Quote of the Day

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Musings

I must have had some sort of puzzled look on my face this morning while sipping coffee because my bride, the Belle of Ballast Point, asked, "Are you okay?" I replied, "I'm just doing some morning musing." "Oh, crap!" she muttered, quickly gulping the last of her coffee as she hurried out the door for work.

Some people just can't stand a good musing in the morning. But you are still here, so let's muse together.

Did you know that if you have to pee real bad while driving a motor vehicle that you are a very unsafe driver? A recent Nobel study came to that conclusion. Did you also know that here in America, unlike Europe, if you pull over to the side of the road to relieve yourself many people will be offended and you probably will get arrested?

A Leon County (Florida) Republican, Francisco Gonzalez, after the recent Republican debates asked rhetorically: "Why can't we get someone who can speak, who's articulate?" That's an interesting question! I mused on that for a picosecond. How about because the Republicans and their Tea Bagger puppet masters eschew intelligence and common sense in favor of ball-busting ignorance? That's my thought.

Florida is experiencing a bit of an economic crisis. We are sort of broke, and the Prick-in-Charge, Rick Scott, has been doing his best to cut costs at the expense of the average Floridian. Now the Florida House is appealing a court ruling upholding an anti-gerrymandering amendment to the state Constitution. House Speaker Dean Cannon, a Winter Park Hershey Squirt, has been pushing this legal action that is being paid for with our tax dollars. Why hasn't the Chief Executive Orifice in Tallahassee put a stop to this waste and abuse of public funds?

The gardening experts in and around Central Florida say that now is the time to get your fall garden started. It was with that plan in mind that I headed for the garden department at the nearest Home Depot. I was intent on picking up some vegetable seeds. Image my dismay when I discovered that the garden center has no seeds - the fall packets haven't arrived yet. I was informed that there was an adequate supply of firewood and firelogs, Christmas crap, and space heaters.

Firewood and space heaters? That was some good-to-know information since we are scheduled for our first cold front this weekend. Temperatures are expected to get down to a frigid 85 degrees during the day. And, the brick and mortar stores wonder why they are losing business to the Internet.

Happy Friday, y'all!
Editor's Update:  I forgot to mention that the Home Depot associate advised me that the snow shovel delivery occurring last year was running a little late this year. Hopefully the snows will hold off for awhile longer.

Tampa has been lucky so far - it's been 34 years since the last measurable snowing.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

One Of My Favorite Bloggers On Facebook

One of the blogs the Oracle follows on a daily basis is Jeff Tone's The Liberal Curmudgeon. Jeff suggested that the Oracle needs to extricate itself from the dark ages of bloggerdom (or something like that) and join Facebook, too.

I'm working on it!

In the meantime, find Jeff on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliberalcurmudgeon or here on the Oracle at My Favorite Bloggers in the panel on the right. In either location, he is one of the best.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hershey Squirt Award Winner: Dean Cannon

You are probably asking yourselves, "what did Florida House Speaker Cannon, R - Hershey Squirt, do to earn this disgusting SOG City Oracle award?"

Remember the Fair Districts amendments in 2010 passed by Florida voters to stop politicians from selfishly drawing legislative and Congressional districts to protect themselves? Well, Hershey Squirt Dean Cannon is still spending our tax dollars fighting them. The Fair Districts amendments were supported by 63% of Florida voters, and seven court decisions have said the amendments are constitutional.

Already U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro dismissed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate Fair Districts Amendment 6 filed by two self-serving politicians, and later joined by the Florida House at Speaker Cannon’s direction. Judge Ungaro made it clear in her decision that Cannon's case is without merit, pointing out that, according to our constitution, "[a]ll political power is inherent in the people."

So, Speaker Squirt, what do you have to say for yourself?

Click HERE to tell Speaker Cannon: Drop the taxpayer-funded lawsuit against Fair Districts.

Thanks to Progress Florida for the video and link to the petition.


Lillian Margaret: A Memoir - Chapter One - The Beginning


Thirty or so years ago I suggested to my mother that she should write her memoirs documenting what I imagined was a rather interesting life. I had hoped that by writing her life story that she would be preserving family history and I might learn of some long hidden secrets. Damn if I didn't!

If you chose to read this story you will be reading only her words. I have no plans to elaborate or change anything, although I did clean up errors in the scanned document. Since she was fastidious, I also did not fact check dates or events as that probably would have pissed her off royally. The original manuscript was prepared on an antiquated contraption that I believe was called a typewriter.

My mother didn't break her story into chapters. I have done so only to keep each entry at a manageable size. This is the first of several chapters.

Lillian Margaret died eleven years ago. If she were alive today she would be celebrating her 103rd birthday - probably with a little "drinkypoo".


Chelsea, Massachusetts was my father's birthplace. His ances­tors migrated from England and settled in and around the Boston area. At the age of two he was left fatherless, so his mother brought he and his sister to Chicago to live. My mother, one of four children, was born in Chicago of parents who had migrated from Frankfort, Germany.

Both of my parents loved ballroom dancing, and so destiny must have taken a hand in bringing them together one Saturday evening at a neighborhood dance. Grandpa Freund wasn't at all pleased in having an Englishman squire his daughter around, but love finally won out and after a proper courtship, Francis James Herbert Albee and Margaret Bertha Freund were wed on September 25, 1907. One year and three days later I was born.

