Watering Hole: December 31, 2013 – I Wish You Enough

This will be my last regular, Tuesday, Open Thread post.  I will still be lurking and I may, on occasion, create a post independent of the Open Thread.  It’s been my pleasure to virtually meet you.

Here’s a little something for the new year.

I WISH YOU ENOUGH Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:”I love you and I wish you enough.”The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.” They kissed and the daughter left.The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?””I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?” She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. “When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”. Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,”I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.”She then began to cry and walked away.They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.

This is our Open Thread.  I wish you enough. Now it’s your turn to Speak Up!

The Watering Hole, Monday, December 30, 2013: Shark Tweets

Western Australia is the world’s deadliest region for shark attacks. In an effort to make it safer for surfers and swimmers to go into the water, officials have set up a Twitter feed (Surf Life Saving WA) that notifies followers when a tagged shark enters the area. Scientists outfitted some 400 sharks with transmitters that send warnings to the Twitter feed. Here is an example of the kind of tweet the system might send. A tweet like this about a tiger shark had been sent every four or five minutes for about an hour and forty-five minutes before this one.

I think this is a brilliant idea and a fantastic way to do something useful with social media. Now you can take your cell phone to the beach and see if it’s safe to go in the water. Of course, most of us don’t live in Western Australia, so unless scientists working near our shores can tag us a bunch of sharks this innovative way to use Twitter won’t directly benefit us in North America.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to talk about sharks, Western Australia, or anything else you wish to discuss.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, December 28, 2013: It Was Never About Free Speech

As you may know by now, A&E Networks (a joint venture between the Hearst Corporation and Disney–ABC Television Group) has lifted its suspension of Duck Dynasty family patriarch Phil Robertson over comments he made in an interview with GQ magazine. The suspension was originally announced as “indefinite,” but it appears that by “indefinite” they meant “nine days.” And since this is in the middle of duck hunting season, and since by contractual agreement there would be no filming of the series during this-two-month period, the effect of the suspension was nil, nada, zip, nothing.


Ten episodes already filmed will begin airing in mid-January with all the family members included, and when filming resumes all family members will again participate. So, despite the dustup and media frenzy over this, in the end nothing will change as far as the show itself is concerned. As Duck Dynasty is one of the most popular shows on cable television (they supposedly get over 13 million viewers each week, but those are industry estimates based on their own finagling of numbers), A&E just couldn’t bring itself to accept a possible drop in revenue should the family pull out of production altogether, which they threatened to do. Many famous conservatives flocked to their defense (couldn’t resist) and in doing so, they seemed to show a complete misunderstanding of what free speech is about.

Phil Robertson’s right to free speech was Continue reading

The economic impact of ending unemployment benefits

I just read where one community will have 2,000 people lose their long-term unemployment benefits.

Assume, for the sake of argument, that these were minimum wage workers, working between 30 and 35 hours per week. The have been getting about $100 per week in unemployment benefits. Now, nothing.

That means they have, as a group, been spending about $200,000 per week in the local economy. Now, nothing.

Over the course of a year, $10,000,000 won’t be spent in local stores. But business owners won’t see a similar cut in their taxes. They’ll have to cut costs some other way, and the usual way is to reduce their workforce. This, in an area with a nearly 14% unemployment rate as it is.

And remember, unemployment benefits those who lost their job through no fault of their own. While those who just lost their benefits may have to pack up and leave, going whereever they can find work, the small businesses left behind will have to make do with $10,000,000 less this coming year.

Thanks, Congress.

The Watering Hole; Friday December 27 2013; Guns; ACHTUNG

I’ll be brief:

1. Claire Davis, Araphoe HS Student (Centennial CO) has died from a point blank shotgun blast to her head.

2. A fourteen year-old girl was shot to her death in Colorado Springs by her stepfather . . . who thought she was a bad guy trying to break into his house.

3. In Pennsylvania, a two month-old baby was shot to death on Christmas Eve by “an adult male” with a  “gun [that] was owned by a family member.” No charges filed.

Etc., etc., etc. Guns. Stupidity. Merged. Become. One.


My proposal — “solution” — first posted here on May 10 2013, still reads as follows:

WHEREAS it was We the people of the United States who, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice,  insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity , , , did indeed ordain and ratify the Constitution of the United States, and

WHEREAS prior to ratification of said Constitution by the several states, we the people also agreed to add to the main body of the Constitution a Bill of Rights, written as amendments numbered one through ten, including the Second Amendment which reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


WHEREAS amendment number two was written and added by slave owner James Madison on the recommendation of fellow slave owners in Virginia in order to alleviate concern amongst slave owners in the South that the new Constitutional government might somehow disallow the use of state militias to control slave uprisings, a potential problem they sensed to be embedded in the wording of Article 1, Section 8, Clauses 15 and 16, of the new Constitution which read:

[The Congress shall have Power . . .]

Clause 15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

Clause 16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;


WHEREAS the meaning of the word “arms” has since evolved well past the point of reference to any such simple weapon that is not a single-shot muzzle-loading musket or pistol, and

WHEREAS the US Supreme Court has seen fit to ignore the “well-regulated militia” clause in the Second Amendment, and

WHEREAS of this day in the year 2013 C.E., an approximate 30,000 people continue to die in these United States EACH AND EVERY YEAR from gunshots, whether self-afflicted, accidental, or intentional, and

WHEREAS on December 14, 2012, twenty children under the age of NINE YEARS. along with six adults were shot and killed in a school by an armed madman in Connecticut, and

WHEREAS since that date and as of this date, no less than 5000 additional people, including dozens if not hundreds of children, have died from gunshot wounds, and

WHEREAS unlimited possession of firearms by ‘we the people’ has long proven to be hazardous to the health and well-being of multiple tens of thousands of ‘we the people’ each and every year . . .

THEREFORE we the people do herein recommend and demand that Congress, the President, and a majority of the various states agree to form a more perfect union, establish justice,  insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity and ban all guns — ban, then confiscate and destroy each and every one of the damn things. The time for action is NOW.


To date, nothing. Prediction for tomorrow? Nothing. Prediction for anytime beyond tomorrow? Nothing.

So: innocent children, and others, will continue to die. By Gunshot. Since 1970, more Americans have died by gunfire — some 1.4 MILLION! by current count — than have died in ALL the wars since this nation’s birth.

In other words: the death toll of ALL Americans in ALL wars in which this nation has ever engaged . . . is LESS than the tally of wanton deaths by gunfire over only the last forty years . . .  here . . . at home??


and kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill . . . and kill.’ It’s in the goddamn constitution. And since we be a CHRISTIAN nation . . . Since we be . . . WHITE . . . Pure. Owners of . . . ??


Concealed Carry. Bang bang. Oh shit.

Oh well.




The Watering Hole; Thursday December 26 2013; Of Flowers, Mists, and Words

Been a busy week, so rather than attempt to reach into today’s nonsensical reality, I instead retrieved a couple of “images” I came up with a decade or three ago. I’ve long been intrigued with the concept of “image,” both the graphic type and the ‘other’ one that the mind’s eye pulls from the ether that can be created by words only. Always thought it was interesting to attempt to match the two rather disparate entities; it’s not easy, but fun to try. Since I can’t paint or draw, my only real graphic image-generating choice is a camera. Words? Lots of options, but to me the Shakespearean sonnet with its fourteen lines, ten syllables per line, and a somewhat tricky (a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-f-e-f-g-g) rhyming pattern offers the most compelling challenge.

Anyway, following are a pair of photographs with “matching” sonnets. Not sure whether one can ‘say’ more with a simple photograph, or with a mere 140 syllables, or whether each is better in combination, or standing alone, etc. I suppose the real challenge is the mental effort required to go in either direction — a far cry from politics no matter the choice, given the FACT that in today’s politics “mental effort” is either a non-sequitur or an oxymoron — or both, maybe? 🙂

Of Flower and Mist


Drowned within the shroud of eternal sky
Essence lives, dressed in softest shimmering white.
Beauty is the flow’r which, in garden, lies
Beside the rippling stream where mists are light.
Infinity collects in droplets. Dew,
Ensconced in winsome grasp breathes soft fragrance
And sweet scent of life to all who dare view
Nature’s gift of  love, in her wind-kissed dance.
Defilers are not welcome, for Beauty
Pursues naught but Truth and Love – her message:
Enter not unless you share this with me!
Render unto me your heart-sought passage;
Receive me as the soul of life and Love,
Yet gentle be – approach with velvet glove.



Manzanita floral clusterIn Springtime, Manzanita calms one’s sense
With flaunt of color, shape, and form’s repose –
Conveyed with vivid flash of sentience
To all who see that every breeze which blows
Instructs each dancing bloom: “Communicate
Life’s earnest quests, its ever-wondrous goals.”
Ethereal concepts, thus revealed, create –
Upon each flow’r – reflections of our Souls.
And Muses too, embedded there within
Each tiny bit of beauty, dare imbue,
Along with Truth and Love, now e’er again
Delights which shift one’s thoughts to sense anew –
Each bloom a briefest poem which lends, to me,
Divined sweet light – and images of thee.


That does it for today, the day after Christmas number 71 (for me, at least). I can only add that the best part about today is that as of midnight tonight, we’re only one day short of one full year before the next one! I shall use each and all of those 364 days to relax and, of course, to get ready for next year’s (sigh) Christmas. Holiday. Season. Etc.

Meanwhile, the appropriate greeting for this day, December 26 2013 is: HAPPY KWANZAA!


The Watering Hole, Monday, December 23rd, 2013: Less Than 48 Hours ’til Christmas…

At this point before Christmas during most years, I’ve got everything done with just a few exceptions. This year, however, I still haven’t done any of this:
~ or this ~
~ or this ~

Wrapped Presents

Wrapped Presents

~ or this ~
Baked Cookies

Baked Cookies

Good thing I don’t have to cook Christmas dinner!

This is our daily open thread–how are your Christmas preparations going?

Sunday Roast: The Snowman

This is one of my eldest’s holiday favorites.  I love it, too.

What are your favorite holiday videos or memories?  Hey how about recipes, too?  We haven’t done that in a long time.  🙂  Please share in the comments section!

This is our daily open thread — Happy Holidays, everyone!

The Watering Hole, Saturday, December 21, 2012: What’s Your Comfort Level?

After an interview in GQ magazine with Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson was published, in which Mr. Robertson had some harsh and completely inaccurate things to say about both gay people and what life was like for black people in the pre-civil rights days, a lot of conservative mouthpieces took to their various publications to support him. Stepping up to present his own hyperbolic testimonial was Red State founder and former CNN contributor, Erick Erickson.

Really, Erick? This idea gives you comfort? Continue reading

December 21 2013; OUTRAGE in Idaho

This morning I received the following in an email from the Center for Biological Diversity; the outrage in Idaho continues and worsens dramatically.

Just two years ago, gray wolves lost federal protection in Idaho. Since then 859 of these beautiful animals have been killed in aggressive, sometimes brutal hunting and trapping seasons. And now the state wants to take the carnage a step further: This holiday season Idaho is allowing a privately sponsored wolf and coyote “derby.”

Just after Christmas, on Dec. 28 and 29, Idaho will host a cruel contest where hunters will compete to see who can kill the biggest wolf and bag the most wolves and coyotes over the weekend. This derby is hosted by an Idaho sportsmen’s group and approved by the state.

<u>As if these disgusting contests weren’t bad enough, a hired gunman’s being paid to hole up in a taxpayer-funded cabin until he slaughters two entire wolf families residing in the national forest. The U.S. Forest Service gave him permission to be on public lands for the hunt, and he’s funded by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game ostensibly because killing these wolves could boost the elk population for human hunters.</u>

Take urgent action now to contact Idaho agency heads, elected officials and business leaders to express your outrage over the planned wolf- and coyote-killing contest and oppose the hired wolf-killing gunman in Idaho’s wilderness area.

Click here to take action and get more information.
If you can’t open the link, go to:


Follow the link to sign and submit a letter requesting action to STOP such a completely nonsensical operation which is, most certainly and obviously, only the tip of that iceberg named STUPIDITY.

I’m not sure why such sickness constantly persists in the US, but it does. Perhaps it’s a sign that the undercurrent of the uninformed and those of marginal intellect (assuming there’s a difference) sees no harm in mass killings, in mass death — including the death of their nation, a prospect implicit in any society wherein mass death is either insisted or permitted.

What can be said about such clusters of irrational sickos that live and love only to kill, to do all within reach to ensure the extinction of their most hated and despised beast? What happens when there are no more critters left to wantonly kill and the mini-bulge in their pants shrinks back to the size of a (French cut) string bean, never to grow again? What then?

The Watering Hole; Friday December 20 2013; Of Mice . . . Of “Men”??

I’ll be brief. In his poem “To a Mouse” Scottish poet Robert Burns summed up a big pile of ‘stuff’ more than two centuries ago when he wrote:

Still thou are blest, compared wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e’e,
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!

He also, around the same time, wrote “To a Louse” in which he enumerated the essence of most everything else:

O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!

Burns wrote those words in the late 1700’s, circa 1785. That’s roughly 225 yrs ago, and yet he somehow summarized the very pile of crap we still, on this very day in December of 2013, find ourselves having to deal with. Photo evidence follows; first, the Mouse (photo by Denny Green, Tempe AZ, December 2013):

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

MouseStill thou are blest, compared wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee . . .

And then there is, too and of course, The Louse:

Ha! whare ye gaun, ye crawlin ferlie!
Your impudence protects you sairlie . . .

Bon erYe ugly, creepin, blastit wonner
Detested, shunn’d, by saunt an’ sinner . . .
Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
On some poor body

So: even though the answer is invariably OBVIOUS, apparently that always eternal question forever remains: “Whereto from here”??

Burns proffers those two options: a Mouse, or a Louse. The choice remains, apparently, up to each and all of us.

Me? I’ll take the mouse. He be cool. The Louse? Not so much.


The Watering Hole; Thursday December 19 2013; The ‘Evolution’ of ‘Knowledge’ as SIN!

Irreverence. It can happen.

It happened just the other day, in fact, at the moment I ran across this headline on Raw Story: Gun lobbyist claims guns were in the Bible and God is ‘judging’ unarmed Americans. I’ll not bore you with the details; suffice to say “Larry Pratt,” HMFIC of “Gun Owners of America,” also a Wingnut and a Christer, quite literally FORCED MY HAND!

Irreverence, thus inspired!

So. What’s next? I dunno, I kinda like poetry as the means of both body slamming and . . . what . . . ? Imaging whichever absurd topic appears at hand?

Whatever. Below are a pair of my poetic “briefs” (and yes, the ‘Boxer’ metaphor will not be challenged); ergo, the first one subscribes to ‘evolution’ even as it — umm — disrespects?? its unworthy competition, erroneously called by some “intelligent design” . . .


‘Tis Evolution, Science says,
Which well-defines that main event –
The process by which Man derived
From gasses in the Firmament.
But there are those who disagree,
Believe that men were Heaven sent
With purpose surely more divine
Than Nature’s fleeting Ornament!

As Science seeks reality –
From concept through experiment –
In quest of those elusive truths
Of Origins, of Man’s Descent,
Religion offers its “Design”
Embodied in naive intent –
And thus confirms it mirrors God’s
“Intelligence,” i.e.: Absent!

Irreverence? I do SO hope, YES!

Now, with luck this next one will prove to be equally irreverent, but . . . well, take a peak: can one really ‘paint an image’ with words alone? Can ‘irreverence’ become a canvas, or paint, or even a brush???


First came The Sin:
Original, it’s oft said;
Apple, snake, woman . . .

Knowledge thus became The Sin
Of man forevermore. Amen.
Knowledge IS that Sin
The Dart of Divinity
Pointing toward
Sin’s fearful
And fiery
! ! !
! !

It’s simple, yes it truly is;
A talking snake, an
Apple gnawed;
Then twitch of

Uh oh

! ! !
! !


Succored hints of Knowledge, once obtained
Too oft bequeath, to sin, an opened  door
Which, much to God’s divine disdain,
Makes Sin too simple to explore,
But even harder to explain!
Whilst wise men rest,
Whilst others seek?
New knowledge
Quests incite
Once more,

“Psst! Hey Eve, buy you a drink??!”

Thus route to Hell now paved in Wisdom’s grand design,
And bulk of Mankind’s earthly works at last explained!

Like that. More or less.

Cholla skeleton feb 1978 001-In Hoc Signo-



The Watering Hole: Wednesday, December 18, 2013: Breaking Gnus:

Republicans in House Vote to Delay Christmas For One Week.

House Republicans held a late-night vote to delay Christmas until January 1, 2014. Citing lagging retail sales, even with stores pushing Black Friday into Thanksgiving, House Republicans banded together to add another week to the Christmas Shopping Season.

Major retailers lauded the move, and the Stock Market looks to open higher on the news. Fox News is lining up segments announcing a major victory in the War on Christmas.

Sarah Palin issued a press release:

This just gets us closer to the traditional twelve days of Christmas, where the Blessed Virgin Mary spent those long days and even longer nights in labor pushing out our Lord and Savior from her virgin womb. So God Bless the Virgin Mary, and God Bless our proud patriots in Congress for standing up to the liberal agenda and giving us back the true meaning of Christmas which is to give gifts to our loved ones just like the Wise Men wanted us to do when they gave presents to our Lord Baby Jesus the night he was born.

Open Thread
Shop Until You Drop
Post Until You’re Toast


Watering Hole: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 – It Takes Strength

This year has been a difficult year for me.  It’s been a year that has been particularly brutal to my physical and mental health.

We sold our home of 16 years in June and until we moved into our new home on December 6, we were nomads.  Living out of a suitcase isn’t all it’s cranked up to be.  It’s been a stressful 6 months which taxed me emotionally.

Throughout the summer, I experienced severe pain in my left knee, muscle spasms in my left leg, numbness in the first toe on my right foot, migraine headaches, and extreme fatigue.  Since I didn’t have insurance at the time, I put off seeing the doctor until September as that is when my Medicare Part B took effect.  To make a long story short, I was able to convince the doctor to test me for Lyme Disease.  I was even able to get her to start me on Doxycycline.  Sure enough, I had Lyme Disease.  It has taken several months to recover from this devastating disease.  Lyme Disease is serious business.

Next up, I get an exam from my “new” doctor in Eugene, Oregon.  Because of my age, he decided to give me an ECG (electrocardiogram).  The results were not what I wanted to hear.  I have a left ventricular block which means that my heart is working overtime.

I told you that to tell you this.  Blood flow blockage is not a good thing.  I decided to consult the expert, Dr. Dean Ornish.  He recommends diet changes and exercise along with meditation and something else.  Dr. Ornish suggests that we practice “forgiveness, altruism, compassion, and service” and that “it takes strength and courage to forgive; those who are afraid to look weak often preach vengeance and violence”.  He mentions that he was inspired by Nelson Mandela and he quotes from Mandela’s book, “Long Walk to Freedom,”

It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black.  I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed.  A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness.  I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me.  The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.

When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both.  Some say that has now been achieved.  But I know that that is not the case.  The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed.  We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road.  For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.  The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.

This made me start thinking.  If I truly want to regain my health, then along with diet and exercise, I need to be more positive about life, more forgiving of others, and less angry about things that I cannot change.

We all have the power to create our own view of life.

This is our Open Thread.  Enough about me.  Now it is your turn to Speak Up!

The Watering Hole, Monday, December 16th, 2013: This Day in History

Many famous people were born on December 16th, including:

Catherine of Aragon
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Jane Austen
King Leopold I of Belgium
George Santayana
Noel Coward
Margaret Mead
Arthur C. Clarke
Philip K. Dick
Match Game panelists Patti Deutsch and Joyce Bulifant
Bill Hicks (still miss ya, Bill!)

Some not-so-famous people were also born on December 16th:

Elizabeth “Bessie” Cook, nee Burlington (a.k.a. Grandma)
Jane Elizabeth Sechny

Looks like I’m in very good company!



This is our daily open thread–go ahead, talk amongst yourselves while I go back to bed!

