Monday, October 16, 2017

Richard Wilbur ... by gimleteye

Richard Wilbur was a towering, extraordinarily quiet and humble giant of 20th century poetry and literature. We met Dick during our Key West years in the late 1980s. He and Charlotte lived in a walled compound off Solares Hill they shared with life-long friends, Barbara and John Hersey. My introduction was through John and the late Frank Taylor, a wonderful friend, writer and publisher who met John on assignment in the hills of Yunan in the late 1930's, tracking Mao Tse Tung for their respective newspapers. I was recruited, a “B” team player, in the famed, weekly Key West anagram game. As I recall, the golden age included the poet James Merrill, John Hersey (Trump would do well to read Hersey's "Hiroshima"), John Malcolm Brinnin — the poet, literary critic and scholar who discovered Dylan Thomas —, and Rust Hills, the long-time fiction editor of Esquire. Dick Wilbur was formal and quiet to outside appearances, but when the “A” team played — a player advances by stealing the word of another, through re-arranging and changing the root through the addition of one new letter (played without a board with tiles from a modified Scrabble set), Dick was fierce. The "A" team played words from the Oxford English Dictionary. The discussion around "challenges" was like watching sublime disagreements between knights of the Round Table. Those afternoons, time seemed to stop as collective imaginations burned like phosphorous around the wooden tiles. Key West friendships were durable and Dick Wilbur outlasted them all, but he too is gone now at age 96.

Republicans Just Love Donald Trump. By Geniusofdespair

I often think: Would Mom have liked Donald Trump? And the answer is yes. My mother never finished high school. She was a sweet woman but racist. She didn't even like Italians that came from areas further South than where her relatives came from. Although an immigrant's child she wasn't much on anyone except if they were of Italian descent. I could just imagine her watching Fox News. She wouldn't have liked Obama, but she would have liked Trump. Did I mention she read the National Enquirer. My father, on the other hand, was very intelligent but a cruel and vindictive person, much like Donald Trump. He was a Democrat who gave me money to go march on Washington to protest the Vietnam war. He wouldn't have liked Donald Trump one bit even though his erratic behavior was just like Trump's.

Gallup Polling:

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Christians: Hate to Burst Your Bubble About Your Belief of How Jesus Looked. By Geniusofdespair

This is NOT how Jesus looked.

Jesus did not have blonde hair and blue eyes or long hair, he probably looked more like the guy at top. Jesus wasn't from Scandinavia.  Hot climates - darker people.

According to the Bible History Daily this is the earliest depiction of Jesus below:

According to Joan Taylor a professor of Christian Origins and Second Temple Judaism at King's College London and the author of The Essenes, the Scrolls and the Dead Sea:
And what about Jesus's facial features? They were Jewish. That Jesus was a Jew (or Judaean) is certain in that it is found repeated in diverse literature, including in the letters of Paul. And, as the Letter to the Hebrews states: "It is clear that our Lord was descended from Judah." So how do we imagine a Jew at this time, a man "about 30 years of age when he began," according to Luke chapter 3?

In 2001 forensic anthropologist Richard Neave created a model of a Galilean man for a BBC documentary, Son of God, working on the basis of an actual skull found in the region. (Picture at top) He did not claim it was Jesus's face. It was simply meant to prompt people to consider Jesus as being a man of his time and place, since we are never told he looked distinctive.
It is suggested that Jesus looked more like this depiction of Moses on a 3rd century synagogue.

Joan Taylor suggests that as far as what Jesus looked like "this image (of Moses) is far more correct as a basis for imagining the historical Jesus than the adaptations of the Byzantine Jesus that have become standard: he's short-haired and with a slight beard, and he's wearing a short tunic, with short sleeves, and a himation (cloak)."

So what is it going to take to stop hating people different looking from you?

Maybe we Christians shouldn't be so afraid of Middle Eastern looking people as we worship one.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, if you haven't heard his song on Puerto Rico, here it is. By Geniusofdespair

Rueben Blades, Mark Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Rita Moreno, Jennifer Lopez....etc.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Horrible Truth Emerging On The Stolen 2016 Election ... by gimleteye

The head of the DOJ investigation on Trump, Robert Mueller, must be facing a dilemma: the best case against Trump -- obstruction of justice in the firing of James Comey, former FBI director -- is not the most important case against Trump: collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election.

