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Some thoughts on the recent Connecticut shootings

Like most, I am deeply saddened by the senseless killings in Connecticut on December 14. Children are truly precious and should never be subjected to this evil. I was further saddened that by that very evening I was reading reports of some claiming that new gun laws need to be enacted and others saying that new mental health laws must be created to stop this sort of violence.

I sincerely believe that what we have witnessed is neither a gun control nor a mental health issue- these are manifestations of a much deeper problem within our society. Connecticut already has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country; in fact the current laws kept the young man from buying a rifle just one week prior to the killings. And we have seen time and again how mental health professionals have been worried about a potential threat but kept quiet in fear of over-stepping or offending someone. No, the real issue at hand is much deeper and I believe wholeheartedly that it is due to the fact that, as a society, we have allowed ourselves to lose our moral compass.  No, that’s wrong… We haven’t lost our moral compass- we threw it away in the name of political correctness.

We raise our children at the altar of Dr. Spock, providing instant gratification, practically no rules and very little reprimand. The result of all this is that we now have the so-called ‘Participation Trophy Generation’ (and here) of kids who think they deserve and are entitled to the good life without having to earn anything. His Socialist views have provided us with a country full of children and parents who are ready and willing to sue a school system or a teacher that dares fail a child for being lazy. And we wonder what’s wrong.

We used to have at least a moral basis in our country.  But we have decided that there is no place in our society for morality.  At best we subscribe to moral relativism, a belief that there really is no such thing as right or wrong but that it is solely up to an individual to decide and no one else has any say in about it. Very often we see that as an example of us at our best. At worst we subscribe to the views of Aleister Crowley (aka, the wickedest man in the world) who famously claimed that the whole of the law was “Do what thou wilt.” Just yesterday I heard someone on the radio quote that from Crowely and then give their enthusiastic agreement. As a society, we have forgotten the simple truth found in the words of our second President and founding father, John Adams, as he once said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

As we descend deeper into our moral abyss, I find it strange and sad that we refuse to even consider the root cause of our problems. I believe there is a direct correlation between the decline of American greatness (both at home and abroad) with the decline of our morality. What’s the solution? There isn’t one as long as we refuse to see the problem.

Is The Walking Dead About to Die?

I can’t believe I waited all summer for new season of The Walking Dead, which was simply the best show on TV last year…

The only thing I can figure is that AMC must have fired the original writers and replaced them with actual Zombies. This season has been a disappointment since about the second episode, when they started searching for Sophia.. and have been searching ever since. I mean, how many episodes can you get out of a creepy old man in a farm house? Evidently a whole season’s worth.

Come on! I started watching this show for the Zombies, not some soap-opera love triangle between Rick, Shane and Lori. And who really cares if the the ‘little asian boy’ Glenn is doing the hookie-pookie with the farmer’s daughter. The show is called ‘The Walking Dead’, remember AMC?

So, please, let’s see some more Zombies, less old creepy farmer dude and not so much lovey-dovey. And please, we all know Darly is a redneck, do ya have to play that up so much?

I’ll stick around for this season, but unless something changes, my DVR will have other priorities next year.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta

So I spent about five hours last night beta testing the upcoming MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. My verdict? In a word: awesome!

While having a very World of Warcraft feel, it’s just different (and that means better). After trying Rift, EVE Online, Runescape and a few other online games, I always came back to the runt’n'grunt of WoW, doing the same dungeons we’ve been doing forever. None of those other games just did ‘it’ for me.

Enter SWTOR, finally a game that will, once again, make me want to call in sick and spend all day killing monsters and leveling.

Note: Due to the confidentiality agreement, I unfortunately cannot provide screenshots and other details.

Watching standard definition instead of high-def on your iPad or iPod

OK, unless you connect your iPod Touch or iPad to an HDTV, do you really need to store all the movies and TV shows in high-def format? I mean, the screen isn’t that big on these devices and you can store tons more content if you use standard def instead of high def video.

So, how do you do that? It’s quite easy, actually. Simply connect your device to your computer, fire up iTunes, click on your device in the left-side iTunes bar, then click the ‘Summary’ tab. Near the bottom of that page, you’ll see a number of options, one of which says ‘Prefer Standard Definition Videos’. Clicking this option will tell iTunes to copy the old fashioned standard def versions of your videos to your device.

Of course, if you connect your device to your high-def TV to watch your shows, copying the high-def versions is preferable. But, watching standard dev on a little screen is really just fine. And you’ll be able to stores so much more stuff to your device!

Quick funny for the day…

US Population =237,000,000
104,000,000 Retired
133,000,000 To Do The Work
85,000,000 In School
48,000,000 To Do The Work
29,000,000 Employed By Federal Government
19,000,000 To Do The Work
2,800,000 In The Military
16,290,000 To Do The Work
14,800,000 State and City
1,400,000 To Do The Work
188,000 In Hospitals
1,212,000 To Do The Work
1,211,998 Jails and Prisons
2 To Do The Work ( You and Me )

And you’re sitting there reading jokes.

Fellow East Kentuckians- Don’t Vote Farmer for Ag Commish

Bob Farmer is the Democratic candidate for KY Commissioner of Agriculture. Mr. Farmer is a marketing executive and a public speaker, not a farmer. He frequently travels to other states to give speeches and do his ‘comedy routine’ (portions of which can be seen here).

 

Of course, there is nothing wrong with being a marketing executive. Not being a farmer and running for Commissioner of Agriculture is a bit of a stretch, but I can even overlook that. What I can’t get past is what Mr. Farmer says in this comedy routine of his. This Jefferson County, non-farmer, marketing executive who wants to be Agriculture Commissioner says absolutely terrible things about us here in Eastern Kentucky.

 

What sorts of things does he say? How about in Eastern Kentucky, the “cars are on blocks and the houses on wheels”, or that the FBI wouldn’t investigate a particular county “’cause all the DNA is alike and there ain’t no dental records.” Yea, those are quotes from this funny man’s speeches.

 

Only when it became public that he routinely mocks his fellow Kentuckians who happen to reside East of I-75 and South of I-64, did Mr. Famer offer an apology. His not-too-contrite apology consisted of “I sincerely apologize if my comments offended any of my fellow Kentuckians…” So, this joker is only sorry if he offended anyone. Wow.

 

Now I understand humor, and I realize that Mr. Farmer was going for a laugh at the expense of us who live in the eastern part of the state. Do we really want to elect a man to represent Kentucky’s Agriculture interests who makes a habit of making fun of the people he is supposed to represent? It was a joke, I get it. But I for one am not laughing.

 

And Bob Farmer will not get my vote in November.

 

See Mr. Funny Man, Bob Farmer, in action here.

Toys!

I’m writing this on my new, ultra-cool (and ultra-tiny) Lenovo S10 Netbook, which is indeed a very cool toy.  It ain’t the most powerful computer I’ve ever used, but it serves the purpose for which I intend to use it, which is basic surfing and note-taking. And the full-size keyboard is nice!

Another new toy I have been playing with recently is a new PHP IDE called phpStorm, made by the same folks who brought us the IntelliJ IDEA Java development platform.  As cool as IntelliJ is, Eclipse (with the MyEclipseIDE addition) is my most favorite Java IDE.  But Eclipse just doesn’t cut it for PHP (for me, anyway).

But phpStorm is great, so far.  Before I pluck down the $100 for it, though, I am gonna try some other stuff.  phpDesigner, well, sucks, but I still am going to use NetBeans for a while to see its PHP abilities.  Zend Studio would probably rock, but the $299 price tag takes it out of contention.  So, for now, the two contenders for my new PHP editor are phpStorm and NetBeans.

NASA Finds New Life

Uber Cool, heh?  NASA Finds New Life.

Zombieland!

Zombieland has got to be one of the coolest movies I have seen in a while. There is, of course, one flaw, and this is a serious breaking of the rules:  we all know zombies don’t run.

The ‘surprise’ cameo is really, really cool and Woody Harrelson’s character certainly has his priorities in order. And I can definitely understand Jesse Eisenberg’s character in the movie– when the Zombie Apocalypse comes, I too could miss out on all the fun by sitting in front of a computer screen playing World of Warcraft for days on end.