On the F Train with Superman

Goodbye, Superman

When you live in New York long enough, you get to run into just about everybody.

I remember in the mid 80’s, I was on the F Train heading uptown to meet some friends, and this guy got on at West 4th Street. Thought nothing of it… except two girls sitting next to me were going ga-ga over him. Sure he was a good-looking guy and really tall, but he was dressed like a regular guy with jeans, a baseball jacket and a backpack.

Like a typical New Yorker, he put one foot on the door, grabbed the strap and watched the lights out the door window.

One of the girls whispered to the other in a half-giggle “Superman”, and I gave him a double take.

Holy shit! It really WAS Christopher Reeve.

He smiled at the girls (as he heard it too) and gave me a nod “hello” as I’m staring at him with my head askew like a confused puppy.

And after what I’m sure was an uncomfortable eternity for him waiting for his stop, he got off at 34th Street.

A memory that played over and over in my head as I heard the sad news of his passing today. When I was picked up from work today, my son had the saddest look on his face and said “Daddy, did you hear Superman died today?”

Then I told him the story about meeting him on the train.

All day long I couldn’t put a word on how I felt today.
I finally figured it out an hour or so ago:


I admit I haven’t given Christopher Reeve a lot of thought over the years. But I do know that if it were me who broke his neck nine years ago and were condemned to live trapped in a body that didn’t work…

… I would have wished I had died right there on the spot.

He accomplished a lot in the last few years, fighting for causes, directing, writing a book; But I bet he would have given anything to just run free in a meadow with his arms wide open. Just once. Probably dreamed about it all the time. You can’t put a price tag on that.

Rest in peace, Chris.

P.S. A full-sized wallpaper version of “Goodbye Superman” is available in my Gallery over at Animotions

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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Just…have an affair without me, why don’t you?

You know, nothing irritates the hell out of me more than a married woman having an affair…

… and I’m not the damn guy she’s having it with.
Continue reading “Just…have an affair without me, why don’t you?”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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This is what America is all about

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
President Theodore Roosevelt (A Republican President, btw… and a damned good one too.)

Happy Birthday America!Last year I had a graphic of Wonder Woman amid fireworks. She was blowing a kiss and the caption read “Happy Birthday America: YOU ROCK!”

The response for the year ahead was followed by a lot of “How dare you”, “Traitor”, “Un-American” and all sorts of fun stuff from the typical hateful right wing of the blogosphere.

I’m ashamed of a lot of things going on here these days. I’m ashamed of the direction our current administration is taking. I’m ashamed of the ugliness that my fellow countrymen have displayed for all the world to see. I’m ashamed of the fact that the only bad reviews of Fahrenheit 9/11 are by those who haven’t seen it. (Okay, well, Spiderman2 was much better, I admit it, but that’s not the point.)

… but one thing I won’t be ashamed of is being an American.

Quite frankly, I love this country very much and can’t think of a better place to be. It was the ideals signed into a declaration 228 years ago today that set this country apart from any other nation, with freedoms that came with a heavy price for generations to come.

I find myself thinking about the Declaration of Independence today, along with my fellow patriots.

I also think about the hatred and ignorance tearing that document up before our eyes. The paranoia of a faceless enemy causing us to snip out parts of the Bill of Rights “for our own good”.

Being against the war in Iraq doesn’t mean you wish ill on our troops. Disliking the President’s economic policies doesn’t mean you hate your country. And dissent certainly isn’t Un-American…

… hell, it’s about as American as you can get!

I’m all for kicking terrorist’s ass… I’m all for seeing Osama bin Laden’s charred corpse hanging off the Brooklyn Bridge. Seeing the animals beheading hostages get a taste of their own medicine (with a rusty hacksaw of course)…

But somehow, somewhere I feel we lost our focus between Afghanistan and Iraq… and I hate to see the price we’re going to pay for that.

Was ANYONE against troops going into Afghanistan and handing Osama his ass? No. So how did anyone who wanted to continue going after him and not waste our time with some tin-pot dictator like Saddam become “Antiwar hippies” and “liberals” anyway?

How can New Yorkers see the switcheroo take place, watch the man who slaughtered our loved ones walk free… and think that’s ok?

But I have faith in America, and will get through the dark times. There’s an innovation and a “can-do” attitude here like no other country’s ever had. And it’s all because of the ideals and dreams signed into reality on July 4th, 1776.

