Monday, March 30, 2009

Governor Sanford says he's in "a game of chicken"!

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford defends his game-playing at the CityRange Grill. (photo by Patrick Collard of the GREENVILLE NEWS.)





Dear God, it just never ends.

A GAME OF CHICKEN, he said. HE REALLY SAID THAT, OUT LOUD, IN PUBLIC, WITHOUT SHAME.

Rich, clueless, spoiled white-boy politician thinks this is all a fucking game!

Gov. Sanford defends decision to reject $700 million to Greenville audience

By Rudolph Bell
Greenville News • March 30, 2009


Gov. Mark Sanford brought the politics of economic stimulus today to Greenville, defending his decision to reject $700 million from Washington to members of a local Rotary Club.

Sanford told about 50 members of the Rotary Club of Greenville East that he was going around the state trying to make sure he is "not missing something" regarding his differences with lawmakers over how to use the money in the state budget.

The governor brought a stack of charts and pointed to some as he spoke at the CityRange Steakhouse Grill on Haywood Road.

Sanford said he was in "sort of a game of chicken" with lawmakers who want to take the $700 million and have created a "chaos budget" purportedly showing thousands of teacher layoffs and closed prisons if the money is turned down.

He called on Rotary Club members who agreed with him to contact friends, neighbors and relatives across South Carolina and urge them to share their views with their lawmakers.
And rest assured, those of us who think you are an evil, stupid swine, will spread the word too, Governor!

All I hear is blah blah blah

I have had precious little time to blog lately. However, wanted to share this little tune.

This short video was featured on This Week with George Stephanopoulos yesterday, and Mr Daisy hasn't stopped listening to it. Starting today, he has started singing it whenever he sees Paul Krugman on TV.

And if I have to listen to it, so do yall!

Enjoy!

~*~

Hey Paul Krugman (A song, A plea) - Jonathan Mann

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Reverend Billy brings us all the (old) hits!

What on earth would I do without the totally indispensable Reverend Billy's Rhythm Revival!? Last night, he played an amazing singer I was only marginally aware of, South Carolina's own Baby Washington. Immediately, I knew Dead Air has been waiting all this time for her wonderfulness. Let's hear it for husky-voiced, alto girls! (I am one, too.) Just take a listen to this.

The old-timey drive-in visuals for this first one are great, too. This particular tune sounds like a Bacharach-David song, who influenced the songwriters Holley and Raleigh, according to the guy who put it on YouTube. It shows!


That's how heartaches are made - Baby Washington



~*~

This is an excellent up-tempo, Northern Soul song... GREAT!

Think about the good times - Baby Washington



~*~

Soul ballad with some antique cars as accompaniment (?)... hey, I was just thrilled to find the song!

Nobody knows, nobody cares - Baby Washington



~*~

And then, Reverend Billy wound up his show with a surf band, The Pyramids.

Penetration - The Pyramids



~*~

Here they are with shaved heads in Bikini Beach. And check those choreographed dance moves; the lead guitarist even does a back-flip, impressing Annette Funicello (Frankie, you will notice, was never impressed by anything). Not sure what the guy in the monkey suit is doing sitting at the table, I guess you'd have to watch the whole movie. And then Don Rickles, of all people, appears in the middle of the video, with a bird on his head. Those wacky 60s!

Bikini Drag - The Pyramids



I bow before the good Reverend and profusely thank him for his knowledge of musical arcana!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Birthday!

25 years ago--a quarter of a century!--I gave birth to a child and named her after a Syd Barrett song!!!

I shoulda known there would be some fallout from that! What was I thinking? :P

Happy Birthday, Delusional Precious! All my love to you on this very special day.

~*~

Syd (in the hat) is in this video, the original. Enjoy!

See Emily Play - Pink Floyd

Friday, March 27, 2009

City of Tiny Lites

Greenville, facing southwest from Richardson Street.




It appears I will spend most of my day off haggling with stubborn insurance companies, so not much brilliance from me. President Obama, I tirelessly backed you, now if you would be so kind, please fix our dilapidated health care system? (At least I have WNCW's stellar radio broadcast, Frank on Friday, to keep me company... which of course is where today's blog post title is from.) My heart goes out to everyone else currently in Medical Insurance Hell, such as Renegade Evolution.

I haven't written about the AIG scandal, mostly because I don't really understand it very well. I am patently unable to rant and rave about things I don't fully get in the first place. I mostly end up scratching my poor little head. (I have a hard time even fathoming that kind of money.) However, I do see a similarity in the AIG bail-out fiasco and our health-care system dilemma: Nobody wants to reward AIG with millions of dollars for their mismanagement, and likewise, nobody wants to fund a health care system that has as many bloated items in their inventory as the Pentagon and its once-legendary hundred-dollar hammers. How can a single monthly prescription cost over $250? This is obscene. Who wants government to pay Big Pharm and support their continued robbery of the American people? Not me. I want the drug companies fleeced, not the government!

These are deep systemic problems, and they make my head hurt.

~*~

Some stuff to check out:

Sylvia Plath's son, Nicholas Hughes, has committed suicide:


The son of the poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath has taken his own life, 46 years after his mother gassed herself while he slept.

Nicholas Hughes hanged himself at his home in Alaska after battling against depression for some time, his sister Frieda said yesterday.

He was 47, unmarried with no children of his own and had until recently been a professor of fisheries and ocean sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
What can you say?

~*~

Obama pissed me off yesterday, with his much-ballyhooed "online town meeting", as he impatiently and arrogantly waved away questions about marijuana legalization, which you know (duh!) might bail the economy out of this horrible mess. Obama seemed to find the question amusing, possibly flashing back to the days when he enjoyed a blunt or two himself.

By way of Salon's Drug War Rant, comes this perceptive observation from a commenter at Daily Kos:

But did he have to be so.... Amused with it? I'm sorry, I understand that it's marijuana, ha ha funny funny...but it was a serious question asked by a lot of people and I really think it deserved just as serious of an answer as the rest of them did [...] it was a JARRING difference from how he approached all the other questions. [...] I found the use of this particular question, and using it as a mechanism - an excuse to laugh off serious questions about the myriad of issues about pot - to be very disingenuous.
And from Andrew Sullivan, of all people:

Obama's Pathetic Pot Answer. The chuckle suggests a man of his generation. The dismissiveness toward the question of ending Prohibition as both a good in itself and a form of tax revenue is, however, depressing. His answer was a non-answer. I'm tired of having the Prohibition issue treated as if it's trivial or a joke. It is neither. It is about freedom and it's deadly serious. As for your online audience, Mr president, have you forgotten who got you elected?
Chris Selley in the NATIONAL POST writes:

In other words: get a job, ya bunch of hippies. He couldn’t really have sounded any more condescending unless he’d thanked contributors, complete with air quotes, for their “groovy” questions. I’m sure the audience would have lapped it up.

