Have Kids? Want ‘Em? It’ll only cost you $245,340 per child   Leave a comment

That’s what a recent study done revealed.

A child born in the United States since 2012 will cost a middle class family $245,340. Adjust based on your own income but this figure actually went DOWN from the $250,000 it was ten years ago.

Both figures factor all of the following:

  • Prenatal Care
  • Infant Formula
  • Diapers
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Healthcare
  • Clothing
  • Education

Of course, the only thing that doesn’t account for is the most important aspect: Love. Anyone with kids will tell you: You can’t put a price on love ^_^

The Michael Brown Shooting and the Poorly Attempted Police Coverup   Leave a comment

 

You all know the story by now: On Monday, 18 year old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Police Officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The teen, who was with a friend was unarmed and walking to his grandmother’s house when the (currently) unidentified officer fatally shot Brown, who was supposed to attend his first day of Collage on Tuesday. In the days since the shooting, one thing has been made clear: The Ferguson Police Department doesn’t want anyone to know what really happened.

Two Washington Post journalists covering the goings-on in Ferguson were minding their own business in a McDonalds when police entered the restaurant and detained them for 45 minutes. Ferguson Police’s heavy-handed responses to demonstrations demanding answers and transparency has attracted the world’s attention. Late Wednesday night, authorities used tear gas to disperse demonstrators. In what I can only call a twist of irony, many Gaza citizens have been giving tips to Ferguson demonstrators on how to avoid the effects of tear gas via social media.

The phrase that has been gaining momentum over the last 48 hours to describe what’s going on in Ferguson is “Police State”. I just call it a poorly covered up killing.

Let’s review the facts as known by the people who witnessed Brown’s death firsthand:

  • Michael Brown and his friend were both unarmed when they were approached by police.
  • The officer involved in the shooting initiated and escalated the encounter.
  • According to Brown’s friend, the officer said to him (Brown) “I’m gonna shoot you.” when he detained him and pointed his gun at him.
  • Fearing for his life, Brown got into a physical altercation with the officer, who was still in his car so he could get away.
  • The teens attempted to fleed the scene. According to Brown’s friend, Brown said to him “Just keep running.” Another eyewitness said Brown had gone almost 20 feet away before the first shot was fired, hitting him in the chest.
  • Realizing he’d been shot, Brown raised his hands above his head and turned around, saying “Don’t shoot!”
  • According to the almost 30 people who witnessed the shooting, the officer ignored Brown’s offer to surrender and shot him to death.

That’s a rough outline of the events as currently available to the public. It is interesting to note ALL of this information is based on multiple eyewitness accounts by those who witnessed the shooting. As of this blog’s writinng NONE of the witnesses have been questioned by investigators. They are talking to the media, however. It goes without saying Brown’s friend is the star witness.

One thing I will concede for now is we do not know if Brown’s fingerprints are on the gun that killed him. That’s the giant X-Factor in this. If they are, that changes what the officer could or could not be charged with. If not…well, this will be a slam-dunk court case. CNN is reporting the Internet Vigilante Group known as Anonymous has released the name of the officer who shot Michael Brown. I have seen the name of the officer allegedly involved but for obvious reasons, I’m not going to release that information here. That said, CNN has decided against releasing the name yet until his identity is verified.

If I was the lead investigator, the first thing I’d have done is supoena EVERYONE involved and interview them at the scene. It also seems the police departments in St. Louis and the surrounding communities need to be retrained. No doubt you’ve all seen pictures like this:

 

 

And this:

 

 

And finally this:

 

Like I said earlier, the term being thrown around is “Police State”. As CNN pundits have been talking about for the last hour this morning, there has been a slow but steady buildup of arms of Police Departments all over America in recent years. This isn’t to say Police shouldn’t be prepared to handle any situation. After all, a well-trained doctor with good intentions can be just as dangerous as a cop worker with bad intentions. It’s all about how they’re trained to use the tools they have at their disposal.

