November 30, 2012

Has the 2016 Election become a horse race?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 2:37 pm

America’s journey to Election Day 2016 began with a single step in the form of a front page article in the New York Times on November 23, 2012, which effectively anointed JEB Bush as the Republican frontrunner.  Since the World’s Laziest Journalist rarely gets news tips and doesn’t have well placed sources who will provide him with newsworthy inside information such as we read in a recent Tom Hartman column that described some astounding chicanery used by Richard Nixon in his second bid for the Presidency in 1968, we will have to continue relying on our usual modus   operandi of occasionally attempting to point out the obvious in the “naked emperor” manner, ridiculing pomposity, while mixing in some obscure facts and names (which we call Google bait), and pop culture references, as a way to inform and entertain the regular readers while simultaneously conducting the search for topics which we (occasionally) manage to find before the mainstream media does.

For those who doubt that there are any “naked emperor” stories that journalists in America haven’t explored fully, we would ask: Why haven’t they asked these questions?:

Why did George W. Bush get a pass on Questions (Building 7, the vanished airplane wreckage near in and near the Pentagon, and the mysterious entities who profited from short sales of airline stocks) regarding Sept. 11, while President Obama is being held accountable for a full and immediate explanation of what happened in Benghazi?

Why did the press sit silent when George W. Bush expanded Presidential powers yet they join the chorus denouncing it when the Egyptian President makes a power grab?

Now that voices from the left are virtually extinct, where are the howls of outrage about the “liberal media”?  In a country that says it values free speech, shouldn’t there be patriots asking: Where did it go?

Was coach John Madden serious when he suggested on his KCBS radio show that it was a good idea to slather mayonnaise on a peanut butter sandwich?

It is a bit too early for a rogue pundit to start assessing the likelihood of a 2016 contest between Hilary and JEB that will be compared to a horse race, so we will try to find some interesting and entertaining topics that are available to a pundit without “reliable sources” and let the mainstream media report the latest poll results.

On Black Friday, we encountered five young guys from Belgium whose quest for adventure had brought them to San Francisco.  They were part of a group of artists calling themselves Harmony Street (which has a Facebook page) and they were selling hand made post cards to augment their finances to sustain their “on the road” lifestyle.  If we run an item about the San Francisco phase of their journey in one of our columns, isn’t it likely that several of their friends back home will be sent some links which will provide an infinitesimally small bump in the total number of hits?

Later that same day we encountered a young man from San Diego who was interviewing people about their assessment of the annual deluge of holiday films.  We told him that we personally were eagerly anticipating the arrival of the film version of “On the Road.”  We managed to give him our opinion without having to forfeit our record of keeping the Internets clear of images of our face.  To see it, click this link:

If a blogger can be considered a “digital Kerouac, then we have a reason to mention that postings have resumed on the blog that describes the “on the road” facet of life for “the Hitzels</a>.”

The road to the next Presidential Election Day is littered with hazards but there is one possibility that all political pundits both conservative and liberal are completely (until earlier this week) discounting:  what if the Republicans want to drive the economy off the fiscal cliff?  (Who will be the first pundit to compare the political showdown for the fiscal cliff to the game of chicken sequence in the film “Rebel without a Cause”?)

The Liberal pundits can not conceive of choosing to make that move so they use the psychological phenomenon called projection to assume that since they wouldn’t do that, then neither would the conservatives.

It would take a fair amount of work to write a column suggesting that the “please don’t throw me in the briar patch” strategy (from the Uncle Remos stories about B’rer Rabbit) might be lurking in the Republican leaders’ minds and neither liberals nor conservatives would give such a column serious consideration, so scratch that idea . . . but if that’s exactly what does happen don’t blame the World’s Laziest Journalist for not writing a tip-off alert column.

On Black Friday, we went to the Union Square in San Francisco to see how the convention of shoppers, political activists of the animal rights variety, protesters, office workers, tourists, police, and journalists was going.  The contingent of police was augmented by mounted patrolmen who were riding horses wearing badges and Santa hats.

After a referendum in Berkeley CA to enact a sit-lie law was narrowly defeated, Mayor Tom Bates brought up a variation of the issue of who should sit where by requesting that the seating chart for the city council be adjusted so that his colleague and political opponent councilman Kris Worthington would not be sitting next to the Mayor.

When the local web site Berkeleyside asked the Mayor why, his quick quip answer (“So I don’t strangle him.”) brought renewed intensive journalistic scrutiny to the Berkeley City Council.  Mayor Bates told a local TV crew “It was just a joke!”

In the Go-go era, would an independent citizen journalist have been able to report the possibility for an ecological disaster because of the gold mining efforts in the Pascua Lama area before the BBC ran a similar item about that business story from South America?

What about beating the New York Times with mentions of the 1939 BMW replica motorcycle, smoking bath salts, and pointing out that the opening statement by the lead American prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials crippled the Bush supporters “he didn’t know” argument?  Do they count as “scoops”?

The famous, fictional San Francisco cop, Dirty Harry (Cling Eastwood) said:  “A man’s got to know his limitations.”  In the new era of overextended news staffs, rogue pundits who report information which will appeal to liberals has got to expect that conservatives will disparage any items that don’t fit the conservatives’ narrative and they will marginalize any such independent commentators.

Could the Myth Busters TV program be plotting an expose that makes the assertion that the World’s Laziest Journalist works very hard to maintain his laid-back, happy-go-lucky ersatz Gonzo style of column writing?

The conservative critics who think that the über-cynical World’s Laziest Journalist is being led astray on his path to an eternal reward will be glad to learn that he has been provided with an autographed copy of “Turtle on the Fencepost:  Finding Faith through Doubt” (Richard B. Patterson Liguori Publications) and will read every word of it.

Back when Sean Connery was slipping into the role of James Bond and the Rolling Stones were trying to land a deal with a recording company, we were trying to improvise a plan that would deliver a life consisting of: meeting interesting people, seeing interesting sights, and witnessing interesting events.  As this column was being written CBS radio news ran an item noting that the film “Casablanca” opened on November 26, 1942, and we were delighted to realize that would give us plenty of conversational opportunities to resort to this comment:  “I’ve been to Casablanca and I’ve been to Paris – I prefer Paris.”  Sometime between now and the 2016 Election Day, we will write a column that will go under the headline:  “Raspberries, Jim Morrison’s grave, and the missing sewer tour.”

The road to the 2016 Presidential Election will be a tough slog so why should a freelance pundit bother to make that journey?  Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream offer bumper stickers that advise “If it isn’t fun, why do it?”  According to the philosophy of Ben and Jerry and the guiding principles of Gonzo Journalism, if it looks like fun then have at it.

Robert Louis Stevenson, in “An Inland Voyage,” wrote:  “To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.”

Now the disk jockey will play Dave Dudley’s “Six Days on the Road,” the Beatles’ “Long and Winding Road,” and Johnny Cash’s “I’ve been everywhere.”  We have to go and prepare to attend the “Winter Pow Wow.”   Have a “Why do we do this, Buzz?” type week.

