p12079367_b_v9_acBy John Ruberry

Without the phenomenal box office success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, HBO’s Game of Thrones series may not have ever launched. And without GoT’s ongoing critical and audience raves, The Last Kingdom would almost certainly never have been giving the green light by the BBC.

I just finished binge-watching the first season of The Last Kingdom, which like Game of Thrones is a television version of a series of books, in this case Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories. I might not have ever heard of the BBC series had not the ninth season of the Doctor Who reboot had been bombarded with Last Kingdom trailers. I guess that’s the point of promos.

Season two of The Last Kingdom is currently in production.

So how is it? Well, in a few words, LK is pretty good. After all, I kept watching, didn’t I?

Here’s how the series is set up–with spoilers for the most part that cover only the first half of the first episode:

The action begins in the late ninth century as Danish invaders–the word “vikings” is never used–have transformed themselves from coastal raiders into a disciplined army who have conquered each English kingdom save Wessex. The lead character is Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon), the son of a Northumberland noblemen who as a child witnesses his father fall in a battle against the invaders. After he humorously attacks a Dane, Uhtred is taken as a slave. Losing his Christian faith, Uhtred the Godless, much in the matter of white characters captured by Indians in Old West movies, seems unsure of his loyalties, but he’s determined to reclaim his family castle from his duplicitous uncle.

An adult Uhtred, after his Danish family is killed by other Danes, makes his way to Wessex where he pledges loyalty to King Alfred and joins the Saxon cause.

Attractive in a Jon Snow sort of way, Uhtred doesn’t have a vow of chastity to hamper his romantic pursuits.

Religion greatly drives the plot, The priest who baptizes the young Uhtred–twice–has also made his way to Wessex, where he serves as a counselor to Alfred. Refreshingly, the Christians in The Last Kingdom are pious, but not portrayed as foolishly pious. The only religious character treated with disdain is a Danish sorcerer.

Alfred (David Dawson), the devout king, doesn’t let his sickliness damper his resolve to save his realm and drive the Danes out of England.

Besides Alfred, other historical characters who appear in The Last Kingdom are the Danish chieftains Ubba and Guthrum, Saxons Odda the Elder, King Edmund of East Anglia, Alfred’s nephew Aethelwold, and Welsh monk Asser, the biographer of the Wessex ruler. A glaring oversight is the omission of Ivor the Boneless, the Dane whose name still perplexes historians. Ivor was the half-brother of Ubba.

The show plays homage to the legend that Alfred, asked by a woman to keep an eye on loaves of bread being baked, allows them to burn as his mind wanders to pressing matters of kingship.

The cinematography is superb although the filming of the series in Hungary, rather than England, might be the catalyst of one of LK’s noticeable shortcomings, cheap-looking wardrobes and crowns that appear to be plastic. If the series was shot in Britain, or even Northern Ireland where some of Game of Thrones is filmed, I’m sure the costume department of The Last Kingdom could have scrounged up more convincing crowns some better period clothes from a regional Shakespeare company.

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

If you are looking for one more Game of Thrones comparison, then I won’t let you down. While gratuitous nudity is absent from The Last Kingdom, the brief glimpses of bare flesh amid the armor and swords appear forced as if someone is screaming at the directors, “We need naked bums for better ratings!”

I’ll be back for season two, hoping for more. (More meaning better shows, not bare buttocks.) After all, the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood didn’t hit its stride until season two and it didn’t achieve consistent greatness until The Children of Earth in season three.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit
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Day two in denver began, after daily mass, and the interview I posted with Fr. Scott yesterday with a trip to the zoo.

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Alas the shuttle from the hotel doesn’t make it to the zoo but does make it to the city park where we can walk to the zoo from.

The park is beautiful but the problem is there are a ton of geese

Which makes for a fun game of dodge the geese droppings, but if you finish the game you eventually get to the zoo and meet with some delightful volunteers like this one

and of course interesting animals like the Komodo Dragon

After a hot walk back to our starting point we headed back to the hotel where Valery headed up to the room while I set up in the lobby to begin interviewing the people coming for Amplify School choice hosted by the Franklin Center and I spoke to and finally met Josh Kalb who invited me

and then we began interviews with my fellow attendees Steve Frank now with California political review: and facebook is here

He’s been doing this before there was a net to do it with

And Tom Balek whose site is Rockin’ on the right side

and yes he has a band to go with it.

After the reception I spoke with some old friends like Galts Girl Michelle Ray:

And new friends like Shelby Blakely whose blog is PolitiCulture Upstream

When I meet an intelligent young lady like Shelby I regret DaSons weren’t here along with DaWife.

And finally Sonja Harris who blogs all over Texas including at Texas GOP votes, Conservaties in action where she’s known as Red Sonja, and fights for the cause of life.

I have three cameras with me here but one look at her camera makes me jealous.

Several of them also sat for audio podcast interviews that you’ll have to listen to future podcasts to hear

I also ran into many old friends from Rob Eno to Bridget Fey and former Magnificent Seven writer AP Dillon and also Kira Davis who to my shock & hers has family in Fitchburg and would occasionally visit.

It was a great pleasure to see them and meet others and I really enjoyed having the chance to finally introduce DaWife to some of my net friends.

All were anxious to see what the Franklin Center had in store for us the next day, they would not be disappointed.


There will be a lot of expenses involved in a week in Denver not the least being missing a week’s pay from my job. If you’d like to help me cover them please consider hitting DaTipJar below

Also today week 3 of our 6 week tryouts for Da Magnificent Prospects, You can check out their work Monday evening, Tuesday at Noon, All Day Thursday and Saturday at noon. If you like what you see from them consider hitting DaTipjar in support of them (and please mention their name when you do) as both internet hits and tipjar hits will be part of scoring who stays & who goes.

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Union station WAY after dark
Day one in denver (I don’t count yesterday when we got Union Station at 10:30 & to the Hotel at just before 11 PM Denver time) started with a trip to the Basilica for AM mass as DaWife snoozed. The Hotel operates a shuttle for free in a 3 mile radius so that really came in handy. If I had that last time I wouldn’t have ended up in the clash between the occupods & the police.

I took a lot of pictures after mass.

I’m still got a few folks on my indulgence list to take care of over the next few days.

After the shuttle took me back and the wife and I had breakfast Stop two was a walk to Coors field:

assorted denver 2 030

where I filmed this clip before dabattery died

The park was beautiful the seats spacious compared to fenway and incredibly comfortable. I loved that they have a “rockpile” bench seating was $1 for kids under 12 or elders over 55 ($4 otherwise) so even the poorest and particularly young kids can always see a game in person and I really loved the deal where they had a designated drive setup where if you pledged not to buy beer after the 4th inning you got a free soda (saving dawife & I 10 bucks on a day when it was 91 during the game and the fans made a beeline for areas in the shade.) but it was very odd to see a stadium with so many empty seats.

Alas for Colorado while they jumped into an early lead against the rangers their bull pen cracked at a critical moment turning a 5-1 lead after 5 into a 7-5 loss despite putting two on in the ninth. They had an interesting program where

We then stopped at the 1 up bar for a quick bite, the food was meh, but the arcade and pinball selection was excellent and if you are a fan of pintastic this location near coors field is a must visit.

