SCREAMING at the TV! Featured On Ezine ArticlesBlog Award - Brilliante Weblog

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SCREAM for What?

I have spent this holiday season doing a great deal of reflecting. I lost my Mother-in-law at the beginning of December, she was 88. Shortly after the Today Show ran the story covering the beating of Mrs. Vinge, she is in her 70's. My MIL was the last of the parents for my wife and I, Mrs. Vinge reminds me a great deal of her. These two events caused me to pause and take a look around at my life and I seem to have found myself in a funk. Hard and fast... wondering why should I scream.

Does it matter that I am but one man with impacts equal to that of a single ant in the great forest.

Tell me why do any of us put out the energy--when we rarely, if ever, see the result.

Why scream, why? We've screamed for years and the world has muted our voices.


No matter how often or loudly I bang the drum the rhythms are seemingly absorbed by the world. Why must I keep banging?


Because that is what I believe.

I wish the readers of "SCREAMING at the TV!", all of those who may be impacted by the bass notes from the beating of the drum, a peaceful and healthy new year.

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kidnapping and Beating of Mrs. Vinge

Mrs. Vinge - NBC News. 75 year old Grandma Beaten by Teenagers

A 75-year old grandmother says she'll never open her door to strangers again.

Who is raising the children of this world? Who in their right mind would do this? What type of upbringing must one have to think that 1. This is funny or no big deal (based on the kids reactions during the court proceedings). and 2. It's okay, by any stretch of the imagination!

was beaten and kidnapped from her home last week. California police say 3 teenagers sold her a vacuum cleaner and then came back and asked to use her phone.

"I showed him where the phone was and then as I turned to walk away, that's when he chocked me from behind," Vinge explained.

COWERED! YOU COWERED! You're going to take down a 75 year old woman with your big old fat-assed tough-guy self and you have to wait for her to turn her back!! Damn! I bet your Daddy's proud! If you were my kid I would come through the cell bars to whoop your ass.

Think about this... this makes me so damned mad that I can't even see straight. What the hell were these kids thinking? Hey, Grandma can't hurt us let's do her in. What kind of devil has crawled up their backsides and taken over their minds...

Police say the teens used duct tape to tie her up, beat her, then lock her in the trunk of a stolen car. They refused to give her water, allow her to use the toilet, or offer her anything to eat. WTF! Officers stopped the car 26-hours later for a traffic violation and found Vinge in the trunk.

I SCREAM about a lot of things in this world. Some are more outrageous than others. Some need more than just me screaming. Some, make every fiber of my being twitch with anger - this is one of those.

This lady, Mrs. Vinge, is a kind, open soul. One of the very few that may be left in this world. One that is of a fabric woven from years gone by; trusting and giving.

The most honest statement that I have seen on TV lately was given by Mrs. Vinge's son on the "Today Show." He was asked, I think by Matt Lauer, if he had attended the Court proceedings. His response; I didn't think it was wise. I didn't want to end up like one of those guy's climbing the fence to get to these kids.

I applaud his self control. I would have gone... and ended up on TV as one of those guy's climbing the fence to get to these kids.

This is one of those cases that makes me want to believe in "an eye for an eye" punishment.

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fifty People, One Question: New Orleans

is by his description "A filmmaker and creative entrepreneur hoping to expand horizons, while unfolding humanity with others." This is a very cool attempt to "unfold humanity"

Ask yourself one question:

Fifty People, One Question: New Orleans from Benjamin Reece on Vimeo.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

National Auto Insurance with every Gallon of Gas

What if you paid for with every gallon of fuel that you bought--a pay-as-you-go/pay-as-you-use system. We would immediately eliminate every uninsured and under insured driver on the road.

The average annual miles driven is someplace between 12 - 15,000. What if you only drove 5,000 and you paid insurance only on the miles driven?

Here is my suggestion: Insurance tax on a per gallon of gas, bio-diesel, diesel or propane. I'm not sure how it would work for Electric or Solar but we have a few years to figure that one out. What happens when you buy a gallon of gas is you are also buying insurance for that amount of driving. If you drive a high MPG car then you get more bang for your buck. If you drive a gas sucking SUV then you'll pay more based on the fact that it will take you more gallons of gas to drive the same distance. If you drive 5,000 miles a year then you'll pay for 5,000 miles of insurance -- if you drive 50,000 miles a year then you'll pay for 50,000.

