Everyday Erinyes #93

 Posted by at 12:10 am  Politics
Sep 232017
 

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can’t include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as “unceasing,” “grudging,” and “vengeful destruction.”

 

Before I start on this first story, I want to rant a bit.  In our judicial systems, which mostly are hand-me-downs from British common law (Louisiana, I think has some Napoleonic influence), we generally do not consider fully acceptable witnesses, because “children lie.”  Well, yes, children do lie; some more than others; but why do they lie?  Well, we don’t let them handle guns on their own (mostly), we don’t let them have sharp objects (mostly), we may let them have boxing or self defense or martial arts lessons, but they are pretty well vastly outweighed by and less strong than adults.  We don’t let them handle large sums of money (such as one might need to hire an attorney).  What defensive weapon do they have, except lying?

However, by and large, and particularly if they are under the age of seven or eight, they tell some kinds of lies, and they don’t tell other kinds of lies.  They may tell fantasy lies (“There’s a fairy in the garden.”)  They may tell very simple lies (“I didn’t do it.” “I don’t know.” “Not me.”)  They do NOT make up possible but elaborate stories, in which cause and effect and adult motives hold together.  They may be sharp as tacks, but they do not have the experience to do that.

And that is why, in this case in Tacoma, WA, I absolutely believe the child who was burned by a firework gun in the hands of his father.  Dad says he was trying to teach the child a gun safety lesson, and there was an accident.  Son says Dad was grilling him about the whereabouts of his mother, he (son) was refusing to answer, and “He (Dad) shooted me.”

Though the story says nothing about the parents being separated or divorced and Mom having a restraining order or being in a DV shelter, why else would Dad be demanding to know where she was?  And, if not that, how could a six-year-old come up with such a circumstantial lie?  Well, at least someone on the spot believed the child.  Dad has been charged with third degree child assault.  Megaera, I hope you can keep track of this case and make sure justice is done.

 

On another news item, we probably could all rant.  In fact, we frequently do when we comment that someone, usually a Republican, seems not to grasp the Constitution.  Actually, that is throwing roses at it.  Here’s the title:

New survey shows a disturbing trend: Most Americans have no clue what is in the Constitution

The survey in question is from the Annenberg Public Policy Center.  It was conducted between August 9th to the 13th of this year.  The sample size was 1,013 adults.in the U.S.  Probably the most frightening single result was that

53 percent think that people who are here illegally do not have any rights under the Constitution. That incorrect belief is especially strong among self-identified political conservatives – 67 percent think it is accurate, compared with 48 percent of moderates and 46 percent of liberals.

Forty-six per cent of liberals?  Good heavens!

The three branches of government?  Only 26% could name all three (in 2011, 38% could).  But 33% could not identify ANY branch of government.

Well, it’s no wonder so many Americans don’t seem to grasp the Constitution.  They don’t know anything about what is in it.  It’s not really reasonable to expect people to grasp something they know nothing about.

There’s been some discussion about making voting in the U.S. compulsory, and some nations do have compulsory voting.  How do those nations handle the issue of civics education?  I think maybe we had better find out.  But we don’t need to find out every detail to realize we need to do better.  Annenberg has joined with 30 other groups to form the Civics Renewal Network to offer free, high-quaity educational materials on line.  Which is great.  But all the materials in the world cannot help if they don’t get used.

Alecto, here’s a project for you.  Come up with a coordinated, national civics education program (that’s the easy part), and then get every Federal and State legislator behind it so it can get passed and put into effect.  Oh, and don’t forget the territories.

 

In this final incident for today, the mills of justice sseem to be grinding.  At least, the perpetrators have pled no contest and been sentenced to 20 years in prison.  Probably not enough, but closer than many sentences we have been hearing about lately, especially when the victim was a child.

Rachel Jean Stevens, 29, and Kayla Ann Jones, 26, were each sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for beating the boy so severely that he suffered two strokes….

Investigators found the boy had been locked in a room and bound with duct tape over his eyes, and he told police that Stevens, his mother, and her girlfriend, Jones, had beaten him with a belt.