The wife and I walked the 16th street mall a bit stopping at Tattered Covers book store for a souvenir for our oldest and to avoid a thunder storm before heading back to the hotel. On the way we were stopped by an earnest young girl asking us to sign a postcard for the gov on Utah asking him to oppose exploiting resources on federal land. The young lady must have approached me due to the fedora, grey sideburns & doctor who scarf and must have been startled to hear me tell her: “Sorry I support that kind of thing.”

The hotel has a fridge in the room so we hit a local supermarket via the hotel shuttle service before heading back to crash.

Now with all batteries charged the plan is to do a few things with the wife in the AM then start interviews with people coming for the school choice event as they arrive in the afternoon both for the site and the podcast.

I suspect with a lot of bloggers here the upload speeds (already kinda meh) are not going to improve so don’t be surprised if a lot of this stuff goes up back in MA but I’ll do what I can.


There will be a lot of expenses involved in a week in Denver not the least being missing a week’s pay from my job. If you’d like to help me cover them please consider hitting DaTipJar below

Also today week 3 of our 6 week tryouts for Da Magnificent Prospects, You can check out their work Monday evening, Tuesday at Noon, All Day Thursday and Saturday at noon. If you like what you see from them consider hitting DaTipjar in support of them (and please mention their name when you do) as both internet hits and tipjar hits will be part of scoring who stays & who goes.

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At Pintastic NE 2016 There were some big names in Pinball one of them is Jersey Jack of Jersey Jack Pinball

That’s Dr. Rick Lewis of the silverball Pinball Museum with him.

This is his Wizard of Oz game in play

and here are the guts

The Charity Project Pinball that places machines in children’s hospital around the nation returned

And there were plenty of individual players like Howie

and Mike

But it wasn’t just individual players, there was also associations like the Southern New Hampshire Pinball Club.

If I had a few extra bucks and more time I’d have joined on the spot

And there were plenty of parents and children there which is why Maggie the Clown, Lee Lee and Jane were there

But in end the real stars are the volunteers and organizers who brought plenty of their own machines for people to play for hours on end at their own expense, helped keep them running and full of credits for all three days and then after many days that ended at 3 AM had to get up early on Sunday to pack up their machines to take home.

So give a bow to Gabe who goes through so much for all of us to have a great time.

At Pintastic NE 2016 there were plenty of vendors with all kinds of products for your Pinball needs

Like Mezel Mods

And The Boston Pinball Company

Goto Amusements

Some vendors were players who had developed solutions to pinball problems they ran into and turned them into business like Kahr Circuits

Others had grand ideas and returned from last year Pintastic in triumph like the Pinbox 3000 people

At lest one vendor was there not just to promote their business (Rock Fantasy) but to enjoy the games for himself.

I opened a comic store a year after him, if I had been more sucessful that might have been me with more hair.

And finally the bottomless pit of treasures showing that there is more to pintastic than pinball alone

If you are a pinball fan these are the type of people who will help keep you running and make your experience even better, and the Hobby is all the better for them being there for us.

I spent Friday and Saturday at Pintastic New England 2016 This weekend I attended Pintastic New England at the Sturbridge host hotel in Sturbridge on route 20 just a little ways from Old Sturbridge Village.

This years edition like last years had a plethora of games, vendors and fun for all who showed up.

I’ll be putting up interviews during the course of the week but for now feel free to check out these photos from Friday and Saturday and remember life is more that politics.

Cardinal Borusa: As I believe I told you long ago, Doctor, you will never amount to anything in the galaxy while you retain your propensity for vulgar facetiousness.

Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin 1976

As you, dear reader might have noticed I have an odd and occasionally twisted sense of humor that has its roots in a combination of the Three Stooges, Monty Python, augmented with a bit of the Marx brothers, 60’s TV military humor (F Troop & McHale’s Navy and Hogan’s Heroes) and assorted British Humor (Black Adder, Yes Minister, Red Dwarf) for good measure.  This sense is occasionally wildly inappropriate & even bordering on a violation of the 2nd Commandment requiring confession although I insist that God has a sense of humor evidenced by his creation of man).

What you may not know is that it occasionally takes a large amount of effort to resist deploying that humor either verbally or physical when such things occur to me on the spur of the moment.  One such moment took place at the during the CIS event at the National Press Club.

During a rather excellent presentation I found the call of nature stronger than the pull of Mark’s presentation and had to excuse myself hurriedly to the rest room, arriving there I found the men’s room was being cleaned and at the time I did not know the location of the alternative.

That’s when it hit me.

I was in Washington DC, a bastion of ultra liberalism, furthermore I was in the national press club and organization whose members have adopted liberal identity politics even to the point of the absurdity that if one does not accept the far left’s meme on the Transgender bathroom business you were a bigot, practically an unperson.

What would happen if instead of asking one of the very friendly staff of the press club I simply used the ladies room?

How would the press club react?  How COULD they react?  Surely the fact that I wearing a fedora , dressed in a suit and tie and clearly had not shaved (I forgot to pack razors) had no bearing on my sexual identity?  In fact those members of the press club unfamiliar with Doctor Who in general and the Fourth Doctor in particular might have decided my long multi colored scarf  (known as a  “doctor who” scarf) was a sign of membership or at least affinity in the LGBT community.

After all there are many events at the press club, many highly populated by liberals, what would a liberal woman say seeing me in the ladies room?
Would she dare question me, confront me, or even give me an odd look? Would she dare say a word to the people in charge?  Or would the fear of being accused of a proper lack of diversity drive her to silence?  She might find herself ashamed at even thinking such a thing and instead brag to her friends how accepting it was for her to be “comfortable” with a 270 man in the ladies room with her. Accommodating me was the ultimate in virtue signaling and if she was a proper liberal, particularly a liberal reporter tell the story with pride to everyone she knew.

On the other hand what if she DID report me?

Would the staff dare confront me? What would they say if I refused to give an explanation?  What would they do if they asked me my sexual orientation and I told them it was bluntly that not only was it none of their bus but how DARE they even question me upon it?  How would such a story play in the very papers where the member of that press club excoriate those who insist that there is in fact such a thing as men and women and act accordingly? Would they risk being seen as on the wrong side of an issue that the Democrat party is playing for all it is worth?

The comic potential for this decision was seemingly limitless!

Alas it was not to be, my comedic nature was overcome by my sense of prosperity, particularly as an invited guest and instead I asked someone where the other men’s room was and went there.

But I can’t help but think that it would be an interesting experiment, not only at the press club but at any liberal institution to see what might happen in that situation.

It would be fun to find out wouldn’t it, but it will take someone less invested in proprietary to do so.


While CIS kindly sponsored my attendance at their event there are still quite a few incidental expenses involved, not the least of which was the loss of two days pay from my regular job (my thanks to them BTW for permitting me the time off to accept CIS’ invitation)

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Type: Adverb Phrase

Accepted meaning: A word or phrase that convey hatred toward a usually marginalized group that is beyond the pale.

Actual meaning: Any utterance which might challenge or question any potential ally of the cultural elites and/or their accepted order or desired goals.

