Is satire still legal?
Now on the market: Obama Bumper Sticker Removal Kit
(11.21.13) With an oblivious Memphis electorate
is therefore not toxic to "Obamacare" (administration is trying now to get
a way longer distance from that
here is a video that could be of service even to the rare local Dem who might want to
the courageous escape from the mesmerism of the Messiah. Links to digital
a letter from God's Country
Sent to us by a reader. Montanan Patty Myers let's career politician
Alan Simpson have it after he called older persons "the Greediest Generation."
The desire for a clean sweep of multi-term and/or big government career politicians
could not be more
apparent in this letter going around the internet. He co-chaired the National
Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
but that didn't seem to help. The movement at long last to kick out the incompetence and
eterna-careers of all politicians regardless of fiscal credentials may be setting in.
"Hey Alan, let's get a few things straight!!!!!"ƒ
1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole (tit) for FIFTY YEARS.
2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now 63).
3. My Social Security payments, and those of
millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account
for decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR
money to a
bunch of zero losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting
and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme
that would make Bernie Madoff proud.
4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie
Brown, you and "your ilk" pulled the proverbial football
away from millions of American
retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement
from age 65 to age,
67. NOW, you
and your "shill commission" are proposing to move the goalposts YET
5. I, and millions of other Americans, have
been paying into Medicare from Day One, and now
morons" propose to change the rules
of the game. Why? Because "you idiots" mismanaged other parts of the economy
to such an
extent that you need to steal our money
from Medicare to pay the bills.
6. I, and millions of other Americans, have
been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you
propose to increase our taxes
yet again. Why? Because you "incompetent bastards" spent our money so profligately
that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of
money. Now, you come to the American taxpayers and you need more to pay off YOUR debt.
To add insult to injury, you label us "greedy" for calling
to your incompetence.
Well, Captain BS, I have a few questions for
1. How much money have you earned from the
American taxpayers during your pathetic 50-year political
2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career,
and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the
3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health
4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and
healthcare benefits are you proposing
in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal,
or as usual, have you exempted
yourself and your political cronies?
It is you, Captain BS, and your political
co-conspirators called Congress who are the "greedy"
ones. It is you and your fellow
nutcase thieves who have
bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from
millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers.
And for what? Votes and your job and retirement security
at our expense, you lunk-headed,
leech. That's right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted America
for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic political careers. You know it,
we know it, and you know that we know it. And you can take that to the bank,
you miserable son of a bitch. NO,
I did not stutter!
P.S. And stop calling Social Security benefits
"entitlements". WHAT AN INSULT!!
I have been paying in to the SS system for 52 years!
money" - give it back to
me the way the
system was originally designed and stop
patting yourself on the back
generous by doling out these monthly
On my NO! Say it isn't so! Gone is Jackie O!
I met Rodney Dunigan and Jack Orozco, then both with
ABC 24 WPTY, on
Beale Street New Year's Eve last year. I was shooting in a technique called
shutter drag (no its not a mistake) and we talked about that for a minute. They
were a lot of fun. Went to files and pulled out these shots and made them
black and white that for some reason now seemed appropriate. (See
other pics taken that night here.)
(BenQQ 10.29.13) Of all the talk I heard sometimes first hand from news reporters
in Memphis is that Memphis is a temporary pass-through market for new graduates
freshly minted from J-school. I know no records of new hires generally in the field
who choose to remain or flee from this market.
We all know of the studies that show multiple
ongoing problems issues besetting the city. I suspect darkly we have already
turned the corner to become
"Detroit on the Mississippi." There are some indicators: The fall of
to below the level of 1990, a
decrease in U of M enrollment, residents mostly renters, crime rates, etc. etc. etc.
Really, no surprise media people will choose to get to better markets.
Understandable it is they'd want to get into better situations with
pleasanter climes. On the other hand, plaudits to those who
stay get a deeper feel
for the texture of the
city. That informs their stories.
(Me personally, before I struck out to LA in pursuit of a career,
I was a newspaper editor for a
small community in Mississippi. I too decided to jump
before the clock ticked too much.)
And that brings us to the eventual on-air vanishing of Jackie Orozco.
complete, whether covering a cat stuck in a sewer or shooting at a gas station
she gave us the whowhatwhywhenwhere of just about every story she handled.
After weeks of not
seeing her at least accidentally on the
evening news, I knew something had happened. An internet search revealed she
had crossed the delta to
WOFL TV Fox35
A quick site search of "Jackie Orozco leaving" and "Jackie Orozco WOFL TV Fox35"
got no results at the Local 24 Web site. Perhaps her departure was/is mentioned somewhere?
Seems to me TV stations should have some awareness of viewers who might follow
a particular reporter. (Even those stations that promo themselves as "family"
clam up when a said family member disappears from air.) However, in LA I remember a news station
throwing a party on-air for a departing reporter. It was considered just another
chapter in reporter's career. No big thing. Reflected badly on no one.
Suspicion: most would have a problem turning on their computers
Web site shows digital illiteracy and an arrogance of the
big government crowd
(BenQQ 10.29.13) Yesterday, the hot seat congressional grilling of HHS Sec.
Kathleen Sebelius,over the abject failure of the most expensive Web site in
history presented a gargantuanly embarrasing spectacle for Obama supporters and big
government in general. Example: had someone taken the time to understand that its
ultimate bad form to try to gather information, especially even when that information is
expressly not guaranteed to privacy. The culture of big government arrogance knows
Simultaneously the President tried vainly
to shift the conversation to the "immigration problem" wherein he presented another one
of his solutions seeking a nonexistant problem.
Poor Ms S is a spoon fed daughter of the midwest elite that always knows what's best
for the common folk and whose dad was a longtime Ohio
governor. No doubt--and I'll stand corrected on this should someone want to do so--
she always had underlings to do the grunt work of turning on the computer
working for hours with tech departments to get hardware to work with software. Perhaps had
she hailed from digital working class, she would have respected internal red flags
that some things were wrong. Fatally wrong and would not work themselves out
politically as they always had. Code doesn't respect either political power or elitism.
But that's a reveal that has to wait, save to say committee member Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
one of the few on the committee who seemed to know what technical questions to ask both
Sebelius and the dizzingly overpaid and politically connected companies the right, meaning
embarrassing, questions. Perhaps feeling sorry for her even beyond journalistic bias,
(those of us who actually produce in the digital Web world understand the
frustration of dealing with software companies and know better than to call them
"glitches") some media labeled the questions exactly that--embarrassing.
Healthcare.gov is a slow crucifixion that will continue for a while, but will
finally drop out of the conversation. Ironically, the whole thing may deflect
from the conversation that should surround the Affordable Care Act--namely the
centrally based administration of our health care that makes it easy for bad
policies and countless bad decisions to flourish in a poisonous garden of an unaccountable
bureaucracy. More to come for sure.
Piped into Memphis via WREC 600am
The giggling ageism of Glenn Beck and Co.