As hard as I’m trying here, I can’t say it any better than George Paine of Warblogging.Com did today:

You asked if any of my relatives were killed in the “9/11 Situation”. I am a New Yorker. I lost people I know in the World Trade Center. I spent a week — an entire week — in Union Square mourning with my fellow New Yorkers. I helped a Buddhist monk try to locate a Tibetan who was lost in the Trade Center, because if he did not determine whether he was dead or alive within 72 hours he would be unable to pray for his reincarnation. I cried with my fellow New Yorkers. I inhaled the concrete, the ash, the pulverized bone of my fellow New Yorkers. I watched the towers fall before my very eyes, not through a television screen. I inhaled people….
I am not a liberal, and I am not anti-American (not that those two things have anything to do with each other). I am, if anything, a Libertarian. I believe that everyone has the right to do whatever they want as long as it does not infringe upon anyone else’s right to do the same. I believe that the power of the state should be as limited as humanly possible. I believe that state power, necessarily, comes as a result of the reduction of your power and mine.

You have to read the rest. You really do…

Call me whatever derogatory names you wish. Let the brainwashed NeoCon sheep equate my dissent and questioning the status quo as hatred for my country. Let the bleeding heart liberal assholes call me racist or not being P.C. because I’m not “sensitive” enough to Iranian Idiots. I hate you both. You’re the same people on the opposite ends of the spectrum.

100% All-American - Don't question my patriotism again.
Fortunately, we live in a country where you’re free to say this things to me . But just remember that freedom goes both ways.

Our founding fathers gave King George the bird once, and I’m ready to do it again.

And if you don’t like it, or the fact that I will use my privilege to vote against your guy… I have a free hand for you too.

That’s what America is all about. Freedom. Choices. Different ideas from a lot of different people. And a constant vigilance to make sure the liberties, rights and freedoms that make us America stay there…. not taken away from us “for our own good”.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father

Happy Birthday America.
You rock.

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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The blood of heroes part I


The way I understand it, a hero is not a person with extraordinary powers or has no fear.

Quite the opposite actually.
Continue reading “The blood of heroes part I”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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Gay Marriage II: Putting speedbumps on the Slippery Slope

Senator Rick Santorum“If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual gay sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. All of those things are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family and that’s sort of where we are in today’s world, unfortunately. It all comes from, I would argue, the right to privacy that doesn’t exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution.”
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Associated Press, 04-22-03

Ladies and gentleman… I present to you what we (in Logic-Land) like to call the “Slippery Slope“.

“The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question. In most cases, there are a series of steps or gradations between one event and the one in question and no reason is given as to why the intervening steps or gradations will simply be bypassed.”

Basically, I can argue how if I give a quarter to a pan handler, then I have to give one to all the other panhandlers. Next thing you know, I’m broke, filing for bankruptcy, turning to a life of crime, becoming a supervillan and holding the world for ransom and inevitably blowing it up.

Using that logic, yes… lending you money will bring about the end of the world. So don’t ask. :0)

So far the WORST “Slippery Slope”/”Straw man” combo argument comes from here. You just KNOW when they put either “Gay” or “Marriage” in quotations, what direction it’s going from there.

“If it is, as proponents suggest, discrimination to deny same-sex couples the privilege of marriage, then it is also discrimination to deny the privilege to anyone else who wants to get married. Right?”

Ooh…. I the crunching sound of a straw man coming…

“…’Well,’ you say, ‘who else wants to get married but is denied by the state?’Many people. And as soon as this taboo is broken, watch them line up.”

Here it comes… this is gonna be good. Wait for it…

“How long do you suppose it will be, once same-sex marriage is a reality, before brothers want to marry sisters? How long do you suppose it will be before sisters want to marry sisters? How long do you suppose it will be before brothers want to marry brothers?”



Nice set up. Lousy execution. You pick something as ludicrous and medically explainable as this???? Why do you think certain states require blood tests, moron???

Guys wanting to marry their sheep would have worked better.

My pre-canned response to this stuff is: “I’ll deal with that orange as soon as we’re done with this apple.”

Bear in mind kids, it’s not gay marriage that they have a problem with… it’s about homosexuality… period. End of story. Do not pass “GO”.

Look at the way NAMBLA, AIDS, bestiality and any other Santorum-esque comparisons/stereotypes comes up. Nothing direct in the way of how this will be detrimental to society. Just the possible repercussions from REAL freaks waiting in the wings.

They’d bitch just as loud if gays were offered platinum credit cards.

In response to my recent SoApBoX rant about Gay Marriage, a visitor writes:

While we’re, uh, “breaking out our Bibles,” why don’t you break out yours and read Romans 1:26-28 and ICor. 6:9?

(For those unfamiliar with those passages, when the “Slippery Slope” doesn’t work, these two scriptures are offered as “exclusive evidence” that homosexuality is condemned by God. Do note that they are both from Paul, “Mr. Tolerance” himself.)

I had invited this person to join us in the discussion. Personally, I KNOW I don’t have all of the answers in life. Therefore I like to learn by hearing different points of view. Here was my response. I’m posting it here for any added thoughts and for you guys to add to your arsenal…

Personally, I have mixed feelings about the Apostle Paul and his letters (epistles).

  1. Usually they were about him addressing issues going on at the time to whoever he was writing to. I’ve personally never seen them as direct decrees from God as much as his personal opinion. If we followed his every utterance, he was pro-slavery and anti-women, and he obviously felt sex was merely for procreation.I should also note that he butted heads with the original 11 Apostles (particularly Peter) constantly.
  2. They were added to the scriptures merely because they were authentic and cross-referenced with quotes from the Old Testament, which was the criteria for putting the New Testament together (thus throwing out things like The Apocrypha and Maccabees).
  3. Translators have always contended that Paul’s writings are difficult to translate from the original Greek. Many of the Greek words are believed to have been twisted to suit the beliefs of the translators too.

Romans 1:26-27 Discussion on http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc.htm brings on a wide variety of theories that he was alluding to members returning to their old Roman ways (with Paul’s opinion that homosexuality was involved in Pagan Ritual), to slave owners sexually abusing their younger male slaves.

1 CORINTHIANS:6:9 Discussion on
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc1.htm again, the Greek translation is vague. “malakoi“, which was translated as “effeminate” (KJV) and “sexual pervert” (NIV), really means “soft or pliable”, can also mean weak and easily influenced by outside sources.

Again, I still contend many of the epistles were Paul’s opinions rather than God’s will. The Bible, like any other book where you take snippets out of, can easy produce something taken out of context. While the Bible contains a wealth of knowledge and practical advice, bear in mind it was written by various men in a different time with different points of view, and they found ways to leak their opinions in no matter what God warns about adding plagues. Unless you know what they meant in the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, or you read the entire chapter to get the entire context that it was written it’s pretty easy to find something to support any claim, no matter how ignorant, immoral or politically incorrect.

Like God (or more precisely George Burns in “Oh God!”) said:
“I have given you all you need, and your on your own… just think of me every once in a while.”

Wherever the rest of this battle decides to go, it’s someone else’s fight.

A recent poll on PoliticsPA.Net has the people AGAINST a Gay Marriage Ban by almost 3 to one. I hope our elected officials are paying attention.

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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An open letter to Landover Baptist Church

From: Eric Brooks <moi@ericbrooks.com>
To: pastor@landoverbaptist.org
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 7:44 PM
Subject: The Gospel of Landover Baptist

I just had to tell you how hard I’ve been laughing just reading two months of your letters. Landover Baptist, as well as Betty Bowers and Whitehouse.org, are some of my favorite sites for biting satire… and watching these brainwashed sheep not seeing the hypocrisy of their own churches is hilarious beyond words.

Being a veteran (survivor) of bouncing around several churches, I get and appreciate your humor more than you’ll ever know.

Next time these Fundie Bible thumpers call your site a “disgrace” or “the
worst they’ve ever seen”, go send them over to Fred Phelps’ place (Or his America loving site).

Have YOU accepted Jesus as your Lord and personal buddy?
Whatever you’re doing to piss these people off…KEEP IT UP! Maybe they’ll start to think (no promises, but here’s hoping.).

Yours in Buddy Christ,

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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The Passion of the Rosenbergs

Given my last name, it’s quite common for many people to assume I’m Jewish.

This is because, in decades past, many people changed their names to common Anglo-saxon last names because names like “Finkelstein”, “Goldberg” or “Rosenbaum” carried a death sentence and persecution in certain parts of the world.

It really never phased me. And when you find salesmen offering you better deals and bargains… you never seem around to get around to correcting their assumption either. :0)
Continue reading “The Passion of the Rosenbergs”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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Apocalypse Now!

I was reading an amazing piece of research on Frontline about Apocalypticism.

Basically, it’s about the Apocalypse, The Book of Revelation, the Second Coming… and how it’s all taken on a new meaning in the past century or so. Particularly with the FundaMENTALists… which was founded on the most embarrassing screw-up in recent history.I'm watching you.

Why should any of this interest you?
The future of the world depends on it.
But not in the way you think I mean.

Starting with an in-depth look at the Book of Revelation, you need to understand the settings to understand it. It’s not about some futuristic vision, it was a rather prosaic and symbolic writings by St. John the Divine. Theologians believed him to be THE Apostle John (you know Jesus’ favorite?), now a 90 year old man in exile on the island of Patmos who had just survived torture by his Roman captors by pouring boiling oil on him.
Continue reading “Apocalypse Now!”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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Clinton Saves the Pledge of Allegiance

Despite the fact that the phrase “under God” was added to the pledge in 1954 to show those “godless commies” who WE had on our side, the controversy still continues.

I suppose if it was always in there, I can understand why people are upset, but it isn’t.

The only problem is, removing it makes some kind of a bump and throws the rhythm off. Rather than remove it, we need to put something in its place… something that says: “Hey this is America!”

George Clinton and kids practice the new pledge of allegiance.
Thanks Dr. Funkenstein!

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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Empathy (or the lack thereof)

John Coffey
Don’t mind me gang, I’m just having another “John Coffey moment” here.

One of the things that has always amazed me on the web is the complete lack of ability and/or social skills some people have when it comes to relating to a situation, or put themselves in someone’s shoes. No matter how much of themselves a person puts out there… you can always count on an idiot coming along with a clueless remark that simply screams “I just don’t get it”.

Do people NEED to go through a divorce to understand the pain involved?
… or lose a child? Lose a parent? Be stricken with a crippling disease? Raped? Unemployed? Railroaded by the court system? Conned? Cheated? Loneliness? Fear? Discrimination? On the verge of being homeless?

How hard is it to hear a cry for help, and not feel something unless it’s happened to you at some point in your life?
Continue reading “Empathy (or the lack thereof)”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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What’s Wrong with Gay Marriage? (Explain it to Me Like I’m a Six Year Old)

SoApBoXSeems to be the hot topic this month. Unless you’re living under a rock these days, you’re seeing a lot of elected officials literally breaking the laws of their town and marrying gay couples.

It’s called “civil disobedience”, America. You see it a lot just before a major revolution takes place, and everything you now know is considered “wrong” by the next generation. Our parents went through it with Segregation.

The time for gay marriages has come.
Get used to it.

I’m still waiting for a rational, logical reason why it shouldn’t be.

Does it make you feel uncomfortable? Hey, that’s ok. That doesn’t make you a homophobe in my eyes… we all have our comfort zones.

However, it does strike me as a little irrational though.

  • How does this threaten you?
  • Or, more to the point, how is what two consenting adults decide to do any of your business?
  • Do you have any gay friends?
  • Do you feel that there is some reason that they shouldn’t have the same rights to be happy as you do?
  • Do you want the government interfering on which ways are acceptable for porking your wife, or raising your family?
  • Then why do you want it done to someone else?

Think about it.

Allow we a second to debunk a few lame justifications I’ve heard so far:

“We’re trying to protect marriage”
From what, Domestic Violence? Infidelity? Marital Rape? Broken Homes? Incest? Divorce? Us heteros are doing a bang-up job there without your help. Thanks anyway.

How is this threatening anyone’s marriage? Unless there’s some insidious plot by the Fairy Cabal of HOMODOM© that you know about, that is going to issue Lavender mind-controlling Gay-Rayz suddenly turning my wife into a raging bi-sexual and threatening to destroy our Sacred Institution® by introducing another woman into our bed and…

Hmmm… where was I?
Uhm yeah, like I said… DON’T WORRY ABOUT US. :0)

“Gay people want special rights”
BZZZZT! Wrong. They want EQUAL rights. They want the same rights to be as happy as the rest of us. No more. No less. (You get extra credit for the nice play on words, though.)

The handicapped pains in the asses of our society? THEY want SPECIAL rights.
See the distinction?

Gays aren’t asking for special ramps, the best parking spaces, or to make a busload of people endure a 20 minute procedure of a driver loading his gimpy ass in, when tossing him a rope or asking them to hold onto the bumper real tight will do.

“Gays cannot procreate, therefore they contribute nothing to our civilization’s survival”

  1. Gays *can* procreate, bucko. They may feel icky and need to shower later, but their parts work just fine. Trust me. I can also think of at least two real-life instances of people who after raising a family, threw out their abusive spouses and went totally gay and lesbian.
  2. By not “contributing to our civilization’s survival”, I assume you don’t count literature, movies, theater, music, philosophy, mathematics, politics… stuff like that?

And my personal favorite by the same people that blamed 9/11 on Pagans and Queers (but not Capitalists, bad foreign policy and War Profiteers)…. *DRUM ROLL*

“Sodom and Gomorrah”
Oh here we go… God rained hellfire on two cities because they were “flamers” to begin with. Did I get that right?

OK, break out your Bible and turn to Genesis 18-19 (and for you non-religious types, we have the “Sinner’s Edition“)

  • Where does it say ANYWHERE in those two chapters that Homosexuality was the cause of God annihilating Sodom and Gomorrah?
  • Before you give me a roundabout answer about the mob looking to gang rape the two angels that your pastor gave you… well, God made up His mind long before that, didn’t He?
  • Ask your pastor why he keeps leaving out the part about what the “righteous” Lot does with his daughters in the same chapter… he didn’t know he knocked both his daughters up?
    Uh huh. Sure.
  • Can we agree this is NOT the best chapter to preach “morality” from?

Besides Reverend Mykeru taking the Bible and giving some ignorant newspaper editor a taste of her own fundaMENTAList medicine… or Kare’s evisceration of the Moonie-funded and factually-groundless world of the Concerned Women for America (CWA)

…there’s an excellent and insightful discussion on ReligiousTolerance.Org. Who knows? You may learn something.

Most religious liberals are are faced with the inescapable and rather surprising conclusion that the condemned activities in Sodom probably had nothing to do with sodomy. As one Christian editor wrote: 'To suggest that Sodom and Gomorra is about homosexual sex is an analysis of about as much worth as suggesting that the story of Jonah and the whale is a treatise on fishing.'

There is ironic aspect to this passage that is rarely discussed: God seems to condemn the citizens for insensitive treatment and harassment of others. But, this is the very passage that many conservative and some mainline Christian faith groups use to attack gays and lesbians.

Some people like ketchup on their burgers, some like mayonnaise, some like bbq sauce. There seems to be no “wrong answer” there. Some differences and preferences seem “ok” in our society.

Me? I like Arby’s “Horsey Sauce” on mine.
Try and take that pleasure away from me, and I’ll kill you.

Oh, I’m sorry. This was about YOU giving me a rational answer about your opposition to Gay Marriage.

I’ll be patiently waiting for your reply in my comments.

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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EvilMarty® 2004 World Tour

I’m bored.

Anyone who has known me for longer than 10 minutes knows that can ony mean one thing:

Mischief and Mayhem.

Ok, that’s two things. Sue me.

As everyone knows, usually some evil twisted bad guy/gal becomes that way because of a tragic unjust miscarriage of justice in the antagonist’s past that scarred him/her forever….

In my case, it’s because nobody ever trusted me with a Flat Stanley. You know the cute little paper guy that gets mailed around the world and everyone takes pictures with him.

Well, nobody let me play.

(Everyone: “AWWWWWW…..”)EvilMarty®

Anybody up for some Photoshop fun?

I propose we circulate EvilMarty®. Flat Stanley’s no good, welfare recipient, beer guzzling cousin from the trailer parks…

I’ll make the Photoshop PSD, and we can circulate him around notorious crime scenes, mass murderers and politicians. Post it in your blog, and ping me.

Then we can have a vote, and the winner will get a premium copy of LotsaFonts! on CD.

*holds back tears* *sniffles*

Then maybe… just maybe, I’ll find something else to blame for my sorry state of bitter bastardhood be a better person.

(Everyone: “AWWWWWW…..”)

Would you do it for me?

Continue reading “EvilMarty® 2004 World Tour”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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Supporting the Troops… are we just talking the talk?

All politics aside…

Misty brought up an excellent point about “Supporting the Troops” in my comments recently. Yeah, we all say “We support the troops” (whether you’re for or against the war in Iraq)… but have you given any thought of what it means?

Are we just waving a flag, and talking about it? Or are we actually DOING something to show our gratitude to those who are putting their lives on the line for our country?

I, for one, am very leery of a lot of these online donation places. It’s brings back too many sad memories of all of the September 11th charities, many of which were nothing but a scam. Well-meaning people opened their hearts and checkbooks just to make some heartless con artist richer.

Some tips from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette

    Why not go straight to the source?

  • Marine Corps Community Services – Support our troops: Supplies a list and suggestions what you can do to show your support. It lists places like Operation: USO Care Package, and The Gift of Groceries Program (Helping a soldier’s family out in the rough times is probably the greatest support of all).
  • Sgt. Hook’s CIF Warehouse – (via Blackfive) – Sgt. Hook is a blogger, deploying to Afghanistan:

    “All proceeds will go to the Sgt Hook morale fund which will be used to help keep morale up for my soldiers once we get to Afghanistan. I’m hoping to have a BBQ each weekend we are there so that they can enjoy a little down time and count down ’52’ BBQs until we are mission complete. ”

    The reason I’m linking to his entry, rather than directly to his cafepress site is because I think the better bet is to hit his “donation” button… which is probably what I’ll do next payday.

You can probably check with your local Salvation Army, American Legion/VFW Post and other places to see if they are doing any drives like the two that Amy Riben did here in the Poconos, which were wildly successful.

    Besides Misty’s question, a lot of recent stories have really brought this issue to mind:

  • Mistake proves costly for widow of hero Marine – Besides losing her husband, a career military man in 1999, a bureaucratic snafu now finds her credit ruined and she’s being garnishiered back money from her benefits. The story broke my heart, and I’ll keep you posted on what’s being done to help her.
  • Community support pours in for ailing vet – Here in the Poconos, we are proud to count Harvey Possinger as our own. He is the highest decorated WWII vet living, and a campaign is now in effect to have him awarded The Congressional Medal of Honor… with a pension owing him over $100,000…

    Which he can badly use right now, as he has fallen on hard times. The community has been pouring in donations to this hero recently. He’s not out of the woods yet… but at least he knows how much he is loved.

    It’s the least we can do for him.

    If you’d like to help him, or send him a card of thanks… his address is in the article.

  • A touching letter to the editor today (Scroll down) – in which a reader praises a Dunkin Donuts owner that just donated 2 cases of coffee to her nephew’s unit in Iraq. Coffee is in short supply out there.

It’s easy, even trendy these days, to say you support the troops. No matter how you feel about who is in office, or why troops are in combat, these men and women deserve our support and gratitude no matter what.

But sometimes words aren’t enough. It doesn’t keep a soldier company on a lonely night of patrol, it doesn’t keep them entertained when there’s nothing to do, and it doesn’t keep them from missing home.

To Sgt. Hook, his unit, and all of the brave men and women of the armed forces… we pray for you, wish you the best, and hope for a safe return home when your job is done.

Thank you.
You’re making a difference.

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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Blogs, media, and the gullible American public

An interesting USA today article caught my eye from a few days ago:
Freewheeling ‘bloggers’ are rewriting rules of journalism

Please read it first, form your opinion, and then come on back here and read what I think… let’s discuss this as I’m interested in your thoughts.

Eric thinks…
It’s about change. Or more to the point, how technology is changing the rules on how the games are played. It’s a by-product of the American media failing to inform us, as we have to turn to outside international sources to know “what’s REALLY going on”.

It makes me wonder how much faster it would have expedited Watergate, or changed our views on Oliver North, John Poindexter and other “heroes” of the Iran/Contra scandal, or Reagan’s conroversial remarks at Bitburg. Surely it arrived in time at the tail end of the Clinton/Monica scandal (which could have saved Ken Starr a small fortune of the taxpayer’s money.) And it would have been a great laugh to see rightwing pundits criticize Clinton’s air strike on Osama bin Laden, calling it a “distraction from Monica”, and be able to throw 9/11 in their face three years later (if they were stupid enough to keep it in their archives).

While it’s true, I think Blogland played a major part in the Trent Lott fiasco becoming a (rightfully) bigger issue than it would have normally been…

… I still think bloggers shouldn’t let this new-found power go to their heads though. Blogs are just what it is… a one-sided perspective of the writer’s opinions. It’s not “Facts” or “Gospel Truth”. Don’t flatter yourselves.

It’s op-ed columns, not “objective journalism”. There’s a difference. There is still the need to use legitimate news articles to link to and form opinions. Weblogs are not going to replace news sources… but maybe this will help journalists and editors of the “liberal media” find their balls again.

It will play a large part for Washington, and its out of touch politicians to get an idea of what the people think, and it will change the way campaigners will “play the game” in order to get elected. To me, this article read as a “wake-up call” to folks like Karl Rove and Joe Trippi.

What will it do for our policies? Nothing much. Bloggers will never have the contol over Capitol Hill like lobbyists will. The worldwide protest and outrage against going to war in Iraq is evidence that “money talks”, and that’s the only language that the New World Order understands.

(Update: It appears L.A. City Beat seems to agree with my assessment too.)

Like Trent Lott, bloggers will make sure the Nigerian YellowCake/Valerie Plame fiasco won’t just fade away either.

And much like our administration’s need to operate in secrecy, rule through irrational fear of a faceless enemy, bully the media, and keep the public from asking “why?”… bloggers with alternative views still have internet bullies like The InstaPutz and his followers to keep them in line.

Ask Electric Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow. (InstaPutz post)

Let the bloodshed begin…
Like I said, either way I win. :0)

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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Where hatred ends and humanity begins

Rarely do I agree with Michele these days. However I do respect her. She’s an excellent writer and this is one of those times where an emotional post *should* override politics and agendas.

Yeah I admit it. I’m no fan of the Iranians. I’m programmed to hear the word “Iran” and think of the 1979 hostage crisis, Ayatollah Khomeni calling America “The Great Satan”. All that fun stuff. The hilarity of last April didn’t help either with Sayed and Blogshares. They hate me. I hate them back. No problem.

Hating people back certainly doesn’t bring a solution in the long run (unless the goal is genocide or total annhilation), it’ll go on for generations. It brought to mind an old episode from The Jeffersons about bigotry and compassion. George Jefferson (a black man) saved the life of a white supremacist who suffered a heart attack, while getting in a mad fervor and inciting a mob against him.
Continue reading “Where hatred ends and humanity begins”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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A very brief year in review

I am so.f**king.tired….

Please forgive me gang, I don’t have the energy to do another New Years Eve extravanganza like last year.

…and I may be wrong… but I think a lot of people want to let 2003 go quietly off into the night anyway.

I sure as hell do. It wasn’t a “great” year, by any stretch of the imagination, but it was certainly better than the two that came before it. Have I mentioned how friggin’ tired I am?
Continue reading “A very brief year in review”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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GOP Wars: A New Hope

Jedi Teddy
I know. I know….
I swore I was shutting up about politics.

But check it:
Republicans For Dean
(Hat Tip: Wacky Neighbor)

And yes… it’s for real. It’s run by Dennis Sanders of ModerateRepublican.Net.

