“No Notice” Evictions

Watching a piece on Las Vegas in which “no notice” evictions are taking place. The renter has been paying on their rent while the owner of the property has been going through foreclosure proceedings and not notified the renter. Then the bank sends out the police to kick out the tenants with no notice whatsoever, and they have only a brief period of time, while the police are there, to move out their belongings.

“If we could give them two hours we’d give them two hours, but obviously I have 16 lock-outs that I have to do today and I couldn’t give someone an hour a say or I’d be out 16 hours. We usually give more time on a foreclosure than a straight eviction where they have 24 hour notice. These guys had no notice. We do have to give them access to a change of clothes, their medication and stuff like that. I can give them 5 to 10 minutes but I’m not going to let them take advantage of me or the other deputy by letting them move everything out.”

And, snap, these people lose everything. All the locks are changed by a locksmith while the tenants scramble to deposit on the front lawn what they can salvage. Computer. Some clothes. One can be vaguely thankful it’s not raining. Then the door is shut and sealed with red tape. A few comments on the video cynically expound on how downsizing is good and they didn’t need all their stuff, that we all have too much stuff. Someone else says the universe is in balance and there is balance even in this. An individual from another country says what in the world is this, that in their country the bank must take on the contract with the tenant and honor it.

Management of eviction of tenants, under these circumstances, is different from state to state and there are those which allow even several months for the tenant to vacate. From what I read, Nevada seems to be one of the particularly nasty ones when it comes to renter’s rights, there not being any. I’ve no idea why the bank should not be obligated to honor the contract with a paying tenant or why they would be adverse to doing so. That they can throw the tenants out in this way and take possession of their belongings is criminal.

If I was a law enforcement officer and my job was to manage evictions of this type, giving 16 families a day only enough time to deposit some clothes and toys on the front lawn, I’d be unable to live with myself.

Boy Scouts Bring to Mind “Cabaret”

I thought this kind of bizarre, Boy Scouts (well, an affiliate) being trained to confront terrorists, run down illegal immigrants and raid marijuana fields, using kids as young as 13 and 1/2. A competition is described where “looking at 9/11 and what a Middle Eastern terrorist would be like” and authenticity being their goal, a role player wore traditional Arab dress. (Huh?!)

Explorer-Scouts Train in Post-9/11 Law Enforcement Methods – NYTimes.com

A girl remarks she’s partly in it because of her attraction to guns and the sounds they make. “It gets me excited,” she says. And I think does one really want law enforcement officers who are made thrilled and giddy by the thought of gunfire?

This was brought to mind.

Discovery Channel Invites You to Discover Yourself

No joke. Military.discovery.com (Discovery channel) offers this quiz. “If you were a gun, what kind would you be?”

The quiz begins with romance and champagne.

It is too bizarre. So I took the quiz to see what the questions would be. The first question, as mentioned above, frames the gun as a romantic partner. After 10 questions, I was informed, “You are an Uzi!”

While taking the quiz, I tried to imagine the minds of the individuals who came up with this idea. Then wondered what was going through the heads of the web designers who had to implement it.

In Which I get Justice John G. Roberts’ Number Pegged

I was reading on another blog a post asking if readers’ kids had watched the inauguration and events at school. The most common reply was yes, they’d taken a 1/2 hour out of studies and they saw nothing wrong with it as it’s history.

A half hour? Hell, we took the whole day. We started watching at 9:20 a.m., all three of us squished together in the bed. And we talked about everything.

As Justice Roberts took the stage, before he began I considered how he must feel about this, how he might feel about swearing in Obama, and I said out loud, “Choke on it, Roberts.”

Then I felt immediately kind of bad that I’d said it and wished I hadn’t.

And then he did choke on it.

We’re Going to Need Some Good Music During the Long Walk Back

Yesterday afternoon I spent quite a long time talking on the phone to an old friend who lives half this continent away while H.o.p. was with Marty touring the Jim Henson exhibit at the Atlanta History Center. She was adamant I bring up NPR on the radio and listen to the concert at the Lincoln Memorial. By the time I did, however, the concert was over. Then last night I saw on Americablog a link to a video from the concert, at Youtube, of Pete Seeger singing “This Land is Your Land” with his grandson and Bruce Springsteen, and Marty and I sat down to watch it with H.o.p., to listen to Seeger exhort the rest of us all to join in, and I tried vainly to explain to H.o.p. why it might mean so much to his parents and to others to watch Pete Seeger up there singing

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.