(BenQQ 10.14.13) Glenn Beck thinks once you reach a certain age, you say stupid things,
which is of course a
stupid thing to say in itself. But in this case, apparently the age of 61 is a
cut off point of intellectual acceptance. Beck (& co) for some reason feels compelled to
revisit age as an issue
of political and social qualifications. This time he was talking about sports guy
Bob Costas, who is 61 according to his Wiki bio. More than once I've heard Beck and his
mock, hoot and invalidate based on the years accumulated by the subject of their
Not only, I'm sure, is a huge portion of his listeners over the age of 50, their very
numbers contributing to Beck's own messaging (not unlike the way the AARP touts
so many millions and by inference so many millions that support DC-centric
When I was at the AARP for ten years, the organization was known as the "American
Association of Retired Persons" and spent much its wealth actively involved in fighting
age discrimination. It was my job to get those cases covered
in the media. Now, I hear little, if anything, the organization is doing to represent
members in this regard. My theory about age discrimination coveage in the media
is that it is virtually non-existant because the media practices it to the hilt as well.
the over 40 news anchors that have been forced out.
Beck's attitude, common among many managers it seems to me, that once you reach a certain
age--is it 60, Glenn? Or maybe 50 or even 40 or are you a liberal and say its safe to
malign the true long livers over 80? Nobody denies that with age comes infirmity, but
infirmity is not caused
by age. Aging is not a disease. So to
broad brush all older commentators to satisfy some agenda, as Beck did this morning,
advances age discrimination in work places everywhere.
With the AARP apparently abandoning active age discrimination issues and media people
making ageist remarks and innuendo, I would bet the social environments of work places
are more intolerant than ever of aging, or, ironically, experience. Imagine if similar
comments were directed at
blacks, women, homosexuals or even transgenders--people over 50 now face the generally
even the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has long required a higher
of actionable evidence--of this discrimination with little if any objection from the
This demographic finds it the hardest to get back into the work force once shunted out
because employers allow, even encourage, age based intolerance. In turn, of course,
such an attitude supports phaseout of "older workers"--legal
or otherwise--in favor of cheaper younger ones who
find themselves locked out due to Obama's economy, another rich irony considering
intitial support base.
But what prompted Beck's remarks this morning? Something about what Costas said
recently. I don't know what he said and don't care, but I do know his age had nothing
to do with it. Using Beck's own criteria for criticism, perhaps the his age of 49 (Wiki)
makes him eligible for ad hominem critique.
Send in the Starship Troopers to kill Assad?
Let's try foreign policy by movies. Nothing else is working.
Guidance through art: Denise Richards commands her starship as she maneuvers over an aggressive bug
for some serious intergalactic intervention in Starship Troopers
. photo Tristar Pictures
Here's an idea: why not let Hollywood
guide foreign policy? Nothing else seems to be working. "Leading from behind"
(so as not to look colonial?) has taken the US from the driver's seat
in world diplomacy to the back seat. Now, Obama is scrambling over
to take the wheel. But let's say he gets it and
drives us into a limited conflict, as promised?
Our president, up till recently anyway, has undermined public
confidence by making short term common sense tactical mistakes--like saying when we're coming,
when we're leaving, what we are going to do
once there, not to mention everyone's awareness of a government that's been caught setting up a gargantuan
domestic spying apparatus, whose agencies have targetted political groups and a president who
abandoned his own in Benghazi.
Does he or members of his administration seriously think we can support him after
the bombing is over? Does his incompetence merit our continued engagement in the intermediate and
long term in the Middle East?
The answer to those questions are irrelevant. At this point, we have no choice. He in
fact has succeeded into stumbling into a very scary confrontation from which we cannot
retreat because if we do not "do something" Iran will see a bright green light to continue
making their atomic bomb that will seed an arsenal in the hands of fundamentalist
religious zealots. Further, Syria will feel free to continue to spray people with their reported
"million tons" of
What we have to do now is brace ourselves for images of "collateral damage" that will be used to wipe away
memories of gasping children in death throes caused by a weapon of mass destruction
outlawed by internationational covenant after WWl.
After listening to as much of the "analyses" by the media "experts" that I can stomach, here's what
I think it all boils down to: there is a cat sitting on the dinner table that no one is talking about.
Middle East involvement with
various types of intermittent military interventions, will continue for years to come if we hope
to keep Iran from the bomb, Hezbollah off our city streets, North Korea and other nations from
going off reservation. And still it may not work. That's always the risk.
We and our allies are going to be attacked by terrorists in greater numbers as a response. Ironically,
the president has literally talked himself into a box that requires he be strong and decisive,
traits not usually found in commnity organizers or Chicago politicians. Forgo a military response and
continued involvement now and expect an even far more volatile Middle East that threatens
world peace in a few short years. My thought: the sooner we get in, the sooner its over but it will
seem like Heinlien's story of Starship Troopers above--forever in battle in far away places.
But was it phony American blood?
Phony Issues. Then phony betrayals?
(BenQQ 7.29.13) Last week, our President said his administration has had
to waste time on "phony" issues. Issues that kept him from getting things done.
Phony issues, I guess, like targeting of
political enemies (IRS), the government creep of privacy invasion
without cause (NSA), "fast and furious" gun running (ATF), the
Health Care Affordability Act hitting a hangover wall of inconfidence
that even previous cronies like the AARP and unions supported and to all
of that add the
general sweaty sheen of public distrust of government. The dish you've
just been served (and you may have ordered) is called Lame Duck and yet
there's still an entree we've left out: Benghazi.
Benghazi--From somewhere inside the brain pan I heard Obama's remarks
flap like vulture wings landing on road kill as I flipped to an article
entitled "The Inside Story of the Benghazi Raid," published in the the
August issue of Vanity Fair, my favorite gossip and movie rag. The
article is an adaptation from 40 Minutes in Benghazi by Fred
Burton and Samuel M. Katz to be published in September, St. Martin's
Besides the hard-to-avoid realization that, yes, we let these men down
in the direst moments of their lives, moments in which they called and
expected help. Half the country and the President just didn't
seem to care. And still doesn't. Maybe its a different country than the
one I grew up in, a country that wouldn't stand to at least try to save
fellow Americans defending American soil, defending us.
In an earlier time maybe this would be a scandal of the ages, like the
Dreyfus Affair, in which a Jewish military officer was railroaded. It
shook the French sense of justice and united disparate political
factions to work together. But not in America, circa 2013. We find
ourselves in a funk where even if you think Benghazi is an impeachable
offense, as I do, there is not enough collective indignation power to
muster even charges.
Another bill they've haven't read
Immigration bill proponents to working Americans:
(BenQQ, 6-23.13) Nothing more illustrates the buffoonery and constitutional
dysfunctionality of government than the immigration bill. Only a few
weeks ago I thought it was our government's invasion of privacy and and
blatant refusal to attempt a defense of
fellow Americans under attack in Libya. But the scandal du jour
running neck to neck with news of the invasive and gargantuan NSA data
collection apparatus now has to be the immigration bill that is every
bit as much a "train wreck" as Obamacare.
