May 082016
 

I’m getting another late start today.  When I finally finished with all yesterday’s tasks, I could not sleep, because the battery in my smoke detector ran low, and the damn thing started chirping at me every 30 seconds.  We have very high ceilings, and the desk clerk on duty was very short.  She could not reach it, even though she climbed onto mu desk.  I had to wait for shift change at 9:00 AM, when a tall guy came on, and he changed it.  However, I got almost no sleep.  This mourning I did research and took a Lona cat nap.  Tomorrow, please expect no more that a Personal Update.  I have a five hour appointment with my Ocular Oncologist to determine the best way forward for the probable melanoma in my right eye.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:47 (average 5:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos:

“The last time you signed a contract for a cell phone plan, a bank account, or a credit card, you probably signed away your right to go to court if that company cheated you. That’s because most contracts for financial products contain forced arbitration clauses buried deep in the fine print. These clauses prohibit consumers from protecting themselves in court, and they make it a lot easier for financial institutions to get away with cheating their customers.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren, October 2015.

In a move The New York Times calls “the biggest that the agency has made since its inception in 2010,” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Thursday proposed a rule that would bar mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts with financial firms. Since it requires no congressional approval, the rule quite likely will go into effect after a 90-day public comment period in which opposition from business groups will no doubt be extensive, loud and bullshitty. (If you’d like to comment, you can choose a method here.) Foes of the rule, which could cost firms billions, include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce…

Thank God for Elizabeth Warren for championing the CFPB! I love this rule, but we need such a rule, banning forced mandatory arbitration for all companies!

From NY Times: Last November, Meg Muñoz went to Los Angeles to speak at the annual West Coast conference of Amnesty International. She was nervous. Three months earlier, at a meeting attended by about 500 delegates from 80 countries, Amnesty voted to adopt a proposal in favor of the “full decriminalization of consensual sex work,” sparking a storm of controversy. Members of the human rights group in Norway and Sweden resigned en masse, saying the organization’s goal should be to end demand for prostitution, not condone it. Around the world, on social media and in the press, opponents blasted Amnesty. In Los Angeles, protesters ringed the lobby of the Sheraton where the conference was being held, and as Muñoz tried to enter, a woman confronted her and became upset as Muñoz explained that, as a former sex worker, she supported Amnesty’s position. “She agreed to respect my time at the microphone,” Muñoz told me. “That didn’t exactly happen” — the woman and other critics yelled out during her panel — “but I understand why it was so hard for her.”

Muñoz was in the middle of a pitched battle over the terms, and even the meaning, of sex work. In the United States and around the globe, many sex workers (the term activists prefer to “prostitute”) are trying to change how they are perceived and policed. They are fighting the legal status quo, social mores and also mainstream feminism, which has typically focused on saving women from the sex trade rather than supporting sex workers who demand greater rights. But in the last decade, sex-worker activists have gained new allies. If Amnesty’s international board approves a final policy in favor of decriminalization in the next month, it will join forces with public-health organizations that have successfully worked for years with groups of sex workers to halt the spread of H.I.V. and AIDS, especially in developing countries.

In my opinion, prostitution should be decriminalized. Attempts to outlaw it over the last 5,000+ years have always been unsuccessful, as they always will be. Income from legal prostitution can be taxed. Legal prostitution can be licensed and regulated to protect sex workers from abuse and  protect public health.  Legal prostitution can be separated from the illegal drug trade.  While I don’t encourage it, it’s past time to end the exploitation and criminalization of sex workers.

From Huffington Post: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country would not use nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty is infringed by others with nuclear arms, in a speech broadcast on Sunday, and set a five-year plan to boost the secretive state’s moribund economy.

He has all the qualifications needed for Rump Dump Trump to want him as a VP candidate.

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Free Leonard Peltier!

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May 062016
 
furies

I only have two articles this week which really call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them – and one that announces a way that people with talent (different kinds of talent, so don't disqualify yourself without reading further) can help them out. 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."

