Oct. 17th, 2011 05:43 pm
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It worries me that the U.S. public is so caught up in the partisan politics of the moment and/or a general sense of apathy, that it has entirely missed the point of the TEA Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

These two fringe elements of the right and left respectively, are symptoms of widespread dissatisfaction among the common people.

Both groups represent the disenfranchised (or at least those who see themselves as disenfranchised) and loudly present vague laundry lists of complaints about how "their" country has been co-opted by the menacing Other Side. Neither group can seem to put together a coherent set of beliefs on which its members can agree - just that something is wrong, and THIS simplistic solution might fix it, not the other guys.

Looking at this phenomenon, which is not new to American history, I have to see the emergence of vocal fringe political movements that are gaining strength as a warning sign that our nation is seriously ill.

Without some sort of positive change, we run the risk of becoming irrelevant on the world stage, or worse, actually splitting into two distinct countries - both irrelevant - after a long and bloody second civil war.

It's time for cooler heads to prevail, and for Americans to stop acting like children. We have to understand the word "compromise" is not an obscenity, but the very heart of our political philosophy.
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Having been raised in an Evangelical Christian household with an unquestioning belief in the supernatural, I would have to say The Exorcist was the most frightening movie I have ever seen. It hits on a primal level if you have one of the two religious backgrounds that connect to that mythos. (The other would be Catholic.) I'm not a big fan of that movie, but I have to say it is the only movie I have ever seen that made me uneasy. In fact, a minister when I was a child saying that every time the movie was shown, demons were released from hell, probably didn't help. That's ridiculous of course, but it stuck with me. Besides, any good Evangelical should know that demons and Satan are not in hell at this time, or at least not confined there. Satan is the Prince of the Powers of the Air, after all. :)
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Best of natal anniversary wishes to two wonderful women -[ profile] jo_mako and [ profile] rowangolightly !

May your coming year be full of blessings!
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I have a confession to make. I've always had a soft spot for the "mullet."

I wore this now derided hairstyle back in the late 80's/early 90's when it was cool, and did not have a derogatory name. And I rocked it. I am one of those strange people with the right hair type/facial features that I actually look good in a mullet. Yes, the federal government classifies this as a harmful genetic mutation. I was probably secretly sterilized when I was young and drunk. You know, one of those times I thought I was going to get laid, but ended up getting abducted by aliens instead. And not the cute kind from Mexico.

Let it be understood as a basic fashion rule - never wear any hairstyle once it has a name. Once they are named, they are passe.

Now, I have no desire to grow a mullet in the current fashion environment, but I feel called to defend its name from people who are abusing it and using it in vain.

The problem is, many fashionistas on the side of the fashion aisle that just hates long hair on men have taken to calling virtually any men's hairstyle that dips below the collar a mullet.

I just finished reading a trashy fashion story that referred to Steven Seagal as having had a mullet. Really? No. The Seag was an asshole with a greasy ponytail. But he did not have a mullet.

Just for the edification of certain people, a mullet is a men's hairstyle where the back is significantly longer than the front, top, or sides. Note the word "significantly." 

And guess what, at one time it was very fashionable, and many men wore it. And you swooned. Admit it.

Now, unlike many people, I live in the now. Mullets look ridiculous in 2011. But let's put things in perspective, shall we?

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To that blessed baker,   [ profile] bleuberi21 .

May your next year be full of awesome!
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I'm getting ready to start back to school in the fall, if at all possible.

I need to do this. It's time, and we've come to the conclusion that if we are going to pay for education, it's best to be paying for new coursework and degrees rather than on our student loans, which we will never be able to fully repay.

I wish I had the time, gas, money, etc.. to go to OU and study something I would like, such as a Master's in English. But for a number of reasons, my only real option at the moment is to attend Cameron University, our local regional.

The only graduate program they have that interests me at all is a Master's in Behavioral Science, which doesn't really dovetail with my career, but is a basic academic Master's degree that I can later parlay into a more suitable Ph.D. program at OU or somewhere else.

Another option is to work on a Master's of Education, which would also get me certified as a teacher in Oklahoma, but frankly, I'm not sure I want to teach at the public school level for the next phase of my career. I do want to teach at the college level (something like a community college English professorship) at some point in the future, but I'm not in a hurry.

I could also work on another Bachelor's degree, possibly in Romance Languages, with an emphasis in Spanish. But I'm not sure that would be more "useful" than getting a generic Master's like the one I described above.

This is a case of Hobson's Choice. I know I want to go back to school, but my options are severely limited. I also know that I can't work as a newspaper reporter for the rest of my life, no matter how much I love it. Reporters have a shelf-life, and I have probably four to five years left before I either have to change professions or become an editor, which probably cannot happen here without someone dying.

