The Watering Hole, Monday, April 1st, 2013: From Human Idiocy to Nature’s Logic

As a glutton for punishment, I wallowed through hundreds of responses regarding the group of alleged ‘men’, who showed their opposition to an Indianapolis “Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns National Day to Demand Action” gun safety rally, attended by “Moms Demand Action”, by openly facing the “Moms” while carrying loaded weapons.

nra
Most of the real whack-job pro-gun comments got “wished into the cornfield”, and probably a hundred or so were along the lines of “So you’re “intimidated” by a law abiding citizen exercising their rights?” – the word “intimidation” apparently not having the same meaning in different areas of the country – which got old and tired pretty quickly. But I thought you might enjoy the sheer idiocy of the following ones:

“You don’t have the right to be “protected”. You do have a natural right to protect yourself.”

[I and another commenter both reminded that guy about the existence of ‘police forces.’]

“They did nothing wrong and showed gun safety… What wrong? Are you mad that they didn’t shoot everyone? Are you mad that they didn’t break any laws.”

[Aside from the obvious grammar issues here, I love the assumption that liberals want people to get shot just to further our gun-grabbing agenda.]

Oops, I almost left out one of the best:

“WHEN YOU ANTI GUN PEOPLE ARE APPROACHED BY THE BAD GUYS OR WHEN OBAMA TAKES AWAY ALL YOUR FREEDOMS AND MAKES YOU HIS SLAVES, YOU WILL BE GLAD WHEN US GUN OWNERS ARE THERE TO PROTECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY’S.”

Another genius posted:

“Carrying a lit candle at a vigil could be seen as intimidation because you could set someone on fire. It’s the same argument.”

The final gem is from the same genius:

“The rifle is the emblem of our freedom. It is more American than the flag.”

To which I HAD to respond with:

“Oh, so THAT’s why schoolchildren pledge allegiance to the RIFLE of the United States of America!”
“May I also point out to everyone who is asking why the group who brought loaded weapons to this gun-safety rally would be considered to be ‘intimidating’, since they were only exercising their rights: just take a look at Matt Rhodes’ gravatar (which is also repeated all over the NRA’s website), with the motto: NRA – STAND AND FIGHT.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On to Nature and her logic: While Spring officially arrived on March 20th, for me, the first sign of spring came on March 25th, when I spotted the first robin of the season. As soon as I remarked to myself ‘ooh, first robin’, I realized that that robin was accompanied by close to a hundred others, all ‘worming’ across the large field in front of one of the local firehouses. If I had my camera at the time, I would have taken a shot, since I’d never seen so many in one place at one time.

Robin Redbreast

Robin Redbreast


Then on Thursday, I spotted the first bee of the season, hovering hopefully over a clump of crocuses. Now, normally I’m not overly fond of bees, but I’m well aware of their intricate place in Nature’s logical order. Coincidentally, one of the local papers highlighted a seminar occurring tomorrow as part of Scenic Hudson’s Naturalist Lecture Series. Here’s an excerpt from a Poughkeepsie Journal article by Stefanie Schappert:

“Every time we take a bite of an apple, drink a cup of coffee or have a slice of blueberry pie, we must remember that every fruit and vegetable was pollinated first,” said Tim Stanley, program coordinator for the Fresh Air Fund at the Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill and a beekeeping enthusiast.”

“Ultimately the food that we eat depends on it,” Stanley said.

Stanley keeps two honeybee hives at his home and one at the reservation.

The lecture will focus on the 4,000 native species of bees in North America and how people can encourage native pollinators into their gardens and yards.

“Although the honeybee is the only perennial bee that produces a food source — honey — through the winter, it was brought over from Europe and is not native to the United States. Stanley said native bees, also known as “keystone species,” tend to be more efficient and better at what they do. Native bees include bumblebees, carpenter bees, sweat bees and orchard bees.”

Honeybee

Honeybee

I don’t know about everyone else, but I think I prefer bees to gun-nuts!

This is our open thread. What’s on your mind today?

77 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, April 1st, 2013: From Human Idiocy to Nature’s Logic

  1. Our Robins stay with us year round. I can tell which ones are my ‘regulars’ when they don’t fly off as I approach them in the yard. I like using the mower to clean up the leaves as the Robins will watch in the trees for me to clear a strip of ground, then they will go to work on it while I’m emptying the bag.

    • In New York, we’re just too far north for the robins to stick around through the winter.

      And actually, this ‘spring’ I’ve heard/seen red-winged blackbirds before I spotted any robins.

      Is it another sign of spring to see a pheasant ‘chasing’ a car?

      On Saturday and then again this morning, we’ve had a pheasant wandering up and down our little dead-end street, occasionally straying into our yard and the neighbor’s yard. She’s (I’m guessing here, but she doesn’t look as vibrant as the male who used to visit last year) been staying along the edge of the road most of the time, and twice now, I’ve watched a car drive by, with the pheasant running about 15 yards behind it. Has anyone else seen anything like that?

      • Here, it’s Canadian Geese that do allathat. Must be their mating season, given all the honking from the islands (and along the shores) in/of our little lake. On each of the last several days I have, in fact and while walking around the lake, stopped to have chit-chat with ‘couples’ — yesterday I invited several over for ‘dinner’ but so far, nothing but a pair flying overhead and honking a lot in the process. Oh well. Watching the little goslings on their first swim in a month or two is actually more fun than ‘dinner’, so I have no complaints. 🙂

  2. We’ve seen our honeybees out and about, so spring is here. Now that I’m outside more, I’ve also noticed that I seem to be surrounded by people who spend all day Saturday shooting. It sounds like we’re being invaded.

      • Where we live, guns are everywhere. The gun nuts want, in fact, to put a shooting range in the local park; it would wind up about 150 yards from the playground, but what the hell, right?

        During goose season, one often hears gunshots right here in town. Since this is an unincorporated area, the only restriction on gun nuttery is that you have to be at least 150 yards from the nearest residence. Wow. How much safer could anyone ever want to be?

        If anyone interested in the matter of guns missed it the first time and/or is interested, I wrote of my views on the matter here last January. I’ll leave it there; not much more I can say, really.

    • Out you should probably check the barn for zombies…. it may be the apocalypse getting underway at last.

  3. On the gun thing, what I can’t quite figure out is that since the ONLY “useful” thing any gun can ever accomplish is to kill something, why the hell would anyone but a genuine nutcase ever want to have even one, much less huge numbers of the damn things? “To protect and defend my family” is a common excuse to which I say ‘bullshit. Protect it from who or what? A loaded question with only one possible answer: “Protect” them from all those other nuts with guns. I mean, really: how damn stupid can a society become?

    I guess the answer is embedded in the old “just take a look around and you’ll see” mantra.

    On another topic, and speaking of Nature, I ran across this one just this morning. Apologies if anyone posted it yesterday, but if you missed it it’s well worth a read. It’s the view of an obviously thoughtful Canadian on the oil sands project. I do SO hope that President Obama does NOT knuckle under to Big Oil and the Kochsucker $$, that instead he tells them all, on no uncertain terms, exactly where to ‘stuff’ that pipeline they all seem to be wet dreaming about. The better option — at least from my obviously narrow-minded and ‘greedy’ point of view — is to stop the entire operation dead in its tracks and then praise and bow to the ‘natural logic’ behind such decision.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/opinion/the-tar-sands-disaster.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130401&_r=1&

    • That’s an interesting take… Canada as a corrupt, lazy petro-state…. still there’s always the hockey, eh?

  4. Apparently this is Google’s April Fool’s joke:

    “New! What’s that smell? Find out with Google Nose”

  5. Jane, your timing on Robin’s and Bee’s are exactly the same here. Only one Robin and one Bee but both caught me by surprise last week. The American Kestrel’s are back as are the Cedar Waxwing’s.

  6. So I saw Ashleigh Banfield on CNN last week…. and I thought, ‘Hey, I thought she offended the cable news Illuminati with some truthy remarks on the control of the American public through what the TV is allowed to show and was banished forever to do local weather in Nebraska or somewhere’. Did she recant? Don’t know. But I went back to what she had said at a Kansas State lecture in 2003 – 10 years ago this month, 4 weeks into the Iraq war and still before ‘Mission Accomplished’. Found it on Digby from 6 years ago…. still worth reading.

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.br/2007/04/truths-consequences-by-digby-since.html

    Today she could say the same things about the drone killings, about guns in America, the ‘collateral damage’ of innocent kids and people the world over and at home and who gets to see it and who doesn’t get to hear anything about it at all… the Electronic Berlin Wall, Greg Palast calls it.

  7. Georgia GOP Chair Warns That Straight People Will Enter Sham Gay Marriages For Benefits

    “You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow,” Everhart said. “Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits? I just see so much abuse in this it’s unreal. I believe a husband and a wife should be a man and a woman, the benefits should be for a man and a woman. There is no way that this is about equality. To me, it’s all about a free ride.”

    Straight people don’t have to get “gay married” to do this, nor do gay people, you fucking dimwit.

    *facepalm*

      • Not that the offers are rolling in, but I’d consider it either way. It wouldn’t actually change anyone’s sexuality, and certainly provides a certain level of security to both parties.

        I think this happens quite often in the elderly community.

    • Is Georgia planning to secede? I’d contribute a dollar to their fund to pay for it, if they have one . . . but not till the the fourth Wednesday of the month when my Social Security deposit shows up.

