March 13th, 2013
I have been watching this years Oregon Legislative session very closely this year. I normally watch anyway but with all the talk of high cap bans, assault weapons bans and other such nonsense, I have been a little more attentive then usual. This makes me a little better informed then usual and THIS is making me scratch my head and wonder if the entire Legislature has qualified for medical marijuana.
Not that there is anything wrong with that per say, I just wish they could wait until the session ends to spark up a blunt or 5.
For those of you not paying attention, which is sadly most of you, allow me to explain.
If two bills before the legislature pass, it will be illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to use a tanning bed but it will be legal for a 7 year old to operate an ATV off road.
No, I am not making this up, if you don’t believe me, go read the front page of today’s Oregonian, I dare you.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that children need to be protected, unless they are real idiots in which case I believe we should let Mr Darwin do his work, but come on. It seems to me the job of protecting children from the dangers of skin cancer or skewering ones self on a tree branch should lay with the parents, not the state.
If Mom and Dad feel its OK for their spawn to endanger themselves, who are we to say no. If we are lucky the worst result is that the gene pool will get a stronger and the state can enjoy some added cash in its coffers from all the fines and what not for child endangerment.
It seems like a win win to me
February 5th, 2013
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I have written a number of pieces for this forum on my struggles with depression. I have not written about it in a while because, for the most part, life around Casa De Jew has been pretty sweet. As a matter of fact, since the first of the year, I have taken some major steps to improve my life.
I have been smoke free for 18 days now, I am hitting the treadmill 3 or 4 days a week and I have been, for the most part, been eating a lot healthier, which is a relative term given that I think nothing about scarfing down an entire box of White Castles before bed on a Sunday night.
So, with all these positives, you would think I would be doing pretty well, right?
Right now, I am probably going through on the worst depressive cycles I have been through in years. As I have done in the past, I am writing today more for myself then for any of you. Putting these things out there give me another level of perspective. I guess it is just part of my attention whore nature to put it out on the web for everyone too see.
Since the first of the year, along with the all the positives in my life, there have been some negatives as well, mostly centered around my work. As long time readers are aware, I rarely if ever talk about my work and when I do, it is only in the most general terms. As of late, there have been a lot of changes in my situation at work. A lot more stress, a lot more drama and to be frank, I don’t think I have been dealing with it very well.
It came to head last week when I had three very disturbing dreams in one night. I have not been sleeping well of late, so any dreams I can recall have been rare events. Three in one night, all with a singular theme, is unprecedented.
When the theme of all three was suicide, I have to tell you, I was terrified.
So begins my downward slide.
Usually, when I start into a depressive cycle, I can feel it coming on and most of the time, it is because I have not been keeping up on the little things I need to to do to keep the “Black Dog Days” as Winston Churchill used to call them, at bay. This was like stepping of a cliff.
To my credit, it did not take me all that long to realize I was in crisis. I was a bit stunned, things had been going going so well for so long, I think I was in denial that things could have gotten so bad so fast. It wasn’t fair. I had been doing the work, and yet at the same time, I had to acknowledge that if I was actively doing everything that I needed to do, I wouldn’t be here.
Of course, my therapist is out of town, so no help there. I forced myself to call out the reserves and make contact with our local mental health crisis folks. I reached out to friends and got someone to take custody of my weapons for the time being. I have been staying away from the bottle and doing exercises to increase my mental defenses.
I think Miz Mona is a little freaked out. She so badly wants to help, but, as anyone who has dealt with depression knows, any help has to come from within. Still, she has been my rock and my sounding board, helping me to talk through the issues I can grasp, and helping me to find the ones that are not as obvious.
The hardest thing to get past is the utter and complete self loathing that comes along with these events. I am a grown fucking man for crying out loud. Cowboy up and soldier on. Suck it up and take it like a man. You have dealt with this for 7 years, you should have fixed it by now and moved on. These are thoughts that ricochet around my head as my hands shake, my knees tremble and I stare into the black abyss.
I know that light and life lay just behind a corner that I and only I can and must turn.
Maybe the answer is some new meds. Or it might be returning to therapy. It might be as simple as forgiving myself for recent mistakes, mistakes that only I seem to care about.
The answer might be a combination of all these things or something else entirely.
I do know that the only way past this is to keep looking.
January 26th, 2013
Sometimes, you only have to look as a far as the “Food” section of your daily paper to see that we have as a nation abandoned any sense of personal responsibility for our own actions.
In a continuation of the current popular theme that “The gun killed the children”, “The tanker truck sized soda is the reason I am fat” and “If they hadn’t served me those drinks I would not have gotten a DUI”, New York Times News Service reporter Alexandra Jacobs has turned things up to 11.
In a nationally syndicated article that appeared in newspapers across the country, Alexandra related her near death experience with an immersion blender in her kitchen. Yet another hidden danger just waiting to tear apart the lives of the unsuspecting cooks of our nation who are just trying to provide quality meals for their families.
According to the article, Alexandra fell victim to the evil device while trying to use it to cream hard butter for a batch of cookies she was baking. The device came to life of its own accord while she was trying to remove the caked cold butter from the blade of a stick blender with said blender STILL PLUGGED INTO THE WALL.
I guess I wouldn’t even be writing this if the tone of the article had been more “Don’t be a retard like I was” and less a call to arms for more safety devices, warning labels and awareness of the danger these devices represent.
If you ask me, Alexandra got far less then she deserved with just a mangled finger or two.
You see, Alexandra stressed a point that I have made in this forum time and time and time again.
That point is simple…There are, in this country, far to many people who are simply too stupid to be allowed to live. We have gone too far in our interference with the natural order and are allowing far too many morons to live long enough to reproduce. Global warming pales in comparison to the crisis of stupidity and lack of common sense in today’s modern world.
If our elected officials want to pass some laws that will save lives then I have one that needs to be bumped up to the top of the list and fast tracked like nothing else in the history of our nation.
Are you ready?
OK, here we go.
BAN ALL WARNING LABELS
Thats right my friends, it is time for us to pour some chlorine in the gene pool and give Mr Darwin a free reign to do his thing.
If someone can not figure out that they need to unplug a device with razor sharp rotating blades before they stick their fingers in it, do we really need them around? What good is someone who can’t reason that something that has just spent 4 minutes in the microwave is going to be hot and should be handled with caution? Is the excuse that nobody told me it would be bad to stick my head in a plastic bag really a valid reason for us to turn the motion picture Idiocracy into a blueprint for our nations future?
Sure it is going to be bloody and unpleasant in the near term, but it is my belief that the long term benefits and, lets face it, sheer entertainment value, far outweigh any inconvenience this law may cause.
December 27th, 2012
Who says city Governments don’t have a sense of humor?
On Friday last, the day, according to the idiots who interpreted the end of the Mayan calendar as the harbinger of the end of us all, the city of Denver proved they are either equally stupid or concocted the the greatest practical joke of all time.
It seems city officials thought that last Friday was the perfect time to test their brand new outdoor warning siren system.
Despite widespread announcements of the test, you have to wonder, exactly how many pairs of undergarments were soiled when the sirens went off,
Way to go Denver!
December 23rd, 2012
I really owe my Dads girlfriend an apology.
She really has the best of intentions and means well. She has been very vocal in her support of an all out firearms ban in the wake of the recent tragedies and I have been kind of sort of harassing her a bit on Facebook.
I do have to take exception to something she said early on. I initially let it slide because like I said, she means well and she is very sincere and passionate about her beliefs and those are two qualities I really respect.
Now I am hearing it being used by the media and a few of our more vocal politicians.
I understand that rather than focus on the reason why these tragedies are occurring, we are blaming the tools used to carry them out.
I get it, it’s easier. Fine. Whatever.
Since when is an assault rifle a “Weapon Of Mass Destruction”?
I have to tell you, I find this horribly offensive and completely unnecessary.
An assault rifle or any other firearm is designed to kill. That is it’s purpose. No one is denying that. No one is denying that in the wrong hands, this class of weapons can inflict a large number of causalities.
But a Weapon Of Mass Destruction?
I was trained by The United States Navy to load nuclear weapons on aircraft. During the course of my training it was impressed upon me how truly devastating these weapons are and that by participating in PRP I could at some point be called on to perform action that could, indirectly, result in the deaths of ten of thousands of people in the blink of an eye.
