It wasn't rare last winter for me to be walking down the bridge from the apartment building to my carport to hear the sound of black squirrel Don Draper running down the inside of the roof right over my head on his way out of the building (and the west wall of my living room) for a day out in the woods foraging meals and chasing female gray squirrels through the trees. It was as if Draper had a nine-to-five job out in the woods only to return to his "pad" at night for cocktails and dinner like his namesake. Well, Don was in trouble yesterday morning just before nine. He walked into one of the "have-a-heart" type raccoon traps set by our maintenance guy in the futile effort to do something about raccoons in the attics. Draper's presence last winter alerted me to the route the raccoons took this fall to get inside the building, but no one listened to me fast enough to prevent the invasion. It is hard to blame them because leaving the outer walls of the building wide open at the end of the bridge roofs, thus providing a highway for "nuisance animals" to enter, could be embarrassing, particularly if a tenant goes on a long vacation only to come home to find raccoons have appropriated the entire apartment. Poor Don Draper not only walked into the raccoon trap, but he was big enough to trip the pressure plate that slammed the cage door shut on the squirrel. Check out the size of Draper's rear foot in the photo above. The sound of something rattling the trap cage, and a glimpse of a big puff of black tail told me what animal was in the cage. It was Draper.
"Draper! How in the world could you be this dumb?" I demanded of the squirrel. Unlike the raccoons that were caught in the trap, Draper was rushing around inside, biting the wire "bars," trying to pry them open, and making high-pitched squeaking, chattering sounds like you might hear on a rerun of Grizzly Adams. The squirrel was demanding to be released. "Well, I don't know, Draper. I'll try to get them to let you go, but I don't think Johnny Cochran could get you out of this mess," I told the squirrel. "The raccoons really have the owners ticked off at animals getting in the building."
I went looking for the maintenance guy, but on my way back to my building, I saw that the maintenance guy must have gone the back way to my building. He was already there and was releasing Don Draper. The squirrel took off so fast up the hill in back of the parking lot that one older lady yelled, "Look at that squirrel run!"
I haven't seen Draper since, but at least he's still alive to chase more female squirrels.
"Hey, I know it is almost deer season and that my being a deer might be considered a conflict of interest, but I want to offer you what I, as a member of the Wildlife Community, think is good advice to all humans who like to hunt. Don't hunt for me this year. Why not try hunting the wily raccoon? Just think of not having to drag a heavy carcass back to your redneck pickup truck. Raccoons are portable wildlife. Just throw them in a bag and off you go. It is also easy to cheat on baiting regulations in your state. Just throw down some Twinkies and the raccoons will come running. They're easy. If you live in Crestview Apartments, you can bag your limit of raccoons right in your living room. You won't even have to leave your Lay-Z-Boy. If you are in the mood for a safari, go up to the attic. So just keep this slogan in mind this November----'Hunt Raccoons. They taste like chicken!'"
Note: Stephen Glass is the name of a disgraced writer for The New Republic magazine who was fired once he was exposed for making up almost all of his stories. The incident was chronicled in the HBO movie Shattered Glass. Society seems intent on never forgiving Stephen Glass for his wrongful behavior, but seems to ignore similar incidents in today's "Mainstream" media. This series, Free Stephen Glass, exposes more recent media deceptions, manipulations and abuses that are analogous to those Mr. Glass was punished for a decade ago. If Glass is going to be kept from gainful employment for life for deceiving the public through mass media, I don't think he should be consigned to this media hell all by himself, or, he should be let off the hook like all the others.
