Doomsy’s Do-Gooders and Dregs (2013 – Pt. 8)

Prior related posts appear below:

Part 7
Part 6
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1 (with setup)

Dregs of the Year Nominees

CNN (Ted Turner should slap somebody silly for this)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Boxer Bernard Hopkins earns a note here; as the Bucks County Courier Times reported in August, he joined the “Bucks Knocks Out Hunger” campaign…

Hopkins said he planned to join the nearly 500 registered volunteers during a food packaging event scheduled for noon Friday (8/9) at Ann’s Choice (a senior living community) in Warminster.

A Philadelphia native, Hopkins held the middleweight championship through more than 20 matches from 1994 to 2005. Hopkins said he was impressed by the size and scope of the United Way’s project, and he wanted to personally thank the volunteers.

Yep, I would call that “giving back” big time – kudos.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Our own Senator “No Corporate Tax” Pat Toomey, for saying “I told you we’d kill it” here in response to the news that a $44 billion transportation, housing and infrastructure bill had failed to pass the Senate (I guess Toomey and his Teahadist pals doesn’t have to worry about driving over bridges or don’t depend on reasonably safe and reliable mass transit, and I don’t have to say anything about public housing either, do I? – how lucky can a guy be?)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Filmmaker Werner Herzog – as noted here, he has made a film about texting while driving that must be pretty harrowing (I can’t count all of the times that I’ve seen that stuff on the road, often while drivers are travelling waay below the speed limit, which, to me, is at least as dangerous as the other extreme…if making a movie like this saves so much as one person from being badly hurt or killed, then it will be worth it)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Dr. Farid Fata, a Michigan oncologist charged for allegedly submitting false claims to Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary, including chemotherapy treatments, Positron Emission Tomograph (PET) scans and a variety of cancer and hematology treatments for patients who did not need them, to the tune of about $35 million (he’s looking at 20 years in the “big house,” which probably isn’t nearly enough – here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

The people responsible for the Missouri State Fair in the town (“deeply red,” apparently) of Sedalia, about 100 miles from Kansas City, who whooped the crowd into a frenzy by bringing a clown in an Obama mask into a ring and goading a bull into chasing him around the enclosure (and a Dregs citation to the crowd also, who apparently thought this was hilarious) – to their credit, Repug Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder as well as Dem Governor Jay Nixon and Dem U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill all apologized (still waiting to hear from a fair official or any of the other numbskulls in attendance – here)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin, who ruled in August here that the New York Police Department deliberately violated the civil rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers with its contentious stop-and-frisk policy, and an independent monitor is needed to oversee major changes – according to Judge Scheindlin…

“The city’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner,” she wrote. “In their zeal to defend a policy that they believe to be effective, they have willfully ignored overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting ‘the right people’ is racially discriminatory.”

Judge Scheindlin did not put an end of the policy, but said it needed to be “reformed,” giving few specifics. She also named an independent monitor who would develop reforms to policies, training, supervision, monitoring and discipline, also ordering that officers test out body-worn cameras in the police precinct where most stops occurred – well done.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Repug U.S. House Rep Dana Rohrabacher, who claimed here that global warming is “a total fraud” employed by liberals to “create global government.”

Sure it is, you tool (here and here)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

AOL (I didn’t know they still existed!) CEO Tim Armstrong apparently fired an employee named Abel Lenz in the middle of a conference call with 1,000 employees of AOL’s news network called Patch.

What was it that Lenz had supposedly done wrong? Well, Armstrong told him to put down a camera, or something, because Lenz was taking pictures of people who were on the call.

As the story notes…

Armstrong picked an odd reason to fire him.

We hear that Lenz, based in New York, would always take pictures of people talking on company-wide conference calls so that he could post them on Patch’s internal news site.

Here’s my rule of thumb; as much as you may despise a manager (and I’ve had my share, and may yet again – we’ll see), they have the right to take you into their office and do just about anything except lay hands on you or make disparaging remarks about your family (don’t like it, but just acknowledging the reality).

However, getting “ranked,” to say nothing of getting canned outright, in front of your peers like that is a whole other level of awful (wonder if they ever moved beyond those state-of-the-art-in-about-1989 dial-up modems? Like others I’m sure, I spent many a night getting booted out of my session while I was in the middle of a paragraphs-long Email that, of course, wasn’t saved).

So yeah, all of this makes Armstrong a total dick (here).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

American distance runner Nick Symmonds, who won a silver medal at the track and field World Championships in Moscow and dedicated it to all of his LBGT friends (here)…

“As much as I can speak out about it, I believe that all humans deserve equality as however God made them,” Symmonds told Russia’s R-Sport. “Whether you’re gay, straight, black, white, we all deserve the same rights. If there’s anything I can do to champion the cause and further it, I will, shy of getting arrested.”

“I respect Russians’ ability to govern their people,” he added. “I disagree with their laws. I do have respect for this nation. I disagree with their rules.”

