Saturday, April 28, 2012

It was the best of times. It was. …Well, it was the times….

And so the Mighty Magpie flies and flies and looks down on the countryside and lights upon another worn, worm-holed and textured distressed fence post of topical topsy-turviness.

Its all there folks in black and white for you to read and now, through the magic of streaming media, you can be force fed oodles and oodles of endless tripity tripe that at one time was reserved only for those viewers of the mindless but warmly loved boob tube.

Boobus Americanus

So sit with me here while I regurgitate another round of recent events that should never have come to soak into that sponge that is the human brain.  News that is so irrelevant that it bears noting here at The Mighty Magpie.

Al Franken Cries….right up there with that classic “Jesus Wept.”

Al Franken had his day in Congress this week when he openly wept before the forum during a debate on the renewal of the “Violence Against Women Act”.  It seems he was quoting from the words of the late Sheila Wellstone who was best known as a champion, a modern day Joan of Arc, who advocated the safety of women from the violence of men.

The good Senators voted 68 to 31 to renew the act. Yay for the good guys!  68 senators against violence toward women and 31 senators in favor of violence toward women.  Now, I might be twisting the meaning a bit but people I find it absolutely appalling that this subject even has to be debated.  Violence against women is good---Fire is bad. It’s just that simple.  You are, like the voter says, either for or against.

So Mr. Franken, good on you for standing up and taking out the tears in front of your peers.  Send me a list of those 31 people who voted against the act.  I would be curious as to their reason for fighting against something that is so morally correct.

Thomas Kemp: Did he die in pain?

Thomas Kemp, age 63 was executed this week in the Arizona State Prison system.  Seems that he kill a Hispanic student and told the corrections officer that he did so “without regret”.  He also launched into a tirade about immigrants being beneath him.  Nice guy.  To me, looking from my fence post, this looks like a bonafide hate crime. 

The issue that is has now become part of a civil suit is whether or not Mr. Kemp experienced pain during the execution process. In other words, did the corrections officers hurt the bad man?

Folks, he took the life of another human being and he indicated that he did it without remorse.  Do you think the victim experience pain?  Did Kemp sit his victim down in a nice comfortable chair in a classic Soylent Green moment and put the victim down peacefully while watching a large screen TV of flowers overlaid by layers and layers of classical music?

Of course he didn’t. He slaughtered another human being.  Put this to bed lawyers. How is this going to benefit your deceased client?  Are you going to contact him by Ouija Board to confer?  What is the point? Let this subject die like Kemp let his victim die. For shame!

Well, Boom!

There was an explosion in Hamas last week. What a surprise.  The rebels claim it was a military rocket while Damacus say that “terrorists” caused the explosion.  

Well, Syrian President , Wyle E. Bin Coyote, why don’t you just blame it on the ACME bomb factory?

Bottom line: 16 people died but that should not bother you—what does it matter to you if its 16 or 1000 people dead—blood is blood and it has stained your hands a million times over.   What are 16 more?

Well, I just got a tip that a fellow Magpie has located a couple of crows pretending to be magpies. They are hiding out in a nearby cornfield so until next time…see ya then.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Return of the Mighty Magpie

HL Mencken once referred to the American People as “Boobus Americanus”.  Are we?  Well folks, I am still working on that one.  I like the phrase “Numb Nuts” for some people but not all.  I laugh and squeal with delight at the “sincere” complaints of our beloved celebrities who seem to me more like spoiled overfed house pets then actual people.

Our political system is rift with nail bitten attempts to dethrone a president, rock ‘em sock ‘em matches with the Supremes (our beloved Supreme Court) and the political worming and writhing of political leaders as they attempt to preserver their precious necks in upcoming elections.

Actions speak louder then words, they say. Actions, folks—it’s all about the actions.

So I would like to present to my personal comments on events that have taken place since I had to move the Mighty Magpie into hiatus.  OH and my hiatus was totally computer related.  The pen still runs blue and true with the bite of my comments.  Here is what I have to say about some news that really shouldn’t be news:

Jon Lovit’s Rant Against President Obama

That is what I really like about rich actors:  They are professionals and have the ability to act as if they really care.

