Monday, June 29, 2015

Chris Squire: 1948 - 2015

by Larry Simons
June 29, 2015

Co-founder and longtime bassist for the progressive rock band Yes, Chris Squire, died Saturday at his home in Phoenix, Arizona from acute erythroid leukemia at the age of 67.

Squire was the only member of Yes to play on all of the band's 21 studio albums from 1969 to 2014. Squire wrote or co-wrote many of Yes's biggest songs, including "Owner of A Lonely Heart", "The Calling", "We Can Fly", "Rhythm of Love", "It Can Happen", "Leave It" and "The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be".

Squire's diagnosis of acute erythroid leukemia was only a short 6 weeks ago. He will be replaced on tour by former Yes bassist Billy Sherwood.

Here is my tribute to Squire

"The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be" (Squire on lead vocals)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

If We Are Going to Start Banning Flags That Represent Racism And Slavery, Let's Start with the American Flag

The Confederate flag actually has no racist roots

by Larry Simons
June 27, 2015

In the wake of the massacre that took place in a Charleston, South Carolina church on June 17, in which nine black people were gunned down as a result of a lone gunman's mentally deranged act, the Confederate flag has now come under fire once again because the shooter, Dylann Roof, posted several pictures on a website of him holding a Confederate flag.

Retail stores like Wal-Mart and online companies like Amazon have announced that they will no longer sell items with Confederate flags on them. Other companies like Target and Sears have followed suit. Even Apple has announced it will no longer sell video games depicting the civil war because the Confederate flag is pictured in the games. How absurd.

The governor of South Carolina has announced the Confederate flag will be removed from their state house. Other politicians like President Obama, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush have stood in support of the flags' removal. Obviously, it appears that an overwhelming majority of Americans are clueless about the history of the south and the Confederate flag. Most people erroneously believe that the Confederate battle flag is rooted in racism and slavery. How can this be [since the Confederacy only lasted a mere 4 years and slavery and racism preceded the Confederacy long before the Civil War began]?

The fact is that the Confederate flag represents the "southern cause". That is, ideals based on upholding the original Constitution of the founding fathers. It represents the Jeffersonian promise of states rights, small government and personal freedom, all of which Lincoln abhorred.

There were three national Confederate flags: The first national, second national and third national. These three flags have never been in the center of any controversy because none of these flags were ever used by hate groups. Only the Confederate battle flag has been in the center of debates because it has been used by hate groups. But one must ask themselves: If a symbol is used by a hate group long after that symbol originated, does that make the symbol itself one of racism? Of course not.

Using that same logic [that symbols are racist and hateful because they are used by hate groups/racist people] then we must conclude that the American flag is a symbol of racism and hate as well, since the American flag was the symbol of the United States government that sanctioned slavery from 1789 [when the Constitution was adopted] to 1865 [when the 13th amendment abolished slavery], Supreme Court decisions denying runaway slaves their freedom, the US Government's enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act [which US Marshals were ordered to return runaway slaves to their owners or face fines], imprisonment of Japanese-Americans immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands [maybe even millions] of Indians between 1789 and 1890, countless illegal wars throughout the last two centuries, the failed war on drugs, segregation in the 1960's...the list goes on and on.

Also, the US flag was the very flag that flew on the masts of all American slave ships and as the pictures below show, the same flag used at white supremacist/Neo-Nazi rallies and KKK rallies. Where are the cries to ban the sell of merchandise that depicts the US flag or to remove it from the grounds of government agencies? Where is the outrage and claims that the US flag is a symbol of racism and intolerance?

There is a far longer history of racism and intolerance under the US flag. After all, the Confederacy lasted only 4 years and was never created as a symbol of racism in the first place. As stated above, the Supreme Court of the United States, represented by the US flag, ruled that runaway slave Dred Scott was a non-person in 1857 and refused to grant Scott his independence, yet Americans still honored the American flag in the aftermath of that racist ruling. Why? Simple, because to rational, thinking people, the US flag is not a symbol of intolerance and it's use by bigoted groups does not make it a symbol of racism and hate. But, using the logic of deranged liberals, the banning of the American flag should be the next logical step.