The first story is happening in my home state of Colorado.  Michael Bennet's term as a Democratic US Senator is expiring, he is running for reelection, and the Republicans want him out, naturally.  Though he's kind of a DINO, he is infinitely better than any Republican.  The Daily Kos Election Digest has the race listed as "safe Democrat," so it is unlikely that whoever gets the Republican nod will win.  But apparently, whether it matters or not, they just can't seem to help cheating.

One of them, Jon Keyser, was told he didn't have enough signatures to get on that ballot, since numerous signatures were disqualified because the petition circulator's address on the petitions did not match his (I think it was a he) address of registration.  Turned out he had moved and forgotten to change his address  with the election department.  OK, technically that's illegal.  But a technicality is exactly what it is.  I have no problem with the Secretary of State deciding to go ahead and put him on the ballot after all.  Two other Republicans were told the same thing – one is not now on the ballot, the other managed to get onto the ballot but is suing the (Republican) Secretary of State anyway.  That's typical Republican circus, and not the issue.

Here's the thing: after Jon Keyser was put onto the ballot, someone looked a little harder, and discovered possible fraud – so now he's off again.  Here's the deal.  One Republican in Littleton has her name on both Keyser's petition and also that for Jack Graham.  That's kind of illegal too – you're only supposed to be supporting one candidate.  After all, you can't vote twice (legally).  But the potential for actual, tangible, provable fraud comes in when you look at both petitions and see that the same name is in totally different handwritings, with totally different signatures.

You can see this is PROBABLY not a case of two voters with the same name (who also just happen to live at the same address.)  In any case one now wonders whether ANY Republican will now make it onto the Colorado Senate ballot.  Under one of probably the ten most Republican Secretaries of State in the nation.  I'm sure this is boring for you ladies – but maybe you can crack the whip a little to encourage the people sorting through these documents to get it right.  They don't have a lot of time.

The other story comes from California, but is national in scope.  I heard it through In The Public Interest, a group which I learned about through their work on exposing private prisons and the private contractors who supply them substandard food, poor medical care, expensive prisoner-to-family communications, etc.  Now ITPI is looking at for profit schools in direct competition with public schools in kindergarten through high school.

Despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from California’s taxpayers, California Virtual Academies (CAVA), the state’s largest provider of online public education, is failing key tests used to measure educational success. According to an investigation by The San Jose Mercury News, fewer than half of the thousands of students who enroll in CAVA schools graduate, and almost none of them are qualified to attend the state's public universities.
 All the while, the publicly traded corporation that owns the network, K12 Inc., continues to rake in massive profits.

Just like a brick-and-mortar charter school, an on-line charter school receives taxpayer funding which would (IMO should) have gone to the local public school.  And, since those funds are based on attendance, just how does an online school take attendance?  Simple – if you log in, you are "present."  When you log out is no one's business.  And this also irks me: "(W)hile records show that the company’s employees launched each of K12 Inc.’s 17 online schools in California, the applications they filed to open the schools described the founders as a “group of parents,” none of whom were named."

Probably not that surprising for an enterprise launched by a former Goldman Sachs bankster.  Tisiphone, I usually ask for you when some vile human is being vengefully destructive.  But if you decided to vengefully destroy these corporations, I wouldn't shed a tear.

Finally, the call for entries – "Calling all painters, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, graffiti artists, fine art students, animators, sculptors, designers, actors, advertisers, poets, writers, illustrators, tech specialists, crafters and anyone with a passion for creating, we’d love to hear from you."  The topic is "Where's wetiko?"

I personally am more familiar with the Ojibway form of the word, "windingo," than the Algonquin form they chose, but I suspect they chose it because it moves faster in the mouth, like the "Waldo" they are probably alluding to in the topic title.  But, you may be asking, WHAT is it?  Well …

All over the world, there is a feeling that something is deeply wrong. It is often felt more than seen, an unnamed darkness that keeps millions (even billions) of people disconnected from the reality of authentic life-affirming experience….

Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit that is driven by greed, excess and selfish consumption (in Ojibwa it is windingo, wintiko in Powhatan). It deludes its host into believing that cannibalizing the life-force of others (others in the broad sense, including animals and other forms of Gaian life) is a logical and morally upright way to live.
•Every time someone is seen justifying the destruction of life for profit – it is wetiko.
•Every time compassion is vitally missing during a time of suffering – it is wetiko.
•Every time a privileged person uses another as a “throw away” toy – it is wetiko.
•Every time, in every way a community or country is impoverished so that others can be rich – it is wetiko.

So the answer to "Where's wetiko?" is "EVERYWHERE – but it needs to be SEEN."

The call for entries I have linked to has itself further links for anyone who wants to go deeper – but it's a good introduction, it's short and to the point, and repays reading through even if you think you do not have a creative nerve in your body.  And maybe we can help out the furies by raising awareness of injustice and consequent opposition to it.

The Furies and I will be back.

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Apr 252016
 

I’ve been seeing a political; add lately opposing a so-called plot by Obama to rob senior’s pensions by allowing Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy.  So i decided to read up on the issue while watching a John Oliver video, so as to learn and have a couple chuckles at that same time.  Now I’ll share it with you.

0425PR“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver last night devoted his main segment to Puerto Rico.

The territory now has approximately $7 billion in debt and a 45% poverty rate. In an attempt to chip away at that deficit, the Puerto Rican government has increased sales taxes and closed schools, convincing thousands to leave for the contiguous U.S.

“Right now, Puerto Rico is like the last Tower Records,” Oliver said. “Everything’s overpriced, everyone’s being laid off, and there’s still a weirdly large number of Ricky Martin CDs.”

The seemingly obvious solution for the Puerto Rican government would be to declare Chapter 9, but a 1984 provision slipped without debate into a larger bill specifically exempts the territory from declaring bankruptcy…[emphasis added]

Inserted from <Salon.com>

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Actually, figuring out this issue didn’t tale rocket science.  When every state and every territory in the US has right to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy, why would a Republican Senator slip a provision into a must pass spending bill that made an exception of Puerto Rico, and ONLY Puerto Rico?  The only possible purpose would be to enable Banksters and Vulture Capitalist hedge funds create a bubble in speculative Puerto Rican bonds and safeguard the speculators by forcing the territory they have victimized into liquidating their assets to pay off the speculators.  This is very similar to what they have done to Greece.

The solution is simple enough.  First, overturn the Republican provision that prevents Puerto Rico from declaring bankruptcy.  Second, charge Banksters and hedge funds a penalty co cover any losses pensioners may incur.  Third, reinstitute Glass-Steagall.  Fourth, tax speculation.

Otherwise, we’ll need to rename the island Puerto Pobre.

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Apr 012016
 
furies

There were several things which happened or transpired last week which really should call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. I'll share one in some detail, and a couple of others in passing. 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."

When I saw the headline "Terrorism concerns: Chase Bank stops dog owner's check over pet's suspicious name," I knew it deserved some looking into.  Firstly, in the story but left out of the headline was the fact that this was a service dog.  "Bruce Francis depends on his dog, a nine-year-old pitbull mix named Dash, for more than just companionship.  Francis has a rare form of M.S. and Dash is a certified service dog."  To their credit, both Raw Story and AlterNet put this information into their headlines.  But to continue –

"Earlier this month, as was his routine, Francis paid Dash’s dog walker using his online banking account with Chase. On the memo line for the check Francis had typed Dash’s name."  The next thing Francis heard was that the dog walker had not received the check.  He went on line to look at his account, and found a message, "Please explain what Dash means.  To OFAC (the Office of Foreign Assets Control, an office of the US Treasury)."

Francis called OFAC and was informed that the transaction had been flagged because "Dash" is similar to Daesh.  The bank stopped payment on the check.  Francis says he thought, "Great, they're stopping the world's stupidest terrorist."

dashKTVU, which originated the story, is a Fox affiliate, so I must give them credit for seeking comment from Edward Hasbrouck of Identity Project, a civil liberties group, who pointed out that many (perhaps most) people don't realize that "banks are required to scan all the financial transactions of their customers and turn over anything suspicious to the Treasury Department."  So Chase was simply following the law here. (A pity, because I had hoped to be able to bring Jamie Dimon into this, but it looks like he is off the hook.)  But the law itself is questionable to Hasbrouck, because it's all done in secret.  He says, "What happens is that the government requires the banks to become in effect, outsourced spies for the government.”

A spokesman for Chase told KTVU, “If a name on the OFAC list appears on a payment, we are required to review it.  This is an important part of ensuring that crime does not filter through the us banking system. In this instance, the payment was flagged, reviewed and eventually released.”  Oh, yes, the dog walker did eventually get paid.

Francis himself says, “I think anything we can do to stop the terrorists and the funding of terrorists, let’s do it. And if it means an inconvenience to me and my dog walker then that’s a price I’m totally willing to pay.”  I think that's very understanding and kind of him.  I'm not (willing to pay that price).

As Hasbrouck points out, because this is all done in secret, no one but OFAC and the banks know what is on the list.  Are these terms, all IMO conceivable names of pet or service animals, on the list?  Brand, Alice, Baker, Ace, Deuce, Barnes, Brother, Knight, Duke, Pioneer, Storm, Hammer, White.  All these words come from the SPLC list of Hate Groups and have, or could have, some connection to one or more white supremacist hate group(s).  Because, if they are not, point one, that is discriminatory; and point two, more importantly, we are not really being protected from real dangers.

Dear ladies, Alecto, Megaera, Tisiphone, I apologize for not having done all the detective work here.  But I am only a citizen.  There are secrets that I can't access.  So, first, could you check out the list I compiled against the OFAC list?  And, second, could you find out what law or laws (I have suspicions of the Patriot Act, but there could well be others) dictated the existence of the OFAC list.  And then – well, you know what to do, probably better than I do.  After all, I am only a citizen.

In other news, there's a fellow in Florida who likes to play with guns.  A bit under two years ago, he was trying to show his guests how he could quick draw "like a cowboy" and ended up sending a bullet into the temple of a pregnant woman, killing her and incidentally the potential baby.  He was not charged.  He claimed to have sworn off firearms for life, but this month, he was caught trying to "teach his girl friend's daughter (16) how to shoot" and was therefore discharging a shotgun into the air.  At least this time he was arrested.  Convicting him of a felony would at least prohibit him from owning or purchasing firearms.  There's a petition to that effect.  If we can get enough signatures, the Furies may not have to go deal with him.

 

 

And one last thing – Lamar Seeligson Smith (R-TX) is the chairman of the House Science Committee.  Last year, he started a campaign, intending to discredit all legitimate scientsts, which is a tall order, but he could make them so tied up in red tape that he could slow down their work.  He subpoenaed thousands of emails – any email which contained the word "climate," "change," and "temperature."  Supported by people and organizations, the NOAA refused to release them.  But now Smith is asking (did I say "asking"? I should have said "demanding") again.  And, yes, he is still wrong.  I'm sure the Furies can instruct him.

The Furies and I will be back. 

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Mar 252016
 

Yesterday I grew the green cloud for the fourth day in a row.  I think Republicans are now afraid to get within a block of me.  Today I’m leaving shortly for PT/OT with Courtney.  I won’t be back until lunch time, so this is today’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:33 (average 5:02).  Drooling!!  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: Watch An International Correspondent Push Back On O'Reilly's Anti-Muslim Fearmongering

Barf Bag Alert!!

O'Lielly, the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, and Republican politicians and pundit use fear to promote hate, but the European journalist would not buy into it. How about it, Lona? Are Europeans "under siege" or are you putting it in its proper perspective.

From NY Times: A day after Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina signed a sweeping law eliminating anti-discrimination protections for all lesbians, gays and bisexuals and barring transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match the gender they were born with, the battle lines were clear in a bitterly divided state.

On social media and in public rallies, civil rights groups, businesses and politicians expressed dismay at the law, which was passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed by the governor within just 12 hours during a hasty special session on Wednesday.

