The Florida State Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), which oversees direct shipping and issued the regulatory determination that allowed direct shipping in early 2006, may reverse that existing regulatory ruling on May 5, 2007.
The Department’s website states that a legislative solution is required and it will remove the web page on May 4, the final day of Florida’s 2007 legislative session. The ominous implication is that your ability to purchase wines from out-of-state wineries licensed to ship to Florida will be eliminated in four weeks.

…Florida began allowing winery-to-consumer direct shipping in February 2006. Since then, the number of wineries filing shipping reports and paying the required excise taxes has increased from 0 to more than 500. From July 2006 through January 2007, out of state wineries shipped approximately 30,000 cases and paid more than $157,000 in excise taxes. By all accounts, the transition has been a success.

Proactive information below the fold.
And our own, sweet ‘lil Holly Benson’s part of this now. Has she lost her cotton pickin’ Bangla-cola brain?!

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Speakers Up! Some Culture

…for the common man.

“A Christmas Story” Director Killed

This is a real tragedy

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — Film director Bob Clark, best known for the holiday classic “A Christmas Story,” was killed with his son Wednesday in a head-on crash with a vehicle that a drunken driver steered into the wrong lane, police and the filmmaker’s assistant said.
Clark, 67, and son Ariel Hanrath-Clark, 22, were killed in the accident in Pacific Palisades, said Lyne Leavy, Clark’s personal assistant.
The two men were in an Infiniti that collided head-on with a GMC Yukon around 2:30 a.m. PDT, said Lt. Paul Vernon, a police spokesman.
The driver of the other vehicle, Hector Velazquez-Nava, 24, of Los Angeles and his passenger, described as a 29-year-old woman, were taken to UCLA Medical Center with minor injuries.
Velazquez-Nava was arrested Wednesday afternoon and booked for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol and gross vehicular manslaughter. He was being held on $100,000 bail.
“The initial investigation has concluded that Nava was driving without a license northbound in the southbound lanes while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage,” Vernon said.

I love that movie, and this is a horrible and senseless way to die.
Now, why is it that when I see the name “Hector Velazquez-Nava” combined with “Los Angeles” and “driving without a license” I think “illegal immigrant” oops I mean “undocumented worker” (sorry).
I guess I’m a bad person.

Well, So They Are Home Now

And for that I am glad. However, I would like to get to listen in to their debriefings and find out what exactly the hell happened, and why they seemed to go out of their way in toadying up to the Iranians and ‘confessing’ their guilt.


Tony Blair has welcomed the release by Iran of 15 British sailors and marines taken captive 13 days ago. The Iranian president had said it was a “gift” to Britain.

Home by tomorrow it says.
UPDATE: The Times U.K. is doing some musing over who put their foot down to end this thing and they’re betting it was Khamenei.

…The only possible explanation is that the release was ordered by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme leader, who has so far not spoken publicly about the 13-day crisis.
Behind the scenes it is assumed that a fierce struggle has been taking place in Tehran between hardliners and pragmatists.
The extremists wanted to put the British on trial or at least hold them as a bargaining chip for the release of five Iranian officials arrested by US forces in Iraq in January who are still in custody.
The more moderate elements advised the opposite. Iran is already reeling from sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council and in all likelihood faces further measures this year if it is does not halt its controversial nuclear programme.

The day’s bit of hilarity is provided in the comments by (I’m supposing) a proud Venezuelan citizen. Or maybe a HuffPo/Kos flying monkey masquerading as one.

Your vision of Iran is skewed. You need Iran, they don’t need you. Iran’s oil gushing out of the ground is worth over 100 billion $ annually. Further, they make everything else they need and have surplus agriculture. Your farsical sanction against Iran has been in place for 30 years and has achieved null except negative return for yourself and that is why you are screaming. It is britain that can freeze to death if it didn’t import oil and did not commit aggression to rub the people of Iraq from theirs.
glead, barqisimeto, Venezuela

Some people will do anything for a good ‘rub’.

Proof Positive the Surge ISN’T Working

Since Friday, eight people have been murdered in New Orleans despite the addition of National guard troops, state police and Federal agents. And the killing is done at point-blank range in broad daylight, leaving neighborhoods fearful and police frustrated.
What amazes even federal investigators about New Orleans crime isn’t the violence, but the silence.
…Four men were killed Monday alone, bringing the number of murders in the city so far this year to 53. That compares to just 17 for the same period last year. Yet police are frustrated by crime scene after crime scene where many people watch but nobody talks.
…”Of course it’s going to get worse until they treat poor people better,” [Rev. Robert] Brown says.
But University of New Orleans criminologist Peter Scharf says the answer may be much more complicated, and so far has eluded even a beefed-up federal presence.
“Things that everyone thought would work, didn’t,” Scharf says.