What is now clear is that in its disinformation war against American democratic elections in 2016, Russia was light-years ahead of us, its enemy. Whether there is hard evidence the Trump campaign, through its social media efforts coordinated by Brad Parscale, actively coordinated with Russia on political messaging -- including suppressing the vote -- on Facebook, Twitter, and Google, there is enough in the public domain to initiate House impeachment hearings against Trump now. That's not going to happen because the same House leaders who strongly objected to Obama's warnings and pleadings for Congress to act against Russian interference in 2016 are still House leaders. In Moscow, ever since the 2016 November election, they have been toasting: "Make America Great Again."

That leaves patriots in a fix. As bad as Trump is as president -- and he is the chaos president Jeb Bush warned he would be -- the lasting impact to democracy is the crushing use of Facebook Twitter Google for patently political goals outside the lines of campaign finance law.

For a pittance, these corporations gave Russia free political access to demographic specific audiences, in effect herding voters already stunned by Trump attacks on mainstream media. The wolves lead the lambs to slaughter.

That's the story of Trump/Russia collusion but it may never get out because the case before Mueller may not be strong enough and because Facebook Twitter Google are refusing to disclose the data they surely possess.

The point here is that disclosure laws are incredibly weak in the US, thanks to Citizens United -- the Bush Supreme Court decision that made corporations more powerful than people in matters of campaign finance law. Elections are highly vulnerable in the US, too, thanks to voter suppression tactics embraced by the GOP.

In a just world, Facebook Twitter Google would be compelled by Congress to produce specific data and information, showing American taxpayers and voters exactly what happened on social media in 2016, providing the 77,000, three state margin for Trump's victory.

The election was stolen, and the evidence is being hidden from the American public.

Facebook scrubbed potentially damning Russia data before researchers could analyze it further
Business Insider
Natasha Bertrand

Facebook scrubbed thousands of posts shared during the 2016 campaign by accounts linked to Russia.

The removals came as a Columbia University researcher was examining their reach.

Facebook says the posts were removed to fix a glitch.

Facebook removed thousands of posts shared during the 2016 election by accounts linked to Russia after a Columbia University social-media researcher, Jonathan Albright, used the company's data-analytics tool to examine the reach of the Russian accounts.

Mayor Gimenez and Chair Bovo Blurring the Lines of Miami Dade County Government. By Geniusofdespair

Commission Chair Steve Bovo, Auditor Kathy jackson and Mayor Gimenez

The love-fest is in full bloom under the ever UNWATCHFUL eyes of the County Commission.

The Mayor has an auditor that reports to him. Kathy Jackson is her name. She has been doing not much since her Wackenhut Audit in 2008. I wrote at the time:

Kick your Manager Burgess in the butt on this one and ask Cathy Jackson for the final INDEPENDENT audit now almost a year and 9 months over-due. Let's put an end to this scandal and get our hard-earned tax dollars back from Wackenhut.

Except, now she will be doing nothing much for the County Commission because she has also been appointed -- thanks to Chair Steve Bovo -- to be the Commission's auditor.

This is ridiculous. You can't have the same auditor report to the Commissioners and to the Mayor. The motivation is not there to do anything that would hurt either side. Where does her loyalty lie? To the Mayor of course.Cathy Jackson, the county's chief auditor, is a department head under Gimenez, so what the hell are the Commissioners doing giving up their independent watchdog? The Commissioners did have their own independent auditor before this. Are they just stupid or now also part of the Bovo and Gimenez love-fest.

TODAY and yesterday: Video of the Coconut Grove Mystery Hole. By Geniusofdespair


Today's Video, love this one. It shows the entire cycle! Flushing.....It is riveting, like watching your toilet bowl flush.

