Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Vote With Your Feet , Vote With Your Wallet

Voting with your feet means showing your opinion by being present for what you agree with and walking away if you disagree.  Similarly, voting with your wallet means giving your financial support to businesses, issues and candidates who please you, and withholding your money from those who don't.

You probably heard that Dick's Sporting Goods today pulled all semi-automatic assault weapons from its shelves.  They will no longer sell such lethal weapons.  Nor will they be selling high-capacity ammo magazines, bump stocks, or any gun to anyone under the age of 21.

Yay, Dick's!  They're dedicated capitalists who did the right thing.  Yes, it's a small thing, but it's a start.  If we build on it with thousands of other small moves in the right direction, we might one day wind up with a sensible national gun policy.

This afternoon, I made my own small move.  I took my feet and wallet to Dick's and bought a cap I didn't really need just for the hell of it, to show my support. 

Blaming "Mental Health" Is An Excuse

Despite the fact that mental health in American is no better or worse than anywhere else, the GOP and the NRA persist in blaming mass shootings and gun violence on "mental illness," because our unique American gun problem just couldn't be anything else, could it?

Paraphrasing CNN's Van Jones:

This iconic magazine cover is 50 years old.
And in half a century, our problem has
only grown worse.
Republicans have a thousand excuses.  Whenever a mass shooting happens, if it's a Muslim, they want to politicize it within seconds and blame all of Islam.  If it's a Mexican, build the wall!  If it's a black person, we need more cops and prisons!  But if it's a white person, it's a mental health issue, an isolated instance, "just one crazy dude."

One could easily make the case that anyone committing any crime has a mental health problem.  Hell, we're all a little "crazy" in our own way.  But when crazy manifests itself with a gun, the difference is The Gun.

Archie Bunker Editorial

Forty six years ago, in 1972, this was funny.  Archie was such a bigoted, absurd, wingnut that his "brilliant" ideas such as this were strictly laughable.

Today, it's official GOP policy.  Not so funny anymore.

Hyping Her New Hit Single, "White Lies"

There have been many popular songs about lies:  "Lyin' Eyes" by the Eagles, "Sweet Little Lies" by Fleetwood Mac, "Liar" by Three Dog Night, "Lie To Me" by Jonny Lang, and "Would I Lie To You?" by the Eurhythmics, to name but a few.

"Had to lie, Gotta fly, Bye-bye!"
But none have had such an immediate impact as the new smash hit single, "White Lies" by Hope Hicks and the Communicators.  It features that irresistible lyrical hook, "This job sometimes requires me to tell white lies." 

Today, Hope announced she's leaving the White House immediately.  She and her group will be playing "White Lies," her earlier hit "It Was Primarily About Russian Adoption," and spinning many new tunes on a big national tour.

Word is Robert Mueller is a huge fan of her work. 

Who Will Read To Donnie At Bedtime Now?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Not A Humble-Brag, A Donald-Brag

Humility had nothing to do with it.

Addressing a group of state governors today, Cadet Bonespurs bragged hypothetically that had he been present at Douglas High School and unarmed, he would have run into the building and fought off the shooter with his bare hands.  LMFAO!

What a Donald-brag!  It's right up there with his other delusions of grandeur -- his very high IQ, the crowd size at his inauguration, how he knows more about ISIS than the generals, and all the rest of his ridiculous claims of personal superiority.

This from the guy who's admitted to being squeamish about the sight of blood, almost crapped his pants over an eagle on his desk, and is afraid to release his tax returns.

Silly fake bravery from the fake president.  What an asshole.

"If It's For Protection, Why Is It Called An Assault Rifle?"

"Shouldn't it be a Protection Rifle?"

So asked the Australian comedian Jim Jeffries back in 2015.  His clever piece on American gun culture is making the rounds again, and it's still timely.  In this two-part video, he hilariously skewers all the usual pro-gun talking points. 


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Eye Test

All Part Of The Plan?


teacher n. -- one whose occupation is to teach or instruct others in a subject or subjects; a tutor.
Syn. -- educator

Do you know any teachers?  I bet you do.  I'm acquainted with an number of educators, both currently on the job and retired.  These people include classroom teachers, principals, administrators, coaches, and teacher's aides.