We aren't likely to move again. We bought a house, and Sahona is very close to her family - and they love having us here. So whatever options I pursue will need to offer us some benefit where we are located now.

I would especially like to hear input from some of you who have been through similar situations.

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"In brightest day, in blackest night,

No evil shall escape my sight

Let those who worship evil's might,

Beware my power, Green Lantern's light!"

June 17. Only one of my favorite comic book series of all time...

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Stephen Robertson/staff

A new crop of prairie dog pups greets visitors to Elmer Thomas Park, although some pups — like the one at left — are less sociable than others.



Apr. 26th, 2011 11:28 pm
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Neko is getting ready to go.
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Here's wishing a  boisterous birthday bru-ha-ha to the  beautiful bouncing[ profile] bountifulpots  !

Alliteration aside, have a good time and  blessed year.
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There is a group of immigrants destroying the United States. They are degrading our moral character and fundamentally changing the nature of our culture.

Many of them came here illegally, seeking work.

These people are predominantly Catholic, which means they have large families. They pile into cheap accommodations in bad neighborhoods, which they quickly take over from earlier inhabitants through force, intimidation and superior numbers. Sometimes five to ten times the appropriate number of people live in a single dwelling, with all of them pooling their resources.

They undercut the labor market by working for less than the prevailing wages. Of course, if you do hire them, be sure to only pay them after they have completed the job. Because as soon as they have money, they will immediately go out and get drunk. These people are notorious alcoholics.

They are also given to brawling. They come from an uncivilized culture and are prone to lawlessness, rebellion against normal authority, and a lack of respect for governmental entities.

Their language is barbarous - a mixture of their native tongue and English that is often neither. Many of them are illiterate.

However, these people are politically active, and their organized criminal element is moving to support candidates who have promised them patronage.

Something must be done about this immigrant invasion immediately, otherwise we will soon lose control of our country.

I'm talking about the Irish in the 19th Century, of course. What did you think I was talking about?

Some of this might sound familiar. Not to worry, today's immigrant (legal or otherwise) is tomorrow's proud ethnic American, and the next day's mainstream American who has only a vague idea of his roots...
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To my relatively new friend, the witty and always-interesting [info]zoe_1418

May your next year bring you happiness and success!
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This man makes me sick. And the worst irony - beating the boy because he wasn't watching a "Bible DVD." Yeah, Jesus would be so fucking proud of you, asshole.

DA: Boy’s death murder


    A local man accused of abusing his stepson last week, which allegedly resulted in the boy’s death, now faces murder charges.
    Lancey D. Ray, 38, made his initial appearence in court Monday afternoon facing one count of second-degree murder in the death of his 10-year-old stepson, Malik Ray, according to court records. His courtroom demeanor was that of a soldier, standing with arms behind his back and addressing Comanche County Special District Court Judge Ken Harris as “sir” and “your honor.” Otherwise, he said nothing.
    Ray appeared in court earlier Monday before Comanche County District Court Judge William
Stratton for a child custody hearing regarding two, additional young children who had been living at home before Ray’s arrest last week.
    He was ordered to be held at the Comanche County Detention Center in lieu of a $1 million bond.
    According to a court affidavit, Ray is accused of killing the child by beating him with a belt and a cutting board, “which resulted in blunt force trauma and which involved conduct that created what a reasonable person would realize was an immediate and extremely high degree of risk of death.” The charge went on to say Ray acted with “total indifference to the life and safety of another, regardless of human life, although it was done without any premeditated
design to (cause Malik’s) death,” the affidavit said.
    The court document, prepared by Lawton Police Detective Terry Quisenberry, said Ray was arrested last Thursday, just hours after he and Malik’s mother brought the boy to Reynolds Army Community Hospital. The boy was not breathing, had no pulse and was unresponsive, according to a police report.
    After about 25 minutes of CPR, emergency personnel were able to hear Malik’s pulse, the report said, so he was stabilized and airlifted to an Oklahoma City hospital, where he died around 4 a.m. Thursday. Malik’s parents and siblings were taken to the police station for questioning, and the children were later placed in protective custody.