Purpose of accepted meaning: To immediately discredit enemies who might ques

Results of said purpose: An excuse to turn the censorship of any speech which question the power or privileges of the cultural elites or their servants into a public virtue.

Commentary:

While there were once perfectly acceptable words or phrases to describe vulgar speech directed at others (such as “slur”, “racial epitaph” ,”vulgarity” or even “profane”) such words and phrases hey were too clear and specific to be manipulated by the left. By using the broad term “Hate Speech” once can censor any speech that one hates, usually speech that challenges a premise so ridiculous that one would not bet a prune danish on it.

Be wary of: Hiring people who constantly use this phrase, as a rule they are psychologically unable to handle adversity.

Back in 2013 I got into a Twitter exchange with Doug Mataconis which started when I pointed out that Hillary Clinton’s record as secretary of state is an argument against her presidency:

Doug instantly came to her defense and over the course of our exchange I finally asked the following

45 minutes laters during which time he declared it’s not relevant as Hillary wasn’t a candidate, declared Americans didn’t care about Benghazi , attacked Rick Perry & the GOP he finally left my question unanswered saying:

Well it’s three years later. Hillary Clinton is now the likely nominee for the Democrat nomination and Donald Trump is the likely GOP nominee (I say likely in both cases because media reports notwithstanding neither has actually hit the magic number in pledged non-super delegates although Trump is likely to by June 7th) and our friend Doug Tweeted out the following about Donald Trump

Now looking at the assertions in this tweet as a person who didn’t support Trump in the primaries and has yet to decide if he will support him in the general election I’d say of the three attacks on Trump big government is certainly accurate and not in dispute. The 2nd attack of Xenophobia I would declare incorrect as he’s talking about enforcing existing law, but Doug could make a case for it and the left could make an argument for it, As for Ignorance I took it as a hit on Trump’s supporters although if Doug was making a point about Trump’s lack of political experience is by definition ignorance of the internal workings of government it would be a valid one but one that would have applied to every military man from Grant to Ike who ever ran.

All in all nothing all that unusual for an attack on Trump, but I thought something was missing from the conversation so I replied thus:

Now you’ll note there is nothing all the remarkable in that reply. Nobody can dispute Hillary Clinton is for big government, The donor scandals, the Clinton foundation are only the latest examples of her corruption that go back to whitewater, and given the current state of Libya, Syria, egypt and the email scandal an assertion of incompetence would not seem out of line.

It’s also worth nothing that nothing in this tweet disputed any of Doug’s assertions concerning Donald Trump. There was absolutely no reason that these two tweets could not have stood on their own and have it left at that.

Except that I dared attack Hillary Clinton and just as it was in 2013 that can’t be allowed to stand.

Now nothing in my previous tweet indicted that I was voting or Trump or even referenced him. I simply made an assertion concerning Hillary so given that reply I asked the natural follow up question:

Doug Didn’t take that kindly to that and after some back and forth and brought up a phrase that was once a favorite of the MSM:

Hmmm my statements were an example of “Clinton derangement syndrome?” The use of that phrase carried implications at least it did to me.

He thought the implications were different

I believe Ace of Spades referred to this as “virtue signaling”

Now Doug is a lawyer, I’m a former Tech who now works overnight in a warehouse but I felt pretty good about my public arguments and as we obviously weren’t going to convince each other for the 2nd time in the thread invited public comment.

Doug didn’t take kindly to this claiming that Glenn Reynolds and Jazz Shaw were my “attack dogs” and despite having triple my followers took exception to my inviting comment using the word “douchecanoe” and followed with what I thought was one of the most amusing tweets I have seen a person make:

This is what we baseball fans refer to as a hanging curve ball over the plate

Remember Doug is a Lawyer, he makes public arguments for a living yet when the subject of Hillary Clinton’s incompetence, dishonesty and commitment to big government is asserted publicly he felt compelled to attack Trump, throw insults at anyone who would support him (in a rather Trump like way actually) assert critique of Clinton implies “derangement” and then objects to my inviting public comment in a public forum that any member of the public and see.

Even more interestingly in the various bits of that thread, which I invite you dear reader to examine, as of this writing this is the only defense of Clinton i’ve seen

It speaks volumes that the best defense of someone with a quarter century politically in the public eye in politics is the assertion that while she is bad her opponent is worse.

No wonder they want to talk about Trump, it’s sure easier than defending Hillary.

What does all of this prove? It proves that a tweet I sent out just before this conversation began was spot on:

I think there are going to be plenty of people who, for good or ill, will decide to vote for Trump just to watch the heads of the anti-trump people explode.

Update: I can’t believe I spelt Doug’s name “Dong” in the title, I know it looks bad but it was totally unintentional. It’s now fixed and I offer a VERY pubic apology. No wonder he was so pissed this morning.


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It’s April Fools Day so one must be careful about what one links and believes so rather than something newsey I thought let’s go with comedy

Let’s Start with Monty Python

And a commercial break with Leslie Nielsen pitching Red Rock Cider

And follow up with some three stooges from the late Curley Post stroke era

Let’s go to film with the soothsayer scene from a Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum

and lets finish with Sheldon in the ball pit:

Life is short, laugh a little.

We interrupt our coverage of all the political things that would explain my hair loss if I wasn’t already short before then to remind you of one of the fun things in life.

Last year Massachusetts enjoyed Pintastic NE in Sturbridge MA where we covered both those who make the games

and the people who fix them

Well it’s 2016 and I’m pleased to say Pintastic is back.

Do you love pinball? Are you looking for a little relief from the hot summer sun? Look no further than Pintastic New England, which is the first of its kind, centrally located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. This expo is 30,000 square feet of fun for the whole family. The kids can have never-ending excitement with a caricature artist, face painting, balloon animals, magic, and relieve all of their pent-up energy with a bouncy house. The adults can bring out their inner child with over 200 pinball machines set on free play, all while enjoying an ice-cold beer.

The event is July 7-9, because of work obligations I won’t be getting there till the 8th but they do offer three day passes with perks, the details are at their site here.

There is nothing like Pinball to relieve stress so if election 2016 is making you crazy this is the perfect release for you.

Hope to see you there

The old man eyed the gray parade streaming before him and turned to the youth fighting back tears.

“Herni, let me tell you something”, he said touching the brim of his worn Stetson, “Before winning this house I played hands from Santa Fe to Shanghai & the decades taught me my Uncle Beau was right: ‘No matter how hot cards run, eventually they cool’ The day will come when Germany’s hand cools.”

Resigned, Henri mumbled “Oui monsieur Maverick” then, nearly dropping his tray gasped, as he recognized the smile & twinkle in the ancient gambler’s eyes:

“Perhaps we might help it along.”

Step One: Have Wife tell you she can’t find TV Remote

Step Two: Look for Remote Find it, but pretend otherwise

Step Three: Ask wife to pass you Son’s Toy Series 7 Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver that he left behind when he moved out.

Step Four: Point the toy around the room while hitting the button that makes the scanning sound.

Step Five: Look at the screwdriver as if you’re reading the results of the scan.

Step Six: Produce missing Remote from the spot where you found it but left it saying here you are.

