Posted in erotic, fashion, fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, pinup, satire, sexual, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2008 by cliffmichaels

How Visions Works 

LAST UPATED 6.15.13

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Created and written by Cliff Michaels, Visions is an eclectic blog covering a wide range of topics  (medicines to memories – photography to flickr – poetry to politics – art to architecture – Obama to 0rgasm – law to sausage – banks to breasts – humor to humbug – sex to more sex – lots of other shit to even more other shit). Most every Visions post is illustrated with Cliff’s photos or creative commons licensed photos from Flickr (often in remixed form) and posts frequently feature  links to Flickr photostreams, photos, sets, groups, or forums.

A plurality of Visions posts are about sex and erotica and often display or link to erotic images found on Flickr. They may also link to Flickr sets or groups of photos of a sexual nature.  A lesser number of posts offer progressive political commentary, Cliff’s memoirs, satire or parody, as well as  social and cultural criticism from a liberal point of view.   Read more.

To see all Flickr adult material linked to on Visions you must be a member of Flickr, logged in and have safe search off! 

Non members of Flickr (Join for free Here), or Flickr members not logged in or with safe search ON, while unable to view Flickr adult material linked to from Visions, are able to see all photos – including  those depicting nudity or sexual activity – displayed on Visions blog pages and all unrestricted Flickr photos,  and all unrestricted photos in Flickr sets and groups linked to from Visions. 

Why so many dead links?

VISIONS is not affiliated in any way whatsoever with Flickr or its corporate parent Yahoo, and no comments or other material on Visions represent the views of Flickr, Yahoo, or anyone other than Cliff Michaels. All photos linked to on Visions are the property of the original Flickr poster, and Visions claims no right to republish any such images. Images posted on Visions from Flickr, or remixes of any images, are subject to a creative commons license and may only be reproduced subject to the terms of  the appropriate license.  All written posts and  original images displayed on Visions remain the property of Cliff Michaels and may not republished, in whole or in part, without his  express written consent.

 

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LEFTIST TWADDLE, TITS, CROTCH & ASS

Posted in fashion, fetish, FLICKR, lingerie, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, pinup, Sexy, Uncategorized, women on June 15, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Publisher’s note: On May 10 of this year Visions was forced into receivership by its creditors after the website’s disastrous attempt to corner the Ecuadorian pecan market. Sneetch Worseington, the court appointed receiver, estimated Visions’ loss easily exceeded two hundred dollars. As of this date, based upon the numerous creditors’ claimes filed, it appears each of them will collect less than 3.14159 percent of their claims. Today Visions resume publication in the hope its worldwide syndication income will be sufficient to retire its debt within the next thirty-seven years. Cliff Michaels, Visions founder and editor, was charged with half degree fraud but the charges were dismissed by the court when it learned the evidence – fourteen thousand boxes of Ecuadorian pecans – were consumed by the police, court personnel,  and prosecutors of Turdley County, Mississippi over a three month period.

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I continue to be astounded by the revelation of the NSA’s spying and by the lack of concern by most pundits and the public. Acts of terror by extremist are a genuine threat, but our responses, most particularly the near destruction of the Fourth Amendment, are, it seems to me, grossly disproportional.

From September 11, 2001, through today approximately three thousand people in this country have died in terrorist attacks. That’s an  average of just over two hundred fifty per year. That’s about 5% of the rate of deaths in non-gun related assaults per year (5,181 in 2010). Even if deaths from terrorist attacks rose by a factor of ten, they would amount to only one tenth of death resulting from falls.

I am too lazy to diligently  research how much we have spent on Homeland Security, but one site claims the total from 9/11 through 2009 was ONE TRILLION,  ONE HUNDRED MILION (1,100,000,000) dollars, or about 132 billion a year. Assuming 2,000 lives were saved each year as a result of that spending, we paid just less than  sixty thousand dollars to save each life. Of course, if we are good little economists, we should adjust for things like social security benefits saved, income lost, etc. Then, of course, there’s the economic benefit derived from the income of the hundreds of thousands of workers employed by the Homeland Security and the affiliated industries.

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Imagine what could have been done with a trillion dollars over the past decade plus: cancer research – infrastructure repair – buttressing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – lowering the federal debt – building thousands of schools and hospitals – and countless other improvements, repairs, projects and programs. Today there is little or no public money available for such ventures.

