Thursday, December 08, 2011
He stated the "fact", marijuana is a gateway drug leading to wrack and ruin, using as an example Greece, which is now in a state of near collapse due to the fact marijuana had been legalized there. No mention of the highly functional Netherlands, where marijuana has been legal forever it seems.
Sitting toad like in my kitchen, I bellowed out, "You jackass"! But there was more to come, for a moment later, this learned man said, “I've seen people dependent on marijuana, I've seen the destruction it causes, I've seen the violence!”
At this point, my jaw is resting on my lap, and I'm gasping for a breath of fresh reality.
This sort of propagandist rattling will be the enemy of legalized pot, and also legalized HEMP. Because, as we all know, having been so well informed by an upstanding hardcore conservative servant of the courts, and his soulless clones; the mere presence of that dangerous growing thing, will bring Americky to it's financial knees, (Umm a little late for that, don'tcha think?) will make addicts of our children,
(I thought TV and high fructose corn syrup had already been there and done that.) etc.
Why? Well, as we now all know, the minute the first legal HEMP seed hits fertile ground, every one of us nasty addictive types will line up, pipe or bong, or rolling paper in our sweaty anxious hands, just waiting for farmer Brown to lop off a tree branch sized hunk of said HEMP, so that we may go smoke it and destroy ourselves and Americky, as we know it.
Written on July 10, 2011. I'm a little slow to post. Must be all that hemp in my carpet.
Friday, July 29, 2011
A Sad Little Story
by John D. Amos / July 26, 2011 - 8:59pm / Permalink
Today, I stopped by one of my favorite pawn shops. This one is owned by an individual who runs both a sales business and a legitimate pawnbroker business. He pays well for top quality items and sells them at reasonable prices when the loan is not paid within a reasonable time period. Anyway, as I look though the items for sale, another guy, in his early fifties comments on one item and we get into a conversation. This guy, obviously a republican with a NASCAR cap, makes a comment about Obama taking old peoples' money to pay for wars we don't need to be fighting.
I start to comment, but hold back for some reason. Then, I remark that the entire argument is just a big show, designed by the rich folks so they will not have to pay back the money they borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for our war making.
The NASCAR guy then saddens. The conversation turns to the war in Afghanistan. Lane tells me that his youngest son cannot find work and wants to join the army because he feels obligated to do something useful with himself. Then, Lane tells me that he is against this with his entire being. Then he tells me why.
"My oldest boy has been in Iraq and Afghanistan and over there for six years now. He has a wife and two kids here at home, but he doesn't even bother to come home anymore. When he gets some leave, he just travels to a city in Pakistan and he and several professional soldier buddies like him spend their down time smoking hashish and doing heroin and other drugs. Then when their leave is just about up, they clean themselves out for a week or so so they can pass the army drug tests and then go back to their units and back on duty."
"My boy told me that when they knock on a door and nobody answers, they just stick a pound of explosive to it and get away and detonate it and then go in to see if anyone is still alive, and if they are, they shoot them. This is why my boy does not want to come home anymore, because he cannot not stand to look at his own kids, knowing the stuff he does over there. He is finished and I think he is lost forever the way I see it right now. I hope it changes for him, but I don't look for it to change for him. He's too far gone already, and he won't or can't stop and he can't bring himself to come home anymore."
"The Army and his being over there has ruined my oldest boy, and now the sonofabitch recruiters are hounding my youngest boy at home when I'm not around. I told the sonofabitches to stay away, but I found out that they have still been calling him and talking to him anyway when I'm not around home."
"I will do just about anything to keep him from going over there and getting himself ruined like my oldest boy."
I told Lane that I was a Vietnam vet and that war is always a rich mans war and a poor man's fight. War changes people forever and nobody goes to war without being wounded by it.
"And this war is not needed. What are we fighting for? So Obama and his buddies can get richer." Lane remarked.
"The wars over there are for control of oil to sell to China and other people we owe money to for the stuff we buy there because our jobs have been sent there. Both parties are behind it all and both want the wars to continue as far as I can tell," I explained.
"Seems the same to me." Lane replied.
Presented here with full consent of the author. Thank you John.
Mr. Amos has an ongoing blog at The Smirking Chimp. Access it from here.
HEY, BARACK OBAMA, HEY CONGRESS, READ MY LIPS! NO MORE WAR!
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Movie Review by Frederic Brussat
The Magdalene Sisters Peter Mullan Miramax 08/03 Feature Film R - violence/cruelty, nudity, sexual content, language
In his second feature film, actor Peter Mullan (My Name Is Joe) has created an unflinching and compelling drama that will make your blood boil. Up until 1996, profit-making laundries throughout Ireland operated by the Sisters of the Magdalene Order used young women as virtual slaves. An estimated 30,000 girls went through this system, sent to Magdalene Asylums for their so-called sexual improprieties — having a child out of wedlock or being a "temptress.” These poor souls were forced to work in silence seven days a week in laundries without pay. The intent of the sisters was to drive wayward souls to repentance through prayer and hard work. The asylums were named after Mary Magdalene, the prostitute who repented and was forgiven by Jesus.
The screenplay by Peter Mullan is loosely based on a Channel 4 documentary which contains interviews with some of the unlucky souls who were incarcerated in the Magdalene Asylums. In the opening scenes, three of the main characters are introduced.
At a wedding, Margaret (Ann-Marie Duff) is raped by her cousin. When she tells what happened, the males at the gathering rally around the man accused, and the next day, her family and priest have her sent away to the Magdalene Asylum.
At an orphanage run by Catholics, pretty Bernadette (Nora-Jane Noone) is constantly attracting the attention of boys who linger at the gates and give her trouble. The principal agrees with the nuns that she is a temptress who poses a stumbling block to men; so in order to save them, it is decided she must be removed from their midst.
Shortly after giving birth to a child out of wedlock, Rose (Dorothy Duffy) asks her mother for forgiveness and honestly acknowledges the error she made. But her devout father and mother follow the counsel of the priest who wants to put the child up for adoption.
They decide that Rose needs to pay for her sins at a Magdalene Asylum.
The three new arrivals are immediately shamed by Sister Bridget (Geraldine McEwan), the authoritarian head of the laundry. This malevolent woman is a fundamentalist who believes that these fallen women must symbolically wash away their sins and unworthiness by cleansing the clothes of others. The new arrivals also meet Crispina (Eileen Walsh), a simple-minded girl who uses her Saint Christopher Medal to commune with the young son who was taken away from her and sometimes stands at the gates of the asylum with her sister.
The harshness of the place and the rigorous use of silence as a weapon to keep the women from getting to know each other convinces Bernadette to find a way to escape.
However, a young woman (Mary Murray) who ran away is brought back by her father (Peter Mullan), who beats her up in front of the women in the dormitory. Her hair is then cut off by Sister Bridget in an attempt to further degrade her. In another instance, the three new arrivals along with others are forced to stand naked in front of a nun who ridicules their body parts.
Crispina is sexually abused by a priest who gives communion to the women. Her friend comes up with a scheme to humiliate him in front of everyone. Margaret is then liberated when her brother comes to take her home with him. Meanwhile, Bernadette and Rose, more determined than ever not to spend their lives in this hellhole, plot their escape.
At one point, one of the young women asks: "What in God's name have we done to deserve this?” They were unlucky enough to have been born into a Irish theocracy emboldened by the Catholic Church. The Magdalene asylums are now closed, but the system that spawned them is anything but extinct. To this day, various Christian, Jewish and Islamic fundamentalists continue to exalt men and subjugate women on account of their fear and hatred of female sexuality and freedom.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
January 22, 2003
Thirty years ago the case of Roe v Wade was decided, and abortion became legal in America.
It was a victory for the women of this country. America...a little behind the times as usual, but better late than never. Other countries had legal abortion. If an American woman could afford it, she could have an abortion done in safety, under sterile conditions, in a hospital or clinic outside of this country.
I have been listening to NPR today, and there has been a fair amount of coverage on the issue of abortion because there are demonstrations going on all over the country, both for and against legal abortion. Now why is all that so familiar? It's still the same old song after all these years. It should not be sung anymore, but it is, over and over again.
If you follow the commentaries at this site (refers to original site) with any diligence, you will know what my stance is regarding abortion. It's nobody's business except that of the people immediately involved.
IT'S NONE OF OUR BUSINESS!
That should be the stance of government.
Abortion may or may not be a moral issue for a woman contemplating having one. If it's a moral issue for a woman, it's her moral issue. She will deal with, cope with, or grapple with it. Not you.
THAT IS NONE OF OUR BUSINESS!
Government is not in place to guard morality. Morality itself can not be legislated, only the outward expression of morality, or alleged lack of it, can be legislated by laws that effectively suppress that outward expression.
Government is not in place to stick its nose into our private lives.