I can understand Demos', mostly unprincipled and unembarrassed each,
support of the bill. With the infusion of 11,000,000 currently illegal
persons not bound by
immigration law, the political payoff is huge. Little do the pushers of the bill care the
look of urban areas will transform overnight into downtown Los Angeles,
a balkanized enclave of merchants and illegals.
But why is the impact on country greater than all the
other Obamascandals? If passed, it will reach into the pocketbook of every US
middle class citizen,
with the impact the most negative toward the working poor and
minorities. Yet, instead of reaching out in an organized media campaign to explain
how more workers in the labor pool will lower wages and fees, most of the Repubs up till now have been falling over each
other to "save the party." That's all the talk about, as if that's important.
It's only of concern if they finally hoist a pair and prove their worth to
Until then, as a nonpartisan independent, I could care less what happens to them.
It would do well for the Repubs to remember
the Whigs, another party that was built on principles of personal
liberty. It dissolved after their membership took flight to whom? The
Republicans right before the Civil War. With the elites of the party now
showing themselves to be knee rattling buffoons on one issue after
another, but none more than on immigration, a new party not unlike the
Tea Partiers, could step into the void.
Republican timidity has resulted in their abandonment of working class
Americans. We will be the first to face a horde of new legal workers
depressing fees and wages across the board. The millions of hard working
Americans who work lawns, flip burgers, repair cars, clean hotel rooms,
serve food, paint homes and those in countless other occupations will be
the first to feel this government's betrayal
upon the immigration bill passage.
But soon to follow will be jobs in government, schools and yes--but this
one will be rich--in the media who have refused to even hint at
criticizing the bill. As more Spanish speaking residents soak the
market, advertisers will follow and then so will media just like the
AARP has done with their all Spanish version of Modern Maturity.
Just what we need. More liberal puffery from the power elite for the
(Not that we had anything to do with it)
A scene from Cinema Syndrome, my graduate film master's producton thesis, shot in
with my friends when I was a film student in Los Angeles. Inset above:
now university professor and writer, William Donati, belts out his
lyrics to his
"Nuclear Surfer." Lower inset, Bill and I pose in front of the 35mm
camera on set.
the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant closes after
satirical protest video
(Benqq 6.7.13) Ok, so that was about 25 years ago, but I knew it had to happen,
especially after someone from the power plant frantically sent a Shore Patrol goon
threaten to seize our equipment, for which I would still be paying today, had we
not packed it all up and gotten off the beach pronto. But we got the shot of Memphis
singer William Donati prancing and dancing to his song in front of the beast
My producer, Kulture Kritik, also from Memphis and who writes in this Webmag
anonymously (below and right) had organized actors and crew (that included
Filipino writer Crispin Ramos as assistant director) to do the scene. I was shooting and after we scampered
into our vehicles after getting the final shot, I felt like a wolf exultant for mere
postscript: I don't celebrate the fact that over a thousand people lost their
jobs upon San Onofre closing. They have house payments, college tuition, groceries
and a multitude of other obligations in this Obama economy. They are skilled, honest
and deserve to be employed. There will be much pain. It just seems the height of hubris that a technology
so critical as nuclear energy in a plant between the densely populated megalopoli of Los Angeles and
San Diego can operate for years and years without a Chernobyl style blowout.
piped into M-town by HBO
Liberace Behind the Candelabra
(Kulture Kritik 5.26.13) I really didn't know how this film would play but had to be there. Yes,
it is a raw presentation of a much older gay man and his young lover and
their torturous relationship of 5 years in the late 70s early 80s.
I say that Michael Douglas and Matt Damon are extraordinary pulling no
punches on this one. Clearly graphic as we can get without being in the
bedroom with them (these two get it on) sick as it is.
Please, an old bald queen and his young 20ish stud, ugh!
This film is taken from the young lover's tell all book which was
published after the death of Liberace.
Whatever disagreements there may be over memory or facts, clearly this was
a relationship like so many in life where one party takes and the other
takes it up the ass. As Scott, Matt Damon's performance as the young
man that was shocked to find the love of his life was a selfish prick is
perfect. Michael Douglas is Liberace—the narcissistic self absorbed old
queen fooling the public and loving every minute.
But I gotta ask: Michael, how did director Steven Soderbergh get this performance
out of you? Total submersion if not humiliation inside a tortured celebrity.
Great script, great sets,
great direction, great acting—totally absorbing. Debbie Reynolds as the
female reflection of her greatest work, her son, plays Liberace's Polish
mother with perfection. Mother wants the money but not the bond of love
or approval her son seeks. (A telling scene where mom wants a check for
winnings in a game she played at son's home.) What a bitch! What a film!
Just maybe the beginning of the end?
Just a thought: If all politics are local, then all political edifices, especially
those shamelessly media touted,
that crumble is personal, at least for me. More than once I've stood bereft in front
of a door as a woman
declared, in most cases with good reason, "Its over!" and slamming the door to make a
Could the Obama-media romance really be over? Are media finally waking up
and slamming the door? Do the ever so
professional and high-brow members of the media, adorned with fairly
empty credentials to start with--hey, inspite of their constant self congratulations
they are not brain surgeons--now really expect a serious
response after four years of spectacular in-your-face evidence that Obama's polices as well
as personality and leadership capabilities were destined not to
Where have they been for the last four years and even before? At fund raising
cocktail parties with celebrities? Taking talking points from Bill Mahr, who laughingly
at the idea government may actually make a list and eventually take your guns? (Hey, Bill,
we now know government has been taking a list.)
They were in love with Obama. Somehow deep inside he fulfilled a need.
parlance, they were hooked from the start. He was one of them. Like a
lover wooing, he said the right thing, had the right touch. Others have
recorded their lover's obedience to the point of slavish prostration. He
stroked their liberal sensitivities just right. They completely
abandoned their duty, opting for easy reporting on topics like strategy
instead of analysis. They were in love. That's their only defense.
Now that they are out of love, some are embarrassed as they emerge from
their emotional caves and peer around the damage bleary eyed.
Now is the time for independents, Republicans disgusted with their own party,
libertarians and conservatives to form a political
coalition to build a rock steady base leaps ahead of institutional RINOs to secure
small government and vibrant capitalism, engendered by a flat tax and elimination
of the IRS and other unnecessary remnants of liberal fantasy.
The Klan visits Memphis, again,
but did police restrictions go too far? Or is it just one of those
things that's impossible for any police to get right?
(3.30.13 Memphis) Assembling reportedly to protest the name change of a
park eponymously honoring their organization's founder Nathan Bedford Forest,
members of the
Ku Klux Klan was to have gathered here between 1:30-4:00 pm. They did
but like bad boys who had to stay inside and practice the piano they chose or
were "advised" to
stay inside. One station got the bunch entering one of the buildings in the
legal complex downtown and they never came out to play. Much to
everybody's, especially the media judging by a local TV report,
disappointment, ' twern't a white sheet nor pointy cap to be seen.
(story and pix continued here)
(3.30.13) Two pics of events in Memphis, left
the "Klan Rally" that really was an "Anti-Klan Rally"
and the Heart of Memphis counter event to the KKK at the same time.
