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Trapped and depressed…

I’m now in the sixth week or so of being trapped in the house, unable to go anywhere, no longer living the life I had been used to. Even in this highly medicated, lonely situation I’ve had two smaller seizures which means I probably won’t be allowed to drive or bicycle or anything in 6 months as the doctors had specified (there’s a state law!) I have to go seizure free for half a year and they will assume the meds work.

They don’t.

“Don’t you have any friends who want to take you somewhere?” says my wife on her way to work. I make a couple of phonecalls, get answering machines, and still don’t hear from anyone. I used to be able to drive around Shepherdstown and visit folks at The Folly and at Mellow Moods or walking up and down German Street. Now I just sit and think about it.

A depressed man sitting on a benchIt is so depressing.

“Don’t you do crossword puzzles?” my Mother asked the other day. I don’t. I don’t want to. I read and write this blog and endured endless hours of news programs showing Romney’s gaffes – not as entertaining as they originally were.

So here I am waiting for my cell phone to ring, or waiting for e-mail to arrive or for someone to knock on the door wanting to see how I was doing. Unfortunately, I no longer think it will happen.

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A message received from Michael Moore:

I don’t know if you are on Michael Moore’s mailing list. If not, I’d like to pass on a couple of things I received from Michael this morning re: the Aurora shootings and guns in general. It’s quite long, so I have condensed it as best I could:

In modern times, nearly every nation has had a psychopath or two commit a mass murder, regardless of how strict their gun laws are – the crazed white supremacist in Norway one year ago Sunday, the schoolyard butcher in Dunblane, Scotland, the École Polytechnique killer in Montreal, the mass murderer in Erfurt, Germany … the list seems endless.

And now the Aurora shooter last Friday. There have always been insane people, and there always will be.

But here’s the difference between the rest of the world and us: We have TWO Auroras that take place every single day of every single year! At least 24 Americans every day (8-9,000 a year) are killed by people with guns – and that doesn’t count the ones accidentally killed by guns or who commit suicide with a gun. Count them and you can triple that number to over 25,000.

That means the United States is responsible for over 80% of all the gun deaths in the 23 richest countries combined.

——–

People like me will say this is all the result of the U.S. having a history and a culture of men with guns, “cowboys and Indians,” “shoot first and ask questions later.” And while it is true that the mass genocide of the Native Americans set a pretty ugly model to found a country on, I think it’s safe to say we’re not the only ones with a violent past or a penchant for genocide. Hello, Germany! That’s right I’m talking about you and your history, from the Huns to the Nazis, just loving a good slaughter (as did the Japanese, and the British who ruled the world for hundreds of years – and they didn’t achieve that through planting daisies). And yet in Germany, a nation of 80 million people, there are only around 200 gun murders a year.

So those countries (and many others) are just like us – except for the fact that more people here believe in God and go to church than any other Western nation.

———

So – why us?

I posed this question a decade ago in my film ‘Bowling for Columbine,’ and this week, I have had little to say because I feel I said what I had to say ten years ago – and it doesn’t seem to have done a whole lot of good other than to now look like it was actually a crystal ball posing as a movie.

This is what I said then, and it is what I will say again today:

1. We Americans are incredibly good killers. We believe in killing as a way of accomplishing our goals. Three-quarters of our states execute criminals, even though the states with the lower murder rates are generally the states with no death penalty.

Our killing is not just historical (the slaughter of Indians and slaves and each other in a “civil” war). It is our current way of resolving whatever it is we’re afraid of. It’s invasion as foreign policy. Sure there’s Iraq and Afghanistan – but we’ve been invaders since we “conquered the wild west” and now we’re hooked so bad we don’t even know where to invade (bin Laden wasn’t hiding in Afghanistan, he was in Pakistan) or what to invade for (Saddam had zero weapons of mass destruction and nothing to do with 9/11). We send our lower classes off to do the killing, and the rest of us who don’t have a loved one over there don’t spend a single minute of any given day thinking about the carnage. And now we send in remote pilotless planes to kill, planes that are being controlled by faceless men in a lush, air conditioned studio in suburban Las Vegas. It is madness.

2. We are an easily frightened people and it is easy to manipulate us with fear. What are we so afraid of that we need to have 300 million guns in our homes? Who do we think is going to hurt us? Why are most of these guns in white suburban and rural homes? Maybe we should fix our race problem and our poverty problem (again, #1 in the industrialized world) and then maybe there would be fewer frustrated, frightened, angry people reaching for the gun in the drawer.

——-

Those are my thoughts about Aurora and the violent country I am a citizen of. Like I said, I spelled it all out here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jGtAcDefHg).Those are my thoughts about Aurora and the violent country I am a citizen of.  I’m in if you are.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@MichaelMoore.com
@MMFlint
MichaelMoore.com

Ferdinand Porsche, designer of the 911 Sports Car, dies at age 76.

Porsche, who went on to found a consumer products design firm after creating the 911, died Thursday in Salzburg, Austria.

Porsche’s grandfather had designed the original Volkswagen Beetle in Germany in the 1930s  and his father went on to build the Porsche motor empire.

As a child, “Butzi” – as he was known to his family and business associates – enjoyed designing and building his own toys. He studied at the Ulm School of Design before joining the design department of Porsche.

The Porsche 911 was designed in 1963 and went on sale in 1964, as a rear engine vehicle that cost  US$5,500.00. The automaker debuted the seventh generation 911 late last year.  It now sells for about US$115,000.

Porsche headed the company’s design studio from 1962 to 1972.

Great Britain forces Monsanto out…

This is from Musicians For Freedom, a blog out of Denver, Colorado.

 

Earth First News Monsanto Co. said it’s leaving Britain due to opposition to genetically modified foods.

Monsanto is closing its operation in Britain because of opposition to GMO foodsMonsanto is closing its operation in Britain because of opposition to GMO foods

Officials at Monsanto — a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation and leading producer of genetically engineered seed — said the company is closing its wheat growing operation, based in Cambridge, which employed 125 people, and selling off crop-breeding centers in France, Germany and the Czech Republic, the Daily Mail reported.

Monsanto made its decision public shortly before the British government’s final announcement on the prospects for GM food, and after research in Britain found GM farming would have long-term negative impacts.

Three studies conducted for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found pollen contamination would spread far further than previously believed, “feral” growth of weed killer would persist for years and the heavy use of chemicals associated with these crops could wipe out some species of birds.

The government’s findings involved hundreds of public meetings and 37,000 questionnaires. Ninety-three percent of respondents said not enough was known about the long-term effects of these foods on health, and 86 percent said they would refuse to eat the GM food.

OK… that’s Germany and Britain who are protecting their population. Why in hell aren’t we?

Germany Decides Genetically-Modified Foods Are Not Welcome

German chemicals giant BASF is closing its biotech division in Germany. The move was prompted by massive resistance to genetically modified food among both the public and politicians. GM opponents are jubilant, while some researchers are complaining this is another case of German hostility to technology.

Harry Shearer turned me on to a fascinating story!

Curious about one of the ways the Roman Catholic Church earns its income?

RT4_Keynote_Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer pointed it out this weekend on Le Show, and this article is circulating the globe:

From The Times of India:

BERLIN: Germany‘s biggest Catholic-owned publishing house has been rocked by disclosures that it has been selling thousands of pornographic novels with titles such as ‘Sluts Boarding School‘ and ‘Lawyer’s Whore’ with the full assent of the country’s leading bishops.

The revelations weer made in the publishing-industry newsletter Buchreport concern Weltbild, a company with 6,400 employees. It is Germany’s largest bookseller after Amazon and wholly owned by the Catholic Church.

Buchreport revealed that Weltbild’s massive assortment of titles available to customers online includes some 2,500 “erotic” books with unmistakably lewd titles including ‘Call Me Slut!’, ‘Take Me Here and Take Me Now!’ to name a few.

The publisher’s website also pictures the titles’ lascivious dust jackets that feature colour photographs of scantily clad women in high heels and erotic underwear.

On Friday, Carel Haff, Weltbild’s managing director, was quoted as saying that the revelations had provoked “a very intense and critical dialogue” within the company.

He said discussions were under way about possibly limiting the assortment of titles available in future. Catholic bishops responded with a statement claiming that “a filtering system failure” at the publishing house had allowed the books to stray on to the market.

“We will put a stop to the distribution of possibly pornographic content in future,” they said.

But Bernhard Muller, editor of the Catholic magazine PUR, dismissed the clerics’ reaction as grossly hypocritical.

Certainly a 6400 worker company that is 100% owned by the Church is not operating in the dark… they must know what they sell.

I don’t know if this is funny or just pathetic.

Thanks to NPR I’ve found out that I’m at least 1% Neanderthal…

clipped from www.npr.org
This year was a good year for Neanderthals. Yes, they did go extinct about 30,000 years ago, but scientists now say their genes live on — in us.

Scientists also found a 40,000-year-old finger in a Siberian cave that apparently belonged to an unknown human-like creature. And hair from the corpse of a 4,000-year-old hunter revealed his blood type and a predisposition for baldness.

What made these discoveries possible was DNA, which is becoming biological science’s window into the past.
This year a team of scientists brought together by the Max Planck Institute in Germany actually decoded the billions of DNA segments extracted from Neanderthal bones. It was the culmination of years of research into retrieving intact, ancient DNA from the bones of humans and their ancestors.
“We estimate that about one to four percent of the genetic ancestry of non-Africans is from Neanderthals,” says David Reich, a geneticist from Harvard University and a member of the research team.
blog it
I guess in order to have this mix of species there had to be, at some point 40,000 years ago, some romance (by this I mean sex) between Joe Neanderthal and Sophie Sapiens, or some other mix.
They also found out that aside from Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens (us) there was likely a third species that we don’t know much about.

 

Doesn’t this make your New Year brighter?

I am more and more depressed with the idea of Republicans taking over the House…

…so I am reprinting this article from gawker.com because it made me feel better:
clipped from gawker.com

Dog Gives Birth to 17 Puppies, All Survive, Are Cute

A dog in Germany gave birth to 17 healthy puppies! They were bottle-fed because “their mother’s nipples could have never coped with the demand,” which is a set of words I never expected to read in an AP article.

Send an email to Max Read, the author of this post, at max@gawker.com.

blog it

What IS it about dogs that cheers up the gloomiest thoughts? I notice that Chevrolet is selling trucks with a TV commercial called “A Chevy and a Dog”, with retrievers being the lure to get buyers into the showroom.