My arrival into the world broke the hush of a cold, frosty September morn. The midwife, in attendance, informed my exhausted ninety-pound mother that she had given birth to - a nine pound girl! Six months later I was still suckling, which made my mother's breasts look like two hanging baskets. Lillian Margaret was the name chosen for me - named for my paternal grandmother, Lilly, and my mother, Margaret.

Lillian at 8 months

Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, was President of the United states, taking office after President McKinley's assassination. If people were fortunate enough to have employment they worked extremely hard for small wages.
Father worked as a switchman for the Wabash Rail­way - $16.00 for a six-day week.

We lived in a small flat on the south side of Chicago. The sub-freezing temperatures accompanied by ice storms and snow blizzards kept us indoors from November through most of April. Our bedrooms and bath were closed off, and the only warmth came from the pot-belly coal-burning stove located in the middle of the parlor which left something to be desired as far as comfort was concerned.

An injury in the switchyard cost father the sight of his left eye, and he was obliged to accept a job in the railroad office as a rate clerk.

Age 3 1/2
My baby years passed uneventfully except that I was accident prone - before one gash was healed I was bleeding from another. At the age of three I contracted a severe case of whooping cough, which settled in my bronchial tubes, and had me coughing and whooping almost day and night for six weeks.

A few weeks prior to my fifth birthday I entered Altgeld Elementary School. My parents had just purchased a two-bedroom cottage on Marquette Road and Loomis Boulevard, a half block from Ogden Park. Father had changed jobs and was now employed at Sears, Roebuck & Co., as a traffic clerk. What fun it was to browse through the Sears Catalog and to choose my first store-bought dress and black patent high-top shoes with red tassels.

Hiking was one of the activities father enjoyed best - he set such a fast pace I had to run to keep up with him. Ogden Park, of course, was our favorite recreation spot. It was a beehive of activity on a summer Sunday afternoon. After church we'd take a picnic lunch to the park and then either go boating, or just relax and listen to the band concert. In the winter the lagoon, close to a quarter of a mile long, was frozen solid and made a beautiful skating rink which hundreds of people of all ages enjoyed.

The President from 1909 to 1913 was William H. Taft, another Republican. He was instrumental in establishing postal savings banks and the parcel post system; and during his administration, the Sixteenth Admendment, which provides for the income tax, was added to the Constitution.

Model T Fords were becoming more prevalent on the roads, and sometimes a self-starting electric car would come into view. The electric models appealed to the womenfolk as they were easier to operate and to get in and out of with their long skirts. And, since the car was glass enclosed, it eliminated the hassle of putting up isinglass curtains in stormy weather (an annoying and frustrating task in Fords).

Father in the "Tin Lizzie"
Even though the responsibility of a family kept my parents close to home, nevertheless they managed to keep in trim and up-to-date by dancing to the tunes on our phonograph. The Turkey Trot, Grizzly Bear, Kangaroo Dip and the Bunny Hug were the latest dance steps, but they still preferred the Waltz and the Two-Step over the modern-type dancing.

A few months after entering kindergarten I returned home one afternoon to find my mother unconscious at the foot of a ladder. She was hanging curtains - had become dizzy and fallen. This brought on the premature births of twin boys on December 17, 1913. One was born dead - the other, given the name of Harold Francis, for a little boy named Harold in my class, and Francis for my father, was so tiny he could fit into a cigar box. He was wrapped in cotton and oil and fed with an eyedropper for three months.

The Albee family
Woodrow Wilson, the Man of Peace, a Democrat, was elected President in 1913, and was re-elected in 1917 because of public sentiment that "he kept us out of the war". But, the United States did enter into World War I in 1917, and shortly afterwards there would appear in many windows in Chicago a small flag with a Gold Star, indicating that a family member in the Armed Forces had been killed in action.

These were troubled times, but there was work to be done by those at home to bolster the morale of the boys "over there". My mother and other distaff members in the neighborhood joined the Red Cross in making bandages, packing kits, knitting sox and scarfs for shipment to the soldiers overseas.

The only member of our family in the Armed Forces was father's second cousin, Frank Daly. Once when he was on furlough he came for a visit and brought me a bottle of Lily of the Valley Perfume from Paris, France. The flower was beautifully preserved inside the bottle - and it was the most elegant gift I had ever received.

Cousin Frank played the piano by ear and so it was an added treat to listen to his music, as well as his experiences over­seas. He played the Maple Leaf Rag with such enthusiasm it made the rafters ring. With father's mellow tenor voice, my little mother's alto, and with Frank strumming the piano, we'd all sing the popular World War I songs with great gusto. Before taking his leave I'd get to ride on his motorcycle with the sidecar.

Summer vacations meant family camping trips. We all looked forward to this except mother. She tensed up to such an extent she was almost a basket case before we finished packing the Model T with our camping gear. She hated every minute of the trip includ­ing the flies, mosquitoes and ants. Cooking over a campfire was most distasteful to her, and usually after we set up camp father would take over the K.P. duties. How sweet it was to awaken each morning to the aroma of bacon frying and coffee perking. At supper­time, we often had a mess of fresh water fish, as father was a pretty good fisherman.

Frequently, my paternal grandmother and step-grandfather Fulton would go camping with us only they traveled on their motorcycle with ­grandma riding in the sidecar. Both were a real joy to have around the campsite, especially grandpa, who was an ornithologist, and birdwatching was high on the list of our activities. He could imitate any bird call, and since he was a commercial artist by trade, he was proficient in sketching all the birds and small animals that he spotted.

