April 20th, 2013 ~ In my own life, I have known deep sadness with the loss of my mother, my sister, and many other loved ones.  Most of us have known such sadness.  Most of us have felt such loss.  Yet, in the midst of our grieving, there are always those odd little moments of levity; almost embarrasing and seemingly inappropriate to the circumstances, but there nonetheless.
      Those moments are there because we NEED them.  We need them MOST at times of intense sadness and grief; as individuals and as a nation.  Thus, with the greatest respect for those who have suffered injury and loss during the last week, but acknowledging our collective need for a little comic relief, I offer these two bits of levity.  The first, an assessment of the week in general from the ever-irreverant "Onion".  The second, Dan McCarthy's humorously unexpected take on the manhunt lockdown on Esquire's "Culture Blog".  It IS okay to laugh.

      April 19th, 2013 ~ Captured alive!  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was discovered hiding in a back yard dry-docked boat, covered in his own blood from a deadly shoot-out with police the night before where one officer was killed and another seriously wounded.  In that same shootout, Dzhokhar's brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was mortally wounded and died later at hospital.
      I'll admit, I was surprised to learn the alleged bombers were the offspring of Chechnyan's who had received political asylum and raised their sons as American citizens.  Dzhokhar had, in fact, never been to Chechnya until visiting relatives, in his early 'teens, with his family.  It just doesn't make sense to me why he and his brother would choose the Boston Marathon as their target.  But then, when does such a heinous act EVER make sense?

      April 17th, 2013 ~ Another devastating day.  This time in the U.S. Senate where, despite a clear majority of 54-46 in FAVOR of the BIPARTISAN Manchin-Toomey Amendment, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and his GOP Shitocracy successfully threatened DINO's like Harry Reid with their damnable filibuster and ultra-pussy that he is, Reid not only caved on that threat but actually voted AGAINST the amendment!
      Tell me again how this flacid excuse for a man was once a BOXER?  Doesn't that require COURAGE and GRIT?  Looks like McConnell didn't even need to step into the ring.  All he had to do is yell "BOO!" in Reid's general direction to get a TKO.
      I could go on and believe me, I would like to, but I think our President expressed MY outrage and the outrage of OVER 90% of Americans in his Rose Garden response.  So, I'll defer to our President and the assembled families who had to bury their children and their dreams for their futures with them.  God BLESS them and God DAMN that sociopath Wayne LaPierre who can shine up a turd like McConnell and turn a former fighter like Reid into a carbon copy of McConnell.  I pray LaPierre roasts in Hell!

      April 15th, 2013 ~ A terrible day in Boston.  At least three dead, including an eight year old boy, and an escalating number of wounded; many who had feet and legs ripped from their bodies by two low-level blasts at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  Boston P.D., Massachusetts State Police, FBI, and ATF investigators are all on scene, sifting through the bloody debris for clues and evidence.
      President Obama was careful to initially describe this as a heinous crime, since nobody claimed responsibility for it.  The "T word" was judiciously avoided.  Now, the White House is describing this as "an act of terror", since there can be no doubt about its intent, regardless of who ultimately claims credit.
      My Lady and I are both convinced (as apparently is Chris Matthews), that there's no coincidence to the mid-April timing of this cowardly act.  The bombing has occurred on Boston's "Patriot's Day", as well as Tax Day, and so close to the anniversary of David Koresh's intentional emolation of his followers at the Waco Branch Davidian compound, Timothy McVeigh's bombing of the Oklahoma City Murrah Center, and Adolf Hitler's birthday, that this all points unerringly to domestic neo-nazi racists as the perpetraitor(s) of this bloody attack on America.

