Lynn Squance

Feb 172017
 

I'm back again with two posts, although one was finished last night and this the second.  Do you ever sit reading and then figure you've read this before?  The chaos and confusion in the Drumpfenfarten administration is so profuse, constant really, that it is difficult to see where one episode finishes and another starts.  Additionally, they all look and feel the same to me — one gigantic blur of Drumpfian stupidity!  It is so bad that I put a newspaper down on the floor beside my bed and one of my furbabes peed all over Drumpf's picture!  Am I a good mum for teaching my furbabes good values, or what?!

Short Takes

NY Times — President Trump plans to assign a New York billionaire to lead a broad review of American intelligence agencies, according to administration officials, an effort that members of the intelligence community fear could curtail their independence and reduce the flow of information that contradicts the president’s worldview.

The possible role for Stephen A. Feinberg, a co-founder of Cerberus Capital Management, has met fierce resistance among intelligence officials already on edge because of the criticism the intelligence community has received from Mr. Trump during the campaign and since he became president. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump blamed leaks from the intelligence community for the departure of Michael T. Flynn, his national security adviser, whose resignation he requested.  …

Mr. Feinberg, who has close ties to Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, declined to comment on his possible position.  …

Bringing Mr. Feinberg into the administration to conduct the review is seen as a way of injecting a Trump loyalist into a world the White House views with suspicion. But top intelligence officials fear that Mr. Feinberg is being groomed for a high position in one of the intelligence agencies.  …

On an array of issues — including the Iran nuclear deal, the utility of NATO, and how best to combat Islamist militancy — much of the information and analysis produced by American intelligence agencies contradicts the policy positions of the new administration. The divide is starkest when it comes to Russia and President Vladimir V. Putin, whom Mr. Trump has repeatedly praised while dismissing American intelligence assessments that Moscow sought to promote his own candidacy.

Drumpfenfarten appears to only want "yes men" around him, the kind that will tell him what he wants to hear, not what he needs to hear.  Feinberg is from Cerberus Capital.  An interesting bit of trivia — Cerberus, in Greek mythology, is the multi-headed dog that guards the gates of the Underworld to prevent the dead from leaving.  One wonders then what Feinberg's true role might be and just how much power he might have.

CBC — I was in Egypt when President Donald Trump signed the controversial executive order banning travel to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The prevailing feeling on the ground at the time: relief. Egypt wasn't on the list. But some people were concerned: "Are we next?"

Most of the coverage of the ban — which has since been suspended — and its implications has, naturally, been centred on the U.S., where people have been detained for hours in airports and the president continues his crass battle with his own judiciary.

But the way that groups in the Middle East have reacted to the ban is of at least equal importance.

The general sentiment on social media accounts was that the West was waging a war against Islam, and if you had any doubt about that before, Trump's "Muslim ban" was now the ultimate proof. (Radio-Canada)

The 'blessed ban'

As soon as the executive order was announced, I checked the blogosphere of the jihadi community, which prescribes waging a "holy war" against non-believers of Islam. The general sentiment on social media accounts was that the West was waging a war against Islam, and if you had any doubt about that before, Trump's "Muslim ban" was now the ultimate proof.

This is an opinion piece by Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian born Canadian citizen who is an award winning journalist. For me, his perspective is important.  Fahmy was arrested 29/12/2013 in Egypt on bogus charges along with 2 other journalists.  He was finally pardoned on 23/09/2015 and returned to Canada 06/10/2015.  You can check out his short bio in Wikipedia.  If anyone can understand the minds of ISIS members and provide insight, Fahmy can. Others have said the same thing, but Drumpfenfarten does not listen.  He should stop listening to the voices in his head and listen instead to people like Fahmy, people who know what the hell is going on.

The Nation — Trump’s administration is so awash in scandal and obvious incompetence that less than one month into his presidency, 46 percent of Americans now favor his impeachment. And Trump’s critics, energized and empowered by a movement moment that is eclipsing the emergence of the Tea Party eight years ago, are turning the desperation of his apologists to their advantage. Case in point: After Elizabeth Warren was shut down on the Senate floor as she read a 1986 letter by Coretta Scott King rebuking then-Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s choice for attorney general, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell grumbled, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Within minutes, the King letter had gone viral; within hours, Nevertheless, She Persisted had become a slogan on T-shirts and posters; and within days, Katy Perry was wearing a Persist armband at the Grammy Awards.  …

So when they push, the right response is to push back—just as Warren did when she issued the following response to McConnell and company on Twitter: “Consider this MY warning: We won’t be silent. We will speak out. And we WILL persist.” [emphasis added]

Drumpfenfarten and his sycophants don't hold a candle to people like Senator Elizabeth Warren who speak out, speak up, resist and persist!!

 

Resist

 

and

 

Persist!!!

