Month: June 2007

This will continue to happen

So long as the inequities of divorce law persist, every now and then you’ll get some guy with a weapon that the police can’t really match. That was the case here. He accomplished his goal, gunning down his soon to be ex-wife and child.

But I have to give props to the police sharpshooter. I’ve fired off an AR-15 and it’s not the most accurate weapon. But he dropped the guy no problem.

Michael Moore’s Sicko is on the net

You can watch it right here. It’s a few minutes over two hours but worth watching.

You’ll hear Republicans excoriate socialized medicine but they don’t want to admit that we already have socialized programs in the U.S. As Moore points out, schools, fire and police, etc. are all social programs. And I’ll go further, so too is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.

But explain to me how in Britain, even with their high taxes (Which btw are pretty close to what ours are here in the U.S. once you add it all up.) a doctor working for the National Health Service as a general practitioner can make over $200K a year, live in a nice home, drive a nice car, and be happy? Not only is he happy, the people are too. It gets better, in Britain prescriptions are a uniform $10 in U.S. dollar regardless of quantity dispenses. And people under 16 and over 60 don’t pay a dime for prescriptions. Compare that to Medicare Part-D in the United States.

Or how about in Canada, where Tommy Douglas started their national health system. Of course you’ll always hear people, mostly Republicans go on and on about the evils of nationalized health care but the reality is something far different. And in Canada the average wait for emergency care is twenty to forty-five minutes. Try that here in the U.S. with the best insurance.

The most telling moment was when one gentleman in the film stated you could use money to start wars or to help people it became immediately clear to me what the problem was in the United States. We let for-profit companies run the show. And anytime a profit motive enters the picture, concern for the people goes out the door.

Instead concern is about the almighty dollar. Yet if they continue on this course, they’ll bankrupt this country sooner than later and create paupers of us all, with the exception of that 1% holding all the wealth.

If we want to effect real change in the United States we first have to start by stripping corporations of their alleged rights. I propose amending the United States Constitution to strip corporate entities of any rights conferred by the Bill of Rights. They deserve no such protections.

Were this to happen we’d see a few things, like truth in advertising. There’s one I’m sure we’d all like to see. We’d also see an end to political lobbying. I dislike using the word lobby since it’s been tainted for so long. Let’s call it what it really is, bribery.

Another quote is that in countries like France, where the work week is thirty five hours, they get five weeks of vacation, paid maternity leave, and all sorts of other benefits the government is afraid of the PEOPLE, instead of the PEOPLE being afraid of the GOVERNMENT. Here in the U.S. we’re the latter and we shouldn’t be.

Lets stop the craziness. The question is how do we send a clear message to our ELECTED representatives? One way is massive letter writing campaigns but they can ignore that since we don’t finance their campaigns. Another way would be to sit out elections but that doesn’t sit well with me.

I always say if the news on both local and national level reported on what was really going on in the U.S. you’d have rioting in the streets. And I remember that Benjamin Franklin said “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” I also don’t recall who said that the price of liberty was the blood of patriots but they knew despots and anarchy.

Since I’ve trashed Pride…

Here’s a little something for me to make nice for all the dreadful things I’ve said about the half assed pride parades we have here in Providence. I know that Dorothy is something of an icon to the gay community. And Mad TV does a wonderful little take on The Wizard of Oz, adding to it a nice little surprise towards the end.

Gay Pride Providence 2007

This year we got pushed into Burnside Park towards Kennedy Plaza because FirstWorksKids took over our usual spot. And as usual, it’s one big commercial festival. There were a few informational booths but for the most part it’s people trying to sell crap.

But one trend over the past few years has been night parades. Here’s what I don’t get, these queens can’t figure out that lighting is their best friend. I really want to get on one of the float committees and kick in a few bucks to get some proper lighting.
Ever since I’ve started vlogging I’ve realized the importance of light.

I also want everyone to know that sticking a bunch of billboards for your club on the side of a box is NOT a float. And while we’re on the topic, putting a bunch of skinny little boys on a flatbed isn’t a float either. Put some effort into it, make it special. Pick a theme for the year, you know, things like that. Make people want to see what you’ll do next.

Right now I’m working on the videos I took of the parade and I have to be honest, they suck. While the camera performs relatively well in low light, it still sucks. The parade route starts on Fountain St, turns right onto Dorrance St, then right again to Washington St, left on Empire St then left on Weybosset St. I was right near the second turn onto Washington St.

So if they keep the same route next year I’m bringing a little 8kW generator and some spot lighting and a tripod with me. That way I can light the subject and maybe give them the idea that light is a good thing, except for some drag queens to whom low light is a friend. Maybe they don’t want the light, because then they’d have to put some effort into the parade. But I say bring it on.

I’ve been told the switch to a night parade was to prevent the poor little children from seeing too much man flesh. Oh for crying out loud let em’s see it. There’s probably a young homo among those ‘kids’ that wouldn’t mind seeing some flesh.

Colombia, I hardly knew ya!

Seems that the Colombians know how to treat people. That’s right, gay people in Colombia now have full rightsto inheritance among many other things.

And in other news, they didn’t manage to get an anti gay marriage constitutional amendment on the ballot in Massachusetts. They won’t stop trying of course but every year they try they’re marginalized more and more, as religious freaks should be marginalized.

Now if we could only get rid of the religious freaks in RI. You know which ones I’m talking about: Governor Carcieri, House Speaker Murphy and Senate President Montalbano. Actually on that last count, he may be going sooner than later since he’s a target of interest in anti-corruption investigations by the federal prosecutors. And a little birdie tells me Murhpy is next.

But that this could happen in Colombia, particularly Catholic Colombia speaks volumes. Christianity in the U.S. is very Protestant in behavior. Old Martin Luther was fundamentalist to the core what with his 95 theses he tacked to the church door in Wittenberg. That Martin Luther was probably German explains everything. Ordnung!

Catholicism on the other hand is a very strange beast. It’s very liberal socially or at least it was from the 60’s through the early 80’s. Then JP II got elected as pope and it all went to hell in a handbasket. Now we have Benny the Rat and he’s no prize, curiously another German.

I think we should stop Germans from being religious leaders.

Oh yes, the U.S. was first settled by Puritans and Calvinists. John Calvin was a dour old bastard. But his legacy lives on today.

Stereo systems and speakers

So I dusted off the Nikko NR-650 – list for that baby was $500 in the day, that had to be around 1987. It’s held up pretty well, I just have to clean the volume control out. But I’ve had it for near twenty years and it still works. No reason to commit it to the trash heap. I’m frugal that way. If something keeps working for me, I see no reason to throw it out. This system is one of the few things that kept on going. My first CD player was close to $300. Now they give the things away.

Anyhow the Advent Prodigy Towers are functional but the surrounds on the woofers have disintegrated over the years. So I needed to hookup something and then I remembered I had some Realistic Minimus 7 speakers around.

So I hooked those up. I forgot how good they sounded. Radio Shack stopped carrying them a couple years back and there was a lot of outcry. I originally paid about $40 for them when they were new, and I had them hooked up in the bedroom. But I like them, they’re unobtrusive, sounds fairly decent and with some simple mods can be made to sound even better. Highly recommended if you can find a pair, ebay is a good place to start.

One of these days I’ll replace the surrounds on the Advents. Those will blow you out of the house.