Archive for Old and Busted; New Hotness

Welcome New Readers

Welcome New Readers

If you are a new vistior here, welcome!

Let me give you a couple tips on how to get the maximum out of your time spent here.  Essentially this is my soap box, a forum to express my thoughts through writing.  My secondary goals are to entertain my readers, perhaps even to educate or inspire them as well.  For more background, click on “about” in the upper right hand corner.

The technical stuff:  the articles (or “posts”) are in chronological order – newest at the top and older below.  To the left of each title is the date the post was created.  The main page shows all the posts in all categories – if you want to narrow it down, click on a category in the list on the right and – voila!  Only posts in that category are displayed.  Also on the right hand sidebar are “recent posts” whaich are – you guessed it – the 5 most recent posts; and “popular posts” which are the posts that have received the most views in case you like to follow the crowd.  My recommendation?  Read everything.

Boromir meme

Within each post you will notice some text in red.  These are links to additional information.  Click on the red text and a new tab will open taking you to an article, a wikipedia page, a song or something that supports or relates to the material I am writing about.  Try it – click on this link and see where it takes you.

Most pictures within posts can be enlarged by clicking on them.

And – the blog is interactive.  That’s right!  You can participate by leaving a comment or comments on each post by clicking the “comments” button on the left under the date.  All comments are moderated (that means I have to approve them before they are published) so I will see your comment.  And so will the rest of the world if I approve it.

So – happy reading!  And enjoy!

In Which I Make Excuses

In Which I Make Excuses

I may have mentioned that I am longer a Man Out Of Work.  I am now a Man Who Seems To Work Every Waking Minute Of His Freaking Life.  But that’s a poor name for a blog.  I’m not complaining, mind you, but I am playing the excuse card for light *non-existent* blogging.

I like blogging.  I want to blog.  I know that all the great bloggers whose blogs I read and who have inspired me to begin blogging work jobs that are undoubtedly more demanding than mine, yet they still crank out the content.  I just haven’t figured out how to make the adjustment from having lots of time to having almost no time.

Right now three things take up virtually 95% of my time.  Work 40%; Sleep 30%;  Wife 25%.   The wife’s time budget has already taken the biggest hit, so there’s no cutting back there.  In fact she is in need of an increase of at least 10%.  Can’t cut back on work, so it looks like sleep is gonna have to take the hit.

We’ll see how it goes.  It should be fairly easy for you to tell:  as the posts get more frequent and less coherent you’ll know I am making an adjustment to my sleep schedule.  Stay tuned!

Cross posted at Men Out Of Work Blog

May I Make A Suggestion?

May I Make A Suggestion?

You may wish to patronize another blog I contribute to:

The Men Out Of Work Blog

There are a couple new things up over there today.  Plus, it’s an Amazon portal, so you can shop.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

We can close the books on another year – I hope 2014 treated you all well enough.  For me it was not the best of times, nor was it the worst of times and so I can’t complain too loudly.  It’s not that I don’t like to whine, you’ve all heard it often enough.  I’ll try to save it for when it really counts.  So here’s to a hopeful look forward to 2015 – may it be a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous year for us all!


Explanation (Excuse?) for Light (Non-Existent?) Blogging

Explanation (Excuse?) for Light (Non-Existent?) Blogging

I owe my legions of faithful readers an explanation for my long absence from the keyboard *eyeroll*.  I have recently become un-involutarily retired.  In other words, I found a job.  So yay.  And the Blogs have taken the back burner.  In fact they’ve been in the freezer.  I’m going to do my best to keep them going, but I’m still trying to find time to schedule all the things that filled my life during my long involuntary retirement.  Don’t Worry!  I’ll work it out!  Things may  lighten up after the Holidays.  Please be patient.

Old and Busted: Kids “Play Doctor”; New Hotness: Kids “Commit Sexual Assault”

Old and Busted: Kids “Play Doctor”; New Hotness: Kids “Commit Sexual Assault”

This has been in my draft folder for a couple months.  In light of the recent Lena Dunham kerfuffle, I decided to finish it up and post it.  If you don’t know what the Lena Dunham kerfuffle is, keep reading.

One of Life’s cliches is the occasional episode of kids “playing doctor”, which is considered innocent exploration under most circumstances such as when the participants are very young, all approximately the same age, none are coerced, and when there is no overt attempt at sexual stimulation or gratification.