I’d post the video here for memory’s sake but it has since been removed from Youtube due to a copyright claim by Home Box Office. We have Direct TV but don’t have flashy ornaments like Home Box Office so I’m glad we saw the video last night when it was still available.

Of course I had mixed feelings while I was listening to Pete Seeger, his grandson and Springsteen. The kind of mixed feelings I didn’t have as I sat last Friday with H.o.p. and watched Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery and explained to him what that journey of “discovery” was really about, talked with him about Jefferson’s plans for the indigenous nations and the meaning of Lewis and Clark’s interactions with them, for though he already knows a lot about this I feel compelled to reiterate and tell him again, impressing upon him that, well…what Peter Seeger was singing about Sunday is a sentiment that didn’t exactly drive the creation of this nation as history teaches us it has. I ever remind him, as we pursue history, so that when he chooses to sing along to “This Land is My Land”, he needs to be ever mindful of the bone closets.

Just as I could choose to sing along with Pete Seeger on Sunday even as I thought about a link to a website a friend had sent me over the weekend, that website showing volumes of ledger picture art his great-grandfather had done circa Wounded Knee.

Later that night I read aloud to Marty Making Light’s “The True History of the Bush Years” in the form of headlines from “The Onion” and I laughed and laughed. As I hit the entries for 2008 (Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job, Crocodile Bites off Bush’s Arm, Vice President Cheney Seen Dragging Egg Sac Through West Wing) I was finally laughing so hard I could no longer speak. And it felt weirdly good even though it was painful as hell. Like the night my appendix ruptured when I was 28. I didn’t know my appendix had ruptured, I just knew I was in dire straits and made Marty read comedy to me for hours as an anesthetic. It hurt to laugh but still I laughed, eager for life to be more than Bruegel’s hell. Of course, the next day I was barely conscious, on morphine in the hospital, and then I was really really sick ten days later when I finally had my long-since-ruptured appendix removed after having been misdiagnosed (though they did peg the peritonitis). And I laughed after that, too, because I’d made it through and if I hadn’t laughed I’d have been petrified with fear over the fact that I’d not been just a walking time bomb, the time bomb had in fact gone off and still I’d managed to keep breathing those ten days despite it all. Hell, they’d even sent me home from the hospital and I’d had to keep pestering them, telling them, “Listen, things aren’t right.”

So, I laughed last night. And it felt good.

And it felt really, really awful.

This morning I woke up feeling emotionally like I’d been on a terrible drunk, one that can net you a life of penalties after only a couple of days, much less eight years, only I don’t drink (been there, done that, found out long ao I couldn’t do that) and I was paying for someone else’s bloody mayhem while they rode away scot free and merrily whistling. There are so many parties going on I could probably sling a rock in any direction and trepan a giddy celebrant, but my stomach was sour, I sagged under tons of psychic burden and all I really wanted to do was sit down in a corner and cry.

H.o.p. is excited because one of his uncles is in D.C. and will be attending the inaugural. H.o.p.’s hoping for pictures.

H.o.p. is still talking about the election. He recently asked if we could go back down and vote again soon because it was so much fun and so exciting standing in line with all the friendly people during the presidential election. I think he’ll remember that day for a long time.

We have a friend who is up in D.C. and the house she’s staying in lies under the exiting flight path that Bush’s helicopter will be taking. I hear that there are plans to take photos of it as it passes overhead.

Maybe I’ll get it in gear and feel a little more jovial when the big moment arrives…

Holiday Spirity (update: now with video!)

