March 31, 2012

Howard Greenberg Must Be On Crack.

So, on Friday, the Sun Sentinel posted a letter from their publisher and CEO, Howard Greenberg.  He's the man who took a mediocre paper and turned it into something birds won't shit on.

The gist of the article; this blithering idiot  the Sun-Sentinel wants to CHARGE us to access their website.

First, only one out of every three stories even originate with the Sentinel; the rest come from their beat sharing deal with the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and WSVN.

The remaining third is rarely worth reading.  In fact, the Sun Sentinel website is a pile of steaming eTurds.  It's an unnavigable mess, with little content worth reading.

Five bucks a month for mostly regurgitated stories, and the few stories they actually manage to produce themselves are either poorly written or poorly researched, and usually both.

I've only been reading the Sun-Sentinel for the theatre reviews, an act of futility since they fired their last actual theatre critic.  Now they send out the fashion editor, and while he might be a great fashion editor, he's a lousy theatre critic.  

The Sun-Sentinel is barely worth reading now.  You'd have to be whacked on drugs to even think of charging people to access the pitiful amount of content actually worth reading.

So, after April 9, don't look for any more links to the Sun-Sentinel.  I'm not spending a dime for that crap.

March 25, 2012

Sanford Prediction Came True

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've undoubtedly heard about Trayvon Martin, a teen gunned down in the streets of Sanford, Florida, by George Zimmerman, the son of a retired judge.  Everyone has been criticizing the Sanford Police Department about their failure to arrest the gunman.  After all, there are no questions about whether or not Zimmerman shot Martin; he absolutely did it.

But Zimmerman claims that it was self-defense; he maintains that the slender high school student, armed only with a Big Gulp and Skittles, decided to attack the stocky neighborhood watch captain.

This isn't the first time that the Sanford Police Department has failed to arrest an aggressor who clearly committed the crime; in 2010, they failed to arrest Justin Collison for beating up Sherman Ware, despite numerous eyewitnesses and video tape of the entire incident.  Ware was a homeless man, and Collison the son of a Sanford police lieutenant.

The arresting officer, Samuel McNeil, claimed that he couldn't arrest Collison because Ware, who had been beaten unconscious, wasn't able to make a sworn statement at the time.

My comments on that have become sadly prescient:
People must get away with murder in Sanford; after all, dead men tell no tales, and the cops ignore physical evidence and eyewitness testimony.  They might was well not have a police department.
Here we are barely 18 months later, and here's George Zimmerman getting away with murder.  Who'd a thunk?

Zimmerman was recorded calling 911 prior to the incident; he was talking to the dispatcher while he followed Trayvon Martin.  Martin was walking back to his father's girlfriend's house, having picked up a late snack at a nearby convenience store.  The dispatcher advised Zimmerman to stop following the boy.

Meanwhile, Martin was talking to his girlfriend back in Miami.  She said he was being followed by someone, and felt threatened. 

Zimmerman's attorney claims that it was Zimmerman that felt threatened, and that the murder of Martin is justified by Florida's "Stand your Ground" law, which allows the use of deadly force in self defense.  The City claims that the testimony they had at the time of the shooting supported Zimmerman's claim of self-defense, so they had no grounds to arrest him.

Of course, the only actual witness had been silenced.  All they had was the word of the perpetrator, which they accepted at face value

Sound familiar?

The reason this case stinks to high hell is that it relies on the judgement of the Sanford Police Department; but the SPD has demonstrated that its judgment can't be trusted.  After all, they used the same puny excuse eighteen months ago, and it turned out that there was ample evidence to support an arrest and conviction.  Then it became abundantly clear that police let a criminal walk free because he was the son of a white man with connections, and the victim was just some black guy.

How many more people will have to die before Sanford cleans up its corrupt police department?

March 18, 2012

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm.....

Sometimes, the random feed of stories in the Sun-Sentinel's breaking news feed doesn't seem so random.

I swear these headlines are telling their own story.  A story of women that disappear, dragged beneath automobiles that wind in in pools.  Meanwhile, Seniors gum up the works as they drive to their retirement homes - which they never get to.  Are they being dragged under their cars?  Are their cars so slow because there's something living underneath?

Or maybe it's just me.

March 17, 2012

Jeanine Notter Would Mandate Lying

The Huffington Post reports that New Hampshire  State House Representative has Jeanine Notter authored a bill that would force doctors to lie to their patients.

The Republican politician and Tea Party enthusiast introduced House Bill 1659, "AN ACT relative to the women’s right to know act regarding abortion information."  It's another one of those laws loved by conservatives and religious fundamentalists; its intent is to coerce a woman out of getting an abortion. Or, as the religious right likes to describe it, "establishing a woman's right to know."

Usually, this is done by shaming the women who have done all their soul-searching long before they decide that abortion is their best option, but Rep. Notter has a new approach: lying.

Section 132-B:5, part II (e) mandates that doctors must provide women seeking an abortion with:
"Materials that inform the pregnant woman that there is evidence of a direct link between abortion and breast cancer."
In fact, breast cancer studies find no correlation between abortions and breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society:
Several studies show that induced abortions do not increase the risk of breast cancer. Also, there is no evidence to show a direct link between miscarriages and breast cancer.
Apparently, so many people have been asking them about this, that they published a special fact sheet dealing with this issue specifically; Is Abortion Linked to Breast Cancer?
Abortion and breast cancer are both topics that can bring out strong feelings in people. The issue of abortion is often linked to personal and political viewpoints – even without a possible disease connection. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. It can be a deadly disease, and one that many women fear.

Linking these 2 topics creates a great deal of emotion and debate. But scientific research studies have not found a cause-and-effect relationship between abortion and breast cancer.
I don't know about you, but I think The American Cancer Society is pretty credible when it comes to cancer facts.  It's what they do; they educate us so we have the information we need to prevent getting cancer, or to effectively fight cancer if we have it.

The Mayo Clinic doesn't address the issue, but it does not include "abortion" on its list of risk factors for breast cancer.  Again, if, as Notter's noxious bill claimed, "such medical data exists,"  wouldn't one of the premiere medical clinics on the planet include that data if it did?

Ms. Notter is simply lying, and is attempting to create a law to force doctors and medical centers to spread the lie.  And worse, she would penalize medical professionals who refuse to support the lie.  Doing so would be classified as a Class B Misdemeanor, and the penalties include suspending and even revoking medical licenses.

When you have to lie to make your case, your case isn't worth making.  But when you not only force others to lie, and then punish them if they refuse to lie, you pervert our entire system of government.

The bottom line is that Representative Jeanine Notter is abusing her position as an elected official to pursue a personal agenda by forcing medical professionals to lie to their patients about possible outcomes of a medical procedure.  Not only should the state of New Hampshire not pass this law, they should censure her for her despicable and callous disregard for the rights of the people she is sworn to serve.

March 13, 2012

Florida Legislature Takes a Dump.

The Miami Herald reports that the Florida Legislature has decided to violate the spirit and the letter of the Constitution:
Florida lawmakers passed sweeping but little-noticed legislation this session prohibiting local governments from hiring companies that do business with Cuba.

The law appears to target one of the county’s largest contractors: Odebrecht USA, the Coral Gables-based subsidiary of the giant Brazilian conglomerate. The parent company’s Cuban affiliate is participating in a major expansion at the Port of Mariel.

Miami-Dade legislators, with near-unanimous support of the Florida House of Representatives and Senate, pushed the bill as a way to keep taxpayer dollars out of the hands of repressive regimes.
This also keeps taxpayer money out of the hands of repressive regimes.
And it's cheaper, because there's no lawsuit.

Of course, since it will cost millions to defend this stupid law from the inevitable lawsuit, it will also serve to keep taxpayer dollars out of the hands of our schools, law enforcement agencies, courts, and other crucial agencies.  It's simply a huge waste of time and resources.

You see, the law is unconstitutional.  Don't believe me?

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
  • To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
  • To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Some of the drooling idiots who perpetrated this Constitutional breach seem blithely unaware of it:

“It puts the decision on the companies that are affected,” said Rep. Michael Bileca, a Miami Republican and one of the bill’s sponsors. “Do they want to do business in Florida, or do they want to do business in these countries?”
Except, of course, that it won't. States do not have the right to regulate trade.  Only Congress has that power.

This isn't the first time a state tried to pull a bone-headed maneuver like this.
Statutes limiting local governments’ contracting decisions based on the vendor’s international work oversteps a state’s power, said Dan O’Flaherty, vice president of the Washington D.C.-based National Foreign Trade Council, which advocates trade with Cuba.

“It’s unconstitutional,” he said, citing a 2000 Trade Council case in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law restricting state businesses from dealing with companies with ties to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

“States are barred by the Supreme Court decision from enacting procurement sanctions targeting companies doing business in foreign country ‘X,’ ” added O’Flaherty, whose organization sent letters to Gov. Rick Scott and House and Senate leaders in opposition.
Yes, it's true: this legislature has wasted our time and tax dollars to enact legislation that has already been judged and thrown out by the Supreme Court.
In a unanimous decision, the court struck down a Massachusetts law that forbade the state government to purchase products from companies doing business with Myanmar, or Burma. It said the law usurped the foreign policy-making powers of the federal government.

"The state act is at odds with the president's intended authority to speak for the United States among the world's nations in developing a comprehensive, multilateral strategy to bring democracy to and improve human rights practices and the quality of life in Burma," Justice David H. Souter wrote for the court.
We can only hope that Governor Scott will veto this steaming turd of a law.  But it's a slim hope; the governor supported drug testing, which the Supreme Court has also ruled against.

March 8, 2012

Fox News: High Gas Prices Not President's Fault.

No less a source than Fox News says that the President of the United States is powerless to lower gasoline prices.

Cal Thomas:
"...the facts are... no President has the power to increase or to lower gas prices; those are market forces."

Cheryl Casone:
" really is tough for this president, I have to be honest with you- because he really does not have any control over what will happen, with the markets and with the economy; and with oil prices and supply and demand and gasoline, it really is out of this president's hands."

Bill O'Reilly:
"...gasoline has hit a record high, and politicians can't do a thing about it...  so the next time you hear a politician say he or she will bring down oil prices, understand it's complete BS.  If Americans want lower gas prices, cut back... that's what the candidates should be saying."

Greta Van Susteren:
" statistic I was given was that if we drilled in ANWAR, we would get 4% of our daily consumption of oil... it looks like we need to curb our appetite..."

Don't believe me?  Here's video to prove it:

Oh, did I forget to mention they said this four years ago?  Well, it doesn't matter; the facts haven't changed.  If it was true in 2008, it's true now.