The fact remains that the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern heritage that includes all races. All races fought for the Confederacy and helped build the South. The Confederate army consisted of 1 million European-Americans, 300,000 to 1 million African-Americans, 70,000 Native-Americans, 60,000 Latin-Americans, 50,000 foreigners, 12,000 Jewish-Americans and 10,000 Asian-Americans.

For those who claim that the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism simply know nothing about Southern history. The flag represents a heritage of strict constitutionalism, states rights and the pride of once standing up to a centralized government of protectionist tariffs and the quest for the American system by a tyrant, as Jefferson himself said it was the duty of all Americans to "throw off the old [tyrannical] government  and start a new one" in the Declaration of Independence. Nothing is more American than that. On the other hand, nothing is more un-American than what Lincoln did, commit treason per the Constitution [Article 3, Section 3] by levying war against the states.

Those who claim the Confederate flag is a symbol of slavery love ignoring that the United States government put its stamp of approval on slavery long before the Confederacy came into the picture. The Confederacy had slaves, yes, but so did the North. Slavery was legal in 1861, so Southerners were not violating any laws. In fact, they were abiding by them. But Lincoln and his armies violated the Constitution by invading states.

Another interesting fact: When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 to "free slaves", it only applied in the areas where Lincoln knew slaves would not really be free [in the Confederacy], but did not apply in the four slave states not in rebellion [Maryland, Kentucky, Delaware and Missouri], Tennessee, parts of Louisiana under Union occupation and the counties of Virginia that would soon become the state of West Virginia, a state illegally created by Lincoln.

My point: Lincoln is revered as a great emancipator, yet he did not free any slaves in any states or areas under his control. This, of course, was another act of the federal government in which slavery was sanctioned and yet many still idolize Lincoln and the flag which represented the legislative body that kept slavery in tact. Southerners simply obeyed that sanctioning [of slavery] and yet they get labeled racists? It was not Southerners that made slavery law. It was not Southerners who had the power to end slavery and refused to. That was all the work of our own federal government, and yet the flag that represents that government has always been honored and respected.

Pictures of the shooter, Dylann Roof [above], surfaced on a website where apparently he posted a manifesto. Pictures show Roof holding Confederate flags, as if the flag itself caused Roof to commit 9 murders. In the photos, Roof is also wearing a Gold's Gym shirt. Where are the calls to ban Gold's Gym items, or to shut it down? Using the logic of brain dead liberals, Gold's Gym could have been Roof's meeting place to discuss his plan to assassinate people. Why isn't it being shut down? In another photo there is a Seagram's VO mirror above his bed. Where are the calls for the halting of sales of Seagram's VO products?

Yes, it's insane to blame Gold's Gym and it's insane to blame Seagram's whiskey, and it's equally insane to blame the Confederate flag. If Roof had any knowledge of Southern history, he would have known that African-Americans fought for the Confederacy. So, if he loved the Confederate flag, then he would have respected the lives of the ones he gunned down, for there is a real good chance that the victims' ancestors fought for the freedom that Roof enjoyed before his heinous act.

Roof's crime stemmed from two things: his profound mental health issues [that no liberal ever likes to discuss] and racism. Roof's racism does not emanate from the Confederate flag any more than his mental illness emanates from it, and if the Confederate flag did influence his racism, then he clearly is ignorant of Southern history.

As stated earlier, companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon has stopped the selling of Confederate merchandise because like every politically correct issue that erupts into controversy, companies acquiesce out of fear of vilification or that they may be labeled racists. It's pure insanity. Interestingly and hypocritically, Amazon stopped the sale of Confederate items, but they still sell items with swastikas [a symbol that actually is the representation of a political party that slaughtered millions of Jews].

Even if the Confederate flag was originated in racism and hate, why can't non-Southerners get past that and still respect the flag as they respect the American flag despite the mile-long list of US government atrocities? Adam Dick, writing for the Ron Paul Institute, puts it best when he said:

"Why is this so hard for so many people to understand? All sorts of Americans revere the American flag even though they don’t agree with everything the US government has done. An American Indian may cherish the American flag, not defining it as a representation of a government that slaughtered his ancestors and drove them from the land on which they lived. A liberal may cherish the American flag, not defining it as a representation of a government that does not guarantee single-payer health care, a $15 an hour minimum wage, and gay marriage. A conservative may cherish the American flag, not defining it as a representation of a government that imposes too much taxes, is soft on illegal immigration, and allows abortions. A libertarian may cherish the American flag, not defining it as a representation of a government that engages in endless offensive wars, mass surveillance, and the war on drugs."