  8. Quote of the year: “If we gave our voters an accurate portrayal of our ideas, that we want to cut the rate of growth on Social Security, give tax cuts to billionaires and then the values issues, the values issues would be more popular than the economic agenda of the current Republican Party . . . I would caution the donor wing of the Republican Party that is driving a lot of this: If they think social conservatives are the only thing preventing Republicans from winning, they’ll learn that their economic agenda will go down the tubes along with the Republican Party’s prospects.” ~Gary Bauer, HMFIC, Wingnuttistan

    Doesn’t sound like the Republican Party has a leg left to stand on. Do we the sane dare hope Bauer is right? There is, after all and as some wag once noted, ‘a first time for everything.’

  9. My (Second Amendment) sentiments exactly:

    Crazy Gun-Toting Insurrectionists

    The struggle to distort the meaning of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights began almost as soon as the two documents were ratified. Though the Anti-Federalists lost the political battle to block the Constitution, they never relented on their determination to reestablish the lost “sovereignty” of the states.

    Over the next two-plus centuries, forces that were pro-slavery, pro-corporate or pro-segregationist have sought to dial back the Constitution’s expansion of federal power every time the nation has moved toward a more progressive recognition of human rights. Over the last few decades, the Reagan Revolution succeeded in building a right-wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court and those five Republicans have essentially rewritten the Constitution in many ways, including changing the traditional interpretation of the Second Amendment.

    In 2008, the five right-wing justices threw out the old view of a collective right for the states to maintain militias (or National Guards) and replaced it with a new interpretation asserting a limited individual right to possess a firearm outside the context of a militia. It’s true that even that radical change by the right-wing majority of the Supreme Court detected only a very limited right to own a gun – for protection of one’s home – while respecting the countervailing needs of a society to impose reasonable restrictions for public safety.

    However, within today’s era of Tea Party madness, the narrow Supreme Court ruling has taken on a much-broader life of its own. It has encouraged new insurrectionist fantasies among some extremists to the detriment of the lives of thousands of Americans whose lives, whose liberties and whose pursuits of happiness have been cut horribly short by gun violence, including those 20 first-graders in Newtown, Connecticut.

    • The Supreme Court can not bestow rights. It can only infringe on rights or restore rights taken away by previous courts. In the case of gun control we must do everything in our power to convince those in power that their duty to preserve public safety for everyone supersedes the rights of a few to amuse themselves by shooting the highest number of bullets in the shortest time. Make no mistake; when all is said and done the real motive of the gun nuts is to preserve their entertainment. That’s why they behave exactly like toddlers facing the prospect of having their toys taken away.

      • And therein lies the rub with the Supreme Court as presently constructed. There should NEVER be a partisan majority on it, only a THINKING majority. Today we have the former and are at least one short in re the latter. Makes me really wish (much as I hate to admit it, really) that doG would call Scalia home to heaven. And Thomas, too. Soon, within the next 3.5 years at the most.

        I know. I’m bad, rotten to the core. But . . .

        • Perfectly understandable, Frugal. Personally? I would prefer something along the lines of an excruciating, debilitating, disease that would provide years to reflect on the damage they’ve done.

          I do agree about the politicization of our courts and I hate to even think what it will take to change it. It’s not likely to happen in my lifetime so I just hope I avoid the worst.

          • We are, indeed, parcel to weird times. I see one major conflict on its way to the Amurka of the next few decades, and that’s the ultimate conflict that will surely result once the trend toward feudalism and further enrichment of the already rich collides, as it certainly must, with the “right to bear arms” now deemed implicit to the existence of the poor, the lowly, etc. . . . residents of Nottingham, as it were.

            Should be an interesting event, although I, personally, hope to view it not here but rather on a digital screen somewhere — either heaven or hell, whichever (assuming there’s a difference).

            • What makes you think the incredibly rich won’t just buy the gun nuts (through hiring them as high-salaried bodyguards) to protect themselves from us non-gun-wielding rabble?

            • Well, even if they paid each gun nut a total salary of ten bucks a year, I’m not sure there’d be enough money available to handle the task. I’ve not done the math, but still, with at least a trillion gun nuts out there . . . well, you know.

        • I keep thinking of one of the Family Guy episodes when Death sent Peter back in time with Brian (several times, in fact, since Peter keeps fucking up his mission.) In one of the alternate realities that Peter and Brian come back to, it’s announced that “Dick Cheney shot Supreme Court Justice Scalia in a hunting accident and the bullet went right through him and killed Karl Rove and Tucker Carlson.” Of course Brian begs Peter to let this reality stay as-is. I know I would!