The background on this is that Russia is greatly intolerant of LGBT individuals, as noted here; kudos to Symmonds for his courage in speaking out (once again, the world of sports steps forward in an honorable way to further the cause of human rights).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

This goes to whoever the unnamed life form (s) was (were) who somehow hacked into the web camera of the baby monitor used by Marc Gilbert of Houston, TX and called his sleeping daughter a “little slut” and an “effing moron,” before using the camera to follow Gilbert around the room after they took control (here).

As Gilbert tells us…

“Allyson was born deaf, so she has cochlear implants. Thankfully we had them off and she didn’t hear any of it and she slept right through it,” Gilbert said.

And by the way, as we learn from the story, the router and the IP camera were password protected, and the firewall was enabled (particularly pathetic that anyone smart enough to figure this out would still be enough of a low life to harass a disabled child and her father).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

PA’s own guv Tom “Space Cadet” Corbett (again) who, using the very real possibility of a late opening of Philadelphia’s public schools (they ended up opening on time), tried yet again to demand concessions from the teacher’s union; the school district is currently facing a deficit of about $50 million (oh, but Tommy’s $400 million prison is right on schedule)…Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter later said that the school district would get the funds…somehow (here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Wingnut, former governor, failed presidential candidate and media numbskull Mike Huckabee for making a joke here about supposedly turning his hunting dog “loose on some Democrats” with fellow lower life form Ted Nugent (yep, I’m sure that will win over moderates…uh huh)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Eric Alva was the first soldier to be seriously injured in Iraq, losing his leg when he stepped on a land mine. After retiring from the military (he was a Marine staff sergeant), he started speaking out against the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy; Alva said that losing his leg forced him out of the closet (here)…

“It made me realize everything that I had to actually speak up for,” Alva said to ABC News in an exclusive TV interview, “basically the rights and privileges of what I as an individual have earned in this country.”

As the Daily Kos post notes, Alva spoke out before the San Antonio City Council (his home town) to voice his support for a non-discrimination ordinance.

And of course, he was booed – however, he also added the following…

“To all you people that preach the word of God, shame on you because God loves me, like the day I laid bleeding on the sands of Iraq and that’s why he saved me,” Alva said before he left the podium.

Well done, Sgt. Alva.

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominees

The Seattle, WA police department handed out bags of Doritos at an annual hemp and marijuana festival, as opposed to a pointless ass-kicking for engaging in behavior that should be decriminalized at the very least – as Think Progress tells us here

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Seattle police have partnered with Doritos to distribute bags of the snacks emblazoned with descriptions of the new law (a more creative approach to policing Hempfest, a long-running pro-cannabis extravaganza). Revelers will be able to learn about their rights while enjoying a tasty treat.

If it had been my choice, I would have selected Pop Tarts, but kudos to the Seattle police for coming up with a creative packaging and messaging idea.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Governor Bully, for vetoing a bill that would have banned .50 caliber rifles from New Jersey here (unless the NJ “lege” can override, who knows how many people will be sacrificed now on the altar of Christie’s political ambition?)

Dregs of the Year Nominees

Bob Kuechenberg, Jim Langer, and Manny Fernandez of the 1972 Miami Dolphins football team (the last to go undefeated through a season and win a Super Bowl) who decided here that it was more important to try and make President Obama look bad than it was to attend a White House ceremony in their honor (if you disagree with Obama, fine, but to use football parlance a bit, suck it up and take one for the team instead of sulking like little babies)

…and while I’m on the subject…

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The National Football League gets a dishonorable nod for supposedly pressuring ESPN from partnering with PBS on a “Frontline” program about concussions suffered by NFL players (no problem running those “NFL Films” clips of guys beating the crap out of each other, but Heaven forbid that we learn the aftermath of all of that years later – here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

As noted here, Ike Boutwell, a military flight instructor during the Vietnam War (thank you for your service), is the owner of Movie Palace and Showtime Cinemas in Kentucky (no word on a city or town). And he made the apparently unilateral decision not to show the movie “The Butler” because one of the stars of the movie is Jane Fonda (“Hanoi Jane,” and all that, for which Fonda has apologized and also endured being spat upon by a Vietnam vet at a book signing, as noted here).

If Boutwell chooses to spend the rest of his life hating Jane Fonda, that is his privilege. However, it’s stupid for him to decide not to air the film for at least two reasons 1) he’s exercising his own brand of censorship on what people may choose to watch, which kind of defeats an important principle that he defended during his service, and 2) the film “The Butler” has a cast of about 150 people, including Alan Rickman as The Sainted Ronnie R (which may be worth the price of admission right there) and Fonda as Nancy Reagan (who asked for a copy of the film for her viewing); the film also features the somewhat mystifying casting of Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, though John Cusack as Nixon could be fun too.

Besides, Boutwell is doing nothing really but garnering publicity for the pic, so his actions are self-defeating for that reason also.

