Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Spring Break Columbia: War On Women Edition" went up last night and we also had Kat's "Kat's Korner: Bonnie's got another classic" yesterday so it was non-stop treats for Sunday. I don't have Bonnie Raitt's new album yet. I'm downloading it Friday. I actually have all of her other albums. Not on MP3. But on CDs and one is cassette (Nine Lives is cassette -- I never replaced that one with a CD). I got very lucky and saw Bonnie at a festival. A Farm Aid? I don't know it was probably a blues festival. But she came out and I was sort of surprised by how popular she was -- I was probably 17 or 16, it was before Nick Of Time. I could look that up and figure out when I saw her. But I was on a beach towel and all these women -- White and Black -- were really excited and I clapped as she walked across the stage and asked, "Who's Bonnie Raitt?"
And I got stunned looks. After her set, several tried to explain but after her set, who needed an explanation?
That festival lasted until 11:00 at night (Bonnie played between noon and three). And my friends and I headed home. I was parked at an Albertsons (grocery store) and I went in for something to eat -- we'd taken snack foods (we were teens) and I never wanted to see Cool Ranch Doritos again. Jay Leno was doing the commercials if that helps anyone place the timeline. And I'm inside and looking for something to eat and also something to get me wide awake because I still have to drive home and I am exhausted. So I go to the cassette section -- in the 80s, you could get cassette albums at grocery stores if they were big ones, big grocery stores usually had a section -- and I think I got a Shalamar (they had already broken up) and was about to go check out when I figured I should check the cut-outs. That's the cassettes that didn't sell well and they had a little hole in the case. So I'm digging through that and see Bonnie Raitt.
It was Nine Lives. And I got that too.
I hopped into my car -- a Pinto. I'm not joking. It was an orange pinto with a white top and hatchback. It was my first car. My parents said they'd match what I'd earn over the summer and that's how I'd afford a car. The Pinto was used. And I was supposed to be upset. (My parents more than doubled what I managed to save that summer.) But I loved it. Mainly because it had a cassette stereo in it.
So I get in the car, start drinking my Dr. Pepper and rocking out to Bonnie. My favorite song was the Bryan Adams' one (this was the 80s), "That ain't no way to treat a lady, that ain't no way to treat a woman in love . . ."
I didn't replace it with a CD version because it's a memento and kind of a big one. We had to drive an hour to the music festival. My folks let me go. I didn't think it would be a problem but it ended up being a mini-problem because it was five of us. And we were all in high school. And one person's mother decided it was "dangerous." So she wouldn't let her daughter go and then all the parents started reconsidering.
But they said it was fine. And I was going to see somebody I really liked. I no longer remember them. I just remember Bonnie. She was that good. And her performance and the whole festival and that cassette were just really important.
I'm sure my parents were awake until they heard the car in the drive way but when I made it in, they were no where to be found. That was also a big thing because I kept asking, "You don't trust me?" I thought I was a pretty good kid. Not great, but good. And honest. And I just felt like they didn't trust me.
Now that I'm older, I know that it wasn't me that had them concerned.
But back then, it had to be me because you know how we are when we're teens: Everything has to be about us.
So I was so grateful they were asleep and only realized in college that they probably were up until they heard the car and then pretended to be asleep. But I came home, I went inside and my folks were asleep (as far as I knew) and I felt so trusted and so grown up. :D
I would normally have Bonnie the first week she comes out but I didn't budget well and I'm too old to do Ramen until pay day so I'll just wait until Friday and download it then.
Don't forget that tomorrow night is the season finale of Ringer on the CW. Bridget's supposedly going to tell Siobhan's husband (who thinks Bridget is Siobhan) that she's really Bridget -- his sister-in-law, not his wife. This after they've slept together for months.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
He said that Hanan al-Fatlawi, an MP from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition, had pursued a large number of complaints against IHEC that eventually wound up with the Iraqi judiciary.
"For the last 6 months... the judiciary was sending warrants of investigation every day to the employees," Haidari said.
State of Law is the political slate that Nouri al-Maliki heads. Tim Arango (New York Times) points out, "Mr. Maliki has sought for two years to consolidate control over the electoral commission, whose independence is viewed as essential in ensuring that Iraqi elections are free from fraud, vote rigging and interference from political parties. Mr. Maliki's critics say the effort is a part of a pattern of power grabs -- his near total takeover of the security forces, a recent attempt to exert influence over the central bank and politically motivated arrests under the pretext of thwarting coup plots. And it reinforces a narrative that Mr. Maliki is emerging as an authoritarian leader in the wake of the American military withdrawl."
