Friday, December 31, 2010

"The Tragic Case of the Scott Sisters:" give a kidney to be free

[Ten months later, a Scott County jury found the sisters guilty of armed robbery and sentenced them each to double life sentences.

Their alleged co-conspirators, three then-teenagers known as “the Patrick boys,” took plea bargains—confessing to robbing Duckworth and Hayes—and testified against the sisters in return for lesser sentences. The Patrick boys all served no more than three years in jail.]

There you go, Haley Barbour, ignore the justice your Jesus commands and obey your "Christ" like continuation of centuries of slavery.

Fuck You.

Fuck You, Haley Barbour, fuck you and my country that a racist, fat pig and proud o nothing half term governor od Alaska can actually gain credence" on the "national stage."

My nieces embody my hope for the future--my nephews too but they don't deign to talk to me--so have eschewed using the "F" word on my blog save for passing of Tim Russert.  As if in a scene from my  novel when the UCF professor learns newly constructed condos afford a view of his "air bath,." in backyard of his family manse.

"As if their sons lack penises and their daughters will never see one."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

FL Freeze Costs Farmworkers

As you watch your nightly news hows telling you how the prices of vegetables will rise after recent freezes in FL, notice you will not hear a word about farmworkers making only a fraction of the normal pittance received for working in the fields.  Please support the Coalition for Immokalee Workers with prayer and $.  The Lord favors those who help others.

 — Since freezes began decimating Florida crops, life has been a struggle for Maria Gabriela Chaires and her family.
Her 17-year-old son asked if he should drop out of high school and get a job, but she won’t let him.
Chaires, 37, and her 77-year-old mother, Juana Galvan, work in Immokalee’s packing houses and they, like many other farmworkers, have been dealing with drastically reduced hours since the cold weather hit this year, first in January and again in mid-December.
“I have three children and I am both mother and father at the same time,” Chaires said. “Right now, things are very hard. It’s especially sad because (of) Christmas ... but the little money we have we have to use for things other than gifts.”
All the money they have goes to rent, utilities and food, she said.]

Coalition for Immokalee Workers: a Cause Worth Fighting For

[1) CIW Takes on the Supermarkets
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) enjoyed a remarkable 2010, successfully obtaining penny per pound pay raises and code of conduct agreements for farmworkers from the three largest food service companies and the growers who had blocked checks buyers cut directly to the workers so that millions of dollars languished in escrow. These agreements stand to increase workers’ annual earnings from about $10,000 to as much as $17,000. The State Department also recognized Laura Germino, CIW’s antislavery campaign coordinator, as an “anti-Trafficking Hero” for her work helping the US Department of Justice prosecute seven slavery operations in Florida over the last fifteen years, resulting in the liberation of over 1,000 farmworkers.
Now, the CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food—think human rights in the food industry—takes on the $550 billion supermarket industryand this kind of backward thinking: “We don’t have any plans to sit down with the CIW,” said Publix Media and Community Relations Manager Dwaine Stevens. “If there are some atrocities going on, it’s not our business.”  
Actually, the supply chains used by corporations to turn a profit—and how workers who give us the food we eat are treated—are absolutely the business of corporations and consumers. Publix, Ahold (parent company of Giant and Stop & Shop), Kroger, Trader Joe’s—all would be wise to either get on board or brace themselves. You can begin to educate yourself and get involved hereThis is a fight we all need to be a part of in 2011.]  emphasis addedCIW

Monday, December 27, 2010

Johnny Cash Covers "Personal Jesus"

Holy Shite, Literally and Figuratively

Even as a drunk who refuses to quit drinking beer--fills me up so can't drink more than 6 or 7 at a time unless family stress intrudes but marginally better than chugging cheap vodka like water--this resonated with me as been there, done that, threw away the underpants.

Right, as if all y'all never had to defecate at inopportune times.

LBJ the Lesser Metes Out Fate of NBA

So LBJ the Lesser thinks the NBA began in the 80's.

As a 52 year old curmudgeon blessed by birth in Milwaukee, only would LBJ jr meet Wes Unseld in the paint in 1968.

LeBron, meet your liver.

While my Dad obsesses over "jungle ball," and travelling in the NBA--try to tell him it gets called several times a year and even seem to remember His Highness Jordan getting whistled for it. The best play I ever saw Michael make came driving the lane against my Milwaukee Bucks, and Greg "Cadillac" Anderson bodied him cleanly and Airness' head hit the floor: bam, Bam, BAM--some sons of Pop's generation pine for time when players themselves would maintain and at times enforce a respect for the game.

Now, players have to bow before the court of public opinion, internet chatter, ESPN almighty, talkboards, and bloggers, plus worship at the stern altar of Stern with capricious judgments of "flagrant 1" and "flagrant 2," as if giving crooked ass NBA refs a GOOD idea for sanctity of the sport.

So Mr. James, invest some of your collectively bargained  $ in tapes of 80's ball with the Bad Boys or Mr. Maurice Lucas and thank Goddess you play in the day when opponents can't knock you on your ass just because they don't like you.

Go Magic!!!!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Help Dan Crews Learn to Live

Mr. Crews needs $ because in the US for profit medical system with little safety net for the unfortunate it takes millions to keep a completely paralyzed person alive much less provide a decent quality of life.

He has gotten thousands of cards since his story ran on ABC News.  If he gets thousands more with $10 in each, that would ease financial pressures.

Myself a survivor of a spinal cord injury after a simple fall at the beach, it takes more than $ or well wishers to want to live.  In my case, it took the rain to bring an epiphany.  On a stryker frame with weights hanging from screws drilled into my head to stabilize my neck, saw lightning miles away from my hospital bed in Melbourne, FL.

With near total paralysis--able to bend legs a bit at the knees, move my shoulders, but both hands in a claw after a c4-c5 cervical fracture, knew could not make it throught the rest of my life on my own so prayed to Jesus for a sign, to make it rain, to let me know He'd support me.

The lighting came closer and indeed rain came, pelting the panes.

Imagine that, came the thought, rain on a May night in FL.  (Sarcastically,) sure, That coincidence sends my sign.

But each time rain waned and doubt came, rain pelted the panes a bit harder, a dozen times or more, until finally peace fell as soul knew Jesus would be for me no matter what, until tears rolled down my cheeks and laughs bellowed forth from my guts, until I answered Hamlet's question for myself as must all humans but knew had to do more than "be" but had to become.

So the self pity of Mr. Crews comes natural to me too as with all children of God, but he hasn't realized he can still become.  He could become a bit like me, a blogger, among the lowest of scum of the literary pond, but still communicate to the world with a laptop and and internet connection.

St Jude's ghost, if the crippled cracker or this little ant in his empire of dirt can do it, anyone can.  (CCracker's layout looks wicked cool and mine canned from Blogger.)  Aspire to more, Dan Crews.

Opportunity does not come.  Humans have to reach out and grab that mother' by the throat and make their own lives.

C'mon peop's, break off a Lincoln for Mr Crews, whate'er you think your Karmic dues.

Hey, Steve Jobs, howzabout an Ipod for my man in this Season of Giving?

[Dan Crews has been a quadriplegic since he was in a car accident at age 3. For the last year and a half, Crews has battled Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa to remove his ventilator.

Dan Crews wants to die, but he can't.

The 27-year-old Antioch, Ill., resident has been a quadriplegic since he was in a car accident at age 3. Paralyzed from the neck down, he can speak and eat, but his diaphragm muscles cannot move air through his lungs.

A mechanical respirator, a clear box filled with pumps and tubes, connects to his throat and breathes for him.

Every day, Crews lies in bed for hours, staring at posters of cheerleaders, watching sports he will never play. When he wants to make a call or use the computer, he asks his nurses to bring him the telephone, which he pecks at with a stick he holds in his mouth. When he's thirsty, he calls for a nurse, or for his mom, Cheryl Crews, who lives with him. They bring a drink and hold the straw up to his mouth for him as he sips.

"I have no friends. I have no education. No education prospects. No job prospects. I have no love prospects," he said. "All I want is to no longer live like this."]

Dan Crews
c/o Froedtert Hospital
9200 W Wisconsin Av
Milwaukee, WI  53226

Saturday, December 25, 2010

"God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth." Apollo 8

Shamelessly copied from Wikipedia:

[On December 24, 1968, in what was the most watched television broadcast at the time the crew of Apollo 8 read in turn from the Book of Genesis as they orbited the moon. William Anders, Jim Lovell, and Frank Borman recited verses 1 through 10, using the King James Version text.
William Anders

"We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Jim Lovell

"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Frank Borman

"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."]

(The forgoing constitutes no explicit endorsement of God, especially that angry Old Testament White Dude of Wrath in the Sky, other gods, Goddess, atheism, Hinduism, Buddhism, religions, and causes making people kill, etc.

I do, however, think Little Baby Jesus pretty cool as a person and metaphor, that the least among men ought to have same value as the so-called greatest.  Sure, it takes embracing the absurd to embrace the story, but after all, it reads not perhaps as a mere fact but more important as a call to every individual to try to make their little corner of the worlds better by helping humans.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Illegal Aliens Counted in Census; Do They Count to RepubliKKKans?

[This week's announcement that Florida will pick up two congressional seats and a pair of additional electoral votes certainly enhances the state's clout in Washington.

But that extra political muscle comes with an interesting twist: The state would have gained only one additional seat had the Census counted just U.S. citizens, one researcher found.

It's a strange and little known quirk of the Census process -- that people who cannot vote help influence future elections -- which in 2010 helped Florida at the expense of states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Missouri.
The methodology has politicians in states that lost seats angry and also puts some Florida Republicans in an awkward position, given tough talk recently over illegal immigration....]  emphasis added
Read more:

Oh that quirky census.  Got to love it that felons also count to divide up House of Representative seats.  So incarcerated non-voters often in FL in rural areas likely to vote RepubliKKKan, count for representation but obviously cannot vote.

Smell the Democracy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sarah vs Rudolph

found at Agonist

For Puling Progressive Pukes Bashing Barry 'Bama

[Accordingly, on a closer and more careful review and evaluation of legislative accomplishments resulting from Obama's presidential leadership, my abiding commitment to political integrity and constructive self-criticism requires me to recite, objectively, those set of facts, that persuasively indicate that Obama has been more successful than I originally characterized in recent posts.
Admittedly, the legislative achievements during this past week's "lame-duck" session of Congress, has provided a more meaningful context within which to evaluate Obama's presidency.
For the record, during his first two years in office his achievements include:
  • $787 billion stimulus for the economy
  • 13-month extension of unemployment insurance
  • Rescue of the auto industry
  • Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform& Protection Act
  • Health-care reform
  • Extension of insurance for a million children under SCHIP
  • Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
  • Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act
  • Ratification of the New START Nuclear Treaty
  • Funding of the First Responders Act ("9/11" Word Trade Center)
So, I congratulate you, Mr. President; and, especially salute and applaud the leadership of House Speaker, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.]

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

While 1 is Oppressed, I Will Organize

"While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight [organize]; while children go hungry, as they do now, I'll fight [organize]; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do, I'll fight [organize] ; while there is one drunkard left, while there is a poor girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight -- I'll [organize] fight to the very end!"
William Booth

William Booth (10 April 1829 – 20 August 1912) was a British Methodist preacher who founded The Salvation Army and became its first General (1878–1912). The Christian movement, with a quasi-military structure and government - but with no physical weaponry - founded in 1865, has spread from London,England, to many parts of the world and is known for being one of the largest distributors of humanitarian aid.

Christmas Gifts that Save Lives

International Rescue Committee, gifts to save lives:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

FL Attorney General Bondi Backs Repeal Amendment

In a stunning display of legal illogic, Constitutional quackery, and ignominious ignorance of US history, Atty General elect of FL, Pam Bondi, announces she backs amending the Constitution so 2/3 of the states can nullify an act of the Federal Congress.

First, ever since Marbury vs. Madison, the federal courts serve as arbiters of questions on federal powers and the rights of individual states under the 10th Amendment.

Has anyone told Pam 'bout the war to preserve the Union, begun ironically enough 150 years ago with South Carolina seceding from federal government?

Pam, the South lost.

Consider Constitutional questions coming with giving a confederation of states power to overrule federal legislation and so oppose the authority of the Congress and the United States Supreme Court.

[Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi says she wants to help restore balance between the federal government and the states. Today she announced her support of the Repeal Amendment, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would allow two-thirds of the states to repeal any law or regulation of Congress.

So far, the legislative leadership in a little less than one-quarter of the states has committed to trying to get the amendment passed. Besides Florida, those states include Virginia, Texas, Montana, Iowa, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Utah. Bondi is one of just three attorneys general who have publicly announced their support.

"The federal government has significantly overstepped its constitutional boundaries by enacting a health care mandate that is not only unconstitutional and an abuse of government power, but will devastate our economy, create a shortage of doctors and a loss of jobs," said Bondi. "The Repeal Amendment would create an extraordinary remedy to fight back against the most extraordinary instances of federal overreach.”

Ken Cuccinelli, attorney for the commonwealth of Virginia, says the Repeal Amendment will act as an important check against an expanding federal government.

“I am enthusiastically supporting the repeal amendment in order to restore the balance of power between the citizens and the federal government," said Cuccinelli. "Over the past several decades, no matter which party is in charge, the federal government has been eroding  the authority of the states and the liberty of citizens.”]

Emphasis added but why even bother when this fool's appointed herself Queen of Constitutional Questions.

Devastate our economy?

Oh, do you mean even more devastation than the ditch dug by the Cheney administration?

Shortage of doctors?.  US already has shortage of general peactitioners,  Ain't no Dr I ever known who missed a Lexus payment worrying about takeover of health care.

Just face the fact, Pam, the US spends more on healthcare and gets worse performance than any other industrialized Western nation.  (Link later but reading her claptrap hurt my brain.)

Kindness in Kashmir for Christians

{A few weeks ago, I [Jim Wallis. Pres and CEO of Sojourners] called Steve Stone, pastor of Heartsong Church in Tennessee and a Sojourners reader, to thank him for his courageous witness of loving his neighbor.

He welcomed an Islamic community center to his neighborhood. The story of his church’s hospitality was aired on CNN. Shortly afterward, he received a call from a group of Muslims in Kashmir who’d seen the segment. They shared with him that after watching it, one of the community’s leaders said to those who were gathered: “God just spoke to us through this man.” One man went straight to the local Christian church and proceeded to clean it, inside and out, because of his desire to be a good neighbor too. They told Pastor Stone that “we’re going to keep taking care of this little church for the rest of our lives.”

When I told Steve how he made me proud to be a Christian, he turned the tables. He wanted to thank Sojourners for all the inspiration we’ve provided for him and his church.]

13 Products Likely Made With Child or Forced Labor

[Some of our most basic purchases are produced by children. Though hard data is scant, it's estimated that there are 115 million children worldwide in forced labor.

Here are some 128 goods among the products that most commonly use child labor, according to newly updated data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The broad definition of exploitive labor by underage workers used by the DOL includes "slavery or practices similar to slavery, the sale or trafficking of children, debt bondage or serfdom; the forcible recruitment of children for use in armed conflict; the commercial sexual exploitation of children; the involvement of children in drug trafficking; and work that is likely to harm children's health, safety, or morals."

The vast majority of the explotiive labor done by children is in agriculture (60 percent), followed by services (26 percent), and industry (7 percent), according to the DOL. But some industries are definitely worse than others.]

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cost Benefit Analysis of Saving Whooping Cranes?

Living in FL now with crackpot tea party toff Rick Scott as governor pledging to "run government like a business"--presumably without massive fraud committed in his previous endeavours--the question in the post title poses more than theoretical, political problem.

Can one prove with math the worth of nurturing a near extinct species of magnificent birds--whooping cranes --back to viability?


Can one envision  young ladies like my nieces looking up in the sky to see a whooping crane flying free and getting inspired to choose science as an avocation and way to improve their little corners of the world?

Yes.  Certainly.

Can anyone prove mathematically the worth of a single manatee to civilized society?  No, but the things look so damn cute as mammals go.

Government exists for humans to organize and accomplish goals unobtainable to individuals, or tribes, or even of individual states in our union.  Saving endangered species, preserving clean rivers and streams, and breathable air, these stand among what we might call the commonweal and general welfare of our nation.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

[This is the season of bird migration, and the ultralight-led Operation Migration is in the sky again, as well. The "class of 2010" includes 11 young whooping crane chicks following a couple of ultralight aircraft "trikes" from their home base in Wisconsin to Florida. This is the 10th year that a human-assisted migration effort has been employed to teach endangered whooping cranes the migratioin route they must learn if the species is to survive. The daily online reports from Operation Migration include plenty of bird drama, and some humor too, as the young cranes make their first foray away from everything that is familiar.

Once safely in Florida, they will join a growing flock of migratory whooping cranes, that wildlife management professionals in Canada and the United States have worked years to establish. This flock had only 5 cranes in May, 2002 – the spring following the first ultralight migration of whooping cranes. Today it numbers nearly 100 adult birds.]
Read more at Suite101: Operation Migration Is Key to Whooping Cranes' Survival Story

Texas RepubliKKKans Execute Santa Claus

Knew them TX backwoods bigots support death penalty, but this goes too far.  Execute Santa?  Did they not see the Southpark Spirit of Christmas gag (definitely Not Suitable for Work) where Brian Boitano helped Jesus and Santa work things out between them?

Found at Wonkette.

Women Prefer Psychopaths

[Bad boys, it seems, really do get all the girls. Women might claim they want caring, thoughtful types but scientists have discovered what they really want – self-obsessed, lying psychopaths.
A study has found that men with the "dark triad" of traits – narcissism, thrill- seeking and deceitfulness – are likely to have a larger number of sexual affairs.
Peter Jonason, of New Mexico University in Las Cruces, believes that these traits may have an innate, genetic component that explains why some men seem unable to stop themselves behaving badly.
The dark triad of traits are the self-obsession of narcissism, the impulsive, thrill-seeking and callous behaviour of psychopaths and the deceitful and exploitative nature of Machiavellianism. "We have some evidence these traits may represent a successful evolutionary strategy," Dr Jonason told New Scientist magazine.]

Middle Class Families Without Insurance Increasing

[As more Americans lose health coverage because of unemployment, the latest snapshot of the uninsured reveals a grim picture: It's not just the poor and unemployed who now go without health insurance.

About a third of California's uninsured had family incomes of more than $50,000 a year in 2009, according to the California HealthCare Foundation.

Indeed, the percentage of uninsured among families earning between $50,000 and $75,000 annually has nearly doubled over the past decade.

"It's exactly the trend that's been driving the conversation around health care reform," said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a consumer health advocacy group.

"As this has become a real crisis in the middle class, it required a bigger fix - which is why the big push for a federal health law," Wright said.

Even as the country begins rolling out President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in March, the number of Americans without medical insurance continues to grow - to an estimated 50 million nationwide and 7.2 million in California.]

Read more:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

King Henri IV's Head Found, Still Hated by Fundamentalists

[The embalmed head of one of the best loved, and most hated, kings of France has been identified by scientists 400 years after his assassination.

After nine months of the most advanced forensic tests, the scientists are convinced that a partially preserved 17th-century head, complete with hair, beard and pierced right ear, is that of King Henri IV, the first of the Bourbons and the great-great-great-grandfather of King Louis XVI.

The head has been knocking around Europe in private collections since the ancient tombs of French monarchs at Saint Denis, north of Paris, were desecrated and vandalised during the French Revolution in 1793...

Henri IV, a contemporary of Elizabeth I and William Shakespeare, is remembered as one of the most humane and far-seeing of French monarchs. He was also detested by fundamentalist Catholics and Protestants alike, and was eventually murdered on a Paris street by a diehard Catholic.

Henri de Navarre, who changed his own religion as often as he changed his mistresses, acceded to the throne in 1593 after agreeing finally "to abjure Protestantism". He is reported to have said: "Paris vaut bien une messe (Paris is worth a mass)."

In his 17 years on the throne, he introduced reforms to improve the French economy and promised that every peasant family should have a "chicken in the pot" at weekends. In 1598, the treaty of Nantes guaranteed freedom of worship to Protestants.] emphasis added

The Oldest Joke in the World; Flatulence, Still Funny after All These Centuries

[Most old jokes, particularly ancient jokes, aren't that funny. Certainly the world's oldest recorded joke doesn't raise many chuckles these days:

Something that's never been known since time immemorial: a young lady who doesn't break wind in her husband's lap.

This had them giddy with mirth in ancient Sumer (1900-1600 BC), but while the theme of flatulence is durable, the gag itself stinks. The same can be said of the oldest documented joke in England, an Anglo-Saxon riddle cited in the 10th century manuscript, The Exeter Codex:

Question: What hangs at a man's thigh and wants to poke the hole that it's often poked before?

Answer: A key...

A fool broke wind while in bed with a deaf person. When the latter caught the smell and began to complain, the fool said: "Come on, how could you hear it if you're supposed to be deaf?"

If you thought a theme was beginning to emerge, you'd be right. Some topics lend themselves to joking, and social taboos are particularly fertile ground. Issues that civilised society deems unacceptable can be safely addressed within the context of humour, and that's one of the reasons we enjoy, and need jokes.

There's something about an old joke, or a classic comic scene, that – once we're aware of its status – can work like a laugh track, coaxing laughter out of us. This could also explain why some jokes have instantly recognisable forms and structures. Consider this, from the Philogelos:

A student dunce goes to the doctor and says, "Doctor, when I wake up, I'm all dizzy, then after half an hour I'm OK."

"Well," advises the doctor, "wait a half-hour before waking up."

This is the first recorded "doctor, doctor" joke, and it's another ancient gag that's still funny.]

"The past isn't dead. It isn't even past." 150th Anniversary of Civil War Start, 20 Dec 2010

[But when it comes to the American Civil War, South Carolina is not ordinary. It was the state where passions ran highest then, and where the flame of the "Lost Cause" is most tenderly nourished now. The war was made inevitable by an act of defiance by South Carolina. How fitting, indeed how inevitable, that the 150th anniversary commemorations of the most traumatic and divisive event in the country's history should begin in similar vein, in the same state, tomorrow.

Whatever else the "Secession Ball" (tickets $100 apiece) at the handsome Gaillard Auditorium in downtown Charleston will be a colourful occasion. The programme kicks off with a 45-minute play re-enacting the signature of the Ordinance of Secession on 20 December 1860, by 170 delegates to a special convention set up by the South Carolina legislature as soon as news arrived of Abraham Lincoln's election victory on 6 November that year...

...Then there is the enduring fondness of the South for the death penalty, especially for African-Americans. Three-quarters of all executions in the US take place in the former Confederate states, a direct legacy of lynching and of slavery before that, when capital crimes were far more numerous for blacks than whites.

Most striking of all, perhaps, is the continuing debate over states' rights – the division of power between the centre and the 50 states. Then it was about slavery. But only last week the argument raised its head again, when a judge in Virginia ruled that with its requirement that every citizen purchase insurance coverage, Obama's new healthcare plan overstepped the power of central government. States' rights, too, are implicit in the platform of the Tea Party movement, with its hostility to "big government" from Washington...]

Benefits of Watching Miami Football Dolphins at Home on Intertubes

Nobody looks askance when I scream, "Die, Chad, Henne, die!!!

I didn't mean it,

 Now when it comes to my Dolphins getting rag-dolled regular right guard--culprit named later--I withhold judgment.

Friday, December 17, 2010

2010 Calgary Hitmen Teddy Bear Toss

[Every year, the Calgary Hitmen hockey team runs a charity toy drive for Christmas, where fans are urged to bring teddy bears and other stuffed animals and throw them down onto the ice during a game.

The players then donate the toys to a local children’s hospital.

Are there any unique toy drives in your part of the country that you know of or participate in?]

"Life Is a Carnival"

"The Weight:" Bestest Christmas Song Ever

"King Harvest Will Surely Come"

Christ's Concern for Humans

"Christianity is being concerned about your fellow [human], not building a million-dollar church while people are starving right around the corner. Christ was a revolutionary person, out there where it was happening. That's what God is all about, and that's where I get my strength."
Fannie Lou Hammer 
From Sojourners daily verse and voice.

Woman Sets Man's Crotch on Fire, Literally

Only the couple knows how the argument started, but deputies say they know how it ended: The woman set the man's pants on fire.

Fortunately, Sheldon Gonzales wasn't hurt, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

But Berlinda Faye Dixon-Newbold is feeling the heat. She's been charged with aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony.

On Tuesday night, Dixon-Newbold, 38, approached her beau, who was sleeping on a couch, and used a lighter to set a small fire at the bottom of his shirt, over the crotch area of his pants, according to a sheriff's report.],0,5971906.story

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Thousands on HIV drugs desperate amid budget woes"

[PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Cash-strapped states are cutting back on a program that provides free medicine to people with HIV, leaving thousands of patients to wonder where their drugs will come from and stirring fears of a return to the days when an AIDS diagnosis meant certain death.

At least 19 states have taken such steps as capping enrollment, dropping patients, instituting waiting lists, lowering the income ceiling for eligibility, and no longer covering certain drugs or tests.

The AIDS Drug Assistance Program is funded by the federal and state governments and run by the states. It provides free drugs in all 50 states and U.S. territories. But because people are living longer with HIV and the recession has created more demand for the program, states have been unable to keep up...

In nine states, more than 4,500 people with HIV are on ADAP waiting lists or can't get into the program because enrollment is capped, according to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors.

More than 300 people who had coverage were dropped this year, after five states lowered their income eligibility limits to as little as $21,000 per year. Hundreds more face the same fate by February if more states follow through on plans to cut their eligibility, the alliance said.]

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bitchin' Kitchen; "I'm Never Drinking Like that Again"

"The liberal backlash that isn't"

[As one prominent liberal after another cried "betrayal!" over President Obama's tax cut deal last week, I cautioned against reading too much into it: One of the most underappreciated stories of Obama's tenure has been the consistent disconnect between elite liberal opinion about the president and the view of rank-and-file liberals.
That point is more evident than ever today, with the release of a new Washington Post/ABC News poll -- conducted late last week and over the weekend, as the supposed liberal backlash against the deal was at its peak -- that shows Obama's approval rating with liberal Democrats sitting at 87 percent. That's essentially where it's been all year; it represents a statistically microscopic decline from where he stood with liberal Democrats in the last WaPo/ABC survey, taken about six weeks ago. Among all Democrats, Obama's approval rating in the new survey sits at 79 percent -- again, pretty much exactly where it's been all year. As has been the case throughout his presidency, Obama's problem among Democrats -- to the extent he has one at all -- is with self-described moderates and conservatives in the party.]

The Palin that Couldn't Shoot Straight

[She {Sarah Palin} no doubt expected a backlash from the lily-livered animal rights lobby, but when Sarah Palin bundled a TV crew into the back of a truck and ventured forth into the wilds of Alaska to shoot caribou, the very last people she expected to annoy were the members of America's hunting community.
That, however, is exactly what has come to pass after the self-styled "Mamma Grizzly" allowed her weekend-long trip to the Arctic tundra to be beamed into the nation's living rooms. Not only did this week's show portray field-sports in an ugly light, say critics; it also fuelled scepticism about whether she actually knows one end of a rifle from another.
Ms Palin took no fewer than five shots to hit the beast which wandered on to the hillside where she was eating blueberries with her 72-year-old father, Chuck Snr. However it was her lousy field-craft, rather than wonky shooting, which raised the most questions about whether she really ought to call herself a "lifelong hunter".
The Conservative blogosphere, usually a forum for cheerleading on behalf the Palin cause, was awash yesterday with suggestions that her outdoorsy image is an elaborate charade.
"I turned on Sarah Palin's Alaska and she just shot four maybe even five times at a caribou and missed," noted a typical comment on the Fox News host Sean Hannity's website. "Needless to say I'm not impressed with her ability to handle a firearm let alone aim it and hit."
Among the basic items of protocol blithely ignored by Palin as she set off into the wilderness in a Rambo-style headband was her failure to take practice shots, or check the sights of the rifle, which duly turned out to be off-kilter. She failed to carry her own weapon, relying on her elderly father and his companion, Steve, to lug it around. When a beast eventually wandered into range, Ms Palin left Chuck Snr to load the rifle, and discharge spent bullet casings.
"What a joke," wrote one viewer on Palin's Facebook page. "I was a fan before the show. No one who is a true hunter lets others carry their rifle or can't load their own shells. Sarah, you are a phony."]  emphases added

Mapping America Block by Block

Microsoft Fixes 40 Flaws

[Computerworld - Microsoft today patched 40 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer (IE), Office, SharePoint and Exchange, including nine pegged "critical."

Five of the 17 security updates -- Microsoft calls them "bulletins" -- fixed long-standing flaws that could be used by attackers to plant malware on a PC by tricking Windows into thinking a malicious DLL (dynamic link library) was actually a legitimate part of the OS.

Only two of the 17 updates were judged critical, Microsoft's top-most threat ranking in its four-step scoring system. Another 14 were marked "important," the second-highest rating, while the remaining update was labeled "moderate."]

Even novice users can run Windows Updates, types guy who tried to make them automatic but still has to do it manually.

Simply click on Windows icon at bottom left, then settings, then control panel, and Updates under Security.

Dad, run 'em; 'tain't too hard

Digital Story of the Nativity: ROFLMAO

Hottest! Pepper!! EVER!!!

[That title {hottest pepper in the world} had been held until just recently by the bhut jolokia, or "ghost chile," which is grown in India.

But the pepper industry was shaken up this month when it was announced that a British chile farmer, Gerald Fowler, crossbred three of the hottest known peppers -- the bhut jolokia, naga morich and Trinidad scorpion -- to create the Naga Viper.

A regular jalapeño measures 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale, which measures a pepper's heat. The bhut jolokia earned the title of world's hottest pepper at 1,001,304 Scoville units.
The Naga Viper eclipses that, measuring 1,359,000 on the scale, according to researchers at the Warwick University in England.

"I'm sure the pepper is going to be hot," said Walley, who grows about 350 pepper plants in his west Fort Worth back yard. "My favorites are the super-hots. You have to be careful handling them."

Naga Viper

Fowler, of The Chilli Pepper Co., grew the Naga Viper in a greenhouse surrounded by snow in Cumbria, a small county in England.

Fowler posted a note on his website about how he has spent the past two years -- a relatively short time in pepper growth -- working to create this fiery chile, which he describes as "something really special."

"It's painful to eat," Fowler has said. "It numbs your tongue, then burns all the way down. It can last an hour, and you just don't want to talk to anyone or do anything. But it makes you feel great.
"It's hot enough to strip paint."

He believes that the cold England weather may have helped his peppers become even hotter. "When they're grown over here I think they fight back against the harsher climate and produce even more.]

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