Tuesday's HOT MIC
More from Live Action:
On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of Rep. Trent Franks’ Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would be an abortion ban after 20 weeks. Lawmakers passed the measure on a 237 to 189 vote.
Similar legislation passed the House in 2015, but the measure was then blocked in the U.S. Senate. Franks, who announced last month that the bill would go to the floor for a vote, said Democrats and Republicans should unite on a bill that provides a “bare minimum” protection for children.
“We can all agree a 20-week-old fetus who feels the torturous pain of being slashed, or cut in two, should not be killed,” Franks wrote.
If this makes it all the way through it would barely put the U.S. in line with "liberal" European countries.
What will be most interesting is seeing if the usual GOP suspects who have been blocking health care reform will decide to admit there is a world of difference between the Republicans and Democrats when it comes to abortion or if they will once again natter on about "bipartisan solutions." There are no such things on this issue, as the Democrats have spent years opposing any restrictions on abortion whatsoever.
Mediocrity rewards failure.
In the immortal words of the commercial: "That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works."
Well -- I just found out that it's not hard to find the leaked photo of the dead gunman online.
I happened upon the grisly picture by accident while searching for news about Stephen Paddock on Twitter. The photo does suggest that he committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth or head. If you ever wondered what that looks like, now you can find out -- but the pic is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Why this outpouring of blaming white guys for mass shootings? Newsweek's John Hatliwanger finds significance in statistics showing white males commit the majority of mass shootings.
Statistics show that since 1982, the majority of mass shootings — 54 percent — were committed by white men, according to data from Mother Jones. Black people were the second largest perpetrators of mass shootings based on ethnic background, but only accounted for roughly 16 percent of the total incidents during the same time period.
The average age of the shooters was 35, however, making the perpetrator in Las Vegas, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, somewhat of an outlier. It is too early to say if mental illness played a role in Paddock's case, but it has in a number of mass shootings, though it is perhaps too frequently pointed to as the primary cause.
Other research suggests white men commit mass shootings out of a sense of entitlement.
James Holmes, for example, had failed out of his PhD program when he opened fire in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Dylann Roof was unemployed when he gunned down nine people at the end of a prayer service in a Charteston, South Carolina church.
“There’s a feeling of entitlement that white men have that black men don’t," criminologist James Alan Fox told The Washington Post in 2012. "They often complain that their job was taken by blacks or Mexicans or Jews. They feel that a well-paid job is their birthright. It’s a blow to their psyche when they lose that. . . . If you’re a member of a group that hasn’t historically experienced unemployment, there’s a far greater stigma to [losing a job] than those who have."
But others say it's hard to point to any single factor in terms of why white men have comitted most mass shootings.
I know we're 36 hours past the shootings in Vegas and it's getting harder to find a new angle to write about, but this? White privilege as a motivating factor for mass shootings?
So white males commit 54% of mass shootings - a small percentage of murders committed across the US. On the other hand, this FBI Unified Crime Report on murder in 2016 shows that 36% of murders were committed by blacks while only 29% by whites. Considering the much smaller percentage of the population that's black compared to white, aren't those numbers at least as concerning as the percentage of white mass murderers?
I hearken back to the brilliant wisdom of Sgt. Buster Kilrain of the 20th Maine in the movie Gettysburg. Kilrain was discussing the issue of race with Col. Joshua Chamberlain and was asked what he thought of blacks as a race.
"Any man who judges by the group is a pea wit," observed the crusty Irishman. Welcome to the Pea Wit Club, Mr. Haltiwanger.
Pictures from Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock's hotel suite are beginning to emerge online.
In one of the photos, a note can be seen sitting on an end table.
UK tabloid the Daily Star claims to have more graphic images -- including a closeup or the killer's face "with blood pouring from his mouth" -- but has chosen not to publish those.
There are many reasons for this Stephen, but I'll just hit a couple.