A driver who spends 8 hours a day on the road should pay more of the cost of insurance than a mom or dad who simply run to the store and to drop-off or pickup kids from a music lesson.

Just a thought.

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lessons from the Dying

I've wondered over the past few days just exactly what I would do with Wednesday's post. What I came up with was--Nothing. Why? I usually have a lot to say, some say I have too much to say, I have nothing... but I will offer the following observations for my Wednesday post.

I have spent the past 6 years watching my in-laws die. I would spend my time visiting my Father-in-law when he lived in the home; using that time to help him with the "this and thats" of every day life. Time to sort his Medicines. Time to take him shopping or go over the weeks menu selections. Time to watch a Suns Basketball game on the Television (that's when he would "SCREAM at the TV!").

As he aged and his body and mind became weaker my time was spent there with him. I was there to help him through the transition from Assisted Living to the Nursing Home, and then I found that I couldn't find the time as easily. I found that I wasn't comfortable being there with him. It was if we had transferred him to die and I struggled internally with this thought. I had spent time visiting my Mother in-law at the same Nursing Home for a year or more prior to Pop's arrival and it never bothered me, but to watch such a fiercely independent man arrive at a place where he became dependent upon everyone for everything was heartbreaking. I know it wasn't so much the the home itself but the realization that my buddy would be moving on it was just a matter of time.

This week the journey of watching and spending my time ended. My Father in-law passed two years ago on Christmas Eve. My Mother in-law passed on the 9th this month. Both of my In-Laws were in their 80's when they passed. Immigrant Americans from Germany. They came over in the early 50's by boat and traveled from New York to Arizona by car as soon as they arrived.

They lived a full and vibrant life. They have been through, seen, and done things that most can never imagine.

So what have I learned on my watch? I'm glad I gave my time, other than that I wish I knew. I can tell you that the health care system needs fixing. I can tell you that some of the best and most caring people in the world work in the elder-care industry. I can tell you that Arizona, lacks greatly when it comes to caring for the elderly. I wish I could tell you more. I'm certain that the dying have lessons for all of us to learn.

I think they are lessons we see more clearly after time has passed on.

Schlaf gut, Omi

You have been given the ability to listen - do it. Go out and sit and listen to someone you care about.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Petition for Darfur

As we draw nearer to President Obama's inauguration day it becomes more and more important that we push to keep the issue of in front of him. Take a moment and sign the petition and add your voice today.

Time Marches Forward... and the Headlines Keep Coming

December 7, 2008 (NYALA) — Militiamen attacked a camp of displaced in a remote area of Darfur near the border with Chad, a displaced persons’ spokesperson said today, adding that four were seriously injured.

December 6, 2008 (EL-FASHER) — The government backed janjaweed militia killed a local chief at Hassa Hissa camp, near Zanlingei in West Darfur state where a militiaman dead last week following a quarrel with residents from the camps.

Musa Abakr Posh was killed on Saturday in his house inside the camp, his son Al-Fadil told Sudan Tribune. He further said they had fears for the safety of his father because he was targeted by the pro-government militia.

source: Sudan Tribune

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and about something you care about - SCREAM for those who's voice has been silenced.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Speeding Through The School Zone

My recent post on Photo-radar in the valley has me thinking that the state is misusing the and equipment that they have available. Not misusing in the sense that there shouldn't be , if the result is drivers slow down to somewhere near the posted speed and it reduces accidents then so-be-it.

I'm thinking that it is being misused through incorrect placement--why not use it in ? I live a block away from a school zone that is placed on a very busy road. The posted speed limit during non-school hours is 45mph, the average speed I would bet is 55 or 60mph.

When the lights are flashing in the drivers are required to slow to 35mph. I would bet that nearly 80% don't. I would also venture to say that the average speed doesn't change very much from when the lights aren't flashing.

