Archive for April, 2010

Crist Decides To Run As Independent, Nobody Cares

I wouldn’t vote for him unless he handed me a suitcase full of hundred dollar bills from the DNC and even then, I’d take the money and vote for somebody else.

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Jacksonville Man Kills, Decapitates His Mother

I’m going out on a limb here and assume his attorney is going to go for an insanity defense….

From Jacksonville.com:

Scratches on his face and blood under his fingernails – that’s what members of Jumar D. Henry’s church saw Sunday and reported to police.

Little did they know the decapitated body of his mother lie in her home in the 1500 block of West Sixth Street, her head tossed out in a black plastic bag three blocks away.

Police admit they don’t know what led up to the gruesome Saturday night death of 43-year-old Jennifer Renee-Henry Ling as her 21-year-old son sits in the Duval County jail charged with murder.

“We don’t know at this point. We just don’t know,” said Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Lt. Larry Schmitt.

As white-suited police evidence technicians combed the tidy one-story home just blocks away from the historic Edward Waters College campus, neighbors wonder what happened too.

One of many watching Monday’s forensic investigation from their porches said any time she saw Henry, who lived in the 1000 block of North Liberty Street, he “acted weird.” She and others within earshot of the home said they heard nothing Saturday night, but the aftermath horrified Rosetta Mondul, who has lived across the street since 1946.

“It was horrible,” Mondul said. “It was terrible. I have never seen anything like this in my life.”

Family members found Ling’s body inside her home about 1:15 p.m. Sunday and called police. Shortly after that, police received another call about the discovery of a head in a bag a few blocks away in one of the empty grassy lots that rings Dot and Tyler streets.

Read the rest at the above link.

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It’s Only Tuesday? Sigh. Maybe Music Will Help.

And my personal favorite:

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Fifty Percent Pay Cut for Some Broward County Teachers

From Sun-Sentinel.com:

Principals at dozens of Broward County public schools have given librarians and teachers of art, music and physical education a choice: Take a pay cut of almost 50 percent, or take your chances waiting for a job to open up at another school.

“I’ve been teaching for over a decade, and now I’m supposed to be living for under 20 grand a year,” said Jason Hammett, a physical education teacher at Plantation Elementary School. “I have a newborn son.”

Hammett said his principal called him into her office last week and said the PE program was being cut in half for next school year and so was his $42,450 annual salary. He could work four hours a day, 20 hours a week, and maintain his benefits. Should Hammett decide not to take the cut, he’ll go on the district’s surplus list, a pool of teachers vying for full-time positions based on job availability and seniority.

The district could not say exactly how many teachers were given the same choice as Hammett, but according to the Broward Teachers Union, it was offered at more than two dozen schools, including Stirling Elementary in Hollywood and Sawgrass Elementary in Sunrise.

The district started laying off employees last week, as it battles a budget shortfall of up to $130 million. The School Board announced 461 non-instructional employees — secretaries, custodians, project managers and curriculum specialists — will get pink slips.

On Friday, the first 47 were officially notified. All layoffs will become effective July 1.

*sigh* Working year to year here, and bringing in exactly $4 per week more than when I started three years ago. So much for those huge education salaries, hunh? I can hardly wait until the economy starts picking up again! We have a business we want to start but we would like to have some assurance that the economy is recovering (other than Obama’s say so, that is) before we take out a mortgage on a paid off house in order to finance it.

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Hide the Decline II Banned on YouTube

Hide The Decline II from No Cap And Trade Coalition on Vimeo.

So, follow the link to see it for yourself. That’s my Public Service for the day.

Oh, wait. I need to do something for the environment. Hmmmmmm. What to do, what to do…….

I got it! I’ll shampoo my carpet and get some of that damn environment out of the house. Later, y’all.

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Africa’s Ongoing Trainwreck

Al Fin has an interesting post up about the situation in Africa. Foreign Policy’s numbers of people killed in the seemingly never-ending battles of chaos are almost unbelievable.

I’ve witnessed up close — often way too close — how combat has morphed from soldier vs. soldier (now a rarity in Africa) to soldier vs. civilian. Most of today’s African fighters are not rebels with a cause; they’re predators. That’s why we see stunning atrocities like eastern Congo’s rape epidemic, where armed groups in recent years have sexually assaulted hundreds of thousands of women, often so sadistically that the victims are left incontinent for life. What is the military or political objective of ramming an assault rifle inside a woman and pulling the trigger? Terror has become an end, not just a means.

This is the story across much of Africa, where nearly half of the continent’s 53 countries are home to an active conflict or a recently ended one. Quiet places such as Tanzania are the lonely exceptions; even user-friendly, tourist-filled Kenya blew up in 2008. Add together the casualties in just the dozen countries that I cover, and you have a death toll of tens of thousands of civilians each year. More than 5 million have died in Congo alone since 1998, the International Rescue Committee has estimated.

Of course, many of the last generation’s independence struggles were bloody, too. South Sudan’s decades-long rebellion is thought to have cost more than 2 million lives. But this is not about numbers. This is about methods and objectives, and the leaders driving them. Uganda’s top guerrilla of the 1980s, Yoweri Museveni, used to fire up his rebels by telling them they were on the ground floor of a national people’s army. Museveni became president in 1986, and he’s still in office (another problem, another story). But his words seem downright noble compared with the best-known rebel leader from his country today, Joseph Kony, who just gives orders to burn.

Even if you could coax these men out of their jungle lairs and get them to the negotiating table, there is very little to offer them. They don’t want ministries or tracts of land to govern. Their armies are often traumatized children, with experience and skills (if you can call them that) totally unsuited for civilian life. All they want is cash, guns, and a license to rampage. And they’ve already got all three. How do you negotiate with that?

In these countries, if you work to build something, you will be killed by bandits (along with the family) and it will be taken from you. If you grow food, stolen. If you raise livestock, stolen. If you successfully raise children, they will be taken, too. Ultimately, order will be restored from the outside. China, perhaps, will take on the problem (and Africa’s natural riches).

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I Screwed Up and Went to Aerobics Class Again…

I got home late, then went to feed, starting with the chickens. In the course of feeding, I discovered a teensy little premature lamb. She is too weak to stand or even hold up her head, although she tries very hard and calls her mom with a voice that sounds like a cat meowing, much like a human preemie cry.

*sigh* She cannot hold up her head. I tried to let her nurse by flipping mom over on her back and putting her on a teat; she’s too weak. Tube feeding (putting a tube down into her tummy and pumping milk directly) is contraindicated in a lamb who is too weak to hold up her head. Her mother, a tiny ewe less than a year old herself, is nonplussed.

So, what caused the premature labor? Could be a number of things. The rams and unbred ewes broke into the pasture a few days earlier, and I had to round them up and separate them. They were running around wildly in amongst the new moms and pregnant ewes, and she could have been bumped and/or knocked down by a rambunctious ram trying to hide. Last night there was a thunderstorm. Changes in air pressure from a storm have brought on labor in ewes near term. In addition, the weather has suddenly turned from winter to summer, the shearer hasn’t arrived yet, and the ewes are in full fleece. Could be a combination of all those things. Unfortunately, none of those things will save this little ewe who would need feeding of a very small amount hourly, something that I cannot do.

I will try to feed her once again tonight and, if I fail (and maybe if I succeed) she will be dead by morning.

Update: Not dead by morning, but very weak. Dead when I returned from work.

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