Jul 042015
 

4th of July 2013

Like many holidays, Independence Day has become highly commercialized, so often Independence Day Sale often comes to mind before the patriots who risked everything to stand for the ideals of representative government.  Let us take a moment to consider the document they signed on July 4, 1776.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The men who wrote and signed this document were authentic patriots.  As such they were the polar opposite of the Republicans who would have us believe that racist nationalism is the same as patriotism.  It is not.  They would also have you believe that the founding fathers fought against taxation.  They did not.  They opposed taxes levied on them when they had no representation to determine what and how much those taxes might be.  To propose violence against a government because they do not like the policies if their elected representatives is not patriotism.  It is InsaniTEA and it is criminal sedition.

Here’s a special message from the Reich on the left, who is right.

The graphic and the following video are the fireworks in my home town.

Please Take care to be safe,

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Jul 042015
 

It’s Independence Day, and here in Portland the killer heat wave goes on.  I’d like to wander downstairs tonight  to see if I can watch the fireworks at Waterfront Park (11,800 shots) from the corner, by looking down Oak St., but that will have to wait until next year.  It will still well over 80°.  ARGH!  You all have a safe, happy day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took 3:16 (average 5:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Alternet: Thursday night, Jon Stewart recapped Donald Trump’s latest PR embarrassment. After calling Mexican immigrants "rapists" last week and suffering the entirely predictable and righteous backlash, Trump went on a media tour to explain his strange, racist diatribe.

 

Jon is spot on. He has Hairball pegged to the roots.

From Crooks and Liars: While discussing an admittedly flawed online poll asking whether or not the Americans responding would consider leaving the United States to go live in another country (with 55 percent of millennials responding in the affirmative due to the economy) the yappers on Fox’s The Five did their best to try to pretend that the economy hasn’t been improving during the Obama administration, and to push the latest right wing talking points about the declining labor participation rates.

Co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle also used the opportunity to attack millennials as a bunch of lazy moochers who just want free stuff. How dare they want to live in a country where they have a chance to get a good education, have adequate health care coverage and a job that pays a living wage?

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Here we have a perfect example of why people who get their information from Faux Noise are more poorly informed that people who have no access at all to news.

From Daily Kos: Looks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t bowing to the wishes of Scott Walker and Jeb Bush on ending the Senate’s filibuster rule in order to ease the path to repealing Obamacare. Alexander Bolton has the details:

Sources close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) say there’s virtually no chance he will go along with abolishing the filibuster, something he has strongly criticized in the past. […] 

Bush and Walker recently told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt they would support lowering the threshold for major legislation from 60 votes to a simple majority. Curbing the power of the Senate minority would make it easier to repeal and replace ObamaCare in 2017.

I have to confess that I was wrong about this. I have said many times thaat Bought Bitch Mitch would use the nuclear option, if Republicans took control of the Senate. What I failed to take into account is that the odds that Democrats will retake the Senate in November 2016 are so high that Bought Bitch Mitch fears losing the ability to be a filibastard then.  When I’m wrong, I say so.

Cartoon:

0704Cartoon

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Jul 032015
 

RepublicansOnParade2

Here is the seventy-third article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is Amber Roof, sister of Republican Terrorist Dylann Storm Roof. She is so honored for using her brother’s traditional Republican approach to race relations as an opportunity for material gain.

0703RoofThe sister of the alleged Charleston shooter, Dylann Roof, is upset that her brother being charged with slaughtering nine people has ruined her dream wedding. She’s appealing to the public for donations so she can reschedule.

Amber Roof’s wedding was scheduled for June 21, four days after the massacre at Emanuel AME Church.

“We were ready! We had planned out every detail for months and months. It was going to be the PERFECT day!,” she writes.

She is asking the public for donations to fund a new wedding. According to Amber, “We know money cannot replace the wedding we lost and our perfect day, however it will help us to create new memories and a new start with our new family.”…

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Her offer to share 10% of the blood money she takes in with the victims is all the more egregious.  It is the moral equivalent of a Nazi’s family enriching themselves and offering a pittance to holocaust victims.

Amber is Republican to the core.

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Jul 032015
 

It’s another day, and the unrelenting heat continues.  The webs between by toes, developed from living in cool, rainy Oregon for thirty-six years are cracked and brittle.  The long range forecast sets the next day, below 90° as 7/11.  This weather would be exceptional in the heat season, August and early September, not June and July.  ARGH!!  Although today is the official holiday, I’ll save Independence Day greetings for tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 6:15 (average 5:08 (COPD coughing attack in mid-solve)).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: The Associated Press’ (AP) report on a meeting between lawless Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) completely ignored the nationwide controversy Bundy sparked in 2014 when he made a series of racist comments about "the Negro." Paul himself repudiated Bundy at the time for his "offensive" commentary, a fact that was also missing from the AP article.

According to the AP, Bundy and Paul met during a June 29 campaign event in Mesquite, Nevada. Bundy said of Paul to the AP, "In general, I think we’re in tune with each other." Politico additionally reported that the two men spoke for 45 minutes.