November 26, 2012

Things Christ NEVER Would Have Said

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ye Olde Scribe @ 8:12 pm

(Allegedly) Chicago probate courts suck eggs & other cautionary tales for seniors

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Jane Stillwater @ 6:41 pm

Did you know that, legally, you can tell or write down any damn lie that you please about anyone else on the planet — as long as you qualify it by saying or writing the magic word “allegedly” just before you start lying through your teeth? Apparently you can — because the use of “allegedly” changes a statement of fact into an opinion, and opinions do not have to be proven because, “pure opinions, by their very nature, cannot be proven true or false.” Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990)

And did you know that you can also say or write pretty much any damn lie that you please in any court document or in front of any judge in America as well — and not even have to use the word “allegedly” either? And especially if you are a lawyer? Apparently lawyers get to set their pants on fire in court even more freely than the rest of us schmucks.

I recently found this out the hard way when I filed a libel suit in small claims court because the defendants I was suing had (allegedly) lied their pants off about me in a probate matter where money was involved (and as we all know, where money is involved, anything can happen — and usually does).

The judge, however, then ruled against me — even though the defendants had clearly lied like rugs and I could easily prove it. So why the adverse ruling? Because apparently it is always okay to tell any kind of whopper one pleases about anybody — as long as said whopper is written or spoken in court documents or in front of a judge.

“You can say anything you want in a court document or in front of me,” said the judge, “due to what is called the ‘Litigation Privilege’.” Never heard of it. But obviously the defendants, one of whom was a lawyer, were (allegedly) VERY familiar with the term.

But then, of course, (allegedly) mendacious defendants then have to prove that what they say to a judge is actually true — in most courts. But (allegedly) you can say anything that you want in a Chicago probate or conservatorship court — and not even have to prove what you say is true. What’s with that?

(Allegedly) the Chicago probate and conservatorship system is set up so that if you might happen to see a rich old lady walking down the street, you can follow her home to get her 411, then go to court and tell the judge that said rich old lady is incompetent, ask to become her guardian, wait for her to die — and then spend her millions any way that you damn well please! Or, in many cases, you don’t even have to wait for her to die. You can just dump her in some sleazy flea-infested rest home and start living the Good Life right now.

So why is this information about (allegedly) sleazy probate courts in Chicago important to you and me too? Here’s why. We all are eventually going to die. Every one of us dies. That’s what all human being eventually do. We die. And when that eventually happens to us too, do we really want some (allegedly) corrupt probate or conservatorship court to be the one distributing our estate to whomever they please?

Hell no.

But it could happen. And it (allegedly) has already happened to some nice little old lady in Chicago named Mary Sykes She was out bowling one day with her youngest daughter and while she was (allegedly) rolling strikes and splits, her elder daughter went off to court, got an illegal conservatorship order against Mary, drilled out her safety deposit box illegally, made off with a whole mail-sack full of Double Eagle gold coins and is now living the good life while her mom is being forced to choke down unneeded drugs to keep her sedated in some God-awful rest home because her elder daughter has also sold her house.

This could happen to you too.

Where money is involved, anything can happen.

And with all these millions of baby-boomers floating around bowling alleys these days, it is definitely time to tighten up America’s probate and conservatorship laws so that you and I don’t end up like Mary Sykes. Well, at least you. No worries for me — because while I do have several “unpredictable relatives,” I don’t own a house or have a safety deposit box.

PS: The Berkeley-Albany Bar Association just held their latest MCLE seminar — this time on the subject of America’s current marijuana laws. Did you know that pot is legal 19 states right now? The Feds, however, have completely ignored this current trend and have been brutally cracking down on medical marijuana users in the last two years — and spending tons of billions of dollars doing it too. Why the big crack-downs? Because (allegedly) there are big bucks to be made if you own a prison or work for the DEA.

“But,” you might say, “what does all that have to do with the elderly?” A lot.

Since senior citizens and retirees compose one of the largest groups of legal medical cannabis users in America today, and also compose one of the largest groups living in subsidized housing, then as the Feds enthusiastically pursue their current policy of throwing legal medical cannabis users living in subsidized housing out on the streets, there is going to a LOT more poor sweet homeless elders hopelessly shuffling around America’s freeway-on-ramps, selling oranges, begging for spare change and living in cardboard boxes in their old age. Yuck!

PPS: Getting old and creaky in the knees is already bad enough — but to also face the added burden of possibly being handed down a life sentence to some old-folks-home-from-Hell and robbed blind by our very own conservator and/or be thrown in jail by the local Feds merely for seeking pain relief? We might as well have lived fast and died young!

November 16, 2012

Petitions from 50 states to secede from the U.S.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 11:28 pm

Author’s note:
This piece was inspired by reading the main page, so I am going to reprint it in its entirety. Thanks for the great ideas, bart! I credited your site on all of the slides and linked to it in the sources.


Yes, you heard that right. There are people in every state in the U.S. that have submitted and signed petitions to ask permission for their state to secede from the United States of America. The petitions specifically mention injustices suffered under the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

As of today, there are 830,618 signatures on these petitions. Petitions in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina and Texas have surpassed the 25,000 signature threshold required in order to elicit an official response from the White House.

The U.S. population in 2012 is roughly 312.8 million people. So the signatories amount to roughly 0.27 percent of the U.S. population, yet these people want entire states to secede from the United States.

So, here’s an OpEd for anyone that wants their state to secede from the union:

I have a few questions for secessionists. If you .27 percenters don’t like the way the rest of your fellow Americans voted, then why not just leave? Most of the petitions ask for permission to “peacefully grant to withdraw.” Why are you begging for permission like little kids? Why not get up and leave and show the world how you feel? Stick to your principles. Move away and take FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the Palin family with you. If you do, America’s average IQ will probably go up 40 points.

I’m sure you can find another country where less than one percent of the population can dictate policy to the other 99.7+ percent. There are countries that mix religion and politics, persecute homosexuals, do not give women equal rights, do not tax the ultra-rich, and do not hold free elections. They may make a good fit for you. Try Iran or Saudi Arabia first and if that doesn’t work for you, I’m sure there are several other third world dictatorships that’d be happy to have you.

Don’t even think about Australia, though, because they have single payer universal health care, strict gun laws, compulsory voting, no death penalty, pro choice when it comes to contraception, openly gay politicians and judges, an unmarried atheist as a Prime Minister, and evolution is taught in all schools.

And I wouldn’t recommend Canada either, because you probably already know how horrible their “socialist” health care system is from listening to Fox news. In fact, most of “socialized” Europe wouldn’t be recommended, because citizens and businesses in many European countries pay higher taxes than Americans so they can have things like universal health care, a public transportation system that makes America’s look like a third world country’s, dams and levee systems that actually do protect them from flooding and businesses that are regulated and required to allow 30-35 hour work weeks and up to 6 weeks of paid vacation for all employees. You’d hate all the “socialists” there.

Listen crybabies, half of the voters in this nation had to put up with stolen elections in 2000 and 2004 and a President that they didn’t like. You didn’t see any petitions to secede then, did you? You didn’t see the other half of the electorate crying to secede and signing online petitions when Bush created the TSA and rammed the PATRIOT Act down our throats. Where were your petitions while the Bush administration created these agencies, passed legislation like that, started unnecessary wars, let Wall Street run amok, and bankrupted our country?