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

I really go back and forth (mostly back) on former PA State House Rep Dennis O’Brien, primarily because he had a real opportunity to try and stand up to the NRA when he was in the state house but chose not to do so (he ended up landing on his feet, as it were, when his district was eliminated and he was elected to Philadelphia city council…not a criticism, just an observation), but I have to give him credit for going after PA Guv Tom “Space Cadet” Corbett on the latter’s efforts to try and destroy Philadelphia’s public schools (and if you think that’s too dramatic of a description, try reading this)…admittedly, Corbett is an easier target since his approval ratings stink, but credit where it’s due all the same.

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

As noted here

The dung beetle isn’t the most glamorous sounding insect on the planet, but it’s possible this one little creature could share some major responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions around the globe.

According to a new study from researches at the University of Helsinki, manure-eating dung beetles aerate “cow pats” — or cattle manure. This aeration process reduces the anaerobic conditions — places with essentially no oxygen — that cause methane to seep from the manure piles. As one of the study’s researches explains in a press release, this is good news for climate change…

Hey, I never said that these citations have to be limited to people!

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Arkansas State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson (yet again, do I really need to mention the party?) gets a citation not just because he has advocated for arming teachers in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook carnage last year, but because, as noted here, he accidentally wounded a teacher with a rubber bullet while supposedly educating this person in using a firearm (a whole new level of duuuh!, if I do say so myself).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Federal Judge Consuelo B. Marshall of California, who (as noted here) overturned Title 38 of the U.S. Code, which prevented veterans from receiving the same benefits for their same-sex spouses as straight veterans received (well done, Your Honor)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

You would think that, after his infamous “You Lie!” moment when Obama spoke to Congress on health care reform, Repug U.S. House Rep Joe Wilson would know to keep his pie hole shut just about for perpetuity at this point.

But noooooooo – as noted here, he wondered if the Obama Administration’s actions on Syria in September were meant as a “distraction” in the wake of the IRS and Benghazi “scandals.”

Now you can either agree with the Obama Administration’s actions on Syria or disagree (I understand that, as president, we elected him to make hard decisions, and I believe he has given the decision the proper amount of thought, unlike his predecessor might have, but I’m sorry…put me down in the “disagree” column). However, to try and compare a couple of Beltway-centric dustups with what appears to be a chemical weapons attack that killed almost 1,500 people, many of them children, reflects a callousness and hubris that I hope I will never be able to comprehend.

No line for the Repugs when it comes to this stuff – no line at all.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Repug U.S. House Rep Steve Womack of Arkansas; here, he responded to a constituent at a town hall event who asked Womack about immigration by making fun of that constituent’s T-shirt, which apparently bore the flag of Mexico (yep, that “minority outreach” program by the Repugs sure is paying dividends, isn’t it?)

Stupidest Corporate Media Attempt To Generate A New Revenue Stream

The Bucks County Courier Times started accepting pet obituaries in September.

…and while I’m on the subject…

Dregs of the Year Nominees

I know these year-end posts really wouldn’t be the same without including at least one citation for the Bucks County Courier Times, in particular their Op-Ed page which is the responsibility of Editor Guy Petroziello, and this year is no exception.

As I’ve mentioned before, the paper decided to include a “Vent” section on the Op-Ed page a couple of years ago where readers could crank off in 25 words or less about just about anything, though just about everyone exceeds the limit (including yours truly). To me, this has always been a joke, given the fact that the paper basically pretends to be an almost-daily (except for Saturday), and something like their “Vent” section would be appropriate if the paper were a tabloid, which it isn’t, though it makes journalistic decisions like a tabloid (putting news about Obama and Syria in the “Local” section, for example).

So why am I pointing this out now? Because I just want to note somewhere my strong objection to the paper’s vile decision to print “Vent” bits, letters, and Guest Opinions where conservative writers say, either directly or in so many words, that Democrats/liberals/progressives/ whatever don’t believe in God or aren’t religious merely because they are Democrats/liberals/progressives/ whatever. Two things: 1) In my case, I can assure you that that’s not true, and 2) Such remarks are highly insulting (which, in the case of conservatives, merely means that they’ll keep repeating them more often). Even though conservatives represent virtually nothing that I believe in, I would never say that I think they’re not religious or don’t believe in God because of it.

I’m saying this because, in September, a chronic conservative offender on the Op-Ed page managed to get a Vent published where he basically claimed that there was much rejoicing, as it goes, when God was removed from the “Democrat” platform. I’m not going to point out this idiot’s name because, stupid and untruthful as that remark is, he is entitled to his opinion, no matter how backward or uninformed it may be. I’m also noting this because I know for a fact that a Vent was submitted in response pointing out that that was wrong, but it was never published (as far as I’m concerned, the buck stops with Petroziello on this stuff – if he doesn’t actually agree with these sentiments, then he is at least sympathetic to them, particularly if he doesn’t allow a response that makes a point in a professional manner). And of course, you can also add the “Godless Democrat” stuff to the whole pantheon of “code language” and other garbage including “tax-and-spend liberal,” “welfare queen,” and “tree-hugging environmentalist.”

And newspapers actually wonder why they’re losing circulation.

More later…


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