Before the movie Captain America: Civil War came out, Charlie Jane Anders wrote about the themes that the big superhero movies are using this year: the use or abuse of power and state control.
“I don’t expect either Batman v. Superman or Civil War to offer an explicit critique of our collective fantasies about power and invulnerability—fantasies that all our political leaders, to some extent, have been pandering to for years.
But she does hope that, “along the way, countless moviegoers might be forced to think for a moment about what kind of responsibility goes along with the use of power.”
It worked, I did think about the responsibilities that come with power. And it wasn’t just because, Mr. “With-great-power-comes-great-responsibility” makes an appearance half way into the movie. I also though about the way the writers of Civil War used human “collateral damage” as the main reason the government needed control over super-powered people.
io9 Writer Germain Lussier, explains, “..the government wanting to control the Avengers, is based on collateral damage: a smaller number of people who mistakenly die to save billions of others.” He also notes that collateral damage is “the go-to conflict in superhero movies (see also Batman v Superman).” (I will also note that collateral property damage . . . → Read More: Superhero Movie Themes: Collateral damage is people!
Liberty University Chapel with recent gun accident headlines
Liberty University to allow handguns in dorm rooms
Next fall, Liberty University students with concealed handgun permits from the state can get permission from the school to keep their guns in safes in their dorm rooms
—Jesse Pounds, Daily Progress)
Liberty has been increasing the places that guns can be carried concealed on campus since 2011. The residents’ hall is one of the last places they were forbidden. Officials have downplayed the number of students who might have guns in the dorm, as well as the risk.
They might also be downplaying their financial liability if someone is injured in a gun accident while in a Liberty dorm or on campus.
Lately I’ve been reading stories of gun accidents. Every day I get about three that trigger my “accidental shooting” alert. I know there are more, but these are the ones that make the news. Check out the last few days: 3-year-old, 3-year-old, 2-year-old, 3-year-old, 3-year-old. 16-year-old 77-year-old. In the newsbiz, three is a trend. It looks like we are on the way to a trend of toddlers killing more Americans than terrorists.
After I read these I wonder, “Could this have been prevented?” . . . → Read More: Liberty U lawyers: Your guns are going to cost you money
My friends at Media Matters For America put up this video pointing out that Rush Limbaugh is no longer the goose that laid the golden egg. In fact, he hasn’t been for years. It’s news now since he is in contract negotiations. It’s too bad some media outlet won’t dig deeper into what happened to Rush and the AM broadcast radio business. Right wing radio is no longer a safe place for most consumer advertising. How this happened and what it means might be a good story–if they cared to write it.
They could examine the impact of the revenue decline, but also the reasons behind it.
I don’t expect anyone in the media to “follow the money.” since the money raised for political candidates goes into media buys. But if one did, they might find that lowered revenue expectations and dark money are now keeping Rush afloat.
The political press will talk about how powerful Rush still is and how he and his brethren (cistern?) helped bring us the extreme right wing GOP presidential candidates. They can ignore the lost advertisers, since that is not their metric for power.
The business press might write about the advertisers that . . . → Read More: Qapla! We’ve disrupted the RW radio advertising model
http://www.spockosbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/How-to-Stop-The-NRAs-_Arm-the-Teachers_-Scheme.mp4 I made this a few years ago trying out some new animation software. Now with states like Georgia trying to put guns on college campuses this can be brought up again. Who insures Georgia campuses?
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I went to Paris a long time ago. It’s all a blur now, but thanks to modern technology I can relive that blur in HD in 2 minutes!
I tried to watch in full screen in 4K, but my local modern technology couldn’t keep up. Try it at 2K if you also have a slow connection.
One of the first things I ever saw on the World Wide Web were photos from the Louvre. Look at art you could never visit in person! People were in “It’s like TV, only on a computer” mode because they didn’t know how to use it yet. Just like TV was “radio, with moving pictures” at first.
Just for fun I went to the actual Louvre website today. They still have photos, but in a crummy slideshow format. They aren’t even high resolution–although I’m sure you can buy some in the gift shop.
They have two online media “virtual tours” were you were allowed you pan around a bit. They also have a mobile app, which might be nice, but it’s only for Apple products.
How we interact with the world via our devices has changed as the technology has gotten better, but . . . → Read More: Take a short, fast trip to Paris via hyper-lapse
I recently listened to two interviews with Jane Mayer on her book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.
During the interviews she explicitly pointed to the power of the Koch Machine to change the public opinion and attitudes with their think tanks, universities, and media.
They push a idea that the climate problem doesn’t exist, or–if it does exist–there is nothing we can do about it.
Marketeers and messaging gurus from the fossil fuel industry have invested 100’s of millions in a narrative that rejects science and human governments’ ability to act. They want to destroy the hope that we have the ability to make changes.
They throw doubt into scientific successes (“Blank can never replace coal/oil/gas”) while killing legislation that supports other forms of energy
In the superior interview Mayer gave on The Majority Report with Sam Seder she talked to an audience who knew of the Koch brothers and understood the damage they have done that goes beyond elections.
The Koch network’s influence extends into academia, media, state and local politics. This influence will continue no matter who is elected President this fall.
In the interview on KQED’s Forum, host Michael Krasny suggested that because the Kochs aren’t winning . . . → Read More: How dark money infects American minds
I really enjoyed the recent GOP debate. It had the highest LPMs (Laughs Per Minute) of any Presidential debate in history. But after the laughs, it must have been depressing to see your fellow humans campaigning to get rid of environmental protections and your EPA.
Science News, photo by Todd McInturf/The Detroit News via AP
If my human emotions ruled me, I would be very depressed about the future of America right now. Fortunately my rational, logical, activist side is in control, so I’m fine.
When I see tiny humans being poisoned, with no urgent steps taken to solve the problem, I wonder, “What is wrong with you humans?” Even the Borg protect their babies!
A healthy baby Borg. Resistance to its cuteness is futile.
Fortunately, there are humans who are working to solve your problems and help others. Some of these people have a more optimistic view of the future than others, so when dark headlines fill my tricorder, I find them to listen to, read and watch. One of them is Hugo awarding-winning author Charlie Jane Anders.When you poison your own people, deny the science that shows the problem and then don’t race to fix it–the Galactic community wonders if classifying humans as sentient was the right move.
. . . → Read More: In the face of a dark future, there’s hope
“Don’t be afraid of those roadblocks, drive up there and shoot them!” -Sean Anderson
The current stand off in Oregon is not over. As of 2:00 pm Friday January 29th, 2016 four are still at the refuge.
Below is a video of one man at the refuge asking people to come help him. Listen as he tells them exactly how they should impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties.
“You a militia man? Come get some! It’s what you been training for, preparing for. We just happened to be the ones to step in it for ya. Now we are here. We need you. We want you, we welcome you.
“Don’t be afraid of those roadblocks, drive up there and shoot them. They are dishonorable, not following their oath, not protecting the American people, [we’re] good patriots fighting for our rights, they’re the terrorists.”
“Any LEO, military, law enforcement or feds that stand up and fuck their oath–don’t abide by their oath–are the enemy!”
“If they stop you from getting here, kill them!” (Oregonlive video link)
Four holdouts want charge dropped for one to end occupation. Les Zaitz | The Oregonian/OregonLive
This specific . . . → Read More: It’s Time For Armed Bullies To Face The Law
In August 2014 I predicted that if the FBI and DOJ didn’t act following the actions by Bundy supporters in Bunkerville, Nevada in April, armed stand-offs like the current one in Oregon would happen.
I’m pretty good at predicting the future, but I don’t expect people to listen to a time traveling Vulcan. But why didn’t they listen to the Department of Homeland Security?
Bundy supporter and armed protester Eric Parker from central Idaho aims his weapon from a bridge next to the BLM’s base camp near Bunkerville, Nev April 12, 2014 Photo Jim Urquhart -Reuters via KLAS-TV 8
In August 2014 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put out a report, titled“Domestic Violent Extremists Pose Increased Threat to Law Enforcement and Government Officials,”
Bill Morlin from the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote about it.,
The report found that Cliven Bundy’s militia-backed standoff with Bureau of Land Management agents in April galvanized “some individuals, particularly militia extremists and violent lone offenders, to actively confront law enforcement officials, increasing the likelihood of violence.” Furthermore, the report adds, “this perceived success likely will embolden other militia extremists and like-minded lone offenders to attempt to replicate these confrontational tactics and force future armed standoffs . . . → Read More: DHS Predicted Armed Standoffs In August. Why no FBI or DOJ action?
After Christmas on Vulcan I would call my best friend and ask him what presents he got. We could compare notes and then meet up to play with our toys or to show them off. (Because Christmas is so much better if you got cooler toys than your friends.)
If this year we were playing war, I needed a big gun like, the Johnny Seven O.M.A. – One Man Army Gun – Topper Toys 1964
The best selling boys toy of 1964! Seven guns in one, which included: Grenade Launcher, Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher, Anti Bunker Missile Launcher, Armor Piercing Shell, Rifle fires 10 Bullets, Slide Bolt Action Machine Gun, Detachable Cap Pistol which fires shells. Detachable Stock & built in Bi-Pod. Over 3 feet long!
Description from Time Warp Toys
“You’ve won with Johnny Seven, the one man army gun!”
As you can see from this commercial, we were training to become the leaders of squads of commandos in World War II, so we wanted needed armor piercing shells and anti-tank rocket launcher to take out the Nazi tanks and save the world.
Later, during the cold war, we were training to become spies. Spies were cool. You worked alone, your . . . → Read More: I needed a gun for Christmas, not a stupid helmet!