Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Naked Guy at the Playground

The way we treat Donald Trump is grossly unfair, not because we're too harsh on him.  On the contrary, we seem to have a never ending tolerance to his unacceptable, racist and inappropriate buffoonery.  I never have seen anything like it, and I'm not just talking comparatively to the Democrats.  Never in the history of this country have we had a politician who's been given this level of leeway in regards to the comments which come out of his butt...I mean mouth.

In this article, I'm not going to address the disparaging comments he's made about women, Muslims, the handicapped, minorities and military war heroes, although they're all horrible.  Any one of them, individually, would've negated a Republican or Democrat from immediate contention for the White House in past elections.  Even this year, if anyone else but Trump mouthed anything 1/10th as disgusting as him, they would've been bounced from the race.  When Rubio tried to get into the gutter with him, he ended up out of contention quickly.

I want to highlight one thing he said Sunday; one, on a day of numerous outlandish statements from the Cheetos reject.  This wasn't even close to the most repugnant thing he barfed out today.  It had to do with the upcoming Presidential debates, debates Trump is desperately trying to find a way out of.  He can't go toe to toe with Hillary Clinton on policy issues without looking like either an idiot or a bully (probably both).  He's smart enough to know he can't win votes by being either, so he's starting to lay the groundwork for weaseling out of the debates.

On ABC's "This Week", Trump insisted the Democrats were trying to fix the Presidential debate schedule, placing two of the debates on at the same time as scheduled NFL games, just so Hillary wouldn't look bad.  He then went on to say the following:

"Well, I'll tell you what I don't like. It's against two NFL games. I got a letter from the NFL saying, 'This is ridiculous. Why are the debates against -- because the NFL doesn't want to go against the debates. Because the debates are going to be pretty massive, from what I understand, OK?"

Any other Presidential candidate would've been out of the election today with two of the doozies from this story alone.  First was Donald's lack of understanding how and when the debates are set up.  These debates are a product of the Commission on Presidential Debates, a non partisan group who set the dates for this year's debates in September of 2015.  His allegation the Democrats were trying to avoid him is a bold face lie, as is the implication they demanded the debates be on during the football games.  In reality, the NFL scheduled their games against the debates, not the other way around.

He then tells what should be his second political career ending lie.  The NFL never wrote him!  Trump completely fabricated the NFL letter.  The NFL actually came out today, informing everyone they hadn't sent him a letter in any capacity about the debates.  

These two bold face lies should be the end of Trump.  They won't even be talked about by tomorrow's news cycle.  They'll become like the alleged speech writer for Melania, Trump's wife, who liberally stole direct passages from Michelle Obama in her speech to the Republican Convention.  To my knowledge, there still seems to be a question on whether the speech writer actually exists.  No one's even talking about her anymore.  Heck, it's only 8 PM, tonight; he might have a few more 'career ending for anyone else but Trump' statements yet to make today.

Trump is a naked guy at a school playground.  We should all be aghast at the outlandishness of what he's doing, heaping scorn and ridicule upon him, shunning him from our existence, and running him out of the country for being such an abhorrent, gruesome, hideous, disgusting monster.  Instead we treat him like he's an eccentric neighbor who loves to be around kids at the playground, naked, because clothes make him feel uncomfortable.

When Trump loses in November, there are going to be a lot of people asking why they let the naked guy hang out at the playground for as long as they did.  My only guess is it's the same primordial internal base grunt we all have, eagerly watching as Britany Spears shaves her head and waves an umbrella at passers by, the one that makes us slow down to get a great big eyeful of the horrendous bloody car crash.  Part of us all loves a good train wreck, so even though we know better, we've all become Trump's enablers.

Shame on us.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Friday Link for 7/29/16

For this weeks Friday Link, I decided to stay with the late night comedians take on the political conventions.

Colbert up first.  I'm not sure if he's saved his gig on the Late Show, as rumors suggested the network wasn't happy, but the last two weeks have been incredible.  A very good reminder that he's the best political late night host out there.  The last Friday Link had him welcoming back Jon Stewart from the Daily Show to rip on the GOP Convention, and this week he had more return visitors from his Comedy Central Days.  Unfortunately, he had to say goodbye to are three solid cuts from his Wednesday night show:

And to give Trevor Noah some credit, The Daily Show was the best it's been since he took over, with their political convention coverage.  Here are two cuts from their work from the last two weeks:

And this one too!

It's been a LONG two weeks.  I'm going to get some rest.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton

It should be noted tonight will live on forever in American History.  The first woman in American politics to be the top of a Presidential ticket will accept her nomination as she speaks to the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.

I agree with my national political guy Jeff Stein, who did make a valid point Barack Obama will always be the first non-white guy President, but we shouldn't take away from the moment.  Women weren't allowed to vote 100 years ago.  Many women were considered their husband's property into the 1970's, with virtually no rights in marriages, or in relationships. Not so too long ago, if they didn't accept misogynistic and sexual forwards from bosses and co-workers, they were often fired without any recourse.

We still have a long way to go.  Women, inexplicably, get paid less than their male counterparts for the exact same work, and, even more shocking, many people are trying to make sure that never changes.  Women have numerous non-medical profession men trying to make health decisions for them.  One rape of a woman is too many, and we still have arguments today about whether the rape was justified due to how the woman was dressed.  We expect women to not only work the same job for less, but when they carry our children, and give birth to them, we don't have an effective system in society to help women through the process, regardless of whether they choose to be a stay at home mom, or go back to the workplace.

Even after winning the nomination on Tuesday, there were a shocking amount of newspapers in this country which carried a photo of her husband, instead of her, under the heading "Clinton Clinches the Nomination."

I'm glad we're here.  I'm proud to support Hillary Clinton.  I pray to God she wins in November.  I so want for her to prove all the Republicans who've vilified her for 23 years they were wrong.  I want her to prove how foolish the neanderthals who still think women are a lesser sex really are.

I'll be watching history tonight.  Will you?

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Puppet

When I see (supposedly) smart Republicans insist Trump is a better choice than Clinton, it's bad enough, but when I hear anyone on the left insist they'd rather vote for Donald than Hillary, I'm truly gobsmacked.  What are you talking about?  Trump is the biggest threat to the stability of the United States ever, and yes I'm taking the Civil War into consideration.

I don't throw large statements like this around willy nilly, so to try to add credibility to my argument, here's a list of the greatest threats we've had to America's continued, autonomous existence:

  • Before the country even got going, there was the Shayes Rebellion, which nearly destroyed the incubating government as it was forming. 
  • Washington had many make or break moments in the first Presidential term; not a surprise due to the enormity of actually building a country, but the Whiskey Rebellion was his own public uprising which brought American citizens to arms against the US government.
  • John Adams had a very different version of democracy in mind, one where the President was an authoritative, near dictator.  Thank Jefferson for reversing a lot of what he did.
  • The War of 1812 did not go well for the US.  When President Madison had to flea for his life, actually taking command of a military unit as the British burned the White House down, while his wife secured the valuables, it doesn't speak of a resounding victory.  I've always wondered why the British didn't demand far more in the Treaty of Ghent.
  • The Election of 1824 was pretty bad, with Andrew Jackson winning both the popular and electoral vote counts, but not enough of a majority to claim victory.  It went to the House of Representatives to decide, and the end result was Speaker Henry Clay's power grab leading to the installation of John Quincy Adams as President.
  • Folklore has it William Henry Harrison died one month into his Presidency because he wasn't wearing a jacket during a cold inauguration address.  Reality, he actually got sick three weeks after the address.  They did try leeches!  At this point in the country's history, the path of succeeding after the death of a President was untested and unknown.  Numerous power hungry individuals planned on being the true leader of the government until Vice President John Tyler established the current method of the Vice President becoming the President.
  • The Civil War wasn't just one Presidency.  Lincoln was the President when the actual fighting happened, and there were numerous times where, through US military commander incompetence, the US could've been lost, but that was during combat.  As Lincoln's predecessor, Buchanan sat and did nothing to stop the flow of southern states he knew would leave the union after the 1860 election, and Andrew Johnson's horrific reign afterwards still reverberates in the injustices of today.  Buchanan's malaise, Lincoln's lack of military leaders, and Johnson's incompetence brought the country to the edge multiple times.
  • President Grant was a notorious drunk, who would be considered a obnoxiously heavy drinker today, even during his so called sober Presidential years. So was Grover Cleveland, who curtailed his drinking during his first term to a barrel a night, was nicknamed Uncle Jumbo, got a woman pregnant and married a 21 year old in office.  Alcohol allows you make horrible decisions when you're NOT the President of the United States.  The country was compromised during both of their reigns.
  • The Election of 1876 had massive voting irregularities in three southern states, which lead to Grant having to threaten the public by insisting he would use the military to curb violence.  The end result was President Rutherford B. Hayes, who trailed by 3% in the popular vote, but won the electoral vote by 1!
  • When people talk about Hillary Clinton being the first female President, they're really overlooking Edith Bolling, Woodrow Wilson's wife.  Wilson had a debilitating stroke late in 1919.  From most accounts, he wasn't fit to fulfill his responsibility as President.  Edith would convey his commands and wishes.  Without a proper process to replace a compromised president (the 25th Amendment was passed after Wilson), and no one wanting to actually call the President unfit for office, Edith, an unelected first lady, was the de facto President.
  • Harding was a nightmare.  Corrupt, disgusting; he sold the United States to the highest bidder, as exposed in the Teapot Dome Scandal, amongst others (!!!), and he was the worst kind of human.  He had numerous affairs, at least seven, got two women pregnant, and, during prohibition, something he voted for as Senator, he always had a fully stocked bar, openly displayed in the White House.
  • JP Morgan and other industrialists, furious FDR took the country off the gold standard, actually got pretty far into the planning stages of an overthrowing of the federal government.  WWI military leader Smedley Butler, after being asked to march WWI vets on the White House, exposed the conspiracy.
  • World War II was pretty tough, and we needed to use nuclear bombs to prevent from having to commit to a incredible costly land invasion of Japan.
  • JFK was assassinated in Dallas by an unknown entity (seriously, magic bullet???).  LBJ, a notorious drinker himself, took office, but with an angry anti-minority undercurrent flowing in the country.
  • Nixon was a neurotic twit whose administration conspired in grandiose and unnecessary games to maintain a control they would've always maintained.  His being exposed in the Watergate scandal led to the first President neither elected to the office of the Presidency or Vice Presidency (Ford).  
  • For George W. Bush, we could go with the Supreme Court inserting itself in the 2000 election, to award the Presidency to W., as opposed to the top vote getter in Florida, Gore, but how about we go with him starting a war with a country that didn't attack us on 9/11, and his administration grossly manipulating the evidence for war, strong-arming other countries into going along with the US.  Then, after we'd conquered Iraq, they had zero plan in place for the post war government of Iraq.  The war lead to the loss of thousands of American lives, trillions of American tax dollars, tens of thousands of permanently injured American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis.  It also directly lead to the rise of extremist terrorism, in the form of ISIS.