In November of 2011 in Grant County Wisconsin, felony sexual assault charges were brought against a 6 year old boy for an incident of playing doctor.  If the details of this story are true then playing doctor appears to be what happened, yet the Grant County District Attorney opted to charge the 6 year old “perpetrator” with first degree felony sexual assault.  The kids involved even said they were playing “butt doctor”, and the parents of the “perpetrator” (scare quotes intentional) said their son had recently been to the doctor and had his little bottom examined and had an enema.  So it’s not surprising that he might want to reenact the event, this time as the examiner rather that the examinee.  The charge of sexual assault was levied because the perpetrator is alleged to have inserted his finger into the victim’s anus, though the victim denies this.  According to the article, penetration of any kind is defined by Wisconsin law as “sexual intercourse”, and so the way the prosecutor sees it sexual intercourse occured and a Judge affirmed there was probable cause for the charge to stand.

Since I’m not an attorney, nor am I familiar with Wisconsin law, I have a few questions.  What is the rationale behind charging a six year old with such a crime?  Doesn’t there have to be some form of intent behind a crime, and can a six year old form that intent?  These questions will not be answered because this case was settled by a consent decree and so was never adjudicated.

Which brings us to…Lena Dunham, star of the HBO series Girls, during which Dunham apparently spends a lot of time being randomly naked.  Disclaimer: I have never seen, nor will I likely ever see an episode of Girls.  Nowadays in current pop culture, persons with…*ahem*…unique personalities are routinely celebrated, and Dunham is no exception – she is the poster child of the “accept me for who I am without judgement”movement and for some reason has become a feminist icon.  Anyway, someone convinced her that it would be a good idea for her to write her autobiography.  She did so and it was published.  Via her own words, we learn that her upbringing was atypical, being the spoiled daughter of rich Manhattanite artist parents:  father, Carroll Dunham and mother Laurie Simmons.  And we also learn of several instances of Dunham’s…uhh…”exploration” of her little sister’s genitals.  Dunham herself described her behavior as that of a “sexual predator” which she now claims was an attempt at humor.  For her part, her now grown sister Grace claims no harm done.  Controversy arose when certain journalists read her book, and expressed opinions that her exploits with her younger sibling may have amounted to child abuse if not outright sexual assault.  Those parties have been characterized in the media as being “on the right” which is code for “religious busybodies who want to get involved in everyone’s business”, but I have seen concern regarding Dunham’s actions come from all sides of the political spectrum.  Dunham has now threatened to sue some of the journalists for falsely defaming her, though they claim they were only quoting her work verbatim.  So we’ll have the law involved here, too.

I guess it’s time to make my point.  While I am always up for some good old pop culture bashing, I’m having a hard time getting on this particular bandwagon.  The original notion of this post was that little kids do stuff, usually innocently.  They always have and I suspect they always will, and adults didn’t make a huge deal out of it in the past, but seem more eager to make a big deal of it now.  Maybe this is happening because of a perceived coarsening of our culture combined with a belief in a need to be more vigilant in protecting the innocent.  The point of my “Old and Busted…New Hotness” posts is generally that American society, if not human society as a whole is going straight to hell in a handbasket, so let me be clear that I still think that’s true.  But throwing charges of sexual assault around at children isn’t going to slow the descent.

Childhood “exploration” may be common, but it is not universal.  People who did experience it seem not to be harmed by it, while people who did not experience it are revolted and disgusted by it.  I doubt that anyone thinks it’s a good topic to bring up in a public forum.  Unless you like a good kerfuffle.

Welcome to the blogosphere. Ego Vero questions answered

Welcome to the blogosphere.  Ego Vero questions answered

I’d like to first welcome any new readers, then give some background and answer some questions about the blog.

*taps the microphone*  Is this thing on?

Ego Vero is my little corner of the internet where I can transform thoughts and ideas that are rattling around inside my head into a form of reality by comitting them to writing.  Ego Vero is Latin for “I seek truth”.  I have invited you along on my journey which may take us along strange paths.  This means I may write about any of several general topics that interest me and for whatever reason occupy my thoughts.  The articles (which are called “posts”) on the home page are in chronological order – newest at the top, older below – and not sorted by category.  As you scroll down you go back in time and see every post covering every subject.  If you don’t wish to see all the categories, you can narrow things down to one category at a time.  Here’s how.  You will see these categories listed on the right hand side of the page – clicking on one of those categories will show you only the posts on that subject.  Let’s say you are an aviation buff who only wants to read my aviation posts and avoid the rest of my blather about Empiricism, robots, music and so on – click on “Aviation” and voila!  You will see only the aviation posts – still in chronological order with the newest at the top.  Same goes for any of the categories.