History will certainly record the 9/11 attacks on America as the most costly ever. I would guess if you had told Bin Laden on September 10th his less than two dozen men armed wit box cutters assault would cost the US three thousand lives and trillions of dollars  over ten years (and that doesn’t count the deaths and costs from Iraq and Afghanistan – another trillion plus bucks and over 5,000 American  deaths), he would never have believed you…

But the highest costs we have been incurred was placed on us by our governments – local, state, and federal: the loss of much of our Constitution guaranteed liberties. Sadly, in the name of national security (at any cost ) we have blindly acquiesced in – even applauded – our descent into the valley of the gathering shadows of tyranny.

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In their frantic attempts to draw hits many blogs feature contrarian articles such as Why Bottled  Water Will Kill You, or Rick Santorum, Secret Liberal. These pieces take conventional opinion and take the opposite side. These kind of articles pose no risk to the writer; by a gentlemen’s agreement, no pundit’s ridiculously wrong opinion or prediction is held against her.

So here’s my effort at contrarian punditry: Immigration Reform Will Fail!  Conventional wisdom is not even the Republicans are so stupid that they’ll kill reform, but they will, here’s why…

The conservative base doesn’t give a flip about political positioning to win elections. The base cares about purity. The average hard conservative would rather be right than see her candidate elected. And, of course, the far right is viscerally opposed to any immigration by persons of  color from southern climes. The intensity of the opposition is sky high. Add their fear the potential for millions more Democratic voters and bitterness over the darkening of the once lily white population and their opposition to immigration reform is set in granite.

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Republican Senators, who need votes from a majority of all their state’s voters, are much more amenable to reform than their compatriot Congressmen who for the most part represent safe and very red districts. Add Republican House members’ personal animosity toward Hispanic immigration to their fear of being primaried by someone even more to the right, and they have no incentive to take the risk of backing reform and much to gain by being vocal and vociferous  opponents.

But can’t Republican leaders in the House bring enough members to vote for  reform to have it pass with near unanimous Democratic support? That assumption is  at the heart of Conventional Wisdom. With just a score plus of Republicans voting for reform it would pass the House and become law. Republicans could claim credit and hope to take more of the Hispanic vote on 2014 and 2016.

But the Republican leadership in the House is incredibly weak. Gone are the days when the Speaker exercised  iron control.  The willingness of Republican members to act in lockstep, the source of much of their power, is no longer a given. Each member’s commitment to his or her  own re-election trumps his or her allegiance to the national interests of the Republican party.

The Republicans have been following a rule allowing a full House vote only if a majority of Republicans support the bill. The anti-reform Republicans are a majority of Republicans in the House. They will raise holy hell if Bohner tries to waive the rule as will the far right media (except apparently Fox). Should the Speaker cram a House vote down the throats of the anti-reform Republican majority he may not be Speaker for long. Lacking an iron backbone – or any realistic chance at higher office – he lacks little incentive to push reform and high risk if he does. He won’t (but he will make a lot of supportive comments (all of them ending with “but…”

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There is much discussion about the decline of the Republican party. At least at present, the reports of  it’s slow death are exaggerated. The party controls the House, is in striking distance of control of the Senate, holds a majority of  governorships and state legislatures, and much of local government across the country. At least in the state legislatures, the Republican majorities are very far to the right. None of these zealots support immigration reform and most strongly oppose it. State legislatures tend to be the farm teams of the political parties. Today’s state senator may be tomorrow’s Congressman.

The only true Republican constituency for immigration reform is  potential Presidential candidates and, to a lesser extent, governor and Senatorial candidates in blue or purple states. This small group has little influence on House Republicans. Marco Rubio? He’s  not in the House, he’s only one of a dozen or so possible 2016 candidates (most of whom will oppose reform. His arguments will fall on deaf conservative ears.

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So here’s my prediction: Obama and Senate democrats will cave to Republican pressure to make the bill more and more harsh. They will do this because they’d rather have any reform bill than no bill at all. The Senate bill – however conservative it is perceived by political pundits and observers – will languish in the House and ultimately drown in a sea of xenophobia.

Of course, after the death of reform, Republican national leaders  will quickly blame Democrats for its failure (at the same time far right House members will take credit  for its demise with their constituents).