      April 12th, 2013 ~ Yesterday, by a bipartisan vote of 68 to 31, our Senate defeated a threatened filibuster to prevent debate on gun control legislation.  Let me repeat that.  The vote was NOT on gun control legislation.  The vote was merely to ALLOW FLOOR DEBATE on gun control legislation.
      That's how corrosive an influence Wayne LaPierre and his NRA bullying have had on our political process.  As an American who has owned and enjoyed shooting guns ever since I was a teenager, I am disgusted by the overt scare tactics of some damn millionaire lobbyist for the firearms industry, DICTATING to OUR legislators that they better prevent EVEN DEBATE on sane firearms regulation and by all means prevent the possibility of an actual up or down vote... or else!  Who the Hell does this Ass Clown think he is?  I'll tell you who he is.
      Wayne LaPierre is a millionaire.  No, let me amend that.  He's a MULTI-MILLIONAIRE because he has been an all too effective political henchman for the firearms industry.  A large part of Wayne's National Rifle Association enjoys the tax status of a 501(c)(3).  Think St. Jude's; Red Cross.  That means the BILLIONS arms merchants have pumped into the NRA's firearms "education" programs were 100% tax deductible and that part of the NRA's operation had no income tax burden whatsoever.
      The NRA's lobbying and political action (PAC) wing has been designated a 501(c)(4) which doesn't offer the same tax shelter as a 501(c)(3), but does provide that wing with the same unlimited political campaign spending as any other PAC, thanks to our Supreme Court's 2010 "Citizen's United" ruling.
      Yes, indeed.  Multi-Millionaire Wayne & Friends are riding high on all the Federal laws they've managed to push through on their own behalf, but woe unto you if you hope to employ YOUR legislature to stand against them!  Then, it's the "little guy" vs. BIG BROTHER!  The "Black Helicopters" are coming for your guns!
      We'll see how disgusting LaPierre gets when the Senate finishes debate and has some actual legislation to vote on.  All I can say is God Bless the Sandy Hook parents and families for their courage to stand against Wayne's mendacity and for exposing this political puffer fish for what he really is.  As the Japanese know, a skilled sushi chef can fillet the extremely poisonous puffer fish into a daring delicacy known as "Fugu".  Let's see whether LaPierre's poison can be rendered politically harmless and Americans will be allowed to enjoy our Second Amendment Rights in a reasonable and responsible manner.

Al Capone       April 11th, 2013 ~ Throughout nearly a decade of the "Roaring Twenties" and early 1930's, America's ill-conceived 18th Amendment, helped elevate one of the bloodiest murderers in American history, Al Capone to gangland power.  With his criminal empire based in Chicago, but with tendrils of graft and corruption extending even to Washington, Capone seemed untouchable until Eliot Ness and HIS "Untouchables" managed to bring Capone to justice; not with Tommy Guns blazing, but with 22 counts of tax evasion and 5,000 violations of the Volstead Act.  It wasn't as "sexy" as the FBI's "Battle of Barrington" with Baby Face Nelson, but it WAS effective.  Capone was convicted and encarcerated at Alcatraz in 1931 and released on parole in 1939 with his brain being devoured by advanced Syphilis.  The architect of the St. Valentine's Day massacre died a demented vegetable in 1947.
      Fast forward to the 21st Century.  Documents revealed as early as 2004 by indicate former Vice President Dick Cheney actively planned an American invasion of Iraq long before 9/11.
Dick Cheney       Cheney and his pet neocons saw an Iraq War as a profitable enterprise for Cheney's Halliburton friends.  So it's no surprise that ZNet's Angelo Young recently dug up additional details on Cheney's war profiteering.  Cheney and his minions like Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld are traitors and domestic terrorists who took the lives of well over 4,000 Americans, destroyed the lives of tens of thousands more with their patently illegal "stop loss policy", and slaughtered HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Iraqi civilians; all to line their pockets with blood money.
      Should Cheney & Friends be standing before an international war crimes tribunal?  Absolutely.  But that's not going to happen.  There are too many diplomatic and legal impediments to compelling them to stand before such a tribunal and none of them would willingly expose themselves to that possibility by traveling, without diplomatic protections, to those countries which would detain them for such a trial.
      Like Capone, Cheney is nearly untouchable for his bloody business.  Like Capone, though, there's a money trail to follow and if Cheney and his henchmen can be tried and convicted for official corruption and malfeasance, that would at least put them behind bars where they belong.  Like Capone, it might not be as sensational as a trial for mass murder, but it would be effective.  Follow the money.  That's the way to take down gangsters like Capone... and Cheney.