To be a true Liberal, you must recognize the rights of others even if it chokes you. NOTE: Since the term "Liberal" has become a dirty word, I will couch the phrase differently. In order to be "fair and balanced" in outlook, you must recognize the rights of others, even if it chokes you.
My personal belief is that we don't exist as individuals until we're born and breathing. Up to that point we're floating around like fish. The rights of the fetus are the rights of the woman who carries the fetus. If a fetus is harmed in, let's say an act of violence, the violence was directed toward the woman not the fetus. If the fetus does not survive the attack, but the woman does, it is absurd to bring a charge of manslaughter or murder against the assailant. Doing that imposes a religious belief on the legal system.
Self admittedly, I am unsentimental. I question the gushy diatribes regarding inherent motherly love. I think it's more a matter of falling in love with that cute squiggly little baby once it's there in your arms. I may be wrong. A woman in the grip of an unwanted pregnancy is not too likely to be feeling instant love for the fetus when she discovers to her dismay, that she is pregnant.
My mother said she grew fond of me as a result of a certain pity for my utter helplessness as I lay there squirming, howling, red as a beet, and scheming up ways to get things I wanted with minimal delay.
She may have been in a masochistic state of mind at the time, since she informed me eventually that: A- I never slept. B- I had the lungpower and vocal range of a hog caller.
But this isn't about motherly love, or cute babies. It's about death.
Prior to the legalization of abortion, women had abortions illegally, and therefore, dangerously. If the woman was caught after having had an abortion she was charged with committing a crime. (Usually she was turned in by the medical community because she needed help due to complications.) The police grilled her relentlessly, attempting to force her to divulge the name of the "fiend" who'd performed it. She could be jailed, fined, or both. She had broken the law.
She was spared no indignity. Treated as a criminal act, the story would be published in the newspapers, even in big cities such as Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, etc.
The well to do never had that problem. Their abortions were performed discretely by an abortionist or doctor of choice in America or elsewhere. They recovered in a day or so, and none were the wiser. For the wealthy (read connected) these things are always simple.
As always, the suffering was mercilessly meted out to the poor, and as usual, the defenseless.
The middle class, because they were not poor (this was true back in the good old days before Corporate America swallowed the worker for a snack), had the chance to resort to psychiatrists who declared them in mortal danger of killing themselves if they had to bear the child, and the magical legal/medical doors opened. It was a bit more complex, but usually it worked out for them.
A friendly doctor could claim the woman's life was in danger if she tried to have the child she was carrying, and once again, the magical doors opened. All it took was money. As the poor tend to rely on clinics, such "personal" attention was/is denied them.
The minimum wage in the year 1956 was 65 cents per hour. An abortion was in the area of $125.00 for a non-surgical procedure. More of course if it was a surgical (D&C) procedure. Much more.
At 65 cents an hour, the wage for a forty-hour week would be $26.00 before deductions. It would take over five weeks to save the money for a "cheap" abortion if the woman didn't spend a cent for anything else. She was supposed to live on air while trying to accumulate the money I guess.
Even with help, it was a lot of money for poor women to raise.
In 1961 you might have been able to get an abortion done for around $250.00 if you were lucky enough to find someone to perform a non-surgical procedure, but the average rate was around $400.00 to $500.00. They went as high as $2500.00.
There was an abortion ring in Mexico operating a clinic at that time. A woman was given anesthesia, had the abortion, stayed for a day or two, and returned home in great health.
This clinic charged $2500.00. There was just one problem about that place, and it had nothing to do with drinking the water.
The ring did not perform abortions. They did nothing at all. You were knocked out for a while, you woke up feeling terrific because you were healthy, you were happy, and you were going home free of pregnancy. Cute Huh?
Of course they got away with it. Who was going to tell? It was like getting ripped off for a big bag of dope...were you going to the police about it? Of course not.
The Means To An End
Way, way back in the good old days down on the farm, one method of self-induced abortion was to dip a turkey quill into turpentine or kerosene, insert the quill into the womb somehow, and hope you aborted. A quill has capillary action. It fills, as does a straw, when placed in fluid. And then there was that old standby, the knitting needle, or coat hanger. Anything a desperate woman or maybe the friend helping her could get into her womb. Women did help each other.
Desperate people do desperate things.
Feeling a little queasy?
On the slightly less violent side, there were scalding hot mustard baths, massive doses of quinine and gin, ergot of rye capsules, lifting injuriously heavy objects, ingesting turpentine by the teaspoonful poured over sugar, using powerful laxatives... Many of these were tried in conjunction with each other. None of these methods were especially safe.
As far as I know, during all the recent razzmatazz marking this thirtieth anniversary of Roe v Wade, not one mention was made of these grisly facts while discussing the pros and cons of legalized abortion.
Let us progress.
Some abortions were done by nurses. One had a chance at reasonable sterility with a nurse. Often a catheter was inserted into the womb, and left in place to act as an irritant that would cause a miscarriage, and expulsion of the fetus. A straightened clothes hanger was employed to give the catheter enough rigidity to pass through the cervix, and then the hanger was pulled out leaving the catheter (you hoped) in position. This was usually an overnight ordeal. You were in labor until it was over. If it worked.
There was also the method of having various fluids injected into the uterus. Chlorine bleach was one favored ingredient.
Then there was dilation and curettage, often done by a nurse, a medical student, a renegade doctor, or an old lady with dirty fingernails. Probably 90% of these were performed without the benefit of any anesthetic.
Doctors worked alone for the most part, with no one to monitor anesthesia administration. The other abortionists were in a hurry, and had no anesthesia. All of them expected you to lie there, hold still, and keep your mouth shut.
They were performed in doctor's offices in the middle of the night; in the homes of the women; in hotel rooms; in filthy slum apartments; in abandoned buildings...
They were done on floors with newspapers under the woman as a dubious concession to cleanliness; on kitchen tables; on filthy bare mattresses-no sheets that could be laundered for the sake of sanitation. The lucky ones were lying on a gynecological table with their feet in stirrups.
Women were held down or tied down, and at times blindfolded to protect the identity of the abortionist. Since silence was of the utmost importance some women were gagged, or had a hand held over their mouths. If there was a "helper" he or she dissolved into the mist as soon as it was over. Sometimes, if the woman was blindfolded, she had no idea of who actually performed the abortion. She might have contracted with a doctor, but was it a doctor?
Women died of perforated wombs, sepsis, severe blood loss, shock, and possibly, in the case of a weak heart let's say, of sheer terror and pain.
Their bodies were disposed of in dark hallways, cellars, dumpsters, on roofs, in alleys, into rivers, and wherever else one throws something that is of no value.
The women were left behind, or sent away as soon as the procedure was completed. If they were left where the abortion was performed, usually no one was there to see to them, to make sure they were all right. No one cared about them once it was done.
Many died right where they were. Alone. They died in an alley where they were dumped in the case of complications, or in their beds with their lives flowing like a river, out and away. They died in hospitals, and bus stations, train stations, in hotel rooms, in their cars trying to get home, or on the street where they fell.
Abortionists, like hookers, always got paid up front. They disappeared as soon as the job was done. The abortionists were protected by the women. Who else would help them if it happened to them again, or to a friend, or a relative?
WOMEN DIED. MANY, MANY WOMEN DIED.
Who is telling that part of it now?
Women have had abortions since time immemorial. They will have abortions whether they are legal or not. That cannot be stopped.
So what's better? To allow them a safe abortion, or to kill two birds with one slip of a hanger or curette, or knitting needle to satisfy the religious urge of a nation gone mad on the subject?
Again, the moral issue of abortion is a personal issue between the people involved and their god if they have one. It is not your business. It is not my business. Neither of us will pay the piper, nor go to hell for the actions of someone other than ourselves.
But we will pay the price extracted by our own unforgiving hearts that will not allow us to forget the terrible deed we will have done, if we consign women to the hell of illegal abortion again.
To be more specific, in the knowing of these realities I have spoken about here, we will be in hell every time we hear of a woman dying because of a dirty abortion.
Because we were silent.
Because we didn't tell the government to back off.
Because of some distorted ego, some almighty/divine attitude that tells some of us we know what's best for everyone.
Because this insanely distorted attitude allows us to demand the right to say no to women, no to their safety, no to their right of choice...through the edicts of this corrupt, draconian, hypocritical political administration presently in place.
In The Afterglow of Victory
February 24, 2003
All these years later, after the legalization of abortion, I can't help but think about the innocence of women today who are of childbearing age. It is amazing in a sense to realize that women have enjoyed for so long, freedom from the danger of an abortion gone terribly wrong, or the consequences of having been "caught" by the police and being thrown into jail, that struggling with an unwanted pregnancy isn't a normal topic of conversation among them any more.
I was astonished to discover that the methods and means of aborting in the past were completely unknown to young women today. That's how far removed we are from the legal scourge of yesteryear. There was a time, especially during the '60's, when asking women you knew whether they knew any abortionists, was a completely natural thing.