Killing is definitely the antidote to being poor. Quicker by far than getting an education and/or a job, so it’s no wonder they’re blasting the beejeezus out of each other, right Rev. Brown?
On a side note, major dad and I had a back and forth the other day about just how long folks ~ claiming to be from New Orleans but living a gazillion miles and eight states away, with no intention of returning ~ will be allowed to vote as ‘residents’. Do they cut-off the displacees within a reasonable time frame and have half a hope to turn the city over to it’s RESIDENTS or…do they foster a virtual roaming NOLA gypsy nation, who shoulder none of the responsibilities of rebuilding, but dictate policy/doom the city to Nagin clones by virtue of absentee ballots?

Thank You Sweet Baby Jeebus!

There are signs of intelligence at the FCC

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government agency on Tuesday said it will keep a rule in place that requires cell phones to be turned off during airline flights.

My god, it’s bad enough listening to idjits on the boat and train yammering constantly; to have to put up with one of them for hours on a flight would have been incentive to moider.

Eddie Robinson, RIP

He was a true role model and inspiration for a lot of folks

RUSTON, La. (AP) — Eddie Robinson, who sent more than 200 players to the NFL and won 408 games during a 57-year career, has died.
He was 88.
…”The real record I have set for over 50 years is the fact that I have had one job and one wife,” Robinson said.
…Robinson said he tried to coach each player as if he wanted him to marry his daughter.
He began coaching at Grambling State in 1941, when it was still the Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute, and single-handedly brought the school from obscurity to international popularity.
…When he began his career, Robinson had no paid assistants, no groundskeepers, no trainers and little in the way of equipment. He had to line the field himself and fix lunchmeat sandwiches for road trips because the players could not eat in the “white only” restaurants of the South.
He was not bitter, however. “The best way to enjoy life in America is to first be an American, and I don’t think you have to be white to do so,” Robinson said. “Blacks have had a hard time, but not many Americans haven’t.”
Robinson said he tried to teach his players about opportunity.
“The framers of this Constitution, now they did some things,” Robinson would say. “If you aren’t lazy, they fixed it for you. You’ve got to understand the system. It’s just like in football, if you don’t understand the system, you haven’t got a chance.”

Thanks for standing tall all those years.

Somehow This Just Doesn’t Surprise Me

I mean, this is after all Keith Richards we’re talking about here:

The Rolling Stones guitarist has told how he snorted his own father’s ashes in a drugs binge.
“The strangest thing I’ve tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father,” he said.
The 63-year-old detailed in a magazine interview how he mixed the ashes with cocaine and inhaled them.

There Are Times When I Feel

like retching.

ABC News Exclusive: The Secret War Against Iran
A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.
…A CIA spokesperson said “the account of alleged CIA action is false” and reiterated that the U.S. provides no funding of the Jundullah group.
Pakistani government sources say the secret campaign against Iran by Jundullah was on the agenda when Vice President Dick Cheney met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in February.
A senior U.S. government official said groups such as Jundullah have been helpful in tracking al Qaeda figures and that it was appropriate for the U.S. to deal with such groups in that context.
Some former CIA officers say the arrangement is reminiscent of how the U.S. government used proxy armies, funded by other countries including Saudi Arabia, to destabilize the government of Nicaragua in the 1980s.

The ‘secret campaign against Iran’? (The ‘by Jundullah’ is almost an afterthought.) Talk about timing! Whose side is ABC on? Couldn’t this wait until, like, maybe it was confirmed/authenticated? And, while we’re at it, let’s just wave the ‘destabilize the regime’ flag with all it’s implications, vice emphasize the fact that they’ve got gobs of these wahoos looking for al-Qaeda types and we all know it. What’s new here?
And damn! If I was the parents of one of those fifteen British troops, I sure wouldn’t be thinking “thanks for letting us know” right about now. Put another unconfirmed ‘intelligence sources tell ABC News‘ log on the Iranian fire, why doncha?