    Since Fort Sill officials believed Malik exhibited injuries suffered during an abusive event at his northwest Lawton home, local police were called to investigate.
    Detectives first spoke with local doctors, who told police Malik had “multiple bruises that ranged in their healing process and that some were very recent,” meaning he could have been hurt in the past, the affidavit said. The doctor also reportedly told police the boy had a “‘strap mark pattern’ on the inner thighs and lower leg,” court records said.
    Malik’s airway was partially blocked due to vomit in his throat, the affidavit said, but his mother told police he would sometimes throw up when he didn’t get his way. Doctors at Fort Sill told local police they believed his cardiac arrest was due to abuse.
    Police also spoke with the
chief of pediatrics at RACH, who told them there was bruising on Malik’s shoulders, arms and legs, the affidavit said. The pediatrician told investigators he also noticed “bruising behind Malik’s ears and ‘band marks’ possibly caused by a belt,” the affidavit said.
    The doctor told investigators he’d spoken with Lancey Ray at the hospital, and the defendant said he’d made lunch for the 10-yearold earlier in the day, but the boy didn’t want it. “That’s when the ‘whipping started,’” the affidavit said.
    While interviewing Malik’s mother, police learned she was at work when the alleged abuse started. She reportedly said she called home around 2 p.m. Wednesday and her husband told her Malik was in trouble again and that “she may see bruises on (him) when she gets home,” according to court records.

    Malik’s mother, as stated in the affidavit, told police her son probably vomited on purpose, and that is what prompted the discipline. However, during interviews with police, she expressed disapproval of the “whipping” he gave Malik.
    Malik’s mother said when they punished the boy, a belt, wooden cutting board (or her paddle) or a piece of wood was used to spank the 10-year-old. She also told investigators Ray would “chase Malik throughout the house when he was to be punished [...] her husband would swing the belt striking Malik in any given area and had no ‘landing zone’ to concentrate the strikes,” the affidavit said.
    Not only did the defendant allegedly strike the boy before she returned from work, but Malik’s mother told police she too
“whipped” him with a piece of wood on his bottom, which resulted in the wood breaking, the affidavit said.
    During the interview with police, Malik’s mother said the children would watch a biblical DVD, and she heard Ray tell Malik to turn it on the night he was rushed to the hospital, the affidavit said. She claimed she heard her husband smack Malik with the belt for not pushing play on the DVD player, followed by a scuffle, the affidavit said.
    She went to the bathroom and allegedly saw Ray holding Malik, who was throwing up, over the sink. That’s when Malik’s mother and Ray took the boy to the hospital.
    According to the affidavit, Ray refused to participate in a police interview at the station and asked for his attorney. If convicted, second-degree murder carries a sentence of 10 years to life.

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Well, a lot of important things were written on them.  But you have to be able to read ancient languages like Sumerian and Hebrew to fully appreciate a good tablet. 

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I'm posting this from the home laptop. I think I have everything working again. We shall see when I restart.

Thanks to Dingo loaning me his recovery disks. Still going to buy a new desktop soon, though.
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To [ profile] itzwicks , that political philosopher who proves that sometimes Right makes Might, author, Renaissance Man,  hasher, drinker, sci-fi fanatic, and all-around mensch.

May your next year of life be a good one.
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To the wonderful, talented, and supportive [ profile] ar_wahan .  May your next year of life bring you happiness and success.
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To [ profile] be4u , that goddess of coding and Grand Duchess of the RV!

Here's hoping your next year of life brings positive changes, stability, and happiness.
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I was walking back from the break room with a cup of coffee this morning when our entertainment reporter walked in and frowned at me.

"What is your hair doing?" She asked.

That's a bad omen for the day.

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This angry post began its life as a rambling, semi-coherent, partially-on-topic comment on a friend's post concerning the Tyler Clementi case. Good, bad, ugly, it honestly reflects how I feel, so I have transplanted it here, where it belongs, mostly unedited. And yeah, it reproduces a few themes I have a tendency to preach on, so sue me:

I am sick and fucking tired of seeing people's lives ruined, or even ended over something that shouldn't fucking matter.

If your sex life involves consenting adults, then there shouldn't be this big of a problem. I'm a big boy, and I know it can get more complicated than that, what with pre-existing relationships and our expectations. But come on. No one deserves to die, be beaten, abused, harassed, or kicked out of his/her family over sex - whether it be gay sex, infidelity, kink, alternative relationships, whatever.

It's just sex, and as a culture we need to start behaving like adults and stop making people's lives hell - or causing them physical harm over it.

My heart goes out to this kid who thought it was so bad people would know he was gay, he thought it was worth killing himself over. Fucking breaks my heart, because I knew so many people like that growing up and in college. People who thought the world would just fall apart if others knew their "awful" secret. That's bullshit. We've got to make a clean break from a sick society that thinks the worst thing you could possibly do is have sex in some way some messed-up, unedited book written during several primitive time periods doesn't approve of. Fuck that shit.

I only know how to do it on an individual level. I don't know how many times I've had to tell people, "yes, I know you're gay. I don't care."

I wish I could have been this poor kid's friend.

It should go without saying, but it can't, because these ignorant, hateful trogalodytes won't just let the whole sex thing drop.

And it seems like every time those of us who are straight (I really hate that term) try to make a stand about sexual freedom, we get shouted down or belittled. All it seems to do is create a backlash.

Everyone just grow up, please.
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