Q: Wondering how many of the people cheering the banning of Robert Stacy McCain and his views on Feminism look like this:

I’m a big fan of the Producers (although I go for the Zero Mostel / Gene Wilder version more) and Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane are always funny.

But after seeing this video

via Instapundit. Isn’t the “Plan” being listed pretty much what happened with Jeb Bush and to a lesser $ degree Rick Perry and Chris Christie? A candidate that wasn’t going to win that raised tens of millions dollars from a lot of suckers that made said consultants rich?

Isn’t that pretty much what the Marco Rubio team is doing right now?

That’s the problem with the skit, the reality the “secret plan” is actually what goes on all the time. A more accurate video would be this from the 1983 movie Trading Places.

Now in fairness a political campaign is hard and long like Max Bialystock many consultants put in a lot of effort for that money in the political version of little old lady land.

But in the end compared to Mike Murphy Bialystok & Bloom are pikers.

Closing Thought 1: The reality is the skit isn’t about attacking Trump, it’s about attacking the Trump voter, isn’t the contempt for said voters by elites what motivated our current situation in the first place?

Closing Thought 2: Given what we’ve seen from this skit could have easily been made in 2008 about Obama, but the makers would never have the guts.

*****************************************************************

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As a Ted Cruz supporter I can present a lot of solid rational arguments to vote for Ted Cruz over Donald Trump. Cruz’s record for fighting against amnesty, common core and Obamacare. He’s constant consistent conservatism, and his willingness to put himself on the line for these principles and the folly of supporting someone who says he believes in something vs someone who clearly prove he does

But since dry argument isn’t doing the trick perhaps a different cultural track is called for.

So I present to you, Sung to the tune of the Theme to classic TV series Maverick:

The Donald Trump Gibberish Song or What Platitudes get you in the end

♫Who is the man who says: “Goo Na Goo!”? Donald trump is his name
Why does he say “Goo Na Goo”? Nobody can tell you
Only it sounds great.♫

♫ Oh it sounds really great
and the people just can wait
to hear him say that: Goo Na Goo Na goo! ♫

♫ Cause when he says “Goo Na Goo”
The People they all swoon
They love when he says: “Goo Na Goo Na Goo” ♫

♫ Who is the man who does “Goo Na Goo!”? Donald trump is his name
What’s the Magic of: “Goo Na Goo”? Nobody can tell you
but it’s the Donald’s way ♫

 ♫ Oh it’s the Donald’s way
It brought him wealth and fame
It all comes down to Goo Na Goo Na Goo! ♫

♫ And if you try “Goo Na Goo”
It should work great for you
What the country needs is:  “Goo Na Goo Na Goo”! ♫

♫ Who is the man who claims “Goo Na Goo”? Donald trump is his name
What does it mean this “Goo Na Goo”? Nobody can tell you.
Just it’s right as rain ♫

♫ Oh it is right as rain
Even if the next guys says
it means opposite of what you think it do. ♫

♫ But when he says “Goo Na Goo!”
You both agree it’s true!
We’re all big fans of: “Goo Na Goo Na Goo” ♫

♫ Who is the man who commands: “Goo Na Goo!”? Donald trump is his name
How do you do that “Goo Na Goo”? Nobody can tell you.
But do it right away ♫

♫ Oh do it right away
And don’t you hesitate
When he tells you; “Do that Goo Na Goo Na goo”! ♫

♫ Cause he knows that: “Goo Na Goo!”
In the end is best for you
So We’ll loyally do: Goo Na Goo Na Goo! ♫

♫ Who is the man who said: “Goo Na Goo!”? Donald trump was his name
What went wrong with “Goo Na Goo”? Nobody can tell you
It should have worked OK. ♫

♫ Oh it should have worked OK
And brought a brighter day
When the country voted Goo Na Goo Na Goo. ♫

♫ But In the end that: Goo Na Goo
Was just some platitude
We’re now all Deep in “Goo na Goo na Goo” ♫

Update: It’s worth pointing out that democrats who are pointing and laughing are ignoring that this is essentially what they voted for in 2008 & 2012 and you could substitute “obama” for Donald Trump throughout the song and it would still work.

Of course you would have to pull the verse about wealth and fame, because in the end Donald trump has actually in fact done things, built things and made money, Barack Obama has not.
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Tomorrow night I’m back to work but today I’m back trying to get that elusive $61 a day for DaTipJar.

It’s been a weird week. We’ve alternated missing our goal one day and making the goal with enough to spare to make up for the shortfall the day before, the next.

Yesterday we ended up short $39 today we are $25 toward our $61 with $36 to go to make it and a deficit for the year of $1324.

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Namely this:

I have decided not to attend the Fox News GOP Presidential Debate tomorrow night in Detroit. Even though I will not be in my hometown of Detroit on Thursday, I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America. I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results. However, this grassroots movement on behalf of “We the People” will continue. Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations. We must not depart from our goals to restore what God and our Founders intended for this exceptional nation.

I appreciate the support, financial and otherwise, from all corners of America. Gratefully, my campaign decisions are not constrained by finances; rather by what is in the best interests of the American people.

I will discuss more about the future of this movement during my speech on Friday at CPAC in Washington, D.C.

Now granted most people looking that this statement might assume that Dr. Carson might be pulling out of the race, but seeing I first saw this on CNN when I turned it on after watching an episode from Season one of Maverick and all the trouble my guy Ted Cruz for repeating a CNN story I thought I’d better put a disclaimer to keep myself safe.

Maybe I’d be better off joining CNN doing segments on Chris Christie’s face but oddly enough I don’t find that story newsworthy.

Maybe if I did I’d be have a full time paying job in journalism.

“There is an art to flying, or rather a knack. Its knack lies in learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss. … Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, that presents the difficulties.”

The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy: So long and thanks for all the Fish

I’m just finishing up my lead post for tomorrow on the myths that the GOP Nevada results have demolished but if you want to get down to the meat and potatoes of what’s going on in the GOP primary, you can’t do better than Don Surber post titled OK, Wile, what is your next plan to stop Trump? which concludes thus:

It is not over. He has a ceiling, right? He will lose Texas to Cruz, Florida to Rubio, Ohio to Kasich, and Mars to Carson. Trust the Establishment. All Rubio needs is $100 million more and another 100 political endorsements and everything will be just dandy. Acme Company has this guaranteed Trump Runner Elimination Ray Gun.

Meep Meep

The only way to beat trump is to get more votes than him by either discouraging his expanded base from showing up or to increase your appeal to that base beyond Trump.  Of course that’s practically the dictionary definition of the old phrase:  “Easier said than done”

For those too young to get the Wile, Acme and Meep Meep references this cartoon will explain it.

This is too funny:

A single billionaire provided the lion’s share of the money to the main Republican super-PAC set up to destroy Donald Trump.

Marlene Ricketts, the matriarch of the Ricketts family that owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team, contributed $3 million to the anti-Trump super-PAC “Our Principles PAC,” which is being run by former Mitt Romney adviser Katie Packer. 

So let me get this straight, the main Anti-Trump Pac is being run by an adviser to a candidate who was unable to beat Barack Obama after the passage of Obamacare and the attacks on Benghazi and being funded by the owners of the Chicago Cubs whose last championship  precedes the sinking of the Titanic and came when one of the faces on Mt. Rushmore was in office?

Cripes it’s a wonder Trump doesn’t have the nomination already.

 

Ever think you had woken up and found you were still asleep and dreaming?

That’s how I felt when I saw this tweet from the Donald Trump camp.

My reaction to this was, wow, just wow, which is a polite way of saying:

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

In a way it makes sense. The Donald™ has decided (correctly btw) that there is little or no chance of winning over Ted Cruz voters so there is no downside for him here and given the abject hatred of Ted Cruz by the establishment GOP, the media etc etc etc this line of attack is likely to be repeated and popular and hopefully overshadowing the Marco Rubio surge. All part of the overall Trump control of the air campaign plan

Of course it’s also there is always the chance that he’s making this idiocy up as he goes along.

I was thinking it was most self delusional tweet you will see from a presidential campaign, or at least it would be if twenty minutes before I made this Joke concerning Rand Paul & Rick Santorum (both good men btw) leaving the GOP race…

….Jim Gilmore tweeted this.

My reaction of course is ARE YOU KIDDING ME, he really means it!

I’m trying to figure out which tweet is more delusional and just can’t decide so I think it’s time for a poll.

After all the world needs more laughter.

Let’s be blunt. This will be the substance of tonight’s debate as seen by me.

Martin O’Malley: “Please please notice me, I’m an actual alternative to Hillary who was born after Peter Paul and Mary was formed who does’t have a theme song written before the invention of the video game.” So if you really want to stop Bernie Sanders and don’t want a woman less honest than Richard Nixon whose husband is a rapist pick me!”

Hillary Clinton: “Bernie Sanders is a SOCIALIST, you got that a S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-T which mean he believes in absolutely every single thing the Democrat Party says it believes in but really means it as opposed to wanting to use it as a platform to enrich himself and others. We can’t win with a person like that at the top of the ticket, plus I have tits and not because I’m a fat guy who plays video games all day or something but real ones!”

Bernie Sanders: “I believe in taking every single possible dollar from the rich people who built businesses, did and created things that society uses for their advancement. People who managed large staffs, handled payrolls and have done so in an environment where they are vilified and attacked for it and redistribute it to folks who have not while allowing government to take their cut because Government so much smarter than those guys. More importantly I really mean it as opposed to my unnamed opponent who is a lying, dishonest opportunist who has enriched herself on government, none of which I’m not going to say outloud because you all know it but we can’t admit it because then someone might vote for an icky Republican.”

Moderator Chris Cuomo: “The only reason we’re having a debate tonight is because the DNC that insisted that they had plenty of debates decided it was vital to protect Hillary Clinton and we’re happy to get the potential ratings. For myself I’m duty bound as a member of the MSM to protect our Red Queen from the Even Redder King but my family hates the Clintons almost as much as Obama does so I’m completely torn here. so Martin O’Malley you’re in for a grilling tonight.”

Pundits Afterwards: “Unless Hillary really blows it, and I mean really blows it by saying something like: ‘Yes not only did I leave those guys in Benghazi to die but I used my emails to send the attackers the satellite data to help kill them and planned the attack myself (not that we care since they were likely icky conservatives anyway’ We will declare how well she did and how it’s the beginning of her comeback to save the campaign in any way possible. If that meme is just too unbelievable or if Bernie has a great we’ll push Martin O’Malley as having the debate of his life in the hope that some democrat who doesn’t already know the baggage’s baggage might somehow to take their vote for Sanders and give it to him.”

I could be wrong here, but I doubt it.

Reality eventually asserts itself, ideology notwithstanding.

Glenn Reynolds

I’ve mentioned this weekend that even if she gets the nomination (and don’t think for one minute the Biden “regret” story is not about making it clear that the Democrat powers that be are having 2nd thoughts) Hillary Clinton is doomed doomed doomed.

There are many reasons for this, but lets cut to the chase, the left has spent the last four years convincing themselves that candidate Hillary Clinton is the Hot Chick here who will energize liberals to dance.

But the reality is Hillary the candidate looks is this:

Alas Poor Democrats Reality Sucks

I stopped watching network TV years ago from total lack of interest, and the little things that bothered me. By little things, I mean the consistent portrayals of men, especially the dads, as totally ineffective dufuses (dufi?), inevitably wise “courageous” moms, and smart-aleck kids.

That, and that the kids are always shorter than the parents. In my family, with the notable exception of my maternal grandfather, the younger generation has always been taller. Right now the guys are at least 6’3″ tall, but I digress.

Cable grown-up soap operas are different. Mad Men was very popular among my son’s high-school friends, to the point where they had season-finale parties where the boys wore suits, neckties and fedoras, and the girls dresses and gloves. This was enough to pique my interest, so I started watching. Likewise, my son highly recommended Breaking Bad, and after I started watching, it led to discussions on Walter White’s all-corrupting quest for power.

The men in these shows are strong, highly-defined characters; many are downright evil (Breaking Bad‘s Walter White), some are very flawed (for a while there, Mad Men‘s Don Draper turned into just another really good-looking drunk), and some grow to be heroes (Breaking Bad‘s Walter Jr, played by RJ Mitte).

Recently I’ve been watching Fargo, a modern Western set against a desolate winter backdrop. The guys (good and bad) in Fargo are sumthin‘. The first season showed a young female police officer against the evil guys (notably Billy Bob Thorton), with the support of her very sharp dad, and a fellow cop as a romantic interest. This year an evil mom is going head-to-head against the cops and the mob.

Premium cable channels have two other soaps worth considering: Ray Donovan on Showtime, and The Knick on Cinemax. Liev Schriber plays Ray, Clive Owen plays  The Knick’s head surgeon Dr. John Thackery.

I must warn you that, in addition to plenty of sex, drug use and violence in both, the dialogue in Ray Donovan is very heavily peppered with the f-word, and The Knick’s surgery scenes are big on gore, brains and guts.

I can’t leave out Amazon’s Bosch. Titus Welliver plays the LA detective named after Medieval artist Hieronymous Bosch. You may call him Harry, but make sure to ask him first.

While all the above feature very manly guys, the women are not little girls looking for safe spaces; they are also up to the challenge. That’s what keeps you watching.

All these series stand out by featuring stories about manly men played by manly guys, and nowadays, where pajama boys drinking hot chocolate are telling us what to talk about at Christmas (not that pj boys would dare utter the word “Christmas”), that’s worth looking into.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

 

 

(Our story begins at The home of Bob & Brenda Bystander near the University of Missouri they hear a loud noise and see the glow of a light outside their door)

Bob Bystander:   What was that?  It sounds like it came from Fred’s house.

Brenda Bystander:  (Runs to a Door and Opens it)  Oh my God!

Bob Bystander:   (runs to the Door sees a group of people in white hoods on horseback lighting a cross with the torches they’re carrying burning a Cross with a rope around their neighbor Fred waist.)  Oh My God!  It’s the Klu Klux Klan!  And their burning a Cross in our neighborhood!

Hooded figure one: [Overhearing Bob , Points at Him]  Trigger warning Trigger warning! (The group of riders turn at look at Bob and Brenda)  That man violated my safe space!