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All photos by Shawn Perez and subject to this creative commons license

MORE SEXY PHOTOS BY SHAWN

Scandals!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 26, 2013 by cliffmichaels

Inexplicably, the universe somehow managed without me for the last fourteen billion plus years. Sadly, it will continue to expand and churn out new stars, planets, solar systems and a few galactic clusters for billions of years after my demise. Assuming the universe lasts a total of twenty billion years – and I manage to craw to eighty – I will have lived .000000004% of the universe’s existence.

On that sobering observation, let’s move on…

I have a close friend who’s from Damascus. He seems oddly detached from the mayhem in his country. He and I discuss middle east politics whenever we get together, but he has never volunteered much about his opinion on the civil war chewing through Syria and slaughtering he fellow countrymen. He was in my office last week with his new Syrian wife – distractingly beautiful – and the war was never mentioned by either of them.

Scandal! Scandal!! Scandal!!!!  The press is all a twitter and our right wing friends are outraged, telling us the Benghazi Blunder is the worst scandal in all of American history. Worse than Teapot Dome, worse than those during the corrupt Grant administration, worse than Iran Contra, and – of course – far worse than Watergate. The IRS “persecution of the Tea Party was alarming, but more the product of overwork, bungling and political tone deafness. The Citizens United decision unleashed an avalanche if dubious 401(c)4 applications that swamped the beleaguered, short staffed IRS.

The attack on the press, however, is a a really big deal. I voted twice for Obama, and I don’t regret either vote, but there are some very dark parts of the President’s record. His continuation of most of the Bush national security policies, the failure to prosecute government torturers, and his administration’s maniacal obsession with leaks and leakers together with  its willingness to infringe on the First and Fourth Amendments  to bag the miscreants alarm and depress me.

Despite the NRA, the government is the only institution with the big armory. The Monopoly of Force, my political science professor called it. Because of that alarming fact, its never a good idea to allow the government to assume too much power. It’s a bit like living with a Doberman  – he’s good for security but he could bite you if you get in a tussle.

The most frustrating thing about the Tea Party fanatics is they attack the federal government for the wrong reasons. They see tyranny in programs like Social Security, Medicaid, and Obamacare. Most of them, if anything, don’t think Obama is tough enough on the terrorists and are appalled by the idea of closing Gitmo. They believe little of what the President says about domestic policies, but never seem to doubt his government’s claims of killing the bad guys. The government’s assertion it doesn’t have to follow all those Constitutional niceties in its war on terror doesn’t much seem to bother the tricornered hat crowd.

 

 

 

 

SHOCKING SEXY SUNDAY!

Posted in erotic, fashion, fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Sexy, Uncategorized, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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necklace

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FOUR SETS BY BRETT HAMPTON 

California Gold Shoot

Titania

Carlotta

Amelia 

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High Heels

Posted in erotic, fashion, fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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HIGH HEELS

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HIGH HEEL ART

FIVE INCH PLUS HIGH HEELS

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HIGH HEEL FANTASY

HIGH HEELS IN BED

Flickr Search: HIGH HEELS

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Pedantic Yammering & Humungous Mammaries

Posted in erotic, fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, satire, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Hope you bought national security companies’ stocks last week. Boston’s unfortunate 26.2 mile misadventure will be good for their businesses and likely bring you a handsome profit.

If you are a conservative pundit with your own radio, TV show  – or podcast – your ratings will soar as you excoriate the government and the liberal and medias elites for failing to protect America, giving that terrorist his miranda warnings, or refusing to send him to our tropical gulag. If you inhabit the conspiracy theory suburbs, you can raise cash by darkly impling it was all an Obama plot.

Of course, if you are xenophobic, you now have an explosive new argument t0 blow away immigration reform. If you are a staunch defender of the Glorious Second,  you can claim it would have been great if every Boston citizen had had an AR-15. Of course, Islamophobes are in hog heaven… It is sad for racists that those boys were white…

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Then there’s West, Texas. Just a tragic accident. nonexistent inspections?  Please, this is Texas. Even the West victims don’t blame the company. Just one of those things. Could have happened anywhere. Who could have foreseen it wasn’t really such a good idea to store tons and tons of fertilizer in the plant – or build a school, houses and a nursing home within a stone’s throw of that plant?

Strengthen regulations?  That would only take away jobs. Jobs sorely needed by the folks in West. What they really need is fast federal funds to rebuild. I mean, unlike those whining folks in New York and Jersey who were hit by a little wind and rain then got greedy, the good Texans in West are true blue Americans and  are only asking for what they deserve – and to get back some of their tax money from the feds (and some more from Jersey, New York, and all those other liberal states where everyone has more money than patriotism).

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Congress gets such a bum rap. Supposedly deadlocked, our brave and caring legislators rose up en mass and, in a magnificent show of bipartisanship, and did something about the senseless budget cuts mandated by the Sequester. With the across the board cuts crippling things like chemotherapy treatments for poor cancer patients, Head Start for poor kids, and nutrition programs for poor old folks, the Senate and House chose to give relief to the real victims of those draconian cuts: airlines and their customers. Who says  Congress doesn’t care…?

 Those cancer patients  are likely going to die anyway. Poor kids and seniors will always be with us (and besides, they’re just moochers). Businessmen – makers not takers   –  trapped in Duluth for three hours must be rescued from that near literal hell on earth…

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I’m not going to mention gun control. What is there to say? 

SEXY GIRLS IN BLUE

Flickr Gallery: Beautifully Blue
Flickr All photo by Hannah Davies and remixed by me, all subject to this creative commons license

When the Devil Turns Round…

Posted in history with tags , , on April 21, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.

US CONSTITUTION, Article III

 

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger…

US CONSTITUTION, Amendment Five

 

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

US CONSTITUTION, Amendment Six

An American citizen, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on American soil, commits a myriad  of state and  federal crimes, including at least four counts of murder, hundreds of extremely aggravated assaults, and probably a score or more of other heinous acts. He faces a possible death sentence. At a minimum he faces multiple life sentences in  maximum security prison.

United States Senators, like virtually every other government office holders – state and federal  – take an oath to uphold the Constitution:

   I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Neither of the Constitutional Amendments – nor the oath – provide for any exceptions to the duties mandated (except for war in Amendment Five). There is no exception in Amendment Six for acts the President, or Congress choose to call “terrorist acts”.   There is no language in the Constitution providing for suspension of any of the rights granted to the people other than times of open rebellion.

In the 1866 case Ex Parte Milligan, 71 US 2, the Supreme Court ruled  – unanimously – that the suspension of habeas corpus was lawful, but military tribunals did not apply to citizens in states that had upheld the authority of the Constitution and where civilian courts were still operating. In essence, the Court ruled that military tribunals could not try civilians in areas where civil courts were open, even when the military had been authorized to detain individuals without trial. It observed further that during the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, citizens may be only held without charges, not tried, and certainly not executed by military tribunals; the writ of habeas corpus is not the right itself but merely the ability to issue orders demanding the right’s enforcement. (Wikipedia)

No crime is more detrimental to the nation than treason. However, the Constitution not only doesn’t reduce the rights of a defendant charged with treason but requires a higher standard of proof:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

US Constitution, Article III, Section 3

Even during and after World War II Americans charged with treason were entitled to a jury trial. During World War II – when the very existence of our nation was threatened by Germany and Japan – no federal court ruled that American citizens acting on American soil could be summarily stripped of the Constitutional rights by executive fiat.

 Last week at least two Senators demanded that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev be denied the Constitutional rights set out above and that he be tried by a military tribunal. He should be denied the due process – including the most sacred, the right to trial by jury – afforded to every criminal defendant simply because his crimes are called “terrorist acts”.

Lindsey Graham and John McCain have violated their oaths to  the Constitution. It’s not a close question. There is no legal precedent denying a citizen charged with crime – including treason – due process protection and the right to indictment and trial by jury. Graham and McCain are willing to surrender the heart of the Bill of Rights to the dubious argument that stripping terrorists  of basic Constitutional rights will, somehow, Make America Safer.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s crimes did grievous harm to the people of Boston and hundreds of participants in the Boston Marathon. If convicted, he should face the full measure of the law. Boston will recover, however, and its citizens wounds will, in time, heal.

If Graham, McCain and their supporters have their way, the entire country will suffer grievous harm. Our nation’s very foundation – its heart of liberty – the Constitution,  will suffer an enduring wound. Once opened, from that wound the blood of freedom may bleed away.

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William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

A Man for All Seasons

CONEY ISLAND

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Sexy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Coney Island!

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Coney Island Mermaid Parade

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CONEY ISLAND 

ONLY CONEY

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