Monday, August 31, 2009

Los Angeles area wildfires

It's getting pretty serious in Southern California. A fast spreading wildfire is threatening thousand of homes with destruction. It has blanketed the greater Los Angeles basin with a thick layer of acrid smoke which is posing a health risk to millions. Meanwhile, a complex of communications towers is threatened by the fire. Most Los Angeles area television and radio stations broadcast from there. The nearby historic Mount Wilson Observatory is also threatened.

Here is wishing Godspeed to the many brave mean and women who are putting their lives on the line fighting this fire.

The fire is being fed by tinder dry brush which has not burned for more than thirty years. It is so dry that the fire is spreading rapidly without the benefit of strong winds. Watch out if the winds pick up. That would make a critical situation even worse.

Area residents are being urged to heed evacuation orders put out by the authorities. Fast moving wildfires are extremely dangerous and life threatening. It is nothing to play around with. If you get an evacuation order, for the sake of yourself and your family, take action immediately and get out while the getting is good.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

RIP Teddy Kennedy

The liberal lion of the Senate is gone, and he will be greatly missed. Of course, he was the only Kennedy brother to live a normal lifespan, and what a life it was. During his many long years in the Senate he always championed the cause of the common man. Be it with minimum wage, education, or health care, Teddy was always there at the forefront. I doubt if there will be anyone who can completely fill his shoes. He was a great man.

Did Teddy have personal failings? Yes he did, but who among us does not? Any such failings do not diminish the man and his accomplishments in any way. There is no doubt in my mind that the common man is in a better place today because of the efforts of Senator Kennedy.

Teddy would have made a great president, but after his failed run for the presidency in the Democratic Primaries in 1980, Teddy realized that his place was in the Senate and he devoted the rest of his storied career to the institution that he loved. He worked tirelessly to enhance the institution of the Senate, and even though he was a tried and true liberal, he always endeavored to cross the aisle and work with Republicans when at all possible. One good example of this was when he worked with President George W. Bush to pass the landmark No Child left Behind legislation.

I would like to express my sincere condolences to the entire Kennedy family. Teddy is in a better place now with his brothers and sisters who preceded him in death.

The Senate won't be the same place without a Kennedy there. Will another Kennedy such as one of Teddy's children or nieces or nephews run for the seat? I hope so. The time is now for the next generation of Kennedy's to grab the torch and run with it. I said that nobody can fill Teddy's shoes, but another Kennedy in the Senate will I am sure work for the same causes that Teddy championed.

God bless you Teddy and rest in peace in the arms of the Lord.

Monday, August 24, 2009

John Mackey and health care reform

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey recently wrote an op ed in the Wall Street Journal in which he proposed various alternatives to President Obama's prescription for health care reform. He proposed such things as allowing health insurance companies to market their products across state lines. He also urged a greater emphasis on adopting healthy lifestyles in order to avoid getting sick in the first place.

While some of Mackey's ideas are certainly worth discussing, personally I prefer single payer health insurance along the lines of the program that they use in Canada. I think that in the long run that will be the most effective and most equitable way to go.

But even though I disagree with Mr. Mackey on many of his points, I am totally opposed to the effort that some on the lunatic left have started to attempt a boycott of Mr. Mackey's company Whole Foods merely because some on the left don't agree with his ideas about health care reform. This effort by some to silence Mr. Mackey through a boycott of his stores is totally against the spirit of President Obama's effort to have a rational dialog on health care reform. The crazies on the right are just as bad if not worse with their caricatures of Obama as Hitler. But the left doesn't help matters either with their intolerance of opposing views on health care reform.

Why can't we just put everything out on the table for discussion? Why do we need to boycott someone's company because we disagree with that person on an issue? This sort of thing sets a very dangerous precedent.

I got into an argument about all this with several posters at the Democratic Underground forum. I am a proud Democrat, but some of the extremists on that web site give the whole party a bad name, and that's too bad. A great political party like the Democratic Party doesn't deserve that. DU has been taken over by extremists in my opinion, and it's getting harder and harder for a moderate Democrat, which I like to call myself, to participate there.

When I tried to defend Mr. Mackey's right to participate in the debate about health care reform, one poster even had the temerity to suggest that I must also be defending the hatemonger Glenn Beck. I guess that must have been the worst insult that he could think of, so he went with it.

