Monday, April 16, 2012

Last Call

Dear winger nutjob public officials writing stupid bigoted stuff on social media:  Hi there!

The Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue Department opened an investigation into a racist post on one of its captains’ Facebook page. According to The Grio, Brian Beckmann, a captain in the Miami-Dade fire department, posted a rant on his Facebook page suggesting that Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman was unjustly accused and that Martin’s killing can be blamed upon poor parenting by “urban” parents who are “welfare dependent”.

Naah, people don't read Facebook or anything. Your lousy racist screed? Nobody will see it. You know, except for possibly anyone on Facebook. Or on the internet. But what are the odds of that, right?

So, we'll be in the "public apology" phase by the end of the day, followed by the "suspension pending investigation" phase, the "close-minded PC Libtards are afraid of the truth!" phase and eventually the "hope people have forgotten about it/quietly reinstated" phase, when it will all be repeated by the next bigoted slimebucket who wants to "tell the truth" about those people, just like it's been going on for the last four years now in the spotlight and long since before out of it.

But what do I know, I'm just a ghetto hoodie hood rat with shitbag parents. Bonus points for packing in misogyny, class warfare and the media too, and it's even spelled correctly. Hey, that's why he made Captain, right?

I also see that Charles Pierce goes Level 3 Super Combo on this one and crushes it out of the park.

The hell of it all is, I am not surprised by anything anymore, except for the stubborn stupidity of people who believe that anything they post on Facebook, or tweet around the Twitterverse, is in anyway private. It's like those politicians who affect shock when they discover that the camera's on, or that the tape recorder actually works.

One might be forgiven for thinking after the 4067th time or so, that they feel confident enough in the "It pisses off the libtards!/You'll fail upwards!" outcome probability that they're doing it on purpose now.

Cries And Laughter

Analia Bouter and her husband had been told that her premature baby was stillborn when she gave birth in Argentina's Chaco province on 3 April.
When they went to the refrigerated morgue 12 hours later, they found the little girl trembling in the coffin.
In an interview with TeleNoticias, Ms Bouter said: "I moved the coverings aside... and I touched her hand and then uncovered her face. That's where I heard a tiny little cry.
"I fell to my knees. My husband didn't know what to do. We were just crying and I laughed and cried, cries and laughter."
Five employees were suspended due to the mistake.  The little girl is in improving condition but as of Sunday night's update still considered critical.  That she put up such a fight for life, and that it came to a mother's wish to touch her face and say goodbye, is so touching.  Whether you chalk it up to fate, God or random coincidence, that little girl was meant to be here.

Loyalty: You're Doing It Right

LA PUENTE, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles county animal control officials are heralding the loyalty of a black Labrador retriever that braved traffic to stay by another dog that was fatally struck by a car.
A motorist who saw the dogs on a La Puente street Wednesday morning put down traffic cones to alert other drivers and shot video of the dogs. The video released Saturday showed the female Labrador lying next to a motionless, yellow Labrador as vehicles pass dangerously close to them.
The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control says the 2-year-old dog, who animal shelter staff and volunteers have named Grace, appears to have been well cared for. However, nobody has come forward to claim her so she is up for adoption.

Considering how many lessons humans need in loyalty and compassion, it would do everyone good to ponder on that for just a second.  I hope she is adopted, she'd be a credit to any family.

We Don't Need No Stinking Cure

I highly recommend that you read the entire article.  It is packed with information, too much to include here.  I'm just going to hit the highlights that I feel paint the picture.

For nearly 15 years, Thillen Naidoo's life was ruled by crack cocaine. Growing up in Chatsworth, a township on the outskirts of Durban in South Africa, he was surrounded by drugs.
After a troubled childhood and the death of his father, he turned to cocaine.
Though he held down a job as a carpenter and could go for days or even weeks without a hit, his wild drug binges often ended in arguments with his wife Saloshna and sometimes even physical abuse.
By the time he met Dr Anwar Jeewa at the Minds Alive Rehab Centre in Chatsworth, Naidoo had tried to quit several times and failed. "Those were dark, dark days," he says.
Thillen Naidoo and his wife were desperate and willing to try anything to ease his addiction Jeewa offered a radical solution, a hallucinogenic drug used in tribal ceremonies in central Africa that would obliterate his cravings. But Naidoo was anxious. "I didn't know what this ibogaine thing was," he says. "I never expected it to work."
After several medical tests he was given the pill. A few hours later he lay in bed, watching flying fish swarm above his head. He felt the room move around him and a constant buzz rang in his ears. Scenes from his childhood flashed up briefly before his eyes and each time someone approached to check he was OK he felt a rush of fear.
When the drug wore off, he was free of his addiction to cocaine.  Six months later, he is still clean.  Sixteen years later, the original patients who took the drug are still clean.  Thousands have been spared the scourge of addiction after a single dose of this hallucinogen.  It seems to affect people in two ways, fixing the receptors in the brain that are responsible for feeling the craving, and during the time of hallucinogenic experience patients confront the memories or feelings that trigger the need for the drug in the first place.  In other words, you don't feel pain or withdrawal at all, and you come out of it with less emotional and mental baggage.  Win-win-win-win-win.

