Saturday, July 12, 2008

Woman Shoots Herself While Trying to Kill Mice

July 08, 2008

A Mendocino County woman who was trying to kill mice in her trailer with a gun ended up shooting herself and another person.

The 43-year-old woman pulled out her .44-caliber Magnum revolver after she saw the mice scurrying across the floor of her trailer on Highway 20 in Potter Valley, sheriff's officials said.

But she accidentally dropped the gun, which went off as it struck the floor. The bullet went through the woman's kneecap, bounced off the keys sitting on the belt loop of a 42-year-old man in the trailer and grazed the man's groin before ending up in his coin pocket. Authorities did not release the shooting victims' names.

The mice escaped the shooting unharmed.


The above is not a joke. It is a true story. I've known some people that that could happen to.

If you try to kill mice in your trailer by shooting them with a 44 Magnum, you might be a red neck.

Here are some other signs you might be a redneck.

1. You let your 14-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.

2. The Blue Book value of your truck goes up and down depending on how much gas is in it.

3. You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws.

4. You think a woman who is "out of your league" bowls on a different night.

5. You wonder how service stations keep their rest-rooms so clean.

6. Someone in your family died right after saying, "Hey, guys, watch this."

7. You think Dom Paragon is a Mafia leader.

8. Your wife's hairdo was once ruined by a ceiling fan.

9. Your junior prom offered day care.

10. You think the last words of the "Star-Spangled Banner" are"Gentlemen, start your engines."

11. You lit a match in the bathroom and your house exploded right off its wheels.

12. The Halloween pumpkin on your porch has more teeth than your spouse.

13. You have to go outside to get something from the fridge.

14. One of your kids was born on a pool table.

15. You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.

16. You can't get married to your sweetheart because there's a law against it.

17. You think loading the dishwasher means getting your wife drunk.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Friday, July 11, 2008

What would Jesus fly?

I guess that ever since there has been religion there have been religious charlatans. It never seems to change. A Jim and Tammy Faye Baker fall in disgrace and there are several Benny Hinns to take their place.

World Magazine reports that all six of the televangelists under investigation for potential abuse of their tax-exempt status by the Senate Finance Committee own corporate jets. In addition, there are about 25 other churches ministries that own luxury jets. I don’t know that owning a luxury corporate jet makes you a crook, but it does seem that in most cases a corporate jet is an indulgent luxury. If you are a for-profit corporation answerable only to your stockholders, or a rock star: Go for it. Churches should be held to a different standard.

Jet airplanes do not come cheap. According to this report an entry level used jet cost about $2 million dollars and a top of the line jet goes for about $50 million. Neither are they cheap to operate, costing anywhere from $2000 to $10,000 an hour. One of the ministries, Crenshaw Christian, flew 700 trips between Los Angeles and New York City in a five-year period yet these two cities are connected by more than 20 commercial flights a day. Kenneth Copeland’s ministry owns three jets, including a Cessna 750 the fastest civilian airplane available in the world.

I can understand the caution that Congress has traditionally taken in investigating religious institutions. Separation of Church and State and freedom of religion are important liberties in America. I don’t want the government telling Churches how they can spend their money or what beliefs are acceptable. There is always the danger that government may be selective in investigating those ministries that take unpopular positions. Just because there is the danger that government may overstep its bounds and abuse its power however does not mean that government must take a hands-off approach.

Just because an organization calls itself a church does not mean they should be allowed to avoid taxes unless they are legitimately functioning as a church. There must be rules to determine what is a legitimate religious organization. If ministries are to have tax-exempt status, they need to be held to the same standards as other tax exempt organizations. Investigating religious institutions is a delicate undertaking but one that needs to occur.

Working most of my life with poor people, I know some of the people who are sending these televangelists their money. It is little old ladies living on $850 a month social security and skimping on their medicine so they can support these ministries. The televangelist flying around in their corporate jets and living in mansions owned by their ministry have no shame. If there is a judgment day, I hope the charlatans using religion to prey on the weak, ignorant and gullible are judged harshly.

To read the World magazine article, click the title.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Barack Obama: Jesse Jackson apologises for comments

Jessie Jackson: "See, Barack been talking down to black people on this faith based ... I want cut his nuts off ... Barack ... he's talking down to black people."

It seems that Jessie Jackson is unhappy with Barack Obama because in a Fathers Day speech, Barack called upon Black men to step up to the plate and take responsibility for the children they bring into the world. It seems that Jackson would much prefer for Obama to talk about "collective moral responsibility of government and the public policy." The way Jackson sees it, if you talk about personal responsibility that is "talking down to Black people."

If Black people accept that it is their own self-destructive behaviour that is a major contributing factor to the social problems, crime rate, and poverty in the Black community then they may not follow a demigod like Jackson who wants to blame all the problems of the Black community on racism and the White man.

To see the video of Jackson making the statement quoted above and read the story, click on the post title above.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Biofuels May Be Even Worse than First Thought

More and more corn is ending up in fuel tanks rather than on plates.With soaring food prices high on the agenda for next week's G-8 Summit in Japan, World Bank President Robert Zoellick has been clear that action needs to be taken. "What we are witnessing is not a natural disaster -- a silent tsunami or a perfect storm," he wrote in a Tuesday letter to major Western leaders. "It is a man-made catastrophe, and as such must be fixed by people."

According to a confidential World Bank report leaked to the Guardian on Thursday, Zoellick's organization may have a pretty good idea what that fix might look like: stop producing biofuels.

