Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wacko Oregon Land Takeover Guys Say They Want Their Gun Rights Back While In Prison

One of this year's Oregon standoff guys,
Ryan Bundy is in jail and says that, among
other things, he's mad that his right to
have a gun with him has been taken away.  
Remember those idiots who took over that Oregon wildlife refuge earlier this year?

They are, of course, in jail, awaiting trial in connection with that messy case.

The group, led by the ever-esteeemed ringleaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy, are threatening to sue, saying their Constitutional rights are being withheld from them while awaiting trial.

Most of it is the typical whines: They're not letting us into the library enough, they're not giving us certain clothes so they can practice their Mormon religion, they're not letting the group meet with each other to strategize, blah, blah, blah.

But a statement in a great article from Oregon Public Radio telling us what Ryan Bundy had to say caught my eye:

"My rights are being violated. My right to right life is being violated. All of my First Amendment rights are being violated. My right to freedom of religion is being violated....... My Second Amendment rights are being violated. I never waived that right. My Fourth Amendment rights are being violated."

Well, first of all, if you're reading this, you see an example of Ryan Bundy exercising his First Amendment right to free speech. Since he's still alive, his right to life is being honored.

The real wild one is Ryan Bundy saying that his Second Amendment rights are being violated. That's the gun rights amendment. So, he should have the right to have his guns with him while he's in jail?

What could go wrong?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Texas Story About Horses Comforting Dying Veteran Shows Healing Power of Animals

Gravely ill veteran Roberto Gonzalez is comforted
by one of his horses at a Texas VA hospital
Photo by Lupe Hernandez 
Like everyone else, I was moved by the story that went viral yesterday about the horses that were brought to a Texas Veterans Administration hospital to comfort a dying Vietnam veteran.

Roberto Gonzalez, now 71, was shot and left paralyzed during the war, but went on to become a successful horse trainer in Texas.

In recent months, Gonzalez' health failed and it became apparent he might die soon.

Gonzalez' wife, Rosario, said the horses were her husband's heart and soul, and he had to see them one last time.

So, the horses, Sugar and Ringo, were brought to the Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital in San Antonio.

One result of that visit was the touching viral photography you see in this post.

"Horses are his life....When the horse came up to him he actually opened his eyes," Rosario said of her husband's reaction to the visit. "They came up to him and I think they were actually kissing him."

It's interesting that often, in our time of need, or when we want comfort, we turn to our pets, and they turn to us. And each other.

I know when either me or my husband are not feeling well, our dogs get close to us, and keep a watch out for us. They also stay close to each other when one of them is not feeling well.

They know what's going on. And I really do think on some level they want to help. And they do.

The horses in Texas and the people that brought them there and the hospital that allowed this all treated a U.S. veteran with the respect and love he deserved.

I just hope that all veterans get the same kind of respect.


 ere failing. Month after month, he remained in the hospital.
As Gonzalez’s condition worsened, he told Rosario that he had just one remaining desire: to see his horses again.
The hospital was happy to oblige, as Gonzalez was one of the facility’s first patients when it opened in 1974. Last Saturday, on the 46th anniversary of his injury, Gonzalez got his wish.
After being transported more than 150 miles from Gonzalez’s home in Premont, Tx., the horses, Sugar and Ringo, approached the veteran’s bedside and nuzzled him in turn. Gonzalez’s eyes fluttered open, his mouth remained slightly ajar. His family and horses surrounded him as his body’s rhythms slowed.
Gonzalez’s current condition is not known, but Rosario said the reunion was a gift.
“Horses are his life…When the horse came up to him he actually opened his eyes,” Rosario told reporters. “They came up to him and I think they were actually kissing him.”

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Beard, A Graduation And Stubborness Make A Big Mess in Amite, Louisiana

Amite, Louisiana High School valedictorian was
not allowed to participate in graduation ceremony or give his
speech because he refused the principal's
demands to shave his goatee. 
Andrew Jones was the valedictorian of Amite High School in Louisiana, having earned straight A's and academic and athletic scholarships to college.

Yet, he wasn't allowed to march in his graduation or give his valedictorian speech.


Because he has a bit of a beard. More of a goatee, really.

I'm not sure how a little facial hair could possibly get in the way of academic success and a graduation ceremony, but people are weird, as we all know.

School administrators said no facial hair is allowed on students at the school. Jones, and a few others were told by the Amite High School principal just before the graduation that they could not have beards. They must shave.

Jones refused to do so. Yeah, I know, stubborn kid.

But really. His faint beard doesn't seem to be the most important issue in the world.

And the school's position was undermined because, although the no beard policy is supposedly always in effect, lots of photos show students at Amite High School all year with facial hair, as television station WVUE reports. 

There was never any enforcement of the no facial hair rule all year. Why the sudden demand for freshly shaved faces at graduation, after a full academic year of bearded male students? The Amite High School principal isn't talking.

But he did force Jones out of the graduation ceremony, so no speech, not proud moment of getting a diploma as beaming relatives watched.

Because a beard - and the high school principals' inflated sense of authority - squashed that idea.   No facial hair at this school, no siree. Facial hair is MUCH more important an issue than academics, let me tell ya.

I'm sure the principal of the high school is proud that he is leading the charge to make all men clean shaven.

Jones is black and most of the Amite High School administration is white, so people are raising the idea of racism.

It's possible. An uppity black kid in a rural Southern town being valedictorian instead of a "more deserving" white kid?  I can see how people with bigoted minds might think that way.

I really hope I'm wrong about that. We can't know for sure. I do know the NAACP is getting involved with this. 

Meanwhile, the whole thing has caused a national uproar and is a big trending topic on Facebook.