Not a single one of them thinks that arming teachers is a good idea.  Each of them entered an essential and honorable profession for the right reasons -- to share knowledge and foster learning, creativity, curiosity, critical thinking and responsibility in others.  None of them got into teaching so they could carry guns in their schools.  None of them went to college to study gunsmithing and ballistics.  None of them wants to work in an armed camp or a shooting gallery.

Our schools should be gun-free zones.  Rather than hope a pistol-packin' lunch lady can gun down a school shooter, every educator I know believes it is far better to do everything in our power to keep all weapons out of our schools in the first place.

It's time for a sane and steady approach to our national gun problem.  A "Trump-free zone" will be a good place to start.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Getting Rid Of Some Guns: Comment & Reply

Received this comment to yesterday's post about America's gun problem.

Your dear old friendFebruary 23, 2018 at 7:11 AM
I admittedly have too many guns & need to get rid of them, but I want them out of circulation. Was discussing this with another friend. He's in the same boat. These have value, & I really don't want to just cut them in half. Does Buster have any ideas for us?

Not sure if my dear old friend is serious or just yanking my crank a little bit, but I'll assume he or she is playing it straight.  I have about one and a half ideas.

I applaud your desire to get rid of excess weaponry, but obtaining near-retail value for your unwanted guns while simultaneously taking them out of circulation (i.e. not allowing them to be resold) is basically impossible.  Gun buyback programs, however, would allow you to recover some portion of your initial outlay.

A permanent federal gun buyback program would be the most effective.  They've been successfully used in Australia, Argentina and Brazil.  Of course, we don't have a federal program here in the good old USA.  Instead, we have a hodge-podge of sporadic, short-term buyback programs run by various cities.  Seattle, St. Louis, Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit and Newark, N.J. have all run gun buyback programs from time to time, with modest cash payments ($100-$200) or gift cards offered for turned in weapons.  Cleveland, Ohio runs an annual gun buyback program, with payment of a $100 gift card per gun.

So find a locality with a buyback program.  Your relinquished weapons will be disabled and scrapped, and you'll get a small reward for your good deed.  Other than that, you could try to find a recycling service which would accept guns for scrap value, which is not much.  And of course the non-compensated option is to turn them in to your local police department.  That would be the easiest thing to do.  Your old guns would pay you nothing, except a feeling of contentment for doing a service to society.

We're All Dumber For Having Listened To It

"Pin Head" is an amusing provocateur on Twitter.  His signature move is taking video clips of current events and "fixing" them.  Here's his fix of the Abominable Showman's bright idea to arm our nation's teachers, aptly titled Orange Sh#thole Rambles Incoherently:

You can check out Pin Head's stuff here:  https://twitter.com/SpikedCranium

Thursday, February 22, 2018

It's The Real Thing

Eight days after the Douglas High School slaughter in Parkland, Florida, NRA bigwigs Wayne Lapierre and Dana Loesch spewed a bunch of damn nonsense today at the annual CPAC Convention of Crazies.

I've had cases of love that were just infatuation, but this HATE I feel for them is the real thing!

This bloody bastard lobbying group accepts no responsibility for anything, and blames everyone but themselves -- it's mental health, and gun-free zones, and media coverage, and the FBI, and the Air Force, and Democrats, and yada yada yada.

Our Largemouth Ass of a fake president followed their lead by blaming the carnage on gun-free zones, video games and movies, as he called for 100-150 armed guards per school.

(Regarding their fixation on gun-free zones as a problem:  Do the odds of being bitten by a shark actually increase in places with no sharks?)

It's always the same old bullshit lies with these heinous fuckwits.

Proportionally, America has the same level of mental illness, gun-free zones, video games, movies, and media as any other high-income, developed nation.  But compared with France, Canada, Norway, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, et al, our level of gun violence and gun death is disproportionately high -- off-the-charts high.