Natsu Taylor Saito: That is interesting.
Stephanie Kennedy: They died on the battlefields in dusty deserts and on unforgiving mountains on foreign soil. But their final resting place is here, in the rolling meadows of Arlington Cemetery. Tucked away in a pocket of this hallowed ground is what's become known as "The Saddest Acre in America." Section 60 is in the south-east part of this vast cemetery. It's the burial ground for more than 800 American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cemetery officials have very strict rules about adding decorations on gravestones here but, in this little corner, they've turned a blind eye. And the manicured grounds are the same as is the perfect symetry of the headstones. But what's different here is the personal touches left by the families of the fallen. Mementos of lives lived adorn many of the graves: laminated photographs of soldiers in uniform in happier times, with families and wives and fiancees, there's childrens' drawings, and even a can of tobacco on one grave, unopened beer bottles and with Easter came chocolate eggs and balloons. And here's a stuffed bear -- he's actually fallen over so I'll just prop him back up. It's actually -- It's actually a little Easter bunny -- or a big Easter bunny. There are cards and letters too. This one reads: "Beloved son, your smile lit up our world. Life is not nearly so bright without you. We love and miss you so much."
Master Sgt. Bryan N. Kubic fought for his country for 23 years, but now is forced to battle his state government. With the help of Attorney Devon M. Jacob, Kubic is seeking civil relief after being harassed, criminally charged and wrongfully terminated from his employment by individuals at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC).
The disturbing story began in 2010, when Tammy Ferguson became the DOC's chief of security. Ferguson continually harassed military personnel - including Kubic - about current and past requests for military leave. As a result, Kubic requested a transfer to a prior position he held at the DOC Training Academy.
Upon seeing the request to transfer, Ferguson called Kubic a "coward" and denied his request. She scolded him, saying that the "U.S. military does not trump the DOC." Kubic - who was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge while serving in Iraq - continued following DOC protocol for military leave requests, and Ferguson escalated her harassment by launching a criminal investigation into Kubic's military leave use history. Knowing he was in the right, Kubic waived his Miranda rights and voluntarily submitted to an interrogation by DOC investigator Stephen Allen.
Kubic provided evidence demonstrating that he was either on military duty or at Veterans Affairs (VA) medical appointments during his times of leave. Regardless, Allen brought criminal charges against Kubic for theft by deception and receiving stolen property, and Ferguson suspended Kubic's employment.
At a preliminary hearing on the charges, investigator Allen admitted that he had no evidence to establish that Kubic was not performing military duty during the times in question. Both charges were eventually dismissed and this story should have ended. Sadly, it did not.
Ferguson continued an extrajudicial campaign aiming to terminate Kubic's employment with the DOC. Kubic battled the disciplinary charges, providing the DOC with evidence convincingly demonstrating his military service on the dates in question and his compliance with DOC military leave directives.
In spite of the evidence clearly showing Kubic's proper and legal use of military leave, Ferguson terminated Kubic's employment. Perhaps Ferguson believed she had won the final battle of her personal power struggle over the DOC employees' ability to serve in the military. Regardless of Ferguson's motives, Kubic wants to see justice prevail, so that military personnel can freely work at the DOC without suffering unlawful discrimination.
"When you serve your country, you don't expect to be treated differently than anyone else," Kubic told CBS 21 news.
Kubic has teamed with Attorney Jacob of Boyle, Autry & Murphy to bring a federal civil rights lawsuit against Ferguson, Allen and one other DOC employee responsible for the charges unfairly leveled against him. The case, Kubic v. Allen, et al., is pending in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
The decorated war veteran - who is not suing the DOC itself - hopes to see Ferguson terminated for her abhorrent behavior. Kubic, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of his military service, is also seeking financial compensation for the psychological and financial harm caused by the criminal charges and the unlawful termination of his employment.
Kubic's disturbing story demonstrates the importance of the American civil justice system: Without the power of a civil lawsuit, Ferguson would have dealt the final, damaging blow to Kubic's reputation and livelihood.
With his day in court, Bryan Kubic will have an opportunity to clear his name and ensure that justice is achieved. Kubic has suffered irreparable harm to his reputation - something that money can't fix - but he believes that when he prevails in federal court it will help to guarantee that military personnel receive the equal treatment and respect that they deserve.