American Airlines, which employs 14,000 people in the state and has its second largest hub in Charlotte, along with other companies with operations in the state, including Apple, Dow Chemical, PayPal, Red Hat and Biogen, all issued statements critical of the new law.

“Our future as Americans should be focused on inclusion and prosperity, and not discrimination and division,” Apple said in a statement. “We were disappointed to see Governor McCrory sign this legislation.”

McCrorystanFlag

Welcome to The Republican Fascist Theocracy of McCrorystan!

From Alternet:

The following is an excerpt from the new book Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy by Joseph E. Stiglitz (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2016):…

End “Too Big to Fail”

We have yet to undertake the reforms needed to end too big to fail and thus reduce the potential for failure of large financial institutions to damage the broader economy. Banks that are backed by the government and are so big that their failure will cause the entire economy to contract don’t need to internalize the costs of their failures and can reap huge benefits from risky bets. They have a perverse incentive to take on excess risk, knowing that should a problem arise they will be bailed out, with losses being borne by others. This, of course, is exactly what occurred in the 2008 financial crisis, the impacts of which still reverberate throughout the economy.

Despite recent experience and the Dodd-Frank reform, banks are still not only too big to fail, but also too big to manage—evidenced by repeated failures like the “London Whale.” And even when they are not too big to fail, they can be too interconnected, too interlinked to fail: with excessive linkages (e.g., those associated with CDs and derivatives), the failure of one institution can lead to a cascade of other failures—stoppable only with a government bailout. That is why interlinkages need to be transparent and regulated.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council should assess large, systemically risky financial firms with an additional capital surcharge above what regulators currently assess under the Basel Accords in order to make failure less likely and more manageable. Moreover, being too big to fail (or too interconnected to fail) gives banks an advantage: they don’t have to account for the costs their failure poses to the system as a whole, and get a subsidy as a result. The surcharge corrects for a market distortion that otherwise would favor such banks, even if they are not more efficient than smaller ones.

A surcharge would force banks to internalize the true cost of their risks and improve economic efficiency, while insulating taxpayers from the costs of failed institutions. And, to avoid the unproductive debate over how to exactly quantify “systemically important financial institutions,” the requirements should be graduated rather than set to a specific level.

Further, if firms are incapable of producing “living wills” that the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation believe show how they can unwind in bankruptcy without causing massive costs to the rest of the economy, then these institutions need to be broken up along business lines and by size so that potential failures can be better managed. In addition, living wills and their analyses should be made public. The wills have to be designed to work not just in normal times but also in the abnormal times associated with a financial crisis. Some doubt whether meaningful living wills can in fact be constructed, given the kind of turmoil that can arise in the midst of a crisis. If this is the case, then the only recourse is to begin the process of breaking up the too big to fail institutions in the same way we once broke up Standard Oil and AT&T.

That's the first of six steps needed to reform our corrupt financial system, I agree with them. Click through for the other five.

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Mar 202016
 

I slept poorly last night, because the natives were restless in the unusually warm weather and made noise below my window, until well after midnight.  So I’m making today a relatively lazy day.  I hope your weekend is excellent.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (π) (average 5:00).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Classic: 3/2013): Elizabeth Warren on the difference between a recreational drug user and a banker

0320E_Warren

Liz was a national treasure then, and still is.

From NY Times: Republican leaders adamantly opposed to Donald J. Trump’s candidacy are preparing a 100-day campaign to deny him the presidential nomination, starting with an aggressive battle in Wisconsin’s April 5 primary and extending into the summer, with a delegate-by-delegate lobbying effort that would cast Mr. Trump as a calamitous choice for the general election.

Recognizing that Mr. Trump has seized a formidable advantage in the race, they say that an effort to block him would rely on an array of desperation measures, the political equivalent of guerrilla fighting.

There is no longer room for error or delay, the anti-Trump forces say, and without a flawlessly executed plan of attack, he could well become unstoppable.

But should that effort falter, leading conservatives are prepared to field an independent candidate in the general election, to defend Republican principles and offer traditional conservatives an alternative to Mr. Trump’s hard-edged populism. They described their plans in interviews after Mr. Trump’s victories last Tuesday in Florida and three other states.