Ghosts of the Mississippi--The Klan to demonstrate again in Memphis
//Redux// Photos coming
(3.24.13) A family of civil war reenactors taken overlooking high bluff
of the Mississippi
River near Ft. Pillow Park where Nathan Bedford Forrest is reported to
have massacred black
Union soldiers during the Civil War. The "optics" of this picture is a
little aggressive. The young woman on
horseback wants to be a veterinarian, the man is a combat Vietnam
veteran and his
wife is on the opposite side. Throughout the event I never heard a
word from anybody. That goes to the question of racism, culture and
history--and how those categories can be separated.
I believe the Civil War to be the formative influence in Southern
culture.Not unrelated, the Ku Klux Klan, anachronistically enough, will demonstrate in
Memphis next week
over the renaming of Forrest Park. More coming with pix of the
and "Heart of Memphis" counter event the same day. We'll try to have pictures
Kucinich says private debt nearly as bad as public debt,
(3-15-13) Fox News interview-Outspoken liberal and former House Dem OH Rep Dennis Kucinich,
said he railed against the bailouts, warning at the time that the "yoke of debt" in
mortgages, credit card and student loans were coming "dangerously close" to surpassing
public debt. He said consumber debt could trigger another economic blowout the type of
which triggered the Great Depression. Further, perhaps for the first time in major mass
media, we heard "forgive student loans."
adds to the fray: "forgive student loans"
A smarmy Lauer, a smarmy network, stomach churning morning TV
(3.12.13) Well, we certainly don't watch it regularly unless you
consider channel surfing
as you click your way up to the cable networks qualifies. Apparently the
dollar co-host of NBC's Today Show blew it with critics and the public
yesterday as he tried
to make nice with canned co-host Ann Curry. He virtually groveled at her
feet to prove
he was a nice guy. Hey, they got me all wrong! Regardless, the nypost.com went to town
on poor Matt. We find it amazing anybody would watch the show when you have
actual content options on Fox, Current, CNBC and even MSNBC, but there's no
3.16.13) Related: Just heard in CPAC: Every young person now has a $220,000 mortgage, not
in a home but in national debt.
Kommie Kat Mourns: Now Hugo is with Vlad
(3.7.13) In memoriam to the passing of the great Venezuelan communist leader Hugo
Chavez, beloved by his party aparatchiks and Sean Penn, Kommie Kat
meditates in reflection to the workers' God Vladimir Ilych Lenin.
Though he robbed billions from his grateful people
and did God knows what to his opponents, the mass media called him, like,
"lovable" and all but lionized him as a revolutionary hero, Comrade Hugo courageously
shut down the press that criticized him and did God knows what to his political
opponents. Reportedly, his last words were, "I don't want to die," no
doubt thinking of the years of unlimited power and endless money he would not get
to bleed into his foreign accounts. Kommie Kat can relax. We're sure a
similar true believer will find plenty reason to carry on the glorious revolution.
But his memory is not lost to Kommie Kat. Instead of waiting for May Day, we have
rolled out the famous capture of our lefty feline worshipping Vlad in some sort
of stupefied political state, not unlike the worshippers who still attend the
Church of Obama. You can remember to. Just click the pic and you will go to
an assortment of Leninist wares with Kommie Kat--from refrigerator magnets
to framed pictures. You, to, worker peasant, can worship.
more about this lefty
NOT LIVE NOW--The Great Filibuster against presidential fiat to send
in drones to kill you without warrant
nor due process while you sit in a cafe in Memphis
(3.05.13) "...realize when someone tells you America is a battlefield, that the
is here, they are telling you your rights don't apply," said Sen. Rand
leading a filibuster now live (as of 1614 hours) in the
Senate. And thus the Obama administration has taken yet another one of
of no return (unless you don't believe there's a slippery slope on the
of executive power) that gives him the authority, according to Eric Holder before
the Senate Judiciary Committee today,
"to use drone strikes to kill Americans on US soil."
"It is an affront to the constitutional due process rights of all Americans," said
Paul in the Senate hearing prior to launching his filibuster with a group of Democratic
and Republican senators. It was said in the fili that it finally took four times
to get a definite "no" answer from Holder to the repeated question of whether the
president can kill someone on American soil sitting in a cafe presenting no eminent
That left the filibustering senators decidedly inconfident of future abuse of
not only (though Paul did not say it) this president, but for presidents to follow,
not only in this particular
area but in the outright destruction of constitutionally mandated balance of powers.
It's the Tea Party stupid
(3.5.13) No surprise politicians are now vilifying the only effective grass roots tool
to emerge in the last few years to control government spending-the Tea Party
or parties. Rep. Jim Hines (D-Conn) said repeatedly on C-Span this morning both Dems and Reps
are afraid to work together to manage government spending because the Tea Partiers
will be all over their ass (my wording). Suddenly the sequestration
lets everybody know both parties have failed America, both are willing to saddle
oppressive generational debt on its children and reduce security, the latter the nation's
first obligation. Almost embarassing as his effort to convince us a video caused
Benghazi, is his most recent orchestration of cabinet members sent out
to boo-hoo the public into thinking their precious progrms were collapsing around
them. Another crass manipulation that is sure to backfire. Good.
More people are reaching the realization that while some may experience pain, the
great majority of these so-called cuts will be absorbed into the endless, redundant,
ever folding fat of government. Robert Levinson, a Bloomburg government
analyst, said (following Hines in another program segment) sequester cuts
mostly impact big items like ships and planes and services on the small end. But guess
what? The government can cut back on its defense contracts without breaking them.
So instead of ordering
ten advanced fighter jets, it can order eight. Get it? It ain't that hard.
He said even Republicans are not making noises that the military can be trimmed.
Anyway, sequestration is just the beginning. It is the little dog that has pulled
back the curtain exposing the Oz of Obamaland. The lesson unintentionally provided
by Obama himself is that painful cuts are better than no cuts at all.
ARGO, but is that Ben's piece?
(3.03.13 by Papi LoQuacious, Kulture Kritik)
By now everyone knows that ARGO won the Academy Award for best picture
of the year.
I have viewed this film on my DirectTV and it is best viewed with a drink in hand.
Now, I liked it overall. That Ben Affleck is not a very good actor-few
if any nuance-and I kept wondering if that was his hair? But Alan Arkin
and John Goodman are always entertaining.
Since the film is not a deep character study or expose on the politics
of 1970-80s Iran, dont be surprised that the Iranians and the hostages
are never really shall we say , “fully embodied” but rather one
dimensional presentations. (All the Iranian revolutionaries are US
Film built to last action 15 minutes or so when the hostages were trying
to slip out of the country disguised as a film crew scouting for
locations in rebellion torn Iran-- but hey this is a true story.
Tension is high at airport as the hostages plan to board and flee by
airplane assisted by CIA operative Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck). Cleverly
slipping by the Iranian guards, boarding the plane and just as
Air Canada lifts off the landing field is swarmed by Iranian police. I
doubt this truly happened – a little tooo Hollywood and little tooooo
reminiscent of THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY.
