Jul 252016
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how awful InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.  There is no doubt that the RNC has brought out the crazies!

Alternet — Thursday was a night of troubled sleep throughout the land. In his long-awaited keynote speech, Republican nominee Donald Trump managed not just to confirm all of our worst fears about him, but to amplify them, make them 10 times darker and bigger, make them huuuuuuge! He got the fear job done. Better than anyone in the entire history of the country has gotten it done!

Let us just review what an amazing accomplishment this was. Rudy Giuliani kicked things off, commanding everyone to be much more terrified about crime, ISIS immigration and Black Lives Matter. Chris Christie roused the crowds with chants of “lock her up,” and “guilty as charged!” Ted Cruz delivered his same lizard-like stump speech, the one everyone assumed they’d be spared after he dropped out of the race. The accumulating horror was enhanced by the realization that the slick-backed Trump sons have themselves acquired a taste for politics and now feel qualified to bash teachers and environmental regulations, celebrate gun culture and espouse other tired conservative talking points.

Trump_Face_Facial-ExpressionS

Thanks to Nameless for providing the picture.

But Trump took the crown! He patted his Ivanka on the butt, and then surpassed them all in 75 minutes of continuous bellowing horribleness. The moon was nearly full. A smoldering heat dome would come to blanket much of the country. Darkness descended. And the next day, the mainstream media sunnily gave him credit for his shout-out to the LGBTQ community.

2. Rep. Steve King doesn’t even bother to disguise his racism.

It’s very possible that Iowa rep Steve King has zero concept of white supremacy. It is simply the water in which this fish swims in. So perhaps it should not have been too much of a surprise this week when the rabid anti-immigrationist, tea partying congressman just came out and said during a live appearance on MSNBC that white people have basically been superior to all others throughout history and invented everything worthwhile.

His comments came about after host Chris Hayes asked a question about the racial makeup of the GOP.

Charles Pierce of Esquire was there and said: “If you’re really optimistic, you can say this was the last time that old white people would command the Republican Party’s attention, its platform, its public face.”

That did not sit well with King. “This whole ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” he said, all buddy buddy. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

Co-panelists were stunned. Hayes asked for clarification. Did he mean what it sounded like he just said?

He did.

We know this because, one, he said it really clearly, and two, he doubled down on his assertion of the superiority of the white European “subgroup” the next day. The man who tried to block Harriet Tubman from being on the $20 bill recently was 100 percent on-message for his party, as you'll see if you read on.

Republicans are so good at the fear game.  This go around, Drumpf and others have whipped up a frenzie of fear which is unfortunate because they are turning neighbour against neighbour.  Back in November 2015, according to Crooks and Liars, Trump said

“The real greatest resource is all of you, because you have all those eyes and you see what’s happening,” he told listeners in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“People move into a house a block down the road, you know who’s going in,” Trump continued. "You can see and you report them to the local police.

“You’re pretty smart, right?” he asked his audience. "We know if there’s something going on, report them. Most likely you’ll be wrong, but that’s OK.

And of course, Steve "Cantaloupe Calves" King of Iowa is doing his best to increase fear and racism.  This is the second of five appalling right wing moments this past week.  Click through for the others.

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Jul 252016
 

It was very hot and muggy today — 30 C (86 F) — so I tried to stay quiet in some air conditioning for as long as possible, then home to the heat.  It is 23:00 hours and the temperature is still 22 C (72 F) with high humidity.  This week will be busy as I have physio, pastoral care calls to make, teaching and 2 medical appointments.  I hope it doesn't stay hot and humid this week.  Later — My wi-fi connection shut down before I could finish and post last night so this is 10 hours late in getting up.

Short Takes

Politicususa — Donald Trump is facing a new complaint that his use of the Trump Organization to do his campaign work is a violation of federal law.

The Democratic Coalition Against Trump announced their FEC complaint against the GOP nominee in a statement:

This morning the Democratic Coalition Against Trump filed a federal campaign complaint against Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign with the Federal Elections Commission. The complaint alleges five violations including illegally accepting direct corporate contributions, accepting services from a volunteer that were actually compensated, use of the Trump corporate name or trademark to facilitate campaign contributions, illegal use of corporate facilities by a campaign volunteer, and knowingly allowing volunteers to exceed the transportation expense limit.

The question is, will the FEC recognise this as the violation it is, or will it be bullied by Trump?  If I recall correctly, the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan, Scott Walker, faced similar charges.

CBC — It is difficult to imagine that a democratic system has ever existed without some amount of exaggeration, cynicism and frivolity. For that matter, politics should not exclusively be the domain of serious wonkery. Some amount of theatre is natural and useful. Generous amounts of humanity are welcome. Anger and conflict are inevitable.

But ideally a nation's politics would not be predominantly cynical and frivolous, would not be defined by its worst aspects. What excesses of rhetoric or action did occur would be corrected for. And, over time, the system would improve, not fall into disrepair or despair.

