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Guns Are Not Cool

July 30th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

The Aurora, CO gunman, James Holmes, was just formally charged with 12 counts of first-degree murder and a plethora of other charges (there were 58 people injured in the shooting as well). Everyone from, the victim’s family members, relatives, friends, the local community (the shooting occurred 20 miles from Columbine) is grieving and the whole country is utterly in a state of shock and disbelief and is raising questions. What happened exactly? More importantly, why? How can a man with no previous criminal record and a promising future ahead of him commit such an unspeakably heinous crime?
Well, eventually all the details will come out; a countless number of studies will be conducted and perhaps we’ll learn that gene #17 mutated which caused him to lose touch with reality and go berserk.  On the other hand, maybe he was high on painkillers or conversely he FORGOT to take his medication.
What I’m going to blog about today is one thing what WE, as a society and a civilized country can do to, if not eliminate (which is impossible, there will always be crazy madmen walking around) but rather minimize and curtail the number of these type and other homicides with guns. The answer is Hollywood and Madison Avenue can portray people who carry guns to be pathetic, lame, ugly, and UNCOOL individuals. It’s the same strategy we are using with cigarette smoking – it’s not cool to smoke today and hopefully someday it will be viewed as despicable to be a gun owner.
Take a look at Bruce Willis, The Rock, Stallone, The terminator, ad infinitum toting these incredibly cool-looking weapons. And, just look at the power a gun gives you, in the movies you’re an unstoppable machine and all your problems can be resolved by moving your index finger. If I were in charge, my first marketing campaign would be something like ‘Only weaklings need guns – real men are martial arts practitioners who work hard to become a man.’ Or’ wow you’re a real tough guy, you can move your index finger back and forth.’ I know this sounds a little silly, glib, and facile but I am convinced that huge marketing strategies like this will SAVE lives. Kids and immature men are monumentally impressionable, and for a guy, being cool, strong, powerful, self-sufficient, and independent is everything.
This is just one strategy for combatting gun crime; obviously, we need to implement strict gun laws as well. So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think?  This is something we can do – STOP making the guy toting the gun look cool. No longer is the guy with the Marlboro hanging from his mouth macho, or cool, but rather he’s a person who has a disgusting, filthy habit that girls hate and in the end will kill him. So maybe 10 years from now we can say ‘ Look at that pathetic weakling who needs a gun to protect himself, a real man uses his brain and bare hands if necessary to get out of a tough situation.”

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Island Guy

July 30th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor

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Letting Go is Not Easy

July 29th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

Ryan Lochte is the new American international swimming sensation, with his victory in the 400 meter individual medley, he has now amassed 4 gold, 2 silver and one bronze medal. Ryan said it was sad and unusual not to see, Michael Phelps up on the medal stand. Phelps, who has won an astonishing and unprecedented 14 Olympic Gold medals and 2 bronze in his career, 8 of which came in 2008 (he won every event he entered) has not even won a single medal this time.
Though Michael is still only 27, he could have certainly been in better shape, but one has to admit that having just completely and utterly decimated his competition at the 2008 Beijing games, it is hard, or actually impossible to top what he did. Michael Phelps is an international celebrity, a household name and an individual who had the acumen to parlay his stardom into a prodigiously lucrative marketing machine -not to mention having the moniker of being the greatest swimmer who ever lived.
The problem with every athlete is letting go and stepping down when you’re on top. There is is also such a thing as retiring too early when there is still much to accomplish, e.g. Barry Sanders, who was the greatest running back at the time he quit when he was only a few hundred yards from Walter Payton’s rushing record, & of course every Giant fan knows the story of Tiki Barber (a broadcaster he was not).
So with the exception of the aforementioned, all the greats stay in the game too long. Certainly, Michael is very young man and he ought to swim for the rest of his life, but by competing in the Olympics once again, he had everything to lose and nothing to gain. Mr. Phelps will also go down in history as the greatest swimmer who ever lived but now we see Michael as a mere mortal whereas before he was an infallible GOD!
So whaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Can you name other athletes who can’t leave the limelight? I would love to see some other examples. I can make this blog 100s of pages long just listing names e.g. Muhammed Ali, Randy Couture, Chuck Lidell, Rickey Henderson, ….