Police also said Stevens hit her son’s hand with a hammer and that Jones kicked him in the genitals until he bled.

As so often happens, though it beggars the imagination of normal people, there were two other children in the home who were completely physically unharmed. All three chidren are in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.  Tisiphone, maybe you could put on your Eumenides hat and give them some love and strength.

 

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 here.

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Happy Autumn!

 Posted by at 1:17 pm  Politics
Sep 222017
 

Since I respect, but am not a pagan, I normally do not consider a mere change of season as cause for celebration, but this year, I’m making an exception.  I could not be happier to be putting Summer behind me, because suffering the effects of global climate change has been the second most intolerable thing in my life.

0922fall

You may have noticed that the days have been getting shorter, and the nights have been drawing in.

That’s because today is the Autumnal Equinox – which officially marks the end of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

An equinox occurs when the sun passes directly over the Earth’s equator, resulting in a day and night that equal in length.

There are two equinoxes every year – one around March 22 and one around September 22. In the southern hemisphere the seasons are flipped, and the September equinox marks the start of spring…

Inserted from <The Mirror>

0922Equinox-Chart

Leave it to my Aussie friends to get it bass ackwards. Winking smile

Of course, regardless of the season, it’s most important to

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Sep 222017
 

I’m enjoying a lazy day, because yesterday’s outing tired me, and because I have to go out tomorrow for an appointment.  Therefore, please expect no more than a Personal Update tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:50 (average 4:21).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Note:

The Ravens and the Jaguars are playing in London on Sunday.  The game is at 6:30 AM PDT (9:30 AM EDT).  Players, make any lineup changes involving those teams before then.

Short Takes:

From YouTube (RWW Channel): RWW News: Theodore Shoebat Hopes More Cops ‘Are Given The Opportunity’ To Kill LGBTQ People

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Behold the love of Republican Supply Side Jesus (see Cartoon), the polar opposite of the real Jesus. RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Graham and Cassidy are pulling out all the stops in their attempt to sway votes ahead of this deadline. They’ve even gone so far as to promise key swing vote Sen. Lisa Murkowski that Alaska can keep Obamacare! You cannot make that up.

So why are Republicans so laser-focused on gutting health care and tackling “tax reform,” which is nothing more than cutting taxes for the wealthy? Because back in June, The Swamp ordered them to do it and Republicans are beholden to their swamp masters above all others. At the June retreat, the Koch brothers and their allies ordered them to gut health care and cut taxes—or else:

At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress.

One Texas-based donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress.

“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” said Doug Deason. “Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

Now we know why. Republicans are greedy Koch suckers and are desperate to satisfy the billionaires that buy them! RESIST!!

From Washington Post: Ed Gillespie, who for years pressed fellow Republicans to make their party more welcoming to minorities, has unveiled a hard-hitting TV ad that blames his Democratic rival for Virginia governor for the resurgence of the MS-13 street gang.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Do I hear Willie Horton? Gillespie is projecting and playing the hate card. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0922Cartoon

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Sep 222017
 

While speaking to a group of African leaders during his United Nations fiasco tour, Trump decides he would just create a new country out of whole cloth: the non-existent nation of Nambia.

It’s not clear if he was thinking of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia, or if he was creating a portmanteau of Namibia, an actual nation in southwestern Africa, and Zambia in the northeast.

Who am I trying to kid?  Trump can’t – or at least doesn’t read – and the only foreign country he would even have a chance of finding on a world map is Russia.  Amirite?

At any rate, Twitter had a field day with the new nation of Nambia.

And of course he got to know Prince Akeem Joffer because Nambia is a neighbor to Zamunda

So here is Trump with his new BFF – Prince Akeem Joffer

And here’s a shot of the Prince Joffer leaving the UN during the recent General Assembly gathering

 

(There were rumors swirling around at the United Nations that the Prince of Nambia was planning on marrying the Princess of Pambia.  And they agreed that they would jointly rule their new country of Nambia-Pambia.)