Courtesy Pandora Internet Radio we’ve had mucho Christmas music around here the past few days. If you look for “Holiday” in their genre stations, they offer choices of Christmas blues, jazz, rock, classical, folk, Motown, R&B/pop, swingin’, country and peaceful. We’ve mostly stuck with the folk option, but today created a station that will hopefully give us a nice mix of rousing and silly standards along with jazzy and swingin’ as we were needing some of the “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman” variety. But after a few gallopin’ dances around the apartment to the sounds of jingle belly sleighs we’ve been stuck with soggy popcorn songs. Adding more variety as I write…

I don’t recollect what song we were listening to when I watched the video of Bush dodging shoes in Iraq. Man has some good reflexes! As an individual who was always the last one standing in the dodge ball games of childhood, I was kinda impressed with his skill.

Though I can’t say it was the best Christmas present ever as it’s not as if I endorse violence, I did go back and watch the video again while Burl Ives was singing “We are Santa’s Elves!”

Sirens are singing down the street outside. People gettin’ in the holiday spirit the outgoing grand poobah seems to inspire.

Update: We wanted to share the experience of listening to “We are Santa’s Elves” while watching Bush dodge shoes. So H.o.p. and I recreated it for you.

So pixelated. So wobbly. We will live with it.

You've heard this, right? (and still, I will blog about it and tomorrow you will have a chance to cast your vote against four more years of edge-of-your-seat Palintertainment and at this point even MccCain is secretly hoping you will do just that)

Over a million listens on Youtube, so you’ve heard this, right?

A couple of Quebec comics, the Masked Avengers, managed to get hold of Palin on the phone and had her believing she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Palin was so taken in she scarcely seemed to blink as the conversation departed the interstate for tricky woodland paths then swang through the crazy jungle with such goodies as…

A: I just want to be sure. That phenomenon Joe the Plumber. That’s not your husband, right?

P: That’s not my husband but he’s a normal American who just works hard and doesn’t want government to take his money.

A: Yes, yes, I understand we have the equivalent of Joe the Plumber in France. It’s called Marcel, the guy with bread under his armpit.

P: Right, that’s what it’s all about, the middle class and government needing to work for them. You’re a very good example for us here.

Transcription tidbit courtesy Gawker.

And there’s the part where she doesn’t blink over Sarkozy talking about how hot his former model wife is in bed and the part where Sarah is all up for going hunting with Sarkozy and agrees that no they don’t need to take Cheney with them, she promises she’ll be a careful shot and that hunting and working together they can “kill two birds with one stone”.

You can’t read this conversation and fully appreciate it. You must hear it.

Which you have certainly already done so why I am I posting this here.

At the end, when Palin is told she has been pranked, she limply replies, “Oh, have we been pranked…and…what radio station is this…” as her brain stumbles to comprehend and deal with the situation, and by dealing she hands the phone off to an assistant who terminates the conversation with, “I’m sorry I have to let you go, thank you.”

Five minutes worth of conversation which begins with Palin effusing, “We have such great respect for you, John McCain and I. We love you!”

We love you, Sarkozy!

That’s just the way I’d choose to speak to the President of France. Those are the first words that would pop to my mind. “WE LOVE YOU!” Toss a little teenage heart in that exclamation point why don’t we?! And an internet fuzzy yellow smile. 🙂 “WE LOVE YOU!” That’s all statesmanish isn’t it. And diplomaticky. Cuddzy warm cuddles.

Gawker also supplies this bit of transcription…oh, well, never mind, I just closed that browser window by accident…

Anyway, Gawker transcribes the Masked Avengers as saying, “You know we have a lot in common also, because, except, from my house I can see Belgium…”

But that’s not what was said. What was actually said was, “You know we have a lot in common, because, except, from my *ass* I can see Belgium…”

To which Palin responded, “Well, see, we’re right next door to other countries…we need to be working with.”

It’s not so much that Palin is dumb as she’s remarkably disingenuous.

Palin’s is the voice of a parent who stopped listening to their child five years ago and just rolls right along with and ultimately over whatever that child says because what that child says doesn’t make a damn bit of difference, she’s not hearing it, she’s not responding to it, she’s got her own script and that’s all there is.

Except, well, she is, yes, dumb. It’s one thing to pull this tactic on a constituency which she treats as children, another to babble that brand of ride-along-with-and-over-you nonsense when she believes she’s talking to a French President.

Which is why McCain was so relaxed and had such a good time on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, because he’s hoping the polls are right and that he won’t have to live with that mistake.

And he won’t have to rule over crazy Joe American the Bomber, which has got to be relief.

Tomorrow we vote.

Please, let there not be a Ghost in the Machine. Please, let the Republican powers-that-be look at their stash and say, “Yeah, we’ve got enough for now. Let’s park the Fisher Price clown car in the garage and fly to our tropical island retreats and let someone else deal with the mess.”

Tomorrow we vote. We must vote as if it means something. The overwhelming crowds that have been turning out for Obama, thousands upon thousands in every city, are counting that it does.

I’ve got two fly swatters. I’ll loan you one…

I’m not a Flybaby but I can tell who likely is because I’ve recently been reading her list with the same interest I had in Tammy Faye Bakker and her Fundie drones way back in the day. And there’s a lot of you Flybabies out there, open and closet, because when Flylady says, “Clean your closet,” suddenly people are blogging about cleaning their closets.

Flylady’s Yahoo group has over 469 THOUSAND members.

Continue reading I’ve got two fly swatters. I’ll loan you one…


Holy hell.

The Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at a record low, scientists said last night. Experts said they were “stunned” by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as Britain disappearing in the last week alone. So much ice has melted this summer that the north-west passage across the top of Canada is fully navigable, and observers say the north-east passage along Russia’s Arctic coast could open later this month. If the increased rate of melting continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030.

I’d apologize to H.o.p. for this, but I didn’t do it.

At Alternet today was an article on people who are building these insanely earth-unfriendly 11,000 square foot McMansions. It pointed to a 60 Minutes story on the same. Following the link, I found on the first page of the comments…

The houses are beautiful. The people can afford them. The world is going to end someday … might as well go out happy.

…which is, I think, an attitude that comes part and parcel with apocalypse-minded, pearl encrusted streets religion which touts grabbing all you can in the present and says nothing about thinking ahead to the seventh generation because the world beyond the end of your street going to holy hell is desired, an ushering in of the End Times and a literal Rapture in which you get to play the Get Out of the Death Jail free card while you can still appreciate the true schadenfreude of it. I’m thinking back to the beginning of the Reagan era when the country cried, “Daddy, make it right!”, far right, fundamentalists swarming and praying for redemption via personal prosperity in the Tammy Faye Baker way of ogling the golden bathroom fixtures, abetted by 24 hour Christian television that put the hard sell on the holy ghost initiated living big, getting back big, living it up while preparing to make the Great Ascension from their cozy couches.

Not that this is much different from the way television in general attempts to feed you a birth to death life in a box. A little over a week into the Direct TV experience and I’m avoiding the BOX except for a few select shows. I’ve got too much else I want to do and the commercials creep me out. About thirteen years ago I pretty much stopped watching commercial television, and I’m remembering why. The commercials. Nearly every one of them feels like a person in a white coat is approaching with needle and syringe, grinning, “This won’t hurt!” They search for a vein, tap, tap, and over their shoulder I see headstones and plastic flowers which they’ve not even bothered to hide because it’s considered an appealing part of ye olde Americana consumer aesthetic. No matter the target age, it’s less a boob tube than a coffin.

Christian television is nothing if not one never-ending commercial.

Back in the mid 1990s, I used to want to do an art installation that would replicate an allergist’s office circa late 1970’s. My vision of it has had some changes as of late, but remains essentially the same. The walls would be a soft sage green with white molding. A few golf paintings would hang on the walls. There would be no windows and no observable door. The mood would be lighter tones of lemon yellowy, dispelling all sepia shadows even into the corners. A man in a pink Izod shirt and brown slacks would enter, sign the waiting list lying on the counter next to a plate reading “Ben Mack, MD” and seat himself. The music would be Isaac Hayes. After an appropriate length of time, a plain clothes nurse would enter, say, “Ben Mack?” The man would put down his magazine, stand and follow the nurse down a hall.

It is purgatory. A place where it would always be Master’s week but you’d been dropped off the Master’s tickets list.

Golf Heaven doesn’t have ice. No, the world is one long lush lawn with blooming flowers embracing the sides of the green.

It’s always Easter week in Golf Heaven.

P.S.: We now have a nice hermit crab, complete with environment and hermit crab food and larger shells for a home should it outgrow its current niche and need to make a transition.