WTF… April 23, 2014



2014-boston-marathon-jeff-bauman-carlos-arrendondoEven from a die hard New York fan… I gotta give props where they are due… and, this week even I root for the folks in Boston because a terrorsit act against any one of us is a terrorist act against all of us…


1) joe1Bought a nice car stereo a little over a year ago… had lots of bells and whistles, almost none of which I was immediately gonna use, but, I told myself that maybe some time in the future I just might, so, I might as well have the ability … ya know, just in case… besides the entire thing was brought and installed for just a tad over a c-note… maybe not the best deal I coulda got but not bad as things go these days money wise.

Well… once I got home I set about to setting up the dang thing, and, like I said it’s got bells and whistles… lots of them freaking bells and whistles… like hit a button… and a spectrum of colors that would embarrass a rainbow comes ablinking on like a stoned hippie’s Day-Glo painted room with a strobe light running amok… took a while to figure how to turn that sumnbitch off and then pick a color for the display. And, to tell the truth, I hit upon a color that was not that ugly and just stuck with it. Amber, if you must know.

Then trying to set the clock was another issue… had to go through a damn manual which was as thick as a set of encyclopedias and read harder than Moby Dick… Call me Ishmael, my ass. And, the same was true for any, and all, of the other settings I needed to fix and set.

Set it and forget it? Not with this baby. Hit the wrong button and then spend the next twenty minutes finding the solution in the manual to get the damn electronic curse of a techno mind from another world to go back to where it used to be. And, then Sony-car-head-unitanother twenty just getting it to actually work like the manual says it should.

Long story short, I finally did mange …sort of… to get everything so I was comfortable… nice sounds… speakers balanced… color on the display that wasn’t like a kaleidoscope… all was hunky dory acceptable. I even figured out which button changed what and for the most part usually hit the right one when I need something changed.

Then one day I went out; got into my vehicle… and nuttin’… not a freaking thing was coming out of the damn radio.

Tried this and that and every now and then it would cut in… had to jack the volume up a lot higher than normal to get even a sliver of sound out of the piece of electro trouble. Sooo… I took it back to where I brought it.

Now, remember… I said I got this thing over a year ago? Well… it’s actually now a year plus three months later… I never buy those damn extended warranties because they just ain’t worth it. For the cost of the warranty, even if the piece of equipment ya’ll be buying does die on ya, it’s just as cheap, if not cheaper, to get something else. So, I’m guessing it’s now get something else time. Not happy… but ya rolls the dice and sometimes ya’ll get craps.

But… then the car radio guy tells me I got a bad speaker… and… it was that bad boy that was causing a signal to be sent back to the radio that said bad shit be happening and the radio went into shut down mode. Freaking electronic madness dumbass weirdo stuff…

So I spent a pretty penny on new speakers… 4 of the sobs. Figured what the hell…

Didn’t fix the problem… the CD was loud and clear and the sound was fantastic but no damn radio.

Now you have to understand I listen to WCBS all-news radio going to and from work… it gives me updated news and weather… and, oh yeah… sports.. twice an hour… up to the minute sports. So the damn radio is important to me.

Called the store; spoke to the manager and explained the situation… no problem… sets me up with a Saturday appointment… go in on Saturday explain the situation to radio install guy and Ialso say that due to his words I went and got and paid beau coupé bucks for speakers that I probably really didn’t need… I can see he’s not happy but I can also see he be pondering on what I said…

Then I make my pitch… I like the speakers… (I actually do… a lot)… I wouldn’t have brought them but now that I got ’em I like ’em, so, I am willing to keep them but ya’ll gotta cut me a deal on new radio.

Without hesitation he says, “I can do that.”

sony car 2The bottom line is this …. Demo… basic radio and CD… list price $70… on sale for $60… $30 installed.

Plays like a champ…

Get home and the “oh, fuck” moment arrives… I ain’t got a manual… it was a demo… And, I forgot to ask for one.

But, in less than ten minutes I figure out how to change the stations, set CBS on the dial, no streaming spectrum of colors… the display is white with some red… I can deal with that… set the clock… figure out how to skip tracks on the CD… set the balance on the speakers… everything is done and how I want it… less than ten minutes. No manual.

Fuck them bells and whistles… shoulda went this way from the get go… no guarantee that it wouldn’t have died on me just like the original one but a little birdie says, “Nada… no way.” Sometimes more is not better and going with just the basics is exactly the right move. Especially, if ya’ll be the type of guy who calls the help desk when your computer goes gablooey and simply tells the guy on the other end of your landline (yeah no cell either) “It no work… HELP!”

