Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mixed Feelings

It was just a few years ago when a 14yr old North County girl went missing on her walk to school one morning.
Fliers were posted over a very large radius, and this case (Amber Dubois) even made it into a cover-story of People Magazine.

Over a year went by without so much as a clue per the Dubois case when 17yr old Chelsey King went missing. Within a few days, John Gardner was in custody.

In order to escape the Death Penalty per the King murder, Gardner confessed to the Dubois disappearance and led investigators to her remains.

All of this has been chronicled in an Investigative Discovery Channel (ID) show. It was kinda local news for me for a few reasons:
  • Southwest Riverside County has strong business/cultural ties to North San Diego County.
  • I was frequenting the corridor between them often, looking after family in DuBois' hometown.
  • Dubois' image gazed at me from a flier at nearly every business stop (gas station, barber, liquor store, donut shop...and then some... still yet...  even more than that... Never knew her, but Amber Dubois was a part of my life.)
  • I had attended family gatherings at the  park where King was assaulted/raped/killed.
This is not the first time that a very bad person chose to cough up some valuable information in a deal to avoid the Death Penalty, and is why I'm having mixed feelings about the proposition on California's ballot this year that will officially end Capital Punishment in this state. (It has already been practically ended by other means.)

I was once for abolition.
Today, I'm not so sure about that.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Polygamy Is For Women

One of my fb friends had let out a screed the other night per Romney, polygamy, hatred for women, blah, blah, blah...
Yeah, well, she won't be voting for that guy....

I had a chuckle and scrolled on.

Several minutes later, still in chuckle mode... the topic in my head moved to more economically centered ideas...
  • A few thoughts: Polygamist societies generally run along the One Man With More-Than-One Woman Model. 
  • That really screws with the reported 53/47 ratio of favorability of Female vs Male live births.
  • This places a premium value on the mere existence of every single female.
  • Most any  Female, being highly valued based upon her gender alone, would have tremendous power over the standard/ typical Male of her society. 
  • She could get away with a myriad of minor offenses that would cause her gender counterpart (Standard/Typical Male) to be banished from the society.
  • Maybe even many less-minor offenses.
  • While only having to 'put out' every few days or longer...
  • Where their man would be required to service every night, somebody... (and yes, I'm pretty sure the girls probably talk among themselves...)
  • Not to mention doing so after a long, hard day of providing enough to satiate these multiple women in an earthly sense.
  • Doing it day after day,  year after year...
  • There'd better be lots of babies, too...
  • Babies that need support...
  • Along with all those Baby-Mama's.
  • Nagging, demanding,  conceiting Baby-mamas ...
  • (Who talk among themselves.)
  • They want more...
  • And more, still...
I'd be like: Prophet be damned... I'm outta here...
I'm sure of it...
Polygamy is actually a feminist, Man-hating idea.

Monday, October 22, 2012

You want proof that neither of these guys are fit to be President? They both agreed to a debate during Monday Night Football.
Enhancing the offense upon American culture: it's a divisional match up featuring the Lions and the Bears (Oh, my!)

Last time these two teams met, there was a fight, an ejection, and sixty minutes of chippiness...

I will be watching the match up that matters tonight. You should, too.


I spent my weekend attending a class with intent to better my situation.
If this shit works...
i.e. I overcome the required testing...
I will have a lot to say.
Should I not, you will never hear a thing about it. Ever.
Choose your outcome, and pray accordingly.

Sandra Fluke is this cycle's Cindy Sheehan. But I respect Cindy.

Go Bears! Solidify 1st place, as it should be.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Not Your Grandfather's Movement

Grampa was born in 1911 and came of age during the rise of the labor movement. Throughout his life, and I mean all of his life, he was a dedicated Union Man.

Grampa was not just a member very early on; he served on the negotiating committee of his local more years than not (no bull shit here, ok?); he served decades as local president; he organized locals where none existed; he held an elective office every year of his working life (from the time he was 18) until he retired at 65; he was always 'fightin' as they say.