There was an abortion information underground. Many women had a file of known abortionists containing data on what they charged, what method they used, whether they themselves, or a friend, had used that person, and how it went for them. They warned each other about the dirty ones, who'd leave you half dead, and the exceptional ones who did their best to insure you of a clean procedure. There were some good ones out there; finding them was like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Today, I was talking to a friend who is in her thirties. I mentioned the previous article to her and for some reason I asked her if she had any idea of what having an abortion was like in the bad old days. She didn't have a clue. I mentioned a few details, and the expression of shock on her face told me something important.
Abortions of the past are a very carefully skirted issue in these times. The media, which could do so much to promote awareness of just how horrible things were then, is completely silent on the subject. And it comes as no surprise to me that as a result of this silence, how many young people are against legalized abortion today. The young men infuriate me most especially. What do they know? Absolutely nothing. The "Good Christian" model has probably never been nearer to a vagina than sitting beside their female family members on the couch. I think of them as the great unfucked.
When I hear one of those sanctimonious, wet behind the ears male virgins excoriating those who support the right to a legal abortion, all I can think is, that particular little know-it-all never had a sister, cousin, or friend go through the ordeal of an illegal, rather barbaric abortion that almost killed her, or that did kill her.
If that happened to any one of these youngsters, you'd see an abrupt about face regarding attitude. Not all of them would change their thinking of course, some would feel vindicated knowing the sinner had suffered so much, but I'd put my last dollar down that the majority of them would give the issue some damn serious thought, and probably stop being such judgmental little experts on the right and wrong of something they know nothing about.
We peaceful souls are against the death penalty, but if a person we loved was murdered, we'd cry for blood, at least in the beginning. It's human nature. All you need is for it to happen to you. That goes for almost anything.
It would be interesting to see how these young people today would handle watching a D&C performed with the woman fully conscious, trying to hold still, and keep quiet. It would be interesting to see how they would react to a woman dying of sepsis, or bleeding to death in front of them because of a perforated womb. Especially interesting if the woman or girl was someone they loved. Yes, very interesting indeed.
These young people today don't even realize there was no suction method back in the wonderful days of yore. The whole deal was a gritty, and very real-time horror show in its nature. It was furtive, terrifying, and totally risky. It was extremely difficult to get hooked up with someone who did abortions, and the paranoia of both parties justifiably saturated the atmosphere.
When Ronald Reagan was elected, I had only one comment. I said, "welcome back to the dark ages", and abortion was the thing I had on my mind.
It's taken the conservatives a long, long time to get into a position where the threat to make abortion a crime again is closer to reality, than simply being lip service. Some afterglow huh?
And one other thing: I wonder how it comes to pass that so many men are completely comfortable politicizing the wombs of women? Particularly "those" men, the so-called lawmakers of our society, the legislative body, now Republican in the majority.
I always think of Republicans as having been grown in test tubes. They're so fastidious (oh yeah?) I can scarce imagine them in the clutch of passion, tearing off a piece of ass. Allow me to state here, that if one of them got their girlfriend preggers, the very best abortionist would be available at the drop of a hat, legal or not (especially if he happened to have a wife tucked away at home).
And don't naively imagine for a moment that they don't have girlfriends.
I found a wonderful comment by Helen Forelle that sums things up so succinctly:
"If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
This is the article:
Haitian President-elect Martelly to consider pardon for Dictator Duvalier
Last year Haiti suffered an earthquake that left hundreds of thousands dead, almost a million displaced, and left what was already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere in a worse state. This year, Haiti has suffered a political earthquake with the return of Dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier and former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the island nation. They arrived in the middle of Haiti’s presidential elections and many believed they would derail or alter the outcome of the elections. However, the elections proceeded and Michel Martelly was elected.While on campaign, Martelly told reporters that he was more interested in preparing for Haiti’s future than dealing with its past. This was in reference to charges being brought against Duvalier for his time as dictator of the island nation. Many people were killed or disappeared during the reign of
Duvalier and he has returned to Haiti urging unity and a forgiveness of the past. Now whispers are again making their way through political circles in Haiti that Martelly will offer full amnesty to Duvalier in order to “turn the page” on Haiti’s history.
