Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Governor 48.9%'s Latest Offenses Against the Commonweal and Common Sense

"A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar."
H. L. Mencken

Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hlmencke157553.html#ixzz1Ny71TGd3

Great H. L. Mencken's ghost, teabaggers and Governor 48.9%, how can you fundamentally fail to realize cutting jobs hurts the economy and, by the way, leads to injuries, deaths, at least 1 suicide of a child in state custody, and still no one can find Rilya Wilson, a missing black child.

Juvenile Justice centers to close: [Two Central Florida facilities are among five juvenile detention centers that will be shut down after recently approved statewide budget cuts, officials said.

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice announced last week that the juvenile detention centers in Osceola and Seminole counties will close by June 30.

Officials said that statewide, 1,229 positions will be eliminated, 500 of which are currently vacant. A spokesman said the agency is working to help laid-off employees find new jobs, either with the state or elsewhere.]

FL Dept. of Children and Families lays off 500 workers: [By Ana M. Valdes, The Palm Beach Post
10:24 p.m. EDT, May 26, 2011

[Twenty-six employees at the state Department of Children & Families in Palm Beach and Broward counties were told Thursday they will lose their jobs by the end of June, as part of a statewide plan to cut 500 positions at the child welfare agency.

Employees from DCF's support services office, human resources, information technology, the substance abuse and mental health program, adult protective services and the Access program, which administers food stamps, were affected, said Perry Borman, director for the Southeast Region of DCF, which includes close to 1,300 employees.] Yeah, like in FL we take great car of our vulnerable children already. (Links to follow but just too damn angry now.)

Of course, taking care of vulnerable kids gets loads easier when "authorities" (Dr,'s paid by makers of the drugs)dope kids up on anti-depressants even though drugs not approved for children: [...Doctors prescribed heavy doses of antipsychotic drugs for children in DJJ custody even before the drugs were deemed safe for kids.

Seroquel, for example, wasn't approved for kids until late 2009. Between mid-2006 and mid-2008, DJJ bought at least 217,563 tablets of Seroquel for children in the department's custody.

The state has no rules requiring drug companies to disclose payments to doctors. DJJ has no policy requiring contracted doctors to disclose conflicts of interest. In overhauling health care last year, Congress enacted a measure that requires all drug companies to disclose payments and gifts to doctors. However, that part of the law won't take effect until 2013.] emphasis addd

Even wayward teens who almost might have dabbled in drugs--maybe MARIJUANA!!!--knew such extreme dosages amounted to drug abuse by psychiatrists: [Florida has plied children in state juvenile jails with heavy doses of powerful antipsychotic medications.

The pills, widely viewed as the "big guns" of psychiatry, can cause suicidal thoughts and other dangerous side effects.

Yet, in state-run jails and residential programs, antipsychotics were among the top drugs bought for kids - and they routinely were doled out for reasons that never were approved by federal regulators, a Palm Beach Post investigation has found.

Reacting to the newspaper's findings, the head of Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice ordered a sweeping review of the department's use of antipsychotic medications. As it stands now, DJJ doesn't track prescriptions and has no way of telling whether doctors are putting kids on pills simply to make them easier to control.

"This is a very important issue," said Broward County Public Defender Howard Fink­elstein, whose office represents children in juvenile court. "If kids are being given these drugs without proper diagnosis, and it is being used as a 'chemical restraint,' I would characterize it as a crime. A battery - a battery of the brain each and every time it is given."

In some cases, the drugs are prescribed by contract doctors who have taken huge speaker fees and other gifts from makers of antipsychotic pills, companies that reap staggering profits selling medications, The Post found.

The medications have poured out at such a rate, said one former inmate, that even a confused teenager could tell that this wasn't how things were supposed to be.] emphasis added

Sis, how old has the oldest niece gotten? 16? Do I really have to refrane from profane writing for 2 more years?


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gil Scott Heron Saved My Life With "B Movie," RIP

In the dark days following the election of a barely competent B Movie actor in November 1980, Gil Scott Heron spoke truth to people, that Ronald Raygunz' so called mandate amounted to just above a quarter of the electorate.

Mandate?  Mandate my ass!

Within a month, 3 American nuns and a Catholic lay worker died at the hands of a Salvadoran death squad, brutalized and raped.

A former Salvadoran National Guard commander implicated in the cover up legally came to America while nuns and priests in the US found themselves prosecuted for trying to help victims and targets find sanctuary from the US sponsored death squads in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

The election ushered into government an era of documented criminality unsurpassed perhaps by even the Cheney administration for at least the latter had fig leaf of 11 September attacks to cover assaults on the US Constitution.

Nevertheless, despite the media missing the issues at the time, the Revolution did find new form with Artists United Against Apartheid, with "Sun City" (pop up version).

On the vinyl platter, Gil Scott Heron sang, "Let Me See Your ID."

Never in a million years did sane people think S African apartheid era pass laws would come to America, speecifically in AZ.

So the struggle renews afresh, the working for the dignity of every breathing human starting with the least powerful of us.

Yes, the revolution will not air on television for it  begins in our hearts in desire to make things better for all children everywhere.

It continues as we reach out, make human connections, and organize, not just on Facebook but where people live, in the schools, our union halls, the streets of Madison and Tallahassee, wherever the powerful try to strip what little dignity remains for the downtrodden,

FL. Siesta Beach on Siesta key Named Best Beach in United States

[Dr. Beach, aka Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, Director of Florida International University's Laboratory for Coastal Research, releases his Top 10 Beach List before Memorial Day each year. Siesta Beach, on Siesta Key, a barrier island southwest of Sarasota, has been playing bridesmaid for two years now, but earned top honors in this, the 21st year of Dr. Beach's rankings.

"Siesta Beach in Sarasota boasts that it has the finest and whitest sand in the world, and I cannot argue with this claim," Leatherman said of this year's winner. "The powdery sand is nearly pure quartz crystal. The beatiful blue-colored water is clean and clear, making it so inviting to bathers and swimmers."]

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Errant Weapon Injures 4 Inside Restaurant

Update: Received email from Orlando Sentinel reporter, David Breen, who identified the weapon in question as Springfield XD-9 9mm pistol. Although description found at this link describes a 40 caliber rather than a 9 millimeter, seems like a process requiring pulling the trigger to field strip a pistol amounts to a design flaw rather than feature.

"I don’t think so. I can still envision a scenario in which while holstering an XD, the grip safety could be depressed, the trigger could catch on the holster in some way, and an accidental discharge could occur. The XD is simple, like a Glock or a revolver. All you have to do to fire it is to pick it up and pull the trigger." http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/review/XD-9_Tactical.htm

Yes, xd in Springfield XD 90 stands for extreme duty, and guess the guarding of an Orlando Smokey Bones Restaurants counts as "Extreme Duty," only a couple steps removed from Seal Team 6.

Fellow Voters, have you failed to notice the spate of accidental firearms discharges around the county coincides with easier concealed weapons license and open carry laws around the country?

You stand a better chance of getting shot by a fellow citizen than having an armed person ride to your rescue like the Lone damn Ranger.

Don't own a Glock!

Don't keep a round in the chamber!

[By David Breen, Orlando Sentinel
9:17 p.m. EDT, May 24, 2011

Thinking of bringing your gun out to dinner with the family? A man who did just that this evening ended up injuring four people, himself included, at a Smokey Bones restaurant on East Colonial Drive in Orlando.

The victims, including a 4-year-old boy, were slightly injured when the gun went off accidentally in the restaurant's foyer, Orlando police said.

The owner of the gun, a 35-year-old man who was not identified, suffered powder burns and abrasions to his leg. He declined medical treatment.]


Destroying Public Education: DeVos PA Edition

RepubliKKKans Kill Cripples

[Activists asked Tom Corbett to talk about his draconian cuts to services for the disabled. Instead of acting like an adult and discussing their issues with them he sent out the capital police to make sure they didn't go into his office. For several hours the activists held a sit-in and chanted outside the governors office with promises of being back after the legislative break.]

Windows Crappy Software: Free malicioius software removal tool

[Computerworld - One in every 20 Windows PCs whose users turned to Microsoft for cleanup help were infected with malware, Microsoft said this week.

Microsoft cited that statistic and others from data generated by its new Safety Scanner, a free malware scanning and scrubbing tool that re-launched May 12.

The 420,000 copies of the tool that were downloaded in the first week of its availability cleaned malware or signs of exploitation from more than 20,000 Windows PCs, Microsoft's Malware Protection Center (MMPC) reported Wednesday. That represented an infection rate of 4.8%.]

Microsoft Malware Protection Center: http://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/Default.aspx

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jamie Oliver: Beef Slime



Gosh, guess I ought get a sirloin tip roast and get my butcher to cut steaks and grind chopped meat for me.

Ain't never gonna eat McDonalds no more.

Alan Grayson to me: "Will you help?"

In a word, Alan, no.

Did anyone in your office ever return 1--ONE--of my calls during your time in office seeking information on applying for Medicaid, or how to get it in FL after deemed eligible to receive disability payments for the second time in my life?

No, you and your staff did not.

Y'all forgot the cardinal rule that all politics is local.  You yourself sought the spotlight and progressive MSNBC adulation but did pinga for moi.

If you run for FL-08 again against Mr. Webster, you will not receive my vote.

Have a nice day!

Text of email received 27 May 2011:
[Dear Daniel,
I’m going to ask you something that I haven’t asked in over six months. Would you please make a contribution today to our campaign?
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been more than six months since the 2010 election. Six months in which we’ve learned a lot about the right wing in America, and what they do when they have power.
I lost the election last year, but I didn’t slink away. I’m still fighting for what’s right. You saw that in the fight against tax cuts for the rich. You’ve seen it since.
I am asking for your help because our campaign received two bills, well after the 2010 election, each for over $15,000. They weren’t in our campaign budget, but these are legitimate bills, and it’s time that we paid them.
I’m not going to tell you that there is some deadline, or some desperate need, or matching funds, or anything like that. Just that we have two vendors who have been very patient, and it’s time that they were paid.
Alan Grayson]

Pay 'em your own damn self, Al.

Lest any think me too harsh, see this image included in the email, seems reminiscent of Sistine Chapel ceiling. Al, buddy, you best check what your staff does in your name. Plus, didn't you self finance your campaign? 30 G ought amount to pocket change for you.

Fell my misers' mite best to go towards Tuscaloosa or Act Blue this month 'Sides, my green picture of Pres. Lincoln ain't gonna go too far for you.

