penal farming

I think we all know I’m a genius. I’ve proven it over & over again, w/ my innovative solutions to the worlds problems. Fer example, my ideas to…
stop hurricanes on the Gulf Coast
keep these yung bulls from wearing their pants down past their underpants
get more ppl into protesting

Well, I’ve come up w/ another winner!

Penal Farming. Here’s how & why it works.

How: Those incarcerated in our justice system, go to work on farms in their area. They could get bussed over there, then bussed back at the end of the day.

Why: You know how you get cranky when you’re hungry? & how you are elated when you eat a really good meal?!?! Well, a lot of prisoners prob spent their lives eating crappy fast food. Then, in jail, they eat crappy prison food. If they work on the farms, & get to eat fresh, local, non-hormonal food; it may even their tempers. Also, food fuels your body & brain. They’ll be calmer, happier, well-balanced. More prone to rehabilitation. They’ll be doing something, & seeing the fruits (& veggies… haha!) of their labor.

Also, farmers in America are struggling. This would help alleviate their costs.

World Water Day

Today is World Water Day.

I know many of us have talked about bottled water, & I know I’ve said to some of you (on occasion) to please STOP buying bottled water.

Esp. since clean water has come more to light, w/ the recent earthquakes in Haiti & Chile. Clean water is a commodity, it’s not something that’s even available here in the US. While we don’t really see it, 10% of the US don’t have access to clean water like we do.

Most of us, however, do have clean water readily available to us.

But even if you don’t, please stop buying cases of bottled water. It irks me to no end when I see ppl at the groc store going out w/ cases & cases of it in their carts.

Forget the waste it creates. Obvs, that’s not an issue to these ppl.

Think about that it’s just NOT good for you to drink it.

First of all, it’s not really regulated like it should be. The FDA only has 1 person on staff to make sure that bottled water is safe. Why? Well, from the FDA’s website:

“FDA monitors and inspects bottled water products and processing plants under its general food safety program, not a specific bottled water program. Because FDA’s experience over the years has shown that bottled water has a good safety record, bottled water plants generally are assigned low priority for inspection.”

But mostly, b/c we know that these plastics are made w/ a chemical called Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE). There was a study done at Goethe University in Frankfurt. They found that water was more often contaminated when PET plastic bottles than in glass bottles. They believed that oestrogens leached from the plastic into the water.

I found this on the Environmental Working Group’s website:

“Toxic disinfection byproducts (DBPs) such as chloroform, bromodichloromethane, and haloacetic acids, are formed when disinfectants (chlorine, ozone, chlorine dioxide or chloramine) react with organic matter, urban and agricultural contaminants, bromine, and iodide during the treatment of drinking water (EPA 2008a). While only eleven DBPs are currently regulated in the U.S., up to 600 different chemicals may form as byproducts of disinfection (Richardson 1998, 1999a,b, 2003), including 74 DBPs that are not regulated but that may be associated with either DNA damage or carcinogenicity (Richardson 2007).”

They also listed as contaminants in bottled water:
chloroform – FDA regulates that you must have less than 80 ppb of trihalomethanes (THMs), i.e. chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane, and chlorodibromomethane. The 80 ppb limit was actually reached as a compromise between public health & treatment costs. “Chloroform is listed as a carcinogen in the California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (also known as Proposition 65), with safety standards for oral ingestion at 10 ppb (OEHHA 2008).

Haloacetic acids – “Haloacetic acids are genotoxic and carcinogenic; they can also produce significant metabolic disturbances (Robertson 2007).”

Nitrate – “According to EPA, infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the drinking water standard could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die (EPA 2001b).”

Ammonia – “Ammonia triggers asthma attacks in some people and at high levels of exposure it is linked to a broader range of health problems (Makarovsky 2008). According to a 2004 government review: “We do not know if exposure to ammonia causes birth defects, or if it can pass to the fetus across the placenta or to infants via breast milk” (ATSDR 2004).”

– Drugs – Acetaminophen & Caffeine

You can read through the article for details on the pollutants above, plus more found. (Arsenic, Radioactivity, Boron are among the ones that stood out to me).

Then, you have the water cooler jugs at offices. The plastic water jugs for the water cooler is made from Bisphenol A (you’ve all heard of BPA, originally developed as a synthetic estrogen). You can easily search the gov’t.’s archive of public medical journal articles & find all sorts of issues w/ BPA.

From one article:

“We are confident that adult exposure to BPA affects the male reproductive tract, and that long-lasting, organizational effects in response to developmental exposure to BPA occur in the brain, the male reproductive system, and metabolic processes. We consider it likely, but requiring further confirmation, that adult exposure to BPA affects the brain, the female reproductive system, and the immune system, and that developmental effects occur in the female reproductive system.”

Just read through a handful of the articles. Links to breast or prostate cancer, reproductive failures. There’s heart disease, diabetes, obesity, & asthma. If that’s not enough, you also have the cognitive and behavioral problems linked to exposure to BPAs.

There was a study a couple years back that said that 93% of Americans had BPA in their urine, & stayed in the body much longer than originally thought.

Anyway, please stop using the water bottles. Or, at least only when necessary, & recycle it after ONE use; don’t attempt to re-use it.

If you want to read more, Steph had once written a post about bottled water, you can read it here. Or, you can read more about the 7 different types of plastics that she had posted about here.

I didn’t realize it was still 1960

So, I already mentioned I’m pretty upset about stupid Prop 8 in Cali going through. I’d love to see someone put up a proposition to ban hetero marriage. No… that’d be preposterous, right?

Seriously, who’s to say that one union is legit simply b/c of the party’s pieces/parts?

“But what about the children?”

Really? So, it’s totally cool if Alex gets a sex change oppo, becomes Alexis, & marries a dude? Trust ppl, you’ll have a much harder time explaining that to your 5-yr old. & the kids don’t care. Every kid I’ve ever met totally understands, if 2 ppl love each other, they get married. They’re so idealistic, they don’t even know about the probs/conflicts a couple face.

It more acceptable to marry you cousin than for a same-sex marriage to take place. Uh…. that’s right ppl, I said marry your cousin. Seriously, though, it’s legal to marry your cousin in 26 states. There’s even a loophole in Vermont’s state government that allows DOGS to marry!

You know how we look back 100 or 200 years & say that it seems unreal that certain civil liberties didn’t exist then (like voting for some ppl)? I can’t help but be embarrassed for what our descendants are going to think of us deny civil liberties in 2008!

On June 2nd, 1958, Richard Loving & Mildred Jeter were married. 5 weeks later, they were arrested & then sentenced to a year in jail. Wanna know why? B/c interracial marriages were prohibited. Of course they appealed it. This idocity went on for 9 years before the US Supreme Court unanimously overturned it.

“… The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival … Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

– Chief Justice Earl Warren, June 12, 1967

gay-interrcl-marriage

How is Prop 8 in Cali (or 102 in Arizona, or 2 in Florida) even really an issue that we are debating today? Hello, 2008, it’s 1960 on the phone for you.

In Arkansas, an LGBT person can’t even adopt a child. I’ve counted 17 states (you can double-check it, I got a headache counting) that don’t even recognize same-sex civil unions!!!

I’m not going to go on any further. B/c I’ll just blow a gasket. (Does anyone say that anymore? No? Just me? Whatev.)

So, I’ll leave y’all w/ a comment I once left to someone else’s comment saying that why can’t “they” just be happy w/ “civil unions”. You know why?

Cause there was never a top-ten hit that went,

♪♫♪♪ Goin to the Chapel, & we’re gonna get Civil-Unioned ♫♪♪”….

It’s still not the same thing. It would be the equivalent of telling “certain ppl” that they can ride on the same bus to the same destination, but they have to sit at the back of the bus.

You might argue: Why would they care? They still get to the same place.

B/c it’s saying that they’re different/lesser, & don’t deserve the idealism that “regular ppl” do.

The reason “regular” is in quotes is b/c I don’t believe that being straight is a “regular” trait. Maybe it’s a dominant trait (like having brown eyes, versus the recessive having blue eyes.). But that 2nd link shows that homosexuality has been around for eons, & they’ve even proven it exists naturally in animals.

Want to do something about it? Try:

wazzup vs. wassup

You know I wasn’t born in this country.  I was born in Gujarat, India.  We moved here when I was 4 years old, so Cleveland’s really where I grew up & learned everything (school & street).

My b-day’s in May, & 1 month after my 18th birthday, my sister & I got naturalized. The only reason we got naturalized was so that we could vote. Seriously, we had no other benefit from it at the time. We just thought that we should have a say in the country that had become our home. And I’ve voted in every election since then & every primary except for one. The very 1st time I voted, I took my (then) 5 yr old brother in w/ me so he could see what the excitement was all about. And I was full of excitement that very 1st time.

I guess this year, I’ve just been so shocked/surprised by how many ppl over 30 have never registered or voted. I’ve heard ppl say that this is the 1st election they will vote in, & they are 40 years old. I was just appalled the 1st few times I heard that.

I really don’t care* who you or anybody votes for, I just think everybody should cast a ballot.

Anyway, enough of my self-righteousness…..

You remember those wazzzzzup commercials? Well, this is for you, then.

*That’s not really true, I do care. I’m not that open-minded. I believe what I believe & would love to make ppl vote the same way I do. But that’s not kosher, & you’re not really supposed to say that outside of your own head.

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:

thx all the ppls who’ve cared

The US Supreme Court granted a stay in the case of Troy Davis while they consider his appeal.

All that’s fair is that they hold a trial & listen to what the 7 of the 9 witnesses who recanted their statements said.

One of the ones that didn’t is the other suspect (Sylvester Coles).

And there’s been new evidence in the case, including 3 new witnesses who say that Coles confessed to them (or in 1 case, was bragging) about killing the officer.

Anyway, all I’m hoping for now is a fair trial so that I can believe in my Justice System.

_______________________________

From the WTOC , Savannah, GA news:

Stay of execution granted for Troy Davis
Posted: Sep 23, 2008 05:22 PM
Updated: Sep 23, 2008 06:59 PM

JACKSON, GA (WTOC) – The US Supreme Court has granted a week-long stay of execution for Troy Anthony Davis just under two hours before he was scheduled to be put to death.

Davis is in the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia where family and supporters gathered to protest the scheduled execution.

Davis’ sister Martina Correia knows it’s a long road, but says they’re not giving up.

“We still have to get the Supreme Court to hear the case and hear the arguments but I know if they will take this case that one day my brother will be vindicated and walk free,” she said. “I just want to pray for the victim’s family. I know that they’re hurting and everything but Troy is not guilty of this crime. We dishonor Officer MacPhail by killing Troy and I think that the Supreme Court showed us today there’s something going on when we’re rushing to execute somebody before they even have an opportunity to review the case.”

Activist reverend Al Sharpton led Davis’ supporters in prayer after they found out about the stay.

Members of MacPhail’s family also issued a statement after the stay was issued.

The US Supreme Court will review Davis’ request for an appeal on September 29.

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.

lower gas prices feel like blood money in my pocket

Do any of you feel the same way?

Few weeks ago, over $4.00.
Last week, $3.77.
Yesterday, $3.55.
My mom said it’s supposed to go down to $3.41 soon.

I feel like this is the gov’t.’s way of giving me blood money. My heart sinks everytime I see the prices go down. The lower we fall, I know the more we’re going to pay for it later. It’s gonna hit us in the gut & I’m afraid some of us won’t be able to rise back up.

I knew this would happen. I wanted to blog about this on July 14th. The day Bush overturned that ban on offshore drilling, I felt punched in the stomach. I just felt so sick to my stomach. Like seriously nauseous. I just hoped that we’ve elected a Congress smart enough to not make his executive order come to fruition.

The very next day, the price of oil per barrel dropped. It’s been dropping since. I know it’s only dropping cause ppl think that we’re gonna be drowning in all the crude oil our lil hearts can take real soon. But that ain’t happenin, Charlie.

What’s gonna happen when ppl realize that this isn’t the solution? It’s just gonna skyrocket way past what we thought was high before. The truth is, this country’s been spoiled as far as gas prices go for decades now. If ppl think they can’t afford gas now, they’re gonna be in for a rude awakening when it hits over $8.00 a gallon. That’s what I think will happen when ppl realize that offshore drilling’s not the end-all to this prob.

Please don’t let this congress let us down.

Here’s the long & short of it (mostly long, cause c’mon, you know I ramble):

– if (if) there’s oil to be found, it will be decades (decades) before we actually got that oil & the price drop from it would be minimal. It would come out to a 2¢ drop, 20 years from now.

– 80% of US produced oil (from US reserves) is from 4 states: LA, TX, AK, & CA. If we wanted to find more, our best best would be the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

– Um… do you know what “National Wildlife Refuge” even means? It means, you told those animals that you weren’t going to destroy their home for your own evil means.

– If they spent a decade looking/finding/drilling for oil, there’s only realistically a year’s worth up there. You’re gonna destroy the sanctuary for that? Really? Really?

– It is very (very) likely that any oil drilled from ANWR will never be sold in the US. It will be sold off to the highest International bidder (most likely China). (C’mon, ppl, didja forget we’re a capitalist society?)

– Currently, we have 500 oil spills in Alaska every year. Yeah, they don’t exactly advertise that. You don’t think that’s gonna decrease when they have more new drilling monstrosities?

– Seismic testing to locate oil creates decibel levels of 260 – twice as loud as an ambulance – underwater. Exposure to these levels of noise underwater can cause disorientation, brain hemorrhaging, or even beaching for whales and dolphins. Only last week over 100 melon-head whales beached off of Madagascar close to where ExxonMobil was conducting seismic testing. (6/19/2008, from Greenpeace website)

Here’s a video of a guy who spent 3 months hiking across Alaska, & spent a LOT of time in the ANWR (it’s 3½ mins ppl):

What we need is an alternate solution. My main concern is that we will lose track of what’s imp: trying to develop alternative renewable energies.

Like this Pickens Plan that this guy T. Boone has.

Here be the plan:
(click pic to go to site)

they’re KIDS

So you know how R. Kelly got off?

Yeah, that didn’t link to what you thought it was gonna link to, eh? You sick, sick ppls! 😉

Anyway, I have a couple thoughts on that.

1- they say one of the main factors is that the girl in the video didn’t testify. I’m wondering if anyone’s checked for any weird (& extreme) activity in her bank account since this case has arisen. I’m just sayin.

and deux- I think anyone who has that video on their computer should face some sort of child porn charges. Yes, that prob means a few of the ppl who come to this post googling this whole situation.

No, I haven’t seen the video. No, I have no plans to ever see the video. (And yes, I did just write that in a huffy-pretentious voice.)

UPDATE: Ok, I was gonna post a comment, but it turned really long, so I’m just adding it here as a radio edit.

It’s absolutely crazy. Kids are having sex at the age of like 12 in suburbs & even younger in inner cities. I’ve heard this from kids! It’s insane & outta control.

I’m so scared for our youth.

The other thing is, I think she was totally willing (as were other teenage girls). And they don’t regret it when they’re older. It’s a “cool thing”. And if they did regret it (doubtful), they would never testify against someone so famous that so many ppl love. Some crazy fans would try to stalk/hurt them if Kells ever went to jail.

I was listening to a radio show while in Chi-town one weekend, & there were a couple girls who called in bragging about having slept w/ him a decade ago when they were teens. Who knows if they were legit, or if they were making it up? But regardless, it was seen as a cool experience.

noooooo…….

I’m a good person. I don’t turn right on red (like some miscreants). I don’t speed (anymore- mainly b/c of gas consumption*). I haven’t killed or maimed anyone.

I wanna be economically stimulated. I neeeed to be economically stimulated.

And I swear in return, I’ll stimulate the economy. Seriously. I’m good for it. I mean, I’ve already been stimulating the economy w/out being economically stimulated, so think how much more I can once I am!

*you end up reducing gas consumption by like 33% if you drive at a decent, steady pace. That averages most ppl a savings of like $500 a year! For realsies!