Notes From Atlanta
Ignore the story, just check out the suit.
AJC: Alleged bigamist wanted by police.
No snark needed.
A Republican Judge who lied.
AJC: Judge vows to stay on job; agency urges he go.
Not only did Cherokee County Chief Magistrate Charles T. Robertson lie, but he did it on an election affidavit. He swore that he had never been convicted of a felony. Yet while in the Army he "found guilty of selling stolen military property and pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, both offenses that would have been felonies under Georgia law." Imagine a Republican doing that.
Of course he refuses to step down from office, and declares that he was actually working undercover for the Army. Uhh, yeah, right. Like you would believe that if somebody used it as an excuse in your court.
Rush on Rush
My favorite band on my least favorite radio personality. (And an elephant on Rush if you look close enough.)
Crazy Pete's from Casino of Doom: Rush on Rush
Letter to Zell Miller from a loyal Democrat.
AJC: Miller grows more like Maddox every day.
Points out when Zell was a candidate pursuing office he did not knock the Democratic Party, and even seemed to like them then.
In your finest hour as governor, you said, "You cannot lead with a finger to the wind and an ear to the ground. It is an undignified position." Only now, as you teeter with your hindquarters in the air, do I fully understand how right you were.
Bush being re-elected!
Worse than Booo!
What a bad teacher and a bad school system does to kids.
AJC: Journal writer Rachel Boim withdraws from Roswell High.
Teachers and school systems do stupid crap like this, and they want our support? It is stunts like this that makes me laugh even harder when teachers end up losing their raises after supporting Republican candidates. Sadly, the students are the ones who lose. Every kid at Roswell High loses the chance to go to school with a talented, smart, and high achieving kid.
What really happened in Florida.
How voting rights of over 55,000 people were stolen by the GOP so Bush could win by 587 votes.
For the love of God, will he please just change parties!?
Weekly Standard: Zell Miller Endorses Bush.
Senator Zell Miller of Georgia, the nation's most prominent conservative Democrat, said today he will endorse President Bush for re-election in 2004 and campaign for him if Bush wishes him to. Miller said Bush is "the right man at the right time" to govern the country.
The next five years "will determine the kind of world my children and grandchildren will live in," Miller said in an interview. And he wouldn't "trust" any of the nine Democratic presidential candidates with governing during "that crucial period," he said. "This Democrat will vote for President Bush in 2004."
Does "Go to Hell" Zell realize that President Bush is saddling his children and grandchildren with a huge debt? Does he realize that his children and grandchildren will not be able to enjoy some of America's greatest outdoor treasures after Bush sells them out the highest bidder? Does he realize that America will be a much less safer place for his children and grandchildren after Bush antagonizes the entire Muslim world? It is bad enough that Zell abandoned all Democratic principles, and stabbed fellow Democrats like Max Cleland in the back, but to endorse the lying sack of shit who currently resides in the White House? Zell has sold his soul to the devil and the Republican party.
Animal Shelter or Death Camp?
Clevescene.com: House of Horrors.
When the pound-keeper finally emerged from the Summit County Animal Shelter's "kill room" with a brown, striped pit bull, Sandi Regallis didn't need to see the dog's bloody face to know that it had been fighting. She had already heard the yelps and snarls from behind the metal door.
Still, Regallis, a deputy dog warden, sought confirmation of what her gut said was true: Jim Farrance was at it again. She called for co-workers David Johnson and Deborah Little. All three went to the garage and listened at the kill-room door, she says. Snarls were still audible. Johnson tried the knob, Regallis remembers, but the door was locked from the inside.
The story is a tough read, but should get out. A few people up there in Cleveland need a serious ass-whuppin' in the not to distant future. And anybody that fights dogs needs to be thrown in prison, general population, with an extra desert at dinner for every inmate who kicks their ass.
Column on Wal-mart and low wages.
AJC: Wal-Mart makes workers pay.
Some interesting facts:
Wal-Mart pays its in-house workers only $7 to $8 an hour. The federal poverty line for a family of four is $8.70 an hour. Wal-Mart's health insurance is so costly that fewer than half its workers can afford it. Many aren't even eligible.
This is not about keeping prices low for consumers. A recent calculation based on payroll data showed if Wal-Mart gave all of its workers a $1-an-hour raise, the impact on prices would be one half of one cent.