First and foremost, comics aren't allowed to develop as much as we were in the '80s. The amount of stage time available to a younger comedian now is a fraction of what it was then. Before I went on the road I did open mic for five or six nights a week. The sets were anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes long. A young comic now might get two nights a week in the beginning and each of those sets are only 3-5 minutes long. The adage about stage time is the truest thing in stand-up. A young comic not getting enough of it may never reach anywhere near his or her potential.
The mediocre political jabs you mentioned are a HUGE problem in stand-up these days. Political comedy is not easy, and most comedians should never wander anywhere near it. I have been both a professional comedian and a very involved political activist since the early '80s and I barely do any political humor on stage. When I do, I try to make it subtle. These days my Facebook news feed is filled with my lefty comic friends who I know for a fact to be funny but who are now just spewing a few variations on a theme about Trump. They all mistakenly think they're being humorous. If I read the stuff for more than a few minutes I want to throw bleach in my eyes just so I can feel something again. Sadly, the power seats of the entertainment industry are so committed to being lefty propagandists that this mediocrity is rewarded just because it toes the party line.
The other reason that stand-up isn't edgy anymore is because of political correctness. Comedy is/was one of the last bastions of free speech but the PC police have made a lot of comedians skittish. Thankfully, I am not. My entire comedic raison d'être has always been to make people laugh at things they don't want to laugh at. They leave my shows having laughed a lot but wary of hanging out with me. There are few comics out there still who have zero you-know-whats to give. Who knows-they may go old school and start arresting us. I don't care. Jail isn't that bad. They feed you and you don't have to make your bed.
I like meeting new people too.
A wave of education funding cuts hit Connecticut cities and towns on Monday, forcing them to freeze spending and consider tax increases as the state moves into its fourth month without a budget. In the absence of a state budget, state education funds to Southington would be cut by $20 million, or 14% of the town’s annual budget, he said. “Nothing will be unscathed.”
After failing with lawmakers to agree to a budget at the start of the fiscal year in July, Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, signed an executive order to keep state operations running. But the order can only provide funding based on the state’s current revenue projections. That required cuts to municipal aid in excess of $900 million, most of which fell on education funding.
The Malloy administration has said the solution to avoid painful spending reductions is to pass a budget as soon as possible. Some of the cuts can be reversed, but that will require a fully enacted budget. Reaching agreement on how to close a two-year $3.5 billion deficit has been difficult.
Connecticut could use a little scathing. So many useless initiatives have been added that the Nutmeg State is now facing a financial black hole that can only be addressed by rolling back much of the "progressive" agenda of psychobabble spending that has corrupted the old Land of Steady Habits.
That Ben Berkon thing I posted last hour was meant to be cute, but it's actually depressing.
My first taste of standup was back in the late '70s, sneaking listens to comedy albums I had zero business listening to at age eight, nine, ten: Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, George Carlin. I don't think I had reached 12 years old before I had Carlin's Seven Words You Can't Say on TV routine down pat.
Plus watching Johnny Carson (PBUH) on Friday nights when I could stay up late, and getting treated to guest appearances by David Letterman, Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling when they were all in their prime and seriously funny.
And of course SNL -- the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players.
In the '70s standup was dangerous and gut-busting. In the '80s comedy exploded so wide it seemed there was an Improv (or at least a Chuckle Hut) on every corner. By the '90s, every comedian was trying to get (and often getting) their own sitcom.
With few exceptions (I hope Kruiser is reading this) most comedy just isn't that funny anymore. "Edgy" means repeating the day's lefty talking point with a smirk or a raised eyebrow. The observational humor pioneered by comedy's giants in the '60s and '70s today seems like little more than observing how much some people suck and/or are evil. Carson's stiletto wit gave way to Leno's generic laffs which gave way to Jimmy Kimmel's weepy lectures.
There are exceptions, I know -- but they seem few and far between.
Maybe the club scene is still sharp, and what we're "treated" to on TV just isn't a good representation of 21st Century standup. I certainly hope so.
Kruiser, help us out here?
In case you were wondering whether the Democrat IT scandal had reached peak weirdness yet, the answer is no.
Not by a long shot:
In related news, the MSM continues to be curiously uninterested in this mind boggling story.