Hooded Leader:  [Rides over between Bob and the first hooded figure who is now in tears]  Now now, what happened?

HF1: [Sobbing]  That man there, he said [sob] we were the Klu Klux Klan!  He triggered me!

Hooded Leader: Calm Down , deep breaths, go into your safe space

Hf1:  [Hyperventilating into his hood]:  My safe space…Bully proof windows , ‘

Hooded figure two:  That was a terrible thing to do

Hooded figure Three:  Yeah, don’t you care about his self esteem?

Bob Bystander:   [Utterly confused]  I’m Sorry What?

HL:  How could you ever say such a thing about an open minded gender studies major?

Bob Bystander:   You mean you aren’t guys aren’t the KKK?

Hooded Leader:  Of course not, We’re the Campus Cares Crew, the CCC.

HF1:  Did he say “Guys?”

HF2:  Don’t you be imposing heteronormative constructs on us!

HF3:  what a sexist

Brenda Bystander:    The Campus Cares Crew?

Hooded Leader:  That right.  [Turning to Bob]  Why one earth would you think we’re the Klu Klux Klan?

Bob Bystander:   Well,  those look like Klan Robes and Hoods.

HL:  Ridiculous

HF1:  [still breathing into a bag] We ARE not

HF2:  Nothing of the sort

HF3:  What an idiot

Hooded Leader [self righteously]:  What we’re wearing are cloaks of equalization.  So many people in society use white privilege in order to oppress people of different colors and gender, we of the CCC wear these robes to symbolize equality, so that everyone no matter what race, sex or gender preference can not be oppressed by anyone using white privilege.

Bob Bystander:   But your cloaks, they  have a cross on them like the KKK

HFO:  That is definitely NOT a cross.

HF1:  Of course not

HF2:  Christofacist

HF3:  He’s violating MY safe space now!

Hooded Leader [even more self righteously]:  We would never use a symbol so intolerant of other faiths and creeds not to mention one so unfriendly to our gay, lesbian, transgender and gender neutral members.  That is a letter “T” for “tolerance”.

Bob Bystander:   It looks like a cross

HL :  Well it’s not!  It’s a lower case “t” symbolizing tolerance.

HF1:  Of course it’s obvious

HF2:  Yeah stop trying to impose your Eurocentric, Christocentric views.

HF3:  Fascist

Bob Bystander:   But why is it on his lawn… and burning?

HL:  Well he left a terrible comment on our blog concerning our manifesto.

HF1:  He contaminated our safe space.

HF2:  I still feel violated!

HF3:  It’s important that people understand that you can’t go around saying things that make people uncomfortable

Bob Bystander:   So you’re burning a  Cross, sorry a lower case “t” on his lawn, because he let a comment on your blog?

Brenda Bystander:     What did he say?

HL:  He said that the entire campus should be a free speech zone!  No matter who it triggers or offends!

HF1:  Can you believe it?

HF2:  You can’t just say intolerant things like that!

HF3:  I’m still triggered by it!

Bob Bystander:   But, burning a (catches himself) lower case “t”?

HL:  Yes it’s coated in vegetable oils

HF1:  Very green friendly, good for the earth, that’s why we have the horses too.

HF2:  Yes by riding horses we’re able to reduce our carbon footprint and avoid fossil fuels.

HF3:  We’re saving the planet one step at a time.

Brenda Bystander:  What about the rope?

HL:  Well of course there’s a rope around him we’re taking him to face the campus counsel

HF1:  He has to answer for what he’s done to all the people he’s been intolerant to

HF2:  And we made the rope ourselves!  It’s our own campus renewable hemp farm

HF3:  That’s where the horse manure goes

Bob Bystander:   But do you have to take him away.

HL:  We can’t take any chances, we have to make sure he understand the true message of tolerance.

HF1:  After all what’s point of having a safe space on campus if people can violate it from the internet?  Or in letters to the editor

HF2:  We need to spread the flame of Tolerance, not just on our campus but on campuses around the nation

Hf3:  It just takes a  little muscle.

Brenda Bystander:  Well, that’s a load off of my mind. We’re sorry to have seemed so judgemental.

Bob Bystander:  I’m so glad to know Fred isn’t being taken away by hooded members of the KKK burning a cross in front of his yard because he’s black and they want to silence him.  He’s being taken away and silenced by unprivileged members of the CCC putting a symbol of tolerance in his yard to protect the student body from harmful biases and teach him tolerance for other people’s views

Fred Freedom:  Well that makes all the difference doesn’t it

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

I speak to Matthew Bowman of the Catholic Geeks at the Catholic Marketing Trade Show

The Catholic Geeks web site is here, their facebook page is here, their twitter page is here.

I spoke to Catholic Science Fiction Author Karina Fabian at the Catholic Marketing Trade show Half and Half

I say half and half because it was a tough interview because the system crashed and burned before it could start, when I finally got the system up and began the interview the camera died half way into the interview but I just continued on with the audio which ran an additional 3 minutes

The full audio interview runs 6:14. It’s here

Her web site is here you can find her on facebook here and twitter here

The Catholic Geeks website is here and heir facebook is here

There were a fair amount of venders at Pintastic NE in Sturbridge MA but there was one setup that had nothing to do with selling pinball machines. Project Pinball.

On Day one I interviewed Tess who was manning the Project Pinball booth.

On day 2 I stopped by the seminar room to hear part of their presentation on their program

At the end of the day they had the drawing to give away the machines from this contest

And if you want to help you can enter a project pinball tournament near you

or just donate here

pintastic day 2 004The 2nd Day of Pintastic started with an interesting conversation with a fellow named Art at Breakfast that had absolutely nothing to do with Pinball but once we were done he did take the time to sit for an interview on the subject of the silver ball.

It was another beautiful day and in addition to the indoor entertainment and vendors there were rides outside for the kiddies, and a traveling arcade. Meanwhile inside there was a magician performing and Maggie the Clown who was keeping the young ones smiling with stilts, trick and children’s magic.

One of the things about Pinball is the variations there was a group that had the lowest Tech pinball you ever saw, with a cardboard playing field the Pinbox 3000:

and in the other direction the VPCabs system the highest of high-tech with 100+ games in a single box from Doctor Who

To one of my favorites the original Indiana Jones:

But there is more than just this game vs that game you have to keep up games. In the free game area for example constant play means constant upkeep which is where companies like Aardvark Pinball come in.

Of course I wasn’t the only person interviewing people. The folks at Sci-Fi Journal was there and we did one of my patented simultaneous interviews.

For myself one of the highlights was meeting and talking to people. I tended to set up games for four players and invite people to join me. After all what’s the point of being at a location full of people with similar interests and not meeting them. Occasionally I missed an interview as my new camera had a battery that needed charging , so I missed an interview with a teacher in the Bronx who uses Pinball as a method of therapy (Hope to run into her again) but I did manage to get charged again in time to catch one of the organizers just after the drawing from Project Pinball (They will have their own post) later this week and the big question was: Will there be a Pintastic NE 2?

But when all the playing is done comes the packing up and when you have a dozen Pinball machines to put away, it’s becomes quite a project. That’s when you really get a chance to appreciate all the time and effort these guys went through to give us this show.

Great Job Pintastic NE. It’s very appreciated.

Epilogue: My wife showed up at the end of the last day after going on a quilt shop spree then beat me in a game of Wizard of Oz.

But the question is next year will DaWife decide to hang out and play?

We’ll close this post with shots from day 2 but remember we have at least two more Pintastic NE posts coming up this week.

On Day one of Pintastic NE I spoke to longtime Pinball industry artist Greg Ferris:

Greg designed games such as Dr. Dude, Star Trek TNG, Medieval Madness, Harlem Globetrotters and many more. His latest game is Woah Nelly Big Juicy Melons.

Pintastic 1 006

We talked about the actual design of the game and while some might snark about the subject matter the amount of time it takes to tweak a game to get the geometry and all the other aspects of the game to make it playable as a commercial game.

The game itself in style reminds one of the games of the 60’s. While prototypes hve been written about for a couple of years Stern Didn’t formally announce the game till this march.

If you couldn’t make it to Pintastic NE but would like this game, never fear you can buy it right now from Amazon.com but you’d better hurry as they only have three left as of this writing.

Pintastic 1 010Friday my youngest and I headed to Sturbridge with my wife but while she went on the hunt for quilting shops in the area we attended day one of Pintastic New England the first big Pinball event/convention in the area that I’ve ever seen.

My family arrived at the location in Sturbridge host hotel about a half hour before the event was to officially begin, our passes gave us early access to the rooms but as our hotel rooms were ready we decided to get settled first and then check out the pinball rooms later as we would have all day to do so.

Pintastic considered of two major rooms the first a free play room where players were able to play games brought by various pinball aficionados from around the area to play for free. Some of these games were for sale and others where just for show. I talked to one such gentleman on day one

The primary room was a large vendor area where you could talk to people who made their living restoring Pinball machines like Atlantic Pinball

People who designed various types of Pinball machines like Multimorphic

And people who made devices to support pinball machines like Pinnovators.

Of course in addition to these and other vendors (who mostly allowed people to play their machines for free) there were the tournament machines

This is the area where as part of a special admission package (or a fee of $20) you could enter a cash tournament to compare your pinball skills to those assembled here.

TherePintastic 1 020 was also a video game area with a tournament but the real star was the hundreds of pinball machines sitting there for the playing. At $17 for an all day pass (over 12 hours) you get your monies worth and then some.

The event continues through saturday so if you are reading this early enough consider heading down to Pintastic NE at the Sturbridge host hotel on route 20.

I suspect you’ll have a great time if you do.

I’ll be posting some individual interviews from some of the folks here later in the day and week.

Some of you might be wondering why I bother with stuff like this with so many other serious things out there, but frankly that’s why I think we NEED to bother with stuff like this.

If all we worry about is the serious parts of life we won’t have any time to enjoy it.

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Last week I accidentally ran across Star Trek Continues.

As I recognized the actor who had played Apollo in the base series and couldn’t get to sleep I stayed up to watch it.

To say I was pleasantly surprised and impressed is an understatement.

So since all work and no fun (and since I’m months away from a new Doctor Who) ladies and gentlemen I present Pilgrim of eternity.

All of these episodes are produced by a non-profit paid for by fans. If you have the funds and like what you see consider going here and kicking in go here

10th Doctor: Interesting. A sort Absorbatrix? Absorbaclon? Absorbaloff?

Doctor Who Love & Monsters 2006

Yesterday there was joy in Baltimore and the cause of justice as six police officers were charged with crimes ranging from 2nd degree murder to manslaughter in the death of a person in custody.

But there was an even greater triumph for the cause of equality as it was revealed that 50% of the officers arrested were black and 16% were women demonstrating that at least in the case of police negligence (I say negligence because the charges involve inaction of not securing or aiding their prisoner rather than action such as beating him)  blacks and women have apparently reached parity with white officers in the left’s meme of oppression of people of color.

However this development has not been met with joy but with concerning from Joan Walsh of Salon:

I must confess being a mere conservative the idea that Blacks and women by the regular association with white men might “absorb” their evil racial attitudes of them never occurred to me.

But this should not be a surprise as this has been seen before in the third world as places like Africa & India took on some of the traits of those who colonized them (such as christianity) that still result in oppression today.

This is a serious problem and even more terrifying if you consider that police officers go through rigorous training, both physical and mental in order to do their job properly.

If such highly trained people are subject to such absorption how much more vulnerable would school children of any age, workers or even the average homeowner in a neighborhood be to this syndrome? After all the phrase “acting white” didn’t come out of thin air!

Well we as a just and liberal society must do all we can to stop this in its tracks.  .

1. Classification:

The first step of course is to classify this social disease.  How can we stop it if we don’t know what it is.  As we can trace and document this absorption of “white attitudes” to the days of colonization the logical name is

Contagious Oppression Of The Indigenous Entities Syndrome

or “Cooties” for short.

This must be immediately recognized by any and all medical and psychological organizations nationwide.  Any such organization or that would deny the existence of “COOTIES” should be defunded and any such individual denied a degree or certification in any medical or psychological field.

2.  Education:

Having named this social disease and recognized it.  The next step is the necessary federal grants to institutions of higher learning to study and combat this syndrome.

I would suspect the lions share of such grants would need to go to racial and gender studies programs as they are the most sensitive to even the slightest signs of oppression by white males.

And of course community groups should not be ignored, ACORN and other organizations should be fully funded by the government to make sure activists on the street are trained to recognize  “COOTIES” wherever they may be.

This will of course require higher taxes, particularly on corporations but isn’t it worth it to stop the dreaded scourge of “COOTIES”?

3.  Prevention:

While the full funding of ongoing research is a positive step it is not enough.  We need to stop COOTIES in its tracks.  So until there is a cure for COOTIES there is only one thing to do.

It is necessary to separate those vulnerable to COOTIES from those who carry the disease. Therefore in order to protect people of color it will be necessary to educate such people in an environment completely free of White Males, from preschool days to the end of higher education.

And given this solution it we might take the opportunity to nip the entire “rape culture” business in the bud by educating young women in a safe space completely free from males of all colors. This will minimize the potential for any trace of COOTIES to reach them.

All of this will of course require even more government spending but it’s a small price to pay to make sure the most vulnerable of us are not exposed to COOTIES.

As for the protection of general public. Until generations can be carefully taught to avoid White Males and the COOTIES they carry it’s clear that laws will simply have to be passed to protect the vulnerable public from this scourge.

Eventually, with government funding,  alternatives in business, transportation and housing will exist.  This is the ideal as it will mean people shopping, traveling, buying a house or going out to eat will never in their lifetime be exposed to those carrying COOTIES.

Until that can be achieved laws will have to be passed to protect the public NOW!  We must as a compassionate and diverse society ensure that a person going to a store, traveling on a bus, buying a house or even sitting at a lunch counter will have minimal exposure, if any, to white male carries of COOTIES and severe penalties must be imposed on any who might break these barriers and risk the spread of this dread syndrome to our loved ones.

I would like to thank Joan Walsh and the entire Salon staff for highlighting the problem of Contagious Oppression Of The Indigenous Entities Syndrome and remind you that if you oppose any of these sensible solutions to stop it, not only are you a racist, bigot, sexist, homophobe, transaphobe hater but are clearly a carrier of COOTIES who must be removed from the general population at once!

It’s for the children.

Update:  moved a classification

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Naturally I would expect millions of dollars in government grants so I can further study COOTIES and their effects on the public, but until these come through I would ask you to hit DaTipJar and help me pay for this vital social research:

 

My goal is Twenty grand a year

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That gets all the bills paid.  If I can get to Forty Thousand I can afford to travel outside of New England and/or hire me a blogger to help me get it done.

Consider Subscribing 100 Subscribers at $20 a month will get the job done.

 

Our May Premium for a tip jar hitters of $50 or more is Tim Imholt’s book:  The Forest of Assassins

Subscribe at $50 or more in April and receive each monthly premium shipped the date of your payment.

All Tip Jar hits in April of $10 or more will get a copy of Jeff Trapani’s excellent E-Book Victor the Monster Frankenstein.

Cottontail, mother of twenty-one little boy and girl bunnies, holds life-long dreams of becoming an Easter Bunny.

Why, you may ask, a children’s book written in 1939 by a proper Charlestonian named DuBose Hayward, matter to us, jaded denizens of the 21st Century?

Because it is a powerful book.

DuBose Heyward (1885-1940) wrote several books, including the acclaimed novel Porgy,

the first major southern novel to portray blacks without condescension. Just a decade later George Gershwin had transformed Heyward’s book into an opera that would become one of the most enduring masterworks of American music.

Undoubtedly, Porgy and Bess is powerful art, but what makes The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes powerful is the strength of its main character: A good mother who stays true to her core values of becoming “wise, kind, and brave!”, for all five Easter Bunnies (did you know there are five?)

must be the five kindest, and swiftest, and wisest bunnies in the whole world.

Little Mother Cottontail works hard and does her best as she takes pride in her work. No false self-esteem here, since she believes in results and achievement. She believes in herself and keeps a positive attitude. She focuses on keeping up with her everyday work (much like her creator, who kept his day job); Duty is foremost for her:

Cottontail stopped thinking about hopping over the world with lovely eggs for little boys and girls, and she took care of her babies.

She values the love of her family. She ignores the jackrabbits, the snobs and the naysayers.

And she rises to the challenge.

Some view it as a feminist fable, but it’s more than that. It’s a book about values.

I only read The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes recently, after a friend recommended it. It’s funny, the prose is perfect, and you will cry, and laugh. The illustrations by Marjory Flack are beautiful, charming, memorable and funny. It also comes with a bookplate, “For someone wise, and kind, and brave,” perfect for giving as a gift.

Good literature is when it goes beyond the printed word to exalt the better parts of our human souls. The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes is great literature.

Order yours now so you’ll have it by Easter.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog. She bought the 70th anniversary edition with the shoe charm.

You know it’s a waste of time to point out the difference between say the March for Life in DC or the Walk for Life in SF and the Iowa to something like either the March for life and the Run (Elizabeth) Warren Run Iowa group.

So since that comparison won’t move people who can’t see pro-lifers in front of their faces let me show you this photo of their group:

and mention some names:

Dave, Frank, Ken, Paul, Eric and Peter.

This is or rather was, the roster for the Tuesday night game group that has been playing board games together in the Fitchburg/Leominster area for over 30 years.

Some of the names have on occasion changed over the decades but the regular core group has been pretty steady since about 2001 and until recently never fell below six.

However in November I picked up some contract work that takes up my mornings that combines an early morning with the necessity of hitting the 6:30 evening mass if I want to go to church.

Thus I’ve missed game night for nearly four months although I do manage to join in an online Civ V game on weekends.

So let me congratulate the Run Warren Run Group, they might not be able to compete with the March or walk for life, tea party events, or even the lineup of writers at DaTechGuy Blog.

But they can take a bow, because they’ve managed to outnumber the Tuesday night game night group.

I’m sure Vox et/al will be impressed.

 

You’ve heard about my love of the card game, bridge. Now I’ll share a bit about what it is.

 

To play, you need two pairs of people. Each pair is considered a “partnership” – that is, a team unto themselves. A deck of cards is shuffled, and each player gets 13 cards.

 

The goal of the game is for your partnership to take as many tricks as you can each time the cards are dealt. First, however, you go through a process called “bidding.” What is bidding?

 

Every partnership has a language where they communicate with bids descriptions of their cards. You language is called your “system” – an agreement as to what each of the bids means. Some people have very simple systems. Some have systems where they need literally hundreds of pages to document all their agreements and meanings!

 

Once the bidding is completed, one pair or the other “wins” the contract. That is, they have promised to take a certain number of tricks on that hand. That pair tries to achieve that goal – or do even better. The other side (now known as “the defense”) does their best to take as many tricks as they can – and perhaps foil the offensive side from reaching their goal.

 

This occurs hand after hand, until the game completes.

 

There are a number of forms of the game. You can play with four people anywhere you like; this is generally referred to as “contract bridge.” You can play what is called “duplicate bridge”. In this form, you have multiple people who play the same hands throughout a session. This form of bridge takes away much more of the “luck” as to whether you get good or bad cards. Since everyone has the same cards, you compare what each pair does to the other, rather than only one result. You also can have team games. In this format, your pair joins with another pair to form a team. Your team plays another team – and, let the best team win!

 

Bridge is not an easy game to learn – yet it is not extremely difficult. That being said, it is absolutely fascinating, and to learn to play at a high level can take time and effort. Best of all, however, it is so deep and complex, you can spend a lifetime learning and being intrigued.

 

I know that I have!

 

Peg Kaplan

Many moons ago, mononucleosis struck my sophomore year in college. Confined to my apartment in the dead of a Wisconsin winter, the math professor I was dating had a suggestion. He would teach me how to play bridge.

 

We dealt dozens of “honeymoon bridge” hands (bridge normally requires 4 participants, but this variant can be done with only two). I learned very limited basics. Later in the year when I returned to full health, I’d play a bit of “real bridge” in the common room of the math department and in our student union.

 

I found this amazing game fascinating. Yet, it wasn’t until some years later when I had moved to Minnesota and had married that the bridge bug really bit. An in law convinced me to try “duplicate bridge” – a form of the game where every hand you play is also played by other competitors in the field, removing a great deal of the luck factor.  I’d play every few weeks, learning and enjoying more.

 

Then, destiny struck. My aunt in Tulsa was a fine player. They were having a tournament in her city, and she invited me to attend. I did, and as the saying goes, “the rest is history.”

I played for 3 days in 4 events. I placed in each – and then won the team game on Sunday! We had to beat fine teams to accomplish this; I was thrilled!

 

More than 35 years later, I now have 4 national championships to my name, bridge friends from literally every continent – and have played with some people you might know. (More on that later).

 

Stay tuned to learn why a card game can attract great minds from around the world – and intrigue us throughout our lives!

 

Update DTG:  I’d like to welcome Peg as part of the crew writing here.  Her primary topic will be the card game bridge which we both enjoy.

Why a bridge column at DaTechGuy Blog?  Because there is more to life than politics (plus Doctor Who doesn’t return till the fall)