Friday, November 1, 2013

Two Years of Ghost Shirt Papers

The last two years have been strange and deadly. It seems hard to believe, but on November 1, 2011, I wrote the first post of Ghost Shirt Papers. It wasn't like I hadn't done something similar before. My first effort at blogging was when I was dealing with AOL. After a while they deleted their free blog site and nearly three years worth of work, under the title, "Magic Theater" went the way of the Dodo. By the time I got here the name "Magic Theater" was already taken, so I had to improvise a little.

For those of you unfamiliar with the the term Ghost Shirt, it was a spiritual movement that sprang up among the Lakota Sioux in the late 1800's. The word on the plains was the garment, or ghost shirt, would protect a warrior from bullets fired by soldiers of the United States cavalry. As we all know, things didn't work out the way Lakota adherents thought they would.

Be that as it may, I began Ghost Shirt Papers without the slightest hope of it being read by anyone except a few friends and family members. Although in all honesty when I say family members I mean my wife. My kids sort of roll their eyes when I bring up the blog, smile faintly and say something like, we're happy for you, Dad.

Yes, keep the old man's mind occupied and Alzheimer's won't be so quick to set in.

This will be the 398th entry and right now the blog has officially taken just under 21,000 hits world wide. Unfortunately about 3,500 of that total comes from what Google says are "referral spam." In other words, none of those 3,500 hits are real. When you click on a link to some of  the sites listed in the stats you are directed to someplace that has nothing to do with anything. This nonsense is perpetrated by a gaggle of completely amoral geeks who are trying to lure you and I into looking at some bull shit nonsense by making their web sites available through "Ghost Shirt Papers."

On the other side, many, but not most of the 17,500 or so genuine hits have come out of the Oklahoma City metro area. The posts with the highest number of page views have to do with the deaths of Kelsey Bransby, Carina Saunders, and Alina Fitzpatrick. The three local teenagers were all found dead within a month of each other that fall. The gruesome Saunders' murder and Alina Fitzpatrick's death remain unsolved. One suspect in the Bransby shooting received nine years for manslaughter, the second will have her probation revoked a little later this month.

A piece about republican poobah and corporate big shot, David Siegal drew a huge amount of attention. He was the first of several beasts who sent messages to his employees before the last presidential election, telling them if Barack Obama won he'd lay all of them off and shut down his company. Obama won and Siegal, as far as I can tell, hasn't shut down anything, or layed anyone off.

Posts about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and the lead up to and trial of George Zimmerman also took in large numbers of hits. Young Trayvon was, in effect, convicted of being black, wearing a hoodie, walking in a mostly white populated gated community, and being in criminal possession of candy and ice tea. Zimmerman was cleared of any wrong doing despite breaking every "neighborhood watch" rule established by Sanford, Florida police and using a gun to end a fist fight. Martin is still dead and Zimmerman is getting a divorce.

The entries about mass shootings in Colorado, Connecticut, and the murder of the Grieco family in New Mexico drew large numbers of views. Sadly, this being America, there was another active shooter incident today. An active shooter is currently defined as any drooling psycho who arms himself better than the military of Costa Rica and then goes on to play out every lethal fantasy he has ever had.

News out of Los Angeles International Airport remains confused and preliminary at best right now. CNN is reporting one TSA guard was killed and another wounded. At this moment authorities say the shooter is in custody, but there are conflicting reports about whether he is alive, or dead. As near as anyone can tell the guy strolled calmly into terminal three at LAX and opened fire with some sort of rifle. Details are sure to dribble out over the next 24 hours.

It seems there will never be a lack of new material when it comes to well armed, crazed assholes in the United States, or the despicable goofs who insist they should be able to buy a gun when ever and where ever they want.

With a month and a half left to go before the one year anniversary of Adam Lanza's horrifying walkabout in Newtown, Slate and @GunDeaths report there have been at least 10,082 Americans shot to death. They note the actual number of "gun related" deaths is far higher.

So, on that bright note, here we go into the third year of my skewed to the left observations, which are sometimes fueled by outrage and too many times numbed by utter horror and shock. Indeed, the prospect of more murder and mayhem seems overwhelmingly imminent. The republicans aren't going to get any more reasonable, or even coherent and neither are their keepers at the NRA. Barack Obama appears to be on the ropes and public approval ratings of congress are at an all time low. Anti choice forces in Texas were just handed a huge victory by the 5th circuit court of appeals and conservative controlled legislatures all over the place are working as busy as rabid beavers to make sure no one a shade darker than Nicole Kidman can vote.

Hey, only in America, baby--the land of the free. Well, that is what they keep telling us anyway.

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

And--as 3-D Danny used to say--watch out for flying chairs.

sic vita est



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