You see!  This country's history is chock full of scandal and incompetence which could've broken it.  The wars are always the most dangerous element, but with Trump, were seeing something far more terrifying.  None of these historical moments involved the head of another country actually calling the shots in the United States.

Vladamir Putin, the head of Russia, is a power hungry dictator.  He's manipulated the system in Russia to make him the most powerful leader, regardless of which office he holds.  He has a strangle hold on his countries media and populace, and has had numerous political rivals executed in brazen fashion.

Putin sees an opportunity to take over the United States.  He's backing an easily manipulated fool in Donald Trump, a man who's all bravado and little substance, a man who seems to have an extreme loyalty to the leader of Russia.  Trump/Putin is an actual alliance.  Putin sees the impossible developing in front of his eyes; the ability to become the installed de facto leader of the most powerful country in the world.  Of course, a man so power hungry and evil will jump at this opportunity.

The current Wikileaks attack on the Democrats came from the Russian Government.  They've proven this.  The Russians hacked the DNC computers and fed the damaging e-mails to Wikileaks.  There are some embarrassing things in the e-mails, and Debbie Wasserman Shultz, the outgoing head of the DNC, should've been fired a year ago, but this is proof the Russians are trying to manipulate the election.

Trump vetted his Vice Presidential picks by telling them "you'll be running all domestic and foreign policy."  WHAT?!!!?  Trump has stated he won't support or honor our NATO allies, and has even said he'll remove the United States from the World Trade Organization.  These statements are HUGE red flags, enough to exclude Trump from being considered a viable candidate, statements that show Trump has been, or easily could be, manipulated, but nothing slows this guy's campaign.  You should be scared!  Putin, a man who has regularly killed off his political rivals, will likely do ANYTHING for a Trump win in November, including taking out Hillary if the election is looking like an anti-Trump landslide.

Just so no one misses what I'm saying:  I think Russia might try to assassinate Hillary Clinton if it looks like Trump will lose.  I wouldn't be surprised if a Russian military presence is already in the US, trying to recruit some extremist American rube they can cast in the role of patsy, someone Bundy-esque.

A Tump Presidency would mean a new Russian Empire, with them forcibly taking back the countries which left the old Soviet Union, while Trump ignores the screams.  It would destroy our relations with all of our allies.   It would likely mean a war in the Middle East and possible a war with China, and whereas some people think the deaths of American soldiers would be some sort of win, I'm tired of Americans dying for wars which we should not be involved in.  Oil and fishing rights in American territorial waters would be handed back to the Russians, and Putin might even request some of Alaska back.  Before you scoff, you see what he did in the Crimea?

This is not bizarro science fiction, this is real, and its could happen in the United States under the right circumstances.  Look at how much the Bush's bent over backwards for the Saudis.  Now times that by 10, and instead of the Saudis, it's Vlad Putin!

Republicans, I know you hate Hillary.  You do because your media has vilified her for over 20 years.  You think she's a crook because you've been told she's a crook, over and over and over again.  It's called brain washing, and it's worked so well, Republican politicians are furious when she doesn't get charged with the non-existent crimes they insist she's committed.  Please wake up!  There's no comparison between Trump and Clinton.  You don't have to vote for her, but for God's sake, don't vote for him "just because!"

Far lefties, first off, Bernie LOST!!!  We had primaries and caucuses, and because he didn't take the South seriously, and because he didn't resonate with minority voters, he didn't win.  Super delegates weren't the problem for Bernie; he came in 2nd.  You insisting a Trump Presidency is a better option because you're disappointed is incredibly dumb.  Regardless of whether you just hate Hillary, or if you want to see the house burn down so you can rebuild it, let me remind you of something.  What replaces the burned down house, likely, won't be better than the one you allowed to burn, and often the replacement is FAR worse.

WAKE UP!  Do not elect a Russian puppet!

Do you know what the saddest part of a Trump Presidency would be?  Not the numerous Americans insisting Trump was a much better choice than Clinton, as they watch their sovereign rights being taken away from them, but rather how many of them would actually believe it.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Friday Link for 7/22/16

This could be the biggest no brainer Friday Link of all time!  This week, amongst the nightmarish GOP Convention (nightmarish for them, not us!) two stalwarts of truth, humor and honesty came forward to offer epic viewing.

First is Keith Olbermann.  I wish this guy could get another television show, but until that time, we have to make due with Twitter, the occasional late night appearance and specialty items, like the one he did for Vanity Fair this week.  Is Donald Trump clinically insane?  Survey says...

The second entry was 13 minutes of sheer bliss!  Jon Stewart returned to late night television Thursday night, taking over Colbert's 'The Late Show' seat for a segment.  What ensues is the most succinct, factual, and overdue beat down of Sean Hannity, conservative pundits and Trump we've had in a year.  

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


The last physical fight I got into with anyone was back in 2004.  I was taking the night off.  My oldest daughter had been born in early September, and for my birthday in late October, I went out with a friend for dinner and beers.  As we downed our second pitcher, lamenting the Wild and Vikings, we were joined, unplanned, by an acquaintance, Bob, who happened to be out by himself.

The conversation turned to politics when I relayed the story of how, after my daughter was born in early September, I had a run in with a woman at the Fairview Southdale parking ramp, where she insisted "You hate the troops!"  A woman I'd never met was saying this due to my 'Veterans for Kerry' bumper sticker.  Yes, let that settle in for a second.  I informed her I was a former 'troop,' but it didn't stop her from screaming like a banshee about my "hating the country, how I cheered Bin Laden, and I hated the troops."  Delightful!

Bob, a Republican, a man who initially sounded sympathetic to the random screaming drive-by I'd gotten in Edina, pushed past my story to express his support for another four wears of W.  When I listed the reasons why I wouldn't be voting for him, a long and justifiable list which made Bob angrier by the talking point, the last one I mentioned was the persistent rumors of the Bush twins using secret service to underage drink and help cover up their indiscretions.  Bob immediately changed.  His face got red, his veins on his neck became more pronounced, and his fists clenched, as he ordered me, through gritted teeth, "Don't you dare bring the President's family into this."  Me, being a jackass, then brought up how I though Laura Bush smiling looked a lot like the Joker.

He took a swing at me; missed.  I got a pop in.  Bouncers and servers stepped in.  I was asked to leave.  Good times.

For the record, my main problem wasn't primarily the Bush twin's underage drinking, but rather the use of our Secret Service to act as not only their clean up squad, but in some cases, their enablers.  And no, I don't think former First Lady Laura Bush looks like the Joker.  I said that as a response to being ordered to not have an opinion.  Bob's swing showed off an emerging bipolar element of the modern Republican; when a Republican President is in office, their family is completely off limits, but when a Democrat wins you can make the worst comments about their families, heinous trope built around the worst of stereotypes.

The Obama's have had it worse than most, and 90% of it comes from them being African American.  I've had numerous internet memes sent to me about the First Lady, Michelle Obama, mainly featuring racist rhetoric, even comparing her to a monkey.  I get these not only from brick dumb Tea Baggers, but from 'Christians' I know, people who insist I can't take a joke when I point out their horrific bigotry.

Michelle Obama is vilified for many reasons.  First, because she's African American.  Second, because she's a woman.  Third because she's a Democrat, and the rest revolve around her being a far better role model than any Republican will ever be.  The GOP have used her initiative to get people to eat healthier as the catalyst of their criticism.  I wrote about the GOP hatred of her campaign to make school lunches healthier in the first real post on this blog.

Last night, yet another great insult was leveed her way, when the Republican nominee Donald Trump's wife Melania Trump, copied her speech from 2008 almost verbatim for two paragraphs.  See for yourself:

Not only is this incredibly stupid for Trump and the GOP, it's just lazy.  Today I've heard Republicans insist this was really Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's fault, that Michelle is the bad person for wanting to prevent other people from using any words she ever said, and even how Melania read it better, so Michelle should be grateful.  The only thing Republicans are being quiet about is an apology.  I'm wondering how long it takes for the same group of people who were convinced Jade Helm was real to create the Michelle Obama time travel theory, where she went to the future heard Melania read it, and took it back to 2008.  

I feel sorry for Michelle Obama right now.  They've tried to smear her in God awful ways for 8 years, and now they're trying to usurp her intellect.  In true white guy fashion, they steal something from an African American, and then claim either the African American never had a right to it in the first place, the African American made us take it from you, or the white guy originally came up with the idea so it's theirs (see almost all forms of music, sports, dance, style, food etc.).

Republicans will always tilt the playing field in the direction they want.  If Trump wins in November (HAHAHA) they'll insist the same standards they've held Michelle Obama to should never be applied to Melania, or any of the Trump family.  If Hillary wins, they'll go after Bill and Chelsea, just like they did in the 90's.  

