Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Word Salad Sublimity


I know- we're not supposed to pick on her or take her seriously. But shit like that....

Have you ever stopped and considered that there is no one like Sarah Palin in the democratic party. Not within the party itself but really anywhere. The closest we have to Sarah is Tina Fey and that's just because she does such a spot-on impersonation of Palin.

In the clip, Palin's teleprompter malfunctioned and she had no choice but to wing it. There's a lot of irony there because teapublicans have long made fun of President Obama for using a teleprompter in his speeches. They call him "The Teleprompter In Chief". Ouch. Republican President Eisenhower was the first to use the teleprompter, back in the fifties. Technology marches on. Republicans in the 1930's probably made fun of FDR's "fireside chats" on the radio, thinking that a better president could have easily delivered news to the public via Pony Express.

It's just idiotic to not use technology that can help you get your message across in the best manner possible. I mean, what are you going to do- write notes on your hand?

If the technology breaks down on you as it did Palin, you still have to be able to speak. Obviously she can't wing it, not coherently. She had no idea what she was talking about before the communication breakdown and that shows in the clip. Honestly, I bet she wasn't coming off too well before it broke. She never does.

So, yeah, she's easy pickens. Every comedian jokes about how they so badly want her to run because she is a veritable joke factory, one that just will not shutdown.

Others in my crowd sigh every time one of us makes fun of Palin. She's no threat. Not any more. At one point, in '08 when she was McCain's VP choice, she was technically poised to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. True, but, that didn't happen and we all know it wasn't even close. Sarah Palin was briefly sorta a threat but, has not been a threat since and will never- ever- be a threat to America again. So, many friends argue, why bother?

Because it's fun! Didn't the clip bring a smile to your face? Part of her appeal is that she does have people who believe that she could be president. She might even be one of those people. There are people on the internet who post- with presumably straight faces- that "democrats fear Palin". They believe that. They don't believe global warming is possible but they believe that she can win the hearts and minds of the entire country.There's no point in fearing her being president anymore than in fearing she could lead the nation's conservative old people in a revolution. These same fear-mongers probably believe she is also a gifted orator. Some might simply think that means she gives good head.

She represents the people who want to be represented by the likes of her and that "base" will never be large enough to either elect or install her. She takes herself seriously though and that's why it's OK to make fun of her. She's so ridiculously Sublime that it's perfectly acceptable to make fun of her. It doesn't make her stronger and it doesn't weaken us to pick on her. It just feels so right...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Superman, damn fool!

I was reading that Dean Cain, who back in the 20th century played both Superman and Clark Kent on a TV show, took umbrage with Michael Moore and Seth Rogen for things they didn't exactly say regarding the film, American Sniper. Cain wanted to beat them up. He thought Seth Rogen ought to join the military and then come back and say stuff about war. YEAH! HOO RAH!!!!

Then, Alec Baldwin got on his twitter and asked Dean Cain what branch of the service he had been in and in what war did he fight? Oh-fucking-SNAP that is a very fair question! It doesn't seem like a fair question to teapublican types though because they tend to see loving and cherishing war as pretty much the same thing as being there. You're either for war, carnage and death, or you're a goddamn liberal.

Cain did not re-tweet. He retreated, instead. Though no military or combat veteran himself, Baldwin is Irish and, we do call bluffs. And though Baldwin is several years older, Cain didn't want a piece of him. And, that aside, Baldwin was right about Cain's lack of service though Cain later did tell Fox that he visited the troops in Afghanistan which must be the same, like putting yourself in harm's way every time you visit Detroit or Free-Fire Zones like Florida. Cain was friends to some degree with Chris Kyle and said he was  very unassuming kinda guy who didn't like the limelight. This would seem to be in sharp contrast with the guy who, though he had a 160 confirmed combat kills to his name, saw fit to embellish that with 30 fantasy kills in New Orleans, 2 in Texas and a  fake punch-out of Jesse Ventura.

Ya know, that is the left's beef about most all of this bullshit surrounding the film. Kyle had serious truth issues. The whole fucking war had truth issues. You may have noticed....

It's hard for a lot of people to get excited about a film that seems to glorify and justify a war we have long since known was totally unnecessary, a complete waste of lives and money. But, if that wasn't enough, the hero chosen for film glorification was a guy who falsely claimed to have killed Americans as well. Chris Kyle was the kind of hero only FOX could love. The myth of the man doesn't make any actual wartime truths palatable when he's lying about killing Americans.

Come on now- who looted during Katrina? Black folks. Doesn't every decent, God-fearing American want vengeance for that? Can't someone make a feel good movie about shooting niggers from the roof of the Superdome? Maybe Dean Cain could?

I'm not saying that Dean Cain or even FOX is racist but, no one is saying that. And maybe that's the problem? Who the fuck was Kyle pretend killing in New Orleans? It wasn't Iraqi "savages" as in the war. I'm not sure of the race of the two nonexistent carjackers he lied about killing but, well, white folks in Texas simply do not carjack in people's fantasies. Down there it's always blacks or Mexicans and there's no need to fear the dozen white guys with long guns outside of Luby's.

The conservative crowd is more than willing to either overlook Chris Kyle's prevarications or- worse- believe them just the same. The man is a war hero, with over 160 confirmed kills! If he says the government sent him to New Orleans to shoot looters, it must be true!

