Friday, March 20, 2009

Empress Casino Fire: Joliet, IL - 03.20.2009

So today I was out in Joliet, IL with a Friend and there is this black plume of smoke rising up into the early afternoon sky, apparently the fire started around 10am CST local according to reports. But I hadn't gotten to the area until just after 1pm.

By 2pm we had met up with my Sister and she let me know it was the Empress Casino burning to the ground. Initial reports said everyone had gotten to safety at the Hotel on the grounds and the fire was apparently started by a welding accident.

So we drove up as close as we could and got as close as Houbolt and Rt. 6 in Channahon, IL bordering Joliet and the Casino; we were stopped by the Police who had set up a blockade probably about 5-6 miles from the incident.

So we proceeded to take pictures and some video and I will share it here with you what I was able to get.

NBC has some good footage on there website which I was obviously not able to get, however it is not that I don't feel bad for the Workers who are now going to be out of a Job because of this and at the worst of times.

But without further adieu;

Friday, March 06, 2009

From Freedom To... Obama?

When President Obama took the oath as President of the United States of America, I was bummed to say the least, however I Publicly announced via my article 'The 44th President and Rumors of Change', that I would put my support to him; that is he is now the leader of my Country and even if I believe his policies to be in error, I will cross my fingers and hope that he will prove me wrong and strengthen our Country and uphold the founding principles of our Nation.

So far I am not impressed, He keeps offering plans to put us in further and deeper in debt with the possibility of Bankruptcy in the future. Of his campaign promises, (which I didn't believe Bush's and I definitely didn't believe Obama's; I saw what he did to my home state as Senator), very little has come to light and all that hype and buzz about changing things in relation to Human Torture like the Bush administration's policies of torture and cover-up and we get President Obama enacting the use of the 1998-1999 State Secrets Act.

What is the State Secrets Act? Well according to the Library of Congress; S.2533 A bill to enact a safe, fair, and responsible state secrets privilege Act.

In context, (or a mythical world), this means that this act would protect secret Government programs from Judicial and Public scrutiny, that may harm the National Security of our Nation, not necessarily a bad thing.

However, it seems people tend to forget the adage about 'Good Intentions', that things are never used as intended. Just like Nuclear Power, Einstein realized this when He found that his equations where to be used to Bomb Japan instead of the more pacifistic approach he had intended.

The thing that has become transparent, is that there is no stepping away from the Secrets and that being honest apparently is just a fad., and so is this tune by the Obama Administration.

"What was abusive and dangerous about the Bush administration's version of the States Secret privilege -- just as the Obama/Biden campaign pointed out -- was that it was used not (as originally intended) to argue that specific pieces of evidence or documents were secret and therefore shouldn't be allowed in a court case, but instead, to compel dismissal of entire lawsuits in advance based on the claim that any judicial adjudication of even the most illegal secret government programs would harm national security. That is the theory that caused the bulk of the controversy when used by the Bush DOJ -- because it shields entire government programs from any judicial scrutiny -- and it is that exact version of the privilege that the Obama DOJ yesterday expressly advocated (and, by implication, sought to preserve for all Presidents, including Obama). " [Glen Greenwald:]

"The case of Al-Haramain v. Obama presents one of the first direct challenges by a victim of the Bush National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program against government officials... So on Friday, in a move that Al-Haramain's lawyer called "mind-boggling", the Obama administration told the federal court, once again, that it did not have the authority to order the government to make the critical document in the case available to the organization's lawyers. The decision to reveal the document, wrote the government, "is committed to the discretion of the Executive Branch, and is not subject to judicial review." [Daphne Eviatar:]

I seem to remember in my Constitution Classes that there is supposed to be a level of Checks and Balances to every branch of our Government; of course contradictory and unconstitutional laws and amendments don't help the situation, and the list goes on. It is definitely sad that many of our Presidents and Senators and even Representatives keep on breaking their oaths of Office and on a daily basis.

There should be repercussions and penalties for breaking an oath of Office, specifically for the Office of the President of the United States of America, the Vice President, the Senators, the Representative and any held Public office in the United States.

If I break a law there are penalties that have to be observed and paid, whether fines or jail, etc. An oath of Office shouldn't be any different; especially when it comes to those leading our Nation, States, Cities and Towns.

The Office of the President of the Untied States is supposed to protect the Constitution, uphold the founding principles of our nation and protect the Rights of the Citizens which leads back to the Constitution; there seems to be a common and re-occurring trend of complete disregard.