Now, admittedly, the President might well be right about what legalization would do for the economy. Imagine all the out-of-work drug enforcement workers, prison guards and support staff, the mass suicides from correctional industry lobbyists, and the tens of thousands of newly released inmates thrust into an already terrible job market. But that’s hardly the point he was trying to make. Rather, he was aiming for laughs.
Selley's piece is titled Obama on the War on Drugs—status quo we can believe in, which also made my head hurt. (As we've always heard, the truth hurts.)

Direct hit, Chris.

~*~

To the astute but anonymous reader who asks me via email, why do I link so many people who won't link me back? Hmm, good question. Mostly, it's so I can have the links handy when I switch computers around...I can't have my bookmarks everywhere, and this is the next best thing. My blogroll is composed of people I enjoy reading, whether they like me or not. And I think it might compromise some people's reputations (I'm lookin at you, lefty atheists!) to include me on their blogrolls.

And then again, as I closely examine some of the blogrolls in question, I also believe only women under 50 are permitted. Or at least, no women over 50 are represented. We don't exist and are invisible.

That's probably why.

~*~

Miss Jackie is writing about IRON over at The Vegan Diet... check out her recipes, you animal rights purists! Particularly her wonderful Iron Booster Fruit Smoothie... I am allergic to bananas but I've found strawberries and blueberries work well. Also, here is a great liquid iron supplement from Floradix, but 1) it tastes like cherry rust and 2) it's expensive (but certainly, not as expensive as red meat) and 3) it only keeps about a month after opening (refrigerated), so you have to use it up fairly quickly. But you can add it to smoothies and the rust taste isn't as noticeable.

A small price to pay for not eating animals.

~*~

I loves you guys, and hope to be back here before this evening, depending on the cooperation of the aforementioned insurance companies. (Ha!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What I feel, I can't say, but my love is there for you anytime of day...

The Greatest Beatle of them all. From Dark Horse: The Life And Art Of George Harrison by Geoffrey Giuliano.



I think I first realized it when reading Dark Horse, the biography of my favorite Beatle. The quiet one, the spiritual one.

And on an internet message board some time ago, during the time I was reading the book, someone announced (yes, you know the drill) Christianity Uber Alles and as proof, offered the pop-culture "facts" that the Beatles and Elvis were Christian, at least until John met that awful woman. [1] I wasted no time in jumping on it: Excuse me, but George was no Christian! HANDS OFF GEORGE.

The response: Show me where George officially converted!

And of course, I could have Googled my little heart out and not found a thing... Hinduism is not like Christianity. They do not dip you in water and then announce you are one of them. They just don't do it like that. George spent considerable time in India; learned to play their holy instruments; did whatever various gurus told him to do; financed English translations of the Bhagavad Gita and named his son Dhani. Isn't that enough for you?

No, not for this guy. And I suddenly realized that our world has been MARKED by the presence of the two major religions, Islam and Christianity, the religions that commanded their followers to make believers of all nations.

The Majors, in competition with each other, have very precise rituals for conversion. It starts with an altar call, the announcement: I am a Christian, I am a Muslim. It's on the record. And then, more rituals, classes, education. In Christianity, baptism, and in Catholicism, Lutheranism, Orthodoxy, there is also Confirmation, known as Receiving the Holy Spirit. All of these rituals leave a mark on the convert, as they do on those raised in the faith: you have crossed over. You have been accepted into a tribe; you are one of us.

On Easter, lots of new folks come into the Catholic Church; it's one of the main draws of the long Easter Vigil Mass, in fact... we can watch the faces of the people as they are baptized: some are so pensive and introspective and some are in tears of ecstasy. Some are looking at wives, husbands, moms and dads: I hope this pleases you, because this is embarrassing. The variety of faces reflect all manner of religious experience. I always pick the faces that look happiest, and afterwards, I welcome them personally into the Church. Thus, I am also part of the ritual, if I choose to be.

Other religions do not do this. Therefore, being the Majors, we can judge the conversion not to have really happened. We apply our standards, our measuring sticks, and then find them lacking. Where is the baptism? Did you ANNOUNCE yourself somewhere? Where are the official records?

They don't do it that way. WE do it that way.

Unfortunately, the lack of officialdom, like a lack of borders, can lead to trouble and weirdness. It can lead to appropriation.

And yes, I realize that Islam and Christianity, as The Majors, are appropriated all the time. Rather than see Christmas as Christianity encroaching on secularism, for instance, I tend to see it as the secular world stealing our cool shit. (Hey, Santa Claus was St Nicholas of Myra, goddammit, leave him alone.) When you have all classes of rock bands singing SILENT NIGHT, all you can do is shake your head in amazement. But when you are one of The Majors, you can endure that. In fact, it is just more proof of how BIG you really are. They have Santa Claus in Japanese store windows, now, take that! (Are we #1 or what?)

In the end, Christmas trees and bad carols notwithstanding, the question, the BORDERS, stay constant: ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN? There is only one answer to that. You can modify it any number of ways (and Lord knows, I love my modifiers), but in the end, there is only one answer. There is a BORDER, and there it is: Yes or no?

Again, other religions may not have the brightly-drawn borders; the yesses and nos are not in stark relief.

That means, the stealing is not as well-understood. How can it be stealing if they are giving it away? They do not do it like we do, after all... they don't have a ritual demarcating one's entrance. You can enter and exit at will, any time you want.

And so, people do.

~*~

Daniel Pinchbeck, photo from Sounds True.




All of this came to mind as I read Reality Sandwich, new to my blogroll. I've heard Daniel Pinchbeck's CDs regarding 2012, much of which is also in his book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. My first thought, after so much discussion and teeth-gnashing throughout Feminist/Lefty Blogdonia: Should he be doing that? Does the shamanic tradition properly belong to him? Is he stealing?

Much of Pinchbeck's work is about psychedelics and spirituality, which we could rightly claim is the recorded tradition of another tribe altogether, a tribe with a recognized pedigree, in which he does belong: hippies. (Pinchbeck's mother was Joyce Johnson, paramour of Jack Kerouac.) But there is a particular way that hippies approached enlightenment, and that is not necessarily the way Native Americans did, even if the mescalito is the same.

From the blurb on Pinchbeck's recent CD, titled Emergence 2012: The Soundtrack for Global Evolution:


Take a musical journey into the lush soundscapes of the 2012 phenomenon with Emergence 2012. Inspired by Baktuns—or cycles of the classical Mayan calendar—this mind-bending music infuses psychoacoustic rhythms with the chants of ayahuasca shamans and natural harmonics found deep within the forests of South America. Created by sound healing visionary Alex Theory and Daniel Pinchbeck, bestselling author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl.
And now we come full circle, to that place where hippies encroached on Native American religion, as well as Eastern religions.

Or did they?

What if they feel they were directly asked by [fill in words for God here]? What if, in fact, this is The Truth? Does the religious activity still qualify as "encroachment"--or is this the end result of an exhaustive spiritual journey? Is it cultural appropriation and imperialism if one BELIEVES THEY HAVE FOUND THE TRUTH?

I don't think it is.

This is not appropriation, any more than learning another language is. I think it is endorsing another spiritual truth. It is LEAVING The Majors, for something one finds more suitable and real.

But I'll be honest: I get unaccountably nervous when I hear hippies employing ancient chants that were never theirs.

And then AGAIN: If white hippies with education and privilege announce that something is genuine and true, isn't that something of a revolutionary endorsement? This is the real thing, not what I was taught by my own culture--is a pretty powerful statement. (Maybe THE most powerful statement.)

Where does appropriation start, when we talk about religions? Because they are not simply cultural, they are accounts of life, creation, consciousness, truth and morality. They are VERSIONS of how we approach the divine.

Can we rightly say this is stolen, when it is being endorsed as the Truth, above and beyond The Majors?

What do you think?

~*~


[1] If you haven't read Cara's fabulous several-part series on racism, sexism and Yoko Ono, go over there RIGHT NOW and read the WHOLE THING. Great analysis.

[2] The title of this post is from the first lines of my favorite George Harrison song, What is Life? (And yes, I realize it was produced by Phil Spector, subject of much fulminating here at DEAD AIR.) Embedding has been disabled, she sighed once again...

The song was also employed to excellent advantage in the DEAD AIR favorite GOODFELLAS, which I also intend to blog about one of these days.

Wordless Wednesday - St George and the Dragon

St George and the Dragon Icon; vestibule of St George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Greenville, South Carolina.



~*~








My Flickr page, finally updated at long last.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Greenville Antiwar Society candle-lighting

March 22, 2009 - Sunday evening, members of the Greenville Antiwar Society marked YEAR SIX of the Iraq war, with our annual commemorative candle-lighting in Bergamo Square, downtown Greenville, South Carolina.

Members of GAS lit 4260 candles; each candle bears the name of a fallen soldier. The beaded structure in the center contains approx 700-800,000 small beads, representing the Iraqi dead.

BRING THEM HOME NOW!

~*~

Sunday, March 22, 2009

If I knew the way, I would take you home

I am attending our yearly commemorative candle-lighting tonight, for the thousands of American dead in Iraq. It is YEAR SIX of the Iraq War. Do you believe? YEAR SIX.

I find I do not want to go; I find the sight of all those candles (one for each soldier) simply stunning (not in a good way) and almost utterly overwhelming. What possible good could come from thousands of dead enlisted personnel; thousands of once-alive, vibrant young souls?

Why are we still in Iraq, again?

Depressed, confused, talking to God (okay, arguing!) and feeling the futility of it all. And yet, giving up is not an option. I have never known how to do that. (See previous post: I have 4 Virgos in my astrological chart!)

As Deadheads know, there is only one song for these occasions.


~*~

Ripple (Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia)


If my words did glow
with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice
come through the music
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

Its a hand-me-down
the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they're better left unsung
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

Reach out your hand
if your cup be empty
If your cup is full
may it be again
Let it be known
there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men

There is a road
no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go
no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone.

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow.

You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall
you fall alone
If you should stand
then who's to guide you?

If I knew the way, I would take you home.



~*~

Do yall have any idea how many versions of this are on YouTube? Maybe hundreds.

This one is particularly nice in that you can hear the audience singing along.



Ripple - Grateful Dead

Saturday, March 21, 2009

They do it over there, but we don't do it here...

According to my recent stats, we are practically back to START, boys and girls. Ain't nobody reading. (But if you are, HI!) I figure this means I can post whatever I want, such as (see left) photos of myself selling important books about fiber diets, taken by my co-worker's brand new iphone.

I think I have earned a bad reputation in lefty/feminist Blogdonia: argumentative; always defending Jesus, Krishna and All Their Friends; not fully understanding why the people from good homes are talking this year.* (And last year, and next year, too.)

I am trying to formulate some ideas/theories about CLASS in Blogdonia. Being working class or coming from poor people, etc...how do we fit in? Well, that's just it. We don't. We are embarrassing. We uncomfortably remind the so-called progressives that their references to chi-chi vacations, private preschools and hoity-toity colleges, summer homes, pricey co-op apartments, frou-frou dinner parties, et. al. just JUMP RIGHT OUT AT US while reading blog posts. (Damn, I wish they didn't, but they just do.)

I am reminded of Roy Clark on The Beverly Hillbillies, the poor, dumb relations from back home who bother everybody, till we do some sort of minstrel act, some kind of savant show: Hey, we got talent, we know a few things!

In short, we are intimidated and do not belong. And they very much want us to go away, which is probably the reason I don't; I'm awfully stubborn. (Four different Virgos in my astrological chart! Just try and make me!) But certain big blogs have all but banished me/us, jumping on working class comments with aplomb; correcting, cajoling, intimidating. This reads: Who the hell are you, and what the fuck are you doing here?

Add AGE to the mix, and well, you get the idea.

In the past couple of weeks, I have commented on blogs in which the Original Poster was careful to thank EVERY PARTICIPANT BUT ME for their opinion. (I mean, come on, do you have to be so damned obvious about it?) Direct questions ignored, in favor of dialogue sought with young, stupid punks. Well, okay. I get it. If I knew the hip lingo, the cool shit to say, if I knew the right brand names and the right schools, maybe they'd thank me too.

