Saturday, April 28, 2012

That which is most precious

Hello Friends;
  Below is an article I found interesting on numerous levels.  Mostly, I find myself with the knee-jerk reaction of saying that Zimmerman should be punished by any and all means available, including the forfeiture of any funds raised for his legal defense.  But, then I come to the brick wall of justice.
  Did Trayvon receive his share of justice?  Well, then why should Zimmerman?  And yet, if we as a people are no more than thieves, what are we to become?
   In criminal law, there is a saying I've heard goes something like "all the justice he could buy".  Is it right that we need to have a considerable amount of money in order to pay for a quality defense?  I don't know... you literally get what you pay for when it comes to attorneys far too often.  What would be ideal is for some sort of fact finding process done by the state that comes to a fair and equitable result.  But, administered and populated by man, there is no way it would ever work.
  The simple fact of the matter is that we in this country, and perhaps we as a species, have far too small a value on life, on quality life.  Somehow we have found that the taking of life is far too acceptable - be that from a permanent perspective, like what happened to Trayvon, or a slow lingering death like Mr. Zimmerman is now facing. 
  I have no soundbites, no snap judgements.  I only have sadness that two lives, at the bare minimum, are forever changed by one man's willingness to place into his hand that which can only take that which is most precious.


(CNN) -- George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of wrongly killing Trayvon Martin, will not immediately have to turn over donations made to his website, a Florida judge said Friday.

Zimmerman collected about $204,000 in donations through the website, but did not disclose the contributions during his bond hearing last week, according to his attorney, Mark O'Mara. Prosecutors had asked for a bond of $1 million, but Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. made it $150,000 after Zimmerman's family testified they did not have the resources necessary to meet the higher level.
Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda on Friday asked Lester to increase the bond in light of the donations. But the judge said he would delay ruling on the request, in part because he does not know if he has authority to say how the money can be used.
Lester and O'Mara both said they are concerned about releasing the names of donors to Zimmerman, who has faced threats since the case began making national headlines in March.
Zimmerman, 28, was released Monday on $150,000 bail, 10% of which was put up to secure his release while he awaits trial on a second-degree murder charge in Martin's February 26 death.
About $5,000 from the website contribution was used in making bond, O'Mara said. The rest came from a loan secured by a family home.
Although Zimmerman spent some of the contributions on living expenses, about $150,000 remains, O'Mara said Friday. O'Mara said he has put the money into a trust he controls until a final decision is made about its use.
Lester asked for additional information about the accounts but did not indicate when he would rule.
"I'm not going to make a snap decision," the judge said.
Also during Friday's hearing, Lester declined to consider a gag order requested by prosecutors, saying it was premature and that none of the attorneys in the case had said anything to concern him so far. CNN was among the media organizations opposing the motion.
O'Mara said he learned about the money this week as he and Zimmerman were trying to shut down Zimmerman's website, Facebook page and Twitter account to avoid concerns about possible impersonators and other problems.
"He asked me what to do with his PayPal accounts, and I asked him what he was talking about," O'Mara told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday. "He said those were the accounts that had the money from the website he had. And there was about ... $204,000 that had come in to date."
O'Mara had said earlier this month that he believed Zimmerman had no money.
Asked whether knowledge of the money might have made a difference to Lester, who presided at Zimmerman's bond hearing, O'Mara said, "It might have."
O'Mara could not explain why Zimmerman didn't disclose the funds, but said he didn't think his client had meant to deceive anyone.
"I consider it an oversight because I don't see anything else that suggests that Mr. Zimmerman has been insincere or dishonest," he told CNN's Erin Burnett on Friday. "The moment I asked him about it, he acknowledged it and forwarded the money."
Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said Zimmerman's failure to reveal that he had the money shows that he is being dishonest.
"If his testimony at the bond hearing is any indication of what is to come, then the lying has already begun," Crump said.
"This is going to say a lot about whether Trayvon Martin can get a fair trial," he told Burnett. "If he (Lester) doesn't revoke his bond, the court should severely sanction him so George Zimmerman understands you cannot lie to the court."
Separately, the attorney said the Martin family has raised less than $100,000 in fund-raising efforts to date, and that the money collected will go toward the Trayvon Martin Foundation.
Crump said his firm will not collect a fee in any of the criminal proceedings.
"If we collect any money, it will be from a civil lawsuit and not from any donor money," he said.
Zimmerman was arrested April 11 after a lengthy delay punctuated by protests and rallies nationwide calling for charges against him.
Critics accuse Zimmerman of racially profiling and unjustly killing Martin, a 17-year-old African-American. Zimmerman told police he shot Martin in self-defense, according to police reports.
Although details of the shooting remain murky, it is known that Martin ventured out from the Sanford, Florida, home of his father's fiancee and went to a nearby convenience store, where he bought a bag of candy and an iced tea. On his way back, he had a confrontation with Zimmerman, who shot him.
Zimmerman had called 911 to complain about a suspicious person in the neighborhood, according to authorities.
In the call, Zimmerman said he was following Martin after the teen started to run, prompting the dispatcher to tell him, "We don't need you to do that." Zimmerman pursued Martin anyway but then said he lost sight of him.
According to an Orlando Sentinel story later confirmed by Sanford police, Zimmerman told authorities that after he briefly lost track of Martin, the teen approached him. After the two exchanged words, Zimmerman said, he reached for his cell phone, and then Martin punched him in the nose. Zimmerman said Martin pinned him to the ground and began slamming his head onto the sidewalk, leading to the shooting.
Police have said Zimmerman was not immediately charged because there was no evidence to disprove his account that he'd acted in self-defense. A police report indicated he was bleeding from the nose and the back of his head.
O'Mara on Friday revealed a new website,, and another site, not yet live, that will host a defense fund. The only thing on the site Friday afternoon was a statement about the donations.

Regardless of what happens to the contributions, O'Mara intends to open a legal defense fund for his client, he said.

"I've had dozens, hundreds actually, of people wanting to donate," he said Thursday.
O'Mara, who said he charges $400 per hour for family law cases, estimated Zimmerman's defense costs could reach $1 million.

"You can really go through a lot of money on a case like this, with the intensity of it," he said.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Hello Friends;

  I was off following one link after another today, just sort of whiling away the rainy day, if you will, and came upon this pic.  I passed it on without much thought, but realized it stayed in my thoughts and I couldn't quite understand why.

  Maybe you are having the same problem?

It occurred to me that we often make sweeping statements about the laws, the ways things should be, even what would seem acceptable in some ways and not others - and do it all without really caring about the individuals impacted. 

  I recall a very intense discussion I had with my father when President Obama spoke on Trevor Martin's death and said something towards the order that 'if I had a son, he would look just like Trevor'.  Now, some would say that is inappropriate, and yet I wonder if that is the only appropriate response?

  I also thought about all the people that are struggling in this world in anonymity.  Be they sons of tycoons or of welfare mothers, living life forgotten or ignored.  Living life without anyone who cares.

  We throw symbols, make declarations, even march.... do we really care for the individual?

I don't know what to make of this picture, and I think that's what bothers me the most.  Tell me what you think. 


Friday, April 20, 2012

the fear

'nuff said.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Hello Friends;

