Time to get acquainted with Obamacare and how it will affect you

September 25, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Good afternoon:

Starting October 1st, if you do not have heath insurance, you have only 6 months to sign up for Obamacare.

I do not pretend to know much about this subject, except to say that you will have to pay a fine, if you are uninsured and you do not sign up.

Depending on your income, the government may pay 100% of the cost for the insurance or some lesser percentage.

Here is a link to get you started on understanding your options.

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Producing articles and maintaining this blog requires substantial time and effort. Please take a moment and consider making a donation.

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Scandal plagued ATF should be shut down

September 25, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Good afternoon:

I never had any respect for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and now Politico has a report about yet another scandal. This one involves cigarettes and you guessed it, money.

WASHINGTON — Government agents acting without authorization conducted dozens of undercover investigations of illegal tobacco sales, misused some of $162 million in profits from the stings and lost track of at least 420 million cigarettes, the Justice Department’s inspector general said Wednesday.

In one case, ATF agents sold $15 million in cigarettes and later turned over $4.9 million in profits from the sales to a confidential informant — even though the agency did not properly account for the transaction.

Seems like just yesterday that ATF was caught in a huge gun-running scandal.

Wikipedia has the story:

“Gunwalking”, or “letting guns walk”, was a tactic of the Arizona Field Office of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which ran a series of sting operations between 2006 and 2011 in the Tucson and Phoenix area where the ATF “purposely allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders.” These operations were done under the umbrella of Project Gunrunner, a project intended to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico by interdicting straw purchasers and gun traffickers within the United States.

The stated goal of allowing these purchases was to continue to track the firearms as they were transferred to higher-level traffickers and key figures in Mexican cartels, with the expectation that this would lead to their arrests and the dismantling of the cartels. The tactic was questioned during the operations by a number of people, including ATF field agents and cooperating licensed gun dealers. During Operation Fast and Furious, by far the largest “gunwalking” probe, the ATF monitored the sale of about 2,000[1]:203 firearms, of which only 710 were recovered as of February 2012.:203 A number of straw purchasers have been arrested and indicted; however, as of October 2011, none of the targeted high-level cartel figures have been arrested.

Guns tracked by the ATF have been found at crime scenes on both sides of the Mexico–United States border, and the scene where United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed. The “gunwalking” operations became public in the aftermath of Terry’s murder. Dissenting ATF agents came forward to Congress in response. According to Humberto Benítez Treviño, former Mexican Attorney General and chair of the justice committee in the Chamber of Deputies, related firearms have been found at numerous crime scenes in Mexico where at least 150 Mexican civilians were maimed and killed. Revelations of “gunwalking” led to controversy in both countries, and diplomatic relations were damaged.

As a result of a dispute over the release of Justice Department documents related to the scandal, Attorney General Eric Holder became the first sitting member of the Cabinet of the United States to be held in contempt of Congress on June 28, 2012. Earlier that month, President Barack Obama had invoked executive privilege for the first time in his presidency over the same documents.

Can the situation with ATF get any worse than that, you ask?

Well, as a matter of fact, you betcha it can.

Remember the siege of David Koresh and the Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas?

Here’s Wikipedia again:

The Waco siege was a siege of a compound belonging to the religious group Branch Davidians by American federal and Texas state law enforcement and military between February 28 and April 19, 1993.

The Branch Davidians, a Christian[5] sect led by David Koresh, lived at Mount Carmel Center ranch in the community of Elk, Texas, nine miles (14 kilometers) east-northeast of Waco. The group was suspected of weapons violations and a search and arrest warrant was obtained.

The incident began when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) attempted to raid the ranch. An intense gun battle erupted, resulting in the deaths of four agents and six Branch Davidians. Upon the ATF’s failure to raid the compound, a siege was initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the standoff lasting 51 days. Eventually, the FBI launched an assault and initiated a tear gas attack in an attempt to force the Branch Davidians out. During the attack, a fire engulfed Mount Carmel Center and 76 men, women, and children, including David Koresh, died.

