The Myth of the Good Guy,….. With a Gun

Linda Maddox is a 63-year-old grandmother who lives in the Tampa, Fl. area. She lives with her son, Reginald, and his twin seven-year-olds, Tyler and Tyrique, in a five-bedroom home that she has owned for more than 25 years. Reginald works nights, leaving Linda and the two young kids home alone at night. However, neighbors such as 43-year-resident Sylvia Hehemann, say the area is safe, and have no qualms about walking around at night. Despite that, this past Monday evening, when Linda went to bed, the twins were asleep in her room, and feeling the need for extra security, she propped a chair up against the bedroom door, and checked her loaded .22-caliber pistol kept near her bed. In the early morning hours, Linda awoke to hear the scrapping sound of the chair sliding against her hardwood floor, and believed an intruder was trying to enter the bedroom. Linda grabbed her .22, and in the darkness, fired towards the door. When she heard the screams of a young boy, she realized there was no intruder. She had shot and critically wounded her seven-year-old grandson, Tyler. Continue reading

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The Proud Legacy of Senator Jim Jeffords

Sen. Jim JeffordsIt was the “dramatic move to the right” that caused one of its most intelligent, courageous and principled members to bolt the republican party, creating a dramatic change in the country’s power structure. Upset with the vast scope of its tax cuts for the rich and its opposition to funding the Americans with Disabilities Act, in May, 2001, yes, close to a decade before gop insanity reached the teabagger level of today, Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont ended the 50-50 split of the US Senate and republican control by virtue of every vote being decided by the tie-breaker cast by vice president dick cheney, by leaving the republicans and becoming an Independent, but thereafter caucusing with and voting with the 50 Senate Democrats.

Sen. Jim Jeffords, a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease, died this week at the age of 80. His legacy is one of integrity, compassion, and Continue reading

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Rick Perry, Comedian

Some of the biggest laughs of the 2012 Presidential campaign were provided by Texas Governor Rick Perry, from his seemingly inebriated monologue in New Hampshire delivered in part while clutching a bottle of maple syrup, to his unforgettable triumvirate of federal agencies that he promised to close down, if just two things happened: His being elected president and his remembering just which three agencies he wanted removed. Now, following his indictment on charges of abusing the power of his office and of coercing a public servant, Perry has delivered if not the funniest line of his career, certainly the most ironic, stating with all seriousness that the criminal charges were the result of partisan politics. Continue reading

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Tea Bagger “Head Lice” House Hard at Work

A few days ago, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (Dem, NJ) speaking on the House floor told his fellow members that they were less popular with the American people than head lice. This comes from a poll reported in the Washington Post a year-and-a-half ago, in which voters were asked “Just how much do you hate Congress?” with results clearly showing that people despised Congress more than, among other things, colonoscopies, root canals, Genghis Khan, used car salesmen, and head lice. Now, recent polls just released show an even more startling degree of unpopularity. Generally, no matter what people think of Congress in general, people have indicated a significant degree of approval of their own representatives. That is no longer the case. Continue reading

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California’s New Class System

Early last year, I wrote about how the California Department of Transportation and local transit entities were in the process of transforming California’s legendary highway system – legendary “free” highway system – into a two-tier system, one for the haves, and one for the have-nots (“California’s Metro Express Ripoff“). Since then, the initial long-term tests of the new normal have produced conclusive evidence that they have created one system of crowded roadways, insufferable delays, strangling exhaust fumes, and bureaucratic insolence, and another one of generally wide-open spaces, flowing traffic, and delighted oligarchs. It is class warfare on the highways! Continue reading

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What is Worse Than Building a Tar Sands Pipeline?

For years now, big oil and other energy interests have been using every available extorted dollar and every bought-and-paid for politician from the Canadian border to the Gulf Coast to pave the way for the building of their billion-dollar albatross known as the Keystone XL Pipeline. The pipeline would transport tar sands bitumen sludge from Canadian pits across pristine US forests, farms, and communities, passing over aquifers, ground water, and animal reserves, to the gulf coast and refineries and tankers, where it will be transported to China and other far-off ports, enriching the likes of Trans-Canada, the Koch Brothers, ExxonMobile, and others of that ilk, beyond their wildest dreams.

