Local WIN

Well folks…

When I clicked on the link, I was sure I’d found our next Burning Shame Award recipient. However, after peeping his mugshot and reading of his completely understandable defense, I totally changed my mind and realized that this story is, 100%, hands-down balls-out Local WIN.

Just. AWESOME.

A Church Hill man has been charged with indecent exposure after allegedly running nude through a Kingsport grocery store, wearing only a rubber mask on his face.

The man was arrested at a nearby Hardee’s, where he reportedly asked employees for clothing before hiding in the bathroom. Police say the suspect admitted to the incident, citing, “he was bored and didn’t have anything to do.”

A report from Kingsport police identifies the man as Daniel R. Lee, 22, of 612 East Main Boulevard, apartment A, Church Hill. He allegedly walked into the IGA grocery store, 3006 North John B. Dennis Highway, at about 9 p.m Friday.

Police say he was, “wearing only a rubber mask.”

Store personnel told police that Lee ran around the store exposing himself to several customer and employees. One member of the staff attempted to run Lee down as he left the store, but was unable to catch him.

However, according to the police report, the employee did nab a woman that accompanied Lee. She is identified as Katelyn M. Trent, 18, of 1849 1/2 Forest View Drive, Kingsport. She allegedly claimed Lee was her boyfriend.

The report says police located Lee in the bathroom of a nearby Hardee’s. Restaurant employees told police he entered, “wearing only an orange hoodie, ” and was, “attempting to cover himself up and asking for any piece of clothing.”

One male employee gave Lee a pair of basketball shorts, according to the report. Police found Lee in the bathroom, wearing the shorts and orange hoodie.

“Daniel advised me that he did run through the IGA nude because he was bored and didn’t have anything to do,” reads the officers report.

Lee was charged with indecent exposure, arrested and transported to the Kingsport jail.

So, Daniel R. Lee, this one’s for you, dude.

Hells YES

Random Fudging Awesomeness

h/t BoingBoing

Have a Heart…

Yeah, so I am already making with the jokes. Seriously, I will be relieved if this is for sure RF, because then I will know that I am NOT losing my mind and all the weird symptoms (fluttery hands, dropping shit, running into things, e.g.) and the painful symptoms (joint pain, fever) will (hopefully) go away.

Obviously, I am not so thrilled about the idea of rheumatic heart disease. I have my cardiologist appointment next Tuesday. I am hoping that they are able to rule out RHD and that they find NO ZERO ZILCH damage to my heartmeats and related whatnots. I just want to get everything wrapped up – two years of this shit is about enough.

Until then, however, I am a little wired, so I will either post not at all, or post crazy ranty stuff. So bear with me.

Cookies Will Make it All Better

“… I Ain’t Holding Back Anymore!!”

Okay, so whenever we discuss examples of racism, bigotry, whathaveyou in the TEA movement, we are invariably told (a) that liberals/the MSM are making it up, (b) that these are just a few “bad apples” who don’t really represent what real TEAfolk stand for, (c) that liberals/the MSM are making much ado about nothing, and/or (d) that liberals/the MSM are the REAL racists/bigots/whathaveyou.

My point, as I have raised again and again, is how the non racists/bigots in the TEA movement can justify standing with such people?

Well, here is a bigger question:  How can ANYONE in the TEA movement condone acts of violence? As reported at length in the Charlottesville Daily Progress here, Federal and local authorities are investigating a severed gas line at the home of U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello’s brother, discovered the day after Tea Party activists posted the address online so opponents could “drop by” and “express their thanks” for Perriello’s vote in favor of health care reform. From the Daily Progress:

Two members of the conservative Tea Party groups in Danville and Lynchburg posted the home’s address online Monday, mistakenly believing it belonged to the congressman. The home actually belongs to Bo Perriello, the congressman’s older brother.

The local FBI field office and the Albemarle County fire marshal are investigating the incident. Police have stepped up patrols in the area as well.