Controversy ensued over the origin of the fire; a government investigation concluded in 2000 that sect members themselves had started the fire at the time of the attack. Timothy McVeigh cited the Waco incident as a primary motivation for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

As if that were not enough, remember Ruby Ridge?

Here’s Wikipedia again with the scoop:

Ruby Ridge was the site of a deadly confrontation and siege in northern Idaho in 1992 against Randy Weaver, his family and Weaver’s friend Kevin Harris by agents of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It resulted in the death of Weaver’s son Sammy, his wife Vicki, and Deputy U.S. Marshal William Francis Degan.

At the subsequent federal criminal trial of Weaver and Harris, Weaver’s attorney Gerry Spence made accusations of “criminal wrongdoing” against every agency involved in the incident: the FBI, USMS, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) for Idaho. At the completion of the trial, the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility formed a Ruby Ridge Task Force to investigate Spence’s charges. The 1994 Task Force report was released in redacted form by Lexis Counsel Connect and raised questions about the conduct and policy of all the agencies.

Public outcry over Ruby Ridge and the subsequent Waco siege involving many of the same agencies and even the same personnel fueled the widening of the militia movement. To answer public questions about Ruby Ridge, the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information held a total of 14 days of hearings between September 6 and October 19, 1995, and subsequently issued a report calling for reforms in federal law enforcement to prevent a repeat of Ruby Ridge and to restore public confidence in federal law enforcement.

Here’s a link to the television documentary titled Siege at Ruby Ridge, starring Randy Quaid, Laura Dern and Kirsten Dunst.

Here’s a list of awards won by the documentary.

I think we the people have had quite enough of this corrupt and out-of-control so called “law enforcement agency.”

I say eliminate ATF and, if necessary, reassign its duties to other law enforcement agencies.

Frankly, I think we can do better with less law enforcement rather than more law enforcement.

What do you think?

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Producing articles and maintaining this blog requires substantial time and effort. Please take a moment and consider making a donation.

As you depend on us, we depend on you.

Namaste,

Fred and Crane


Battle at Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya has ended

September 24, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Good afternoon:

O/T: The Washington Post just reported,

NAIROBI — Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday night declared that the four-day-long siege of an upscale mall in the capital by Islamist militants has ended with the deaths of five militants and 11 in custody.

He announced three days of mourning for the more than 60 people killed in the attack, a death toll that is expected to rise with the recovery of more bodies from the mall, he said.


George Zimmerman can be served with divorce papers by publication

September 24, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Good morning:

George Zimmerman can be served with divorce papers by publication.

Florida Statutes 49.021: Service of process by publication, upon whom.—Where personal service of process or, if appropriate, service of process under s. 48.194 cannot be had, service of process by publication may be had upon any party, natural or corporate, known or unknown, including:

(1) Any known or unknown natural person, and, when described as such, the unknown spouse, heirs, devisees, grantees, creditors, or other parties claiming by, through, under, or against any known or unknown person who is known to be dead or is not known to be either dead or alive.

When a lawyer representing a party to a lawsuit, or a party representing himself without a lawyer, cannot serve a summons and the complaint or petition on the opposing party because he cannot locate the opposing party, the law permits service to be accomplished by publishing a copy of the summons and the complaint in the local newspaper every day for 90 successive days.

Publication in the Orlando Sentinel would suffice.

At the end of the 90 days, the lawyer must file an affidavit of service by publication attaching the summons and complaint or petition and describing the efforts undertaken to find the opposing party.

Service by publication will not be deemed effective, unless all reasonable efforts to locate the opposing party were attempted without success.

In the typical case, the party attempting to obtain service on the non-responding party, goes to court to obtain an order of default after the time period within which to respond to the complaint or petition expires, which is usually 20 days and starts running after the 90 day period for service by publication.

The purpose for requiring all reasonable efforts to serve the opposing party in person before resorting to service by publication is to prevent a party from obtaining a default judgment against another party without actual notice to them.

Someone in the comments mentioned the possibility that Shellie’s lawyer, Kelly Sims, might be able to serve Mark O’Mara with the divorce papers, however, the attorney typically has to agree to accept service for the client and I doubt he would agree to do that since he announced that he will not represent him on the divorce and may not know where he is living or even be in contact with him.

