Aug 142017
 

I’m hurrying to get this posted, before leaving for my eye appointment, as I’ll be dilated and useless when I return.  Have a great day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:31 (average 5:27).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Trae Crowder Channel): Liberal Redneck – Virginia is for Lovers, not Nazis

 

"Your silence is your complicity." How true of Republicans that is! RESIST!!

From YouTube (MSNBC Channel): President Trump’s Initial Response To Charlottesville Draws Criticism

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Trump said, "It’s not Trump." He lied. It is Trump. He has been feeding hate to Alt-Right Republican Nazis from the beginning of his campaign through the present. If you are a Republican, and this isn’t you, it’s time to get out, or accept your complicity in what these Nazi criminals do. RESIST!!

From NY Times: North Korea’s success in testing an intercontinental ballistic missile that appears able to reach the United States was made possible by black-market purchases of powerful rocket engines probably from a Ukrainian factory with historical ties to Russia’s missile program, according to an expert analysis being published Monday and classified assessments by American intelligence agencies.

The studies may solve the mystery of how North Korea began succeeding so suddenly after a string of fiery missile failures, some of which may have been caused by American sabotage of its supply chains and cyberattacks on its launches. After those failures, the North changed designs and suppliers in the past two years, according to a new study by Michael Elleman, a missile expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Such a degree of aid to North Korea from afar would be notable because President Trump has singled out only China as the North’s main source of economic and technological support. He has never blamed Ukraine or Russia

How ironic! Trump threatens war over missiles, when the same person, who put him in the White House, Putin (R-RU) is responsible for North Korea’s missile tech. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0814Cartoon

Unanimously ratified by the Senate, when most Senators were founding fathers.

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Aug 132017
 

Here is the ninety-second article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. It is the first in almost six months. Today’s honoree is Trump supporter and White Supremacist Domestic Terrorist, James Alex Fields Jr. He is so honored for driving his car into counter-protestors against a Republican Alt-Right Nazi rally, murdering a woman for his Fuhrer and injuring several others.

0813fields

A car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally Saturday in a Virginia college town, killing one person, hurting more than a dozen others and ratcheting up tension in a day full of violent confrontations.

Shortly after, a Virginia State Police helicopter that officials said was assisting with the rally crashed outside Charlottesville, killing the pilot and a trooper.

The chaos boiled over at what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade. The governor declared a state of emergency, and police dressed in riot gear ordered people out. The group had gathered to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, and others arrived to protest the racism.

Matt Korbon, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, said several hundred counter-protesters were marching when "suddenly there was just this tire screeching sound." A silver Dodge Challenger smashed into another car, then backed up, barreling through "a sea of people."

The impact hurled people into the air. Those left standing scattered, screaming and running for safety in different directions.

The driver was later identified by police as James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio. Police say Fields, 20, has been charged with charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count related to leaving the scene. A bond hearing is scheduled for Monday…

From <Chicago Tribune>

I identified Fields, as opposed to the other terrorists,  by labeling him with the symbol of his Reich.

Here are some CNN commentators discussing the hate crime.

Note how the Republicans tried to minimize their associate’s actions and blame the peaceful victims for this Republican Domestic Terrorism.

Fields could not deserve a parade more, so it’s time I dusted off the series.  However, the cost was much too high.

0813heather

RESIST!!

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Aug 132017
 

Wendy will be here before I finish this article, and we have lots to do, so excuse me while I hurry.  Tomorrow I have a post-op/pre-op eye exam.  Please expect no more than a Personal Update. "Later: we found the keys.  I just got a Mariachi strap for my guitar.  I have not had time to try it yet, but on the way to bed I had put it around my neck to see how it fit.  Then I took it off and put it on top of my dresser, which is out of my line of sight.  The strap has too hooks, and when I took it off, one of the hooks caught my key lanyard and lifted it off my neck.  ARGH!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:21 (average 5:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): Defend DACA

 

Those young people are as American as we (who are American) are, and far more American than Putin’s Puppet and the racist Republicans that want to deport them. RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Good news for Oregon workers in the retail and fast food industries. The state has become the first to pass a law protecting workers from some of the worst scheduling abuses employers love so much.

One in six Oregonians receive less than 24 hours of notice before their shifts, according to a survey the University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center published in February.

Now, Oregon is mandating that the state’s largest employers in the retail, hospitality and food service industries — those with more than 500 workers — give employees their schedules in writing at least a week ahead of time.

They’ll also have to give workers a 10-hour break between shifts, or pay them extra.

Oregon leads the way! RESIST!!

From NY Times: Senator Elizabeth Warren used a speech to a grass-roots conference Saturday to take direct aim at Democrats’ diminished moderate wing, ridiculing Clinton-era policies and jubilantly proclaiming that liberals had taken control of the party.

While not invoking former President Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton by name, Ms. Warren sent an unambiguous message that she believes the Clinton effort to push Democrats toward the political center should be relegated to history.

