7.18.2016

dimland radio 7-16-16 show notes

Information And Misinformation
 
As I'm sure we all knew would happen, more news has come out about the Philando Castile shooting. Some of my Facebook friends have been way too willing to believe claims that cast Castile and his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, in a negative light. They have posted links on social media to questionable websites. One of them being Conservative Treehouse, a conservative site that seems to have more than a little conspiracy thinking to it.
 
They reported that the Ramsey County Sheriff's office had tweeted that that office did not issue a right to carry permit to Philando Castile. That's true, they did tweet that message, but Conservative Treehouse did not include the tweets from the Ramsey County Sheriff that stated they may not have issued a permit, that doesn't mean Castile did not have one. Later, both the Star Tribune and Fox 9 News reported that Castile did have a permit. It was issued through Hennepin County in June 2015.
 
Conservative Treehouse also claimed a gun can be seen in Castile's lap in the video streamed live on Facebook by Reynolds immediately after Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot Castile. Look at the still from the video, does that look like a gun? It doesn't to me.
 
This is what Conservative Treehouse thinks looks like a gun.
It may be a gun, but it could also be a wallet, the seat belt, or the belt of Castile's pants. It is impossible to say that is a gun. But, according to Conservative Treehouse, not only is it a gun, but it resembles the gun used in a robbery from a few days before the shooting. That's ridiculous.

One thing that conspiracy site appears to have gotten right is that Castile was likely pulled over because he resembled a suspect in the robbery of a convenience store and not for a broken taillight. Well, both Castile and the robbery suspect are African American males, similar in age, and have dreadlocks, so I can understand why the police officer would pull Castile over.

I should say at this put that we don't know what happened prior to Reynolds' video. We have her word as she described events, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, that Castile was complying with the police and he was going for his wallet to get out his ID. She tells us that Castile informed the officer that he had a permit to carry and that he had a weapon on him.

Officer Yanez, through his lawyer, said he shot in reaction to the gun.

I watched the video and noticed that Yanez sounded more panicked that he screwed up than like a badass cop throwing around his authority. And Reynolds was surprisingly calm. That seems weird in such a situation. But both Yanez and Reynolds were under tremendous pressure. They were in a situation that most of us will never be in, so who knows how someone would react?

Internet show host Dennis Michael Lynch presented clips on his internet program showing Reynolds smoking pot and drinking alcohol in the car. There was at least one clip that shows the four year-old daughter in the car while Reynolds smokes pot.

Reynolds may not be in the running for Mother of the Year. She may be a narcissist, as her mother calls her, who cares more about herself than her daughter or her boyfriend. This may all be true, but how is it relevant to the shooting?
 
Lynch will say it goes to her credibility as a witness. Maybe, but she came up with that story awfully quick and under the pressure of her boyfriend just having been shot by a police officer, who was pointing his weapon at her as she told her version of events.

Listening to Lynch, I got the impression that he might have been thinking that Castile deserved to die and that the cop ought to have shot Reynolds as well. Hell, shoot the kid, too. She's just going to grew up to be one of them.

I can't know what Lynch was thinking. It was just the impression I got.

52 Times?!

Something else has come out in the reporting on Castile's shooting. That is, from the age of 19, Castile and been pulled over and cited in traffic stops by police 52 times! Virtually all the stops were for minor infractions. None were anywhere near felonies. Half of the citations were later dismissed and the rest were fines levied against Castile. Fines totaling more than $6500.
 
There has been plenty of talk over the years that African Americans seem to get a lot more attention from the police when it comes to traffic stops. Is it racial profiling?
 
Castile may have been a terrible driver, but I can count on three fingers the number of times I'd been pulled over by police. And I never got a ticket.

Some People Really Resent Snopes

I talked about a friend who was one who posted to Facebook the Conservative Treehouse misinformation. He got quite a few comments on his post, including a rather pointed criticism from one of his daughters. Others had posted links to a Snopes article on some of the misinformation spreading about Castile's shooting.
 
Snopes is an excellent source for determining the validity of claims and tall tales on the internet. They research thoroughly and cite their sources. They frequently update their articles as new information becomes available.
 
But, some folks out there, such as my friend, just don't like Snopes. Snopes exposes the truth about the some of his beliefs and he just doesn't want them doing that. He wants to hold onto his beliefs, so he'll look for ways to discredit Snopes.
 
He thinks he's found their Achilles' Heel: Snopes is liberal! So, of course, they are biased. And since he is conservative that perceived bias makes them unreliable. He pays no attention to Conservative Tresshouse's conservative leanings, because they agree with him.

But, he did something that many people on the internets do: He posted a link to a blog article that he judged by its headline - "Snopes, 'Liberal Bias', and Trusting the Internet". He didn't read the article. If he had he would have realized that the article was remarking on how balanced Snopes is, not about how liberally biased the site is.

Dallas Speeches And A Little Dance

Both Pres. George W Bush and Pres. Barack Obama attended the memorial for the five fallen police officers killed in an ambush attack during a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas. Both made speeches. I thought both speeches were very good. Pres. Bush spoke for about six and a half minutes, while Pres. Obama spoke more than 38 minutes.
 
Pres. Obama struck a good balance, I thought, in talking about racial tensions and police actions. He talked about how America has advanced in race relations, but we still have work to do. He praised the Dallas police department for its strides in improving police procedures and its relationship with the communities it serves.
 
I thought he delivered a fine speech. But, those who don't care for Obama were upset that he would take that event to make such a speech. I ask those folks to consider if Bush had delivered Obama's speech would they feel the same way?

And then there was the little march/dance Pres. Bush did during the singing of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Some were appalled. I was amused. Some thought he was drunk or on some medication. I think he was feeling the Jesus in him.

I have seen it suggested elsewhere that the born again Christian types (of which Bush is one) do that little march/dance thing whenever that hymn is played. Do you know if that is true?

Movie Recommendation: None

Ran out of time. You are on your own this week.

Music heard on the show...

Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ram' by The Yoleus 
First ad break bumpers: 'The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)' by The Jam & 'Saved By Zero' by The Fixx
Second ad break bumpers: 'Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)' by Talking Heads & 'Slow Train To Dawn' by The The
Closing song: 'Angler's Treble Hook' by $5 Fiddle

That's it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to drdim@dimland.com
 
You can also go to my CafePress store and buy stuff with my artwork on it and have me do a portrait for you if you like. Find out more here and here.

7.12.2016

dimland radio 7-9-16 show notes

What's Going On?

Police officers killed two African American males with both incidents looking as though the police grossly overreacted to the situations. I've learned there was a white man shot by police in Fresno, CA as, it is alleged, he was laying on the ground. In Dallas, a city that has been trying to address the serious issues of excessive force by law enforcement, especially when involving African Americans, there was a deadly attack by a sniper during a peaceful Black Lives Matters protest. Five police officers were killed and several more were injured, including at least one civilian. The sniper was killed by police. All of these events happened last week.

What's going on?

I discussed mainly the killing of Philando Castile, because that horrifying act happened practically in my own backyard. I talked about how Castile's reputation was one of a decent man who was well-respected by his co-workers and bosses and the students of the school at which he worked. He seemed like the kind of fellow you'd want as a neighbor.

The details are not all known at this time, let alone at the time of my recording this show. What I knew when going on the air was that Castile was pulled over for a broken taillight, he had a permit to carry a handgun, he informed the officer of having a gun and permit to carry, he was going for his wallet to get his ID, and he was shot dead by the police officer.

I had not watched the uncensored video streamed live on Facebook moments after he had been shot. And we, so far, only have the word of Castile's girlfriend as to what happened prior to her making the video.

We don't know for sure what happened before the video was taken, but from what I know at the time of this writing it sure seems as though the cop acted hastily and unprofessionally.

Was race involved? I have to think it was. I've been learning over the past few years that I really don't know what it's like to be black in America.

Trevor Noah of Comedy Central's The Daily Show sums up this cops/race/Black Lives Matter/excessive force very well here.

More details and conspiratorial misinformation have emerged since I recorded the show. I will address that next week.

Dimland Radio Argh!: Newt Gingrich Can't Catch A Break With Some People

Newt Gingrich, historically one of the most hated conservatives in America, made remarks about the state of race and policing in America in the wake of the police shootings last week. He said that he had been learning over the years by talking to people about the black experience in America just how different and dangerous life is for African Americans.

This is a good thing. A powerful, right-wing, white fellow is having his eyes opened and he's talking about it publicly. This may help other white folks in this country open their eyes.

But is that something folks on the Left are praising? Perhaps some are, but one on Facebook and many of her commenters aren't. Gingrich said, ""If you are a normal white American, the truth is you don’t understand being black in America." She and others found that statement objectionable and racist. Why? Because he used the word "normal".

She took that to mean normal Americans are white and that Americans who are not white are not normal. See how racist Newt is?

Some people will never be pleased. They can't see how important an ally in race relations Gingrich can be in getting other conservatives to realize there is a problem in law enforcement in America. Nope. Can't have that racist saying white people are normal. Context is lost on some people. Gingrich might have done better to say "average white Americans", but, somehow, I don't think that would have made a difference to that particular Facebooker.

It Wasn't All Bad News Last Week, Mostly But Not All

In a yin yang sort of situation, last week started way to the good side of the magic to science spectrum. The good end is the science end, by the way. NASA successfully put a satellite in orbit of our solar system's largest planet: Jupiter. It was a five year trip that covered more than a billion miles. Yay! Science!
 
However, before even getting to the end of the week, the magic end of the spectrum reared its ugly, irrational, silly head. Ken Ham opened his massive roadside attraction: Noah's Ark Encounter. Yep. It's true. Complete with dinosaurs.

I have to think that if the world had only advanced to the level of science understanding and expertise obtained by the writers of Ham's favorite book (the Bible, of course), we wouldn't have a satellite orbiting Jupiter. Or vaccines. Or computers. Or airplanes. Or light bulbs. Or the heavy equipment used to build Ham's ark encounter...

This Illustration Looks Familiar

Found in the Noah's Ark roadside attraction. Photo/patheos.com
As I was perusing the images of what could be encountered in the Ark roadside attraction (posted here), I came across a cartoon illustration of Noah's Ark. It stopped me in my tracks. It really looked familiar. Did I draw this?

I had done a couple Ark illustrations about 20 years ago for a Christian bookseller. Was this one of those? I rushed home from work to check, but it was not one of those drawings. It occurred to me that it might have been an existing design the company had and they had me use it as a reference to what they were looking for.

But it looks like something I might have drawn. A little cruder than what I can do now, but... Did I draw this?!

You'd think I'd remember, but memory is not videotape. I can see flashes of me working on it, but they don't seem right. I could be confabulating my memories of those other drawings I know I did do with this one.

I don't think I'll ever know for certain, but I will default to thinking I did not draw it. Which is a bummer as it would be cool knowing a piece of art I did is on display at the Ark Park.

Free TV Key By Clear TV

"Are you tired of paying those expensive cable or satellite bills? You can spend an average of $80 a month on cable or satellite programming, but with the Free TV Key by Clear TV for just $19.95 plus shipping and handling you can get all your favorite broadcast channels for free! Blow up those expensive cable and satellite bills and get your Free TV Key and attach it to the back of you TV. You'll get all those top rated network shows, local news and weather, sporting events and more! All for free! With Free TV Key there's no contracts, no monthly fees, no unexpected rate increases, and no cable or satellite programs!

"Uh, wait a second. Forget I said that last part. The part about no cable or satellite programs."

Folks, Free TV Key by Clear TV is just an antenna.
Movie Recommendation: None

Ran out of time. You are on your own this week.

Music heard on the show...

Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ram' by The Yoleus 
First ad break bumpers: 'Love Is The Law' by The Suburbs & 'Love Is A Stranger' by Eurythmics
Second ad break bumpers: 'Love Vigilantes' by New Order & 'Love Is Stronger Than Pride' by Sade
Closing song: 'Angler's Treble Hook' by $5 Fiddle

That's it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to drdim@dimland.com
 
You can also go to my CafePress store and buy stuff with my artwork on it and have me do a portrait for you if you like. Find out more here and here.

7.05.2016

dimland radio 7-2-16 show notes

Bob Zmuda Likes To Embellish

I'm not sure why this bothered me so much, but I dedicated almost the entire show to comedian, writer, and performer Bob Zmuda, best known for his work with his friend Andy Kaufman, and his appearance on Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast.
 
The podcast dropped in January 2015, but I gather it was recorded sometime in 2014, because Zmuda did note that it had been thirty years since Andy Kaufman had died. Of course, Zmuda claimed on Gottfried's show that Kaufman faked his death. A claim I don't buy for a second. A claim Zmuda wasn't making (in fact he was refuting it) in 2013 when an actress alleged she was Kaufman's daughter and that her "father" had faked his own death to be a stay-at-home dad.
 
But, in 2014, Zmuda was selling a book about his friend and writing partner. This time he was claiming that Kaufman did fake his own death. Zmuda claimed that Kaufman was able to convince a man dying of cancer to allow his body to be used as Kaufman's upon the man's death.
 
Really? What about that man's family? Wouldn't they want to know what happened to him? Wouldn't the County of Los Angeles, who issued Kaufman's death certificate, be a little put off by this revelation?
 
Zmuda also told a couple tall tales about Jim Carrey. One about his getting the role of Kaufman and the other about playing a trick on Hugh Hefner.

Zmuda wants people to believe that he couldn't tell if he had been watching actual video footage of his friend and writing partner or that of Carrey playing Kaufman in an audition tape. Now, I've seen Kaufman's first Saturday Night Live "Mighty Mouse" performance and I've seen Carrey do it in the film Man On The Moon. I will say Carrey is excellent! He captures Kaufman's movements, mannerisms, and facial expressions perfectly. But he still looks like Jim Carrey! I find it difficult to believe Zmuda was fooled.

Hey! This just in! I found Jim Carrey's audition tape. Very well done, but it still looks like Jim Carrey!

Then there was the tale of Carrey "crashing" a party at the Playboy Mansion as Tony Clifton. Tony Clifton was a character developed by Kaufman and later handed off to Zmuda to play. The joke was for Kaufman and Zmuda, because no one else knew it was no longer Kaufman in the heavy Tony Clifton make-up.

So, when Hefner's Pajama Party in 1999 or so rolled around, Playboy Magazine's founder and publisher was made to swear he wouldn't tell anyone that Clifton was actually Jim Carrey, otherwise Carrey wouldn't come to the party. But Hef spilled the beans to at least one person. That person told Carrey and Carrey decided not to do it. Instead, he got good ol' honest Bob to don the make-up and revise the role he'd played so many times before. Then, at midnight, Carrey would show up to the party and the joke would be revealed.

Except it didn't quite go that way. Zmuda as Clifton did crash the party. (There is video of that.) But, he claimed the Hefner took Clifton around the party, quietly telling party attendees that it was really Jim Carrey. And with Carrey being a big star some women might want to get with him and Zmuda claimed he had taken full advantage of that fact. He claimed three women had separately given him some oral pleasuring. (And I don't mean they told him funny stories.)

When Jim Carrey arrived at midnight, Hefner was furious and had security rough up the imposter and toss him out of the party with Hefner quietly threatening, "If these people weren't here, I'd have these guys break ever f#@king bone in your body."

The next day, Carrey and Zmuda went over to the Playboy Mansion to let Hefner in on the joke.

Gilbert asked a very pertinent question: "Didn't any of those three women accuse you of rape?" Because, if we take Zmuda's word for it, which I don't, what he did was rape. Zmuda just joked it off. No rape accusations were made. That's probably because that part of the story was bullshit. As was the whole part about Hefner's reaction when Carrey finally arrived.

Come on. How stupid do you think Hefner is? He would immediately know that Carrey was pulling a stunt. What are the odds that anyone other than Jim Carrey would show up to the party as Tony Clifton if it wasn't part of a joke?

I guess bullshit sells books.

Poor Skeleton Steps Out
 
After I finished up with all that Zmuda/Kaufman/Carrey talk, I had a little time left over to mention something I had blogged about last week on Warehouse Find, the official blog of Nostalgia Zone. I have long had a what I thought was an unusual way of thinking of human skeletons. I thought of them as their own sentient beings trapped inside human bodies. I thought I was the only one who thought this way. Then I heard XTC's song Poor Skeleton Steps Out.
 
Movie Recommendation: Man On The Moon (1999)

Universal Pictures
So, what other movie would I recommend? This is a pretty good film with an uncanny performance by Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman. I think he should have won the Oscar, but I can still tell the difference between him and Andy.

Music heard on the show...

Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ram' by The Yoleus 
First ad break bumpers: 'Kissfolk' by 54-40 & 'Close (To The Edit)' by Art of Noise
Second ad break bumpers: 'The Spirit of the Radio' by Rush & 'Two Story House' by George Jones & Tammy Wynette
Closing song: 'Angler's Treble Hook' by $5 Fiddle

That's it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to drdim@dimland.com
 
You can also go to my CafePress store and buy stuff with my artwork on it and have me do a portrait for you if you like. Find out more here and here.