We've taken security at school to all new levels from the time I was attending. Now our schools are fenced, gated and many are policed. All for the safety and security of the student body. Why don't we take the next step and protect the kids on their way to school? Put photo-radar up in every school zone that is intersected by a road with a posted speed limit of greater than 35mph. Costly, sure--but based on the habits of drivers on the freeway I would suggest that it will pay for itself in short order.

The cost for speeding and getting caught by photo-radar is $180.00. Why not make it double that if your picture is snapped exceeding the school zone speed limit of 35?

Just a thought.

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

SCREAM Bloody Murder

Christiane Amanpour by far is one of my favorite reporters. I've watched her pretty much from her first assignments when she was reporting on the famines of Africa.

Here is the making of the Documentary that played on CNN - Scream Bloody Murder

Big thanks goes to An Unforgivable Hell on Earth for the heads up on this Documentary.

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Smile You're on Photo-Radar

Over the past several years Arizona has implemented stationary photo-radar (speed cameras) along the Freeways in and around the Phoenix metro area. Recently the state began a new wave of fixed cameras and one stretch of road, the loop 101, has been particularly notorious for speeders (many clocked at more than 100 mph) and quickly became the states target for the new influx of cameras.

The state began putting the new cameras in operation in September and valley drivers have wasted no time in helping DPS test the system. A recent news report states that Arizona drivers have activated the cameras 166,176 times since September.

Not every one of the 166,176 activations has resulted in a ticket but there have been over 40,400 that did. Not a bad revenue stream as the tickets would add up to $6.6 million if all the violators pay up.

Nearly 60 cameras are in currently in use, of those, 40 are mounted on vehicles and 20 are at fixed locations along Valley freeways with an additional 12 stationary cameras by the end of the year in the metro area.

The old fashioned speed trap has gone by the wayside, oh how some of the drivers long for the days of black and white police cars hiding in the bushes at the edge of town... at least then, they may have stood a chance.

Remember to smile, the cameras take a picture of you and your license plate, and wave to the camera.

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Political Rape: "It was against my will..."

"It was against my will and he did not use any protection"

"I was taken hostage by Zanu-PF youths who are being led by a major and war veteran, one of them said I had to renounce my allegiance to opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)."

Barack Obama was freely elected in the United States. We griped about voter oppression, we watched with our cell phones ready for polling booth irregularities, we never worried about what opposition to the ruling party would mean to us physically - it's not part of what or who we are. While we worry that elections are held on the up-and-up. That all play by the rules. That elections are truly free - we do not worry that the political party we affiliate with will get us raped or beaten or... killed.

"I had to give in to his demands as he said I could be beaten. It was against my will and he did not use any protection." Before the first round of the election in March, Maidei, like many other young people fed up with Zimbabwe's economic crisis, was not afraid to make her support for the opposition known.

We drive, take a cab and walk to our polling places. We cast our ballots and we return to our homes, safe, secure and we never think twice about the freedom we have just exercised. The freedom that so many in this country have given their lives for and so many in other countries continue to fight to obtain.

A local Zanu-PF official explained that the pungwes, used during the war of independence, were still necessary as "political re-orientation" exercises to warn people "against the opposition which is backed by the West".

Asked about the allegations that men were raping women and girls forcibly at the meetings, he replied matter-of-factly: "We have to share in comradeship as we have the same aim to get rid of the opposition here." His reply glossed over the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/Aids which has wreaked havoc in Zimbabwe.

Life expectancy is down to 37 years from a life span of 60 years back in 1990. This is largely due to the HIV/Aids pandemic.

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Bloggers Unite for World Aids Day: Statistics are like bikinis

Bloggers UniteToday Bloggers Unite for World AIDS Day and so I join my voice along with thousands of others to bring to the surface the topic of HIV/AIDS.

Screaming at the TV tries to cast a light and have a voice for those who can not and for those who suffer in Africa. It is for the people of Africa that suffer from HIV/AIDS that I will dedicate my post:

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. ~Aaron Levenstein

Bear with me here I tend to like to look at bikini's and here's what I found when I started looking into what Africa is wearing:

  • 22 million people in Africa were living with HIV at the end of 2007 that is more people than the entire populations of:

    • Arizona (6.5m)
    • Nevada (2.5m)
    • Utah (2.5m)
    • New Mexico (1.9m)
    • Colorado (4.7m)
    • Wyoming (.5m)
    • Idaho (1.5m)
    • and Montana (.9m) combined.
Think about that for a moment. Conceiveably the mid section of the Western United States infected with HIV/AIDS.
  • An additional 1.9 million (est.) were infected with HIV during that year.
  • 1.5 million people lost their lives due to AIDS, in Africa, in 2007.
Think about those two statistics. 1.9 million, the entire population of New Mexico infected annually. Not eye opening? What about the 1.5 million people who die annually?, everyone in Idaho - dead.

It's sad, but it's just the adults who get HIV/AIDS, right? People who are sharing drugs or engaging in unsafe sex or unprotected sex? Right? It's people who are undereducated and just don't get the message, right? It's their own fault.

No, it's not. In fact the children are one of the greatest at risk groups in Africa:
  • Nearly 2 million children in sub-Saharan Africa were living with HIV at the end of 2007.
  • Representing more than 85% of all children living with HIV worldwide.
  • The vast majority of these children will have become infected with HIV during pregnancy or through breastfeeding when they are babies
In many parts of Africa, as elsewhere in the world, the AIDS epidemic is aggravated by social and economic inequalities between men and women. Females commonly face discrimination in terms of access to education, employment, credit, health care, land and inheritance. These factors can all put women in a position where they are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection. In sub-Saharan Africa, around 59% of those living with HIV are female.

AIDS is erasing decades of progress made in extending life expectancy. Millions of adults are dying from AIDS while they are still young.

One last Statistical Fact to look at under the Bikini of Africa:
  • Life expectancy in Sub-Saharan Africa is 47
  • Life expectancy in the United States is 77.8 years.
Think about it, just think. Then use the voice you have been given, go out and SCREAM! about something you care about, scream for those who need your voice.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Giving


Happy Thanksgiving to all. Today I call again for the readers of "SCREAMING at the TV!" to join Team SCREAM! at KIVA.

Let us give thanks by giving to those who are trying to improve their lot in life. Those making an effort to make a difference in their communities, neighborhoods and families. Loans at Team SCREAM! (a lending team at KIVA.ORG microfinancing ) can be as little as $25.00 (A burger and fries)

Novembers Team SCREAM! KIVA Loan:

Mukisa women’s group in Jinja. Jinja lies in the south east of Uganda, 54 miles northeast of the capital, Kampala. It is located on the shores of Lake Victoria.

Mukisa women's group is a "Group" loan. In a group loan, each member of the group receives an individual loan but is part of a group of individuals bound by a group guarantee. Under this arrangement, each member of the group supports one another and is responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members if someone is delinquent or defaults.

The person I have chosen from this group for this month is: Fatumah. Fatuma is a tailor with a business of making ladies’ wear, childen's and men’s clothes of all kinds.

The repayment terms of this loan is 3 months.

Join Team SCREAM! today and give thanks by giving hope.

Peace from a Grumpy Old Man.

You have been given a voice, use it, use it TODAY.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Humanitarian: Giving Thanks by Example

Thanksgiving preparations are underway. Turkey will be grilled, potatoes mashed and the table set with nice cloth and stoneware. The napkins will be banded by fancy little rings, the center piece will look impeccable. Our guest will arrive and we will celebrate.

It is during this celebration that we must remember those who aren't saddled with the burdens of our comforts, those who's only hope is a IDP camp someplace in a war torn countryside. We must remember those who fight for basic needs, immunizations, drinking water and medical assistance.

Take your position this Thanksgiving, not as the "Head Of The Table", but as the role model for the younger generations sitting with you (or at the kids table). Talk about those in need. The homeless, the less fortunate, those who have not. Be a voice and influence those around you to do the same.

A blessing for the Thanksgiving table:

    "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. This fundamental precept can be found, in almost identical form, in all the great religions, Brahminism, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and Taoism." Jean Pictet, in his commentary on The Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross
Your voice can be heard through music if the world is willing to listen.... Ladies and Gentlemen, the band that taught me to SCREAM! at a very young age.

my undying thanks to Pink Floyd for their music

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.