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Island Guy

July 28th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor

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Our Aging Pets

July 27th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor
Isis, our Siamese cat, is 18 years old. I distinctly recall the day I brought her home. We claimed the entire back seat of the bus from New Jersey, she and I, bound for Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC. She was actually meant for Michael; I was the designated guardian whose mission it was to drop her off at Michael’s apartment while he attended a Giants game at the Meadowlands. Because of this, I got to bond with her first. Frightened by her new and ever changing surroundings on our travels, I sought to comfort her. Scooping the tiny handful from her carrier, I held her to my chest. She purred, nestling up under my chin. I melted, giving myself up to her completely. And so we came to share a very special first connection. (She’s mine , Michael. Nah nah, nah-nah nah).
She thinks of me as mother, protector, (Snowshoe! Leave your sister alone!) friend, sister-feline, and not necessarily above all but oftentimes, waitress. (May I take your order, M’aam? No, I’m terribly sorry. We’re all out of trout. Might I interest you in today’s special: Chicken Florentine in Savory Sauce?) At one time possessing a voracious appetite yet managing to retain her sleek and slinky figure, Isis has grown increasingly discerning as the dawn descends on her aging profile. Ultimately thinner and fragile as a butterfly’s wing, I frantically reinvent creative ways to entice her to eat. (Isis! Look! It’s FANCY FEAST! WOW!) I even pretend to eat it myself as she watches in bland disinterest. The slightest consideration proven to tantalize her palate is served in double portions, in hopeful anticipation of a bowl licked empty to reveal the fishbone image at the bottom.
Isis has always been a complainer, whining at the tiniest inconvenience as though hapless victim to the  hardships of her posh lifestyle. Now, even more so. I attribute this to actual pain and discomfort in her aging, brittle boned composition, and rush her off to the vet. Various tests are run revealing a multitude of dysfunctions, some of which can be helped, the rest as insurmountable as the bill I’m handed when all is said and done. (Sixty dollars for taking a little blood out of her scrawny arm???) Charges for this. Charges for that. And there you have it….Three million, five hundred, forty two dollars and twenty nine cents. (Why can’t I include her on my medical benefits plan? She is my daughter. Well, no. I didn’t actually give birth to her. She’s adopted).
These days, I lavish extra love and attention on my tender friend. It’s as much a contributing factor to her slowly  increasing better health as the medication administered in her daily dosage. But facing facts and the harsh reality that will inevitably befall us, Isis will one day cease to walk the hallowed halls of home. Face it I must, with a sigh and a moan. It won’t be easy. In the meantime, there’s an oft repeated phrase in our household given Isis’s non relenting, audible demand for attention…. “What Isis wants, Isis gets!” For example: Open the closed door so that she might enter and reappear a moment later satisfied that there is nothing of interest on the other side of it after all. Repeat as often as necessary. Another example: Screams of bloody murder (from her) are soothed with gentle murmurings (by us) in attempt to calm whatever ailment afflicts her body, mind, or spirit. Sometimes this works, more often not. She’ll pace the house from room to room, a dispossessed being uncomfortable in her own skin. I turn a deaf ear, and she quiets. She can’t tell you what’s wrong, only that there’s something amiss. I know what it is. Old age digs in its heels. We either bear it or we don’t. There’s no third choice. But Isis is a survivor. Watching her prepares me for life’s final hurdle. To conquer it, is to go out fighting.
So…..whadawethink? How are you coping with your own aging pet? To what extremes do you go to comfort and provide?
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Night Vigil

July 26th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor
The screen at the window
Creates no barrier
Between us.
I am vulnerable.
The night is theirs.
There is no comfort
In the cry of the coyote.
Multiply that tenfold.
Their language defies meaning.
Frustration.
Agitation.
Hunger.
All three.
The rumble of thunder,
A bass to the melody
Of malady.
The lightening quickening
In my veins.
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Joker

July 24th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

I just wanted to point out the fact that James Holmes, 24, the joker obtained all of his guns legally which essentially firmed up my contention that though a man or woman can be SANE when purchasing a firearm, that same individual can lose it and become INSANE. Just take a look at the attached photos and one can see the before and after photographs; for God’s sake, the gunman earned a Ph.D in neuroscience.

12 people and 58 injured at the hands of one scrawny , little man, all made tenable by the simple fact that he had a license to own guns. How many more killings, shooting sprees, mass murdering incidents, must we endure before we wake up and put forth legislation that will put an end to this horror. I am not suggesting that I have all the answers, but certainly something must be done – and done NOW !

I have been reading a lot of right wing rhetoric on Facebook and the other social networking sites suggesting that in essence, the solution is to arm to the teeth every man, woman, child of this once great nation; this is ARCHIE BUNKER LOGIC (People think I’m kidding, but I’m serious, there is a certain episode of  ‘All in the Family’  in which Archie proudly declares that arming our citizenry is the logical thing to do to resolve this very complicated and complex gun issue epidemic.)

Though in the Colorado incident, the gunman fired away with shotguns and assault rifles (just like in Columbine), I think the first step is to go after handguns and anything that some madman can conceal. Next or at the same time get rid of ALL assault weapons – this is a no-brainer. This leaves shotguns for deer hunting and ’22 ‘s  for bird hunting (or for protection if one is elderly or perhaps a single woman) which I don’t have a problem with but I think there must be a FEDERAL law passed which mandates that a thourough psychiatric examination must be carried out on an annual basis; much sterner and comprehensive than what the individual states now have on the books.

There is so much to write about and there is a plethora of compelling issues that this utterly grim, grizzly, and gruesome incident forces us to look at such as – should filmmakers be more responsible about the violence that is portrayed. I am totally against censorship but study after study conclusively show that young people, children, very immature adults and crazy people are affected by gratuitous violence. This is another blog.