Confirmed kills and soldierly duties aside, I'm curious as to why the guy who had all that real combat stuff going for him, turned out to be just like a fanciful, keyboard warrior that one might find on Topix or the Breitbart page. Movie for another day, I guess.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My 2 Cents

I was perusing the threads last night and some poster unknown to me was pointing out to a stalker of mine, that that person had had a huge hand in making this Ferrerman "famous".  How true.

The stalker had found a site that reports on blog revenues across the blogosphere. According to that site, this site makes $.02 a day, totaling $7 dollars a year. This is actually erroneous information. I did the math and...carrying the 2...dividing by 5....using the Dewey Decimal System....I actually make zero dollars. I make a lot of sense though, most of the time.

Dedicated non-readers probably have noticed that there is no advertising on this blog. It's not that hard to notice, but the stalker missed it. I would think that would account for the total lack of revenue. I can't see what would account for the 2 cents. That makes no sense. Neither does the stalker but, she or he thought it did.

I've been Topix-famous for several years now, partially due to the diligence of these stalkers. Mostly though, it's because of my sharp wit and the fact that I'm a pretty good writer. There is one thing I envy these chuckleheads  for and that is that they have a fine enemy in me and, I've got nothing in them. I can expound on politics, pontificate on film and life, and spank the living daylights out of a bottom, But, I can never have an opponent as worthy as me. These assholes have me. I don't even have them. They're just there.

Lyndon Johnson once noted that: "If you convince the lowest poster that he is better than the best Ferrerman, he won't notice what a miserable sot he is."

I might have paraphrased there. OK, I did. However it does remind me of the tens of thousands of posts written every day, by uneducated teapublicans about President Obama. (He absolutely killed last night with the SOTU address, by the way!) Imagine an idiot from Bumfuck, Kentucky thinking and believing that he is smarter and better than the the Harvard educated, president of the United States. Welcome to my world, Mr. President, you deserve better enemies too.

My stalkers can't seem to grasp that, without them, I was just another poster. I won't say that is the same for our President but, the scumbags who have resisted him so fervently in congress, the media and message boards have unwittingly guaranteed him a superb historical legacy. They didn't just show up, they tried so desperately hard to show him up, and failed miserably. History remembers those things.

Similar with my stalkers. If they don't show up and try so hard, Ferrerman is not a famous poster, just a better poster than they are. And there is thousands of those...

Just one Ferrerman though! Thanks, dedicated non-readers and stalkers! YOU help make this all possible!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Moore's the pity

It appears that Michael Moore got a bit tweety, likely referring to Chris Kyle and the film "American Sniper" when he posted:

"My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren't heroes. And invaders r worse." 

His tweet also coincided with the birthday of Martin Luther King, the release of the film, "Selma" and the fact that MLK was murdered by a sniper as well. You have to consider that, whether it's a family member or a civil rights icon, it's horrific to lose a loved one via an assassin's bullet. Certainly you can add a few Iraqi citizens to that sadness.

In war, snipers are an effective weapon used by every army in the world. A sniper can absolutely terrify an opposing force in a combat zone as each soldier is forced to consider that he can be killed at any moment by an unseen enemy. That fear is a real game changer for morale. Arguably though, a good sniper saves lives by taking out threats to troops not seen by the men in the field. In Vietnam there was a legendary Marine sniper, Carlos Hathcock, who recalled that the only face that haunted him after 93 confirmed kills was the one that got away. He missed one Viet Cong and was fearful until his own death as to how many of his fellow Marines that man had gone on to kill. The uncertain fog of war.

I've read that because of that fear, regular troops haven't always held their own snipers in esteem. Many troops saw them as murderers just like the enemy snipers were cold, perhaps cowardly, killers. When you consider what can happen to you at any second because of the uniform you wear, it might cause you to consider the man on the other side, the guy just like you, probably with a wife and kids back home...a mother...

It's really only been since after Vietnam that our military has had dedicated sniper training. They began to see these soldiers and Marines more as effective fighting tools than just guys who were better shots than most and willing to show it, and they began to train and equip them in a very serious manner. The world changed and warfare became more advanced, at least for us.

As I wrote the other day, our conservative teapublicans are taking to much delight in the American Sniper film's attendance versus the the film about MLK and the Civil Rights movement. Kinda telling there. Hooray for war and fuck non-violence. Now, with Moore's tweets along with Seth Rogen comparing the film to the Nazi film portrayed in "Inglorious Basterds", the conservatives once again despise Hollywood- the same Hollywood that made the film they love so much. How's that for a turnaround?

Moore is very anti-war. Probably anti all wars, I bet. He certainly was against the second Iraq war. Everyone should have been. Packer fan's are probably miffed at Seattle for besting them this past weekend but they don't hate the Seattle Mariners of baseball because they play a sport too. Those of us in the intelligence community (that is, people in the community who have intelligence) know now as then that Iraq had NO involvement in 9/11. No WMD's either. There was NO good reason to invade Iraq and more than 100,000 lives were needlessly lost. The thing is, we knew it then. Many conservatives still don't know that. American Sniper probably clouds things further for them or reinforces their long-held beliefs that the war was just and that it was a war on terror. You fight them over there so you don't have to fight them here! That kinda shit.