Susan Sarandon denied White House clearance:

I am pretty sure that Sarandon isn’t going to let me into HER house so why should the American Taxpayer let HER into theirs?  She should quit whining and be thankful that she is one of the elite, the privileged, the famous and on and on and on.  As for her being under government surveillance—The Freedom of Information Act, which she used to gain this bit of news, allows her the right to do the very same thing to the government through legal acquisition of irrelevant documents.  So what’s the problem?  If she had not been peeking in her file, she would not have been so upset.

Billionaires (like James Cameron) back new space venture called Planetary Resources—this is a is a Mr. Peabody’s Coal Train attempt to mine the universe of it’s platinum supply.:

Tap…tap…tap…I’m still waiting for my flying car in a briefcase.  Ah well; now this is the way the government should have allowed NASA to operate—with outside investors and less taxpayer money.  I was saddened to see shuttle Discovery put out to pasture but with Cameron’s cash and Paul Allen’s (of Microsoft fame) new flying launch pad (you heard right), maybe the point of having built and flown Discovery won’t be more then a lonely curiosity in a Museum (the Smithsonian).  It’s exciting to see life breathed by a capitalist bellow back into the space program.

Crab Powered Computers:

Yes this was actually in the news and I just couldn’t resist.  It would be just downright disturbing to say that my computer has crabs.

Gawker publishes photo of  Bill O’Reilly in topless scandal:

OMG.  Its from his very younger collegiate years—he is with a topless woman who looks like she was just passing by but the real stunner here is this:

OMG! It’s Bill O’Reilly with two topless men!  And one of them is making a devil sign—OH THE HORROR--OH THE HUMANITY!

Joe Biden declares that the “war on women” is real:

When Biden grows breasts and his nether regions converge to form a vagina—then what he says on this subject will matter.  Obviously, if he has been fighting for women’s rights and women are STILL not being paid equally to men then he should probably stop helping the cause by NOT helping the cause.  I have no doubt that his words are well meaning but, honestly folks, his words are…well…meaningless.

Justin Bieber was bullied as a youth:

OK I am SO sorry:  I just cannot stop laughing. Looks like he got bullied all the way to the bank. Bless his little heart.  Seriously, to all you celebrities out there—stop it.

The demographic reshaping of the Latino vote:

There are concerns on this subject of illegal activities—well of course there are:  we have illegal immigration and apparently that is ok so why not have illegal voting?  If there is no respect for what is supposed to be the law:  why bother having laws?

900 students told they were wrongly admitted to UCLA:

Well, OK then…I guess when you are big and prestigious, you can smash the hearts of 900 eager and hopeful wann- learners. These kids should be thankful this academic brain trust did not do any more damage then over booking the UCLA Grand Hotel.  I think I smell lawyers in love.  Move over ambulance chasers:  a new market has just opened up.

And that’s the news you might or might not have missed.  I have a lot more so stayed tuned.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Mighty Magpie: 2012: The Year of Predicting Dangerously

The Mighty Magpie: 2012: The Year of Predicting Dangerously: 2012 either will be the most momentous event in human history or it will be remembered as history’s biggest dud. In 2012, according to some ...

2012: The Year of Predicting Dangerously

2012 either will be the most momentous event in human history or it will be remembered as history’s biggest dud. In 2012, according to some Rosicrucians, California will fall into the sea. Well, if California falls into the sea, Steely Dan will surely have to return to their old school. See?  There is always an upside to doom.

According to the Mayans, 2012 marks the end of the Mayan Calendar and if the Mayans don’t have any more calendar that lack of such a timepiece surely means the end of the world is at hand.  Don’t panic. It’s just the end of the world. Of course, the end of the Mayan calendar could mean that it’s just time to rewind and go back to the first calendar and start all over again

The end of the world comes every year and in every century. Country fried preachers have been baying like old bloodhounds for an eternity at the “sinners in the hands of an angry God”. 

Orson Welles even had his own brand of the apocalypse:  HG Wells’ “War of the Worlds”. One radio show sends an entire nation into panic over the Martian invasion at Grover’s Mills.  It was only entertainment, of course, but this Mercury Radio theatrical presentation was truly a moment when one realizes just how powerful the media could be.

