I know what it was like to be on the receiving end of taunts for wearing out of date, worn clothes. We was poor. I wore my cousin's hand me downs. I hated it.
The stepmother and father are parents of a child that was taunting another for her attire. The girl, Kaylee, was warned and she didn't stop. When confronted by her stepmother she showed no remorse. The target of her taunts did want to go to school anymore. That is when Kaylee's stepmom gave Kaylee's wardrobe an "update" from a thrift store. Kaylee was forced to wear the thrift store finds for two days and then she realized the error of her ways. (more info)
Some may call it cruel punishment. Personally, I applaud Kaylee's parents. And I am glad Kaylee learned her lesson - don't judge your classmates by the clothes they wear.
You might be a criminal and not know it. At least until they send you a ticket in the mail.
Certain jurisdictions are playing with the timing of their traffic lights. Not to make it safer. Not to optimize traffic flow and reduce fuel consumption and air pollution. Nope, none of those. Those jurisdictions want to fatten the coffers with money from tickets from people running red lights. And there are traffic consulting firms ready willing and able to install and monitor the systems for a cut of the action.
Shirley Nagle of Tampa, Florida, is one of those people. (link)
"I'm not a law-breaker," said Pasco County retiree Shirley Nagle, who got a red light violation on U.S. 19 after more than five decades without a traffic citation.
Nagle entered the RLC (red light camera) intersection about half a second too late in February, and was issued a $158 ticket, which soon became a $262 fine after she didn't pay it immediately. She told 10 News that she spent 32 years working in the New Jersey courts system and would never break the law. She was just proceeding through the intersection because she thought it was the safest option for her.
Back to that safety part, the part where some municipalities are putting greed over safety - Here is a link to the Traffic Engineering Manual. The yellow intervals cited are supposed to be minimums, not suggestions for intervals that a second is shaved from. Trust me, a second is a looong time when you are driving.
Don't be a criminal. Don't let your municipality put traffic ticket revenue over safety. It may generate a lot of money, but is it worth it?
Paris Cannon beat up classmate Aria Jewett and gave her a concussion while other classmates watched and recorded. This is not the first time Paris Cannon has had her violence recorded for posterity.
Judge Henry Davis ruled that Ms. Cannon was threat, stating: "This child is a threat to all of the children at any school. The injunction is a permanent injunction barring this child from returning to any public school in Duval County,"
To which Nikolai Vitti reacted in a CBS interview:
“I don’t think we should use the bad decisions children make outside of schools as an example or scapegoat to make a message,” Vitti said.
Nikolai Vitti says public education is a constitutional right, and all 130,000 students in Duval County’s public schools deserve second, even third chances.
“I believe the perpetrator should be provided the same opportunity,” Vitti said. “It’s a tough decision, but my role as superintendent is to support the law and enforce the law.”
Constitutional right? Where? The Constitution of the US has no provision mandating that education is a "right". Maybe he didn't mean the US Constitution, and perhaps he should have been a bit more clear on that detail. The Article IX of the Florida State Constitution states:
The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of higher learning and other public education programs that the needs of the people may require. ...
OK, maybe that can be interpreted that education is a "right". However that same law stipulates that schools providing education should be "safe" and "secure", and the presence of a little monster like Ms. Cannon who likes to lure fellow students to beat downs compromises safety. Also, it seems like Ms. Cannon is beyond her "third chance".
Unfortunately a Florida Appeals court has suspended the ban and Aria and her classmates must roam the halls with a thug. Hopefully Mr. Vitti will be keeping an eye on her, because if he thinks she belongs in school then it should be his responsibility to protect every other students' "constitutional rights" to be safe and secure.
I get on the highway on my way home from work and I get a "flash" of a bright color in my peripheral vision. I glance a bit more directly and I see a color reminiscent of highlighters. It's very distracting. I would have liked to have put the monstrosity behind me, but before I knew it, the car was in front of me. I was grateful that I did not have a migraine.
Then I catch a glint from my side view. Could it be? Yes a duplicate of the neon yellow highlighter color car that I was behind. I'm sure the driver of the second car was tickled to have another car as garishly colored on the same stretch of road. Luckily my exit came up so I did not have to drive behind the blinding spectacle for long.