 

My Universe

 

A young TC post chili dinner!

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Feb 172017
 

Today, Drumpfenfarten went on a tirade that defies all logic and shows just how totally unhinged he is.  I'll start with the full video below.  Warning: It is almost 2 hours long.

 

Raw Story — President Donald Trump held a press conference today in which he once again boasted about his November election win and attacked the mainstream media for producing “fake news.”

But beyond the usual boasting and bashing, the president made several jaw-dropping statements that were surprising even by his standards. Below, we’ll go over the seven craziest moments at today’s press conference.

  1. Trump says that while the leaks coming out of his administration are real, the news stories being written about them are still fake news. When asked to explain the seeming contradiction in his desire to both crack down on leaks in his administration and to attack news stories based on those leaks, the president simply said the leaks from the administration were real, but the news they generated was fake.”The leaks are real,” Trump said. “The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.”
  2. Trump falsely claims that his electoral college victory this past November was the biggest since Ronald Reagan’s. With 306 electoral college votes, Trump’s margin of victory last year was smaller than not only Ronald Reagan’s, but also George H.W. Bush’s victory in 1988, Bill Clinton’s two victories in 1992 and 1996, and Barack Obama’s two wins in 2008 and 2012.When confronted by this, Trump simply replied that he “was given that information,” without acknowledging that the information was false.

These are the first two of seven wacky moments in Drumpfenfarten's weapons-grade crazy press conference.  If you don't have time to watch the video, these will give you a flavour of the press conference.

And there are a number of reactions to this so called press conference.  In this first one, Shep Smith from Faux Noise lays waste to Drumpf.

Huffington Post — After President Donald Trump spent much of his Thursday press conference lecturing and demeaning reporters, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith defended the role of the media, reminding Trump that “you owe this to the American people” to answer reporters’ questions.

“It’s crazy what we’re watching every day. It’s absolutely crazy,” Smith said, summing up the Thursday face-off. “He keeps repeating ridiculous, throwaway lines that are not true at all and sort of avoiding this issue of Russia as if we’re some kind of fools for asking the question. Really?!”

There are some humourous reactions to take care of your pounding headache!

Huffington Post — President Donald Trump’s combative news conference on Thursday got a YUGE reaction on social media, and the reviews weren’t exactly glowing. 

I tried to get one of the pictures over for you, but I couldn't manage it — kept getting an error message.  (However Nameless has used it in his comment so I'm editing it in. Thanks Nameless)  So have a look and pay particular attention to Ben & Jerry's All Natural Impeachmint Ice Cream.

According to another article in Raw Story most of which is not related,

Pres. Donald Trump’s wild and unhinged press conference on Thursday set tongues wagging across the Internet and, apparently, in the halls of Congress as well.

CNN’s John King said he received a message from a Republican senator who wrote, “He should do this with a therapist, not on live television.”

At what was ostensibly meant to be the announcement of Trump’s new nomination for Secretary of Labor on Thursday, the president launched into a series of long-winded tirades where he lambasted the press, U.S. intelligence agencies, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and anyone else he perceives as hostile to his agenda.

There you have it!  Drumpfenfarten at his best usual . . . bluster, liar extraordinaire, xenophobic, racist, misogynist, and narcissistic self.

TC, I think we're going to have to find a new word other than InsaniTEA to describe the philosophy of Drumpfenfarten and his lock-step Republican minions.

 

 

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Feb 142017
 

It has been quite a while since I last posted any articles, so long that it feels foreign to me.  I was very busy going back and forth to my mother's care home.  I would sit with her for hours every day.  But that came to an end with my mother's passing, age 88, on 04 February 2017 from bronchial  pneumonia.  I have a lot to do now with her estate.  But most of what I need to do is not urgent.  I wanted to get back to posting but I have been just too tired this past month.  I did however save a few links that I thought were interesting, and some humourous.

Short Takes

Huffington Post — Despite Donald Trump’s transition from developer to reality star to president of the United States, his wardrobe and temperament haven’t changed a bit. 

Though no one seems to be able to do anything about his disposition, GQ decided to step in and give Trump a YUGE presidential makeover in a hilarious new video. The men’s magazine trolls the president BIGLY with advice on how to solve his slouchy suits, Scotch-taped ties and wrinkled pants. They even offer tailoring tips to make his hands look bigger.

http://

I cracked up when I saw this.  Alas though, nobody can fix the personality . . . not even GQ.  Enjoy!

YouTube — John Oliver is back and explores Drumpfenfarten's acquaintance with truth.

Washington Post — To celebrate the 62nd anniversary of a school in northern Taiwan, students were invited to choose historical figures and “cosplay” them at a parade Friday.

Liu Hsi-cheng, a history teacher at Hsinchu Kuang Fu High School, suggested to his homeroom class that they go with famous people from Arabic culture, he told the Taipei Times.

But Liu's students had another idea: a theme based on Adolf Hitler.

Liu warned his students that such a theme would be “very controversial,” the paper reported — but ultimately “chose to respect the students' decision and did not veto it” after the class voted on it twice.

On Friday, students from the school in Hsinchu, about 55 miles southwest of Taipei, showed up to the festivities wearing Nazi uniforms and brandishing signs, arm bands and long red banners with swastikas on them.

I was flabbergasted when I saw this piece.  The teacher, IMO, missed an excellent opportunity to educate the students about history and ethics.  Is it any wonder why Drumpfenfarten would like speaking with the head of state of Taiwan against the "One China" policy that Obama and others had maintained?  Click through for the rest of the story.

MSN.com — If you thought the yellow brick road was cool, then you are going to love one road France just paved. 

can't embed the video but I thought this was really cool, and so proactive, something we won't see in the US with the current administration, and not likely in Canada either.  Click on MSN.com.

CBC — Australian researchers have observed two specimens of a rare sea dragon that's never before been seen alive.

Sea dragons aren't very common, found in the waters off the coast of southern Australia. For some time, only two types were known: the leafy sea dragon and the common sea dragon (sometimes also called the weedy sea dragon).

Then, in 2015, PhD student Josefin Stiller discovered that four samples collected over the years — the first in 1919 — had been misclassified as a common sea dragon. Instead, it was its own species, named the ruby sea dragon.

One more reason why we need to protect the oceans as habitats and as life affirming bodies.  Click through for more of this fascinating creature.

My Universe

 . . . and not to leave out the canines . . . 

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Dec 142016
 

It now looks like Alternet author Janet Allon has a new series, the "Despicable Things …This Week", or words to that effect.  This is her third in the series and I am sure it is not her last.  Trump and the right wing nutjobs are not likely to disappoint in providing suitable fodder for her new series.  This article, like her previous series, is guaranteed to have you doing deep sighs and shaking your head.

The mind reels with the mounting horrors and the sheer pace at which they come. How could one mere week contain so many terrible and impulsive actions from a man who has managed to get elected leader? At the beginning of the week, Donald Trump did everything he could to completely piss off the Chinese government,… Continue reading »

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Dec 142016
 

The past few days have been somewhat boring as I stayed off the snow covered streets — my concern is other drivers because I know my driving abilities, but too many others don't understand driving to conditions.  I finally went out late Sunday afternoon only to have a man tell me I'd never get out of the parking slot, let alone the lot.  He watched as I backed out and was amazed.  Silly man didn't like a woman showing him how it's done no doubt.  Today was a beautiful  day, clear skies and lots of sunshine.  Temperatures are low with day's high -2 C (28 F).  Tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same with  overnight plunging to -10 C (14 F). Ah, retirement!

Short Takes

CBC — For Angela Keizer, there's more than one Santa Claus — and they all wear steel-toed boots.

Last month the Dartmouth, N.S., woman was running out of options, out of money and fearing her family would soon be without a home.

Attempts to rebuild after a house fire came to a halt after problems with Keizer's contractor, but the unexpected generosity of strangers from as far away as Ontario has put the project back on track.

"Three weeks ago … I thought I was going to have to walk away," Keizer said Tuesday.  …

"I was always a trusting person before, and then when this disaster happened, that died. But there's so many people that have restored that faith. There's a lot of good people out there."

I could start off my comment with how these contractors are helping Keizer so that they get free advertising and more contracting jobs etc, and in so doing, wouldn't I be the "Grinch who stole Christmas"!  But that's not me.  This is a "feel good" story that has no other meaning than to celebrate that people can be compassionate and love their neighbours no matter how far away they live.

TIME — For nearly 17 months on the campaign trail, Trump did what no American politician had attempted in a generation, with defiant flair. Instead of painting a bright vision for a unified future, he magnified the divisions of the present, inspiring new levels of anger and fear within his country. Whatever you think of the man, this much is undeniable: he uncovered an opportunity others didn’t believe existed, the last, greatest deal for a 21st century salesman. The national press, the late-night comics, the elected leaders, the donors, the corporate chiefs and a sitting President who prematurely dropped his mic—they all believed he was just taking the country for a ride.

Now it’s difficult to count all the ways Trump remade the game: the huckster came off more real than the scripted political pros. The cable-news addict made pollsters look like chumps. The fabulist out-shouted journalists fighting to separate fact from falsehood. The demagogue won more Latino and black votes than the 2012 Republican nominee.

I was astonished that Trump was made Time's Person of the Year, but then I remembered the criteria.  As Jim Kelly, a Chief Editor of Time, put it in 2001: "Well, the classic definition of TIME's Person of the Year is the person who most affected the events of the year, for better or for worse. I think what has happened over the years is that the Man of the Year title, Person of the Year title, has become non-honorific. It was never meant to be solely that."  To no one's surprise, Trump sees it only as an honourific.  But then, narcissist that he is, that is the only way he is capable of seeing it.  There is no doubt that Trump has had an immense affect on the politics of the US, but unfortunately, IMO, it is all negative.  He is a demogogue, a narcissist, a liar, he is mendacious and arrogant.  He is not fit to be POTUS.  BTW, I heard Drumpf at a rally comment on being Time's Person of the Year, he called out "It should be Man of the Year.  What do you think ladies?"  Is there any doubt he is a misogynist!

Washington Post — The simmering distrust between Donald Trump and U.S. intelligence agencies escalated into open antagonism Saturday after the president-elect mocked a CIA report that Russian operatives had intervened in the U.S. presidential election to help him win.

The growing tensions set up a potential showdown between Trump and the nation’s top intelligence officials during what some of those officials describe as the most complex threat environment in decades.

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Central Intelligence Agency had determined that Russia had intervened in the presidential election not just to make mischief but to boost Trump’s chances.

Trump’s reaction will probably deepen an existing rift between Trump and the agencies and raised questions about how the government’s 16 spying agencies will function in his administration on matters such as counterterrorism and cyberwarfare. On Friday, members of Trump’s transition team dismissed the CIA’s assessments about Iraq’s stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.

“Given his proclivity for revenge combined with his notorious thin skin, this threatens to result in a lasting relationship of distrust and ill will between the president and the intelligence community,” said Paul Pillar, former deputy director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center.

President-elect Donald Trump as well as Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Dec. 11 reacted to the CIA’s assessment that Russia intervened to help Trump win the election.

The CIA's report into Russian activities related to the US election was leaked to the public last Friday, although top congressional leaders had seen it behind closed doors in September.  Trump is still denying the report as the work of the Democrats.  He says there is no evidence.  He puts no stock in the advice of the intelligence community, a community that historically has credence with conservatives.  He's smarter than them . . . just ask him!  It is going to be a long four years if the Electoral College doesn't do it's constitutional duty.

CBC — We went looking for them as part of a report on the proliferation of extreme-right, xenophobic and anti-Semitic groups in Hungary, clothing themselves as nationalist defenders of the land. It didn't go well.

The bikers' leader, Imre Meszaros, demands the right to veto the work of journalists who interview him, even presents them with a legal document to sign right off the bat.

We didn't agree, but met with him at his apartment in a well-to-do suburb of the Hungarian capital in the hopes of changing his mind.

Meszaros was soon raising his voice, pointing fingers in our faces and railing about the fickle media.

After a brief off-the-record chat, we ended the conversation and said goodbye. But not before Meszaros stepped into the elevator with us to warn there would be "consequences" if the conversation was reported anywhere.

It wasn't a threat, he said, just "information," and he has friends in Canada, the Hells Angels.

I told him I know a threat when I hear one, and the non-interview was over.

Later he emailed our translator, making the same threat. Intimidation of the media is a hallmark of the extreme right in Hungary.

We have Hungary reverting to its fascist past when it worked in league with the Nazis to eliminate Jews and Roma.  How many times will we ignore this resurgence of fascism before we take action as a global community?

Politico — On a presidential debate stage five years ago, Rick Perry blanked on the Energy Department's name when trying to include it in a list of agencies he promised to abolish — memorably concluding with "oops."

Now Donald Trump has chosen the former Texas governor to lead the sprawling department, which oversees the security of the nation's nuclear weapons and has played major roles in President Barack Obama's climate agenda and nuclear deal with Iran. Three sources close to the transition confirmed the choice Tuesday.

Conservatives had favored the former Texas governor for the job, viewing him as someone with management experience who would be willing to question the agency’s status quo. They believe Perry might bring serious reform to the agency because he isn't wedded to energy programs, such as DOE's fossil and efficiency offices, that conservatives have criticized as unnecessary, market-distorting schemes.

There is only one thing to say to Drumpf's announcement — OOPS!!!!

My Universe They can get along.  Why can't humans?

"Momma" PeppaPeppa's kittens

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Nov 282016
 

There was a one week reprieve from the "5 Right-Wing Outrages This Week" series, and it now looks like Alternet author Janet Allon has a new series, the "Despicable Things …This Week", or words to that effect.  I'm sure Trump won't disappoint in providing suitable material for her new series.  Here is her second article, and like her previous series, guaranteed to have you doing deep sighs and shaking your head.

 

trump_gage

Donald Trump spent Thanksgiving week leaking his potential cabinet picks, making Mitt Romney grovel and turning down security briefings. He also made the time to sit down with the New York Times to flatter and lie to them, which seemed to have inexplicably fooled the paper of record into saying look, he's not that bad. The… Continue reading »

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