Back in late 2004 Jere McAllister, a/k/a Mr. A.L.I., released a blazing single called Jam Sessions (Round 2). It featured the tag line “Back to reality, back to life.” I’ve always thought that it should be the soundtrack for the Chicago Public School system every fall. Besides being one hell of a groove it sets the right tone for any school year. It also states a clear point. Reality is what it is. It can’t be bent into something else. It is not a rumor or a discussable point, unless said discussion is how to deal with it. It must be dealt with on its own terms. Yet that simple fact seems to elude more and more people each and every day. Just because they want something to be so does not make it so. That has never been more evident than in the recent study released by Fairleigh Dickinson University which showed that people who watch Fox News are less informed than people who watch no news at all. Given the ratings that network pulls down that’s a scary thought. The survey further showed that people who exclusively watch any partisan network were less likely to be sure of the facts surrounding any issue.
One blogger, and long time fan of this fair site, F. Grey Parker, author of The Hand that Feeds You, tried to put some semblance of rationality into the debate on gun control. Then he tried again. Finally he just laid things out in simplistic terms. So far no good has come of it but I do think his attempt is worth sharing.
When I argue that we must close the so-called ‘gun show loophole’ and subject every gun sale to the same rigorous background checks, it is NOT secret code for ‘I want the government to take your guns.’
When I suggest that every firearm sold should be titled and insured for liability in the same way that automobiles are, it is NOT secret code for ‘I want the government to take your guns.’
When I put forward the idea that written and operational proficiency tests should be mandatory for all FOID applicants, it is NOT secret code for ‘I want the government to take your guns.’
When I recommend that extended magazines and drums should be unloaded for transportation outside of shooting ranges, on private property or in hunting areas and carrying them loaded in public should be a crime, it is NOT secret code for ‘I want the government to take your guns.’
When I propose that straw purchasing and failure to report stolen weapons should be federal crimes, it is NOT secret code for ‘I want the government to take your guns.’
When I advocate that all carry permits should require OPEN carry and not concealment so the public is aware whether or not a fellow citizen is armed, it is NOT secret code for ‘I want the government to take your guns.’
When I submit that an applicant’s mental health history should be a factor in all firearms licensing and failure on the part of a FOID applicant to disclose their history should be treated as perjury, it is NOT secret code for ‘I want the government to take your guns.’
I have never endorsed any scheme for the government to take away your guns.
If you want to keep guns in your home, that’s fine. I will not be setting foot in your home.
I don’t know any gun owner who has ever, and I mean EVER, used their weapon for self defense. I have, however, lost five friends to suicide by gun. In the last year, I have lost two friends who were murdered with their own licensed, registered and perfectly legal firearms.
This is, of course, in total accordance with the statistical reality of gun ownership in the United States.
And yet, I STILL have never endorsed, suggested, or recommended ANY proposal that would actually take away anyone’s guns.
Considering the degree of collateral damage I have witnessed, the carnage which has personally affected my life, and the terror I have watched my friends and loved ones endure all due to the availability of firearms, I would like to humbly suggest that the pro-gun crowd which continues to viciously and vacantly attack me should take a moment…
… and then say thank you for my continuing to bend over backwards to accommodate their Constitutional rights in spite of the fact that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t make one bit of sense anymore.
By the way, NONE of this was secret code for ‘I want the government to take your guns.’
— F. Grey Parker
Clearly Grey wants the government to come and take your guns.
He just doesn’t realize it.
In related news, the White House, yes, the one with the black man in it, was forced to announce it will not be building a death star. Why were they forced to make this announcement? Because 34,000 people wanted them to build one. You know, because. That’s why.
The Obama administration will not be starting a new “Star Wars” defense initiative.
The administration responded late last week to an online petition signed by more than 34,000 people. The petition did not call for resumption of the “Star Wars” Strategic Defense Initiative involving nuclear ballistic missiles that began under President Ronald Reagan, but for a far more literal “Star Wars” plan, involving the construction of a “Death Star.”
The petition said the “Death Star” would spur job growth and bolster national defense. But Obama administration adviser on science and space Paul Shawcross responded to the petition with an answer rendered as comically as the idea itself.
“The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon,” Shawcross wrote. “Here are a few reasons:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000 (850 quadrillon.) We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?”
Shawcross went on to note that the U.S. is involved in numerous projects involving space exploration already.
The petition response noted that “we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts — American, Russian, and Canadian — living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs — one wielding a laser — roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.”
Furthermore, Shawcross noted, the nation has “floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.”
The response urged those who came up with the “Death Star” idea to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics-related fields, and noted President Barack Obama’s strong support of such domains.
The response also casually reminded the petitioners that the Death Star was, in fact, an initiative completed by the Galactic Empire – the villains of the “Star Wars” universe.
“If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us!” Shawcross wrote. “Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”
A member of the New York Stars Wars Meetup posted that he loved the “hilarious response” from the White House.
While I admit that the answer is funny, and well thought out, the fact that such an answer had to exist at all is worrisome. Then again, we are talking about Star Wars fans and not real people.
I do find it ironic that the self same people who decry all forms of government waste would like to see an $850 quadrillion dollar boondoggle launched into orbit. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
Besides Armageddon that is.
So what do do? How do we respond to a world filled with short sighted idiots? A New York waitress seems to have as good an answer as any I’ve encountered.
Serve pizza while nude.
Patrons at a restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn got a surprise last week when a waitress decided to celebrate her last day on the job by stripping naked as she served her customers.
In the days since, a photo of the racy scene has gone viral.
The waitress at Roberta’s Pizza, at 261 Moore St. in Brooklyn, was spotted taking orders in the buff this past Friday night.
A patron, Vicky Oyomba, captured a photo of the waitress from the back, along with the caption, “So there definitely is a 95% naked waitress serving patrons at Roberta’s in #BK right now!!!”
The photo shows the woman wearing nothing but boots, fishnet stockings and a server’s belt. The words “Peace Out” were written across her back.
Oyomba was not available to speak to CBSNewYork.com Tuesday night, but she said in other published reports that a cheer was heard throughout the restaurant when the woman appeared nearly nude, and that there was nothing covering the front of her body either.
Max Read, a writer for Gawker, also witnessed the scene and blogged about it.
“[W]e only caught the waitress, surrounded by customers taking photos, while walking out, stuffed with pizza and duck and pork, and when we asked we were told that Friday was her last day,” he wrote.
The Web site Grub Street was quick to point out that the display was not acceptable under New York City Health Code, which says “employees who prepare or serve food products, or wash and sanitize equipment and utensils must wear clean outer garments.”
But others in the blogosphere fired back. Gothamist called the staff at Grub Street “Never Nude buzzkills,” and pointed out that the fishnets “look clean enough to us” not to warrant attention from the Health Department.
I’m kind of hoping this becomes a trend.
There’s nothing wrong with reality making me smile once in a while.