2) I am righteously indignant and royally pissed! The object of my extreme indignation and cosnternation? An article I read… not really an article… but rather a guest editorial, or opinion, piece, by Frank Huykler, MD. In his piece, Dr. Huykler talks about a silent killer that creeps among many of us. It lies dormant, silently in wait, and then sometime when folks who are this killer’s prey least expect it… it pounces! The trap is sprung and the victim is snared within its active grasp and “…livers are slowly destroyed by the virus.”

Those words in the quote marks are Dr. Huykler’s. And, this freaking killer? Hep C…

Hep C is spread among peeps that have used dirty needles… such as users of smack or coke… But it also can be gotten through blood transfusions, unclean piercings or tattoos. Dirty needles are dirty needles and dirty blood is dirty blood no matter how it is first conceived.

The problem is that you be infected just from one time use or incidence… so, if, way back when in your college days some dudes and you were hanging out and decided to try something, just for lark, and, you injected some coke… you could now be carrying around Hep C… and… it could rear its ugly little head at any time and your liver could be headed for a crushing battle royal.

But, there is a cure for Hep C… A long nasty daily regimen of medicine, including injections, that has many debilitating side effects. And, until recently that was the only cure… now a company called Gilead Sciences has on the market FDA approved pills that do the same job as the injections do… without the side effects. And, it is achieved by taking one pill a day for three months.

sovaldiBut… as the good doctor says, there is a catch…. “In the United States each pill costs $1,000.”

Yikes… ten C-notes… one Grand… one freaking thousand dollars per pill…

The drug, Sovaldi, costs almost nothing to make… most drugs usually don’t… although admittedly a lot of time and expense is involved in developing the drug… but once developed the drug itself is usually nothing what so ever to manufacture.

So… just for belly laughs… how much does it cost?

According to a MSN Money report (2013)… Don’t expect to get a direct answer from any of the large pharmacy firms… so, Forbes columnist Matthew Herper simply divided each company’s spending over the course of 15 years by its number of new drugs he got an approximation that will serve as an acceptable appraisal of money spent on drug development. A couple of examples of his results are: Bristol-Myers Squibb developed nine drugs and spent an average of $3.3 billion per drug; Genzyme, a Sanofi company developed five drugs and spent an average of $963 million per drug and then the one draws the attention as regards this article … Gilead developed three drugs and averaged about $1.8 billion per drug.

So… let’s place the development of Sovaldi at $2 billion. That’s fair… right? And… that’s a fair piece of a change too… so, why shouldn’t a company be allowed to get back some of the scratch it used to develop the drug? It would see only fair right? Even I would buy into that sentiment.

Here’s the kicker… according to market analysts, Sovaldi may generate the biggest sales ever for a drug’s first year with sales initially being pegged at $7 billion to $10 billion for the year.

And… if everyone in the U.S. that had hepatitis C were treated with Sovaldi at list price, the tab, according to Forbes, would run around $225 billion. As one source said…to put that into perspective, the amount presently spent on all drugs in the U.S. is about $260 billion.

Gulp…and really???? 

Then, add this conundrum into the entire ball of wax… Gilead wants to tier its pricing based on a country’s per-capita income. So patients in the U.K would pay about $57,000, while Germans would pay $66,000 and Americans would pay $84,000. It makes no never mind that the peeps who most the drug in the US are vets, middle and working class folks, and, folks on Medicare or Medicaid don’t even come close to making that per capita number. And, It doesn’t help that Gilead is offering drug moneySovaldi in Egypt or at about a cost of $10 per daily dosage.

According Doc H, to the writer of the op-ed piece… “This sort of blood money is nothing new. But it is among the worst of recent examples; yet another evil act, yet another predation on mostly poor, mostly desperate people, who inevitably will ask taxpayers to save them… Those who set the price (will) argue that they are saving money, because the effects of untreated hepatitis C are even more expensive. If this logic applied to fire departments, they’d charge $150,000 every time they put out a fire in a $200,000 house, and then claim to have saved $50,000. Due to our rigged system, the taxpayers… you and I… will be forced either to pay the bill or let people continue to die.”

Almost all finance analysts say Gilead Sciences first quarter numbers are decidedly up… As of Tuesday (4/15) was reporting that analysts estimated Gilead made 89 cents a share in the year’s first quarter which is up 85% from the previous quarter. In addition, they say Gilead’s sales rose about 55% to $3.9 billion due to mainly he sales of Sovaldi. Reports are stating that the first Q prescription numbers for Sovaldi are topping at least $1 billion.

In English… Sovaldi is probably gonna generate anywhere from $1.4 billion to as high as $2 billion for the first quarter. And, that means if the estimates for the development of Sovaldi are on the mark then Gilead has already recouped its investment and all else is money in the bank minus any costs or overhead.

So… I just gots to ask… WTF? Once again, it sure do seem as if a Big Pharm conglom is putting profits before people.