“The Democratic Party isn’t going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill,” she said, highlighting measures Mr. Clinton signed into law as president that are reviled by much of the left. “It is not going to happen.”

Here is the speech:

She said one thing that I’ve been saying for some time: "We need to see each other’s fight as our own." Other than that highlight, "Woooo Hoooo Liz!" RESIST

Cartoon:

0813Cartoon 

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Bill Maher from 8/11

 Posted by at 2:22 pm  Politics
Aug 122017
 

It’s that time of week again, and I’m happy to share three excellent video clips from Bill’s show last night.  Enjoy!!

Monologue: Fat Man and Little Boy

"Make America Glow Again!" I have to steal that for a cartoon.  In fact, I just did!

Richard Dawkins: Science in the Soul

 

As a Christian, I disagree with and oppose extreme evangelical atheist proselytizers, like Dawkins and Maher.  In fact, I oppose all heavy-duty proselyting, even when I agree with it.  However, I’d rather listen to them than to Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians.

New Rule: The Troll Party

 

The irony is that he was far too accurate to be funny.

Enjoy?  Break’s over!  Back to work!

RESIST!!

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Aug 122017
 

Today has been a better day.  It hags been much cooler.  The sun is about to come out, and the temperature will climb to the low 80°s, my outside wall will become a heater, and I’ll have to button up the room and turn on the AC, but until is does, I’m enjoying an open window and fresh air.  I took my first trip without using the lift bus in a long time.  I went to the Ubank in a mall two blocks away.  I found getting around much easier with one eye that can see well than it has been in years.  I hope you are having a great weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:08 (average 4:37).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Update:

I reset the live draft of our fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends, from next Saturday to Saturday, September 2 at 10:00 AM PDT (11 MDT, 12 CDT, 1 EDT).  I did it so we will have a better idea, who the starters will be in the NFL.  However the regular season opener is the evening of Thursday, 9/7, just 5 days after the draft, so set your lineups right away.  I cut the league from ten teams to eight.  Two players stopped playing last year in mid-season.  I think I have confirmation from every player except Rob.  I sent him one last email, and if I don’t hear from him this weekend, I’ll replace him with Wendy.

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Funny or Die Channel): Mike Pence on Currency

 

And in a Republican Pence Reich, we would get to be the goats. RESIST!!

From NY Times: The roster of villains in President Trump’s world is legion. The list of people he has been willing, even eager, to publicly attack includes not just Mitch McConnell, his latest target, but Jeff Sessions, Chuck Schumer, Paul D. Ryan, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

And don’t forget James B. Comey, Robert S. Mueller III, Andrew G. McCabe, Rod J. Rosenstein, John D. Podesta, Nancy Pelosi, Lisa Murkowski, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rosie O’Donnell, Meryl Streep, the mayor of London and the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” The countries he has assailed include not just North Korea and Iran but also Germany, Canada, Mexico, China and Sweden.

But for all of that feistiness, for all of those verbal and online fisticuffs, there is one person who is definitely not on Mr. Trump’s target list: President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

My opinion…

0812TrumpSuckPutin

RESIST!!

From Bloomberg: Some White House and Republican officials are exploring the idea of putting West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in charge of the Energy Department, according to four people familiar with the discussions, a move that could boost President Donald Trump’s stalled legislative agenda.

Manchin is such a DINO, that he would not be a big loss except for one thing, and that thing is huge. It also explains all the hoopla surrounding Gov. Jim Injustice’s conversion from DINO to goose-stepping Republican. If Manchin moves to Energy, Injustice gets to replace him with a Republican Senator. The only thing Manchin did right is voting against RepubliCare. Do you see what the Reich are plotting now? RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0812Cartoon

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Everyday Erinyes #87

 Posted by at 9:32 am  Politics
Aug 122017
 

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.”

In a week when “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli was convicted, if not yet sentenced, of 3 (out of 8) securities fraud charges related to overcharging on pharmaceuticals (to wit, the EpiPen), and we were reminded that the chairman of the board of his company literally said (OK, gestured) “F*** you” to America, it may not come as a surprise that Mylan is not the only corporation  – um – doing that to the American people with pharmaceuticals.  But it may not have made your radar that the Executive Branch of the Federal Government is actively engaged in ensuring that large sums of money not only flow to pharmaceutical dealers, but also flow right out of the country.

Knowledge Ecology International may not be the best known watchdog group in the world, but they seem to have been the only one to have caught on that the National Institutes of Health is proposing to grant the exclusive worldwide license for a new liver cancer drug to Salubris Biotherapeutics, Inc.  Now, Salubris wasn’t always a Chinese holding.  But it was acquired last October by Shenzen Salubris, run by the former mayor of Shenzen, billionaire Ye Chenghai, who with his famil controls 66% of the company.

Maryand’s Lieutenant Governor attended the ribbon cutting cermony of the new headquarters in May.  It’s in Gaithersburg.

According to the Huffington Post, the National Institutes of Health, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, developed the treatment and registered the patents, which means this was done with taxpayers’ money.