Overall a B+ not great material-dont want to see if again - but ok. Best
picture material? Well it did make Hollywood look awfully good. Does Ben
Affleck wear a piece or what?
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I have to slap my forehead to stop my eyes from rolling
Today show host pointlessly sites race and gender in a story of whites rescuing black
(12.3.13) Watching Today this morning? In it you might have caught one of the
breezy cohosts Tamron Hall blurt "...the face of humanity, you
know, we don't think about race, gender. You just see a hand reaching in to help
you and you reach for that hand back. It's a beautiful story."
Thing is, the story had nothing to do with race or gender. Nothing.
Revealing a mindset that apparently just can't relate to white men saving a black man,
Hall's comment speaks volumes about dumbed down national media and their insipid
assumptions about viewers. The piece: when
a white diver discovers the hand of a man who had been trapped in an air pocket
of a sunken vessel, he radios back to a colleague on the surface
he has just discovered a survivor. He didn't say, "I found a black survivor."
Just an all important single survivor, the only one of the crew who in fact did.
The diver receives another radio message to "Just reassure him. Pat him on the
shoulder" and he was brought to the surface.
Seldom do you get real news these days on Today, but the story is nevertheless
worth catching if you can stomach the puffy chatter of the multi-million dollar
How 'bout that election for a pre-school tax increase?
(11.23.13) Lesson: don't ask voters to vote themselves a tax increase for
more gov services in the far away future
when there's high unemployment now.
Maybe the paltry number of voters who turned down the sales tax hike last week for
more preschool just didn't want to
feed the sucking government monster that already absorbs tax monies for a
school system and an expensive personnel.
Just maybe the secret is out: local government, like
national, spends too
much money, gets an ever diminishing return and resorts to the same
every time they want more: spend more. Don't look behind the curtain at
things like oversized pensions and early retirement, large staffs
excess, etc, etc. The campaign for the half cent sales tax hike took on
a liberal high brow appeal touting supposed economic benefits way in the future.
Better would have been to extoll what news reports
had working mothers already saying: their dire need for a child care service
so they could work. That would have been a responsive campaign.
Dems hope a hastily hammered reprieve saves them from falling
on the sword of Obamacare
Obama admits "insufficiency" but holds to govt run
solution for Americans with one year waiver in implementation
(BenQQ 11.14.13) As eight Dems call for a delay in his health care act, Obama
said a few moments ago the anticipated grandfather clause in the act was "insufficient,"
but people who got cancellation letters could get "the same type of plan" in a one
year waiver. Of course,
the president has no authority over rates, so assuredly the cancellees will have to
pay a higher premium. And just as assuredly this issue will spill over into 2014 where most
Dems will face an angry electorate (except here in Memphis where Dems get a pass).
What will the Republicans do? What they cannot do: be the best friend to insurance
companies (though Obama has tried to make himself look like he was their worst enemy).
In fact, the real winners across the board have been the insurance companies.
Obamacare is a boon to business.
Therefore, the Reps have to keep the good parts of Obamacare, strengthen it with other components
like making insurance marketable across state lines and finally, issue a "subsidy"
to everyone who needs it--say $500/mo administered through Medicare with
strong fraud detections. Such a system would rid us from the unreliable army of
stop the expansion of the IRS and bring privacy back into the health care system.
In short, the Reps must provide a better solution as the Dems have but without
expansion of government. They're is no way to get around expansion of cost.
Such a payment system would serve to limit insurance rates instead of paying for increase
in premiums the same way student loans have encouraged the rise in tuition. I bet a
number of insurance companies would get in line for the millions more insurance holders.
In fact, since we spend so many trillions in all sorts of programs, I'm beginning to
think a simple solution is to give a subsidy to everyone and eliminate all the
government programs and unnecessary spending. Still thinking about that one.
She comes, she speaks, she underwhelms
Local polis give the old rah rah for Obamacare
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, fresh from the battleground, and the local cheer
leading duo for Obamacare, Rep. Steve Cohen (orating)
and Memphis Mayor AC Wharton at today's appearance and news conference.
again to the pictoral indulgence, my
mind kept wandering what Sebelius and Wharton really were thinking.)
(BenQQ 11.01.13) One wonders exactly why Democrats--except the ones who have already
panicked and are desperate to find a way out--would mount a campaign to win acceptance of the beleagured legislation.
After all, it is the law, as its supporters are quick to tell you.
What they don't tell you is that the law can be changed or voted out all together.
Otherwise we'd still have prohibition, another ringing legislative winner.
Ouch! Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) turned this "education" event for
Obamacare into a picture PR fiasco that was captured perfectly by a
Memphis Daily News photographer. Kelsey slipped Sebelius the book Web Sites for Dummies as a "gift."
The photo captures her, looking tired and displeased, lamely grasping it for all to see.
Surely staff were silently screaming drop it, do something with it that's funny, just
don't let it cling to you. It clung. The picture has gone virulently viral.
Thus you have Sebelius sharing the stage with the Congressman who reportedly thinks
Tea Party members are "domestic enemies" (story left) and the mayor who said at the mic
20% did not know what "insurance" was. However, I had no faith that anyone giving the
news conference could say what the law is
Cohen and colleagues voted it
in and now it has landed like a flapping duck in everyone's
lobbyists and regulators filled in the gray areas so
profoundly unknown that horror stories of sky rocketing premiums, subsidy scrambles
and middle class Americans left out in the cold
will be popping up until next election day. The competition, of course, will be the
cheer squad marching out the forever forgotten with emotional personal stories.
What media could resist that?
Amazingly then, the Republicans have not even bothered to come up with an optional plan
before trying to kill this bird. They can tell you its a duck, but don't have an
eagle with which to replace it. So forget about it.
Back to one point: Sebelius' Web site openly states it is recording user internet
protocol (IP) addresses,
the link to your personal computer and hence your name and address.
As the NSA, FBI and IRS have shown in relation to internet companies, it would be a
small step to pressure
internet service providers (ISPs) to provide personal
names and addresses for those enrollees who gave up their personal information.
(Not to mention Google reportedly is building a barge that can float
out to sea beyond any jurisdiction. It just takes one, or a few, of commercially
minded federal employees to steal data and place it on the black market.
And finally, as we now learn about the health care subsidy which you may or may not
be able to
get, why didn't the geniuses in Washington decide on a dedicated health
card that would provide some level of subsidy toward insurance, thus helping to
drive costs down and not up? (I'm sure the question was asked by someone along the way
before they were laughed out of a career.)
Got an answer for that one, too: lawyers and legislators just love the
ever growing suspense and mystery of a gargantuan, intrusive, tax sucking,
all controlling bureaucracy. Especially one they can tout as a great
when the media, the president and the politicians pile on
Will President Obama apologize to George Zimmerman?
(BenQQ 7.21.13) In yet another display of divisiveness, President Obama
effectively endorsed allegations Friday that
George Zimmerman, a man found not guilty of either murder nor even
manslaughter, was still guilty of racial animus in the shooting of
Trayvon Martin, despite overwhelming lack of evidence and even an
abundance of personal accounts to the contrary.