The cost to our society is enormous. Every day, one in four American workers does not earn enough to live on and support a family. There are now 30 million low-wage workers in this country.
With no health insurance, they are forced to go to emergency rooms for routine care. To make ends meet, they must apply for food stamps and rental assistance, use subsidized child care vouchers and draw on other government services.
This means we the taxpayers are involuntarily subsidizing low-wage employers, and in the process, are supporting a business strategy antithetical to the American dream: that hard work opens the door to upward mobility and economic freedom.
I like this. It shows how taxpayers money is being used to support our underpaid workers. These social programs are just another form of corporate welfare. They won't support their workers, so America has to.
Maybe it is time for a large push to get the unions in Wal-Mart. Now I am not big on unions, and think the grocery bagger's union in California should quit whining about not being able to live the UMC lifestyle while asking if people want paper or plastic, but this is a case where a union would certainly help get an acceptable balance between management and workers. It would be good for the workers, and good for our country. It would take a huge push, of workers and customers, to get it happen. But hell, this is America. Anything is possible.
Turning the tide will take an enormous commitment. It will take re-establishing the right to organize for all workers -- both by enforcing existing labor laws and by instituting long-overdue changes to cover millions of Americans, including many "new economy" workers.
BTW, anybody who does not understand what low income people go through in America can get a really good idea by reading Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America
. This should be required reading for all high school freshmen.
Gwinnett County being sued over students freedom of speech.
AJC: Suit filed over Brookwood students' suspensions.
Two Brookwood High School seniors [Lloyd Goldsmith Jr. and Edward Alexander Morgan] and their fathers filed a federal lawsuit over the students' suspensions earlier this year for comments they made online that were critical of a teacher.
While the lawsuit does not specify the comments posted on the Web site, it says that they "did not espouse, endorse or advocate violence, lawlessness or misconduct."
The Web site was established as "an outlet to provide students, teachers and parents at Brookwood High School or other citizens a place to vent and post comments concerning a particular [Brookwood] teacher ... with whom many students were experiencing frustration and difficulty," said the lawsuit, which was filed Aug. 22.
As a student, I could leave school property and say I thought a certain teacher sucked. I did that frequently. On a website in the public domain, not affiliated with the school, it should certainly be allowed also. Obviously, I need a link to the website. Twitchy and AngryStudent?
99X DJ moving on, finally.
AJC: 99X morning show gets new jocks, name.
The good news, Barnes is finally gone. The bad news, Jimmy and Leslie are not. Toucher, who is at least a little bit funny, moves to mornings. I won't help their sinking ratings by turning in, however. I listen to XMRadio
now. Face it, regular radio blows. I don't think 99x has ever been the same since Will left.
I admit I did listen some to Toucher, and regular radio, in the early evening. When I run I use a headset, and I can't get one of those for XM yet. I am hoping...
Priest's article in paper costs him job.
AJC: Priest's stand costs him a job.
ROME [GA] -- John Merchant, an Episcopal priest, accepted the job as chaplain at the Darlington School in Rome last summer. He was forced to resign and kicked off campus nine weeks later.
Merchant's troubles began when the student editor of Darlington's campus newspaper asked him to write a column about his views on homosexuality after the Episcopal Church's confirmation of V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest, as Episcopal bishop in New Hampshire.
Merchant, 57, supported the confirmation. He wrote that the Bible shouldn't always be interpreted literally and that God is more concerned with spirituality than sexual orientation.
"I didn't have to ponder where I stood," he said in a recent interview in Decatur. "But I took time to keep it brief and try to explain my beliefs. I was trying to convey it in a positive way."
Merchant resigned after the school administration asked him to meet with and apologize to dozens of people upset with the column.
Merchant said he thought about the administration's request and could come to only one conclusion: "I felt the apologies were both morally and academically intolerable."
The school is getting mixed opinions on the issue.
"This flies in the face of academic honesty and independent thought, which a first-rate school should protect, not persecute," said [James] Polk, who won a Pulitzer Prize in national reporting in the 1970s for the Washington Star. "I'm concerned that this sort of thing could debase the value of a Darlington degree in the eyes of the better colleges in this country."
