Tag Archives: current-events

Is A Presidential Clown Mask Funny?

images[1]Daily Prompt: Too Soon?

Can anything be funny, or are some things off limits?

Years ago comedian David Brenner commented that humor trumps everything. As much as I like Brenner’s work, he is wrong. You have to know your audience. Some things are funny, thought-provoking, and honest to some people while causing tears, anger, and embarrassment to others.

Recently I posted a story about how I handled an episode in my life when I was accused of using an ethnic epithet. My accusers were wrong. Their motive was clearly to make an issue where there was none. I referred to them as “Amos and Andy” to their faces. Amos and Andy were two black characters from a radio and TV program by the same name who were always scheming mischief.

A reader was offended. I defended myself. In one sense there was a serious side to my remark, in another sense there was a humorous side to my remark, and yet in another there was an offensive sense to my remark.

Certainly you can’t please everyone, nevertheless if someone is offended there should be some sort of acknowledgment and an apology for causing offense. (That was an apology.) Does that mean such a reference should never be used again? Certainly not. You merely acknowledge and move on. You don’t stop dancing because just one person in the room doesn’t like the way you dance.

Recently there is a big hubbub about a clown at a rodeo wearing a mask of President Obama. Some have taken offense. They fired the clown. That’s humorous in itself; who fires a clown?

Have we not heard of political cartoonists? Saturday Night Live has the highest ratings when they poke fun at the President. George Bush (the elder) invited Dana Carvey to the White House, because he liked his imitations of him. No one found them offensive.

The clown in a rodeo is the hero. He saves the lives of contestants from Brahma bulls and bucking mustangs. What is a more fitting symbol than the President to save lives?

Gilbert Gottfried loses his gig as the AFLAC duck’s voice because of a remark he thought was funny. Alec Baldwin makes offensive remarks about homosexuals in earnest that might end the career of some and life goes on for him.

I recall asking a black man why a black man can tell black jokes and black people laugh, but when a white person tells the same joke black people are offended. My answer to the question was that it is what is in the mind of the one telling the joke, it is what the audience feels he is thinking. His answer surprised me; “If you are proud of who you are no one can offend you.”

There are clearly areas that are simply not funny and inappropriate. Much depends on the context, audience, and intent. It is an area where there are no set rules, you just kind of know it when you hear it or say it. I always say people would hardly recognize me without my foot in my mouth.

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Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

Gather The Wood And Light The Fire

We are somehow led to believe that those who don't support gay marriage are the ones burning people at the stake. Is that actually true? Who are the ones marginalized for their opinion? Who are the ones who suffer the consequenses of expressing an opinion or view.

We are somehow led to believe that those who don’t support gay marriage are the ones burning people at the stake. Is that actually true? Who are the ones marginalized for their opinion? Who are the ones suffering the consequences of expressing an opinion or view?

Daily Prompt: Bone of Contention

Pick a contentious issue about which you care deeply — it could be the same-sex marriage debate, or just a disagreement you’re having with a friend. Write a post defending the opposite position, and then reflect on what it was like to do that. (Takes too much time.)

Wow! Same sex marriage. If you hold an opinion on this other that what the entertainment media, the liberal news organizations, and GLAD you are a bigoted homophobe who hates gays, freedom for all, and repressing your own gay tendencies. It is likely I boil children and eat them, a Nazi, hate puppies and kittens, and still think the earth is flat.

I’ve never seen a homosexual discriminated against. When I was in the Army one of my workmates came ’out.’ He did so to get kicked out of the Army. It took six months for his discharge to go through. He continued to work and got a promotion. It was as if nothing changed. We didn’t care.

I’ve worked in a shop for thirty years. There were a number of homosexual man and women working where I did. They got paid the same as I did and got promotions.

At no time in my working experience did I see any homosexuals discriminated against nor did they file a complaint. They drove nice cars, had nice homes, and I never saw them come in with a black eye or swollen face from being beat-up.

As to the gay marriage issue, that is up to the government. Whether homosexuals marry or not is none of my business. It makes little difference if they live together or married and living together.

Do I have personal conviction? Sure. but let me first take another bite of boiled kid and block my pop-up to renew my subscription to Nazi Monthly.

From a scriptural standpoint homosexuality is a sin. (Rom. 1:26,27; 1st Corinthians 6: 9-11) That does not make me any more judgmental than a judge sentencing a man to life because he confessed to murder and has knife dripping with blood in his hand. I’m not making up my own rules. It is just what the Bible says.

Six thousand years of human history supports that position also. The communists, who did everything they could to eradicate the Bible, God, and religion, did not allow homosexuals to marry.

The Bible does not say to beat them up, not serve them, don’t rent to them, or not to be kind to them.

Will I vote against a homosexual marriage law. No, I don’t vote. All I have is my opinion. As stated that opinion rests on six thousand years of recorded human history and the Bible.

Before ya’ll go ballistic with studies, genetics, and ’let’s burn him at the stake;’ there are studies that say I’m right and there are studies that say I’m wrong, there is genetic proof of a gay gene, there are all sorts of genes that are not good for us and we try to isolate them and combat against them, as to being ‘burned at the stake’ – cowards never make it that far. Their opinion changes to agree with the angry mob as soon as they smell the fire.

To return to the “Prompt,” is it a “bone of contention?” Not like in the classical sense; as if it drives me crazy. My ‘bone of contention’ is that people try to shout down my opinion or think of me as intellectually lazy or void. Like I said in the beginning and it bears repeating, it makes little difference to me, just let me have an opinion and don’t hate me for it the same way others think I hate homosexuals, because I don’t.

Other bloggers to contend with:


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

War And Courage

The most couageous people in the world don't have a medal to show for it, nor do they need one.

The most courageous people in the world don’t have a medal to show for it, nor do they need one.

Daily Prompt: 180 Degrees

Tell us about a time you did a 180 — changed your views on something, reversed a decision, or acted in a way you ordinarily don’t.

This goes back a few year; almost a couple of lifetimes.

It was in September of ‘66. I had barely been in the Army a month. I considered myself informed and took my military duty serious. I read the papers, watched TV news, and listened to the politicians. Though not understanding the political nature of the Vietnam War thoroughly I supported our leaders and the thinking of the majority. That majority included the religious leaders and the media.

I thought of courage as something demonstrated by athletes who endured pain and injury to compete and running blindly into battle as others fell dead around you.

The first few weeks in the Army we saw several indoctrination films meant to stir our hatred for North Vietnam and the Vietcong. Then there was a movie entitled Why Vietnam? The one word answer was “commitment.” That seemed incomplete for the moment. ‘Whose commitment?’ I asked.

The following Sunday I didn’t attend church services as I did the week before. At that church service I heard of how noble and brave we were to be a part of a cause that would rid Vietnam of communism. Instead I sat on the porch of my World War II style wood barracks and wondered if my life was worth giving to a “commitment” or to influence the will of another country.

I thought about with only a few more months of training I could be sent to a strange land and within a matter of days be dead. Suddenly my thinking had been completely changed. It was not by any influence of the antiwar movement that was yet in it’s infancy.

I was not as committed as many who refused to even serve, but I decided, while remaining in the Army, every effort would be made not to serve in a combat capacity.

As my time in service and the war drug on I saw a certain hypocrisy. For example little was said about Joe Namath and actor George Hamilton receiving exemptions. Namath had a medical deferment because of a bad knee, but it didn’t interfere with playing professional football every Sunday and philandering his heart’s content. Actor George Hamilton was given a hard ship deferment because he was a financial support for his mother and Hollywood could not be without his philandering for two years. Apparently he didn’t have enough put back to care for her for two years either.

Mohammad Ali was publicly excoriated for refusing to be drafted because of his religious beliefs. I saw the hypocrisy immediately. Ali’s comment to a reporter regarding his stand was thought-provoking, “Ain’t no Vietcong made me ride the back of the bus.” I had a friend who became a Jehovah’s Witness and applied to terminate his military service. The stand he took was reasoned and articulated brilliantly. He endured shame, humiliation, and harsh treatment, but he stood firm for what he believed. That man represents to me courage.

I can’t say whether or not Mohammad Ali would have died for his beliefs, but I know my friend would have.

My view of the Vietnam War changed. My view of what it means to stand for something that is unpopular changed. My view of courage changed.

Other bloggers with better than 98.6 degree change of view:


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

News From Boise

Some see a shovel, others see a deadly weapon.

Some see a shovel, others see a deadly weapon.

There was so little going on in Boise this past week that they had to go to the east coast to get some sort of news.

On one of the TV channels (the one that starts with K), they reported the impending blizzard in the east would impact Boise. That’s a stretch. The report went on to say the airlines would be backed up and eventually effect flights leaving Boise.

How far away does a storm have to be before it doesn’t effect Boise? In fact storms in Boise have less impact on Boise than a nor‘easter on the Maine coast.

Would a typhoon in the Maldives effect Boise too?

This past week there was a machete attack on a man.

