Tuesday, June 25, 2013

US Supreme Court Declares that the Right to Remain Silent Requires that You Speak Up Before Holding Your Peace

So, in a case that found itself before the Supreme Court of the United States, Salinas v. Texas, a man charged with felony murder opted not to speak while being questioned about whether or not his shotgun might match shell casings found at the scene of a murder. The man was not under arrest and he wasn't read his rights, but in Texas, almost everyone has a shotgun and, personally, I can see someone not wanting to say anything because it will look like they were involved just because they'd admitted having visited the two brothers who were killed. The man was subsequently charged and challenged the fact that police used his behaviors during the potential witness interview as evidence of his guilt. He hadn't been arrested, he didn't have a lawyer, so he just stopped answering questions rather than potentially incriminate himself.

Now, I don't know if he is guilty or not - that's between him and God. But, knowing Texas's love of capital punishment for almost any reason, I can see someone realizing they might be a suspect and simply shutting up. He and his lawyer believed that not speaking in a way that might be considered self-incriminating by those looking for a suspect was his right. Not according to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled on June 19, 2013, that a person MUST invoke their Fifth Amendment Right verbally or their being silent doesn't count. Even if they haven't been read those rights!!

I'm sorry, but this is just wrong - totally wrong. You have to speak first and announce that you are pleading the Fifth or it doesn't count as the right to be silent??? Are you flipping kidding me???

Little by little, the rights put into place by our founding fathers who knew what it was like to live under a government that could readily convict anyone of anything without evidence are being whittled away. Chip by chip, like a sculpture, pieces of the Bill of Rights are falling to the ground. What remains, in the future, is anyone's guess - unless we find a way to put a stop to it. I realize the Supreme Court interprets the meaning of a law or the validity of a law, but this is actually saying that the right to be silent doesn't really mean be silent unless you tell someone you're going to remain silent! How convoluted can you get?

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Texas Mom Gets Over on Robber, Protects Her Children

Dorothy Baker-Flugence became a hero to me on Friday when she was able to defeat a man who had managed to get into her minivan to rob her when she returned to it. With knife in hand, he demanded that she give him $200 cash or he would hurt her children. She decided he deserved more. So, she drove straight into a telephone pole knowing that she and her children were safely buckled in, but the robber wasn't.

It worked! He flew from the back of the van to the front of the van where she was able to take the knife away from him and began beating on him until he jumped from the van and began running. She chased him in the van to stop him until police arrived (she had dialed 911 on her cell phone when he wasn't looking), but accidentally ran him over with the van. He was injured but the police, and Dorothy, got their man. He had been previously convicted of rape back in the 70s, so violence wasn't foreign to him.

I remember seeing that scene in a movie, where the hero is driving, puts his seatbelt on and accelerates into a wall. The bad guy, who mocked him for putting his seatbelt on, didn't have a seatbelt on and went flying and our hero took control. Does anyone remember what movie that was?? I'm thinking a Bruce Willis movie, but I'm also getting Michael Keaton, Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood images running through my head. Anyone???

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Full Transcript Proves Obama Did Not Orchestrate IRS Reviews of Non-Profits

Darrell Issa, Republican Chair of the House Oversight Committee, has regularly claimed that the White House orchestrated the "targeted" reviews of Tea Party groups who were requesting non-profit status. To bolster his claims, he released excerpts from the transcripts of the interviews done with the people involved with the so-called targeting. However, when challenged by a fellow HOC member who happens to be Democrat to release the entire transcript, Issa refused. Repeatedly.

Elijah Cummings warned Issa that if he did not release the entire transcript, which would prove he had lied to the media and the world about what had taken place, telling him that if he did not release the transcript within a week, then he, Cummings, would release it himself. And, that is what happened.

The transcript clearly shows that those involved in the non-profit reviews did NOT receive orders from the White House, that they were decided locally, and that the person who approved expanding the reviews of these "political" non-profits was actually a Conservative Republican who plainly stated that the idea began in their office and nowhere else. On top of that, it was learned that the Tea Party constituted only ONE THIRD of those non-profits reviewed!

What triggered the original investigation was the admission on a non-profit application that the group planned political activities, which is not permitted by IRS regulations. They are to be involved in Social Welfare, not Politics. The manager who expanded the reviews did so in order to prevent the impression that the one group was targeted. But, as we can all see, people like Darrell Issa think that creating controversy is part of their job description instead of the business of enacting laws and helping our country's economy grow.