Part of my summer was spent on a small farm in Morris, Illinois owned by Mr. and Mrs. Sommers, old friends of my maternal grandparents, grandma and grandpa Freund. Aunt Helen and I spent several summers at the farm. Helen was mother's sister - and only three years older than I. We had a wonderful time at the farm, and since we were both city girls we even enjoyed helping with the farm chores. We looked forward each day to the arrival of the bakery wagon with its tinkling bell, which sold all kinds of goodies for two cents each. The highlight of our visit was the harness races on Sunday after­noons, which we viewed from a hayloft while munching on Maple Chews, Mary Janes and Licorice Sticks, our favorite penny candy.

The war was still uppermost in the minds of the American people, and they submitted voluntarily to meatless and wheatless days as the stream of supplies to the war area continued. Liberty Loan drives were in evidence everywhere - even in the schools - to finance this costly war.

The winter of 1918 came in with a vengeance and brought much snow with it. When the news came over our crystal radio set on November 11, 1918, announcing that the Armistice had been signed and THE WAR WAS OVER, people literally poured out of their homes and offices shouting, cheering, waving flags, with tears stream­ing down their cheeks. Neither the freezing temperatures nor the knee-deep snow dampened their spirits as they were caught up in the singing and revelry which went on and on in the streets throughout the night. Never did the tune "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" have more meaning!

During my last year at elementary school our family moved to a new subdivision three miles farther west to 6612 South California Avenue,where on a clear day one could see Western Avenue, eight blocks to the east, and Kedzie Avenue, eight blocks to the west. Marquette Park was located one block south, but since it was a new park it offered few facilities and our visits were limited to an occasional Sunday afternoon stroll. We surely missed Ogden Park. There were few children in the area, and those around my age were boys, which suited me fine as I enjoyed boys sports and their rough and tumble games, even though I usually wound up with bruised arms and knees and my clothes in tatters. Being the only girl in the group, I was inclined to show the boys I could do anything they could do, and once I got my leg broken jumping off the porch "just showing off".

On Christmas morning in our new home, we kids awakened to find that Santa had brought us each a pair of roller skates in addition to the usual stocking filled with an orange, apple, hard candy and nuts. Now we could roller skate from one end of the cemented base­ment to the other. This gave us something to do on rainy days and kept us out of mother's hair.

It was my parents' wish that I finish my elementary education at Altgeld, so during the week I stayed with my paternal grandparents who lived a few blocks from the school.

Editor's note: Chapter Two next Wednesday. At this point I think there will be five or six chapters. I have yet to finish scanning.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thank you, Elizabeth Warren!

From CREDO Action:

Finally, a progressive who knows how to fight back hard against the ridiculous "class warfare" charges from the GOP. In one fell swoop, Elizabeth Warren delivered a powerful knock-out blow against this GOP nonsense.
Send Elizabeth Warren a "thank you" note. Thank her for standing up for progressive values, and for showing other Democrats how to fight.
Warren's point was simple: Nobody gets rich on their own. You can watch the video below, but here's the key part:
"I hear all this, you know, 'Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,'" Warren said. "No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own -- nobody.
"You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory -- and hire someone to protect against this -- because of the work the rest of us did.
"Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless -- keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."1

Progressives take note: THAT is how it is done. THAT is how you fight back hard. And THAT is how you defeat Fox News talking points.
We will deliver the thank you note, along with your comments, to Elizabeth Warren.
1. "Elizabeth Warren On 'Class Warfare': There Is Nobody Who Got Rich On His Own (VIDEO)," Eric Kleefeld, Talking Points Memo, 09-21-2011.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Food: The Danger Of Meatloaf

For those contemplating the consumption of meatloaf or for those of you who have already consumed meatloaf the Oracle presents this warning video.

Protect yourself and others!

The Oracle has presented this public service announcement in a showing of poor taste. But what the hell, it's Monday. How much worse can your day get?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Right-wing Troglodyte Emerges From Cave

At the recent Florida CPAC, troglodyte Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association spewed this threat from his anal orifice, "Gun owners will be the difference in 2012 [...] the lying, conniving Obama crowd can kiss our Constitution."

While I do not understand why these loonies on the right feel that it is necessary to keep bringing up guns in their political blatherings, as a gun owner on the left I do hope to make a difference in 2012. My gun will have no involvement in the elections though, it will remain at home. And, lest anyone be in doubt, it is my Constitution too.

Damn these people and their violent rhetoric! Who the hell do they think they are scaring? It is not me.

As a parting thought since he brought it up, LaPierre you can kiss my shaved and polished S & W Model 10 with 125 grain +P, semi-jacketed hollow points any time your sorry 2nd Amendment ass is so inclined.

Friday, September 23, 2011

At Least DADT Is Gone

The U.S. Marine Corps has banned audible farting in Afghanistan

That is just totally FUBAR! I was never in the Marines, but one of my fondest memories from Army life (and even later in the Air Force) was marching in formation and farting in cadence. Some of the farting contests in the old open bay barracks, rivaling a symphony orchestra performance, could bring tears to the eyes. On bivouac, why do you think sleeping bags were referred to as fart sacks?

Back around the time of Desert Storm the military banned alcoholic beverages in a war zone because booze offended the sensibilities of those we were protecting. If that weren't bad enough, now audible farting is also prohibited.