Yesterday's video, not as comprehensive but more water:

The water is still spilling into Biscayne Bay since Hurricane Irma...I started my observation on September 23rd when it was flushing like a toilet. You can look at two other videos at this link.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Shorting U S Citizens in trouble because they are Hispanic. By Geniusofdespair

Donald Trump tossing paper towels at Hurricane victims in Puerto Rico asking
them...are you having a good time? I bet those aren't Koch Brothers paper towels.
The moronic tweet from the Tweeter in Chief this morning, October 12th on Puerto Rico:
...We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever! -  3 hours ago

Puerto Rico in better days...
60% of residents in Cataño are homeless. Patients in Caguas are receiving care in hospital tents.
Yarelis Rosa visited her husband, Miguel Bastardo Beroa, at a hospital in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Doctors suspect that he contracted leptospirosis in contaminated floodwaters.

What do you expect these 3.4 Million AMERICAN Citizens to do Moron 45? FEMA is still helping in Texas and Florida- red States. Why single out Puerto Rico in the tweet?

Hit by a killer hurricane (Maria was a Category 4 when it hit) and in great peril, Puerto Rican's continue to suffer. As of 6 hours ago only 16% of Puerto Rico has electricity. According to the Chicago Tribune yesterday:
There are worries about outbreaks of waterborne diseases, such as scabies or Zika, which is transmitted by mosquitoes breeding in standing water. Just 63 percent of the island's residents have access to clean drinking water, and just 60 percent of wastewater treatment plants are working, according to figures released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Hospitals are fueled by generators constantly on the fritz. According to the New York Times October 10th:
Hospitals are running low on medicine and high on patients, as they take in the infirm from medical centers where generators failed. A hospital in Humacao had to evacuate 29 patients last Wednesday — including seven in the intensive care unit and a few on the operating table — to an American military medical ship off the coast of Puerto Rico when a generator broke down.

There are urgent attempts to help. The federal government has sent 10 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams of civilian doctors, nurses, paramedics and others to the island. Four mobile hospitals have been set up in hospital parking lots, and the Comfort, a medical treatment ship, is on the scene. A 44-bed hospital will soon open in badly wrecked Humacao, in the southeast.

But even as the Army Corps of Engineers is installing dozens of generators at medical facilities, and utility crews work to restore power to 36 hospitals, medical workers and patients say that an intense medical crisis persists and that communications and electrical difficulties have obscured the true number of fatalities directly related to the hurricane. The official count rose on Tuesday to 43.
Our local reporter  Eleazar David Melendez is reporting direct from Puerto Rico:
As I have been saying for a few days, while there are real problems with logistics and supply in Puerto Rico, the real reason people are lining up for food and water is an economic one.

Food stamps don't work without mobile communications-- we saw that in Florida during Irma. Tens of thousands of people that used to work at places like big hotels have been laid off in the past few days. And people living on the economic fringes (valet drivers, handymen, gardeners, etc.) haven't made a dime in three weeks. People are lining up to get the aid not because they couldn't just walk and get food from the supermarket, or buy a burger at McDonald's, but because they're dead broke with no opportunity to make any money.

And it's not just the working poor. I just got a phone call with a friend in the real estate industry there who is trying to get some funds so he can put idle real estate agents to work moving boxes and driving trucks to deliver relief aid. Without that, my friend estimates it will be months before anyone makes any money.  AND:
My friend Alison Thompson and Third Wave Volunteers just came back from Puerto Rico after giving away thousands and thousands of these solar-powered lights. It was a sign of hope and light to many.
My Mom received a packet and was giving them away in her neighborhood. She said some neighbors cried about not having to use candles any more. One neighbor said that, while she was looking forward to getting power back, she would cherish the solar light and put it atop the Christmas tree later this year.

In answer to your tweet: They stay there as long as they have to

Just because these are Hispanic AMERICANS does not mean you don't continue to help, you heartless pig.

Florida's Juvenile Justice System Collapse And The Intolerable Governorship Of Rick Scott ... by gimleteye

Congratulations to the Miami Herald for its outstanding series, "Fight Club: Dark secrets of Florida's juvenile justice system".

This is what the Miami Herald does best: focus its investigative journalism on the demonstration of broken promises and injustice.

The shameful neglect by the Rick Scott administration has contributed to predictable abuses and loss of public trust in government. This regime never acknowledges its mistakes and demonstrates its incompetence matching taxing authority, public protection, and law enforcement. In other words, its own policies violate key conservative tenets.

What thrives in place of good government are the weeds of corruption, cronyism and incompetence. In this case, the victims are the children of poor people -- mostly African American -- and taxpayers who fund hopelessness and clear patterns of criminal misconduct by those in positions of authority.

The Miami Herald doesn't say so, but this series is an indictment of the neglect and incompetence of the Rick Scott administration. It is all the more incredible, because Scott is aiming to replace Senator Bill Nelson. It may well be the case that Scott's campaign backers don't give a damn about poor black kids who suffer medieval conditions in the juvenile justice system.

Voters should care. A lot.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Commissioner Joe Martinez is trying to kill New Cities in the County, Why?? By Geniusofdespair

You all whine that you want local news, here it is, now read it or you will only get national news.... this insane process for incorporation is impossible to explain so pay attention and don't hold me to 100% accuracy:

The last several years have seen 5 separate MACs that have been formed by direct county commissioner appointment. The commissioners who  formed them knew that to require ONLY a petition process is impossible as signatures are not easy to come by in gated communities and buildings - petitions don't work for MACs  because it is a long explanation at someone's front door - especially this high percentage (thank you Lynda Bell for the 20% instead of the Charter Committee's recommended 10%)...

County Commissioner Joe Martinez has never been a fan of communities in the unincorporated area of the county trying to form new cities.

The first thing he did after being re-elected to his West Kendall District 11 seat last year was to immediately disband the two MACs formed by his predecessor, Commissioner Juan Zapata. You can always count on Joe Martinez to be totally for himself.

A MAC, which stands for Municipal Advisory Committee, is a committee which is appointed by one or more commissioners in a county commission district to study and evaluate the possibility of forming a new city within borders designated by those wishing to form a new city (The borders are subject to approval by the county). It is step 1.

 The formation of the MAC is the process required by the county to start the study of an area's incorporation. The MAC studies the financial feasibility of the services that would be enjoyed by the residents, and weighs the options and advantages of cityhood as opposed to staying part of the county's unincorporated area. The MAC meetings are open to all residents who wish to learn about the municipal incorporation process. There is extensive input by the residents and required public meetings. At the end of this process, the voters are able to vote for or against forming a new city in an election. The MAC process usually takes from 1-2 years to be completed before going to a vote of that areas' voters. So the 20% petition requirement just to form the MAC is total OVER-KILL. How many more hoops can you think of for the public to jump through Commissioners?

Joe Martinez - Charter Member of our "Unreformable Majority" on the County Commission.

Now, Commissioner Martinez has proposed an ordinance which passed, 11-1 at first reading, at the most recent BCC meeting. It allows the formation of a MAC only by petitions, with 20% of the proposed area's signatures-- killing direct county commissioner appointment. This ordinance will now go to the Government Operations Committee on November 14th which will vote on whether or not to move this ordinance back to the BCC for second hearing. If this ordinance is then approved at the second hearing, it will kill future incorporation efforts which is the intent of the commissioner's ordinance.

The last several years have seen 5 separate MACs that have been formed by direct county commissioner appointment. These commissioners know that to require a petition process of no fewer than 20% of the signatures of the residents' voters voting in the affirmative is almost impossible to do. It is time consuming, costly, and very difficult to do in this day of gated communities which can deny access to petition gatherers as well as residents being loath to open their doors to people they do not know. No other petition process in the county requires such a high percentage of voters--all others petition drives require a minimum of only 10% of registered voters for whatever cause they are seeking to gather signatures for. Therefore, these commissioners know full well that this 20% signature requirement is an impediment to forming a MAC and, thus, they directly appointed their area residents to a MAC to make it possible for a MAC to be created.

It is incredible that a 20% signature level would then be required--this percentage is higher than the usual percentage of voters that turn out in a non-presidential election!

Residents need to be aware that the possible passage of this ordinance will disallow residents the right to explore forming new cities. A MAC allows all the facts to be "on the table" and evaluated by the residents. Legislation that places such impediments to the MAC process is ill advised, and basically nullifies the ability of residents to make up their own minds as to how they wish to have their municipal services provided. 

Okay, we all know Opa Locka is a city that should never have been formed...but it is the right of the people to choose their destiny or poison. Unincorperated areas gives too much power to Commissioners. It smells...sort of like Joe Martinez's egotistical cologne.