Monday, February 28, 2011

Satan's Son and other photos

Satan's Son
Hello Visitors:

Welcome to my Texas Tree Magic Collection of photos. All of these images are amazing and magical. Strange as it may sounds to say out loud, the "poses" and "faces" in trees seemed commonly familiar to me, and would fit well in a horror movie. Many of them resemble paintings and drawings. One photo reminds me of the mask in Phantom of the Opera, a Broadway hit. (see below). I especially like the Jesus in Abstract. It reminds me of a Picasso painting. (bottom of page)


When I began taking these pictures in the summer of 2001, I walked for hours, carefully examining and inspecting countless trees, not sure of what I was looking for. I stumbled on "faces" in the trees quite by accident. One day I snapped what I thought was an image. I did not know what I had until the pictures  were developed.

As an amateur photographer I was shocked to see what I had! I instantly found a new respect for trees. Previously, I'd only taken photos of family, friends and shots for news stories.

Soon I was taking rolls and rolls of film. It got to be quite expensive. I overlooked the expense because the trees were providing me with something I never thought I'd see. I discovered that trees are nudists. They are emotional.  They are angry. They are shapely. They are innocent.  They are defective. They are animals. They are exhibitionists. They are abstract. They are sexual. They are loving . . . all the things humans are.

That's what made this adventure with trees so thrilling and enlightening. The guy who processed my film was as excited as me when I'd take rolls of film to be processed. He could not wait to see more new images. "What you got this week?" he would ask excitedly. "Your guess is as good as mine," I'd tell him. He told me, as have several people, "I'll never look at a tree with the same way again." I love hearing those words.

The reason the photos were so colorful and expressive is because Texas experienced a few dry summers without rain. The drought heightened the trees colors. When it finally rained, it rained for weeks and weeks and weeks. The constant raining washed away the images. I returned to some of the same place, and photographed the same trees. I was so disappointed. Nothing was there but colorless, rain washed bark. I was lucky to pick the right summers to take these photos, all of which are one-of-a-kind.

Doggy in the Window
Capital Grounds Ghost
Every time I see a tree getting cut down, I cringe, and wonder what images are hidden in them. None of these photos have been photoshopped or manipulated to make them appear aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I like the raw look of the trees, allowing each photo to speak for itself. Each tree has its own personality.


Phantom
Pssst! Up Here!
Queen of the jungle
The Turtle
Jesus in Abstract

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Georgia Rep. wants to classify miscarriage as murder; suspend doctors licenses


Yesterday (Feb. 22) I did some research to "unconfuse" myself. I read this article about Georgia’s anti-abortion House Bill l introduced by Rep. Bobby Franklin, who was voted into office in 1996. Despite my confusion I clearly remembered tea party folk protesting about big government interfering in their lives. They carried posters at rallies. The posters labeled President Barack Obama a communist, Hitler, Stalin, dictator, big brother, illegal immigrant and more.

“Dictator,” is an interesting noun. It's meaning is not up for personal interpretation. Republicans have become the dictators instead of President Obama.

 Franklin recently introduced a bill in the Georgia legislature that threw me. He proposed to make abortion equivalent to murder. All miscarriages will be subjected to investigation by "proper authorities." I take this to mean Georgia police  will make an arrest, and prosecutors will act quickly if a miscarriage appears “suspicious.”

I assume a woman’s personal medical records will be explored by strangers; a legitimate miscarriage openly questioned in a court. We all know that “authorities” can go into overdrive, zealously turning an innocent miscarriage into a media circus, especially if the prosecutor is politically ambitious and pro-choice.

If a woman is suspected of self-aborting she will go on trial to prove she is innocent. She will have to hire a lawyer at her own expense, or get a ho-hum court appointed attorney who will do a piss-poor job of defending her. If she has a private doctor or attends a clinic, the attending physician's career will be on the line until the “suspicious” miscarriage or suspected abortion is prosecuted in the courts. The physician and woman's reputation is at the mercy of a jury, the prosecutor and the court.

Franklin’s bill wants a physician's license suspended until everyone is satisfied that no abortion was performed. If there was an abortion, he wants the woman and doctor tried for murder.  Evidently, Franklin's wife or mother did not tell him that a miscarriage cannot be predicted or stopped, especially in the early stages of a complicated pregnancy.

Excerpt from House Bill I

The act of prenatal murder is murder and conspiracy to commit murder per se; (26) The act of prenatal murder has caused a significant reduction in the number of citizens in this state who would serve as workers, entrepreneurs, teachers, employees, and employers who would have significantly contributed to the prosperity and continuation of this state; and (27);

The failure to prosecute a violation of this Code section is a violation of the obligation of this state to provide all of its citizens with an equal protection of the laws. (b) As used in this Code section, the term: (1) 'Fetus' means a person at any point of development from and including the moment of conception through the moment of birth. Such term includes all medical or popular designations of an unborn child from the moment of conception such as conceptus, zygote, embryo, homunculus, and similar terms. (2) 'Prenatal murder' means the intentional removal of a fetus from a woman with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus; provided, however, that if a physician makes a medically justified effort to save the lives of both the mother and the fetus and the fetus does not survive, such action shall not be prenatal murder.

Such term does not include a naturally occurring expulsion of a fetus known medically as a 'spontaneous abortion' and popularly as a 'miscarriage' so long as there is no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event. (c) The act of prenatal murder is contrary to the health and well-being of the citizens of this state and to the state itself and is illegal in this state in all instances.

(d) Any person committing prenatal murder in this state shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in subsection (d) of Code Section 16-5-1.The license of any physician indicted for an alleged violation of this Code section shall be suspended until resolution of the matter. The license of any physician convicted of a violation of this Code section shall be permanently revoked. The provisions of this Code section shall be in addition to any other provisions relating to the killing of a fetus or any other person."

SECTION 2.1.

Said title is further amended in subsection (h) of Code Section 16-5-20, relating to simple assault, by striking current paragraph (1) and by redesignating current paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (1) and (2), respectively.

SECTION 2.14.

A report of spontaneous fetal death for each spontaneous fetal death which occurs in this state shall be filed with the local registrar of the county in which the delivery occurred within 72 hours after such delivery in accordance with this Code section unless the place of fetal death is unknown, in which case a fetal death certificate shall be filed in the county in which the dead fetus was found within 72 hours after such occurrence. All induced terminations of pregnancy shall be reported.

Preparation and filing of reports of spontaneous fetal death shall be as follows: (1) When a dead fetus is delivered in an institution, the person in charge of the institution or that person's designated representative shall prepare and file the report; (2) When a dead fetus is delivered outside an institution, the physician in attendance at or immediately after delivery shall prepare and file the report; (3) When a spontaneous fetal death required to be reported by this Code section occurs without medical attendance at or immediately after the delivery or when inquiry is required by Article 2 of Chapter 16 of Title 45, the 'Georgia Death Investigation Act,' the proper investigating official shall investigate the cause of fetal death and shall prepare and file the report within 30 days; and (4) When a spontaneous fetal death occurs in a moving conveyance and the fetus is first removed from the conveyance in this state or when a dead fetus is found in this state and the place of fetal death is unknown, the fetal death shall be reported in this state. The place where the fetus was first removed from the conveyance or the dead fetus was found shall be considered the place of fetal death.

This legislation, if passed, will cost Alabama millions of dollars. What federal agency will monitor these "cases"? What about all that talk about big government and wanting it out of citizens' lives? Tea party politicians should stop talking with the forked tongue of a serpent.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Climbing the ladder of competitiveness through education

President Obama
Last week (February 19) President Barack Obama, speaking outside of Portland, Oregon at Intel, stressed the importance of a quality education and global competitiveness. He talked science and math, and a 10 year plan to achieve his goal.

“Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education beyond high school, many requiring proficiency in math and science. And yet today we’ve fallen behind in math, science, and graduation rates. As a result, companies like Intel struggle to hire American workers with the skills that fit their needs.

"If we want to win the global competition for new jobs and industries, we’ve got to win the global competition to educate our people. We’ve got to have the best trained, best skilled workforce in the world. That’s how we’ll ensure that the next Intel, the next Google, or the next Microsoft is created in America, and hires American workers,” President Obama said.

If America is to climb back to the top of the education ladder, a quality, well-rounded education is key. Facebook, Texting and Twittering are social instrument. No skills are required to use them. These are limited information tools, not classrooms where knowledge should be acquired and required to graduate.

The public school system is failing students with the help of enabling parents. President Obama is endeavoring to rebuild--not the physical structures--but the minds within the classrooms, starting with weeding out poor teachers, principals and superintendents. He understands the significance and weight of a global education.

Former Chancellor of DC Public Schools, Michelle Rhee, caught triple hell from teachers and the union when she attempted to clean up D. C.’s stagnant schools. Students were failing. She fired ineffective teaches and staff members. She had the backing of Mayor Adrian Fenty, who lost an election to Vincent Gray in November. Gray was not willing to work with Rhee.

I agree that the unionization of teachers has stifled creativity, competition and excellence in the classroom. Not saying that unions are bad, but it’s blindingly clear that unions are on the wrong side of education. The union’s responsibility and allegiance is one dimensional. It's


s devoted to protecting poor teachers who commit fraud in classrooms five days a week. A school system that graduates incompetent students is criminal. Just as bad are parents who focus more on extracurricular activities and the socialization of their children.

An ABC News 20/20 documentary titled Stupid in America: How We Cheat Our Kids with John Stossel--was an indicting report on the public schools system in America. He said in conclusion: “Competition inspires people to do what we didn't think we could do. If people got to choose their kids' school, education options would be endless.

“There could soon be technology schools, science schools, virtual schools where you learn at home on your computer, sports schools, music schools, schools that go all year, schools with uniforms, schools that open early and keep kids later, and, who knows what else. If there were competition, all kinds of new ideas would bloom.”

Unfortunately, the redlining of students depends on the kind of education they earn. For thousands of kids deficient schools are all they have. They are trapped behind the eight ball. They will never get a chance to run the table of educational opportunities.

The eight ball trap leads to failure, and that leads to hopelessness and that leads to disaster and that leads to . . . You fill in the blank.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

When is 'funny' not so funny?


Cartoon of Michelle and Barack Obama
I found the other cartoon that MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell refused to show on his February 15 The Last Word. The images are disgusting and racist.

The other half of the cartoon was one in which a very brown skinned, pink lipped, plump Michelle Obama is sitting at a table eating from a platter of hamburgers and fries. A Ketchup bottle is also on the side. 

Michelle tells President Obama, her husband: "I've stepped up my efforts to control America's eating habits by telling restaurants to lower portion sizes and fat content."

A skinny President is deeply tanned, with ears the size of no recognizable human. He has a tiny amount of vegetables on his plate. Giving Michelle a talk-to-the-hand, he tells her : "Michelle, I want to get re-elected. What you're doing is only going to annoy a lot of people."

Anyone who believes this crap is doing so because they want to believe this is the real Michelle Obama. They have no evidence that she stuffs herself like a pig. The President and First Lady are two of the physically fittest people to ever grace the White House.

O'Donnell said he would not show the rest of the cartoon "because it is a racist obscenity." In his view, President Obama was depicted "in a half man, half animal form, with ears that don't exist in the homo sapien species."

An online poll conducted by New York Daily News, February 15, says that 42% of those who participated said the cartoon was totally offensive; 54% said it was funny, and 4% were not sure how they felt. I read some of the remarks and they all said it was funny. Someone wrote, "People are too uptight, thinking the cartoon is racist." Someone said O'Donnell is racist because of his response.

I have never seen or read this kind of blatant disrespect for any president in America's history.  Right wing hatemongers see this as satire. What has been written and said about President Obama and his family falls in line with tabloid smut.

The cartoonists, Batton Lash and James Hudnall, must have had negligent parents who did not teach them that respect is a desirable character trait. Maybe they cannot acquire the taste to treat African Americans with respect, particularly the President and First Lady.

In defense of the obnoxious “cartoon” Hudnall said on biggovernment.com: "Batton and I are not so much conservatives as libertarians. We’re believers in small government because, as I outline in my political thesis, it’s the only workable form. President Obama is very much a big government fan. He has tripled the debt and deficits in his first year in office. His new budget would add another three trillion. These are things we don’t like about him. We also don’t like the lies. Which seem to be second nature to the man.

“So last Sunday we turned in what we thought was a very mild cartoon mocking the first lady’s over reach of her powers. And I decided to show her eating hamburgers like Wimpy from the old Popeye cartoons to mock the fact that she tends to scold other people’s eating habits, yet every time we read about what they’re eating at the White House, it’s extreme. And to throw in a gag we used before, the President is shown eating hardly anything.”

For the love of life I cannot see the connection in what these two said, and the president running the country. They implied that President Obama is a pathological liar. I am happy to see that Michelle and Barack Obama are cut from a stronger cloth than those whose aim is to  disparage them. Their parents taught them well. Respect for others, and self-respect does not allow for wallowing in the mud with pigs.

The “mild cartoon” that Lash and Hudnall defended has been scrubbed from the site for now.  The above images were on Andrew Breitbart’s biggovernment.com.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Michele Bachmann's rewrites African American history, calling African slaves 'risk-takers'

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann
"Other than Native Americans who were here, all of us have the same story," Bachmann told the National Press Club at a "Tea Party Express Forum" Tuesday.

She went on to insist that all Americans are descendants of "risk-takers from their home country, doesn't matter what the country is, but they took a risk, and they came here".

Michele Bachmann has never converted her blatant lies to truths on the campaign trail.  And now she is insisting on rewriting the history of African Americans in her own image. She seems to believe that slaves voluntarily came to America on cruise ships, not slave ships, in which they were jammed together like 

sardines in the bowels of those ships. Bachmann is saying Africans loved the "risk” getting enslaved by their equals, perhaps facing the odds of getting killed by their equals if they attempted to escape at sea or on land.

African slaves even loved the “risk” of seeing and hearing their daughters and mothers get raped by White masters who had no regard for their humanity. There was nothing these free  African women and girls could do to defend themselves against the rapes and violence. The African fathers and sons were helpless to stop these crimes. They did not have the power to defend their women and daughters. There was a “risk” of women and young girls dying giving birth to their rapists children. The chances of them getting sold like cattle was equal among all the slaves and the children they bore.

Surely, according to Bachmann's thinking, African men, women and families loved the “risk” of getting torn away from each other, and sold on auction blocks. They loved the “risk” of death if they disobeyed their White masters, mistresses, including young children. Anyone White was a master whether they owned the “risk” taking slaves or not.

"Risk" taking Africans were thrilled to work the cotton fields, and other chores from sun up to sun down, in hot and cold weather,  an overseer slapping their backs with skin eating whips. The African "risk takers" were so happy with their "freedom" that they attempted to run away. They preferred the “risk” of independence to dependence on slave masters.

If Bachmann’s evaluation of Africans is correct, then the 13th and 14th Amendments did not apply to them. They were already free “risk-takers” like her European ancestors!

When Martin Luther King, Jr. led civil rights marches and demonstrations in the 1950s, he was merely the leader of a walking marathon to keep “risk’ taking African Americans in good physical condition. They were getting too fat living the good life. Once in a while African Americans liked pretending they were on equal footing with White Americans. The “risk” of pretending kept them grounded.

All of those Jim Crow laws, Black and White water fountains, and lynchings carried out in a carnival atmosphere are historical exaggerations. The murders and rapes committed by White males against African Americans, even after slavery ended, were exaggerated imaginations! If the White criminals were not brought to justice, that’s because “risk" taking African Americans refused to seek justice.

If Michele Bachmann knows nothing else she knows Black history! According to her, if captured Africans did not succeed in America it’s their fault for not taking advantage of the opportunities awaiting them in their new homeland. Apparently they were too lazy, or too scared to act like European “risk-takers.”

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Setting the tone to disrespect Barack Obama

President Barack Obama
The media and pundits set the tone to disrespect Barack Obama when he was a presidential candidate. They treated him like a joke as they did Al Sharpton, Republican Alan Keys and Jesse Jackson. Prior to them it was Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, who ran for president in 1972. They were all African American candidates.

When Obama was elected president, critics, the media and pundits turned up their disrespect volume. They accused him of wearing a pair of "mommie jeans" when he threw out the first ball at the world series. They said he threw the ball like a woman. Maureen Dowd, columnist with the New York Times, wrote the President "makes decisions like a woman." 

I do not have space to list all the other names she has called President Obama since he's been in office. She was and still is a stalker on paper. I question her constant attacks. She ranks right up there with Sarah Palin. Both of these women are obsessed with President Obama.

During his campaign the media and pundits got angry because they could not force candidate Obama to go over the deep end, showing that he is an "angry black man." They could then say he is too emotional to be president.

Media and pundits have said, and still say,  Obama does not understand what it takes to be president. They say the fire that is supposed to be in his belly is lukewarm. They say he is too scared to get in a fight Republicans. 

MSNBC's Ed Schultz said President Obama needs “to grow a spine.” Schultz equates screaming and demanding with having a spine. Chris Matthew has made statements similar to Schultz. Fox pundits call President Obama a communists, a dictator, a socialist, Hitler and more. The Daily Show host Jon Stewart called him "dude" in an interview. He has made biting commentary about many decisions made by President Obama.

Critics, TV hosts and pundits seldom address Obama as President Obama. Connecting his name to “President” leaves a bad taste in their mouths. None of the major print media gives the president credit for his many accomplishments. Whatever he say, critics and pundits feel that they--none of whom have been elected to a political office--can say it a better. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC rewrote the President's first State of the Union address to say what she wanted him to say. She read her state of the union address on her show. She assumed that she is better suited to solve gay issues because she is gay.

O'Reilly of Fox News decided he was going to show President Obama who was boss when he was granted an interview before Superbowl game.  Remembering an pre-game interview he conducted with President George Bush, I went to YouTube to find the 11/11/2010 interview.  I was ready to count the times O'reilly interrupted Bush.

Everyone who has watched an O'Reilly interview knows that he makes himself a part of interviews, regularly voicing his opinion. When he interviewed Bush he allowed him to complete responses without interruption. I had pencil and paper ready to write down the interruptions. The few that I counted were not forceful, and hardly classified as interruptions. He flattered Bush, and lightly disagreed with him a couple of times. O'Reilly was not the same with President Obama. He was extremely rude, and egotistical enough to solicit compliments from the President.

When he asked the President about the media and people hating him, I remembered him asking Bush a similar question: "How you feel about the media hating you?" To President Obama he said "the media and people." Clearly O'Reilly had an agenda with his "gotcha" interview. If he intended to catch President Obama off guard, saying something that would catapult him (O'Reilly) into the media eye for a day or two, he failed the task.