This in a culture that has allowed stoning, various forms of execution, and amputations as penalties for criminal offenses. You would think they would be impressed by a well executed, by the book, Marine Corps fart.

Silent but deadly is still permitted, though. I mean, give me a break!

 Obviously the brass in the Pentagon are not familiar with one of the more popular Afghan entertainers:

What better way to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people than by allowing our brave Marines to accompany this musician by providing supporting harmonies and subtle nuances such as slight lengthenings of particular notes, decrescendi across falling figures, "shaping" notes or phrases using dynamics, and other things that aren't typically notated but are part of musical playing.

This would be a thing of beauty. I can hardly wait for the CD or MP3.

Editor's note: I could not find the album on Amazon.com.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

American Justice

From an Associated Press report, "Strapped to a gurney in Georgia's death chamber, Troy Davis lifted his head and declared one last time that he did not kill police officer Mark MacPhail."

Whether Davis was guilty or innocent is a moot point. He is dead!

To be brutally honest with myself, I have been ambivalent about the death penalty. There are some people that I can emphatically say should be put to death. Timothy McVeigh and bin Laden are two names that come to mind, but there are others, like Davis, where I am not so sure.

Therein lies the crux of the death penalty issue in America - I am not sure. It is here that I can take a stand. No one in America should be put to death if we are not sure. The law even has a couple of dandy terms for this: moral certainty and reasonable doubt.

The Davis jury reached their decision based upon persuasive reasons and excluded doubts that a contrary conclusion existed. At first glance I see nothing wrong with their decision. But now, many years after the fact, doubts have arisen that a contrary conclusion does exist. Instead of exploring the doubts of Davis' guilt it apparently was more expedient and in the public's best interest just to kill the man.

I find that approach to be morally reprehensible. Until this country can be morally certain beyond a reasonable doubt that a person is guilty the death penalty must be suspended. If that certainty cannot be established, then the death penalty must be abolished.

Contrary to what we have witnessed lately on TV in the Republican debates, I do not believe that we are a nation of blood-thirsty savages. We are a civilized nation. We need to start acting like it.

A nagging question does still exist. Where the hell were all of the pro-lifers in this Davis debacle? Rather than perpetuating their pro-life hypocrisy they should be asking themselves how they would feel if they were strapped to that gurney - or could that never happen?

Well, could it? Just ask Troy Davis. Oh, never mind - he's dead!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Independent Voters Look To Alternatives

Interesting article in the paper this morning (St. Pete Times). It seems that a number of Independent voters and some Democrats in the bay area are so totally disenchanted with President Obama's performance that they are now seriously considering casting their vote for a Republican.

This sense of disappointment in the man who promised change is not just limited to the Tampa Bay residents, it is felt all across this country. I am sure that the sentiments expressed by my neighbors around the bay are the same as those of many around the nation, but before we jump on the anyone-but-Obama bandwagon let's take a look at some of those comments.

One person claimed that Obama has too much baggage and that if he gets reelected this country will have four more years of gridlock. I have to ask, what baggage? The only baggage I can imagine is that Obama had the gall to be born black and offend this country's lily white sensitivities by getting elected President of the United States. As far as gridlock is concerned, there is a fix for that and I'll get to that in a minute or two.

A couple of other Independents chimed in with comments like he's intelligent, but can't get anything done. Another person echoed those feelings by stating that if someone else came along who could get the job done then that person would get the vote.

In other words, many in this country are upset because Obama can't seem to get much accomplished for the betterment of the country and its people. And, whose fault is that? We could look toward the Independent voters themselves who gave the Republicans control of the House of Representatives in 2010. We can also point to the special interest groups who control the Republican party. We can place blame on the Christian conservatives and the Tea Baggers who could care less if the country goes down in flames just as long as they get their way.

Democrats as well as Republicans who put their own personal interests ahead of what is best for the country have contributed much to the mess we are in. To paraphrase a pithy Will Rogers observation , "Government [Republican] is the problem - elect me and I will prove it to you."

What can we do to fix the problem? The short answer is: vote in 2012! Get rid of the self-serving and the obstructionists on both sides of the aisle. That would be a start, but in addition we need to neuter the totalitarian ideologues who would turn this country into a single party state - a Republican president (envision Bachmann or Perry), with a Republican controlled House and a Republican controlled Senate. Just as we don't need a totalitarian government, we do not need a theocracy either.

We, the American people, can make a difference. We can break the gridlock that threatens to destroy the country by voting in the 2012 United States elections:

President Barack Obama will run for a second and final term during this election. He needs to win. The alternatives representing the GOP have only one plan for the country, as announced by Gingrich the Newt, and that is to destroy Obama. That is not a plan; that is revenge.

Elections will be held for all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives. Elections will also held for the delegates from the District of Columbia and five major U.S. territories. The winners of this election cycle will serve in the 113th United States Congress. The obstructionists need to be voted out!

The 33 seats of Class I of the United States Senate will be up for election. Currently, Democrats are expected to have 23 seats up for election, including 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats, while Republicans are only expected to have 10 seats up for election. Additionally, special elections may be held to fill any vacancies that occur. Again, obstructionists be gone!

