Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"What Would Jesus Buy?"

[What Would Jesus Buy? follows Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir as they go on a cross-country mission to save Christmas from the Shopocalypse: the end of mankind from consumerism, over-consumption and the fires of eternal debt!

From producer Morgan Spurlock (SUPERSIZE ME) and director Rob Van Alkemande comes a serious docu-comedy about the commercialization of the holidays. Bill Talen (aka Reverend Billy) was a lost idealist who hitchhiked to New York City only to find that Times Square was becoming a mall. Spurred on by the loss of his neighborhood and inspired by the sidewalk preachers around him, Bill bought a collar to match his white caterer's jacket, bleached his hair and became Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping. Since 1999, Reverend Billy has gone from being a lone preacher with a portable pulpit preaching on the subways, to the leader, with the film's co-star, Savitri D., of a worldwide movement to slow consumption.]

Sunday, November 30, 2008

"I Hope Obama Can Keep Some of His Promises."

Qoute from person I respect.

Nevertheless to look at US from what Obama can do for us misses the point.

On election night, he told us rebuilding this country will amount to a long and difficult task, accomplished by calloused hands, brick by brick, stone by stone, weld by weld, by all citizens.

Food banks all over the country need food because demand has soared.

The # of people receiving food stamps will reach an all time high.

So each 1 of us needs to DO something. While respecting volunteers working on Thanksgiving to feed the hungry, this ain't a 1 day deal. Poverty has moved into the suburbs. The US and the world faces a depression, and we must individually help each other. (Link from Suburban Guerilla.)

Each 1 teach 1 someone once said. Tutoring for the Adult Literacy league taught me more than my student ever learned; God bless you Katie Mae McGee, a student who dropped out of school at 14 to take care of siblings in Ga.

Give canned goods at local food bank.

Give $.

Volunteer; local papers usually list opportunities. Local Red Cross branches need people power as well as money.

Live the words, "In as much you did it for the least of My brethern, you have done it for Me." Matthew 25:44
(Words slightly diff in this translation but thought, and the song, remains the same.)

[We have seen a 100% increase in demand in the last year … and food donations have dropped precipitously," says Dana Wilkie, CEO of the Community Food Bank in Fresno, Calif.]

[Fueled by rising unemployment and food prices, the number of Americans on food stamps is poised to exceed 30 million for the first time this month, surpassing the historic high set in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.

The figures will put the spotlight on hunger when Congress begins deliberations on a new economic stimulus package, said legislators and anti-hunger advocates, predicting that any stimulus bill will include a boost in food stamp benefits. Advocates are also optimistic that President-elect Barack Obama, who made campaign promises to end childhood hunger and whose mother once briefly received food stamps, will make the issue a priority next year.]

["Poverty is spreading and may be re-clustering in suburbs, where a majority of America's metropolitan poor now live."

The study was released ahead of next week's conference on concentrated poverty at the Fed. It shied away from explaining the causes of poverty, but past research have linked the phenomenon to loss of jobs in manufacturing, agriculture and mining.

With the U.S. economic outlook rapidly deteriorating, poverty could get worse.

The U.S. housing market collapse has unleashed the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, forcing business to scale back on investments and driving the unemployment rate to a 14-year high.]

Christmas Cards for Geeks

Found link at Americablog: "Because every nation need a great blog."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Consumer Fervor Runs Rampant: Kills Human Beings

In the orgy of consumerism known as Black Friday, '08, shoppers trampled a Wal Mart worker to death when the doors to the store opened.

Yes, that has become Thanksgiving in the US, originally a day to celebrate the harvest and bounty provided by the Almighty (whatever you call Her) but now a weekend of gluttony, football, buying consumer products at marked down rates--marked down from inflated prices so "bargains" still produce profits--and trampling to death.

We have become a nation of "Restless Consumers."

[CNN) -- Three violent deaths in two stores marred the opening of the Christmas shopping season Friday.

In the first, a temporary Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death in a rush of thousands of early morning shoppers as he and other employees attempted to unlock the doors of a Long Island, New York, store at 5 a.m., police said.

In the second, unrelated incident, two men were shot dead in a Toys "R" Us in Palm Desert, California, after they argued in the store, police said.]

[Kimberly Cribbs, who witnessed the stampede, said shoppers were acting like "savages."

"When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling `I've been on line since yesterday morning,'" she said. "They kept shopping."] emphasis added

Friday, November 28, 2008

Obama Backlash Begins

[LA Times By Howard Witt
November 23, 2008
Reporting from Bogalusa, La. -- Barely three weeks since America elected its first black president, noose hangings, racist graffiti and death threats have struck dozens of towns across the country.

More than 200 such incidents -- including cross burnings, assassination betting pools and effigies of President-elect Barack Obama -- have been reported, according to law enforcement authorities and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups.

Racist websites have been boasting that their servers have been crashing because of an exponential increase in traffic.

And America's most potent symbol of racial hatred, the Ku Klux Klan, is reasserting itself in a spate of recent violence, after decades of disorganization and obscurity.

Nearly two weeks ago, the leader of a cell based in Bogalusa, La. -- a backwoods town once known as the Klan capital -- was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of a woman who allegedly sought to become a member but then changed her mind.

Late last month, two men with ties to a notoriously violent Klan chapter in Kentucky were charged in a bizarre plot to kill 88 black students and then decapitate an additional 14 students -- and then assassinate Obama by shooting him from a speeding car while wearing white tuxedos and top hats.]

Fl Drug Rehab Options

A kind comment to my post on "Drug Rehab or 31 Car Police Chase," gave a great link for Florida Addiction Rehabilitation options.

Struggling with my own doomed liquor love affair, pouring vodka into the hole in my soul, did not mean to make light of personal tragedies and addictions.

Beyond the social costs inherent in building more jails but failing to fund treatment for those seeking help, those who've decided they want to live, everyone please understand you can't put anything into your bloodstream to cure all ills.

Whatever the circumstance, something good lies out there for everyone.

You gotta have faith.

Plant a good seed and something good will grow.

Email me if you need personal support.

Good luck and God bless.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Leopards CAN Changer Their Spots/ Bab West's Biden interview

Local Orlando health reporter and "news anchor" Barbara West's interview with Joe Biden had her quoting Marx and using other RNC talking points to the point where Joe asked, "Are you joking?

Buried at the bottom of a story on the interview in the Orlando Sentinel we find out that the inquisitioner had married Wade West, a Republikkkan media consultant: "Several readers questioned how objective West could be because her husband, Wade West, was a Republican strategist, who contributed $2,250 to Republican candidates from 2000 to 2006. Barbara West said he was no longer a strategist and instead runs America Fundraising Auctions, which stages charity auctions."

Earlier in the piece, the Sentinel TV critic, Hal Bodeker, did quote from person at the independen Poynter Institute on journalim: [Jill Geisler, who teaches ethics and management at the Poynter Institute journalism school, said West has a right to ask any question she wants. "Depending on where you sit, you may say, 'Somebody finally asked the question I had,'. " Geisler said. "Others would say it's loaded language."

Geisler found some of West's language hyperbolic and described the anchor as coming from a point of view similar to talk radio hosts Sean Hannity's or Rush Limbaugh's.

"I can ask you 'Have you stopped beating your wife?' and say it's just a question, but there's an assumption embedded in it," Geisler said. "There was a world view in those questions."][emphasis added]

Limbaugh and Hannity, journalists who call it right down te middle. She went on O'Reilly first to defend herself, kind of says it all there.

Later today I'm going to sprout wings and fly AND change my spots.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Down Ballot Effect Pushing Obama Up in Central Florida?

For those unfamiliar with the cesspool of central FL politics, we have 2 real Repukkklican cretis in Ric Keller, FL US Rep. district 8, and Tom Feeney, FL-24, the latter named one of the most as ethically challenged four years in a row, both from slightly republikkkan districts.

Feeney has come in for great ridcule from FL columnists, including Mike Thomas of the Orlando Sentinel and Dave Senior of the Examiner papers.

This pissed people off so badly the cretin had to open tv ads with an apology.

Golfing with Abramoff, MasterCard.
Apolgizing in campaign ads, Priceless!

People usually start at top of the ballot but, possibly planning on pitching out these crooks, could this possiblyy influence the top of the ballot?

Pray it does.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Back in the Saddle Again"

Well not exsctly, but did return homw from hospital healthy as usual--3 squares a day I didn't have to cook or clean after, which minor miracle occurred with me with no medical insurance, must have had to do with me passing out in apartment parking lot with impossibly high blood pressure-- to find door locked with deadbolt but 'puter and peripherals gone.

Stupid thieves, had taken out hard drive prior to sending to HP so they got door stop and printer and flat screen.

At my church using SMALL monitor and really miss my flat screen but Galveston got hammered while I have rest of my stuff.

Blessings abound for all.

Drug Treatment or 31 Car Police Chase?

Local tv news reports featured the father of the suspect and his tearful reports of trying to get his junky son invluntarily committed or into drug treatment.

Looking for video.

Check out the vid; OJ got nuthin' on JM.

Which makes more sense or costs less $, treatment or pursuit and incarceration?

"[Jason] Morse was arrested in April in connection with two thefts of OxyContin in Seminole County."

Monday, September 1, 2008

I blog therefore I am

Going cold turkey hurts.

Without a 'puter, could not read newslinks and fave FL newspapers or int'l ones.

Newslink.org, a project of American Journalism Reveiew, has links to newspapers from all over the world, save for the London Independent with the esteemed Robert Fisk reporting on Mideast affairs.

Sheesh, hard to start my day with coffee but no Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, or St Petersburg Times (the one in FL). It did renew my appreciction of the printed paper, however, so nice to hold it in your hands and jot notes down rather than bookmarking articles that disappear into the ether in a week.

Missed those bloggers I've come to know as friends, 1 sided admiration surely as titans of blogs barely notice my humble little empire of dirt, but reading people daily lets me know something of the individual bloggers: Atrios, Field Negro, Suburban Guerilla, and America Blog. Even have had a few emails from the last 3, honoring me greatly.

Yet, I started this blog for me, not as narcissism but to publish thoughts in my head before it exploded from the crushing craziness of the Cheney administration.

Pres. Skippy even had the audacity, the unmitigated gall, to say on camera after Russia invaded Georgia that violence and intimidation has no place in international affairs in the 21st century.

By the goddess, how could he dare say that? Give me some of the drugs he gets, Prozac probably.

You see, that happens when US invades a country for no reason save oil and hubris; any fleabag country with a flag and a few tanks feels it can invade when it wants to.

If it weren't so absolutely absurd, I'd cry.

Peace out, y'all.

Pop Goes the Compaq Presario Power Supply

Honestly, while sitting on my couch 18 August with the computer turned off, heard a pop from area where it sat. No lightning, computer off, and thing blew.

Still under warranty so it lies in hands of tevh gods to get it back to me.

Spoke with customer service, and nice lady told me their ofc located in Argentina: nice weather, no hutticanes, hopefully that fascist stuff has gone the way of the dinosaurs.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hurricane supplies: "food, water, whiskey"

While having their priorities out of order--you always have to get more booze and beer than you think 'cause with power out what else can you do but get hammered?--nevertheless these folk got it covered:

[Willie Dykes, 58, and friend Essy Pastrana, 48, live on a sailboat in Key West, and said they weren't going anywhere. The pair was filling up gas cans Monday morning and buying supplies like food, water and whiskey.

"We're gonna ride it out," Dykes said, his fluffy white beard blowing sideways in the wind. "We're not worried about it. We've seen this movie before."]

Woodstock ended 39 years ago today; peace and love; I miss Nixon

Woodstock may mark the height of the counterculture and rock and roll of the 60's.

Sure the US had a "No good lying SOB"--Truman's words in Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman--as President who won with a secret plan to end the Second Indochinese War.

Surprise, Surprise, secret plan escalated conflict with thousands more American troops dead and wounded, illegal exspansion of war into Cambodia and Laos, tens of thousands more Vietnamese civilians dead and maimed, US troops and civilians still poisoned over 40 years later by dioxin, some vets now homeless, and Nixon still got the same terms to get out 3 years later: "peace with honor."

Extra side of surge with your escalation anyone? Depleted Uranium for dessert?

"There is nothing new under the sun," wrote the preacher in Ecclesiastes. Then, US supported a small Catholic military minority in a mostly Buddhist country. Now our troops sit amidst a religious civil war, sparked anew by President Cheney, of longer duration than the 100 years war.

At least then we had a media that questioned rather than caved and legislators like Senator Sam Ervin who defended the Constitution rather than cravenly crush it to fight a "global war on terror."

Now we have a presidential candidate who preaches "victory" in the Iraqi war but can't define it,

Peace with honor indeed.

What a fascist, cowardly crock! Like Vidal wrote, "You can't declare war on a noun."

May the Lord have mercy on my soul. I actually miss Nixon!

Lest you think this frivolous ar nostalgic, read a contemporary account by NY Times reporter quoted at Wikipeda saying: ""Every major Times editor up to and including executive editor James Reston insisted that the tenor of the story must be a social catastrophe in the making. It was difficult to persuade them that the relative lack of serious mischief and the fascinating cooperation, caring and politeness among so many people was the significant point. I had to resort to refusing to write the story unless it reflected to a great extent my on-the-scene conviction that 'peace' and 'love' was the actual emphasis, not the preconceived opinions of Manhattan-bound editors. After many acrimonious telephone exchanges, the editors agreed to publish the story as I saw it, and although the nuts-and-bolts matters of gridlock and minor lawbreaking were put close to the lead of the stories, the real flavor of the gathering was permitted to get across. After the first day's Times story appeared on page 1, the event was widely recognized for the amazing and beautiful accident it was."

Woodstock: Country Joe and the Fish (Language Warning)

Hendrix at Woodstock: "Purple Haze"

"By the Time We Got to Woodstock, We Were Half a Million Strong"

Senator Nelson Hates Democratic Congress of Today

Just watched tv campaign commercial for US Rep Fl Distict 08 Dem candidate Charlie Stuart and former FL senator Bob Graham says he's "very dissappointed in today's Congress."

Since this comes in a US House primary campaign, one presumes he means the US House of Representatives rather than "Congress" denoting both legislative branches.

So alleged Dem Stuart runs for US Rep by running against the Democrat controlled House.

Last cycle, he ran a tv ad where he literally wrapped himself in an American flag.

Why do I get the feeling he would vote with Blue Dog Democrats, apostates who've enabled much of the Cheney adminstration legislation?

Oh kill me now: Charles Samuel Stewart wants a new politics based on seeing things through the eyes of a child.


Of course, he wants to end the "old" politics such as "Protecting partisan positions over sensible compromise," endorsing the pathetic impotence of the spineless Democratic majority in the House.

If it barks like a blue dog, grandma sez pobably 'tis.

Makes me wish I cared enough to go to 1 of the primary debates.

At least 1 of his opponents, Alan Grayson has run a tv ad decrying corrupt Iraq contractors costing the US 100's of billions of dollars.

Golly, Charlie, do you think the Republikkkns will run this ad against you?

Monday, August 4, 2008

George Bush Tour of Destruction of US

Found at America Blog, because a great nation needs a great blog.

NASA Outsourcing Space Travel to Russia

"Dismantling of the shuttle program is right on track." Replacement not so much.

Unfortunately with a clueles Cheney administration, NASA has no replacement ready and needs a waiver to law to buy Russian launch vehicles, [A little-known law intended to prevent the sale of nuclear technology to Iran would also bar NASA from buying Russian Soyuz spacecraft after 2011..."

"It takes 36 months to fulfill an order," said Yevgeny Khorishko, the Russian Embassy spokesman in Washington. "So if U.S. Congress does not grant a waiver by the end of September, it means your astronauts in 2012 will be preparing for their missions on the ground and will not be flying."](emphasis added)

So after 50 years of NASA exploring space and making Americans proud, Pres. Cheney has reduced the US to paying Russia for reaching orbit.

One can argue the US space shuttle program has become broken beyond repair and requires replacing, basically because it got built for unrealistic aims: building a totally reuseable spacecraft.

So what does NASA do to replace the shuttle? Retire it before any US made alternative becomes ready and try to privatize US space travel.

This administration tried privatizing US space travel..

So while jobs at NASA and contractors get cut, taxpayers pay millions of $ to private companies to try to develop spacecraft, including 1 company, SpaceX that built a rocket that "fizzled" on the third test rather than reach orbit.

At least that company, Space X, launched and failed. Planet Space hasn't actually built a damn thing.

Let's lay it out: Tried to privatize US space flight.


(For irony, SpaceX launches from U.S. Army's Reagan Test Site in the central Pacific Ocean.}

Americans get laid off and the US has to pay Russia to fly to space

For those too young too remember, the space race with Russia became one of the dominant themes in the 60's and 70's, not just for the US but the civilized world.

Now we gotta pay the godless commies to fly. Despicable

[In April, NASA said more than 8,000 space contractor jobs -- including 1,300 at Michoud and 6,400 at KSC -- could be eliminated after the shuttle is retired to make way for the Constellation program, which is developing the next-generation rockets to go to the moon and later to Mars.

But whereas the Constellation program is encountering technical problems and some schedule delays, the dismantling of the shuttle program is right on track.]http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_space_thewritestuff/2008/08/a-taste-of-thin.html

[(Former astronaut and senator John)Glenn used the hearing as chance to lash out at the Bush administration for failing to provide leadership on space, and failing to request adequate funding for his Vision for Space Exploration. He accused the administration of “cannibalizing” research on the international space station to pay for NASA’s next generation moon program, called Constellation.

Glenn, who has expressed his anger before at various events, said he was deeply upset by the administration permitting a gap between the end of the shuttle program in 2010 and the first launch of the Constellation program, now scheduled for 2015 at the earliest. He said the decision made America dependent on the Russians to get American astronauts to the space station until Constellation was ready. He said he never thought “we’d have to pay for a ticket to fly on a Russian vehicle.”]emphasis added

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cheney Administration and War with Iran

Despite President Cheney allowing a senior US diplomat to attend talks with Iran and subsequent drop in oil and gas prices, US officials have "not abandoned all possibility of a military attack on Iran," reported the LA Times.

[WASHINGTON -- Bush administration officials reassured Israel's defense minister this week that the United States has not abandoned all possibility of a military attack on Iran, despite widespread Israeli concern that Washington has begun softening its position toward Tehran.

In meetings Monday and Tuesday, administration officials told Defense Minister Ehud Barak that the option of attacking Iran over its nuclear program remains on the table, though U.S. officials are primarily seeking a diplomatic solution.]

While reasonable people pray the Cheney administration to pursue negotiations rather than war which would drive gas prices astronomically high, why should they start using reason now with just over 172 days left before inauguration day 2009?

"In recent months, several major developments have strengthened the case for dealing with Iran diplomatically rather than militarily. The U.S. military is more overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan than ever. The resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan has required a significant increase in the number of U.S. and NATO troops during the past year. Iranian proxies in Iraq and Afghanistan could easily target U.S. bases with Katyusha rockets in retaliation for any U.S. strike on the nuclear research facilities at Natanz near Isfahan," wrote professor Juan Cole in Salon (Last para page 1).

Even professional military men like chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff Admiral Mullen, "Mullen seemed to warn hawks in the U.S. and Israel against a strike on Iran of the sort Cheney had earlier envisaged, saying that in light of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, "opening up a third front right now would be extremely stressful on us." Mullen admitted when pressed that the Iranians "have capabilities which could certainly hazard the Strait of Hormuz," though he was confident that the U.S. could reopen it. Despite that confidence, Mullen said that he was worried about instability in the Middle East, and about anything that might contribute to it."

"Both the U.S. and its European allies know that the negative fallout from a war could be immense. Its effect on the world oil supply would be catastrophic. Iran's perennial threats to close the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf in the event that it is attacked have to be taken especially seriously when oil supplies are as tight as they are now. Some 40 percent of the world's petroleum flows through that choke point, and any significant interruption of supply under today's conditions could send prices skyrocketing so far as to threaten the world with another Great Depression. In short, Iran is far more powerful when petroleum is $127 a barrel than when it is $25 a barrel, and that power makes it more prudent to negotiate with it than to rattle sabers. The opening to Iran was not a victory of the realists, but of realism."

Let's all hope professor Cole wrote rightly about return to realism.

Nevertheless if Obama does win the election, let's expect an attack on Iran.

"You can depend on the worst always happening/You need a busload of fatih to get by."
Lou Reed

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Florida Follies: Fixed Elections '08

"They did it once/they can do it again."

The Orlando Sentinel reported optically scanned ballots used in elections by all Florida counties give a "paper trail to nowhere," because by law only under and over votes get recounted by hand.

[When legislators passed the new law, they made no provision for a full hand recount, rendering the paper trail of optical-scan systems virtually useless. The law requires that only ballots with too many or too few marks -- so-called overvotes and undervotes -- be reviewed by hand. The rest won't be checked.

"By law, humans can't look at that paper record," said Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho. "The system is sort of bass-ackwards..."

The state moved to optical-scan systems less than a year later -- but without any provision for a full hand recount of the paper ballots.

Instead, state law requires that any race decided by less than half a percentage point be subject to a machine recount. That means all the optical-scan ballots -- on which voters fill in a bubble or connect a broken arrow -- are run back through scanners to verify the totals.

If the margin then drops to one-quarter of a percent, a hand recount is ordered -- but only for ballots showing undervotes or overvotes.

The rest of the ballots can't be reviewed unless a candidate sues. And activists say that's a huge hole.]

Since the NY Times already identified at least 3 elections botched beyond belief or certainty as to identity of the individual who actually got the most votes, audit trails of paper ballots must become a priority in all states.

In the 2002 election for governor of Alabama, [Mr. Siegelman went to sleep on election night thinking he had won. But overnight, Republican Baldwin County reported that a glitch had given Mr. Siegelman, a Democrat, about 6,000 extra votes. When they were subtracted, Republican Rob Riley won by roughly 3,000 votes.

James Gundlach, a professor at Auburn University, crunched the numbers and concluded that Mr. Siegelman lost because of “electronic ballot stuffing,” possibly by an operative who accessed the computers and “edited” the results, though others dispute his analysis.

Baldwin County used paper ballots that were then read by an optical scan machine. Mr. Siegelman says local officials gave him permission to count the paper ballots by hand, but the attorney general threatened to arrest anyone who did. No count was done.

Lesson: Paper ballots alone are not enough. There must be strong audit laws that mandate comprehensive hand recounts when an election is close.]
emphasis added.


Wall Street Journal: "Is John McCain Stupid?"

The title of this post quotes the headline of Journal article.

The first line reads, "Is John McCain losing it?"

Perhaps only the bastion of conservative journalism could run a column questioning McCain's faculties that goes further than most progressive bloggers. While apparent to anyone watching extended interviews with the senator or keeping track of his day to day statements, the So Called Liberal Media fails to report McCain--at the very least--expresses himself poorly in phrasing and content.

With a link to the Journal article at the Tribune Washington bureau blog that notes, "McCain said things that were contradictory, that seemed illogical or not helpful to his party's chances," part of national media notes his rhetorical irrationality.

So far, the the online outlets of the Trib's national papers in LA and Chicago have failed to carry this story.

When a candidate for the highest office in the U$A jokes on CNN by singing, "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," it should give rise to serious competency questions as to judgement that should resound over the airwaves and in newspapers.

First, it ain't funny to joke 'bout killing thousands of human beings.

Next as a matter of diplomacy, threatening destruction to a country before beginning negotiations can lead leaders of that country to reject any talks and to take steps for self preservation--oh say like building nuclear weapons or conducting missile tests.

Plus as a matter of practicality on gas pricing, speculation in the oil market leads to higher prices based on possible war with Iran.

Even military leaders question McCain's temper:

[It is not difficult in Washington to find high-level military officials who have had close encounters with John McCain's temper, and who find it worrisome. Politicians sometimes scream for effect, but the concern is that McCain has, at times, come across as out of control. It is difficult to find current or former officers willing to describe those encounters in detail on the record. That's because, by and large, those officers admire McCain. But that doesn't mean they want his finger on the proverbial button, and they are supporting Clinton or Obama instead.

"I like McCain. I respect McCain. But I am a little worried by his knee-jerk response factor," said retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who was in charge of training the Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004 and is now campaigning for Clinton. "I think it is a little scary. I think this guy's first reactions are not necessarily the best reactions. I believe that he acts on impulse."]

From the Journal article: [On Sunday, he said on national television that to solve Social Security "everything's on the table," which of course means raising payroll taxes. On July 7 in Denver he said: "Senator Obama will raise your taxes. I won't."

This isn't a flip-flop. It's a sex-change operation...

What I'm asking is, does John McCain have the mental focus, the intellectual discipline, to avoid being out-slicked by Barack Obama, if he isn't abandoned by his own voters?...

...It's not just taxes. Recently the subject came up of Al Gore's assertion that the U.S. could get its energy solely from renewables in 10 years. Sen. McCain said: "If the vice president says it's doable, I believe it's doable." What!!?? In a later interview, Mr. McCain said he hadn't read "all the specifics" of the Gore plan and now, "I don't think it's doable without nuclear power." It just sounds loopy...

...Then this week in San Francisco, in an interview with the Chronicle, Sen. McCain called Nancy Pelosi an "inspiration to millions of Americans." Notwithstanding his promises to "work with the other side," this is a politically obtuse thing to say in the middle of a campaign. Would Bill Clinton, running for president in 1996 after losing control of the House, have called Newt Gingrich an "inspiration"? House Minority Leader John Boehner, facing a 10-to-20 seat loss in November, must be gagging...]

{video of McCain using same insane joke while campaigning; found at link at state 29)

Monday, July 28, 2008

President Barbie: Available in African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic Versions.

2004 Barbie for President Doll

US Dept. of Justice Scandal: Breaking News

From the Swamp, Tribune Co Wahington bureau: Goodling and Sampson of the US Attorney General's office broke federal law.

Link to report: http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/reports/plus/index.htm

Link to summary: http://blogs.trb.com/news/politics/blog/Goodling.doc

There's gambling at Rick's Cafe American? Shocked! Shocked I tell you.

Sure, we progressives have known and blogged 'bout this, but maybe this will provide the tipping point for public perception of the Cheney aministration, a corrupt group of bastards as ever occupied office.

Quote from the summary: [During our investigation, we {investigators from Office of Professional Responsibility and Department of Justice Inspector General} reviewed thousands of documents, interviewed more than 85 individuals, examined relevant e-mails of numerous current and former Department employees, and searched the computer hard drives of several former Department employees.  Goodling declined our request to be interviewed. 

Based on our investigation, we concluded that Goodling violated federal law and Department policy, and committed misconduct, by improperly considering political or ideological affiliations in screening candidates for certain career positions at the Department.]

FL found funds for folks

Mildly amusing and maybe some have sums of $ with FL Bureau of Unclaimed Property. Several for empireofdirt77's but, alas, none at addresses where I've lived.

Let me know, please, if any find any $.

Scott Maxwell's Sentinel column on misssing money.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

FL: Better Robbbed Over Phone Than By Gunpoint

[The revelation that more than 10,000 convicted criminals have been welcomed with open arms into Florida's mortgage industry is shocking, even in light of the state's sleazy, anything-goes history.

At first blush, things look bad for the Office of Financial Regulation and its commissioner, Don Saxon, whose long nap was harshly interrupted by last week's headlines.

And although it's tempting to view this story as just another embarrassing validation of Florida's reputation as the most crooked and most screwed-up place in America, there might be an upside to the scandal...

But let's look at it another way -- not as horrendous bureaucratic incompetence, but rather as a daring, innovative way of diverting and retraining Florida's inexhaustible supply of felons...

Isn't it better to be robbed over the phone than at gunpoint?]

Friday, July 18, 2008

Nelson Mandela's Birthday: "Rockers and Rappers United as One"

July 18, 2008 marked the 90th birthday of Nelson Mandela, icon of freedom in South Africa and for the whole world.

People have forgotten that Mr. Mandela spent 27 years in prison and that Pres. Raygunz said in debate against Mondale all opposition to state apartheid in South Africa stemmed from communist instigation.

27 years of imprisonment, the last 18 spent on Robben Island, where "[H]e and others performed hard labour in a lime quarry. Prison conditions were very basic. Prisoners were segregated by race, with black prisoners receiving the fewest rations. Political prisoners were kept separate from ordinary criminals and received fewer privileges. Mandela describes how, as a D-group prisoner (the lowest classification) he was allowed one visitor and one letter every six months...."

His release came after years of protests and economic boycotts against the racist regime notable among them Artist United against Apartheid, a gathering of diverse musicians organized by Little Steven Van Zandtwith rockers and rappers recording a protest song and vowing not to play in the S. African resort, Sun City.

The mtv pop-up video below Amazon link gives a good overview of issues involved.

The ska band the Specials recorded a song, "Free Nelson Mandela." Six years later, Mandela received his freedom, released from prison, "Great God almighty free at last."

Economic sanctions from governments around the world helped move S Africa to democracy and freedom for Mandela.

Many measures came after citizens lobbied their local governments and public institutions to divest investments with companies that did business with or in S Africa.

Despite opposition of the Raygunz administration, ordinary citizens helped move S Africa to freedom.

People power works: Satyagraha in S Africa, ending the reign of Ferdinand Marcos in the Phillipines, bringing down the Berlin wall

Maybe the Springsteen concert coincidentally on July 18, 1988 in East Berlin even helped mobilize people for change.

Maybe, just maybe, Mr. Obama can mobilize people to change the corrupt Washington, DC, political culture.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

S & M Barbie?/Black Canary and Gator cheerleader Barbies

Finally Fox News runs a story worth reading on how some got their panties in a bunch when Mattel came out with a new Barbie based on a DC comic book character, The Black Canary.

"The doll’s image is transformed with kinky fishnets, motorcycle jacket, black gloves and boots."

Of course, Fox lifted story in toto from the British Sun tabloid, minus the cute headline, "S&M Barbie Lashed By Public."

Oh those lovely Brits, always upholding standards of the Royal Navy: Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash

Why do they deem fishnets "kinky?" Trashy maybe but "kinky" bespeaks prude by day and prurient by night.

But calling poor, sexless, impossibly dimensioned Barbie tarty goes too far.

Calling the Mattel toy out for teaching a generation of girls impossible body type standards to live up to does however seem appropriate.

[One of the most common criticisms of Barbie is that she promotes an unrealistic idea of body image for a young woman, leading to a risk that women who attempt to emulate her will become anorexic...Barbie's vital statistics have been estimated at 36 inches (chest), 18 inches (waist) and 33 inches (hips). According to research by the University Central Hospital in Helsinki, Finland, she would lack the 17 to 22 percent body fat required for a woman to menstruate.[13] In 1965 Slumber Party Barbie came with a book entitled How to Lose Weight which advised: "Don't eat." The doll also came with pink bathroom scales reading 110lb, which would be around 35lbs underweight for a woman 5 feet 9 inches tall.]

So leave Barbie ALONE because, besides body issues, Bride Barbie teaches traditional family values, unless of course ceremony held at a dykes on bikes rally.

The haters ignore a graduating Barbie which extols educational success.

Don't the haters realize Heart Association Barbie teaches the value of charity work and wearing red gowns for formal affairs?

Would a tart market a Barbie laptop learning center?

Would the Christian Voice kooks call my University of Florida chearleader Barbie a tart when she teaches little girls to love the Gators and the importance of college football at educational institutions? They can pry my UF cheerleader Barbie out of my cold dead hands after taking the other hand off my gun!

Damn youse, Christian Voice! Damn youse!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oppose War With Iran: Sojourners-Take Action Campaign

[America, Iran, and Israel have been playing war games this summer: Showing off warships in the Persian Gulf, launching missiles, and testing aerial maneuvers – it is like watching a bad game of one-upmanship.

But it’s not a game. Once again, the talk of military action against Iran has reached a fever pitch, with demonstrations of force on all sides. But this saber-rattling is a dead-end street for the United States and the Middle East.

Tell the United States, Israel and Iran to pursue diplomatic solutions, not military action, in the Middle East.

Another American-led or supported military attack in the Middle East would likely prove disastrous. While we support the elimination of all nuclear weapons, both existing and planned, Iran must be dealt with through diplomatic negotiations with real pressures and effective incentives – similar to negotiations with North Korea – rather than by threats of military attack.]

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Burned over 82% of his body; casualties of war include wounded

[Posted on Sat, Jul. 12, 2008

A soldier's tale: Wounded in Iraq, struggling for a life
Nicholas Spangler | Miami Herald
last updated: July 13, 2008 12:29:06 AM

In the Bradley turret, {Staff Seargent Victor} Dominguez picked up the hand-mic. ''All right,'' he started to say. ``Let's turn around and go home.''

Ooomph! was all he heard.

The weight of the Bradley pressed the explosive device's trigger wires together, completing the detonation circuit. The mines and the artillery rounds blasted straight up into the vehicle's underbelly.

The 25-ton Bradley rocked. Its fuel tank exploded, and a 20-foot fireball shot up into the black Iraqi sky.

Dominguez thought he saw the fire coming up through the Bradley's floor between him and Turner. Then for a while he saw nothing. He and Turner had been blasted out onto the road, coated in burning diesel fuel...

Swaths of his {Dominguez} skin dried, then ignited, layer by layer, down to the subcutaneous fat. Parts of his left foot burned down to the bone.

His Kevlar body armor was melting to his chest. His boots were melting to his feet. His fatigues were burned off. He reached for the pistol he kept in a shoulder holster, but his hand was too badly burned to grab it.

He didn't stop burning until his men covered him with a fire blanket...]

Goddamn George W. Bush, goddamn President Cheney, goddamn all the neo-con supporters of the war and their press poodles.

How dare W make a joke of no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as American troops--mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons--died in his splendid little war? Messianic little shit.

[March 26, 2004

Family of Slain Soldier Calls Bush WMD Jokes “Disgraceful
At a media dinner Wednesday, President Bush joked about how no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, eliciting laughter from many of the journalists in attendance...

{T}here was a shot of Bush looking under furniture in the Oval Office. Bush said “Nope. No weapons over there.” Then another picture of Bush searching in his office. He said “Maybe under here.”

According to the Nation’s David Corn many of the journalists at the dinner laughed throughout the skit.

But the Daily News is reporting that the families of soldiers killed in Iraq are not laughing.

George Medina who lost his son in Iraq said, “This is disgraceful. He doesn’t think of all the families that are suffering. It’s unbelievable, how this guy runs the country.”

Medina’s son, {Specialist} Irving Medina died at the age of 22 in Baghdad on November 14.] emphasis and link added. 69 words in 3 paragraphs of a US Dept off Defense casualty report, 69 wors to sum up the life of a young man.

Pro-war politicians and pundits punishment? Read forever every word of every casualty notice, every obituary, every hometown newspaper story on fallen and injured heroes, to cry a tear for every tear a family member shed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Orlando: Black babies born next to boiler room

[Jeff Kunerth | Sentinel Staff Writer
July 11, 2008
Dr. Alfred L. Bookhardt began his career as a physician in the 1960s, when blacks were barred from practicing at Orlando hospitals or joining the American Medical Association.

A belated apology for past discrimination by the American Medical Association is a small consolation for 79-year-old Alfred L. Bookhardt, a black physician who arrived in Orlando in the days of segregation.

"He feels it's necessary for an apology, but it's way too late for him. Being denied membership affected his lifestyle, his livelihood, his status and the opportunity to grow," said his wife, Ola Bookhardt.

The association Thursday apologized on its Web site for "its past history of racial inequality toward African-American physicians, and shares its current efforts to increase the ranks of minority physicians and their participation in the AMA..."

...At the same time the AMA was denying Bookhardt membership, Orlando hospitals were barring black doctors from joining their staffs and separating black patients from whites. At Orange Memorial Hospital -- now Orlando Regional Medical Center -- the black ward was in the basement next to the boiler room, and women having babies were placed next to men with tuberculosis.

"They went to Orange Memorial, where they were relegated to the basement with boiler pipes to deliver their children," said Geraldine Thompson, director of the Wells'Built Museum of African American History. "Many children were delivered in the elevator."]

Ban anything offensive, even historic pictures

"I still feel that if anyone finds it offensive, it should not be displayed," the Orlando Sentinel quoted city commissioner Daisy Lynum as saying in reference to a photo of a barefoot black caddie holding the golf bag for a white golfer, a picture displayed in restaurant of renovated city owned golf course, Dubsdread.

A later report had this quote. "They say it (photograph) is a part of history," Lynum said, "but so is lynching and killing. Do we keep those pictures on display?"

Yes, Ms. Lynum, places like the Black Holocaust Museum have as an exhibit on Strange Fruit - Lynching in America so the terrible history of racism shall instruct us on how to treat our fellow humans.

Yes, blacks could not then legally golf on the course, but hopefully picture shows a black man making some coin caddying. It also shows dependency of upper class white culture on black workes: waiters and washers, caddies and domestic employees.

Snake Handling: "You can purchase anything off the Internet except common sense,"

[11:11 PM CDT, July 11, 2008
FRANKFORT, Ky. - The pastor of a Kentucky church that handles snakes in religious rites was among 10 people arrested by wildlife officers in a crackdown on the venomous snake trade.

More than 100 snakes, many of them deadly, were confiscated in the undercover sting ...

Most were taken from the Middlesboro home of Gregory James Coots, including 42 copperheads, 11 timber rattlesnakes, three cottonmouth water moccasins, a western diamondback rattlesnake, two cobras and a puff adder.

Handling snakes is practiced in a handful of fundamentalist churches across Appalachia, based on the interpretation of Bible verses saying true believers can take up serpents without being harmed. The practice is illegal in most states, including Kentucky.

Coots, 36, is pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, where a Tennessee woman died after being bitten by a rattlesnake during a service in 1995. Her husband died three years later when he was bitten by a snake in northeastern Alabama.

Coots was charged Thursday with buying, selling and possessing illegal reptiles...

"You can purchase anything off the Internet except common sense," [Jim, director of Kentucky Reptile Zoo] Harrison said. "A venomous snake isn't a pet. You don't play with it. If you do, you're an idiot."]
(emphasis added 'cause guy had 42 copperhead snakes for St. Pat's sake.)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Internet Service Providers Censoring Political Speech

[... Rant all you want in a public park. A police officer generally won't eject you for your remarks alone, however unpopular or provocative.

Say it on the Internet, and you'll find that free speech and other constitutional rights are anything but guaranteed...

To wit: Verizon Wireless barred an abortion-rights group from obtaining a "short code" for conducting text-messaging campaigns, while LiveJournal suspended legitimate blogs on fiction and crime victims in a crackdown on pedophilia. Two lines criticizing President Bush disappeared from AT&T Inc.'s webcast of a Pearl Jam concert. All three decisions were reversed only after senior executives intervened amid complaints...

"As we move more of our communications into social networks, how are we limiting ourselves if we can't see alternative points of view, if we can't see the things that offend us?" asked Fred Stutzman, a University of North Carolina researcher who tracks online communities...] emphasis added

Saturday, July 5, 2008

In defense of Max Hardcore: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press"

1 of my aims in writing this blog would keep it suitable for my nieces nearing driving age.

Nevertheless, some issues come up for attention and skirt the edges of acceptable. Like the Field Negro has written, if I feel it, I gotta write about it.

So the recent conviction of Paul Little, aka Max Hardcore, on obscenity charges in Tampa, Fl raises fundamental issues of criminal and constitutional law.

Criminal law has the intent of prohibiting certain acts deemed injurious to others. Therefore, people should know to not kill others absent self defense (except in Florida). Criminal laws give the public reasonable notice what acts to avoid to stay out of jail.

When it coms to violating federal and/or state laws on distributing obscene materials, no such pre-determined standards exist. The US Supreme Court in Miller vs California considered what materials did not receive protection of the first amendment because obscene.

[The question that the court had to decide was, is the sale and distribution of obscene materials by mail protected under the First Amendment's freedom of speech guarantee? The Court ruled that it was not. It indicated that "obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment"...

The government can outlaw material based on the following standard: "whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

However, the Court acknowledged "the inherent dangers of undertaking to regulate any form of expression," and said that "State statutes designed to regulate obscene materials must be carefully limited." The Court, in an attempt to set such limits devised a set of three criteria which must be met in order for a work to be legitimately subject to state regulation:

the average person, applying contemporary community standards (not national standards, as some prior tests required), must find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;

the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions[1] specifically defined by applicable state law;

and the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.]

In Miller, 5 of the Supremes held local standards of the jury determine whether materials obscene. [The jury may measure the essentially factual issues of prurient appeal and patent offensiveness by the standard that prevails in the forum community, and need not employ a "national standard." Pp. 30-34.] (note 4 from Findlaw intro to Miller)

So potentially, the federal governmen can put on trial any "porn" downloaded by adults anywhere in the US in any jurisdiction in the United $tate$.

Indeed even with recent USSC decision striking down state criminal laws prohibiting sodomy--sexual acts between persons of the same sex--conceivably "gay porn" movies or files downloaded could still subject individuals to prosecution for disseminating obscene materials.

So can't defend nor consider Max's videos as artisitic or even vaguely sexual--vomitting, urolagnia, and/or choking--nevertheless after they come for Max, they can come for Bondage, for depictions of sex between members of the same sex, hell even my favorite Italian horror/softcore/slasher porn. The federal government can try to apply criminal sanction to depictions of of any sexual activity by using any jury anywhere no matter how conservative the jurisdiction.

Or perversely, the federal government can prosecute in a jurisdiction to send a message to others purveying erotica.

[In terms of finding a conservative community sympathetic to prosecutors, Tampa, a city that's home to the Mons Venus strip club and hosts porn movie awards, isn't an obvious choice.

"I've always called it the porn capital of the South," said A.J. Comparetto, a St. Petersburg lawyer who specializes in helping clients create adult Web sites. "They could be sending a signal to producers over there: Don't cross the line, don't even think about doing something like this."

This is hardly the first obscenity trial to puzzle legal experts.

Such cases have a long, often politicized, history.

"It really kind of ebbs and flows with the presidential administrations," Walters { Altamonte Springs lawyer who has handled high-profile obscenity cases}

Look at the conduct conviction criminalized: someone posing as over 18 with a credit card # bought a Max membership and also a postal inspector making the same representations bought 5 dvds delivered by US Post.
[The jury learned that on Jan. 18, 2006, investigators purchased an online membership to the MaxHardcore.com Web site and downloaded five trailers - promotional video clips of full-length feature films - that were available through MaxWorld.

The jury also heard that on March 13, 2007, an undercover postal inspector bought five DVDs from the Web site, all of which depicted violent and extreme sexual acts...]

Guess Max should've used Fed or Brown or whatever rather than US mail.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wesley Clark: slacker only went to Airborne school for summer vacation

"...[General Wesley Clark US Army Ret.] ultimately graduated as valedictorian of West Point...Clark eventually applied for a Rhodes Scholarship and learned in December of his senior year at West Point that he had been accepted. He spent his summer at the United States Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Clark worked in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program during his Rhodes Scholarship, completing his degree at Magdalen College at the University of Oxford in August 1968..."

"...Clark was then given command of A Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry of the 1st Infantry Division in January 1970. In February, only one month into his command, he was shot four times by a Viet Cong soldier with an AK-47. The wounded Clark shouted orders to his men, who counterattacked and defeated the Viet Cong force. Clark had injuries to his right shoulder, right hand, right hip, and right leg, and was sent to Valley Forge Army Hospital in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania to recuperate. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the encounter."

FL don't need no stinkin' Starbucks

Starbuck's? What's a Starbuck's? People living in FL should find a family or cuban cafe with cafe con leche and decent espresso. Starbucks: double frappacino, soy milk, extra nutmeg crap.

[Starbucks Corp., dragged down by a slowing U.S. economy, is pulling the plug on 600 of its underperforming U.S. coffee shops and trimming the number of stores it had planned to open over the coming year.

The shutdowns are far more than the coffee-shop chain had originally planned. In January, Starbucks said it planned to close 100 U.S. stores as part of the transformation plan set in motion by Howard Schultz shortly after he returned as CEO.

It was unclear Tuesday whether any of the affected stores would be in Central Florida.]

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chinese Economists: "Washington's warped conception of regulation"

[Chinese officials seem to be galled by the apparent hypocrisy of Americans telling them what to do while the American economy is at best stagnant. China, on the other hand, has maintained its feverish growth.

Some officials are promoting a Chinese style of economic management that they suggest serves developing countries better than the American model, in much the same way they argue that they are in no hurry to copy American-style multiparty democracy.

In the last six weeks alone, a senior banking regulator blamed Washington’s “warped conception” of market regulation for the subprime mortgage crisis that is rattling the world economy; the Chinese envoy to the World Trade Organization called on the United States to halt the dollar’s unchecked depreciation before the slide further worsens soaring oil and food prices; and Chinese agencies denounced a federal committee charged with vetting foreign investments in the United States, saying the Americans were showing “hostility” and a “discriminatory attitude,” not least toward the Chinese...

...The Chinese attitude is no doubt bolstered by the lame-duck status of the Bush administration and by the fact that the United States is widely seen as having squandered its political and military leadership during the war in Iraq, which China opposed. Likewise, Chinese officials and state news media have suggested that the relatively quick mobilization of the Chinese Army during the recent earthquake in Sichuan Province contrasts favorably with the Bush administration’s reaction to Hurricane Katrina.]

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Whites only swimming hole

The map below shows Lake Bell which lies between 2 Florida cities steeped in history.

View Larger Map
Eatonville lies to the west and "was the first such town to be incorporated. Zora Neale Hurston grew up there..." and as of 2000 census",,,makeup of the town was 89.31% African American."

To the east lies Winter Park "Winter Park was founded as a resort destination by wealthy New England industrialists before the turn of the 20th century..." and as of 2000, "The racial makeup of the city was 85.90% White."

Winter Park officials want to deny Eatonville right to build boat dock on shoreline within city boundaries.

Before casting this as purely racial, let me add a caveat: Florida leads the nation in stamping out every bit of undeveloped land with concrete, asphalt, and buildings which end the natural interlations within the ecology.

So giving the lady interviewed on tv her due when she said homeowners worried about environmental concerns and not racism, if it were about the natural resources, they would seek to compromise on access rather than seek to ban access by Eatonville.

In Florida, when they say it ain't 'bout race, usually 'tis.

"Winter Park will ask Orange County for control of Eatonville's access to Lake Bell for motorboats or swimming, according to a Monday resolution by the City Commission. The Orange County Commission has held that authority since the school district gave Eatonville a piece of lakefront property in 1997. Winter Park has annexed most of the shoreline and the majority of the lake. Lake Bell homeowners have resisted Eatonville's attempts to build a boat ramp for several years. Eatonville Mayor Anthony Grant said Winter Park has no right to control his town's access."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fuck Tim Russert the "Legend of Journalism"

With all due respect to Mr. Russert as a human being and condolences to his family and friends, the last 2 days of sycophants lauding him with hyperbole better applied to real journalists such as Edward R. Murrow or Jimmy Breslin has made my head explode.

Seriously, has anyone outside the so called So Called Mainstream Media considered Russert an impartial journalist?

I come not to bury Mr. Russert as an incompetent hack partisan masquerading as neutral obeserver, but to praise him for helping pioneer and build a fact free journalism, which "tolerate[s]lazy, undisciplined reporting, in which careless habits of thought are routinely applied to even the simplest sorts of data."

So throughout the 90's russert insinuated that President Clinton lied but after the Cheney administration invaded Iraq on the basis of lies he failed to rouse himself from his stupour to ask Jr cogent questions during an hour long interview.

Russert served his Republican masters so well that his show, Meet the Press, served as conduit for President Cheney's propaganda and lies.

Jeepers, just search Daily Howler or Media Matters

What doth it profit a man if he gains the world of media elites but loses hi acquaintance with truth?

See you in hell, Tim.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Modern Slavery: the greatest shame of Florida

Surely in June 2008, no one lives in slavery in the United $tates of America?

Tell that to thousands of workers freed by work done by Coaliton of Immolakee Workers and federal prosecutors.

[Slavery exists in America. Still. This is the shocking revelation of Nobodies, the tale of author John Bowe's investigation into active slave rings on American soil. It's a discomforting notion, since modern American society has become comfortable with the idea that slavery is an atrocity that exists only in America's past, or in countries where the rule of law hasn't been established...

Bowe exposes modern-day slavery at several U.S. companies in the States and Saipan, and reveals a chilling corporate view--that what is "an embarrassment to modern notions of human rights" is a necessary consequence of free trade. Bowe also posits that more often than not, there is an enslaved worker hunched over a sewing machine or a sun-beaten fruit picker behind every cheap good American consumers enjoy.

Bowe begins his investigation in central Florida, which one former DOJ prosecutor he interviews calls "ground zero for modern slavery." He arrives in 2002, in time for the trial of Juan and Ramiro Ramos, brothers accused of operating a slavery ring in Immokalee, Fla., an agricultural area carved out of the swamps where farm workers pick tomatoes and oranges for such companies as Taco Bell and Tropicana. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District in Florida found the Ramos brothers guilty of conspiracy to hold people in involuntary servitude...]

Irony alert: in 2007. my favorite slave master got 30 years after prosecution by the Department of Justice, a sentence warranted by facts: [the Evans' deducted rent, food, crack cocaine and alcohol from workers' pay, holding them "perpetually indebted" in what the DOJ called "a form of servitude morally and legally reprehensible...

...in 2003. In Florida, Ron Evans worked for grower Frank Johns (query Federal Elections Commission data). Johns was 2004 Chairman of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, the powerful lobbying arm of the Florida agricultural industry. As of 2007, he remained the Chairman of the FFVA's Budget and Finance Committee.]]

Booze, crack, food rent, throw in some hookers, and I'll sign up also.

Seriously, however, only a small percentage of Americans have stamina for the back-braking work of picking tomatoes and getting about $200 a week filling 32 lbs buckets. Show me the anti immigrant ignoramuses like Lou Dobbs or Pat Buchanon trying to pick tomatoes for $10,000 to $12,500 per year., and l'll show you heart attacks in waiting. In Florida, businesses have counter attacked with fake emails, misinformation, and intransigence.

Slavery exists in the tomato fields of Florida, a U.S. Senate committee was told Tuesday.

"Today's form of slavery does not bear the overt nature of pre-Civil War society, but it is none the less heinous and reprehensible," Collier County Sheriff's Detective Charlie Frost told Democratic members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee. No Republicans attending [sic] the hearing...