Real Americans support the United States of America and work within its political system to change leadership. They work within its judicial system to change laws. For example, some of the “liberal elite” that you seem to despise, such as Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Wolf, Cornel West, and Daniel Ellsberg were the first to challenge the NDAA with a lawsuit.

Alaska’s petition asks for a “free election” to allow citizens of Alaska to decide if they “should be a free and independent nation.” That’s a stupid thing to write. Every state has a right to hold their own elections whenever they want to. The U.S. just had a free election and every American had a chance to vote in it, except for the Ron Paul delegates.

Texas has the most signatures? Fine, invade Mexico, move your border south 200 miles and rename your state Tejas – we’ll do OK without you. Just go away and don’t ask to come back when you lose the revenue from the 20 or so military bases there. Have fun patrolling your own borders when the border patrol is removed. And don’t cry for help when the next hurricane hits. Texas would be a third world country in no time without being part of the U.S. Besides, the blue states would get most of your electoral votes, thereby nearly ensuring that we’d never have to put up with one of your politicians running, excuse me, ruining the country again.

And as for you Floridians that signed this – fine, your state can go too. With all your retirees and welfare recipients off the rolls, it would help balance the Medicaid, Social Security and federal budgets. And same goes for you when the next hurricane hits. Good luck having your newly free and sovereign state pay for all of that!

I have seen dozens of posts in blogs from secessionists about taking “our” country back. Whose country is it if it isn’t ours? Yours? How is it logical or even sane to call it “our” country when you make up less than one half percent of the population? Take your country back from what? The black man in the white house?

So now, you sign petitions asking permission for your state and everyone else in it to secede because you don’t like the election results? Are you kidding me? Instead of asking permission for your state and the other 99.7+ percent of sane people who live there to secede, why not move to a better country? If I were President Obama I would be laughing at your petitions. I’d put all of you at the top of the waiting list for passports and personally stamp them.

Real Americans stick with their country no matter what happens and if they do not like something, they get involved to try to change things from within, not try to break up the country. Anyone with a functional brain, who understands politics knows that the chances of secession being granted to any state are about the same as you being abducted by aliens, dropped in a Bigfoot encampment, and being served gluten-free pizza there. So, your best bet is to pack it up and go if you hate America that much.

It’s funny that more than one petition was filed in several states – the people signing these probably can’t read and forgot someone else already filed it for them. It is also ironic that all of the states who garnered more than 25,000 signatures are states that are vulnerable to hurricanes and have recently received federal disaster aid. And if you secessionists are so worried about the NDAA and that “dictator” Obama, then it was real bright to sign your name for secession on a government web site. You probably saved the Department of Homeland Security a lot of time and the taxpayers some money by making it easier for them to add your names to their watch list.

A small percentage of the population are acting like petulant children that kick over the game board when they know they’ve lost. So, I put together a fun slideshow for you secessionists. It’s called “Deal with it or LEAVE!”

Have fun watching!

Get the other links, credits and slideshow here: Madison Independent Examiner  – Petitions from 50 states to secede from the U.S.

You can view another version of this on OpEdNews: A few questions for secessionists.

Nude protesters seek coverage

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:35 pm

Demonstrators at San Francisco City Hall

Columnists who imitate Herb Caen’s style of three dot journalism wouldn’t be fazed in the least by one week that produced an opportunity to include the particulars of the Profumo Scandal, a chance to stand in the batter’s box at AT&T Park, a curious fashion note for political protesters, and the possibility of informing readers in the USA that Australia now has a TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party before the New York Times runs that bit of information.

Getting a photo that shows the view down the third base lane from home plate in AT&T Park in San Francisco CA was not what the World’s Laziest Journalist expected to accomplish on Saturday November 9, 2012.  We had learned that the Red Bull Flugtag glider competition was going to be held at McCovey Cove (AKA China Basin) and we thought a photo of a failed attempt to glide away from the launch point would be an eye-catching stock image to have available when it comes time to write about the struggle between the President and the Republican controlled Congress over the “fiscal cliff” showdown.

AT&T Park, which is the home for the Giants baseball team which currently holds the “World Champion” title, is adjacent to where the Flugtag competition was scheduled to be held and the management for the baseball team, in a show of civic pride and hospitality, had agreed to open up the baseball stadium to make a greater number of observation points available to the public.  They also were showing the event on the giant (pun?) screen in the bleacher section beyond center field.

The World’s Laziest Journalist arrived at AT&T Park about 11 a.m. knowing that the event was not scheduled to begin until 1 p.m., so we wandered around taking feature shots.  Since the Park was open free to the public, we went in and immediately noticed that the public was being permitted to stroll out onto the playing field.  We thought that a photo take showing the viewpoint of a batter standing at home plate would be good for use on our photoblog, if nothing else.

We did not know that one of San Francisco’s famous cable cars was on display inside the stadium so when we saw it we took some feature shots of it immediately.  Folks who have attended a baseball game at that venue would know about it, but people living outside the Bay Area, who are not baseball fans, might find it amusing to see one of the cable cars in an incongruous setting.  So we snapped several frames of that visual oddity.

Baseball fans who were informed ahead of time about the opportunity, were taking a large number of snapshots of themselves on the playing field, and in the dugouts.

Images take from far away and which are then tightly cropped have a sever quality challenge that makes the photos take from the media vantage points seem all the better in comparison.  One such image was on the front page of the next day’s San Francisco Chronicle’s, which just happened to be the Sunday edition, which has the largest circulation numbers for each week.

We figured that an attitude of reverse snobbism could be implemented for a column that describes the Flugtag photo expedition and with a bit of chutzpah we could pull it off and let it go at that because we “had other fish to fry.”

If Karl Rove (or whomever) fully intends for the Republican controlled Congress to drive the USA off the fiscal cliff, which would be a better choice:  A Republican in the White House or a Democrat whom many conservatives already despise?  Wouldn’t having a Democrat to blame it on be better than having a Republican in office struggling for reelection in 2016?  Maybe another column questioning the validity of the results obtained from the electronic voting machines would be a good column topic choice.

If a foreign country had hacked into the CIA files and exposed the director’s indiscretions, Americans would be livid but if the FBI causes the ruckus does that make it OK?  Something fishy is going on and American media is directing their audience’s attention to the hanky panky aspect of the story and ignoring the nagging questions about how and why this scandal came to light.  Knowing that “ya gotta go along to get along,” we will also skip over those questions as being inappropriate for use as a column topics.

Were Mandy Rice Davis and Christine Keeler better looking than the women involved in the latest scandal?

Speaking of British scandals, didn’t one of their most famous media moguls use a crack hack team to get dirt on politicians and then use that knowledge to manipulate them?

Could there be a stealth manipulation angle to the Petraeus scandal that the American media is overlooking?

We came across the information that a <a href => TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party</a> is in the formative stages in Australia.  Will they form a welcoming committee to greet the disgruntled American conservatives who threatened to move to Australia if President Obama got reelected?  We sincerely hope the assignment desk at the New York Times reads this column.

The conservative who are griping about being taxed too much can sympathize with some of the protesters seen at San Francisco City Hall at noon on Wednesday of this week.  The folks who want tax breaks so that they can increase the country’s employment level would probably make a reference to Lady Godiva’s famous tax protest and make the assertion that times are so tough now that protesters apparently can’t afford clothes.

