Monday, October 25, 2010

Top 10 Reasons Why Christine O'Donnell is Not a Real Witch

witch 10) A real witch pays for his/her own stuff, while O'Donnell steals campaign funds to pay for her stuff.

9) Since a real witch might have problems hooking up for sexual relations, masturbation might be very important.

8) A real witch definitely does not wear white pearls with a black dress.

7) Historically speaking, homosexuals are huge fans of real witches, but they don't care for O'Donnell, so she can't be for real.

6) A real witch isn't as scary as O'Donnell serving in the Senate.

5) A real witch would take pride in her witchery and never say "I'm not a witch."

4) A real witch would never go to a tea party, since a witch prefers witch's brew.

3) A real witch knows that the freedom to cast spells and make potions is not protected by the First Amendment.

2) A real witch knows that "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" is a movie, not a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

And, finally, the Number 1 reason why Christine O'Donnell is not a real witch:

A real witch uses a broomstick for transportation, whereas Christine O'Donnell shoved a broomstick so far up her ass that it caused permanent brain damage!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Radio for Outcasts Across the Globe

Citizen RadioCitizen Who?  Jamie Who?  Allison Who?
Read on to find out about a radio program that has fired me up enough to write my first blog article in more than four months!

Now that I have a real cell phone (Samsung Captivate Android), there is no excuse for me not to stay informed about what's going on in the world.

Unlike my former Zune 120GB MP3 player (since sold on eBay), managing podcasts is much simpler, less time-consuming, and more immediate utilizing a smart phone.

My news interests are as varied as my musical interests.  Yes, I very enjoy Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper, and a very cool news app ( right from my cell.  However, I am not bashful to admit that I also watch Fox News and rarely miss a Bill O'Reilly Talking Points Memo (for educational purposes only; kinda like how my dad used to subscribe to Playboy for the articles, not the pictures). 

Call me a size queen, but four inches just isn't big enough for my viewing pleasure, so I simply connect my cell phone to a computer monitor in my home office using a cable that costs less than $10 on Amazon.  The quality of the picture isn't fabulous, but is tolerable for watching news programs.

How Citizen Radio Found Me

Mistakes are great because that is how we learn.  In my case, after accidentally deleting the Rachel Maddow podcast from my playlist, I went back into my podcast app (DoggCatcher)  to search for her show.  "Citizen Radio" pops up in the search results along with a brief description that of Maddow being interviewed on the show.  I said to myself, "What the fuck is Citizen Radio?" followed by, "If Maddow is a guest, how bad can it be?  I will check it out."

Wow, what a discovery!  For me, the program is like a time warp back to the 1980s when I was just a teenager and serving on the Orange County (California) Central Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party.  Having grown up Behind the Orange Curtain in oppressive Anaheim, that was the party for me; it had my name written all over it.

At the moment, I am so fed up with the Democratic party that I have downloaded a voter registration form as I am likely to change back to Peace and Freedom, because there really hasn't been (in my 49 years) and probably will never be a place at the table for true progressives in the Democratic party.

In any event, the folks behind Citizen Radio (now broadcasting their 170-something episode from New York) are Jamie Kilstein (some type of comic) and his wife, Allison Kilkenny (some type of columnist).  It really isn’t important "who" they are, because the show is just phenomenal.  It is fresh, funny, and most importantly UNCENSORED, just like Crusader’s Corner.

I was rolling on the floor laughing my ass off while listening to a recent segment of "One-Minute Fuck You."  Kilstein's "fuck you" to Sarah Palin had me in stitches.  In fact, I hope I can find an app to make a copy of just that one segment so I can store it on my phone to listen to whenever I get depressed.

What's So Great About Citizen Radio?

Citizen Radio goes where no program has gone before.  Goes beyond Rachel Maddow, Keith Olberman, and even way beyond Bill Maher (which I never thought possible).  Simply put, Citizen Radio picks up where Democracy Now! (The War and Peace Report) leaves off.

Jamie and Allison have very animated discussions about politics, animal rights, veganism, foreign affairs, and other stuff.  The show is totally independent and receives no corporate sponsorships (sorta like the concept behind Consumer's Union / Consumer Reports).


The program is helping me to rediscover my inner progressive child as I quickly approach 50 and I am getting an education which supersedes anything I might learn from watching CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, etc.

Speaking of education, I was not aware of the progressive punk group Rise Against until listening to their recent interview on Citizen Radio. 

A great book title comes to mind:  "All I Really Need to Know I Learned on Citizen Radio."

What About Fat People?

My only major criticism is Citizen Radio doesn't have T-shirts in their online store big enough for fat asses like me (a large, their biggest size, will only fit over half of my stomach).  Maybe they need a call from the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA)?

Despite Citizen Radio being T-shirt-size challenged, count me in, Jamie and Allison, as a devoted godless maniac!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What Death Penalty?

skull-crossbones(San Quentin, CA)  Associated Press writer Paul Elias recently reported that California's death penalty is "dysfunctional."  Tell us something we don't already know.

  "Only 13 condemned inmates have been executed from the time capital punishment resumed in the state in 1977 until February 2006, when U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel halted executions until prison officials revamped their lethal injection process," the article stated.

  Elias reports that capital cases cost the state an additional $125 million a year to administer and the Department of Corrections has spent $400 million for a new death chamber and death row.  

  I can't help but wonder how many children that money could feed and educate.

  In California, all death penalty cases are automatically appealed and cannot be waived by the inmate who has been sentenced to death.  In fact, the inmate cannot represent him/herself in these appeals.

There's Something Good in Everybody

  I have been corresponding with inmates throughout the United States for decades, primarily to assist with civil and human rights issues, wrongful convictions, and that type of thing.  However, I have also corresponded with "bad guys" because my father (to this day) tells me there is something good in everybody.

  I recently received a letter from one of those "bad guys" (or in this case, a badass mofo), San Quentin death row inmate Daniel Carl Frederickson.

  According to an archived article in the Los Angeles Times, Frederickson shot and killed Santa Ana HomeBase manager Scott Wilson (of Costa Mesa) during a June 13, 1996, botched robbery at the store.  Wilson was 30 at the time and Frederickson was around 33.

  In 1998, Frederickson, who acted as his own fool -- er, I mean attorney -- at trial, was convicted and sentenced to death by an Orange County Superior Court jury.  We have been corresponding sporadically since he's been on death row.

  Although we have been at odds with each other the majority of the time, I have to admit that Frederickson's letter to me in late March presents some interesting and challenging issues (legally and morally) when it comes to California's death penalty.

  In the letter to me, Frederickson says he doesn't want to represent himself, he simply wants to waive all appeals.  "I never asked them to let me represent myself on appeal.  I don't want an appeal, never did . . . . Everything has been against my right to be a man and step up to accept my culpability and punishment.  The system is set up to favor all liars and cowards and unrepentant people of no conscious (sic)."

California Supremes Say Forgeddaboutit!

  "The Supreme Court has received your undated pro se documents . . . in which you again seek to waive or abandon your automatic appeal . . . from the trial court's judgment of death," states a March 16, 2010, letter to Frederickson from Supreme Court of California Automatic Appeals Monitor Robert D. Reichman.  (Gee, is this the guy who always wanted to be hall monitor as a kid?)

  The letter goes on to cite various California cases and statutes that hold solid current law that criminal defendants have no right to "represent himself or herself on appeal" and that the supreme court has sole discretion to appoint "counsel on appeal from a judgment of death."

  Finally, the letter closes: "Your appeal cannot be abandoned or waived.  The documents you submitted will not be filed.  The court will not respond to any further correspondence regarding these issues."

  Personally, I am (and have always been) opposed to the death penalty.  At the same time, since criminal defendants (even those facing the death penalty) have the right to represent themselves at trial, why shouldn't the same hold  true on appeal?  Furthermore, if they want to waive their right to appeal, so what?

  Sorry for sounding like a Republican, but if the State of California were to grant Frederickson's request, it will save the taxpayers (and a nearly bankrupt state) lots of money which could be better spent in other areas of criminal justice.  Isn't that true justice?