Albemarle County spokeswoman Lee Catlin confirmed that county authorities are investigating an incident at Bo Perriello’s home in cooperation with the FBI, but she said she cannot comment on the specifics because it is an ongoing investigation.

“The Fire Marshal’s Office is conducting the investigation in cooperation with the FBI,” Catlin said. “While officials are not willing to characterize the exact nature of the incident because of the ongoing investigation, it did not involve an immediate threat to occupants of the residence. Officials are taking the incident very seriously and conducting a vigorous investigation. Additional details will be released as the investigation continues.”

M.A. Myers, a spokesman with the FBI’s Richmond field office, confirmed that the agency is “aware” of the severing of the gas line at Bo Perriello’s house.

“At this point, all I can really confirm is that we are aware of that situation,” he said.

Danville Tea Party leader Nigel Coleman was one of the two activists who posted Bo Perriello’s address online Monday.

“This is Rep. Thomas Stuart Price Perriello’s home address,” Coleman wrote Monday. “… I ain’t holding back anymore!!”

According to the Danville Register & Bee site, when Coleman learned that the address actually belonged to the congressman’s brother, he responded on a blog: “Do you mean I posted his brother’s address on my Facebook? Oh well, collateral damage.”

Coleman told The Daily Progress today that he is “shocked” and “almost speechless” at the possibility that someone would sever the propane line to Perriello’s brother’s house.

“I obviously condemn these actions,” he said. “I would hope that people aren’t thinking about doing anything crazy. We just wanted people to get close to the congressman and have their voices heard. Violence is not going to answer anything. I’m a little shocked and amazed.”

Coleman added that he is not certain that the incident is related to the posting of the home’s address. “Of course, we don’t know this is a related event,” he said.

Really? Coleman “a little shocked and amazed” that someone took him up on his suggestion? Are you fucking kidding me with this shit? Seriously – “Collateral Damage?” What brave new sort of asshole ARE you?

What the hell did you THINK would happen? At BEST, it never crossed your mind that what you were doing was clearly inciting angry and frustrated people to take action, action that very well could injure the people at THE ADDRESS YOU POSTED WITHOUT BOTHERING TO VERIFY WHO LIVED THERE.

At worst, you CLEARLY knew what you were doing, and now want to give us the coy, finger in the mouth “Oopsie! I’m a bad widdle boy!” schtick.

And I suppose now is when a bunch of apologists will flood out, claiming that (a) liberals/the MSM are making this up, (b) that these are just a few “bad apples” who don’t really represent what real TEAfolk stand for, (c) that liberals/the MSM are making much ado about nothing, and/or (d) that liberals/the MSM are the REAL terrorists.

…I’m waiting…

h/t to Mark Potok at the SPLC Blog (which will, I am sure, render MY whole post invalid to those who think that the SPLC is some sort of radical fringe group).

"Sorry I Cut Your Gas Line - I Thought You Were Someone Else" Scones

Any Teabagger Apologists Out There?

From HuffPo:

Abusive, derogatory and even racist behavior directed at House Democrats by Tea Party protesters on Saturday left several lawmakers in shock.

Preceding the president’s speech to a gathering of House Democrats, thousands of protesters descended around the Capitol to protest the passage of health care reform. The gathering quickly turned into abusive heckling, as members of Congress passing through Longworth House office building were subjected to epithets and even mild physical abuse.

A staffer for Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told reporters that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) had been spat on by a protestor. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a hero of the civil rights movement, was called a ‘ni–er.’ And Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was called a “faggot,” as protestors shouted at him with deliberately lisp-y screams. Frank, approached in the halls after the president’s speech, shrugged off the incident.

But Clyburn was downright incredulous, saying he had not witnessed such treatment since he was leading civil rights protests in South Carolina in the 1960s.