We should as a Country hold a referendum to add an additional paragraph to all oaths of Office similar to this one from the Republic of Ghana: "I further solemnly swear (or solemnly affirm) that should I at any time break this oath of office I shall submit myself to the laws of the Republic of Ghana and suffer the penalty for it." [Wikipedia]

So some may not care or be concerned that the continuance of the State Secrets Act under Obama's Administration is an issue to be heard or even combatted. Some may not care that the Patriot Act and the Patriot Act II removes unconstitutionally our 4th amendment rights. Some may not even worry that our 1st Amendment rights are under constant attack today.

Eventually though, we may not even have enough rights to even wink at.

Well, in any case I hope this action by the Obama Administration doesn't go unnoticed and the Citizens start to worry and actually take a part in the Government that is theirs to administer.

R. William Holzkopf Jr.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lily Allen's: 'F You'

So who am I, well according to the International Community no one important, I am just a regular 'Joe' who does his thing.

I'm not afraid to say that I am a nobody in the "Scene", (DJ Community), it doesn't matter to me because I care about what I do and I do it because I love it.

But that's just the thing, I have a MySpace I keep it for my friends and any fans I may have.

Yes I keep parts of it private, but I always allow people to friend request me since it is my 'Public Profile'.

Otherwise I wouldn't have a "Public Profile"!!!

So who does Lily Allen think she is?! Apparently something more than a novice though it seems more like a tantrum of sorts. Since about either sometime at the end of last year or the beginning of this year Lily in her outstandingly 'Up Yours' social image has blocked access to Fans from her MySpace page.

And this is also in light of the release of her new album "It's Not Me, It's You...", I am not a Press Agent, but I would personally 'fear', that this might put a negative spin on my persona and hurt sales, especially in the Country, (United States), Lily has had a hard on for breaking out in since at least 2006.

It has come as a shock to her Fans especially those of us who never got around to adding her on her MySpace before. "I don't care about it since I don't want to add her nor use MySpace but I have to say that it's about damn time that she or someone else explained it since it seems rude. Particularly after all the I add people and look after it personally stuff that she was spouting. Even a simple, I'm terribly sorry but I just can no longer find the time would have done but even that seems like too much effort." [Lily Allen-Forum: Comment by Stephen]

It is even a top listed issue on Google as of March 3rd, 2009.

Now I agree it isn't important to have Lily Allen as a friend on MySpace, it is just a Social Network and one should be more worried about their physical social circle than their digital one.

Yet in light of being in the lime light as Lily Allen is, if she is going to cause such a witless action toward her community of fans. She should at least make a Press Release explaining the cause of this sudden and odd action taken by someone who only remains famous because of those people who listen to her music and take stock in her persona.

Being a celebrity is as being in fickle waters and is associated with walking on broken glass. You always have to watch your step and learn to take a dose of modesty when in the Public light and forget your pride.

I like many others have been to her MySpace with no option of contacting her or adding her. I have been to her Website for Management and Agent Contact Info, there is none, Google even is lacking. I can Book her? For the U.K. and even the U.S. Yet I doubt I'd do that even if I was able, I'll book Lady Sovereign instead; She, (Lady Sovereign), is a Class Act in my opinion.

I can't say the same for Lily; I love her music, absolutely!
Has she had multiple altercations in public with other singers, celebrities? Yes.
Has she been taken advantage of as well by people in the Press? Yes!

However her violent and rough character never put me out because even I might do some stupid things from time to time in the public eye.

Personally though, like Lily's new song 'F**k You', I feel like she has given me as well as all her fan base a big middle finger by preventing access to here via her MySpace and apparent lack of Agent and Management contact info.

If Lily Allen had any sort of care for her public image and fan base she would at the minimum put out a Press Release denoting the reasons she has shut off certain access to her MySpace as well as other items and maybe throw in an apology or two for good measure.

I do not think that it is anyone's right to demand this of her since it is Lily's right to abstain from creating goodwill with her fans, however it would be a gesture of good faith if she would speak on behalf of it to her fans.

In any case as it is, I will be abstaining from Lily Allen and her music as well as her new singles and Album for a time. I will not spin Cd's nor Vinyl of hers and I will ask my fellow DJ's to do the same.

Maybe this is just a rant and I am wrong, but it seems to me; if you want the fame, your fans are your gold.

R. William Holzkopf Jr.