My time at Erlanger

Passing out at work

Some of you may know I got to spend a week at Erlanger Hospital . For those who don’t. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease . What happened is that I passed out at work at about 2:00 at work. I had lost a lot of blood. My co-workers were great. They immediately called 911. I can’t remember much of what happened as I was in a fog. I do know it scared me. I am 39 and still feel like I am 25. I have never had any serious medical problems before. Thank you’s to all of my co-workers. I still wasn’t sure what was happening. I knew I couldn’t drive and wished my co-workers weren’t making such a big fuss. I didn’t realize I had lost a lot more blood when I passed out. I a needle stuck in the left arm and one in the right courtesy of Hamilton County EMS. They were great.

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Hawkins dirty mailer explained

Well folks I brought up a mailer I got from the Hawkins camp on Friday in this post . The Tom graves camp has brought out the evidence that showed mine and other frustrations. The folks over at peachpundit have summed it up marvously. Here is their article:

Graves comes out swinging against Hawkins; shows Hawkins altered court documents as part of campaign attack

May 9, 2010 14:21 pm

by Pete Randall

Just received into the Peach Pundit Operations Center:

Hawkins’ Email Proves He Altered a Document and Failed to Disclose Frivolous Suits Against Graves Were Canceled or Dismissed

“This is just another attack in Lee Hawkins’ political career that proves he will say and do anything to get elected.”

(RANGER, GA) – Unable to stop his campaign from crumbling Lee Hawkins today continued his false, negative personal attacks against conservative Republican Tom Graves.

On Thursday, Hawkins sent a false mailer to voters saying Graves had a “JUDGEMENT” to pay his bills and that he was “currently being sued.”

However, in the email released today by Hawkins it proves he altered court documents in attempt to cause harm to Graves’ campaign for Congress.

Hawkins selected partial copies of the papers to include on the mailers and in one instance he added a “JUDGEMENT” stamp on the court records. But in the documents released by Hawkins today nowhere does it show the “JUDGEMENT” stamp, proving it was added by Hawkins.

Hawkins also removed half of the document in the mailer, thus eliminating the official stamp from Gordon County Magistrate Court stating that the action had been cancelled.

In addition, Hawkins continues his false attack that Graves is currently being sued, but fails to provide the documentation showing the lawsuit had been dismissed nearly two years ago by the plaintiffs.

“In his own email, Lee Hawkins proves his negative mail piece is bogus,” said Tim Baker Graves Campaign Manger. “He added a “JUDGEMENT” stamp that was never on the official document and fails to show that both lawsuits had been cancelled or dismissed. Unable to advance his campaign on the issues, Lee Hawkins continues playing gutter politics by personally attacking Tom. I don’t see how any of these attacks demonstrate to the voters why they should elect Lee Hawkins.”

“This is just another attack in Lee Hawkins’ political career that proves he will say and do anything to get elected,” added Baker. “Desperate candidates do desperate things and Lee Hawkins is a desperate candidate trying to save his political career.”

Baker says North Georgia can take comfort in the fact they should only have another couple days to put up with Hawkins’ deceptions. “With Tom Graves, you get a genuine proven leader who has never met a tax cut he didn’t like, is as solid as a rock on the 2nd Amendment and will fight with ever fiber in his body to limit the role of government in our lives.”

Judge for yourself by reviewing the attachments:

The Truth Still Matters: Side by side comparison of Hawkins’ altered documents and official document from the Gordon County Magistrate Court

· Hawkins’ attack mail piece with “JUDGEMENT” stamp on an altered court document

· Hawkins’ document revealing no “JUDGEMENT” stamp or “CANCELLATION FILED & RECORDED” stamp from the Gordon County Magistrate Court

· Official Gordon County Magistrate Court document showing the action was nullified with a “CANCELLATION FILED & RECORDED” stamp

· Hawkins attack mail piece saying “Graves’ business is currently being sued.”