Part of life, if you do it right, is taking a metaphorical walk in the shoes of another man. I think that is what Moore meant about "invaders". How would you respond to America being invaded by invaders? Even well-meaning ones who want to rid you of a dictator, install democracy into your system and maybe poke around a little for powerful weapons they don't think you should have? My guess is you wouldn't greet them as liberators. The average Iraqi must have felt like he was out of the frying pan and into the fire. You would feel the same if it were to happen here. Hell, many of our assholes feel Barack Obama is an evil dictator depriving this country of freedom. And we certainly have weapons of mass destruction! Would they welcome an invasion of Russian liberators?

Rhetorical questions and answers aside, aren't Moore and Rogen as entitled to their reviews of films as Ferrerman or Roeper are? Aren't we all? I'm sure that there's more than vitriol for them from our conservative element. I'd bet on death threats being issued all around the internet and tea party gatherings. That's the way they role. Yeah, I spelled that right. Life is getting very Hollywood out there, with redneck noisemakers straight out of Central Casting. Predictable and boring. Seen it all before.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Everything old is actually new again and available to you at a low, low introductory rate that you may already be pre-approved for....

I read an interesting piece about President Obama's upcoming State Of The Union address, specifically concerning his plan to further open the internet. It goes beyond net neutrality. He will speak of opening the speed and access of the internet to all Americans. Amazingly, this is something to which many on the right object.

In the 30's, Franklin Delano Roosevelt controversially decided to bring electricity to as many Americans as possible. How was this controversial? Why did the republicans of the time object to people on farms and rural communities having electric power?

Well, because it was business. They felt that since there was no profit in providing electricity to those millions of Americans, no one should do so. When it did become profitable, private enterprise would step in and provide it. Government doing it was "socialist and communist" then, just as they say it is now. Privatization of absolutely everything is nothing new. It has long been the way of the world. FDR was the Obama of his time. Kids in New York City played with electric toys while people in rural Kentucky didn't even have electric light. That was America,  That was business. The business of America.

Today, 19 municipalities have laws against the local government creating their own highspeed, fiber optic networks. These laws are created by ALEC- the same folks who bring us Stand Your Ground laws- to protect the interests of cable/internet monopolies that figure those local governments and the people in that area shall get what business wants them to have, when they want them to have it and pays the price they want. If you've ever been to Europe or had visitors from there use internet here, you'd know that the internet over there is far faster (and cheaper) than here. We not only pay more for slower speed, our internet providers want us (and websites) to pay even more for somewhat faster service- well, faster than the slower service they'll give to people and sites that cannot or will not pay.

You don't hear a lot about the American Mafia anymore. I think that is because Michael Corleone's literary dream of becoming "completely legitimate"  came true years ago. You can steal billions as a bank as opposed to thousands robbing one with guns. Isn't what Internet Service Providers have in store for us nothing but a variation of the old protection rackets? They don't need a couple of guys named Fat Mike and Bruno  to shake you down when all they need to do is legally slow down your wants and needs until you come around and pony up. And you will come around and you will pony up. There's no public option.

No public option if they take care of that, that is. From FOX *news* and Brietbart-type sites on down to dumbasses on the internet on message boards like Topix, you'll hear that Obama and "the gubmint" is plotting to take over the internet, your computer, specifically.

Ask yourself, how can they do this by improving speed and service at a cheaper rate? Are they murderous, insane animals? How dare they?! Seriously- think about it. Ninety percent of life is using your brain to think about things, to think them through, weighing the good, the bad and the indifferent. However, people from self-important, blowhard lawyers to 6th grade educated security guards all sound the same when they close their minds and refuse to think things through for themselves. If you think private enterprise has your back but representative democracy couldn't possibly, you are not a citizen, you are a consumer. And you will be consumed. You probably already agreed to be consumed when you signed on with your service provider...Well, OK, that's not legal. Not yet....

Sunday, January 18, 2015

How do you like them apples?

The fine folks at Brietbart are ecstatic at the box office tallies regarding the case of the docudramas, American Sniper v. Selma.


Well, fuck that rabble-rouser Martin Luther King and jump for joy over 'murica's embrace of Chris Kyle! HOORAY! Reserve The White House for (republican president not available at press time) because America wants death and violence to reign rather than non-violence and the quest for equality.

Brietbart didn't mention The Wedding Ringer but, truth be told, American Sniper beat that film too and, it's got Kevin Hart in it. Blacks just aren't boffo at the box office anymore. I'm looking at you, Denzel Washington and Sidney Poitier (who, BTW, hasn't had a hit in decades...)

Well now, I gather that the crazies over at Brietbart fancy this to be very, very telling. The comments on the site reveal as much but then, they always do. I haven't seen either, of course, but have read enough to know that both films have truth issues, as most all films do. The director chooses the story he wants to tell and, just as films don't always follow books to the letter, films don't always follow historical facts. It's the way it is with literary licenses. Not everyone follows the same path.

It's quite telling though that the reichwingers will take their victories wherever they can find or manufacture them. That's pretty sad. Comparing apples to oranges is common in politics. I venture that most people like both and the only ardent supporters of either are the folks who grow either apples or oranges. This Ferrerman likes both. Oranges certainly have a peal. Apples though tasty, have to be consumed pretty fast, otherwise they are rotten to the core. Well, they look that way.