The movie Kill the Messenger has been out for some time now and involves the story about journalist Gary Webb, a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News in California who reported about how the Contras, Nicaraguan guerrillas fighting the Sandinista regime, ran cocaine in the United States to help pay for weapons to fight their war in Nicaragua. According to Gary Webb's articles in the Mercury, some CIA officials possessed knowledge of the cocaine running by the Contras and covered it up. The CIA employed what some of their documents, concerning other operations in which the Agency used such persons, referred to as "media assets." Media assets are journalists the CIA uses to put out stories that are helpful to the CIA in achieving control of majority opinion in the United States. The CIA's media campaign against Gary Webb used reporters and editors at the Los Angeles Times, a paper that employed a former high CIA official, and the New York Times. These media outlets excoriated Webb and destroyed his career as a journalist. Recently, the CIA's covert operation against Webb was declassified, with the entire sordid story about how the Agency's "media assets" followed CIA instructions in destroying one of their own, being published in the CIA's internal journal for its employees, Studies in Intelligence. The in-house magazine described how effectively the CIA used "a ground base of already productive relations with journalists." Readers should think about the total meaning of that statement as it applies to the news they are receiving every day from journalists who comprise that CIA "ground base of already productive relations." Just how many stories we receive by television and newspaper are real events, or a bunch of staged hoaxes or totally false CIA-generated propaganda? In the near future we will use this semi-regular series to point out oddities in the Ebola stories, such as Ebola victims appearing to be joyful to have the disease ("Let's party!") prior to making a miraculous recovery and reading prepared statements to the cameras while looking perfectly coiffed and and styled as if they did not even have athlete's foot let alone Ebola. Not to be outdone, the media has broadcast photos of one Ebola doctor in New York that one of the doctor's neighbors and friends pointedly denied to a covey of reporters outside her apartment house was a photograph of her neighbor, and we will also post this evidence of something strange going on with the Ebola stories. How much is news out there, and how much comprise elements of psychological operations (psy-ops)?
As we see in the story about Gary Webb, who allegedly committed suicide after being destroyed by his own fellow journalists while they worked for the CIA, Stephen Glass isn't the only one to make up news stories, but he was the only one destroyed for doing it. At least Glass' stories were entertaining fiction, and could lead to the reader wanting to learn more about the subjects, such as computer hackers and how they exchange information. Glass's false stories did not result in any real persons being destroyed or killing themselves, and Glass did not work for any espionage agencies trying to cover up drug running operations inside the United States. The media, and the general public, should stop punishing Stephen Glass and let him make a living again, although I don't trust him to do any investigative reporting about how Gary Webb managed to shoot himself in the head-----twice.
Last year I warned maintenance people here about that black squirrel that managed to get into the walls of my living room by running up that hollow roof over the bridge from the carport area. I often saw the squirrel, that I later nicknamed "Don Draper" because of his constant pursuit of female squirrels from branch to branch in the nearby woods, either climbing the two-by-four supports for the roof to enter the hollow tunnel and run up into the walls of building, or climbing down to leave for a day in the woods trying to make more black squirrels of which our town has a great many. No one believed me that any animal could get into the building by climbing up into those hollow roofs that lead to the open walls and crawl space attic of the building. Well, the reports of other tenants now included witnessing the dreaded raccoons entering the building by going up through the tunnel-like hollow roofs over the bridges. This time, there was an investigation. Raccoon claw marks were on the two-by-fours, insulation had been pulled out of the building end of the tunnel and there were two bread bags, empty, also in the tunnel, evidence that the raccoons had established a food storage area in the attic.
I take no pleasure at being vindicated about how easy it is for wildlife to get in here, particularly since there are now raccoons in the attic over my apartment. Nine times out of ten the raccoon in these cases is a female with either a litter of "kits," or is pregnant with a litter. The only solution is to go up there after the raccoons, trap and remove them. Only then can their entrance be sealed as all raccoons in the attic must be accounted for before sealing off their entrance. No one here is thrilled about going up there as raccoons establish a nesting area, a food storage area, and (this is the worst) a latrine area. One might have to go through the latrine to get at the raccoons. Our guys up here are about as anxious to try this as they are about running naked through an Ebola ward. The sad part about the trapping, at least for those who consider raccoons "cute," and do not have them doing their business right over their heads, or prowling about in the walls of their homes, is that, in Pennsylvania, you cannot relocate a raccoon once trapped. Now, the reason for this will be hard to take, given how "impossible" it has been to contain Ebola by means of strict quarantine and banning travel from Ebola ravaged countries. We cannot relocate raccoons in this Commonwealth as raccoons are a "rabies vector." We take more measures to protect other raccoons from rabies than to protect humans from Ebola, apparently. Any raccoons trapped in a non-lethal cage trap have to be shot, or slain some other way.
