FEBRUARY 2017

FEBRUARY  2017
The same old bullshit, for 2 hundred years. First it was the Catholics - German, Italian and Irish - and then Asians, and then Jews. Whose next?

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Friday, January 25, 2008

A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY

I would call it a case of personal mistaken identity, as in “you are not who you think you are.” Curtis Hamilton, age 26, was a civilian employee of the Atlanta Police Department (motto, “Pride, Productivity, Professionalism and Participation”) and had been accepted for training at their police academy. As is done with all new recruits, Curtis was subjected to an ID search through the Georgia Information Net and the FBI Identity Search. And that was when his photo popped up, with a fur parka hood tightly bound around his head. The photo was taken at 11:03 AM on January 25, 2007, as he robbed the Wachovia Bank branch on Concord Pike, in Wilmington, Delaware. Curtis had told the teller he had a gun and left behind a package he claimed was a bomb. It was not. But Curtis’ new career in law enforcement was a real bomb, and he is now being extradited back to Delaware to face a 1st degree robbery charge. Perhaps next time Curtis should try a little more professionalism and a little less participation.
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And speaking of bombs, last week a janitor found a suspicious package in the parking garage of an apartment building in Goteborg, Sweden. When he put his ear near it, the package seemed to be faintly humming and vibrating. He called the cops and they called in the bomb squad. Such discoveries were once a reasonably common occurrence for a city known for anarchist street brawls and Death Metal music; a dull ugly industrial port town of half a million people at the mouth of the Gota River. It’s the kind of town where Swedish efficiency meets a high suicide rate, and it would have been no surprise if someone wanted to blow up one of the mass produced apartment complexes that house workers for the Volvo or Hasselblad plants. But in this case there was no bomb. What was vibrating in the package was… a vibrator. And now that I think about it, there are some very lovely parts of Goteborg, with the wide canals and that death metal music can be very enchanting, at times, and then there is that whole healthy Swedish attitude toward sexual freedom. Still a police spokesman said that they don’t expect anyone to claim the abandoned vibrator. Perhaps there are some needy poor Swedish sex addicts who could us one? It will need new batteries. But it has been used just once; by a bomb squad.
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It’s not often that a farmhand gets swallowed up by his work, but it happened in Australia recently. Normally Zac Fitzgerald along with Jason Green cares for and feeds the huge unpredictable “salties” for the entertainment of tourists at Marrakai Station Crocodile Farm, about 75 miles west of Darwin. They call them farmhands because to call them croc-hands would invite derision. Anyway, at about 5pm two of these experienced “farmers” were searching the salt water marshes from a boat and a small helicopter, and collecting eggs from nests of the notoriously bad tempered wild saltwater crocs. The eggs are collected to restock the farms with a diverse gene pool.
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It takes two to do the collecting because while one worker grabs the eggs the second watches for the momma “saltie”. But in this case, just as Jason was finishing a nest, momma managed to sneak past Zac and clamp her jaws down on Jason’s arm and began “…crushing about very violently”. Zac immediately pulled his pistol and fired. Unfortunately before the bullet hit the croc (if it hit the croc) it hit Jason first. The croc let go either because of the noise or the bullet, and Jason was immediately flown to the Royal Darwin Hospital. A Hospital spokesperson tactfully described his wounds this way; “His elbow is completely shattered…and he’s got a bite from a crocodile.”
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Jason will require a second surgery to repair the damage to his elbow. But in typical Aussie fashion he told his boss, “I don’t think I’ll be at work for a couple of days.” And then, in regards to his deadeye mate, Zac, Jason wryly observed, “Thank God he’s a good shot” When “farmer” Nick Burns returned to the scene of the great egg snatch he found the momma “saltie”, as happy and healthy as a reptile can be, squatting atop her nest and hissing her disdain at the hovering humans. Burns explained, “She was…alive and well and looking us straight in the eye.” And she was also apparently uninjured by any gun shots.
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Not so lucky was the owner of Arthur, a chocolate Labrador retriever, who was evidently fed up with his master’s annoying habit of letting the brave dog dive into ice cold water, swim hundreds of yards, grab a dead duck or goose, drag it back to dry land and then suffering the insult when the human claimed the carcass for himself, as if he had had been the hunter, and not the dog.. As Texas police reconstructed the crime scene, the human owner, 46 year old Parry Alvin Price, had just placed yet another dead goose fetched by Arthur into the back of his pickup, next to his loaded shotgun, along with Arthur, when, suddenly Parry was cut down by a shot gun blast right through the closed tailgate. Parry later died from blood loss at a Houston hospital. And nobody suspected the innocent enthusiastic doggie until some cat lover noticed that Arthur’s paw prints were all over the trigger guard. Bad doggy, Arthur, bad dog!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

MAKING PUDDLES

I am about to relate the odyssey of Puddles, a small dog caught in an emotional whirlwind. He was born in the late spring of 2007, a collection of fur, olfactory sensors, two bulging eyes, a stomach, a rectum and four paws. We know nothing about his canine parents, except that they were both Shih Tzus. But we do know that his first human “owner” was Sylvia Trevino, who lived near the south central Texas community of Alice, which is home to the world's largets concrete water tower, and occupied by about 19,000 “buena gente” (good humans) and probably half that many good dogs. Just after he was “weaned” Puddles was torn from the bosom of his litter by his human “owner” and sold to Sylvia’s 37 year old niece, Shelly Cavazos, her human mate, Rudy Gutierrez, and their four human children, Joseph, Olivia, Brian and the youngest, Jon. By July Puddles had settled into his new home, had discovered some cool fresh dirt to roll around in and had even invented a new game to play with his humans. Unfortunately by the time he had tired of “get the dog out from under the house” Puddles was heavily infected with fleas. This led to another discovery; that Puddles suffers from an allergy to fleas.
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But the Gutierrez-Cavazos family had scheduled a visit the next day to a local human amusement park and, since coordinating human schedules is never easy, they were reluctant to change their plans. Luckily they knew another human, a neighbor, Ms. Grace Saenz-Lopez, who had a reputation for caring for lost and sick animals, and who was also the Mayor of Alice. They felt comfortable leaving Puddles in her care and she was willing to watch over him. And so, yet again, Puddles was forced to adjust to new surroundings and an unfamiliar human. But this situation promised to be only for a day; not that Puddles understood any of this, because he was ill and he is, after all, a dog, which is something to keep in mind as Puddles’ curious odyssey gets more complicated. The next day, as the Gutierrez-Cavazos family was enjoying their holiday they received a phone call from Ms. Saenz-Lopez, with bad news. Puddles had died and had been buried in Ms. Saenz-Lopez’s back yard. Ms. Cavazos did not tell the children until the drive home, when they all cried. “Everyone”, she says, “was very upset.” So upset that the children made it clear, she says, they did not want a “new” dog.
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And that is where things stood until Halloween, when Sylvia Trevino, Puddles’ original owner, stopped by “Linda’s Grooming and Rooming”, on County Road 137, south of town, looking for a new mate for her female Shih Tzu. And while there she spotted a handsome young, viral looking male Shih Tzu who also looked vaguely familiar. Linda Brandt, the owner of “Linda’s”, told Sylvia that the dog’s name was Panchito, and his owner was the Mayor of Alice, Grace Saenz-Lopez. And that was when Sylvia realized. That was no Panchito. That was Puddles!
*
Linda Brandt was caught between two customers. She felt that the Mayor had probably done something wrong but “She does a lot of good.” So Linda returned Puddles to the Mayor. Shelly and Rudy, Puddle’s bereaved owners, called the Mayor to ask for an explanation. But the Mayor never returned their calls. What were Shelly and Rudy to do? Their children had loved Puddles. And a pure bred male Shih Tzu can cost a human $800 dollars or more. They filed a police report but the Alice Police Department was of the opinion that it was a civil matter.
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In December the family and supporters stood outside of city hall carrying signs that compared the mayor to “Cruella De Vil”, but when they twice attempted to bring up the matter at City Council Meetings they were ushered out of the room. Still the story made the front page of the Alice Echo News-Journal, the local paper, and longtime opponents of the Mayor came out of the woodwork. One man tried to force $1,000 on Rudy to pay for a lawyer. Rudy didn’t take it, but the offer got him thinking. And in the New Year he filed a civil suit in the 79th District Court, alleging intentional fraud with malice and infliction of emotional distress. The suit asked for the immediate and safe return of Puddles, legal fees, court costs and unspecified damages, because, “Not only is it blatantly illegal for the defendant, Grace Saenz-Lopez, to keep Puddles, it is inhumane to withhold the puppy from his rightful owners – honest, warm-hearted people who spent their hard earned money to buy Puddles, and who have repeatedly pleaded with defendant…to return the puppy to their loving home and into the eager arms of their young children.”
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The Mayor did not respond publicly to the lawsuit. But at about 11:30 AM on Sunday, January 13, Alice P.D. officer Cyrildo Garcia Jr. and his supervisor responded to a call from her home in the 700 block of Alto Street. There Ms. Saenz-Lopez told them that Panchito/Puddles” had escaped out a door propped open for her cats. (First PPD - Psychological Plot Point!) She said she had searched the neighborhood but could find no trace of the missing Shih Tzu. She suggested that the Gutierrez family might have stolen the puppy.
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After Rudy invited the police to search his home the officers were also invited to search the mayor’s home. No Shih Tzu was found in either location so the officers returned to their more standard duties, arresting violent criminals and drug users. But the events in Alice had piqued the investigative instincts of a recent transplant from the Boston media market, Gabe Gaggiano, who had been following the stolen puppy story from KZTV "Action News", Channel 10, in Corpus Christi, Texas. And on Monday Gabe got a tip from Sylvia Trevino (remember her) that Puddles was now residing at the home of Gracie Garcia, who was the Mayor’s twin sister. (Second PPD)
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Gabe and Travis Cobb, a Cameraman at the cable station, took the hour long drive out to Alice, and then the 15 minute drive south to tiny Ben Bolton, where Gracie Garcia owned a home. There they found several dogs in the front yard and on an enclosed back porch a small cute little feather duster on four feet, which they briefly video tapped. Viewing that tape, Sylvia confirmed that the missing Puddles had been found! When Gabe showed this evidence to Alice Police Chief Danny Bueno and asked if he was now going to arrest the Mayor, the Chief responded, “I’d like to keep my job.” But Puddles was no longer a mere missing dog. Now he was missing evidence, and the destruction or concealment of evidence is a felony, as Scooter Libby could have explained if he had ever actually been punished.
*
Shortly thereafter the intrepid journalists Gabe and Travis had spotted Gracie Garcia’s car in the Mayor’s driveway, and Gabe video taped his final contribution to our puppies’ tail. Breathlessly he told viewers; “We’re at the Mayor’s house now. The Mayor is not answering the door. The shades are down. We just hope this isn’t another Waco.” That tragedy was unlikely to be repeated since Jim Wells County, of which Alice is the County seat, was the only Texas County with the good sense to favor John Kerry in 2004. People that sensible are unlikely to commit suicide. Although… (http://www.kztv10.com/wiki/KZTV/Puddles)
*
Upon the advice of her lawyer, the Mayor delivered Puddles to his office (wrapped in a leapord print blanket), and that allowed the press to interview her one more time as she went into the building. She declared that she had taken Puddles to the Vet, that he had been mistreated, and that she had taken him to save his life. She also insisted that she had not lied to the police about the disappearing Puddles. A mystery woman driving a red car (Third PPD) found Puddles wandering in the neighborhood and, since the Mayor was not home, had taken him to the sister’s home… 15 miles away. But, insisted the Mayor, “All I give a damn about is the damn dog. He’s not going back into that hell hole.” (Fourth PPD)
*
The twins are now out on $2,500 bail apiece and face from one to seven years in jail. The city attorney has filed a complaint against the Mayor’s attorney, claiming he was threatened. The City Council has voted “no confidence” in the mayor and asked her to please resign. Organizers have started collecting the 150 signatures required to force a recall election. And the attorney for the Gutierrez-Cavazos family insists that the family just wants Puddles back home.
*
On February 4th, a human judge will decide which humans get to take Puddles home, the politician willing to sacrifice her career and reputation to “protect” him, or the family who just wanted him as a pet for their four children. And what does Puddles want? Not that it matters but his ideal home would probably be a warm dry cave occupied by a dozen other dogs, surrounded by a field of limping rodents, flightless birds and stupid cats to eat, covered in some delicious filth to roll around in and cool water to drink, and with an occasional bitch to hump. That is an ideal dog’s life. And as stark and cruel as it might at first appear, under closer examination, is it really that different from the one all these humans are seeking?
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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Huckabee? Suck-a-bee!

I find myself wondering, again, what the hell the pundits are confidently "punditting" about. Senator John McCain won South Carolina by just 3% over Mike Yuckabee. That ain’t much, buddy. And amongst the lunatic fringe The Yuck got 40% of the vote. This year, with people reminded just what damage an idiot in the White House can do, that may not matter. But the body politic suffers from short term memory loss, and in an average election year the lunatic fringe still controls the Republican Party. And Mike the Yuck is their boy. This is not a matter of respecting religious freedom, it is a question of denying reality.
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This arrogant, ignorant self righteous, self proclaimed man of God is a liar, a fraud and pretender. In other words, the Yuck is a typical politician. And it is The Yuck who has placed his religion on the table, using it as weapon in his political arsenal. Well, if he gets to use it, then so do I. I do not demean his faith. He demeans it. I am just pointing out how. As Yuck said himself, “Politics are totally directed by worldview. That's why when people say, 'We ought to separate politics from religion,' I say to separate the two is absolutely impossible" However, I guess, Yuck’s worldview can separate religion from ethics. The Yuck made Judicial Watch’s 10 Most Corrupt Politicians in America list. And one of The Yuck’s longest and best buds is political advisor Dick Morris (of toe sucking fame). TheYuck has been smart enough to keep his Dick zippered up; they are never seen together in public. But Dick has sung The Yuck’s praises in “The Hill” and on “Faux News”, and even The Yuck admits they share long and intimate late night telephone conversations. The Yuck described Morris, in a 1995 interview, as, “…a surgeon who can perform surgery on a 75 year old man in one room and a 21 year old woman in the next room. As long as he doesn’t get the patients confused there’s no problem.” Interesting choice of patients for The Yuck’s analogy, wouldn’t you say?
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Pulling aside the curtain a little further we find an even odder combination, the pairing, of ‘Tax Hike Mike’ with Newt “Big Baby Tax Cut” Gingrich. Yuck says, “The Bible was not written to be amended. The Constitution was”, indicating his intention of making the legal definition of “love” as existing only between one man and one woman, which would mean, I would have supposed, that two of Newt’s wives and all of his mistresses were not only immoral but unconstitutional as well. But leave it to a politician-minister to justify his own sins while condemning everybody else’s.
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Yuck adheres to the theology of “biblical inerrancy”, the belief that not only is every word in the bible the perfect word of a perfect God and thus without error, but so was the decision to exclude the books of 1st and 2nd Maccabees, which are included in the Catholic bible. So Catholics are not part of Yuck’s perfect world. But does Yuck adhere to the Chicago Statement, or is he a King James Only, or a Textus Receptus believer? The profusion and confusion of Christian sects gets mighty convoluted when you start turning multi-translations of biblical texts into legal and constitutional minutia. But one thing should be unambiguous. Either The Yuck has a Bachelor’s degree in Divinity, as he has claimed, or he does not, as he now admits; but in either case he is a liar. And I have heard that God doesn’t like liars. Now, where did I hear that?
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This idiot compared his diet hunger pangs to starving to death in Dachau. He compared homosexuality to sex with animals, and he has repeatedly compared the mass murder of 6 million Jews to legal abortion. And of course, he hinted (wink, wink) that Mormons are devil worshipers. Yuck did not cut taxes in Arkansas, overall he raised them by $500 million. They were spent on desperately needed highway improvements, but the issue is not ‘did he do the right thing’, the issue is that he lied about it. In 2005 he called an Arkansas Senate bill that would have denied state benefits to illegal immigrants as “un-Christian and un-American, irresponsible and anti-life” It’s statements like that which might have made him a true “compassionate conservative”, but, of course, while pandering to the right wing nutcases in Iowa, Yuck denounced much of his earlier position. That’s the politician in him drowning out the minister at just the wrong moment.
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But it is The Yuck’s stand on Darwin that defines him as a member of the lunatic fringe, for me. The Theory of Evolution is not a theory as The Yuck uses the term; a supposition, an idea, a proposal to be debated. Gravity is a similar theory, but it is still suggested that you not jump off any buildings. Combustion is a Theory about some types of chemical interactions, but it is still suggested that you do not stick phosphorous in your mouth. In scientific terminology a Theory is an idea supported by evidence but which may not predict an outcome. A law, such as Newton’s Laws of Motion, allows mathematical predictability, and allows you to design rockets and airplanes and dams and electrical power plants. Evolution can also make predictions but never with mathematical certainty. And I suspect The Yuck knows the difference between a scientific law and a scientific theory. But the politician in him also knows that the average voter does not. And his lack of personal integrity allows him to take advantage of that.
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And that is why I detest this liar, this popinjay, this cheat and this fraud, Mike Huckabee.

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