A generation from now- or a year from now- who will remember Chris Kyle? MLK will still be King and hate-filled people will still be looking for little victories under every rock they overturn. .

*Ferrerman note: American Sniper also resoundingly trounced Foxcatcher as well. The only possible conclusion is that right wing Americans totally reject deranged billionaires, spelling doom for Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush and the Koch brothers. The people have spoken.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The envelope please....

X number of years ago, back when I was a pretty serious NASCAR fan, NBC started doing the races. To kickoff their coverage a very excited Brian Williams opened up the first race. He acted like it was the greatest thing that had ever happened to him, as if he had been waiting his whole life. He was a huge fan, he declared, and NASCAR was becoming a seriously major 'sport' in America. Then as now, Brian Williams hosted the Nightly News- which I rarely watched- and I thought it quite odd that a guy in his position would be called on to host like that. Didn't NBC have anybody besides their leading news anchor for this new gig of theirs? I guess he's a trooper and a showman. I think that's what I don't like about him, the showman part.

He's "in the business". Not so much the news business but, the entertainment business. That was his phrasing when he recently discussed his actress daughter's show-biz career. He slow jams the news on Jimmy Fallon and pals around with my favorite comedic terrorist, Jon Stewart. So why don't I like him?

Well, mind you, I don't hate him. I just like my journalists to be Walter Cronkite. Brian Williams is no Walter Cronkite. Really, no one is today. Bob Schieffer of CBS comes close. Bob probably wouldn't slow-jam the news. Walter certainly would not have gone on Jack Parr or Carson and slow-jammed either. We didn't have to put up with this shit from Cronkite, or Huntley and Brinkley.

Brian's daughter is the actress, Allison Williams. Allison is quite lovely and talented. She recently did a live presentation (on NBC, of course) of Peter Pan where she played the title role. I watched some of it, but there was a rival program that got m attention, probably live football. As far as this reviewer knows, she did a fine job. Evidently her dad did the news from the set that week to promote the show. That irks me but the news is a money-maker for the networks now. Maybe he would have promoted it even if his daughter wasn't the lead? I recently found out that she has a role on the HBO series, "Girls". I don't have HBO so, I have never seen it. My perfunctory knowledge of it from reading the newspaper and the internet alerts me to the fact that the shows pushes the envelope. Well, how much envelope pushing can a show that stars a network news anchor's daughter really do? Well, analingus. 

Yikes, huh? Well, that is premium cable.... That's quite an envelope.

As Brian Williams explained, "...everybody has to remember it's acting...no animals were harmed in the filming and ideally, nobody gets hurt..."

At least he didn't say it was "tasteful".

You know how cinemagical Hollywood is so, I'm sure it was well done and not as graphic for the actors as you'd expect. One of my favorite lines not heard on film was between the great George C. Scott and an actress he was filming a love scene with. "I apologize in advance for anything that does or does not happen, my dear."

Since I haven't seen the scene, I can't speak to how well it was done. Or even why except, well, the envelope pushing. All I can say is, we never had to put up with this shit from Cronkite's kids.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Truth Be Not Proud

I don't get to the theater anymore, and by theater I mean the movies, lest you think Ferrerman is some kinda elitist artsy type all of a sudden. The thing is really that most films make it out of the theaters and onto Netflix or cable quick enough. The second run film market isn't what it was years ago, so most films wind up in our living rooms pretty quick. I'm a patient Ferrer, one that doesn't like crowds or people other than me talking to the screen.

War films and Clint Eastwood works were usually an exception though. This Xmas offered a promising one on both counts, however I'm still waiting to see "American Sniper". I've been reading about it though...

It's the fact based story of highly decorated Navy SEAL sniper, Chris Kyle, who was murdered awhile back by a fellow Iraq war veteran, a Marine who suffered from PTSD, from his own service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kyle had 160 plus documented kills as a sniper. The "plus" would suggest that there were more that the Navy couldn't (or wouldn't?) verify. Not sure. He was the most prolific sniper in the history of the Navy and, perhaps, all the branches of US service. He is the stuff of legends.

Within legends, however, there are often lies. Kyle also claimed to have killed 30 armed looters after Katrina in New Orleans. He claimed to have killed two armed carjackers in Texas. In his book he claimed to have punched out former SEAL and ex-Minnesota governor, Jesse Ventura. Jesse sued while Kyle was alive and did not drop the suit upon Kyle's death. A jury found that Kyle had lied, and they found that Ventura had been defamed. I think they awarded him $1.6 million? That's show biz. Lest you think he took food off the table of a widow and orphans, there was a book and movie deal initiated well before his death. They are cared for.

I'll probably enjoy the film when I get around to it. Eastwood is a better director than he was an actor and he was a pretty good actor. The film doesn't address Kyle's truth issues and that's certainly a director's option telling any story. Telling the story doesn't mean telling THE story.

I am curious as to why such a prolific killer would lie. Why taint your record with fanciful falsehoods when the truth is so bloody awesome? The liars that I have known weren't bad people but they were nowhere near as good as their claims and it was easy for me to see why they lied. They wanted to fluff themselves up to look important or dangerous because they were anything but.

Kyle was important and dangerous and had the portfolio to actually prove it. There was no need for him to spice it up or fabricate as he did. With his death we lost any real insight into why he fibbed. Taking 160 lives- even under the justifiable domain of war- has to torment anyone's psyche. Likely he suffered from PTSD just as his killer did. They say Kyle liked killing. He certainly was good at it. Yet he saw fit to embellish his killing.