My guess is I will be hearing the cries of a litter of kits in the southwest corner of my living room ceiling in a few months. Maybe a raccoon will fall through someone's ceiling, or one of the little old ladies who love to feed "the starving birds" whole pancakes, will wake up with three raccoons at the foot of her bed. Maybe something will get done after this, or similar, incidents take place. Most likely, the raccoons will die of old age before I am finally rid of them.
I don't think of them as "cute." They are intelligent, but too much for their own good.
Our section of the apartment building is closest to a heavily wooded area, so we have frequently been visited by deer, bears, rabbits, squirrels, and other animals over the years. After we had some people move in who are careless about disposing of trash, visits began increasing from the local raccoons. This has gone on for a few years now, with the animals helping themselves to the contents of the poorly-kept garbage cans, particularly such treats as aging pizza, crackers of various kinds, cookies, Spaghetti-Os, and Twinkies. There weren't huge messes to clean up after the raccoons came to call, but over the past few weeks my carport was invaded in the late night hours by what appeared to be a raccoon version of the boys from Delta House (Animal House). They would dive into every garbage can, and make their eerie sounds of raccoon communication anytime after midnight and before dawn. It was impossible to leave my bedroom window open they made such a racket. Unfortunately, even with my windows closed, the raccoons eventually found a new way to interrupt my sleep. Taking advantage of the results of someone hiring morons to design the apartment building in 1967, a trio of the "climbing raccoons" discovered that the roof structures that extended from the carports to the outside walls of the building are hollow, something like tunnels, and, unfortunately, they are open at both ends. The raccoons used the same route as the big black squirrel to get into my living room walls last winter.
I was awakened from a sound sleep one night early in September by strange noises coming from the wall right behind the head board of my bed. Something was moving in there. I came fully alert, left the bed, and knelt beside the wall to listen. I heard shuffling, scuffling noises inside the wall that had to be made by a creature significantly larger than a squirrel. My first suspects were the raccoons, and the sounds indicated there were at least two of them moving through the wall. I tracked their progress to the end of the wall where support beams led up to that "roof tunnel" structure that joined to the building right next to my window. The noise slackened as it seemed as if the column of raccoons halted at the support beam so one could climb while the other(s) waited in line. I could hear the footsteps on the vinyl flooring in the "tunnel" as the first raccoon entered it. The wait took a few minutes, but soon a raccoon emerged from the "tunnel" at the carport end, followed by two others. The raccoons had found a way inside the building. This was not information raccoons would voluntarily forget. My response was to go outside, yell at the raccoons, and throw rocks at them. It was now that I discovered that raccoons need a few moments to process new information, and a human reacting to their presence at their favorite collection of garbage cans was something new. The raccoons froze during the first few rocks thrown at them, but after processing the information, they tore out of there at an impressive rate of speed. The raccoons fleeing the barrage of rocks gave me the idea of perhaps racing the animals professionally, like greyhounds. They are extremely fast, and accelerate quickly. We couldn't use one of those fake rabbits like the ones used to get greyhounds to race. Slices of pizza, old donuts, or Twinkies would be enough to get them to run. The raccoons are veritable ringtailed rockets when motivated.
The next night, the raccoons decided to get even with me for rousting them. One of them, apparently trying to impress his fellow raccoons, took a dump at the end of the pedestrian bridge from the carport to the main door of the building. My first thought was to observe that the act was probably one that the raccoon considered the zenith of its miserable, flea-ridden, garbage-eating raccoon existence. The beast was probably a celebrity with the other raccoons after defecating on our walking bridge.