The report claims that biofuels have driven up global food prices by 75 percent, according to the Guardian report, accounting for more than half of the 140 percent jump in price since 2002 of the food examined by the study. The paper claims that the report, completed in April, was not made public in order to avoid embarrassing US President George W. Bush. (link)


While World Bank officials tried to downplay the report and said it is just one of several reports on the impact of biofuels and was not intended for publication, they agree that biofuel is a factor in pushing up world fuel prices.

Oxfam, the environmental group, has said that biofuels have contributed to a 30 percent increase in food prices. While it is undeniable that biofuels have increased world food prices, it is doubtful that it has reduced greenhouse emissions. Growing food for fuel has led to the cutting down of rain forest which act as carbon sinks. Also some fertilizers used in food production release nitrous oxide which is another greenhouse gas. In addition, the net energy gain from biofuels is minimal. It takes almost a BTU of energy to create a BTU of ethanol energy.

It is time to admit that ethanol was a mistake. Congress should immediately end the subsidising of biofuels and repeal the mandate requiring ethanol blended gasoline.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Monday, July 07, 2008

Tennessee felons want voting rights back

Presidential race generates more interest

By JANELL ROSS Staff Writer

Tennessee is on track this year to double the number of felons who saw their voting rights restored, a sign some experts and ex-offenders say demonstrates an eagerness to vote in November's historic presidential election.

And, if a pending voting rights lawsuit succeeds, the number of people banned from voting after serving their sentences could shrink even further. The suit challenges the constitutionality of Tennessee's felon voting rights law, which bars ex-offenders from voting if they owe child support or court-ordered restitution. (link)


By Darrell Massie

I read The Tennessean article, “Tenn. felons want voting rights back,” July 2. The article stated that ex-felons, who have served their time but still refuse to pay child support or other forms of court-ordered restitution, are particularly interested in getting their “voting rights” back this year.

The inference was clear that the majority of these ex-felons, if not all, want to use their vote to influence the election for Barack Obama.

The ACLU, of course, is leading the charge to get them their just dues. I am breathless with anticipation. I can’t wait to see all those bumper stickers start showing up on the highways: “Felons and deadbeat dads for Obama.”

Darrell Massie is a from Whitehouse , Tennessee. This commentary was a published letter-to-the-editor and is reprinted with the author’s permission

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Deja Vu All Over Again -- Eminent Domain And The Music Circle Case

by Gene Hawkins

Over on Music Circle, there’s some disharmony. A big developer from Houston, Lionstone, wants to build something. It promises to be a great asset for the city. But there’s a little problem. Lionstone doesn’t own all the land they need. Ms Joy Ford of Country International Records owns a crucial parcel, and she doesn’t want to sell it.

In response, Lionstone has requested that the city of Nashville use their power of eminent domain. They want Metro to seize Ms Ford’s property (with compensation, of course) and turn it over to them. In order words, take property from one private owner, and cede it to another private owner, because they can build something bigger and grander on it.

To Nashvillians of a certain vintage, this has a familiar ring. As the ever eloquent Yogi Berra once said, it’s “deja vu all over again.” A quarter century ago, another big developer from Houston asked Nashville to do exactly the same thing.

The Houston firm in that case was named Murphee. Back in the early eighties, they wanted to erect a new skyscraper on Church Street. It was to house the headquarters of Third National Bank, and promised to be the tallest building in Nashville.

But Murphee had the same problem then that Lionstone is facing now. There was one parcel of land they hadn’t been able to acquire. That parcel was occupied by a men’s clothing store, Petway Reavis. Its owner refused to sell it. And it stood squarely front and center of the proposed Third National tower.

When they were unable to purchase the property, Murphee asked the city of Nashville to use their power of eminent domain, seize it, and turn it over to them. Sound familiar? Deja vu all over again.

The Murphee/Third National case wound up in the Metro Council. After much debate and discussion, the Council determined that this was not an appropriate use of eminent domain. To its credit, the Council said no.

Having been turned down by the city, Murphee redesigned their building to wrap around the holdout parcel. By this time the property owner relented and decided to sell after all. But the revised design was judged better than the original, and the developer stuck with it.

And that is why the big building at Church and Fifth (now the Fifth Third Center) is built in a U-shape.

Now fast forward a quarter century. Another Houston developer is asking the city of Nashville to do exactly the same thing. There’s an additional wrinkle this time. A few years ago a developer wanted the city of New London Connecticut to seize property for a private development there. There were lawsuits, and the case made it to the US Supreme Court. In its 2005 Kelo ruling, the Court gave its Supreme blessing to this use (or misuse) of eminent domain.

To some people, this seemed Robin Hood in Reverse -- take from the poor, and give to the rich. Some people might also say this is just orthodox Republican theology. But rightly or wrongly, there is now a legal precedent for Lionstone’s request.

So in 2008, Metro has a tough decision to make. Is seizure of private property an appropriate use of eminent domain, when the property is ceded to another private entity for a larger development? A quarter century ago, the Council showed courage when they said no to this question. It will be interesting to see what happens in the current case. Will Metro’s decision, like the case itself, be deja vu all over again?

Guest blogger Gene Hawkins is a longtime resident of Nashville's Woodbine community. He's retired from the Air Guard base at Berry Field, and more recently has worked at the Bike Pedlar bicycle shop in Hermitage.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories