Laughter Happens At Our Home

A person visiting our home this fall told James and myself that the laughter never ends and the topics talked about are as varied as anyone could hope for.  To say that James and I are always talking and laughing would be the best way to sum up what happens here.  And tonight while watching Lidia’s Common Sense Cooking on Create TV something was said which struck a funny bone and made me not only crack up and not able to stop for a bit, but also brought back a most remarkable comedic memory from the past.

Lidia was making a grouper fish recipe and stated she was going to “address the fish”.  Without missing a beat as I sat at the table having an early late-night snack I pretended to take off a hat, bowed my head, and said “Hello Mr. Gouper”.   Then I just lost it.   I swear life can be this simple and amusing.

Decades ago I first saw one of the most authentic comedians to ever have been on television.  Art Carney remains at the top of the legend grouping in my opinion and the old shows where he proved my point still makes me shake with laughter.

So take it away Art…….

Toddlers Can Hunt! Tell Me The Gun Lobby In Wisconsin Is Not Out-Of-Touch With Reality

If you have not yet heard what has to be the height of lunacy in the Wisconsin Assembly–let me tell you–but first take a seat and remove any choking hazards from your mouth.

A bill passed in the State Assembly to allow anyone to go hunting, no matter how young.  AB 455,  passed on a vote of  57-32.    The measure was supported by the powerful gun lobby and since the NRA buys and sells the members of the Republican caucus there was no doubt as to the outcome of the legisaltion.

Who care if  guns are now being placed in the hands of very young children or that the woods will be even more unsafe during the hunting season?  Hell, why not allow beer carts in the woods to sell beverages too, akin to those that show up at certain golf courses?  Leave the baby bottles at home and let little Johnny swig a brew as he steadies his little arm for the next rounds he fires aimlessly into the trees.

Current Wisconsin law says you need to be at least 12 years old to hunt, unless you’re in a hunting membership program, in which case you can be as young as 10.  But thanks to the geniuses in the GOP caucus this bill would do away with all age restrictions so that anyone under 10 can hunt if that person is with a mentor.  Even as maddening it would also do away with the limit on the number of weapons that the mentor and the minor may carry.

I get the fact the gun lobby is all upset that more and more kids do not with to hunt and slaughter animals with deadly weapons in the woods.  This is no longer a society where most people need to hunt and gather to stay alive.  Instead hunting is more a blood-letting exercise with male machismo than it is anything bearing a resemblance to what our history books tell of past generations needing to hunt.

The bill’s author is Assemblyman Rob Stafsholt who actually said out loud on the floor that every hunter uses high-powered rifles and he believed he was capable of handling a .22-caliber rifle when he was eight years old.  By all means put those weapons in the hands of kids who are not even yet able to discern if they need clean underwear!

With the passage of this insane bill one thing is for sure.  The ability of the Republicans to shove their heads up the backside of the NRA has reached a new high–and this state has reached a new low.

Bare-Chested George Washington

I did not see this statue while in Washington, D.C. this spring but it was on my mile-long to-do list.

At first glance, the Smithsonian’s bare-chested George Washington statue seems a fine and stately fellow, with little indication of scandal wrapped up beneath the marble folds of his toga. But this unusual depiction of the first American president positively mortified onlookers when it was first displayed in the capital city that bears his name. 

SONY DSC

Why Was White Male Mass Killer In Las Vegas Not Called A Terrorist?

I have been interested in the discussion over the past couple days about the terminology that gets placed on those who make dreadful headlines.  NPR had some interesting takes on this and now The New York Times weighs in to with a news story.

The Las Vegas attack, for some Americans, typically those on the left, represented the terrorism of unchecked gun laws.

Classifying the Las Vegas attack as terrorism might mean classifying guns as national threats requiring a response. The right would see this as an attempt to tar all gun owners and conservatives.

Attacks like the one in New York, led by a man from Uzbekistan who shouted “Allahu akbar,” are seen by many on the right as stemming from the wider threat of uncontrolled Muslim immigration. If it is an act of terrorism, as Mayor Bill de Blasio and others have defined it, then the attacker cannot be dismissed as a disturbed loner.

More than 16 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, many Americans, particularly on the left, are questioning the readiness with which lone Muslims are defined as terrorists while lone non-Muslims are deemed “mass shooters.”

Even if the label fits in individual cases, they say, the inconsistency suggests a tendency to see Muslims as part of a hostile fifth column and white male killers as exceptions.

Because mass killings are such acute moments of public horror, this is not an area in which people can easily agree to disagree. The differing responses can seem to impose a hierarchy of victims, in which those killed by one sort of attacker are deemed to matter more than others, and a hierarchy of perpetrators, sorted by those seen as posing the greater threat.