At this point, I’m going to open it up and ask WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Mayor Bloomberg of New York suggested that the two candidates running for president ought to make the issue of gun control a staple of their campaign strategy. This is a great idea ! What are you going to do about the gun problem we have in this country, Governor Romney, if you get elected as president this November? How about you – President Obama: how are you going to 1. Fix the economy and 2. prevent another horrifying incident like this from happening again ?

Oh, incidentally, this recent shooting occurred just 20 miles from Columbine High School. Scary ain’t it ?  

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Who Is Island Guy?

July 24th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor
By now you have (hopefully) enjoyed several of the Island Guy cartoons on this site and may be wondering….Who is this Island Guy? Where does he come from and how did he end up in this predicament? What’s his story?
He’s just an ordinary guy who decided to take a cruise one day, get away from the daily grind of his hum drum life and away from the world. At the already discounted deal of his getaway destination, he got more than he bargained for. Aside from having lost his luggage (which wouldn’t much matter in the end) and breaking up with his girlfriend at the last minute, he was having the time of his life; until a strange turn of events dramatically affected how Island Guy would come to perceive the world.
He was the last guy on the conga line. holding onto the waist of a pretty girl when a tropical storm blew up out of nowhere. Just as he was about to ask her name, Island Guy was thrust by a sudden gust of wind into the murky depths of the sea and by the time he arose gulping for air, the ship had journeyed on its way to Bora Bora. No one seemed to notice Island Guy was missing. Except for maybe that pretty girl who turned around and thought to herself, “Hmmm. What happened to that cute guy that was there a minute ago?”
Island Guy was just a speck in the vast deep ocean. He didn’t know how long he could go on treading water before he became just another notch in the food chain.  By the time daylight cast its golden glow on his drooping eyelids, Island Guy was nearly done for. Just then,  something bumped his elbow. He shrieked at the thought of being eaten alive but it was no use. No one could hear him. He turned to see it was only a piece of driftwood. He clamped onto it and began floating slowly, ever so slowly, to what appeared to be a shoreline. He was in luck! That’s probably where the ship was anchored waiting for him! But by the time he got there, his hopes were dashed. It was just a tiny island, another miniscule speck in the ocean’s enormity. He slipped ashore and slept, clad only in his jockey shorts. Island Guy couldn’t remember what happened to his clothes. The last thing he recalled was the fun he was having on that conga line before disaster struck. How he managed to hold onto his cell phone, his only remaining possession remains a mystery. And even more baffling is how it continues to operate with no cell tower in the vicinity and without ever having to charge it. He was certainly taking advantage of his Unlimited Minutes.
Island Guy has lost all sense of time living on an uncharted chip of land the size of a pin head. His hair has grown from a slick city cut to a long silky mane that does not detract from his overall good looks. His physique has improved on his diet of coconuts, his only food source aside from the occasional fish or crab when he’s lucky enough to get one. But Isand Guy is one cool character. He’s just biding his time and taking it in stride, with only a slight edginess in his mood every now and again when things sometimes go a bit awry. But then, who can blame him?
So……whadawethink? Any suggestions on making Island Guy’s life a little easier? Please write to Island Guy. Just slip a note into a bottle and toss it into the sea. No postage required.
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BOY SCOUT DECISION

July 24th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

Written by guest blogger: Le duke de fromage

DUTY TO GOD

 

DUTY TO
OTHER PEOPLE

 

DUTY TO SELF

 

BOYSCOUT
OATH’S THREE PROMISES

 

Recently the national council for the Boy Scouts of America announced that after a two year study gays would not be allowed to join that esteemed organization.This decision includes youth and scout masters. Judging the merits of this decision would probably involve a two-year argument on the wisdom on such a conclusion. With gay marriage legal in some states and the military finally accepting that gays do exist this announcement is a setback for the gay rights movement.In contrast the Girl Scouts of America do accept lesbians as both leaders and members.I guess this means that males are more prone to seduce and corrupt than females, or possibly the Girl Scouts are more enlightened than their male counterparts.

According to the F.B.I. and several clinical studies published in medical journals, gay men are no more likely than heterosexual men to sexually abuse young boys. Is the Boy Scout council confusing pedophilia with homosexuality? They claim no.There is however a strong possibility that pressure from its three largest scout membership groups is influencing its decision. These are the United Methodist Church, the Mormon Church, and the Roman Catholic Church. These three combined may have more influence on the decision than any Scout organization policy or that the Scout organization would admit.Truth be told both membership and donations are down because of this single decision, with various groups denouncing this discriminating policy. No-one would deny that child abuse is a heinous crime destroying not only the innocence of youth but is also a life-altering act that has far reaching consequences.However,to relate it to gays simply does not make sense.Therefore,I assume that being gay is reason enough to be refused admittance to their organization.

For a period in my youth ,I was a member of the Boy Scout organization. Based on that experience I do not know why an openly gay youth would want to become a member. It certainly would not be to meet other gays.However, they should have the right to join if they wish.There are just too many other obstacles in life that one must overcome without starting that young to battle them, even more so if you are gay. So Whadayouthink? Should gays be allowed in the scouts or should they remain on the outside and not allowed in the hallowed halls of scouting?

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Island Guy

July 20th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor

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