The category with the most posts by far is “Life”.  Just FYI

You know – Life – as in Life One and Life Two (three? four?……)

Any red text you see within a post contains a link to additional information – an article I used for reference, perhaps another related post I wrote, or a wikipedia link, etc.  Clink on the red text and the link should open in a new tab.

My goal first and foremost is to get these ideas out of my head!  Read the “About” page for more background.  But I invite you, dear reader, in the hope that we may learn something together about ourselves and each other.  And that you may be at least somewhat entertained in the process.  I welcome your feedback via the comments.  To the left of each post title is a two colored box – the top half is red and indicates the date the post was created.  The bottom half is grey and says “comments”.  The number  – which is almost always zero, dammit – indicates how many comments readers have left about the post.  Click on that grey box and you can leave a comment about the post.  Please do!  Your e-mail adress will not be published, shared or used by me in any way.  And there is definitely a slim chance that I will not stalk you.

For more, read How to Read This Here Blog Thingy and For New Readers – Welcome!

So Welcome!  And enjoy.

Old and Busted: Don’t make a Federal Case Out Of It! New Hotness: Make a Federal Case Out Of Everything!

Old and Busted: Don’t make a Federal Case Out Of It!    New Hotness: Make a Federal Case Out Of Everything!

We used to have a saying when we were kids and someone was getting mad over a small thing.  We would say sarcastically “Don’t make  a federal case out of it!”  Now it’s popular to do just the opposite.  Let’s make a federal case out of everything!  The one important difference?  It’s the adults talking now.

Case In Point: what kids eat in school.  For approximately as long as kids and schools have existed, the only issues with what kids ate at school were the speculative origins of the various mystery entrees in school lunches.  Now, since “The Children”® are either morbidly obese or malnourished depending on which particular do-gooder is speaking we now must have the Federal Nose stuck into everyone’s business.  And idiocy ensues.

Courtesy of Business Insider, we learn that the Federal Initiative called “Let’s Move” is unpopular with the kids it was designed to “help”.  Part of the “Let’s Move” initiative was a revamping of the school meal standards in the National School Lunch Program.  Yes, you heard me – the National School Lunch Program.  Of course these revisions were undertaken with the best of intentions.  And when you’re do-goodin’, intentions are all that matter.  The reason it is unpopular?  Because the “right portions” and “healthier food options” required by the initiative are apparently very small and/or inedible and the kids are left hungry after lunch.  Kids being kids, they have taken to social media, namely Twitter and are tweeting pictures of their lunches along with sarcastic remarks – follow this link to see some of their tweets:  Business Insider – Students Are Tweeting Photos of Awful School Lunches….

Now everyone knows that other than school cafeteria lunches, the only other time food and school intersect is at Bake Sale Time.  Bake Sales have long been a way for school groups to raise money for any number of causes, and it’s a treat for the kids, too.  And they still will be – albeit with appropriate supervision.  Because starting this fall, we’ve made a Federal Case out of it.  There is literally a Federal Law governing the fare offered at school bake sales:  The 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, one of the stated goals of which is to fight childhood obesity…apparently by by making kids hunger-free.  And the best way to make them hunger free is to only offer them foods they won’t eat.  Makes perfect sense *eyeroll*.  Read the details in this article at the Wall Street Journal: “Put Down The Cupcake:  New Ban Hits School Bake Sales”

Remember that the people making these rules are only doing it for your own good.  You need their help because you aren’t smart enough to make good decisions.  And they care more than you.  And they think they are better than you.

And when you finaly figure out there’s a boot on your throat, remember: it’s for your own good.




In Case You’re New Here

In Case You’re New Here

In case you’re new here, welcome!  And here are a few ins and outs of how my blog operates.  First off, I’m Mike, the sole proprietor.  Pleased to meet you.  This blog is my peronal communication platform, and posts here reflect only my personal opinions.  I claim no expertise in anything.  In other words, if I write about Law, do not use that as legal advice.  If I write about medicine, do not take that as medical advice.  Get the picture?  OK, good.  Since there is no “official” theme to this blog, you will find posts about many different subjects here which may (or may not) fall loosely into one of several “categories” which you will find listed in the right hand sidebar just under the “recent posts”.  If you want the unfiltered blog, that is to see all posts regardless of category, simply start at the top and keep scrolling down.  Newest posts are at the top, and as you scroll down you go back in time.  If you wish to view only posts in a certain category, then find the category you want in the sidebar and click on it.  Voila!  Only posts in that category will be displayed.  Also in the sidebar are listed “popular posts” and “recent posts”.  Popular posts are those most viewed – not neccessarily the best, but most viewed.  For whatever reason.  And recent posts are just that…the most recent posts.  At any time you can click on the “home” button at the top right to bring you back to the top of the front page.

Within each post I will embed links for additional information – whenever you see red text like this you can click on it, and it will open the link in a new tab.  Try it.  Back? OK, good.  Many of the graphics such as pictures, graphs or cartoons may be enlarged simply by clicking on them.  Some of these graphics are mine, others are not. Embedded youTube videos can bel viewed by clicking on the “play” arrow at the bottom left or in the center of the YouTube frame.  Easy.

driving dog

Finally – comments.  To the left of the post title, under the red date box you will see a grey box that says “comments” with a number in it (usually a zero, unfortunately).  If you wish to leave a comment on a post, click on that box and a dialogue box will appear – type your comment and click “submit”.  If you don’t want to enter your e-mail adress just use a fake one.  I do not work for the NSA.  Comments can be simple – “I like this” or “you are an idiot”.  My favorite one so far is “ha ha ha this”.  I guess he thought the post was funny.  I think that’s about it.  If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments.  Enjoy.

Old and Busted: Obamacare Death Panels “Kooky Paranoia”; New Hotness: Obamacare Death Panels “a Good Idea”

Old and Busted: Obamacare Death Panels “Kooky Paranoia”; New Hotness: Obamacare Death Panels “a Good Idea”

Remember the good old days when the Affordable Care Act was being debated and President Obama was talking about how Grandma might not get that pacemaker or that expensive surgery because she’s too old?  Maybe we’ll just give her a pill instead?  And when opponents of the bill claimed that it would lead to “death panels” that would decide if  it was financially expedient to give a patient expensive treatments if they were near the end of their life?  And how those people were mocked as kooky paranoids?  Me too…good times, good times.  Anyhoo…in order to muster the votes to pass the bill (it passed by the barest margin with no republican votes – remember that the next time someone tells you there’s no difference between R’s and D’s) the “end of life counseling” provisions were removed.  But the dream lives on!  In the Politico article “Let’s Talk about ‘Death Panels’ – It’s Time To Revisit a Good Idea That Was Distorted By Demagoguery” Harold Pollack argues with what I’m sure are the noblest of intentions (eyeroll) that Sarah Palin and some other stupid heads ruined this “good” idea with all their kooky paranoid talk about how it would evolve into healthcare rationing and some people, i.e. the disabled or elderly wouldn’t be allowed treatments just to save money.  Like they do in Great Britain at the NHS.

Pollack blames Palin and other right wing ideologues for making this an issue, but it was none other than President Obama himself during what seemed like countless townhall meetings to sell the plan to the public, while making all kinds of promises would not promise that elderly Americans could receive all the treatments they want because “it might be cheaper to give them a pill”.  He also promised that if you liked your doctor or your health plan you could keep your doctor or your health plan.  We know how that worked out…the 2013 Lie Of The Year.  So you’ll excuse me if I’m skeptical that you won’t pull the plug on me or my loved one to save some money.

obamacare cartoon


Of course, the bigger scandal is that we’re having this discussion at all because the federal government is now involved in healthcare decsions that should be between you and your doctor.  But I digress…

Part of the issue is federal compensation to doctors for “end of life counseling”, which isn’t allowed under The Act.  However, I’m pretty sure everyone gets end of life couseling as a routine part of their treatment without a specific “end of life counseling appointment”. I have been involved in the end of life care for  family members and this has been the case every time.  The Act doesn’t prohibit communication with your doctor or limit what can be discussed.

After reading through all the romanticized anecdotes in Pollack’s article about dying with dignity and hospice, and how Americans with the most reason to worry about death panels are among the most vocal supporters of “Health Care Reform”, the conclusion is this – saving money isn’t the goal, it’s just a happy coincidence.  And as far as the end of life counseling goes, in my opinion the goal is to open the door to assisted suicide.  We’ll make you your own death panel – the Government didn’t pull your plug!  You did!  That’s even cheaper!  Your Welcome!

Hat Tip:  Mickey Kaus at the Daily Caller

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