Friday, August 31, 2012

TRUTH? Fa Gedda Bout It!

I am full to overflowing with the continuous BULL$HIT that has been flowing for the past year (or longer, it seems) and has solidified in Tampa this week.  I live not far from the middle of the famed Interstate 4 corridor.  In case you haven’t heard of the pivotal political pull of Florida’s Interstate 4, I have one question.  Have you been living in a cave?  Interstate 4 traverses my lovely state from Tampa on the west coast to Daytona Beach on the east coast.  Orlando is smack dab in the center of the state.  And the westerly winds, blowing in from the Tampa area, have carried the malodorous smell of ripe, putrefying BULL$HIT that is being heaped by the tons in Tampa this week.  For you cave dwellers, you may be asking “Why is there so much BULL$HIT in Tampa?”  Well, the Republican National Convention has been going on since Tuesday (delayed from Monday because of the threat of then tropical storm Isaac).  Isaac missed Tampa, no doubt because of all the devout Christians in town for the convention who prayed the storm away.  Isaac instead slammed into Sodom & Gomorrah, otherwise known as New Orleans, Louisiana.  I guess Republican governor and evangelical Christian, Bobby Jindal couldn’t gather enough folks to help with his prayers.  Or maybe he just spent too much time on television complaining to the world how President Obama wasn’t doing enough to help the state recover from the storm that had not even hit them yet.  
I’ve decided to throw in the towel and stop listening to the projections, prognostications, predictions and multi-faceted interpretations of this presidential campaign.  The massive amount of lies, half truths, and talking in circles by the various surrogates, candidates, public relations puppets has finally pushed me too darn close to the edge of the cliff.  I know who I’m going to vote for.  In fact, I’ve known for nearly a year.  It is crystal clear to me that those on the other side are not interested in facts or the truth.  They prefer listening to BULL$HIT that supports their distrust and absolute hatred of the opposition.  If these people can’t or won’t seek out honest politicians who have integrity, there isn’t anything I can do to change that.  The dice have been cast.  Minds are made up, except for a very few.  It is going to come down to how many people will bother to show up to vote and, of those, how many will even be allowed to vote. 

With the new voting regulations in over 30 states, many former voters – some who have been voting regularly for 40, 50, even 60 years – will be turned away.  Why?  Because they don’t have a valid state photo ID.  Why?  Because not everyone drives a vehicle, not everyone has a checking account so they haven’t needed a photo ID or they don’t have a passport.    They may not know they need such an ID.  They may not have the extra money to order a new birth certificate since they no longer have their original one.  They may not have access to a computer to order the birth certificate, or a credit card to pay for it online.  Many rely on public transportation, some may work two or three jobs and only have one day a week – probably Sunday – off.  Many of those folks relied on transportation provided by their church following Sunday services on the last Sunday before the official election day.  However many, if not all, of those 30 some states with new voting regulations have shut down weekend, early voting.  They’ve cancelled evening voting in many places as well.  
Let Freedom Ring.  America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.  At least that is what we tell ourselves and the rest of the world.  Well, surprise – that’s another load of BULL$HIT.  These states are worried about VOTER FRAUD.  Of course, during George W. Bush’s 8 years in office, about 196 million votes were cast.  Fraud cases?  That was a whopping 86 cases.  Who wouldn’t worry?  Maybe the SANE people?  Maybe the people who not only respect and uphold freedom, but also believe that the right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy?  Those would be the folks who remember that people were beaten, imprisoned, force-fed and even killed so they could WIN the right to vote.  

Aaron Sorkin can say all this much better than I ever could.  Here is a video from his latest series, The Newsroom, which sums it all up.

UPDATE: I just wanted to add another Newsroom video about The Tea Party & the Koch Brothers:



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Florida - In The News Again

I admire those bloggers who put up new, interesting, thought provoking and often funny posts frequently.  No matter how much I tell myself that I will strive to post more often, I consistently fail in that goal.  For that, please accept my apology.