  I have been thinking again.  Sorry.  I try not to let it happen too often since the results are usually comic or tragic, but every now and again, like an old Ford diesel left too long in the weeds, the machinations of my mind are prompted to move again, rust and weeds grinding into the dirt below.  What comes from the screeching and noise is rarely impressive, often only half developed - I guess the glow plugs aren't all working.  But, up from the sludge and grime of my clogged mind floats another's words, I forget who, who lamented the continuing plight of the efforts to control the basic and relatively uncontrollable.
  Man is who he is, and as I think back on history it seems we have this constant struggle, at least as records show it, to seek to take what is alive and free and somehow shape it into images and actions of our own design.  I think of it as controlling what should be uncontrolled.
  Some have said that religion is the practice of a select few dictating to the masses that which they may and may not do yet hypocritically living by other rules.   I guess I have a hope that what is done at face value is, well, basically genuine.  But, they say that the priesthood is of the oldest of professions, matched only by the prostitute and the politician.  Seems somehow appropriate, and yet is there nothing more to our existence than what we see here and now?
But what we see in the here and now is an ever developing and ever more defining delineation of who are to be the free and who are to be the controlled.  We see more and more of the basic things tied into laws and criminalized, and in an effort to project morality and define acceptability we degrade and destroy entire families.  Think on these things as you see the evening news:  Were those laws that balloon our prison population even in effect 25 years ago?  50?  Why after so many years on earth are we in need of such big changes?
  I think of the article I read on Scottie's blog about the so-called Romeo laws and relate them to a book I was just reading about the Feudal ages - you know, castles and King Arther and stuff.  Most specifically:  is it all that unreasonable to think that kids in their teens are going to want to have sex?  In fact, can we not almost presume it?  They say that from historical norms, Mary, mother of Jesus, was likely about 14, maybe less, when she was gifted of child.  Good thing we didn't have today's laws back then, God would have been in jail!  And yet, what was acceptable in that time, what was even acceptable to God if the story be believed, is now a horrible thing?  Immoral?  Destructive?
  Look at the way our "war on drugs" has destroyed our economy, the lives of numerous families, and even the way that the underworld black-market style of sales have created a whole new way of life in cities and even rural areas. 
  I recall when my grandmother was failing in her health.  She had come to a point where she wasn't wanting to eat anymore and in pain.  She went from the typical American overweight to someone gaunt and looking starved.  My thoughts at the time were to give her a joint.  How simple?  It would help with the pain, give her the munchies!  Only downside is the new need to buy Dorritos in a flavor grandmothers would like.  But, alas, no.  The doctors were free to give her morphine derivatives, put her in a bed and ignore her, but to put a bit of weed in her toast and butter would have drawn the feds down upon everyone's head.
  I guess I don't have such a great idea on how to fix any of this, except to say that we have lost something wonderful and majestic in life:  freedom.  Like that movie with Mel Gibson, where the State had taken his family, his land, his wife and finally locked him up, put him on a table, and taken the very skin and manhood, his dying words, perhaps a bit dramatic, were "Freedom".  
  Why must we be so tightly controlled?  Why must those in power be so fearful of everyone else?  Why must we say things like "Gay Rights", or "Women's Rights".   Where would anyone declare that a "War on Family Values" must be answered with criminalization and prisons?  How is it that we can live in the land of the free and have no wings? 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tennessee Senate Approves Bill To Warn Students That Hand-Holding Is A ‘Gateway Sexual Activity’

By Scott Keyes on Apr 13, 2012 at 8:30 am

Like any state legislature dealing with 8 percent unemployment and thousands of its residents facing disenfranchisement, the Tennessee Senate is targeting the menace of underage hand-holding.

Last week, the Senate passed SB 3310, a bill to update the state’s abstinence-based sex education curriculum to define holding hands and kissing as “gateway sexual activities.” Just one senator voted against the legislation; 28 voted in favor.

Since the bill specifically bans teachers from “demonstrating gateway sexual activity”, educators would be prohibited from even demonstrating what hand-holding is. Breaking these laws could result in a lawsuit, as Hunter from Daily Kos notes:
If your teacher teaches you anything about sex that isn’t specifically on the approved curriculum, like demonstrating “holding hands” for the class instead of quietly tsking about the dangers it poses, they can be sued.

Still, this anti-hand-holding push may only be the second-worst bill passed in Tennessee this month. Nearly a century after the Volunteer State played host to the Scopes Monkey Trial, the legislature has now enacted a new law allowing educators to teach creationism alongside evolution.

As funny as this is, the tragedy is that these people are serious.  Hold on tight, America... we are in for a bumpy ride!  hugs, r.

for Scottie

Whose Religious Freedom?

Posted by Louise Melling, Center for Liberty at 5:32pm/found on ACLU page...

The freedom of religion and belief is one of our most cherished liberties. The First Amendment protects our right to believe whatever we choose. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) would like you to think this right is in peril. As defenders of the Constitution, we beg to differ, and think that some of the recent controversies actually show that the First Amendment is doing its job, and confirm that religious freedom in America is alive and well.
Take, for example, a recent federal court ruling concerning federally funded grants—including to USCCB — to aid trafficking victims. For several years, the bishops would take millions in federal funds and disburse them to other organizations to deliver services to help trafficking victims rebuild their lives, such as housing, clothing, and medical care.
In administering this federal program, however, USCCB prohibited its subcontractors from providing a comprehensive range of reproductive health services – including access to contraception and abortion – to victims, many of whom have been sexually abused, forced into prostitution or raped by their traffickers. In effect, USCCB was using government money to enforce its beliefs on other organizations, some of whom were not religiously affiliated in any way.
We brought a lawsuit challenging the use of these grants to promote a particular set of beliefs at the expense of victims’ needs. Recently, the judge in that case ruled that the government was indeed wrong to allow USCCB to do so. As the court explained, this case was “about the limits of the government’s ability to delegate to a religious institution the right to use taxpayer money to impose its beliefs on others (who may or may not share them).”
Just as they did when the administration announced that employers must include contraception coverage in their health plans, the bishops cried foul, declaring that this was somehow an imposition on the right to practice their faith. This was a hollow claim then, and it’s a hollow claim now.
The bishops have every right to believe that birth control and abortion are sinful. Consistent with religious freedom, the bishops also clearly have the right to espouse those beliefs and do their best to persuade others to follow their lead. But when the bishops insist that they have a right to use taxpayer money to impose their beliefs on others, that’s something else entirely.
As the judge explained, making sure that taxpayer funds are not used to impose religious beliefs on others does not “discriminate against religion; indeed, it promotes a respect for religion by refusing to single out any creed for official favor at the expense of all others.”
Similar claims of discrimination against religion have been made a lot lately. We see arguments that religious freedom justifies agencies trying to deny loving homes to children in foster care simply because the would-be adoptive parents are gay or lesbian, to insist that hospitals should be able to deny a woman life-saving care if it meant ending her pregnancy, to allow public school guidance counselors to turn away students in crisis if they disapprove of their sexual orientation, to allow any employer the right to refuse to cover contraception in their employees’ health insurance plans, or to allow hotels and restaurants open to the public to refuse to serve same-sex couples. But we know that’s not what true religious freedom is.

The United States is among the most religious, and religiously diverse, nations in the world. Religious freedom is one of our most treasured liberties. This fundamental and defining aspect of our national character is undermined when religion is used as a license to discriminate against others or to impose beliefs on others. The First Amendment exists to allow individuals to live according to their own deeply held values, not to force those values on everyone else.

One from the Dark Side

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Child of America

  As I read a few disturbing articles, well, ok, one I couldn't finish, I began to wonder about the America in which our children are inheriting.  I have this vision of it like inheriting a house only to find the windows broken, the walls stained, and bats in the attic.  Raze it to the foundation and start over?

  I had considered re-blogging the posts I'd read that were so harsh, but found I'd rather have you go there if you so choose.  The writers did a much better job than I could reproduce, and the sites are safe.
  This first one is not new, it is about the bully effect on our youth.  I thought the movie coming out would be a good thing, helping bullies to see the effect of their "innocent" actions.  What some would call "kids just being kids", yet leading to the death of all too many kids.  On second thought... I'm going to give you the search I used on Milkboys... ... and let you see the list like I did. 

The second is a story about the growing and mind boggling concept of kids in jail.  I don't have answers to things, but I have to say that if the only way we can deal with kids is to put them in jail then the kids are not the problem.

This last one is enough to make a person cry.  It deals with the sex offender laws and how the very ones who were supposed to be protected by these are quickly being the ones incarcerated, photographed, and having their lives ruined.

  I don't know what to say to all of this.  I'm just some schmoke, fiddling on a computer.  But, at least you know what I've seen and maybe somehow we can put some sort of end to some of this. 

Be well.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Yeah, buddy!

found on Tumblr, seemed appropriate.

excellent advice...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


In a time when the majority of my "blood" family has shown themselves less hospitable than strangers give eachother, when the knives of words and deeds seem to find the tender places so easily, there comes some very fine friends who, in just a few words of understanding and compassion, let you know that they care.  And suddenly, the term "family" changes its definition.

Many hugs!

My favorite time of the year...

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and Easter candy is on clearance sale 50% off...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

For my Best Friend

We all feel this way.  I am blessed to have a wonderful friend who, by long distance, does just that. 
Today I send him a great big hug right back.  Love ya, bro.

Modern day Rockwell?

Hi Friends;
  I just noticed that Thomas Kinkade has died at the very young age of 54.  His work was prolific, to say the least, and nearly everyone could find something that was nice for them.  Earth shaking, art defining, breath taking, perhaps not.  But, his art was quiet, alive, and fascinating in of itself.  And, quite commercial.  Here is an example of his work.  He uses bright colors to capture the attention, but not so much as to overload the senses.  It's sad to know that he is leaving us so soon.  I've often wondered if he did other types of art.  Anyone know the answer to that?
Thomas Kinkade, passed on at age 54.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The power of music

Hi Friends;
  Do you like music?  I love music.  I love to sing... I just do it poorly.  Music makes me feel, and makes me feel alive.  There are some that I just don't like.  I don't like current country music.  Oddly enough, it makes me feel angry and even violent.  I don't like the r&b of the current day either.  But, the older country and the older r&b I love.  Earth Wind & Fire, Freddie Fender, Cab Calloway, Marvin Gaye, Johnny Cash.  And I also love to listen to rock, and even the music like Enya and Andre Botticelli. 
  I came across this vid that was really interesting.  It was about the power of music to bring life and identity back to elder patients who have withdrawn.  I hope you like it too.


Is it Easter yet?

Can I has my Easter Basket now?
  Good Morning everybody;

  Welcome to Good Friday.  For those who don't know, "Good Friday" is the day that Christ was put upon the cross to make way for our shortcomings and come before God.  He was the sacrificial lamb, for those in the Old Testament way of thinking.
  Hanging on a cross next to Christ was a thief.  This thief, knowing he was guilty of his crimes was willing to pay the cost.  But, he saw Christ hanging there and being abused by the crowd and called out to them to let him be, that he was innocent.  He then asked that Jesus remember him to the Father.  It is said that there in Heaven sits this thief.
  I tell you this to say...that not one priest on the ground could change the destiny of that thief, nor could they get themselves to heaven.  Not one could be so righteous as to declare themslves fit.  Not one believer could condemn the thief to hell.     Only God gets to judge us!
That's a little throw at the jerk I heard on the tv this morning.  He knows who he is.

  I expected to be writing this morning to tell you that I would be absent from the blog for a bit as my parents made it home from their winter migration destination and would be spending the Easter Holiday with me.  I was mistaken in that belief.
  They pulled in at 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon.  I visited with them for a bit, but I had to be in bed by 6:00 to make it to work on time with even a little sleep.  On the way home from work I stopped to buy breakfast muffins and a paper - Mom likes the local paper.  When the newspaper called me last year  I told the circulation salesman that my dog is housebroken and I don't have a bird, so have no need for their paper.  He didn't appreciate my humor, but it tells you about the quality of the local paper.
   They liked the muffins, drank some coffee, and were gone for home an hour later. 
  So, I guess I'm spending my Easter with you.

Last night I made my dinner and sat down to watch 'Cowboys and Aliens'.  I thought it was another sequel to the Aliens series, but these were new ones.  Still an enjoyable film.  I went too long without eating and found myself a bit too receptive to the beer I'd had.  I don't normally drink much but Dad likes it so I have it in the house when he's coming.  Well, gotta do something with it.....  So, I made it to bed with legs feeling a bit unsure and slept great! 
  Not feeling the best right now, but that's ok. 

I did really well on my diet this week.  I made baked chicken breast with salsa on top, a bit of shredded cheese.  Then, side bowls of green beans and brown rice.  That was my main meal each night.  I'm going to buy some lemon and make some lemon chicken next, with salad.  That's another thing I have... two dozen eggs because the folks like eggs in the morning but I don't really eat them.  So, I guess I'll hard boil them and cut them into a salad.
Be well, my friends.  If anyone else is alone this week, feel free to email me.  That includes you, Miles!   I lost all your email with the closing of the prior email, so I'm missing you a bit, and of course I'd love to hear from new people, too.  blundersonword (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Once the memory of their school days starts to fade, many adults think the troubles of this time are not much of a burden compared to the problems they have to face in their world. But I’m sure everyone who’s still in school or was not too long ago will recognise that there are many things that can make an ordinary day at school seem like hell, something you might at some point even think you don’t have the power to endure any longer.

No matter if it’s bullying, problems at home or “just” the normal pressure that comes with what seems to be a planned out school “career” nowadays with parents apparently thinking that their kids are doomed if they don’t study for hours every day once they attend kindergarten.
And everyone who was lucky enough to have some loving friends helping them through such days will tell you that there are some little things that can mean so much, that can give you the confidence you need to face these problems once again, that can be a game changer in the harsh world school has become for many kids.
A hug from a friend is one of these simple, yet incredible powerful things.

But not everyone is seeing hugs for what they are: A way to embrace your friends, a way to comfort someone who is in need, a way to save someone’s day. For some people hugs are a threat. A dangerous act that leads to something these people fear more than the devil itself: Sex.

I would be preaching to the choir here if I point out that this is, of course, utter nonsense; that there is nothing sexual about hugs. That not every time people touch each other it’s a ritual to initiate a wild orgy of teenage sex full of sweat, cum and endorphin. Hugs are just that: hugs.
But some societies are so scared by the idea of two people loving each other, as friends or as a couple, that they don’t even dare to use the word hug. Instead they come up with technical terms that are outright disgusting in their lifeless blandness. A hug becomes a “PDA”, a “Public Display of Affection”, a term that would easily fit into Orwell’s 1984.
Once they do this it can’t really surprise anyone when they start to outlaw hugs. More and more schools all over the Unites States actually state in their school rules that hugs are not allowed or that students can’t come closer than 30 centimetres to each other. The school that banned hugging as an “unsuitable physical interaction” was just the latest example, this is going on for years now.
The hypocrisy of a system in which weapons are glorified and a film about a game that consists of kids slaughtering each other is celebrating one of the most successful opening weekends in cinema history while the mere slip of a nipple of a female singer causes enough controversy and outrage to keep the nation’s media busy for weeks and weeks is hardly worth pointing out since it’s so painfully obvious. It’s this kind of hypocrisy that leads to schools prohibiting hugs while bullying gay teens is defended as “freedom of religion”.
It this really the world we want to live in? Is this how we want the next generations to grow up? Under the impression that affection is something dirty, that caring for each other is “inappropriate”? I don’t have any solutions handy here. But I do believe that it’s time to do something. To make it better for American kids and to make sure this attitude won’t spread to other parts of the world.

But what do you do in the face of insanity?

Hi Friends;
  I read that and just shook my head.  We are a social people, conveying a great deal of subconscious and cultural meaning in touch.  We have all sorts, from a handshake or light punch on the arm to a flying American football tackle.  It's all about being part of the group, part of the community, part of humanity.
  The image to the right of two teens hugging may come to some as inappropriate.  Should it? 
  Is this one then so horrible as well?

Who gets to suddenly have that power to dictate how we will demonstrate camaraderie?  What gave them the right?
  As an adult, I look back on my school years and think of the many times a simple bit of contact would have gone such a very long way.  A simple sharing of the moment, a gesture to let someone know they are not alone.  Oh I wish I could be a parent in that school district, because I would organize a demonstration of kids walking arm in arm, of their parents walking right behind them daring the pompous school officials to say a word.  Well, I'd like to think I would.  I'd think about it....
  The problem is that we as a people have a tendency to simply shrug and let things slide by.  We just want to live our lives - go to work, eat too much while we watch a bit of tv and yell for our favorite teams.  In our desire to simply live our own lives, we lose track of the psychos that keep finding their way into leadership, like mosquitoes to a bare arm in August, until suddenly we find ourselves being sucked dry.  So, I declare a war...

Shel Silverstein... the greatest poet ever!
Sorry.... not quite part of the post, but had to be in here somewhere....
Well, I've made my point.   Hugs everyone......  Oh, damn. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I think he lied...

Those were NOT chocolate easter eggs you left back there!