Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Happy Halloween!

 HALLOWEEN MURDER AND MAYHEM 2014

Murder and mayhem abounded during the hi-jinx of our favorite horror holiday this year.
Let's check it out.

A student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie who tried to act as a good samaritan by breaking up a Halloween fight was killed. LINK. 

In Ontario, Oregon burglar Jayme Wintersteen was confronted at his home by an associate, Douglas West,  about a dispute over stolen goods. Evidently tempers flared up between the two and West was shot by Wintersteen as he attempted to flee. LINK

The demons were cheering with glee during Orange County's "bloodiest Halloween ever." Why? Six people died in three incidents.
One: Three 13 year old girls trick or treating in costume were killed by a hit and run driver. 
Two: In the same vein, a 65 year old man and his four year old son were struck by a car. The man died and his son is in critical condition. 
Three: An over enthusiastic prankster shot his ex-wife and then turned to gun on himself before his 13 and 7 year old children during a Halloween child custody exchange. LINK

What? No treat? Here's your trick then.  A woman in Oklahoma City was shot in the back of her head for her cache of prescription pills.  LINK

A man who couldn't wait three more days for Halloween decapitated his mother and dragged her body into the street in Farmingdale, New York on Long Island. Neighbors thought it was a Halloween prank. LINK

Road Rage Trick?  A man was shot and killed while driving in Moses Lake, Washington on Halloween. LINK

In Austin, Texas a man killed his girlfriend via inflicting unspecified traumatic injuries early on Halloween. He was arrested later in the day suffering from self inflicted wounds. LINK

A Long Beach, California man was stabbed to death on Halloween. LINK

An Indiana high school student frightened a group of trick or treaters  by brandishing a knife at them on Halloween. The next day he evidently used the knife to murder a 73 year old man. LINK

What would Halloween be like without a homophobic attack?  In South London, two thugs, ironically dressed as fairies in pink tutus, terrorized by knocking down and kicking in the head two young men they characterized as homosexuals. LINK

In another ironic attack, two "Stop the Violence" activists in Washington, Pennsylvania were arrested the day before Halloween after beating a colleague silly to the point where he vomited blood and ended up hospitalized in critical condition. LINK

Meanwhile in Brevard County Florida, marauding wild hogs threatened the celebration of Halloween. LINK

In Australia, a 16 year old youth reprimanded a passing motorist for driving dangerously close to him and his friends on Halloween.  The car stopped, a man got out and punched the lad in the face. He remains hospitalized in an induced coma. LINK







Friday, June 13, 2014

Common Core Is Not A New Exercise Program

A Couple of Things 

Small Untitled Piece by John Bonanno

 

Common Core

 Isn't it funny that when the federal government implemented common standards under George Bush the right had no problem. "No child left behind" was a joke that taught tests not children. The Obama administration implements standards called "common core" to really try to prepare children for college or the workplace and it is considered evil by the usual suspects. I think Common Core is a little better than the ridiculous "No child left behind" which really amounted to "No child gets ahead." What a country!

Personally, I think we need smarter and better teachers who really know their subjects. That would require raising pay (and changing the criteria used to hire teachers so that we have educators that have been trained more in subjects and less in the metadata of education) and we all know republicans will never go for that. So politicians just bump along trying to find some magic formula to overcome the crappy American education system. I doubt it will happen.

By the way, Jeb Bush is the politician who has been the biggest promoter of "common core" in the country.

Why Bowe Bergdahl Will Not Be Charged With Desertion and Why It Is Plain Wrong to Call Him "Deserter" 

    Bowe Bergdahl can't be charged with desertion since he was taken prisoner immediately by the Taliban. It doesn't become desertion until  AWOL (absent without leave)  continues for 30 days. Being taken prisoner obviously prevented Bergdahl from returning to base and abrogates any desertion charge. I would say that the majority of people in the military are AWOL at some point in their military careers, usually after getting drunk or hooking up with a woman. Bergdahl has never been charged by the military with any crime. The only crime under the UCMJ he can be charged with, in my opinion based on current evidence, is AWOL, for a day and, perhaps, failure to follow orders (I assume a standing "don't leave the base" order existed, but who knows?), not such a serious thing as desertion. But I can't blame all those rabid right wingers who never wore a uniform for their ignorance of the UCMJ, can I? 