But I won't hold my breath.

I mean, I was long-ago run off the cool-kids sooper-seekrit email list (see last post for my opinion about those) for using politically-incorrect language, so this is just more of the same. Thing is, as in the last instance, I dunno exactly what I am saying that is so wrong, and nobody will tell me. You are just supposed to KNOW. That is part of being the right kind of person, the right class and age.

Meanwhile (punch line) they all blabber on about diversity and inclusion. While the average participants of their blogs are all 20 years younger than me, have college degrees, etc. Yes, real diverse!

I try very hard to erase difference when posting on other blogs... I edit several times, I go through and take out simple words and insert longer, educated-sounding ones. (they are far easier on those posts, I've noticed) I don't think it matters, in the end: WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE. And I've been placed on moderation on several of my favorite blogs... and I don't even cuss usually, while other people are effing all over the place. Huh? (Is it more than cuss words? Then what is it?)

What to do? Quit blogging? They wouldn't miss us at all; that is exactly what they want us to do. They want Blogdonia to themselves, the way they run everything else. Well, maybe it makes no difference then. They run things, always have, and we only have the illusion of being part of what they have crafted for themselves.

Try to engage? And get either ignored or singled out in embarrassing ways?

I have no idea.

Opening the floor for discussion, and all 4 of my present readers can respond!

~*~

I missed some stuff in my rather hurried post yesterday, and wanted to add some links:

Talk radio guru Trevor Carey of Colorado's KNUS, made some really ferocious comments on his show, condoning violence against transgendered people, since they have supposedly "committed fraud." This is pretty gross.

I have emailed everybody in protest, and so should you. He really deserves to lose his job, not simply "disavow comments"--but I realize this is TALK RADIO and that is quite unlikely to happen.

But it should.

The idea that transgendered people are "committing fraud" is just, well, good God, do you think you have the right to know everything about a person? If a cisgendered woman seduces you, and you get home and discover she only has one breast, has she committed FRAUD by not sharing that with you until you are in an intimate setting? Not hardly. That is called DECENCY AND MODESTY, asshole. (Not that I would expect a talk-radio maven to comprehend that.)

You can download the Feminist Quran at Irshad Manji's website!

Chinese parliament has just passed a law making celebrities who endorse products LIABLE, if the product is questionable and/or harmful. Not a bad idea AT ALL, and since I hear about celebrities who pontificate about products every single day (yes, Oprah, I'm lookin at you)--I wouldn't mind if the USA had such a law, too.

Maybe then the glut of celebrity-infomercials would finally come to a grinding (and very welcome) halt.

~*~

*The title of this post is from David Bowie's "Fashion"--which of course, has all embedding disabled and I can't post it here. It is linked in the second paragraph.

The lyrics--

Listen to me (don't listen to me)
Talk to me (don't talk to me)
Dance with me (don't dance with me)
No


...just reminds me so much of Blogdonia...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Odds and Sods - Funhouse edition

I've added a whole parcel of wonderful wimmin to my blogroll, for no other reason than I wanted their links handy so I could find them very quickly.

Some of my newcomers: Unapologetically Female, Snowstorm, The Pursuit of Harpyness, Transgriot, snow piled up in a silver bowl, Female Impersonator, What Tami Said, Katha Politt, three rivers fog, Future Feminist Librarian-Activist, Aunt Jemima's Revenge, Fourth Wave Feminism, Look left of the pleiades, Everyday Stranger, Elderwomanblog, Uncooler Than Thou, Kikipotamus the Hobo, Marge Twain, Pink Scare, Shapely Prose, and the most fabulously-named blog ever, Kittywampus!

Welcome to Dead Air, yall!

~*~

Guess who's back? Kyle Payne, self-styled "male feminist" who was convicted of being a sexual predator and nonetheless continues to present himself as a dedicated freedom fighter for us ladeez.

(Do you BELIEVE this guy?!?)

Renegade Evolution and Natalia Antonova share their incredulity with us, that Kyle won't just go away.

Sometimes, all you can say is: GOOD LORD!

~*~

Mista Jaycee writes about Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker's pregnancy.. The WHOLE CONCEPT of a visibly-pregnant professional basketball player is probably the most wonderfully feminist news I've heard in awhile! GO CANDACE!

~*~

Callin from the funhouse...

I had not heard that Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton passed away from a heart attack at age 60 until reading a two-month-old Rolling Stone obituary. (Yeesh, I am so OUT OF IT!)

This is particularly sad to hear...Ron was most assuredly one of the great unsung heroes of the genre. Lots and lots of modern rock guitarists were deeply influenced by Ron and don't even realize the immense musical debt they owe him.

Goodbye dear friend. (And thanks for enabling Iggy all those years--somebody had to do it!)

~*~

Private email lists are currently under fire, since Politico's Michael Calderone just outed Ezra Klein's little (large, actually) private club, named JournoList (JList for short). All the cool kids like Paul Krugman and Eric Alterman are on it. With so many bigshot liberal/radical bloggers on the email list, doesn't this make it something of a left-wing echo chamber?

Well, duh! Ya think???? (Ezra responded in a flip, rather fuck-you fashion.)

Many people are weighing in, and I personally vented on a thread at Lean Left:


[KTK posted] And there is a kind of exclusivist quality to them that can be troubling, especially if they become a kind of quasi-official, but walled-off, function of a larger group. Many list members recognize that, and there are ways to deal with it.

[I replied] If they want to. Do they?

The “gang pile” syndrome is one unfortunate facet of these lists; and yes, I’ve been on them too. People who lack nerve require posses, that herd of independent minds, all covering/saying the same thing. Rather than develop individually, lots of these people are carbon-copies of each other and all report/pile on the same things, the same week. And now we know why–it’s coordinated and it’s an echo chamber. The same thing happens in Blogdonia, where certain controversial posts/threads are red-flagged, email lists pass the word, and there is a sudden unbelievable swarm of comments and fevered linkage. (Sometimes, if you are hip to who is on a list, you can tell who first thought up the talking points.) This can and does turn into simple bullying.

In addition, the I-brought-my-posse effect breeds stupidity and cowardice. Learn to defend yourself without being in a horde. Learn to find your own issues, not just follow the frat house gang/mob to the next Big Thing.

Also, there is the matter of blacklisting. If XYZ, your buddy and email droog, says “Daisy’s a real bitch” on your beloved email list, are you going to tell me that you won’t be prejudiced by that, even before you know me, or my comments/behavior on your blog? Because you know, that is thoroughly unfair and just generally poisons the waters. Example: I might be purposely antagonistic on a blog in which I think the blogger has, say, made fun of vegetarians. If you haven’t, that has nothing to do with you. But because this person doesn’t like my political message, they call me a bitch and without MY knowing why, you–third party to this feud–will be hostile to me immediately. Or at least, you will be unlikely to give me a fair hearing. (And yes, I do think that is how human beings are. We are easily prejudiced by those we respect and admire, our peers.) I’ve seen this phenomenon happen from both sides–as the victim AND as the person on the list, watching it happen.

It is tantamount to blacklisting; it freezes people out who have particularly radical or unpopular opinions.

THOSE are a FEW of the problem with these lists.
And with this revelation, we see that much of Leftist/Feminist/Progressive Blogdonia continues its march towards replicating middle-class high school cliques and attendant juvenile idiocy.

As one of my favorite modern philosophers once said: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss.

~*~

EDITED TO ADD:

Speaking of being out of it, I forgot to add a tribute to Ron!

Gimme Danger - Iggy Pop & The Stooges

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Official Cat of Dead Air

At left: Peace Cat, official cat of Dead Air.

Isn't he just so sweet? He only weighs 6 pounds. I figured him to be about 6-8 months old when he came to our door, and he turned out to be fully grown. At that time, the vet estimated his age to be about 15 months old. He now approaches his ninth year, still looking like a sweet kitten. He has one of the sweetest dispositions of any cat I have ever owned. Although he was a stray, he obviously belonged to someone at one time. (He was already neutered.) He came to the terrace and jumped right on our laps, starved for attention. I would usually shriek, since he was covered with ticks from the woods. Even with the shrieking, he would purr delightedly on my lap. We fed him for around 6-8 weeks and finally decided to bring him inside. One of our best decisions ever.

As a scavenger, Peace Cat required major de-worming and assorted other expensive medical care. A few days before bringing him in, he brought us a dead mole as a gift, which he left right in front of the door to the terrace. We always joke that he must be thinking we really liked the mole, and let him in because of that: Wow, that mole landed me this cushy gig.

He has never tried to get outside, and shows no interest in going out, even with the door wide open. We assume this is because the time he lived outside was not pleasant, and he has no desire to repeat the experience.

Yes, he is my baby.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patrick's Day!

And on this most Irish of days, let us ask:

What does it mean to be Irish-American? Anything?

Why do Americans invariably describe ourselves as ____ American? (Do they do this in other countries? I would imagine it depends on how much immigration is a feature of life.)

In America, we tend to consider ourselves "children of immigrants"--since the vast majority of us are. Jessica Aloe writes:


One of the topics we discussed outside the pub in Ballintoy [Ireland] was the tendency that Americans seem to have to describe themselves as [insert ethnicity here]-Americans. Growing up in New York, this was perfectly natural to me. I have described myself like that. Everyone described him or herself like that, even when it seemed like they were grasping at straws.

A friend of mine, whose roots are in Minnesota, bought a Norwegian phrasebook when we were younger because her great-great-great grandparents had hailed from there. In middle school, we were given an assignment to write a fake journal pretending we were travelling through Ellis Island as the nationality of our family. Nobody had trouble with it.

These two men thought it was ridiculous. They found it annoying, and even condescending when people came to their homes and described themselves as originating from there. So I asked them how I should describe myself. In my case, I have a European citizenship, I've spent summers there, and have close family there. Regardless of this, they answered, I was simply, "American." There was no other possibility for them.

Should everyone who is born in America describe himself or herself as solely American? Probably not. And you do have to take into account the attitudes towards immigrants in countries like Northern Ireland that, unlike the United States, attract very little immigration. It's a cultural difference, but one that I would have never become aware of had I not taken that risk.
Are you a hyphenated American? If so, would you give up your modifier?

Why is it important to you, to say what kind of American you are?

I find that I honestly can't say why, except that it was drilled into me, to remember: "No Irish Need Apply"..."No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs"(the sign later immortalized as the title of John Lydon's autobiography).

Another possible answer: I find that remembering which people I came from, keeps me from trying to be someone else.

Here on Octogalore's appearance thread (about Michelle Obama's arms!), I mentioned (and linked to) my signature Irish arms. Knowing that my people had bulbous Bill Clintonesque noses and fleshy bodies, comforts me greatly, since I have them too. I am short and stout, and I have never believed I could look like a supermodel. I am grateful for the lesson in common sense that Irish identity gave me. Now: If only I'd listened to the warnings about DRINKING! :P

And I guess this is as good a place as any to announce: I haven't had a drink of alcohol in 27 years. (Am I OLD or what?) So, yall have some green beer on me today, okay?

Have a happy St Patrick's Day!

~*~

Give Ireland back to the Irish - Paul McCartney & Wings

Monday, March 16, 2009

Governor Mark Sanford is an evil, stupid swine

South Carolina state flag.

Our Governor, Mark Sanford, wants to cheat the people of South Carolina by refusing fully a QUARTER of the economic stimulus.

We have serious problems with health care, prenatal care, unemployment, bad roads, education, etc etc etc in this state, since the Republicans have been "running" it (ha!) since the 60s. Sanford wants to stay BACKWARD and STUPID, just like he is.

Sanford grew up rich and privileged on a 3000-acre plantation near Beaufort. Of course he doesn't give a fuck about the less privileged. I say, SELL THAT FAMILY LAND, Sanford, and throw the money into the DEFICIT that you helped make. I mean, since you claim to be so concerned--how about you contribute some of that family fortune?

When not in the Governor's mansion, Sanford lives on Sullivan's Island, so he is pretty well off. Of course he can't identify with poor people out of work. He is an upper class PIG with no compassion... can you hear voice of Ebenezer Scrooge?: "Are there no poorhouses?"

We need to throw his disgusting ass out, now, yesterday, last week, last month, last year. Sanford is from the RICH SOUTHERN WHITE MAN past, and he needs to go back to the past, where he so obviously came from.

"I've got a 15-year pattern of doing exactly this kind of thing," Sanford said. I think 15 years in federal prison might be enough to repay the people of South Carolina for his continuing obstinacy, greed, southern-rich-boy ignorance and general assholery. What do you think?

SC Gov. Sanford set to reject stimulus millions

By BETH FOUHY
Associated Press


NEW YORK (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has been the leading voice among Republican governors who have criticized President Barack Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus plan as a pork-laden boondoggle that will plunge the country further into debt. It's won him praise from many conservatives and boosted his national profile, fueling speculation he will run for president in 2012.

But the governor's announcement this week that he may reject nearly a quarter of the money headed to South Carolina has stirred criticism in the state and elsewhere that he has placed his own political future ahead of the needs of the state's most vulnerable citizens.

Several GOP governors, including Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Haley Barbour of Mississippi, have said they would reject a portion of the money that would expand unemployment benefits to those not currently eligible to receive them. Sanford says he will also reject those funds, but he has threatened to go much further, requesting a waiver to spend some $700 million targeted for education and other programs to pay down some of the state's debt instead.

"I have come to conclude that it would be a mistake to simply accept the money as offered," Sanford wrote to state legislators in announcing his decision. "When one is in a hole, the first order of business is to stop digging."

Sanford, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, has steadfastly denied that his actions regarding the stimulus have been politically motivated, noting that he has taken a hard line on tax and spending issues since 1994, when he was first elected to Congress. He was elected governor in 2002.

"I've got a 15-year pattern of doing exactly this kind of thing," Sanford said.

But his announcement came the same week that South Carolina's unemployment rate shot to 10.4 percent, the second highest in the nation. With those dire figures as a backdrop, national Democrats — keenly aware of Sanford's rising national stature — piled on.

The Democratic National Committee planned to run ads on several stations in South Carolina next week accusing Sanford of "putting politics ahead of health care, jobs and schools." In an e-mail blast to reporters Thursday, the DNC assembled a collection of national and state news stories criticizing Sanford's action.

Even Democratic governors got in the game, with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley issuing a statement decrying Sanford's "fringe" stance.

"Every state should be laser-focused right now on one issue: jobs, jobs, jobs," said O'Malley, vice chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. "This rejection is less about the people of South Carolina than it is Sanford's political ambitions," O'Malley added.

South Carolina's senior senator, Republican Lindsey Graham, voted against the stimulus. But he said the state should take the money if it's a choice between the dollars going to South Carolina or going somewhere else.

But he says that may not be possible if Sanford rejects the money.

Though South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, inserted a provision into the final stimulus bill that is meant to allow legislatures to override governors on accepting the stimulus money, Graham said Friday that the final language in the bill could be interpreted in a way that Sanford would still have to move to apply for some of the stimulus money. Under that scenario, the legislature could not override the governor.

Clyburn issued a frustrated statement in response.

"I would hope the various leaders of this state would spend as much time and energy finding ways to bring relief to South Carolina's families rather than looking for creative ways to get around the federal help that has been made available and that other states are using very effectively," he said.

Clyburn also criticized Sanford on Thursday for a comment he made at a news conference in South Carolina likening Obama's economic stimulus efforts to the hyperinflationary economy in Zimbabwe, one of Africa's most corrupt governments.

"What took the man to Zimbabwe?" Clyburn said in Washington. "Someone should ask him if that's really the best comparison. ... How can he compare this country's situation to Zimbabwe?"

Sanford's effort has even irked some Republican lawmakers in the state, who had made plans to use at least $350 million of the money for state budget items before learning of the governor's decision.

"What I think's happening here is he has made headlines again, national headlines, and that is what he is after," said state Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman, a Republican who introduced a measure Thursday that would allow the Legislature to circumvent Sanford's actions.

"It's my intent to take every dollar we can get," Leatherman said, calling Sanford's efforts "tomfoolery."

Merle Black, a political science professor at Emory University, said Sanford's position was "very consistent" with how he's governed in South Carolina and said there was a national constituency that would find his approach appealing.

"I think there are limits to being so ideological, but as you get into national politics, it's a way of appealing to very strong fiscal conservatives," Black said. "They are a large part of the Republican Party, but it's not clear they are a majority."

___

Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington and Jim Davenport in Columbia, S.C., contributed to this report.
Mr Daisy is beside himself, and I am getting there.

And what the fuck was that about ZIMBABWE? Code. (I think we all know what our spoiled southern-rich-boy governor was actually saying, don't we?)

Swine. Please God, make him go away.

Save South Carolina! DUMP SANFORD!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dead Air Church: Learning from the Dead

Down the road from my house, in a peaceful meadow in the hollow of our hill, lies a small Catholic cemetery. It is set between our tiny golf course, pocked with granite boulders, and a track of houses. Many mornings, I walk our little dog along that road and pass the cemetery. Every time, I pause and think about the lives of the men, women and children buried there. I think of the complexity of their emotions and relationships, their efforts to find good work, make a home, and raise their children. I'm reminded of the shortness of their lives and of mine. I wonder about the mystery of it all and feel the bittersweet awareness of lives so engaged with the struggle to be, cut short by the inevitability of death. But my visit with them is always a happy one. I feel a conviviality there, a community with a history and a personality, people who laughed and enjoyed life. I talk to them and ask their help and offer my thanks for the generosity of their lives. It's a short meditation, yet for me it is a genuine spiritual practice. Do they hear me? Am I talking to myself? Does it make any sense? These questions don't come to my mind. I feel an invitation to open my heart, and I respond.
--Thomas Moore, CareoftheSoul.net

~*~

Instant Karma - John Lennon



PS--I need to pause for a decidedly unspiritual question: Is that a sanitary-pad wrapped around Yoko's head? (Hey, not that there's anything wrong with that, Yoko can do what she wants, I am just asking.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Left Lane Cruiser

Good live jams today from the intrepid (and very loud) Left Lane Cruiser-- featured at the redoubtable Bohemian Cafe, where I stop in every week or so to hear the tunes. Then I usually head next door to Horizon, where I purchase some excellent music to satisfy my soul, and take note of whatever Gene says we should be listening to. (Left Lane Cruiser was also being taped for WNCW's wonderful TOWER OF SONG radio show.)

So, I bought the Left Lane Cruiser CD, titled Bring Yo Ass to the Table, because I really wanted to hear it, but at a reasonable decibel level.

And hey, just for the record, I saw the Ramones three times back in the day; I know LOUD. But sheer teeth-rattling volume never used to give me the kinds of headaches it does now. Just getting old, I reckon. ((sigh))

But hey, I'll buy the CD and turn it down, okay? You guys seriously rock!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th!

I have been linked on John Scalzi's blog, in the middle of a gargantuan thread about racism and science fiction, titled Mary Anne Mohanraj Gets You Up to Speed, Part I. I am thrilled to be included! The linked post is my all-time big-draw, the one about having a black name.

But you know what? I gotta say... this linkage happens fairly regularly, accompanied by something like: This white woman says racism is real, now do you believe us? Jesus H. Why don't (other white) people believe personal testimonies about racism, unless it comes from one of us? I have noticed that I am often posted to bolster the arguments of People of Color when they are not believed.

I realized while I was reading threads during the post's major-linkage period last year (particularly on MetaFilter): Many white people simply do not want to believe racism is genuine. Why not? What exactly is lost if whites believe racism is still a dominant influence? Why the constant arguing that it isn't really like that, that isn't really about race, you musta got it wrong?

When I started reading threads in which my word was doubted, I got really sick over it. I realized then, of course: this is what People of Color have to put up with, when they report racism. It must be due to something else, you are over-sensitive, etc.

My question is, why the doubt? What exactly does it COST whites of good will, to take racism seriously? I am confused about the protesting.

And speaking of which, over at John Scalzi's, the posts on the thread in question are currently up to 471, and it's not even noon. (Good lord, I can't imagine traffic like that, she marveled.) Lots of defensiveness, but also a great deal of raw intelligence on display. Mary Anne, of course, is tops.

Check it out.

~*~

How do the Calorie Restriction people stop from periodically going berserk and binging? Last night, I bought a package of mega-sugary conchas, and yes, ate the whole thing.

It was especially satisfying to chow down whilst watching the entertaining Jon Stewart vs. Jim Cramer spectacle! Technical knock-out! James Poniewozik of TIME reports on the prize-fight:


So, be my guest—talk among yourselves about who "won" the interview. (By the way, The Daily Show also has the full unedited exchange online.) Dance in the streets with Cramer's trophy head held aloft if you like. (As I type, The Huffington Post's headline is JON STEWART EVISCERATES JIM CRAMER AND CNBC, in VICTORY DECLARED IN EUROPE-sized type. [Matt] Drudge is rather more coy on the subject.) It was a beatdown, to be sure. (After airing a promo for Cramer's Mad Money which could have itself been a Daily Show parody: "I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a f__ing game.) But in the long run, it was most fascinating as a discussion about how business journalism in particular and journalism in general are done in America.

About CNBC generally, Stewart kept returning to the question not only of why the network didn't report on financial disaster coming, but who CNBC is for at all: "Who are you responsible to? The people in the 401ks and the pensions and the general public, or the Wall Street traders?" Stewart asked (adding that most traders are "bright guys" who are "f__ed in all this too").
I was fairly stunned by Cramer's fake innocent-routine...as well as disgusted by his overweening self-centeredness. He really seemed to believe the entire Wall Street fiasco is about HIM and HIS TV SHOW.

Cramer, the economy is in the shitter, dude! Wake the fuck up!

Poniewozik writes:

[Cramer stated during the interview] "It's difficult to have a reporter say, 'I just came from an interview with Hank Paulson, and he lied his darn-fool head off.' It's difficult. I think it challenges the boundaries." OK, this is an easy quote to attack—why not just say he's lying, damn you!—but in fairness it's not as simple than that. The real story—and not at all a more flattering story—is that lies like these are not obvious and cut-and-dried: refuting them takes a lot of work and a lot of time and often involves sticking your neck out and going against the crowd (see previous point). Much easier to quote your subject, adding a caveat if necessary, and move on.

Much easier, too, to make this story about a feud between two cable-TV stars, declare a winner, and move on. Because then we don't have to recognize that this song is about us.
If you didn't see it, go over there and watch the whole thing. It explains more than any single news show or documentary, exactly how this happened: the fawning "financial news" media was up Wall Street's ass.

You can't report fairly on something if you are also trying to get rich off it yourself.

We might call that biased reporting, yes?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oldies for your Wednesday

I've been pretty busy this week, and consequently, ain't got nothing but some oldies. I know you kids just love that stuff! :P


~*~

Trivia time: How many of you knew that Dionne is Whitney Houston's aunt? I think their voices are very similar, but of course, we know who is first and best.

Walk on by - Dionne Warwick



Speaking of voices, this voice always made me swoon. (You can see Johnny Cash playing guitar in the background.)

I very nearly named my daughter after this song, but I somehow knew that she'd get pissed at me over being named for a country song. (Note: I was right.)

Amanda - Waylon Jennings



The Partridge Family TV-show was based on this band, The Cowsills, also a family. This song is a real gem! I don't mind telling you I think it's one of the best and sweetest pop songs of the 60s! (The ersatz singing TV-family never even came close.)

Trivia: Little Susan Cowsill was 9 years old, making her the youngest singer to sing on a top-ten song to date (1967). I was Susan's age, and wanted so badly to be her!

Barry Cowsill died in Hurricane Katrina, at age 51.

The Rain, The Park And Other Things - The Cowsills



I was upset that this song was used in JACKIE BROWN for the scene where Samuel L. Jackson pulls into a junkyard with a dead body in his trunk. Honestly, does Quentin Tarantino have to ruin EVERY damn thing? Certainly, I would have used the song for some sexy, steamy scene.

Quincy Jones, producer, made this sound super-pretty and dazzling; an aural cotton-candy confection. I'm sure it was quite the disappointment when performed in person! (Although you must admit: the outer space jumpsuits really make the song, too!)

Rainbows and waterfalls run through my mind.

Strawberry Letter 23 - The Brothers Johnson

Monday, March 9, 2009

Which Western feminist icon are you?

You are bell hooks (no capital letters)! You were one of the first black wymyn to discuss in public spaces the differences between being a black womyn and being a black man or a white womyn. You are the mother of intersectionality and you couldn't care less about identity politics. Thanks for making feminism accessible and calling the white, middle class wymyn on their bullshit!



I am thrilled with my results! Thanks to Blue Lyon for the quiz!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sterling guilty: stealing $278 million is only worth 5 years

Jack Sterling, convicted greedhead. Photo from WSPA-TV.


South Carolina Greedhead extraordinaire, Jack Sterling, gets to keep all his stolen booty, while the poor people he defrauded get... what? What do they get?

Some poor trailer park/ghetto kid holds up a liquor store for $200 and gets how many years? And this swine steals the life savings of 12,000 working people, and gets five years and is still free on bond.

God Bless America.

Sterling sentenced to 5 years in securities fraud case
By David Dykes • BUSINESS WRITER
March 6, 2009 • Greenville News

LEXINGTON -- Former HomeGold chairman Jack Sterling was sentenced to five years in prison today after a jury found him guilty on one count of securities fraud, marking the end of the state’s lengthy investigation into a financial collapse that cost 12,000 people, most from the Upstate, an estimated $278 million.

Sterling, 70, was the final defendant among six former HomeGold or Carolina Investors officers who were indicted by a state grand jury and prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office. All were either convicted or pleaded guilty.

Sterling will remain free on bond.

Sterling had been charged with two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy.

Attorney General Henry McMaster called the state investigation "the largest and most complex white-collar probe in South Carolina’s history."

McMaster said in a statement: "There were a total of six prosecutions in the Carolina Investors case. All six prosecutions were successful.

"Sadly, even a guilty verdict cannot undo the heartbreaking losses suffered by thousands of investors, many of whom saw their life-savings taken away. It is our hope that the success of these prosecutions and the resulting improvements to our securities laws will dissuade criminals from attempting to deceive the people of South Carolina."

The jury reached its decision after 13 hours of deliberation over three days, and Circuit Judge Edward Cottingham sentenced Sterling less than an hour later.

Sterling had no visible reaction as Cottingham gave the sentence, but a gasp was heard from his group of supporters.

Prosecutors had urged the judge to sentence Sterling to 10 years, the maximum for a count of securities fraud.

After 3 1/2 weeks of testimony, and a review of scores of exhibits, what emerged was a state portrait of Sterling as not only involved in the day-to-day operations of HomeGold after its merger, but involved to the point that he exercised control over the business.

At the same time, Sterling’s defense countered with its view that the longtime Greenville businessman was a chairman who was disengaged from the company’s daily business and others were at fault and to blame for the collapse of Pickens-based Carolina Investors, a HomeGold subsidiary.

Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Evans said in her closing argument that prosecutors worked to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, Jack Sterling, is guilty of securities fraud through a scheme to defraud, that he is guilty of giving false information, directly or indirectly, to the (state) securities commission and he is involved in this conspiracy."

"This was a very complex case and lots of documents," Evans said. "But it really isn’t a complex case."

"It is a simple case and a simple answer," she told the jurors.

At issue, she said, "is whether or not the folks up in Pickens, the people at Carolina Investors, understood the whole truth about what was going on at HomeGold," and whether information was filtered through Sterling and others.

"We have not stood here since day one and said everything is on Jack Sterling," Evans said. "We told you at the beginning of this trial that this was a conspiracy case and this was a scheme that involved several different people. But every person played a role in this."

She said it was clear the Carolina Investors securities holders "absolutely" didn’t know about the safety of their investments.

Sterling, she said, played "a very, very important role" as a director of HomeGold and Carolina Investors.

"We’re not here to argue whether or not he’s a good man, whether or not he has a good family, whether or not he has a good heart," Evans said.

In this case, there were "several omissions" of key information to Carolina Investors’ board and the company’s note holders and "an omission is the equivalent of a lie" under securities fraud laws, Evans said.

It was Sterling’s fiduciary duty to give "full and accurate disclosure," Evans said.

Instead, Sterling "purposely" kept information from the Carolina Investors directors to avoid "a run on the bank," Evans said.

Sterling’s fingerprints, Evans said, were "all over everything."

Asked by Evans under cross-examination if he met with Sheppard after the collapse, and told him, "if we just tell everybody it was just business, we’ll all be OK," Sterling testified, "I remember the meeting. I don’t remember that comment."

"You remember the meeting, but you don’t remember saying, ‘if we all stick to this, it’s just business, we’ll all be OK?’" Evans asked.

"No," Sterling testified. "What I do remember mostly about that meeting is Mr. Sheppard telling me how well EMMCO was going, but he was concerned about his lending sources being affected by the collapse of HomeGold. That’s what our primary conversation was."

Asked if he expected other Carolina Investors or HomeGold officials such as Larry and Anne Owen, Lt. Gov. Earle Morris Jr., Karen Miller and Sheppard to plead guilty or be convicted by a jury, and subsequently cooperate with state investigators, Sterling testified, "Not only did I not expect it, but I had no idea that the people you just named were guilty and had been lying to investors."

Sterling testified he was a member of the HomeGold and Carolina Investors boards, and was HomeGold’s chairman until June 2002.

He invested $2 million in HomeGold stock, watched the value increase to more than $16 million, but ultimately lost his investment, he testified.

Sterling testified that in hindsight, he would have done things differently at HomeGold.

He and other company officials made mistakes and the result was "some good people lost their money," Sterling testified.

But he testified that in 1998, when HomeGold’s net worth began evaporating and it started losing money, and in subsequent years, repaying investors was "the constant thing in our minds."

At one point, Sterling’s attorney, Bart Daniel, asked him, "Did you ever, Mr. Sterling, lie, cheat or steal while you were at Carolina Investors or HomeGold?"

"No, sir, I did not," Sterling testified.

Sterling’s attorneys argued that as a member of the boards of HomeGold and Carolina Investors during periods of financial difficulties, Sterling participated with other directors and relied on outside auditors and lawyers, including the Wyche law firm in Greenville, to provide guidance to senior management for the benefit of shareholders and investors.

Several current or former members of the Wyche firm testified as defense witnesses and described their review of regulatory filings, business transactions, investors’ prospectus and press releases.

Defense attorneys alleged it was Sheppard, not Sterling, who was primarily responsible for HomeGold’s collapse since as CEO Sheppard replaced nearly all of Sterling’s management team and took control the company’s operations.

They said others, such as former HomeGold chief financial officer Karen Miller, were part of the conspiracy that led to the collapse of Carolina Investors.

Sheppard is serving a 20-year prison term for his conviction on various charges.

Miller, who testified for three days for the prosecution, is awaiting sentencing for her guilty plea to conspiracy in filing misleading reports with the SEC and withholding key information from Carolina Investors board members.

True justice: when they are forced to PAY PEOPLE BACK WHAT THEY STOLE. WITH INTEREST.

And if they can't? Bankruptcy. No nice cars and vacation homes for Sterling, Miller, Sheppard, the Owenses, etc.

Jail is NOT good enough for these greedy pigs.