Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Bill Cosby Mistrial

       I impatiently waited for the make up of the hung jury in the Bill Cosby trial before writing anything about the whole spectacle. My assumption was a small number f juror were blocking a guilty verdict because they refused to believe America's Dad could possibly be guilty of any wrong doing whatsoever. You can read an interview with one of the jurors to learn the vote count on each charge, but it all amounts to two holdout preventing a guilty verdict and refusing to budge.
     To be fair, the hold outs' motivation is unknown. The interviewed juror describes both a lot of frustration and sense of careful deliberation. So it is still not clear whether the holdouts had genuine issues with the evidence or really loved Cosby the comedian. Determining the holdouts rationale will be key to whether prosecutors will retry the case. A deadlocked jury that only had two holdouts my encourage a plea bargain rather than risk a unanimous guilty verdict next time around.
      I am reading the tea leaves here. Speculating on what a group of twelve people who have no prior knowledge of the case will do is every bit as risky as it sounds. In all honesty, I dd not pay the slightest bit of attention to the whole Cosby drama until jury deliberations began. Cosby is 9, in poor health, and if he is not nearly broke now, he certainly will be when the civil suits come fast and furious. He has nothing left, whether innocent or guilty, worth going on for. He has already been convicted in the all important for a celebrity court of public opinion.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Monks Are Original Cybermen

     The theory was kicked around quietly during the Monks Trilogy while not causing much stir, but the trailer for the penultimate Doctor Who episode of the tenth series “World Enough and Time" confirms the Monks were the original Cybermen. 
     In the trailer, Bill is targeted because sh is the reason the Cybermen are coming to Earth. It is because she granted permission to the Monks back in "The Pyramid at the End of the World" in exchange for the monks restoring the Doctor's sight.
      The Monks appeared as robed corpses, but stated it was not their actual appearance. It was only what they were considered to be. Some fans speculated they were the Time Lords since they are all supposedly dead save for the Doctor and Missy. But the Monks' style and plan to take over Earth does not sound like something Time Lords would do. The original Cybermen fit the bill, though. S cyborgs with nothing organic left inside them but human brains, they could plausibly appear as corpses. The Doctor would certainly consider them dead and gone.
     Maybe it is a stretch, but further proof is the monk choice of a pyramid as their ship design.  Egyptian pyramids are tombs.  The Monks are corpses, so that makes sense.  But one of the most popular stories featuring the Cybermen is the Second Doctor episode 'Tomb of the Cybermen."  A not so subtle clue as to the Monks' true identity, perhaps?
     With any luck, the final two episodes of series ten will elaborate on the Monks Trilogy to make it more interesting in context.  the story certainly fizzled out after a strong start.   Here is the trailer for “World Enough and Time' so you can judge for yourself:
     I review episodes of Doctor Who among other television shows regularly at Abstract Visions.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Leftist Political Violence is the New Normal

      Leftist political violence I the new norm in the United States. In just a few short months since Donald Trump's election as president, the left has devolved from rioting over the results of a free election to celebrity fantasies of presidential assassination to a progressive gunman with a literal hit list opening fire on Republican members of Congress at a baseball practice. It is only going o get worse.
      The day before the shooting incident which seriously wounded US Rep. Steve Scalise and five other, a car with Louisiana license plates pulled up beside a truck in Indiana with a “Make America Great Again” flag and fired four shots. Fortunately, no one in the truck was injured. How deranged does one have to be to open fire on someone else solely because of who he supported for president?
      Later on this week, a Starbucks customer in north Carolina was openly mocked b staff for wearing a Trump t-shirt. They publicly laughed at her and wrote “Build a Wall' on her cup of coffee. While not as serious an incident as being shot at, the lady's experience is indicative of the growing sense among the left that conservative are evil and should be viewed with utter contempt.
     I am an adamant believer in personal responsibility. The decision to commit these acts rests squarely on the individuals who went through with them. Nevertheless, the leftist culture that inundates society with the false message conservatives are all racists, misogynists, and homophobes creates a permissible culture in which many progressives think they are heroic for committing hostile acts against conservatives. I reiterate—it is only going to get worse.