Straight Scoop and Well Said

…Although no one doubts our forces will prevail over Saddam Hussein’s, key regional leaders confirm what the Foreign Relations Committee emphasized in its Iraq hearings last summer: The most challenging phase will likely be the day after — or, more accurately, the decade after — Saddam Hussein.
Once he is gone, expectations are high that coalition forces will remain in large numbers to stabilize Iraq and support a civilian administration. That presence will be necessary for several years, given the vacuum there, which a divided Iraqi opposition will have trouble filling and which some new Iraqi military strongman must not fill. Various experts have testified that as many as 75,000 troops may be necessary, at a cost of up to $ 20 billion a year. That does not include the cost of the war itself, or the effort to rebuild Iraq.
Americans are largely unprepared for such an undertaking. President Bush must make clear to the American people the scale of the commitment.

Acknowledging a decade’s worth of work to do? You’ll never guess who…
A Swill Salute to the Futurist.

All That Hillary/Edwards/Romney/Rudi $$’s Talk Got Me Thinking

We need to get cranking ~ time’s a wastin’. We need a bumper sticker to get the buzz going, since we gotta get 800 signatures.

Talk about your grass roots campaign…
Back to paint sniffing.

25 Years Ago…

Maggie knew what needed to be done.

If You Needed Further Proof That Ahmadinejad Was Involved In 1979

Just look at the crap they are putting these poor Brits through.
I hope Blair finds some balls soon.
And our government damn well better support smacking these bastards down.
Oh concerned elites in Europe, where is thy pity for the wrongfully captured now?

Feijoada Update

There’s only one roblem with feijoada: it takes so darn long to cook that I end up having far too many caipirinhas to post anything that night. And that may be a good thing.
Anyhow, when we last saw our hero

He was feeling very sad and depressed because, as Bart correctly noted in the previous post, there were leftovers being used that he assumed he had dibs on. Well, I know the odors this boy is able to produce on regular foods; if you think for one minute he’s getting marinated pork, or god forbid beans, you have another thing coming. I don’t care what cute faces you make. NO!
besides, there are my needs to attend to

Yum yum.
A few weeks ago I posted a few caipirinha pics, and our new friend Cachaça Dave was kind enough to mail me a new muddler with the proviso that I check out his brand of Brazilian hootch. Proving once again that I can indeed be bought, and bought cheaply, I went out and got a bottle

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I Have Only Four More Words to Share This Evening

…and happy words they are.

Bay Sah Bah Roo

Even if it is…well, you know who playing.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

…if you’re Gorezilla trying to buy his way out of the energy guzzling shame his humble abode has brought upon him. Oh, excuse moi. That’s a vicious right wing-ruin-Oscar-night smear. Let’s rephrase. He’s buying his way into “carbon neutrality“, which pretty much excuses everything for…um…leftoid global warming excuse makers.
Mike from Lamplighter was kind enough to pass along this post describing President Bush’s palatial Crawford crib and the scar it leaves on the Texas plain. Intrigued, I went a’ Googling for more. I found this info on a ‘progressive’ news site

The 4,000-square-foot house is a model of environmental rectitude.
Geothermal heat pumps located in a central closet circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a constant 67 degrees; the water heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Systems such as the one in this “eco-friendly” dwelling use about 25% of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems utilize.
A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof runs; wastewater from sinks, toilets and showers goes into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is used to irrigate the landscaping surrounding the four-bedroom home. Plants and flowers native to the high prairie area blend the structure into the surrounding ecosystem.

…which still manages a snarky, shitty smack at the President, in spite of the obvious comparison between the ranch house and their Goracle’s ostentatious, revolting display of wealth and privilege.

… Heymann [the house’s architect and associate dean of the University of Texas architecture department] also termed the house “stunningly small.” Really? Would it be stunningly small for a single mother in South Central Los Angeles? How stunningly small would it be for an immigrant Latino family in San Antonio Maybe in the rarified heights where second homes are the norm, 4,000 square feet is small and on a stunning scale as well, but in Main Street America that much elbow room is pretty big for the first and only home.

Because you can buy carbon credits to offset your heavy energy footprint doesn’t mean that you should. Because you have the bulk and money to be a bully, should you? And doesn’t that finger jabbing out accusingly at the audience point your way in the bathroom mirror? Apparently not in the flying monkey world inhabited by Gorezilla and his merry minions.
It’s the liberal version of sin eating or sending the house servant to take your place in the draft ~ unethical, unconscionable, self-serving and conniving. But it IS

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