Many stories were circulating about the 7 or 8 soldiers who were killed in the search for Bergdahl but it looks like that was all right wing hysteria. None of these so-called victims have actually been linked to trying to rescue this man when they were killed as far as I can tell.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

'Hiram Fire Department, Late Winter 2014' 11" x 14"oil painting by John Bonanno
The Hiram Historical Society presents "Hiram in Art." Works to be displayed at Great Ossipee Museum of the Hiram Historical Society for a week beginning Saturday August 9, 2014 with silent auction ending Sunday August 17, 2014, a weekend filled with many Bicentennial events. Works to be displayed include my painting "Hiram Fire Department, Late Winter 2014."  The minimum bid on this painting will be $300, indeed a bargain.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Chutney, taken November 29, 2013
Good Bye Dear Friend  

He loved to sing.

Now he is catching up on news with his old greyhound friend Daphne.

He was very fond of
 his pool on a hot day.

He vigilantly and fiercely looked out for his humans.

Sweet puppy.
This is a full page photograph of Chutney's Daddy, Junior World Champion Heythrop Trailblazer Of Snow Wind. Photo by T.M. Strom from the The Ultimate Jack Russell Terrier by Mary Strom. Chutney would get very upset and bark at this picture whenever I held it up to him and asked, "Who's your Daddy?" 



 He left this plane on January 10, 2014. 

Here is the transcript of our final New Years message and song.


Good Morning and Happy New Year 2014.



We are sitting here on the threshold of a brand new year and of course we hope for the best. We know that this year will hold some sadness and disappointment even in our victories. But we find comfort in the fact that our defeats and tragedies will contain the seeds of rebirth and joy as well.

Some of you may know Chutney, my good friend and companion. He is a Jack Russell terrier who was born in September of 1999. He is fourteen and he will not see his fifteenth birthday. Chutney has ALS which is also know as Lou Gehrig disease. He can hardly stand up now. He must drag himself around but it is getting more and more difficult. The first signs of ALS showed up about a year and a half ago when we noticed that he was having a little trouble jumping up on the bench by the back door. We had trained him to jump up there when it was time for a walk so it would be easier for his aging humans to leash him. Now he needs to be carried outside and upstairs. He eats lying down. He has lost control of his bowel movements and when I take him out I squeeze his abdomen to help him.



Chutney will be leaving us on Friday, January the tenth at about 9:30 AM.



He whimpers, cries and shakes and he has let us know in his own way that he is ready to move on.

I have prepared his grave in the back yard near a witch hazel bush. He will be buried in my old Navy blanket, which he loved, and with a new stuffed bear (scores of Goodwill stuffed animals met their ends at his paws) which will be with him forever.



Long ago we made a deal that we would always be friends and that in whatever guises the future may hold for each of us that we would recognize each other and be friends again.



A few years ago we sang together on the new year and that video is posted on my Youtube channel. Chutney loves to sing and he sounds as sweet as an angel to me. His voice is a bit shaky now but we shall sing for you again this year in Chutney's last public performance.

Chutney was interred January 16 with myself, Beth, and his friend Cushing in attendance. 
Chutney with Cushing, taken October 28, 2014

Chutney's Prayer

Our dearest Chutney has passed to the West with a renewed body of light.
May Anubis lead him to the Happyland where he may lay down his burdens and rest for a time.
He has been ever vigilant in the way of all Jack Russell Terriers, but now he may rest for a time.
He no longer must bear the responsibility for his humans and now he may rest for a time.
May he be rewarded greatly for his efforts in this life.
His body remains here to lie in the ground. 
Wrapped in my Navy blanket he holds a  stuffed bear on a bed of straw.
We shall erect a cairn on this spot.
We pledge to honor his memory and plant lovely flowers on his grave.
I know we shall meet again and we shall remember one another. 

Amen. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Goddammit! That's why I drink whiskey.  I just don't know if those damn Commie brewers are poisoning my precious bodily fluids with fluoride!