A Picture Gallery Worth a Million Right Wing Scary Lies

OMG, screamed 1 US Supreme Court Justice dissent in a case on cruel and unusual punishment in CA, people might get out of jails rather than held in inhuman, dangerous, and noxious to any notion of civil society that most understand; even Justice Anthony Kennedy agrees with me.

So you can believe right wing blather and ignore what your lying eyes see.

Or you can go and look at the whole gallery at Mother Jones.

Looks a mite bit crowded..

Photo of booths used to hold prisoners with mental illnesses while they waited for beds in psychiatric units, waited up to 24 hours standing in their own urine and waste 'cause cages have no toilets.

How many people in first photo has the state of California imprisoned for non-violent offenses, how many for marijuana possession?

Luol Deng Dunks on Queen James

Guinness Tastes Better in Ireland

Well duh.

[. All Guinness sold in Ireland is made in Ireland, so the travel miles are minimal in comparison. Meaning an Irish pint of Guinness is probably the freshest on offer.

2. Guinness is a popular is almost every watering hole in Ireland, which means there the draw on the lines is regular, which in turn drastically, increases the quality of the stout.

3. In Ireland the Guinness is usually only sold in a proper branded glass, which is the perfect shape and volume for a pint. You wouldn’t expect to be served a glass of Chardonnay in a tumbler while in Napa Valley. Same thing applies for Guinness in Ireland.

4. A publican outside of Ireland is more unlikely to have the correct combination of gases. Guinness has a carbonated level less than half of a normal beer and the perfect pint involves a precise blend of carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

5. Working in an bar anywhere in Ireland, one of the first things you learn to do is pull a pint of Guinness. Tilting the glass as you pour, allowing enough time for it to settle before topping it off with the perfect head, is a skill acquired by few but mastered by the Irish.

6. Like most beers ales, Guinness must be served at the correct temperature. The beverage will fail to release its full flavor if it is too cold.

7. Guinness representatives are on call in Ireland if there are any issues and also make regular visits to ensure that the lines are clean.

8. Nothing compares to the feeling of authenticity when drinking a pint of Guinness in the country where it originated.

9. Scientists have proven that nothing compares to a pint of Guinness stout in Ireland, after an extensive study.

10. Guinness is to Ireland what lobsters are to Maine, what pizza is to Italy. It is one drink that is served with pride in Ireland.]

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dang, I Feel Good Today

That calls for more Who!

Well, Roger solo song first, with Alvin Lee as guitar slinger du jour, gots the vinyl in closet, kids.

Avenging Annie--"Now she lives on a mountaintop
she's almost 35
she's found peace and found her release
happy just to be alive
she might go back to her Floyd
she thinks it's the thing to do
he gave up murder and theft
right after she left
and you know she still loves him too"

The Who--"I'm Free"
"I'm Free, and freedom tastes of reality"

Finally and most importantly "Join Together."

Join together, people.

We can do more together than alone.

I don't mean no stinkin' Facebook neither. Go to where people live, struggle, hunger--literally hunger for food. Children in A-Merry-Ca go to school hungry and can't learn as well as when well nourished--sweat, bleed, and cry for help.

Especially for we who aspire to become christians. Jesus did not "Like" anyone on Facebook but went and ate with sinners and healed the sick and confounded the rich and confronted the pharisees.

Little Steven, "Sanctuary"

Looks like I found my new look.

Make checks payable to Amnesty International.

You're welcome.

Have a nice day.

Keenan Cahill: Better than Bieber

Keenan Cahill has Maroteaux Lamy Syndrome (MLS) and Fifty Cent lip syncing with him.

You rock, dude!

Gotta have some facet of my life to put on youtube and market or at least get a date for lunch. Cynicism don't sell so far.

New found respect for Fi'ty.

Peace out, y'all.

Hubbard House: "A Home for All to Share"

[Designed and built as a "home-away-from-home" for families of patients from outside the Orlando area, the Hubbard House can help restore a sense of calm during troubled times of illness or injury. The heart-warming stories that have emerged from the evolution of the Hubbard House are as big and comforting as the house itself. Since opening in January 1994, the Hubbard House has served thousands of families facing the extra burden of finding convenient and affordable temporary lodging in times of crisis. Take a look and you'll see why the Hubbard House is "home" to so many warm memories.]


Happy Belated Birthday, Bob Dylan

Cover of "Union Sundown," Bob Dylan original:
"You know, capitalism is above the law
It say, “It don’t count ’less it sells”"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Celestial Rapture Service Notification

Now About that Federal Debt

A Yellow Dog Democrat Praises Dan Webster R FL-08

As a progressive union man, have oft said a yellow dog would get my vote before a Republican.

From whence this springs I know not: maybe blessed by birth in Milwaukee, WI, in 1958; perhaps Pilot Mtn, NC, my dad's ancestral home, where park benches had labels for Democrats and Republicans; possibly because even at the tender age of 10, I knew Richard Nixon as a liar.

Oh, some Republicans have gotten my votes: Andy Gardiner who helped me get food stamps once and whoever runs against our District Attorney, whom I consider a corrupt SOB, possibly pursuing higher political office by prosecuting Casey Anthony to the fullest extent of the law.

Nevertheless after a cordial return phone call from a Webster staffer, had to admit to him that not once in 2 years did any person on Alan Grayson's staff return a phone call or even an email.

Of course, my BFF Grayson, former US Congressman FL-08, still sends me emails seeking cash.

Thanks but no thanks, Al.

So Mr. Webster, you may never get my vote, but then again, neither will Alan Grayson.

Thanks for the response and your embracing the communicating process in your contentious Conway town hall voters' meeting.

Monday, May 23, 2011

More Religious Follies: "The severed head of the patron saint of genital diseases is to be sold at auction..."

See, world, satire comes in the daily news and not depths of my imagination.

[The severed head of the patron saint of genital diseases is to be sold at auction in County Meath next weekend.

The decapitated head of St Vitalis of Assisi has been in the possession of an Anglo-Irish family at Annesbrook House in Duleek for years now.

The macabre object is housed in a Queen Anne case and has been on display in the hallway of the Meath house – removed only when young children visit.

It is to be sold at an auction of the house’s contents next Sunday with a guideline price of between $1200 and $1800.

Saint Vitalis of Assisi was an Italian hermit and monk who died in 1370 and became a saint despite an early life marked by licentiousness and immorality.

In a bid to atone for his earlier sins, he went on pilgrimages to various sanctuaries and eventually became a Benedictine monk and later lived as a hermit, living in utter poverty near Assisi.

After his death he became known as a patron against sicknesses and diseases affecting the genitals.]

Forgive me for sticking with St Francis and Little Steven:

23 May 2011 That is Awkward

[The world did not end, which raises the obvious question: Can Family Radio, the advertiser that predicted the rapture on billboards worldwide, be sued to smithereens for false advertising? 
    We turned to our favorite @AdLawGuy, Michael McSunas of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel in Chattanooga, Tenn., for his opinion. "To be safe they should have put some disclaimers on the billboards—like 'Date subject to change without notice,' 'Additional terms and conditions apply. See Bible for complete details,' " McSunas jokes. He adds: "On a serious note, it would be difficult to bring a lawsuit against the advertisers unless they deliberately were trying to deceive the general public for their own financial gain (e.g. to get more donations). That is, let's say the group that put up the billboards did not actually believe that the Rapture was going to happen on Saturday but they knew if they scared people into believing it was going to happen on Saturday that all these people would give them money, then there might be a basis for a lawsuit or criminal action. Also, if the group held themselves out as a church group or as ordained ministers but it turned out that they were actually just four roommates from the Bronx who had never been to church in their lives, then there could maybe be some legal action based on their false credentials. But it appears that these people sincerely believed that the Rapture was supposed to happen on Saturday; they weren't trying to trick anyone. At worse it was a wrong prediction."]

Found link at The Agonist.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Own Personal Jesus: Feeding hungry humans

Folk, instead of worrying about the exactical (sic) date of the end of the world or oppressing the poor or trying to wring ever' last cent out of every capitalist transaction, could we just agree the time and $ and faith wasted by Harold Camping would more scripturally go towards feeding hungry humans? For feeding the hungry and giving even our own garments to those who have none?

"{W]hatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me," says my own personal Jesus to this very day, to tomorrow, for eternity.

Typical freaking engineer, taking English translations of the Bible literally where somewhere (Numbers?) it reads a day to the Lord numbers a thousand years.

Dude, that amounts to a bloody metaphor!

In nomadic times when people did not write, the numeral 1000 seemed like a BIG #.

Now, not so big.

So my humble suggestion would have christians read and take to heart the words of Jesus as recorded by His apostles or close associates of apostles. Consider the placement in the Gospel of Matthew of the sheeps and goats metaphor, right before the institution of the Last Supper and Jesus' martyrdom and Resurrection: :Whatever you have done for the least of My people, you have done for Me."

13`Watch therefore, for ye have not known the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man doth come.  For better and prayerfully even better, these thoughts go through my mind in my continuing conversation with Jesus.

Don't worry more than usual, friends and family and visitors, He never answers but this does make me  try to parse my thoughts, words, writing, and cynicism by a conscience informed by the statue at my church, Trinity Lutheran Evangelical Church Downtown Orlando, FL.

The story told me by dearly departed Pastor  Kunze holds this statue copies a statue made in Lutheran Scandinavia and, originally, the arms pointed up to the Father in heaven.  When the sculptor and students came in the next day, the clay arms had fallen to the position you see, and the students wanted to change it back.

The artist refused, saying he wanted folk to see Jesus reaching down to all humans.

This brings me down rivers of thought handicapped by my minor in Philosophy: does that really mean I ought pray for Hitler, for Bin Laden, for all who have personally wronged me?

Yes, uncomfortably it does.

So of course sinner that I am, I blog and try to help with charity and feeding folk rather than call the sister who doesn't talk to me and at least leave a message when no one picks up the phone.

OK, I got the card before her 12 May birthday but Target doesn't sell stamps and took me a while to get a ride to get some.

So my Jesus and me will continue to converse., inshallah I wake up breathing.

