autobots are special needs devices

I’m preparing for my flight to Chicago tomorrow morn.  I figured I’d check the TSA guidelines so that my precious (expensive) toiletries don’t get poached from me.

So, I go to the TSA regulations site.  It’s really cute, it’s called “TSA:  What to Know Before You Go”.  See?  Cute!  It rhymes.

This is when I discovered that my 4 oz “travel-sized” hair gel is not allowed, the container must be 3 oz or less. Criggity.

Then I just scroll down to see what other useful info they have. And I see the heading:

Makeup, Medication, Personal Items & Special Needs Devices

And listed under that is your usual (in alpha order):

  • Aerosol spray bottles and cans
  • All creams and lotions
  • Bug and mosquito sprays and repellents
  • Deodorants
  • Eyelash Curlers
  • Hair styling gels and spray
  • Liquid foundations
  • Liquid mascara
  • Shampoos and conditioners
  • Toothpaste

….. and then I see this, just under toothpaste….

  • Toy Transformer Robots

um…. what? I know that toy Transformer robots aren’t makeup or medication. So they must qualify as a special needs device? They’re above tweezers & walking canes. Seriously, you can click on that link above to go to the TSA regulations website & see it for yourself if you don’t believe me.  I’ll even put up a screenshot in case they change it:

pls everyone, help good triumph!

Hey everyone,

I feel sick to my stomach. I opened up my email today & saw that Troy Davis’s execution has been scheduled for Tues evening @ 7 pm!! Please go to Amnesty International’s site & click on the link to sign the letter to Georgia’s Board of Pardon & Parole.

I can’t believe we are about to execute (EXECUTE!) a man that may be innocent. There has been SO MUCH doubt in his trial. I’ve posted about him since June of 2007, & I thought for sure the court would be fair. But alas….

Let’s go over the facts:

  • There was no physical evidence against Troy Davis.
  • The weapon used was never found.
  • The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony.
  • All but two of the state’s non-police witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony.
  • Many of these witnesses have stated that they were pressured or coerced by the police.
  • One of the witnesses who has not recanted is Sylvester Coles, the principle alternative suspect.
  • Nine individuals have signed affadavits implicating Sylvester Coles.
  • Troy Davis has never had a hearing in federal court on the reliability of the witness testimony used against him.

Ok, so remember the ppl who recanted their stories? Well, Abolish the Death Penalty has what they specifically said about it:

Darrell Collins:[The police] were telling me that I was an accessory to murder and that I would … go to jail for a long time and I would be lucky if I ever got out, especially because a police officer got killed…I was only sixteen and was so scared of going to jail.

Antoine Williams:After the officers talked to me, they gave me a statement and told me to sign it. I signed it. I did not read it because I cannot read … I was totally unsure whether he was the person who shot the officer. I felt pressured to point at him … I have no idea what the person who shot the officer looks like.

Jeffrey Sapp:The police came and talked to me and put a lot of pressure on me…. They wanted me to tell them that Troy confessed to me about killing that officer. The thing is, Troy never told me anything about it. I got tired of them harassing me …. I told them that Troy did it, but it wasn’t true.

Daniel Kinsman:[T]here was and is no doubt in my mind that the person who shot the officer had the gun in and was shooting with his left hand.” Davis is right-handed.

Shirley Riley:People on the streets were talking about Sylvester Coles being involved with killing the police officer, so one day I asked him if he was involved …. Sylvester told me he did shoot the officer.

Joseph Washington:I am positive that it was Red [Coles] who shot the police officer… [He] was wearing a white shirt…I had no idea that the shirt…was important because no one ever asked me…I would have testified to this but I was not asked by the state or by Troy’s lawyers.

Please, everyone, click on the pic below to go to Amnesty International’s site & read about him. I’d love for all of you to sign the letter for him, but I’d be happy if you just read about him & share it w/ someone (ANYone) else.