The whole mess was originally caused by humans not being careful with trash, incorporating an idiotic design into a building, and ignoring a "raccoon infestation." Why not ignore it, though? The tenant who always chased after missing garbage can lids, tried to secure the trash cans, and cleaned up a lot of the raccoon messes was the one with the raccoon problem, not them. Since it wasn't the problem of the people who were slovenly with their trash, and the raccoons were not infesting their carport, they could care less, except the one woman who came outside one evening when the raccoons were really living it up. One of my neighbors must have left some beer in the discarded cans. The raccoons were all over the place. Raccoons were hanging upside down from the rafters over the garbage cans, looking like big mutant bats. Others were rummaging inside the garbage cans while others were hanging on to 2X4s supporting the roof of the carport, sort of like raccoon pole dancers. One woman walked up on the scene, carrying trash that was not properly bagged, as usual, and stopped dead in her tracks in horror at the sight of the cavorting, hell-raising raccoons. There were between seven and nine of the beasts in the carport that night. I was watching from my bedroom window, but did not warn this tenant at first so maybe she could get a good look at what ringing the dinner bell to raccoons is actually like. The raccoons stopped moving around as soon as they realized she was approaching. A big raccoon, about the size of a bear cub, moved out in front of the garbage cans. I think the woman saw that raccoon first which made her stop and try to process what she was now confronting, which was over a half-dozen, possibly inebriated, raccoons. The big raccoon froze like the others, but his tail seemed to curl up after the raccoon stopped moving. The woman retreated into the building without me having to shout a warning to her. I experienced this "freezing" by the raccoons when I threw rocks at them a few nights before. The raccoons might be thinking that, if they do not move, humans can't see them.
A few nights after this, our building got a big dumpster to replace the abused garbage cans. Visits from raccoons declined, but I built a barricade at the carport entrance to the hollow roof that enabled the raccoons to get inside the building. One morning I was talking with the maintenance man for the complex when a woman informed us that, "I saw a raccoon last night." One raccoon was all she saw, but she was still upset at the presence of the cunning, sneaky beast. I wondered how she would like to have her carport taken over by a troupe of performing raccoons that appeared to have escaped from some cheesy traveling circus, or to have three of them imitate Vasco de Gama by exploring her bedroom walls in the middle of the night. She would be catatonic before the sun rose.
Raccoons! Where is Fess Parker when you need him?
Yes, I was thinking about what to post during the time I was back making money in the 9-to-5 world. I was able to come up with a list of old favorites from summer and fall 1967, which was an important and memorable time for me. The titles and artists are below, as before, but the YouTube links take you right to the You Tube channel where, in most cases, advertisements help pay for the broadcast rights. Just click the back button to come back here.
The temporary consulting job, which was to produce one audit report about the security status of a client's internal information system network ran several days over and did not finish until just this past Monday (September 8th) and consumed more time than I had calculated. I even had to work a few hours this past weekend to polish the final report. With all the problems the audit found, the CEO asked me to accept a more, or less, permanent part-time position to manage the system security, but I did not retire in order to start something else. I still don't have all of my health back from the last 28-year gig. If they bought the right software, it might be easy, but my position would really amount to "Lighting Rod for Government Regulators."
Don't think so.
The Web site ZERO HEDGE is reporting that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen appears to be resisting the urging of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to hasten the bursting of the various financial bubbles we've been posting about, off and on, for the past few years. There is a bond bubble, a new real estate bubble, a student loan bubble, and an equities bubble. Here are the actions the BIS is promoting for the Fed, and other world central banks, to take, which is to burst the bubbles right now:
As we have warned, all financial bubbles eventually burst and cause downturns in the economy. Our economy is not in a position to tolerate the bursting of a large bubble, particularly the bond bubble which is tied into interest rates and the federal govenment's ability to pay the interest (not the principal) on the federal debt. The Fed has pursued a low interest rate strategy that enables the Administration to more easily manage the interest payments, as they are cheaper. Let the interest rates rise while Obama tries to fund bringing in millions of new, unvetted immigrants from throughout the world, coming in via Mexico, and/or fighting a war with "ISIS," the newly minted international boogeyman used to promote even more commitments to the Middle East quagmires, and promote more "security" measures here at home (that also cost lots of money) that amount to more erosions of Constitutionally guaranteed rights, and everyone will then know just how bankrupt the federal government really is. When that happens, the Great Depression will feel more like boom times.
Janet Yellen seems to disagree with the BIS about immediate termination of the financial bubbles created by the Fed and the giant Wall Street mega-banks and their off-shore partners, as she stated after the BIS reports:
“At this point, it should be clear that I think efforts to build resilience in the financial system are critical to minimizing the chance of financial instability and the potential damage from it. This focus on resilience differs from much of the public discussion, which often concerns whether some particular asset class is experiencing a ‘bubble’ and whether policymakers should attempt to pop the bubble. Because a resilient financial system can withstand unexpected developments, identification of bubbles is less critical.”
That's just it, Janet. Because of the incredible, and unsustainable, needs of the federal government for borrowed money, this financial system is far from "resilient." It is completely inflexible. That is the mess the bankers are in, and the next time they are up against it, the bankers want access to our deposit accounts for the next "bail out," which is referred to as a "bail-in," by the outright robbing of the depositors by just scooping the money out of their accounts.
Nobody actually sits around planning such things to happen. Really, they don't. At least we are not permitted to entertain such thoughts, but John Dillinger, one of the last of the old-fashioned bank robbers, would be skeptical of the notion that no one would deliberately plan to rob people's money when it is just sitting there tempting the thieves, and the thieves only have to press some computer buttons to transfer it to their own accounts. They don't even need to use guns to steal it all! It may not be politically correct to suspect anyone of deliberately planning to steal trillions of dollars, especially white guys in expensive suits, but the cynic in me is calling out to me to pay attention.
Well, the construction team responsible for remodeling our apartment complex with smaller, more energy efficient windows in the living rooms, and a different door out to the balcony in each apartment, finished my end of the building with the biggest parts of the project last week. If you remember, I commented on the previous post, see just below, that the project would take more like 7-to-10 days for the entire complex. It took this long just to get my section of the complex done, so all of us were way off the mark. The weather did not help and it is threatening to storm again today now that the crew is back from the Independence Day holiday. On top of all the changes done to the west wall of the apartment, added to it was the need for painting, which has not done since I moved from a one-bedroom downstairs to this 2-bedroom apartment upstairs in 1999. It took days to finish the painting as it took primer coat on the ceiling and three coats of paint on the walls, but it was worth all the inconvenience now that I am 90% moved back. I still have no television, however, and it is not known if I will be allowed to put the Dish TV antenna back on the balcony railing. It is still lying on the old blanket spread on the sofa. At least I got to see a couple of Veronica Mars reruns while working out at the YMCA this morning.
What follows is a few photos I took of the beginning phases of the work, including a shot of the long wall-sized window that is now just an ordinary picture window. You'll see some of the plastic drop cloth I put over the furniture in the foreground of a couple of the shots.
I have been exiled from my living room for the past eight days. The corporation owning this complex had decided to do remodeling of what is actually the front of the complex. Most of us think the car ports mark the front, but actually the balconies do. A construction company came in to remove the old concrete balconies and replace them with artificial wood decks. The interior of the living rooms would be changed by reducing the size of the huge windows that face the Allegheny valley (the north side of the building) and put in new doors to the balcony. Modern, energy glass would be in the window and the door. This would keep us from freezing in the winter and baking in the summer as well as reducing electric bills. Well, everyone said this would only take three days. No one listened when I told them it would take at least ten. I have some photos, but have to shrink them down to fit on this page, so will be putting them up later in a separate post. The front area of this place now resembles a muddy Italian field after a World War II tank battle. As it stands, they might be done before the tenth day, but as soon as they are, I am going to paint the entire place, starting with the living room since almost everything is covered with drop cloths now. I am without a television as my Dish TV antenna is now lying on a blanket on my sofa and covered with a plastic drop cloth. I have been withdrawing from television for the entire eight days. I probably haven't missed much. I got my land line telephone back here by stringing an extension to an adapter and running it back to the second bedroom, which is now an office.
During this time, an acquaintance of mine was having problems with his laptop and the Internet. I took it down to the library while there were no workers in my apartment and checked it. It worked fine. While I was at it, I got him registered with a Web site for his high school reunion, coming up with an easily remembered password for his account. I should have known there would be a problem. The password suddenly "stopped working." I think he forgot it, or went to the wrong site, as I bookmarked two of them, but showed him the bookmark for the right one. If he had to remember a password to get back through his own lines in World War II, about the time someone challenged him with "baseball" and he responded with something rather than "steak," every gun within a mile would have lit him up like Times Square. It was fortunate he was too young to be drafted back then. I will have another go at the problem tomorrow. He thinks a spare wireless router he has will work from the back of my apartment, where I am currently existing while my living room is in chaos. When I advised that the router would have to be configured correctly, he returned a familiar expression which warned me that the router wouldn't get me across the hall let alone on the Internet, but we'll see.
The weather made this annual project difficult. With all the rain in May, you need about two dry days in a row to get all the work done. I kept watching the interactive Weather Channel feature on Dish-TV to see when we would get two dry days prior to Memorial Day. The Sunday and Monday before Memorial Day looked like the best opportunity, so I reserved a rental van to haul the flowers and tools that Saturday morning, then bought the flowers early on Monday morning. The strange weather also made flower selection a little limited this year. To really get a nice color arrangement for each site, a lot of marigolds had to be used this year. There were shortages of other kinds of flowers, and I found no white species at all this year. The marigolds made up for a lot of these problems and turned out looking pretty coloful. I had to have one of the cemetery workers drive the lawn mower to the family section and mow it, but she was close by at the time and did not mind doing it. Weather made it difficult to get the grass mowed this year, so, like me they were rushing to get it all done that week.
Father Justin Pino, the pastor of Saint Joseph and Assumption of Mary (Polish) Roman Catholic parishes here in Oil City was written up in a front page story about his research of his uncle's service in World War II, including his involvement in the landings on D-Day. What I noticed was the Oil City Derrick did not identify either the beach on which Father Pino's uncle landed, or the uncle's division or regimental combat team. The article reminded me of where I could find my father's assigned unit in the Mediterranean area of operations. The discharge papers identified my father's last unit, which was Company B, 401st Combat Engineer Batallion. Doing some more research, I found that the 401st Combat Engineer Batallion was earlier designated the 19th Combat Engineer Regiment.
Combat engineers always belonged to their designated engineer regiments, batallions, etc., but were frequently assigned to different corps, divisions, or regiments based on need. On different operations, my father's regiment, or individual companies, were assigned to the Second Corps (II Corps) for the North Africa landings in 1942 (Operation Torch); the Sixth Corps (VI Corps), and different divisions with those two corps. In II Corps, my father served under first Lloyd Fredendall , followed by George S. Patton, and Omar Bradley. The last commander of II Corps was Geoffrey Keyes, during the Italian Campaign. Keyes was a close friend of Patton. When landing at Salerno and Anzio, my father was with the VI Corps, which was commanded, in turn, by Ernest J. Dawley, John Lucas, and Lucian Truscott. One long divisional assignment was with the 34th Infantry Division, which was originally comprised of men from Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Iowa as a National Guard division. During one point of the Anzio operation, my father was assigned to a British unit, although it is not known if his duties were mostly engineering (he was a heavy equipment specialist) or assigned as a rifleman, a responsibility all combat engineers along with their specialties.
It was announced that the federal government is going to set aside money to subsidize the health insurance corporations for the costs of insuring everyone under the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. As was pointed out in an entry from 2013 that is now in the archives in Backblog Page 12, the higher premiums and deductibles charged by the insurance companies under Obamacare were, in effect, redistributive taxes. With an off-year election for the House and several Senate seats, increased premiums and deductibles scheduled for this year would cause big problems for many of the candidates, particularly incumbents who voted for Obamacare, that the government has arranged for the insurance companies to delay increasing the premiums and deductibles by providing the temporary subsidies. By using tax money to pay for the premiums, rather than letting the companies charge the people directly, the cost to the individuals is delayed until 2015. This confirms the analysis that the insurance companies were actually taxing the people through the premiums and deductibles. A couple of years of this and single payer through the government might look good to the people. I still think the insurance companies want out of the health insurance business, but only after they've milked it for as much as they can get before getting out.