It's odd. It doesn't sound like he was conflicted. A guilty conscience might have caused him to save lives or embellish stories of saving lives to ease that conscience and square him in the taking of so many lives. Such was the still popular urban legend of the late Mr Rogers that had the genteel kid's TV show star being a decorated Navy SEAL himself, who turned to religion and passivity to ease his own conscience. Look it up on Snopes. Great story but, not the least bit true. You would just like to believe it was though.

I guess many would like to have seen Kyle redeem himself in a similar manner. Not Kyle himself though. He just couldn't get enough until enough got him.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Words Of The Profits

I read a nice piece about the Paris murders by basketball legend, Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Why his take? As he explained, he's on the "Muslim celebrity speed-dial" when it comes to these issues. He's the world's tallest Muslim, for certain. And a very wise man.

His takeaway is similar to mine. These Muslim extremists are really criminals. There actually is nothing in the faith that tells them to do these things in the name of Allah or Mohamed. Kareem says "follow the money".

They are the middle-east's version of a mafia. The terror in the name of religion brings them attention and dollars. It is the dollars they want. And just like a street gang, the surface word is that they are "family" and that they offer "protection". The protection usually turns out to be protection from other gangs and, of course, authorities like cops or the United States. The drugs and crime, just a way to make a living... I have no idea how many terrorist groups there are but, like Crips and Bloods and politicians, it all comes down to turf and market share. I've long felt that the Crips and Bloods were just rival factions of the same criminal enterprise. What better way to keep your workers in line than keeping them on edge with a constant threat of violence? Work place competition. Are the philosophies of the gangs different that they must fight? There's no religious dogma separating them, just streets and colors, and money.

I think it's the same with Muslim terrorists. No doubt the end game is taking over countries because that is where the real money is at. That's rather obvious. Religious fundamentalism is a means to that end. I remember reading years ago, that the IRA in Northern Ireland was nothing more than a criminal enterprise whose aim was controlling drugs, gambling and prostitution. Why sell yourself as that when you can gain so much more money- and admirers- via religious freedom? That's something our American mafia was never able to do. It would have been a tough sell in America to claim they were fighting for Christian freedom. FOX is trying that now. Good luck with that- saying in what you declare is a Christian nation that the majority religion is being "persecuted". How pious is that?

Jabbar also refused, as a Muslim, to apologize for the terrorists association with his religion. Why should he? Should Christians apologize for the Klan's burning of crosses on the lawns of black folks? The Klan is to Christianity as ISIS is to Islam.

I wrote a bit about religious terrorism of the *Christian* variety already having happened here. It's not really the business model of religion in this country. But, it could be. Religious terrorism here wouldn't be as a result of oppression/persecution despite what FOX (and others) would like to promote. If there's money in it, it could happen here. We are better versed in capitalism than most countries. We can afford to promote *our* religion for profit and political gain and to effect changes in society rather than bomb and behead because, as per the Godfather- "blood is bad for business..."
For now it is. We live with the occasional abortion clinic bombing or church shooting because there's always somebody who takes Glenn Beck too seriously. Most Christians don't get too carried away. Blood isn't fiscally prudent in this market. I hope it stays that way.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Snow Method To The Madness

As a Ferrerman with more than a few decades of winter under his belt, I know from cold. The other day I whipped out my Yahoo and it told me it was 3 degrees outside. Yikes! It's been colder than that before and, I had heard that it was -7 earlier in the morning. Yikes again! Well, we know the drill because the news drills us about severe weather every chance they get. So, stay inside unless you absolutely have to go somewhere and dress in layers, and close the schools-

Wat- what? Close the schools??? Why, when I was a young Ferrerman I walked through a foot of snow, uphill- both ways- to and from school!

And when I got there, it was closed.

Actually it did take a lot to close the schools. A lot of snow, that is. I don't remember that we ever had a day off for deadly cold but there was a few instances of heavy snow shutting us down and winter fun ensuing instead. I was just a kid then but I am gonna guess that snowplowing wasn't as efficient then as it might be now. Mom's all tended to be of the stay-at-home variety back then but teachers and staff might have had transportation issues, not living within walking distance of their work.

 Losing a couple of days in January won't dumb down the kids anymore than usual. It's not what kept me out of Harvard, which was my safety school anyways. And, the reality of closing school for a couple of awful days in January is that those couple of days can be made up in the generally snow-less months of June. Why have the young ones risk frostbite for more standardized testing? If you've been out in 0 degree weather, you know what I mean. Well, unless you are a fucking idiot.

Many people on the internet, particularly on Facebook, are fucking idiots. There was much gnashing of teeth over school closings. My teacher friends (lazy, union thugs that they are) were happy. The kids were happy too! Everybody was happy except the fucking whiners who think that, since they survived riding bikes without helmets and without seat belts in cars, everyone else can too.

You don't have to be 70 years old and a FOX noise devotee to have false memories of how tough but fair absolutely everything was ...back in the day...and to demand a return to that halcyon hardship of yesterday. I read of a mailman- an adult - who lamented the school closings as if he had stormed the beaches of Normandy as a child, in the snow- and LIKED IT! There's quite a difference in a 40 something man going out in inclement weather because he is paid to, and a 10 year old boy or girl because of school.