An untrusted or unserious system is perhaps ripe for revolt or abuse.  …

Trump is destroying the generally accepted norms of American politics, and expanding the parameters of what a politician could get away with saying in a way that will have lasting impact on the United States. That suggests our democracies are more fragile than we might otherwise appreciate.

Some say that Canada and the US are the same, few differences at all.  I see the two countries as being quite different with some commonalities.  In the article, my former Member of Parliament, James Moore, Conservative, was "asked about Trump's relevance to Canadian conservatives and offered two other observations. First, that Trump isn't a conservative. Second, that the Conservative Party learned in 2015 that conservatism needs to be matched with optimism."  Looking south, I certainly do not see the optimism of which Moore speaks.  What I see is more doom and gloom, outright fear, coming from Republicans.

Alternet — The GOP’s new big dog blew the whistle Thursday night for nearly an hour and a half and it was loud and shrill enough to reach the ears of every angry, resentful, disaffected white American. The tone was divisive, dark, dystopian and grim. Here was the alpha dog of the von Trump family, baying at a blood-red moon that the hills are alive with the sounds of menace. According to Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, this land is rapidly becoming as bleak and dangerous as one of those twisted, vicious kingdoms in Game of Thrones, a place filled with violent crime and despair, a smoldering ruin overrun with foreigners out to take our jobs and terrorists bent on destroying our villages. It’s mourning in America. And only he can save us. This has been his message all year: I alone can fix it. Remember his tweet on Easter morning? “Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead,400 injured. I alone can solve."  …

But as Washington Post fact checkers Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee noted: “The dark portrait of America that Donald J. Trump sketched… is a compendium of doomsday stats that fall apart upon close scrutiny. Numbers are taken out of context, data is manipulated, and sometimes the facts are wrong. “When facts are inconveniently positive — such as rising incomes and an unemployment rate under 5 percent — Trump simply declines to mention them.

Here is a video from the Washington Post fact checking Trump's Thursday evening convenmtion speech.  Click HERE to view video.  Unfortunately, I could not imbed it.  Elizabeth Warren commented to Stephen Colbert that she didn't think Democrats were taking Trump seriously enough and that he is a dangerous individual, especially when he is so divisive and hateful.  I was amused by some of his early words in his acceptance speech at the RNC: (full transcript from syracuse.com incase you want to scan it without having to listen to his voice)

"It is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation. I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.

So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media myths—the Democrats are holding their convention next week. But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else."

When did Drumpf become acquainted with any truth?

VOTE BLUE ALL THE WAY DOWN THE LINE!

being all in for hillaryAll in with Hillary!

My Universe —

cat8Hi! How ya doin'!

52f180dc-7b40-4fb4-8928-2449da34548dCat trap working!

 

 

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Jul 222016
 

This week has been fairly slow and I am enjoying that because I know it won't always be that way.  It has been rather humid and promised thunderstorms did not materialise — well the thunder could be heard but no rain.  Today was 31 C (88 F) with significant humidity.  Friday afternoon and the weekend are supposed to be hot — Arrggghhhh!!!!!  My laptop internet connection died on Tuesday.  I had to call Telus support who were able yesterday afternoon to get me up and running again.  Turned out that the powerbar into which my modem is plugged went TU.  I moved the power source and voilà, Houston we had lift off.  Now to buy a new powerbar and switch over my desktop which was also on the same failed powerbar.  Wouldn't it be nice to plug ourselves into a powerbar to increase energy!  I had a great "girls lunch out" date today and of course we got to talking about Drumpf.  No surprise, none of my white, elderly lady friends like Drumpf!  I guess we're just so social democratic!  I have teaching tomorrow with Lucia, but my other student is busy settling in since moving into a new house, so no teaching.  During the day, her husband, my physiotherapist, is busy working so settling in is slow. 

Short Takes

CBC — He's been called a kiss-up and a Mexican Uncle Tom, and he has felt anger from many within the Hispanic community, but Marco Gutierrez, a member of Latinos for Trump, forges ahead with full-fledged support for the Republican presidential nominee.

In many ways, he's no different from supporters here at the Republican National Convention who admire Trump's business credentials, who see him as a natural leader and who believe that he will, as the campaign slogan boasts: "Make America Great Again." …

Marco Gutierrez, a member of Latinos for Trump, says his internet-based group has 20,000 members.

C.J. Jordan, deputy director of political and community affairs for the Republican National Convention, said people need to understand that what is said during the heat of political battle does not necessarily represent one's views.

"… people need to understand that what is said during the heat of political battle does not necessarily represent one's views."???  Then what does it represent?  A political campaign is an opportunity to get to know a candidate, to get to the issues, to set a direction for the future if the candidate is elected.  IMO, clearly the people in this article are delusional, bought and paid for by the Trump campaign and the Republican Party.  They don't see the degree of racism and bigotry in the Republican platform.  Now THAT is scary!

