Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Just Don't Get It

(Cartoon by Lee Judge, published 4/15/14 by the Kansas City Star and featured at McClatchy DC.  Click on image to enlarge.)

I'm serious:  I just don't get it.  I don't get how, during the holiest week in the Christian calendar and on the eve of one of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar, some dude decides to be the new Hitler.  Or something.

From the LA Times:

The elderly man was well known in this slightly faded farm town for his failed attempts at elective office, his libertarian leanings, his Southern charm.

But Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, who also went by the name of Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., was known even more for his white supremacist beliefs that led him to try to incite a race war, pepper local papers with anti-immigrant letters and get into a shouting match with a Jewish student at Missouri State University.

Police arrested Cross on Sunday on suspicion of shooting and killing a 14-year-old Boy Scout and his grandfather at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan., and a woman at a nearby Jewish assisted living center. ...

Sunday would have been Franklin's 64th birthday. And Monday was Passover, one of the best known Jewish holidays.

Little is known about Cross' alleged motives, but Beirich posited that the avowed racist and author of a memoir called "A White Man Speaks Out" "has got emphysema, and this is a twisted, white supremacist bucket list."   [Emphasis added]

As some of you know, I have emphysema (actually, COPD) and congestive heart failure and the hospice people who pay for some of my drugs and I both know that my time is greatly foreshortened.  For me, it's not a matter of years but (at best) a matter of months. 

I can't envision facing my maker with the blood of another on my hands.  Rather, I've been working hard to show love, not hatred, especially to those here in the Cuckoo's Nest who also are living out their last days even when I disagree with their politics and their view of humans of a different color, creed, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Life is too precious to waste on such garbage, so it's not on my bucket list.

May God have mercy on Mr. Cross.  I'm working hard right now to open my heart to wish that for him.  But I have to.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Funnies

Cartoon by Mike Luckovich and published 4/13/14 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Cartoon by Kevin Siers, published 4/11/14 in the Miami Herald and featured at McClatchy DC.

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker and published 4/10/14 at the Daily Kos.

(Click on each image to enlarge.)


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bonus Critter Blogging: Panda Cub

(Photo by Christopher Aldred and published by National Geographic.  Click on image to enlarge and click on link to learn more about these adorable critters.)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging

Mine.  All mine.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I Answered My Own Question

(Cartoon by Alfredo Marterina and found here.  Click on image to enlarge.)

Yesterday my post was on the three California state legislators indicted for corruption.  I asked why their salaries and plush benefits weren't enough.  In today's L.A. Times, I learned that even after a finding of guilt for bribery, a Los Angeles city official can continue to receive his pension:

A veteran Los Angeles building inspector sentenced last month to prison in an FBI corruption case will continue to receive a yearly pension of more than $72,000, according to a high-level retirement official.

Samuel In, 66, pleaded guilty last year, admitting as part of a plea agreement that he took more than $30,000 in bribes while working as a senior inspector. He was sentenced last month to 2 1/2 years in prison after a federal prosecutor argued against leniency, mentioning his "substantial" pension.

Two years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a measure requiring public employees convicted of a felony to give up retirement benefits earned during the period when their crimes were committed.
But the forfeiture requirement doesn't apply to Los Angeles because it is governed by the City Council under a voter-approved charter, and the City Council manages its own pension systems.   [Emphasis added]

It's not just Mr. In who will continue to partake of the city's largesse after shaking down Korean businessmen for favorable reports, miscreants in other city departments (which are subject to the City Council) will also be able to collect their pensions because the state law is superceded by the voter approved Charter.  It will take action by the City Council to change this state of affairs:

Rob Wilcox, spokesman for City Atty. Mike Feuer, said imposing a pension forfeiture requirement on workers at two city pension systems — one for public safety employees, the other for civilians not employed by the Department of Water and Power — would require, at minimum, a vote of the City Council.

If enacted, such a change would apply only to employees hired after the new law took effect, he said.   [Emphasis added]

So, what's to be done?  Well, the City Council is apparently already discussing the issue with the City Attorney's office:

In's pension payments troubled Councilman Mitchell Englander, who said he would support city legislation targeting the retirement pay of employees found guilty of public corruption crimes. "If you are convicted of a felony and were utilizing your position" at a government agency, "you should have to forfeit the entire thing," said Englander, who heads the council's Public Safety Committee.  [Emphasis added]

I would hope that those talks will be fruitful.


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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

What? Their Salaries Aren't Sufficient?

Yes, another cartoon from Ted Rall, this time from his blog post of April 3, 2014.  I've been watching the news on this subject, specifically the federal indictment of Leland Yee and two other state legislators for corruption.  Yee's is the 'sexier' story because he was party to a plan to smuggle arms into the U.S.

The genesis of today’s cartoon is a barroom argument I found myself having at least 20 years ago with a Chicagoan. “The Illinois state legislature,” he stated confidently, “is the most corrupt in the country.” I made cases for my home state of Ohio and my adopted home of New York. Overhearing us, a third man approached, loaded for bear, to make clear that anyone who challenged Harrisburg, home of Pennsylvania’s state house, as the stinkiest cesspool in all of American politics would have to deal with him and his voluminous knowledge of the Keystone State’s seemingly infinite list of dirty deeds.

There was never any doubt that this week’s piece would be about Leland Yee, the pro-gun control state senator accused of attempted arms smuggling. As they say, you can’t make these things up. To think that people still ask me where I get my ideas! ...

...Rather than single out Yee as a bad apple (whom, thanks to the FBI, we can feel happy has been extracted from the newly virtuous political gathering in Sacramento), I depict his corrupt colleagues bemoaning their own lack of ambition and scope compared to Yee’s staggeringly over-the-top perfidy. Given the string of recent scandals out of the state capital, from Roy Ashburn (the gay state senator who voted against gay rights, arrested for DUI) to Michael Duvall (the family values conservative caught bragging about his affairs over an open mic), Yee’s arrest does not likely signal a 99-44/100ths pure state assembly.   [Emphasis added]

What really upsets me is that all three of the most recent busts are three Democrats.  So much for the "but we're the better party" that seems to be the prevailing meme this election cycle.

I picked the wrong decade to quit drinking.

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Monday, April 07, 2014

This And That

(Cartoon by Jim Morin published 4/4/14 in the Miami Herald and featured at McClatchy DC.  Click on image to enlarge.)

I don't have much today.  The news has left me too drained emotionally to think clearly, much less type.  So, I'll give you a few links and let you take it from there.

First, Mike Hiltzig takes a look at the refusal of Hoag Hospital in Orange County, California to perform abortions now that it is affiliated with a Roman Catholic system of hospitals.

Next, there was that horrific shooting at Fort Hood last week, and the analyses of just how it could happen -- again -- continue.

But even amongst all the bad news (and there was plenty), I did find a story that just warmed my heart: it's about some women reaching out to those less fortunate than they.

That last article is enough to sustain me, but only after I get a little more rest.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be a bit more coherent.