Any adult male or female is free to do any foolish thing they care with their own bodies in the winter. Yep- even in Obama's America. But, the kids? Let's err on the side of caution. You didn't really grow up in Sparta or the Old West. If things improved since you were young, be glad of that. Society has a vested interest in children so that they survive pensitive people looking back in lament, and enjoy their youth so that they let the next generation enjoy theirs.

And fellas, careful whipping your yahoos out. It's bone chilling cold!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Imagine no religion...

Most death threats this Ferrerman has received have been of the "please kill yourself variety" from imaginary people with weak, unimaginative minds. Though not a big-time satirist, I do my part and people do get offended here and elsewhere. It's unavoidable, seemingly more so in these easily offended days in which we exist.

Probably as you, I had never seen nor heard of the French Satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, until yesterday. Think, The Onion, I guess. Three Muslim terrorists burst into the offices of the magazine and murdered 12 people. They also killed a French policeman before speeding away. The reason to kill was because the magazine had published a caricature of the prophet Mohammed. It turns out that, according to Islam, absolutely no one is allowed to post a picture of any sort of the prophet, under penalty of death. Who knew?

This applies to anyone, anywhere, in the entire world. While the man at your local 7-11 might not kill you himself for this offense, he most likely would view your death with approval because that's what his good book says. To millions of Muslims- perhaps even the good ones- it is that simple. Draw the prophet- or speak against him- you die.

As teapublicans often suggest, all you have to do to not be murdered is to not blaspheme the prophet in any way. Is that too much to ask?

Yes. Yes it is. How close are our Christians coming to being so bloodily strict? Though the Bible doesn't prohibit the portrayal of Jesus, it sure could if someone wanted to interpret it that way. Bit of a stretch maybe but, lots of Christians do stretch the Bible to fit their own beliefs. Same with our Constitution, which calls for "a separation of church and state". Even some politicians in the legislatures interpret that to mean, "...keep government out of religion..." Some believe it also allows for government by the church "because, of course, we ARE a Christian nation... " Hey-it is on our money and in our pledge of allegiance, so they're just saying...

Of course, most thinking folks know that the founders meant that there be no state religion in America and that all Americans were to be free to practice any religion- or no religion- as they saw fit. They were pretty clear about that, but, some people, ya know?

Could the Charlie Hebdo massacre happen here? Of course. It already has, just not necessarily by the usual suspects. How about the Oklahoma City bombing? How about various abortion clinic bombings and shootings. The Atlanta Olympic bombing? Just the other day there was a failed bombing of an NAACP office. Muslims did not perpetrate these acts of terror. It was white Christians. Fanatics, of course, but Christian to a degree, assholes definitely, and all acting in the name of an imaginary God. Can you condemn all Muslims for the perverse actions of a few? People do. It should follow then, that we should condemn all Christians for the actions of a few. However, most of us don't because that would just be wrong and so unfair.

I think religion is for the weak. If God did not exist, it would indeed be necessary to invent him. And profitable too. It is the opiate of the masses and many do overdose. It has no place in government anywhere in the world but that that is the business of those peoples, in those countries. At it's best religion teaches people to love one and other. At it's worst though, it enslaves and murders people, sometimes for "offenses" as trivial as having a sense of humor and/or not quite believing as one is told to believe, despite what the original draft might say.

With few exceptions, no matter what country we hail from, we must joke. No one has to laugh along with us but they cannot kill us for our humor. No real God would allow that so stop imagining that one would. And yes, that means you! That especially means you. It is written....

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Are Two Heads Better Than One?

Today on the Huffington Post Weird News, I read of a man born with diphallia. This is a rare violation of the penal code where a man is born with two penises. I might add that it's a congenital condition. That may or may not be ironic. But actually it means "present from birth". Sounds like he was re-gifted with presents.

My first thought, like when I was offered a threesome with a couple, years ago, was "That's one too many dicks!" Then I wondered if he was ambidextrous and I figured, DUH! I wonder if he has a favorite? I know I do! Does he know the woman with two vaginas? Has he ever dated conjoined twins?

Diphallia occurs in 1 in every 5.5 million births in the US so, the Chinese probably have us beat there. Probably more Dongs in the phone book too.

The guy seems to take his affliction in stride, seemingly not beating himself up over this too much. He's bisexual and currently dating a male/ female couple. How nice when couples have mutual interests. He has a Tumbler and a Twitter account and originally wrote about his condition on Reddit. He published an e-memoir titled: Double Header: My Life With Two Penises. Both are in the six inch range but one can get to seven if he's especially excited. Evidently both work at the same time and he has had both inside a woman at the same time, if you really had to know that. I'm sure there's more and I could link more but this is a family blog and, well, there is Google. I saw the pics and- yikes! HP warned that you can't un-see something like that so, I'm passing on it here in deference to my more genteel non-readers and to maintain a degree of decorum. Recently I made the mistake of falling for a link that promised to show a photo of a woman with two assholes. It was a pic of Megyn Kelly with Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. I felt so pwned...

Little penthouses for you and me

Do poor people need our help? I mean, in being poor and staying poor. Can't they do that all by themselves?

Many republicans don't think so. They truly believe that democrats, and the social safety nets are designed to create and to keep poor folks poor. The reason? Votes. Votes and power. The numbers. How's a one percenter gonna catch a break in this poor world, out-numbered by so many poor against him, keeping him up on that shining city on the hill?

I see this a lot in republican arguments. It's cheap rhetoric designed by and for cheap people who stop just short of flat out saying that democratic principles cause poverty because almost no idiot would believe that. We wouldn't have so many poor people if democrats didn't need them to survive! And they can't say that, following in their footsteps, every single American could be wealthy, because that's pretty far-fetched too. But, they can say that democrats keep people poor, strictly for votes, because any idiot would buy that. And, they do.

There's 310-some people in this country. Millions are poor and tens of millions are working poor. One or two percent are what most people would regard as rich and .01% is rich beyond any of your wildest dreams. They have quite a bit to say in how things are done in this country. Think Koch brothers and then think about names you've likely never heard of that have even more money than them. To be ferrer, the Koch's can actually be rather generous with their money. That doesn't make them your buddy but they donate cash and buildings for some pretty good causes. They might be hedging bets in case there is a Hell but I think they do it because they can, because they have so much money- why not? They just like their altruism to be their idea, not the gubmints. Also to be ferrer, they probably never say gubmint.

I think the Koch's are smart men and surely realize that you can't have 310 million millionaires lounging around America. Who would do the work? I wrote yesterday that capitalism works best when practiced well by as many capitalists as possible. At least that's the way I see it. The problem we have today is the small percentage who gain the bulk of the wealth, literally as each minute goes by. I feel comfortable in saying they have too much because they are comfortable in believing that they need more. And they think they deserve it. Worse, millions of lesser tea and re publicans believe they deserve more as well. I know of a security guard in Bumfuck, Kentucky who thinks it is just awful to punish success with taxes and the redistribution of wealth.

I'm also comfortable in saying this because so many are comfortable in saying that poor people have too much. How the fuck could that possibly be true? How sublimey is that?

The internet is full of largely apocryphal stories of poor people purchasing filet steak and lobster with food stamps. Maybe it happened once. Could there be welfare abuse? Sure. But why are you offended by random persons who might enjoy a better meal than you on occasion, on your taxpayer dime, when Wall Street banksters do the same 365 days of the year, also on your dime? We're all so vitriolically penny-wise and pound foolish when too-big-too-fail banks are bailed out and hungry people are fed. We ignore Wall Street and want to burn down Main Street. Or, more precisely, Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Poor people, oddly, are easy pickings. There are so many of them yet they have no real power despite the efforts of the democrats who cultivate and water them on a daily basis.

Who are you going to vote for, the politicians who are trying to help you or the one's that are trying to eliminate you? Decisions, decisions...

Republicans are equally confused by unions backing democrats over republicans. They see conspiracy there. Why don't the ungrateful union bastards support the party that wants to eliminate them? It's a puzzler...

You know, maybe politics is a market share thing? Maybe democrats got the short straw and took the millions of poor and middle class and the GOP got the fewer in numbers, upper class and filthy rich. Think maybe they could trade? Or would if they could?

With so much money on the table couldn't the republicans woo all people, rich and poor, and totally wipe out the democrat party? I mean- poor folks are out there for the taking. If you are jealous and long for their votes, do something for them. A really great first step would be to not fuck with social programs. A lot of poor people might sit up, take notice and say; "Maybe these republicans deserve my vote? That Louie Gohmert seems like a likable guy. Ted Cruz too. With them not fucking with us and the democrats helping us, it's not so bad to be poor in America."

Well, that's just never going to happen. It may make sense but not of the fiscal variety.

A long-time friend of mine posted on Facebook that her son spent New Years Eve in the penthouse of the Trump Tower in Chicago as the guest of the son of the man who paid $17 million for that level. Who is this man and how did he gather such wealth? I don't know. Does it matter? You and I probably wouldn't know his name anyway. My friend said she told her boy that it's all downhill from there. Indeed. And uphill seems to get higher every day.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The invisible hand of the free market- moderate or severe?

I see where FOX *news* is still feuding with the DISH Network over how much they should pay for being carried on their platform. In the fiscally conservative eyes of FOX, DISH wants too much money. This is rather delicious irony from folks who tout the free market. Looks like the invisible hand of that free market reached down and gave FOX a severe spanking! And not the good kind. The DISH folks have about a 12% share of the cable market and FOX viewership is down 12-13% percent from this time last year. More than likely FOX will bend and a deal will be worked out. This seems to happen every week with one station or another.

Corporations get a little hard-headed though. Walmart tried to make inroads into Australia, for example, but that country refused to give them exemptions from their $16+ an hour minimum wage. Closer to home, Washington D.C, refused as well but only for a New York minute. The D.C. minimum is @ $8.25 per hour but there had been a bill that would require big-box stores like Walmart to pay $12.50. The mayor promptly vetoed that bill and Walmart moved in. Can you imagine this nation's largest and wealthiest employer crunching numbers and determining that they can't afford to pay a living wage to workers? They can pay slightly over the minimum but, that still necessitates taxpayer supplemented welfare for about 30% of their employees. If they start paying $12 or more, those employees will lose that supplement and Walmart will be hurtin' for certain!Oh my! Too big to fail? Or could they have possibly failed at getting so big?

With the non-business in Australia they pretty much came right out and said: To Hell with making billions of dollars in this country! It's the thought of paying good wages that disgusts us and we won't be party to that!

It's as if Ferrerman was sitting in on their corporate meetings, isn't it?

Really though, isn't that the free market? If you can't afford labor perhaps you shouldn't be in business? I think a dozen states raised their minimums, this January 1. That was due to the will of the people, last November's mid-terms.

It makes me wonder if Walmart could be priced out of existence via rising wages and their own hard-headedness. Why not? That is the free market. The void would be filled by the 1950's mom and pop stores that republicans pay lip service to, from time to time. Small business! As big box stores fall by the wayside, store fronts open up. Entrepreneurs open them. Your neighbors. Just like it pretty much used to be.

Same with the big banks. What's wrong with little banks? Really now, why does everything have to be too big to fail when they've already proven they can fail and be rather belligerent about it in the process?

The major thing wrong with capitalism is the capitalists themselves. It tends to work better for all of us when there are more of them and when they actually include us as both management and labor. I guess that, in a way, I'm applauding FOX, Walmart and the big banks of Wall Street for their hard-headedness. Go on and fail. That's your business. Just don't take us down with you. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Amateur Night

Back in the day, when I was as young and pretty as I used to like to think I was, New Years Eve was a money night for me because I was tending bar. It meant several hundred dollars to me and it was a relatively sober night that I just hoped to survive. In this neighborhood of the country, it can sometimes mean lots of snow and it's always cold. And, it almost always means an onslaught of annual partiers trying way too hard to have way too much of a good time.

One year I was working days at a place that was really a night club and I was free to spend the night at my girlfriend's. I had a really nice time. I'll spare you the details except to brag that we made love for two years! I'm that good, ladies. Still am. I guess...

Anyway, it had snowed heavily that NYE and going home to change into my work clothes was stupid and out of the way so I showered and wore last years outfit. I worked the whole damn day without anyone noticing that I was out of uniform. The brilliant young manager who had herself spent the night at a nearby motel, thanks to the storm and was in her last year's fashion, took umbrage at my attire as I punched out to leave. I explained the weather related circumstances to her, reminded her where she had spent her night and she still wanted to know why I was in street clothes. She knew everything that you now know (sans the dirty stuff I boasted about) and asked again.

"I got no fucking idea," I replied as I walked out of the door and away from her density.

I decided to go by my old place of employment where they were a bit more receptive to the ways and means of a Ferrerman, and see about getting the old job back. It was my home away from home as I wound up working there, off and on, for the better and worse part of ten years. I'd get fired, I'd quit, but I was always welcomed back.

Walking up to the place, I noticed plywood over what had been a plate glass window on the business next door. Uh oh. That couldn't be good. Inside, I found Nicky Takis, the younger brother of Tommy, the owner's oldest son.

The Takis family had a bad habit of good deals on NYE that entailed opening the bar for six hours for the bargain price of about $25 a head, or so. Food included. Maybe it was $35 (it's been years) but it was low. You make money at this, as crazy as it sounds, because most people don't drink that much. A few bottomless boozers aren't going to break you. Same with a buffet. It works out, believe it or not.

Nicky filled me in on the nights events. "We could have used you last night, Ferrerman." A rather large group of young Italian gentlemen had partaken of the offering and been unpleasant campers. They kinda thought they had the literal run of the place. I don't recall if they had hired a bouncer for the night but, even if they had, it would have been one tough guy against maybe 25 buddies. Not good odds. I was younger then and actually wished I could have been there. It's not that I like to fight- I don't- it's just that I have a sense of fair play and law and order, and you do what you gotta do, when you gotta do it. The Greeks were my friends. When I worked for them and trained new bartenders, I had them swear an oath to defend the bar against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Your almost always outnumbered, you know, like the Sheriff and his deputy holding off the angry lynch mob. And sometimes that deputy is cute young girl. It can be dicey until the cavalry comes in the form of kitchen help and maybe good regulars. And police too. The drunks always say that they'll fight them too but, often change their minds.

So it was Nicky and Tommy, maybe the bartenders and some concerned bystanders against these miscreants. At one point, young Nicky was struggling with one of them and he asked why they all were doing this. Ever so matter-a-factly the guy proclaimed: "Because we're ITALIAN!"

Does it get any more succinct than that? No offense to Italians but, I thought that was hilarious.

The fight carried outside and Tommy wound up getting shoved into the plate glass window. He received a walnut-sized knot on his forehead that he may still have. I know he had it for the next several years that I knew him, at least. I've long since forgotten why they couldn't fix it. The poor bastard was already as handsome as the actor, Ernest Borgnine and the lump didn't help that. I guess it didn't hurt either, now that I mention it.

Everyone survived. I think the Italians might have evaded arrest but, I don't remember. Most banquets with open bars go off rather well. After the first hour or so, once the initial onslaught of bargain hunters subsides and people start thinking about their livers and or the drive home, it's not so bad. That first hour it's like pigs at a feeding trough. I think people might fear that the house is going to wise up and re-nig on the deal. "What were we thinking?!" New Year's though, goes a bit harder. Hardly anyone has anywhere to be the next day and many feel the need to get tore up from the floor up...because it's New Years Eve.... That about sums up Amateur Night and amateurs succinctly.

Buon Anno dedito non-readers!