In such cases, I’m all for third party candidates running, because it would leave two Republican candidates competing for the votes of fascists, racists and idiots in the general election, virtually assuring a Democratic President Elect. The Republican leadership has to realize this. They must also realize that this may be the only way to save their party from extinction. That would be almost sure to follow anointing Fecal Dump Trump as their sole candidate.

From Addicting Info: Conservatives love to portray Cuba as an unviting hellhole, and its citizens complete monsters, so Barack Obama decided to do something about that. Preceding his historic first visit to the island nation, the President filmed a skit with Cuban TV star Pánfilo Friday so the Cuban people could get to know him.

In the skit, Pánfilo accidentally calls the White House while attempting to call the Meteorological Institute in Casa Blanca to check the weather for a baseball game. Instead of receiving information on what Mother Nature is up to, however, he ends up on the phone with Obama.

 

LOL!! Obama has done it again! It would not surprise me, if Republicans switch their birther accusations from Kenya to Cuba!!

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Feb 262016
 
furies

More stuff has happened which seems to me to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with it. 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." 

Incidentally, I have linked to the full page of each story, including the comments; therefore, the link may land you right at the top of the comments section.  If so, Ctrl + Home should take you to the beginning of the article, and the comments will still be there,, so you won't have to load them separately.

To our list of, not thank goodness capital crimes (at least not yet), but societal offenses which will lead to serious humiliation, we apparently must now add "banking while Muslim."

A Muslim woman wearing the hijab went to the Security National Bank branch in Ohama, NE, hoping to open an account.  She found the doors locked before she could make it to the teller line.  Now, normally, at this point, I would think the branch was closing for the day; but that doesn't seem to have been it, because no one mentions it.  Also, apparently, a bank employee told her to remove the hijab, and she did – but the bank would still not let her in.

The bank had been robbed at gunpoint during December by perpetrators who wore face coverings, so apparently it just then occurrred to them that maybe they ought to be able to identify people entering, so they initiated a requirement that everyone entering must remove all face, eye, and head coverings – not in itself unreasonable (although don't start me on prescription eyewear!)

It must have gone over their head that Omaha has an ordinance forbidding discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, and some other factors.

Ferial Pearson, a friend of the woman in question (whose identity has not been made available to the press), says she has started receiving offensive and threatening messages on line, such as: “You are truly a disgusting person for putting such LIES on the internet!!!” one man wrote. “[T]hey had EVERY right to do what they did!! Waste your time some where else you heartless b*tch”

Megaera, I have confidence that you will be able to find the – um – grudging person who posted that, as well as posters of other threatening and offensive comments, and see if they can be taught some manners.

A second story just in passing, because I see possible but far from proven malice.  I wouldn't even mention it except that it touches on allergies, and I feel that personally, having multiple allergies myself.  (This additional article only touches on food allergies, which are only a small part of the picture, yet…)
 

This third story, though – this one definitely calls for the Furies, I would guess Tisiphone, but since I'm not directing anything particularly to Alecto this week, maybe she would help.

Joyce Curnell, 50, of South Carolina, died 27 hours after she was hauled out of a hospital and taken to jail over unpaid court fines.  She had been taken to the hospital by ambulance and diagnosed in the emergency room – we are not talking about someone who was well enough to drive up and walk in.

At some point, a bench warrant was discovered, and someone alerted law enforcement.  So she was taken to jail.

She was given neither water to drink nor intravenous fluids.  She died of dehydration.  Something highly preventable.

Yes, this happened in July – it's in the news now because the family is filing suit.

Her family filed a notice to sue the jail’s medical contractor, Carolina Center for Occupational Health, for malpractice — claiming medical staffers ignored requests by jail officials to help Curnell.

Court documents show Curnell was placed in a housing unit, instead of being taken to the jail’s medical facility, and she was given a trash bag to vomit into because she was too weak to visit the restroom.

State law requires medical care for inmates who need it, and the Bill of Rights demands humane treatment of incarcerated prisoners.