I have believed for a long time that too often both the far left and the far right practice intolerance for everything but their own narrow viewpoints. We had a taste of what the far right can do during that eight years of the illegitimate Bush Administration. Thank God we are through with that. But what we don't need now is a repeat performance this time coming from the left. I call upon President Obama to continue his efforts to govern from the center and seek consensus on important issues like health care reform. Please Mr. President, do not let the left wing of your party control you. Give the left a fair hearing, of course, but also listen to moderate Democrats and Blue Dogs, as well as independents.

Friday, August 21, 2009

God's fan club

Here is another good one.

My favorite AARP card


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Different drug problem

I love this.

That's a good kind of drug problem, and if more parents raised their kids that way we wouldn't have the illicit drug problem that we have today.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hillary Clinton visits Liberia

Secretary Hillary Clinton paid a visit to the West African nation of Liberia last Thurday. She came there to show support for Liberia's nascent democracy and for Liberia's president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female head fo state.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads Thursday to war-battered Liberia in a show of support for Africa's only female leader, who has faced calls to step down over actions during brutal civil wars. After a packed day of meetings and public events in regional power Nigeria, Clinton planned a less than 24-hour visit to Liberia for talks with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the second to last stop on a seven-nation tour.

Africa's first female head of state has won strong support overseas, particularly in the United States, as she spearheads efforts to rebuild the west African nation founded a century and a half ago by freed American slaves.

How to freak out a taxi driver

LOL. :-)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southern Humor

Here is something from another email I got. It's some humor with a Southern flavor.
How do you know when your staying in a Kentucky hotel? When you call the front desk and say "I've gotta leak in my sink" and the person at the front desk says "go ahead."
How can you tell if a Texas redneck is married? There is dried chewing tobacco on both sides of his pickup truck.
Did you hear that they have raised the minimum drinking age in Tennessee to 32? It seems they want to keep alcohol out of the high schools!
What do they call reruns of "Hee Haw" in Mississippi? A documentary.
How many rednecks does it take eat a 'possum? Two. One to eat, and one to watch out for traffic.
Why did God invent armadillos? So that Texas rednecks can have 'possum on the half-shell.'
Where was the toothbrush invented? Oklahoma. If it was invented anywhere else it would have been called a teeth brush.
Arkansas State trooper pulls over a pickup truck on I-40. He says to the driver, "Got any ID?" The driver says, "Bout what?"
Did you hear about the $3,000,000 Tennessee State Lottery? The winner gets $3 a year for a million years.
Why did O. J. Simpson want to move to West Virginia? Everyone has the same DNA.
Did you hear that the governor's mansion in Little Rock, Arkansas burned down? Yep. Pert' near took out the whole trailer park.
A new law recently passed in North Carolina: When a couple gets divorced, they're still brother and sister.
What's the best thing to ever come out of Arkansas? I-40.
Two Mississippians are walking down different ends of a street toward each other, and one is carrying a sack. When they meet, one says,"Hey Tommy Ray, what'cha got in th' bag?" "Jus' some chickens." "If I guesses how many they are, can I have one?" "Shoot, ya guesses right and I'll give you both of them." "OK. Ummmmm . . . five?"
What do a divorce in Alabama, a tornado in Kansas, and a hurricane in Florida have in common? Somebody's fixin' to lose them a trailer.
A Mississippian came home and found his house on fire, he rushed next door, telephoned the fire department and shouted, "Hurry over here. My house is on fire!" "OK," replied the fireman, "how do we get there?" "Shucks, don't you still have those big red trucks?"
Why do folks in Kentucky go to the movie theater in groups of 18 or more? 'Cuz 17 and under not admitted'
What do you get when you have 32 rednecks in the same room? A full set of teeth.

Grandma & Grandpa

A friend emailed this to me and I thought it was funny.
Grandma and Grandpa were visiting
their kids overnight.

When Grandpa found a bottle of Viagra in
his son's medicine cabinet, he asked
about using one of the pills.

The son said, "I don't think you should
take one Dad; they're very strong
and very expensive."

"How much?" asked Grandpa.

"$10.00 a pill," Answered the son.

"I don't care," said Grandpa, "I'd still like to
try one, and before we leave in the
morning, I'll put the money
under the pillow."

Later the next morning, the son found
$110 under the pillow. He called
Grandpa and said, "I told
you each pill was
$10, not $110.

"I know," said Grandpa. "The
hundred is from Grandma!"

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Judge dismisses Aaron Hughes child porn charge

Is the fix in? Former Elko PD Captain Aaron Hughes got his child porn charges dropped by a local Elko judge.
Judge Andrew Puccinelli dismissed a production of child pornography charge against Aaron Hughes.

In an order signed July 29, Puccinelli dismissed the charge against the former Elko police captain, writing the statute is “unconstitutionally vague” because it is not clear if a minor is defined as younger than age 16 or 18.

So not only is Hughes now out of jail, the child porn charges against him are dropped. What is this nonsense that Judge Puccinelli used about the law being vague about who is a minor in Nevada? That is just a smokescreen. The law in Nevada clearly states that a minor is anyone under the age of eighteen. (Link) It makes me wonder what Puccinelli will come up with next in order to get Hughes cleared on the other charges filed against him.

Let's face it. It's an old boys club in Elko, Nevada. Watch out if you are a minority in Elko. I personally found that out the hard way. If you are a black man, watch out and be sure that you don't drive an expensive looking car on the streets of Elko, or they will stop you and say you don't look like you belong in that car. But if you are a white guy and you're friends with the powers that be in Elko, you are home free. Elko is just a corrupt place. Someone needs to come in and clean that rat's nest out.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Don't be fooled by those health care protesters

Have you seen the very load protesters at town hall meetings being held by Democratic lawmakers about health care reform? Is it the grass roots in action? Are average Americans rising up against the Democrats' proposed health care reform? The answers are "no" and "no." Lo and behold, for the most part those protesters are paid Republican operatives who are trying to disrupt and sidetrack a healthy discussion on health care reform.

Democrats say Republicans staging town hall protests

Excuse me if I'm not surprised by all this. These are the same tactics used by Republican thugs to physically disrupt the Florida recount which happened right after the 2000 presidential election. And for the most part back than they succeeded in stopping the process, so it looks like the same people are at it again, this time attempting to disrupt health care reform.

There is nothing wrong with protesting. It's the American way and I would fight until my dying breath to defend the right of Americans to protest. But we have got to realize that this is no spontaneous uprising against health care reform. This is a deliberate tactic engineered by the Republicans and their sponsors from the Health Insurance industry to try to shut down debate and intimidate lawmakers so that they are afraid to go ahead with health care reform.

The health insurance industry is spending millions in an attempt to kill health care reform. They managed to be successful in 1994 when they blocked the health care reform that the Clinton's tried to pass. Let's not let them get away with it again.

Every day thousands of Americans lose their health insurance, and thousands more discover that the health insurance that they thought would protect them has found something in the fine print that would allow them to deny benefits. This is a situation that is intolerable, and the Republicans and the Blue Dogs who are trying to block reform have no viable alternatives. Yet the status quo cannot be allowed to stand for much longer.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Media Matters runs anti Lou Dobbs ad is running a commercial spot (seen above) questioning CNN news anchor Lou Dobbs for giving credence to the so-called "Birthers" who are questioning President Obama's citizenship even though there is absolutely no doubt that the president was born in the State of Hawaii, making him a bona fide US citizen.
It is no secret that the birther movement is tinged with racism. [1] By legitimizing birther conspiracy theorists, CNN is doing more than simply pushing a baseless story and harming its journalistic credibility. It is also empowering bigotry, xenophobia, and hate. Is this what "the most trusted name in news" has come to represent?

If you want to sign the petition calling upon CNN to fire the racist Lou Dobbs, click here.

It is becoming painfully obvious that the election of our first African American president, while a great and inspiring milestone, does not mean that this country's racial problems are over. Far from it, it seems that the president's election has brought a lot of racists out of the woodwork. And it seems that Obama can't even open his mouth on the topic without getting in trouble. When he said that the police acted "stupidly" during the Professor Gates incident, he was truthful and candid. But he almost got his head cut off for daring to talk about race. My people, we have a long ways to go with race relations in America. But getting Lou Dobbs off the air would be a good start.