In regards to Melania's plagiarism, I've had Republicans insist "Democrats do this ALL the time!"  Not they don't, but there was a similar case.  Back in 1988, Vice President Biden plagiarized a British politician and it ended his Presidential campaign that year.  When two Republicans heard me acknowledge that historic fact, they got all smug...until I pointed out there were actual consequences for Biden's plagiarism.  Understanding Melania Trump is a different situation, I put it to the GOP that shouldn't they, at the very least, demand the Trump campaign apologize to Michelle.  Funny, that's when ALL Republicans really want to stop talking about it, like a firm resolution is already in place, when nothing has been demanded of the Trump campaign in the slightest.  Republicans want the world to think both sides do it, but they don't want the world to punish the Republicans, while demanding a pound of Democratic flesh for violations far less heinous.

It's stuff like this which convinces me the modern Republican Party is a complete joke.

I think Nerdy Wonka on Twitter said it best - "Irony is: A racist campaign plagiarizing the work of the Black First Lady."  Indeed!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mocking Jay

Do you remember a few years back when a TV news reporter and a local TV station were so desperate to smear the Mayor of Minneapolis they made a public mockery of themselves?  No, not grape salad or the made up walking tours of the Twin Cities.  I'm talking about the most obnoxious deterioration of a media outlet's credibility, ever!  A news story so laughable it was trending internationally(!), and the mere mention of it's name today still gets chortles and eyeball rolls.  I'm talking about #Pointergate.

A refresher - Betsy Hodges, the Mayor of Minneapolis, was out canvassing in North Minneapolis for election 2014 with other community organizers.  At one point, she posed for a picture with another community organizer, an African America man, with each of them pointing a finger at each other.  If you've seen the video of the pose, it's clearly a social, Stephen Colbert like, fun pose between two people on a November day.

The Minneapolis police union, upset that a month earlier the Mayor addressed wanting more police accountability, created a completely made up story, insisting the finger point was the Mayor of Minneapolis making gang signs.  It didn't matter the picture had laughing, smiling faces, it didn't matter the gesture was a common gesture everyone uses, and it didn't matter no Minneapolis gangs were affiliated with a gang sign of a pointing finger.  The police union got all in a huff and insisted the Mayor had taken sides with street gangs instead of the Minneapolis police.

The police union went around to numerous media outlets to try to get them to run with their smear campaign.  I've talked with people from the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Channel 4 and Channel 11, all of whom insisted they told the police there was no story there, and they all refused to do the police union's bidding.

Then came KSTP 5, a media outlet owned by a family, Hubbard, who openly supports Republicans.  In the past, Channel 5 has refused to run truthful Democratic ads attacking Republican candidates they support (Mills), while at the same time they seem to have zero filters when it comes to running lying attack ads against Democrats.  They jumped at the chance to go after the Democratic Mayor of Minneapolis, sending faithful reporter Jay Kolls out to try his best to drum up outrage at the nefarious "point heard round the world."

What happened next was all out mockery of KSTP 5, with plenty of scorn and snickers from local, national and international news outlets.  I did a quick funny interview about it with an Irish radio station, and Jon Stewart dedicated a segment of the Daily Show to dismantling the non existent story.  Here's a link:

KSTP tried desperately to recovery their integrity, but by refusing to apologize for the ludicrous police union hit story, they never have, and even still today are considered a lesser news outlet in the Twin Cities.  Over time, the laughing ended and the story went away.  Kolls somehow kept his job.  You'd think he'd have wiped his brow, let out a very vocal "Whew," and went about his life. After I openly made jokes about him, Jay Kolls blocked me on Twitter in 2014, as well as numerous others who said anything about #Pointergate.  He might have been deleting any embarrassment from his life, but he also seems to be very sensitive about it all, as he should be!

#Pointergate was such a huge mistake, that even today, Kolls gets poked online, like when Andrew Urevig asked on Twitter if he ever apologized for smearing Mayor Hodges.  What Jay should've done is ignore and block Andrew, as there is NO defense for his actions.  That's what he should of done.  Instead:

Oh for God's sake.  Jay, what are you doing?!?  Shut up!  You are already a laughing stock because of #Pointergate and time will NEVER make it better.  You were a fool to do the story and KSTP were fools to air it.  You should just delete all of your public social media accounts and cruise quietly to your retirement.  YOU CAN'T WIN THIS!  YOU JUST CAN NOT!  Stop trying.  You come off as still trying to make Mayor Hodges, one of the nicest politicians I've ever met, into some sort of gangland mastermind, while insisting you're so familiar with street culture you know where all the gangs are hanging out at all times.  You sound like an idiot who tried to bluff your story into reality.  Just SHUT UP!

Jay Kolls and KSTP,  I'm pointing at YOU!  The world was never laughing with you, but laughing at you.  Even the police union has moved as far away from this stink pile as they can.  It's time for you to do the same.  Please stop embarrassing yourselves.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Friday Link for 7/15/16

After another tough news week, and personal disappointment in regards to my NOT finding the Hopkins Raspberry Festival's Golden Raspberry medallion, again, I decided to go to my home turf for today's Friday Link.

I love Doctor Who.  The show has been around for well over 50 years.  The debut episode aired in Britain on the day Kennedy was shot in Dallas.  That's longevity.

Part of the appeal of the show is the fact the character can regenerate, completely changing their appearance to heal themselves, maintaining a long life.  There have been twelve Doctor regenerations, plus the War Doctor (played by John Hurt) and the 10th did a half regeneration.

I should also mention the regeneration from the 6th into the 7th was originally done without the 6th, as he got upset about his unceremonious dumping.  They re-did his for various formats later.  Also, the quality of the tape on the 1st to 2nd has deteriorated quite a bit and so it might seem choppy.  The regeneration itself has been recovered.

Some of the clips are longer than others with the 11th to 12th being particularly long, but they are all here.  I love this show.  Please enjoy and have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mother of the Year

Today, Michael Brodkorb, the journalist (not a phrase I throw around lightly), whose investigative reporting of the disappearance of the Grazzini-Rucki girls lead to the discovery of the girls, alive, joined me to talk about the latest developments in the case, specifically the upcoming trial beginning on Monday of the girl's mother, Sandra.

Some people have asked me why I've been so interested in this case.  Undeniably, the connection to Michelle MacDonald, the former GOP candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, is ambrosia.  MacDonald, the same person who didn't disclose to the MNGOP her upcoming DWI trial prior to being given the endorsement in 2014, and who had an epic standoff with her own party at the MNGOP booth at the Minnesota State Fair that same year, is the lawyer for Sandra.  Also, MacDonald's campaign manager and friend, Dede Evavold, seems to have played a major role in the abduction (trial pending).  That's right, there's a very real possibility the GOP candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court might've been aware of the details in the disappearance of two teenage girls (or maybe worse!), while she was running for a seat on the highest court in the state!  We'll have to see what transpires over the next few months.

For me, the fascination evolves around one thing: if found guilty of the accusations being levied against her, how can any parent treat their children as horribly as Sandra Grazzini-Rucki?

Marriages fail.  The person you thought you married ends up being a very different person after awhile, and you start to grow apart.  I get that, and I've had numerous friends with kids get divorced. In every one of those cases, the parents biggest concern were the kids.  They try to make sure, even when there's real hatred between the former spouses, the kids had some semblance of a normal life, and a normal relationship with each parent.  It seems nothing could be further from the truth in the case of Sandra.

Once again, innocent until proven guilty, and the court case begins Monday.  My personal opinion; she's guilty as hell.

During divorce proceedings against her ex, David Rucki, years ago, she manufactured claims of child abuse, against him, claims the court thoroughly investigated and were found to be false.  The court even went as far as to accuse Sandra of trying to brainwash her daughters, and the father was awarded primary custody.  This seems to have pushed Sandra into revenge mode.

Sandra helped facilitate the girls running away, creating a fictional story; the court system failed to protect the Grazzini-Rucki girls, forcing her to take more drastic measures to keep the girls safe.  She took them to DeDe Evavold's house in St. Cloud, where the girls stayed for a few days, while a foggy underground network of scorned parents who feel the justice system is rigged, assisted in coordinating a 'safe house' for the girls to be taken to.  The girls were taken to the Dahlen farm in western Minnesota, dropped off by their mother.  She told them she'd be back soon.

She never came back for them.

Apparently she never called, wrote, or inquired about her daughters.  She also seemed to completely cut off all interaction with her other kids still in the custody of her ex husband.  Sandra instead went off on an adventure, hanging out with new men, traveling the world, going to sporting events, and hanging out with VIP's.

Meanwhile, her daughters were kept in a workhouse situation on a horse farm.  They were pretty much locked up, with very limited outside interaction, for over two and a half years!  To put that in perspective, if you dropped off those kids today, you wouldn't see them again until February of 2019!

If all true, there's only one unthinkable truth.  She never cared for her kids in any capacity.

She seems to have done all of this with one goal in mind, to get back at her ex.  She succeeded, a thousand fold.  As a father, I can't comprehend what every night was like, wondering where two of your children were, were they even still alive.  Ghastly.  If there is any good news to come out of this case, the girls have been reunited with David, and they seem to be getting back to some normalcy in their lives.  The reality, the scars will never fully heal.

Evil exists on this planet, and not all of it is easy to see.  When I look at Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, I see evil; an evil I'll never be able to understand.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Friday Link for 7/8/16

This week stunk.  Without further ado, animals eating carrots...

Have a nice weekend.  Try not to get shot...

The Gun Paradox

This morning I awoke to horrific news; an ambush of Dallas police officers, with 5 killed and numerous others wounded.  This is disgusting.  The initial reports indicate the person who targeted the officers was doing so in direct response to the continued slaying of African America men by police in America.  In the last week, the nation has been rocked by shootings of African American men in Falcon Heights (Philando Castile) and Baton Rouge (Alton Sterling).  In both cases, the men we're killed partially due to the gun they were legally carrying, but not brandishing or threatening anyone with, at the time of their deaths.

I'm outraged by all of these deaths.  Anyone insisting I have to be more outraged because the dead are either brave police officers, or innocent African Americans, is misguided.  I can mourn when law enforcement are killed, or when an individual is killed by law enforcement without justification or provocation.  If you are screaming one side's deaths are more important, tragic or sadder than the other side's deaths, you have an agenda I want no part of.

Understandably, you might've missed a smaller story this morning.  Cell phone footage of a June 25th police shooting of an unarmed 19 year old in Fresno, California has emerged, and it leads to more questions than answers.  The individual, Dylan Noble, died from his wounds, inflicted by officers who shot him.  While the video doesn't show the entire conflict, it does show officers 12-15 feet from Noble, who's on the ground, in no way an immediate threat to the officers who have guns drawn.  From this distance, the officers shoot Noble twice.

The Fresno police are refusing to release the body camera footage until the investigation is complete, but considering the man was unarmed, the officers are coming under a lot of scrutiny for the discharge of their weapons.  They shot the man four times in total.  FOUR!  And the final shot was a shotgun blast.  Chief of Fresno Police Jerry Dyer is quoted as saying the officers feared for their lives as the suspect kept reaching towards his waistband for a non-existent weapon.

The officers were 12-15 feet away from the suspect.  He wasn't armed, but police didn't know that.  Considering Noble wasn't a vampire or other mythical creature who can jump long distances from a laying down position, the only weapon the officers could've used to validate the shooting was a potential gun, not a knife, or axe, or pipe.  If the case was to go to trial, a jury would have a hard time labeling the shooting as justified if Noble was 12-15 feet away from them with a switchblade.  Our laws clearly state the potential of a gun is validation for the police to shoot a suspect, and the Fresno officers will likely be found not guilty of any wrong doing.

Did you catch that?  Our laws which are designed to protect police officer actions when it comes to shooting perps acknowledges guns are extremely dangerous.  A lot of weapons are dangerous, but guns, the most lethal of weapons, are overwhelmingly used to validate police shootings.  When it comes to the shootings this week, the officers will likely never face any charges, as the officer's fear of a gun, even in the cases of Castile and Sterling's legally carried guns, offsets any responsibility by the officers.  The gun itself, whether real or imaginary, whether licensed or illegal, IS the legally recognized danger.

With the shooting of the Dallas police officers, nothing is being said at all about the gun, a sniper rifle which can be used with lethal results.  Instead were being told it's all about Black Lives Matter, or it was President Obama, or it was liberals encouraging violence by questioning the needless deaths of two African American men.  If the Dallas shooter had a knife, axe, or pipe, there wouldn't be five dead officers.  The sniper rifle needs to be included as a main part of the discussion.

Who's been writing the police's 'fear of a gun' defense laws?  Many of the same people who scream "guns aren't the problem, people are the problem;" politicians like MN Rep. Tony Cornish and US Senator John McCain.  These 'guns everywhere' kooks are the ones who turn a whiplash inducing 180, and embrace a solemn, factual and sober gun tone when it comes to writing laws which authorize police shootings.  They're admitting we should all be afraid of guns.  Sadly, they reserve their dalliances into sanity for these gun laws alone.

If the gun is such a dangerous object that a police officer can legally kill a suspect due to fear of a gun, real or unreal, then why is the gun taken out of the equation when a police officer is not the shooter?  If we legalize police shootings due to the life threatening danger of a mythical gun being present, then shouldn't we write laws which accept how dangerous real guns actually are?

The Dallas Police were highly trained, each carrying a loaded weapon on their hip.  It didn't matter.  In the case of Philando Castile, he actually had a carry and conceal license, to make him safer.  It was used as the justification to gun him down.

Guns suck.  They're violent weapons that can cause obscene amounts of carnage.  If we were to apply the legally recognized danger of guns to more than just police shootings, there'd be fewer victims of gun violence overall.  My prayers go out to the police officers killed in Dallas, as well as to the near daily loss of African American lives, gunned down in the streets by law enforcement.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


I lost my dear friend yesterday when my dog, a shetland sheepdog, or sheltie, named Skye, died.

Here's the first picture we ever took of him.  He was happy to have a new home:

Pets are amazing.  I love my kids, but trust me, I never once placed my dog on the same pedestal as them.  Pets fulfill a relationship far different than children.  Early on, when they're puppies, they can be like children, but the role they eventually encapsulate is companion.  They want to be your friend.  They want your affection, and will give it back 1000 fold to ensure they keep receiving it.

I found Skye at the Humane Society in early 2012.  I'd never had a sheltie before.  One of the things that drew me to him was how gorgeous he was.  I decided since I had a Scottish dog, I would give him a Scottish name.  His name came from the Isle of Skye; a beautiful island, which seemed appropriate for how pretty his was.  We brought him home, and he quickly became everything my family wanted in a dog.  For four and a half years he's been a constant presence in our lives, relating to us individually.  Talking with my kids, it's remarkable how their relationship with Skye was so different from mine.

We knew he was getting older, starting to have problems with rheumatoid arthritis, but we thought we'd have a few more years with him.  Yesterday morning, I took him for a morning walk, fed him, and everything seemed fine.  At some point, something in him ruptured; he was dying from internal bleeding.  I got off the air yesterday, and when I got home, I discovered he had passed away 10 minutes earlier.

I'm not alright.  I'm sad to the core.  I know the pain will pass, and eventually I'll get another dog, but there will always be only one Skye.

Here are six of my favorite pictures of him.

Here is the last photo we took of him.  It was 11 days ago at our cabin.

I miss my friend.

Monday, July 4, 2016

4th of July, Happy Independence Day

I'm a proud Democrat, and I'm a proud American.  I'm proud of my Army service, and I'm proudly flying the flag today.  All my best to you and your family, drive safe and God bless the USA!


This is Zach Hample:

As you can tell by the photo, he's kind of a jackass.  He's one of those guys who has managed to take a worthless life skill, in this case pushing kids out of the way, diving into fight piles, and/or offering dad $100 to make their kid cry, all in an attempt to get baseballs hit into the stands at Major League Baseball (MLB) games, and turned it into a "profession."  Andy Warhol called and the alarm went off twenty minutes ago.

MLB decided to show some love for the troops and held a game between the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins on Fort Bragg in North Carolina yesterday, July 3rd.  The game was for military service members, US Department of Defense members and their families, ONLY.  Zach doesn't fall into any of those categories, so instead of signing up for a tour of duty, he decided to take away a seat from a military service member, just so he could try to get a few more baseballs for his collection.

Hack (that's how I'll refer to him from here on out), insists he got his ticket legitimately through a 'friend' who's active duty, whose girlfriend doesn't like baseball.  It doesn't explain why Hack was on Tinder (that's right, the DATING site) offering $1000 for someone to get his sorry unpatriotic ass into the game.

Hack proceeded to collect 11 baseballs from the game, tweeting his conquest like it was some sort of glorious victory.

EVERYONE STOP!!!  Think about this for a second.  There are 11 children whose mother's and father's have the toughest job in the world.  They fight in the armed forces of the United States of America.  Their parents might be currently serving across the globe.  Their parents might've just returned from an active combat mission.  This might've been their first outing with their dad and/or mom in a year, and MLB, Atlanta and Miami put on this game to give to the troops, and their kids, specifically.

This jackass took baseballs from those 11 kids.  Think about the lies he made up, the stories he concocted to get players, staff and people in the stands to give him the balls.  He's slime.

I don't care if those baseballs would've instead gone to active military personnel.  The game was intentionally only for them, and if a baseball from a Braves/Marlins game is in anyway a thank you for their service, then THEY deserve a truckload, not Hack.

Even the military thinks this guy is a massive jerk.  The 82nd Airborne Divisions official Twitter page quoted Hack's bragging tweets and and told him to "delete your account!"  Hack, realizing about a day too late he's human trash, insists he gave away 10 of the 11 balls and that he's made a $1100 dollar donation to  You can't undo this, Hack, and no amount of after the fact piety will offset your atrocious behavior.

MLB should ban Hack from all baseball games in the future.  Hack should give away ALL of the balls he got at the Fort Bragg game, and he should sell off some of his massive baseball collection to help the family of service members who are currently deployed.  This game was for military families, a group of people who are often ignored outside of when they are handed a folded flag at a gravesite.  Hack, it's the LEAST you can do.  Or you can enlist for military service; your country needs you!  I was Army, so for more information call 1-888-550-ARMY (2769).

Marlins Man is a colorful character who sits behind home plate in bright orange Miami gear for most Marlins games.  He tweeted, " Zach, that game CLOSED to NON department Defense Employees and their family. Give any balls u have to kids and leave. NOW!"  Hack, when Marlin Man is smacking your caboose in the morality/high road category, you're really a disgusting human being.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Friday Link for 7/1/16

For the 4th of July weekend, I wanted to be patriotic.

I love President Barack Obama. I think he's historically a top 10-15 president, and even though I've confidence Hillary will win in November, and I feel her administration will be good one, there will ALWAYS be something about President Obama.

Why not get the best comedy bit written around him, Luther his anger translator from Key and Peele. When Luther showed up for the 2015 White House Correspondence dinner, it was perfect!

Vice President Joe Biden's term will also be ending, and I'm going to miss him.  Not because of his hilarious gaffes, or the spot on Onion headlines about him.  The Vice President has had his hand in many decisions over the last eight years, returning his office to the role of support and advisor, as opposed to the off the record President the former administration was.  For his comedy gold, we head over to the 2014 White House Corespondents Dinner and a little bit he did with Julia Louis -Dreyfus.

Bless the United States of America!  Have a wonderful 4th of July/Independence Day and make sure you start calling everyone you know and telling them to vote Democrat in November.  The race is on, NOW!