This a weapon of Mass Destruction.
In 2003, the government of The United States decided to wage war on the nation of Iraq because we believed, at the time, that a madman had access or was soon to have access to weapons of mass destruction. Horrible weapons that could snuff out countless lives through biological or chemical means.
These are weapons of Mass Destruction
To date, 4448 of Americas best and brightest have been killed in a search for weapons of mass destruction that did not exist.
To refer to an assault weapon as a Weapon Of Mass Destruction is to spit on the graves of each and every of these Brave Americans.
I realize that the left and right both have to resort to inflammatory language to get their points across. Neither side seems to want to look at facts. Why should they when both sides know that people in this country are more influenced by rhetoric.
I know it seems like a petty point to get upset about but words and language have great power and with great power comes great responsibility.
No matter which side of this argument you may fall on, to apply this label in this manner cheapens and weakens a phrase that should terrify any rational human being.
December 19th, 2012
My most recent piece was reposted by long time reader Brent on his own Facebook page and garnered two very interesting comments from some folks who have a diametrically opposed viewpoint.
I asked for their permission to repost their comments here and to continue the conversation in this forum but as yet I have received no response so my own ethical standards prevent me from posting their arguments in favor of a complete ban on semi automatic weapons. They were good arguments and I want to address a few general points before I proceed.
I am willing and desire to have a conversation on this issue. Yes, I am pro private ownership of assault weapons, however I do believe we need to rethink who may own these weapons. In much the same way that the 1st amendment does not exist to protect “popular” speech, the second amendment does not exist to protect my right to only own hunting or sporting arms. The 2nd Amendment exists to insure that we, as a people, can never be enslaved by a totalitarian Government.
I believe that this is something that has and will be debated in homes and courthouses across our nation for many years to come.
Yes, as I stated, I was trotting out the “same old tired arguments”, including the knife analogy because no matter how many times they have been used, I still feel they are valid points. I also believe that the arguments in favor of weapons bans and restrictions “old and tired” as they may be, are equally valid. This debate has raged on for years, and as we become more and more polarized as a society I fear we will draw ourselves farther and farther away from any kind of meaningful progress in arresting our societal decline.
We must take action now, but, we must take the right action and to do that we need to set aside the strong emotions of the moment and deal with the practical reality of the situation we now face.
We, as a nation, have historically not done well with prohibition. Its just not in our nature. The idea of banning the private ownership of all semi automatic weapons is never going to happen. If you were to ban the private ownership of semi automatic assault weapons, millions of Americans who already legally own these weapons would have to be compensated for their property. We are talking billions of dollars here. My two assault rifles retailed for $600 and $800 respectively and that does not include the cost of legal modifications I have made. They have been appraised for insurance purposes at around $2500.
Folks, we can barely pay for school lunches and we are about to reduce our armed forces to three guys with BB guns because our elected officials cant figure out a way to balance our national check book.
Add to this the impact on manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. We are talking thousands of jobs and billions of dollars that will be lost. We would see a huge impact on our already fragile economy. Now before you get yourself all worked up into a snit, I am not saying that dollars are more important then lives. We are talking about the practical reality of a ban on all semi automatic weapons.
It pains me to say this but politicians, like all parasites, are primarily interested in their own survival. While they may publicly shed crocodile tears over the innocent lives lost, they will ultimately do whatever is in their own best interests.
I may be wrong, I was, once, long ago, but I just don’t see the government as being able to muster enough support to enact a total ban.
So where does that leave us?
The best we can hope for is the reintroduction of the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. But what did that really accomplish?
It prevented the sale of weapons with certain characteristics. For rifles such as the AR15, our current villain, It meant you could only have one of the following features;
- A pistol grip
- A folding or collapsible stock
- A bayonet lug
- A threaded barrel that would allow the installation of a suppressor or flash hider. That did not mean it could not have a flash hider, it just had to be permanently attached
- A grenade launcher
Most people on both sides of the ban agreed that these changes were mostly cosmetic in nature and did nothing to effect the lethality of the weapons. The ban also imposed a 10 round limit on detachable box magazines.
Is bringing back this law going to make us any safer?
The short answer is no.
The law had no effect on weapons or magazines that were already in private hands. Weapons were still being manufactured and sold with the cosmetic changes I mentioned above.
In short my friends, it is my opinion that assault weapons, in one form or another, are going to be with us for many years to come. It may not be right, it may not be just and it may not be fair, but, it is a practical reality that we may have to life with.
So now we need to talk about just how we can do this. In the near future I will put forth some ideas to that end. Until then I urge all of you to engage your friends and neighbors, no matter what side of the issue you stand on, and lets work together to find some solutions before more innocent lives are wasted.
December 17th, 2012
I will probably take some heat for this one, but frankly, I am beyond caring.
The two recent gun related tragedies, here in Oregon and the senseless slaughter in Connecticut are on their way to becoming political issues which will have a major impact on all Americans. In the “Fast Food” instant gratification society we have become, the majority of sheeple are going to demand something be done NOW, in the heat of the moment instead after somber and quiet contemplation and a national discussion of the root causes of these tragic events.
First and foremost, while it may not be as sexy as flashing images of assault rifles and tossing around military buzz words like “highcap”, where is the media focus on the systematic dismantling of the mental health care system in this country? Why are there not more resources allocated to identifying and getting treatment to these disturbed individuals? By there very nature, anyone contemplating taking up arms and going out in a “blaze of glory” is at best mentally disturbed and at worst psychotic. As we have learned from prior incidents and as I am sure will be proven out in the weeks and months to follow, the perpetrators of these atrocities were ostracized and bullied.
In the early days of The Angry Jew, I had occasion to become involved with an Oregon teacher by the name of Jenny Brown, who lost her job after writing and producing a play, Higher Ground, to be performed by her students, that realistically portrayed bullying and methods for dealing with it. The local school board felt it was too graphic for middle school aged children. I can’t help but wonder if only we as adults accepted that the modern school yard is not the one we grew up in, that the instant gratification society we have created has filtered down to the children we raise and that in the violence filled world we have created, would we be dealing with these types of incidents.
And where is the medias responsibility in all this? Has not the time come to stop turning these killers into media stars. How many disenfranchised youths are right now watching the media blitz surrounding these events and and saying “Fuck Yeah, thats how I am going out.” Kinkle, Kiebold, Harris, McVeigh. I dont have to tell you who they are or how they pertain to this story. You know because there names were burned into your brains by the media, but answer me this, can you name a single one of their victims. No fair using Google here to salve your soul. The fact is that bloodshed sells advertising and it’s the money that is important.
But that is all OK. None of that matters, because we have the solution to all the ills of society before us. Its as plain as the nose on our faces, and we will do it. We will do it because it is fast, it is sexy and it will sell advertising.
It will also accomplish nothing.
We are going to ban high capacity magazines. As I heard a politician, a pro gun Republican I might add, say tonight on ABC News, “You don’t need a thirty round magazine to hunt deer.” You know something, he’s right. I own and shoot assault rifles. I have magazines ranging from five rounds to thirty and you know something, the only difference between them is how often I have to change them. It takes right around two seconds to change a magazine. All a high cap ban would cause me to do is carry more of them and change them more frequently. How is that any safer? How does that save lives?
Ahh, but if we ban the assault rifles then the problem is solved.
While it is a tired and sad argument, just about anything can be used as a weapon by a determined person. Just ask the guy in China who used a knife and injured 22 children. Its going to be kind of hard to cut your steak with a spoon, so I suppose we could ban steak as well, high cholesterol and all that.
Of course a civilian like me has no business owning a military style weapon. Lets look at that. A civilian assault rifle is a semi automatic weapon. For those out there who are not knowledgeable about such things, it means that each time the trigger is pulled, a single round is fired. Military versions of these weapons are capable of firing three round bursts with each trigger pull and in the case of the AK47, they will continue to fire for as long as the trigger is pulled. It is an operating system that has been around since the introduction of the M1 Garand rifle during World War 2. Unfortunately, military style assault weapons are not the only weapons to use a semi automatic operating system. Many hunting and sporting arms also operate as semi automatic. Do we ban them as well?