Why?  We're no more violent or homicidal than any other place.  The difference is we have more guns, by far, than any other place.  America has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but per capita, Americans own almost half the world's civilian firearms.

It's obvious.  Too many guns.  That's our problem.  And we must start to address our problem now.  It took us many years to get to this point of absurdity, and will take many years to turn things around.  But no more delay -- we gotta do it.


Memes Of The Moment

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

No Donnie, More Guns Is Not The Answer

Holding crib notes to remind him how to pretend to be sympathetic, the fake president had his "listening session" today with the families of the victims of the Parkland school massacre.  Yes, to meet with parents grieving over their murdered children, the guy who's a "stable genius" and "like, really smart" needed a cheat sheet so he could remember to make his butthole lips speak words such as, "What would you want me to know?" and "I hear you."

Sincerity.  If you can fake that, you've got it made.

What a friggin' farce!  By narrowly focusing on "school safety," Donnie Dipstick is obviously going full NRA.  He sat there nodding and trying to look concerned, then puked up his big ideas -- armed teachers and more mental hospitals.  OMFG!  So much for listening.

One more time -- we need fewer guns in fewer places, not more.  Arming teachers is a horrible idea.  And our national gun problem goes way beyond mental illness.

Until we vote out all the NRA whores, I despair.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Presidents Day

Today is Presidents Day in the USA, a day when banks are closed, trash is not picked up, and many people get the day off as we recognize those who have held our nation's highest office.

Beyond the one-day holiday, many of our better, notable presidents are celebrated each and every day with a variety of roads, parks and structures named in their honor.  Not much for Franklin Pierce or James Buchanan, but for the bigger names the examples are numerous:

The George Washington Bridge in NYC

Jefferson Law School

The Lincoln Highway, a.k.a. US Route 30

Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt Island in NYC (for FDR)

The Eisenhower Interstate  Highway System

The Kennedy Space Center in Florida

Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Grove, Washington D.C.

Reagan National Airport in D.C.

Barack Obama Elementary in Maple Hts., Ohio

The Orange-Tufted Fraud currently holding the office will not be remembered fondly or honored in any such dignified fashion.  And he certainly doesn't need our help slapping his name on things.  It's already infamous, synonymous for failed casinos, shitty steaks, a scam "university," et al.  But I think his name is most appropriately associated with this:

Donnie Doo-Doo Dog Poop Bags

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Smart Enough To Vote Him Out

Donnie Diaperpants had a morning meltdown today and went on another Twitter tirade.  It was special.

Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!
Hey, Donnie, the FBI didn't miss all the signals.  They did all the basics.  They visited the guy multiple times.  He had committed no crime and owned his guns legally.  They can't arrest him for something that he might do.  And if you expect the federal government to investigate and constantly monitor and babysit every depressed teenager who posts some stupid shit on social media, good luck with that.  If, in the name of protection, you really want law enforcement to be able to arrest people on the mere suspicion of potential future gun violence, you'll need to change some laws.  Like all those GOP-sponsored, NRA-backed laws which protect guns and ammo and not citizens.

And don't worry, Donnie.  Mueller's not with the FBI anymore.  He's not cutting into the Bureau's time.  Just remember his probe isn't over.  The latest indictments simply make official what we already knew -- Russia interfered with our elections, and they did it to help you.  The case for collusion will come in due time.  Twitter Ads info and privacy

I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said “it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.” The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia - it never did!

If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!
Never said Russia didn't meddle?  OMFG, what bullshit!  Donnie, you said it about a thousand times.  And yes, you called it a hoax, too.  That's the problem with lying so much, isn't it?  It's too hard to keep track of all the lies you've told.  One thing you haven't said, to this moment, is a single word of condemnation for what your Russian buddies did for you, you friggin' fraud!  You even refused to renew sanctions on them.  #Obvious.

Beyond creating discord (and you did a fine job of that all by yourself, Donnie), it was Russia's goal to get you elected.  So yeah, I guess they succeeded and they're probably laughing at us (and at you too, you fool).

As for getting smart, don't worry about that, Donnie.  We've had you pegged from the jump, and we're plenty smart enough to do what needs to be done -- vote you out!  Get rid of you and all traces of you ASAP.


LeBron Will Dribble, Will Not Shut Up. Good!

In the same vein as the last post, Fox News really hates it when athletes (or anyone) espouses anything but the straight Trump propaganda party line. 

LeBron James has not been shy about sharing his contempt for Dolt 45.  In a recent YouTube spot, James said, "Trump really don't give fuck about the people."  Hardly a surprising or unique opinion, just a correct one.

Equally unsurprising, Fox-bot Laura Ingraham blasted James for his comment, calling it "barely intelligible, not to mention ungrammatical."  (Racist much, Laura?  And as a staunch defender of the Terrible Tweeter, you're suddenly worried about grammar?  WTF?)

Ingraham advised LeBron to "just shut up and dribble."  Fox News cannot abide political views from anyone other than their own Trumpanzee "experts."  Everyone else should just stick to their day jobs.

Carpenters, just shut up and swing that hammer.
Accountants, just shut up and prepare those tax returns.
Programmers, just shut up and write that code.
Teachers, just shut up and grade those papers.

Thus sayeth the fake news network whose programming often includes such political experts as Chachi, the Duck Dynasty idiot, and Ted Nugent.  Not to mention the laughably horrible Laura Ingraham.

LeBron said firmly he would definitely not just shut and dribble.  Good!

"Hey Laura, you're Number One!"


An Ass Taking A Butt

(I'm a little late with this one.  The Winter Olympics just haven't grabbed me this time, and anything you see happened pretty much yesterday.  Plus a few other things have occupied my time and attention. Oh well!)

Last fall when many NFL players took a knee during the anthem in protest of police brutality, V.P. Mike Pence said there was no place for politics in the world of sports.

The very next thing he did was inject politics into sports.  At a Colts home game where he knew some players would be kneeling, Pence made a big show of walking out early in a premeditated huff.  Kneeling for the anthem!  Harrumph!  Harrumph!

At the opening ceremonies of the PyeongChang Olympic Games, Pence pointedly remained seated as the Unified Korean team was introduced -- more deliberate political posturing from Pence at an athletic event.  It was an insult to his hosts, and it effectively copy-catted the same form of protest he found so intolerable when employed by those awful (black) NFL players.

Pence is so dense (Dense Pence?  I like it!) he doesn't see what a hypocritical moralizing moron he truly is.

This post was inspired by a blogger I stumbled upon who calls himself Tubular Sock.  Tube's a wild and creative man who calls 'em as he sees 'em.  Obviously, I swiped the image from him. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Dark Humor With A Message

It's dark humor with a message, and there were hundreds of similar images created in the past two days.  They're not trying to be flippant or insensitive, they're just making a point.  And sometimes cartoons and memes do it better than anything else.

The message is that things need to change.  #NowIsTheTime.

Stuck On Stupid

The vast majority of Americans support real gun control legislation, are not in favor of deporting millions of non-citizens, and think that wife-beating and sexual abuse are simply unacceptable.

Yet the Republicans ignore us, ignore the facts and twiddle their thumbs.
  • They've been bribed by the NRA, and their fake president manages to yammer for 20  minutes about Parkland without once saying "gun."  
  • Senate Republicans are dragging their feet on protecting Dreamers and the DACA program, while their feckless leader's own anti-immigration "plan" garnered the least votes of any proposal.  
  • And after his his knee-jerk defense of the physical abuse of an ex-staffer, it took the Pussy-Grabber-In-Chief nine days before he could feebly proclaim that he's "opposed to domestic violence."  (Ooh, what a stalwart statement!)

On these issues and basically everything else, Republicans are stuck on stupid.  They kowtow to a select minority while they stubbornly refuse to represent us, their constituents.  They stick to their own stupid policy position no matter what may result from it (including the slaughter of school children).  They're just all kinds of wrong, and they'll never change.

So there's only one thing to be done with the GOP:  Vote them all out!  It starts now, this year, and will continue to 2020 and beyond.  These weenies are afraid of the NRA?  They ought to be afraid of us!