He also writes, "The “racist” label can be affixed to the American flag just as it can to the Confederate battle flag. The histories of the governments associated with both flags provide plenty of ground for arguments supporting the label’s applicability. Yet, each flag is cherished both by people who abhor racism and by people who embrace racism. If the Confederate battle flag must be taken down because of the history of the government with which it is associated, then why not take down the American flag as well?"

If this madness continues, where will it end? Jimmy Carter's great-grandfather, Littleberry Walker Carter fought for the Confederacy. Do we now ban images of Jimmy Carter? Will talk shows and colleges now ban him from coming and speaking?

We are now finding out that President Obama's great-great-great-great grandfather, George Washington Overall, owned two slaves who were recorded in the 1850 census in Nelson County, Kentucky. Also, Obama’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Duvall, also owned slaves. Do we now demand that Obama resign because his family owned slaves?

You cannot just pick one thing [like the Confederate flag] and ban it because it may or may not have associations with racism and hatred. You have to go all out and ban everything that does as well. The fact that everyone is hopping on the hypocrisy bandwagon and zeroing in on the Confederate flag and completely ignoring issues that actually have merit [like Amazon still selling Nazi/swastika items and the fact that the US flag is associated with countless atrocities] is the ultimate red flag that there is a much more sinister motivation behind this by the left [and even some of the right].

I fear that sinister motivation is in the form of trying to indoctrinate the already dumbed-down American population that secession is treason, states rights does not exist and that slavery originated in the South. None of which could be further from the truth.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Vincent Bugliosi: 1934 - 2015

by Larry Simons
June 12, 2015

Former Los Angeles County district attorney and best-selling author Vincent Bugliosi, died of cancer last Saturday at the age of 80. Bugliosi successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials without a single loss. His most notable case, the Tate-LaBianca murders saw a successful prosecution of Charles Manson.

In 1974, Bugliosi wrote of the Manson murders in the book Helter Skelter, which went on to become the #1 best selling true crime book of all time. He went on to write 11 more books in his lifetime, which included my personal favorites, "Outrage" about the O.J. Simpson murders, "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder" and "Divinity of Doubt", his final book.

I was a big fan of Bugliosi's work and his stance on religion. He was a staunch agnostic. Although I did not agree with his stance on the Kennedy assassination which was the basis for his book, "Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy", I was still a huge admirer of his work.

He leaves behind his wife of 59 years, Gail and his two children, Wendy and Vincent Jr.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pat "I'm Officially Insane" Robertson Tells A Grieving Mother the Death of Her 3-Year-Old Baby Could Be "A Good Thing"

Because the baby "could have grown up to be Hitler"

Larry Simons
June 11, 2015

OK, I have officially had it with this walking sack of human excrement the world calls Pat Robertson. Just when I think this mentally retarded shitbag could not possibly utter another vile and unfathomable comment, holy shitballs, he does it again. It is really quite amazing how this deranged fossil can repeatedly outdo himself over and over again.

Recently, on the 700 Club, a viewer emailed the show to ask Robertson what she would tell her co-worker who had just recently lost her 3-year-old baby and was mourning its loss, as to why a good God would let her baby die.

The email stated:

"A co-worker confronted me in the break room and said she can't believe in a God who let her baby of 3 years old die---suffering a long battle in and out of hospitals---while he heals other children. She asked me, "Why did God allow my baby to die?" I told her that I don't know why her child died, but God sees the whole picture, we see only in part. What else can I say?"

Robertson's response? Are you sure you're ready?

"What you have to the Old Testament it was like, God's responsible for everything. He brings out the bad, he brings out the good. He's responsible for everything. More and more in the New Testament era we have come to realize that human beings have an agency, they have responsibility. And a lot of things happen because of what humans do. People die in hospitals because of medical malpractice. Somebody cuts the wrong thing and somebody dies. It happens all the time. A nurse gives a patient the wrong medicine. Well, are you going to blame that on God? That's not God, that's people who are making mistakes. 

As far as God’s concerned, He knows the end from the beginning and He sees a little baby and that little baby could grow up to be Adolf Hitler, he could grow up to be Joseph Stalin, he could grow up to be some serial killer, or he could grow up to die of a hideous disease. God sees all of that, and for that life to be terminated while he’s a baby, he’s going to be with God forever in Heaven so it isn’t a bad thing. So, how could God do that? How could a good God let that happen? Well, the good God is gonna take that baby to heaven right now and that isn't a bad thing."

I would be utterly appalled at these words if it weren't for the fact that Robertson says shit like this so often, it starts to lose its shock value after 12, 13, 14 or 15 times. Don't misunderstand me at all, it's still appalling for a so-called "Christian" person to tell a grieving mother that the death of their baby is a "good thing", but for Robertson's standards, it's the norm.

Let's break down his insanity, shall we?

First, he starts by suggesting that God changes [from Old to New testaments] from being responsible for everything to being responsible for nothing [odd since the bible says God is unchanging]. He mentions this to suggest that maybe the woman's infant child died because of human error [by the nurse], not anything God did or failed to do. This, of course, is also bullshit since using Pat's logic that God is in the business of exterminating lives before they do evil, why didn't God just exterminate the nurse's life before her error cost the baby's life? Robertson's warped logic here falls in line with the plethora of insane comments he has made in the past, like abortion being the cause of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 being caused by gays and lesbians.

What kind of logic [or lack thereof] suggests that God is not capable of possessing the wisdom to end the life of a nurse before their error causes the death of a baby, but rather end the baby's life instead because they might commit acts of evil as an adult? Is not God all-powerful? Does he not have the ultimate power to control human events? In Robertson's warped and frightening mind, obviously not.

One major flaw in Robertson's view of how God operates is when he suggests that the baby died in order to prevent it from becoming the next Hitler or Stalin, so others would not perish as a result of evil committed by the toddler in the future. Robertson fails to mention that God didn't kill the actual Hitler or actual Stalin when they were babies, and yet they grew up to slaughter millions of people.

Why didn't God kill the people responsible for 9/11 when they were babies? Oh, that's right Pat, I forgot. He allowed those perpetrators to live and become adults because God knew in the future he would need the attacks of 9/11 to happen in order to blame gays and lesbians for the attack, when [using Pat's logic] God could have just exterminated the gays and lesbians themselves when they were babies and spared the lives of innocent people who died inside the towers.

Why didn't God exterminate Charles Manson as a baby? Why not kill baby O.J. Simpson? Why didn't he exterminate the two teens who murdered the kids at Columbine in 1999? Why didn't God kill baby Ted Bundy? Baby Jeff Dahmer?

I could literally sit here all day and think of names of famous people who have committed acts of evil and violence, who God spared so that they could kill others. But this wouldn't matter to the likes of Pat "I died 25 years ago but don't know it yet" Robertson, because this mentally ill fucknut will still be wheeled out by his 700 Club staff for the sole purpose of spewing his venomous bile to his zombified followers.

And that is the most amazing thing of all, that this colossal brain damaged slug still has people who turn on their TV sets to seek his advice. Why? Imagine the state of mind it requires to actually want guidance from this cretin---to actually turn on the TV set and listen to this on purpose. I can't imagine it. I literally cannot imagine a scenario in which I would think any facet of my life would improve after listening to this man.

I will tell you the truth why this woman's baby died. Because everything happens by chance and there is no one controlling human events. It's the very same reason why you'll run into a mean and nasty person who is 95, but a very sweet, loving and kind person who never spoke a harsh word to anyone is tragically killed in an auto accident at age 18. It's a crap shoot, totally random.

It's why a person who curses God makes a million dollars and the one who has faith in him is poor. Randomness. Nothing more, nothing less. It has nothing to do with "God making the person poor to test their faith", etc. Absolutely nothing. Anyone who tells you that or believes it is fooling themselves.

It's the same reason why my grandfather died at age 36 from leukemia when he had great talent, was a great man, wonderful father and husband, who was liked by everyone and had 6 young children left without a father for the majority of their lives while others live to be 75 or 80 who accomplish nothing and have nothing to live for. Because no one is in control and everything is random. There is no rhyme or reason to anything. Robertson knows this and so do all Christians. They just fool themselves into believing the opposite.

Robertson should have just said, "I'm sorry for your loss. I don't have the answer." But no, not Robertson. To give a response like that, you have to have a conscience first.