Is it the military style of the weapon that is the problem. Is it really just that simple? Does the appearance of a weapon make it more deadly? Are we really going to solve a national crisis with cosmetics.
Perhaps it is the cartridge ? Is that it. The military round that it fires. To be honest, and don’t take my word for it, ask any soldier who has come back from the parties we have thrown in the desert, the 5.56 cartridge, or .223 to us civilians, is a pretty piss poor man stopper. There are plenty of hunting cartridges that deliver a far more devastating wound. The 223 was adopting in the 1960s as a political move rather then for it’s ability to put down an enemy. Most of the combat vets I know would much rather have a weapon firing the heavier 7.62 round, hence it still be used by Special Operations forces in the venerable M14.
Maybe we should ban everything larger then a pistol caliber. Right? That will fix it. Oh wait, opps, bad news. It seems that handguns are the weapon of choice for criminals with the 9mm coming in first, followed closely by the 22 and 38. Interestingly enough, the 25 caliber “Saturday Night Special” was the weapon of choice, until the government stepped in and banned them, forcing those intent on doing wrong to move to higher caliber, and deadlier weapons.
All of this is moot, since, criminals and those intent on doing evil, are by there very nature, going to ignore any bans we put in place.
I know you have heard it before but all a ban is going to to do is make criminals of law abiding gun owners.
So what are the solutions?
Some of the things I would be in favor of would be a increased criminal databases that would include mental health information to preclude those who have been found to be mentally unstable from obtaining weapons. Stiffer penalties for the improper storage or illegal sales of weapons and certification for gun owners. These are things that could have a meaningful impacts on the epidemic of gun violence in our country.
Of course, it would mean having to sit down and talk about it BEFORE we take any action.
November 13th, 2012
OK Sherman, set The Way Back Machine for 2009.
Everyone and his uncle was terrified of another swine flu epidemic.
Enter a drug company named Roche and their wonder drug Tamiflu.
It was reported that Tamiflu would reduce the severity and duration of flu symptoms as well as slow the transmission of the virus. The world rejoices and governments and individuals begin to stockpile the drug. Our own Government spent 1.5 Billion of your tax dollars making sure that we would have enough to go around if a pandemic broke out.
Everyone breaths easier, the world is saved, life goes on.
Except for one minor little detail.
A recent review by a British medical journal says there is no data to support the drug makers assertion about the drugs two most important claims, that it can reduce severe symptoms such as pneumonia and that it reduces transmission of the virus. About all the researchers can confirm is that it will reduce the length of symptoms, by about 21 hours.
What makes me believe that the claims of these researchers is where I found the story.
Hidden away in a two inch column in today’s bushiness section. A little bit of research led me to this New York Times Article.
Friends, I don’t pretend to understand the methods used for testing new drugs, about how they are reviewed and about how the decisions are made to use them, but I have to think that if the Government is going to spend over billion of MY dollars to buy something, then it had better be the best thing available.
I don’t know if this is a case of a drug company pulling a fast one by not doing their due diligence, like that never happens, or yet another government boondoggle, but I know it underscores a point I have made time and time again.
It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to be aware of what is going on. Take twenty minutes a day, read the newspaper, search online, question the actions of your government, be vocal in your opposition to waste, fraud and abuses of power.
If the recent elections have taught us anything it is that as long as we refuse to take responsibility for our own governance, as long as we sit mute and allow the ruling class we have established in Washington and State Houses across the nation to serve their own interests instead of ours, as long as we allow apathy and conceit to rule our actions, we will never again see the day when we are truly a democracy for and by the people.
November 13th, 2012
Sorry for being away for so long. Between work, vacation and all of other life’s little interruptions there has just been enough time to get all my brain droppings out.
Lots of stuff to talk about here in Angry Jew land.
Most importantly, Miz Mona and I tied the knot a week ago and so far, married life is pretty darned good. Now that things have settled down, I am sure we will have many adventures to share. We have been going out and trying new places. I have been doing a bit of writing on Yelp, feel free to follow me there.
Hurricane Sandy, while tragic, has proved the importance of being prepared and I hope it will inspire you to look closely at your own situation and use the tips I have provided in The Angry Jew Survival Guide to insure you and yours have the means to fend for yourselves should the worst happen. I have two articles underway currently “Do I Need A Weapon” a multi part series on weapons and survival and “Emergency Heating”, which I am currently researching. Please post any comments, suggestions or tips you might have.
Be on the lookout for a bunch of changes to the site after the first of the year. A lot of stuff is badly out of date and I need to get on the stick and get this site back up to speed.
I thank you all for your continued support of The Angry Jew and I hope that if you enjoy what I have been writing, you will continue to spread the word.
« Previous Page — Next Page »
October 19th, 2012
Miz Mona and I just finished our annual three day trip to Pacific City on the beautiful Oregon coast today. The weather was fantastic, we met lots of interesting people, saw some great views and enjoyed some incredible meals. So, it stands to reason, given my relaxed demeanor and overall pleasant exhaustion, that something as simple as a trip to the grocery store would lead to a classic Angry Jew moment.
We had gotten home around two this afternoon, unpacked, started some laundry and generally caught up with all those little details that need to be caught up on when you have been away from home for a few days. Our original plan had been to head out tonight to see some friends perform at a local watering hole, but the week had caught up with us and we were beat and just wanted to be slugs.
Miz Mona offered to make her Super Salad, her version of a chefs salad on steroids, if I would make the grocery run. I was a little grumpy, but I agreed. We both needed to get some “good” food into us.
So I headed out to the local grocery store and gathered our supplies.
I lucked into an open check out line, usually at this time of day this store is jammed, and began to unload my cart onto the belt. I exchanged banal pleasantries with the guy at the register as he started to ring up my order.
My cart was just about empty when a woman shoved past me and walked up to my checker.
She was a well dressed, well preserved fiftysomething with one of those bullet proof hairstyles. Her Dolce Gabana purse probably cost more then our hotel at the beach and you just knew there had to be a black Escalade in the parking lot with her name on it.
You know the type.
Anyway, she walks up to the checker with three items in her hand and asks the checker, and I am not making this up, if he can interrupt MY order as she is very late and there are lines at all the Uscans and express lanes.
Her tone when making this request was one of a superior to an underling, haughty and rude.
The young man, to his credit, took it in stride and quietly explained that he would be done with my order in just a minute and he would be happy to get her on her way just as fast as possible.
By this time I had moved to the payment terminal and had a little bit of a grin on my face.
Kudos to you young man, I thought. Well handled with that extra dollop of syrupy faux courtesy that is the retail employees only way of saying “Fuck You” to a customer that is being a real asshole.
Alas, the bitch was not so easily placated.
She proceeded to lay into the guy, as if the high volume of the store was planned, by him, to interfere with her poorly executed plans. She ranted about the poor staffing, the high prices, low quality and the rudeness of the staff.
The last one sent me from grinning to growling in exactly .032 seconds.
Maybe it was Miz Mona telling me this almost exact same story on a weekly, if not daily, basis as she too works for a large grocery chain.
Maybe it was the fact that she was invading my quiet, post vacation calm.
Maybe it was the fact she was a haughty bitch who needed to be taken down one very large peg.
Maybe it was all three.
All I know is that I erupted.
“Listen lady, it is not this mans fault that you are late, it’s yours. Perhaps you should leave yourself some extra time if you plan on stopping into a grocery store at 5 o’clock on a Friday. Did someone forget to teach you courtesy when you were little? Why don’t you do us both a favor, take a few steps back, attempt to do an impression of a reasonable human being and let this guy finish MY order so he can get both me and your rude ass out of the store.”
To her credit, she actually tried to respond.
She got one word out when I raised a single finger to my lips, shushed her, and then took three steps towards her making move along motions with my other hand.
She retreated and the checker, doing his best not to grin and failing horribly, finished my order in record time. A quick glance around my immediate vicinity revealed more then a few grins.
A young lady checking in the next lane gave me a subdued thumbs up.
My work her was done.
“Thank you Mr Jew” he said, reading my name off the receipt. “It was a PLEASURE having you shop with us today.
I looked at the fuming woman behind me, gave her a wink and then replied,
“The pleasure was all mine.”
I was wrong about one thing though. It was a BMW Z4 that flew out of the parking lot, not an Escalade.
I never claimed to be perfect.