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Birther Myths, Imagine’s Cheerleaders, In Defense of Flogging and Typewriters: The Live Wire

| April 27, 2011

The beauties of Snæfellsnes, Iceland (© Martin Ystenes)

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Florida Supreme Court Follies

Deirdre Macnab, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, writes the following letter to Dean Cannon, speaker of the Florida House, in response to the Legislature’s plan to break up the Florida Supreme Court into two courts–one for civil, one for criminal cases: “The League of Women Voters of Florida believes that the proposal to dramatically alter the Florida Supreme Court is a major assault on our judicial independence and causes an unnecessary disruption to our system of checks and balances. Firstly, the absence of the voice of the Florida Bar Association leaves the judicial selection in the hands of laymen rather than professionals. Second, to subject appellate judges to Senate confirmation, as well as a retention vote requiring a supermajority, rigs the system to politicize the very group that needs to be free from the pressure of special interests. Finally, bifurcating the court and adding three judges will add to the cost of running our courts at the very time that eighty lower court positions remain unfilled. Your ideas for changing the balance of powers are not new, and when Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the U.S. Supreme Court, the idea was quickly shot down. The constitutional amendment you are proposing to put before the voters of Florida is an attempt by one branch of government to control another. Your constituents deserve better.”

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Birther Myth (One More Time)

There’s no way around the fact: birthers are enamored with their own bullshit–“beliefs unmolested by facts” as Jeffrey Toobin put it. No wonder Donald Trump is their latest hero. The man has been enamored with his own bullshit since the day he was born with his father’s silver spoon set in his mouth. Here’s one more attempt, by Anderson Cooper this time, to analyze the myth and play into the comedy:

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Unions Against the Florida Chamber

From the Orlando Sentinel: “Unions representing Central Florida teachers, firefighters, police and other government workers are pulling an estimated $10 million from five banks affiliated with the Florida Chamber of Commerce, blaming them for an attack on public employees. The unions are also asking their members — an estimated 20,000 people — to withdrawal their personal money from Bank of America, PNC Bank, Regions Bank, SunTrust and Wachovia. And labor leaders across the state could follow in the coming weeks, union officials say. Executives from the banks in question sit on the Florida Chamber’s board of directors, and the chamber has pushed legislation that would prohibit state and local governments from collecting union dues through payroll deduction. Supporters say the “Paycheck Protection” act would allow public employees to prevent their wages from being used for political purposes, but opponents say it’s simply a labor-busting effort that would make it more difficult for unions to operate. […] The combination of union and personal accounts will likely top $10 million in Central Florida, Clelland said, and more as labor groups in other parts of the state follow.” The full story.


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The Typewriter Is Not Dead

Inmate gold.

From Minyanville: “The Daily Mail reports that “Godrej and Boyce – the last company left in the world that was still manufacturing typewriters – has shut down its production plant in Mumbai, India with just a few hundred machines left in stock.” […] However, as ubiquitous as iPads (and, to a lesser extent, Xooms and PlayBooks) may be, the typewriter is “far from dead,” Ed Michael, General Manager of Sales at Moonachie, NJ-based Swintec, tells us. And he adds Godrei and Boyce is far from the last company in the world making the machines. “We have manufacturers making typewriters for us in China, Japan, Indonesia,” Michael says. One of Swintec’s most robust markets? Prisons. “We have contracts with correctional facilities in 43 states to supply clear typewriters for inmates so they can’t hide contraband inside them,” Michael explained back in January. […] New York State permits inmates 7K of memory, Washington State allows 64K, and Michigan lets prisoners have 128K machines. For the most restrictive institutions, Swintec manufactures typewriters with no memory at all.

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Imagine’s Cheerleaders Competition-Bound

Imagine's Spirit Team at last November's Seafood Festival in Town Center. (© FlaglerLive)

Imagine School at Town Center’s cheerleading girls have been quite visible for the past couple of years, performing, it seems, at every imaginable festival and parade. Now they’re competition-bound, Wendy Wright, their coach, tells us. They’re heading out to Sarasota on May 6, a Friday, for the Saturday competition at Riverview High School (directions here). It’s the first annual Imagine Schools of Florida Cheerleading Competition. Some 40 girls are part of the team, but 12 girls in grades 4 through 8 will be competing, beginning at 9 a.m. that Saturday. If you’re interested, Children 3 and under are free, ages 4-12 are $3 and ages 13 and up are $5. For more information, call Wendy Wright at 386/503-3714 or Imagine School at 386/586-0100. Here’s the team:

Click on the image for larger view.