“Moderate Republicans believe in community, compassion, pragmatism, common sense, political-fellowship, and, most importantly — intellectual honesty. “

Continue reading “GOP Wars: A New Hope”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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Mission Accomplished… uhm, again

From triumph to cockfight in a matter of hours
…Or how the NeoCons in America can screw up a wet dream

Perhaps I can explain my stance with a little parable.
They seem to work really well when we needed to take already-scrambled American brains filled with trauma and fear and justify totally irrelevant points in the past:

A man whose family was murdered by a maniac received a call from the police:

“We got him! Come on down to the police station.”

Excited and seeking closure, he arrives only to see a different face in the lineup.

“Mr. Jones”, the police officer asks, “can you identify the man who mugged you ten years ago?”


The officer goes on to explain that the mayor has put high priority of apprehending this suspect. He’s wanted for a wide number of crimes, including murder, rape and armed robbery, and it’s the hopes of the mayor’s office to get him off the streets with Mr. Jones’ testimony.

“Right there. Number two”, Mr. Jones points. Very puzzled and dissappointed.
“What about the man who killed my family?”
“We haven’t found him yet, sir.” The officer replies, feeling his pain.

Mr. Jones leaves the stationhouse with mixed feelings. A dangerous criminal will now spend the rest of his life behind bars, but it still feels like a cheap second-hand consolation prize. Still carrying that hollow feeling inside and no hope for closure.

He still feels the police are doing an excellent job, but he thinks the mayor is a total asshole.

It certainly didn’t take long for the joy and jubilation of one less tyrant on the loose to turn into an immature “Hey, let’s go piss all over the anti-war folks!” gloatfest.

Led by none other than Glenn “IstarePugnant” Reynolds himself. He turns to his Coalition of the Clueless, instills in their empty skulls that Democrats and anti-war blogs are “devastated” by the news of Saddam’s capture (I have yet to read one site where Saddam’s capture was construed as “bad news”.), and yesterday’s news somehow justifies invading a country on pretexts of “WMD” and being a clear and present danger to the United States, and makes it all “worth it”…

Oh wait, the warbloggers had their doubts, so then it became about mass-graves, and rape rooms…

Oh wait, now that we got Saddam, he’s gonna crack, so it’s back to the weapons again…

Just when we were all laughing at Glenn for his questioning of why a protest with Iraqi commies wasn’t all over the American news (Original post), he has this to divert everyone.

Lucky him.
Yes. Followers of Glenn are truly the “InstaPutz-es”. Always good for a laugh. Somehow this little immature rightwing “gloatfest” is now supposed to sway us all to vote for Bush.

Uh huh.

Let’s step out of “fantasy land” for a minute…

    What Saddam’s capture means:

  • The end of his reign of terror over Iraq
  • Will boost the morale of our armed forces who have accomplished something fantastic.
  • Humiliation of yet another “hero” of the Islamofascists, and proving he’s a coward, just like the rest of the “tough talkers” in that region who shut up once they’re staring down a barrel of an M16
  • Checks to suicide/homicide bomber families are going to bounce from now on
  • Possible information to the rest of his operatives, and a slim chance of vindicating the Bush Administration with the location of the mythological Weapons of Mass Destruction
    What his capture DOESN’T mean:

  • An end to the insurgents killing American troops (If you think they’re fighting *for* Saddam, I have a bridge in Kirkuk to sell you)
  • End of the war
  • Troops pulling out any time soon. We’re in this one for the long haul.
  • Any way shape or form letting the U.S. and U.K. off the hook for a war based on faulty/fraudulent information (dare I say LIES?)
  • The end of the Democrat’s chances of winning the Presidency (Are you kidding? There are PLENTY of other reasons not to vote Bush in 2004)
  • Making us any safer from Terrorists here or abroad

Osama bin Forgotten Just curious, does anyone even REMEMBER this repulsive piece of shit over there on the right? Anyone? I understand September 2001 was a long time ago for internet-based Americans, but… World Trade Center?
Pentagon? Flight 93?

“Let’s Roll”…?
Ahhh, your pupils twitched, it’s all coming back now.

When did Osama and Al-Qaeda stop becoming important?
Until Osama bin Laden is captured (or killed), then I’ll consider the blood of some 3,000 + innocent Americans avenged. Instead, we find ourselves swallowing bullshit from the Bush Administration (since Sept. 12 2001) that Saddam is the public enemy #1. $87 Billion dollars that could have gone to rebuilding Afghanistan is now going to settle old scores and set into motion a plan that even Bush Sr. thought was insane.

A war of mass distraction.

Too bad FDR didn’t have Fox News. He could have convinced us to take over Korea after Pearl Harbor… which is pretty much what we did with Iraq after 9/11 isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud as hell of our armed forces. I supported kicking the Taliban’s ass. Yet, because I thought Iraq was going to be a big mistake I’ve had my patiotism questioned, been called “Anti-American”, a “peacenik”, a “Lefty” and all sorts of names.