In its report, AP described the April 2014 armed standoff between Bundy supporters and federal law enforcement agents as "one of the more dramatic conflicts over land rights in recent years," but made no mention of Bundy’s infamous racist commentary…

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

It is media bias at it’s worst to ignore support from Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot for this racist Republican terrorist.

From Daily Kos:

Jeb! has called Obamacare "flawed to its core" on several occasions, but apparently it wasn’t too flawed for him to make a handsome profit from. Josh Barro reports.

According to tax returns released by Mr. Bush’s campaign on Tuesday, he sold $1,103,424 worth of stock in Tenet Healthcare in September and October of 2013, yielding a capital gain of $556,283. It hadn’t taken Mr. Bush long to double his money — he was selling shares he had acquired in 2010 and 2011.[…]

…Mr. Bush’s tax returns reflect a gain of 105 percent on Tenet stock he acquired in May 2011 and sold in October 2013. Tenet shares actually gained 68 percent over that period; Mr. Bush’s higher gain may be related to his receipt of restricted stock grants. Still, Tenet’s 68 percent gain was much stronger than the 26 percent overall gain for the S.&P. 500 index over the same period.

And why did Tenet’s stocks outperform other stocks? Because investors anticipated that Obamacare would make hospitals more profitable, with increased usage and fewer payment defaults by uninsured patients.

There’s nothing unusual for a Republican or a Bush here.

From NY Times: Jim Webb, a former Virginia senator and Reagan-era secretary of the Navy, announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, bringing his antiwar credentials to the field in what many consider a long-shot campaign for the presidency.

Mr. Webb’s announcement caught some political observers by surprise. He was the first from either party to form a presidential exploratory committee but has been barely visible since.

I was for him when he ran for Senator against George Allen, Macaca Man, but except for his opposition to the Iraq War, he’s been mostly a Republican posing as a Democrat, and should be treated as such.

Cartoon:

0703Cartoon

These are O-rings.

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Jul 022015
 

In June, Politics Plus was little changed from April and May, for which I was again too ill to provide a report..

Here is our latest summary:

Stats6-2015

Data from June 2015:

Reported period

Month Jun 2015

 

 

 

 

First visit

01 Jun 2015 – 00:00

 

 

 

 

Last visit

30 Jun 2015 – 23:58

 

 

 

 

 

Unique visitors

Number of visits

Pages

Hits

Bandwidth

Viewed traffic *

8,798

 

27,484

(3.12 visits/visitor)

79,415

(2.88 Pages/Visit)

212,991

(7.74 Hits/Visit)

3.04 GB

(116.09 KB/Visit)

Not viewed traffic *

 

 

 

315,608

358,347

5.55 GB

Data from June 2014:

Reported period

Month Jun 2014

 

 

 

 

First visit

01 Jun 2014 – 00:01

 

 

 

 

Last visit

30 Jun 2014 – 23:59

 

 

 

 

 

Unique visitors

Number of visits

Pages

Hits

Bandwidth

Viewed traffic *

14,815

 

39,586

(2.67 visits/visitor)

111,345

(2.81 Pages/Visit)

372,345

(9.4 Hits/Visit)

5.17 GB

(136.87 KB/Visit)

Not viewed traffic *

 

 

 

343,004

385,036

4.73 GB

This June was a huge decline from last year.

Here is our latest demographic data from Quantcast:

QUS6-2015

They miss a ton of raw data, but among those they can identify they are a valuable source of information.  We are still mostly older, well educated, poor, and politically active. 

Here is our latest ClustrMap:

CMap6-2015

ClustrMap misses a lot of, because many visits can’t be easily traced to a location.  It shows only the visits from March 3 to June 23, when it was last updated. 

Here are our top five articles:

Jane Smiley: Capitalist Pigs 1/17/2010 2,087
Americans Know Inequality Hurts America 5/5/2015 578
The Return of Death Panel BS 8/12/3013 441
Response to Papal Encyclical 6/19/2015 220
This Week’s Idiotic Republican Moments 6/7/2015 184

The count represents only the people who followed an external link to that specific article.  I’m quite surprised and pleased that two from June made the cut, because I posted so few articles.

Here are our top non-blog/news referrers:

Care2 2,000
Google 1,306
Stumbleupon 184

Two are down.  Care2 is up.

Here are our top  blog/news referrers:

http://bildungblog.blogspot.com/
http://www.oakcreekforum.blogspot.com/
http://infidel753.blogspot.com/
http://hamsandwich66.blogspot.com/
http://zenman1550.tumblr.com/
http://www.synapticstew.com/
http://alterx.blogspot.ca/
http://mockpaperscissors.com/

Normally I have included fifteen here, but these eight are the only ones with two or more referrals.  This is the one stat that disappoints me most, because it means that we are no longer a go-to site for bloggers.  However, it’s better than last time, when we had only four.  Putting their links here increases the ratings of their sites, so this “linkey love” is our thank you for their support.

Here are our top commentators.  As the resident Big Mouth, I don’t count.  Those who leave their URLs in their comment headers, also get “linkey-love” here.

Lynn Squance (111)
Joanne D (110)
Edie (89)
jla (87)
Patty (75)
Lona Goudswaard (63)
Pat A (61)
SoINeedAName (61)
Jim Phillips (54)
Vivian B. (37)
Jerry Critter (28)
Avril Lomas (6)
Arielle (5)
Beth (5)
Dotti Lydon (5)
Infidel753 (5)
mamabear (5)

There are over 15, because of a tie.  People who submit articles to Care2 can use their submitted news link from there.  These are the people that kept PP alive during my illnesses, medical appointment mayhem, and volunteer work overload.

We have 209,024 links on other websites.

As of Midnight on July 1, we have 5,605 articles and 65,291 comments.

Kudos to Yvonne White for posting the 65,000th comment.

I recommend using your own avatar. Go to Gravatar.  Sign up using the email address you use to post comments here and upload the image you want to use as your avatar.  Whenever you comment under that email address here or on any WordPress blog (several others too), that image will become your avatar.

To be clear, we’ve had four very weak months, and that is not your fault in any way.  The main cause was severe back-to-back bouts of flu, a plethora of unrelated medical appointments, a volunteer trip and loads of volunteer work, and two extended heat waves.   I can only hope that improves.  The Clown Car is full and overflowing with presidential hopefuls, all of whom, without exception, will destroy this nation, if elected.  Even SCROTUS is behaving mildly to make the Party appear less extreme.  Whether you support Bernie or Hillary, I ask that you refrain from attacking the other and base your arguments on the good things about your choice.  However, it’s open season (politically) on the Republican candidates.  They and the Republican Bubble Machine will be repeating so many lies so often that we’ll be hard pressed to keep repeating  the truthsI’ll do my best to assist you, by exposing the lies and presenting the truths clearly.

Thank you for all that you do, here and elsewhere.  You are what keeps this site going!!

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Jul 022015
 

The heat wave continues.  I took a thermometer down the hall to the shower room with me at 4:00 AM.  Because the building collects the heat the temperature was 102°.  I hate taking a shower and mopping up my own sweat, before I finish drying.  Portland remains under a severe weather alert for excessive heat through the weekend.  I did manage, however to get about 6 hours sleep in the last 24.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 5:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: There have been so many ridiculous responses to the Supreme Court ruling on the side of marriage equality, it would be quite the challenge to pinpoint the stupidest of them all. The Who’s Who of right-wing crackpots seem to all have a bet going to see which one of them can make the most outlandish, perverse statement against all this gay marriage having. I believe we may have a real contender for top prize in Arkansas pastor Tim Brooks.

David Barton, who delights in wildly distorting American history to suit his fundamentalist Christian beliefs, founded an organization called Wallbuilders [Republican hate group delinked]. Of course they have their own radio show called Wallbuilders Live. It was on their whackadoodle airwaves that Pastor Brooks gave us what very well may have been the most over-the-top overreaction of over-the-top overreactions.

His voice rising to fever pitch, Brooks asserted that America has gone the way of Sodom and Gomorrah. He then leaps to the logical conclusion that gay people will be coming to your home, dragging you into the street, bending you over and having at you with lusty gusto.

If ever there was a case of projection, this is it. What this Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian describes with his antichristian lies is exactly what the Republican Party is doing to the American people.

From Washington Post: …Today, as he works toward his run at the White House, Bush touts his business experience as a strength that gives him the skills and savvy to serve as the nation’s chief executive. He has said he “worked my tail off” to succeed. As an announced candidate, Bush soon will be making financial disclosures that will reveal recent business successes and show a substantial increase in his wealth since he left office as Florida governor in 2007, individuals close to the candidate told The Post.

But records, lawsuits, interviews and newspaper accounts stretching back more than three decades present a picture of a man who, before he was elected Florida governor in 1998, often benefited from his family connections and repeatedly put himself in situations that raised questions about his judgment and exposed him to reputational risk…

Criminal business dealings runs in Strike Three’s family. GW ChickenHawk’s scams are legendary, and the clan’s patriarch, Prescott Bush, committed treason. He continued to profit by selling war materials to Hitler, even after the US and Germany were at war.

From Upworthy: As if Dolly Parton wasn’t cool enough, look what she’s been doing for kids — every single month.

 

Kudos to Dolly! While she won’t get involved in "politics", we know that she is not a Republican, because she supports gay marriage and women’s rights. Rumor has it that she tried to be a feminist once, but when she tried to burn her bra, they had to call the fire department to put it out. Winking smile

Cartoon:

0702Cartoon

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Jul 012015
 

Canada Day

Best wishes to out neighbors to the north.  We offer these in the spirit of brotherhood in spite of the act of war committed against us by exporting Ted Cruz to the US. 😉

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