Montréal Gazette — Everywhere he went, the prime minister solemnly remembered Ukraine’s past. He laid a wreath at the memorial complex recalling the many millions of victims of the genocidal Great Famine of 1932-33 in Soviet Ukraine, the Holodomor. He recalled the millions of Ukrainians who fought and died for their country during the Second World War, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And he paid his respects to the victims of the Nazis at Babyn Yar.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his son, Xavier pay their respects to the victims of the 1932-1933 great famine at the Holodomor famine memorial in Kyiv, Ukraine, on July 11, 2016 ANATOLII STEPANOV / AFP/Getty Images

Fittingly, Trudeau also directed attention to today’s Ukraine.

his first state visit to Ukraine, would not be his last. What I realized at that very moment was that Trudeau gets it, that he knows Ukrainians are today fighting and dying for the very same values that Canadians have always defended.

Countries formerly within the Soviet sphere are feeling the pressure of growing Russian aggression.  Of course, Ukraine is especially wary since they have already dealt with Russian aggression in Crimea . . . and it is not over yet.  Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, on his first state visit to Ukraine, explained to his son Xavier what happened in 1932-33 in Ukraine — the Great Famine.  It is another example of genocide from the 20th century . . . "man's inhumanity towards man."  This genocide is referred to as Holodomor. 

Holodomor "…was a man-made famine in the Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed an estimated 2.5–7.5 million Ukrainians, … Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by the independent Ukraine and 14 other countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people carried out by the Soviet Union. …but believe it was a long-term plan of Joseph Stalin, an attempt to eliminate the Ukrainian independence movement. … arguing that actions such as rejection of outside aid, confiscation of all household foodstuffs, and restriction of population movement confer intent, defining the famine as genocide; the loss of life has been compared to the Holocaust."

Will humanity ever learn?

Foreign Policy — Seldom does the global public have an opportunity to observe an endangered species in its natural habitat, but this week, wildlife enthusiasts received a rare glimpse into the poignant final days of the American Republican elephant.

Classified as "critically endangered" by international authorities, Elaphantidae republicanus, though native to the United States, has struggled for decades to adapt to its rapidly evolving biome.  The enormous pachyderm — once a noble animal that roamed the length and breadth of the nation, as common in America's cities as in it's rural areas — has, in recent years, seen its numbers dwindle and its habitat contract.

Georgetown University law professor, Rosa Brooks, has written this "as a naturalist's guide to the endangered American Republican elephant".  Although humourous, it certainly has the ring of truth.  If you are unable to read the entire article unless you "sign in", you can sign up and read 5 free articles per month — no cost.

Alternet — The Republican Party platform is a wish list for what Republicans in Congress and Donald Trump would like to impose on America. What’s surprising is that it goes further to the right than what’s even been heard on the campaign trail from Trump as he has promised to build a wall along the Mexican border and embrace the religious right’s long-held tenets opposing abortion, LGBT rights and more.

The GOP 2016 platform would make Christianity the official American religion, English the official American language, replace sex education with abstinence-only advice for teenagers, privatize almost all areas of federal services, cut taxes and regulations for the rich and titans of industry, and impose a belligerent foreign policy and military build-up.

Here are 50 excerpts from the 2016 GOP platform.

9. Appoint anti-choice Supreme Court justices: "Only  a  Republican  president  will  appoint  judges  who  respect  the  rule  of  law  expressed within the Constitution and Declaration of  Independence,  including  the  inalienable  right  to life and the laws of nature and nature’s God, as did the late Justice Antonin Scalia."

10. Appoint anti-LGBT and anti-Obamacare justices: "Only such appointments will enable courts to begin to reverse the  long  line  of  activist  decisions  —  including  Roe, Obergefell, and the Obamacare cases — that have  usurped  Congress’s  and  states’  lawmaking  authority."

11. Legalize anti-LGBT discrimination: "We endorse the First Amendment Defense Act, Republican legislation in the House and Senate which  will  bar  government  discrimination  against  individuals and businesses for acting on the belief that  marriage  is  the  union  of  one  man  and  one  woman."

12. Make Christianity a national religion: "We  support  the  public  display  of  the  Ten  Commandments as a reflection of our history and our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage and further affirm the rights of religious students to engage in voluntary prayer at public school events and to have equal access to school facilities."

13. Loosen campaign finance loopholes and dark money: "Freedom of speech includes the right to devote resources  to  whatever  cause  or  candidate  one  supports. We oppose any restrictions or conditions that would discourage citizens from participating in the  public  square  or  limit  their  ability  to  promote  their ideas, such as requiring private organizations to publicly disclose their donors to the government."

14. Loosen gun controls nationwide: "We  support  firearm  reciprocity  legislation  to  recognize  the  right  of  law-abiding  Americans to carry firearms to protect themselves and  their  families  in  all  50  states.  We  support  constitutional  carry  statutes  and  salute  the  states  that  have  passed  them.  We  oppose  ill-conceived  laws  that  would  restrict  magazine  capacity  or  ban  the  sale  of  the  most  popular  and  common  modern rifle."

15. Pass an anti-choice constitutional amendment: "We  assert  the  sanctity  of  human  life  and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a  human  life  amendment  to  the  Constitution  and  legislation  to  make  clear  that  the  Fourteenth  Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth."

These are just 7 of the 50 Republican platform planks.  Read through the remaining 43.  I don't think there is anything that we have not heard of or discussed in some form previously.  IMO, these provisions make a mockery of the very foundations of the US and the documents that Americans hold dear — the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  Republicans would control every aspect of life.  Can you say Fascism?  This is not what the Founders fought for.

1.Fascism

a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.  Any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism

b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.
 
My Universe
I like to move it, move it
Ca'mon, keep it goin'!
 
Rusty doesn't like to eat like everybody else
I'll do it MY way!
 
Master of nourishment
The ultimate diet!
 
Ping Pong star
Ping Pong anyone?
 
 
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Jul 122016
 

The past few days have been busy with my brother and SIL, and their friends, in town for a few days before boarding a cruise ship for Alaska.  We had a chance to spend Friday afternoon with my mother and then go out for a great dinner.  Even my 3 furbabes got in on the action eating prime rib leftovers which they very much enjoyed!  Although the weather was supposed to be rainy, we lucked out with clear skies at all the right times.  I certainly was tired and sore from a lot of walking, but it wasn't as bad as I had feared.  I wanted to take them to the Britannia Mine Museum but an auto accident on the highway brought that activity to a screaming halt, and the plan B was Stanley Park.  I have several meetings, a haircut and a teaching session with Lucia during the rest of the week.

Short Takes

Alternet — Blame abounds in the wake of the brutal slaying of five police officers in downtown Dallas. But while most people place the responsibility for this tragedy squarely in the hands of the man who shot the police officers (who were by all accounts monitoring and protecting protestors), some on the right believe other people are to blame.

Here's a roundup of some of those (besides the gunman himself) who are being blamed for the Dallas shooting.

2. President Barack Obama

As expected, the annals of Twitter were immediately inundated with charges that “Barack is smiling his smug little smile.” Unfortunately, the notion that President Obama bears any responsibility for the Dallas shooting was hardly limited to the fringes of the internet.

“3 Dallas Cops killed, 7 wounded,” former Illinois GOP congressman-slash-ostentatious-right-wing-radio-host Joe Walsh wrote on Twitter. “This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black loves matter punks. Real America is coming after you.”

Walsh has since deleted the tweet, but he continued posting video of the chaos in Dallas throughout the night. 

“10 Cops shot. You did this Obama. You did this liberals. You did this #BLM. Time to defend our Cops. Wake up,” Walsh posted.

He later added that Obama “stoked the flame” and “defends Islam.” Eric Trump, son of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, reportedly retweeted a post by Walsh accusing Black Lives Matter of calling for the death of police officers.

Walsh later clarified he “wasn’t calling for violence, against Obama or anyone.”

William Johnson, the executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, also blamed Obama, taking issue with the president’s completely accurate statement that “when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes it more deadly and more tragic, and in the days ahead we are going to have to consider those realities as well.”

"The Obama administration is the Neville Chamberlain of this war,” Johnson told Fox News. “I think their continued appeasement at the federal level with the Department of Justice, their appeasement of violent criminals, their refusal to condemn movements like Black Lives Matter, actively calling for the death of police officers, that type of thing, all the while blaming police for the problems in this country has led directly to the climate that has made Dallas possible.”

Other GOP groups took issue with a statement Obama gave Thursday addressing the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police. “To be concerned about these issues is not to be against law enforcement,” Obama said. ”When people say black lives matter, it doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter.”

“Obama lectures nation on racial disparities hours before assassination of Dallas police officers,” the conservative group GOPUSA said in an email.

“It was bound to happen,” the email reads. “It was a Daily Beasttime bomb. Every time Barack Obama speaks on race, things get worse.”

For his part, Obama spoke out forcefully against the Dallas shootings Friday morning.

"I believe I speak for every single American when I say we are horrified over these events, and we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas,” Obama said, calling the assault a "vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.”

"We will learn more, undoubtedly, about their twisted motivations, but let’s be clear: There is no possible justification for these types of attacks," Obama said. "Anyone involved in the senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done.”

This is the second of 4 absurb right wing reactions to the killing of 5 Dallas police officers.  Click through for the other three.  As is usually the case, this is totally insaniTEA!

Daily Beast — Donald Trump is all about branding, and here’s a striking irony: while his political brand is built on Muslim-bashing, Hispanic-bashing, and, not least, China-bashing, his hotel brand appears to be thriving here in Asia.

