July 16, 2019

Ghosts of the Rockies – Trailer Number 2

Much of this movie trailer is a conversation that includes Tim Kemmery about the existence of wolves, including breeding pairs, in Idaho prior to wolf introduction.

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Why Does Amazon Ban Guns, But Not Extremely Violent Videos

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos Asked to Explain Why Amazon Bans the Sale of Legal Gun Parts to Adults, but Not Videos and Games Depicting Mass Murder and Torture to Young People

Seattle, WA / Washington, DC – At Amazon.com’s annual shareholder meeting, CEO Jeff Bezos attempted to duck a question from the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Horace Cooper about Amazon’s seemingly inconsistent policies toward the sale of violent media and guns, only to face two more shareholders, each of whom expected him to answer it.

According to a National Center analysis, Amazon.com sells all of the top ten most violent movies and the top ten most violent videogames, yet it refuses to sell guns, ammunition and some gun parts.

Noting that Google, Comcast, Ebay and Time Warner Cable have also limited commerce related to guns, Cooper asked Bezos to reconcile these two policies. If Amazon.com is opposed to violence, why sell the extremely violent videos and games? If it is following caveat emptor, why not sell the guns, gun parts and ammunition?

Said Cooper at the meeting:

Mr. Bezos, a research associate with our institution developed, using data from independent third-parties, a list of the ‘Top 10 Most Violent Video Games’ and another list of the ‘Top Ten Most Violent Movies’ of all time.

Having compiled the list, and having no idea which, if any, of these products would be for sale on Amazon, she then looked to see if Amazon sells them. Guess what? It sells not a third of them, not half of them, but each and every one of them.

I won’t even tell you what is in the film ‘Cannibal Holocaust,’ but if you’re curious, you are selling it for $22.50. If you want the most violent video game, ‘Manhunt,’ you’re in luck. What Amazon describes as an exploration of ‘the depths of human depravity in a vicious, sadistic tale of urban horror,’ is not only available on Amazon, you sell ‘Manhunt 2’ as well. Apparently it is the go-to game for people who want to, as Amazon’s product page puts it, ‘execute their kills in 3 deadly threats – Hasty, Violent and Gruesome.’

Mr. Bezos, many make the argument that selling an item does not make the seller responsible for it. If a teenager plays hundreds of hours of games that consist of never-ending gun massacres, becomes desensitized to the violence, and becomes a mass killer, that’s his fault, not the fault of the retailer.

I’m not here to argue with that philosophy, but to ask: how is Amazon.com deciding where its responsibility lies? Amazon bans the sale of legal gun parts to adults, but not videos and games depicting mass murder and torture for entertainment to impressionable minds?

Guns, as I’m sure you know, are often used in self-defense. The NRA says 2 million times a year; the NRA’s opponents say the number is closer to 67,000. Either way, that’s a lot of people protecting themselves. But who benefits from learning how to strangle an enemy in a toilet while playing Manhunt?

Mr. Bezos, we do not dispute Amazon’s right to sell any of these items, but as staunch defenders of the Second Amendment, we would like to know how Amazon made this decision: Selling legal guns and ammo to adults, no; selling vicious, sadistic torture and murder depictions to adolescents, yes. What is your thinking?

Bezos thanked Cooper for his point of view, said he would keep it in mind, and otherwise ignored the question.

Other shareholders, however, stepped up.

As reported by CNET.com, “But when two other shareholders followed up with questions about violent products, Bezos responded that the company wants to improve its policing of controversial content. But he said it can’t come prior to the products, offered by third-party sellers on Amazon.com, hitting the marketplace. ‘It needs to be self-service,’ he said of the marketplace. ‘If it was gated, that would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.'”

Geekwire continues the story:

‘We have millions of millions of items,’ [Bezos] said. ‘It’s a difficult technical challenge, it’s a difficult organizational challenge to police those items.’ He promised that the company will continue working on it with the goal of making its processes ‘statistically indistinguishable from perfection.’