My impression is GZ has refused to assist O’Mara to recoup his costs in the criminal case and O’Mara no longer wants to have anything to do with him with the single exception of the pending NBC lawsuit that probably is not worth anything, given the acquittal.

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Hello, everyone.

Producing articles and maintaining this blog requires substantial time and effort. Please take a moment and consider making a donation.

As you depend on us, we depend on you.

Namaste,

Fred and Crane


Ridgeview Dormitory

September 23, 2013

by Crane-Station for Frog Gravy

Author’s note: Frog Gravy is a depiction of daily life during incarceration in Kentucky, during the years 2008 and 2009, reconstructed from my notes. Some entries are from jail; others are from prison, such as this one.

I have changed the names, except in cases of nicknames that do not reveal identities.

Frog Gravy contains graphic language.

Ridgeview Dormitory (aka The Ghetto), PeWee (pronounced Pee Wee) Valley Women’s Penitentiary, near Louisville, KY, 11-19-08

Dayroom

I am sitting at a table in the noisy “dayroom,” of the Ridgway Dormitory at PeWee Valley Penitentiary, talking to two fellow inmates, Cindy and Wheels Jimmy. Cindy is a 46-year-old woman in a neck brace who looks thirty years older. She was in a bad accident, has had several neck surgeries, and requires more neck surgery. Her voice is hoarse from all the surgery. She has no teeth and hopes to get dentures from the State, for $188.

Cindy, like many other War on Drugs inmates, mostly older, disabled women, is in prison for buying or selling her pain medicine, either to get pain relief or make ends meet by paying the winter heat bill or other necessary bills.

Kentucky views women like Cindy, who can barely walk, and women like Wheels Jimmy, who is wheelchair-bound after breaking legs and arms, her hip, knee and back plus four or five ribs, and women like me as threats to society. So, toothless Cindy, Wheels Jimmy and I sit in a penitentiary dayroom and chat. Taxpayers are paying $26,000 per year room and board plus medical, dental and eye care for each of the three of us to sit in this dayroom and have this conversation, because if we sit here, in wheelchairs, toothless, with neck braces and talk at great taxpayer expense, the community at large will be much safer (than say, for example, if the likes of George Zimmerman were to be sitting here.)

I am talking to Cindy. I only understand about 50% of what she is saying in her hoarse, toothless Kentucky drawl.

Cindy leans over to me, conspiratorially, and whispers, pointing to another inmate, “She can make sounds, like a chipmunk.”

However, I did not hear her quite right and I thought she said, “She can make a sow suck a chipmunk.”

Therefore, I answered Cindy and said, “Well then. So she’s a hustler.”

Cindy says, “Uh-huh. And that girl there…” She points. “That one barks like a dog.”

At this point, my mind is still processing the sow-chipmunk scene: The chipmunk has a litter of chipmunk-ettes somewhere, so she must have mama’s nipples, right? Moreover, the gigantic sow is somehow suckling from the chipmunk when suddenly there is a dog barking. Wait. Could the sow be sucking a chipmunk dick?

My hand to God, I am thinking these things.

So I say, “Really?”

Cindy says, “Yeah, she sounds just like a chipmunk and she sounds just like a dog.” She points.

I say, “Oh that’s so funny,” but Cindy has no idea how funny it really was and I never tell her.

I am reminded of that comedian that attended some function with then-President Bill Clinton, and the comedian could have sworn that Clinton leaned over and whispered, “Bet they’s some bitches in here.”

We moved to our new home- Ridgeview Dormitory- on Friday. Ridgeview is a large dorm, with four wings. This dorm is the farthest away from the dining hall, library, and main building. Everything is about a quarter to a half-mile walk. After the horrific year in the jails, I appreciate the walk, but for the many disabled women in wheelchairs, navigation about the property is difficult.

Wheelchairs line the front patio of Ridgeview Dormitory. At first blush and absent razor wire, one might mistake Ridgeview for a gigantic assisted living center for the mentally ill. With inmates doing all of the assisting.

Ridgeview does not house inmates serving lengthy sentences for violent crimes, for the most part. These inmates are generally housed in Pine Bluff Dormitory, unless, for some rare reason they lose their “honors” housing status. Long-term inmates are generally more stable and well behaved, and they hold jobs in industries, the guide-dog training program, or the Braille translation program.

For example, an inmate must be at least five years away from parole eligibility to apply to be in the guide-dog training program. When the dog is a puppy, it is assigned to a specific inmate and lives with that inmate 24/7, never leaving the inmate’s side during its years of training. If a dog has a vest on, which is most of the time, other inmates do not interact with the dog by touching or petting it.

The Braille translation program has similar eligibility requirements due to the length of time it takes to learn Braille and then to apply the language to translate maps, for example.

I include this information for the online community because I am not sure how many folks are aware that inmates train guide dogs or translate Braille.

Ridgeview Dormitory is fairly new, very clean, and has the look of an institution. There are two people to each room. Each wing shares a common dayroom, with TV washer/dryer, microwaves and phones, and there are four wings.

A central, windowed, elevated security/control area houses officers in an aquarium. Officers see all from the aquarium, and they announce, summons, lecture, scold, and berate, pretty much all day, every day, usually because they must, or the place would come apart at the seams. Hence, Ridgeview Dormitory is also known as “The Ghetto.”

On my first night in Ridgeview, an officer announces from the aquarium, “There will be no bull-dyking tonight.”

note:
For those who have not seen the CEBU dancing inmates, this is well worth the watch. They are in the Philippines. Of course, there are no such programs here in the states, because the US prison system is designed to ruin, and not to improve people.


How Frog Gravy Got Its Name

September 23, 2013

by Crane-Station for Frog Gravy

Boiling Frog

“Boiling Frog” by Donkey Hotey on Flickr

Author’s note: Frog Gravy is a depiction of daily life during incarceration in Kentucky, during 2008 and 2009, in jails and in prison.

Names are changed, except for nicknames that do not reveal identity.

This post is from prison.

Frog Gravy contains graphic language.

Early April, 2009, PeWee Valley Women’s Penitentiary (pronounced Pee Wee), near Louisville, KY

In Horticulture class one morning I am ear-hustling (eavesdropping) on a conversation between some fellow inmates.

“The problem with my case is,” says Carla, “that the judge didn’t get his dick sucked the night before I went to Court. That’s the problem with my legal case.”

“Bet he takes his teeth out at night and sucks his own dick,” replies Renada.

The teacher, Miss Heavren, overhears the exchange, and reminds us all that we are strictly forbidden to speak about our legal cases during school. The conversation shifts to an acceptable (by school rules) subject: retrieving and preparing road killed animals, for consumption.

Julia says, (I swear to God) “I don’t really go for all that suckin’ the brains out stuff but I do eat the tails.

I am reminded of the scene from A Fish called Wanda, when the sadistic Otto says, as he is eating goldfish from a tank, “Avoid the green ones. They’re not ripe yet.”

When ‘sucking out brains and eating tails’ sinks into my psyche, I focus on my deadpan, indifferent expression that betrays none of the horror that my mind conjures up because I have long ago mastered the Prison Face. The conversation continues.

“…but we got there at the same time and were about to fight over the body but it turns out he just wanted the head and I just wanted the body so we decided to go ahead and split it…”

Like the poker face, Prison Face misleads with just the right lack of expression that conveys understanding, non-judgment, empathy and concern, much like the doctor’s expression on x-ray discovery that a bowling trophy is lodged in the patient’s rectum. Deadpan, as if one sees this every day, but with empathy, in the deadpan.

“…even though the head on the deer was missing when we found it…”

“Oh yeah. Didn’t you know that? People are always stealing the deer heads.”

Prison Face says, ‘I can relate. I am just like you.’ You do not have to study or practice Prison Face for very long. If you are institutionalized for long enough, Prison Face becomes a sincere, apathetic blank expression.

“…I would have done the same thing with the body….”

I have seen Prison Face on the outside. I once worked with another nurse who was African. He told me of his early childhood memories, where he, at age five, watched public executions on a nearly daily basis. At the time, I did not know about Prison Face. I just thought he was ‘stoic’ and ‘hard to read.’ He was always quiet. He was actually a nurse’s aide, and he was always saving our butts when things got too busy. He never received due credit for his quiet yet passionate work with patients and staff. I always thought of him as a nurse, because he was better at nursing than many nurses I had encountered over the years.

“…Oh, yeah, my dad used to bring home the turtles off the road all the time… Ever had turtle soup?”

In our class, Horticulture Lab, really, we are planting tiny marigold seedlings into blister packs that resemble ice cube trays, a tedious task that is like trying to separate and plant thousands of spider webs. Marigold seedlings have long, threadlike roots, and we are using popsicle sticks to untangle them, but also to plow under dozens of those monstrously rooted little seedlings and dispose of them quickly and secretly when the teacher is not looking, because if we don’t, we will never finish this lab. We do not formally plan nor do we speak about the mass marigold murder with each other. It is a silently understood and agreed upon activity.

The popsicle sticks remind me of the psych wards that I have been locked up in after various suicide attempts, and for reasons that I do not fully understand I make a mental note to make a birdhouse out of the popsicle sticks when I get out of prison.

Then, when I think I understand the significance of the birdhouses as safe houses for free creatures, designed and constructed by a damaged human that is not free, and am allowing this epiphany to sink in, the conversation in the foreground shifts to the subject of frog legs in an iron skillet.

Julia says, “And what you gotta do is, you save the crispy frog skins in the iron skillet and you pour off the frog grease, and use your frog drippins to make you some frog gravy. And girrrl, I ain’t lyin’, them frog drippins in that frog gravy is dope!”

My eyebrows jerk slightly, ruining my Prison Face. With sudden clarity, I envision my hero, the frog.

Coincidentally, I have just finished a book from the prison library about frogs and their race to extinction. Populations of deformed frogs have been discovered, with extra limbs and digits, or with limbs missing in the right places, not unlike the Thalidomide babies. Although the consensus is that a fungus is killing the amphibians, the book points out that frogs are literally permeable, making them an environmental indicator for our planet.

I read the book because I love frogs. In fact, some of my fondest childhood memories involve frogs. I remember walking creeks and going to ponds as a child, to look for the gelatinous egg masses, and I remember the frogs’ beautiful yet haunting chorus during camping trips, a chorus that now seems eerily absent from any given evening, when I can hear the rhythmic buzzing of cicadas, but not the songs of many frogs.

I have never eaten a frog. In fact, I have rescued many a frog, after the rainstorms, by stopping my car in the middle of the dark road, getting out, and moving the doomed frog to the side of the road. I also rescued three frogs once, who were trapped in a plastic garbage bag that I found in a dumpster.
I suppose I could eat one, but only if it were already killed in the road.

I decide that I will immortalize the frog.

On my notepad that I carry everywhere, I write the words “Frog Gravy,” and circle them.

The iron skillet, in addition to being a murder weapon, is as much a part of the South as racism is in this prison. Fried apples. Fried green tomatoes. Fried okra. Cornbread with buttermilk and bacon. What is cornbread after all, without bacon grease and buttermilk in an iron skillet? My parents are from Missouri, but spent a good deal of their early-married life in the South and so my mother made fried apples, cornbread, and other Southern dishes in an iron skillet. I can almost smell it now.

Later in the evening, I discuss my plan for the book title with Tina and Christie, two of my closest friends that were in Cell 107 with me in McCracken. They both know that I have been writing things down since the beginning, and they have encouraged me to write the whole story someday.

“I have a name for it. You’re not going to believe this,” I say, “but I am going to call it Frog Gravy.”


News from Crazy Ted Cruz to Tsarnaev to cowardly George Zimmerman

September 23, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Good morning:

Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be in court today in Boston to discuss the timing and guidelines that federal prosecutors will use in deciding whether to seek the death penalty. The purpose of the hearing will be to establish a procedure to be followed by the defense in preparing and submitting a mitigation package for prosecutors to consider in determining whether to seek the death penalty.

