Thursday, May 26, 2016

Referendum on Ignorance

Meet Mary Lou Brunner.

Precious, isn’t she?

She’s a 69-year-old retired kindergarten teacher from Mineola, Texas.

Gotta love her!

But somehow she lost her bid in Tuesday’s run-off primary election for a seat on the Texas State Board of Education.

Captain’s Note: Among other things, this Board selects the textbooks for the public schools throughout Texas. And because Texas is such a big buyer, they set the trend for public education and many other states follow their lead and use the same textbooks.

This is an important job.

The Tea Party organization “Grassroots America – We the People” had endorsed Ms. Brunner as the true conservative in the race, and many of the folks in District 9 (31 counties in Northeast Texas) also liked her; in fact, she collected 48% of the votes in the primary. Unfortunately, that was not enough to prevent this week’s run-off ballot.

On Tuesday she was handily defeated by chiropractor Kevin Ellis, president of the school board in Lufkin, Texas – also a conservative Republican. He will go on to face the Democrat challenger Amanda Rudolph, a professor of secondary education at state college.

Despite her credentials, as a Democrat Ms. Rudolph doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected. But you have to give her credit for trying.

So what happened with dear Ma Brunner? It seems her undoing was the result of her posting her personal opinions on Facebook.


For what it’s worth, the Captain supports every person’s right to free speech, including Ms. Brunner’s.

But I also understand that there are consequences when we exercise our 1st Amendment rights.

For example, folks at my last church didn’t like that I was posting pictures of women in bikinis on Facebook. It didn’t matter to them that they were pictures of 3-time Olympic Beach Volleyball champions Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor, or that I have been following these athletes (and their male counterparts) since before the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, or that the photos were from actual sporting events and not simply cheesecake shots.

Is it my fault the league specifies the uniform? 

So I get it. It’s not fair that someone would use your Facebook posts against you. Right?

But Ms. Brunner, running for a seat on the State Board of Education, wrote posts that encouraged parents to home-school their kids, and opposed free public education, especially for immigrants.

An odd position for a candidate for the state Board of Education.

She also believes the United Nations is a secret Illuminati plot for one world government.

Go ahead. Google “Agenda 21”.

And the Boy Scouts is a homosexual organization.

She also believes that as a child, President Obama worked as a gay prostitute; by her reckoning, that is how he paid for his drug addiction.

And, she calls him “Ahab the Muslim”.

She opposes feminism and the teaching of Mexican-American history. And she believes there is no need for reparations to former slaves in America because they were granted “40 acres and a mule” after the War of Northern Aggression.

[Captain’s Note: Congress did approve a reparations bill during Reconstruction, but President Andrew Johnson vetoed the bill. Funny thing about history – you’ve got to read the whole story!]

She believes that school shootings began after schools started teaching evolution, and that the dinosaurs died because they didn’t get onto Noah’s Ark.

All of this she freely shared on Facebook.

Not realizing the consequences.

And, in the end, even Ms. Brunner’s Tea Party supporters had heard enough and withdrew their endorsement.

And teachers turned out to vote against her.

In the run-off vote, Mr. Ellis, the chiropractor, beat Ms. Brunner, the kindergarten teacher, by 18%.

But Ms. Brunner remains unbowed in defeat. She insists she was just stating what she believes and what she believes most of the people of East Texas believe.

Scary, but probably true.

Fortunately, for the sake of the nation, the people of East Texas came to their senses and made a better choice.

One can only hope.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Guns have been in the news again recently. But not for the reasons for which we have grown accustomed.

Surprisingly, the media has been fairly quiet about mass shootings this year.

Even though there have been 20 mass shootings 
in the U.S. in just this month alone, resulting in 
17 deaths and 79 injuries.

Almost one shooting per a day.

And still, nothing is being done.

Now, before you stop reading, know that the Captain is not like the sister of a friend of mine who thinks that everyone who owns an automatic rifle should be put in prison.

However, I don’t believe EVERYBODY should have access to guns, and I do believe there are some guns to which ordinary citizens should not have access.

I have nothing against hunters – provided you are going to eat what you kill.

But this guy's just a dick! Seriously, how hard is it to kill a giraffe?
And I have the greatest respect for the military and police personnel who carry firearms in a noble attempt to keep the rest of us safe.

Just please don’t make that firearm your first choice.

As a pirate, I prefer a sword. Swords are very difficult to conceal. In a sword fight, you have to get up-close to your opponent; you actually have to look your opponent in the eye. Being victorious is not about the amount of firepower you possess, but about personal strength, training and courage.

Besides, how often do you hear about a “mass swording”?

You see? Much safer.

Anyway, this week in the news the Captain read about that asshole killer of Trayvon Martin putting his pistol up for auction on the internet. Not surprisingly, it sold for $250,000.

Also in the news, some crazy guy stripped naked and jumped into a lion enclosure at a zoo in Chile. Two African lions were shot dead in order to save the man.

Unjustified in both cases.

Then there is Republican candidate Donald Trump (OMFG!), who made big talk at the recent NRA convention to win its endorsement.

"Pew! Pew!"
Keep in mind, Trump (OMFG!) has also garnered the support of white supremacists across the country, so this was no great feat.

Also keep in mind that the NRA is largely financially supported by gun manufacturers. In fact, membership dues reported in 2014 were down by $47 million over the previous year.

While math is not the Captain’s strong suit, it’s fairly easy to cipher that since membership dues are only $25, that means almost 1.9 million members didn’t re-up in 2014!

Just for shits & giggles, here are some notable NRA Board Members:
     -Ted Nugent, musician
     -Tom Selleck, actor
     -Chuck Norris, actor
     -Oliver North, arms dealer, talk radio host
     -Robert K. Brown, publisher of “Soldiers of Fortune” magazine
     -Marion Hammer, who helped create Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law
     -R. Lee “The Gunny” Ermery, actor and spokesman for Glock
     -Pete Brownell, whose company makes ammo and accessories for guns
     -Steve Hornady, of Hornady mfg., also makes ammo and accessories
     -Ronnie Barrett, Barrett Firearms mfg., inventor of the .50 sniper rifle

What’s more, Sandra Froman, NRA Board member and past NRA president, has recently joined the Board of Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Also keep in mind that the NRA is okay with helping ex-felons obtaining guns, but is vehemently opposed to ex-felons regaining the right to vote.

So to this august audience, Donald Trump (OMFG!) crowed about getting rid of “gun-free zones” in schools and on military bases.

On his first day in office, he promised.

But then again, he doesn’t think guns should be allowed in classrooms.

Unless it is the teacher who carries it. Or a resource officer.

The Captain has landed fish that haven’t flip-flopped around that much!

What Trump (OMFG!) failed to mention was that guns are not allowed into his political rallies and several of the properties that bear his name – including his now famous Mar-a-Lago Resort in Florida – are gun-free zones.


So is this.

Why do most of the women on the internet go shooting wearing bikinis?
What does any of this mean?

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing
-William Shakespeare

Not. A. Thing.

Friday, May 20, 2016


“We were never thieves, they only called us that to hide their own thievery and inadequate lives. We were and always will be Pirates. Fighting for what is ours, Liberty and Justice, Freedom and Democracy for all. We take from the oppressors who rule with greed and propaganda, making them selves Kings and Puppets of Kings. We are ruled by no one. We are The Pirates.”
(Source Unknown)