Since there were two, I concluded that it wasn't some custom paint job gone wrong, so I did a search and THIS is what I found:
A special version of the Dodge Dart - The Rallye Version in Citrus Peel, aka neon highlighter yellow. Trust me, in sunlight the color is a much greater assault than seen here.
Everybody wants open government right? Isn't part of that an honest and open dialog with the press?
Granted, I am critical of the press. I've met good reporters and bad reporters. Many will slant or take out of context anything to sensationalize an article or segment. But there are those that at least try to report the news rather than craft it. But how can a reporter provide information from those who are supposed to provide help to the public and enforce laws if no one talks? That is what is happening in New York State government these days.
Mike Fayette, formerly of the NYS Dept. of Transportation, was "encouraged" to retire after defying orders and talking to the press. This was after Mr. Cuomo posed for a photo op with Mr. Fayette after Hurricane Irene and allegedly praised his efforts. For Mike retirement was an option. If the Cuomo administration continues, some poor slob somewhere who isn't nearly as lucky might him or herself without a job just because they wanted to get a message out to the public through the press.
And when Mr. Fayette asked to get his job back, this was the Emporer's response (link)
Cuomo told reporters on Monday: “That was a personnel action taken by DOT, and I¹ll leave it to DOT. I’m not going to second-guess them on this case at this time. Is it appropriate to come down on a worker for talking to the press? I don’t want to second-guess DOT on a personnel action.”
Are supposed to believe that the Governor's Office said and did nothing? When this type of atmosphere permeates other agencies like week old fish?
Then consider that something called Newstracker is supposedly designed improve openess:
As Spitzer's communications director in 2007, Darren Dopp tried to give more autonomy to agency spokespeople, some of whom were former print journalists. "Our goal was (to) promote openness and transparency in government. It was going to be one of those things that changed on day one," he said.
That didn't work very well. Agency after agency has effectively had zippers placed over their mouths. The "agency spokespeople", people who are supposed to interact with the press, are nearly paralyzed with fear of saying the wrong thing and approval to say anything is a long process that may linger past a reporter's deadline.
So what are reporters to do? They get information from alternative sources. Some of those sources might not be the most reliable. Want to find out the latest in the fracking debate and the State won't say a peep? There are plenty of celebrities willing to get some face time. Want to find out the details about what an incinerator is spewing out it's stack and the State is still looking into it? Joe Smo with the gold tooth will tell you about his asthma, whether he has asthma or not. What did the State inspector find when they looked at the bridge? State can't release the report yet, but the local teenage swears he saw something fall off of it.
Makes you feel informed, doesn't it?
I can't put it any better than Michael Walsh of the NY Daily News:
Apparently, after thinking long and hard, the mouthpiece for China's Communist Party was cocksure that the erection of a new headquarters would be warmly received — but they blew it.
One Cheek at a time.
Mike Jeffries is a youth-image obsessed tool who doesn't want the fat girls coming in his stores. He said this:
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."
Granted I was not one of the "popular" kids and I ceased to give a flying crap by the time I was a sophomore in HS. College was another thing all together. I had very large groups of friends and some people thought I knew everyone on campus (I didn't). I was fat AND "popular". Imagine. Not that I really noticed at the time. I was burning the candle from both ends and having a bit of fun doing it.
At that time, plus sized clothes were hideous. I learned to sew and I had no problem throwing on guys t-shirts and sweaters. I could alter guys jeans to make them fit my curves. I was creative. So I hate to throw a monkey wrench in 'ol Mikie boy's plan, but if a fat chick wants to wear one of A&F's ugly assed t-shirts she'll just get a men's XXL.
There are some calling for a boycott of A&F over Jeffries' statements and attitude, and boycotts can be found on facebook and ipetitions. I'd say count me in if I didn't already "boycott" their stuff over it being mundane, ugly and over-priced. And unless they are handing me a paycheck, I have no desire to paste some company name across my tits, TYVM.
Mr. Jefferies might also like to note that most "cool kids" still need to ask Mom and Dad for money to buy clothes, barring gifts and the few "cool kids" that are actually willing and able to work. I know many Moms who are very good at the blank stare "no" when harassed by their teen-aged progeny begging for cash because they have "nothing to wear". And how many of those Moms might be a bit broader in the beam after birthing those little darlings? Some Moms might not be happy loosening the purse strings to pad the pockets of Mike Jeffries after his statement.
And note to Mikie himself:
Look in the mirror lately dude? Not only are you ugly on the inside, you ain't so hot on the outside. Between the crappy caps on your teeth, the sloppy beach bum attire, blonde dye job, a bit too much collagen injected into your lips and your deformed plasticized skin from too many face lifts and/or chem peels, you look like a Barbie Beach Ken Doll that got left a little to close to the bon fire. You're in your 60's, dude, no matter how fast you run, father time is catching you.
Lauren Hill didn't pay her taxes. She has paid most of the million she owed, but she is still going to jail. For three months. And Yes. A million. For about five years worth of taxes a penalties.
Then she compared paying taxes to slavery. (link)
"I was put into a system I didn't know the nature of. ... I'm a child of former slaves. I got into an economic paradigm and had that imposed on me," Hill said.
She continued, "I sold 50 million units ... now I'm up here paying a tax debt. If that's not likened to slavery, I don't know what is."
Well, then we are all slaves sister.
I don't know how much she gets in royalties per "unit", but I'm betting that 5 million "units" equaled a lot of cash. Slaves don't make that kind of cash. Slaves also don't get to choose what kind of "work" they get to do. I doubt many "slaves" got to do little more than sing for their supper. Her statement is a slap to her slave ancestors and the plight of modern day slaves around the globe.
Also, the kind of income she made may have put Ms. Hill in that 1% that some people want taxed more than than the other 99%. Talented people tend to earn large incomes and I don't begrudge them that. However, they should be grateful for their gifts and opportunities.
If she is not in the top 1%, she far closer than I will ever see. Does Ms. Hill suppose that those of us that earn far less than her millions should pay her share, too? Or should we cut out medicaid for some poor children? Or close a couple of schools? Or maybe just wipe out music programs?
Considering how much money she had at one time, I do wonder how she has wound up having difficulty paying her back taxes. It is doubtful she is stupid. She had educated role models. Her mother was a high school English teacher and father was a computer programer. She took advantage of opportunities throughout her life. So, rather than misfortune was she a slave to irresponsibility?
I can not feel sympathy for Lauren Hill. I don't like elitists that think they are above what the rest of us slobs and then cry foul when they are caught. I know I pay taxes and a pretty generous percentage. If I tried to do what Ms. Hill did I'd be grateful for only 3 months in Club Fed.
And her new song is called Neurotic Society
The ATMs for my bank will say "Loading Preferences" after I swipe my card and enter my passcode. After a bit it has the following options next to two of the buttons "English?" or "Español?"
If the ATM supposedly knows my "preferences", why can't it handle knowing that I prefer English? If it can't retain something as basic as my preferred language, then what preferences does it load before letting me continue with my transaction?
That term is relative.
I had to park at the train station overnight. I saw a spot in a good location and then I saw the "compact" sign. After I pulled in the spot I thought I really didn't fit all that well so I moved. My car isn't huge, but it isn't really a "compact" either.
When I returned an SUV was parked in the spot.
I guess "compact" is relative.
That is something no mother wants hear, but Anna Nikolayev heard it last week.
The Nikolayevs had their baby snatched from them by California Child Protective Services (CPS) for "severe neglect". What was the egregious act that was deemed to be neglect so severe that little Sammy was snatched literally from his mother's arms? Anna and Alex did not agree with one hospital's level of care and recommended treatment so they left that hospital and when to another. However, they did not go through proper discharge procedures at the first hospital. The second hospital said the baby was well enough to go home with his parents.
When police showed up at the second hospital, the officer saw the statements from the doctor there and he was satisfied. Although the baby was clearly not in danger, several officers and a CPS showed up the next day and snatched the child and placed the baby at the first hospital where the parents had been concerned about the care he was receiving. Luckily the judge has released the child and he has been moved to the second hospital. The parents have unlimited access to visit him there.
Something is wrong in a society when parents who clearly care about their child and the care he gets but they still have to fight claims of neglect and they lose nearly a week with that child. It is sad when a medical institution has more rights than we do. I always question doctors and nurses to make sure I agree with my care. Those that would be God hate it, but that should be my right for myself and anyone for whom I am responsible.
I hope the Nikolayevs sue (and I don't throw the "s-word" around lightly) and make Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, the first hospital, and the staff involved hurt. No hospital is God and no doctor or nurse is God. People should be allowed to get treatment from people and institutions they trust (or at least ones they don't distrust). The Nikolayevs' only real crimes were questioning the authority of an Almighty hospital and not following some administrative nonsense. And those shouldn't be crimes that get a baby ripped from a parent's arms.
This might be an expression for messing things up royally, but in this case it is literal. Kurtis Peterson of Muskegon, Michigan, was caught by a visitor to his home doing just that. twice. He claimed he was merely "hugging" the dog and got an erection. Gives new meaning to throwing the dog a bone.
For his transgression, he has been sentenced to 15-yrs in state prison for "crime against nature, or sodomy". In contrast, from what I can tell, Michigan's animal abuse laws carry a maximum sentence of 4-yrs.
Even though I wouldn't choose to have coffee with either a dog-fucker or a dog-abuser, but I would have less of a desire smash the face of the dog-fucker than the dog-abuser. I consider people who derive joy from hurting another creature to be the lowest form of human. Someone who derives joy from kinky sex with an animal (hopefully without causing pain to the animal) is a weirdo.
I am not justifying this weirdo's behavior, but screwing the pooch gets more time in jail than strangling or maiming or beating the pooch? Something just doesn't seem right with that. Are we more offended by Mr. Peterson's deviant behavior? Or are we more offended by him "hurting" the dog? If the potential sentences have any bearing, law makers in Michigan seem to be more offended by the deviant behavior rather than abusive or cruel behavior.
Maybe their priorities need to be reexamined.
There are some conversations you can't help but hear when you are out. This is especially true when the person speaking is loud, like the lout who made the above statement.
We were out eating breakfast at a favorite greasy spoon. It might not be the most sophisticated food, but it's reliable and the service is friendly and efficient. We were trying to ignore the loud mouth at the table next to us, but we could not avoid hearing every word out of his mouth. His companion understood conversational volume, but he did not. Then the bill came.
Mister Loud went on a long winded, high volume explanation to his dining companion about the fact that he rarely leaves tips because he works a minimum wage job. I think I heard the dining companion finally mutter "I got this, man." Whether the dining companion was motivated by embarrassment or sympathy (for either Mr. Loud or the wait staff), I don't know. However, Mr. Loud demonstrated he could answer to Mr. Tightwad, as well.
Then, after he "convinced" his dining companion to pay for him, Mr. Loud started talking about the features on his new phone.
First - If you don't have the money to tip, go eat at McDonald's or Dunkin' Doughnuts. The feds assume that wait staff received the tips that Mr. Loud (aka Tightwad) decided he was too poor to leave. That might not be fair, but that is the way it is. And I don't care how much wait staff might say "that's OK, I understand", they probably don't "understand". Mr. Loud might make minimum wage, but before tips, waiter and waitresses make a lot less than minimum in our state.
Second - If you can afford a phone with fancy features that permit web-browsing, etc., then you are not poor. Yes that's right. Poor people have to worry about enough money to put a roof over their head and food (and not from a diner) in their bellies. Fancy smart phones or iPhones with the bells and whistles are not high on the priority list..... unless they are complete assholes.
So yes, Mr. Loud is a complete asshole. I doubt the whole diner, waitstaff included, wanted to hear about his weekend plans, how rough he has it at his "minimum wage" job, and how damn cheap he is. And the dude should skip the highlights on the hair next time, they certainly didn't enhance his high volume, diarrhea of the mouth image.
Brad Paisley's latest album was released last week. On that album is a song call "Accidental Racist", which features L.L. Cool J. It was yanked off youtube. For a song no one seems to be able to listen to, there's been a lot of talk about it.
I listened and someone shared the lyrics with me. Controversial? Racism seems to be one of the few things that seem to still offend. Songs glorifying fucking 'hos or smoking weed are a-OK, but try to open a discussion on racism and the song is banned. Heck, even the offensive term "nigga" is thrown about with abandon in certain songs and most people don't blink an eye.
Here is the chorus to the song:
'Cause I'm a white man livin' in the southland
Just like you I'm more than what you see
I'm proud of where I'm from but not everything we've done
And it ain't like you and me can re-write history
Our generation didn't start this nation
And we're still paying for the mistakes
That a bunch of folks made long before we came
And caught between southern pride and southern blame
Brad's song may be awkward, but then again the topic is awkward. It's uncomfortable. Some people are saying it is a non-apology apology. I say, exactly what does he have to apologize for? Should we expect an apology for something that his great grandfather may have done?
Maybe it's time we stop assuming the worst intentions. Are there racists? Sure there are, but most people are just trying to survive and get along. Some might not be sure how to take Brad's song, but he assures us he doesn't have ill intentions, can't we just accept that?
I guess that got your attention.
And that was a persuasive writing assignment for a 10th grade class at Albany High School. Not unlike "Stomp on Jesus", it is an assignment that has the ability to push buttons. Perhaps it is an assignment that is not appropriate for 10th graders. And it is an assignment that students should have the ability to opt out of. In this case it is high school and not everyone in that class is going to need to argue convincingly that they agree with a point of view they hold abhorrent.
That being said, I would whole heartedly endorse an alternative assignment where the students explained how it would make them feel for the assignment to be life and death. They would need to explain that they understand there are still places where people are forced to say things they do not believe and that they are persecuted if they do speak their mind. We in the US are fortunate. We have the right to say what we believe (at I think we still do) without the government jailing or killing us. It is a right that some don't appreciate and some abuse.
Unlike the German people during the Nazi reign, the students do actually have a choice. They might get a bad grade if they do a lousy job or refuse to do an assignment, but they get to live to tell about it. Many Germans didn't have that choice. If a German spoke up against the Nazis or even remained mum on the subject during that era they might get sent to the Russian front or worse, to a concentration camp along side the Jews Hitler and the Nazis despised.
The teacher is currently on leave and may face punishment from a letter of reprimand to termination. While this particular teacher's future is uncertain, we need to be thankful that we can say how we feel. Remember, for us it isn't a matter of life or death.
The latest excursion of the "power couple" for their fifth anniversary is creating quite a stir. The controversy has prompted Jay-Z to rap an "Open Letter" to us. Did Jay-Z take advantage of his buddy Obama? I don't know. I do know that us common folk wouldn't be able to hop a plane and land in Havana as easily. Special folk get special privileges.
In the "Open Letter", Jay-Z touches on his ownership in Barclay's Center. It's interesting how he acts like he's still lookin' out for the 'hood while laughing all the way to the bank on the of tears of people ripped from that old 'hood. I wonder if Jay-Z knows or even cares that his "partner", Forest City Ratner, used their political buddies and their power of eminent domain to grab ownership of many of the properties used to make Barclay's Center.
Yes, that's right boys and girls, a portion of Jay-Z's millions was made by ripping people out of their homes, bulldozing those homes and building a dumb ass sports arena. Remember if you visit Barclay's Center to watch the Nets or catch a concert that you might be sitting right over where some family was having Sunday dinner a couple years ago and that very same family might be happily still having dinner in their beloved home if it weren't for "investors" like Jay-Z and soulless developers like Forest City Ratner.
Celebrities like Jay-Z and Beyonce are self-serving spoiled brats. They like to talk about their humble beginnings to make it seem like they are like us. They aren't like us. They are more like the Wall Street crooks who rob us just this side of the law (or at least they are smart enough to not get caught). They don't give two craps about you or I as long as we are reaching in our wallets to help fill theirs. Remember that when you idolize these people.
And to those that might want to throw around a certain term and call me a "hater" like you call the other people who criticize these two clowns, call me what ever you like. I prefer the term "realist". Take that and stuff it in the same place you stuff your head while ignoring reality.
My World of Warcraft guildmate was suspended for three hours for his name, Phatphuk. Phat phuc means happy Buddha. Yes, yes, there are other connotations, but that is my story and I'm sticking to it.
Some coward with a stick up their ass was offended. Or some asshole that had their name banned wanted to share the pain. If they were offended they must never hang out in a major city and watch "trade chat", which can get quite vulgar and crude.
And the Blizzard GMs? Not happy with them either. Jerks.
Guildie forwarded the e-mail to me. It starts out "Greetings" and his first name. I'm sorry, but being suspended does not a "greeting" make. Actually it would make me a bit surly. Furthermore, my guildie is probably old enough to the GM's father, so fuck them it should be Mr. so-and-so.