“It was absolutely shocking to me,” Clyburn said, in response to a question from the Huffington Post. “Last Monday, this past Monday, I stayed home to meet on the campus of Claflin University where fifty years ago as of last Monday… I led the first demonstrations in South Carolina, the sit ins… And quite frankly I heard some things today I have not heard since that day. I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus.”

“It doesn’t make me nervous as all,” the congressman said, when asked how the mob-like atmosphere made him feel. “In fact, as I said to one heckler, I am the hardest person in the world to intimidate, so they better go somewhere else.”

Anyone want to tell me how this shit is “patriotic,” “brave,” or “free-thinking?”

Still want to tell me how the TEA movement is fundamentally a grass roots movement of intellectuals frustrated about Constitutional affronts?

Anyone?

‘Cause it looks to me like a bunch of homophobes/racists/bigots afraid of losing their majority ‘might makes right’ control. And if you AREN’T a homophobic racist bigot, you might want to rethink your bunkmates.

Just sayin’.

Not Buying It.

A Very Special SFL: PANDAS and Rheumatic Fever

So, I don’t normally blog about personal issues, but I am making an exception here because I think that people should know more about unusual reactions to the Strep A bacterium.  Our oldest kid was diagnosed with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (or PANDAS) when he was 7.  You can read more about PANDAS here and here.

Basically PANDAS works like this:  young child has sudden onset of acute OCD symptoms caused by antibodies produced in reaction to Strep A presence that ‘misfire’ and attack things other than the bacteria. And, generally speaking, the child will have mild underlying OCD, which is exacerbated in a PANDAS situation; in other words, most believe that PANDAS doesn’t cause OCD (though there is some thought that it might) so much as it exacerbates it.

In our case, we had no idea that our child had either strep or OCD . He just suddenly went crazy. It was very scary and not helped at all by a pede who told us to just give him some benadryl to make him sleep. We had no idea what was going on and had never heard of PANDAS. A colleague heard about our situation and asked what the strep test results were; when we said our child did not have strep, he told us to get him tested ASAP. So I immediately took him in and demanded a strep test, to which the pede scoffed and said that he thought I was ‘grasping at straws’ if I thought PANDAS was really the cause of our issues.

We got the test anyway and sure enough, he had strep.

By the time the second dose of antibiotics was taken, our child was almost back to normal.

We have had several more incidents of this since and treat separately for OCD, as well. We have routinely had him swabbed whenever someone around us gets strep; in addition, we have been swabbed. We only recently found out that he should have been getting ASO titer blood work done. But supposedly he will grow out of this.

Researchers have looked to rheumatic fever in understanding how PANDAS works, as rheumatic fever is another situation where the antibodies produced to fight strep go haywire. In the case of RF, the antibodies attack heart valves, joints, and other parts of the brain.  Which brings me to the second chapter of this very special SFL episode.

About four years ago or so, I suddenly had acute joint pain and a fever; the fever lasted a few days, the joint pain lasted several weeks. I also noticed that I had gotten a weird little nodule on my knee. I went to the doctor thinking that I had just picked up CSV or Fifth disease from the kid, as both cause those sorts of symptoms in adults. I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t have mono. Anyhow, doctor essentially said I was fine. End of story.

Two years later, when I was pregnant with our second child, I had a fever and joint pain. Joint pain was chalked up to pregnancy; fever to walking pneumonia. I also had a heart murmur (not rare in pregnancy), erythema (weird and chalked up as nothing), fainting spells, dizziness, and heart palpitations.  All were considered just part of a rather difficult pregnancy.

Since then, I have had approximately 6 more incidents of sudden onset of high fever and extreme joint pain. I was tested for various things like Lyme Disease, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus – all negative.  I was shuttled around to various doctors until I was ready to give up. After a year, they finally sent me to an epidemiologist, who was very thorough and interested in my symptoms, especially when I told her about my son’s PANDAS. She ran a ton of blood work and informed me a couple of days ago that my ASO titer test (the first one that had been done on me, apparently) showed extremely high strep antibodies and that it looked like I may have or have had rheumatic fever.

RF basically manifests in two ways – migratory arthralgia and carditis. I don’t feel like going into all the details, so you can read more about RF here or just Google it yourself. Long story short, it is rare and it sucks, though it certainly is not as bad as many other things. I am currently in the process of getting in to see a cardiologist so that we can see if there is any cardiac damage, which would be a lot easier if I could just make the appointment myself as I have already been informed that April and May are “filling up fast.”  But of course I have to wait for my GP to do it.

So, do I have it or have I had it? Right now, we are at the “looks like it” stage and won’t know what, if any damage there has been to my heart until I see a cardiologist. But IF it is indeed RF, then I have had multiple incidents of it – as many as seven or eight, to my knowledge.

Yeah, RF is rare. But it isn’t like we don’t already have a House of Weird Strep situation. Not to mention that over the years, I have repeatedly asked my various doctors, who all knew about our son’s PANDAS, whether I might have latent strep, whether it could be strangely manifesting, and whether it could be causing my symptoms.  I even specifically brought up RF on at least one occasion.

And really, I may not have RF at all. I could just be freaking the fuck out over nothing. And even if I have/have had RF, I may not have any cardiac damage. I am keeping my fingers crossed. But if there is damage, it pretty clearly could have been prevented.

So, my point in this is that you should always trust your instincts that something is wrong. If your kid suddenly starts acting completely nuts, force your doctor to run a strep test (including a rapid, 48 hour culture, AND ASO). When you know that something is wrong with you, don’t get discouraged when they keep finding nothing amiss. YOU know when something isn’t right, so keep at it until you find a doctor that takes you seriously.

At any rate, I am going to take a bit of a break from blogging, though I will update this when I find out about the cardiac issues. I am sure that everything will be fine, so don’t worry about SFL. I am pretty sure that most lawyers don’t have hearts to begin with.

This Post Will Not Contain Any References To Coke Or Porn…

…because I am a classy lady.

So, in case you haven’t heard, Virginia Thomas, wife of SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas, is indeed hopping on the tea party train. She has started a group called  Liberty Central Inc. Liberty Central is reportedly a nonprofit lobbying group created for the purpose of organizing activism around a set of conservative “core principals.” You can read more about this story here at the LA Times.

Now, politics aside (if such a thing is possible), I don’t have any particular dislike for Justice Thomas. And certainly a SCOTUS justice is FAR FAR more qualified to opine on just about anything than am I.  That said, I do think it incredibly disingenuous to constantly deride the more progressive side of the court for engaging in judicial activism, when the originafederalists are doing exactly the same thing.

ALL judges engage in judicial activism; if they aren’t, then they are not doing their job. As I see it, every decent judge has or should have some sort of articulable judicial philosophy. And every judge, through experience, gains insight on the law not reflected in the letter of the law. Simply put – if a judge is actually judging, there is no way that he or she will not necessarily engage in what is referred to as judicial activism.

Of all the Justices, I always wish that Thomas would get out and about more. He is so, well, quiet. And when he does speak, he is articulate and drily humorous. I know conservatives generally expect all liberals, progressives, and non-fundies to be filled with foamy hate at the mere thought of anyone with whom they disagree. While I am not filled with joy by the concept of “originalist” or “federalist” constitutional interpretation, I don’t think that it necessarily follows that I must also dislike a person who follows such an approach. Unlike a pundit or other such vile creature who makes a living off of being an obnoxious persona, I think arbiters of thought can and do exist as people distinct from their philosophies.

Take, for example, the awesome relationship between RBG and Scalia. Shit, if they can get together and share an elephant, then there should be hope for us all. Sometimes agreeable people simply disagree – certainly when it comes to academic matters that do not directly affect either party on a personal level.