· Letters dated July 14, 2008 from plaintiff’s attorney dismissing lawsuit

My joke of the day:

What do a Cardiologist, a Dentist, and a Neurosurgeon all have in common?
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Lee Hawkins goes dirty


IMG_3435I guess in a last ditch effort former Senator Lee Hawkins goes dirty. He also released the following Youtube video

I am guessing this in response to a non solicited ad by the Club for Growth or maybe it was their endorsement. Here is the ad:

Hawkins immediately started his attack which was documented here by the peach pundit. The best part of this campaign is what I call as our local radio stations call TINO’s

I am sorry your name doesn’t appear on this this list:

Maybe one day it will.

Here is the Graves response:

Graves for Congress


Hawkins Continues Campaign of Negative, False, Personal Attacks

(RANGER, GA) – Justin Tomczak, campaign advisor for the Graves campaign, released the following statement after Lee Hawkins continued his campaign of negative, false, personal attacks:


“Tom Graves remains focused on discussing the issues of importance to North Georgia such as job creation, empowering the taxpayers – not government, and eliminating wasteful spending. During this critical time in our nations’ history, when public engagement in the political process is needed more than ever, Lee Hawkins’ negative campaign tactics are exactly what have turned off so many citizens to the political process.”


“Today, Lee Hawkins questioned Tom’s integrity as a small business owner. As any businessperson knows, you are at risk from those who seek to sue you frivolously.  Tom’s businesses are no different.  Unfortunately, his opponent doesn’t tell you the whole story, and in the mail piece Lee fails to tell you that they were dismissed or cancelled by the plaintiffs.  No judgments were found against Tom or his businesses, contrary to what was stated in Hawkins attack piece.”


“In addition, Tom was never forced to dissolve a business by the state.  Tom has sold or closed these businesses and dissolved their charters as required by Georgia law.”


“In what has become the trend of this last ditch effort, Lee Hawkins fails to provide these facts. This mudslinging, gutter politics stands in sharp contrast to the issues focused, positive message from Tom Graves.”


“This is another day and another false attack from a desperate opponent trying to save his political career.  Stay tuned.  Four days remain.”


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Graves for Congress | PO Box 701 | Gainesville | GA | 30503

Until then enjoy this.

Calhoun Times endorses:
“Tom Graves for Congress”

May 5, 2010

Calhoun, GA — As early voters have already discovered, about half of Gordon County must work its way through a confusing ballot in the special election to fill the 9th Congressional District seat that Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville, gave up to run for governor.

Seven North Georgians qualified to run for the seat, which represents a wide swath of the state, stretching across the top of the state from Alabama to South Carolina and includes the eastern half of Gordon County. Those candidates are Chris Cates of Blairsville, Tom Graves of Ranger, Lee Hawkins of Gainesville, Bert Loftman of Jasper, Eugene Moon of Gainesville, Bill Stephens of Cumming and Steve Tarvin of Chickamauga. All are Republicans except Moon, an independent, and the six Republicans will all meet again in the July 20 primary, along with Steve Brannon of Fairmount and Bobby Reese of Flowery Branch. Mike Freeman a Democrat from Gainesville, announced last month that he was withdrawing from the race, but his name will still be on the ballot. He did not qualify for the Democratic primary.

All of the announced candidates bring unique talents to the race, but as far as Gordon County’s interests are concerned, there is only one sensible choice — Tom Graves.

Graves, a Gordon County business owner, formerly represented state House District 12, which includes the eastern part of Gordon County and all of Pickens County. He has represented Gordon County since 2002 and has strong conservative credentials. He resigned his seat to run for the 9th District seat. In the past few months he has built a strong grassroots organization across the district.

In the past eight years, Graves has established himself as one of the leading conservative voices in Georgia. He founded and chaired the 216 Group, a conservative policy group of like-minded Georgia lawmakers who met to evaluate pending legislation based on conservative principles.  

The Ranger resident knows Gordon County, its citizens and their concerns well. And Gordon Countians know Graves, including his principled stand against former Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson, a stand that cost Graves several committee chairmanships and his post as one of Richardson’s “Hawks.”

He is a former member of the Gordon County Board of Elections, an active member of the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce, and he and his family attend Calhoun’s Belmont Baptist Church.
Graves has a strong grasp of the economic issues that are critical to Gordon County’s continued growth. His knowledge of this region and its communities of interest would be invaluable when the Georgia’s Congressional districts and state House and Senate districts are redrawn based on the results of the 2010 census.

With the number of candidates on the May 11 ballot, there is a good chance that a runoff will be required before the seat if filled. And of course, all of these candidates (and several others) have said they plan to run in the July primaries for the November general election.

However, it is our view that Tom Graves is the best choice for Gordon County in this crowded special election field.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

This is disturbing

Forgive me I am still learning this blogthing

SWAT drug raid video

Over at Reason, Radley Balko brings us video of a drug raid into a home where police entered and within seconds shot and killed the family’s dog, presumably in front of the child they were there to protect from endangerment.

The video is disturbing:

It’s just part of a growing and troubling trend.

From Jason Pye

My comments:

This reminds me of an 3 AM raid across the street when I lived in Tampa about 8 years ago. It ticked me off first because finally a decent couple rented a house across the street. What made me made mad was after they raided the house and they were still under a andrenaline rush, they were bragging about how scared the little girl was. Now my feeling is if you have enough intel to do a raid when they are home then you have enough to plan it after the kids aren’t in the house. BTW they didn’t find anything I don’t think they paid to fix the door or they were taking to long and now that little girl is traumatized forever. I am just glad after seeing this that my lab wasn’t out peeing when it happened or I bet he would have suffered the same fate as the video.

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Carlos Mencia Won’t Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

Carlos Mencia Won’t Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico.

A little more on Arizona and immagration

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Pickin’ Grapes Ariz. and Calif

I haven’t really studied this issue. I don’t have many problems with someone asking for an ID after being pulled over for a real offense. I don’t mean the old your tail light is out routine. Does this issue parrellel the old seperate but equal times? I don’t know.
I do pick grapes. Not for living but I do. Here is the article enjoy:

Monday, May 3, 2010
Wine and immigration

Picking grapes is hard work. There’s some skill involved, as I learned when I tried it myself. But mainly, it’s back-breaking labor and it pays poorly.

You won’t find many Americans picking wine grapes, or harvesting any other kind of fruit or vegetable. The California wine industry needs hundreds of itinerant workers, mostly Mexican, to get the grapes off the vine and into the wineries.

This is not unique to the US. In Spain, many harvest workers are from Poland. In Israel, grape pickers come from Thailand. Nobody wants to pick grapes for a living unless they’re economically desperate.

The immigration debate mostly ignores the realities of harvest work that have changed little since John Steinbeck wrote “The Grapes of Wrath” in 1939. Then, California grape growers took advantage of displaced Dust Bowl refugees to get other Americans cheap grapes. Americans were horrified by the conditions depicted in the book and film, but didn’t volunteer to pay more for grapes. It took the United Farm Workers union several strikes to get labor-protection laws that made the job more humane.

Not coincidentally, grape growers starting hiring more illegal immigrants not long after, and grape prices stayed low.

There aren’t as many illegal pickers in Napa and Sonoma Counties as you might think. Grapes fetch a premium there and wages are good enough to attract permanent residents — though not good enough in most cases for them to live outside of dormitories.

But as a nation, we would not produce many under-$10 bottles of wine without illegal immigrant pickers.

You probably expect me to launch into another attack on the new Arizona immigration law. But I’m not going to. I understand why Arizonans wanted this law, which basically just allows local cops to ask people for their papers.
The East Coast media’s hysterical overreaction to the law annoys me more than the law itself, because it’s typical of the polarized immigration debate in this country.

We have just two widely held positions on immigration: The left says, “These undocumented people are already here. Let’s give them a hug and a green card and access to the same services as citizens.” And the right says, “These criminals are undermining us. Let’s kick them all out, and maybe imprison them first as punishment.”*

* (The cost of imprisonment will apparently be paid from the same red-letter-day, it-doesn’t-really-count budget as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Good thing that money is unlimited!)

Now the Arizona law is being discussed from the same entrenched positions. The East Coast media — you don’t see a lot of truckloads of border-jumpers in Boston — is beating a drum for a boycott of Arizona Diamondbacks games, while the Rush Limbaugh types want everyone with a Spanish accent tossed in a prison camp in the desert, where they’ll be forced to wear pink underpants.

