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Member since: Thu Oct 21, 2004, 06:06 PM
Number of posts: 17,075

Journal Archives

The Future Home of Paradise - as seen in Fort Pierce Florida

There was a young nice man of deep color working with a compressor, which he turned off to ask about my reason for taking the photos, did I maybe want to buy the building?

What did I think of Obama? he asked.
What did I think of all of them who keep being so hateful to him? he asked next, and finally - he told me just exactly where it was that Trayvon was killed. Just a short ways back, about 30 miles east of Orlando.

A few from the road going South. Very South.

Mom and I are making our way down to the Keys. First stop: Savannah. Second stop: St. Augustine.
Cheap motels, easy going, stop when the fancy strikes us. Living and looking and learning.

Here's Mom on steps going down to the famous Savannah river. Steps are her nemesis at age 88 and she is proud. She went down them, and then back up.

I love Savannah's wondrous rocky grounds at the river

So along the road we come across the smallest church in the whole USA. That's what they call themselves.

Spanish Moss - creates tunnels of beauty

Mom walking towards the front door of an old plantation (founded 1806)

And here she is sitting and waiting for our tour to start at noon. And we are the only tourists getting to see it

Look who seems to live in the Savannah river

The Hate Amendment/NC - Far more than marriage : by Chris Fitzsimon

Far more than marriage : by Chris Fitzsimon

The folks determined to write discrimination into the state constitution are pulling out all the stops to mislead voters about the amendment on the ballot in the May 8th primary.
The pro-discrimination forces donít want voters to consider the damage the amendment could do to children, families, and workers, gay and straight, across North Carolina.
They want people to believe itís all about banning same-sex marriageówhich is already against the law. But itís about far more than that.
This week a handful of politically connected district attorneys and former judges appeared at a news conference to basically call amendment opponents liars who are raising concerns about the impact of the amendment on domestic violence laws.
One of the speakers was former judge, tea partier, and current Republican candidate for governor Paul Wright. Wright it turns out not only supports the marriage discrimination amendment, he favors a personhood amendment to the constitution which would define a fertilized egg as a person and claims thereís a United Nations conspiracy about local land use planning.
House Majority Leader Paul Stam, a driving force for the amendment in the General Assembly, also brushed off concerns about the amendmentís impact on domestic violence laws in a letter to the Raleigh News & Observer.
Stam simply refuses to consider the opinion of many respected legal scholars who believe otherwise, including Suzanne Reynolds at the Wake Forest University School of Law. Reynolds, as the Associated Press recently pointed out, has written a treatise on family law that is widely cited by lawyers and judges across the state.
Stamís closed mindedness is nothing new.† He and his fellow Republican legislative leaders refused to allow legal experts to testify when the amendment was making its way through the General Assembly last year.
If they are honest, supporters of the amendment have to admit thereís at least uncertainty about what the amendment will mean for domestic violence statutes and a host of other laws.† The constitution is no place for ambiguous, unclear language about basic human rights and legal protections.


Republican, pro-discrimination lawmakers have offensively suggested that being gay is a choice that people make.† The Republican Party platform opposes allowing gay parents the right to adopt children or even provide foster care to troubled kids.
Thatís the real agenda here, to deny gay North Carolinians basic rights and protections far beyond marriage. Itís not a marriage amendment, not at its core.
Itís a hate amendment.† Remember that when you close the curtain on your voting booth.

source and the rest:


More about a stop at 100 year old Don Pedro's farm - request by Celebration

We went in a rubber boat down a shallow river full of crocodiles. I saw 8 photographed 7.
The tour, 45 bucks a person, was at least 3 1/2 hours with a guide who spoke perfect English.
The mid stop of the tour was a visit to Don Pedro's farm. They have batteries there for Don Pedro's little radio that get brought to them by our guide when he stops with tourists like ourselves.
They have no electricity.
He has taught one of Don Pedro's aging daughters how to work a battery operated cell phone, and he calls ahead. She then prepares tea and cheese bits and some other nibbles for the folks that dare the river and the stop.

Don Pedro does not speak English. I speak Spanish only haltingly, but I have the sentence of "May I please take your photograph, Senor" down pat.
His answer was "Do what you want, Senora, if it makes you happy". I am told he is up and about some every day.

The river and a crocodile

Arriving at the "pier" of Don Pedro's farm. One walks up on the sacks of sand for traction

Critter along the path
Loud monkey. Called howler monkeys - supposedly next to the whale the second loudest animal in nature

bench along the path

Welcoming crows

Calm animals

Walking about the farm - a few vistas

The outhouse

The closet

The family sitting in their kitchen

And a couple of shots of an old boat, right there behind the family

Stick a fork in him, he's done. What's that smell in the air? It's goose, and it's cooked ('toon)

Random bits from my recent trip

I grabbed a few, no particular theme or order

A snapshot of the oldest church in Costa Rica

Huge old tree

and another

100 year old Don Pedro - taken with permission by him - lying in bed in a corner room on the farm he lives on with his family. He has never ever left the farm to set foot elsewhere in his entire life

throwing in a little color

a cat taking a NAP

can you hear Peter Sellers saying it?

I liked this animal, it belongs to Don Pedro

A little Costa Rican boy sitting on some sacks of coffee

An intolerable intolerance: informed editorial about Virginia Foxx's latest utterances/student loans

An intolerable intolerance
by Ken Ilgunas

(my comment: this visual is my favorite about my Congress Critter Virginia Foxx, it lives in my archives and needs to be aired every now and then)

Ken Ilgunas is a writer who lives in Stokes County, NC. He is writing a book on student debt that will be published in May 2013.

Last week, Rep. Virginia Foxx offered the nation's 36 million student debtors a lesson in tolerance.
She told radio show host G. Gordon Liddy that she has "very little tolerance" for student debtors who have as much as $80,000 or $200,000 in student loans.
"There's no reason for that," Foxx said.
Actually, there are a lot of reasons why student debtors have over $1 trillion in debt. And Foxx is one of them.
But before I get to that, it bears mentioning how the cost of education has gone up since Foxx got her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1968.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 1968 tuition, room and board cost an average of $1,169 for an in-state student enrolled at a four-year university (or the equivalent of $7,705 today, adjusting for inflation). In 2012, a student pays $17,131 a year, according to the College Board.
"I worked my way through ," said Foxx. "I never borrowed a dime of money."
While Foxx's thrift and hard work are to be admired, bragging about avoiding student debt in the '60s is like bragging about having avoided some disease decades before an epidemic started. (When Foxx was enrolled at Chapel Hill, the tuition was $87.50 a semester.)
Older generations reminding younger generations about how much harder they had it seems to be a predictable pattern of human nature. And though there may sometimes be truth to such claims, Foxx's generation ó due in large part to the Higher Education Act of 1965, which made college affordable to students from low-income families ó had it far easier than today's students, at least when it comes to affording college.
To further illustrate my point, consider how much it would cost to work your way through college in 1968. In Foxx's day, to pay for tuition, room and board, a student at a public university needed to work 14 hours a week at a minimum-wage job, year-round. Today, however, a student would have to manage working 46 hours a week, year-round.
Foxx's "very little tolerance" attitude would be permissible if she was just an ill-informed, out-of-touch anybody, with no responsibility for the educations of young people today. But because she is the chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training and is responsible for students' welfare, there is something particularly disturbing about her statement ó disturbing because she has opposed legislation that was crafted to make college more affordable for students.
Foxx voted against the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access Act that increased the Pell Grant award to low-income students and reduced interest rates on federal loans. She also voted against the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act ó the very act that made education affordable for her generation.
Foxx has not only tried to obstruct the passage of helpful legislation, she has supported an industry that profits when students go into debt.

Source, and the rest of the editorial, every sentence is important:


Help needed for the contest - should the polling abilily materialize in the next month

Dear Photographers:

I can't do it in May, and May is approaching speedily. My Mom is arriving and we will be driving down to the Florida Keys.
I'll be pre-occupied with her during that month.
To remind you, here she is, last year. Now she is 88 - and though it does not look like it - she needs me.

As long as she lives and is able our benefactor allows us to stay in a condo for free every year, who would turn that down?
Her motto is, I'm quoting: "I mostly sit. I absolutely cannot fall. I have only one goal: FLORIDA."
So, as you see, I have no choice in the matter.

If the polls appear before the end of May, and someone wants to run the contest, please feel free to take it over. The photos are pinned to the top of the forum. If I were running it, I'd give the entrants a day or so to switch their photo out if they want to. Folks may have come up with a newer photo they like better in the last half a year.

It could well be that it's not necessary, the polling may not appear before I'm back, or maybe nobody steps in.
At least please be advised that I can't be on standby for the next 30 days.

(I've always wanted to use that little icon for something)

Enjoy watching an "Old Lady" dance

I had some issues in my life today that involved folks of truly advanced age, and this was sent to me out of the blue, and it made my heart sing


Five top N.C. Democratic elected officials ask party chairman to resign

Five top N.C. Democratic elected officials ask party chairman to resign

Five top N.C. Democratic officials called on Party Chairman David Parker to resign Tuesday as the fallout from a scandal concerning sexual harassment allegations and a secret settlement agreement continues.
The letter is signed by State Treasurer Janet Cowell, Superintendent June Atkinson, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and State Auditor Beth Wood.
Gov. Bev Perdue, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and Attorney General Roy Cooper did not sign the letter. (See Perdue's reaction on blog below.)
"We believe that it is in the best interest of the North Carolina and the Democratic Party for Democratic Party Chair David Parker to step aside and enable new leadership to begin the rebuilding process," the five elected officials said in a statement. "We believe Mr. Parker can no longer be as effective a leader as he needs to be under the circumstances. Given the importance of this election to our state and our country a change needs to be made as we prepare for the general election in November."
In a statement release through the party, Parker refused to step down. "I have no plans to resign and I am moving forward with the work of the Democratic Party," he said.
A number of Democratic activists have called for Parker to resign in recent days. The Council of State members joined the chorus Monday evening by sending Parker a letter that asked him to resign quietly. If he didn't respond by noon Tuesday, the top Democrats said they would make their call public, sources close to the officials said.


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