Attorney General Eric Holder will make the final call regarding whether the prosecution will seek the death penalty.

Tsarnaev is charged with 30 counts in a federal indictment, including using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and 16 other charges that carry the possibility of the death penalty.

Judy Clarke is representing Mr. Tsarnaev. She is the best death penalty lawyer in the land in my opinion. She recently represented Jared Loughner and previously represented Ted Kaczyinsky (the Unabomber) and Susan Smith (woman in South Carolina who drowned her children in a pond). All committed the crimes with which they were charged and no one was sentenced to death.

In other news today,

1. A small group of people who are continuing to seek justice for Trayvon are planning to gather at the state capitol in Tallahassee repeating their request for Gov. Rick Scott to call a special session and ask legislators to overhaul the state’s self-defense laws. Not much chance he will acknowledge their presence, much less grant their request.

2. the hostage situation and shootout at the mall in Nairobi, Kenya has not been resolved;

3. Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas continues his jihad against Obamacare by promising he will fillibuster the House bill even though it includes language defunding Obamacare. Mother Jones has the story;

4. In an information filed Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, federal prosecutors claim Mingo County West Virginia Commissioner David Baisden conspired with Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury, Sparks and now-deceased Sheriff Eugene Crum to stop a confidential informant from telling federal agents that he provided narcotics to the sheriff; and

5. Cowardly George Zimmerman is still trembling in hiding as he seeks to avoid being served with papers in his divorce.


House Republicans and the Food Stamps Vote

September 22, 2013

by Crane-Station and cross-posted at Firedoglake/MyFDL

Andrew Kaczynski of Buzzfeed reports:

Several of the House Republicans who voted Thursday for a bill that slashed billions of dollars from the food stamp program personally received large farm subsidies for family farms. The bill cutting the food stamp program narrowly passed on a mostly party line 217 to 210 vote.

The names of a few of these Republicans, who enjoy the benefits of being on the government dole themselves include: GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (Missouri), Rep. Kristi Noem (South Dakota), and Rep. Marlin Stutzman (Indiana). Read the full article for details of the food-stamp slashers swelling up like ticks, on government handouts.

Since GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher had the wherewithal to mislead, misinform and twist the truth to justify his egregious hypocrisy, by cherry-picking an out-of-context biblical quote from Paul, called Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, also known as 2 Thessalonians, I think a terse response is in order. Paul’s quote “the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” obviously was not directed at children, the elderly, the disabled, the displaced (by outsourcing, layoffs and job elimination), the temporarily sick, or those experiencing mental disability, those recently released from incarceration, the veterans experiencing PTSD, the victims of traumatic accidents or those experiencing illness.

Yet Fincher and others targeting food stamps want everyone to believe that anyone receiving SNAP is able-bodied, lazy, unwilling to work, and chooses to live that lucrative life that SNAP has to offer, at great suffering and expense of red-blooded tax-paying responsible Americans.

Fincher predictably quoted the bible, during the food stamp debate, because as if by unwritten rule, a Republican must back his full-of-holes claims with a disarming biblical passage. Almost any passage will do, even if the translation has been debunked by scholars, as long as the quote is prefaced with “and besides, the bible says.” Buzzfeed briefly explained how the quote came about, and then added an accounting of Fincher’s own practice of sucking from the government teat:

During the food stamp debate, GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher, who received thousands in farm subsidies, responded to a Democratic Congressman during the debate over the cuts by quoting the bible, saying “the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

Fincher himself has received his own large share of government money. From 1999 to 2012, Stephen & Lynn Fincher Farms received $3,483,824 in agriculture subsidies. Last year he took in $70,574 alone.

As Rep. Fincher and other fake ‘Christians’ who cherry-pick out-of-context scripture to justify their hateful behavior, they may want to consider some facts:

PROGRAM FACTS

SNAP is targeted at the most vulnerable.