But I think it is the latter part of that statement – that the argument cannot focus on things that personally impact the speakers – that is the key to understanding why there is so much animosity coming both from and towards teabaggers. If they were simply out to discuss Constitutional matters, as they often claim to be doing, then I would think reasoned discourse would be possible. However, when the Constitutional matters are either a veneer or a side item to other more personal matters, dialogue is not really possible.  I have no desire to engage in a Constitutional debate with someone waiving a sign declaring Obama is a Muslin [sic].  Conversely, they are not going to believe anything I say because I am a liberal and therefore have a liberal agenda.

Likewise, the healthcare debate has become too internalized to be rationally discussed. Everyone comes to that table with their mind made up. I, for one, am tired of the talking points. I am tired of hearing people going on and on about 10th Amendment this, or socialism that when most of the time, they have no fucking idea what they are talking about. Quit acting smart and just SAY WHAT YOU MEAN.

I think we should have a single-payer system. I believe the Constitution grants Congress the authority to enact such a system. More importantly, I think that in a capitalist society, the Government has a duty to act to preserve and protect the interests of the Citizenry from Corporations. Especially where, as here, it is undeniably clear that our quasi-free market is allowing Corporations to profit to the gross injury of the majority of the citizenry.

If you think otherwise, fine. But don’t give me some bullshit argument that you heard from Glenn Beck. Tell me why YOU think it is wrong for our government to restrict the healthcare industry in order to protect the citizens. Tell me why YOU don’t want our taxes going to the welfare of the general public health – specifically why we draw the line at healthcare.  Tell me how YOU think things are going to get any better if we don’t do something to fix them – or tell me why you think they are just fine.

In the meantime, I am going to go make some tea and leave you to gaze upon some freshly baked bread…

French Bread

Maddow Double Whammy

Rachel Maddow to Orrin Hatch, Washington Post:  Why can’t you be more like Kevin?

Up With People (Who Hate)!!!

So, as everyone is probably now aware, the SPLC report on conservative American hate groups is now out.

The number of hate groups in America has been going up for years, rising 54% between 2000 and 2008 and driven largely by an angry backlash against non-white immigration and, starting in the last year of that period, the economic meltdown and the climb to power of an African American president.

According to the latest annual count by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), these groups rose again slightly in 2009 — from 926 in 2008 to 932 last year — despite the demise of a key neo-Nazi group. The American National Socialist Workers Party, which had 35 chapters in 28 states, imploded shortly after the October 2008 arrest of founder Bill White for making threats against his enemies.

At the same time, the number of what the SPLC designates as “nativist extremist” groups — organizations that go beyond mere advocacy of restrictive immigration policy to actually confront or harass suspected immigrants — jumped from 173 groups in 2008 to 309 last year. Virtually all of these vigilante groups have appeared since the spring of 2005.

But the most dramatic story by far has been with the antigovernment Patriots.

And already the SPLC and the NFMSM (NonFoxMainStreamMedia) are being called terrorists by RightSideNews for “blaming” such AWESOME!!! American Patriots ™ as Dobbs, Beck, Bachmann, Palin, and Teabaggers as people responsible in part for encouraging and/or irresponsibly causing some of the very scary mess.  Nice one – the old ‘I know you are, but what am I?’ defense.

Choaking From Rage

Ham of Excellence: Anthony Weiner

Ham of Excellence

Greetings my fellow arbiters of all things awesome. It is time to glaze up another Ham of Excellence and celebrate an asskicking individual for his Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Excellence.

This fine gentleman is articulate, passionate, and brilliant; not to mention he has balls the size of Texas.  When faced with the absurd hypocrisy of the Party of NO on the public option, he called their bluff and submitted a bill to kill medicare. He also stood on the House floor and said “The Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry.”  When asked if Lieberman was “a dick,” he told the truth.  Truly, this man’s Ham is long overdue.

I present to you, this week’s HOE:  Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY).