Robin Williams: Coward

Comedy legend was found dead in his home Monday morning. Cause of death is reported to be a suspected suicide

I was going to start this by writing “Robin Williams Died Yesterday”, but that’s not headline grabbing. Nor is it really the truth. He didn’t die.

Robin Williams didn’t have a heart attack. He didn’t have stomach cancer. He wasn’t in a plane crash. A car accident. His tour bus didn’t roll off a cliff in Switzerland. He took his own life. The coward’s way out.

When I first saw that he was dead, I cried. I mean, I’m 50. I grew up with the guy. Form Mork And Mindy (What ever happened to Pam Dawber?- and no, I didn’t have to Google her name) to Good Morning Viet Nam and and on. I saw every movie he did. Every Comedic Special. The guy was brilliant. But as much as people will recall his comedic genius, it was the dramatic roles that I really loved. Dead Poets Society was brilliant as was Good Will Hunting, but I loved the dark drama. The Night Listener, Insomnia, One Hour Photo. Brilliant, but in the end a waste.

I’m sorry if I’m not sensitive. I understand, The man had demons. But who doesn’t have demons? Who isn’t feeling like their up- against the wall, or the weight of the world is bearing down on them. I guarantee you the guy that is losing his home, his job, his family; the guy, or girl, who feels so completely alone and helpless; who can’t see anything but the tunnel and no light at the end; the person who’s been abandoned is facing some much harsher demons than an award winning, millionaire “genius”, loved by the world, praised for his work will ever face.

I won’t say “he took the easy way out.” As someone who at one time wished to die, it’s not easy to kill yourself. You don’t just do it with as much thought as you put into starting your car. But still, the guy had more options than 99% of us do.




New Rules – 7/11/14

New Rules

Now that there’s been an uproar about all the neocons that lied about the Iraq war, with no consequences, somebody has to tell my where there hasn’t been a similar uproar over all the Republicans who lied about Obamacare, with no consequences.

It’s been 4 years since the bill passed, has anyone come across even one death panel?
The next Liberal to tell a Republican “you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts”, should really just admit they’ve never seen Fox News.

Now I get that neither party has a monopoly on lying and they all do it so often, they’ve invented their own word for it; “I misspoke.” but how come the rule for one party, the Republican party, is that when they get caught in a lie they don’t have to stop telling it?

They said Obamacare would use death panels. It doesn’t. They said it was a government takeover, and the insurance industry is making record profits. They said it covered illegals. It doesn’t. They said it was a job killer. It hasn’t been. They said there were elves who bake cookies in trees. Well, almost…

Now for sure, Obama also told a lie when he said everybody who likes their healthcare plan can keep it. And for about 2% of the population, that did turn out to be false. The difference is he stopped saying it. He stepped up and said “You’re right. My bad.” because he understands there’s this thing called observable reality.

But on the Republican side, observable reality needs more study. Which is why their talking points, which have been disproven, remain! Like a guest whose been asked to leave a party but does not. It reminds me of a horror movie, when you think you’ve killed a lie but it won’t stay dead.

Which is why I call them Zombie Lies. Yes zombie lies.

Remember fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes? Zombie lie! So stop saying it.
Voter fraud? We studied it, it’s not an actual problem. Stop zombie lying about it.
Their entire economic philosophy -cut taxes for the rich and it trickles down- is a zombie lie.
And all these zombie lies are still out there, roaming the countryside. Neither alive nor dead.

Like Dick Cheney.

Hungry for brains, like Dick Cheney.

I mean, we think we’ve eradicated one, but it turns out it’s just lying dormant, in a cave full of bat blood. Like the ebola virus.

…or Dick Cheney.

Dick Cheney, who did not even bother in his recent return from the dead to update the lies he told about Iraq the first time. He’s till out there saying “Well Saddam was building a bomb and he was working with al Qua….”

It’s like when Chuck Berry sings about Sweet Little Sixteen. You’re 90, man.

There is no shame in their game. One week they’re out there saying “No one will sign up for Obamacare.” And the next week “Oh, OK, they signed up? OK, but they aren’t paying the premiums. Oh they are? OK. Well, it’s not the young people. Oh, it IS the young people? OK. Uhhh, but it only covers you if you’re Gay….”

You just want to go “Wait! When did we switch over? What happened to yesterday’s lie? It’s still out there forever, like a plastic bag in a tree, but now we’re just using the new one?”

Yes, because what they do is they pass a zombie lie down to dumber and dumber people who believe it more and more.

Hank Poulson may be over the one about Climate Change being a hoax, but it’s still good enough for Sean Hannity. Who then gets quoted by Michelle Bachman. Who forms the intellectual core of thinking for Victoria Jackson.

And when you think the zombie lie has finally gone to die at the Idea Hospice of the absolutely stupidest people on Earth, there it is being retweeted by Donald Trump.

Williamsville Firm Is In The Spotlight For Moving Landmark Lighthouses

I used to work for this company and was involved in several of these moves

Gay Head Light flashes a red signal in Aquinnah, MA, Oct. 13, 2013 on the island of Martha's Vineyard. The lighthouse flashes alternating red and white beams of light.

Gay Head Light House At Martha’s Vineyard

International Chimney Corp. has made a name for itself by successfully moving five historic lighthouses on the East Coast from dangerously eroding shores, including the famed Cape Hatteras Light, the country’s tallest lighthouse.

Now, the Williamsville engineering firm is embarking on its sixth relocation project with another landmark lighthouse. It was recently tapped to move the iconic and still-active Gay Head Lighthouse, which now stands on clay bluffs just 46 feet from the edge, on the westernmost tip of Martha’s Vineyard.

“We are thrilled to be part of it,” said Tyler Finkle, assistant project manager. “We’re just fortunate to be able to work on these old structures. It’s like a calling for us.”

The lighthouse, which was built in 1854 and weighs 400 tons, will be moved 140 feet back from its current location, he said. The preliminary work will involve doing engineering calculations based on the lighthouse’s center of gravity, as well as planning the path of the move. Jo Jakubik, who was involved in the company’s five previous lighthouse moving jobs, is the lead project manager.

The 56-foot lighthouse is in the Town of Aquinnah on Gay Head Cliffs, situated on a bluff that’s 130 feet above sea level.

Len Butler, a resident of the town, said the erosion of the bluff has been rapid, spurring the formation of Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee in 2013. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has designated the lighthouse one of country’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

“The erosion is advancing between one and two feet a year,” Butler said. At that rate, it would be unsafe to move the structure in a couple of years, he added.

Aside from being an active navigational beacon, the lighthouse needs to be saved because of its history, said Butler, who is chairman of the preservation committee, which has raised $1.5 million, half of the $3 million needed to move and restore the lighthouse.

“It’s not only the town’s history, but also the island’s maritime history,” he said. “It was the first lighthouse on the island. It was the I-95 corridor for the shipping industry. It’s the first light you see when you approach the Massachusetts coast.”

The group selected International Chimney because of its résumé, which includes moving Sankaty Head Lighthouse in Nantucket in 2007, a similar brick masonry lighthouse in a location also similar to Gay Head, Butler said.

The company is most known for relocating the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton, N.C., in 1999. The historic 200-foot, 5,000-ton lighthouse, built in 1870, was moved more than a half a mile inland over a 23-day period, away from the fast-approaching coastline.

Save the Gay Head Committee is bidding for ownership of the lighthouse from the U.S. Coast Guard, and the transfer should take place early in 2015, Butler said. The relocation project would commence in the spring.

“We love the work and being a part of it,” Flinker said. “We’re looking forward to it. It’s really an iconic part of the country.”






Opposition To The Tide of Social Change Sweeping America Is A Threat to GOP

Is this what the tea party is all about? Not so much sprawling government programs, although that is a part of it, and not even so much the spending that supports them, though that, too, is part of it. But perhaps the larger issue, as playing out in Colorado, is at once more ephemeral and more fundamental: a feeling that life, as tea partyers know it, is slipping away.

In Weld County, Colo., Commissioner Sean Conway is pushing to allow his county and 10 other rural counties to secede and form the nation’s 51st state. The reason: The state’s changing demographics is leading to changes that challenge some long-held ideas of what is normal. 

Specifically, Conway cites new restrictions on gun ownership, energy policies that increase costs to farmers and public approval of a measure allowing recreational use of marijuana. “The state I love, as a third-generation Coloradan, has really left me,” he said. 

For those reasons, voters in 11 rural counties in Colorado can vote on Election Day for a non-binding referendum on secession. 

The pain, we suspect, is real. There might even be a quotient of fear in the mix. Similar issues may be at play in other red, or reddish, states. Same-sex marriage has suddenly come roaring down the tracks – as unstoppable as it is inevitable. 

Even those who acknowledge the fairness of it can, on reflection, understand that many socially conservative Americans would perceive that as a threat like none other. It turns upside down standards they understood as inviolate, challenging fundamental beliefs about the nature of life in the United States. 

The most severe reactions are generally occurring in the old Confederacy, which is also the Bible Belt. It’s where many of the laws on voter identification are concentrated. Whatever the claims of those states, the clear purpose is to diminish the voting strength of minorities and poor residents, who tend to vote Democratic. 

Some of that may be raw politics of the sort that both parties practice, but if it is not specifically driven by the sense that the world is changing too quickly, it surely draws support from that fear. 

The plain fact is that the country is changing, and nothing will stop it. To most young Americans, same-sex marriage is about as threatening as a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s a nonissue. 

What is more, minorities are becoming an ever-larger force in the nation’s politics. Those who support voter ID laws in an effort to weaken their influence – that is, the Republican Party – will ultimately pay a heavy price. They should be wooing those voters, not working to sideline them. 

Those changes are taking place in Sean Conway’s Colorado. Young professionals have flocked to Denver, changing voting patterns. The state’s Hispanic population has increased 40 percent since 2000. More change. 

The phenomenon is playing out nationally, too. President Obama, an African-American twice elected to the nation’s highest office, won almost 60 percent of voters ages 18 to 39, and 55 percent of women. 

The change is upon us. Minority voting strength will only grow and unless Republicans change their tune, they will lose more and more of them to the Democrats. 

The tea party wants nothing to do with changing. It may be easy to understand the source of its members’ fears, but it’s just as easy to see that, ultimately, it leads nowhere. 


From November 2, 2013

New Rules

Now that a record 58% of Americans support the legalization of Marijuana, the Federal Government has to hurry up and do something about it 

If you work at a market and you see someone shoplifting condoms, let them. If they can’t afford $5.50 for a 3 pack of Trojan Ultra-Ribbed, then I’m pretty sure they can’t afford a baby. 

Tom Hanks has to stop making movies where he gets stuck somewhere. He got stuck in space in Apollo 13. He got stuck on an island in Castaway. He got stuck in the airport in The Terminal. Now he’s stuck on a boat in Captain Phillips. I don’t know if he’s going for an Oscar or ransom. 

Until Ronald McDonald starts paying his employees a living wage, he has to wipe that smile off his face. 
A new study shows the median income for fast food jobs is $8.69 an hour and let’s face it; that is barely enough to gas up the car you are living in. 
Now when it comes to raising the minimum wage, Conservatives always say it’s a non-starter because it cuts into profits. Well, yeah. Of course.Paying workers is one of those unfortunate expenses of running a business. You know, like taxes or making a product. 
You might think that paying people enough to live is so self-evident that even crazy people could understand it, but you would be wrong. 
Michelle Bachman is not only against raising the minimum wage, she’s against having one at all. She once said that if we took away the minimum wage we could wipe out unemployment because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level. 
You could hire everyone if you didn’t have to pay them. 
And naturally Ted Cruz agrees. 
Ted Cruz thinks that it’s a good thing that when his Cuban father came to America, he was paid .50 cents an hour to work as a dish washer. 

When did the American Dream become this pathway to indentured servitude? 
This economic death spiral where workers get paid next to nothing so they can only afford to buy next to nothing so businesses are forced to sell cheaper and cheaper s**t? 
Walmart employees can only afford to shop at Walmart. McDonalds Employees can only afford to eat at McDonalds. 

Even if you’re not moved by the “don’t be such a heartless prick” argument, Consider the fact that most fast food workers, whose average age by the way is 29, so we’re not talking about kids here, are on some form of Public Assistance. Which is not surprising when even working people can’t make enough to live take money form the Government in the form of Food Stamps, school lunches, Housing Assistance and Day Care. 
This is the Welfare that Conservatives hate.But they never stop to think if we raised the minimum wage and forced McDonalds and Walmart to pay their employees enough to eat, the tax payers wouldn’t have to pick up the slack. 

This is the question the right has to answer. Do you want smaller Government with less handouts or do you want a low minimum wage because you cannot have both. If Colonel Sanders isn’t going to pay the lady behind the counter enough to live on, Uncle Sam has to, and I for one am getting tired of helping highly profitable companies pay their workers 

Especially when I don’t even eat at KFC. 


From October 27, 2013

To Fix America’s Politics, Put God Back In Its Culture

The American political system is in crisis. Many believe our problems are systemic, due to a failure of our institutions. They believe that our problems are caused by politicians, by other people. They are wrong. 

Our politics are the result of our other beliefs; politics flow from culture. America is in trouble not because of some mistake made by the Founding Fathers, some unintended consequence of their efforts, or the malevolence of people in Washington. It is in trouble because of culture. 

America’s problems are, without a doubt, our fault. 

Since coming to Washington in the 1970’s, I have watched two trends emerge in American culture that disturb me greatly: secularization and increasing dependence on the government. They are not unrelated; on the contrary, secularization leads to increasing dependence on government, and increasing dependence on government leads to secularization. As Chesterton said, “when you abolish God, government becomes God.” 

That’s why libertarians who think that there is a wall between social and economic issues are puzzling. There’s a distinction, but it’s more abstract than people usually think it is. Social issues have economic consequences, and economic circumstances have socio-cultural consequences. You can’t completely separate them. The libertarian only does so with the assumption that people are capable of self-government. 

A look at the different cultures of the world tells us that this is often untrue. We should not take our own success for granted. Poverty is the rule of human life; our prosperity and freedom are the exception. We can’t simply count on having these things forever. 

Why is the West so wealthy and powerful compared to the rest of the world? Is it because of natural resources? Other countries are rich in natural resources. Is it because of colonialism and its ravages? The West rose to dominance before colonization and imperialism, rising from a cultural backwater that was far less wealthy and far less accomplished than the great civilizations of China and the Middle East. Surely culture is a major factor in what makes for success. 

This isn’t just a phenomenon of nations and civilizations; even within our country, communities with a strong work ethic, an emphasis on family, God, and service, thrive. Even at the individual level, we have all seen examples of how hard-working, morally grounded people eventually create their own luck. 

One of the great legacies of Andrew Breitbart is his keen understanding that culture is the real battleground in this country. He knew that, so long as the Left controlled the cultural mainstream, politics wouldn’t matter. 

But, of course, the orthodoxy of academia and the media of our time — which the Left took over precisely because of their importance — centers on cultural relativism: No one is allowed to judge anyone’s culture, and all cultures are equal. 

No one believes this until they are taught it. Of course some cultures are better than others. Not only is it acceptable for us to proclaim that, but it is our duty: The culture of life is superior to the culture of death, the culture of family is superior to the culture of selfishness, the culture of entrepreneurship is superior to the culture of dependency. 

When we believe that, we will be in a position to start fixing America’s politics.


From October 24, 2013

I Can’t Take It

I don’t think there’s one time that I get in my car to drive somewhere in this city and I don’t get aggravated. I just don’t get how people can be so out of touch when they drive and I find myself asking the same questions over and over;  

Why do people think 40MPH means 30MPH?? I don;t want to speed. Really, I use my cruise, even in town, I just want to do the damn speed limit.   

What is the DEAL with the lights on War Dr.?? I just came back from dropping my kids off. Coming back on War Dr., the lights at N. Monroe & California both turned red, for NO reason. No car waiting to cross over or turn onto War Dr. Nothing, No reason. This is a normal occurrence during the twice a week trip to the Heights to pick up and then drop off my kids. 

Turn signals. I can’t count how many times someone will suddenly stop in front of me and then decide to make a turn, usually performed poorly.  

Here’s a HUGE one. Light turns green: First car sits there. One… two… three… four…. Oh, time to go??? Good. because the next car is going to count three before HE goes. If this is a left turn, on a left turn, it means many times that the third car is not making the light. That’s normally me, because the morons in front of my can’t figure out of that’s the right shade of green. 

What’s the deal with stopping in the middle of the street to talk to someone on their front porch?? And then sitting there, obviously not caring that they’re holding up traffic. 

And then, we move north of Glen, and University becomes the Autobahn. Form 30MPH to 60MPH once they get passed that light. 

Why don’t people here know the little nuances that make driving a better experience. Timing the light to go as soon as it turns green. Getting right to pass the car turning left. Getting left in a four lane if you’re going straight at a light so people turning right can have the right lane to MAKE the turn….  

I seriously think cab drivers that have to deal with this nonsense every day should get hazardous pay or free psychotherapy….


From February 5, 2013