The Original Cybermen Return

  
    Sometimes retro is good. Other times, not so much. The BBC released a photo of what the Cybermen will look like in the final two episodes of series ten. As you can see, they are going for the original look of the Cybrmen rom their first appearance in “The Tenth Planet” over fifty years ago.
     Showrunner Steven Moffat said many times in the past he was planning to send current Doctor actor Peter Capaldi off with a bang. Capaldi was a fan from his younger days, so it makes sense he would bring back an old villain. I am a bit skeptical bringing back the Cybermen back in their original form in 2017 might not work too well.
      Anyone remember when Moffat redesigned the Daleks into rainbow colors? For a mercifully brief period of time, an army of Daleks looked like a spilled bag of Skittles. I would hope Moffat would have learned from his decision considering the fan backlash, but it looks as though he has not. Crows your fingers and hope I am wrong.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

New York Times Editorial Erroneously Lays Blame for Yesterday's Shooting

   A day after a politically motivated gunmen opened fire on Republican Congressmen practicing for the upcoming Congressional Baseball Game, both parties are calling for unity. It has become obvious to all the political climate has become too toxic. Unfortunately, the New York Times was late on the admonition to tone it down. While emotions were still running high, the newspaper's editorial section ran a piece blaming the hostile environment that may have motivated yesterday's shooting on Sarah Palin.
     The original piece was quickly removed after much criticism for its rationale relying on a long since debunked theory. The editorial blamed a mailing from Palin's PAC which featured a map with cross-hairs over various Democrat House seats Palin believed could be flipped Republican. Among them was Gabby Giffords of Arizona. Giffords was shot, along with a number of others, on January 8, 2011 by Jared Lee Loughner. Palin's PAC was quickly blamed for inciting the incident, but was just as quickly absolved.
    Palin's PAC was absolved when Loughnor's background was exposed. Loughner was a schizophrenic nihilist obsessed with conspiracy theories. According to friends and family, he paid no attention to news. He did, however, develop an interest in Giffords starting in 2007 after he asked her a question and her answer, which did not suit his conspiracy minded sensibilities, left him unsatisfied. So Loughner's interest in Giffords predated Palin's PAC mailing by four years. Palin herself was the relatively unknown governor of Alaska in 2007.
    As noted, The New York Times acknowledged the error and amended the editorial to both reflect there is n establish connection between Palin's PAC mailing and Loughner's motivation for shooting Giffords. The newspaper also added the cross-hairs were over the congressional districts and not photos of the members of Congress themselves. The corrections did not prevent Palin from threatening to sue the New York Times or defamation. American society is still both toxic and litigious, it would seem.
      The editorial was sloppily researched because its main goal was too blame the incident in which an extreme leftist Bernie Sanders supporter attempted to massacre Republican Congressmen because they were conservative on a conservative inspired culture of political violence. At least the editorial was not allowed to get away with it. The ultimate responsibility for yesterday’s shooting lies with James Hodgkinson, but it cannot be dismissed he was influenced by hostile leftist rhetoric. To blame conservatives with a debunked theory is despicable.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Leftist Radicalization Results in an Assassination Attempt on Congressmen

      US Rep. Steve Scalise and four other people, including two Capitol police officers, were wounded in a shooting at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia. All are expected to survive their wounds. Scalise was one of many Republicans for the annual Congressional Baseball game to be held tomorrow at Nationals Park. The only reason Capitol Police were there is because of Scalice' high status as House Majority Whip. Without them providing security, the shooting could have been a massacre involving US Rep. Mo Brooks and Sen. Rand Paul among many others.
     The shooter, who was taken to hospital after being shot by Capitol Police, later died from his wounds. Police identified him as James T. Hodgkinsn. Hodgkinson was a 66 year old former home inspector who was an adamant supporter of Bernie Sanders His Facebook page is full of screeds against Republicans in general and Donald Trump in particular. In a post from a few weeks ago, Hodgkinson called for the destruction of “Trump & Co.” He moved from Illinois to Virginia around about the time of the posting. He may have been planning for the shooting since at least then.
      Am I going too far in declaring leftist radicalization is behind today's shooting/ I do not think so. Hodgkinson allegedly asked someone if it was the Republican team playing on the field, as Democrats were playing elsewhere. He wanted to kill as many Republicans as possible. It is the perpetual narrative of the left that conservatives are evil that puts it in the minds of people like Hodgkinson violence is the solution to prevent conservative policies from being implemented.
      Rioting over Hillary Clinton's loss in a fair presidential election was only the beginning. Now we have reached the point some leftists consider assassination a viable option. Well, why would they not? The left has spent month claiming Trump is an illegitimate president conspiring with Republicans in Congress to destroy healthcare, the environment, minority rights and any other fantasies their paranoid minds entertain. With Kathy Griffin holding up a fake severed head of Trump and Shakespeare in the Park depicting Trump as Julius Caesar assassination to standing ovations, today's act of violence is the logical conclusion to the culture leftists have been promoting for years.
     I fear today's attack will not be the last, either. Social media was full of leftists celebrating this morning after the news broke. How many of them are willing to take their agenda from social media to real violence as Hodgkinson did?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Adam West (1928-2017)

     Adam West died last night in Los Angeles at the age of 88. He died peacefully, surrounded by his wife and large family of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. II had no idea he reached the ripe old age of 88, nor that he was battling leukemia. It appears to have been a short battle that ended with as little pain as one could hope.
      West was bet known to me, like most everyone else, as Batman. I was a fan of comic books from a young age. Marvel comics were my thing, so my only concept of batman until the late '80's was west's campy portrayal. Since the late '80's, I have become more familiar with the DC Universe in general and Batmn in particular. The batman in the comics was the dark, brooding character as interpreted by writers Neal Adams and Frank Miller. I embraced the edgier character as much as a marvel Zombie could, but it never felt right because the fun of the television version I knew was absent.
      Like many comics fans, I was embarrassed much the image of comics and its comics readers were negatively presented by the show. It was, after all, essentially mocking comics. Thee were not a lot of comics fans who would speak highly of the series, but we all liked West. How could you not? It was clear to all what an affable, good matured guy he was. The television series all but ended his serious acting carer while surprisingly not making him wealthy. We made his money on the autograph circuit at conventions. Batman was a mined blessing for West, but he made the most of it.
     In recent years, West got into voice over work in animated series. I am most familiar with his portrayal of mayor Adam West on Family Guy. The role was a satirical look at politicians in which West playfully poked fun at himself. I am not certain what will happen to the character now, but I hope he gets a good send off.
      Godspeed, old chum.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Why HBO Will Not Fire Bill Maher

      HBO is not going to fire Bill Maker over his use of the n-word. Too many signs point to Maher keeping his show. This is doubly the case since he has apologized for his racial quip. The sincerity of the apology is up to you to measure. While you contemplate the issue, here are a couple other reasons Maher's position with HBO is safe.
      One, Maher is a liberal in good standing. Liberals in good standing get a lot of leeway when it comes to offensive content. Take Stephen Colbert's recent joke implying oral sex between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. CBS decided to ride out the controversy. Even the FCC opted not to take disciplinary action. Liberals can often get away with occasional instances of racism and homophobia among other sins that would be mortal for anyone else, especially a noted conservative.
   Witness how a sizable amount of chatter after after Maher referred to himself as a “house n-word” was criticism directed at guest Ben Sasse for his nervous reaction to the joke. Liberals who did not want to condemn Maher for actually making the offensive joke were nevertheless quick to criticize Sasse for not condemning him. Even liberals themselves know the bar is set higher for conservative sand are harsher on them, whether the harsh critique is warranted or not. It is a testament to the high moral standards of conservatism versus the relativist nature of liberal morality.
     Mahor's status as a liberal in good standing may offer him much wiggle room, but it is mostly in conjunction with the second reason HBO will not fire him—he is making money for HBO. It is the same reason Colbert got away with his homophobic joke. His talk show is the number one late night show on television. As a bonus, his rapid increase in ratings is directly linked to his sharp attacks on Trump versus the more mellow comedy of his closet competition, Jimmy Fallon. Maher has been known for courting controversy with his humor. Since HBO has not advertisers to appear and are not likely to lose subscribers over the incident, the network will probably tout the situation as as a sign of its edginess.
      Want further proof? Look no further than Kathy Griffin. She is a liberal, but not in any particularly good standing because she is not making anyone money. She dos not have a regular television gig. She does not have a movie career. She does not even play large venues with her stand up comedy. Liberals do not lose anything by taking a stand against her stunt holding a prop severed head of Trump. In fact, the left has everything to gain. They can appear principled by eating one of their own because they are not going to lose anyone important by doing so. Shock rocker Marilyn Manson beheaded Trump in a music video released in early November lat year. It was even more graphic than Griffin's effort. The video barely registered a blip on the outrage meter because Manson sells tons of albums and fill arenas. Griffin does not.
      On a final note, it must be mentioned Maher was fired from his previous job hosting Politically Incorrect for ABC after declaring the 9/11 terrorists were brave for going down with the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The show's ratings were low, and ABC wanted to shift its late night line up to something lighter. Maher gave them both a reason to can him and take the moral high ground simultaneously. His previous firing fits well within the rationale I laid out above.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Pittsburgh, Not Paris

     I typically do not discuss the issue of global warming. There is too much virtue signaling from celebrities who violate the environmental standard they demand the little people adhere. Al Gore mdse himself wealthy warning the sky is falling or heating up as the case may be. The environmental movement in general attracts too many hippies, social Darwinists, eugenicists, animal rights extremists, ecoterrorists, and just about any other fringe leftist group you care to name. I do not want to deal with any of these people. I am happy there are others wiser in the subject who will take those folks on.
     Evidence of why I avoid environmentalists in general and global warming zealots specifically currently abound. Since Donald Trump announced his intention to pull out of the Paris Agreement in order to favor American industry, the left has been in a frothing frenzy. You would think Trump doomed the planet with our withdrawal.
     Here are a few realities about the Paris Agreement. It is largely symbolic. The overall goal, if successful, would lower the average global temperature two degrees by 2050. Th agreement is nonbinding, however. There are no penalties if a signatory does not meet its requirement. Dependence on fossil fuels will prevent Japan, China, and the European Union from meeting there goals. Keep in mind Trump's harshest critics—Germany, in particular—fall within the group of nations who are projected to miss the agreed goals.
     There is a reason there are no penalties for signatory not meeting the Paris Agreement goals. No country is expected to meet them. The hype is all symbolism to distract from countries pursuing their self-interest. The difference is the United States is not being hypocritical abut it.

Friday, June 2, 2017

A Periodic Reminder

      One may insist the spirit of this post runs contrary to the general advice to “let dead leaves fall,” but I did vow months ago to make a periodic reminder of the status of my personal belongings. While it is important to let go of the little things, it is also important to keep your word. I weighed the two concepts and decided keeping a vow is more important under the circumstances. What good is a person who fails to keep his promises?
      You may recall when I intervened in the Darlington County sheriff's race I had been abandoned to a nursing home by Team Chavis while they kept all of my personal belongings, surrogate for the campaign said all of my belongings were actually boxed up. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows this claim is false. No reason exist to keep any of my stuff if Team Chavis has no intention of ever contacting me again. But I called their bluff and will continue to do so. I have friends in Hartsville who are willing to retrieve my stuff. All they need is the go ahead fro Team Chavis. It is a go ahead that will, of course, never come.
     This is the character of your new sheriff, Darlington. He does not care about doing the right thing. He only cares about the sense of self-worth he derives from wearing a uniform. I will continue to serve as a source of truth for this matter.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June Bugs

     I usually post a selfie on holidays. It did not feel right to post one on Memorial Day since it is more a day of reflection rather than celebration. Or at least it should be a day of warning to not enter war lightly. I am as guilty as anyone of not maintaining the meaning of the day, but I did the pathetically tiny gesture of delaying my regularly exercise in narcissism until June.
     After that bit of drama, more drama. Potential drama, at any rate. It looks like it is going to be a long, hot summer for the world at large on the United States in particular. Tensions are on the rise, and now we will have deal with people going crazy from the heat. Brace yourself for the fallout.
     There are some ideas for writing projects joggin' through my noggin. We shall see how much of it make its way to Gods & Monsters. Things depend on how fired up I become. In the meantime, what is bugging you these days?