It works.  It really really works, and when it does work it seems to have permanent effects from a single dose.  So why aren't drug companies all over this?  There's no money in it.  There is no repeat business, so there is no profit.  There is no incentive to develop a medicine that, while beneficial for hundreds of millions of addicts, because they won't be able to crank out a monthly refill.

I understand the needs of business to turn a profit and grow.  But we are talking about a cure for heroin and cocaine addiction with an unbelievable long-term success rate.  This is something that has torn apart countless families, ruined millions of lives over the years, and costs government billions in rehab and law enforcement. If they find the cure for cancer, would it only be useful if it turned a profit?  Before reading this, I would have had faith that on a global level we were better than that. Now I'm not so sure.

I started smoking when I was thirteen, because I was stupid, as most teenagers are.  I wanted to quit, I was terrified of cancer and emphysema, but I couldn't do it.  I tried several times, it was brutally painful, so much so that my nonsmoking husband would buy me a pack because he couldn't stand to see me suffer the withdrawals.  I had a chance in the early days of Wellbutrin to participate in a reduced rate program.  I jumped on board, and when I quit I was totally freaked out by the fact that it was painless.  I have never smoked since, and am healthier than I've been since junior high school.  I can't imagine addiction to coke or heroin, something that can reduce relatively normal people to mere monsters chasing a fix.  But I know what it's like to be be trapped, scared, and unable to stop.  This won't cure every single person, and not everyone wants to be cured of addiction.  But for those who do, they'll have a fighting chance.  There is finally hope for those trapped in the hell that only an addict knows, of wanting desperately to quit but stuck in a trying-and-failing cycle that never ends.

You know when people try to be all smarmy and suggest that there are better things to spend government money on?  Well, this is one of them.  This is important enough to demand our funding and our respect.  It can spare families so much suffering!  It can be given to repeat offenders as a choice, a therapy at rehab centers that can spend more energy teaching people how to live drug free because there is no need to battle withdrawal symptoms.  For those it saves, they only have to want to quit long enough to take it once.  After that, they don't crave the drug and in some cases are forever unable to feel the normal experience of users.  There's no reward in it for them, and they feel no physical need to have it.  That is a cure, folks.  I can only hope that research backs up the findings and gives us a way to help people around the world.  I'm totally flummoxed that it comes down to funding, a crude and avoidable obstacle.  If it worked but caused your skin to turn purple, or the recipients went blind, that's an obstacle that might kill the victory in the war on heroin.  But cost of research to back very promising results?  Holy shit, where's the telethon for that?  The worst criticism I heard was "it didn't work for me" but even modest research should be able to improve results on increasing the number of people it reaches and fighting any side effects.

Does government really want to win the war on drugs?  You can't win from the supply end of things.  As you kill the supply, you increase the demand to a point that it becomes unbeatable.  This is a chance to kill it from the demand end of things, a permanent and real solution.  Without demand, the rug is yanked out from under drug cartels, and the competition for what little remaining business there is would put all but the top out of business.  Drug lords would do law enforcement's job, taking out their own kind and reversing the numbers so that cops can hold their own.  Education, availability and the desire to quit would be able to make a difference, as people learn that they can quit, win forever, and it won't even hurt.  Can it really be that money is the only thing in the way of putting this to use?  One way or another, I gotta call BS.  Either they are misrepresenting the findings or governments can't see a good opportunity staring them straight in the face.

Marriage Trend Requires Understanding And Planning

WASHINGTON — Unmarried couples who live together are increasingly likely to have children, with the rate nearly doubling since 2002, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Twenty-two percent of first births from 2006 to 2010 were to women in a cohabiting couple, up from 12 percent in 2002, the study by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics said.
The increase came even as the picture for U.S. births and parenthood remained largely unchanged from the 2002 data, the report said. Gladys Martinez, the study's lead author, said a reason for the greater number of children born to unmarried couples was the rising number of men and women living together.
"More people are cohabiting. It's more likely that they are going to have children when in cohabiting unions," she told Reuters.
The increase is important because children born out of wedlock generally suffer more instability and grow up with fewer resources.
This is important for several reasons.  First, it's a sign that for millions of children just being born, they will have fewer resources.  Second, it's a  good time to protect those kids from Republicans who consider lifestyle a reason to deny citizens government rights and protection.  It's a sign that our culture is changing, and for the sake of those kids and families we need to adapt and understand what they need so we can build a country that includes them as a significant portion of the people... because in a few years they will be.

From the dawn of mankind until now, we've never seen traditional families change so much.  It's a great thing that lets people choose how they will live, and reduces the stigma of being in a different family style.  Knowing this, we need to stay on top of these trends and incorporate them into government programs and build social undertanding.  Otherwise the kids will pay, while the adults scratch their heads and wonder just how living lawfully still backfired and put them in a mess.  

Cold, Bitter Tea

Yet another poll is showing that the Tea Party has lost a lot of steam since the 2010 election. and that Americans have quite a bit of buyer's remorse about putting the GOP back in charge of the House two years ago.

A major force in the 2010 midterm elections, the movement has stalled in public popularity, its support well below a majority and decidedly lukewarm. And Americans by a broad 23-point margin say the more they hear about the Tea Party movement, the less they like it, rather than liking it more.

That negative buzz has worsened from a 9-point gap in an ABC News/Washington Post poll as the movement was gathering speed two years ago. And its avenues for resurgence may be limited: Interest in learning more about Tea Party is down 7 points from spring 2010.

This poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that six in 10 Americans aren’t particularly interested in additional information about the Tea Party, and 41 percent aren’t interested “at all.” Thirty-nine percent have at least some interest, but just 9 percent are very interested. Among those with interest, moreover, more than six in 10 already support it.

See PDF with full results and charts here

All told, 41 percent of Americans identify themselves as supporters of the movement, compared with a high of 47 percent last September. Forty-five percent oppose it; 14 percent have no opinion. Support has dropped disproportionately among young adults in that period, down 20 points from 51 percent to 31 percent.

While overall support is roughly balanced with overall opposition, “strong” opponents outnumber strong supporters by 2-1. But perhaps most damaging is the buzz: Fifty percent of Americans say the more they hear about the Tea Party, the less they like it; just 27 percent say they like it more. That compares with a much closer (albeit still negative) 43-34 percent split on this question in April 2010.

The bottom line is that the Tea Party gets overwhelming support from conservative Republican evangelical men age 30-49, and significantly less from everyone else.  The War on Women and attacks on Latinos, African-Americans, and the LGBT community has absolutely shut down Tea Party support among Americans under 30.  Two years ago, America's younger voters were willing to at least entertain the notion that the Tea Party was about economic fairness.  Now they see it for what it is:  the last gasp of the 20th century where the Mad Men era is the future, not the past.

That's good news for the Democrats at least, and the disaffected youth has launched the Occupy movement in the wake of this Tea Party curiosity...and the Tea Party's outright rejection by young voters.  Now's the time for the Democrats to make their case, because America is willing to listen again.

Stand Your Ground (But It's Tough With All The Bodies)

Meet the woman behind Florida's Kill The Darkies "Stand Your Ground" law:  Marion Hammer, first female president of the National Rifle Association and the lobbyist force behind pushing laws like this in Florida since 1978.  Florida Republican Dennis Baxley, who sponsored the law, recalls the story:

Baxley, who worked closely with Hammer on Stand Your Ground, considers her "a tremendous inspiration."

The case of 77-year-old James Workman inspired the law that became Stand Your Ground. The retired oil worker from Pensacola was living in a trailer outside his hurricane-damaged house when he shot and killed 35-year-old Rodney Dean Cox on November 3, 2004. His wife was on the phone with 911, and he had fired a warning shot first.

Prosecutors declined to prosecute Workman, ruling the shooting was justified under the legal theory that homeowners have a right to defend themselves and their property from imminent harm.

"It was months before he knew whether or not he was going to be charged with a crime for simply defending his own life and his property," Baxley said. "That is not right, and Marion talked to me about this bill that would firm up the self-defense posture."

Hammer sold the legislation like no one else could. She presented an emotionally compelling case, telling lawmakers: "You can't expect a victim to wait before taking action to protect herself, and say: 'Excuse me, Mr. Criminal, did you drag me into this alley to rape and kill me or do you just want to beat me up and steal my purse?'"

She blasted the bill's opponents as "bleeding-heart criminal coddlers."

"She's so determined," said Baxley, a funeral director. "She's very clear on what her concerns are for people, and she's absolutely tireless in any political fight. She doesn't want to see anybody victimized. She is absolutely vibrant in protecting the Second Amendment."

You know, victimized like Trayvon Martin, who is dead.  But hey, you gotta break a few eggs in the Gunshine State, where you can carry a concealed weapon even with an arrest record, like George Zimmerman had a permit for, because he hadn't been convicted of a violent felony.  That law that's been on Florida's books now for 25 years.

In fact, some 6% of Florida adults have a concealed carry permit, far more than twice the average of any other state in the nation.  In fact, as long as you pass the class and don't have a violent felony on your record, you get the permit.

Bang bang bang.


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