So let’s enjoy a few of the Twitter bon mots recognizing the new nation of Nambia …

 

And you can bet that Trump could stand in the dead-center of Nambia, shoot someone and not lose one supporter.

And of course his Trumpkins give him high praise …

 

While we may not give it the attention it deserves, at least most of us do enjoy its leading export …

Of course the awful pending Graham-Cassidy healthcare charade couldn’t escape comparison …

Nor could we forget how Hillary actually won the popular vote …

But the actual county of Namibia couldn’t pass up the chance to troll Trump – and they did so with a poster …

Why, I myself just got an email from a barrister in the new nation of Nambia informing me that a distant cousin recently died and left me millions in gold.  But unfortunately with all the turmoil in neighboring countries he is not able directly to transfer the funds to me.

Fortunately all I have to do to release those millions to me is execute a wire transfer to him of $…

 

 

 

 

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Sep 212017
 

I just returned from my outing.  George and Stumpy are in A-1 shape, but my eyes are drooping, and I feel the call of my pillow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:14 (average 6:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Sam Takes:

Freedom(ish) Of Speech

 

General Kelly v. "Honorable" Omarosa

 

Is There Any Hope For The Left?

 

Well, hell!  I had to give you your dose of Sam!

Cartoon:

0921Cartoon

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Trump Shamed Us All!

 Posted by at 12:35 pm  Politics
Sep 202017
 

Over the years, I have seen several US officials address the UN in times of crisis.  Adlai Stevenson was brilliant during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  There have been some black marks too, such as the time the Republican Reich duped Colin Powell into presenting lies to the General Assembly to justify attacking Iraq.  But even then, Powell’s presentation was skillful and convincing.   But yesterday, Donald Trump, could not have embarrassed our nation more, if he had tried to sell MAGA hats to the other diplomats.

0920TrumpNuke

In his first address before the United Nations, an organization dedicated to maintaining global peace, Donald Trump delivered a warlike speech threatening to annihilate North Korea, criticizing Iran’s “pursuit of death and destruction,” belittling his enemies, and, naturally, bragging about his election victory. It was, in other words, par for the Trump course, if set jarringly against the backdrop of international cooperation.

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” the president said Tuesday, reading haltingly from a teleprompter as representatives for the world’s governments, as well as Rex Tillerson and Nikki Haley, looked solemnly on. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” he added, deploying a Trumpian insult he had first debuted on Twitter days before. “The United States is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about. That’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do.”…

…While every permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has affirmed the nuclear framework to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions, Trump on Tuesday unilaterally lashed out at the agreement, which was signed by his predecessor, as “an embarrassment.” Iran, he declared, is “another reckless regime, one that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.” Calling the Iranian government a “corrupt dictatorship” and accusing it of financing terrorism, he denounced the landmark nuclear accord as “of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”

If Trump’s bombastic rhetoric was meant to puff him up on the world stage, his characteristic insistence on enumerating his self-proclaimed accomplishments left him looking small. “The United States has done very well since Election Day last November 8,” Trump said, taking credit for the economic growth and stock market rally that has continued under his administration. “Unemployment is its lowest level in 16 year. And because of our regulatory and other reforms, we have more people working in the United States today than ever before. Companies are moving back, creating job growth the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time, and it has just been announced that we will be spending almost 700 billion dollars on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been.”

Inserted from <Vanity Fair>
Photo credit: trofire.com

Lawrence O’Donnell called Trump’s UN Speech the worst and most dangerous in US history.  Since MSNBC had been giving some of you trouble, here’s the clip on YouTube.

I think Trump would love to murder 25 million people, because it would give him an excuse to feel powerful.

Consider this.  By viciously repudiating the Iran deal, Trump is telling North Korea that, if they make a deal with the US to give up their nuclear weapons program, they will not be able to trust the US to keep it.  That makes conflict much more likely.

Finally, this is Netanyahu’s opinion:

 

If Butcher Bibi loves it, it has to be deplorable!

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!

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