We need to elect intelligent public servants, and not the idiots, lunatics, and self-serving professional politicians who keep trying to resurrect the failed policies of the past instead of moving the country forward into a bright and promising future.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sex Sells: Tampa Gears Up For The Sale

Only eleven more months until the Party of American Hypocrisy hits town, and the Tampa Bay Republican-oriented "cultural" venues are setting the stage for a week of GOP debauchery that could make the Roman orgies look like Romper Room.

Regular readers of the Oracle might be taken aback, but I can finally say something positive about these Tea Bagger Republican assholes. Thank you for bringing jobs to our town. That prick with ears, Rick Scott, hasn't done a damn thing, but the Republican National Convention is putting hundreds, if not thousands, of out of work strippers and prostitutes back to work.

According to the Goobers On Parade, they are all about jobs. Finally, they are putting their money where their, uh, where their...oh hell, you know where they are putting their money.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

This Country Needs Elizabeth Warren

In this morning's e-mail bag I found this from the Daily KOS:

"This week, after Senate Republicans blocked her bid to direct the new Consumer Financial Agency which she created, Elizabeth Warren announced she was running for Senate. As Time magazine points out, Republicans may soon regret having rejected her:
Ironically, given that Warren clearly would have preferred to run the agency she created, the banks and their allies in Congress may live to regret that they stood in her way. [...]

[I]n the end, Warren could wind up wielding a much bigger stick as a senator than she ever could have as an agency director.
I really like the idea of Republicans paying for their obstruction. That doesn't happen often enough."

The Oracle is in complete agreement with Chris Bowers, the Daily KOS Campaign Director. And, taking this a step farther, Warren needs to take that big stick and, figuratively speaking - for now, whack the crap out of these obstructionist Republicans until their heads pop out of their anal orifices.

I doubt that Warren would resort that - she is too much of a lady, and way smarter than any of those Republican dick weeds we must endure on a daily basis. Of course, those are two of the reasons the Party of No and their banking puppet masters hate her so much: she is a woman and she has a brain. On top of that, she knows how to use her brain.

This country is in dire need of Elizabeth Warren and more just like her to step up to the plate and do what is right for the country and not just special interests.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The American Jobs Act In Florida

President Obama recently announced his plan to create jobs: the American Jobs Act. The purpose of the plan is to put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans; presumably without adding a dime to the deficit.

The Oracle was curious to know how the President's plan would impact Florida. Here is what we found:

TAX CUTS TO HELP AMERICA’S SMALL BUSINESSES HIRE AND GROW - In Florida, 410,000 firms will receive a payroll tax cut under the American Jobs Act.

PUTTING WORKERS BACK ON THE JOB WHILE REBUILDING AND MODERNIZING AMERICA -The President’s plan will make immediate investments of at least $1,578,600,000 in Florida that could support a minimum of approximately 20,500 local jobs.

The President is proposing to invest $35 billion to prevent layoffs, and will provide $1,669,500,000 in funds to Florida to support up to 25,900 educator and first responder jobs.

The President is proposing a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools. Florida will receive $1,280,300,000 in funding to support as many as 16,600 jobs.

The President is proposing to invest $15 billion in a national effort to put construction workers on the job rehabilitating and refurbishing hundreds of thousands of vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses. Florida could receive about $2,701,800,000 to revitalize and refurbish local communities, in addition to funds that would be available through a competitive application.

The President’s plan proposes $5 billion of investments for facilities modernization needs at community colleges. Florida could receive $288,400,000 in funding in the next fiscal year for its community colleges.

PATHWAYS BACK TO WORK FOR AMERICANS LOOKING FOR JOBS - Drawing on the best ideas of both parties and the most innovative states, the President is proposing the most sweeping reforms to the unemployment insurance (UI) system in 40 years to help those without jobs transition to the workplace. This could help put the 498,000 long-term unemployed workers in Florida back to work.

Alongside these reforms, the President is reiterating his call to extend unemployment insurance, preventing 148,500 people looking for work in Florida from losing their benefits in just the first 6 weeks.

The President is proposing a new Pathways Back to Work Fund to provide hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults with opportunities to work and to achieve needed training in growth industries. Pathways Back to Work could place 8,800 adults and 35,600 youths in jobs in Florida.

TAX RELIEF FOR EVERY AMERICAN WORKER AND FAMILY - The President’s plan will expand the payroll tax cut passed last December by cutting workers’ payroll taxes in half next year. A typical household in Florida, with a median income of around $46,000, will receive a tax cut of around $1,430.

The President urged Congress to pass his bill - NOW! Is the bill getting passed? Hell no! The Republicans, and some Democrats are doing now what they did during the debt ceiling crisis - they are stonewalling and will continue to do so for at least 14 more months.

The Republican position appears to be what it has been all along; it is infinitely better to make Americans suffer than it is to give President Obama anything.

We can only hope that America remembers this in 2012 and returns the favor. Make the Republican obstructionists suffer!

Editor's note: Much of the information contained herein was obtained from the Democratic National Committee.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Remembering Wade Mainer

Wade Mainer (April 21, 1907 – September 12, 2011) was an American singer and banjoist. With his band, the Sons of the Mountaineers*, he is credited with bridging the gap between old-time mountain music and Bluegrass and is sometimes called the "Grandfather of Bluegrass." - read more at Wikipedia

As I approach old age (67 on the 9th, but not quite there yet), I marvel at that performance. Hot damn, old folks rock!

*Mainer named this new band Sons of the Mountaineers. Its initial lineup included Jay Hugh Hall and Clyde Moody as guitarists with Steve Ledford as a fiddler. Among the musicians who would join the group later were Jack and Curly Shelton, Tiny Dodson, Red Rector and Fred Smith.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another Hump Day

Today I will feature a re-post from an October day in 2010. I have never done a re-post before, but this is how I feel...

I'll be the one by the pool with a beer in my hand.

Happy hump day, y'all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

GOP Offensive In Florida

As far as I am concerned the GOP is offensive no matter where they are, but that isn't the point here. The point is that our once pristine state is going to be over-run with a gaggle of sleaze bag, scum suckers from the party of Destroy Obama and Damn the Country.

Over the next several weeks these pious presidential wannabes sent by God are going to descend on Florida like angels from heaven. Ask them - they will all tell you they are heaven sent.

Thanks to Jeff Tone of The Liberal Curmudgeon
Which brings to mind this sign advertising Manhattan (NYC) Mini Storage...

The Goobers start their offensive campaign in Tampa with a debate sponsored by the Tea Party Express and then ooze over to Orlando for another debate to see which presidential hopeful can come across as the most out of touch with reality.

They wrap up their mass-debating odyssey on September 24 when they will hold a straw poll to see how many Floridians fall for their line of mierda del toro, or what some would refer to as bull shit.

It will be somewhat amusing to follow Rick (with a P) Perry to see if he continues on his Ponzi path to destroy Social Security. Or, maybe his handlers might mention to this Texas shit-slinger that over half of the voters in Florida are over 60 and may not be too receptive to his plan.

With the Florida Fraudster-in-Chief's approval rating down around 29% it will be interesting to see how much interfacing occurs between the two Ricks (with a P).

If I were Perry I think I would avoid Scott like the plague. That's assuming he can get Scott to quit humping his leg since Scott seems to be sporting a big woodie for the Texas Goobernator and all that he is doing to the state of Texas.

For those thinking of a Florida vacation this month you may want to postpone it or go somewhere less GOP offensive.

Monday, September 12, 2011

If It's Good Enough For Texas

It has been well documented by the news media that Florida's Chief Executive Fraudster Rick (with a P) Scott thinks that Texas goobernator Rick (with a P) Perry is the cat's pajamas, or maybe the cat's meow. Both terms preceded me, so I can never be sure. To me, though, Perry is more like the cat's litterbox - full of shit and smelly if not dumped. Scott apparently looks up to Perry and wants Florida to emulate the third world country that Texas has become.

Case in point: Texas Healthcare - or, lack of it. In the eleven years that Perry has been running Texas into the ground more and more of the working people Perry is supposed to be representing have been priced out of private health care. The state's safety net has shriveled up leaving millions without medical care even in areas where jobs are plentiful. Federally subsidized clinics across the state are crammed with working people who have no insurance.

More than 25% of Texans have no health insurance! This gives Perry's Texas the distinction of achieving another first. How proud Texans must be - they are nationally in first place in at least two categories now: the most citizens without health insurance and executing more people than any other state.

A few other Texas health care milestones:

*Seniors are suffering - one of the highest hospital readmission rates in the country
*Insurance in Texas is more unaffordable than in any other state except for Mississippi
*Infant mortality rates in Texas have risen while declining nationwide
*In one major medical facility 30% coming to ER have no insurance - almost twice the national rate
* Aid to community health centers was cut
*Funding to train physicians was cut

If this is the kind of health care plan Scott has in mind for Florida, he needs to be tarred and feathered and ridden out of state on a rail - and, I don't mean figuratively, I mean literally. To do to Florida what Perry has done to Texas is criminal.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 - A National Tragedy In 2011

Ten years ago today this nation experienced a national tragedy. Our country was attacked and thousands of Americans lost their lives. That was a sad day, but that was then and today is a new day. The dead are dead and will remain that way no matter what we do on this day.

The tragedy that we need to be addressing today is the plight of those who are still alive - the first responders who have been diagnosed as having cancer and other ills caused by their 9/11 actions. They fought long and hard to get a health care bill through a Republican Congress that would provide them with the survival assistance that they need to stay alive or at least to prolong life.

They got the bill, but their fight isn't over. The Republicans are now demanding that the first responders prove that their cancers are due to 9/11. Ten years after September 11, 2001, and some of our most pressing questions remain unanswered.

When it comes to first responders who have been diagnosed with cancer, many in the Republican party have come to question whether it was their actions that day and over the weeks following that led to their illness. Recent reports stating that there isn't evidence that 9/11 caused cancer have raised frustrations: Despite advances in cancer treatment, finding the disease's actual culprits seems as elusive as ever.

It's true that it's almost always impossible to prove exactly what caused a cancer in any individual, because most cancers have multiple possible causes.

With that said, imagine yourself wading through a pile of rubble with minute particles of known carcinogens found in construction materials - asbestos, chromium, tungsten, formaldehyde, and the list is long - floating through the air and into your lungs. Don't you think sucking all of that debris into your lungs could possibly be detrimental to your health and just might be the cause of your cancer?

If you do, then you are probably not a Republican!

The Republican position is not to provide care to the first responders until they can prove that their cancer was not caused by anything other than their 9/11 actions. This is to ensure that no person is treated who doesn't deserve treatment. Apparently it is better to take the chance of many people dying just so that one fraudulent person doesn't slip through the cracks.

There is your goddamn national tragedy. 