So forthwith count this my positive empire of dirt:

The Who: "I Don't Even Know Myself"

Grateful Dead: "All Along the Watchtower"

"Let us not talk falsely now
for the hour is getting late"

Neil Young + Pearl Jam: "All Along the Watchtower"

Pearl Jam, Rock the Vote

Pearl Jam: "Alive"

"I'm Still Alive"

Jeff Beck: "'Cause We've Ended as Lovers"

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Full of hope, full of grace, is the human face"

[...And increasingly, archaeologists studying the origins of civilization in the Fertile Crescent are suspicious of any attempt to find a one-size-fits-all scenario, to single out one primary trigger. It is more as if the occupants of various archaeological sites were all playing with the building blocks of civilization, looking for combinations that worked. In one place agriculture may have been the foundation; in another, art and religion; and over there, population pressures or social organization and hierarchy. Eventually they all ended up in the same place. Perhaps there is no single path to civilization; instead it was arrived at by different means in different places...

Schmidt emphasizes that further research on Göbekli Tepe may change his current understanding of the site's importance. Even its age is not clear—Schmidt is not certain he has reached the bottom layer. "We come up with two new mysteries for every one that we solve," he says. Still, he has already drawn some conclusions. "Twenty years ago everyone believed civilization was driven by ecological forces," Schmidt says. "I think what we are learning is that civilization is a product of the human mind."] emphasis added

Found over at the Agonist.  Thanks Sean Paul Kelly.

Grateful Dead: "Throwing Stones"

"A closer look reveals the human race.
Full of hope, full of grace, is the human face."

"...And the current fashion sets the pace,
Lose your step, fall out of grace.
And the radical, he rant and rage,
Singing someone's got to turn the page.
And the rich man in his summer home,
Singing just leave well enough alone.
But his pants are down, his cover's blown...
And the politicians throwin' stones,
So the kids they dance
And shake their bones,
And it's all too clear we're on our own.
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down...."

Buttholee Surfers: "Pepper"

Humble Pie: "You're So Good for Me"

Humble Pie: "I Don't Need No Doctor"

Humble Pie: "30 Days in the Hole"

Canned Heat--Woodstock--"Goin' Up the Country"

Jeff Beck for my drummer and my guitarist friends

Thursday, May 19, 2011

DropkickMurphys: "Deeds Not Words"

Even though bagpipes make my skin crawl, this song makes me want to march, somewhere, anywhere, for unions and solidarity for working folk.

Where you gonna run to; where you gonna hide?

The Nightwatchman: "Solidarity Forever"

"The union makes us strong."

"Everyone has to stand up in their place where they live."

Heavy Weather: The new normal in time of climate change

[WASHINGTON (By Deborah Zabarenko) – Heavy rains, deep snowfalls, monster floods and killing droughts are signs of a "new normal" of extreme U.S. weather events fueled by climate change, scientists and government planners said on Wednesday.

"It's a new normal and I really do think that global weirding is the best way to describe what we're seeing," climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University told reporters.

"We are used to certain conditions and there's a lot going on these days that is not what we're used to, that is outside our current frame of reference," Hayhoe said on a conference call with other experts, organized by the non-profit Union of Concerned Scientists.

An upsurge in heavy rainstorms in the United States has coincided with prolonged drought, sometimes in the same location, she said, noting that west Texas has seen a record-length dry period over the last five years, even as there have been two 100-year rain events.

Hayhoe, other scientists, civic planners and a manager at the giant Swiss Re reinsurance firm all cited human-caused climate change as an factor pushing this shift toward more extreme weather.]

Queen Elizabeth II in Dublin: There will be no more war between Britain and Ireland

[Dublin: The sheer shock of Queen Elizabeth speaking Gaelic during her remarks at a state dinner in her honor was bad enough.

Then there was the shot of her standing to attention for the Irish national anthem, and then of her laying a wreath on the remembrance plot for IRA heroes.

This is all too much to bear.

Do I wake or dream?

Has someone invented a Bizzaro world, you know that planet that Superman lived on before he came down to earth where everything was the direct opposite of what it was supposed to be?

What has happened here this week in Ireland has been little short of extraordinary.

Basically, the British have made the decision to bury the hatchet.

That was not a decision taken lightly, the British never do that.

But when they move they do it in style

After 800 years or so of intermittent warfare of the worst kind, the emissary in the shape of the queen has come to announce terms.

Those terms are splashed across every front page of the Irish media today.

'What were once hopes for the future have now come to pass' says The Irish Times headline, a direct quote from the queen.

The future has arrived in the new era for the Irish and British peoples.

There will be no more war.]
An email to me from Rod Smith, chair of Democratic party of Florida. It truly has become a new day in America when a Democrat an get elected in N Florida.

[Dear Friend,

It came down to 1,648 votes, but yesterday at 6:00 p.m. Alvin Brown became Jacksonville’s Mayor-elect. No recount. No second guesses.

The news reverberated across the city, the state and the nation. A historically Republican city had elected its first Democratic mayor in 20 years.

While a mere 1,648 votes may seem like a small number, it’s representative of a huge swell of Democratic supporters in Jacksonville, in North Florida and across the entire state that are working together to elect Democratic leaders that share our values and ideals. It was truly a victory for us all.

It wasn’t an easy race, but Alvin’s focus on issues that improved the lives of the residents of Jacksonville – education, jobs and government accountability – earned him support from Democrats, Republicans, Independents and the many diverse groups across the city...]

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ben Harper: "Rock and Roll Is Free"

Sounded great on Letterman tonight. Somehow, my youtube plays this without the sound. Electronic rodents, I guess.

Health Care and Emergency Rooms: “We can’t expect the market to allocate critical resources like these in an equitable way.”

[Hospital emergency rooms, particularly those serving the urban poor, are closing at an alarming rate even as emergency visits are rising, according to a report published on Tuesday.

Urban and suburban areas have lost a quarter of their hospital emergency departments over the last 20 years, according to the study, in The Journal of the American Medical Association. In 1990, there were 2,446 hospitals with emergency departments in nonrural areas. That number dropped to 1,779 in 2009, even as the total number of emergency room visits nationwide increased by roughly 35 percent.

Emergency departments were most likely to have closed if they served large numbers of the poor, were at commercially operated hospitals, were in hospitals with skimpy profit margins or operated in highly competitive markets, the researchers found...

Emergency rooms at commercially operated hospitals and those with low profit margins were almost twice as likely as other hospitals to close, Dr. Hsia and her colleagues found. So-called safety-net hospitals that serve disproportionate numbers of Medicaid patients and hospitals serving a large share of the poor were 40 percent more likely to close.

In addition, hospital emergency rooms in the most competitive markets were 30 percent more likely than others to close.

“This suggests market forces play a larger role in the distribution and availability of care” in the United States, Dr. Hsia said, especially emergency care. “We can’t expect the market to allocate critical resources like these in an equitable way.”] emphasis added

5 Oldest Pubs in Dublin

[If there’s one thing that Dublin has a lot of, it's pubs. In fact, there are over 1,000 pubs in Dublin.

The weird thing is that every Dubliner worth their salt knows about 350 of them, where the bathrooms are located and what the Guinness on tap is like. If you ask a Dubliner for directions to anywhere in the city, they won’t explain the route by street names, instead they will use pubs names.

Dublin pubs are part of the city’s living culture and its history. From literary hangouts to places where deals are made by politicians and businessmen, to places where locals celebrate, relax and mourn, pubs, for better or worse are at the center of Dublin life.

Here are the top five historic pubs in Dublin:

1. Brazen Head – (Est 1198)

Located down the quays of the River Liffey, the Brazen Head is officially Dublin’s oldest pub. Established in 1198 it was originally a coach house but it is unclear how much of the original structure remains but the pub certainly drips with history.

Just some of the historic figures who are known to have spent time in Dublin are authors James Joyce, Brendan Behan and Jonathan Swift, as well as revolutionaries Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone, Daniel O'Connell and Michael Collins.

This is a great pub for live music and a lively crowd. A great spot to experience a real Dublin pub.

20 Lower Bridge Street, Dublin 8. www.brazenhead.com

2. Johnnie Fox's Pub (Est 1798)

Johnnie Fox’s has been at the center of Glencullen village since 1798, the year the Irish Rebellion was led by Wolfe Tone. It was also used for meetings by leaders during 1916.

Fox’s also boasts of being the highest pub in Dublin and has an amazing view of the city below.

The pub is about 35 minutes away from the city center, but it is worth making the trek for the atmosphere, traditional music, dancing, storytelling sessions and other entertainment seven nights a week.

Ballybetagh Road, Glencullen, Co. Dublin. www.jfp.ie

3. The Stag’s Head (est 1780)

This is certainly one of the most beautiful pubs in Dublin. It was established as a tavern in 1780, and it’s still a very popular spot most nights of the week. My advice would be to visit early on a weekday night so you can appreciate the beautiful old wooden floor, marble columns, stained glass and, of course, the stag’s head behind the bar.

Its currently design is Victorian as it was redesigned in 1895, but it has retained this look to the present day. Quite recently, it was refurbished but thankfully little has changed.

Known for its excellent pub food, the favorite being bangers and mash and toasted cheese sandwich, this pub truly feels like you’re stepping back in time.

1 Dame Court, Dublin 2.

4. John Kavanagh’s (The Gravediggers, Est 1833)

John Kavanagh’s pub claims to be the oldest family run pub in Dublin. Established in 1833, the pub is known to Dubliner’s as The Gravediggers. The pub got its nickname as it is located right next to the historic Glasnevin Cemeterty. Each day the gravediggers would come into the bar, and the pub would give them a free pint for carrying out such a thankless and unpleasant job. The name stuck.

The pub section of the bar is completely untouched. Swinging doors divide the little nooks, the tables seem to be original and there are strict rules of no music, piped or otherwise. Also cell phones are strictly forbidden. They also served the best pint of Guinness in Dublin.

This pub is most certainly worth a visit. A great spot to have a quiet chat.

1 Prospect Square, Glasnevin Dublin 9.

5. Mulligan’s (Est 1854)

Mulligan’s is stuck in a brilliant time warp. It is dark, unpretentious and filled with writers, journalists, artists and anyone who really appreciates a good pub. This was one of James Joyce’s favorite haunts. John F. Kennedy also visited in 1945 and became a fan of the quiet pub.

The exterior of the pub still has the original lettering on the windows and the door and is filled with nooks and crannies inside to tuck yourself away from the world. Again, this pub has a strict no cell phones policy.

8 Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2]

Saturday, May 14, 2011

When Do I Get My Bin Laden Death Benefit?

While having a peculiar moral code--yes, Dad, I have one--which precludes me celebrating the death of any human no matter how heinous their actions, nevertheless my God given gift of irony does not preclude mockery, satire, and ridicule where applicable and practical.

[No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.]

Which perhaps supports my support for an ultimate punishment of life imprisonment for all duly convicted of capital crimies no matter how hateful and harmful the hyenas.

This excludes any miscreant who violates either of my nieces.

Although teenagers and thus allowed to make their own mistakes and thus will get hurt by boys masquerading as men and men pretending to remain boys, if any miscreants violate their trust and dignity, I iwill personally hunt them down and kill them, repeatedly, maybe as in hung, drawn, and quartered.

Yes, their cousins, father, and grandfather might claim that primal right, but as the gin soaked uncle with little to offer he world but my supposed wit, best for me to take the role.

If imprisoned, imagine one could still put pen to paper, antediluvian for sure but does allow more chances for self editing.

Friday, May 13, 2011

What doesn't kill us, doesn't kill us.

As usual, Chuck Lorre wrote it better. Where can I get my Writers' Guild card?

[What doesn't kill us makes us bitter. I used to believe that to be both funny and true. Years later I learned that pain could also be the touchstone for personal growth, which of course points back to the original saying, "what doesn't kill us makes us better." Not funny, but perhaps closer to the truth. Or at least the truth I choose to believe in these days. So, having recently experienced a bit of pain, am I better? Well, let's review: I think I'm fairly immune to name-calling now. I'm not sure I could have made that claim a few months ago. I've also come to see that the things I used to think were big deals, are not. Problems appear to be relative. If you have a big one, it makes all the others seem almost charming in comparison. And finally, when your life takes a path you could never have foreseen, it's humbling. In a good way. It's kind of like a friendly reminder from the universe that while you may think you have the starring role in the movie of your life, you're actually just a bit player trying to grab a quesadilla off the craft services table when no one's looking.

So, to sum up: I now have a thicker skin, I'm less likely to sweat the small stuff, and, perhaps most importantly, I have a renewed sense of humility. All in all, better. That being said, I still try to stay reasonably bitter in order to maintain my eligibility in the Writers Guild of America.] emphasis added


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

USA, USA, USA!!!: Bin Laden dead and hungry children in A-Merry-Ca

[...When the recession took hold in 2008, the number of Americans who were considered food insecure spiked to 17 million, the highest level recorded since the Department of Agriculture (USDA) began monitoring food security in 1995. It has remained close to that level since — the 2009 number, released last November, was 17.4 million.

With that has come the increase in need among groups that were historically less vulnerable to hunger, according to the USDA's Household Food Security in the United States annual report.
Providing a buffer against this need, a record number of 44 million or one in seven Americans (half of whom are children) are currently enrolled in the government's largest nutritional safety net program — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, according to the USDA. Formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, SNAP is federally funded, but administered by states.

Additionally, government-affiliated food banks and other community and faith-based food pantries and soup kitchens served more than 37 million Americans, according to Feeding America's 2010 hunger study. This figure is up 46% from 2006.

"This is a record number of Americans who are voluntarily seeking emergency food assistance," says Kevin Concannon, USDA undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, charged with administering the 15 federally funded nutrition programs. "Not since the Great Depression has this kind of assistance been as urgently needed as now."] emphasis added

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Does the NBA Continue? Why Hasn't Craig Sager Burned that Suit?

Gosh, know he wears it for mothers' day but now burned indelibly into my brain on 8 May 2011.

Damn youse, Craig!

PS: Which city should feel worse about Der Sternfuhrer's '11 playoffs: San Antonio, LA, or Orlando? Ain't Orlando 'cause they got punked by the Celtics last year and had a durn good series 'gainst Atlanta this go round. If we could have made shots, much less threes, we'd beat Queen James and the Heatles.

Helping Alabama: another post I thought I'd never write


Toomer's for Tuscaloosa.

Please don't forget helping Haiti, button to the right, and also Japan.

What can 1 person do in this world of trouble? We all ought ask ourselves this second existential question.

If an army of tiny and insignificant ants can build an ant hill, then a million lowly humans could give $5 apiece and do great work together, collectively.

Maybe after basing my life and blog on Johnny Cash version of NIN song "Hurt", have come to see not only my empire of dirt, which humans all reap, more than just the grave but a more fun prospect, millions of people working together 1 widow's mite at a time through Facebook and organizing, (insert Youtube video of Frank's "High Hopes" song here}.

It were a brave new world that would have the police delivering Bratwurst to Madison protesters and the Night Watchman.

Helping Tuscaloosa, sheesh what should a poor Gator do but cough up a green picture of Pres. Lincoln:

Thank the Lord 'tweren't Athens, GA.

Organize, fellow ants, organize.

Although Steve Jobs has yet to see the ipad--16 Gig please--on my wish list, were he to ask, in truth would have to tell him Haiti (button on right broke) and Alabama and Japan and New Orleans and Galveston more important than me, to whom so much has already been given.

Happy Mothers' Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

4 May 1970: 4 Dead in Ohio


School to Prison Pipeline

[Derby, Kansas, high school sophomore Jonathan Villarreal was walking to the bus after school when a police officer ordered him to pull his pants up above his hips. Jonathan refused, on the grounds that the school day was over. As reported in the Wichita Eagle, here’s what happened next:

[Villarreal] said one of the officers, a man who was larger than him, pulled him to the ground by the neck and told him to stop resisting arrest. Villarreal denied he was resisting.