 The National Institutes of Health defended its decision in a statement to HuffPost on Wednesday, arguing “an exclusive license incentivizes companies to invest in the development of early stage … technologies so they can benefit public health.”

“NIH considers carefully when a technology should have an exclusive or non-exclusive license,” a spokesman said in the statement.

But the only one talking about this seems to be Jamie Love, the director of KEI.

“Is anyone in the White House paying any attention to these NIH patent licenses?” Jamie Love, the director of KEI, asked in an email to HuffPost on Tuesday. “The NIH wants to turn this over, life of patent, with zero agreements on the price, to Ye Chenghai, the former mayor of Shenzhen, in total secrecy as regards every important element of the license.”

Love added: “It’s time to hold hearings on the NIH licensing practices, so people have a better understanding of what is going on.”

Unfortunately, the notice filed with the Federal Register provides for just 15 days of public comments, which will neither be published nor made suject to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Almost simultaneously, Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Pete DeFazio in the House proposed

a new rule that would require federal agencies and federally funded nonprofits, such as research universities, to secure a reasonable pricing agreement from a manufacturer before granting it exclusive rights to drugs, vaccines or other health care products. 

Sanders’ proposal aims to stop the Department of Defense from awarding drugmaker Sanofi Pasteur an exclusive license and $173 million in research funding to produce a Zika vaccine developed over the past year by the U.S. Army. Zika virus, a tropical, mosquito-borne disease also spread through sexual transmission, causes devastating birth defects.

The French pharmaceutical giant demanded a license that would prevent other drugmakers from competing to manufacture the vaccine at a lower cost, then refused to agree to sell the vaccine back to taxpayers at a fair price. The company has a history of charging up to eight times more for its drugs in the U.S. than in France or the United Kingdom.

Senator Angus King and Representative Marcy Kaptur are working on budget amendments aimed at stopping the DOD and NIH respectively from commiting this kind of atrocity.  But these Senators and Representatives need all the help they can get.  Not that I am trying to attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity, but Tisiphone, maybe you can halp.

 

In the Mayfair neighborhood of North Philadelphia, apparently the white supremacists can keep their cool if people of color live around the corner, just not on the same street – and they had better not park on the street that aren’t allowed to live on, either.

So we have Cottman Avenue, which, from what I can see on Google maps, is a fairly major road which has some businesses on it, running roughly from northwest to southeast.  One block northeast of it is Teesdale Street – some of the time.  Teesdale Street only runs two or three blocks and is residential.  But six or eight blocks down, Teesdale Street picks up again and runs for another two or three blocks.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Teesdale Street is where the white folks live.  People of color live on Cottman, and parking is kind of tight.

So sometimes someone who lives on Cottman can’t find parking there.  A few residents have found places on Teesdale at one time or another, but if they do, something happens.  A note is left on their vehicle, signed KKK, telling them not to do that.  Or their tires are spiked.  The flat tires happened to Bernadette Waites (pictured) and to her mother.  Her next-door neighbor, Lima, received the note.

“I was scared, and I was thinking, maybe they followed me or maybe they know where I live, and I don’t want to fear for my life that somebody would do something to me if I was to park around there again,” she said.

“I just want it to stop,” Lima said. “But that we’ve been living around people who have been preying on us the whole time, it’s really sad.”

So grudging, and so petty.  Megaera, please.

 

In San Diego, there’s a woman who worked for almost ten years at the Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church in San Diego, CA.  She was initially hired as a youth pastor, and later was promoted to Minister of Missions and Serving.  But in March of this year, the church called a new Pastor to lead the congregation.

The new pastor, from Texas, pretty much immediately started sexually harassing her.  I won’t go into detail, you’ve heard it all before; women who read this have experienced it all before.  Except the one comment where he compared his body to a “Lamborghini that couldn’t be kept in the garage.”

OK, the comments on this story are priceless.  They have compared his body to everything from a “beat-up Fiat” to, at best, a “Buick.”  Everyone agrees the comparison to a Lamborghini is outrageous.  However, whatever it is compared to, it is not the job of the Minister of Missions to take it out of the garage and ride with it.

But the congregation must have thought otherwise.  She was first placed on administrative leave and then forced to resign.  I think her attorney puts it well:

“Like many of my female clients, Minister Neldon is working in a male-dominated industry that, in many way, is no different than other employers who simply refuse to accept that discrimination is illegal in America,” said Neldon’s attorney Dan Gilleon. “It’s a shame. You’d think a business that claims moral superiority would behave better. Minister Neldon will pay a price for speaking out, as is the case for many women who blow the whistle. But, true to her word, my client is thinking of the other women out there who might benefit once it finally sinks in for employers that civil rights will be enforced in the courtroom.”

I’ve lately been emcouraging as many people as I can to read an article on how, for right wing “Christians,” a hierarchy serves them in lieu of a moral code.  This story fits right in to that.  And it’s, if not as old as time, certainly as old as human history.  Alecto, at the very least perhaps you can give attorney Gilleon some much needed moral support.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 here.

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