The protesters were objecting to a proposed law that would take away their right to walk around nude in the city of San Francisco.  The contingent of journalists on hand to cover that protest outnumbered the protesters.  The amount of exposure in the media that the event got was minimal.

Why would so many journalists turn out to cover the nudist protest and then produce such a limited amount of coverage in the media?

The next day one well known web site which provides aggregate news content used a deceptive headline (“Nude protest turns ugly”) to refer to the Wednesday event to draw readers to a slide show that seemed to use images taken elsewhere earlier in the year.  The Castro Theater isn’t anywhere near the City Hall and we did not see any protesters on bikes, Wednesday.

For those who think this protest exemplifies values that could only originate in San Francisco, we would suggest that they do some fact finding on the clothing optional policy for the metropolitan area of “Ile du Levant.”

One young lady tested the journalists’ power of observation with an ensemble that consisted of: an old leather aviator’s helmet, a pair of shoes, a red neckerchief, dark glasses, a bracelet, two socks that didn’t match, and nothing else.

A duck vehicle transporting tourists around San Francisco passed by the noon event as City Hall and seemed to gain approval of the cause from the passengers.

It was a difficult assignment for the still photographers and video crews because most publishers and managing editors insist that no frontal nudity be shown.  When you have a group of nude people milling about, it takes a concerted effort to get images that don’t violate the media prejudice against any frontal nudity.

Readers of this column who want to fact check the effort by Supervisor Scott Wiener to criminalize nudity should do a Google news search for “San Francisco Wiener measure.”

Could the idea of pictures that many journalists want to take and many in the audience want to see, but which get “killed” by prudish (conservative?) media owners be used as a metaphor for the clever management of news stories and political commentary in American Journalism?

If journalists and citizens think that the rich should pay a fair tax and the good ole boys don’t see it that way, which group will the media owners seek to please?  The politicians might well use tax payers’ money to subsidize a trip to a strip club but the newspaper and TV station owners damn sure are not going to run images with frontal nudity in the media they own.  Perhaps more media hypocrisy will be on display at the next San Francisco City Hall nude protest which is scheduled (weather permitting) for noon on Saturday November 17, 2012.

Poet William Blake wrote:  “The nakedness of woman is the work of God.”

Now the disk jockey will play The Electric Prunes’ “I had too much to dream (last night),” the Strawberry Alarm Clock’s “Incense and Peppermints,” and Scot McKensie’s “San Francisco (Be sure to wear a flower in your hair).”  (Yeah all those songs are from 1967 – so is “San Francisco Nights” by Eric Burden and the Animals.  So what?)  We have to go buy a new Mayan calendar because our old one is about to become obsolete.  Have a  “Live for today” type week.

November 15, 2012

EXTRA: Israel has just declared war on Gaza (and is hoping that no one will notice)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Jane Stillwater @ 12:07 pm

Israel’s jingoistic prime minister Bibi Netanyahu, whose popularity as just sunk once again in the polls, is now trying to pull off another Hail-Mary play before the January elections — by once again unleashing massive “Cast Iron” death squads by land and by air onto the trapped and vulnerable people of Gaza.

Killing Iranians has its dangers.

Killing trapped and defenseless Palestinians, however, is like shooting fish in a barrel.

If Bibi’s poorly-thought-out actions should stir up a sudden guerrilla war in Israel/Palestine — as doomed and desperate Palestinians, following in the brave tradition of the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto resistance fighters before them, try to fight back even though it is hopeless — then Netanyahu will deserve what he gets: To go down in history as a bully, a sadist, a tyrant, and a pariah to all righteous men.

November 14, 2012

Brain drain: The new Israeli diaspora

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 1:46 pm

I recently went to a showing of an excellent British mini-series called “The Promise” Filmed in Israel, it depicts the struggles of one brave English soldier at the end of the British Mandate period — as he futilely tries to save the lives of his Palestinian friends and fellow-soldiers during the violent and pitiless 1948 takeover of the Holy Land by Zionist thugs.

During this movie, I cried a lot.

And after the film was over and refreshments were being served (“Never turn down free food,” is my motto!), I had an interesting conversation with some guy who currently works down in Silicon Valley.

“You know,” he said, “things are changing rapidly in Israel right now.”

“You mean that it’s no longer the same-old same-old there any more? With Israeli neo-cons trying to pass themselves off as pious Jews while happily committing mass murder and partying all night in Tel Aviv — and Christians and Muslims constantly getting beat up and shot at for the crime of making olive oil while Palestinian?”

By this time I had become rather cynical about Israeli neo-con mercenaries and land-grabbers — almost as cynical as I’ve become about the neo-con mercenaries and land-grabbers here in America too.

“Well, of course there’s still that,” the techie guy replied, “but something else is happening in Israel now as well. People have started to leave there en masse. And not just the usual ones either — not just the poor abused Palestinians still trying to sneak over the border into Jordan or Egypt. And not the discriminated-against Sephardi Jews either, at the very bottom of the Israeli social pecking order, last hired and first fired, who you wouldn’t want dating your daughter.”

“Then who?”

“The technological elite in general are now leaving in large numbers. And formerly-Russian tech experts in particular are leaving as fast as they can.” Interesting. Hmmm.

“Are you talking about the kind of people referred to in all those Israeli-sponsored subway ads,” I replied, “bragging that Israelis have invented thus-and-so hot new gadget or found a cure for this or that horrendous disease? Those are the ones that are leaving?”

“Like rats from a sinking ship.” I guess no one with any brains wants to keep living in a country where its leaders are always either declaring war, waging war or industriously hunting for a new war to declare.

“This new brain-drain is actually happening right now — and pretty soon all the people who will be left living in Israel will be the hotel maids, the IDF hard-liners, the land-grabbing neo-cons and racists, haters and religious nuts.” Good grief.

“You have to understand that much of the current Israeli scientific community had originally immigrated to Israel from Russia in order to get away from all the persecution, corruption, wars, lack of civil rights and poverty that existed there before, during and after the breakup of the old USSR.” And from the winters of course.

“Many of these Russian immigrants were not even Jews. They were gentiles who just wanted to get out. And, once in Israel, they discovered that it wasn’t the land of milk and honey that they had expected. And so now they are leaving Israel also, moving on.”

“Where to?”


PS: I’m currently in the middle of reading Jimmy Carter’s fascinating memoir, “White House Diary”. Good grief! If only we had elected Carter for another four years instead of that lying skunk Reagan, America would be in so much better shape right now. For instance, the whole world loved Jimmy for his heroic stands on civil rights, which gave the United States even more love, sympathy and cachet back then than we’ve ever had since, even on the day after 9-11 (before Bush bungled it).

And Carter didn’t “give away” the Panama Canal either. He traded it for the whole world’s good will and to make up for what Nixon, Kissinger and the CIA had done to Chile, Argentina, etc. Back then, Carter could go into almost any country on the planet and get a standing ovation — while Nixon, Reagan and both Bushes only got rotten tomatoes.

Plus if we had listened to Carter back in the day, perhaps global warming, 9-11, Hurricane Sandy and Karl Rove also might have been avoided!

And if only we had listened to Carter back when he warned us again and again about how Israeli neo-cons spoke with forked-tongues. And they still do. And now we’ve got a whole new crop of neo-con serpents all of our own here in America as well! Plus now various neo-con Red States are actually threatening to secede. Ah, if only they WOULD. Just think of all the money the rest of us would save.