BEERS WITHOUT FLUORIDE!


General Ripper is right. Fluoride is removed from water by the distillation process. But it remains in beer after the brewing process. One reason I moved to rural Maine was to avoid fluoridated drinking water. I've been drinking from a deep pure well for 28 years. I try to buy my beer from brewers who use non-fluoridated water when I'm not consuming my own.

Most brewers don't say much about their water sources. I have emailed a few brewers to determine the source of their water and if it is fluoridated. Many will answer. You can also look up the locations of breweries and then look up the city and there are easy to find lists of fluoridated towns and cities on line. I suspect some brewers in fluoridated towns may have private wells but that is conjecture. I am very fond of local Maine beers but some of the best are brewed in Portland which has been fluoridating the Sebago Lake water that goes to the city water supply since 1997. I limit my consumption of those beers. The fact is, three quarters of the population of the United States is being subjected to fluoridation in the water sent to their homes. The percentage of fluoridated beer is probably at least that high.

 A list of towns and cities in the United States and their fluoride status can be found at the Anti-Fluoridation Data Base.  Look at your bottle of beer and check where it was brewed.  It that city fluoridated? It is likely your beer is too. Perhaps your brewer has a private water supply. Some do. To be fair I would  send the brewer an email or contact them on their web site and simply ask about their water source. If they do not answer your question it is likely they use public water, and therefore their beer contains fluoride if they are located in a fluoridated town or city.  

Beers brewed with fluoridated water henceforth will be graded F on the Beers Without Fluoride Facebook page which has just been created by myself. 

 It is understood that most water supplies have a small amount of naturally occurring fluoride. Some have more. Adding extra fluoride to public water supplies is a concern to many. This dangerous poison in turn enters food and beer offered to the public. The purpose of my humble Facebook  page is not so much to discuss the dangers or benefits of fluoride. This page is for the people who have made up their minds about it and have elected to avoid it and therefore want this information in order to make an informed decision about their beer consumption. 

If you are careful to drink only bottled water yet you chug down a couple (or more) Bud Lights each and every night brewed in St. Louis  at .6 PPM fluoride what have you achieved? Not only are you drinking a beer brewed with GMO corn (Ugh and Ugh), you are also consuming beer made with fluoridated water.

Some water supplies are high in natural fluoride and most have some. Some people think that natural fluoride in water may not be as harmful as the chemicals added to public water. This may be so and their arguments make some sense but that is a question for another time. 

Vermont has a relatively low fluoride rate of about 57% of the population and there are good brewers there 'though most aren't available out of the region. Magic Hat produces excellent beers and it is usually available in Maine but they brew in one of Vermont's few fluoridated towns, South Burlington. Their Magic Hat Winter Seasonal has logged in at an atrocious .9 PPM fluoride.

This site seems to be tracking Fluoride Content of Various Beers. You will find an extensive (yet incomplete) list of beers and the status of the water they use to brew. 

How can they call beer made with fluoridated water "organic" in good conscience?

Peak Organic Brown Ale (a tasty beer indeed) is brewed by Shipyard in Portland, Maine under contract and it comes in at a rather high level of fluoride (.6 ppm). I have toured the brewery and they are a great beer making firm, yet they use fluoridated water in this supposedly organic brew. Some of the brewers in Portland, Maine  were already in operation in 1997 when the city began fluoridation. I never heard any of them opposing fluoridation at the time.


Similarly, Wolaver's in Vermont produces a  delicious array of so-called organic brews in fluoridated Middlebury.  Their Oatmeal Stout has been measured at a whopping .9 PPM fluoride at ffbeers.com. I contacted Wolaver's on their Facebook page and they admitted they were somewhat at the mercy of  the public water supply. I suggested that they might want to drill their own wells and they replied that they had looked into doing that and would study it again. I hope they do and then they could truly call their beer "organic." With both Wolaver's and Magic Hat with .9 PPM fluoride, it seems that when a Vermont town fluoridates, they really mean business at the water department. Is someone getting a kickback from the fluoride salesman?


You can bet that back in 1776 Sam's tankard did not contain beer made with fluoridated water.


The excellent Sam Adams products are also high in fluoride (.6 ppm) and are brewed in Boston which has a great protected water source in the Quabbin reservoir which is  then ruined with fluoride and excess chlorine (to my nose at least). Sam's gets an "F" as a result.  If I owned a brewery I would only use privately sourced well or spring water.  

Portland, Oregon did vote NO!


This article from the May 2013 issue of Bon Appetit magazine indicates that people responded in the negative when a local brewer supported fluoridation, claiming it wouldn't affect the taste of the beer. The referendum to fluoridate the excellent water supply of the city was defeated by the people last May. 


Friday, October 11, 2013

The USPS Wanted Your Kids To Die!

The headline above points to a story at postalnews.com which tells us:

Linn’s Stamp News reports that the US Postal Service will destroy the entire press run of a stamp series aimed at getting children to be more active. According to Linn’s reporter Bill McAllister, three of the stamps in the fifteen stamp series raised safety concerns among sports figures on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The stamps in question depicted children performing a cannonball dive, skateboarding without kneepads, and doing a headstand without a helmet. The unsafe depictions came to light after USPS Marketing chief Nagisa Manabe asked Michelle Obama to take part in a first day ceremony for the stamps. That was apparently the first time the stamps had been reviewed by the Sports Council. 



This is very very concerning. The USPS must promote health and safety above all! Look at the danger. These kids have NO EYES! They are screwed before they pick up a skateboard.   Even so, I hardly think these stamps can pose a threat to children. Kids do not even know what stamps are these days.

This year the USPS issued many commemorative stamps, almost all of which could be interpreted as promoting dangerous activities.  Let's look at some of them:


"Emancipation Proclamation"  
Many of our southren brethren think that emancipation was a wicked idea. Just imagine freedom for African Americans! Look at all the trouble it has caused.


"Kaleidoscope Flowers" 
These stamps obviously are promoting drug use since kaleidoscopes are a favorite toy of cannabis addicts.


"Year of the Snake"
We don't need no evil Chinese superstition on our stamps. And frigging fireworks are dangerous. You'll blow your hand off. But that's what the Chinese want you to do.


"Apples"
Are a favorite tool of Satan. 'Nuf said.


"Wedding Cake"
Look at that precious thing. This is obviously a gay wedding.


"Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly"
How much more overtly sexual can you get? And it's a subliminal Rorschach of a very vile thing.


"Tufted Puffins"
Here, finally, is a good one. Puffins are harmless. They live on distant islands and there aren't many of them. Wait a minute. Those tufts look too much like the horns of the Prince of Darkness.


"Global Forever" 
Why is our Postal Service which was established in our Holy Constitution promoting globalism?


"West Virginia"
What kind of a nondescript picture of West Virginia is this? It could be anywhere. Give us something distinctly West Virginia! Give us feuding hillbllies! Give us the Whites! Give us a Rockefeller! Give us the NSA! Give us Mothman!





Tuesday, September 24, 2013

For a while (maybe since the beginning of the summer) podcasts downloaded via my iTunes feed have often been corrupted.

They may skip to the end unexpectedly. 

Skip Skip


They make weird squeaky noises. 
Get out of my feed, Squeaky.

Sometimes you hear an anomalous few seconds of another podcast.
You....don't...belong....here!


 I sent a query to Apple about it but, of course, I got no response.
He's dead, Jim.

 I just updated to iTunes 11.1.0.126 today and it didn't help.

So I got an idea while looking at the podcast download window.

Several podcasts were downloading at the same time. I wondered if Apple was using some kind of  glitchy accelerator to speed up and maybe screw up the downloads. 
Then I noticed the "allow simultaneous downloads" box and I unchecked it figuring that iTunes was crossing the streams. And anyone who has seen Ghostbusters knows that one should never ever cross the streams. 
Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.
Peter Venkman: What?
Spengler: Don't cross the streams.
Venkman: Why?
Spengler: It would be bad.
Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?
Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

Voila! 

After listening to a couple of newly downloaded podcasts I have experienced no problems. 

So if iTunes is giving you agita when you listen to podcasts, uncheck that box and let them download one at a time.