76% of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83% of all SNAP benefits.[i]

SNAP eligibility is limited to households with gross income of no more than 130% of the federal poverty guideline, but the majority of households have income well below the maximum: 83% of SNAP households have gross income at or below 100% of the poverty guideline ($19,530 for a family of 3 in 2013), and these households receive about 91% of all benefits. 61% of SNAP households have gross income at or below 75% of the poverty guideline ($14,648 for a family of 3 in 2013).[ii]

The average SNAP household has a gross monthly income of $744; net monthly income of $338 after the standard deduction and, for certain households, deductions for child care, medical expenses, and shelter costs; and countable resources of $331, such as a bank account.[iii]

The idea that people who receive SNAP are lazy and refuse to work is also a myth. Years ago, when I received food stamps, I awoke at 3 AM every morning to ride a bike to the Labor Ready line. If I was lucky enough to even get work, I worked until I nearly dropped: packing concrete forms, cleaning hotel rooms, flashing skylights on a rubber roof at a Boeing hangar building, cleaning debris, digging, shoveling, and other hard labor. Hard labor that was taxed, by the way. My SNAP benefit did not allow a cup of coffee during the Labor Ready line wait, nor did it provide toilet paper, cleaning supplies, or other hygiene products. I could afford no fresh fruits or vegetables, ever. Milk was a luxury that involved sacrifice of some alternate form of protein.

More likely than not, the SNAP slashers showed up to vote to cut food stamps, wearing items of clothing sewn in substandard conditions in outsourced countries, and wearing jewelry from ‘conflict metal’ and diamond countries. Outsourced clothing manufacture, and ‘conflict’ gems and metals exist, of course, to maximize profits to the wealthy. If Republicans can vote to cut food to the poor, the working poor, the folks who lost their jobs to outsourcing, the young, the elderly, and the disabled, they can most certainly ignore the idea that suffering is also maximized in the workers in other countries, who produce clothing and jewelry the Republicans wear.

I hope President Obama vetoes this vote to cut food stamps. Not only will it lead to great harm for those in dire need of sustenance in this country, the money will more likely than not, be used to line the pockets of those who are not in need. It is no mistake or coincidence that there is no proposal in place to suggest a greater ‘good’ for the ‘saved’ money.

end note: DS Wright’s report House Votes To Cut Food Stamps By $40 Billion

Peterr’s essay: God Is Not Pleased With the House GOP

Please let me know if you have posted on this topic, so I can provide a link. (I have been away for a couple of days and may have missed it)


George Zimmerman hides to avoid service of process in divorce

September 22, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Good morning:

Cowardly George Zimmerman is hiding again.

This time he is hiding from his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, who is seeking to divorce him.

Her lawyer, Kelly Sims, cannot find him to serve him with a copy of the divorce petition.

The strategy will not work, however, because he can be served by publication.

Mr. Sims need only publish the divorce petition in the local newspaper for 90 days at the conclusion of which the court will deem him to have been served.


Florida grand jury refuses to charge police officer who executed a black man with his cruiser

September 22, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Good morning:

CAUTION: Disturbing Video

CNN reported yesterday:

The family of a Florida man has released video of his death, hoping to get criminal charges filed against the police officer who ran him over.

On May 8, Marlon Brown was being chased by DeLand police because they allegedly saw that he was not wearing a seatbelt. At a dead-end road, Brown stopped his car and started running.

One of the police cars hit and ran him over, its dashcam video recording the entire incident.

Last week, a grand jury decided not to indict officer James Harris on a criminal charge of vehicular manslaughter. That’s when the family decided to go public, and release the video.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy video to watch,” says Krystal Brown the ex-wife and mother of Brown’s children, “but in order to obtain justice, and that’s what we’re looking for, we knew it was something that we had to do.”

Although the DeLand Police Department fired the officer who executed Mr. Brown and the City of DeLand settled a wrongful death claim with the family for $550,000 (without admitting liability), the State Attorney for Florida’s 7th judicial district R.J. Larizza decided to present the evidence to the grand jury instead of filing charges, which he could have done as Angela Corey did with George Zimmerman.

The grand jury declined to charge the officer with a crime last week after two days of testimony.

Yet another disgusting example of racism in Florida.


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