Can’t you just picture Arkansas out spending billions of dollars on its 800-odd military bases around the world or dealing with the Benghazi crisis? Or Alabama supplying Israel with F16s, cluster bombs and white phosphorus? Or South Carolina scaring China into adjusting its trade deficit? Or oil-depleted Texas trying to intimidate OPEC, Iran, Kuwait, Iraq, Venezuela and the Saudis? Or Tennessee happily trying to tell Putin or even North Korea to go to hell?

Now that I think about it, secession could actually be the final key to finally putting an end to America’s “endless wars”.

Maybe Lincoln should never have tried to save the Union after all — except for perhaps New Orleans and Nashville.

November 12, 2012

The Ron Paul factor in the GOP’s shellacking

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 7:51 pm

Author’s note:
I am not a big fan of Libertarianism. As Mike Malloy says, it would work – on an island of about 50 people. I do, however, despise any sort of voter suppression or disenfranchisement, which the GOP seems to have nearly perfected. What the GOP did to Ron Paul supporters was despicable and if that was the primary cause of their election losses, then they deserved it. Well, they deserved it regardless, but you get my point. Now we can laugh for the next four years as the Libertarians and neoconservatives fight a civil war within the GOP.

After being shunned by the RNC, Ron Paul held his own rally in Tampa on the eve of the GOP convention. People cheer as they listen to speakers while waiting for the former Republican presidential candidate. Credits: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

A full three days after the GOP took a shellacking in the general election, as many as 19 reasons have been put forth by both parties, pundits and the corporate media as they grope for explanations for President Obama’s win. The woman’s vote, the Hispanic vote, media bias, a poor campaign message, Tea Party extremism, Romney too moderate, hurricane Sandy, New Jersey governor Christie, even voter suppression – the list goes on and on.

While all of these factors did come into play, the truth may be that the single most significant factor is what the Republican establishment did to one of its own candidates, Dr. Ron Paul, and his many ardent supporters. By disenfranchising Ron Paul supporters, Romney won the primary, but because of that he may have lost the election. For that, the GOP has no one to blame but itself and very few in either party or the media seem to want to mention the Ron Paul factor.

In the Republican primary, Ron Paul’s delegates and supporters were systematically shut out of the process, yet Karl Rove has the nerve to say on Fox news that President Obama won by “suppressing the vote.” Take a closer look at your own party, Karl.

Ron Paul brought the youngest delegation in the history of the Republican Party to the convention (RNC) in Tampa in August. They were not political hacks, millionaires, CEOs or attorneys – they were ordinary young adults from all walks of life who thought they could make a difference. They were welcomed by GOP hacks by having their signs confiscated and torn up before their eyes.

The Maine delegation, apparently having too many Ron Paul supporters, was unseated and then walked off the floor at the RNC, chanting, “As goes Maine, so goes the nation.” It is befitting that Maine’s electoral votes went for President Obama.

Ron Paul delegates even sustained injuries as they were arrested in Louisiana after it became clear to GOP leaders that they were in the majority at the state convention. After Ron Paul supporters booed Romney’s son Josh at the state convention in Arizona, the air conditioning and lights were turned off by GOP operatives in order to prevent Ron Paul delegates from being elected to a party position. Romney campaign officials were caught distributing fake delegate slates in Maine and Nevada. In Missouri, police were called to shut down the St. Charles caucus when a Ron Paul victory appeared imminent.

While young people are encouraged to follow their dreams and ambitions, to get involved and make a difference in many aspects of their lives, that is apparently not allowed in Republican Party politics. And the pundits wonder why President Obama secured a majority among voters under 30.

Here is another reason why the GOP lost badly. It is called simple math. The following statistics were put together by Hamdan Azhar, writing for It reveals that, “in no less than five states, Romney’s margin of loss to President Obama in the general election was less than the number of votes received by Ron Paul in that state’s primary.” Although not all of the votes have been counted and recorded yet, the trend is obvious.

Obama votes: 4,141,618
Romney votes: 4,094,952
Romney loss margin: 46,666
Paul primary votes: 117,461
Electoral votes: 29

New Hampshire
Obama votes: 366,089
Romney votes: 325,668
Romney loss margin: 40,421
Paul primary votes: 56,872
Electoral votes: 4

Obama votes: 2,691,861
Romney votes: 2,584,620
Romney loss margin: 107,241
Paul primary votes: 113,256
Electoral votes: 18

Obama votes: 1,868,191
Romney votes: 1,767,692
Romney loss margin: 100,499
Paul primary votes: 107,451
Electoral votes: 13

These four states alone account for 64 electoral votes and if you were to take 64 away from Obama and give them to any GOP candidate that is the difference right there. Of course, it is not safe to assume that everyone who voted for Paul in the primary would have turned out and voted GOP if another candidate was on the ballot. Nor it is safe to assume that Ron Paul would have won a general election against President Obama or that the Libertarian ideology would sell to the majority of Americans.

But that is not the point. The point is that neither party should suppress voters, intimidate delegates and force Americans to vote for establishment candidates picked by party bosses, billionaires and the corporate media. That strategy usually leads to the incumbent party winning, like in 2004, but also leads to lack of new ideas and the potential for real change. The American people should be allowed to make their own choices.

Perhaps GOP leaders should take a closer look at disenfranchising their own voters instead of blaming Mother Nature, the changing demographics in America or candidates that are not conservative enough. Very few Americans seem to care for disenfranchisement, voter suppression and intimidation.

Republicans now have fours years to think about that while they argue among themselves and while President Obama continues to try to fix the mess that their last “winner” left for America.

Read more, get links, a video and see the comment section here: Madison Independent Examiner – The Ron Paul factor in the GOP’s defeat

Ye Olde Scribe Presents: Yet ANOTHER Slightly More Than Cracked Crackpot Theory

Filed under: Commentary — Ye Olde Scribe @ 8:29 am

Courtesy The New York Times

BUYCRACKY NEWS ANALYSIS CENTER- The latest analysis from the YOS Buycracky Center for News Analysis has concluded that Chris Christie worked with Barack “I’m a Kenyan, Muslim, terrorist” HUSSEIN Obama after the storm storm troopered its way way through the northeast because he know that will help with his run for presidente’ in 2016. Here are the obvious “facts:”

1. As we all know politicians who defy their party line for the sake of doing what they’re SUPPOSED TO BE DOING, always succeed, become very popular, and win elections after their parties always admit they were wrong, the “traitor” was right. Think of Joe Lieberman, or Jacob Javits. There’s a long history of these icons being loved by their party and becoming presidents, like Joltin Joe won the presidency after shaking off Al Gore, who never won a popular vote in his life. Ever.

2. Helping a president of another party during a time of crisis, close to an election, is the best way to curry favor with the most foul mouthed, talking point pushing, people from your own party. (It also is the best way to chili powder, pepper, oregano, thyme and Basil Rathbone favor.)

3. The praise heaped upon cooperative with the other party politicians is deep, and thick, and very brown, and extra gooey. Despite the awful smell, it REALLY IS deep, and very brown, and extra gooey.

4. To believe otherwise is to buy into the “tinfoil hat” concept that Christie WAS DOING HIS #@!%^ JOB!

The Buycracky News Analysis Center is funded by the sale of bull droppings dropped by masters of the craft in the punditry and politicians. Said droppings are carefully collected by socially reject leprechauns who got caught collecting things that make you go pew in their pots of gold instead of gold. Collected from Matrix like farms where BS framers are carefully raised from little eggs planted by the flatulence that explodes out of the mouths of TV-based punditry posing as analysts, like those on FOX.

November 10, 2012

Post-election blues: Nothing to write about now except wars & weddings

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 10:36 am

In this past election, Karl Rove lost bigtime in his bid to buy America’s elections — which is good. But on the other hand, Shelley Berkley and several other excellent forward-thinking candidates also lost too — and that’s bad. And judging by the thousands of racist tweets sent directly after this election, our country is also still seriously divided. Yet despite all this, America is now supposed to move Forward.

Unfortunately, however, no truly civilized civilization can truly ever move forward if its economy still remains based mostly on greed and war — and so post-election-day America is still in Big Trouble. And so nothing has really changed in our country. Move on, folks. Nothing to write about here.

So I’ve decided to write about my frustrated attempts to throw my daughter Ashley and her fiance Hugo a surprise wedding on 12-12-12 instead.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to pull a wedding together? Almost harder than invading Afghanistan.

So far, I’ve only been able to line up the priest and the flower girl. That’s about it. Oh, and there are approximately 400 people that I have to invite too. And 12-12-12 is only a few weeks away. And I’m also pretty much broke. Do you think that the guests would mind too much if we just had the wedding in the cold dark rain up in Tilden Park on 12-12-12, followed by a BYOB reception in the Little Farm parking lot? Yeah, they probably would.

But here’s what I’d been thinking before all this new venue-and-catering nonsense began: We would kidnap Hugo and Ashley, throw them into a church, strip them down to their skivvies, dress them all up in regal wedding finery and then shove them in front of the altar. They’ve been together for almost four years now. It’s about time that they tied the knot. Plus 12-12-12 won’t be coming around again for another 100 years.

And this 12-12-12 will be on a Wednesday.

And all y’all would be invited too — if only we could come up with a church. And a reception venue. And invitations. And centerpieces for the tables. And flowers. And a band. And food and a cake. And barrels of money to pay for all this.

Weddings are freaking expensive — they are almost as expensive as wars. But weddings move us Forward. Wars do not.

Please, President Obama? Can we please hold this wedding on your White House front lawn?

November 9, 2012

Is Journalism F****d Up?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:48 pm

Mickey Huff

In a country known around the world for its free press, the people who most need to know about Project Censored, which annually publishes a collection of the top 25 examples of important news stories that have been suppressed in the USA, and would derive the most benefit from reading the new 2012 collection, are the least likely to buy this year’s edition.

Liberals who know that Freedom of the Press is on “death watch” status will buy the new collection of hushed up news and not be able to get closed minded conservatives to flip through it let alone read it cover to cover.

America’s Freedom of the Press has always been revered because of its role as “the watchdog of Democracy” but in the past 25 years Project Censored has been carving out its niche in pop culture by proclaiming itself to be the watchdog’s watchdog.

The fact that the newest installment in the annual publication series features a photo of an event at University of California’s campus at Davis, which was seen around the world the day it happened, might seem to contradict the Project Censored mission statement but this year a different approach has been implemented. The mace in the face for the students was very well reported but the underlying hidden trend spotting story has not.

The 2012 book lists the emergence of a Police State, which is exemplified by the photos showing the “pepper stray” attack, as being one of 2012’s most under reported stories. It is the centerpiece for a collection of events which leads readers to the conclusion that American locations provide the dateline for a long list of “Police State” activities and thus the Police State assertion falls into the “if it quacks like a duck” category for examples of deductive reasoning.

Moe’s Bookstore in Berkeley presented a publication and author signing event on Saturday November 3, 2012. The World’s Laziest Journalist didn’t want to run a Presidential Election Analysis column that might get lost in the sandstorm of unique and perceptive analysis that was sure to become available at the conclusion of election week, so we decided to write about the new example of Project Censored in action.

We picked up some good column items such as: the Project Censorship team can be heard in the Berkeley CA area on KPFA FM radio on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 9 and is available online.

We paid particular attention to the speaker who outlined how to submit suggestions to Project Censored because one of the stories that we would suggest to their tip editor for next year is that in addition to suppressing stories, Journalism in America is also suffering a “death of a thousand cuts” style loss of quality reporting by switching to an emphasis of work by “citizen journalists” as a cost cutting measure.

Like it or not, when one person makes all the editorial decisions there will be a detrimental increase in arbitrary and capricious factors which can only diminish the true journalism quality rating for the finished project. The use of work contributed by citizen journalists must, inevitably, lead to a reduction in the quality level of content.

Since it seems very unlikely that hard working content providers would own up to providing content that would make a professor of journalism barf, perhaps we should begin gathering material via the Gonzo Journalism method for such an expose? We could provide some columns in the Q & D (Quick and Dirty) style and then point out in the piece for use in a future installment of the Project Censored series, just what we got away with. (Such as using a preposition at the end of a sentence?)

Here’s another example of how the amateurs do sloppy work theory works: If a newspaper were to assign a staff writer the task of reviewing the Project Censored 2012 edition, they would give him/her a copy of the book and expect the reviewer to read it before writing pronouncements describing what it is about.

Keen makes the assertion that online content providers often cut and paste material found online for their story and think it is a marvelous example of journalism. Rather than reading the new book, we will paste a list of this year’s chapters:
• 1. Signs of an Emerging Police State
• 2. Oceans in Peril
• 3. Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Worse than Anticipated
• 4. FBI Agents Responsible for Majority of Terrorist Plots in the United States
• 5. First Federal Reserve Audit Reveals Trillions Loaned to Major Banks
• 6. Small Network of Corporations Run the Global Economy
• 7. 2012: The International Year of Cooperatives
• 8. NATO War Crimes in Libya
• 9. Prison Slavery in Today’s USA
• 10. HR 347 Would Make Many Forms of Nonviolent Protest Illegal
• 11. Members of Congress Grow Wealthier Despite Recession
• 12. US Joins Forces with al-Qaeda in Syria
• 13. Education “Reform” a Trojan Horse for Privatization
• 14. Who Are the Top 1 Percent and How Do They Earn a Living?
• 15. Dangers of Everyday Technology
• 16. Sexual Violence against Women Soldiers on the Rise and under Wraps
• 17. Students Crushed By One Trillion Dollars in Student Loans
• 18. Palestinian Women Prisoners Shackled during Childbirth
• 19. New York Police Plant Drugs on Innocent People to Meet Arrest Quotas
• 20. Stealing from Public Education to Feed the Prison-Industrial Complex
• 21. Conservatives Attack US Post Office to Break the Union and Privatize Postal Services
• 22. Wachovia Bank Laundered Money for Latin American Drug Cartels
• 23. US Covers up Afghan Massacre
• 24. Alabama Farmers Look to Replace Migrants with Prisoners
• 25. Evidence Points to Guantánamo Dryboarding

The alternative method of doing the html work to present an active link which would take readers to the list
requires more time and effort and may take readers away from the site where they are reading the “review” of this year’s installment in the series of books, so the cut and paste method does have some advantages.

The World’s Laziest Journalist has, in the past (see review of “Smoking Typewriters” by John McMillian) bought a copy of a new book to be able to write a column about a book he intended to read. However when it came time to spend $20 for a book that we couldn’t possibly finish reading by the time our self set deadline for this particular column had arrived, let alone read it and then get the column written on time; we balked at the prospect of the expenditure of personal funds and rationalized the shoddy short cut. That would be an example of how Gonzo style provides the writer with an example of substandard shortcuts for a hypothetical expose proving Andrew Keen’s contention.

Since one of the columnists personal crusades is helping the Marina (del Rey) Tenants Association in their decades old efforts to draw attention to the cozy relationship between members of the Los Angles County Board of Supervisors and the real estate developers who make magnanimous campaign contributions to the various board members reelection campaigns, we suggested that the Project Censored staff might be intrigued by the current plight of the Los Angles County Assessor who has been jailed and is having trouble raising funds for his bail.

That particular news tip may be for a story that doesn’t have obvious national relevancy, but perhaps they can use that as an example in a new trend spotting story.

You want another illustration of an arbitrary and capricious editorial decision? We don’t know exactly what connection the Red Bull glider competition will have to political analysis but since it is something we want to see and photograph, we intend on going to the event at McCovey Cove in San Francisco on Saturday November 10, 2012 and then write the next installment of our column about precisely that event.

Perhaps images of folks shoving bulky creations off the edge of a precipice and watching to see if it floats in the air like a butterfly or if it immediately sinks down to the water, will be handy to have as illustrations for a column about the perils of the “fiscal cliff” that is looming on America’s political horizon.

Since we had stumbled across a copy of Andrew Keen’s book, “The Cult of the Amateur” before attending the event for Project Censored at Moe’s Books, the thought that we might need a copy of that particular book, after suggesting a story about “citizen journalists” exacerbating Journalism’s death of a thousand cuts, caused us to go back to the Thrift Store on University Ave., where we had seen it, and buy it . . . just in case. We were able to rationalize the bargain price for the purchase.

In fact checking the Red Bull event we learned that this Saturday is being reported online as being Free Admission at National Parks Day. Heck even staunch conservatives who are muttering derisive remarks at their computer screen as they read this column, might (as good red blooded American patriots) want to know that!

Did any of the American media note that Tuesday was Melbourne Cup day down where summer is just a few days away?

While we were reading the Berkeley Public Library’s latest edition of Muy Interesante magazine, we came up with an item for our Stupid Fun on the Internets Department. Do an Google image search for “tadas cerniauskas.”

Speaking of low budget = no budget; when we went to the event at Moe’s we took one photo of Mickey Huff before the rechargeable batteries conked out on us, so the Photo editor had relatively little work to do this week.

In “the cult of the amateur,” Andrew Keen (on page 27) wrote: “Every defunct record label, or laid-off newspaper reporter, or bankrupt independent bookstore is a consequence of ‘free’ user-generated Internet content – from Craigslist’s free advertising, to YouTube’s free music videos, to Wikipedia’s free information.”

Now, the disk jockey will play “Lady Godiva,” and the Rolling Stones songs “Star f****r,” and “C********r Blues.” We have to go look for the definition of unexpurgated. Have a “Banned in Boston” type of week.

November 6, 2012

YOS Presents an Election Day Quote Goat

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ye Olde Scribe @ 11:51 am

“Because if you don’t hit back the Reich Wing bullies will ALWAYS get your goat.” (more…)

November 2, 2012

Lies, smiles and unverifiable election results

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:53 pm

John Allen Cassady

The 2012 Election Day in the USA may well become known as the day that Journalism died because no matter what happens the actual results will be the subject for an eternal debate. Brad Friedman, who is the leading spokesman for the critics of the unverifiable results produced by the electronic voting machines, has, in a preemptive move, been labeled as the voice for a conspiracy theory and thus all skeptical responses to the final counts will have been neutralized before they can be printed in the next day’s newspapers.

If Mitt Romney wins, there can and will be no criticism of the outcome. Any Progressive voice who dares to contradict the news will be trashed as a conspiracy theory lunatic by the conservative noise machine just as Friedman was.

If President Obama wins, the conservative propagandists will discredit his win without in the least way casting any doubt on the electronic voting machines.

Either way partisan gridlock will ignore any attempts to let fully fact checked journalism play the roll of umpire or referee. Then on one side or the other major segments of the American population will have serious doubts about the validity of the next President’s right to occupy the White House.

If Journalism per se is DOA, what then will columnists, who don’t want to be a cheerleader for either side, write about?

Lucy, the building in Margate, New Jersey, which resembles an elephant, apparently escaped major damage in Hurricane Sandy. That fact may not be of much importance to readers in Western Australia, but anybody who flocked to the Jersey Shore during their formative years, will be glad to know about Lucy’s good fortune. Folks who have never heard of this bit of unique American architecture, will probably appreciate the chance to click on a link that will produce a photo of the storm’s photogenic survivor.

The folks in France and Germany may possibly get some reliable journalism about the election, but will the people in Australia and Great Britain get unbiased reports in their national media which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch?

We could write a column that asks what happens to the personal belongings of people who lose their homes when banks foreclose. If the personal belongings and furniture are not moved, do the banks have a legal right to sell the items left behind? Are the people who buy those goods still known as shinnies or is the use of that word forbidden in the land that was built on the principle of freedom of speech?

In Berekley CA, the voters will decide about enacting a sit-lie law. According to information we received from a member of the city council, Berkeley has, in the past, enacted a sit-lie law and lost a sum of money when the ACLU took the municipality to court. Berkeley lost that past case and perhaps could become the target for some “those who forget the past” criticism if history repeats itself.

Has the national news media reported that California Governor Brown has stated that the California Highway Patrol may be used to supply some law enforcement services in the cash strapped cities that are struggling with smaller local police forces? Would using the California Highway Patrol that way be similar to sending members of nationally known baseball teams to substitute for the professional hockey players who have been locked out by the team owners? (Just asking.)

The debate in California over Prop 32 has us asking this question: If businessmen can not run ads which make fraudulent statements, why then can the people known as corporations run political ads which make fraudulent claims? If two political PACs run contradictory statements, wouldn’t one of those ads have to be making some false statements?

If Mitt Romney had been elected President in 2008, would FEMA already have been disbanded? If so, would America see the wisdom of cutting taxes for the billionaires while simultaneously dividing the job FEMA does among 50 different state levels of bureaucracy? What’s not to love about duplicating the miracle of the loaves and fishes using bureaucrats?

If Mitt had been elected President in 2008 would the government be sticking its nose into the management decisions of a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company or would a sincere apology to the victims’ families have already been issued and the matter dropped by now?

Has the Los Angeles county assessor finally raised bail money or is he still in jail? If so, why haven’t his campaign donors rushed to help him? Will his plight be used as leverage to put pressure on him to cooperate with Federal investigators in return for leniency?

San Francisco politicians are hinting that it might be nice if Superbowl L (what the hell is “L”?) is played in their fair city.