The Watering Hole, Saturday, December 14, 2013: A Year Wasted

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past 53 weeks, you know that today marks the one-year anniversary since one of the most horrific mass shootings in our nation’s gun-crazed history. When twenty six- and seven-year-olds are shot to death by a lunatic with a gun, you would think a nation would jump up and down and demand that steps be taken to ensure this never happens again. Maybe some other nation, but not his one. Oh, it’s not as though nothing has changed. More than 200,000 people have joined anti-gun violence groups, but 194 children under the age of 12 have been killed by gun violence. There were 109 laws passed by state legislatures regarding guns, but 70 of those laws expanded gun rights while only 39 restricted them. (I would have preferred that it was 0-109, respectively.) And on the federal level, only one gun violence law passed, and that was a reauthorization of the Undetectable Firearms Act. (Why do laws like this have to be reauthorized? Do we envision a point where we’ll want undetectable firearms to be legal? Why isn’t this law permanent?) Of course, in all the debates about gun safety, the one thing that had almost universal support failed to become law – mandatory background checks on ALL gun sales. This was inexcusable. Again, why would anybody think it a good idea to let some gun sales go without a background check being performed, to make sure the person buying the gun is legally allowed to own one? I don’t care if you’re passing granddad’s old Winchester down to your 16-year-old son, you need to run that background check. And a background check needs to be a real background check, not a self-check where you just tell the dealer you’ve done nothing that would bar you from owning a gun. I mean, seriously, filling out a questionnaire whose answers will never be verified actually counts as a “background check” in some states? This is why I oppose the Conservative idea of “states’ rights.” It basically takes the “United” out of “The United States of America.” Obviously there are some things that should be determined by local government, but “some things” doesn’t mean “everything.”

We have a serious problem with guns in this country, and if it isn’t addressed soon more innocent children will die. Is your so-called non-militia-related gun ownership “right” really more important than the life of a child? Do we really believe the problems of the world can be solved with a gun? Why do we even listen to people who say the solution to the scourge of gun violence is more guns? Is the solution to the problem of nuclear proliferation more nuclear weapons? Is the solution to the problem of HIV spreading to have more unprotected sex? Is the solution to the problem of rampant stupidity in our country more stupidity?

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to talk about guns, gun violence, small penises or anything else you wish to discuss.

Music Night: On the surface…

… you would not expect black folk to be playing what is generally considered roots music attributed to European immigrants, but there was a whole subculture of black acoustic music in the south that flourished among the hardscrabble existence of 40 acres and a mule. Carolina Chocolate Drops are reviving that tradition. I’ve always admired the younger generation of musicians who reach in to the depths of music tradition to resurrect a time honored culture. Dry Branch Fire Squad (from an earlier generation), Uncle Earle, and The Wiyos are among my music heros, in addition to the ‘Drops.

Some hamboning included in this piece, i.e. music without instruments performed by poor blacks in the south who could not afford instruments.

The Watering Hole; Friday-the-Thirteenth of December, 2013

I know, it’s Friday the thirteenth in this century’s thirteenth year. Bummer.

So today is gonna be rough, right? Yeah, well, lemme tell ya, yesterday was rough, really rough! Garbage disposal crapped out. New one’s installed and grinding away on cue, but in spite of my sore knees, a quick glance around confirms that the same old screwed up world  is still out there doing its thing!

Moral: not even with a NEW garbage disposal can one dare to hope to rid the world of wingnut buggers.

So. Rather than fight it, why not wander off to another place, another world where there are NO idiots, NO GOoPers, probably not even any cell phones? Paradise! Like, say, maybe here . . . ?

Windward Molokai, AerialOr here??

Shattered Crystals, Kauai - revOr here???

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAParadise! No hominids! Yay!!

Yeah, well, ok, so there still remains, out there somewhere, a world free of idiocy, a (Viagra-free?) world that’s unencumbered by politics of any dimension or direction; a world where humans fear to tread. Right?

Ummm . . . now hold on, wait a sec, this dude is ANCIENT . . . right?? More ancient even than, say, ‘Dick’ Cheney or John Bo(eh??)ner . . . right??

Tiki at Kona 3Sigh. As Robert Burns noted a couple of centuries back, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain . . .”  And he wrote that having never even heard of either Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, or . . . oops. Dammatt. Garbage disposal just kicked on and . . . Shhhh!!!