“It is very unfortunate to hear of another death of an African-American while in police custody,” said Shaundra Scott, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina. “If Ms. Curnell was denied medical treatment, then it is our position that her constitutional rights were violated.”

The Furies and I will be back. 

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Jan 282016
 

This morning, when I awakened, I found that the elevator is now working, so the dreaded task is now done, and I’m pooped.  Unfortunately, now I’m too sore and tired to make half a dozen meals, which was today’s chore.  My helper friend has disappeared again as she sometimes does.  She was supposed to be here Tuesday and did not show up, and I have been unable to reach her since.  That’s frustrating!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:19 (average 7:00).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Millions of Americans are expressing their resentment and outrage at being put in the appalling position of siding with the Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, a state of affairs that many are calling “intolerable.”

“Never in a million years did I envision a situation where I would be on the same side as Megyn Kelly,” Tracy Klugian, of Butte, Montana, said. “Now that I find myself in just such a situation, let me say this: it’s horrible. Truly horrible.”

“Putting people through the ordeal of siding with Megyn Kelly could be the worst thing Donald Trump has done in this campaign,” Jervis Kentwell, of Norwalk, Connecticut, said. “I know he thinks he’s invulnerable or whatever, but it’s hard to see him recovering from this.”

Andy is so right! I may sue Hateful Hairball over the pain and suffering it has caused me.

From Daily Kos: The latest massive offense the Obama administration has done to Wall Street is to come up with a rule telling financial services companies that their first duty is to their clients. That’s such an offensive requirement, Republicans in Congress have even been trying to derail it. Because nothing should stand in the way of profits for Wall Street, including the nest eggs of senior citizens. To prove how awful the whole idea is, American International Group Inc. (AIG)  decided they had to sell off, admitting that if they can’t screw old people out of money, then why bother?

"It’s a business we are not the best owner of, particularly in the light of potential Department of Labor rules," [CEO Peter] Hancock said Tuesday in a conference call updating investors on AIG’s strategy. "With the new DOL rules, that was a big factor in thinking whether this was better owned by somebody independent of us." […]

Hancock said the broker-dealer network earned about $40 million in 2014, yet consumed a "disproportionate amount" of AIG’s compliance cost.

Considering that the taxpayers of America loaned AIG over $67 billion in TARP funds to keep them out of bankruptcy, their attitude that they don’t want to play, unless they are allowed to rip-off seniors can best be described as Republican.

From Alternet: A series of exposés released this week shed further light on an often-overlooked form of war profiteering: charity organizations that raise millions of dollars under the auspices of serving wounded military veterans, only to inappropriately spend those funds.

Specifically, the Wounded Warrior Project is under the microscope, with a New York Times investigation finding that the well-heeled organization has spent “millions a year on travel, dinners, hotels and conferences that often seemed more lavish than appropriate.”

Such spending is no small matter, notes journalist David Philipps, as the charity “has evolved into a fund-raising giant, taking in more than $372 million in 2015 alone—largely through small donations from people over 65.” In fact, according to Philipps, the group is the largest and most rapidly-expanding organization in the country.

I’ve been emotionally tempted to give to them on a couple of occasions. I’m glad that I didn’t. Isn’t it a shame that Republicans have infested secular charities and are just as corrupt as they have been for ages in pseudo-Christian charities?

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Jan 122016
 

Yesterday I went top see my new Primary Care Physician.  I was impressed that the scale had bars with which to pull myself up. .I weigh,262.  Her staff was very helpful.  Megan is young, personable and humorous.  She took the time to listen to issues and explain her reasons for her recommendations.  Today PT is coming and my bath aide should be too.  I’ll be ordering groceries and collecting medical information.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2 57 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Screw paid parental leave. Republican presidential candidate (yes, still) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich thinks new mothers and fathers should rely on their employers to “try to be creative” instead of being required to offer paid leave. And if the extent of their employers’ creativity is “come to work or you’re fired,” as it is for so many Americans, oh well.

“The one thing we need to do for working women is to give them the flexibility to be able to work at home online,” Kasich told the man who asked the question. “The reason why that’s important is, when women take maternity leave or time to be with the children, then what happens is they fall behind on the experience level, which means that the pay becomes a differential.

When folks say KKK Kasich is a moderate, call them on it!

From Alternet: Bernie Sanders’s plan to break up the biggest banks and reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act (separating investment from commercial banking) is necessary – and why Hillary Clinton’s more modest plan is inadequate.

The Reich on the left, Robert Reich, is right. Bernie’s plan is better than Hillary’s. Click through.

From Crooks and Liars: MoveOn.org’s members voted to endorse Bernie Sanders after members voted overwhelmingly for him in an online poll last week.

According to MoveOn’s executive director Ilya Sheyman, 79 percent of MoveOn’s members said they wanted to endorse Bernie. The vote shatters all previous records for member votes.

Sheyman listed the top reasons members gave for their choice, including Sanders’ commitment to tackling economic inequality, standing for communities facing injustice, saying no to permanent war, and the belief that Sanders is the more electable candidate.

This is a huge endorsement for Bernie, and will give him access to organizing resources and mobilize grassroots support for him.

Kudos to Bernie and to all the MoveOn members who voted for him, including me.

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Republicans would do it again!.

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Jan 072016
 

I have another busy day today.  PT and OT are both coming this morning.  Then I’m going to cook dinners for several days and put them in compartmentalized trays for freezing.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with my Prosthetist, because George probably needs some adjustments.  So expect no more than a Personal Update or Open Thread tomorrow.

Later: B9ith have come and gone.  Arvilla (PT) worked me hard.  Then Tracy (OT) agreed that supervising my cooking would be a good project for today, so I have four meals od Salisbury steak with gravy, cheese whipped potatoes. and mixed veggies.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:12 (average 5:35),  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Tales:

From The New Yorker: \Republican Presidential candidates ripped President Obama on Tuesday for what they called his stubborn insistence on linking gun violence with guns.

In campaign stops across Iowa and New Hampshire, the G.O.P. hopefuls pounded the President for irrationally concluding that guns have played a role in the nation’s epidemic of mass shootings.

“How any reasonable person could look at gun violence and say that guns are involved is beyond me,” said Texas Senator Ted Cruz. “And yet, somehow, President Obama always finds a way.”

“I would very much like to have a conversation about gun violence, as President Obama has said he wants to have,” said Florida Senator Marco Rubio. “But as long as he keeps falling back on this tired, unproven connection between gun violence and guns, there’s just no point.”

The former Hewlett-Packard C.E.O. Carly Fiorina said that Obama’s persistent linking of gun violence with guns was “sad but not surprising, from a man who believes that people’s health can be improved by access to health care.”

“He isn’t thinking straight,” she said.

But Andy, there is no link between gun violence and guns… in a pig’s eye!!!

From Daily Kos: It appears that Katherine Prudhomme O’Brien, the NH GOP lawmaker [Republican delinked] screaming and flailing her arms in the video, has been stalking Hillary for several years now.

She tried the same stunt in 2007, during a Clinton campaign appearance.

She tried it again today and Hillary shut her down to the roar of the crowd.

Reading through many of the comments on her Facebook [Republican delinked] , her appearance failed spectacularly.

 

Sorry about the self promotion by the person that prepared the video. The one in the article had no embed code. The lying Republican legislator was accusing Bill of having multiple rape victims, and Hillary, of covering it up.

From NY Times: In the days after the Paris terrorist attacks last November, world leaders denounced the shooting massacres. On Wall Street, the money manager Louis Navellier saw a buying opportunity.

Shares of the two leading gun manufacturers, Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Company, popped onto Mr. Navellier’s computer screen. Their stock prices were rising as a result of strong sales. He began accumulating positions in both companies.

Two months later, those bets have paid off. The stocks of Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger spiked again after the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings last month. They also moved sharply in advance of President Obama’s announcement on Tuesday of measures to curb gun violence.

How about that. Banksters are not content to let gum manufacturers profit from the panic they help cause by arming criminals. The Bankster want to cash in on it too!

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