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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ambassador Alberto Fernandez on Darfur

The top United States diplomat posted to Khartoum, Alberto Fernandez, has emphasized the U.S. commitment to guarding the peace agreement and the need for a solution to Sudan’s civil war in Darfur. Fernandez warned against “phantom agreements” that do not address the needs of “three million people living and suffering miserable lives in internally displaced persons (IDP's) camps in Darfur.” He noted that the U.S. had not yet seen evidence of the ceasefire declared unilaterally by Sudanese President Omer Al-Bashir on Nov. 12.

“There is still a need for action to be taken to correct this horrific historic record. That’s the way I see it. Something needs to change which hasn’t changed yet.”

I could not agree more. Something has to change for the “three million people living and suffering miserable lives in internally displaced persons camps in Darfur” the opportunity to live without fear, in their homes, to tend their farms, businesses and communities. The people of Darfur ask for nothing less than the what most of us take for granite.

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.

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Sarah Palin IS a Cartoon Character!

A little humor to start your day... I know, just when you thought Sarah Palin had crawled back off to nowheresville.... I'm sorry... but it made me go "OH, NOW it all makes sense!"

Sarah Palin Is A Cartoon Character - Watch more Free Videos

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.


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Monday, November 24, 2008

8 Year Old Murder Suspect: Update

Apache County Courthouse Arizona

Normally I would wait and publish this on Wednesday for my Arizona topic but given the interest in this case here's what we know currently about the boy accused of the murders in St. Johns, Arizona.

John Andreas, a Romans family spokesperson, says St. Johns detectives told them an 8-year-old fired 10 times during the shooting that claimed the lives of Vincent Romero, 29, and Tim Romans, 39, on November 6. St. Johns Police say they can’t confirm how many shots they think the 8-year-old fired due to a gag order.

Several news agencies are reporting that the St. Johns Police believe the murder weapon was a single shot .22-caliber rifle, meaning that if Mr. Andreas is correctly reporting what the detectives told him, the boy would have had to of reloaded the rifle after every shot.

    - Somehow I am at odds to actually believe that an 8 year old boy is going to fire - hit - see the person get hit - reload and repeat this 10 seperate times. I just have an incredibly hard time rationalizing this in my own mind. 10 Times - I can't see it happening.

    On top of it, it seems to me that the boy would have to had hit his target each and every time to the point of the victim becoming immobile - right? I mean, if I was shot and not immobilized I would certainly do everything in my power to get to the shooter and take the damned gun away - with, I'm sure, the intent to turn it on them in one fashion or another - so does this make sense?

    I'm curious... was it...

    • A) Not a single shot rifle or
    • B) the boy didn't fire 10 times or
    • C)The boy didn't do it.

A Wednesday Judge Michael Roca ruling will allow the boy to spend Thanksgiving at home with his mother. During a court hearing Judge Rosa told the boy's mother, "You're on the hook. If he doesn't make it back there's going to be a warrant for him and for you."

And finally; Over the weekend St. John's prosecutors moved to dismiss one of two murder charges against the boy according to the AP Apache County Attorney Criss Candelaria filed a one-paragraph motion in juvenile court to drop the murder charge accusing the boy of killing his father. The motion gave no reason for the request, saying only that "the state believes the interest of justice will be served by such a dismissal."

The motion broadened the mystery surrounding the case.

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.

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President-elect Obama's Weekly Address

It's time again for President-elect Obama's weekly address. This week the President-elect talks about the Economy. Do you ever wonder if GBA watches these? Can't you just see it - "Come on Dick, sit down and watch with me... hey, can you bring me some of those pretzels..."

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Arizona; Anti-Gay or Just Misinformed?

It's been a while since I last spoke about Arizona Proposition 102 and it's defeat. I personally think this is a manifestation of insanity running rampent within my great state. A bit of hid and seek with the truth that was played by some groups that believe fear is the manner in which the continued debate over "equal rights" should be settled.

A of a modern day duel with words cleverly disguised as morality.

I offer the following West Wing clip as food for thought.

....and all men are created equal.

You have been given a voice, use it. Go out and SCREAM! about something you care about.

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