Haiti is a nation in which justice does not come easy. From the common rapist who lurks the tent cities to the officials who sell out the country’s resources and people, and now even its Dictators. Human Rights Watch has outlined a case for prosecuting crimes against Duvalier for the years of his repressive and oppressive government. However, it appears the reconciling Haiti’s past and pursuing justice will again be thrown under the bus in order to show Washington and the Western World that a “stable” government has taken over in Haiti and that the time is ripe for investment. Pitching that idea may prove difficult since Martelly has already made “revamping the military” one of the first objectives of his new government.Despite the fact that Haiti’s civil societies and general population are the ones suffering the most from the aftermath of the earthquake we are still seeing the focus shifted away from them. Almost a million people still live in tents in Port-Au-Prince, why not make housing the focus? Violence and rape run rampant in the tent cities and some times MINUSTAH and Haitian officers are perpetrating that violence, why not empower communities to protect themselves? Haiti still has to import most of its food thanks to World Bank and IMF adjustment programs, why not rebuild Haiti’s infrastructure in order for the Haitian people to provide for themselves?
President-elect Martelly will not take office until May, and so there may yet be hope for a turning point for the Haitian people. Will we see someone who places the interests for foreigners above the well being of the Haitian people, or someone who risks his own position of power to do what’s right to provide the Haitian people with the dignity and respect they deserve?My Source, El Sueno de Bolivar
Possible root which lends credibility to the article posted by Mr. Alvarez, and my fears.
What do we know about Haiti’s new president and his policies?
President-elect Martelly campaigned on a platform that called for change from both the political class and the policies that governed Haiti in the past. Martelly appealed to the country’s youth through celebrity, music and campaign rallies that were more like street parties than political forums. His supporters describe the president-elect as open minded and committed to a better future for Haitians.
During the campaign, Martelly called for improvements in educational opportunity, more available health care, better housing, and increased government services, but avoided providing specifics on how these goals would be accomplished. He also called for improved security through restoration of the Haitian army that was disbanded by then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Martelly’s call for restoring the army was seized upon by critics who noted that Haiti could ill afford the cost or the risk of recreating a military with a history of brutality and coups. Questions have also been raised about Martelly’s statement to a Canadian newspaper that he would consider an amnesty for former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier and President Aristide.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Jeb Sprague has a serious problem. He has a soul. It is impossible to think of him writing as he does about Haiti without writhing in spiritual pain. Journalist or not.
So, take your Xanax, ingest an antacid, light a candle and some incense for Buddha, and read this deeply disturbing piece of work.
Allow me to present, “Stealth Duvalierism”
A brief excerpt: “The real problem with Martelly, however, is not his perceived immorality, but his heinous political history and close affiliation with the reactionary “forces of darkness," as they are called in Haiti, which have snuffed out each genuine attempt Haitians have made over the past 20 years to elect a democratic government. Far from a champion of democracy, Martelly has been a cheerleader for, and perhaps even a participant in, bloody coups d'état and military rule.”
That ought to whet your appetite for truth, even if it does make you sick at heart, and in the stomach.
Link to source: http://jebsprague.blogspot.com/2010/12/stealth-duvalierism.html
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Remarks in brackets are those of The Red Wolf.
Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly has a list of liens and foreclosures in South Florida, which he says were the products of bad investments.
By Frances Robles
A long-time entertainer who is vying to become the next president of Haiti has defaulted on more than $1 million in loans and lost three South Florida properties to foreclosure in just over a year, public records show.
Among the houses Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly ( the bullshit artist) lost was the 5-bedroom 6,000-square foot Royal Palm Beach home the singer shared with his wife and four children until he returned to Haiti in 2007.
Records show he and his wife Sophia bought the brand new two-story house on Wellington View Drive in the summer of 2005 for $910,000. They took out two loans, including one for $637,000, according to Palm Beach County records. Martelly stopped paying one of the mortgages’ $3,251 payment on Nov. 1, 2008, the files show.
The bank sued, Martelly and the trustee named on the records did not respond, and a judge ordered a foreclosure. The house was sold a month ago in a bank sale, and is now listed for sale for $500,000.
The house was among three properties Martelly purchased – including two in Broward County – that banks took back for lack of payment. Those lawsuits join liens from homeowner associations and a Broward County hospital, which sued the candidate for payment of a medical bill.
The issue of Martelly’s financial acumen will likely increase scrutiny of him him on the campaign trail, where he enjoys popular support among Haiti’s youth. Anonymous bloggers are spreading the word about the real estate deals and asking: “Why Michel Martelly is running for president of Haiti while facing deep financial problems in United States?”
Campaign spokesman Damian Merlo (the apologist) said the candidate was victim of a tanked economy and failed investments he did not manage personally. He denied that the singer ever lived in any of the houses, although in 2007 the Miami Herald visited Martelly twice at the unfurnished Royal Palm Beach home, which included a padded recording studio.
“I don’t think it’s related to his capability to manage investments or his capability as a successful businessman,” Merlo said. “Every successful businessman has transactions that are not as successful all the time. He is one of the most successful businessmen in Haiti and is hoping to transfer those skills as president of Haiti.”
But some analysts said the revelations could have an impact on Martelly’s campaign because not much is known about his management abilities.
“Haitian voters know little about Martelly and his track record in management of institutions, resources, and people — let alone a country —given his dearth of elected or otherwise political track record,” said Trinity University Prof. Robert Maguire, (the informed voice of reason) a longtime Haiti observer. “The next president of Haiti will be an instrumental force not just in leading Haiti beyond the aftermath of the earthquake to a future that addresses essential issues of poverty alleviation and economic growth, but also in managing relations with the international community which, in essence, finances Haiti’s future.
“If Martelly’s past track record of resource management is flawed, Haitian voters should know about it, and he should respond.”
Martelly moved to South Florida in the 1980s and tried his hand at construction. He ultimately became a kompa music star and had a regular gig on Ocean Drive in the 1990s. In 2007, he announced his retirement from the stage – and then stopped making payments on the real estate he had purchased.
Martelly bought the houses as investments, which soured when the real estate boom crashed, Merlo said. Asked whether Martelly walked away from the steep debt because he owed more than the houses were worth, Merlo said: “He could always pay.”
Merlo stressed that the investments were managed by Martelly advisor Natacha Magloire, (the fall guy/gal) an event promoter and licensed real estate agent.
That’s a weak defense from someone who seeks to be president, said mortgage foreclosure expert Shari Olefson, (another informed voice of reason) author of “Foreclosure Nation: Mortgaging the American Dream.”
“If his treasurer steals money when he’s president, will his defense be that he didn’t know, because it was the treasurer who did it? That’s not a leader,” Olefson said. “He obviously had no ethical qualms about walking away from promises he made to banks. If you break a promise three times, why honor any campaign promises made to the poor people in his country? This seems to be a guy who saw easy money and played the game along with the worst of them.”
The “more honorable” options when under water are to short sell or negotiate with the banks, she said.
“He’s the poster child of what you are not supposed to do,” Olefson said.
But veteran political consultant Armando Gutierrez, who has no connection to Martelly’s campaign, said lots of candidates have money problems.
“All he has to say is that he, like millions of other Americans, was a victim of the U.S. economy,” Gutierrez said. “A lot of people lose everything and then make it all back again.”
Records show it did not start out so bleak for Martelly and Magloire, the real estate advisor. They purchased a Brickell Avenue condo together in 2005 for $399,190, and sold it a year later for $715,000, according to Miami-Dade County records.
A second house he lost to foreclosure also leads back to Magloire. A Pembroke Pines home she purchased in 1998 changed hands several times between friends and family until the Martellys purchased it for $435,000 in February 2006, borrowing $348,000.
The last $1,848.75 mortgage payment was made March 2008, records show. Green Point Mortgage wanted its money, as did the community association. Another $16,868 in back taxes was due, too. Records show that when the bank sued, Magloire’s relatives Serge and Daniella Magloire were also named in the suit.
By Dec. 2009, the house was sold at a bank sale.
Three months later, a Wiles Road condo in Coral Springs Martelly paid $267,990 for also foreclosed. Purchased in Aug. 2007, it was in default within six months, because nobody made the $2,037 monthly payments.
“These were investments managed by Natacha Magloire; she was totally responsible for managing these. She was the one who advised him what properties to buy,” Merlo said, noting that bankruptcy has haunted the most successful of tycoons. “Even Donald Trump went into foreclosure. It doesn’t relate to running a country.”
This material is copyrighted by its original publisher. It is reprinted by Red Wolf Redux without permission, solely for purposes of criticism, comment, and news reporting, in accordance with the Fair Use Guidelines of copyright material under § 107 of U.S.C. Title 17.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
BY JAY WEAVER AND JACQUELINE CHARLES
PORT-AU-PRINCE – Lyglenson “Levi’’ Lemorin, sitting inside a Cyber Café Saturday, waited patiently for technology to connect him to the heartbreaking scene unfolding some 700 hundred miles away inside a Miami Liberty City church.
“You sitting next to my mother?’’ he asked, fighting back tears as he spoke to his 13-year-old daughter, Lauren, over a cell phone. “Stay strong, alright Baby? Baby, don’t cry.’’
Lauren and the rest of the Lemorin clan were grieving, crying not just for 15-year-old Lukenson “Lil Luke’’ Lemorin, killed on April 1 by a passing vehicle, but also for Lyglenson Lemorin.
A Haiti native who lived in Miami most of his life, the elder Lemorin, 36, has been on a painful odyssey since his arrest in June 2006 on terrorism charges, his acquittal, then his eventual deportation back to Haiti - country he left 24 years ago when he moved with his family to Miami.
Now, in the Port-au-Prince café, his grief is even more searing because he cannot physically be there with family members to mourn the death of his only son.
“There is no way my son would have been on the streets at 11:30 p.m.,’’ he said of his son, who, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, was struck by a vehicle as he and two cousins pushed their disabled car off I-95 into the median.
Lemorin was a member of the Miami-Dade group that became known as the Liberty City 7, who federal investigators charged in a highly publicized terrorism case accusing them of conspiring with al Qaeda to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower and federal buildings in Miami. The indictment was built on a sting operation, with a government informant playing the role of an al Qaeda financier directed by the FBI.
The seven defendants, investigators say, took an oath to the terrorist group.
A Miami federal jury found that Lemorin had distanced himself from the group, which worked together in a stucco business and hung out in Liberty City.
On Jan. 20, Lemorin was among 27 Haitians sent back to that country, after U.S. immigration authorities resumed deportations. He was shipped out in the dark of night and arrived in an earthquake-ravaged country that was fighting off a deadly cholera epidemic. Having heard about the tents cities, he said, “I prayed to God I didn’t have to live in one.’’
On Friday, another 19 deportees arrived in Port-au-Prince amid protests from immigration activists.
“I am so sorry this happened to his son and to him,” Lemorin’s immigration lawyer Charles Kuck of Atlanta said. “His case is a classic example of government-assisted human tragedy."
Although Lemorin was acquitted, immigration authorities still deemed him a “national security” threat under the U.S. Patriot Act passed after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Now, he lives with the guilt over his son’s death, a son who went from a well-mannered kid to one in and out of juvenile detention center, and out late at night – a sign of defiance, Lemorin said, because he wasn’t there.
“I believe he acted up because I wasn’t around,’’ he said. “When he got arrested three times, I thought, ‘Does he actually think he’s going to end up the same place with me?’”
Since U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement denied his request to enter the United States to attend his son’s funeral, Lemorin was forced to view the Saturday service at Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church via Skype.
It took 55 minutes and multiple tries, but Lemorin was to finally connect to see images of the service where more than 200 mourners paid their respects to “Lil Luke,” whose body lay in a silver casket draped with white flowers. “Don’t show me inside the coffin,’’ he said as he heard his mother wailing in the background.
The virtual hookup with Lemorin in Port-au-Prince and mourners in Miami was organized by Michelle Karshan, Executive Director of Alternative Chance, a Haiti-based re-entry program for criminal deportees in Haiti.
In Miami, Debbie Carter, a California woman who has come to the aid of Lemorin and his co-defendants, carried a laptop around the church enabling Lemorin to connect with his wife, see the flowers and make out his son’s casket.
Lemorin’s family has been struggling to raise the estimated $10,000 to help defray the cost of his son’s funeral and burial. So far, they have raised about one-third of the money and are seeking donations from the public.
Meanwhile, Lemorin has been struggling to find meaning in his son’s death and the uncertain future he has been dealt in the country of his birth.
As for being able to attend the funeral – even through the Internet - Lemorin said he’s grateful.
“I got to hear my family,’’ he said.
Link to article: http://tinyurl.com/3vn6mr2
Miami Herald Staff Writer Kathleen McGrory contributed to this story.
This material is copyrighted by its original publisher. It is reprinted by Red Wolf Redux without permission, solely for purposes of criticism, comment, and news reporting, in accordance with the Fair Use Guidelines of copyright material under § 107 of U.S.C. Title 17.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
TAKE NOTE:OUR PRESIDENT HAS BEEN ABDUCTED AND SPIRITED AWAY TO ANOTHER PLANET.
WHAT ELSE COULD EXPLAIN HIS ABANDONMENT OF THOSE LONG AGO PROMISES THAT GOT US TO EMBRACE HIM SO WHOLEHEARTEDLY, AND PUT HIM INTO OUR WHITE HOUSE?
YES, THE WHITE HOUSE IS OURS.
THE MAN YOU SEE GIVING AWAY THE FARM IS A ROBOTIC RINGER, NOT THE BARACK OBAMA WE ELECTED. OR, IS HE?
READ THE OPEN LETTER FROM RALPH NADER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW.