Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Saturday, April 27, 2013

13 Reasons

Of course Bush has "no regrets" from his Presidency.  He's a sociopath, without the intelligence.  He's got no moral compass, no doubts, and is likely the most undeserving of ANY of our Presidents.   And Karl Rove thinks he should be on Mount Rushmore?  In what fucking universe will that happen?  Not this one, pal.

13 Reasons to be glad Bush is no longer President
by Think Progress

The five living presidents met in Texas on Thursday to dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. And while Bush and his aides used the occasion to soften the 43 president’s image and solidify his legacy, a recounting of Bush-era policies — from his deregulation of Wall Street to the invasion of Iraq — greatly undermine the new rosy narrative of the Bush 

Authorized the use of torture

Though the US Code bans torture, Bush personally issued a memorandum six days after the September 11th attacks instructing the CIA that it could use “enhanced interrogation techniques” against suspected terrorists. The methods included waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and “stress positions.” A recently-released bipartisan committee concluded it was “indisputable” that these techniques constituted torture, and that the highest authorities in the country bore responsibility for the creation of a torture programs at Guantanamo Bay and CIA “black sites” around the world.
Politicized climate science
Bush’s “do-nothing” approach to climate change prevented the U.S. from pursuing meaningful action. Though he claimed that global warming was a serious problem that was either a natural phenomenon or caused by humans, the administration routinely edited scientific reports to downplay the threat of climate change, censored CDC testimony that climate change was a public health threat, and promoted climate denying studies financed by ExxonMobil. At the end of the Bush presidency, a top intelligence adviser warned the incoming president that climate change was a massive destabilizing national security threat that would lead to “Dust Bowl” conditions in the Southwest.
Ignored Afghanistan to launch a war in Iraq
Rather than consolidating gains after the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Bush and his neoconservative allies pushed for removing Saddam Hussein from power, kicking off a war that led to one mistake after another. Ten years later, the war is estimated to have cost cost up to $6 trillion and resulted in the death of more than 100,000 Iraqis, 4,000 Americans and another 31,000 wounded. Meanwhile, Afghanistan saw a resurgence of the Taliban after Bush shifted resources to Iraq.
Botched the response to Hurricane Katrina
Bush appointed Michael Brown — a man whose only real qualifications were political connections and a sting at the International Arabian Horse Association — to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2003 and he preceded to undo everything the Clinton Administration had done to make FEMA functional, botching the response to 2004′s Hurricane Frances so badly as to prompt calls for his firing. But Bush kept Brown on board and, as a detailed timeline of the response to Hurricane Katrina demonstrates, neither man took the storm seriously until it was too late. Bush, who famously said “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” midway through the crisis, thus presided over the most deaths due to a single natural disaster in the United States since 1900.

Defunded stem cell research
At the turn of the century there was perhaps no greater hope for finding cures to illnesses ranging from Alzheimer’s to diabetes than ongoing stem cell research. But months after taking office, Busheliminated federal funding for research involving new stem cell lines created after an arbitrary date in 2001, citing a philosophical objection to the use of embryos — even though the embryos in question were byproducts from couples undergoing in vitro fertilization and would have been destroyed by IVF clinics. Bush’s policy effectively limited federal funding to only a few dozen sets of preexisting stem cell cultures. Twice more during his presidency, Bush vetoed legislation that would have restored funding.
Required Muslim men to register with the government
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Bush’s Attorney General, John Ashcroft, instituted an anti-terrorism program to register all male immigrants between 18 and 40 years old from 20 Arab and South Asian countries. Thousands of innocent men came forward to register, only to be rounded up for minor visa violations. Roughly 1,000 men and boys in the process of applying for permanent residence were arrested and confined in standing-room-only centers, enduring invasive strip searches and beatings by guards. Many were deported, while others wereheld for months after their immigration cases were resolved, without a shred of evidence they had any links to terrorism.
Reinstated the global gag rule
On Bush’s first day in office he reinstated a rule that prevented any non-profit doing work overseas from using any of their own, private money to fund family planning services. This so-called “Global Gag Rule” posed a serious threat to international maternal health, but it also cut off funding for HIV/AIDS initiatives, child health programs, and water and sanitation efforts.
Supported anti-gay discrimination
In 2004, President Bush endorsed the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), which would have banned same-sex couples from marrying in the U.S. Constitution. The Massachusetts Supreme Court had just ruled in favor of marriage equality, and Bush hoped to block the ruling from taking effect because “a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization.” Though the FMA failed numerous times in Congress during Bush’s tenure, he exploited the issue of same-sex marriage to turn out conservative voters for the 2004 election. That year, 11 states added constitutional amendments outlawing same-sex marriage.
Further deregulated Wall Street
Under Bush, federal agencies eliminated regulations on predatory lending, capital requirements, and other Wall Street practices, allowing banks to engage in riskier and more destructive practices that contributed to the financial crisis that started on his watch. Bush’s Treasury Department also pushed for even further deregulation that would have given Wall Street more oversight over its own practices even after the housing collapse had begun.
Widened income inequality
The per-person benefits of Bush’s tax cuts accrued to the top one percent of Americans, as therate for capital gains dropped to 15 percent. The CBO found that federal income taxes dropped far more as a percentage of the one percent’s income than for any other group after 2000.
Undermined worker protections
Under Bush, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, whose mission is to protect safe working conditions, issued 86 percent fewer rules or regulations and pulled 22 items from its agenda of proposed safety and health rules. The office’s funding and staff were also consistently reduced. Meanwhile, funding for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency charged with helping workers who claim discrimination against their employers, was similarly low and staffing fell even as the number of complaints increased, leading to a rising backlog of cases.
Ideological court appointments
Bush filled the federal bench with ideologues, including two lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court. These conservatives believe that corporations should be able to buy and sell electionsruledagainst equal pay for equal work, and have sought to undermine a woman’s right to choose.
Presided over a dysfunctional executive branch
A 2008 analysis by the Center for Public Integrity documented more than 125 executive branch failures over Bush’s two terms. These included government breakdowns on “education, energy, the environment, justice and security, the military and veterans affairs, health care, transportation, financial management, consumer and worker safety,” and others. “I think we’ll look back on this period as one of the most destructive periods in American public life . . . both in terms of policy and process,” Thomas E. Mann, senior fellow at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution observed, noting “genuine distortion in the constitutional system, an exaggerated sense of presidential power and prerogative and acquiescence by a Republican Congress in the face of the first unified Republican government since Dwight Eisenhower.”


don't be sad

Friday, April 26, 2013

come to Texas!

So Rick Perry is on yet another "bidniss" trip trying to convince businesses to come to Texas.  He is so proud of our "right to work" status, which actually means "right to pay lower wages" of course (and "right to circumvent regulations").  

If you relocate here, maybe you can move to a small town and destroy it by not adhering to any regulations, too!  The GOP state lege won't mind!

If the business climate is so incredibly good, why aren't businesses already just flocking here?  One reason is we have a largely ignorant, poorly-trained workforce.  Texas high schools are lucky to graduate 50% of their students, and half of those still can't read and write at an age-appropriate level.  

Texas has the most and highest percentage of children in poverty, smallest percentage of people with healthcare, and we're tied with Mississippi for fewest teeth per capita.  Yeeeha!  What a state!  (Of decay)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

graffiti mural

Just down the street, a crowd was gathering...

Golden Rule

No matter what religion you purport to hold (or not practice), the Golden Rule seems to be a common thread among all of them.  As an atheist, I certainly appreciate the Golden Rule, and I practice it as often as possible.  Nobody is perfect and I have fallen short a few times, but the Golden Rule predates Christianity, and Islam, and every other religion out there.

The Universality of the Golden Rule in the World Religions

Christianity All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
      Matthew 7:1
Confucianism Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.
      Analects 12:2
Buddhism Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
      Udana-Varga 5,1
Hinduism This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.
      Mahabharata 5,1517
Islam No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
Judaism What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
      Talmud, Shabbat 3id
Taoism Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
      Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien
Zoroastrianism That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself.
      Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

dead, again?!

When will these fucking idiots ever learn?!  These people have to be charged with murder, or at the least negligent homicide.  You see how dangerous religious fanatics can be?  No matter which religion it is, they are all dangerous.

Hey, believe all you want in imaginary beings, but if you want actual results, trust science!

2nd Child of Pa. Couple Dies After Only Praying

A Philadelphia couple — serving 10 years' probation for the 2009 death of their toddler after they turned to prayer instead of a doctor — has violated their probation now that another of their children has died.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible belong to a fundamentalist Christian church that believes in faith-healing.

Philadelphia Judge Benjamin Lerner said at a hearing they violated the most important condition of their probation: to seek medical care for their remaining children.

Authorities have yet to file criminal charges in the death of the 8-month-old boy last week, after he suffered with diarrhea and breathing problems for days. But charges could be filed once authorities pinpoint how the baby died.

The couple is on probation after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 2011 in the death of their 2-year-old son, Kent, from pneumonia.


armed to the teeth

He was armed to the teeth
And murdered anyway
in his home
in his pajamas.

Don't lie to me:
"The only thing
that stops a bad guy
with a gun
is a good guy
with a gun."

Total bullshit
from an arms merchant
of death.

Buy more guns
is his message.

The Presence of Firearms Did Not Keep Texas DA From Being Assassinated In His Own Home

Texas prosecutor Mike McLelland
A common belief among many Americans seems to be that the possession of firearms somehow makes us secure in a dangerous world. Some have argued that the Newtown massacre in Connecticut might have been averted if teachers had been armed in their classrooms.

Those who hold such beliefs might want to consider the experience of Mike McLelland, who was district attorney of Kaufman County, Texas. I say was because McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were shot and killed on Saturday (March 30, 2013) by an intruder at their home some 20 miles southeast of Dallas. The slayings came less than two months after one of McLelland's chief assistants, Mark Hasse, was killed by one or more gunmen in the courthouse parking lot.

In the wake of Hasse's murder, McLelland made a number of tough public statements, vowing to apprehend the "scum" who were responsible. McLelland even made it clear that he had taken extra precautions to protect himself. The message that McLelland sent, in so many words, was this: "I am heavily armed, and I am a professional who knows how to use weapons."

Did that help keep him alive? Not exactly. Authorities say McLelland was shot multiple times while wearing his pajamas. Here is how The Dallas Morning News described McLelland's mindset after the Hasse murder:

McLelland himself had said he was taking no chances after Hasse was assassinated.

He said he carried a gun everywhere he went and always took extra care when answering the door of his home.

“I’m ahead of everybody else because, basically, I’m a soldier,” the 23-year Army veteran boasted less than two weeks ago.
How could a heavily armed "soldier," on high alert, wind up being shot to death in his own home? Here are details of the crime scene from The Dallas Morning News:

Investigators said little publicly about the crime or possible suspects. But a law enforcement official, speaking only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, called the attacks at the McLellands’ home “brazen.”

The shootings appeared to be premeditated, well-orchestrated and anything but a random burglary that went bad, several law enforcement officials said.

Cynthia McLelland’s body was found near the front door, and it appeared she had answered the door, the officials said. At least two officials said Mike McLelland’s body was found toward the rear of the house. He was dressed in pajamas.

Both were shot more than once, apparently with a large-caliber assault-style rifle. “They found the bodies and a lot of shell casings,” a law enforcement official said.

“It’s a bad deal. This is brazen. It’s revenge. You don’t go in there and do the stuff that’s been done if it’s not revenge motivated.”

Texas is known for its gun-toting, cowboy culture--and McLelland seemed to revel in his tough-guy image. But that did not help much--not when a bad guy with an assault weapon made him, and his home, a target. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

wring it out!

I fucking love science!

turn it off

Everybody wants to be first with the news, the big scoop.  They'll make it up if they have to.  

Breaking News Is Broken

Don’t watch cable news. Shut off Twitter. You’d be better off cleaning your gutters.

Inspired by the events of the past week, here’s a handy guide for anyone looking to figure out what exactly is going on during a breaking news event. When you first hear about a big story in progress, run to your television. Make sure it’s securely turned off.
Next, pull out your phone, delete your Twitter app, shut off your email, and perhaps cancel your service plan. Unplug your PC.
Now go outside and take a walk for an hour or two. Maybe find a park and sit on a bench, reading an old novel. Winter is just half a year away—have you started cleaning out your rain gutters? This might be a good time to start. Whatever you do, remember to stay hydrated. Have a sensible dinner. Get a good night’s rest. In the morning, don’t rush out of bed. Take in the birdsong. Brew a pot of coffee.
Finally, load up your favorite newspaper’s home page. Spend about 10 minutes reading a couple of in-depth news stories about the events of the day. And that’s it: You’ve now caught up with all your friends who spent the past day and a half going out of their minds following cable and Twitter. In fact, you’re now better informed than they are, because during your self-imposed exile from the news, you didn’t stumble into the many cul-de-sacs and dark alleys of misinformation that consumed their lives. You’re less frazzled, better rested, and your rain gutters are clear.

read the rest here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


A Lyrid shower

I meant to post this yesterday.  
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Today and Monday
A meteor shower
Another meteor shower

Let's hope
They burn up
Before they arrive

Saturday, April 20, 2013

a tough week

What he said.

It's been a tough week.
No shit.

Bombs on Monday
Set by fools.
Blinded by religion
Mindless tools
Used to act this way.
But they grew up
in the modern day.
Islam will get there
But not today
Or next decade.

On Tuesday
poison in the mail
To a Senator
And the President.
What motive
who can say?

Chemical plant
Fire and explosion.
Houses flattened
First responders killed
By negligence?
Might have stopped it.
But this is Texas
Fuck the Feds
Till we need them
For disaster help

Floods on the river
After the drought
Too much rain
All at once.

Shootout in Boston
City locked down.
They caught the guy
And the people cheered.

What a week.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thomas Herndon

Three cheers for Thomas Herndon, for doing as much as anyone has to shake this stupid austerity monkey off of our backs.  Thomas shows the truth, but of course right-wingers haven't cared that much for the truth in a long time now.  Anyone who can help restore some economic sanity to today's mixed-up times, well, CHEERS, Thomas!!

Meet the 28-Year-Old Grad Student Who Just Shook the Global Austerity Movement
by Kevin Roose
Most Ph.D. students spend their days reading esoteric books and stressing out about the tenure-track job market. Thomas Herndon, a 28-year-old economics grad student at UMass Amherst, just used part of his spring semester to shake the intellectual foundation of the global austerity movement.

Herndon became instantly famous in nerdy economics circles this week as the lead author of a recent paper, "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff," that took aim at a massively influential study by two Harvard professors named Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff.  Herndon found some hidden errors in Reinhart and Rogoff's data set, then calmly took the entire study out back and slaughtered it. Herndon's takedown — which first appeared in a Mike Konczal post that crashed its host site with traffic — was an immediate sensation. It was cited by prominent anti-austerians likePaul Krugmanspoken about by incoming Bank of England governor Mark Carney, and mentioned on CNBC and several other news outlets as proof that the pro-austerity movement is based, at least in part, on bogus math.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston bombing

The media is going ape-shit over the bombings at the Boston Marathon.  Wall-to-wall, curb-to-curb coverage, and the unspoken message is to be afraid.  Be scared.  Suspect your neighbors.  Report anything!  

The best response to terrorism is to simply go on with your life.  Defy the cowardly bastards.  The fact that the bombings happened on Tax Day (April 15) and Patriot's Day in Massachusetts tells me that domestic terrorists are responsible; so-called "Patriots" who think they are striking a blow for freedom or some such bullshit.  Of course, right-wing paranoids see the same coincidences and suggest that it proves it's a "false-flag" operation, meaning that Obama is behind it (naturally) to scare people so he can take away all of your guns.  (sigh)  

The police so far say that there have been no claims of responsibility.  Bullshit!  You get nutcases calling in to claim responsibility for a frikkin' car crash.  I'm sure they have SOME claims of responsibility, but they've discounted them, or they simply are choosing not to tell us about them yet.

I also have no doubt that some Republicans will use this bombing to accuse Obama of "not keeping us safe". One went so far as to say recently that these kinds of things never happened under Bush!  Talk about revisionist history!  Ever heard of the September 11 attacks in 2001, asshole?

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas, naturally), who recently took over as the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, held a brief press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday, telling reporters, "We've been quite fortunate that this type of attack has not happened before in the U.S." 

What the ... ?!  Let's review:   

  • the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center;
  • the Unabomber in 1994;  
  • the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995;  
  • the pipe bombs at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996;  
  • the bomb at an Alabama abortion clinic in 1998;  
  • the arson attack at a Syracuse temple in 2000;  
  • the 18 pipe bombs planted in mailboxes in five states in 2002;  
  • the 2008 bomb planted in front of a military recruiting center in Times Square;  
  • the bomb at a San Diego courthouse also in 2008;  
  • the fire bombs targeting researchers in 2008 at UC Santa Cruz;  
  • and in 2011, there was an attempted bombing of an MLK parade in Spokane.
And that's just in the last 20 years.  

If we go back further, let's not forget the series of anarchist bombings in 1919 and 1920, including the wagon bomb that killed 38 people on Wall Street, which were terribly deadly.

Other nations have lived and survived through multiple bombings.  There is no need to cower under your covers.  There is also no need to surrender even more freedoms in the name of safety, security, or the National Security State.

The best thing we can do is to go on with our lives, and try to help those that are injured in these cowardly attacks.

Friends of Perry

Our current Governor, Rick Perry, is a horrid example of a hypocritical, right-wing, arrogant, holier-than-thou influence-peddler.  Our state has suffered long enough under this clown.  His brief race for President in 2012 was a national disaster, but the guy has no sense of embarrassment and is considering another attempt in 2016.    

Nick Anderson, the cartoonist for the Houston Chronicle, did a recent toon about just one of Perry's antics.  Read it and get sick. (might need to click each pic to read them)


Monday, April 15, 2013

bad habits

No, this post is not about poorly-dressed nuns.  It's about some of those so-called bad habits that you picked up years ago and never quit, even though your mother told you it would hurt you if you continued.  Sometimes old wives tales are actually just bullshit.

8 ‘Bad’ Habits That Are Good for You

Cracking Your Knuckles.
Though it may not win you any friends, the arthritis warnings surrounding cracking your knuckles aren’t, well, all they’re cracked up to be. In a large study following people that did and didn’t crack their knuckles over a five year period found that knuckle crackers’ joints were just as healthy as those who didn’t. It can even be good for you: cracking your knuckles is actually healthy for your joints, giving you more flexibility and movement.

Biting Your Nails.
Who knew — biting your nails can actually boost your immune system! Chomping on your nails exposes you to trace amounts of bugs that can make you sick. Your immune system is powerful, remembering bugs it encountered before and unleashing the right weapons to attack it. As long as your nails aren’t very dirty, biting them isn’t bad for you.

Watching Cute Animal Videos — When you Should be Working.
Research has shown that watching videos or looking at photos of cute baby animals is actually good for our productivity. After viewing cute baby animals, we are more focused and perform tasks more carefully. Why? It’s been suggested that just viewing baby animals triggers our caregiving impulses, which require more intensive focus and care.

Skipping a Workout or Three.
Let’s face it: most of us aren’t professional athletes, movie stars or fitness instructors. And, if you don’t fall into one of those categories, well, it’s really not essential to workout every day. In fact, waiting a day between exercises can actually be more beneficial than exercising every day, because it gives your muscles time to repair themselves and get stronger.

Though most of us consider burping to be impolite, suppressing one of your body’s natural processes can actually be bad for you. In fact, it can actually trigger heart burn and chest pain! If you can’t let go of a burp in public, try changing your diet — certain foods cause us to burp more than others, like carbonated beverages, beans and, for some people, sugarless candies. If you think you’re burping too much, see a doctor.

Eating in Bed.
The best time to eat is when you’re relaxed — and what’s more relaxing than bed? If you’re eating in stressful or rushed situations or mindsets, you’re more prone to stomach problems. Aside from a meal with loved ones, bed is a fine place to eat. Just make sure not to spill on the sheets!