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In Defense of Flogging

Peter Moskos in the Chronicle of Higher Education: “For most of the past two centuries, at least in so-called civilized societies, the ideal of punishment has been replaced by the hope of rehabilitation. The American penitentiary system was invented to replace punishment with “cure.” Prisons were built around the noble ideas of rehabilitation. In society, at least in liberal society, we’re supposed to be above punishment, as if punishment were somehow beneath us. The fact that prisons proved both inhumane and miserably ineffective did little to deter the utopian enthusiasm of those reformers who wished to abolish punishment. Incarceration, for adults as well as children, does little but make people more criminal. […] When I started writing In Defense of Flogging, I wasn’t yet persuaded as to the book’s basic premise. I, too, was opposed to flogging. It is barbaric, retrograde, and ugly. But as I researched, wrote, and thought, I convinced myself of the moral justness of my defense. […] Certainly In Defense of Flogging is more about the horrors of our prison-industrial complex than an ode to flogging. But I do defend flogging as the best way to jump-start the prison debate and reach beyond the liberal choir. […] Certainly my defense of flogging is more thought experiment than policy proposal. I do not expect to see flogging reinstated any time soon. And deep down, I wouldn’t want to see it. And yet, in the course of writing what is, at its core, a quaintly retro abolish-prison book, I’ve come to see the benefits of wrapping a liberal argument in a conservative facade. If the notion of tying people to a rack and caning them on their behinds à la Singapore disturbs you, if it takes contemplating whipping to wake you up and to see prison for what it is, so be it! The passive moral high ground has gotten us nowhere. […] My defense of flogging—whipping, caning, lashing, call it what you will—is meant to be provocative, but only because something extreme is needed to shatter the status quo. We are in denial about the brutality of the uniquely American invention of mass incarceration.” The full essay.

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Palm Coast’s 14th Biennial Community Flower Show, April 29 and 30

garden club palm coastThe Garden Club at Palm Coast and the Flagler County Association of Realtors will host the 14th Community Flower Show and Plant Sale on April 29th and 30th. The theme of this year’s show is “Nature’s Breath of Spring”. This is presented as the Club’s gift to the community. No admission fee will be charged. The show will be held at the Flagler County Association of Realtors building located at 4101 E. Moody Blvd. (Route 100) in Bunnell. Show hours are: Friday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show will feature a Floral Design Division and a Horticulture Division. All entries will be judged by FFGC certified judges and ribbon will be awarded. Other features of the show include: plant sale, educational exhibits, Flagler County Orchid Society display, bonsai display, silent auction, florists raffle and free refreshments.

Anyone in the community is welcome to enter their treasured plants in the Horticulture Division. For a list of categories and rules, visit: (click on Special Events) or email: or contact: Linda Hensler 386/437-2613.

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Little Miss Flagler Daviana Campbell, needs Your Help


Daviana Campbell, Little Miss Flagler 2010, has been selected to be a state finalist in the National American Miss Florida Pageant, and she needs your help. She writes: “One of the community service projects I have to complete to receive points on my score is to collect new, or like new books and teddy bears. Will you help by cleaning out your room and your brothers and sisters room of any like new books and teddy bears that you have out grown and donate them to me. These items will be given to kids throughout our state that need something to make them smile. If you have anything to donate, please message me and I will personally come to pick them up from you. Or, if you are coming to the Friday the 13th dance, you can bring it with you then. I am also looking for sponsors, so if your parents have a business that would consider sponsoring me, then please let me know.” You can rite Daviana here.

Junior Teen State Queens Highlight Video:

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A Few Good Links

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1 Response for “Birther Myths, Imagine’s Cheerleaders, In Defense of Flogging and Typewriters: The Live Wire”

  1. Rob says:

    The Birther Myth
    The President has released his birth certificate this morning.

    Ah Ah!….. Ah Ah! Now the YEAH BUTS will start.

    The so called billionaire who have been making noise to promote himself will have to release his tax returns for all to see. I doubt he is full of anything but air that is hot.

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