Sunday, 25 August 2013

VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES AND MURDER (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

I've lost count of the times I have blogged about the effect of violent video games - which trivialize killing into an amusing little pastime, with the "winner" being the most prolific killer - on mass murderers like adam lanza who killed 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and james holmes, who killed 12 at that movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Well, here's another one for you, excerpted from Amber Stegall's article for WAFB, Louisiana:

East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office officials say they believe an 8-year-old intentionally pulled the trigger and killed an elderly woman Thursday evening right after playing 'Grand Theft Auto IV'. Although they believe it was an intentional crime, according to Louisiana law, the child will not be charged.

In a release from the Sheriff's Office, it says although the child initially told investigators that he accidentally shot Smothers while playing with a firearm, the investigation has led them to believe the child intentionally shot her. Smothers was shot in the back of the head while she was in the living room watching television.

The release also states: "By accounts of relatives of the victim, as well as friends of the family, the victim and the juvenile had a normal, loving, relationship." "Although a motive for the shooting is unknown at this time investigators have learned that the juvenile suspect was playing a video game on the Play Station III "Grand Theft Auto IV", a realistic game that has been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people, just minutes before the homicide occurred."

When do our so-called "authorities" stop pretending that gun laws are the beginning and end of addressing this issue?

When do they start demanding restrictions - and I mean significant ones - on violent video games, which turn young people, as young as 8, into mindless murderers? 

And when do our mainstream media look beyond the massive adverti$ing dollar$ the purveyor of these digital weapons pay them, and talk about what violent video games are doing to our youth? 

Will they ever?  Or have those adverti$ing dollar$ effectively purchased their silence, as the body count continues to rise?


THE REAL OBAMA ECONOMY Ken Berwitz


Just where is the US economy under Barack Obama? 

If you ask an Obama Democrat, we are in the midst of unparalleled prosperity.  If you ask most everyone else, however, it is a different story.

Well Tyler Durden, who writes at zerohedge.com, has put together a list of 33 facts which give us a very clear idea of where we are right now.  

Please click here to read them all....but I'll give you one-fifth of them below (I am doing this by asking the person sitting next to me for a number between one and five - she picked 3 - and starting from there):

#3 The number of full-time workers in the United States is still nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.

#8 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

#13 Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years.  Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

#18 When Barack Obama took office, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $1.85.  Today, it is $3.53.

#23 In 2008, that total amount of student loan debt in this country was 440 billion dollars.  At this point, it has shot up to about a trillion dollars.

#28 As I wrote about the other day, American households are now receiving more money directly from the federal government than they are paying to the government in taxes.

#33 When you break it down, the amount of new debt accumulated by the U.S. government during Obama's first term comes to approximately $50,521 for every single household in the United States.  Are you able to pay your share?

Now:  do you still wonder about the state of our economy?  

If so, take two aspirin, sit back, and read the other facts in Mr. Durden's piece.  Then take two stiff drinks, and/or two ambien, and try to sleep it off.

WisOldMan With all of the borrowing & spending done over the past seven years, and with the average family income down $4000 over the past four years, it raises the question...Where'd all of the money go? (08/26/13)


WHAT IS GOING ON IN SAN DIEGO?

Ken Berwitz

I've heard of going from the frying pan to the fire.  But going from a jerk to a jerkoff?

As you probably know, San Diego Mayor robert filner - a DEMOCRAT (I put that in capitals, because, given the fact that what passes for our mainstream media seem determined not to mention his party affiliation, that part may not be as well known) was forced to resign, because it turns out that he was a serial molester of women.

Well here, via Marc Raimondi's article in the New York Post, is some information about one of his possible successors which may, er, arouse your interest:

From bad to gross?

A potential candidate to succeed disgraced San Diego mayor Bob Filner has been caught openly masturbating in restrooms on multiple occasions, according to investigative site VoiceOfOC.org.

When Carl DeMaio, one of the leading Republican candidates to replace alleged serial sexual harasser Filner, was in the City Council, he would allegedly leave the dais during meetings to masturbate in a men's room, former City Council president Ben Hueso said.

Hueso, now a Democratic state senator, said he witnessed DeMaio in the act twice, but others suspect his inappropriate activity was more frequent. The politician said he walked into the restroom some time in 2009 and saw his colleague standing at a urinal with his pants around his ankles.

"DeMaio was masturbating," Hueso told the website. "He jumped, caught by surprise. He jumped to the sink ... saying 'I'm sorry, Im sorry' about six times. Then washed his hands, darted out."

DeMaio spokesman Dave McCulloch calls the accusations "absurd and ludicrous" and noted a well-funded effort to discredit DeMaio when he ran against Filner for the mayoral seat in 2012.

DeMaio, who is openly gay, is currently running for Congress, but his name has also been mentioned as a possible successor to Filner. McCulloch said before Filner's resignation that DeMaio is only running for the House seat and had no further comment on his future plans. Filner made his stepping down official Friday.

"A whole lot of money was spent to paint Carl in a bad light," McCulloch said. "If this allegation was at all serious, or actually true, this would have been exposed."

It's hard to know what to make of this.  If you read the entire article, and the link it provides, you will find that Hueso, who obviously is a political opponent of DeMaio, is the only one who claims to actually have caught him in the act - one single time.  That, of course, makes the accusation highly suspicious...but does not mean it didn't happen.

What next for San Diego?  Is there a candidate that seems to spend a lot of time around sheep too?

I can't wait to find ou...

...er, actually I can wait.  Forever sounds nice.


VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES AND MURDER (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

I've lost count of the times I have blogged about the effect of violent video games - which trivialize killing into an amusing little pastime, with the "winner" being the most prolific killer - on mass murderers like adam lanza who killed 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and james holmes, who killed 12 at that movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Well, here's another one for you, excerpted from Amber Stegall's article for WAFB, Louisiana:

East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office officials say they believe an 8-year-old intentionally pulled the trigger and killed an elderly woman Thursday evening right after playing 'Grand Theft Auto IV'. Although they believe it was an intentional crime, according to Louisiana law, the child will not be charged.

In a release from the Sheriff's Office, it says although the child initially told investigators that he accidentally shot Smothers while playing with a firearm, the investigation has led them to believe the child intentionally shot her. Smothers was shot in the back of the head while she was in the living room watching television.

The release also states: "By accounts of relatives of the victim, as well as friends of the family, the victim and the juvenile had a normal, loving, relationship." "Although a motive for the shooting is unknown at this time investigators have learned that the juvenile suspect was playing a video game on the Play Station III "Grand Theft Auto IV", a realistic game that has been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people, just minutes before the homicide occurred."

When do our so-called "authorities" stop pretending that gun laws are the beginning and end of addressing this issue?

When do they start demanding restrictions - and I mean significant ones - on violent video games, which turn young people, as young as 8, into mindless murderers? 

And when do our mainstream media look beyond the massive adverti$ing dollar$ the purveyor of these digital weapons pay them, and talk about what violent video games are doing to our youth? 

Will they ever?  Or have those adverti$ing dollar$ effectively purchased their silence, as the body count continues to rise?


NOBODY ASKED ME BUT.... Ken Berwitz


It's that time again.  So, with a tip of the hat to the late, great Jimmy Cannon, who wrote columns with this name for many years, here is my latest edition of......

Nobody asked me but...

-I'm glad the restaurants in Asbury Park, NJ have mostly come back from hurricane Sandy, but I have to say they are considerably higher priced than they used to be - more expensive than going to New York City.  That might work during the summer, when there are a ton of vacationers in the area and reservations to any restaurant are hard to get, but I have a feeling that they will suffer the consequences after Labor Day.

-If NBC is embarrassed into dropping its tentatively scheduled mini-series about Hillary Clinton, starring Diane Lane (as if she looks anything like Ms. Clinton ever did), you can bet Republicans will be attacked for objecting to it, rather than NBC being attacked for considering a puff piece like this during the leadup to the 2016 presidential election.  And don't even think about telling me we don't know it will be a puff piece:  when has NBC ever done anything but puffery about either of the Clintons?

-Speaking again of NBC, Jay Leno continues to dominate late-night, and the network is dumping him like yesterday's leftover chicken bones.  If that doesn't spell O P P O R T U N I T Y to another network - maybe Fox, if it decides to take the plunge and compete in that arena - I don't know what does. 

-Does "tofurkey" sound tasty to you?  Even edible?  Don't ever put it on my plate.

-For that matter, what about "tofu".  To me, it sounds like a condition you get when you don't wash your feet for a few days.

-I know I will be called a racist for pointing it out, but, dammit, every time I hear al sharpton talk, he reminds me more and more of George Stevens - aka "The Kingfish" from the old Amos 'n Andy TV show.  The loudmouth and blowhard comparison is perfect.  The biggest difference between them is that "The Kingfish", played by great vaudevillian Tim Moore, was funny.  Sharpton very definitely is not.

-Tampa Bay, for some reason, has the Yankees' number.   As a long-time Yankees fan,  I wish it were otherwise, but things are as they are.

-Our sainted grandchildren went on a peach-picking outing with their mom and dad.  Not only did they have a great time, but grandma and grandpa wound up with a ton of their fresh-picked peaches.    To say the peaches taste better than what you get in the supermarket is one of the great understatements of all time.  

-I think it's safe to say that bob filner's next job will not be as caretaker at a girls' dormitory.

-Will they ever finish construction on the Staten Island Expressway?  Based on years and years of experience, I'm pretty sure the answer is no.

-One of my favorite restaurant web sites is for "Cuba", on Thompson Street in lower Manhattan.  The owner not only gives you a tour of the restaurant, but also of its in-house cigar making business.  Even if you don't smoke (it's been 32 years for me) you'll find that very interesting.  Oh, did I mention that the food is great, and very fairly priced too?  

-Why does Mickey Mouse have only four fingers?  Actually, since real mice don't have any, I suppose the question should be why Mickey has four more fingers than he should rather than one less.  Incidentally, for whatever it's worth, in most of his cartoons the "voice" of Mickey mouse was Walt Disney himself.

-Did you know that Stephanie Miller, the hard-left radio talk show personality, is the daughter of the very conservative William Miller, Barry Goldwater's running mate in 1964?

-While we're on the subject of women who have strayed from their familial backgrounds, did you know that Mary Letourneau, the California schoolteacher who went to jail for 7 years because she fell hopelessly in love with and had an intense sexual relationship with one of her students, Vili Fualaau (who was 12 when it started), is the daughter of John G. Schmitz, a former Republican congressperson from California's 35th district?  Schmitz, along with the voters of his district, was so far to the right that he used to joke about joining the John Birch Society to get the middle of the road vote there.

-Here are Paula and Judy's biggest pet peeves (No, you don't know who they are.  But I do and since I'm the one writing this blog, that's the important thing).

. Paula:  People who are unintelligent/act stupidly - covering a wide range of behaviors (said very angrily);

. Judy: Going to a "fine dining" restaurant and finding typos on the menu.

-Personally, I don't have one pet peeve in particular.  But people who drive 10 - 15 MPH under the speed limit on one lane roads with a double line are right up there.

Ken Berwitz Zeke - I always ask for downstairs, where you can hear the music, but not so loudly that it is hard to have a conversation. One of my very favorites in the city -- terrific food, unfailingly friendly service, and surprisingly inexpensive for what you get. (08/25/13)

Zeke .... ... Cuba is a delightful restaurant, authentic food, drinks and complementary cigars . . . . . (08/25/13)


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