The President chooses to excuse emotions of predominantly black voices that
called for further prosecution on the grounds of their experiences of discrimination.
This is the "context"
in which he gives explicit approval to Sharpton's rabble rousing when there is no
evidence justifying federal prosecution. Yet, if his remarks are not a setup
for a Department of Justice shot at Zimmerman, why in the world would he make them?
Maybe its personal and
Said the President in an apparent impromptu appearance at a routine
press briefing Friday, "...that context is being denied. And that all contributes, I
think, to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same
kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the
aftermath might have been different."
So, I am to conclude by that
Zimmerman more quickly shot Trayvon Martin because he was black as opposed to any
other skin tone? Zimmerman would not have chosen to
use deadly force as his head was being
"grounded and pounded" into cement if his assailant were white? Really,
Mr. President. Really, demonstrators? The assertion on its face wackily places
race loyalty over even personal survival, a colossal miscalculation.
In a recurring and inappropriate theme to the "Justice for Trayvon" narrative,
Obama went on to say, "I'd just ask people to consider
if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground
on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been
justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car
because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at
least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those
kinds of laws."
Now, the shooting occurred after
Zimmerman was physically attacked,
according to witness testimony and evidence.
Like a pack of jackals on wounded prey, liberal pack media, race hustlers
and politicians leapt on Zimmerman personally across the nation
yesterday. This has got to be unique historically: never before has a
single individual been marked and judged by so many at a single event in
so many locations at the same time. He is evil incarnate. Never mind
that dozens of black kids have been slaughtered in gangs since his trial
began. But let's go get George. The media have our back.
Even Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, who up till now I've seen as being
professionally race neutral (and who perhaps should have been back in the office trying
out how the city would not become "Detroit on the Mississippi"), apparently felt compelled
to join in on the political gang
bang at the National Civil Rights Museum, a location bestowing
legitimacy to the otherwise empty accusations, where "dozens," according
to a local
ABC 24 story,
The "interviews" on camera begged for followup questions, but they were
either unasked or edited out.
Interviewee quote: " 'A law that says anyone amen who appears
aggressive, you can violently attack them amen just at your will. We
know that, that makes no sense,' "
A reporter's response might be (but wasn't):
"But did you know Mr. Zimmerman did not invoke the stand your ground
statute, but only his right of self defense? The jury found he was not
Would either of these facts change your mind?"
Another quote: "There was a child killed and someone needs to be
punished for that."
Why not the followup question like:
"But a jury of his peers found the defendant not guilty of the killing
racial motivation nor with what they call 'hate, malice nor ill will.'
Does that change your mind? Can't bad things happen without criminal negligence?"
"I came here today because I don't want them getting shot for
nothing. I'm afraid of that. I'm fearful of that. I fear for my
children, other people's children,'
Reporter could have asked:
"But most black on black crime is committed by other blacks, in fact 84% is. Do you
really think George Zimmerman represents a major trend that's the same
The piece oozed approval without questioning the president's allegations
nor even the premise that Martin did NOT get justice. Apparently, the
new hi-def digs at ABC 24 doesn't include journalism that even begins to broach
both sides of an issue. In this story, Al Sharpton & Co. 1, journalism 0.
"How to make money selling drugs"
A drug bust in Memphis, not unlike has occurred thousands of times
throughout the country. With more police vehicles than pictured and more in personnel and
untold hours in undercover work, the shot begs the question especially for Memphis.
Can a city that will have to cut services and raise taxes afford the war on drugs?
Picture was taken in mid-2012. Officer said this was a drug bust, but declined to say
what kind or if gang affiliated. A few weeks ago, the cops made a million dollar
drug bust. If legalized and taxed, that could have brought in a $100-200,000 to the
city's coffers that are as empty as Mother Hubbard's cupboard. The city's answer yesterday:
tax more that will continue to drive property owners and their tax revenue out of the city.
a primer for the up and coming
(BenQQ 6.26.13) This may be Kulture Kritik's territory but there's a new
too hip, satirical i guess, documentary about the drug selling establishment.
Maybe that's an
automatic strike against legalization because there will
be companies seeking
to capture the drug, at least marijuana, using markets once they become decrimalized and
then legal. Anyway, the feds, states and cities finally
may be forced to realize
the drug war is too expensive in dollars and ruined lives.
"How to Make Money Selling Drugs," be that as it is, produced by Adrian
Grenier most recently of Entourage, another HBO ejection i put into the same annoying,
yet irresistable, category as Californication, treats drugs as a way to make
it in the inner city (but i would add anywhere). I'm reminded, in college, I had a friend
who wrote a business school paper on selling marijuana. The professor failed him
indignantly. Would that happen today?
Grenier and writer Mathew Cooke
were on Morning Joe yesterday promoting the movie and between
irrelevant comments--the panelists mostly seemed to not get his point, at least as i took it,
the drug war but followed
Mika's swooning over yet another Obama class celebrity. Wait a minute, i
don't know if Grenier is an Obamaphile, but most celebrities are because of
their higher analytical skills or herding instincts, don't know which.
The thing about Grenier, laudably like Clooney and Begley, is it's not the first time
his face and
projects that apparently aren't generated by a PR advisor (or maybe they
are, i don't know). But getting past the good looking boyish charm, hair
and up to the minute coolness, Grenier is one of those young Hollywood products
whose image could become refreshingly anti-product. I don't mean in the
cynical image building sense. But then i'm talking image again, huh?
Anyway, he may realize there's more to do with money
than buying fast cars and entertaining spectacularly beautiful women.
Although both laudable avocations don't-get-me-wrong, I just sense our
culture is, to some extent, breaking from celebrity adulation. Of course
you'll still see them worshiped enough ("them" as if they didn't come from us
but from a celebrity planet) because such coverage is easy on the brain and
most frequently the eyes.
But there is a reason they are celebrities and we're not: talent, luck and in
many cases unrecognized, brains. Luckily we live in a world that rewards such.
Hey, it occurs to me i didn't say a thing about the writer. But that's typical
celebrity coverage, huh?
Is Michelle reading my E-mail?
(BenQQ, 6.10.13) .As Obama gently carries us back to 1984 where George
presented a picture of government monitoring homes from a central
communications megaplex, I can't help wonder if Michelle might be lying
around eating bon bons in bed and reading my e-mails to business
associates, clients, women...women!
. That would assuredly provide
a good laugh or two and might even merit redistribution with the click
of a mouse throughout the White House staff who in turn would
recirculate to their like minded friends, who in turn would...
Privacy broached and secrets exposed, my humiliation would be complete.
My only consolation would be that
the facade of any person would be undermined by government "data" once
to the public. These new revelations confirm American citizens are now
small flies the government can swat with a search and dump that is
rapidly improving in its intrusive, forever probing, capabilities.
For the first time in
history, a central
technical megaplex is known to be aggregating emails and phone calls,
running searches and piecing together through his or her communications
history the subjects, if not
ultimately the content, of heretofore assumed private communications,
Maximally disturbing are the smooth tongued politicians who
appeared this weekend before the media to reassure a public some of which at
least sounded nervous. "Relax, its OK. Everything is fine.
Your government of course is not going to abuse this
in any way. Please, just go back to sleep. We'll continue to take
This when they failed to stop the Boston Marathon bombers even when told
by a foreign government the names of active terrorists. This when
repeatedly made it his public role on the internet to embrace violent
fascism well before he shot up Fort Hood, killing 13 and injuring 30.
question is: are the same people who should have spotted these killers
charge of snooping my emails? Setting aside the very real privacy issues
raised by the NSA monitoring (and IRS Obamacare "navigators"), what guarantee do we have that such data
will not be used, shall we say, innappropriately
Answer: we don't. The fact remains this newest Obamascandal was
what can happen to private information. If you have thousands of
whether NSA or IRS, monkeying around with your private communications,
vulnerable--and always will be.
Add into the mix Obama's cavalier proclivity toward big government reach
and the culture
of vendictiveness that has burst on the scene in the last few weeks, we
have a perfect stew for 1984. Its not hard to imagine an even more
--and not just abusive partly because the President is asleep at the
wheel--to which voters will give unfettered power. Give 'em a finger and
they'll turn it into an anal probe. Clinch up, folks. They're slipping on the gloves.
Thanks Bill--Memphis was never the same
(Kulture Kritic, 5.17.13) I was sad at word this week that Bill Kendall,
Memphis arts leader, had
passed unceremoniously alone in Atlanta last month.
I knew Bill and worked for him for many years when I was a film student at MSU.
He brought Memphis an
open door to film adventures-- like no other. And he paid a price for that
innovation. I remember long lines around the block at the Studio Theater
on Highland to see The Stewardess in 3-D; and the sold out Lavender
Midnight Cinema at the Guild Theater on Poplar. But beyond high camp
porn, which then attracted a variety of Memphis media and establishment
types, he also brought real art films that
made for even more unforgettable times with the showing of works like
Romeo and Juliet, El Topo and most if not all John Cassavetes films,
to name only a few. Regarding Cassavetes, he and other members of the
cast came to Memphis when their movies opened here.
When these venues closed, there were no others even remotely like them
and Memphis remains the less for it.
A flat consumer tax eliminates
our suffering through displays of Illusional Indignation by Politicians
(BenQQ, 6.8.13) The roof is caving in on all of them.
Finally yielding to the weight of Benghazi, the
NSA data mining mass private communications, the extravagant waste of tax money on
government salaries and pension perks, blatant attacks on the second and fourth amendments
and now, related, the IRS targeting political
enemies far greater than even our nation's first fully documented Crook in Chief, Nixon, the roof has come tumbling down on the heads
of Reps and Dems alike.
And these were big abuses, those we could see and become angry over.
How many countless little abuses were there? We'll never know.
Now, feeling the weight of the ideological excesses of the Obama clique, both parties posture in illusional indignation conjured for you, yes, you the gullible American voter.
"Outrageous!" shouts one "Never again!" shouts another in a spasm of group
theatre designed to keep them in office for generations to come.
They just cannot admit there will be another...and another...and another. Somehow
we continue to believe if only the good ones will get into office, their proximity
to vast amounts of money and power will have no effect in the end.
of his Imperial Majesty Obama, who originally ran on a revolutionary "transparent" government ticket
(much the same way Nixon ran as a "peace" candidate), proves the point. Any
good con artist can get elected via identity exploitation, media collusion and
When will we ever learn?
But at least in one of the aforementioned Obamascandals, we can insure,
yes, INSURE, we will never revisit again.
The US Internal Revenue Service can be reduced to a bean counting agency if
politicians who are now posturing in boisterous indignation have enough political
courage. They can cut off the
head of the IRS hydra, eliminate billions of dollars in high
government salaries, stop the budget bleed from pensions, eliminate the thousands of
new IRS "navigators" for Obamacare (thus starving the beast) and completely
eliminate even the possibility of ever again targeting individuals and
A flat universal consumer tax does this.
With a flat consumer tax, everybody-and I mean everybody-will experience real federal taxation every time they buy
something. Instead of only half of the people carrying the federal government, everybody pays a set
universal percentage. Further, this would include the elimination of all "nonprofit" organizations,
many of whom, like the AARP, make millions. Nix to all that.
Thus, there would be a ground up pressure from everybody
to reduce spending.
So what now independents, libertarians and Tea Partiers?
IRS Gate is a prime opportunity for,
in an Obama term, a "teachable" moment. The real question now: will anyone seize the moment, own the issue and
build a political campaign around abolishing the IRS as we know it?
Capture the indignation of the voters, not politicians, and a political movement can dismantle
at least one big ticket government agency.
I only know what I read in the papers:
The Comedy of Obama
The tenor of Sunday morning talk shows revealed a professional politicians
crafty strategy not to wade in too deep about Obama's multiple failings. Don't want
to be caught with our pants down and have you ever actually seen a RINO without
pants? Not a pretty sight.
As Obama stonewalls questions about the biggest issue, Benghazi, the rest--the IRS
mounting campaigns of destruction against Tea Party members and readers of forbidden
books, illegal mass phone taps not to mention Attorney General Holder himself are presented
FUBARs. After all both the president and his AG both claim to "know NOTHING"
like Col. Klinke of Hogans Heroes, of the scandals propagated under their watch
for months if not years.
Their incompetence has become their only defense and for his easily manipulated
constituency and equally incompetent media that put him in
office, save CNN and Fox News, formerly supportive members of the commentariot will
find themselves on the end of the
laughing stick they themselves used to beat up administration critics.
Comedian Bill Maher recently asserted
people who think the government would take their guns, were "naive." Now, with evidence
the IRS, as well as the
EPA and even FBI, targeted conservative politcal organizations with demands of membership lists,
speaker names, and even what books they read, perhaps Mr. Maher himself suffers
from a naivite found only among liberals: the days of government doing grievous
harm are long gone and, of course, it can do no wrong to its citizens and certainly
For the first time, I heard a commentator hit the raw nerve of Benghazi for which
there is no known anesthetic in this democratic body politic: the Commander in Chief
flagrantly abandoning Americans under attack on American soil. Liz Trotta Sunday
morning said such dereliction (my characterization) is unheard of in American history.
Another Janet Rice type mouthpiece within the Obama admin was trotted out to Chris Wallace
to declare questions about what the hell the president was doing/thinking
as Americans died was "frankly offensive."
What's offensive of course is having to swallow Obama's policies and inflexible divisive ideological
swil that is yielding the exact opposite as advertised.
(3.30.13) Meanwhile, while the Klan was supposed to be parading
around downtown, the "counter event" Heart of Memphis was
held in midtown. Above, Wang-Ying Glasgow, Adult Services Coordinator for the
and story teller, poses in a children's literary character.
THE FIRST MOMENT OF SPRING, THE VERNAL EQUINOX, MEMPHIS 8:02 AM MARCH 20, 2013
(3.20.13) There is actual competition for Earth Day
. One is a date started after the original
earth day was started by John McConnell in 1969
The Vernal Equinox, where there's equal light and dark on both sides of the Earth
ushering in the first moment of spring is 8:02 AM Wed. March 19 in Memphis.
McConnell launched the movement to recognize the Vernal Equinox and celebrated
it every year by ringing the peace bell at the United Nations. John died at the age
of 97 last year. John C. Munday took over that tradition this year and rang the bell
this year at the moment of VE. I worked with John in Los Angeles and New York. (He had no
paid staff as far as I know.) I developed a page on John's life and the original Earth
here. Mr. Munday
offered two corrections: Even though John gave anthropologist Margaret Meade credit as co-creator, he says
Earth Day was completely McConnell's idea and the peace bell was always run on
the spring vernal equinox, not in December, which it may have been in the beginning
as McConnell described it to me. What is known is that John grew the idea of Earth
Day without any financial support to speak of and made it his life's work.
It is celebrated at the UN and in cities
around the world.
(3.16.13) From a political speech by Sarah Palin at CPAC
She said she got a gun rack from her husband as a Christmas present, so she had to get him
a gun. "He got a rifle. I got the rack," she deadpanned to long applause.
Also at CPAC, a crass age related joke
by "youngest Fox Contributor" Steven Crowder
made oh a really funny crack about Biden's "liver spotted" hands shaking the
hand of the new Pope, who is 76, before he went on introduced Phyllis Schlafley, 83, who
delivered a strong speech. Age jokes and cracks are heard often in events and conservative
media, such as from Beck's sidekicks. And its getting worse as society gets younger.
The commentariot knows better than to berate women, minorities and nationalities,
but they apparently haven't gotten the memo yet about their constituents over 40.
The preview bout in gun control
(3-14-13) This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee presented a
preview bout of all the points
surrounding Feinstein's gun control bill, complete with constitutional
punches and personal fireworks.
Much of the vote in the senate will come down on whether you are a loose
or strict constitutionalist. If the former, expect a distortion of
fact and technical data behind a curtain of cloudy emotion. In what had
to be the ironic moment of the hearing, Dem Franken chastised Rep
Cruz for quoting the committee's own studies that limitations on the
AR15 would make little difference in gun violence outcome while not
the same studies indicated it would take further study to tell if it
would. The Reps
by that time had already left the room, so no one was left to question
even the wisdom of voting on a bill when its own committee research
indicated it might
not have its intended effect anyway.
Deja Vu for the Dems: ram it through like Obamacare.
So, do you believe "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the
security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,
shall not be infringed" means just that or do you think
there are exceptions for public safety that is superior to bearing arms
to the security of a free State"? This battle is about one or the other.
Citing banning large magazine sizes and different types of firearms
could legally own, Cruz asked Feinstein directly, if she would put
the first (freedom of the press, religion, speech, assembly, redress of
grievances) and fifth (grand juries, double jeopardy,
self-incrimination, due process, private property protection)
amendments in the same way she is putting on the second.
She flared at the question, telling him she needed no lecture on the
and that she had worked with the constitution for twenty years. When
for an answer, she said only, simmering, "No." Yet, other Rep. senators
committee subsequently interjected there were indeed restrictions on the
first, such as yelling fire in a crowded theatre and child pornography.
the second had restrictions on such things as machine guns, the Dems
In another committee vote, the Dems prevailed in not excluding Feinstein's
restrictions for people in border states who are increasingly assaulted by
illegal aliens and the Mexican drug war.
Beyond that were the arguments heard in every quarter from Dems who wail
blood of innocents to conservatives who show convincing evidence that
"long" guns have the bad results the Dems have glommed on to. Next stop:
in the Senate. Watch the full hearing this morning here
It happened in Memphis...
Animals in street + speeding cars =
heart breaking accidents
(3.08.13) We're not usually into running shots of car accidents, but we
give ourselves permission when dogs running the streets get in the way of
traffic, especially on streets known to be little raceways (like on James Rd.
between Rangeline and Watkins). Excuse our
libertarian leanings, but accidents like these should never happen and there
should big time sanctions against animal owners who let their dogs run wild as
well as speeders who hit them. We don't think
city streets are within libertarian purview: they belong to the public and should be
monitored aggressively. (But from my personal experience, Memphis drivers are the worst.)
The German shepherd lying in the street above, still had a chain around its neck.
Follow the street around the bend and immediately out of sight is the accident
location. Though there are two vehicles in the inset shot, two other parked
vehicles were apparently involved as well. Now here's the thing: a witness who had
been driving west said she saw another "big white dog" at the side of the jeep
and "a puppy"in the gutter, both dead, behind the dark car (inset). Let's be clear:
these were pets, members of a household. I have seen the German Shepard walking about
before. I'm sure I would recognize the "big white," as well. They got out. They're
dead and frankly they deserved better.
But let me return to the question:
could a car speeding east have hit this dog, continued around the bend, encountering
two other dogs and oncoming traffic perhaps trying to miss cars and/or dogs?
Clearly at least
one dog and thankfully no people, could be seen dead in the street.
Police didn't seem to be aware of any canine factor in the accident, though I only
had a chance to ask one officer.
I have taken heartbreaking shots of people and animals lying mangled and dead
in the streets of Memphis. I lived and worked 20+ years in Los Angeles and never saw
animals dead and maimed in the street as I see in Memphis. In fact,
I can't remember seeing any, except for gang members brought down in shootouts.
reflection do I say it reveals a certain high handed disregard to life until...until...
I realize I am guilty of the same thing. Before there was a law to keep animals penned,
I lost pets to animals that were untrained to stay the hell out of the street. Trying
to sniff the tires won't make it.
Now, here's another take on running down animals...
This picture was taken in early spring of last year. A Canadian goose run down,
in front of an elementary school. Across the street is a church with a pond where
they stay each year in their migration south.
Now, a goose of this size is almost three feet and walks all of three miles an
hour, I'm guessing. You'd have to be blind to miss it. Yet, someone did.
BTW Canadian geese mate for life. For days after the flock
flew off, perhaps sensing danger, its mate lay in a paper sheet wrapped up respectfully
by church maintenance.
It wandered the field until it too took flight.
are known to remate.
Finally, it flew off to another migratory spot.
Regardless their marital traditions, I've never seen a more reckless bunch of drivers
toward people and animals for a city this size. Perhaps its time the city goes the
extra step in policing traffic and controlling animals--including instituting creative
and humane animal control measures. Visitors, natives and animals alike need not experience
the above in Memphis.
(Sunday 3-10-13) Update
: passed the scene today and the large German shepherd is still
in the road. Either none of the neighbors or the owner called or they tried and could not
find the number on the city's Web site. I didn't. I finally did a general search online and
came up with 901.272-2409 where I got a message advising me there would be no pickups on
weekends. Really? The animal is supposed to decompose and get splattered
in the middle of the street over the weekend? Really? On numerous occassions I've called
during the weekend and they were quick to get out, for health and safety reasons alone
there should be a weekend
number for these types of pickups.