The letters need to be faxed, & I know from experience that sometimes these ppl turn off their fax machines when all these faxes start comin in. In that case, you can click HERE to go to the contact information page for the GA State Board of Pardons & Parole. You can email the Pardon Administration Unit for Restoration of Rights or Pardons at Pardon_Administration@pap.state.ga.us and/or Clemency_Information@pap.state.ga.us.

You can also click to sign a petition.

stupid crackerjack crackhead

So, TIoP just posted that MSNBC finally canceled that stupid Cracker-Jack Crack-head’s show.

Thank GOD for small favors, huh? You remember Tucker Carlson, don’t cha? Here’s the post where I got super-mad at him:

And here’s my post just after that to self-promote:

heads of state

I’d written about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before. He had said then that he wouldn’t do Oli Stone’s doc b/c he wants nothing to do w/ the US b/c anything to do w/ the US relates to “the Great Satan”.

Sooooo…. um, isn’t Columbia University in the US? So, why’d he do that? You know what I really wanna know that I can’t seem find out? How much did they pay him to appear & speak?

You know what I mean? Seriously, even if you wanted Carrot Top to come to your school to speak, you’d have to pay him, & put him up in swanky digs & stuff. So, how much? And the students are ok w/ having contributed to his income?

Y’all remember the tasering that happened at John Kerry’s todo at the University of Florida last week? I mean, they freakin tasered him! He just didn’t agree w/ Kerry. I mean, his tuition & fees helped bring Kerry there, so he’s got a right to say what he wants. I think The Idea of Progress did a great post on it. Yes, he got carried away, & shoulda been removed b/c he was getting in the way of the others who also contributed & actually did want to hear what the Ker-ster had to say. But to TASER him; that’s just sickening. I’ve written about another tasering at a sunny school before too; & so y’all know I’m just pretty anti-tasering.

But the Columbia president paid Ahmadinejad to come to speak there, & then just bent him over & spanked him? If we’re going to taser anyone who is adamantly against whoever we pay to come speak at the school, shouldn’t that be consistent?

The kid paying tuition & fees gets tasered. The president who collects his income from the tuition & fees doesn’t. I’m not saying he shoulda got tasered. I’m saying the kid shouldn’t have.

I hate inconsistencies. Ahmadinejad saying he wants nothing to do w/ the US, then coming here to speak. Someone getting tasered for causing a scene at a lecture, & someone else being commended for it (even though he himself paid big money to the offender?). What’s up w/ all dat yo?!?!

Oh, yeah, & then Evo Morales spoke at Cooper Union on Monday, & said that capitalism is “the worst enemy of humanity”. He got thunderous applause from the 200 students that came to hear him speak. So, don’t tell me it has anything to do w/ denouncing our way of life. Maybe it’s just cause they’re such a hippie school.

Sidenote: don’t think I’m anti Evo, cause I’m not. I think it’s cool that a poor farmer w/ no “formal education” can become president. I put “formal education” in quotes not b/c I love quotes so much, but b/c I don’t think a person’s intelligence or common sense comes is relative to the level of his degree. There are so many ppl among us who may not have formal training, but may be smarter or more qualified than those with a doctoral degree. But that’s a post for another day. Or not (you know how lazy I can be about posting).

a call for more lazy protesting!

I think I may be supporting the wrong causes. I dragged myself out of bed this morn, & dragged myself in & outta the shower to get ready. As I got out & was getting ready, it hit me that I completely support the wrong causes in my life.

Look at John & Yoko… They supported causes that made them stay in bed ALL DAY LONG! Now, whatever type of cause wants you to rally like that, I can get behind. I could TOTALLY do that!

How come no one ever has rallies like that anymore?