Unlike the labor protests faced by the company last year, the questions did not appear to be an organized effort. The third time around, a shareholder asked Bezos for the specific steps to be taken by the company. ‘Parents cannot always control what their children are doing, and I think that you hold some responsibility for this.’

Bezos pointed out the parental control features in the Kindle Fire tablets, including the ‘Free Time’ feature that lets parents control what their kids watch and listen to.

And then he told a personal story about hosting a sleepover for one of his four kids. He collected all the electronic devices before they went up to their rooms. One of the kids asked if he could keep his Kindle.
‘E Ink or Fire?’ Bezos asked him. It was E Ink, so Bezos let him keep it. ‘If he had said Fire I’d have said no,’ he said.

He concluded, ‘Policing different content … people have a lot of different opinions and what is appropriate content, what is inappropriate. This is going to be an ongoing challenge for us, and we’ll do the best we can.’

Bezos did not, however, comment on Amazon.com’s policy regarding guns, gun parts and ammunition. Nor did he actually say that Amazon.com would remove any of the most violent games or movies once it reached “statistical perfection.”

The meeting took place May 23 in Seattle.

The National Center has challenged CEOs at 30 shareholder meetings so far this year.

A copy of Cooper’s question at the Amazon.com shareholder meeting, as prepared for delivery, can be found here.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than 4 percent from foundations, and less than 2 percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Cuomo Exempts Hollyweird From State’s Gun Bans

My intention was to include the link to this hypocritical news item in my daily “No Executive Orders” post for today. Instead I’ll include it in this stand alone thread.

It appears that money talks and $#!^ walks or perhaps a bit more eloquently put, here is a fine example of how the elite ruling class make sure they take care of their own, exempt themselves from the laws intended to control the serfs and bask in the glory of the billions of dollars that rule their hopeless and worthless lives.

Because Hollyweird brings millions of dollars each year to New York’s economy, movie makers don’t have to abide by Commie Cuomo’s gun laws. What does it take to make people understand? Is it even possible anymore to get people away from their cell phones, ipads, computers and television screens long enough to think for a second or two?

If it is perceived by the majority of Americans that violence is a problem in our society, why then do we ignore those who perpetuate violence? Simple really. Money talks and $#!^ walks. In other words, the ruling class, i.e. the Andrew Cuomo and Club of Rome member Michael Bloombergs of the world, dictate to the subjects the laws, crafted specifically toward them and for them. It isn’t about gun control, it’s about human control.

Hollyweird will continue to make violent movies and robotic human forms will continue to be influenced by their glorified violence but we will continue to blame a machine for it. Ridiculous!

As the photo commentary I saw the other day said, violent movies have no mental effect on kids or humans but a 30-second Super Bowl ad for television, costing millions of dollars, is done in order to mentally effect you to go buy their product.

Not that I even thought you were here reading, but just in case, now you can return to your beeping cell phone and get that all important text message. Who knows. It may the Devil calling.

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Axed: The End of Green

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I Ate My Dog For Homework

Two things in play in our society today and one of them dominates all others. The second issue is that our society struggles to laugh at themselves and find humor in things where humor is intended to be found. The first and most dominant point of departure is hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy reveals myriad things in a society, one of which is the manifestation of people’s incompetency to make legitimate judgements about much of anything worthwhile. Hypocrisy is dishonesty and when we exemplify that we are also showing the world our anger and hatred, all of which drives our bias.

A current example playing out in this nation is the joke telling dealing with the topic of President Barack Obama’s revelation that when he was a kid growing up in Indonesia he ate dog. Do rational people care about this beyond the obvious, that either the president’s family was poor and that’s all they could afford or eating dog was acceptable table fare?

Even though I think we as a people are losing our ability to laugh, I still believe that existing in a society that considers laughing healthy, we have always had a strong yen for humor. Once, every comedian and late night talk show host made gobs of money telling jokes about presidents. We all laughed no matter who was in the White House. Of course some presidents became better targets of the quipsters, mostly dependent upon what they did or said. I even recall impersonators like Rich Little, who struggled to impersonate some presidents and then got plenty of mileage from others, sometimes by just the simple way they looked or the tone and quality of their voice. Think of the actor John Wayne, who had a distinct walk and a voice to go with it.

Today, people too often tend to limit their laughter based on political bias. This is where the hypocrisy comes into play. A joke about George Bush may make some laugh and others not, taking offense that they are being made fun of or that somehow it’s not fair. If the same comedian told a joke about Barack Obama, the roles become reversed. Don’t misunderstand me here. This hypocrisy swings in all directions and the worst kind is that coming from those who refuse to recognize it for what it is.

Let’s also be honest, if that’s possible anymore. Barack Obama is half black and half white. We have struggled as a society to get beyond racism and bigotry and as such, I’m positive in my assessment that a lot of restraint has been shown in targeting Barack Obama for jokes out of fear of just what has happened; accusations of racism.

President Obama ate dog as a child. What’s wrong with that? I’ve written about eating dog in our history and that eating dog is still the cuisine of some societies. When President Jefferson sent Captains Lewis and Clark to find a passage to the Pacific Ocean, neither of the men or their expedition would have survived had they not eaten dog. But as humans, we are prone to make jokes about it, I think some because we are uncomfortable with talking about the subject, but mostly because humor defines us.

On the website The People’s Cube, an entire array of photoshopped pictures depicting President Obama eating or chasing after dogs with the intent of eating them, can be found.

On John McCain’s Twitter page he posted a photo of his son’s bull dog and ends his Tweet by saying, “I’m sorry Mr. President, he’s not on the menu!”

When asked at a press conference, White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, struggled to answer the question as to whether the President was aware of all the jokes but he couldn’t resist making a joke about the jokes.

If you click on the link to John McCain’s Twitter page, you can read some of the comments irate people left to John McCain about his sick sense of humor.

But what about the hypocrisy? Recall, if you will, that not long ago, there were a lot of people very upset about the movie “The Grey”. Two issues played out here. The movie was about a plane that crashed in the middle of nowhere in Alaska. Survival was key, i.e. finding food and prevent becoming food. The plot is about these survivors fending off a hungry pack of wolves. The first issue of outrage was that the makers of the movie dared depict wolves in a truth setting; that they are bloodthirsty killers. The second issue is that the wolves they killed, they ate.

Hang on for a second. This is a movie! But yet there was still outrage. In addition, before filming of the movie began, the cast and staff tried eating some wolf meat in order to gain a better understanding of what they were up against. Doing so has “dogged” them ever since. (See what I mean?)

The point is there was outrage over this and I recall reading in several places among the media outlets, including Online, that people just did not eat dog. That our society (American) has never eaten dog, etc. etc. etc. This is what prompted me to dig back through the Lewis and Clark Expedition journals to recount all the times they not only ate dog meat buy preferred it over deer or elk. In addition this dog meat they ate, included domestic dogs they bought from the natives and coyotes and wolves they were able to kill during their journey.

The hypocrisy here is that while there was outrage that dogs were depicted as being eaten in a movie, there was no outrage at the disclosure that President Obama actually did eat dog as a kid. Instead, their biased anger is directed at those who chose to make jokes about it, seemingly now supporting the eating of dog….well, depending upon who did the eating I guess.

One can argue that most of these jokes originated from people or organizations that are working to elect a different president, but why is this all of a sudden different or deserve a different level of scrutiny? Campaigns bring out the worst in everybody.

What the reasons are that President Obama ate dog as a kid, I don’t know, nor do I care. I think some of the jokes are funny. I find some a bit over the top. I certainly can understand a person who adores dogs, finding offense in some of these photos and jokes. And I find the same level of humor disseminated the same way regardless of which side of the political aisle they walk on.

Tom Remington

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Grey Ghost Productions: “Turning Tail” Atlantic Salmon Movie Trailer

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