Colossal Congress of Stuff & Things

If you are embarrassed at the word, "fuck", well, sorry to see you leave, for it occurs herein.
It is actually a wonderful word with an array of definitions and nuances...
To blithely go where every man has gone before... ain't a cool.

What's With The Site Name? 18 Jul 2022

Long story, that. But, simple. One day, years ago, browsing my then town's library, I spied a large book, well, tome actually. A history/picture book. Of Circuses!

And in turning the pages with youthful wonder I came to a large image of the late 19th century (or thereabouts) circus known as "The Colossal Congress of Stuff & Things". Wow!

What a cool, fascinating picture it was. A compendium in itself of images that surely piqued the interests of passers-by of their day. I imagined it was a large poster, perhaps posters plastered on city walls...

I'd love to describe it in detail, but, alas, when I went back to that library some years later it was not to be found! (Imagine some sadness here.) But it was a very elaborate and beautiful image.

I just had to use the name when [the controlling body] increased the length of Internet domain names. I had great plans for a compendium of interesting stuff about things, a "congress of" such. (With the then, "eternal", thought of it being "colossal". sigh)

Well, things, times, change. Alas the original concept, though I thought was pretty well done for a non-graphics designer, suddenly was no longer being kept up. (Maybe I have an archive of that original site somewhere.)

And, as things and times change, again, some years' of passing led to another concept. History and Politics! That design too, was not too bad. I thought. For awhile. Then I simply got sick of politics in America. (And writing about #HeWhoShallBeNamed "il Douche" was actually making me ill.) And I had to refrain from updating it...

After a few four years, with "il Douche" out and now on his BFB ("big fat butt"), maybe having been taken down by two women – [post names here] – I have a third opinion on the site. This version.

Oh, on the origin of "Colossal Congress", here are a few found quotations and references:

"The most colossal congress of animal performers ever held in the world. Each animal a star performer."
 – Official Guide to the California Midwinter Exposition in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, 1894

"On October 10th the Forepaugh-Falls Brothers circus came to Roanoke. Advertised as 'The consolidation of America's foremost shows. There would be a free street parade.' The 300 performers were described as 'Colossal Congress of Circus Champions'. Admission 50 cents."
 – A History of Roanoke, Commonwealth Press, 1968

"It's a jitterbugs' carnival, a colossal congress of man-sized spinning mice."
 – Personal exposures, Rex Beach, Harper & Brothers, 1940

"It was in 1895 that the African Embassy, the first afoxe(') to vie for public favor and applause in the streets, challenged the Great Societies, the mighty Red Cross, the colossal Congress of Vulcan, the Marionettes of Euterpe, the Innocents of Progress."
 – Tent of Miracles, Jorge Amado, Avon Books, 1988


Let's Make Something Perfectly Clear 20 Jul 2022

There is a big fucking difference between "gun violence" and "mass shootings". While that should be obvious, for it is, during the coverage of the last few mass shootings, reports started to refer to an Internet definition of a "mass shooting", which defines on simply by number of persons dead or wounded. Usually three or four or more, depending on the source. [add references]

So while I first wrote here (yeah, I update these data things sometimes for many reasons), that only [a very bad word was used] would/could think there was no difference, yeah well, many people just follow other people... especially "News Anchors".

But a fight in a bar that gets three or more people killed is not (should not be considered) a "mass shooting". A "mass shooting" status/label shouild be reserved for a planned and deliberate act of obtaining one or more high capacity weapons with the intent of killing as many "other people" as possible.

If you don't see the difference, go away, nothing here will be of use to you.

we interrupt this regularly scheduled reporting to go to a live report from the capital...

Thank you. This is Chris Jansing, Todd Piro and John King not reporting on the Capital Testimony of Highland Park Mayor on Access to Assault Weapons. It's been a heady morning with no shocking revelations here, as, well, they've all just been talking about what has been happening accross America for decades.

And now with the floor, here's the biggest duplicitous [BLEEP] in Congress, Teddy Cruz, opening with some typical pandering comments, but then got right to the heart of the issue, asking the, that is THE, question:

"How do you stop mass murders?

Oh boy, can't wait to find out how Teddy can fix something. Shh.. here it is:

"Target the bad guys, target the felons, target the fugitives, target those with serious mental illness. Prosecute them, put them in jail, when they try to legally buy firearms, prosecute them and get them off the street. Enhance security of vulnerable locations in our society; including schools, churches, [and] places that these strange murder rumors have been targeted. That is the approach that I believe works."

[softly] We'll call that Teddy point one, noting that we don't quite understand what "places with strange murder rumors" are.

"[Then there's what] the Democrat members of the committee and support. Which is gun control. Which is targeting law-abiding citizens, and disarming law-abiding citizens... It is consistently ineffective. If the objective is, stop mass murders, gun control doesn't work. State of Illinois has among the strictest gun control laws of anything in the country. Pierre Highland Park has even stricter gun control laws, than the state of Illinois. Consistently if you look across the country, the jurisdiction with the strictest gun control laws almost without exception, they have a high crime rates, and the highest murder rates."

[softly] Very effective Teddy, but could you please lower your voice a bit? Just asking. That's Teddy point two.

"It is not complicated why. When you disarm abiding citizens, the result is the criminals don't follow the laws. They have the guns, and law-abiding citizens are unable to defend themselves. Now we saw, on Sunday another deranged murder, killer fired into a park in Greenwood Indiana. Within 15 seconds, that killer was shot and killed by 22 year old Eli Dickens. Who thankfully was carrying a concealed handgun. According to the Obama white house, firearms are used defensively to stop a crime in the united states of America between 500,000 and 1 million times every year."

[softly] Ah, "murder, killer" Teddy? Really? (But this is from C-Span's uncorrected text from their video so maybe that was uncorrected.) And you're citing Obama? Did you ever listen to him on anything when Obama was President for 8 years? Really? But good Teddy, points three and three!

"Whenever you have a deranged murderer committing a crime, there are two, and only two ways I stop. Number one, law enforcement stops them, or number two, an individual citizen who is armed stops them. Those are the two ways. If we want to stop crimes, we need to get the criminals off the streets. And we need to increase law enforcement."

[softly] Two? Just two ways? You means it's that simple? Who would have thought that after all these decades of "mass murders" those two ways were literally staring us in the face! We'd call that Teddy point two but that is already taken, so it's Teddy point four!

[softly] Now Teddy is pandering to himself, so let's let him and recap so far. His points are
1: We can stop mass murders by jailing felons, fugitives and those with serious mental illness when they buy firearms. And to enhance the security of vulnerable locations in our society.
2: We cannot stop mass murders even with strictest gun control laws we can muster. (Pun not intended, Teddy.)
3: Firearms stop crime!
4: There are just two ways to stop a deranged murderer commiterer: 1) law enforcement; 2) armed citizens; 3) getting criminals off the street. (That's three, but, just sayin'.)

[softly] Okay. He's wrapped up. Back to you Colossal...

Ah, thank you, Colossal Reporter at The Capital. [ahem] So, "What stops crimes," Ted Cruz asks? "Guns," he says. Guns and more guns. In the hands of police and in the hands of citizens. Just. More. Guns. Thanks for that keen insight, Ted!

But look at what he also said. He did get something right! (Well, kind of.) His first point was twofold: prevent felons, fugitives and mental people from buying guns; enhance security of vulnerable locations in our society. What I would say is kind of correct is preventing some people from buying firearms. And though his and my definition of "enhancing security of vulnerable locations" would be different, the part that is correct is "enhancing vulnerable locations" by simply improving them and getting people out of poverty. Fuckin-A Ted!

But looking closer, "preventing some people from buying firearms" is... gun control! Fuckin-A Ted!

But (also) looking closer, we see why there's been gridlock vis-a-vis Republican vs. Democrat dichotomy: he starts off as a reasonable person but then (always) veers off to blame Democrats for the state of the country, and using Democrats to further the decades old rhetoric of "they will to take your guns away, so vote for me [us]".

But (even) closer he used the phrase, "when [the bad guys] try to legally buy firearms, prosecute them and get them off the street". (That is called gun control Ted!) But did he really mean to say "legally buy"? Maybe.

The point is that the Right/Republican/Conservative "answer" has always been jail the "bad guys" and arm the "good guys". What that does, as we have seen for the past several decades that even with the Republican policy of incarcerating more and more people, the NRA backed policy of flooding the U.S. with high-power, semi-automatics with larger capacity magazines, has resulted in more mass shootings every year.

One might think that Republicans are insane or that they want this result, which would be insane.

If they were not insane, they would understand that everybody else in America want to simply prevent mass shootings, not take people's guns away.


Mass Shootings are Gun Violence.

But, Gun Violence includes All Gun Violence.

And Mass Shootings are only a Small Percentage of Gun Violence.

It's that small percentage that tears families and schools and communities and the country and the world apart.

America will always have gun violence as it always has. But there are very clear and very reasonable ways to prevent mass shootings.

Oh, and "Fuck You, Teddy."

Original Originalism 29 Jul 2022

Elie Mystal in The Nation asked, "Could GOP States Really Stop Pregnant People From Traveling to Get Abortions?"

Adding below the title, "Conservative legislatures shouldn’t be able to pass fugitive womb laws, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do it anyway—and get away with it."

Before getting to Elie Mystal's stuff, let's do some 'Net sniffing ... ... First found, some good sh^Htuff from at, right off the bat stating the obvious and then stating it is soon to be not:

"The 14th Amendment gives citizens the right to travel between states, and the Supreme Court's ruling doesn't prevent women from going to a state that allows abortions, so as of right now, nothing is stopping women from traveling to have the procedure done but that may change soon.

"And for good reason, too.

"Conservative groups are joining forces with Republican state lawmakers to ban interstate travel for abortions."

That piece-o brilliancy comes from Sarah Arnold, a woman who fully supports The States' taking away another woman's right, and who goes on with...

"[T]he Thomas More Society, a conservative public interest law firm, has drafted model legislation with the help of Republicans that would target anyone seen to be aiding and abetting interstate travel for abortion services.

"[T]he Society, said that no one should be entitled to the procedure just because they crossed state lines, adding that it doesn't mean that that person's home state doesn't have jurisdiction."

Wow. [Just wow? No. Holy fucking shit!]

'Course, she's just a-quoten someone else's quoting. She started that shtuff with, "According to the Washington Post..." Which means she likes to just quote other people's stuff to validate her own opinion. (Okay, okay... that's called basic Internet journalism... but, not Journalism.) But all what she leads with is to support her "GOTCHA!" conclusion:

"Republican states are doing everything in their power to protect life, while Democrats are paving the way to make abortions a normal and easy thing to do."

Way cool! You got us all Sarah Arnold! No one can argue with that! 'Cept neither of those two "points" have any truth to them whatsoever. But what do I know?

BTW, Thomas More died in 1535, and was canonized by the Catholic Church in 1935. That's quite a bit of history 'tween the two dates, please note. Anyway, Catholics love this guy. Not just societies this guy has, but Universities too!

T. More dissed England's King Henry VIII over Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn, Henry then declared, "Off with his head!" Women's rights? Marriage? Please note. (P.S. Anne Boleyn also lost her head. Ah, England!)

But I have digressed. Sort of.

Back to the stuff and things about Conservatives trying to repress women even further... Women soon may (will?) be barred from travel from a GOP controlled state to another (presumably non-GOP controlled) state.

This is all over the Internets, but we don't really have to quote anybody else... Back to the question(s).

Could that, the suppression of a woman's right to travel, really happen here? That's what Elie Mystal is asking. The other half to this equation is, could that happen even with the 14th Amendment? I think that that's what Elie Mystal is pointing out. (But, of course, please look for yourself; that's why I say "I think", I ain't no Elie Mystal.)

But this is not even new. There were journalists writing about this since the "leak" was reported back in May. And for [the Big Guy's] sake, Christians (Catholics, et. al.) have been at this for a very long time – though the truth is more, the "Catholic Church" has been at this for a very a long time.

You see, a Christian's best trait is his ability to follow, as he thinks of himself as a "Follower of Christ". (Or is that "in" Christ. I am never quite sure.) As in, "The way to the Father, my Dad, is through me."

So this is, has been, always been about the Church and it's Followers. Finishing this Trilogy, er, Trinity, are the Politicians. Like #HeWhoShallBeNamed, and while I can't "know what's in his heart," I damn well know what he says and does.

But again, I digress.

So in conclusion [the crowd cheers!], "this" is not just about States' Rights at all. It's about the United States of America slowly becoming a Theocracy, as "The Trinity" has been leading us to all along.

If SCOTUS' overturning of Roe v. Wade means that the Fourteenth's protections can also be overturned or even just reduced, so too can, well, pretty much everything that "ain't original" can be.

Oh, remember the "notes" previously? While Thomas More died in 1535, and was made a saint in 1935, that's... three, no, four hundred years! What I am getting at is that people think "originalism" goes back to 1785? It goes back to the year 35. That's the originalism that is in play here. Has been in play. For a very long time.

later more...