In a country where having a prominent political father was enough of a resume to make Al Gore, George W. Bush, and Mitt Romney qualified Presidential candidates, we were doing some prep work for a column that would ask if John Allen Cassady is a genuine Beatnik.

John Allen Cassady is named John because his mother had an affair with Jack Kerouac. He is named Allen because his mother had an affair with Allen Ginsberg. He is named Cassady because his father was Neal Cassady.

We were talking to Cassady at a recent event held at the Beat Museum in San Francisco and mentioned that we had read somewhere that Kerouac had met Hemingway at a party. A fellow who was listening to our conversation said: “Oh, that was in my book.” It turned out he was Gerald Nicosia, author of the Kerouac biography titled “Memory Babe.” He offered to sign a copy of his new book “One and Only: the Untold Story of ‘On the Road,’” which was for sale in the gift shop section of the Museum. We bought one, had him sign it, and then asked John Allen Cassady to sign it as “witness,” which he graciously did.

Nicosia’s Kerouac biography reported that the fact that the famous beatnik had met Hemingway at a party in the Greenwich Village section of New York City in the late forties had been supplied to him by Kerouac’s wife and he felt safe in putting that bit of hearsay evidence in the book. Kerouac fans can learn more about Gerald Nicosia at the Mill Valley Lit website.

For recreational reading, we have been perusing “The Wolves are at the Door: the story of America’s Greatest Female Spy” by Judith L. Pearson and the title reminded us of some liberal pundits cynical assessment of Mitt Romney’s quest for the Presidency.

Some cynical California pundits are promoting the easy way out by urging “Vote ‘yes’ on all odd numbered ballot propositions and ‘no’ on the even numbered ones.”

[Note from the Photo Editor: If citizen journalists have limited access to Presidential candidates for getting photos, then you have to go with the photos you can get. If photo op access for citizen journalists is very limited; does that same principle also apply to the facts available for pundits to use in their assessments of the candidates?]

John Quincy Adams said: “I can not ask of heaven success, even for my country, in a cause where she should be in the wrong.”

Now the disk jockey will play Hank Williams Jr.’s “I’ve got rights,” Nancy Sinatra’s “Boots,” and Jacob Dillon’s song “War is kind.” We have to go over to Frisco to see the art exhibition, by Wes Anderson, at the Spoke Art Gallery, titled “Bad Dads.” Have a “just following a family tradition” type week.

Ye Olde Scribe Presents: October Suuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrprise!

Filed under: Commentary — Ye Olde Scribe @ 8:10 am

(Apologies to Jim, not a horse, NEIGHbors)

YOS is also upset at the October surprise: Sandy. How DARE the Obama administration conspire with outside forces to steal an election, especially an “outside force” who is supposed to be on OUR side, oh, fellow Teabag religiously whacked far Rightward wingnuts?

November 1, 2012

Cancer patient illegally evicted from home at gunpoint

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 6:49 pm

Author’s note: My intuition tells me that this is case of local authorities headbutting with the feds and defying them. It is also an instance of Wells Fargo trying to recoup losses from buying mortgages packaged into derivatives before the housing crash.

Niko Black is consoled by friends and neighbors after being illegally evicted from her home at gunpoint while in a wheelchair. Photo credit: Facebook - On Attack 4 Niko Black

Niko Black is consoled by friends and neighbors after being illegally evicted from her home at gunpoint while in a wheelchair. Photo credit: Facebook - On Attack 4 Niko Black

Thanks to the friendly people at Wells Fargo and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), a 37-year-old woman in a wheelchair who suffers from a rare, malignant and metastatic form of breast cancer was illegally evicted from her home at gunpoint.

Niko Black, a Native American Mescalero Apache, told the OC Weekly:

I’m in my bed and I see them storming my property, [so] I crawl to my wheelchair. They break down my door. I’m sitting there in my wheel chair. I’m about 100 pounds of shriveled-up cancer and a threat to no one. Sergeant Bob Sima puts a gun to my face, finger on the trigger, no safety and walks around me. There’s no reason, except for to threaten my life, for an intimidation factor, to put a gun to my head.

Niko had legally declared bankruptcy and had been fighting Wells Fargo in a civil suit against eviction. She had owned her home for almost 20 years and had lived there since she was a child. She never even had a mortgage with Wells Fargo, and has entered into a civil suit around the fraud they have perpetrated against her, fraud that goes back many years.

After she filed bankruptcy, the court sided with Niko and put a stay on Wells Fargo’s eviction. Despite this, officers from the OCSD along with Wells Fargo employees harassed her on several occasions.

“Wells Fargo filed a motion about an inch thick all the reasons why they should be allowed to evict me,” Black said about the court order. “The federal judge denied them and stated very clearly they are not to. The bank illegally acquired an unlawful detainer, an eviction, without due process. They did it with fraudulent paperwork.”

Niko says that paperwork was signed by forgery with obvious misspellings of her name and filed a civil lawsuit. That is consistent with the claims of a $43 trillion class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo and 1807 other defendants. Her intransigence, she believes, is the reason why she’s been subjected to this entire ordeal.

So Niko refused to open her door for police on October 10, on which was taped a copy of a court order (see slideshow) obtained from Federal Bankruptcy Judge Theodore C. Albert in late August that she firmly believes should have prevented the OCSD from carrying out the eviction. The deputies acted anyway on behalf of the county council and Wells Fargo. Finally, officers broke into her home and forcibly evicted her at gunpoint.

With neighbors lining up outside watching, Black’s health began to worsen. “I needed my medication, I couldn’t breathe and I was having a seizure,” she told the OC Weekly. Niko said that deputies were unresponsive to concerns about her condition and one officer even remarked that she “looked good” to him. An ambulance finally arrived at her friend’s behest and took her to a hospital.

Following the events of October 10, Judge Albert has ordered Wells Fargo and county officials to appear in court on November 13 to explain why they should not be held in contempt for violating the stay and be made to pay punitive damages. The governor’s office has now gotten involved to investigate how something like this can happen in the state of California.

While law enforcement agencies, city officials and Wells Fargo will have to explain their actions in court, Niko’s health is deteriorating.

“Because I have a very aggressive form of cancer, every appointment, every day is crucial,” she says. “I’m a person with a lower immune system. That’s why all my nursing care, my physical therapy, my medical equipment, everything is set up for home care. This violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

A social worker as well as the head of the hospital that she was taken to have both written in support of Niko being immediately returned to her home for medical care. Attorney Stephen R. Golden has agreed to represent Niko pro bono. According to David Cruz at KTLK AM 1150, the lawyers from the Stephen Golden Law Firm were able to get Wells Fargo to let Niko back into her home to retrieve her belongings and the medical devices needed for her treatment.

“All I want to do is go home,” Black says. “All I want to do is save my life.”

One of Niko’s best friends, Linda Rife of Tustin, CA, has started on online petition in support of her plight. The petition, directed at John Stumpf, the CEO of Wells Fargo, reads: “Wells Fargo: Don’t break the law – leave cancer patients alone.” You can sign it here. Updates are posted on a Facebook page created for Niko.

Niko Black is a singer/songwriter and you can listen to some of her music here.

Read more, get more links, a video and slideshow here: Madison Independent Examiner – Cancer patient illegally evicted from home at gunpoint

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