And guess what the conservative right is saying:
"It seemed he was watering down the word of God," said Jeff Gable, 33, of Rome. "From my background, I was taught the Bible was absolute. Now we're to think that wife-swapping is OK. That homosexuality is OK. That you can be gay and be a good Christian.
Cal me crazy but I thought priests molesting children watered down the word of God a little bit more than accepting and loving all your fellow man. Of course Jeff isn't doing any kind of work on Sunday, is he? Or eating pork? And of course he is sacrificing animals to God on special holidays. The Bible is absolute, isn't it?
The good quote at the end:
A history teacher, Merchant couldn't help but see the irony in the price he paid for writing the column. "I had spent the first weeks in class teaching religious tolerance, dealing with the settlement of the Colonies," Merchant said.
Rachel Boim on her expulsion hearing and writing.
AJC: Teen will write on, more carefully.
A very smart, expressive young lady. Is this the kind of student we really want to kick out of school. She sounds more like the type of student we want in the schools.
The following day I was taken out of class by the school resource officer. At first I was really worried that something had happened to one of my parents. When I was told it was about my journal, I thought that it was ridiculous to have an armed guard escort me to the office.
My parents were called and I was taken home. The next day I was told that I would be suspended for 10 days, and at the end of that period a tribunal would decide whether I was guilty of threatening a school employee's life.
My tribunal was on Oct. 22. It was a closed trial that lasted for three hours. David Bottoms, Georgia's poet laureate, and Megan Sexton, editor of Five Points Magazine, testified on my behalf. We also presented written testimony from the Heritage Professor of Writing at George Mason University, David Bausch, the author of 15 books. The hearing officer found me guilty and sentenced me to expulsion. I don't think it would have made a difference if the pope had testified on my behalf. The decision was made before I even entered the room.
Take the time read the whole article
Franken in Berkeley.
SFGate.com:Left embraces Franken's jabs at right.
He has been getting huge crowds during this book tour, and he has been maing fun of everybody. A few selected jabs:
With Schwarzenegger in Sacramento, Franken cracked, "I'm just worried that every guy in California will think this gives him license to grope Maria Shriver."
The good thing about the Clinton sex scandal, he offered, is that married couples "are having open discussion about what constitutes adultery. My wife thinks that oral sex is adultery -- which probably explains why we haven't had any since we got married."
O'Reilly, true to form, is still on Franken's butt. "He guaranteed to his listeners that, had we had a shootout in the Old West, he would have won. This is a quote: 'I would've shot Franken between the head.' "
And he is ready to start a 3 hour a day radio show. Yipee!
Idiots running the school system in Fulton County, Georgia.
So Rachel Boim, a freshman, has her private journal seized by an art teacher. The teacher keeps it overnight, reading it, and then returns to schools and reports that the student has written about a fictional student dreaming of killing a teacher. Now Rachel, "an honors student in biology, French and English literature" and "captain of her crew team" has been suspended for the rest of the year.
"I think Rachel has been treated unfairly," her father [David Boim] said. "I believe the school system is asking her to cede her Fourth Amendment right, her First Amendment right and her right to due process. Basically, the school system is saying they decide what is an appropriate topic to write about and what is an inappropriate topic."
He said the family moved to Roswell from Colorado three years ago. Because they lived in suburban Denver at the time, the Boims often talked at home about the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, in which two students used pipe bombs and gunfire to kill 12 classmates and a teacher before killing themselves.
"Thomas Wolfe, Faulkner, all wrote about the South because that was their experience," Boim said. "Students today are very aware of the violence around them. The shootings in school, we all hear about that and they affect children. Creative writers, or people who create art, write about what's happening in their society."
Rachel's journal, one of many, contains a whole range of musings, he said -- some dark and disturbing. Others her father described as "springlike" and "very fluffy kind of stuff." The story that prompted her suspension was in a section titled "Dreams."
"She writes about death and pain," Boim said. "But we're also talking about a kid who is a vegetarian because she can't stand the thought of animals being killed. Her writing reflects a full gamut of emotions. . . . We're not saying this shouldn't have been brought to our attention. But the decision was made to expel Rachel without any understanding of the fact that this was just a story."
This girl sounds like she could help raise the SAT averages for the state, why expel her?
Kids threaten, tease and taunt other kids, and do not get expelled. Students can get into fights and not be expelled. Write a creative work of fiction, in a private diary however, and you can get expelled. Stupid! Talk to the parents and see if the student has some issues, maybe. Expulsion is a knee-jerk reaction that is uncalled for.
I like the book
Rachel is holding in the picture that accompanies the text. Nice statement she makes to the school board!
The suspension has been temporarily lifted pending more review by the school board. Hopefully they will fix this.
AJC: Student's expulsion rescinded.
What small government Republicans? I have never seen any.
AJC Letters: So much for 'limited government'
All are against Jeb Bush's intrusion into the Schiavo case.
The Republican-controlled Congress has, for the first time in history, banned a medical procedure termed "partial-birth" abortion. The Republican governor of Florida has overridden a man's pleas that his comatose wife not be kept alive by extreme measures. The Republican administration in the White House tried its best to prevent physicians from prescribing marijuana to their severely ill patients.
Whatever happened to the party of "limited government"? Whatever became of the Republicans who strangled the Clinton health care plan at birth, lest the government interfere in the doctor-patient relationship?
Cue crickets chirping.
Open letter from John Mellencamp.
CounterPunch.org: Time to Take Back Our Country.
As the echo of the war drums fades away and the angry masses calling for blood slowly disperse, we, as a nation must now confront the truth. We face the unpleasant reality of an uncertain future, compromised safety, a failing economy, and the question of how a society of otherwise reasonable citizens was systematically lied to and manipulated into backing the political "hijacking" of Iraq.
Before a single bomb was ever dropped, some of us, formerly called the "anti-American and unpatriotic," have questioned or opposed this war. Now, each day, as the dust settles and the truth slowly surfaces, more and more people come to the inevitable conclusion of what a debacle this whole war was.
39,000 bombs later, no weapons of mass destruction uncovered, no dangerous dictators captured, no connection to Sept 11. What have we gained but relentless media coverage of a fallen statue and some stolen oil fields -- the spoils of this misadventure. Not to mention lucrative corporate payoffs and an enormous price tag of over 80 Billion dollars . . . some tax cut.
The word Democracy means literally "by the people." This is the basis of our government and society. It is what this country was founded upon and what makes us American. It is not just our "right" but also our duty to speak out and voice our thoughts and opinions. How, then, was it possible that, in the land of freedom, those who opposed the common opinion were called"un-American?" Resentfully, we wonder.
Who is to say what is or isn't "patriotic?" Do the flags that wave from every minivan really offer any support? Where is the support for the thousands of service men and women who return to the states to see their benefits cut, their health problems ignored, their jobs gone and their families living in poverty? How are they repaid for their efforts; for risking or losing their lives? So far, dismally.
The Governor of California was removed from office based on finance troubles. And yet George W Bush has lied to us, failed to keep our own borders secure, entered a war under false pretense, endangered lives, and created financial chaos. How is it that he hasn't been recalled? Perhaps this time we could even have a real election . . . but that wouldn't fit the Bush administration's "take what you want and fire people later" policy. Take an election; take an oil field; take advantage of your own people -- a game of political Three-Card Monte.
The fight for freedom in this country has been long, painful, and ongoing. It is time to take back our country. Take it back from political agendas, corporate greed and overall manipulation. It is time to take action here in our land, in our own schools, neighborhoods, farms, and businesses. We have been lied to and terrorized by our own government, and it is time to take action. Now is the time to come together.
Go read the whole thing. Email it around.
David Gest proclaims "I am a complete and total wuss."
Liza Minnelli kicked his ass? Liza Minnelli drunk kicked his ass? Liza Minnelli seriously injured him? I would be hiding my head.
My ears are going to be bleeding.
Rush in Rio
On Live Bullet
, Bob Seger refers to a Rolling Stone article that remarks "Detroit rock audiences are the greatest rock and roll audiences in the world." Well they have nothing over the audiences in Brazil. These people are out to have a good time- period! They go nuts for Rush. Have you ever heard a crowd sing along with an instrumental, note for note? Check out "YYZ." How about 40 thousand people singing along on "Closer to the Heart?" Chanting the riffs to some of the band's greatest songs? They do it all, and they do it all night. Not to say they upstage the band. Rush was "on" the last night of their "Vapor Trail's
" tour. Alex was playing like a man possessed, and may have been during "La Villa Strangiato." Geddy had no trouble showing his chops. Neil was, well, Neil is always the greatest drummer in the world. If you buy one triple CD from a Canadian progressive rock trio recorded in a Brazillian soccer stadium this year, make it this one.
Admit it. Go ahead. You like Rush
. You really do.
I need a cab to Hartsfield.
AJC: It'll be Hartsfield-Jackson airport.
Going to Hartsfield?
Flying out of Hartsfield?
Hartsfield was a mess!
I think Maynard Jackson was done a disservice by appending his name to Hartsfield's to rename the airport. It will always be known as Hartsfield, as it should. Jackson's legacy could have been better remembered by naming something else after him. His name should be prominent on a special part of the city. However, since we have established that we have no problem slighting figures we have named things after in the past, can we go ahead an rename anything named after Cynthia McKinney?
More time for "Dress up and Pretend!"
Does this make my ass look big?
Barbara Bush: What a nasty piece of garbage!
Monitor.net: For Lack Of A "Beautiful Mind."
CommonDreams.org: Who's Counting the Dead in Iraq?
"Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Oh, I mean, it's, not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" - Barbara Bush, 03/18/03
Of course if any of her cowardly sons had the balls to serve, and not come home, she may have felt different. The Kennedy family sent sons into battle and lost sons in battle. They are a family that truly gave to their country.
The quote is a few months old, but with her coming back into the news, it should be repeated often.
Update: Thanks for the emails regarding better links. Also the date of the quote has been changed for the third, and hopefully final, time. The quote was made two days before we invaded Iraq, which is more important than the calendar date.
One hell of a hockey game!
I was at the Thrasher's game
Saturday night. One hell of a game! We beat the Chicago Blackhawks. We kicked their asses in about a half-dozen fights. Ilya Kovalchuk scored on three power play goals for the hat trick.
I heard one of the Thrasher's on the radio talking about how playing the coach's system will give the Thrasher's a great year. I hope so.
Moment of the night: They are doing the "Dream Cam," where they show people and put a little balloon over their heads showing what they are thinking or day dreaming. Same tired but amusing gags. Finally they show this one guy, about mid 30's, and he gets up and is jumping up and down going nuts as he sees himself on the big screen. No little balloon for a while. Finally, I picked up that he was wearing a Cubs baseball cap, lots of Chicago fans there. Then, the little balloon appears above his head- and you guessed it, the fan interference play is shown in the balloon. The crowd goes nuts and is just roaring! The Cubs fan finally sees what has been done, and he sits down and just covers his face. Mean but hilarious. The guy later got "Fan of the Game" which includes a bunch of swag, so they made it up to him.
MARTA still sucks.
They cannot run enough trains during special events. Many people's first exposure to MARTA is during special events. If they could do a good job, they may be able to pick up more riders during the week. But noooooooo. The trains are sporadic during the weekend. They will not add additional trains for games and special events at Phillips Arena. They will not announce changes. They do not make an effort to increase trains when they know track maintenance is going to affect times. They just don't seem to give a crap. My buddy and I missed the first period. After the game we needed over an hour to get back to the car. Just insane. From now on we drive.
Rush in Rio ... in Rehab ... No in Rio!
WKLS 96 Rock
I only listen to XM Radio now, but just heard about Rush (the Canadian band) releasing a new DVD and CD. I ended up surfing over to 96 Rock's website to see about some dates, and lookee what I found! Very funny.
Turns out 96 Rock is getting grief for their "We don't listen to their music, but we would do them billboard."
Also funny. Hell, I am almost tempted to listen to them again, but I can remember how badly they suck.
In case you are interested see Rush.com
. I am very excited!
Taxpayer money supporting abstinence programs.
AJC: Grants help abstinence programs teach teens to wait.
For Phillippia Faust, it was like manna from heaven -- a half-million federal dollars for her one-woman program teaching sexual abstinence to teens.
"Still I sit in awe and say, 'Ain't nobody like Jesus!' " Faust said of her grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. "It affords me the opportunity to, throughout every day, live out the passion of my soul."
And to get a new widescreen TV and SUV! Thank you Jesus! Thank you Bush!
Sarah Miller, 16, of Monticello was among several teens who attended last week's meeting at Dr. Lee Rippy's ob-gyn practice in Covington. Her 2-week-old son, Daa'ylan, and her mother, Brenda Miller, accompanied her. Sarah said having abstinence education earlier might have prevented her pregnancy.
A condom would have prevented it, 99.9% of the time. Statistics show abstinence programs do not prevent teenage pregnancy, but sex education does. But why would Republicans want to let a little thing like research and conclusons get in the way of their beliefs?
A little on Zell.
The Stinging Nettle: Zell Miller: Door. Ass. Watch out.
This man [Zell Miller] stood by while his colleague, the good, honorable and decent Senator Max Cleland, was crucified by the Bush Administration, morphed into Osama bin Laden, and dragged through the mud. He watched as a decorated triple amputee veteran had his patriotism questioned and as the Georgia Republican Party seized the Confederate Flag issue and brought the racists out of the woods to defeat the Governor he once considered a friend.
Senator Miller's response? If we don't want to lose again, we should be nicer to these people and stop challenging them.
Screw you, Zell. You make Alabama Senator Shelby (Traitor-Alabama) look like a moderate. If by "writing off the South" you mean we lose retrograde jackasses like you to whom party means nothing but a feeding hand to bite, then good riddance.
Hey, don't beat around the Bush.
Rush Limbaugh at NA Meeting.
Creative Loafing: Rush Limbaugh tells all.
Hello, my name is Rush Limbaugh and I am a recovering big, fat idiot and a drug addict.
By the grace of God and the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous, I have not found it necessary to swallow a single pill of hillbilly heroin in two weeks. Like all addicts, I did not face my problem until I hit bottom. That came for me when my feminazi housekeeper Hillary Clinton -- I mean Wilma Cline -- reported to police and The National Enquirer that she'd been supplying me with OxyContin.
I have to admit I'll never understand why a woman whom I paid $375 a week just to sweep my house and sell me 43,000 pain pills would betray me. Hell, I even paid her to keep her mouth shut. But I'm not blaming anyone because, you know, when you point a finger at someone, you are always pointing three back at yourself.
But I do blame myself. One thing this sordid affair tells me, my friends, is this: Don't ever hire a white woman as a cleaning lady...
What a relief.
Houston Chronicle: `Shooting the bird' rude, crude but legal.
I'm glad I don't have to worry about that anymore! Now I need to know, is saying "Is that your IQ or dick size" to some guy who shoots you the bird legal?
Three days until the Hawaiian Ironman, the Ironman World Championships!
I've got friends there, and am very excited for them. Marcos will be going for his third age group championship in a row. Very Exciting! While it won't be on TV until 5 or 6 weeks, and then a fluff filled human interest piece that doesn't bother with the actual races going on, it can be tracked on the net. Boring for most, but exciting for tri geeks like myself.
My predictions for hte win? For the woman, nobody has ever really challenged Natascha Badmann, and I doubt they will this year. For the men, while Deboom has won it several times, his times have been very slow compared to other years. I am looking at Chris McCormack and Lothar Leader. Both have untapped potential. Steve Larsen has a shot if he puts the hammer down on the bike, and we all hopes he shakes things up by doing just that. Luc Van Lierde may be the most talented triathlete in the field, but is a head case. You never which Luc will show up for a race. The men's race should be exciting unless all the men decide to hold back on the bike, then it will be a snooze fest.
Electronic Voting Panel.
Georgia Tech: Democracy and Technology: Electronic Voting and Georgia.
Haven't seen this in the press. Wonder if anything good may come of it. If you are an Atlanta blogger, spread the word. Both political parties should be interested in making sure votes are accurately counted and are verifiable.
Hilarious! Jesus of the Week!
Jesus of the Week.
Just keep hitting "Previous" at the bottom of the page.
Hey, do you ever wonder where all the taxpayer money for Homeland Security is being spent?
Miami New Times: The High Cost of Homeland Defense- Thanks to generous taxpayers like you, Miami's top Coast Guard officer has a very swanky address .
As America is learning, the war on terror is a costly undertaking. In his address to the nation in early September, President George W. Bush spelled out some of those costs: $87 billion, on top of the roughly $63 billion already requested, for the war and reconstruction in Iraq. This year alone another $28 billion will be spent by the recently created Department of Homeland Security to thwart terrorism at home. "This will take time and require sacrifice," our president sermonized. "Yet we will do whatever is necessary, we will spend whatever is necessary to achieve this essential victory in the war on terror."
But protecting America is a demanding proposition. So demanding that upon considering the formidable tasks that awaited him in Miami, [Rear Admiral Harvey] Johnson [of the U.S. Coast Guard] thumbed his nose at the District Seven commander's long-standing official residence -- the so-called "flag quarters" -- within the Coast Guard's Richmond Heights housing complex near Metrozoo in South Miami-Dade. It was too old, too outmoded, and too far from civilized Miami. To unwind each day and to assure victory in the war on terror, the commander would need something a little larger. And more modern. And with a pool. And for his wife, he'd like something not too far from fashionable shopping districts. And if possible he'd like neighbors a bit more socially connected than your average enlisted man.
The housing search produced an obvious choice: the posh waterfront Coral Gables enclave of Cocoplum. Johnson and his wife Janet, taking to heart our commander-in-chief's freewheeling approach to military spending, now reside in a 6200-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bath home that costs taxpayers $111,600 per year in lease payments. Utilities, maintenance, and other upkeep (such as the cleaning service for the back yard swimming pool) are extra.
Yes that is correct. The US taxpayers are spending $9300 a month for a house for one of our rear admirals in the Coast Guard, while a perfectly good house he supposed to live sits empty. Plus we are spending more on utilities, pool service, and other extras. Can't expect the man to cut his own grass, can you? Don't worry however, the Coast Guard does not believe it is renting a house. It is renting a facility! That way they get around, and WAY above, housing reimbursements.
But, can they deliver?
CNN.com: China confirms October space date.
It would be nice if they cold, seeing as how we can't even get to the international space station anymore.
Duct taped dog's owner might have been found.
NJ.com: Rusty's owner found?
Thanks to an anonymous tip, authorities believe they have found the owner of a small, mixed-breed dog that was found with its muzzle and nose duct-taped shut about two weeks ago.
Authorities are investigating whether the alleged owner had any involvement in the incident.
Authorities emphasized the alleged owner has not been charged and they are continuing to carefully investigating the case.
Police would not release the suspected owner's name or place of residency because the investigation is ongoing.
DNA samples of hairs found in a dog cage from the alleged owner's residence were taken, according to Bill Hanby, animal and cruelty investigator for the Lower Alloways Creek Township Police Department.
He said the samples are being compared to hairs from the duct tape on the dog, which had to be euthanized because of the severe nature of its injuries.
It would be so nice if they could get to the bottom of this. This story has stayed with me since I read about it. What a horrible thing to do to a little dog. Funny the tip was annonynous- Rusty's Award Fund has is now above $14,000. I say we use a few of those dollars to buy a few rolls of duct tape, if the person responsible is caught. I have an idea what we can do with them.
The Lane Ranger gives up the goods.
AJC Lane Ranger: Want to see fall colors? I have a route for you.
I cycle many of the roads he lists, and I love the area. This is a great driving tour any time of the year, but fall is special. Go see the leaves.
Governor Perdue- Idiot!
AJC: Painful cuts in Medicaid proposed.
In a an attempt to save money, Governor Perdue is proposing deep cuts in state healthcare- Medicaid and PeachCare. Included in the proposed cuts will be pre-natal care, which actually save money in the long run. Most hurt by the cuts will be pregnant women and children.
AJC: Taxpayers could get tab if helmet law repealed.
In an attempt to waste a bunch of money, Governor Perdue is proposing repealing the state's helmet law. Statistic from other states have shown that state spending for healthcare increases greatly when helmet laws are repealed.
Sounds like a Republican, toss a bunch of children and pregnant women off Medicaid so that his buddies can ride around on their Harley Davidson's without helmets. I won't even get into the hypocrisy of anti-abortion Republicans wanting to toss poor pregnant mothers off Medicaid. Wait, I just did.
Warning: This story truly made me sick to my stomach earlier today. It has haunted me since.
NBCSandDiego.com: NJ Dog Euthanized After Muzzle Is Duct-Taped.
NJ.com: 'Reward for Rusty' fund grows.
Actually the dog's mouth was taped shut with possibly an entire roll of electrical tape. He could not eat, drink, or bark for help.
"He just sat there, you know, just sat there. It was so forlorn and sad," said shelter worker Diane Harrel. (It was the) most pitiful thing I've ever seen.
Lynn Harris found the dog at a farm last Friday and is haunted by the image of the tortured creature ever since.
"I think about it every day and whoever did it should be severely punished for doing such a thing to an animal," Harris said. "I really hope we can catch the person and get some information."
The society is offering a reward. She's calling it Rusty's Reward. By the time the dog came to her, the only thing Harrel said she could do is give him a name and put him to sleep.
There are some descriptions as to the dog's condition, and a video link which I choose not to watch. The dog had been left like that for a long time. He was dehydrated, starving, and his snout was seriously infected. All I can think about is how that dog must have suffered. In Georgia this would be a felony. I hope it is in New Jersey.
While I certainly am against animal cruelty for the sake of the animals, there is another reason I would like to see people who abuse animals caught and dealt with. Animal abuse is one of the leading indicators for future behavior including child abuse, spouse abuse and murder. Almost all sociopaths have a history of animal abuse. Catching abusers early will hopefully help prevent future behavior, either by some kind of treatment or lengthy incarceration. If a person cannot empathize with animals, they probably won't with people they feel are inferior to them.
The response to this tragic incident has been incredible. The reward is growing.
I like this line of thought!
AJC: Reader opinions.
Helmet foes make great organ donors
So a letter writer thinks there's no rational way to oppose helmet laws? Two words: organ donors. Untold thousands of people are in desperate need of new livers, kidneys, hearts, lungs, etc., and where are they going to get them?
If there are those who fail to take proper care of their internal organs by riding down the road at 70 mph on a two-wheeled vehicle without a head covering, perhaps the next person in possession of their internal organs will behave in a more propitious manner.
M. R. "MICKEY" ROBERSON, JR., Dunwoody
Sure you can ride without a helmet! Just make sure you have the special insurance rider tacked on to your policy, so that the rates for the safety conscious people do not increase, and make sure you have "Organ Donor" checked on your license. Then ride to your, soon to be somebody else's, little heart's content.
Somebody thought about camera placement.
DU: Caption the Gropper.
Read the little sign being held up. Nice! I bet the front of the sign reads something like "We love you Arnold!"
Walter the Farting Dog has whiff of success.
ABCNews: Sweet Smell of Success.
I have to get a copy of this book. This sounds hilarious. What a shame I don't have any kids to share it with.
Bookman of the AJC managed to make the Boy Scout Rally in Gwinnett.
AJC: Vitriol sullies Boy Scouts' 'patriotic rally'
Unfortunately, something's gone awry in the Boy Scout movement I knew and loved. Last weekend, I went to a Scout fund-raiser in Lilburn billed as a patriotic "rally for America." It certainly had all the trappings of such an event, from a row of American flags across the stage to prerecorded patriotic music and polite, fresh-faced Boy Scouts, draped in merit badges.
In reality, though, this was a strident political rally, run by and for the Boy Scouts, in which the beliefs, patriotism and moral decency of roughly half the American people were considered fair game. That wasn't a surprise, though -- not when the evening's star attractions were syndicated columnist Ann Coulter and Fox News star Oliver North.
Sad when a great organization like the Boy Scouts of America is taken over by brownshirts and wingnuts.
I would have liked to have introduced Coulter, however. "I want to introduce all you little boys to author Ann Coulter, and remember boys, this is what you will look like if you start dressing up in women's clothing."
I am in the middle of Ironman training for a race in November, and studying for an exam at the same time. Posting will happen as it does. Priorities, my friends.
The expensive tickets?
This morning I was listening to Three Dog Night's Captured Live at the Forum
this morning. Just a great live album. Greenspoon's Hammond during Chest Fever is worth the price alone. The great quote I love is:
What did you say back there? You can't hear back there? See, you should have got the $5.50 seats up front.
Just think $5.50 for the seats up front. How times have changed. Now the seats for a top selling band woud be $105.50, plus ticketmaster fees, for seats up front.
BTW, this 35 year-old album still rocks. Sneed's underrated drumming dives the band, and Greenspoon's keyboard work is amazing. The whole band is just amazing. When you also figure out that pretty much the whole band was strung out on drugs during this time, it boggles the mind. (For the story on this, read Three Dog Nightmare
by singer Chuck Negron