Despite the fact that the pipeline and sludge transport would bring no additional gasoline to US markets Continue reading

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Lies, Damn Lies, and Vampire Lies

For decades, there was a popular saying that sought to diminish the authority of statistics that said that there are “lies, damn lies, and statistics”, meaning that any and all statistics could be manipulated to prove any side of any issue, and as a general principle, should be discounted as having any viable importance when considering any issue.

Well, today we have “Lies, Damn Lies,” and thanks to Bill Maher and his HBO show, “Real TIme with Bill Maher”, “Vampire Lies”, which like their undead counterparts, are statements that have been unquestionably proven to be lies, but that just will not die, Continue reading

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LA Nightly News: Guns, Shootings, Deaths

A little over an hour ago at 11:00 pm, I turned on the CBS2 local nightly news for the local Los Angeles area and the first three stories, and four of the first five, were about local-area shootings, all occurring within the past day. The first two involved deaths and a third was about a shooter who did not kill anyone, but who did escape.

In the first story, reporters told of a landlord-tenant dispute in nearby Pasadena, which escalated into murder, as one of the people involved in the dispute took out an assault rifle, and proceeded to shoot five people, killing three of them, including a good samaritan who had come to the aid of the first victims. Continue reading

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The Estate of Legendary Racist John Wayne Sues “Duke” University

Iconic actor John “Duke” Wayne, was an immensely popular celebrity during his hay day of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Wayne died of cancer in 1979, and his legion of fans have tried to keep his memory alive for future generations. Many of these fans were merely enamored by his movies and his strong masculine personality, and little else. Others, however, saw him then and continue to see him as an emblem of a dying breed of personality, one who would stand up and shout for contemptuous beliefs that were becoming increasingly vilified throughout society.

Wayne was a strong supporter of Sen. Joe McCarthy and the atrocities of his House Un-American Activities Committee, Continue reading

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City of Covina, CA Passes Plan to Spy on All its Residents

The so-called “War on Drugs” continues today as a pervasive assault on the lives of for the most-part law-abiding citizens at a staggering cost to society for the sole reason that it is a billion-dollar industry that profits off the misery it creates. From private drug-testing entities to law enforcement agencies to private prison companies, the profits made and the power it has created are self-perpetuating and expanding, despite large segments of society that have come to realize that the recreational and medicinal uses of many proscribed drugs far outweigh the cost and pain created solely by virtue of their being designated as illegal.

Now, new campaigns of fear perpetrated by big business and their partners in government have commenced a new “war”, one that promises to be just as profitable, and even more invasive on the private lives of average, law-abiding citizens. Continue reading

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Why YES to Palestinians but NO to Kurds?

Why is it that so much of world opinion has taken up the manufactured cause of the manipulated and inherently terrorist “people” known as Palestinians, while at the same time, the cultural integrity, political aspirations, overall identity, and continued existence of the Kurds has been a non-issue?

There has been an area of the Middle East called “Palestine” dating from ancient times, but in modern terminology, the land involved became a designed political entity by virtue of the British Mandate for Palestine in 1922, with Great Britain taking over control Continue reading

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Guns Everywhere Now the Law in Georgia

It didn’t take very long for the first confrontation to occur in the state of Georgia on the first day of their widely Unpopular “Guns Everywhere” law, or as it is officially known, the “Safe Carry Protection Act”. As I wrote awhile back, a powerful segment of society, not to mention the gun manufacturers’ lobbying organization known as the NRA, pushed for and got the state’s lawmakers to pass a comprehensive bill that authorized the open carry of loaded firearms into bars, churches, schools, government buildings (except for the buildings that house the legislators who passed the bill), airports, and every manner of retail business.

Don’t get me wrong, there was joy and celebration among segments of Georgia society Continue reading

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