Let me use the Boston Marathon Bombing in my next example. As I reported last year, I went to ground zero the next day to take pictures and see the memorial. What jumped out at me once I got off the train at Back Bay station was the sheer volume of law enforcement. There were police on every corner of the area as well as Humvees most would expect to see in Iraq or Afghanistan. On the night the suspects were hunted down in Watertown, MA images like these revealed to Americans just how well-armed their Police Departments were:

 

As one Afghanistan Vet tweeted regarding the Police response in Ferguson put it, soldiers don’t roll that deep. The locals over there don’t like it when you come through their neighborhood heavily armed just for show. Neither do American citizens.

The difference between what’s going on in Ferguson and what happened in Boston/Watertown is the way I see it, the police presence was justified in Boston/Watertown. The site of the bombing was technically an international crime scene due to the international citizens who ran the marathon and the fact one of the dead was a Chinese national. We knew the suspects were armed and we knew they weree very dangerous. The facts don’t dispute that.

In the case of Ferguson, what we have is the blatant and systematic infringement of the rights of ordinary citizens. Not even the press is safe as has been reported. If things continue at the rate they’re currently going, we might see the U.S. Military forced to step in to help restore order. I say that because it’s pretty obvious the police are the wrong people for the job.

 

The many faces of Brendan Aurabolt   Leave a comment

All of these pictures of me were taken between 1996 and last Monday I took almost all of them myself. I have one question I want everyone to give an honest answer to but before I ask the question, let me introduce you to some of my selfies:

 

Preparing to head outPicture 001Webcam Stills 010HNI_0081HNI_0074

The following are pictures I frequently use on various websites. Some of you are probably very familiar with them:

 

HNI_0070 HNI_0079 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Webcam Stills 011 IMG_0015 IMG_0011 IMG_0175

 

Now here’s my question:

Which group of pictures has a better chance of being used by the media if I get arrested or murdered?

 I think you and I both know the answer so we’ll leave it at that.

If not for what happened in Missouri the other day, I wouldn’t have even considered sharing the first group of pictures. This is the first time ever that I’ve shared those pictures with ANYONE. Until this post, my own family didn’t even know they existed save the first one. I actually meant to delete them but forgot over time.

Given the way the media likes to portray black men on TV and Movies, I’ve decided to present this post as an open challenge to the WordPress Community: Reblog this post with the question above, the hashtag below and see what happens.

#IfTheyGunnedMeDown

ISIS to America: Bring It On   Leave a comment

CNN just read ISIS’ (the Islamic State is Iraq and Syria, also known as just the Islamic State in Iraq) answer to the U.S. airstrikes against them overnight.

“You are cowards. Don’t send your drones but send your soldiers. We will humilate them like we did in Iraq. God willing, we will humiliate them everywhere and God willing, we will raise our [ISIS] flag above the White House.”

Unrealistic goal yes, but needless to say they got our attention.Just three months ago, folks were on the fence about weather letting ISIS take over Syria was a good idea. At the same time, Congress was floored when Iraqi soldiers broke ranks and fled Mosul at the sight of ISIS. It goes without saying Iraq is a failed state. ISIS controls almost a third of both Iraq and Syria.

This isn’t like 20 years ago. 9/11 changed the game.

Now, the U.S. is in a difficult position. American assets on the ground aside (beceause that’s half the reason the airstrikes are happening, the other half to stop a potential genocide), it does have a strong partnership with the Kurds in the northern part of the country. That’s where the American consulate is, in fact. At the same time, the Iraqi army was trained by the U.S. Military and we know what happened 3 months ago.

According to some Kurdish representatives who’ve been speaking to the media, this could open the door to the Kurds and the Iraqi armies uniting to take on a common enemy. This would be the best-case scenario as it will also open the door to true reconciliation and an inclusive government in Iraq. It sounds like a long shot but ISIS has made it clear anyone who doesn’t conform to their ideology is fair game. No one disputes that. Remember: Even Al Qaeda said ISIS is too extreme for them.