It is strange; there are all these guns out there and a man chooses a machete. Would you rather be hacked to death like a stock of sugar cane or shot like deer in the crosshairs? For that reason alone I’m all for guns in the hands of private citizens.

A local school was on lock-down this yesterday. It seems that a student brought a shovel to school as a part of a school project. I guess there is something worse than being hacked to death by a machete. The shovel is kind of the all-in-one weapon; after you beat them to death you have something useful to dispose of the body.

I’m still perplexed as to what the school project was all about, but wherever you see shovels and machetes in the same proximity a peasant rebellion is not far behind.


Filed under Boise

Global Warming Hasn’t Reached Boise Yet

I like to call this Idaho's version of an Al Gore house warming.

I like to call this Idaho’s version of an Al Gore house-warming.

It was another cold week in Boise.

The city of Boise has already exhausted its snow removal and deicing budget for next three centuries. It currently stands at $14.87 a year for materials. That’s three gallons of gas and a forty pound bag of salt.

The current theory on snow removal is; by the time we call in the drivers, gas the trucks, load them with deicer, and hit the streets the snow will have melted – so why try.

Back in the Midwest they call the snowplows out as soon as organized labor unions tell them. Which is never when it snows. It’s too hazardous. The unions always look out for their members.

The time to start plowing roads is before it snows. That way the roads are damaged by the plows and must be repaired by union employees come Spring. Unions always create employment opportunities.

Boise needs unions so it can become another Detroit.

The weather back East is warmer than normal. That’s because of climate change. Change comes slowly to Boise. They’re still some denying the new ice age predictions from the 70’s.

Somebody shot a dog in Boise this past week.

There is a thousand dollar reward for the shooter. That’s twice as much as for the last unsolved murder case of a human.

A few weeks ago somebody broke into the zoo and killed a monkey.

Here in Boise, animal murders make the news all the time. This is a tough city.

They say that psychopathic murderers start with animals. If you live in another state other than Idaho and see a car with Idaho plates, don’t get in the car.

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Newtown Has Been On My Mind – And A Lot Of Other Things

imagesCA1MRCDHA nation weeps at the needless killing of twenty children. It is sadness, cruelty, and senselessness beyond explanation.

Recently I heard a speaker mention that disasters are never the result of just one random act. A whole litany of events must take place before a disaster happens. It can not be blamed on one single stimuli.

We are falsely led to believe that there is a political solution to such tragedies as Columbine, Virginia Tech, and now Newtown. That diverts attention from the real understanding and solutions.

Many are quick to blame guns. It is a political issue and sure to secure votes and support one way or another. The logic is if there were no guns than no one would be killed by guns; guns make it easy. One can not argue against the logic. This begs the question, will that stop mass killings?

Guns seem the preferred weapon of mass murderers, but not the only one. The gun is convenient and brings immediate results.

Timothy McVeigh, Andrew Kehoe, and William Unek were all mass killers, but they chose not a gun.

No one can deny that the world has become a more violent community, but are guns making it so or are guns the outgrowth or manufactured response of a population’s need to resolve issues with violence?

If guns were not available certainly some deaths would be prevented, but some who are determined to kill will likely find yet another way. They will find a gun if motivated to do so and from what we know these people are highly motivated. It is not a spur of the moment plan, but is carefully thought out.

Many who commit mass murders do so with the certain knowledge they will die or be killed for their act. In fact, many commit suicide as the climax of their deed.

Perhaps there is a psychological element with people who seem lost or without purpose kill themselves and thinking that the notoriety that may have escaped them in life will be afforded them in death. It is as if they want to be remembered and noticed and haven’t figured out a healthy way of doing it.

It seems like the world is bent on celebrity and fame and there is little difference in the mind of many whether one lives their life as a saint or sinner. Fame and notoriety are the keys to a meaningful life, they may think.

Often I hear commentators speak about those who have attained wealth and fame through bad behavior. ‘They will say they are smart. They know what their doing.’ In other words the price of wealth and fame are exchanged for a good name. Look at how many so-called stars change their fairy princess existence and life style for that of the reputation no better than a shameless prostitute, because it sells records, books, acting roles, and interviews.

There is an element in the world of entertainment that glorifies violence. The more people see violence the more immured they become to it. They can come to see human suffering as the natural consequence of good over evil.

The entertainment world hides behind the premise of creative freedom. As if it is a sacred right to create anything as long as it is called art. It makes no difference if is shocking, vulgar, violent, or insensitive.

The argument is; just don’t look, but you can tell that to a person that has mental issues and has some sort of gene that disposes them to violence waiting to be exploited?

What needs to be made clear is that movies and video games that feature violence are as large of a part to the problem as a gun, mental illness, or environment.

What made Adam Lanza pick up that gun? What made him pull the trigger? I guarantee he spent more time playing violent video games and being entertained by Hollywood’s finest than on the gun range.

The blame goes to the purveyors of that sort of thing as much as it does the gun shop owner.

A couple of years ago I made a statement in my blog, “When I see a Goth, I see a slasher.” Many took issue with that. If you have a kid running around with piercing, tattoos, dressing Goth, is entertained with dark movies about strange and mystical times and people, and plays games that go along with it you should sleep with one eye open. I don’t care how cute, intelligent, or caring little Johnny or Susie is; there is something wrong with them.

That seems extreme, but with the same zeal one has for more gun control or outlawing guns, one should have the same aversion to the things mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

Yesterday two commentators talked about the most popular video games on the market. They were quick to note that those games and movies were not the problem, but the age appropriateness was not being observed. That is as stupid as it gets. One level of age appropriate game merely prepares one for the next. Besides Lanza was twenty and was of the age he could have watched anything he wanted. When it comes to any sort of media blame the news media cowers. They protect their own, because next will come the news organizations for their insatiable coverage of brutal crimes – “if it bleeds, it leads.”

Will that stop mass killings? No, but it would remove at least some of the elements that push some over the edge. None of those things (guns, violent movies, video games, music and the like) are needed for a full or satisfied life.

With strong reason the Bible condemns anyone who loves violence. (Psalm 72: 14, Psalm 11:5)


Filed under Essays

Beware Of Bicycle Friendly Cities

Don’t look so bike friendly to me.

Boise is a bike friendly city. What that means is that bike riders can run roughshod over vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

A few years ago in a span of about four months there were three deaths of bicyclists in the area. There pictures were on the nightly news. Everyone of them was dressed in some sort of bicycle racing uniforms. They were all competitive cyclists. Could it be they were a bit too comfortable with their skills?

The response of politicians and law enforcement was decisive and swift; more tickets were issued to motorists.

Last May I came to a stop at an intersection. The light was red. On the other side of the street speeding in the same direction I was traveling was a guy on a bicycle. He was on the sidewalk. He looked like he was nearing the finish line of the Tour de France (drugged and everything). It was roid rage on wheels. A car to my right, who had the green light, drove through the intersection. In a flash I thought, ’this can not end good.’ The bicyclist and motorist were on a collision course. The car always wins.

The car struck the bicyclist who was crossing the cross walk against a red light. He was hurled at least ten feet into the air and fell hard to the pavement.

I called 911 and ran across the street. An off-duty nurse was already attending to the bicyclist.

The driver was a tearful and near hysterical older female.

A man approached the woman and said, “Ma’am, I saw the whole thing and it was his fault. You had the right of way. There was nothing you could have done.”

The elderly lady looked compassionately at the bicyclist laying quietly on the pavement and said, “But that doesn’t do him any good.”

The bicyclist was on the wrong side of the street. He did not observe the light. He was speeding on the sidewalk with a bike lane available. Thank goodness he wasn’t driving the car that hit him.

Today I was sitting in a car at curb talking with a friend. My friend was in the driver’s seat. A bicyclist raced by so closely his jacked brushed against the side view mirror. After traveling about one hundred yards. He looped into the middle of the street in order to make a right turn. The problem was that a motorist was right on his tail. The motorist stopped averting a terrible accident. The bicyclist looked indignantly at the motorist and peddled on.

This past weekend I was driving on one of those streets that have a bike lane. I call them the pathway to hell. If you’re going to die and go to hell, it will happen there. In the pathway to hell was a guy peddling a bike without the use of his hands. The circus was in town months ago and left this guy behind. His hands were occupied by holding a coffee, reading and texting on his Smartphone (considering the situation, not smart). In addition he was listening to music through his earphones.

It made me wonder with all the functions and calculations the brain was orchestrating at one time which one of his body functions were suffering most?

He looked to me like the type of guy who would go home and one of his kids would ask him for help with their homework at the same time his wife would ask him to take out the garbage. His reply would be, “I only got two hands. I can’t do everything at once.”

Maybe it’s just me (and it always is), but I think it’s the Chinese. They’re not only exporting microwaves, TVs, and computers, but they won’t be happy until rickshaws and bicycles take over our cities. The United States is now importing the Chinese culture.

That’s something to think about the next time you see a bicycle lane and Panda Express.


Filed under Essays