          BTW, when I went to double-check who was shot in that episode, I found it at Wiki under ‘Dick Cheney hunting incident’, and the page includes shitloads of info about the real shooting incident. But best of all, scroll down to “In Popular Culture”, and there’s a bunch of jokes that various late-night comedians used after Cheney shot Whittington. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Cheney_hunting_incident

          • Yep. When I mentioned that in a post a few weeks back, I put it this way:

            These days when I think of hunters, two (completely contrary) examples come to mind. First is former VP Dick Cheney who liked to wander about on well-stocked game ranches with his shotgun in search of something to kill. Not to eat, mind you; just something to provide that JOY some feel when they KILL a completely innocent critter. There was the time, of course, when the heartless (literally, as it turned out) bastard Cheney “accidentally” shot his hunter companion in the face. Missed the bird, got the lawyer. Oh well. At least he hit SOMETHING alive, drew some blood, undoubtedly felt the . . . umm . . . joy?

            Cheney is pond scum. The fact that some still see him as almost godlike says, to me at least, a whole lot about the apparent similarities between pond scum, and ‘god’ . . . or whatever.

    • I couldn’t even get past this, ” Why do we “Let” people who are clearly motivated by inexplicable and illogical fear of firearms even be involved in the conversation let alone take the lead in bringing legislation to the floor?” and it’s maybe the second sentence. I don’t think those of us who favor sensible regulation of guns as the ones motivated by “inexplicable and illogical fear”.

      • I have no ‘fear’ of gun-toting nuts, whether logical or illogical. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but once when I was asked directly (by a gun nut) what I would do if I should encounter — me being always unarmed — a half-dozen mean and gun-totin’ black guys (nasty folks are NEVER white, right?) in a dark alley some night when they demanded whatever from me. I said, “I’ll probably make murderers out of all of them.” Conversation over.

        I don’t get it. Guns. Unless gun ownership is a reflection of really low IQ, then MAYBE I can start to grasp what’s up . . . that which is “inexplicable and illogical fear” within any intelligent context.

        • I am alone here a lot, with no close neighbors. I do not go through my days in fear that a group of home invading thugs will kick my door in. I don’t understand people who do.

          • Amen. I would also guess you have little to no fear of your own shadow, or of maybe a cawing crow, even a howling wolf?

            Me neither.

            Sort of off-topic add-on: yesterday we were invited to the home of some friends for Easter brunch. Both are teachers in the local Middle School (each very gifted), and both are as liberal-minded and progressive as are we (weirdos in this otherwise very rural and right wing area). The other guests there were of their extended families, nearly all of whom were, near as I could tell, vehement wingnuts. We each did our level best to shift the conversations away from politics and religion and toward things like education and agriculture, and managed somehow to subdue the ‘Obamacare is destroying us’ and ‘SOCIALISM!’ stuff. We hinted to the host and hostess when we left that now they really do owe us one. They nodded appropriately, and smiled.

          • I really don’t get being so scared all the time. Most of these fraidy cats haven’t even been victims of a crime; they’re just afraid they might be.

            What a waste of time and energy.

    • I always have to wonder (and ask, when the topic comes up in conversation) just exactly how many fuckers owned guns back when those “faded men” wrote the Old Testament? I never get much of an answer, unless a really shitty stare is worthy of being seen as an ‘answer’. Oh well, I’m used to it, after all these years. Getting accustomed to the pervasive ignorance too. That’s the worrisome part.

  10. I just saw a moron open-carrying his sidearm in the egg section of the grocery store.

    I didn’t feel any safer, especially from stupidity.

  11. Will Ware be stuck with the bill?

    Louisville sophomore Kevin Ware’s injury today in the Midwest Regional finals of the NCAA tournament will likely be remembered alongside Joe Theismann’s career-ender as one of the most tragically gruesome in sports history. But that’s not the only tragic and gruesome part of this episode, because unlike Theismann, who was working under a guaranteed contract, Ware was an NCAA athlete helping to generate millions of dollars for the NCAA, but not automatically guaranteed a four-year education scholarship. As in so many other similar cases, that means his injury in service to the NCAA’s multimillion-dollar machine could spell the end of his financial aid and massive healthcare bills to boot.

    If Louisville can’t pay Ware’s bills, they don’t deserve to have a team on the floor next Saturday.

    • If they leave Ware holding the bag for medical bills I would hope a bunch of his fellow students would walk off campus and take their tuition with them.

    • Nationalize the NCAA! Ummm. Hmmm.

      What is the NCAA, really? Is it a corp? A person? Or gubmint shit?

      I have no idea, actually. But were it to go away, I’d be among the last to know. Or care, for that matter.

      • Sergei Rachmaninoff was (is?), very possibly, the ‘coolest’ classical composer since maybe Beethoven, and surely comfortably nestled amongst the top five of all time. The depth and style of his music remain, always, stunning.

        .

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