Issa, an elected official, violated his oath of office when he deliberately lied to American citizens in an effort to undermine the presidency. The man should be immediately removed from office. 

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Dreams that are So Real

I woke up from a nap yesterday afternoon where I was dreaming a very real (to me) dream. I had to tell myself when I came to that I was dreaming, but I think the dream was telling me something. CUT THE GRASS!!!

Anyway, in the dream, I could hear a lawnmower. I walked into the kitchen and saw someone go by our kitchen window, so I hurried to the back door thinking, OH NO! The city has come and now I'll be in trouble having to pay them. But, when I opened the back door, there was a black tortoise-shell cat sitting just outside the door. When I stepped out, there were two men on Segways mowing my neighbor's lawn. Our grass needed to be cut, but there were two tires in the yard out of which were growing wild flowers. 

Then I saw my Chloe cat in the grass meowing at me urgently. I hurried over to her and spotted two kittens in boxes. I turned around and there were more kittens up by the back door sitting where their mama had just been sitting. I looked all over trying to figure out how Chloe got out of the house when I saw the black chair from our living room sitting in the yard and some other furniture also. I remember thinking, why the hell did Deb put this stuff out here?

When another chair, a recliner, suddenly appeared propped up on top of the black chair, it all started to vanish and then I woke up. That's how real that dream was - even now, more than 30 minutes after waking up, I can remember those details. And, THIS is why, my friends, I will NEVER do drugs!!! 

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Paula Deen fired by Food Network over use of N-word

My first post in a while is about a very current event. I feel strongly enough about it that I have posted it in both of my blogs. If you're a fan of Paula, you'll have an opinion on this one, too. I first posted this on Bubblews.com.

I haven't been able to watch Food Network for a while since we no longer have cable, but it saddens me that this controversy has cost her her job. The use of that word is always wrong, but the events in question, the times when she admits to having used it, took place years ago. If you watch Paula on any of her shows - or on any other show, for that matter - you will see a woman who just loves everyone.

I do not believe for one moment that Paula Deen is a bigot. However, I do believe that the culture in which she grew up WAS - segregation, Jim Crow, whites-only everything. That she has come out of all that as accepting as she is says a lot about her. She's raised her sons to accept everyone. But, that doesn't change the fact that there was a time in her life when the use of that particularly ill-suited word was commonplace. Whether the user meant it in a hateful way or a benign way, it was part of the common vernacular.

Paula Deen brought herself up from poverty to be who she is today. There is no one who can not respect that. So what if she developed Type-II Diabetes because her diet wasn't the best. She's sure as hell not the only Southerner this is happening to. And, who better to represent to those same people how all those sweets and carb-laden foods can affect your health than the queen of butter cooking herself?? I'm not speaking tongue-in-cheek, either. She is an icon, an idol to many and a peer to an entire section of this country. She is a good example for them to observe and learn from.

Now, with regard to her firing....I remember when Food Network also fired Chef Robert Irvine for lying on his resume. It turned out that he had exaggerated the roles he'd played in the jobs he'd listed. However, the man is a brilliant chef AND he has a large following. Although he did deserve to be fired, Food Network brought him back a year later. He'd had his punishment and now he could again do what he did best - accomplish the seemingly impossible.

Therefore, it is my hope that the same will hold true for Paula. I hope that her followers are strong and vocal enough that they convince Food Network to bring Paula back. She is an asset to the network, even if this situation is less than optimal. She knows she screwed up. You can see it in her face in the video she posted to YouTube about this. In fact, she looks so downtrodden, I wouldn't be surprised to hear of new health concerns brought on by this stressful situation. I know that some will say "she deserves it" and they may be right. Whether she deserved to be fired, I'm not sure, since her actions were done long ago and were not done against her employer as Chef Irvine's were. Regardless, a punishment has been meted and she will deal with it. But, I still think that they should consider bringing her back after everything cools off. She's good at what she does, as was Chef Irvine. She makes clear that she is NOT a chef, but is a cook. All of her coworkers love her. I would love to see this all work out for her.

How do you all feel about this?

First video - deleted by Paula. Can be seen here: www.mediaite.com/online/paula-deen-releases-video-statement-addressing-use-of-n-word-plantation-costumes/
Second video - www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&;v=nu6Us7fpr00
Third video - www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&;v=9L9LOfVlNxc

Check out Paula's Facebook Page and see what her supporters, many of them black women, are saying about and to her. 

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