That’s saying something XD

Speaking of ISIS: When they took Mosul, they took the American Military assests that were in the city and have integrated them into their army. I use the word army unquoted because even U.S. Intelligence has stated their movements in Iraq and Syria are more in tune with an army and not terrorist fighters. Many of them have fought in the conflicts in the middle east over the last 14 years. They’re not your run of the mill guerilla fighters. These guys are battle-hardened fighters and they mean business. They have tanks, armored personnel vehicles and surface to air missile launchers from their gains in Iraq.

The way they operate, they’re an immediate threat to all the countries in the region. And they know it. By “they” I mean both the countries and ISIS. As CNN has been saying all day, ISIS fights like an army. It will take an army to beat them. While doubtful a combined Kurd-Iraqi will be enough even with U.S. air support, hopefully they can slow them down long enough for some of their neighbors to join the fight.

The only way I can see U.S. Troops getting pulled in is if ISIS takes all of Iraq, all of Syria and then moves on Turkey and Iran. If that happens, terror groups operating in the region will be emboldened and further destabilize the region. The U.S. and Europe will have no choice to send in the troops and then you’ll have your third Gulf War in 30 years.

Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen.

The forums are ready   Leave a comment

SA_Banner

Click the banner to see the new forums.  Heh, I almost forgot to turn the board back on before I made this post. I haven’t posted anything on the reset board yet but I’ll add the obligory rules and stuff like that sometime tomorrow.

As of right now, the forum’s good to go. After this post, all updates and news that have to do with the forums will ONLY be posted on the forums.

Ok I’m going to bed now. In the morning, I’ll talk about the recent developments going on in Iraq.

Ok so for real, the Serene Adventure Forum’s getting purged   Leave a comment

For only the 6th time in my entire life, I’m ashamed of something. Mostly since I’ve had this forum for 7 years. On five separate occaisions–4 on the forums and once on thie blog–I said I was going to clear out the foruns. Looking at the way it looks now, I didn’t go far enough.

So I’m going delete everything on the forums and rebuild it from scratch. That includes ALL of the members with three exceptions though I’m sure they know who they are. I’ve just sent a mass email letting folks know to bookmark the forum’s URL if they haven’t in preparation for the purge. If they want to come back, they’ll have to make new accounts.

The member purge serves two purposes. For one, except for the three people I have in mind none of them have posted anything or haven’t posted in years. The other is although I’ve been lucky and never had a problem with bots, I’d rather not take any chances one of the 48 accounts is really a bot.

Right now the forum’s offline but it should be back online within the next 90 minutes. I don’t expect things to take any longer than that ^_^

The Decline and Fall of The Simpsons: Rape jokes in Springfield   Leave a comment

brendan2k5:

When will folks wake up and stop giving Seth McFarline attention?

Originally posted on 140 characters is usually enough:

simpsons family guy crossover

Picture the scene. A beloved cartoon character, one pretty-much recognised the world over, re-enacts one of their most recognised routines for the benefit of a character from a newer show, a show which is entirely founded on ripping off the original. The other character responds by making a joke about rape.

Actually, you don’t need to picture the scene. If you have a mind, (or better again, half a mind,) you can go to YouTube and watch the trailer for the forthcoming “The Simpsons/Family Guy” crossover.

Bart Simpson and Stewie Griffin prank-call Moe’s Tavern, something Bart has done for a quarter of a century or more now. It’s one of the most familiar routines on TV at this point. Bart phones Moe Szyslak, asks for a customer with an unusual name and gets Moe to shout that “name” to the amusement of the patrons of his seedy bar. Moe then goes…

View original 687 more words

Posted August 2, 2014 by Brendan Thomas in Uncategorized

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 265 other followers

%d bloggers like this: