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Access to Assault-Style Weapons Is an Assault on the Neighborhoods of America

Assault weapons banShock. Sadness. Grief for the families and victims. These are my first reactions to reports of yet another mass shooting in the US. My second reaction is to scan the reports for a particular sentence. And I always find it.

‘The gunman was armed with an assault rifle, an AR-15.’ It’s a phrase that seems to follow mass shootings in the US in recent times. Legally purchased military style assault weapons are widely proliferated throughout the suburbs of many states in America.


Bob Alexander: God (or whoever) Bless You Mr. Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut47 years ago I bailed out of a Medieval English Literature class just in time and took a Modern Satire class instead. I knew I'd get an easy “A” because how hard could it be? Read a couple of books, answer questions about the books I'd just read, and then I'd maintain a high grade average.

Guys that didn't keep their grades up were destined to become soldiers instead of students. Without a high enough grade point average it could get pretty drafty going to college in those days.


Alex Baer: '183,429 Better Ways to Elect a President'

crazy electionThe best book I've read in quite a while is a nonexistent one called Scorched-Earth Realpolitik Cookbook:  Cajun-Style Political Elexting and Black-Eyed Peace for the Rest of Us, by Pfisher Pranx, a renowned, well-respected, award-winning author whom I made up only a few seconds ago, while typing this sentence.

The alternate title of the book, I just now realized, is:  Or: 183,429 Better Ways to Elect a President.

This fictitious book is from Keisterville Publishing, a company which fails to pass the real-company sniff test.


Bob Alexander: I'm not on Drugs … Maybe I'm Dreaming

Maybe I'm dreamingYou can find just about anything on The Internet. I was looking for the right words to describe a state of mind so I clicked on Google, typed in “anxiety dream”, and in point 39 seconds Google served up over 58 million entries. I didn't need to look any further than the first one:

An anxiety dream is an unpleasant dream which is less disturbing than a nightmare. Anxiety dreams are characterized by the feelings of unease, distress, or apprehension in the dreamer upon waking.

That's exactly what I was looking for. Ain't technology grand?


Alex Baer: Hello, Dali...

Hello. DaliIt's been threatening to get out of hand for some decades, and it's finally happened: Every news report -- global, national, local, and personal -- is competing for that rarest of all awards, the Golden MacArthur Oscar Genius Emmy Grant Globe Prize in Massive Surreality.

Life is now like being overdosed on an iffy batch of blotter paper acid, spending the day in a Salvador Dali exhibition featuring peyote hors d'oeuvres and really good wine, then moving right on into a Federico Fellini film fest boasting magic mushroom tapas and too many flavors of seat-side, delivered tequilas and mandatory, last-shot worm-eating ultimatums.  With curry.  And that really hot, yellow Chinese-dragon-mustard that attacks every moist membrane in, on, and around your body.


Bruce Enberg: Conservative Liberals and Their Love of Reaganomics

ReaganomicsThose of us of certain age remember well the Reagan Democrats, mostly white guys with union cards who thought Reagan would be better at running the economy in their best interest. He'd cut their taxes, crack down on Welfare Queens, bring back the good old days, all that.   

Today we've got the liberal establishment that wants the good old days of the Clinton Administration back and would prefer that those pesky Progressives stop rocking the boat. There are Republicans circling in the water after all. (Be afraid, be very afraid)


Alex Baer: Doubt Remover

Doubt removerThe story of our combative, snake-oiled times:  There are antidotes, and there are antidotes.

Well, we also have vaccines to help us skirt -- or brace for -- the worst of what the world can chuck at us.  There are all sorts of ways to avoid focus on one thing and pull attention onto another, as flashy magicians, petty pick-pockets, and pokerfaced charlatans all know.

But there are always ingenious methods to pull us back from permanently swallowing The Really Big Lies, too:  truth serum, hypnotic therapy, anti-psychotic medications, cult deprogramming methodologies, and so on.  Sometimes, even logic comes bubbling up to the surface in the drowning and airless front lines of public thought and reason, but not often.


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