Sunday, November 16, 2008

* Bumper Sticker of the Week ~ Joe Must Go – Many voices are urging the Democratic Party in the Senate to remove Joe Lieberman from his chairmanship of the Homeland Security committee. I believe that this would be the correct action. His campaigning for John McCain and his questioning Barack Obama’s patriotism are at the bottom of the list of reasons for Joe to go. His pathetic record of leadership on this important committee is the overriding justification for his removal. Intentional incompetence best describes his tenure in this post. As Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show and Heather writing at Crooks and Liars point out, Lieberman over the last two years, never held hearings on the disastrous US government response to the Katrina hurricane disaster nor did the committee look into no-bid contracts awarded to friends and associates of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. Many of those contracts were implemented incompetently while the US government was overcharged billions of dollars. As chairman of this committee Lieberman did not represent the interests of the American people. Instead, Lieberman represented the interests of the Bush administration that operated in secret and often outside of legal parameters, and at great cost to you and me, the citizens recovering from a natural disaster, and the military men and women who were underserved as they served this country while in harms way. Joe Must Go.

* Remember Typhoid Mary? ~ Meet Leukemia Dick and some of the other dicks who “serve” America –
Drilling for natural gas, a policy being touted as a means of reducing America's dependence on foreign oil, may contaminate water supplies with unsafe levels of chemicals like benzene, a compound that can cause leukemia, according to an investigation by Pro Publica. The drilling process, pioneered by Dick Cheney's former company Haliburton, uses water pressure and chemicals to break rocks and release the gas. It was exempted by Congress from the Safe Water Act after a 2004 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study declared it safe. It now appears that this EPA study was not as conclusive at it claimed to be.

It is well-documented that the EPA often goes out of its way NOT to protect the environment and the American public. It is well-documented that Cheney has been the most ardent advocate for the interests of energy companies and Haliburton. One wonders what influence was imposed upon the EPA that resulted in this exemption from the Safe Water Act. “More than 1,000 other cases of contamination have been documented by courts and state and local governments in Colorado, New Mexico, Alabama, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In one case, a house exploded after hydraulic fracturing created underground passageways and methane seeped into the residential water supply. In other cases, the contamination occurred not from actual drilling below ground, but on the surface, where accidental spills and leaky tanks, trucks and waste pits allowed benzene and other chemicals to leach into streams, springs and water wells.” This is but one example where the interaction of the executive branch, the legislative branch, federal agencies and business failed the American people. The majority of the problems and dangers confronting America today are the result of such failed leadership.

* Fly Me to the Moon ~ it may be safer – Sixteen months ago I commented about the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) being accused of covering up mistakes by air traffic controllers at Dallas-Fort Worth airport. It was discouraging to learn that a federal agency empowered to protect air travelers was actually complicit in reducing safe conditions. At a minimum, one would expect that the release of the report would have resulted in personnel changes and an upgrading of the oversight. Not in the current state of our federal government.

ABC reports a new investigation has found “the misclassifying of safety errors had continued” at Dallas-Fort Worth, that FAA employees continued to hide safety errors. It causes one to wonder if the repeated dereliction of duty by the FAA at Dallas-Fort Worth is it also taking place at other airports. What is happening in Boston, NY, LA, Miami and hundreds of other major airports? I imagine that remedial action will be taken when two or three planes collide, resulting in the death of 639 passengers, 19 crew members, 412 people on the ground and the widespread destruction of a residential neighborhood. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security may even hold hearings. Perhaps Republican Texas Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchinson will exercise their fiduciary responsibility by pressing for an investigation into this problem that bodes dire consequences. Perhaps a new administration will coerce a sense of responsibility and accountability into the performance of federal agencies. That would be a refreshing development.

* Change we can believe in ~ it is up to us – The above examples of broken government brings to mind the often-used and cynical phrase, “You can’t fight City Hall.” It is only a truism if good people do nothing. I was reminded of this while reading an article by Gary Younge in the British newspaper The Guardian titled, “Obama's army of supporters must maintain their level of activism.” Younge notes that the characterization of American political life - the notion of a lazy, contented people who do not vote, care or really understand what is being done in their name and leaving governance to big business, and lobbyists – may be changing. I recommend the article because it notes many changes that have been occurring within the American electorate.

I would suggest that the change Younge identifies is a result of two influences; the devastatingly damaging tenure of George W. Bush and the electric and populist rise of Barack Obama. The Bush years awakened a previously unengaged citizenry and the Obama campaign provided the vehicle to channel the disappointment, the losses, the regression and resulting anger and frustration into a movement for change. This new activist citizenry demands responsible and responsive leadership. It opposes narrow ideology agendas and expects federal leadership to address the major issues that challenge our society – challenges that have been ignored over the last eight years. The higher expectations have brought us a new president, senators and representatives that embrace progressive ideas. Their mission is to overcome a bureaucratic government burdened by politicization, ideology and special interests as well as accepted and expected incompetence. Success will require a continually engaged citizenry that keeps a bright light on the ills, vociferously communicates to elected representatives the change that is required and rewards responsible and responsive representatives with re-election.

* All things Progressive – If you have interest in Progressive ideas and activities I recommend the web site The Bucks/Mont Progressive Events. The editor Tom Ulrich does a terrific job each month identifying Progressive events in the Philadelphia area and national broadcasts, publications and videos.

* All things regressive ~ prejudice, hate, ignorance – Much of the Sarah Palin rhetoric during the presidential campaign appealed to this three-headed Hydra. Those susceptible to divisive discourse reveled in the speeches of Palin and other Republican orators. The forces of hate are as real and alive today as they were 50 and 100 years ago. These forces certainly are not as widespread but, certainly as real. One example of such despicable human behavior is the Ku Klux Klan. This organization, originally spawned to repress African Americans, has broadened its “vision” to include Latinos and other minorities. It is fortunate that we have people such as Morris Dees and his organization The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) standing up to forces that debase civil rights and humanity.

In Kentucky on Friday the SPLC gained a decisive jury verdict against members of the KKK, accused of severely beating a Latino in 2006 at a rural county fair. As Dees noted, "The people of Meade County, Kentucky, have spoken loudly and clearly. And what they've said is that ethnic violence has no place in our society, that those who promote hate and violence will be held accountable and made to pay a steep price." The verdict against Imperial Klans of America (IKA), Imperial Wizard Ron Edwards and two former KKK members who have already served prison terms for their involvement was $2.5 million. It is likely the judgment will cripple IKA’s 16 chapters that are located throughout eight states.

The weakening of a KKK group is encouraging but the ugliness of hate that infects the land of the free and the home of the brave will not be eradicated in our lifetime. As noted in an article at the Huffington Post the election of Barack Obama has spurred hundreds of race threats and crimes that include, “Cross burnings. Schoolchildren chanting ‘Assassinate Obama.’ Black figures hung from nooses. Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.” America has come a long way in civil rights and human relations. Gay rights are improving with much still to be achieved. There is much to be proud of in America but the road ahead will not be free of prejudice, hate and ignorance. It is a flaw in the human condition that may never be overcome.

* “You cannot hate other people without hating your self.”
Oprah Winfrey

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for alerting me to the sad renewed racism across our land due to the victory of our first black President.

Perhaps your readers might want to donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center you mentioned which mounts expensive lawsuits against racists like the KKK.

When a friend of mine graduated from law school 2 years ago, I asked him what org he would like me to support with my donation? SPLC is the one he named. He is now working for the US Justice Dept in DC.

Thanks also for the website for Progressive Events which I loaded on my website under the caption Peacenik?

Ruth

Anonymous said...

BLUES-BROTHERS GENRE FAILS

Ron Edwards might have had a chance, by staging a "political"
defense. That would have required "Chicago-Seven" tactics, putting
the accusers on trial. Instead, Edwards, convicted of conspiring to
have an Hispanic beaten up at a Kentucky county-fair, opted for a
traditional "criminal-defense" of "I didn't do it" and "I wasn't
there." He failed, as have all such previous ploys. Edwards had
employed a "Blues Brothers" genre, complete with facial-hair,
obesity, sun-glasses and profanity, even though its pioneer, George
Burdi, had shut down, after Burdi-disciples, the Pennsylvania
Freeman-Brothers, went on a killing-spree. Edwards exuded the same
bravado as Tom Metzger, who, also, had served as his own lawyer and
declared that "I wasn't there," when sued for violence-instigation.
As for organization, former Edwards-associate Joshua Cowles testified
that it "is about one man and one man only. That's Ron Edwards."

In order to succeed, Edwards would have had to convince a jury that
Hispanics were the problem and that acquitting him of assault-charges
would "send a signal" that border-jumpers needed to be "taught a
lesson," not to invade the country. The "victim" would have had to be
shown as the American people and the assaulters as the "vigilantes,"
meting out "extra-legal" justice. Instead, Edwards assumed that the
jury disagreed with his views and said so. He, also, called no
witnesses, but sported a profane-tattoo on his scalp and a trail of
obscenity, vulgarity and violence-instigation. It was as though the
owner of a pit-bull, let to run wild, had claimed, "I didn't bite the
kid." Edwards' associates testified against Edwards, stating that he
had provoked them to violence. An all-white jury delivered a $2.5
million verdict to Morris Dees, who had succeeded in pervious
litigation against all except The Nationalist Movement.

Co-defendant Jarred Hensley, wearing facial-hair and sporting
tattoos, claimed that even though he had pleaded guilty to assault
previously, he was not guilty, a David-Duke type of retrenchment,
which, also, failed. Hensley described himself as a "hater," a term
promoted by Dees in building up various reckless individuals, who
Dees would claim to be "leaders" and, then, sue. Dees had claimed
that Edwards was the "Number Two" "biggest" leader in the country,
but, in court-documents, conceded that Edwards was only a
"one-man-show." Nationalists teach classes on how to avoid
"conspiracies," by using the law and avoiding "buzz words," but
Edwards had proceeded otherwise. Shaun Walker, also, failed to take
such "preventive-maintenance" and was jailed for seven years for
assault-conspiracy. Edwards received a civil-judgment, requiring him
to turn over his land and assets and have wages garnished.

Co-defendant Andrew Watkins, who had been rumored as intending
to mount a strong defense, entered into a confidential-agreement
with Dees, prior to the trial, securing his dismissal. Dees, usually,
proposes that a defendant agree to pay a sum and not engage in
rightist-activism in the future. Dees made such a proposal to
Nationalists, who he sued in Georgia, demanding that they destroy
their mailing-list and never appear in public again. They rejected
the demand and prevailed against Dees. Dees had offered an agreement
to Edwards, to give up his property, where he had conducted rightist
gatherings, and withdraw from public for ten years. Edwards declined,
as did David Holland, who lost to Dees in Georgia. Asked for comment,
Watkins, who, also, had served as his own lawyer, did not respond.
Edwards vowed to appeal, but, claimed that he lacked funds for an
appeal-bond, which usually amounts to twice the judgment.

Edwards had insisted that his website posted a disclaimer that he did
not allow "violence." However, the same disclaimer had been posted by
Robert Shelton, the first to have been successfully sued by Dees,
when someone viewing a photo of a lynching conducted a lynching. In
court, Shelton had been unable to show any actual conduct preventing
violence. In fact, a video was shown in which Watkins had shouted "no
mercy" to Hispanics, at an Edwards-sponsored gathering. Matt Hale
had, also, claimed to oppose violence, until he was shown next to a
poster calling for "death" to his foes. Shelton was assessed a $7
million fine and Hale went to jail for forty years. In closing, Edwards
told the jury that "you may not agree with my beliefs, but that is your
right." Kale Kelly, who had lived with Edwards, testified that he had
served three years in prison for involvement in an Edwards-instigated
murder-plot.

The same day as the verdict, "We Saw That," an anonymous blog,
published a leaked, confidential-memo, in which Nationalists
purportedly outlined how to conduct a "political-defense," although
they were not involved in the Edwards-trial. Nationalists protested
the publication, which apparently emanated from a disgruntled, former
associated-lawyer. Watkins, a musician, however, had posted the
single-word comment "brilliant," on a Nationalist-website, which
called for "combining legal-savvy with business-acumen." Nationalists
encourage lawful-conduct, while condemning would-be assassins, who
they identify as drug-addicts, Satan-worshipers or "wanna-bees."
As for falling into future Dees-traps, Lilli Frees said that "we have
better and brighter things to do and don't have to resort to
harassing people for fun." Frees concluded that "it's not worth our
time to get mad at those who abuse us. They're weak and just trash."

http://www.nationalist.org/docs/history/2008/111401.html
Copyright 2008 The Nationalist Movement

jtormey3 said...

Law Office of John J. Tormey III, Esq.
John J. Tormey III, PLLC
217 East 86th Street, PMB 221
New York, NY 10028 USA
(212) 410-4142 (phone)
(212) 410-2380 (fax)
e-mail: brightline@att.net

Quiet Rockland - No New Flights Over Rockland County, NY
John J. Tormey III, Esq.
P.O. Box 918
Pearl River, NY 10965 USA
(845) 735-9691 (phone)

November 23, 2008

VIA FAX: 1-201-748-6088, E-MAIL: “info@wiley.com”, and U.S. MAIL
Mr. Tom Miller, Executive Editor
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. - Corporate Headquarters
Professional & Trade Division - Webster’s New World Dictionary
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774 USA

VIA U.S. MAIL
Mr. Stephen J. Perrault, Editor
Ms. Karen L. Wilkinson, Associate Editor
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary/Merriam-Webster Inc.
P.O. Box 281
Springfield, MA 01102 USA

Re: Creation Of A New English-Language Dictionary Word/“Sturgell”: Meaning, “(To) Lie”

Dear Ms. Wilkinson, Mr. Perrault, and Mr. Miller:

Knowing that your time is valuable, I will be as succinct as possible.

Request is hereby respectfully made that your publications please consider addition of a new English-language word in your next editions of Webster’s dictionaries published by your respective companies.

As you may already be aware, the word “Sturgell” has slithered into the American vernacular since Year 2003 as both a noun and a verb. Year 2003 is when failed and soon-departing FAA Acting Administrator Robert Allan (“Bobby”) Sturgell a/k/a “The Eel” a/k/a “The Sturg-EEL” commenced his “work” with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (“F.A.A.”, or “FAA”). Since then “Bobby” Sturgell has constantly put profits over people, and he has thereby harmed American citizens and the American aviation system. My group Quiet Rockland seeks to ensure and cement “Bobby” Sturgell’s legacy in response.

The noun definition of “Sturgell” should be “a lie” or, similarly, “an act of evasion”. The verb definition of “Sturgell” should be “to lie” or, similarly, “to squirm away”. I have taken the liberty of scribing a first draft of the dictionary definition of “Sturgell” below, which of course I expect you and your colleagues will wish to edit before publication:

“sturg*ell (stir’jill) vt.[[from DelMarVa American “Bobby” Sturgell, failed FAA Acting Administrator 2007-2008]] 1 to lie, especially to lie to Congress, and to lie to the American people 2 to evade, slither, squirm away (as an eel would do) 3 to lie repeatedly 4 to lie for the sake of aeromercantile profit at the expense of citizenry 5 to put innocent people at risk of death or bodily harm, and then lie about it ---n. 1 a lie 2 an act of evasion (not to be confused with Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis, except in terms of ethics)

At first blush you might note an apparent incongruity between the use of a capitalized proper surname like “Sturgell”, on the one hand, as a generic lower-case reference to prevarication, on the other hand. Yet there is precedent for this application. After all, a “Mulligan” is a do-over of a bad golf shot. Cops “Mirandize” perps all the time. It is herein maintained that “Sturgell” shall forever be the hallmark of a harmful, malicious, and mendacious aeromercantalist, be it as verb or noun.

“Bobby” Sturgell’s manifold lies meriting this ignominious tribute, are amply briefed on the Internet and particularly in the following websites, which I would invite you to please review:

http://www.bobbysturgell.com
http://www.bobbysturgell.net
http://www.bobbysturgell.org
http://indictsturgell.blogspot.com
http://ejectsturgell.blogspot.com
http://removesturgell.blogspot.com
http://southwestairlinesalmostkilledyou.blogspot.com

The bottom line, is that during his abysmal run as failed flunkie FAA official (2003-2008) and abominable FAA Acting Administrator (2007-2008), “Bobby” Sturgell lied to virtually everybody, and often about life-and-death matters. “Bobby” Sturgell lied to Rockland County, New York and 30,000,000 in the Northeast about the FAA’s NY/NJ/PHL Airspace Redesign. (Given that each of you are in the Northeast, that number includes each of you). We have reason to believe that “Bobby” Sturgell has lied to his wife about why he does not wear a wedding ring when on business trips. We know that “Bobby” Sturgell lied to countless Senators and U.S. Representatives during Sturgell’s multiple pieces of perjurious, contemptuous, and contemptible testimony before Congress throughout the past year. During his term “Bobby” Sturgell abusively and repeatedly lied to my friends the Air Traffic Controllers (which 3-word phrase and plural-noun I render in initial-CAPs deliberately and for a reason, because they save our lives every single day under harsh working conditions and they deserve better treatment - and I suggest you initial-CAP them as well in the next editions of your dictionaries whether or not you yourselves fly).

And finally, “Bobby” Sturgell and his failed FAA regime have consistently lied to the American people for years that we are somehow now in the “safest period of aviation history” - when in fact “Bobby” Sturgell’s criminal malfeasance and failure to regulate and lead, has led to over 3,500 aviation fatalities since Sturgell took FAA office in 2003. See, e.g.:
http://indictsturgell.blogspot.com/2008/10/failed-faa-pilot-bobby-sturgell-racks.html

“Bobby” Sturgell should forever be the archetype of a bureaucratic liar, because he lied to America about aviation safety and put our lives at risk when he did so. The souls of the 3,500 who perished in air accidents during “Bobby’ Sturgell’s regime, agree with me.

As a media, publishing, and I.P. lawyer I have for many years been mindful of the fact that there is a good deal of residual consumer confusion as to which of your two dictionaries is the “real” Webster’s dictionary. The fact of the matter is, I don’t have a dog in that fight. I am writing to both of you with admiration for both of your publications, and ask that this is perhaps one issue upon which you all most certainly can agree. You will see below that I have also cc’d those that publish Strunk & White, The Blue Book, and Wikipedia; over 20,000 other interested parties; and even Her Majesty, The Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth, on this earnest appeal.

Why? Because, after all, it’s The Queen’s English.

I await and will appreciate your respective responses. Thank you, and all the best. I will be happy to return the professional courtesy to each of you, at any time asked.

Respectfully submitted,

John J. Tormey III, Esq.
Quiet Rockland - No New Flights Over Rockland County, NY

cc:

VIA AIR MAIL
The Private Secretary of Her Majesty the Queen
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA, England

VIA E-MAIL: “communications@pearsoned.com”, and U.S. MAIL
“The Elements of Style”/Strunk & White
Mr. Glen Moreno - Chairman, The Board Of Directors
Pearson Education Company/Pearson PLC
One Lake Street
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458 USA

VIA U.S. MAIL
c/o The Blue Book Of Citation, 18th Edition
Harvard Law Review Association, Board Of Editors
Gannett House, 1511 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

VIA E-MAIL: “info@wikimedia.org”, FAX: 1-415-882-0495, and U.S. MAIL
Kul Wadhwa, Principal
Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation Inc.
P.O. Box 78350
San Francisco, CA 94107-8350 USA


Additional cc’s:
All Quiet Rockland Lists –
ALL U.S. SENATORS, ALL U.S. REPRESENTATIVES, THE GAO, OTHER FEDERAL OFFICIALS, STATE OFFICIALS, COUNTY OFFICIALS, TOWN OFFICIALS, LAWYERS, CITIZENS, BUSINESSES, GROUPS, NEWS MEDIA, LAW ENFORCEMENT, CLERGY, EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS, OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES; OTHER U.S.-FRIENDLY COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD, EMBASSIES, AND WORLD MEDIA; AND FAA, USDOT, I.G., AND NASA PERSONNEL