Truth be told, if for a week in December of the coming year, all the television sets and radios and newspapers and Internet were just shut down for one week, the world would probably skip the demise of the human race.  Life would go on and human beings would discover that being human is not about what they are told but about what they tell themselves. 

Its easy, in a warped sort of way, to amble along on the words of others be it religious leaders, government and even celebrities.  Listening and obeying is easy because the listener does not have to be responsible for how the world will turn out.  It’s hard to take the lead.  The monsters are coming because the little kid with the comic book read about it once.  Let’s all follow him!

Let’s lock the monsters back in the comic books. Let’s tell the preachers that praying silently is golden.  Let’s all just relax, have a piece of cornbread and some lemonade. Come the year 2012, just sit back, kick your shoes off and when 2013 lazily rolls around, y’all come back now. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Newt and the Fae

Ok, picture this scene.  One of our senior statesmen, Newt Gingrich, is speaking at the capital. That’s fair.  Beautiful female bodyguards dressed in snappy skirts and jackets surround him.  There is a cat in a nice suit sitting in the front row.  When Newt is ready to speak, he flies, yes literally flies, and lands like a graceful gray haired bird next to the podium.  In the back there is a Fairy flitting anxiously back and forth. Newt himself looks like an old guy who escaped from “King of the Hill”.  

As the talk progresses, the fairy suddenly calls Newt a ‘Facist” and vanishes.

Newt is undaunted as he speaks with the clarity and confidence that is befitting of a man who wants to be the next president of the United States.  His speech is awe-inspiring. He is speaking to the audience about the future of technology and how he thinks that congress should be held in such a venue as Second Life.

That’s right.  Second Life. Seems that Newt has an avatar in a virtual world. Back in 2007, Newt Gingrich was invited to spend the evening with Second Life residents talking about politics and the future of virtual technology. You can see the speech in its entirety at You Tube. It is an intelligent and well presented talk.

Newt’s a gamer?  Nope.  He took the time to come into Second Life and present to its citizens his ideas.  Now, I have to say that as much as I don’t buy the GOP platform, Newt has suddenly become very cool to me. Maybe there is an idea waiting to happen that he embraces. It’s very exciting when you think about it.

In 2011, like the real world, Second Life is struggling as well.  It, like many other virtual grids, is a micro economy and directly reflects the goings on in the real world. Second Life, Inworldz and Avination, just to name a few have their own currencies and these currencies can be converted into US Dollars on an open market. Look at the virtual land baron Anse Chung, whose studio is based in China; she parlayed her virtual real estate operation into a million dollar venture. That’s millions of dollars in USD.

Real life people buy, sell and trade in these virtual worlds with an intensity that you would see in Wall Street and because real people as avatars shop and do business in these worlds, when their real life economy is down so goes down the virtual economy. It's a fact.

Economists have followed virtual worlds for years and they do present an uncanny parallel to what goes on in real life.  Most people who don’t understand the nature of this technology and call it a game or dismiss it as a waste of time.  Newt took the time to study the technology and I think that the fact that he did speaks volumes for his character.  If he was able to spend his precious time speaking to people in a role playing venue, then maybe it is a signal to the American people that he might care to spend time talking to the more common among us.

This particular entry in my blog will definitely qualify as a peculiar trip into the Twilight Zone but I thought that this little moment in 2007 should serve as a reminder to us that our politicians are human beings and that, every once in a blue moon, we should stop and enjoy the lighter side of these national leaders and just sit back and have a feel good smile.

I’m just sayin…

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Lion, the Ostrich & the 2012 Election

Get out your Googler and look up the town of Tomahawk, KY, which by all standards is a normal and friendly Christian Community. Now, zoom in on the name of a peculiar little Baptist Church, the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church; membership about 40.  I will name this little dark smudge on the face of humanity, the most racist Church in America.

You see, dear reader, they have banned interracial couples in their church. A portion of the congregation slunk out the back door and to the hidden valleys of southern fried chicken, black-eyed peas and mashed potatoes.  The “make me feel good” southern Sunday food that allows church members to forget that one was too cowardly to stand up to an issue that should have been thrown out in the trash decades ago. To get an idea of just how many members opted to be silent and not voice their opinion on this sensitive issue; the policy was pass by a vote of 9 to 6 with 25 members abstaining.

Those members who left without voting could have and should have stayed and made their voices known.  This is truly one of those you either are or you aren’t for these issue moments and let me go one step further and say that Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church is the entire argument for atheism.  If banning the very people to whom you are charged with caring is going to be a “policy”, then why have Christianity as a religion in the first place? What is the point—to get that free pass into heaven?  Let me know how that plan works out for you.

But now the back-story:  Stella Harville, a Masters student in optical engineering, sang a song “I Will Surrender All” with her fiancĂ©, Ticha Chikuni at the church. Stella is white and Ticha hails from Zimbabwe.  Now please note that Stella’s father is a church official who was NOT opposed to the presence of interracial couples. To his innocent credit, he assumed that it was not an issue until former Pastor Melvin Thompson made it clear that the couple would not be welcome back and that they would not be singing at the church again.  Honestly, God needs to do performance reviews of his staff.

Thompson’s most ironic comment was made on a local radio show "I do not believe in interracial marriages, and I do not believe this (ban) will give our church a black eye at all." (Source: Reuters)

Here’s the rub:  I am not angry at the blatant racism that took place at this church. The refreshing thing about racism, whether you agree with it or not, is that at the very least one knows exactly where one stands. Racism does not take sides. It’s an idea stamped plainly in black and white or should I say black versus white. It’s clear, crisp and to the point; no hidden meanings here.

I am angry with the rest of the members of the church, the slinkers, who could have, should have but did not. They chose to hide and lead the decision to crucify Stella and Ticha at the hands of these nine members with 25 abstaining.

Christianity is certainly an interesting religion because it’s built on the idea of universal acceptance. Early Christians were a Jewish sect and were content to remain a part of Judaism but there was one lingering problem and that was the charge that was spelled out for Christians. Their mission: to go and spread the good news (Gospel) of Jesus Christ and that meant talking to everyone man, woman and child be they Jewish or Gentile.  Universal Acceptance. What a radical concept for their time.

The other issue was food.  In order for new members to be culled from the Gentile community, there has to a allowance for the dietary practices of that group and this means the eating of the misaligned pork and other unacceptable by Jewish law foods.  It was a dream by Paul that spells out that it was now ok to eat such foods.  Again, the concept of Universal Acceptance rings loud and Christian clear for all to hear.  It’s a great concept and it is what sets Christianity apart from other religions.

Let me put this out to you in the most topical manner: the members who passed this policy are bullies and the rest of the church are a group of cowards who should have, could have, but didn’t.  Even if the entire congregation had stood firm and voted for the anti interracial couple policy, it would have been better then just running away and letting the someone else do the dirty work.

Obviously someone has to kill the pork for the rest to eat the pig.

It’s not the voting for which I, as a Christian, am embarrassed. It’s the unwillingness of members to stand up and be heard at the casting of a single vote with a collective and considerably larger and fairer voice. If this issue was not important enough for members to stay and cast a vote why have the vote at all? 

This incident is just a small splinter in the skin of the American people. It’s one of those flare ups that will eventually go away. But this incident, this occurrence, this minor irritation is a major illustration of what is wrong with America today.  You see, the core issue here is not Christianity nor is it bigotry: 

It’s Apathy.

It’s the admission to one’s self that its safer to be an ostrich then a lion.  We are coming upon an election year. I think this one is going to be a bitter and aggressive tussle between party lines because a lot of things too many to mention here are at risk.  What will certainly tip the scale are not the independents but the “undependents” those people who bury their head in the sand and do nothing except to allow others think for them.

So, dear readers, I am asking you:  Is the 2012 election going to be a 9 to 6 vote?

I’m just sayin….

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Mighty Magpie: Michael Jackson: The Last Moonwalk

The Mighty Magpie: Michael Jackson: The Last Moonwalk: For my part, I am ashamed to admit that I felt no emotion, no outrage at the verdict that was rendered today. I do think four years was a b...