For NeoCons who don’t get the “Brownshirt” references that offend you so… let me enlighten you on a quote from another fine patriotic man who followed his leaders without question:

“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.
— Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials [Emphasis mine]

Sound familiar?

Let me save some wingnuts some time in the comments with some ready-made answers (not that I think their short attention spans got them even this far):

  • “Clinton didn’t do shit against terrorists!”
    1. Quite the contrary
    2. And he didn’t need that un-American “Patriot Act” to do it.
    3. Why does every criticism of Bush go back to Clinton anyway?
  • “But he was a horrible tyrant!”
    No shit! Like Pinochet? or Mugabe? or Khadaffi? or a dozen other 3rd-world tyrants? How come none of you are screaming for justice about them? Why? Because you could really give two shits less about them, just like you haven’t given Iraq a thought in almost a decade. Just stop… you’re embarrassing yourselves.
  • “But the mass graves… the rape rooms…”
    Do I look like I care? You only “cared” when your other arguments fell apart. The only time I cared was when U.S. soldiers were captured. Show me one post where ANYONE had any concerns over the plight of the Iraqis prior to Sept. 11th. I dare you.
  • “Tell me this war wasn’t worth it.”
    “The Americans promised freedom and prosperity; what’s this? Go up to their headquarters, at one of those checkpoints where they point their guns at you, and tell them that you hate them as much as Saddam, and see what they do to you,” said Mohammad Saleh, 39, a building contractor… “The only difference is that Saddam would kill you in private, where the Americans will kill you in public,” he said.

    You tell me.

  • “Oh, those poor oppressed Iraqi people!”
    Oh please! I’ve read wingnuts who call on the genocide of Palestinians, Pakistanis and Saudis all the time… what made the Iraqis so freakin’ special? Here’s a clue: What do you do when the people you are trying to “liberate” are shooting back at you? What? They didn’t get the memo?

    The poor oppressed Iraqis are certainly proving they’re willing to stand up to the most powerful military force the planet, yet they didn’t have the spine to take out Saddam themselves? They weren’t worth a drop of American blood as far as I’m concerned. I want my money back.

  • “Would you rather Saddam stay in power?”
    Nice loaded question. This guy answers it better than I ever could.
  • “Can you find hidden weapons in a country the size of California?”
    Funny. Didn’t we all call Hans Blix all sorts of names and thought three months was more than enough time for the U.N. inspectors to find something? Hipocrisy anyone?
  • “Why do we keep letting Saudi Arabia off the hook when we know they finance terrorism (not to mention most of the hijackers were Saudi)”

    Well, moron. (Let me try and use monosyllabic words for this) it’s because…
    Ok, you got me there. I’ve been asking the same question myself.

Is this about being a good American, or a good Republican?
Ok. You got Saddam, Mr. President. Congratulations.
Any chance of you thinking of the American people for the next 11 months?
Or can we have our country back now?

If wingnuts can rampage all over the web over something like this, imagine how they’ll be if Bush is re-elected. (???)

Let’s put these smug pricks back in their place next November.

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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A Community United

At the VIP pre-show party. In attendance (foreground hand on chin) is Art Zulick who was one of the candidates of the “destined to be doomed” judge’s race.
Bob Dorough’s set with an all-star cast of back-up singers.

In short, the live show was awesome. Each act was electrifying, and were ready to bring the house down at any given second.

They were initially worried about the weather and attendance, yet it was BEYOND standing room only. A success past anything the planners had conceived.

State Rep. Kelly Lewis handed out citations (the good kind) to all of the sponsors who made “The Reasons for Christmas Project” possible. (Tonight’s performance was courtesy of Aventis Pasteur).

Before presenting Hillside Inn owner, Judge Murray with his citation, Rep Lewis went into the Hillside Inn’s incredible 50 year history:

It was founded as a minority-owned establishment, back in a time where Blacks and Jews weren’t welcome anywhere else in the Poconos (why anyone would want to be Black or a Jew in the 50’s is beyond me.). It became a non-smoking facility after the Judge’s wife, Odetta, passed away from lung cancer.

The Judge’s acceptance speech, which ended with “I accepted you, and you all accepted me”, drew the crowd to a standing ovation.
Continue reading “A Community United”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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When did I become a Democrat (or even a Socialist?)

Here’s a fun little toy I found at Pete’s. For people (like me) who have no clue who they’re voting for next November, here is the SelectSmart Presidential Candidate Selector

01. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%) *
* Who is “Your ideal theoretical candidate”? This candidate adamantly endorses all of your political views. The problem is that they may not exist, unless you write-in your own name on your ballot. (Hmm… I just may do that!)
02. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT – Democrat (76%)
03. Clark, Retired General Wesley K., AR – Democrat (72%)

Continue reading “When did I become a Democrat (or even a Socialist?)”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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