Friday, November 30, 2012

Jordan Davis (R.I.P), Michael Dunn (S.O.B.) And Stand Your Ground: Further Proof That Florida Still Sucks

Heartbreaking News:

(*Sigh.)  There's been yet another senseless murder of an unarmed, African-American teenager committed by a gun-toting, middle-aged, white man in everybody's favorite "Sunshine State" of Florida.

The previous and, similarly, cold-blooded murder garnered much national attention, especially when the defendant cited Florida's chicken-fried "Stand Your Ground" law in his defense. In that case, the young victim had been taking a walk and was pursued - without cause and after being told not to by 911 operators - by his attacker.

In this recent incident, the young victim was simply sitting in the back seat of a car with three friends, listening to music while another friend went into a convenience store for some snacks.  The shooter was in an adjacent car.  He told the young men to turn down their music.  They ignored him - not a bad choice - at which point, without warning, the man raised a gun and fired eight bullets into the car.  A car with four young men sitting, unarmed, inside.  Somehow the shooter, Michael Dunn 45, missed three of them (perhaps it was due to the alcoholic beverages he'd enjoyed at the wedding he'd just left?).  Tragically, two of the bullets struck Jordan Davis, 17, and killed him.  Dunn then did what any murderer would do... he fled the scene.

The prior incident took place in south Florida.  This heinous act occurred in the city of Jacksonville - on the state's northeast coast.  I literally cringed when I heard Lawrence O'Donnell identify the town.  And, I cringed when I typed its name.  * Why?  Because I know Jacksonville very well.  I grew up there.  Not by choice, of course.  Toddlers don't get choices.

It took many long, grueling and challenging years, but I was finally able to escape from J-ville (Thank Gd!).  I jumped on a plane and went west... To Cali and to my beloved San Franpsycho (Blessed Be).  Ah, but, I digress...

Jacksonville, Florida is - among other things - the largest city in the United States in square miles. Yet, as I learned early on, much of its geography is populated by people burdened - or perhaps not - with rather small minds.  This deficit may be the result of some environmental factor (i.e.- something in the water?) or societal (perhaps a tradition that's passed from generation to generation?)... I simply don't know.

What I can say is this: I'm ecstatic and eternally grateful that - whatever it was - it wasn't anything contagious.

Fascinating and Fun Trivia: One of Jacksonville's previous "15 Minutes Of (Newsworthy) Fame" which you may or may not have heard about occurred when the decision-makers in charge of this 21st Century American city -- Banned Harry Potter Books From Its Public Libraries  -- because (get this!) they were disturbed to discover that author J.K. Rowling's wildly-popular Works Of Fiction... "Promoted Witchcraft".

In the words of Sarah Palin: "I kid you not."
And, with this lil' bit of (hopefully) humiliating history... I rest my case.

From The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell:

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Domestic Economic Terrorist Boehner Backtracks On Debt Ceiling Responsibility

One year ago, Republican members of Congress refused to raise America's debt-ceiling.  It was a "First".  They did it single-handedly, intentionally and with complete awareness of the great harm their action would inflict on America's economy and the world's.  Led by House Speaker Jon Boehner, strutting around full of boastful pride and undeniable malice aforethought, they forced the downgrade of the United States' credit rating.

Simply put, the GOP's unconscionable and irresponsible action led to an inevitable, predictable and avoidable economic disaster.  Which was was also a "First" and a terrible one, at that.  In fact, the consensus was and is that it was a serious error in judgement that America must never let happen again.

So, guess what Republican members of Congress are threatening to do now, after being called on to raise the nation's debt ceiling before the end of 2012?

That's right, Virginia!  You guessed it!  They're hell-bent on causing America to go into default, AGAIN.

*Ugh!*  We should look up which idiots voted such patently anti-American saboteurs and extortionists into Congress and revoke their voting privileges.  Those same people should probably also be prevented from making any other potentially life-altering decisions without the assistance of a sane, rational parent or guardian.

From The Rachel Maddow Show:

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Monday, November 26, 2012

So ~ Bill O'Reilly, Pat Robertson And Ricky Gervais All Walk Into A Bar...

In this brief video clip, The Last Word's Lawrence O'Donnell reveals exactly how and why it is both utterly irrefutable and Just Plain True that "Happy Atheist" and actor, Ricky Gervais, is not only naturally and innately more "Christ-like" than either "The 'War On Christmas's" Pappa Bear Bill O'Reilly, or the long-time Evangelical TV personality and phenomenally judgmental Pat Robertson...

But the talented and very funny Mr. Gervais is infinitely more "Christ-like" as well.

P.S. ~ This is Awesome!  (Enjoy.)

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sharing Some Unexpected And Timeless Gifts From Sir Winston Churchill

I was suddenly and unexpectedly showered with a number of previously unfamiliar and, yet, (immediately recognizable as) truly magnificent quotes.
Despite originally being spoken by someone who died long before I was born and who lived in a world that - at first glance - appears to be exponentially different from the world in which we live today...
The utterly-palpable, gut-borne power, conviction and raw courage that infused these words when they were spoken more than sixty years ago... still struck a chord in me... today.

The Speaker: (Sir) Winston Churchill.
(And, here are but a few of my newly-discovered and newly-favorite quotes)

“If you’re going through Hell... Keep going.” 

“Never, never, never give up.”

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

(With Credit and Thanks to Geoff Loftus' article of 05/09/12 entitled: "If You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going - Winston Churchill".)

Following the end of W.W. II, Churchill's writings revealed that he knew in his own mind - with complete certainty - that Hitler and the Nazis would, eventually, be defeated. Despite knowing this, for nineteen long, bloody months, Churchill had the unenviable and seemingly impossible job of rallying his fellow blitzed and beaten country-people against what - from every angle - appeared to be an unstoppable foe.

How did one man accomplish this utterly insurmountable task?
Winston Churchill understood his country-people and what they wanted. Not only that, he understood what it was that the Nazis were hell-bent on destroying.

And, regarding these things, Churchill said: “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: Freedom. Justice. Honor. Duty. Mercy. Hope.”

(Er... "Wow!" just doesn't cover it. But it will have to suffice.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What Is News-Worthy? Obama, Ole Miss, Racism, Protests, Cultivating Change

I don't watch "The News".
Not ever...  Not for many years...  Not even on "Election Night".

I'd passionately encourage everyone to take a "News-Break" -- even for a little while.

As a result of not watching "The News":  
Once in a great while, the weather catches me off-guard. But, I live in San Francisco and:  "If you don't like the weather in San Francisco - - cross the street.".

Since I don't watch "The News", it's been years (thankfully) since I had to sit through a C.S.I. script-worthy, graphically-detailed story of a real-life, violent crime with no "Happy Ending" and in which the perpetrator may or may not be in custody and/or dead.

The result of which:  I sleep better.

Well - "better" being a relative term - I sleep "better" than I did when I would watch the news.

And, not watching "The News" also means that - occasionally - I don't hear about a truly news-worth story when it breaks.  If it breaks.

So, Thank Whomever for the Internet(!), because I've just found one of those truly news-worthy stories...

The Incident: A racially-fueled protest that broke out at Ole 'Miss (The University of Mississippi) after President Obama won re-election.
Needless to say, I haven't a clue if the incident ever "broke" as a news-story in the national media or network news.  

But, it's a story that's well worth your time.

Why?  Because, this is no robotic, dispassionate announcement of some unfortunate event.

There is a very brief description of the protest.  After which a small group of thoughtful citizens from different backgrounds engages in a calm, rational, meaningful discussion in which they offer some real-life, achievable actions - and describe, exactly, whom needs to take those actions - the result of which would be the initiation of change in some of those variables which lead to the protest.

This is what "The News" could... nay - Should be.

From Melissa Harris-Perry:

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Elizabeth Warren Is A Force For Good: Day 1.) Get Sworn In. Day 1.1) Fix The Damn Filibuster!

I stand with Senator-Elect Elizabeth Warren (D) MA.  Do You?

The new Congress' next session begins the first week in January 2013.

Warren has announced that on Day One - once she's been sworn in - her first order of business is to work with her fellow Democratic Senators and Fix-The-Damned-Filibuster which GOP Senators have taken to using - in order to block each and every (Democratic or Republican) bill/nominee/budget - as if they needed to filibuster to breathe.

Please call your Senators and - don't ask 'em - tell them that on Day One you want them to support Senator-Elect Warren and other Democratic Senators in their mission to change the filibuster.  Day One is the only day that the Senate can make changes to the rules it will follow thereafter.  Encourage your Senators to make sure that those obstruction-obsessed GOP Senators can no longer just say they want to filibuster a bill/nominee and "Poof!" it's done.

Let's make sure that - in order to filibuster anything - they have to get off their fat a**es, stand up before the Senate, before the television cameras and before the entire world and remain there as long as they are intent on sabotaging Congress and America.

We all want to see whom, exactly, is doing the filibustering.  We want to shame them, to call them out on their treachery.

And, we want to make sure that they don't get re-elected.

*Do you really want to keep paying the obstructionist Senators a ton of money to - not just sit around and do NOTHING - but to sit around and - with malice aforethought - prevent others from doing urgently needed and widely-influential work?

I Don't.

Thank You.
From The Rachel Maddow Show:

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Truth, Lies And Flaming Pants, Or... The Senators Vs The Ambassador

* An Urgent Notice *

To: United States' Senators John McCain (R) AZ and Lindsey Graham (R) SC:

Gentlemen:  Call 911!  Call 911!  Drop and Roll!  Drop and Roll!  Your Pants Are On F-I-R-E!

Thank You.  That's it.  That's all.  I just thought someone should let you know.

Oh, and may you have whatever days you truly deserve.


From The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell:

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Debunking Fox News Latest Jobs Report Conspiracy (*Hint: Reading Is Fundamental)

Fox News showed their true colors as they gleefully pounced, tore into and gorged their immaculately-dressed and not a hair out of place-coiffed selves on the most recent jobless claims report released by the Labor Department.

The report shows a rise in those filing for unemployment benefits.

So, of course, Fox's foaming-at-the-mouth Friends immediately began talking up a White House/Obama/Labor Department conspiracy, asking "Why?" the high unemployment numbers only came out after President Obama's decisive victory over Mitt Romney.

Our heroes were... (er, no...)

The frenzied Fox News bobbles had obviously been too busy working into a feeding frenzy to have actually read the entire report.

Because, if they'd only bothered to read it, they'd have learned - one would hope - that the Labor Department actually cited why there was a rise in the number of people filing for unemployment benefits.  And that cause was cited not once... but twice.

Two words: "Superstorm Sandy".

Dear (ugh!) Fox News (not!): When significant numbers of businesses are wiped out of existence due to a disaster... so, too, are the jobs they once supported.*
(*See: Staten Island, New York.)

Oh, wait a minute... Silly me.  That's right!  You've probably never seen Staten Island.
After all, it's not located in mid-town Manhattan.
Like you are. (*sigh)

In the timeless words of Fox's own Homer Simpson, "Doh!!".

From The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell:

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rand Paul's GOP Re-Write: Pot, Immigration, Intervention. What? Nothing About Women?!

In the wake of the (riotously-funny) shockingly-rude awakening called "Reality" that has only just begun to impose itself upon many a Fox News-Junkie Republican...

Senator Rand Paul (R) KY presented what he identifies as the three key issues needing an urgent Republican Party Re-Write:

1.) Decriminalization of marijuana possession.  2.) No more foreign military interventions.  3.) Immigration reform.

Uh-huh.  Hmm... I guess it shouldn't surprise anyone that ol' Rand failed to mention a little thing like: "Protecting every woman's right to control her own body?*"
(*instead of proposing/supporting Pervy Big Brother Government legislation (can you say: "medically unnecessary ultrasounds"?!) where it's got no business being)

After all - like all of the state legislatures and governors that tried to pass/passed such lecherous legislation - Rand Paul isn't a woman.

Why should we expect him - or them - to consider anything that American women might want?*

*Allow me to offer Rand and his fellow Reprobates a not-so-subtle hint:

Women and Women Who Vote outnumber men and men who vote.
From MSNBC's The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell:

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At Least He's An Equal Opportunity Liar: Paul Ryan's Post-Defeat, Self-Delusion (Fox News Fog, Anyone?) Interview

Mr. Bubble's got nothing on the supremely sudsy saturation that is the self-delusion of defeated Republican Veep Nominee, Paul Ryan...

And, in the not-so-distant, Fox And Friends-Fueled Land Of The Whoppers...
From The Ed Show With Ed Schultz:

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Anticipation: Chris Matthews On Hillary Clinton's Next Achievement

I'm with Chris on the Hillary Clinton story...

Dear Madame Secretary: Please... Take that well-earned and vastly-overdue break/vacation!  Have Fun!  Be with family and friends!

And then...?

Our Sincerest Wish: That - After Doing So - You Come Back, Relaxed, Inspired, Re-Energized And Kick Some Major A**!
From Hardball With Chris Matthews:

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The "Akin-Effect": Anti-Science GOP Representatives Want To Lead House Science Committee

Did You Know...?
Congressional Representative Todd Akin (R) MO (the "women's bodies magically prevent pregnancies during 'legitimate rape'" guy) serves on the House Science Committee?

I think most of us would like to know: Whom, exactly, is the undercover refugee from what must be a whack-a-mole, whack-a-do parallel universe (who obviously extorted some other moronic mover-and-shaker in order to acquire a Congressional seat) thought THAT was a sensible - or, Gd forbid, ideal - choice?!

Now, in a closely-related and timely coincidence, three seats have opened up on that very same House Science Committee.

And Get This... The top three Republican Congressional Representatives actively trying to acquire those Science Committee Seats are - like Todd Akin before them - all Anti-Science/Science-Rejecting Republicans (Well, shut mah mouth!).

*Please! *Please! *Please, Dear Congress... In this very instant... Please swear that you will - now and forever - stop staffing the House Science Committee (or any as-yet-to-be-formed committee whose task will be to brainstorm new, efficient, effective, achievable plans/regulation/legislation that will successfully combat/hopefully roll-back global warming) with Learning-Ain't-Fundamental, Dinosaur-Flatulence-Causes-Global-Warming members of what Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) LA, himself, referred to as: "The Stupid Party".

Thank You Ever So Much.
With L- (nah)... With Appreciation,
Your Constituents.
And, Your Mother Earth.
From Hardball With Chris Matthews:

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Monday, November 05, 2012

Ohio Sec'y Of State Husted's 11th Hr Directive To Trash Legal Votes And Swing The Election

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) Isn't Just Bad for Ohio...

He Isn't Just Bad for Democracy.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) Is A Criminal...

One Who Is - Yet Again - Flaunting His Wanton Abuse Of Power In The Face Of Every American.

Last-Minute Ohio Directive Could Trash Legal Votes And Swing The Election:
(*Click on the above link to go to the full Think Progress article)

A last-minute directive issued by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) could invalidate legal provisional ballots. Ohio is widely viewed as the most critical state for both presidential campaigns and — with some polls showing a close race — the 11th-hour move could swing the entire election. The directive, issued Friday, lays out the [...]/p

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Obama, Christie tour N.J. While In Ohio Romney Stages "See Mitt Give!" Photo-Op Disguised As "Relief Event"

Happy All Hallow's Eve!  Yes, I know it's past midnight.  S' O.K.:  Ev'ry Day is Halloween in San Francisco! :p

Having suspended his campaign before Hurricane Sandy struck in order to organize, plan, initiate and co-ordinate swift, effective federal support and assistance to the areas hit the hardest, President Obama spent Wednesday with N.J. Gov. Chris Christie (R) in Marine I surveying the extensive and stunning level of damage done to New Jersey by the Superstorm.

You wouldn't think it now - hearing the much-deserved praise Governor Christie has been heaping on the President, FEMA, the federal government's response time and swiftness of effective action (no post-Katrina entropy here) - but just two weeks ago the RNC Keynote Speaker and Romney surrogate was making a public appearance in which he verbally raked President Obama over the coals for being  "a failure".  Prior to the natural disaster, such baseless criticism was just classic, caustic Christie.

So, what has Mitt Romney been up to (other than carpet-bombing the airwaves in Ohio and other swing-states with TV and Radio ads filled with blatant, patently-false accusations)?  Hmmm... Well, on Tuesday, Mitt put lipstick on a pig and renamed an Ohio "Romney Victory Rally" a "Storm Relief Event".  What's the difference?  The Romney campaign asked attendees to bring canned foods to the venue for collection/donation to The Red Cross/Sandy Relief.

What a nice gesture - Right?  Wrong.  It was the hollowest of gestures.  A fraud.  A ruse.  In Truth, the whole "Relief"-reboot was calculated and staged to facilitate a 'Compassionate Mitt' photo-op.  How do I know?  Because Romney staffers went on a mad rush to Wal-Mart the eve before and purchased $5000.00 worth of food, goods, diapers.

Upon their return to the event location, they piled their Wall-haul in front of the entrance to the designated "Take a pic with Mitt" area.  And, when people showed up empty-handed, they could be directed to the Wall o'goods, instructed to grab, say,  a can of peanut butter, walk in, hand it to Mitt - which was his cue to then say, as earnestly as possible, "Thank you." and - "Say 'Cheese'!" - a campaign staffer would then snap a photograph of the oh-so-touching Mitt-moment.

(snif) Give me a moment, please. (sniff) I'm trying to squeeze out a Mitt-tear or Mitt-two.

This "Mitt-Relief" event was neither sincere nor thoughtful.  Go to The American Red Cross website.  FAQ: The Red Cross neither collects nor accepts donations of hard goods.  It's  impractical.  They do the most good by actively assisting those in need.  Not by getting bogged down having to collect, transport, sort and transport (again) hard goods.

For anyone who sincerely wants to support The Red Cross/Assist the thousands of Americans who are suffering in the wake of Superstorm Sandy...
Please do so in a genuine, practical and effective way:  1.) Write a check to The Red Cross.  2.) Donate blood.   3.) Text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to send a $10.00 donation.

Thank You.

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