What we need — and haven’t had — is a rational, apolitical discussion of immigration. And grape picking is as good a place to start as any.

I am a huge advocate of legal immigration. This is a nation of immigrants, and unless your last name is Running Horse, your ancestors were immigrants too. Immigrants are the reason for our vitality; they come in hungry and eager to prove themselves, and have for generations. Whether it’s computer science or fusion cuisine, it’s hard to name an area of our national economy that has not been enriched by first-generation immigrants.

We need more immigrants, millions more. But they should be legal. They should be subject to our laws and welcome to our privileges. They should apply and be chosen. They should have traceable IDs, not stolen identities.

They should be willing to wait their turn for legal entry — which they’re not currently doing because of our ridiculous immigration policies.

The reason Central Americans are paying Mexicans thousands of dollars to transport them across a hostile border is because of our need. If we didn’t need them, we wouldn’t hire them, and they wouldn’t come. But we do need them, so they stream over the border like air rushing into a vacuum.

Back to grape picking for a moment. Why would somebody from Michoacan risk crossing the border if there was no work picking grapes in Fresno? If Americans would do the work, he would not come, because he would lose money on the trip. But we won’t, and he will.

However, because of our irrational immigration system, he can’t get car insurance, so if he hits somebody, they’re screwed. He can’t get health insurance, so if he gets cut with a machete, he has to use the emergency room and we pay for it. People on the right complain about the symptoms. People on the left want to pay the bills and give him a hug and a green card. Nobody addresses the cause.

We need more immigrants! We need to acknowledge that, and set up a rational system that will stop rewarding lawbreakers. If a law-abiding man from Michoacan were to apply at the US Embassy in Mexico City for a visa to pick grapes, they would laugh in his face. So what’s he to do: break the law, or stay home? That’s the choice we give the workers we need.

Much of my disgust with the liberal media on this issue comes from having been a legal immigrant myself, and being married to a legal immigrant today. Do you know how much more difficult it is to become a legal immigrant since 9/11? You don’t, do you? I don’t blame you: the media isn’t interested in the issue. And that is a huge part of the problem.

When newspapers write stories about immigration, they are inevitably sob stories about some lawbreaker: somebody who has been in the country illegally for 15 years and is about to be deported because of a misdemeanor. We’re supposed to weep for this person. I’ve been to more than 40 countries, have lived in three, and have never overstayed a visa, so I have little sympathy for the usually pathetic excuses. No wonder conservative talk show hosts mock these stories.

But that guy in South Korea with an engineering degree who’s been on a waiting list for five years for a visa, and hasn’t come because he’s the type who obeys laws? There’s never a story about him. Liberals don’t care because he’s not an illegal immigrant. Conservatives don’t care because they don’t want more immigrants anyway. So he waits and waits while less law-abiding people jump the line.

Back to grape pickers: We need a category of visas for guest workers; fruit pickers are a perfect example. They should permit multiple entries and be renewable. If someone keeps coming — and going back on time — for 5 years without any criminal activity, they should be able to get a higher level of green card.

Most guest worker proposals I’ve seen have a time limit, after which they’re not allowed to return. That’s silly. Guest workers should be treated like probationary workers in a company. If they’re good at picking fruit, they are hard workers by definition, and they will be good for this nation.

If conservatives don’t like it, I suggest they get out to California and pick grapes, even for one day. Just because anybody can do a job doesn’t mean anybody will do it.

For my parting shot, I want everybody who has a position on this issue to tell me the average amount you spend for a bottle of wine. If it’s over $20, then it can be harvested by permanent fulltime workers. Hopefully everybody who thinks the Arizona immigration law is a good idea is spending this much money on wine.

If your average wine costs $10 or less, you are encouraging the illegal immigrant labor flow. You need to be against the Arizona law. Are you?
Posted by W. Blake Gray at 8:42 AM

Wine and immigration

Posted in Viticulture | 1 Comment

Week four of the Tonya Craft Trial

This case has me twisted on many levels. I want to make a longer post but am still learning on this word pad thing. Here is an areticle from the Times Free Press.
Here is a link to Kevin’s Blog<a href=";
A good article

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