Both officers kneed him in the back and neck while he was on the ground, he said.

Because they were physical with him, he struggled to get up, but was pushed back down, he said.

At one point as he tried to get up, Villarreal said he felt his arm break when he was pushed back down.

After Villarreal tried three times to get up, one officer fired a Taser at his chest, he said. Although he was wearing a heavy coat, he still felt an electrical shock, he said.
According to the article, the police department is investigating the incident. But, sadly, it illustrates a larger problem that continues to pop up around the country: the use of street-policing tactics against kids, and disproportionately kids of color, for behavior that, at worst, might merit ordinary school-based discipline.

Around the country, police assigned to patrol school campuses — where police may have a legitimate role in responding to serious criminal conduct or imminent danger — often direct their efforts where law enforcement is clearly misplaced. This is part of a disturbing national trend called the School-to-Prison Pipeline, wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Jonathan’s story is a perfect example of this larger problem. A school’s right to regulate dress code is one thing; but whatever role such regulations play in a school’s educational mission, they fall miles short of justifying a police officer’s use of brutal force against a kid.]

Found at Norwegianity.

Freedom Riders: May 1961

[She was a senior at Tennessee A&I State University when the first Freedom Ride — planned to fight for the right of African Americans to travel across state lines on trains and buses while using the same seats, bathrooms, water fountains and other facilities as whites — was knocked off course in May 1961 by a wave of brutal violence in Alabama, her home state.

She and other Nashville college students — veterans of the sit-in movement to desegregate downtown lunch counters a year earlier — decided there was too much at stake and they had to keep the Freedom Rides alive. So the students made plans to travel from Nashville to Birmingham, Ala., on a Greyhound bus May 17.

Also at stake that spring day were the young riders' lives.

"I didn't want to die, now," Burks-Brooks, 71, recalled, "but I didn't have any fear of doing what I had to do. I knew what was happening was wrong. And I had an opportunity to do something about it."]

Pakistan Government More Dysfunctional Than A-Merry-Ca?

[...Bin Laden is dead and reasonable people everywhere have overcome the initial euphoria to conclude that while symbolic, his death does not mark any major milestone in the effort to defang the global Islamist terror enterprise. So the most pertinent questions have hardly much to do with bin Laden at all. The big questions are around the country he was found in, and what role this country has played, does play, and will play in fixing itself and fulfilling its international obligations.

...The single-lens view of Pakistan through the prism of terrorism often ignores the substantial body of evidence that suggests that dysfunction in Pakistan is deep, wide and systemic. Pakistan has an education emergency so severe, that it keeps nearly 40 million kids between five and 18 out of school. That is among the world’s largest out-of-school populations. Most cities in the country experience more than six hours of electricity load-shedding. Industry is in disrepair. The police don’t have bulletproof vests, or in many cases even guns. And the justice system will more readily sentence a Christian woman to death for blasphemy than it will sentence a gang of rapists to death for gang-rape. The fissures and cracks in the Pakistani state’s ability to function are deep and wide. This, incredibly, might be the good news.]

Cutting Edge Then: 1000 bits per second

That means 1kbps to my teenage nieces, roughly the time of dinosaurs in youngsters' eyes.

[Arthur Cohen, the mathematician who led IBM's Project Mercury Team. "The IBM team had the honor of applying computing power and mathematics to support the project.... We experienced an unforgettable sense of excitement when Alan Shepard safely accomplished his mission. I will forever remember May 5, 1961, and the incredible team of NASA and IBM men and women I had the opportunity to work with."

Cohen, in an email to Computerworld noted that IBM's work involved an early manifestation of real-time and predictive analytics. What IBM technicians put together for NASA helped to usher in the days of real-time communication.

According to IBM, its team of more than 75 employees working on the Mercury Project from 1959 to 1963 developed a "real-time channel" called the IBM 7281, which could receive up to 1,000 bits of data per second.] emphasis added


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Some Murderer Got Killed Somewhere, and I Ought to Cheer

Really ought to get out on my lawn and cheer USA, USA, USA!

My BFF who stills writes me even though ostensibly currently running for no political office, Alex Sink, thinks it a great thing as quoted below.

Nevertheless, Alex, darling, could you care just a whit, jot, bit, any damn bit about what Governor 48.9% and his radical flying monkeys of the FL House and Senate have done to our great adopted state, the land of flowers?

Great Mencken's ghost, girl, they will gut growth regulation, destroy and despoil as much of the natural habitat3 as they can get financed by banks deemed too big to fail, and poison our very waters from which we and our children will drink!

And you want me to cheer USA, USA, USA with you?

You gotta be freakin' kidding me?

[Alex Sink to me
show details 7:11 PM (16 hours ago)
Today, Floridians and Americans and freedom-loving people across the globe are celebrating the demise of Osama bin Laden. I am incredibly proud of President Obama and the American military and intelligence forces for their persistence, focus and decisive leadership in successfully hunting down bin Laden and delivering justice for the Floridians and Americans who perished on September 11th, 2001. I am humbled by the extraordinary courage and skill our military and intelligence community displayed in executing this mission. Our resolve to continue fighting terrorism and protecting our homeland is strengthened by today's news.]