This may be some relief to all of my fellow fidgeters out there: we tend to have faster metabolisms, better circulation, and less joint and back pain. And it’s not just the physical stuff- fidgeters also tend to have stronger memories, more effective thought processes, and lower stress levels when we’re in the act.

As weird — and gross! — as it sounds, there actually are times when it is beneficial to spit. When you’re exercising, your body produces more saliva than it normally does. Sometimes, this extra saliva can build up to the point that it can interfere with our breathing and, yes, make it necessary to spit out the excess.

Surely that's not all!  If belching is actually good for you, well it only makes sense that FARTING is likewise beneficial.  Better out than in, right?  (Psst!  You want really toxic, sulphuric farts?  Eat lots of fruit!)

And what about masturbation?  That one allegedly causes all sorts of problems, from warts and hair on your hands to going blind or insane.  But masturbation is one of the best things men can do for their prostate, not to mention peace of mind.  As for women, well, have you even known any women to get all bitchy, pissed or angry after having an orgasm?

What about picking your nose?  Is it better to have all that snot building up in there?  I don't think so!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

giant snails!

It's been one of those periods where:

1) I have been too "busy" to post anything; 

2) there hasn't been anything instantly obviously "worth" posting;  

3) I just haven't been inspired to post because things are going so "well".

It's been a little of all of the above.

But then a story like this comes along:

Florida battles slimy invasion by giant snails

By Barbara Liston
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - South Florida is fighting a growing infestation of one of the world's most destructive invasive species: the giant African land snail, which can grow as big as a rat and gnaw through stucco and plaster.
More than 1,000 of the mollusks are being caught each week in Miami-Dade and 117,000 in total since the first snail was spotted by a homeowner in September 2011, said Denise Feiber, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Residents will soon likely begin encountering them more often, crunching them underfoot as the snails emerge from underground hibernation at the start of the state's rainy season in just seven weeks, Feiber said.
The snails attack "over 500 known species of plants ... pretty much anything that's in their path and green," Feiber said.
In some Caribbean countries, such as Barbados, which are overrun with the creatures, the snails' shells blow out tires on the highway and turn into hurling projectiles from lawnmower blades, while their slime and excrement coat walls and pavement.
"It becomes a slick mess," Feiber said.
A typical snail can produce about 1,200 eggs a year and the creatures are a particular pest in homes because of their fondness for stucco, devoured for the calcium content they need for their shells.
The snails also carry a parasitic rat lungworm that can cause illness in humans, including a form of meningitis, Feiber said, although no such cases have yet been identified in the United States.
The snails' saga is something of a sequel to the Florida horror show of exotic species invasions, including the well-known infestation of giant Burmese pythons, which became established in the Everglades in 2000. There is a long list of destructive non-native species that thrive in the state's moist, subtropical climate.
Experts gathered last week in Gainesville, Florida, for a Giant African Land Snail Science Symposium, to seek the best ways to eradicate the mollusks, including use of a stronger bait approved recently by the federal government.
Feiber said investigators were trying to trace the snail infestation source. One possibility being examined is a Miami Santeria group, a religion with West African and Caribbean roots, which was found in 2010 to be using the large snails in its rituals, she said. But many exotic species come into the United States unintentionally in freight or tourists' baggage.
"If you got a ham sandwich in Jamaica or the Dominican Republic, or an orange, and you didn't eat it all and you bring it back into the States and then you discard it, at some point, things can emerge from those products," Feiber said.
Authorities are expanding a series of announcements on buses, billboards and in movie theaters urging the public to be on the lookout.
The last known Florida invasion of the giant mollusks occurred in 1966, when a boy returning to Miami from a vacation in Hawaii brought back three of them, possibly in his jacket pockets. His grandmother eventually released the snails into her garden where the population grew in seven years to 17,000 snails. The state spent $1 million and 10 years eradicating them.
Feiber said many people unfamiliar with the danger viewed the snails as cute pets.
"They're huge, they move around, they look like they're looking at you ... communicating with you, and people enjoy them for that," Feiber said. "But they don't realize the devastation they can create if they are released into the environment where they don't have any natural enemies and they thrive."