will see a cut in costs "for brand name drugs by half once you reached the 'doughnut hole' or Part D coverage gap. Other parts of the bills being debated would close the 'doughnut hole' entirely over time." That's good for elderly persons.
  8. No more denial of coverage because of pre-existing conditions. That's a good thing for millions of people with diabetes.
  9. AARP will fight any legislation that proposes to slash, cut, burn, or hurt benefits for seniors.
  10. Without reform, health care is more costly

Perhaps, just perhaps, the public is being playing the fools by being tricked that health care reform is an evil plot to kill all the seniors. If AARP is on board with health care reform, then maybe there is something good really going on that Rush Limbaugh doesn't want us to see.

Friday, August 14, 2009


This headline brought to you from the good folks at The Today Show (Aug. 14), who apparently decided that Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics and advocate for a life of service, did not have a significant enough legacy to warrant her own headline. She had to be labeled as JFK's sister.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


I have successfully managed to watch all three seasons of HEROES this summer, which took some doing. Now I am geared up to watch season 4 (Redemption) beginning Sept. 21. I have really enjoyed the summer-long HEROES marathon and found myself caught up in the drama of the show.

Mostly, I am enamored with the switching of sides the characters go through. I have watched people who were often doing what they thought was right in the most maddening and destructive (and evil) way. Some were aware of their evil intentions but others were not until it was too late. Even Sylar had his moments of attempted redemption. It was the transformative nature of the characters that kept me watching.

The new season will focus on two main storylines: 1) the characters from seasons 1-3 trying to live normal lives and 2) a look at new powered characters who have lived among us as carnival attractions all this time and are now ready to come onto scene.

Newsarama reported seeing footage at San Diego Comicon of Claire kissing her female college roommate; who knows if that will make it into the show or not. Poor Claire has had a hard way to go and she is, understandably, confused and angry. She’s in some need of finding her real self.

HEROES is one of the best shows on television, in my opinion anyway, and season 4 would likely be a great jumping on point, considering the introduction of new characters and a new storyline for the established ones.

The HEROES comics are also in line for a new season. I haven’t picked up any of them, but they are available in hardcover at most comic shops. I’d like to have those.

Season 4: Redemption
Two-hour premiere
Monday, September 21
8 pm

Friday, August 07, 2009


Former (and mostly disgraced) US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez has been hired as a visiting professor at the Texas Tech University political science department.

Apparently his hiring has occurred mostly under the radar with little strife or upheaval as compared to other politicians who have transferred to the world of academia.

Gonzalez will be paid $100,000, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, to teach one "junior-level course on the executive branch, deliver guest lectures, and help recruit first-generation and minority students."

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Nick Ibarra, Springfield Zone 1 Councilperson, wrote a LTTE today. Finally someone wants to have professional discussion about something other than religion. He even provided footnotes to substantiate his claims.

But ...

As I got to the bottom of the LTTE I found no citations (online edition). There weren't any footnotes, although his letter clearly lists them as footnotes and numbers them sequentially. Damn that newspaper! Why would they not publish those footnotes? Our paper makes me so angry sometimes.

While I don't necessarily agree with Ibarra's stance, I find his approach in this situation is refreshing.


For years the right wing has complained that the media is biased against conservatives. I offer this perspective: The Birthers conspiracy theory. The news keeps hounding the president about his birth certificate, writing stories on the subject in the face of numerous verifications otherwise. They just won't leave it alone.

According to the Springfield News-Leader, Obama's live birth in Hawaii has been substantiated:

  • A copy of Obama's birth certificate has been produced by Hawaii.
  • Hawaii has completed numerous verifications to ensure the president meets those pesky "constitutional requirements" to be the head bucko in charge.
  • Hawaii reiterated just last week it's contention that Obama was, indeed, born in the island-state on August 4, 1961.
  • also maintains he was born in the US.

How much more do we really need as proof? At this point, some people are so intent on hating him (which I cannot help wondering if it is due to his race as much as much his politics in many cases, although that is simply speculation on my part) that Obama producing his own document will do nothing. Already lawyers have claimed that the birth certificate produced by Hawaii is a fake. They will simply do the same if he produces one. It's a no win for Obama, so there's really no point.

As if the entire state of Hawaii is out to deceive us all. It's all a little bit crazy. I think the people who tend to believe that are also the ones who fall prey to the religious fantacism linking Obama's name with the Antichrist.

Despite the facts – the birth certificate produced by Hawai and the verification by – the conservtives continue their cause, clogging up the legal system with ridiculous lawsuits and costing the taxpayers all kinds of money and getting all kinds of press against the president.

And I wonder: How does this coverage continue when the media is so biased toward the liberals?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


You might think humor blog, Fair City News, cooked up the above headline, but this food is for real, kids. A new delicacy of the fair/carnival/circus circuit includes chocolate-covered bacon. It's not too new. Some fairs had it last year, but it's gaining steam this year,with more and more news outlets talking about it. I heard it on Bob & Tom this morning and knew I had to blog about it.

Will the Ozark Empire Fair carry the delicacy? I don't want to know. Even this fat guy has his limits and chocolate-covered bacon is it. No thank you. I'd rather eat a piece of celery.

Monday, August 03, 2009


Not Right About Anything brings us news from the religious right (WorldNetDaily, the same folks who brought us the Birther's idiocy) that claim Jesus may very well have given us a clue as to who the Antichrist might be.

Be sure you are sitting down for this one, kids.

Satan: Your name is Baraq Bama!

That means Barack Obama is the Son of Perdition, the Lawless One, The Beast, TThe Enemy, The Adversary, The Assyrian, The Spoiler, The Nail, The Little Horn, The Profane and Wicked Prince of Israel, The Idol Shepherd.

For the love of all that is holy and good, what have we done!

I tried several times to write a synopsis of the argument, but I just couldn't manage it. Something about taking the words of Jesus (Aramaic) and translating them to Greek and then to Hebrew and voila, we might possibly be able to label Barack Obama as the possible Antichrist. They claim the facts are indisputable. It's just such silly drivel. You will just have to watch the video yourself.

Anyway, these folks are providing some kind of serious argument (wrapped in the most ridiculous pseudo-scholarship) that our president may indeed be the Antichrist.

This is what people are spending their time on? What about the economy, the on-going war, health care, poverty, civil rights, or any other host of serious issues facing our country and religion? Can't we focus our time on that?

It's just a matter of time before someone from our area claims this truth from Jesus' mouth on the Springfield News-Leader opinion page, and the letter will get published as legitamite discourse to enhance the civic engagement in the public domain. Perhaps it will be an "Our Voice". I can't wait.

I'll tell you what is indisputable: This was created and supported by persons who call themselves Christians. So much for scholarship.

Judas Priest!