Because, this ain’t the first time Gielad has been accused of making big profits off the backs of the sick folks who suffer withcorp welfare devating illnesses. Following the release of “Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s first-quarter 2013 earnings report, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) challenged the company’s financial performance as one based on corporate welfare, as the company continues to reap enormous profits by charging taxpayer-funded programs like state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) astronomical prices for key AIDS drugs, by the ‘evergreening’(extending patents by various and dubious business practices) of medications soon to go off-patent and a scheme to drive up the price of its cure for Hepatitis C.”

What that quote pertains to is this… in 2012, Gilead raised the price of its best selling AIDS drug, Atripla, to $20,800 which was a 50% price hike since it was first came on market in 2005. Then, in September 2012, Gilead introduced a four-in-one HIV drug, Stribild, at a yearly wholesale price of $28,500 per patient, making it the most expensive combination HIV drug on the market. Stribild uses the active ingredient Tenofovir, which is also used in Atripla and Gilead’s other older medications. The patent for Tenofovir expires in 2017, but Gilead will be able to keep the price high by using it in other drugs, such as Stribild.”

AHF President Michael Weinstein said, “… the impressive financial results from the first quarter of 2013 announced … by Gilead are made off the backs of people living with HIV and AIDS who are being denied access to lifesaving medications because of the company’s greed. Corporate welfare fuels Gilead’s business, as they continue to callously scheme to squeeze as much profit (as they can)out of taxpayer-funded state-run AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, designed for the poor.”

It don’t mean a thing if the cash register ain’t got that ca-ching, huh?

3) Ya know, ya’ll get around to my age stuff begins to cease to amaze ya… almost… it almost does…

Last Friday (4/18), I settled at my desk; coffee near at hand (black and warm) and opened my paper… usual stuff… mayhem and robberies… some human interest stuff… social upheaval here and there… some weird stuff… like a guy snipped his dinky and then jumped of a two story building and he lived… so, now, I reckon if he thought he was bummed before; he’s really freaking bummed now… what’s he gonna do for his encore? … Jews being given orders to register or they will have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated.

Whhhoaaaaa… back ‘em on up there… Say whaaa???

Yeppers… right on page 6 of the NY Daily News was an almost full page article that barked… “Flyers in Ukraine target Jews.”

Now, maybe ya’ll been living in a vacuum somewheres… or… were doing one of them deep sea living experiments and just came to the surface after about a month of being underwater… or… just got back from a trip to Mars… or… just don’t give a fuck…whatever… and you haven’t heard that the Russians had come and done took over parts of the Ukraine, including the city of Donetsk and it’s been sorta touch and go over there in a very nervous-nelly-hope-the-shit-don’t-hit-the-fan kind of way.

Then the Friday story hits my eyeballs… a story that is a scary and frightening remembrance of a time that most folks in the so-called free world thought would never be seen in any European city ever again. The report that said that on Thursday (4/17), as Jews in Donetsk celebrated Passover, flyers, or if you prefer, leaflets, were distributed outside a synagogue that said any Jew who refused to register with the government by May 3, and pay a $50 fee, would have their citizenship taken away and be “…forced outside the country with a confiscation of property.”

SecState John Kerry declared the flyers to be “grotesque and beyond unacceptable,” and added that the State Department was taking the threats in the documents seriously regardless of who wrote them.

Now… let me stop for a mo right here… anyone tell me why it seems all SecStates always say that the State Department is doing this, or, the State Department is doing that? What they really mean is that the United States government is doing this or that… no? It ain’t like State is an autonomous arm of the government who goes about doing damn well what they please when they damn well please to do it…

Anyways… back to the-shit-hitting-the-fan stuff…

Ukraine flyers
Ukraine flyers

For the approximately 15,000 Jews in Donetsk, the scraps of toilet paper with the disgusting words were a sad reminder of when there was a time… during the days of the czarist pogroms and Nazi-era persecution… where being a Jew was enough to get your ass marched off to parts unknown or worse… being eliminated permanently from the face of the earth. Now, this bull was staring them smack dab in their faces and the fact of the very frightening and potentially real prospect of becoming pawns in the struggle between Moscow and Kiev over Ukraine’s future.

Rabbi Pinhas Vyshedski, who has been serving in Donetsk for the last 20 years, said, “Last time Donetsk saw similar messages was in 1941, when the Nazi German army occupied Donetsk. It is so painful for us to see that some cynical politicians dare to use us as an instrument in their political games.”

Precisely, what went down is that as some Jewish folks were leaving Passover services at a Donetsk synagogue some of them lagged behind to talk or go share a nosh together or stand around shooting the bull and having a smoke, when a car pulls up; five cowards in masks get out, and, hands those milling around some pieces of paper… after reading the words on the paper some folks were simply aghast or stared in incredulous disbelief or as one woman did… some cried.

The flyers were addressed to “Jews of Donetsk” from the “Independent Donetsk Republic” and they ordered Jewish residents of Donetsk to pay the new pro-Russian revolutionary authorities $50 apiece for registration or else “… be deprived of their citizenship and deported outside the republic; their property would be confiscated.” The leaflet also ordered that each Jew was to come to room 514 of the occupied administration building on Lenin Square to pay the fee.

The same flyers showed up in other areas of the town and the reaction was that most of the Jews of Donetsk were in shock and hysterically pissed off.

The leaflet was stamped by the Donetsk People’s Republic and signed: “Your People’s Governor Denis Pushilin.”

Denis Pushilin, foreground center speaks to reporters
Denis Pushilin, foreground center speaks to reporters

Later Pushilin issued a denial that he had ever signed such a letter or had anything to do with the letters. And he said it could have been the work of provocateurs hoping to discredit the pro-Russian movement.

Sources have said that the flyers could very well be an attempt to attach anti-Semitic rhetoric to one group or another, whether they be pro-Ukraine or pro-Soviet, in order to smear peeps of the other side. However, no matter who did what, the shit-for-brains who put out the flyers did so to provoke the situation and did not do it for any other reason than to stir up trouble… nasty bad-ass racist anti-Semitic trouble.

And, the bottom line is that whether or not the pamphlets are just false flags thrown up by some asshole or whether they are part of a more deadly and serious attempt to cause mass hysteria, dissension and confusion it is seriously and deeply troubling that anybody, be they a single entity with a dumbass agenda or a group with a dumbass agenda, would raise the repulsive specter of anti-Semitism for political purposes. Or, for any purposes what so ever if the truth is told. If, this is someone’s sick idea of being a smart ass, simply put it… it ain’t fucking funny.

So far, anyone even remotely involved with the situation appears to be saying all the right words… which is a condemnation that anybody could even think of doing such an atrocious thing as posting the flyers.

Understand this… when I was a very young ignorant boy, I once drew a swastika on a notebook I had… I grew up in a Polish home… an uncle saw the symbol and let me know in clear and forceful words that it was a despicable and hateful symbol and I was a dumbass for not knowing that the people behind that symbol attacked and did horrible and tragic things to Poland… or… as he put it they did these horrible and tragic things to my own people.

He didn’t say Jewish… or Catholic… or any other specific group of folks… just that all the Polish people were attacked and subjected to the hatred and murderous control of the Third Reich.

I learned from that dumbass mistake… and, I studied on stuff and learned about what the Nazis did to, not just the Jews, but, to so many other people and groups of people, who the Nazis did not trust or like or thought of as enemies or just wanted to use as scapegoats simply to promote the better good of the Reich… the purity of the German volksgeist. I learned and understood and remembered… that moment has always remained within my conscious and remains as a lesson well taught.

So, right here and now, I will stipulate, if, there is any truth of anybody, in that region of political bullshit and turmoil, that is trying to use a hateful systemic course of anti-Semitism to divide and conquer the Ukrainian peoples and the Ukraine land, then, I damn well hope whatever force is needed to be used by a united European allied front should be used to stifle and destroy that course of action.

Any attempt to use the Jewish people for a rationale to advocate any takeover by any group… whether they be pro-Ukraine or whether they be pro-Soviet… is disturbingly wrong. It was wrong during Hitler’s era and it is wrong now, and, it cannot be allowed to ever happen again… because once they start with the Jews then they will eventually move onto your group sooner or later and then use your people as the object of their hate. And, it won’t be pretty… just like it wasn’t so damn pretty back when the Nazis once upon a time tried to take over Europe.

Funny thing though… a reporter over in the Ukraine after seeing the flyers said… “This afternoon I went to see who was collecting the ‘Jewish fee’ in room 514 at the seized administration. The office was empty.”

Hopefully, it was all the sick stupidity of a sad and misanthropic mind and this is all that will ever come of it… but still…

4) Don’t know if anyone caught this the other day… but there was this opening sentence in an article that appeared in the Sunday (4/20) issue of the NYDN… “Two pranksters, who staged a fake kidnapping at a Washington state park, terrifying a group of parents and their children, won’t be charged with a crime…”

Seems, that these bros… twins, in fact… pulled off the so-called hoax at Carrie Blake Park in Sequim, some 60 miles north of Seattle, the previous day… Saturday. In fact, they even filmed the entire escapade fro ma minivan as it unfolded. As the film rolled, one of the brothers, who was wearing a ski mask grabbed a young kid from a bench next to a playground.

A woman… a concerned and scared mom… had the cherries to try and chase down the minivan as it raced away with the supposed kidnapped child.

Then after the minivan disappeared… it suddenly returned… the two brothers said the abduction was staged for a video about kidnapping awareness.

Faked kidnapping
Faked kidnapping

The kidnapped child’s mom was in on the entire scenario. Turns out the kid was a nephew to the men. They said, “The boy is 4 years old and was fully aware what was going on and what we were going to do with him, he was not harmed in anyway, he was actually smiling the whole time.

When reporters asked if anyone would face charges, City Attorney Craig Ritchie said, “Scaring the hell out of people is not, as far as I can determine, a crime… They did a dumb thing and risked a whole slate of unnecessary problems, and I would hate to encourage this behavior as an awareness-raising technique but they did show that child abduction scares the hell out of people.”

One of the brothers, Jason Holden, told a local paper, “We thought we were making a movie as this positive, but we didn’t think we were going to scare people like that. We didn’t even think we would be doing anything that might have broken any laws…”

Okay… stop right here… You didn’t think is exactly the right words to use… because obviously you damn well did not take the time to think… and… that’s a problem.

You didn’t stop to think that all kinds of red flags and Amber Alerts and peeps and folks getting all up in arms and being scared to death because they thought they saw a child being kidnapped was going down was gonna be a result of what you did?

You didn’t think that a whole bunch of law enforcement folks would get all involved? Simply because it’s their freaking job to respond to any, and all, threats of any tragic scenario? And you didn’t think that they would be dispatched because you neglected to tell anyone that what was going down was not real but an attempt at a public service message? You didn’t think they would respond as if a real and tragic kidnapping was in the process of happening? You didn’t think that… right? Because you didn’t think at all did you?

My take is this… the prosecutor is off base here. I think charges need to be proffered to the brothers and the mom… if, for no other reason than just for GPs… general purposes.

I mean, if, it is true that a person can’t yell fire in a crowded room if there is no fire because of the possible danger it could cause the general public then a person can’t go around faking kidnappings for the same reasons.

A person can’t just up and do stuff because they “Hey, this would send a strong and good message out to folks that something like child abduction is terrible and horrible.” And, why is that?

Because nothing is ever done in a vacuum and ya’ll can have all the good intentions in the world but shit done gonna happen if you don’t think out the possibilities of what your acts can do.

Like what about that lady who tried to intervene… what would have happened if she hurt herself chasing after the supposed kidnappers? The lady, Tiffany Barnett, chased the van for about a block in an unsuccessful attempt to get the license plate number… “I was shaking and bawling when I was running, and then I felt like a failure for not getting the information.”

What about the police and other emergency responders… the time wasted where they might be needed elsewhere in a real emergency… or, the possibility they could have been injured trying to respond to the scene… or, even been in an accident because someone was slow to react to their emergency lights? It happens.

two dumbassesAnd, what about other witnesses… you’re sure no one was around who might have gotten overly stressed… maybe have a stroke or a heart attack… you knew for a fact that no elderly or sickly people were in that park that could have had the bejesus scared out them so much that they might have  fallen down… scared dead… or, what if some do-gooder who happened to be carrying decided to take action… and, fired off some rounds or three?

They never thought about any of that shit… did the dumbasses? None of it happened but it damn well could have happened.

So, maybe scaring the hell out of people depending on how the scaring the hell out of the people is done is a crime after all…hmmm?

Now, I don’t think hard time jail time is needed here. But, I do think being made to stand before a judge who could read them the riot act about what a dumbass thing they did and how they were damn lucky no one got hurt due to their foolishness and being given a stint of community service just to remind them that they really did do something that was dumbass is a damn good idea.

And, one last item… the dumbasses should be billed for the time and money spent for everyone who responded to the kidnapping in progress. The responders didn’t know the abduction wasn’t real but they reacted as if it were… that cost real money… that cost taxpayer money… that caused resources to be used unnecessarily. Somebody should pay for all of that… and the someone should be the dumbasses involved in the staged abduction.

5) Every day I see cases in newspaper articles about people who feel victimized by the world and that the world owes them… then there’s poor, poor pitiful Poor Kimberley Davis.

Kimmy is from the land down under and last September she was tooling along in her car, merrily texting away when whamo! … She drove into a peep bicycling along the side of the road. To her credit she did call for emergency service… and that’s o-DAVIS1-570where it ended… she never went to see how the guy she hit was doing, never offered any help, she left him stranded in the road and stayed about 300 feet from the scene of the collision.

In fact, Kimmy was furiously pissed off because the guy she hit had the nerve to cause her car to be dented. She pissed, moaned and whined… “I just don’t care because I’ve already been through a lot of bullshit and my car is, like, pretty expensive and now I have to fix it… I’m kind of pissed off that the cyclist has hit the side of my car. I don’t agree that people texting and driving could hit a cyclist. I wasn’t on my phone when I hit the cyclist.”

Never mind that the end result for the cyclist was that he narrowly avoided being a paraplegic, after he suffered a fractured spine and spent three months in a hospital.

Then she went and posted her classless feelings on Facebook and talked about wanting a better-looking driver’s license photo … and what she learned from the accident was that peeps should “Never speed and do bad things so you lose your license kiddies! (It) sucks…” and how her life will start again once she gets her license back… which was to be after 9 months… and to be reinstated on or about May 23…or, so she thought.

When she finally had her case resolved in court on Monday (4/21) she pled guilty to dangerous driving and was fined $4,500 and was to have her licensed suspended for 9 months. She had originally faced 47 offenses, which included each time she texted while driving after police discovered Davis sent 44 text messages and was texting with up to seven different phone numbers while driving the night of the accident.

However after all was said and done… it wasn’t… the judge hearing the case somehow must have been be tapped into Facebook… or simply noticed the lady lacked any true remorse… or, both… and he tacked on an additional 9 months suspension of her license privileges.

Sometimes justice is served sweet and bitches get what they deserve.

5)  Iranian justice is not usually something that I look upon as being… well… real damn just. It’s just the opinion I have of their system from stuff that I read and hear.

Now, I am gonna go out on limb here, and, say what I hear and read is probably slanted by Western bias andIRAN-SOCIAL-EXECUTION-ISLAM it’s probably not as horrendous as I believe it to be. At least I hope it isn’t as bad as all that because I have heard some very disturbing and damn horrendous stories. And, compared to our justice system I believe it’s not something I would want to be subjected to.

Now, when I state this opinion of mine I do so from the perspective that I understand Iranian justice is governed by how certain folks over there… specifically, religious elders or clerics… interpret the Qur’an’s definitions of law and justice and how each should be administered.

And, frankly, to a Western mind it can be very brutal and at times cold and inhumane. At least, to my Western mind, it can be.

Recently, a specific instance of Iranian law and justice hit the newswires, and, frankly, it amazed many folks, including myself, in how it played itself out.

Ever hear of the concept of Qisas? It’s been in the news before… back in 2009.

But, first, Qisas essentially is derived from the idea of “an eye for an eye”. Now, even us Westerners have heard of that idea before… it’s biblical, and, if any one of us has any knowledge of the bible… besides the basics like Adam and Eve… Noah and the Flood… then that one saying… an eye for eye… is probably one of the more well known ones. Right? 

Well, Qisas takes the matter to an extreme… or maybe the words should be to the fullest… extent or limits.

See, in countries like Iran that apply Sharia law, it means that a victim can demand that an equal measure of justice be extracted against an offender… back to 2009… Ameneh Bahrami was an Iranian woman who was blinded by Majiv Movahedi when he attacked her with acid. And according to Qisas she was entitle to extract her equal measure of justice when she told an Iranian court that she wanted Movahedi to be blinded as his punishment. On the day the sentence was to be carried out Bahrami retracted her demand.

Under Qisas a victim can forfeit their right to revenge… let’s be real and call it what it is… and they can choose to perform an act of extreme charity or an act of atonement for their own sins.

Now… in the circumstance of murder it’s sorta understood the victim can’t use Qisas to gets their due measure of justice as defined by the law… so, the victim’s family gets to make the decision. And, if they choose to extract the revenge… then, they perform the conveyance of the sentence. How’s that?

They personally cause the murderer’s demise.

Now, the legal mumbo jumbo… yep, even Iran, which we tend to see as so backward and archaic, has legal mumbo jumbo… of the Iranian Islamic Penal Code goes something like this… The heir to the person murdered may, with the permission of the judge perform the Qisas personally, or, may appoint an agent for the purpose.

Got all of that? Good…

Seven years ago, two 17-year-old men, Balal and Abdollah Hosseinzadeh, got into a fight and Balal stabbed and killed Abdollah. He was convicted of the crime. Abdollah’s parents wanted their justice as stipulated by Qisas and a judge said it was to be given.

Last week, Balal was brought blindfolded to the site of his execution. He was stood on a chair that was placedMideast Iran on the gallows and a noose was put around his neck. Abdollah’s mother, Samereh Alinejad, was to kick out the chair and Balal was to be hanged until dead. Justice served. Revenge attained.

Now, of course nothing is ever as simple as one, two, three… the victim’s family had been under pressure to use their option to not go through with the execution… in fact, there were entreaties by all sorts of famous Iranian folks who had been begging the family to use their mercy option… as well as accept blood money… Huh? Now what the hell is this?

Yep… not only can a victim, or if it be murder, a victim’s family, have the good grace to be merciful they can also be paid to be merciful… a definite added incentive. Blood money is a provision allowed to victims or victim’s families under Iranian law. And… no, that is not made up thing… it’s in the Qur’an… sorta… as with anything its how you interpret it… “If one is pardoned by the victim’s kin, an appreciative response is in order, and an equitable compensation shall be paid.” Qur’an, Sura 2, verse 178.

Anyway… the family was under all sorts of pressure to abandon the killing of Balal. And, most of the family was receptive to the idea of mercy… most that is except the mom.

While she stood upon the gallows ready to extract her revenge, Alinejad rebuked the crowd who still beseeched her to provide mercy to Balal… “Do you know what I have gone through all these years and how my life became like poison?”

iran-death-penalty-qisasBalal begged for his life… then she slapped him… then… she forgave him… She slipped the nosoe off his neck and forgave him.

The killer will serve a prison sentence but what was left unsaid is what that sentenced will be. And, in some respects if you ask me, it could be a case of be careful what you ask for because you may get it.

I have no idea what Iranian prisons are like but my guess is that they ain’t as nice as American prisons and from my limited knowledge of what I know about long-term American maximum security prisons most ain’t all that nice to begin with, so I can imagine what a prison in Iran will be like. Or… am I just exhibiting some more of my Western bias?

But the question I propsoe ids this… What if Qisas was a conept to be applied in Amerca? Especially in cases where peeps have done unspeakable and horrific acts of violence and evil. How much mercy ya’ll think would be given and how much revenge would be taken?

Interesting concept and proposition, huh?

Scary, too.

6) I am sure everyone has heard about how sexual misconduct is a definite problem in the armed services. And, you might have even heard about the case where one Maj. Gen. Michael T. Harrison Sr., the commander of U.S. Army forces in Japan let a whole bunch of sexual complaints against officers under his command were left to just pile up on his desk.

One case concerned a colonel on his staff who had been accused of having an affair with a subordinate, of drunken and inappropriate behavior with other women at a military club and of sexual assault.

But according to the Army, Harrison let most of the complaints slide or he reacted with leniency.

And, his reasoning for not following through on the complaints? Well, it seems, he and the colonel were ass-kissing good

Maj. Gen. Michael T. Harrison Sr., right, was relieved of his command in Japan and moved to a Pentagon post.
Maj. Gen. Michael T. Harrison Sr., right, was relieved of his command in Japan and moved to a Pentagon post.

buddies for over twenty years and he just didn’t believe some of the allegations against his good ole buddy.

Finally, in March 2013, a Japanese woman accused the colonel of sexual assault. And, Harrison waited months before he made any report to the appropriate investigators. And, that is no uncertain terms … a clear violation of Army rules.

The end result, after the Army conducted an investigation of the generals actions? In August, the Army issued a formal rebuke and suspended Harrison for protecting the colonel and failing to take appropriate action. He received an administrative letter of reprimand in December for mishandling the sexual-assault case and other complaints.

Basically, the army yelled at him in formal and nice words.

And, then kept Harrison on active duty and, in fact, brought him back to the Pentagon to take another important position, as director of program analysis and evaluation for an Army deputy chief of staff.

Go figure…

Then, I heard that there was some report that said the Army can’t understand why sexual abuse victims don’t take the Army’s declarations that they care about sex crimes in the armed forces seriously .

Can’t understand why they would feel that way. Not at all.

7) On Monday, I saw this story coming over the wire services… “In response to a string of break-ins, the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan has given a local Pennsylvania chapter the go-ahead to form a neighborhood watch group.”

Perfect birdcage liner material
Perfect birdcage liner material

The story went on to report that the KKK was distributing flyers that said “You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!

Sleep? Hell, if anything just knowing that piece of shit info is gonna keep up all night.

I’m gonna say it loud and clear… it don’t matter if it is the Klan, or, whoever… I don’t trust peeps or orgs that have questionable agendas. And, the KKK certainly has a history of having very questionable agendas. Like killing and murdering and burning and hanging folks who don’t see eye to eye with the way they think. Which by and by is stupid and ignorant and hateful.

There is nothing I trust about a group of folks who get their kicks out promoting racial division and have a history of waging war and terror upon blacks, Catholics and other folks who are not WhiteAngloSaxonProtestants.

My message to them? Keep your damn sheets in the linen closet and keep your asses home and off the streets.

And, by the by… if anyone ever finds any of them flyers… suggestion? Place it in your birdcage where it can get shit upon like it deserves. No bird cage… then toss it in the trash so it can be hauled off to the dump where it belongs.

8) On Tuesday (4/22) at about 3 p.m., a call came into Long Beach (NY) police HQ that said someone had killed his brother and mother… an emergency dispatch was immediately sent out.. SWAT and emergency crews from Long Beach and other local areas responded fully armed and ready for anything and everything.

They descended upon the address that they were given and found… a 17-year-old kid playing the video game “Call of Duty”.

SWAT response to phony 911 call
SWAT response to phony 911 call

The terrible and potentially tragic hoax involved more than 70 emergency responders. And, here is what I found simply stupefying… it’s a game… this calling police… played by obviously shit for brains peeps called Swatting.

Long Beach police commissioner Michael Tagney told reporters, “In this … bizarre world of Swatting, you get points for the helicopter, for the police cars, for the SWAT team, for the type of entry… It’s very sophisticated. Unfortunately, it’s very dangerous.”

The idiot caller used the Internet to contact police and could be anywhere across the globe. Investigators are trying to track down the call’s origin and if they do find the caller then he (or she) could face criminal charges and end up with the tab for the enormous police response.

This shit is not anywhere near being funny… people could get hurt… seriously hurt… maybe be dead. Think… if, somehow one of those SWAT peeps thought the kid at the video console was doing something other than playing a game… like maybe they thought he a bomb detonator or something… and reacted with deadly force ? rReal damn funny now…right?

WTF goes on in what serves as brains for some peeps out there? Really… what does go on in that space within their skulls?

9) eve23f-4-web

Who dat? Give up?

Eve Plumb ring a bell?

Remember Jan… as in Jan Brady?

Too young? Google “Brady Bunch” circa 1970s.

bradybunchYep, it’s the same person who played the put-upon middle sister, Jan, in the quintessential 1970s family sitcom the squeaky-clean “Brady Bunch”. She is now playing in a bloody backwoods flick as a gun-toting, bile-spewing matriarch of a homicidal Southern clan who leads a redneck feud against an assassin.

Plumb says, “These guys are anything but ‘The Brady Bunch,’ which is exactly why I was happy to play the part. Let’s face it… I’m not exactly a shoot-em-up superstar, but, (as an actor) you get to live vicariously through lunatics. What could be better than that?”

You go Jan… I mean Eve… baby.

Who knew?



10) And, this week’s gratuitous pics…Jennajenna-dewan-tatum-1



Jenna Lee Dewan-Tatum (née Dewan; born December 3, 1980) is an American actress and dancer. playboy-clubs-jenna-dewan-tatum-3Jenna-Dewan-Tatum-Nude-Allure
























And another thousand words…




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  1. Channing Tatum’s wife ain’t bad lookin’.

    In regards to what’s going on in Ukraine, I have an inclination to believe that letter didn’t exactly come from Moscow but anti-semitism in that part of the world is a real thing. My high school had a sizable Russian Jewish contingency, and a few that I was close to let me know how serious it was for them over there. A few of them, their families came to the States just to get away from it.

  2. If you read anything on the Middle Ages and Anti-Antisemitism, it will make you ashamed of your ancestors. Slavery would be the worst thing mankind has ever done to itself, but what the Christians have done to the Jews over the past 2000 years is just disgusting.

  3. And yes, I’m talking about WORLDWIDE slavery, not just the ones that have been outlawed in the past 200 years- Oh and by the way, Slavery still exists- and if you consider serfdom a slavery to the state, its just as widespread as ever.

  4. Again… agreed. And there are so many different so-called forms of slaving going in this word it makes the mind boggle… hiwever… slaving is slaving.

  5. Name a race or a region and if you go back far enough, someone held a whip over them. I don’t count working for the MAN as slaving, my kids can get geniuses and get out, or go to school and get a better job (and even get it paid for with the GI Bill) people today (at least in the US) have no idea how easy they have it to get out (Barring of course, those who have to wear a Kevlar school uniform) and do something with your life.

  6. Slavery is a real thing. I saw something recently about slavery in Pakistan. Made me sick to my stomach to see the process of “bonded labor”. Any student of history knows that races of all kinds practiced slavery. Either over themselves or their own people.

  7. Hi Joe,

    I happened across your blog while scanning through articles regarding the fake kidnapping that happened back in April, in Sequim, WA. As I read what you said about it, I kept thinking “my thoughts exactly!”

    The two men involved and the mom of the little boy are now facing charges of misdemeanor disorderly conduct for this stunt. It’s about time! No, they won’t be facing hard time or anything, it’s not necessary, but having to stand before a judge and answer for their imbecility will hopefully make them THINK before acting the next time they want to “educate” us with one of their ridiculous stunts. They scared the hell out of a LOT of people unnecessarily and they need to be taught that you just can’t do this kind of shit. I truly hope they realize the repercussions of such an act spread far beyond a few kids and parents in a little park. And that they are DAMN LUCKY noone was hurt. Thankfully, carelessness and stupidity are, in some cases, considered criminal.

    Articles about their charges are on The Peninsula Daily News online. You can also read articles regarding the fatal shooting that happened at the twins’ dad’s house while the Holden twins celebrated their birthday about a month after the kidnapping stunt.

  8. checked The Peninsula Daily News out… interesting. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you like our site and stick around.

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