Eric Schlosser, an investigative reporter and author of "Fast Food Nation," testified he found it "incredible" that slavery exists in 2008, but "I find it even more incredible that the tomato growers of Florida and some of their largest customers continue to deny that such abuses exist...

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said workers would have to pick almost 3,000 tomatoes to earn $14 and would have to fill and empty their buckets every two minutes.]
West Palm Beach Post, 4/16/08]

Of course, by diking Lake Okeechobee and building "flood control" systems, the state of FL and Army Corps of Engineers created land to grow fruits and vegetetables, and sugar and overbuild in coastal flood plains--y'all paying for it, suckahs--but of course Hoover Dike like "swiss cheese."

Or as Michael Greenwald put it in Why the Everglades is Burning: "Enter my friends in the Army Corps of Engineers, the ground troops in America's war against nature. They built the massive Hoover Dike around the lake, forever cutting off the Everglades from its wellspring. Then they built America's most ambitious flood-control system, with more than 2,000 miles of levees and canals, plus pumps so powerful the engines were cannibalized from nuclear submarines. The project gave water managers power to move almost every drop of rain that fell south of Orlando, allowing them to whisk floodwaters into the lake, the Everglades, or its estuaries for the convenience of thirsty farms and communities that only wanted water when they wanted it.

These waterworks made southern Florida safe for 400,000 acres of sugar fields, as well as one of the spectacular development booms in human history. On the southeast coast, suburbs like Coral Springs, Miami Springs, Sunrise, Miramar, Weston, and Wellington began sprouting west of I-95, paving over the eastern Everglades. And on the southwest coast, Naples and Fort Myers started marching east into the western Everglades." Link found at eyeonmiami.com

So any wonder Florida--courtesy of JEB! Bush and his development cronies--serves as
epicenter for world creit mortgage crisis. http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/search/label/Housing%20crash

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Florida Follies: Huge Confederate Flag and Shot 68 Times

Nothing to do with a black man getting nominated for President of the United States. just honoring Jefferson Davis' birthday.

Huge Confederate flag is raised early along I-75 and I-4
By Jan Wesner and Andrew Meacham, Times Staff Writers
In print: Wednesday, June 4, 2008

TAMPA — Men [missing teeth and of limited mental capacity] driving pickups honked and flashed a thumbs-up sign. One yelled "Hell, yeah!" Another pumped his fist [the 1 not holding the beer] in the air.

Others, though, weren't nearly as pleased at the sight of a Confederate flag the size of a semitrailer truck flying Tuesday high above the junction of Interstates 75 and I4.

"It's huge and it's obnoxious," said Curtis Stokes, president of the Hillsborough County branch of the NAACP.

Organizers building a Civil War monument at the site said last week they hoped to fly the Confederate flag sometime next year. But they raised it shortly after sunrise Tuesday to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederate States of America...

"I love it. It's gorgeous," said Tanya Heard [whose white ancestors used to own black people], 27, who lives nearby and pulled over to look up at the flag, along U.S. 92 in the Eureka Springs neighborhood just west of I-75.

The flag, which cost $800, was lowered at sundown and organizers said it won't go up again until the site is officially dedicated...[yesirree Bob, just a damn coincidence]...

Tampa resident Marion Lambert [an ignorant redneck cracker bitch], a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, paid $7,000 for the 0.19-acre site in January 2004. In February 2005, Lambert met with six planners from Hillsborough's Planning and Growth Management Department, who advised him how to prepare an application for a variance to build a monument.

In April 2005, county records show, a land use hearing officer approved Lambert's request for a lighted park with monuments and a flagpole "to commemorate American [and lynching. Jim Crow and segregation] veterans."

But no one in county government asked Lambert which veterans he planned to honor, or how...

While the flag's outline was visible from more than a mile away at some points, it was the view from the southbound lanes of I-75 that took drivers' breath away.

It was suddenly, jarringly there as drivers rounded a bend in the road and crested the I-4 overpass, and just as they came upon the exit sign that says "Martin Luther King Blvd. 1 mile." The flag made [Florida a national laughingstock] this week on CNN and Fox News...

[In an unrelated except in a desecration of what little passes for justice these days]

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Department of Justice says SWAT team officers didn't use excessive force when they shot the suspected killer of a sheriff's deputy 68 times during a manhunt near Lakeland in 2006.

[68 freakin' times! How dead can you make someone? No trial for this dreadlocked (pic on newscast) cop killing nigra. Why he even shot the police dog! He's lucky we didn't shoot him 168 times.]

Angilo Freeland was the man believed to have fatally shot a Polk County deputy and his police dog. Nine officers fired on the 27-year-old after finding him hiding in the woods the next morning. They say a sudden movement by the suspect caused them to fire.

The Justice Department sent a letter to Sheriff Grady Judd this week saying an investigation had concluded that Freeland's civil rights had not been violated.

Don Brown, president of the local NAACP chapter, says he still believes the number of shots fired at Freeland was excessive. He called it "profoundly disturbing."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A new dawn in America; Obama and RFK's dream

In 1968 at the tender age of 10, I saw Julian Bond nominated for office of Vice President of the United States in America.

Little did I know it would take 40 years, a biblical generation, for one of African American descent to achieve nomination for President.

While the electoral map looks favorable and all rationality lines up behind Senator Obama rather than a third President Cheney term--"This is the baseline. Democrats have the money advantage, the issues advantage, and soon, we'll be unified. When that happens, expect this map to improve significantly." (Also from Kos link)--all progressives need to work to heal wounds among factions so as to protect the Constitution and our very liberty.

If the Good Lord were willing, then we will have a President who embodies the vision of Robert F. Kennedy as described in eulogy by his brother, Ted: [ "The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of new ideas and bold projects. Rather it will belong to those who can blend vision, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the ideals and great enterprises of American Society.

"Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny. There is pride in that, even arrogance, but there is also experience and truth. In any event, it is the only way we can live."

This is the way he lived. My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.

As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him:

"Some men see things as they are and say why.
I dream things that never were and say why not."]


[During the 1968 Presidential election, Bond led a challenge delegation from Georgia to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Here, unexpectedly and contrary to his intention, he became the first African-American to be proposed as a major-party candidate for Vice President of the United States. While expressing gratitude for the honor, the 28-year-old Bond quickly declined, citing the constitutional requirement that one must be at least 35 years of age to serve in that office.]

Thursday, May 29, 2008

ABC spiked stories that conflicted with pro-war propaganda

[On Wednesday night, CNN's Jessica Yellin talked to Anderson Cooper about Scott McClellan's tell-all memoir and agreed with the former press secretary that White House reporters "dropped the ball" during the run-up to war.

But Yellin went much further, revealing that news executives — presumably at ABC News, where she'd worked from July 2003 to August 2007 — actively pushed her not do hard-hitting pieces on the Bush administration. [See update]

"The press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings," Yellin said.

"And my own experience at the White House was that the higher the president's approval ratings, the more pressure I had from news executives — and I was not at this network at the time — but the more pressure I had from news executives to put on positive stories about the president, I think over time...."

But then a shocked Cooper jumped in, asking, "You had pressure from news executives to put on positive stories about the president?"

"Not in that exact.... They wouldn't say it in that way, but they would edit my pieces," Yellin said. "They would push me in different directions. They would turn down stories that were more critical, and try to put on pieces that were more positive. Yes, that was my experience."]