Since Thanksgiving is upon us, I thought I’d take some time to let some of my regular readers know that I am thankful — for you! I’ve decided to take a quick quote from many of you and then describe why it means so much to me that you take time out of your busy schedules to read my musings.

Editor’s note: I have all the quotes down, so if you see your name here…I will say a little something about you or your contributions. It might be short and sweet, or it might be extended. Regardless, I’ll knock it out before Thanksgiving is over. Since going through all your comments took longer than expected (it’s almost midnight), I’m going to turn it in for the night and complete this post while I await a Thanksgiving feast. Tomorrow I have work…and a long drive that doesn’t start until 8:00 p.m.

Andrew: I heard on the radio this morning that in the Church of England may not exist in 40-50 years as younger people have stopped attending church.

When I was younger I attended a Sunday school run by the local Salvation Army. My parents did not attend church. In both cases this was because they did not enjoy church as children. By attending the Sunday school I found comfort when my grandfather passed away when I was 7.

I think a lot of the problems in the world today are down to a LACK of religious contact. Religion is a positive influence on peoples lives.

Tactful, personal and on point. If the comments section of most blogs had guys like Andrew in it, I’d probably actually read more of them.

Aniwonder: Firstly I want to applaud you for having such faith and insight in the face of a heart breaking situation. I work in the Ob/Gyn field and have come across many women in your situation who do not demonstrate your level of introspection. I couldn’t help but feel for you and your family and I would like to contribute a Christian physician’s view here.

As I’m sure you know, the condition your baby has is the second most common chromosomal abnormality (next to Down’s syndrome). Together, the chromosomal abnormalities (trisomy 21, 18, and 13) make up a large percentage of birth defects. A lot of mothers ask a common question: Is it something I did? The answer is, of course, a resounding “No”. The Lord designed our bodies to have self-regulatory systems in instances like this. I think that’s one of the reasons the majority of miscarriages occur before the woman ever realizes she is pregnant and are due to these same chromosomal anomalies.

Other times women have babies who live until delivery but not long afterwards. These babies were not meant to walk very long on earth, but perhaps they still had a purpose while they were transiently here. Your spiritual mentor at Church, your renewed faith and prayer, and your introspection – were they not all positive things that you did in response to receiving this devastating news? We are not privy to God’s plan for us. This may simply be an obstacle in your life which will allow you to appreciate your family that much more in the future.

Having said all that, I want to encourage you (when you’re ready) not to be scared to try again. I’m sure your doctor has told you as well, but this disease occurs sporadically as the result of mis-divisions among cells. It’s not caused by food, exercise, or travel, etc…that the mother or father participated in. Again, thanks for sharing your story. I will be praying for the health of you and your family!

It never ceases to amaze me how kind some of my readers can be to complete strangers. I consider it a blessing to have such kind souls in my life.

Arachnobat: The Person Who is Person, I know we’ve had some disagreements on other threads but the things you’ve posted here are very interesting and I agree with you on the soul. Emmanuelle brought me to your post on Darwinism and I was hoping we could start an email correspondence. When I was younger I had the same righteous anger as you and I’m glad you’ve put your confidence in God as Judge and Vindicator for he assures us. “Vengeance is mine I shall repay.”

If this blog brings people together to talk through complex public policy issues, religion or just the latest comic book that makes me happy. Anyone who can conduct themselves on this blog in such a way as to strike up an email correspondence with another reader earns a salute in my book.

Carl: Hislop claimed- without evidence- that the Biblical king Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the LORD (he is believed to be an early Sumerian and/or Babylonian king by some) was the inspiration for Jesus. That doesn’t even begin to make sense, but then again, he was blinded by anti-Catholic bigotry.

If he were alive toay, he’d probably work for Salon.com or the Democratic Underground. That’s how insane his theories were.

Carl, you’re one cool dude. I really like you, buddy. It’s been great to see you grow as a writer over at Carl’s Comics, and I’m glad to have you as a regular contributor. You’re a stand-up guy and I wish the best for you, personally and professionally. If you ever need a hand, let me know and I’ll do whatever I can to help you out. I may not have met you in person yet, but I can tell that you are a good guy.

Dan Slott: “If someone, like you, who is in the habit of spreading gross falsehoods about me online, I am interested to see if any of them rise to the level of being liable and actionable.”

Dan, even though you’ve said that I am a “bad” person whose actions fill you with “sorrow,” I am still thankful that you took the time to tell the world what you think about me. Yes, you said the following: “If you follow my feed and wish to show support, please block @douglasernst. And please do not give his blog ANY hits. If you follow @douglasernst and are offended by this entry, please let me know so I can block you.” However, by doing that you forced me to really think about what I was doing. In my private moments I did contemplate what, exactly, I was putting out into the world. Was it negative? Was it positive? Was it something that I should be ashamed of? Was it something that Marvel lawyers could take me to court for?

In the end the real question is: Would I do it all over again? Answer: Yes. I would probably tweak some of the language here or there, but at the end of the day I’m happy with what I’ve written and I’m thankful for all the Peter Parker fans your creation has brought into my life.

Diana C:  Someone gave me a weapon a couple of years ago, and while glad to have it, thought, “I’m sure I will never actually need this.” When a job 30 years ago required that I be certified in CPR, sometime during the instruction, I thought, “I’m sure I will never actually need this.”

Well, two years ago, a man installing flooring in my home fell over dead of a heart attack. Without hesitation, I used that CPR training and saved him. Also in the past two years since receiving the weapon, I have indeed felt the need to have it handy when feeling threatened. Thankfully, so far I have not needed it, but am certainly glad I have it just in case.

Funny thing is, the same person whose life I saved with a skill I thought I’d never use, is the same one who gave me the gun I hope I will never use… and I’m very happy to have both!

Thanks for reminding me that every moment presents us with a learning opportunity and that we shouldn’t take even one second for granted. It’s amazing how our bodies are so strong and durable, and yet very fragile at the same time. Thanks for sharing your stories with me, Diana.

Eve: Sick, but sadly, not surprising. Kids are stupid. Ever have one?.. total idiots. “I didn’t eat the cookie” he says, chocolate smeared all over his chubby face. They do not think through their actions or fear consequences if they’ve never had to face them. This is what you get with indulged, over-entertained children left to their own devices because their parents refused to parent. “Doing wrong is a like a joke to a fool..”

Call your mom or dad today and say “thank you” for giving and teaching you wisdom and responsibility.

I’m always glad when someone with a working moral compass visits this blog because although I try to keep mine calibrated, it sometimes swivels. Having people like you around, Eve, helps me remember to check it and make sure it’s pointing in the right direction at all times.

Georgia: Needed to read this today. it’s a philosophical view i share with you, but i sometimes forget. financially struggling, we are not the type who fill our lives with gadgets and gizmos. we just can’t. but we still find ourselves sometimes in a trap that money is the end all important thing… even if we don’t have it. one of my favorite quotes is “we are always getting ready to live, but never living.” {by emerson}. it hangs on my fridge to remind me to live, lest i wake up one day at 80 years old and find that i only got ready to live and missed the living part. lately, my mantras {for lack of a better word… not to sound new-agy either} have been “i’m convinced that the key to life is contentment.” and “the most important things in life… aren’t things.”

We are sort of at a crossroads in our lives as a family… trying to decide where we want to take things. it’s exciting, because there is so much room for potential. but i wholeheartedly agree that we need to focus our energies on what we want to see happen. with a toddler, we find ourselves so busy, rarely taking time to sit down and map out our goals and needs. this post inspired me to maybe get a big ol’ white board and just start writing things out in big bold letters for us to see so it’s sort of always in our face, even when we get caught up in raising a little one and all the other things that keep us busy. anyway, i know i’m kind of rambling in a not-very-cohesive manner. but those are just some of my thoughts. perhaps you have already read this article at one point, and though i know it’s not exactly the points you made here, the article reminds me of yours, so i thought i’d share it. it’s a good read… http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/

thanks for your inspiring post today!

It’s posts like this that make me smile, because I know that one day I’ll move from Washington, D.C. and have neighbors like Georgia. Good, honest and decent people are still out there! Georgia, you give me hope for future generations of Americans. 🙂

Hube: Make sure it’s the omnibus volume — “Tomorrow’s Avengers” I believe it is subtitled. The later stories get a little weak, but their first appearance, then the Two-In-One and Defenders arcs are sensational. FYI.

Hube! The Colossus of Rhodey is a great blog, but you’re also a colossus in your own right. Brains, wit and kindness. You’ve been called some pretty nasty things on Twitter for what you’ve written, and you’ve always handled it like a pro. I’ve learned a lot from reading your blog, and I’m not just talking about what I’ve gleaned from the content you provide. I’ve been writing here for a few years now, but I had a lot of growing up to do. I think it’s safe to say that the work you churn out on a regular basis has served as an inspiration for douglasernstblog.com. What I said to Carl applies to you, too: If you ever need something, just ask. If you’re in a jam and there’s any way I can be of assistance, I’ll do my best to come through for you.

Issaac Wolffe: If comic writers want to be edgy by tarnishing immortal heroes, don’t make them stop being heroes. Instead make them mortal. A revolutionary comic writer would swear to make their character age and eventually retire or die. They always talk about the characters’ possible futures, but they never let them happen. If this were to happen for every character in the Marvel universe (that could possibly become mortal), then the stories would instantly become epic. Because, what thrill is there in knowing that a hero will always survive or at least come back from the dead. Also, with a permanent death, authors like Dan Slott would be less tempted to have heroes die in such disgusting ways.

I like smart people. Issac, you seem like a pretty smart guy. Do you know what I like more than a smart person? A smart person … who is also nice. You seem to fit that criteria, so I’m glad to see you pop up in my Twitter feed and in the comments section of my blog.

Jim Zee: “wars should be fought in a giant stadium by world leaders armed with socks filled with horse manure” — W. C. Fields

Jim, you’ve always got a joke on standby. You’re a hard-working American man with a good head on his shoulders. You’re a rare breed these days… You know exactly who you are and you’re not afraid to put it all out there for the world to see. I think our delivery method for the conservative message sometimes differs, but make no mistake: I’m proud to have come across you and your blog. The country would be a much better place if we had more guys like you in the workforce.

joysy1015: “Learning should never stop, trying never end! Blame never made anyone a better person. I spent the last 27 years trying to learn how to be a better person, You’d think I’d have it down to a science.. But while I’m no where NEAR the person I want to be.. I’m a whole lot closer than I was 49 years ago, and 27 years ago.”

This is gets pretty close to the meaning of life, and if I have people who are bringing this sort of insight into my blog, then I truly am blessed. We all should be striving to become better people, and realizing just how far we have to go…is a good thing. Too many people think they’re already “good” people who don’t have much room for self-improvement. Wrong. No matter how “good” we think we are, we still are laughably far from perfect. It brings a smile to my face to know that kind souls such as yourself have graced me with presence, whether it’s for a few days, months or years.

Lightbringer: Your blog has taught me a lot and made me re-examine some beliefs that I held. Even change some of them. Your reply reminds me of the Lincoln quote from a few emails back. You have destroyed me as an enemy by making me a friend. No bare knuckles or duels at dawn required. I look forward to that post you mentioned, if you ever opt to write it. If not, that’s okay too.

In some sort of alternate reality, I probably wound up politically a lot like you, Lightbringer. I think if we grew up on the same block together as children we’d probably be pretty good friends. I think as people get older they cut themselves off from a lot of meaningful friendships due to politics, so I’m glad that I was able to let my guard down enough to trust you with some more personal anecdotes. If someone ever likened me to Rocky, I’d probably call you my Apollo (although we won’t be running on the beach together anytime soon). We’ve had some knock-down, drag-em-out fights, but at the end of the day we’ll still extend a hand to help the other guy up. One day, when my wife gets down with school, we’ll have a house with a boxing ring. I’ll invite you over for a few rounds. “Ding. Ding.”

Lizard19: One of my favorite visual artists is Jess, especially his collage work. Here’s some more context from his wiki: “Jess was born Burgess Franklin Collins in Long Beach, California. He was drafted into the military and worked on the production of plutonium for the Manhattan Project. After his discharge in 1946, Jess worked at the Hanford Atomic Energy Project in Richland, Washington, and painted in his spare time, but his dismay at the threat of atomic weapons led him to abandon his scientific career and focus on his art.”

Not everyone in life is going to like what we say and do. In fact, what we say and do might enrage those around us. I think it’s safe to say that to a large extend you do not like the messages coming from the blog, Lizard19. And that’s fine. I know that I do not have all the answer, and I know that I can learn something from everyone — including you. Thank you for exposing me to artists like Jess, and thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Even if I disagree with you (or ban you for extended periods of time) that doesn’t change the fact that you possess valuable information that I am thankful to receive.

Note: Although your ban extends until May 1, if you have something to say that is in the spirit of Thanksgiving it will be permitted in this post.

Magnetic Eye: SSM reads like a “Megamind” parody which is fine for a cartoon funny book, but not for a super-hero book. Speaking of which check out the link below. It’s interesting that someone at Marvel sees that parody that Marvel NOW has become and have published a book called “NOW What?” It’s funny, but also sad, since for me, this is the new reality as my enjoyment of Marvel characters has steadily diminished in recent years. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=18601

Not only has Magnetic Eye taught me a thing or two about Australian health care, but he’s also made some keen observations on Superior Spider-Man. When I see a reply by Magnetic Eye, I always know it will be a good read.

Mark: I’m not sure if this is merely pseudo-science or not, but many of the MMA fighters and trainers I’ve interviewed claim you’re much more likely to get knocked unconscious by blows you don’t see coming. It has to do with your body being unprepared for the moment before impact. Your advice of being alert and alive may be more accurate than you know!

Another recurring theme I’ve seen – in any fight, sanctioned or not, always expect to get hurt. By having that mindset, you’ll be prepared should that actually happen. It’ll also help convince you to do more damage to the aggressor. The theory is that by expecting pain, you’re prepared for it and don’t “turtle up,” as the jargon goes.

I know a few women – many tiny – who do Brazilian jiu-itsu, muay thai kickboxing, etc. and can easily take bigger, stronger men. I recommend anyone feeling unsafe look into these or similar arts as they maximize doing maximum damage to attackers with minimal energy, even in adverse circumstances. They’re also good for physical fitness, mental discipline and social networking too.

Mark is sort of like a ninja. Apparently he’s reading, but I never know when he’s going to pop up. When he does, he usually has something insightful to say. He picks and choose his words carefully, but when he speaks he makes it count.

Matt Robert McKenzie: This is where I will disagree with ya Doug, to a point. When it comes to registration and superheroes, all of them are still by and large vigilantes and operate outside the law to get the job done. To go places the cops can’t because of laws and structure. They break minor laws by comparison to those who commit murder and wanton destruction. And frankly, I wouldn’t trust politicians with agendas (they will always exist and we are fools to think otherwise) to have access to that kind of power because if you were to tag and register every single superpowered character, they would dissect you, kill you, violate your constitutional rights (regardless if you’re the good guy or the bad guy) and then replicate it onto themselves or keep it in cold storage. Can’t say I blame superheroes having secret identities.

Disagree with me? On my own blog? How dare you! 😉 I like someone who will give it to me straight, whether they agree with me or not. As long as the person is tactual (as you are), they’re okay in my book. Thanks for reading, Matt.

Mr. Billwulf: Nice analysis. As convoluted as Toure’s views are, I think there is a unifying theme at work: the desire to hold on to that which is politically correct, even in the face of contradictory evidence. Mary Beth Williams expressed similar convoluted views in her recent Slate piece. Toure and Williams want to believe that abortion is about a woman’s autonomy no matter what. I call this the Political Fallacy, the fallacy of letting one’s political ideology override non-political considerations.

Like Mark, Mr. Billwulf randomly turns up — and I’m always happy for it. I read their comments and think, “Welcome back, old friend!”

natewinchester: One wonders that in a world with mind control, time travel, robot duplicates, alternate universe duplicates, shapeshifters and so much more, if anyone would ever be convicted of anything. (what CAN’T be reasonably doubted in that universe?) Though it could lead to some interesting punishments. “You are guilty of murder. I sentence you to bringing the victim back to life.”

Another good-natured comic book guy commenting on my site? Yes, please. I’ll take all of them that I can get. I don’t collect as many comments as I used to due to time and money constraints, so it’s good to have people around who can keep me up to speed. You can check out Nate’s blog at http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/

Patrick: I think it’s like school, work, or working out; you get what you put in. Can’t speak for the Church of England as I’ve been Catholic all my life and I think we do a poor job of explaining our traditions; they just come across as rules in our Sunday School; I think this scares younger people away. As an adult I took it upon myself to learn the “why” behind our traditions and it strengthened my faith.

I did volunteer for to help out a mission in western Pennslyvania a couple times in my teens, we stayed a week at a time and helped out those that needed a hand; the area was reeling from steel/coal decline at that time. Seeing the good service side of religion made a lasting impression on me. I agree religious contact can be very positive; I hope the Anglicans can right their ship.

There aren’t many people who I trust to turn to in a jam — like an “oh my goodness, this is serious and I need advice” jam — but Patrick makes the list. If you could see all of his comments on this blog, you would begin to understand why. Let me take this a step further: Patrick is probably one of maybe three people on the planet who could say, “Doug, shut up now,” and I would do it without a protest. If Patrick tells me I’m in the wrong on something, then it’s time to sit back and reevaluate things. I might still end up disagreeing with him, but the reevaluation will happen.

Paul Johnson: Great stuff. I think certain dreams also allow you to make connections that you may have been on the cusp of making during your awake time. Be it new ideas, moral discoveries, lessons. And other times maybe for creative enjoyment.

I’ve had a couple experiences, where the dream was incredibly lucid, and memorable. In particular, I’ve had some that played out like some type of thriller or action “movie” which I only use to describe it that way since it had a storyline that I could follow, and recall everything that happened at any given moment during the dream.

Eventually the “story” of the dream came full circle, and when I woke up I couldn’t believe that my subconscious had conjured up what it had.

I think my first interaction with Paul came after one of my fitness posts. I still randomly hear form him on Twitter. Once again, through my blog and social media accounts I’ve been able to meet some pretty cool people. If I was holed away in my room writing a book I would have missed out on some quality conversation with guys like Paul.

Person Who Is Person: Second off, I’m glad to see you bring up this particular movie. Did you know that Superman Versus The Elite is based off an early 2000′s story arc in the mainstream DC comic-verse called, ‘What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?’ Did you know that it was also made in response to a group DC’s Wildstorm Imprint was making called ‘The Authority’ who sort of popularized the whole idea of ‘Superheroes should be jerks who should kill at the first sight of trouble and care more about publicity stunts and maintaining their own power that legitimately helping people’ that was later even more popularized in Marvel’s secondary ‘Ultimate’ Universe?

Person Who is Person (aka, Emmanuel), your knowledge of comics is quite extensive, and like I said earlier in this post, I appreciate hearing from guys like you. I don’t get to read as many comics these days as I would like, so it’s good to be able to talk with guys who have their fingers on the pulse of the industry.

I suppose up until this point I’d describe you as a little bit of a loose cannon, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You’ve got heart and a whole lot of energy, and if you channel it in the right direction I think you could go far. I think if you can focus like a laser on the things you really want, you’ll attain them.

randylewiskemp: I heard today that the program team only had 2 weeks to test the system. They did request several months. I have to agree with the programming representatives. Two weeks is not enough time to test a system that is used in several states and also the federal level.

I still insist that you can run a LAMP (i.e. Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) combination much lower that 400 million dollars. In fact, if you gave me a budget of 400 million, allowed me to build it upon LAMP and hire my own experts – it will cost far less and be much sounder and bug free. I understand that Yahoo runs on MySQL databases. How often has that crashed? And I would also be able to have support contracts in place, to resolve any open source issues.

But they hired a firm with the name “federal’ in it. I wonder if they farmed things out to India and 3rd world countries and kept the profits for themselves?

Through this blog I now get to interact with guys with programming skills. Sweet! There’s a whole lot that I don’t know, and the more guys like Randy that I can run into along the way, the better. These are the kinds of replies I absolutely love.

Rogue:  So, Mr. Expert, if I don’t like the Superior Spider-Man, it’s because I’m too stupid to understand where the story is ultimately going? Wow. I didn’t realize my reading comprehension and ability to see foreshadowing were completely erased because I don’t see the value of killing Peter Parker in order to… well, first it was a desperate act of a dying man. Then it was revenge. Then it was to protect Pete’s family. Then it was to be “superior”.

Along the way, my lack of comprehension must have been completely in the basement when I missed the significance of the mind-rape of a major female character, the petulant, near-fatal beating of a non-powered woman, the second death of the primary character, actual premeditated murder of a wounded and unarmed criminal, invasion of privacy, attacking teammates who want to know what’s wrong, even more murder, blackmail, and an army of henchmen. I’m going back to Dr. Seuss, where I can understand where Green Eggs and Ham won’t blow my mind too badly.

Of course Slott isn’t going to show his face in public, but he knew this would happen beforehand, and entered into this situation gleefully. You can tell it by the way he crows about Peter staying dead, how he AND his Ed-McMahon-stooge Wacker acts (his support troll), the hamhanded way he insults the “whiners”, and of course, the sales numbers.

You can’t demand respect. It has to be earned. Slott has shown he can take Otto Octavius, turn him into an unbeatable force with absolutely no backstory to support how he is able to do this, make Peter Parker a pathetic sack with absolutely no backstory to support this either, and all his allies are either conveniently missing, or maybe they’re like me: too dumb to understand.

I will grant Slott his day in the sun; I believe these are his last, because once he fouls this story up to the point where nobody is buying the books, Marvel will absolutely put him out for the public to chunk rotten food at in the public square. I really am curious as to where he’s taking this, but I hate the road taken. It’s sloppy, unprofessional writing, and disrespectful to the fanbase and the canon.

Rogue: Smart. Smart. Smart. There have been at least three posts by this woman that almost made me jump up and down on my bed while cheering. If I could pay Rogue to just sit and talk about Superior Spider-Man for an hour straight, I would.

sasoc: To suggest that “Fantasy” is harmless is absurd. As the Buddha said, with our minds we make the world. Before we can act, we must imagine the action.

But I am making a more subtle point, which is that high ideals, such as those on which the USA was founded, get eroded bit by bit, in a slow-encroachment water torture, and such degradation occasionally accelerates when sacred objects (the memory of and reverence for George Washington) are blasphemed, such as is being done in this rotten video game.

The promotion of such ideas — Washington as evil fascist robot, the USA as evil fascist empire — should be exposed and ridiculed, and ultimately smothered to death. That’s right, to death.
Why, you ask? Because they are not true, and if you don’t see this then I ask you to keep educating yourself until you do see it.

George Washington is rightly revered as one of the greatest statesmen in history, not only because he was a great General in war, and a great first President of a young republic, but because he chose to abandon the office of the presidency after two terms when in fact he could have been elected for decades more. This turning away from power by someone astride a growing nation is the most rare of human acts. No one does it willingly — except George Washington. This makes him a God among men, and someone of such moral grandeur that any attempt to stain his legacy, either in reality or through fantasy, is an affront to the truth and should be annihilated.

I still randomly think about this comment. It really hit a nerve with me. Sasoc is one sharp dude, and his blog is worth checking out if you’ve never been there. Check out ‘Mastersen’s Musing: The Sword & Shield of Consciousness’ if you get a chance. One day he’s going to write a book and when it hits the store shelves I’ll buy it on the day of its release.

Tim: I’ve said before how if they wanted an anti hero to write about, marvel is chock full. Why ruin the character of Peter Parker who was created as an everyman superhero, that always did the right thing in the end. Stan Lee created him to show the power of getting knocked down and picking yourself back up because it was the right thing to do. My 4 year old nephew is obsessed over spider man and I will never let him touch a SSM comic, because that kind of ugliness does not belong in his life and should never be allowed in any child’s life. This disgusts me in a way I can’t describe. Shame on you Dan Slott, shame on you Marvel for perverting children’s innocence.

Another reader who has his moral compass in working condition. Score.

Tom: In the 1960′s, SHIELD seemed to be a US government agency. In Avengers Annual #1 (1967), Col. Fury said that it was “an American combo, not a blamed international police force.” (Which, I know, contradicts its name at the time: Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-enforcement Division. But then, that name didn’t really make a lot of sense, either.) By the 1980′s, political correctness had kicked in. There was a Daredevil issue sometime around 1982-83 where the Black Widow was working for SHIELD, and referred to it as a UN organization. I think there was a Nick Fury mini-series in the late 1980′s or early 1990′s where he wiped out SHIELD (it had become corrupt) and started a new organization from scratch. But with all the retcons and reboots since then, I don’t have a clue what SHIELD is supposed to be now.

Tom rocks. Period. This guy is an encyclopedia of awesome comic knowledge, but it seems to just flow naturally. It’s like he just “knows” it without having tried to memorize anything. I don’t know if that’s the case…but it’s cool. Some people who talk about comics come give off a vibe as though that’s all they really know, but Tom comes across as a guy you do not want to intellectually mess with. He’s got depth and breadth. He’s got experience. He’s been around the block a few times, and if you’re going to pick a fight with him you’re going to get bloody.

Truthwillwin1: I need a better wage..then work for it. Even McDonald’s has higher paying jobs if you earn them. The bottom job at fast food was not intended to support a family. People need to stop expecting things given to them and instead earn them. Why is the wage $7.40, it is because that is the market rate. How much would a burger be if they paid there labor $15 an hour! The prices would jump up but the average person making minimum wage does not understand the reality of that. They also do not understand that if the wage goes up all costs will go up and they will end up with even less spending power. On top of that all of the money everyone has saved will see a decline in value. The average person just does not understand how the world works. If they do not want a bare bottom market rate job they need marketable skills and that would mean they have to actually do something about their position and find a way to improve themselves. For example there is still a need for more plumbers why not take that job….it requires some training but I know plumbers that make $100K a year. The jobs are there if they are willing to earn them.

Any time I can meet someone with a firm understanding of economics, I’m happy. Any time I can meet someone who dislikes Superior Spider-Man as much as I do, I’m happy. Truthwillwin1 falls into both categories, so I consider myself lucky to have him around. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I hope you’ll stick around for the foreseeable future. Anyone who is interested in checking out his blog can simply go to http://truthwillwin1.wordpress.com/

xmenexpert: I’m about as liberal as it gets. I’m a Canadian liberal (but not Liberal) – that’s “far left pinko Commie” by US standards. But I actually agree that comics have a serious problem when it comes to depictions of conservatives. That seems to be something throughout the entertainment industry. It’s something I find a little odd, actually. But I’m a strong proponent of trying to understand those we disagree with, and trying to see them as good people who simply have a different view of the world.

Two guys who disagree on pretty much everything political, and yet we’re able to behave like adults. Yes folks, it can be done! I had a marathon bout with xmenexpert on Marvel’s new Muslim superhero, but it was well worth it. I’m hoping he comes back for future comic posts.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

31 comments

  1. what a nice post… that must have taken quite a bit of time to write. it’s nice to see a blogger that personally appreciates his readers and those who take the time to interact with him/her. thank you right back… for all your posts, inspiration, and bold honesty. i don’t read every post {not so into the comic book thing}, but for every post i do read, i’m always glad i took the time. i’ve been trying to get my husband to subscribe to your posts, because you’re right on point with where he stands politically, too. he’s just not a big internet guy… opens his e-mail maybe once every two weeks. looking forward to another year of good material from you. and yes… aniwonder is a kind soul. i read her comment, as well as yours, after my latest comment on your “miracle” post, and i appreciated them both, even though i did not come back here to say so.

    1. Thanks for sticking with me through some of my comic book posts, Georgia. 😉 My blog does sometimes have a “grab bag” feel to it. I figure that in the long run it’s better if I just write on what interests me instead of trying to force a political post on certain days. There are times when politics starts to burn me out and it gets harder and harder to find something that is worth staying up late to write.

      Anyway, I really do appreciate everyone who takes the time to stop in once-in-awhile. They have thousands of things to do, and it means a lot to me that they’d squeeze in my little blog between taking the kids to school, making dinner, paying the bills and getting the tires rotated…

  2. As Georgia said, this is a very nice post and thank you for what you said.

    I am British so while we don’t celebrate thanksgiving I would like to thank you for a blog which is relevant to me even though its from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

    I found your blog while looking for anyone who shared my views on “Superior” Spider-Man and through your blog I have also started to read Carl’s Comics and The Colossus of Rhodey.

    Keep up the good work and Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. I’m glad that you like the blog, Andrew. However, I’m really glad that you’re reading Carl and Hube’s stuff. I’ve been checking in at their blogs for awhile. I’m looking forward to seeing where they go with their work in the year ahead.

  3. Thank you for the kind post. I would also like to say thank you again for inspiring me to start my own blog. I would also like to thank you for introducing me to other bloggers. I have been enjoying the blogger community and discussion.
    I always find your posts entertaining and thoughtful.

    P.S. Did you decide where to move yet?

    1. Thanks, Truthwillwin1. I appreciate the kind words.

      Actually, where we move depends on where my wife “matches” for her medical school residency. We won’t know until roughly March. We have our top picks, but we won’t know until the hospital ranks her and all that gets worked out.

  4. Happy Turkey Day Doug and thank you for the thanks though, I will admit, you give me too much credit in the whole ‘keeping my pulse on the heart of the industry thing’ as I’m mostly a self-fashioned novice in Comic Historianism.

  5. Doug, it is awesome you take the time for such a post, and have such a personal touch with your readers; absolute class move! I’ve enjoyed/learned a lot from you and all the commenters represented here- thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

  6. Thank you for the acknowledgement Doug, your positive feedback always gives me a huge boost. The book will one day appear, and when it does you will be named in the ‘acknowledgements’ section for pushing me to do it. I love your blog (my only subscription ) and keep up the great work defending and promoting the United States, the greatest nation ever to grace the face of the earth, and the last, best hope of mankind.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. HM

    1. Happy Thanksgiving, man. This news on your subscription count puts the added pressure on! I’ll keep giving it my best. Let me know if I get out of line, especially if a new Batman movie comes out… 😉

  7. This is a pretty cool piece of fan service Doug. Thanks for taking the time to write it!

    On that note, I appreciate the “ninja” status but don’t really deserve it. For the record, I read all your new blogs when I can. Given that’s usually at work or during my commute(s) home, I don’t comment as often as I’d like. I’ll try to change that in 2014 and beyond.

    In the meantime, keep up the good work buddy. I hope you and the missus had a great Thanksgiving.

    Mark

  8. Doug, when I come back east for a visit, DC can be one of the stops. I’ll probably be in one of the Smithsonian buildings, and we can chat Spidey and eat sandwiches. No charge. 🙂

    1. Haha. Make sure to bring a deep wallet. There’s not a whole lot to eat in that area and they know it. The cafeteria food there (while decent) can be pricey. But yes, if you’re in the area one weekend just drop me a line here. I can talk American history and Spider-Man all day.

    2. True. I’ve eaten there before, and yes, the Mall area is pricey. Maybe half a sandwich and Spidey. American history would take a month. 😉

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