It certainly isn’t due to the fact that I don’t have something to say about a lot of things.  It may be that there are just too many things that grab my attention. At this time it is mostly politics.  The problem, however, is that I wouldn’t be satisfied with X = BAD and Y = GOOD.  It’s not that strictly opinion pieces are inherently faulty or bad, it is that personally I feel the need to support my opinion with relevant references.  I attribute that to my scientific background and the importance of citations when presenting a “theory.”  For me, putting up my viewpoint in a blog post is much like a debate of one.   If you, the reader, are to accept my point of view on a certain topic you deserve more than just my opinion.  It is important that you understand how I arrived at that opinion.  Finding those sources isn’t always easy, even with the internet and it takes time, which I don’t always have.  

The internet is full of unfounded accusations, conspiracy theories based upon little or no proof, along with ongoing memes that won’t die even though they are clearly ridiculous to me.  Unfortunately it has become common for too many people to limit their information sources to one or two people, one network, one news source or a specific blog.  I certainly understand that people are busy, they may not have access to the technology necessary to do their own investigation and/or they simply aren’t curious enough to dig a bit deeper on some or many subjects.  And recent studies have shown that human nature is to listen to those with whom we agree.  That, in turn, keeps us away from alternate perspectives and, in many cases, limits additional pertinent information.  

There are certain people in the media whose veracity I trust.  They include the Nobel Prize winning economist, Paul Krugman, along with former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, Charlie Pierce, the Politics Blog columnist for Esquire magazine, both Rachel Maddow and Melissa Harris Perry who anchor their own shows on MSNBC and linguistic professor George Lakoff.  The one federal politician that I consistently listen to is Senator Bernie Sanders.  Of course, my informed life, along with a good bit of laughter, wouldn’t be complete without Jon Stewart and The Daily Show.  

The blogs I turn to on a regular basis include Alternet, Treehugger, Vox Felina and Sky Dancing.  These blogs cover politics, the environment and cats (especially issues relating to feral cats).  For humor and common sense wisdom, The Eco Cat Lady Speaks can’t be beat, IMHO.  I read other blogs, along with news articles, but not as regularly as I check in on the above mentioned sites.  

Right now Florida is back in the headlines.  There are three big stories that have brought focus on my state once again.  The Republican National Committee (RNC) will be holding their presidential convention in Tampa, Florida beginning tomorrow, August 27th.  Due to the tropical storm, Isaac, which is now between Cuba and the Florida Keys, the RNC has postponed the kick off of the convention to Tuesday afternoon.  Tampa sits directly on Florida’s west coast and concerns about high winds, storm surge and possible flooding have elicited concern for the attendees.  And the third attention grabber?  Florida’s former Republican governor, now an independent, Charlie Crist has endorsed President Obama in the upcoming election.  It seems that Florida’s public relations team is doing a bang up job keeping our state on the national and international radar.  For me, however, my main concern is when and where Isaac will make landfall.   

The news will cover the human lives and homes impacted.  What is generally missing from these natural disaster stories, however, is the impact on the environment and the wildlife.  That is the coverage I care about the most.  Another blog that I check in on from time to time is Barrier Island Girl ( .  The author lives in Pensacola Beach, located on Florida’s Panhandle.  She is a wonderful photographer and a volunteer turtle observer.  Storms this season have already destroyed a number of sea turtle nests, preventing the eggs from hatching.  Now there is the possibility of losing the remaining nests.  

All species of sea turtles, throughout the world, are critically endangered (find out more about sea turtles here: .  The BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago killed 613 turtles - that is the official count ( That official number doesn’t include those turtles who weren’t counted because they didn’t wash ashore or when they did they went uncounted.  

Most hatchlings don’t survive under normal conditions, so when the populations have been so severely impacted due to human causes, the survival of each and every hatchling becomes all that more important.  From past experience, I feel certain you won’t be reading any stories about these losses should higher tides due to Isaac inundate the coastline bordering the Gulf of Mexico.  Frankly, I could care less if a bunch of Republicans get wet or have to stay inside their hotel rooms.  My thoughts are on those beaches and turtle nests imperiled by the coming storm, along with all of the other non-human animals whose lives and homes are in Isaac’s path.  

UPDATE - 08/26/12 3:56 PM EST - 3 nests hatched last night.  DJ of Barrier Island Girl got a message from one of her blog followers & headed to the nest.  Those nestlings were shepherded into the Gulf by 9PM last night.  Two other turtle volunteers were at the other 2 nests last night.  Isaac is projected to increase the tides on Tuesday night.  Fingers crossed more nests will hatch today and tonight.