I don't think the Constitution gives insurance companies the authority to tax the people in order to redistribute income, and I don't think those who want such health care plans through government want corporations taxing us to get them either. Rather, I would think they would want the exact opposite.
The black squirrel that has found it's way into the apartment building, and seems to prefer running inside my living room wall, was seen running down the two-by-four that enables the squirrel to climb up to an opening in the roof over the bridge into the building one morning last week, and earlier this week was chased by an angry robin up the two-by-four and into the bridge roof. His paws make the same sound running up or down the roof as they make when he is scampering around in the wall. So far, no one has done anything to block his entry way, so all I can do is hope he doesn't chew on something like a wire. The rodent seems to get on the nerves of some of the other small animals and birds in the woods next to the building. So far, he has behaved himself, although I can imagine him raising another litter of black squirrels in my living room wall by seducing another female with the promises of heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer ("Hey, baby, I have a way into the humans' place. You know---they have---heat.").
"'Sensitivity training? What makes you think I need to learn anything about sensitivity? I know all about sensitivity! I've been using condoms since before you were born, you whippersnapper!"
"I have a plan to get it all back. My shrink here will say I have multiple personality disorder. One of my personalities will be a plantation owner from Mississippi in 1849!"
"I need a way to get the players to like me. Maybe a banquet with all-you-can-eat fried chicken and watermelon will do the trick!"
Like another semi-regular feature here, The Bubble Boys, this entry will begin a new semi-regular feature, Free Stephen Glass. Stephen Glass was the subject of books, articles, and an HBO movie (Shattered Glass) about a writer on the staff of The New Republic who was exposed for making up many of his feature stories for the magazine. Recently, Stephen Glass attempted to become a lawyer, after graduating law school, but was forbidden from taking the Bar exam since, as we all know, the angelic ethics of today's legal class just couldn't admit a fiction writer to its ranks after he passed his stories off as real. In actuality, making up stories goes on all the time in the "mainstream" (Re: Corporate) media, as revealed recently when Sharyl Attkisson was interviewed by blogger and author Jon Rappoport for his Wordpress blog. This is one of the biggest pieces of fiction palmed off on the public by the corporate media, in alliance with one of the permanent, unelected bureaucracies in the federal government, the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The 2009 scare fest about a "pandemic" of H1N1, the Swine Flu, which caused one co-worker of mine to express fear for his life ("I guess I will just die soon."). The reality was, there never was a Swine Flu "pandemic," which Ms. Attkisson developed after a Freedom of Information Act filing to obtain the records from the CDC. In addition, health authorities of different states were also checked to find if the statistics cited by CDC, and the corporate media, as "evidence" of a pandemic were accurate. There were no such statistics.
CBS was initially interested in running Ms. Attkisson's story, but decided to kill it. In the meantime, despite the documents from CDC obtained by Ms. Attkisson, CBS continued to promote the Swine Flu fiction as reality, urging viewers to make sure they get their flu vaccinations. Ms. Attkission was pursuing other investigative reports about the gunrunning scandal known as "Fast and Furious," and other major stories. All of the stories were canceled by the CBS brass.
Meanwhile, CNN cuts in on important news stories to bring us emergency updates about the arrest of the alleged singer, Justin Bieber. I guess we get the kind of media we deserve, just like we get the kind of government we deserve. The media's fellow fiction writer, Stephen Glass, can't become a lawyer because, we are told, Glass is a liar, and we all know lawyers never do that! Hey, he got caught lying, too! Look, if the media of today can knowingly present fictional stories about flu pandemics to scare the public, I can't see why Stephen Glass can't be a lawyer, and even write about the law for the corporate media. Glass couldn't lie any worse than the lawyers who produced The Warren Report. Besides, I don't want my tax money going to support Glass. I want him to work for a living and pay taxes, even if he does it by lying in the media.