Weep, moan, wring your hands all you want for those who died on 9/11; wave your flags and lay your wreaths, but if you want this day to count for something then help the first responders - those who haven't already succumbed to their illness - in their fight to receive the treatment promised to them.

Honor the 9/11 dead by helping to save the lives of those who tried to save lives. What better way to memorialize this day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy Birthday To Amy Irving

The Oracle is pleased to feature another one of my favorite Virgo ladies. Amy turns 58 today. To celebrate I am presenting clips from two of Amy's movies.

The first is The Competition. While Amy did not play this piece by Prokofiev (one of the all time great piano concertos), the actors for The Competition rehearsed so that they could actually mimic the hand movements of a pianist.

And, my favorite Amy Irving movie, Honeysuckle Rose. I loved those pig tails!

Happy birthday Amy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Did You Miss The GOP Debate Wednesday Night?

Not to worry. The Oracle is pleased to present the condensed version:

Now you are up to date. And, you are welcome.

GOP Candidate Flowchart

Holy Taco, Batman! Here is a flowchart to help the mentally and morally deficient amongst us choose a GOP candidate:

Flowchart courtesy of HolyTaco.

It Is Official: Obama Is The Target

This past Wednesday night it was revealed to America that, beyond a shadow of doubt, our president has been targeted by a lunatic fringe terrorist group. Despite all of the rhetoric to the contrary the group's pasty faced spokesman made it excruciatingly clear that the group has but one goal. Everything else is just smoke and mirrors bull shit, and if America is destroyed in the process - well, that's just collateral damage.

Look and listen:

And finally, a couple of questions in response to the Gingrich attack on Obamacare.

How is it "killing the economy"? The biggest health care reform provisions don't kick in until 2014.

To determine whether the new provisions already in place are working, why don't these Republican terrorists ask the beneficiaries of these new provisions that include a coverage expansion for young adults and restrictions on an insurer's ability to impose annual coverage limits or to reject children with pre-existing medical conditions?

JenniferTolbert, an analyst with the Kaiser Family Foundation, said these early provisions of the new law focus in part on consumer protections. "It's basically improving the quality of coverage that people [already] have," she said.

I can sum up the terrorist's objections to health care reform in one word - Obama.

The response, or lack of it, from the Republicans to Obama's speech last night proves my point - beyond a shadow of a doubt. America will have to bite the bullet for another 14 months. I can only hope that America will vote these terrorists out of office so that the country can start moving forward once again.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ron Paul: The Winner In GOP Debate

I came across a poll this morning on Yahoo!News. It appears that Ron Paul was the winner in last night's GOP (Goobers on Parade) debate:

Which GOP presidential candidate do you think won the Politico/NBC debate?

Rick Perry (8724)
Mitt Romney (6791)
Michele Bachmann (1545)
Ron Paul (11239)
Jon Huntsman (2529)
Herman Cain (1738)
Newt Gingrich (1670)
Rick Santorum (671)
I find these results to be more than a little astounding. From what I saw last night and from the reviews I read this morning, Paul contributed very little to the debate.

A quarter hour into the debate, Paul finally showed up and expressed his concern about safety regulations in the drug industry. Paul is apparently against federal regulations of any kind on anything and this is one that needs to go. He then faded back into the woodwork.

Then 20 minutes later Paul returned from the mists and said he would like to get rid of the minimum wage, he attacked Perry for having written a letter supporting Hillary Clinton's health care reforms, and then after releasing his grip on lucidity, "I do want to address the subject of $2 oil or gasoline, because I can do it much better than that. I can get you a gallon of gasoline for a dime." He took another failed attempt at rational thought and said, "You can buy a gallon of gasoline today for a silver dime. A silver dime is worth $3.50. It's all about inflation and too many regulations."

Paul later chimed in about TSA agents at the airport: "Sometimes they're accused of all kinds of sexual activities on the way they maul people at the airport." A bit later Paul fretted about the fence along our southern border, "Every time you think of [a] fence keeping all those bad people out, think about those fences maybe being used against us, keeping us in."

Did I mention that Paul wants to end federal regulations on drug use? That's one proposal I agree with and it may explain a lot about his performance last night, but I can't see it winning the debate.

Paul may have a point worth pondering on those border fences, though. If any one of those Republican/Tea Baggers get elected president there may be a mad dash to the border as a whole bunch of Americans try to escape from the land of stupid before it goes down in flames.

I have to wonder what parallel universe the poll responders resided in while viewing the debate. Of course, after a couple of hits on a bong, I might have voted for Paul based upon his drug stance.

One of the most impressive comments of the evening came from, of all places, the mouth of Michele Bachmann when she deflated the gasbags around her by reminding them that in "the first minute of stepping into the oval office" they wouldn't be repealing or abolishing anything.

Had these presidential wanna-be's bothered reading the Constitution they would know that federal law can be repealed only by an act of Congress, and not the President.

If the people in last night's debate are the best the Republican party has to offer, and especially if one of them gets elected, then this country is in deep trouble. I don't think those border fences are going to be enough to prevent a mass exodus to Mexico and beyond.

A SOG City Event: Napleton Night

Napleton Night

Cellini's Italian Restaurant invites you to join them for their 2nd Wine Event, a Napleton Experience September 29, 2011 at 7pm.

Dinner will be 4 courses:
  • Bruschetta Mista - paired w/ Bellini made w/prosecco
  • Linguinni & Lobster - paired w/ Clivus Soave
  • Braciola & Ricotta stuffed Rigatoni - paired w/ Barone Stabilini Barolo
  • Homemade Dessert - paired w/ Lambrusco di Modena
The price is $65 per person which includes tax and gratuity. 

Please call 813-835-7531 to rsvp by Sept. 15th as space is limited!

Cellini's at 5427 Bayshore Blvd.Tampa (SOG City) is one of the Oracles favorite dining spots. We may see you there.

Be sure to tell Michael that you heard about Napleton Night from the SOG City Oracle.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Birthday Greetings To A Fellow Virgo

Happy 60th to one of the world's great female rockers - Chrissie Hynde!

We start our celebration with one of the very best interpretations of Goodbye that I ever heard. It was featured in the movie G.I. Jane.

To round out this birthday celebration, here is Chrissie and The Pretenders live.

Happy birthday Chrissie!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's A Zoo Out There - Part Two

Our journey through the Lowry Park Zoo continues (click on pictures to enlarge)...

A frolic in the fountain
We gots them ole midday munchie blues. The Belle and I headed off to Reilly's Reserve to cop a squat, an ice cold beer, and a really tasty sit-down buffet in air conditioned comfort. While we were delighted with the roast pork, our two buds below chose salads.
Wally the wallaby

Zeke the zebra

We have ridden an elephant, and now we can scratch camel riding off of our bucket list.

A word of warning: The only negative on our zoo visit occurred at the camel ride. The $5 photo is of extremely poor quality and they don't care! Save your money. This picture required 30 minutes with Corel PaintShop Pro to get it as good as I got it. The camel was a sweetheart, though.

A pachyderm shower at the watering hole

An Okapi

Now that's a butt of which to be proud
While the Okapis resemble zebras, they are actually more closely related to giraffes.

The following photos are staged scenes found in Safari Africa.

Our last visit before trotting our happy feet home was with the African penguins.

The little guy on shore is Larry the lifeguard - he even had the armband to prove it

A hike past the posies and the gift shops and we are on our way home.

This is just a small sampling of the adventures awaiting you at the Lowry Park Zoo. We had a fantastic day!

It's A Zoo Out There - Part One

The Belle of Ballast Point and I spent a good part of Labor Day 2011 at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. It had been more than ten years since our last visit and we decided our return to this Tampa treasure was way overdue.

What follows is a photo journal depicting our trek through the wilds of the Lowry Park Zoo.

(All photos by Jon R. of the Oracle. Click to enlarge)

Let me begin with a mention that while we arrived around ten in the morning, the day was hot and humid. During our journey we discovered that many of the animals were sleeping in their hidey holes apparently taking the Noel Coward song to heart; only "Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun". Still, this was a rewarding day.

Our first animal sighting occurred in the parking lot.

The Manatee Fountain

Mama Rhino and newborn
Asian Garden

Upon entering the primate area we were greeted by a sign reading something like, "Say hello to your cousins." These aren't  from my side of the family, but I said hello anyway.

A cooling ride to...

...just kidding!

Florida black bear cooling off

A diving otter - these guys are quick, so this photo is a "better lucky than good"
I am not through yet. Part Two of the zoo heads off on an African safari. Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hold Your Breath

I have a question for Mr. Waffles, the president of the United States. "Sir, how long can you hold your breath?" This may be a question people everywhere should be asking themselves. That knowledge could come in handy as we draw in and savor that last lung full of breathable air.

President Obama, in one of his latest official gutless acts, has decided to eschew clean air in favor of kissing special interest derrieres claiming that clean air is detrimental to the creation of jobs, or some such mierda del toro. Obama has blocked a proposed rule from those commie, pinko, tree-huggers at the EPA that would have reduced smog causing chemical emissions that foul our air - you know, that stuff we have to breathe to stay alive. Fat-cat business interests and the Republicans in Congress claim the new standards would cost billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Let me ask these clowns a couple of questions. If you had a spare billion tucked away somewhere would you not be willing to spend it just to keep your sorry, self-serving ass alive? And, couldn't new jobs be created and people employed in the American clean air industry. Do we even have one of those, and if not, then why not?

Who the hell does Obama and the rest of the anti-EPA people think is going to work in this country to enable the rich to get richer if we are all suffocating? I don't think millions upon millions of sick and dead Americans are going to do much to benefit the economy.

So, Obama, how long can you hold your breath?

A Vinyl Classic For The Weekend

Music don't get no gooder'n this here:

Happy weekend, y'all.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Start Your Own Petition Today

MoveOn.org is testing a new tool that lets anyone start their own MoveOn-style petition and they want us to be among the first to try it out.

It's called SignOn.org, and MoveOn says it's a revolutionary approach to online organizing. Instead of MoveOn staff organizing just a few big campaigns, they're turning the keys over to grassroots progressives to run thousands of campaigns on local, state, and national issues.

Whether you're a seasoned organizer or a first-time activist, you can create a petition in minutes, and then invite your friends to sign it. MoveOn will send the most popular petitions to other MoveOn members to help build support for your cause.

Click here to start your own petition on SignOn.org right now.

I am not convinced that there is anyone in the White House, Congress, the Florida legislature, Prick Scott, or any corporate CEO who really gives a rat's ass as to what we the people think; however, this is an interesting concept and it can't hurt to give it a try.