My Grampa lived the ideals of 'Democratic Trade Unionism'. Lived it, Breathed it, Preached it...
Never thinking it was beneficial to the cause for the leadership to get stagnant, he believed in term limits: he'd step-down from leadership roles after two terms to sit a term out in a lesser role... cause it was never good for one man to become too self-important, forget who he was fighting for.
It defined him and motivated him. Total commitment to the cause...

Yet, Grampa was no fool.
As he explained to me once when I was in my 20's, working non-union, and dissing the Union-Side of things:
It's a lot more effective to say that "Joe needs better health care", "Joe needs more money to feed his babies", "Joe needs a pension plan"... etc... than it is to say 'Hey, I want more for me!'...

I always knew that whatever I got for 'Joe', I also got for myself. That's why I fought so hard for Joe.
It was all about 'Joe', always about 'Joe', never about me. (And he winked.)
I was living in one of Grampa's teaching moments. There were many of these throughout his years, most of which I was not capable of recognizing for several years afterwards.

Toward the end of his life, as we sat and talked union talk (by this time, I was working a union shop), I knew that he was coming, fixed Corned Beef n Cabbage, was slicing the beef when he muttered something like: 'things are different now' as to the union ideal...
This was near on a March 17th, St Patrick's Day... when corned beef mattered... twas a weekend to be sure... I was delivering as expected...

Unlike my corned beef.. organized Labor, it's substance and meaning, resembled very little of the righteous movement Grampa had dedicated his life to.
He knew it.

I think if Grampa was allowed to live a little longer, he would have supported 'Right To Work' legislation.
He was one of the few who actively opposed the merger of AFL and CIO. He talked about it... didn't mind being seen as one on the 'outs'.

As he explained: with two organisations, there is competition. Who can deliver and who can't. Combined, strength becomes weakness. Maybe I was wrong, but I still see it.

(I saw a bit of Tsun Tzu in his reasoning. My Granpa was a brilliant, strategical motherfucker when allowed to be. I seen him 'take the fall' for a good greater than himself before. Fearless and shameless in his words. Always righteous in his deeds. Never afraid to be the 'bad guy' to advance an idea. A born diplomat/lawyer if ever one was born.
If he had real opportunity in his youth, a chance for education beyond the 7th grade, he'd have been a great lawyer to the guilty.)

No lie. My Gramps really was that good.
He left behind a Labor movement that even he recognized was doomed to fail based upon it's very success.

When Labor left the factories and took up residence among the public supported white-collar, the fight was over.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kicking The Hornet's Nest

Last week I notified my union rep (United Steel Workers) that I intend to make official my request to have that portion of my union dues spent on partisan politics refunded to me, as per my rights under the law.

I had inquired about this over a year ago. In response, I received a personal visit from the regional rep while at work. While friendly, he was rather hurt that I would even look into the matter.
We had a long winded one-on-one for the better part of an hour. Not an easy feet for a guy (myself) with my prior breathing issues.

He informed me that in doing so I would be forfeiting my rights as a union member in good standing. I would no longer be allowed a vote as a bargaining unit member and would be denied access to any/all union meetings.

My response was along the lines of: ... OK, so you been calling be 'Brother' for near on 20 years; I have never, ever, not once in that 20 years violated my oath of membership; have earned a reputation, earned it, ask around... as one of the most loyal members of the unit, willing to go distances others have not, and have more than once; put my ass on the line to file Board charges with the State in my own name because ("Ask Gino, he's asshole enough to do it") nobody else would....
My local President stood there, nodding his head, affirming everything...
He knows me.
He knows who I am, what I am, what I have done and not done...
In short... how Union Cool I am.
The he spoke, turning to the rep who was politely attempting to inform me of my sins... 'He's a Brother. He's been there. For real. I know him.'

Yet, I am suddenly not 'Brother' enough for you.
In my raspiest, breathiest, angriest voice I could muster... I looked the Regional Tool in eye: "Kiss. My. Ass. You. Piece. Of. International. Shit."
Exact quote.
No, really...
Exact Quote.

A day later, I pussied out...
Decided that the cash refunded wouldn't cover the cost of slashed tires and broken windows.
I am not proud of that, OK.
But it is...
and I did...

Being honest, is all...
Facing overwhelming power...
I turned Pussy.
I AM not proud of that, OK...

It's different now.
I am not who I was 18 months ago.

I have informed my local president of my potential intentions and gave him a day or two to dwell upon it.
I then sent him another email putting him on notice that, yes indeed, you Mother Fucker... I will personally hold HIM responsible for any broken windows or slashed tires... for several months afterwards... maybe even longer than that... years, if need be, you bastard... whatever suits my purpose... Eye For Eye... you get where I'm going, yeah?
Well, do you?

I am either the stupidest United Steel Worker in the world, or the ballsiest...

I'll find out eventually...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum

From Jamaica,  a gift from Ed (friend and Landlord) upon his arrival from a Carribean cruise after I had spent the last three weeks cat and house sitting for him
Seriously...  cat sitting is so cool; so much It's Own Reward; that I would do it for the asking.
We all should.
But...  if someone thinks I've earned a bottle of hootch for it, I'm not one to tell that person that they are wrong.

For starters, the distillate version of rum is far the more better than the distillate version of bourbon.
(We've blogged that one, yeah? Buffalo Trace White Dog, couple months backs...  check it if you'd like.)
Yeah, this like 125.5 proof, 63% alcohol.
Same as  that 'White Dog' from Buffalo Trace.

Ed, an openly Evangelical Christian who does not publicly admit to enjoying a drink or two delivered a snicker when he handed me the bottle.
"Good, I think you'll appreciate it" he said.
Looks like a one man party, I laughed.
"And then some... Have fun."

I'm not a rum drinker, not much at all.
Not that such would stop me from exploring this offering a bit further since it was free...

Crystal clear in the glass, the turbulance from the pour brings forth a wafting of banana...
A swirl and a sniff... it's a very ripe banana, some burnt molasses, maybe a hint of passion fruit, and still more banana.
Lot's of banana in this nose. It's inviting, sweet, fruity and tropical.

Hold on while I gather my head....  This stuff bites a lil bit quicker than the White Dog does...
I'll be back.

Harsh alcohol pungentness   follows a (here it goes again) sweet, ripe banana flavor up front. I'm almost tempted to think this is more of a banana brandy than a rum.
And, you probably guessed, finishes with a banana/melon after taste.

This is really good; sweet, fruity and lots of banana love... but damn, it's also strong.
The heavy alcoholic presence can over power the good stuff for the untrained.
Try it as a mixer, maybe with Coke.
Maybe I should have tuned in to the debate since it's all anybody is talking about today. From the drive to work at 4am, and still... it's all that there is...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Because There IS A Difference

If this was 2008, and George Bush was President, the Washington Press Corps would be hounding the Chief Executive at every possible opportunity with this story:
The Spanish language television news network Univision unleashed a bombshell investigative report on Operation Fast and Furious Sunday evening, finding that in January 2010 drug cartel hit men slaughtered students with weapons the United States government allowed to flow to them across the Mexican border.

“On January 30, 2010, a commando of at least 20 hit men parked themselves outside a birthday party of high school and college students in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez,” according to a version of the Univision report in English, on the ABC News website.

“Near midnight, the assassins, later identified as hired guns for the Mexican cartel La Linea, broke into a one-story house and opened fire on a gathering of nearly 60 teenagers. Outside, lookouts gunned down a screaming neighbor and several students who had managed to escape. Fourteen young men and women were killed, and 12 more were wounded before the hit men finally fled.”

Citing a Mexican Army document it obtained and published, Univision reported that “[t]hree of the high caliber weapons fired that night in Villas de Salvarcar were linked to a gun tracing operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).”

That operation was Fast and Furious.

You know it.
I know it.

If Obama wins re-election, it will be, at least in part, the result of a rim-job, asshole-licking press corps.
You know it.
I know it.