All because of a bit of stubborness from a smart kid. And a lot of juvenile pettiness from one stupid high school principal.

I hope the principal is enjoying all this sudden negative publicity.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tarantulas On A Plane. Really!

How'd you like this guy to be your seat mate
on your next airline flight?  
Both real life and fictional airline flights are fraught, let me tell you.

I've recently written about the impossibly long lines created by TSA staff shortages and incompetence combined with a do-nothing Congress.  

We have idiotic movies, like Snakes On A Plane, which certainly sounds unpleasant.

Now we've just had a real life drama that's even worse than the aforementioned movie.

Tarantulas on a plane!

Makes me look forward to some upcoming flights I'm taking in June.

According to The Guardian newspaper, two huge tranantulas got loose in the passenger cabin on an April flight from the Dominican Republic to Montreal, Quebec Canada.

Understandably, the incident had passengers screaming and standing on their seats, and flight attendants urging everyone to keep their ankles covered.

Yeah, a lot of good that would do for the women on the flight wearing skirts or dresses.

Let's allow Catherine Moreau of Quebec tell her in-flight story, as related by Radio Canada:

"I was wearing a skirt and a spider crawled up my leg...,...It was during a meal. My husband managed to catch the spider in a plastic container, but it wriggled its legs out. My daughter was crying, she was in shock."

Yeah, I bet!

Especially since they're so huge.

The Guardian and Radio Canada said that a Montreal entomologist, Etienne Normandin said the type of spider on the plane is roughly four to eight inches long and has fangs that can be nearly an inch long.

The bad news, Normandin said, is this type of spider is quite aggressive. The good news, I suppose, is the venom in these spiders isn't especially potent.

Great. I'm sure everybody who was on the plane was just overjoyed with that news.

The tarantulas were on the plane in the first place because probably some idiot hid them in their carry on luggage and they escaped.

Apparently, there is a market for these things and the mystery passenger who brought them on board probably intended to sell them in the Montreal area.

Tarantulas as pets? No thanks. I'll just keep my two furry non-aggressive, happy and not scary dogs, thanks.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Jewelry Store Heist Goes Awry Because Burglars Dumb

Inept burglars struggle with their watch store
heist near Stockholm, Sweden.  
Somebody filmed two dumb criminals break into a watch retailer in Sweden and the resulting video is an essay in incompetence.

The two take forever to break in and start loading the loot from the Klockmaster store in suburban Stockholm.

One tries to fire a gun to be a tough guy, but it jams. They struggle with the big bag and their little getaway scooter, which they have trouble starting.

They managed to get out of the mall, but were soon apprehended.

I don't know if it was smart for the guy to film the burglars, what with the gun and all, but the whole heist is something, let me tell ya.

H/T BoingBoing.

Here's the video:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lousiana Lawmaker Introduces Legislation To Ensure Strippers Are Young And Fit

As a "joke" about overregulation, Louisiana
House of Reps member Kenny Havard proposed
legislation banning strippers who are
over 28 years old or weigh more than 160
pounds. Yeah, the guy's icky. 
Most of us have found ourselves steaming over some injustice and we mutter, "There ought to be a law...."

Well, Kenny Havard did just that, and -- What luck! --- he's a lawmaker. He's a Republican member of the Louisiana state legislature.  

This week, he briefly introduced an amendment that would require strippers to be at or under the age of 28 and weigh less than 160 pounds.

That would rid the world of old, ugly strippers, Huzzahhh!

If your first thought was why in the world would a politician be that concerned about strippers when there's so many other pressing issues, join the club.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Louisiana legislature was considering a bill that would raise the age at which you could be employed as a stripper from 18 to 21.

The concern is the younger women are being exploited, possibly by human traffickers, so they want to raise the age limit.

It looks like the bill will pass both the Louisiana House and Senate, and it appears the governor of that fine state will sign the measure.

The law will not include Havard's amendment, though. Mostly because idea is so icky. And that Havard would introduce such an amendment makes him icky.

"I've never been more repulsed to be part of" the House of Representatives, said Rep. Julie Stokes R-Kenner, as quoted in the Times-Picayune.

I suppose he would want to go from strip club to strip club as an "inspector" to make sure the strippers are sufficiently beautiful, to his eyes anyway.

Havard said he introduced the amendment as a kind of "joke" to protest government overregulation.

Oh, OK.

He also said criticism of his amendment was political correctness and he won't apologize for it.

Still, Havard was unsuccessful. Next time you skulk around the strip clubs of New Orleans, there's a chance some of the strippers will be over 28 years old.

I'm sure you'll survive.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Justin Timberlake Already Gave Us Summer Anthem 2016

Justin Timberlake in his "Can't Stop The Feeling"
music video. The song shot to Number One already 
The pop song that you will always associated with the summer of 2016 is already out.

You know those songs. The big hit of the summer, the breezy fun pop fluff that you can't get out of your head when you remember the beach trip or vacation that summer.

This time, it's Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop The Feeling"  It's a confectionary piece of glee and freedom.

It's not deep. It's not breaking new ground. But gawd that song is catchy! As Slate noted, "Can't Stop The Feeling" is the 2016 version of "Happy"

"Can't Stop The Feeling" has already debuted at Number 1 on Billboard's Hot 100, so you know you're going to hear this song a lot for a long time.

This Justin Timberlake song is from the upcoming DreamWorks animated film "Trolls"

Many of you will get sick of it. Some of you already are.

But kudos to Justin Timberlake for putting out nice Summer of 2016 anthem. Good work by him!

The goofy video, with clips of regular everyday people dancing (they're actors, not everyday people) has already racked up 3 million hits after just two days on YouTube.

Here's the video, but to watch, you'll probably start with a black screen and will have to click "Watch on YouTube"