Something has been running inside the west wall of my living room. It didn't sound like a mouse or a chipmunk, but something a bit bigger. The way it moved sounded more like a squirrel to me than any other small mammal. Rats do not usually move that fast, but sort of lumber along. Well, this past week I was sitting in my car while the engine warmed when a large black squirrel ran along one of the rails in the carport, stopped and looked at me through the windshield. This squirrel was big, almost as big as a cat, and didn't care that I saw it. After it was through looking at me as if to say, "What are you looking at?" the animal raced up one of the support beams and entered an opening along the edge of the roof. I climbed the handrail to look inside. This opening runs all the way up the roof over the bridge that leads into the building. The terminus is right on my floor. When the owners' contractors were finally sprucing up the outside with vinyl siding, new doors, and other amenities, they did not notice that they left this "tunnel" open to any opportunistic squirrel. How the squirrel found it, I don't know, but rodents are clever about such things and know the places where humans live are warmer than hollowed out parts of trees when the temperature is zero degrees. So far, all the squirrel does is run around a little before settling down, and is in and out, as evidenced by his witnessed entry this past week. As long as he doesn't chew on something we need, it should be all right for us to wait until we know he is not inside to block off his tunnel's entrance. The problem is I have seen this big sucker out in the wooded area next to the building all this winter. He is hard to miss sitting on a tree limb. This squirrel thinks he is big stuff with the local females and is frequently engaged in ardent pursuits from one tree limb to another. I'm thinking there might be a female nursing a litter in the wall while the big sucker runs in and out to pay his child support. That could be a problem. This squirrel might be passing along the genes that produce such a high number of black squirrels on South Side Oil City. Out-of-towners are amazed at them, but the black squirrels are very common here.
A few months ago, we pointed out some findings of various researchers in the area of analyzing the integrity of photographs and motion pictures that came out of reporting the alleged Sandy Hook, Connecticut mass elementary school shooting. The result was that a lot of the photographic and video evidence of the alleged crime would not be acceptable in court as it was manipulated through software such as Photoshop and some of the video was shot in front of a bluescreen at an unknown location and at an unknown time. This has been extensively reported on the Internet by photographers and graphic artists, but the media moved on to bigger stories such as Governor Chris Christie's "traffic jam scandal." I have no faith or trust left in the so-called mainstream media after discovering these facts inside the recently released Connecticut official investigation reports.
Thinking about the complete lack of media inquistiveness about all the contradictory stories about Sandy Hook as it first unfolded, and now these blatant problems with the written police reports, not to mention the lack of any follow-up about Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Fukushima, and many other troubling events, it made my blood boil to see all the attention the "New Jersey Traffic Jam Scandal" attracted from this useless bunch. Are they bothering to tell any of us about the contradictions now embedded in the Sandy Hook crime scene investigation documents? No, but we will find out all about what the portly governor of New Jersey knew about the traffic jam and when he knew it as if that was as important as where several trillion dollars of Pentagon money disappeared to, another story dropped by the "mainstream" (what a conceit!) media. I'm tired of a media that can't seem to dig down and extract the truth from any event. We were all better informed by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler when they anchored "Weekend Update" on Saturday Night Live. Nothing like a media that sees a blurry video of a bearded fat guy in a turban and promptly declares that it is the skinny, much older Osama bin Laden in the video like they did right before the 2004 election. The real issue was why anyone was faking Osama videos, while being stupid enough to use an obese guy to play Osama, but no one in the media looked for that answer. I suspect the stupid people who made the fat Osama video are probably drawing government paychecks even today. They probably have some of those Pentagon trillions, too.
I have stopped watching these media jackasses and intend to continue to boycott their lazy, insufferable drivel until they get off their dead asses and cover something important for a change. If I want press handouts from some crooked politician I'll get on a mailing list for the politician. I'll be just as well off since all the media people do is take dictation from those banal crooks anyway. The last people on Earth to be dumb enough to believe everything a politician says will be the useless buffoons of the "mainstream" media.