Last October, well after Trump’s xenophobic and sinophobic presidential campaign got under way, Trump’s man in China, Eric Danziger, told Chinese state-run media that the Trump Hotel Collection is actively seeking expansion opportunities in Asian metropolises, including Chinese cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen.  …

A former Chinese public servant who acquired a green card through the EB-5 program told The Daily Beast that he never expected a profitable return on his $500,000 investment. This is common, as many projects funded via EB-5 become inactive or are poorly managed. For Trump, who has had four businesses file for bankruptcy, the program is perfect. 

 

 

In fact, during the application process, details of the investor’s previous employment were never called into question—how did a low-level official accumulate half a million dollars to burn, with plenty to spare? The former public servant never had to provide an answer.

 

 

Congressional overseers and the Department of Homeland Security have pointed out the vetting process for EB-5 is lacking, and could be a portal for dirty money and those who possess it to enter America.

So, let’s be clear: Trump-branded procriminal enterprisejects have ignored concerns raised by government overseers and might be actively creating channels for money laundering.

Is this the kind of POTUS that Americans want . . . one that indulges in criminal enterprise for his own profit?  So if elected president, what will come first . . . the country or his profit?  I still really like Huffington Post's disclosure on Trump articles:

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.

Dear Huff Post, I think you need to add some more descriptors for Drumpf like 'criminal' and 'narcissist'.

Think Progress — G.T., who escaped from Eritrea due to political and economic turmoil, works as a steward at a Washington, D.C.-area Hilton hotel. He cleans and washes dishes among other tasks, makes $14.85 an hour, and saves up a portion of his paycheck because he aspires to go to college one day. His life is far different from when he left Eritrea to escape a lifetime of forced military conscription.

Now, G.T. earns a steady paycheck and has become a success story of a controversial refugee resettlement process in the United States that some politicians want to restrict on fears that terrorists could come into the country through this manner.  …

Last year, U.S. politicians began tearing into the refugee resettlement process, claiming that terrorists could potentially come into the country disguised as refugees because the country lacks a rigorous refugee application process. As testimony to their fears, as many as 31 state governors rejected refugee resettlement in their states after the terrorist attacks in Paris, France. Roughly 800,000 people have been resettled in the country since 9/11, but not one refugee has been arrested on terrorism charges.

In spite of these vicious claims against refugees, G.T.’s successful integration into U.S. society stands out as an example of the reciprocal, beneficial relationship that refugees and local communities can have on one another. Some local politicians see refugee resettlement as a way to revitalize their cities and to harness talent and skills for entry-level jobs that many native-born Americans may not necessarily want to do.

So what is the Republican line . . . shiftless, lazy, uneducated, thieves, and terrorists?  All refugees are not alike but the vast majority are honest, hard working people who want nothing more than safety and the opportunity to properly provide for their families.  Properly supported, refugees will add to the community making it a more vibrant place to be.

My Universe — OK, equal time for all the dawg lovers out there!

 

 

 

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Jun 292016
 

I'm sitting here trying to finish this post and I have been hearing the music from that infernal ice cream truck for the past half hour.  It is making yet another run through the complex.  Is there a penalty for knocking that musical ditty into next week?  Luckily, my kids could not care less.  I suppose that is one small blessing.  Today has been hot again — 31 C (88 F) — but by Friday, Canada Day, temperatures should come down a bit.  On Friday, Canada will be 149 years old, while on Monday, the US will be 237 years old, so this weekend will  be full of picnics, outings, and fireworks.  I am staying close to home with the furbabes.  But for those who like to celebrate in a big way, be safe and

PARTY HARDY!!! 

Short Takes

Alternet — Samantha Bee is back, and in fine form!

Sam nails it like usual!  When I saw the markets tumbling earlier this week as a result of the Brexit vote, I kept saying to myself, "don't panic" and "don't rush to a hasty judgement", advice I would give my clients when I was working in investments.  I hear the markets have now fully recovered, or at least the TSX (Canada) and the DOW (US).

YouTube — Published on Mar 11, 2016

Tonight on Real Time, Bill Maher left a guest speechless. Moreover, the audience did, too, when they began cheering so loudly that the speakers had to pause. The first time was when Maher mentioned that a Donald Trump rally in Chicago was canceled because of protesters. The second time was when Bill Kristol brought up how successfully Bernie Sanders has been relying on private donations to fund his campaign.

Bill is always funny and of course irreverent.  The token Drumpf supporter is shut down.

Think Progress — Colorado Republicans nominated El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, a former Colorado Springs councilman and self-described “unapologetic Christian constitutional conservative pro-life second amendment-loving American,” for U.S. Senate on Tuesday. Despite his paltry campaign fundraising and his vow to oppose keeping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as his party leader, Glenn easily beat the establishment favorite. He received endorsements from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who he has said he would like to see appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK).

In an April state Republican convention speech, Glenn told the party faithful, “The one dorsed by Ted CruzI’m absolutely tired of hearing is Republicans reaching across the aisle. We need to step up and lead, ladies and gentlemen, I’m tired ofbeen en reaching across the aisle.” Here are some of the positions he would take with him to Washington if pseudo Christian nut job, defeats Sen. Michael Bennet (D) in November.

He does not believe the U.S. armed forces need follow war crimes laws.

As part of his speech at the Colorado GOP convention in April, Glenn also suggested getting rid of war crimes rules for the military. “We need to make sure our men and women are given the necessary tools and training and equipment to do their jobs, remove those rules of engagement and allow them to win,” he said. While the U.S. military has generally been given a wide berth in war times, such a move would have meant those involved in the My Lai massacre and the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal would not have been subject to any punishment.

From what I can see, this is one scary Republican and Coloradans better beware!  He has been endorsed by Ted Cruz, Republican pseudo Christian nut job, and by Bullseye Barbie, Sarah Palin, or as Jim P calls her, Sarah Palinsane.  Just read the article to get his positions on six other issues.  JD, is Darryl Glenn in your neck of the woods?  Have you any additional information you can share?

My Universe — After seeing this dog "kill" BB-8 by decapitation, and having just seen an ad for it at $170 (Canada), I was worried about this expensive toy.  Turns out the head does come off and you just put it back on — held on by magnets.  It really is quite interesting but I will not be getting one.

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Jun 282016
 

My horoscope today said in part: "Today the moon is in your sign lined up with wild, wacky Uranus."  Uranus?  Uranus!  I want nothing to do with Ted Cruz.  It was bad enough that I had already seen the Raw Story article below, but then to see my horoscope contained Uranus . . . well that was just too much!  The day started off on a low note with a 2.8 blood sugar reading (50 on the US scale) which had me sleeping all morning, even through the heat.  Then the heat hit 29  (85 F) and I was getting more miserable.  It has cooled down at bit but is scheduled to drop to 13 C (55 F) over night (I have my pom-poms out!).  At least I had some laughs when a respected local radio commentator to whom I enjoy listening, in commenting about Brexit and the ultra conservative US politicians (read Drumpf), referred to the UK as our ailing mother and the US as our weird and wacky brother.  Tomorrow will be busy with physio and teaching.  Inbetween the two, I have to go pick up a new cell phone.  Two days ago, it slipped from my fingers into the toilet (another good reason to leave the lid down!).  I rescued it very quickly but some damage was already done, although I was able to use it — just not reliably.  When I charged it yesterday, it slipped again from my fingers and fell about 25 cm (10 inches) to the carpet.  That finally did it in!  Do you see what I mean about Uranus???!!!

Short Takes

Alternet — During an explosive CNN segment on Sunday, former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) lashed out at President Barack Obama because she said she was tired of being called a “bigot” for supporting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.  …

“Obama just always comes tearing after Republicans constantly, calling names and calling people bigots and racists,” she complained. “And that’s their big comeback, you know. And it’s absolutely ridiculous. To see a president speak like that is offensive.”

It has been awhile since I have seen or heard of the battle-axe of Arizona, and I have thoroughly enjoyed her silence.  But recently, she unleashed her big mouth attached to her fact devoid brain and lashed out at Obama for using facts when talking about Drumpf.  It seems that she feels "guilty" about her association with Drumpf, or at least getting caught publicly with her hand on his ass.  Even while she was governor, she demonstrated no respect for Obama, so this latest extremism does not surprise me.

Raw Story — Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz on Tuesday accused the Obama administration of under-emphasizing the “threat of radical Islam” as he presided over a Senate hearing for the second time since suspending his presidential campaign in early May.

President Barack Obama and top Justice Department officials have come under fire from conservatives for avoiding the term “radical Islam” when denouncing attacks by violent extremists who claim inspiration from Islamic State, such as the Orlando nightclub shooter.

I am tired of hearing the term "radical Islam" from the likes of Ted Cruz.  When will we hear of "radical Christianity" and "radical Judaism"?  Yes they do exist!  In the news over the past several days, I have seen Pastor Steven Anderson of the Independent Fundamental Baptist church (Christian) in Tempe, Arizona preach from atop his lectern condemning the LGBTQ community with the most toxic vitriole ever, calling for the death penalty for gays, and celebrating the deaths at Orlando.  Now he is calling for the  death penalty for adulterers.  I suppose that is one way to get rid of some politicians! — you know those family values Republicans!  Of course there is "Pastor" Terry Jones formerly of Gainesville, Florida who threatened to burn Qu'rans.  Or let's see, there are extremist Jews, some of them settlers who occupy Palestinian lands.  Let's call this what it is with no adjectives — extremism!  OK, rant over.  I was appalled with the tenor of Cruz's hearing.

Globe and Mail — The Supreme Court issued its strongest defence of abortion rights in a quarter-century Monday, striking down Texas’ widely replicated rules that sharply reduced abortion clinics in the nation’s second-most-populous state.

By a 5-3 vote, the justices rejected the state’s arguments that its 2013 law and follow-up regulations were needed to protect women’s health. The rules required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery.  …

Breyer wrote that “the surgical-centre requirement, like the admitting privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes an ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”

A great judgement that should never have been necessary.  There are pending actions in Mississippi and Louisiana which will likely fall.  Let's hope that all such laws and regulations in all states will be declared unconstitutional now that SCOTUS has ruled.

My Universe —

Nice ride Dolly

Thank God for 9 lives!

Good morning

Arrggghhhh!!!!!  Kitty breath!

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Jun 242016
 

The First Nations people of North America have had to endure subjugation by white Europeans since they first showed up on this continent — the decimation of their culture, their religious practices, their laws.  Finally there is some movement in the First Nations' court system in the US.

This week, a Supreme Court decision affirmed the sovereignty of Native American tribal courts and emphasized the importance of addressing domestic violence against Native women. In United States v. Bryant,the court unanimously upheld the federal conviction of Michael Bryant, Jr. as a habitual domestic assault offender, overruling a previous court’s decision.

“The Bryant case is a victory. It’s not a victory where we won ground—it’s a victory where we didn’t lose ground,” said Rebecca Nagle, an anti-rape activist and an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. “But, what’s really awesome about the decision is … the Supreme Court is very clear about the crisis of sexual violence and domestic violence against Native women and the need for tribal jurisdiction within the crisis, which could set precedence for other cases.”  …

The Supreme Court will also rule on another case regarding tribal sovereignty in the near future. This lawsuit involves a thirteen-year-old boy who says he was sexually assaulted by his manager at Dollar General. Although the manager is non-Native, the boy is a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the store sits on tribal land. After the federal government declined to try the case, the boy’s family sued the manager and Dollar General in tribal court. Dollar General, however, has contested the tribe’s jurisdiction to try the case.

From Think Progress

Here is Sam Bee's take on tribal courts.

One thing that I find egregious is the comparison of tribal courts to Sharia law by one of her "guests", Elaine Willman, Director of Tribal Affairs.

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Jun 212016
 

Sam Bee knows how to bring the orange out in today's US politics. 

On "Full Frontal" Monday night, Samantha Bee pointed out that the GOP made the vaguest of efforts toward becoming a more racially inclusive party after Obama’s second win. As of late, though, Republican presidential nominee and “orange supremacist” Donald Trump has pretty much put the kibosh on that (super weak and hardly sincere) outreach plan.

Bee showed a few clips of Trump speaking after the Orlando mass shooting, during which he went full-throttle with the nativist, paranoid, anti-immigration, Islamaphobic nonsense his base loves so much.

“Let me see now,” said Bee, checking off a list of hateful code-words Trump rattled off. “Papers, blood-sucking, undeserving people, ban—oh dang! If only he’d said purity, I would’ve won Gestapo Bingo.”

From Alternet

Does Sam hit the mark or what.?

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Jun 182016
 

I’m waiting for Julie to arrive, so I’m sure I’ll finish this after she is gone.  This weekend I want to do two things: rest and hydrate.

Julie has come and gone.  She made me a primped Puddy Tat, and I fed her baby back ribs.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:31 (average 5:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Killer Dawg Update (taken Wednesday):

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Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Consider this: John McCain has just said something just as, if not even more insane and offensive than Donald Trump:

John McCain: Obama is ‘directly responsible’ for Orlando attack

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the elder Republican statesman, said President Obama was “directly responsible” for the terror attack in Orlando due to his failure to combat the rise of the Islamic State terror group.

McConJob has now whored himself so far that he’s aping Rump Dump Trump.

From NY Times: Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is leaning heavily toward running for re-election to the seat he swore he was giving up after six often frustrating years and a failed presidential run, associates said on Friday, a reversal that would upend one of the most competitive races in the country.

Mr. Rubio could make his decision public early next week after he spends the weekend with his family in Florida weighing the personal, political and financial considerations of another campaign. One adviser who described the senator as “all in” said Mr. Rubio’s staff members had already begun scouting a site for a possible announcement.

The last thing we need in the Senate is a Border Booter Bot, a Republican racist Latino, bigoted against his own people.

From Washington Post: Bernie Sanders could offer an endorsement of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton before the party’s convention next month, depending on the outcome of ongoing policy talks between the two campaigns, Sanders’s campaign manager said Friday.

Jeff Weaver, a longtime Sanders confidant, said that he has been encouraged by discussions over several policy issues important to Sanders — including a plan for tuition-free college — that Sanders would like to see as part of the Democratic legislative agenda going forward. Clinton and Sanders began talks in earnest over such issues during a meeting Tuesday in Washington.

“The resolution of those issues are important to determining any timetable” for a potential endorsement, Weaver said, adding that the outcome could also determine “how closely the campaigns work together” heading into the fall to defeat Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.

During an address live-streamed across the country Thursday night, the senator from Vermont did not concede the Democratic nomination to Clinton but told supporters that he plans “in a short period of time” to start working to see that “Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly.”

Thank you, Bernie!

Cartoon:

0618Cartoon

Republicans want to repeal US support for it.

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Jun 072016
 

Well, hear I sit with a free afternoon.  My 2nd student called and is sick so I have more time.  Tomorrow is busy with physio and a haircut — good thing I don't get charged by the kilo of hair that is removed!  We Sasquatches have a lot of hair!  It has been very hot here with Sunday at an unbearable 35 C (95 F) and yesterday 31 C (88 F) . . . and it isn't even summer yet!  Today is 25 C (78 F) so a lot cooler, but still hot!  I like 21 C (70 F) with sunshine and a gentle breeze.  We are scheduled for rain later this week, and based on May's total rainfall (12% of normal), we need a deluge.  From what I have read, Paris has been getting our rain as well as their own.

Short Takes

Texas Tribune — U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela took a poison pen to the Republican presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, in an open letter Monday morning.

"Mr. Trump, you’re a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it up your ass," the Brownsville Democrat wrote in a lengthy missive to the real estate magnate.

Later Monday, Vela elaborated on his remarks in an MSNBC interview. 

"Well, I would have liked to have spoken in a much more diplomatic fashion, but I felt like I had to speak to Donald Trump in language he understands," he said. 

Vela notes in the letter that he agreed with Trump on some policies, like improving veterans' care, addressing Mexican drug cartels and deporting criminal felons who are in the country illegally. But he also savages Trump for his rhetoric on those of Mexican descent and his promise to build a wall on the southern U.S. border.

Kudos to Vela for speaking in words that Drumpf would understand, although if Drumpf comments on this, he likely to accsuse Vela of being rude, or worse.

Crooks and LiarsGlenn Beck was suspended for a week by Sirius XM for not reining in his guest, fiction author Brad Thor, who hinted that maybe President Donald Trump should be "removed from office" by a "patriot" because the "feckless Congress" won't do it.

Glenn Beck Suspended After Guest Suggests 'Patriot' Should 'Remove' Trump

Talking Points Memo:

“With the feckless, spineless Congress we have, who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his constitutional authority as President?” Thor said. “If Congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if he oversteps his mandate as President, his constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as President.”

Too bad they couldn't make the ban permanent!

Politicususa — Donald Trump’s appearances on CNN’s State Of The Union and CBS’s Face The Nation were total disasters for the presumptive Republican nominee after both networks used the interviews to call out his lies.

The trouble began for Trump after he repeated his claim that he always opposed the Iraq war.

Lying is a lot like juggling.  The more one lies, the harder it is to keep all the lies straight and in play, or in the world of a juggler, in the air.  And such is the juggling act called Trump.  Of course, like many liars, Trump claims to be misunderstood, or claims outright that he didn't say certain things.  Is this the demeanor of a head of state?  Trump is a pathological liar which is partly why The Huffington Post puts the following Editor's Note after articles about Trump:

Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar,rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

CBC — Canada's immigrant communities are not breeding grounds for terrorists, as some would argue, but should be enlisted to reduce any violent radicalization in their midst, says a newly released report.

The research, ordered by the Harper government in 2014, appears to repudiate Conservative measures that alienated Muslim communities in the months before last year's election.

The authors examined four diaspora communities in Canada — Afghan, Somali, Syrian and Tamil — and found them to be willing allies for rooting out extremism among their often young and isolated members.

Phil Gurski, a former CSIS analyst, says trust between Muslim communities and security officials was damaged by Harper government measures last year. (Phil Gurski)

"More resilient diaspora communities represent the best line of defence against violent extremism," says the March 30 report, obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act.

The issue of radicalisation is complex.  There is no "one size fits all" as conservatives would have us believe.  And it is not an "Islamic thing" solely.  As societies, we must work with all groups, all disporas, to make inclusive societies where all are welcome and safe.  I find it particularly interesting that it was the Harper government that ordered the study, the very government that alienated Muslim communities.

Huffington Post — To defend real estate mogul Donald Trump‘s claim that a federal judge is biased against him because of his “Mexican heritage,” his campaign spokeswoman argued on Monday that it also would be acceptable to accuse a female judge of bias on the basis of gender. 

“Well, it would depend on her past and decisions she made as a judge,” Trump’s national spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said.

I wonder what Drumpf would say if Antonin Scalia were to hear a Trump case and rule against him.  Scalia was a very conservative Justice of the Supreme Court, and one that one would think would rule in his favour.  Undoubtedly, Drumpf would likely say Scalia should recuse himself because he is the son of an Italian immigrant and a 1st generation American of Italian descent.  Or what about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, admittedly a progressive, but very learned and respected.  Would Drumpf insist that she recuse herself because she is a woman?  Drumpf has a BIG problem with anyone who does not agree with him!  It is great seeing part of the MSM calling him out.

My Universe Is there anything cuter than purring, fuzzy kittens?  Not to me!  Look at all this lovin'!

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cute kittens 20

 

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