I’ve mentioned here how I went to Kent State. Y’all know Kent State, right? You’ve heard of it in the song “(4 dead in) Ohio”. About when our government’s military force opened fire on their own kids. Yeah, & you wonder how I ended up so paranoid & cynical. I remember in college, we didn’t have classes on May 4th in remembrance of the Kent State shootings. There were tons of vigils, & musicians (nationally famous hippie musicians, & local hippie musicians) would come & play on Blanket Hill. We would hang out on the grass & listen to ppl sing or speak. There was this one guy on the May 4th Task Force that was also there in the shootings, & he would speak & re-tell his story every year.

But one year that clearly sticks out in my mind is the year we all spread out & laid on the entire expanse there. Hundreds of ppl came that year. Everyone met at Blanket Hill, & laid down on the hill (careful not to hurt the daffodils*), over the hill next to Taylor Hall, & partly in front of it.

Anyway, the point of this all was that I did attend a rally where ppl laid down on the grass on a temperate, beautiful sunny day surrounded by flowers, & just thought of the injustices that happen in the world. News crews were there to take pics, so the word could be spread. So, there’s proof positive that you can have a successful rally & be laying around.

I wish there were more things like that. Either that, or I need to go to bed earlier. But since I didn’t get to sleep until about 2 am last night, y’all get a big long rambling post b/c it takes me forever & a day to get to a point.

Assorted May 4th sites: official site of May 4th Task Force | may41970.com | may4.org (they have a great timeline of events) | FBI investigation | A million other links

*The pic is of Blanket Hill, the 2 granite structures are part of the May 4th memorial (they only built 7% of what was proposed), & the building in the back (that kinda reminds you of the Pantheon) is Taylor Hall. There are 58,175 daffodils planted on Blanket Hill; one for each of the US servicemen & servicewomen who died in the Vietnam conflict war. When I was in school there, I’d heard that you get fined $500 per daffodil that you picked b/c it’s technically defacing a memorial (or something like that). I never did find out if that was true, or just an urban legend; but I never did pick a single daffodil. I did pick the black-eyed susans that were in front of the Student Center all the time though.

jena conviction overturned

I know you guys all have the Jena situation alive in your heads. I’m sure you all were as pleased as I when we heard that the state appeals court overturned the felony conviction for Mychal Bell.

He was tried as an adult originally even though he was just 16 when the assault happened. I’m not sure what will happen next; that’ll be determined this week. Likely, he’ll be re-tried as a juvenile (which is what shoula happened in the 1st place). It’s not like re-trying him will cost more money in court/legal fees. Oh wait, yes it will.

It sucks that all this happened; & that it took so long for anything to happen. I think everyone who’s signed the petition (see previous post), & all the ppl who’ve traveled down there, or blogged about it, or even just brought it up & talked about it have helped bring about some change. It makes me re-affirm my faith in our ppl.

Here’s something I’m not too sure about… Maybe you’ve all heard that there’s going to be a rally in Jena, LA this coming Thursday. Expected numbers are anywhere from 5,000 to 35,000 ppl to attend.

One of those ppl is Al Sharpton. Y’all know Rev. Al, right? Here’s the thing, all the ppl on the side of the Jena 6 believe that Al’s coming to help them. But I believe that Al only does things that help HIMSELF. I don’t think he’s doing this (or has done anything else) out of the goodness of his own heart. I think he’s his own publicity machine. I think he only cares about what this situation can do for him.

There are thousands of others that are leaving their work behind & paying their own way to go to Jena. Rev. Al’s doing it as part of his work, & will def collect from it.

I guess it’s all whatever though. I mean, he will bring publicity to it all; he won’t be ignored, that’s for sure. So, I guess this situation can use all the ppl (self-serving or not) it can get.

hate crime nation

Hey everyone. I’m sure many of you have already heard about this whole Tucker / MSNBC incident. But I thought I’d post about it b/c it’s completely ABSURD. This is the mentality that bothers me. Ppl like Tucker is what’s wrong with the World (forget the US, I really mean the whole world; b/c ppl like him exist everywhere).

He clearly ADMITTED TO A HATE CRIME ON TELEVISION, there’s video of it everywhere. (Click here to take you to video).

But I thought for ppl who either can’t watch the video at work, or don’t want to read through the whole transcript, I’d highlight the parts that infuriate me. Cause that’s what I do’s. Oh, & of course I interject w/ my 2 cents in the brackets, in red.

………………………………………………………………..

From the August 28 edition of MSNBC Live at 9 p.m. ET:

ABRAMS: But Tucker, your position has long been on these kinds of stories that their personal lives are not our business. Does this case qualify for that, in your mind, as well?

CARLSON: Let me be clear, Dan. I am not gay. I have never been gay. [Ok, why is this sentence even added in here? What type of professional commentator would even think it necessary to say this?! They’re just a bunch of guys raggin on someone else.] I overreacted and made a poor decision.

SCARBOROUGH: And you love your — you love your wife, Tucker. [again- huh? I think it’s funny how Tucker doesn’t say something like “yes, I do love my wife. I can tell you Tucker’s def not getting any love at home for passing up this opportunity for a nice sweet, sentimental shout-out.] Let me just say for the record, I am not gay, either. [Is that an accomplishment of yours? Do you want a cookie or something? Still more of this bs-ing/making fun of someone. This is a cable news program, not the locker-room]

CARLSON: Let me — let me put it this way. Whether he’s gay or not actually is not our business [if someone’s sexuality is none of anyone’s business, why are you both so concerned about talking about it all? And wait til you see what’s coming.] , and I do think it’s indefensible that the newspaper in Idaho spent a year interviewing 300 people to answer the question, Is he gay? That’s none of your business. Having sex in a public men’s room is outrageous. It’s also really common. I’ve been bothered in men’s rooms. [b/c he’s been “bothered”, it makes it real common? Uh, no.] I think people who do –

SCARBOROUGH: Really? [pay attention to this, this is important. Note how his interest is peaked by this last statement.]

CARLSON: Yeah, I have. You know what, Let me just say.

SCARBOROUGH: Wait, hold on a second. Dan, hold on a second. I don’t mean to take over, but have you been bothered in public restrooms, Dan? Because I know I haven’t. [oh? ~raised eyebrows~ Jealous?]

CARLSON: I have. I’ve been bothered in Georgetown Park. When I was in high school.

ABRAMS: Really?

CARLSON: Yes.

SCARBOROUGH: Wow.

CARLSON: And let me just say, I think — [Carlson’s ready to move off this subject & return to what they were talking about in the 1st place]

SCARBOROUGH: That’s something. [read: That’s HOT!]

CARLSON: — people should knock that off. I’m not anti-gay in the slightest, but that’s really common, and the gay rights groups ought to disavow that kind of crap because, you know, that actually does bother people who didn’t ask for being bothered. So yeah, I think it’s outrageous that he did that. And also, this specter of him getting up there and blaming other people is so Clintonian. You know, if he just said, “I’m not going to talk about it,” that’d be one thing.

ABRAMS: And — and this notion —

[crosstalk]

CARLSON: But he’s clearly crazy.

ABRAMS: Well, and this notion that he pled guilty, and yet he’s saying, “Oh, you know what? I never should have done that.”

SCARBOROUGH: Well, it’s the newspaper’s fault.

CARLSON: Well it’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous.

ABRAMS: Well it’s the newspaper — it’s everyone’s fault except his own. I mean, I’ve never heard of — I mean, you’re a U.S. senator, and you’re thinking you’re going to make it go away —

SCARBOROUGH: But hold on a second, though, Dan —

ABRAMS: — by pleading guilty after you’re busted in a public bathroom?

SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second. You have Bill Clinton, who actually went out and did the same exact thing. He showed defiance. He said, “I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.” And he continued that line not only for months in the press, but then he went before a grand jury and said the same thing. And it — you know what? Here’s the thing. It worked for Bill Clinton. His wife went on TV and she blamed, remember, the vast right-wing conspiracy that’s been trying to take down her husband.

I don’t dredge this up to knock the Clintons. That is history, and it’s a — ugh — it is a nasty part of our history, and I’m glad it’s behind us. I just bring it up to say, you know what? Deny, deny, deny seems to work. [Oh? Like denying you’re gay on tv?]

[crosstalk]

CARLSON: But it’s also — but it’s evidence, in Larry Craig’s case — I mean, you know, you just watch the press conference, and you see a man who’s not in possession of himself. I mean, there’s something — you know, I’m not a shrink, but there’s clearly something wrong with Larry Craig. He appeared to believe it. This is a guy who’s been accused repeatedly over the years of soliciting sex from men in bathrooms. So the chances that he’s arrested for the same thing accidentally —

ABRAMS: Right, right, right.

CARLSON: What, he’s the unluckiest man and he’s Job?

SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Tucker? […wait for it…..]

CARLSON: You know what I mean? It’s insane!

SCARBOROUGH: Was he the guy in Georgetown, Tucker? [and we’re BACK!]

CARLSON: No, actually. I got that — my point is — let me just say —

ABRAMS: Tucker, what did you do, by the way? What did you do when he did that? We got to know. [read: Tell daddy alllll about it. And don’t leave out any juicy details!]

CARLSON: I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the — you know, and grabbed him, and — and —

ABRAMS: And did what?

CARLSON: Hit him against the stall with his head, actually! [most likely more than just that, but that’s really enough. I don’t want to hear any more of what this jackass has to say. HELLO? Can anyone say “hate crime”?]

[laughter] [you’re kidding me? To this, I would expect shock/disgust, ppl being appalled. But def not laughter/chuckling.]

CARLSON: And then the cops came and arrested him. But let me say that I’m the least anti-gay right-winger you’ll ever meet — [oh yeah, the least.]

[laughter] [Hello?!? Have you ppl heard any of what this ass just said?]

CARLSON: — but I do think doing this in men’s rooms appears to be common. It’s totally wrong, and they should knock it off. I mean that. I think it’s — I can’t bring my son to the men’s room at the park where he plays soccer because of all these creepy guys hanging around in there. I actually think it’s a problem. I’m sorry.

………………………………………………………………..

Afterwards, Media Matters received the following statement from Tucker Carlson by email from an MSNBC spokeswoman:

Let me be clear about an incident I referred to on MSNBC last night: In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men’s room in Washington, DC. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men’s room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived.

Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That’s absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn’t angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me.

………………………………………………………………..

Yeah, you can add my name to the list of bloggers who would call this a HATE CRIME. Listen, there was this one time I was at the public library in my hometown, & there was this creepy dude hanging around the kid’s play area. There was this little 5-yr old boy just by himself, playing with those busy beads thingies. So, I just watched them both, & then when I saw the man approach the boy, I went over there AND BASHED HIS HEAD IN!

Uh, no I didn’t. You know why? Cause that’s not what normal ppl do. I went over to the children’s librarian, & pointed him out & I kept an eye on them while she went to get the kid’s mother. The guy may have been a sicko or may have just been an old man who liked kids (you know, like Michael Jackson does).

Oh, & for the record, I’m not buying his lil statement. Of course he’s gonna come back & make it less than it was. And MSNBC has re-aired this segment 3 times now, removing the part where Carlson goes back in to beat up ppl.

Person of the Week: Any & all children affected by war

This is lil Fatima Jbouri, a 10-month old survivor of war. A death squad in Saydia (a war-ravaged suburb of Baghdad) raided her home, killed her mother & uncle, then left her for dead in the garbage out back. In 118 degree heat. Under a metal sheet. Her 7-yr old brother flagged down the Iraqi police, they gave her to US soldiers, & the pic you see is of her being held by US military at a combat support hospital in the green zone.

They say she most likely would never have survived in an Iraqi hospital. She has a Shi’ite name of Fatima and a Sunni name of Jbouri. Moqtada al-Sadr controls the health ministry/hospitals; he believes in the “ethnic cleansing of Sunnis”, & most likely she would have died before receiving any treatment.

Eventually, she’ll be re-united with her 5 brothers & sisters who are in an orphanage. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I mean, most orphanages (esp in some other countries) aren’t all that; if ya know what I mean. If she does go on into hiding with her Shi’ite relatives in the south, who knows what happens then. I mean, we’re still talking about her being in hiding in a hostile environment.

She was featured on World News Tonight with Charlie Gibson, Monday night. That’s when I 1st saw her. But I got to thinking about all the kids that we don’t hear of b/c they were found in the trash dead. Or just thrown around somewhere. All the kids that grow up in war-torn countries; if they’re lucky to survive. And some would prob rather not have survived all the atrocities they’d witnessed.

And I def don’t want to leave out the kids here in the States. The ones who’s mommies & daddies went off to serve us. Sure, they are told that their parents love them; even by the parents who are overseas themselves. But it’s just not the same, not having them there.

Search for stories on Fatima Jbouri.

Appeal granted for Davis

Hey, remember Troy Davis?

I posted about him 1st HERE, & then an update HERE.

Well, it looks like the Supreme Court has finally granted him an appeal. They will be hearing his case.

I know I haven’t posted much lately, but I don’t also want to post just for the sake of saying I’ve posted. I really do this to get out my thoughts, & right now I’ve got a bunch of stuff running through my head that I’m trying to make heads & tails of.

So, I’ll be back soon, my pretties.

there’s another hurricane brewin in Louisiana

Do you guys remember the story of Hurricane? Mr. Rubin Carter? I know a lot of you have prob seen the movie (w/ Denzel). I’ve never seen the movie. I know the story b/c I’m a big Dylan fan. One of my fave songs is “Hurricane”; if you’ve never heard it, please do yourself a favor & listen to it. It will give you chills; it still gives me chills & I listen to it all the time.

Here’s a synopsis: Rubin Carter was unjustly imprisoned for 2 consecutive life terms by an all-white jury. He was charged w/ a triple murder; one of the victims, on his death bed told the police that Carter was not the right man. But 2 robbers, who were also in a lot of heat testified against him. That year was 1967.

1967 folks. 1967.

Dylan wrote “Hurricane” to raise awareness for Rubin Carter (in ’75, after Carter had sent him a copy of his autobio, The Sixteenth Round which he wrote while locked up). On February 9th, 1976, Carter was sentence to 2 consecutive life terms (this was his 2nd trial; which they had fought for). Dylan never performed Hurricane live since that happened (last live performance of the song was January 25th 1976 in Houston). It wasn’t until November 1985 that he was released on parole, & 1988 that the original indictments were dismissed.

Why am I bringing this up?

Because it’s 2007, ppl, & we should NOT be dealing with stuff like this in 2007. Or, at all in my lifetime, & I’ve been around for a lil bit now.

But if you haven’t heard about Jena 6, please go to the Color of Change website & read about it. Print the letter to fax or email it. They also give you the option of writing out your own note. I did opt to do that b/c I figured (hopefully) they’re gonna get thousands of letters from everywhere. There is HUGE media coverage about what’s going on in Jena, LA globally (China, France, England). It’s unfortunate that the national coverage isn’t as much as it is overseas. What the world must think of the big, bad, ole US of A, huh?

To read more, you should also check out Aquababie’s and/or V’s sites. They’ve put up very thoughtful, in-depth posts; much more so than I have.

So, please go to the ColorOfChange.org website, & send a letter. You can also sign up to stand with the families if you will be in the area from July 31st to mid-August.

Again:
Sign the letter – Color of Change.org
Sign the online petition asking for the US Department of Justice to get involved

There is also a man named Michael David Murphy who went to Jena, LA & took pictures & has a photo journal; he’s got two sites w/ pics & links: www.michaeldavidmurphy.com/jena/ & While Seated.

I’ve also posted the lyrics to Hurricane below in it’s own special post.