Everyday Erinyes #47

 Posted by at 12:27 am  Politics
Oct 152016

I have so many items this week which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them that I won't be able to share them all. 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."

Barely had I posted #46 and started to read my email inbox than I had been alerted to three new stories, and during the week two more came to my attention.  Seriously.  I don't even have to look for them.  They come to me.  I think I will skip the one about the police officer who was acquitted of negligent homicide in the death of an unarned veteran, and the one about the Florida Ballot Initiative which would amend the Florida Constitution to make abortion first-degree murder (in a state which still has the death penalty) and would criminalize not just pregnant women and doctors but also people who use certain forms of birth control.  The former has, alas, become commonplace, and the latter – well, let's not panic till after the votes are in.  I do provide the links in case anyone wants to dig deeper.

But the one about the terrorist truck driver, and the two involving young children, must be told.reno

In Reno, NV, about forty people were holding a peaceful protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline and, at the same time, against a holiday (Columbus Day) being dedicated to a mass murderer.  At about 7 p.m. Monday they were getting ready to go home, but stopped for a photo under the Reno Arch when two men (well, apparently 18 and 17 – I would have said technically a man and a boy) in a white Nissan pickup stopped.  The driver approached the protestors, presumably yelled at them, and they yelled back ("heated words").  The man in the truck then drove through the crowd, butting one woman in the hospital – Kitty Colbert, 59, of Carson City.

A fellow named Taylor de Lao got a video and posted it on Facebook.  I'm not on Facebook, but I know many here are and won't have any trouble seeing it.  Ms. Colbert suffered several pelvic fractures, a sacral fracture, and a fractured hip.  She was listed in serious condition the following day, but was able to talk, so we have her story – which is that he could have gone to either side of the protestors, but instead rammed right through.  She feels it was attempted vehicular homicide.  I agree.

Alecto, do find this guy – well, both of them – and do some schooling, won't you?

abdulazizYou may have heard about the seven year old boy, Abdul Aziz Usmani, a first-grader, who was bullied by his classmates, and, eventually, beaten up by them – hence the arm sling in the photo. 

His father, Dr. Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani, an acclaimed writer, scientist and TED Talk speaker, is in the United States working on combating the effects of terrorism.  He

has worked with the UN’s Special Envoy for Global Education on a safe school initiative in Pakistan. In fact, Usmani has developed software to “model the effects of suicide bombings” in order to create safer environments and reduce injuries in the event of an explosion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Now, his wife and kids are returning to Pakistan at least until after the election.  They will wait to see if it is safe to come back to the United States.  Incidentally Abdul Aziz is an American citizen, having been born here.  Megaera, maybe you could school some of these bullies?  Yes, I know there are a lot more where they came from.  Them too.

The other child to have made the news is a ten-year old special needs child from Kerrville, TX.  His name is Kayden Culp.  I say made the news, but I think maybe he ought to have made news a little more.  My main source for this is a webpage specifically for firefighters.  Why firefighters you say?  Did this poor child get burned?  Well, yes, he did.kayden

As of October 6, he was in the University Hospital in San Antonio in critical condition, on life support and a feeding tube, and under sedation, with first ans second degree burns over 20%  of his body (though in the picture it looks like more to me.  Of course there is always smoke inhalation too.)

Also as of October 6, a Kerrville teenaged boy is under arrest on suspicion of having started the fire.  There was a second pre-teen boy also injured in the fire, but his injuries were less extensive.

The boy’s family say that Culp was lured to a shack in the town of Kerrville on the afternoon of October 2. He had been under the impression that he was playing with three boys, ages 9, 10 and 11. At the shack, the bullies doused Culp in gasoline and set fire to him.

Culp’s family are adamant that the victim was targeted because of his autism. Another of his aunts, Kelly Mack, told News4 San Antonio, “The other kids are saying that he was going to be riding his bike like he always is, my nephew Kayden is going to be riding his bike, and they said we’re going to grab him and take him inside and burn him. If it wasn’t premeditated, it still is attempted murder.”

Meanwhile, Tanya Kasper, told Fox News, “All the kids are talking, saying, ‘Hey, they set out to do it on purpose.’ We want to keep in mind that these are kids, and they do need help. We just want the proper justice done.”

kayden2Earlier this year, Kayden's mother was very active in raising funds for another Kerrville resident and her family who had lost their home to a fire.  The house had been paid off within the last year, and the insurance had been cancelled by the owner's ex-husband.  Sounds to me as if it may be a case of no good deed goes unpunished.  Tisiphone, this one's for you.  Anything additional I might say would probably be unprintable.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4015885


King Midas?

 Posted by at 11:48 am  Politics
Oct 132016

"The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This came to be called the golden touch, or the Midas touch.  … According to Aristotle, legend held that Midas died of starvation as a result of his "vain prayer" for the gold touch." — Wikipedia

Glasser: Based on what you know about his personality from having studied it and written about it, how do you see him handling the next three weeks, given that he’s now in this hole? To me, his combative behavior since the release of the tape, his lack of remorse, his going on the offense, his complaining that it’s not fair, essentially, his going to war even against his own party seems very consistent with the person that you all have done such a good job of describing. So what does he do for the next three weeks? Is there a point at which he gives up, stops fighting? How can he be a loser for three weeks before the actual election?

O’Brien: I think he is just going to wage a scorch‑the‑earth campaign for the next three weeks. And if he loses, which I think he’s going to—I think he’s going to lose badly—he’s then going to come up with a scenario in which it was stolen from him, that the election was rigged, because he’s survived by creating alternate realities. And he’ll never say to himself he lost because he had a skeletal campaign operation, which he did; that he lost because he’s unappealing to a large swath of the voters; that he lost because he’s willfully ignorant about public policy; that he lost because he’s a nasty and unappealing bigot. He’ll never, ever acknowledge any of that. He’ll just come up with an alternate reality that said, “It was rigged against me.” 


O’Brien: Yeah. I don’t feel like I’ve seen or learned anything new about him. I think a lot of the way he’s approached this presidential race parallels all of the strengths and weaknesses of his business career, personally and professionally. He’s a profoundly narcissistic person who has been insulated from the realities of his own bad decision‑making by wealth and other people’s needs to kind of glom onto him, and I think he really did repeat so much of his past mistakes throughout this political season. He came into it with an opportunity and an advantage that he could have really built something on. But because of his myriad flaws—you know, he’s financially undisciplined, he’s emotionally and intellectually undisciplined, and he’s incapable of building teams and leading other people, profoundly incapable of those things—he blew those opportunities.

And I don’t think he really cares. I think he’s been more than satisfied to be on a big global stage and have everybody paying attention to him, and he’ll never characterize himself as a loser in this process, even if he ends up one. 

D’Antonio: I think he’s addicted to this kind of attention and addicted to being taken seriously, or at least in his own estimation being taken seriously. So whatever he does, it will be devoted more to politics and media than what he’s done so far, and the kids are going to pick up the pieces of the real estate and branding empire. I’m working on a piece with some people who are evaluating his business, and he’s really suffered an erosion of his brand, even among the people who supported it. So the kids may have seen some of their inheritance go down the drain here.

From Politico

Click through for this long but interesting piece about Trump, his personality, foibles and actions and the future, as told by four of his biographers.  As I read the piece, I thought of King Midas and his golden touch.  I see Trump in a similar light.  Trump sees himself as the man with the golden touch — he'll make America great again, if you buy his press, which I do not.  But like Midas, who wanted gold and starved because of it, Trump, accustomed to getting what he wants, will starve from the attention that he does not want, the attention ascribed to a loser.



Sep 152016

Would you believe I finally fixed the laser all-in-one?  What made the problem especially confusing is that the scanner worked from the touchpad, but not when instructed to do so with the computer.  The printer followed computer instructions just fine.  The cause was that, when we cleaned the Cat Box, the network lost the scanner's access port, and there were no clear instructions that to recover the port.  I needed to detect and tell the network the scanner's IP address.  Dang!!  Was that a pain in the kitty  arse or what?!!?  Tomorrow I finally have an appointment with Megan to work out what I'm going to take instead of Gabapentin for nerve pain.  Please expect no more than a Personal Update, and that may be late.

Jig Zone:

Today's took me 3:33 (average 5:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Hillary Clinton was probably supposed to grovel when the Trump campaign affected outrage at her calling the racists, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes, and Islamophobes in the ranks of Trump supporters “deplorable.” But she’s doing no such thing, even after Trump released an ad in which Clinton’s invocation of “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it” is followed by a narrator saying “People like you, you, and you.”

Instead, Clinton is firing back with an ad on the same subject, which will run on national cable. “You can’t lead this nation if you have such a low opinion for its citizens,” Trump says piously at the outset, followed by text asking “What’s Donald’s opinion of our citizens?” From there, it’s like a greatest hits collection…


Birds of a feather flock together, and Rump Dump Trump is one deplorable bird!

From NY Times: When Donald Trump first called for a “total and complete” shutdown of Muslim immigration into the United States last December, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana rejected that stance as “offensive and unconstitutional.” But that was then.

Once he was chosen as Mr. Trump’s running mate this summer, Mr. Pence instantly became one of the strongest Republican voices to echo Mr. Trump’s anti-immigrant broadsides, pronouncing himself “very supportive.”

And on Wednesday Indiana officials went before a federal appeals court in Chicago to defend Mr. Pence’s outrageous order to block Syrian refugees from settling in Indiana by denying them aid for social services.

And the hate in a Republican Reich goes on and on.

From Think Progress: Peter Thiel, a libertarian billionaire known for funding a lawsuit seeking to destroy the media company behind the website Gawker, is a leading candidate for the Supreme Court in a Trump administration, according to reporting by the Huffington Post’s Ben Walsh and Ryan Grim.

Thiel, according to a source consulted by Walsh and Grim, told friends that Trump will nominate him to the Court if the GOP nominee is elected president. Another source confirms that members of Trump’s “inner circle” consider Thiel a potential justice. Spokespeople for both Trump and Thiel deny these claims.

Though Thiel’s early career resembles that of a potential future justice — he graduated by Stanford Law School and clerked for a federal appeals court judge — Thiel abandoned the practice of law very early to pursue a career in business. Accordingly, he has very few of the qualifications typically held by a judicial nominee and is unlikely to have the same grasp on legal doctrine as a professional lawyer or judge…

…In an essay [Republican propaganda delinked] published by the Cato Institute, an influential libertarian think tank, Thiel questioned the very idea that the right to govern flows from the will of the governed. “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible,” Thiel claimed. He added that he thinks America made a serious wrong turn when it began extending basic human rights to women and poor people… [emphasis added]

Thiel reflects the views of Rump Dump Trump. He also reflects the views of the Republican Party, but most other Republican leaders are too cagey to admit it.  Instead, they represent it by what they do. Their freedom is the freedom to oppress. They don’t believe in the right to vote or human rights for women and poor people. How do we know? Look who they would appoint to the Supreme Court!!!!  Talk about SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD)!!!!



Sep 122016

Yesterday I was so busy and so tired that I had little time left for the Ellipsoid Orb, but I did check to seed that I’m getting my kitty-butt handed to me in fantasy football.  I napped an hour this morning, but still have had little sleep.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:57 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: First, a brief recap on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s painful and pathetic history of dealing with the hatred and venom that Donald Trump spews on a regular basis:

  • When Trump refused to repudiate support from former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, Ryan said that the GOP doesn’t “prey on people’s prejudices” … and still supported the Republican nominee.
  • When Trump called an Indiana-born judge unqualified because of his Mexican heritage, Ryan said the comment was “from left field” and that it was ”textbook racism” …  and still supported the Republican nominee.
  • When Trump called for a ban on Muslims coming into the country, Ryan said it was not “reflective of our principles, not just as a party, but as a country” … and still supported the Republican nominee.
  • When Trump attacked a Gold Star Family, Ryan said he “rejects this idea” … and still supported the Republican nominee.
  • When Trump suggested a “Second Amendment” remedy if Hillary Clinton is elected, Ryan said he was “too busy” to pay attention to Trump’s “jokes” … and still supported the Republican nominee.

And after that “joke,” Ryan was asked if there was anything that Trump could say that would cross the line and Ryan insisted that Trump doesn’t get a “blank check” and that “Where that line gets crossed, I don’t know where that is.”

Well, now we know

Click through to discover just what it would take to outrage a hypocritical Republican purveyor of hatred like lyin’ Ryan.

From The New Yorker: In a positive development for the Democratic nominee for President, a new poll released on Sunday reveals that likely voters find an unconscious Hillary Clinton “substantially more fit” to be President than a conscious Donald Trump.

In a hypothetical matchup between a Clinton who has been rendered completely unconscious and a fully sentient Trump, voters chose an inert Clinton over an ambulatory Trump by a margin of nine percentage points.

A spokesperson for the Clinton campaign hailed the findings. “We have every reason to believe that Hillary Clinton will be a fully conscious President,” the spokesperson said. “But even if she is not, she is still the far better choice.”

The same poll revealed that a broad majority of voters found an unconscious Donald Trump more fit to be President than a conscious one.

Dang, Andy!! A deceased dawg is more fit to be President than Rump Dump Trump!!  If Trump were running against a drunken macaque, that had  mange, BO and halitosis, and that masturbated in public and threw feces at passers by, I’d vote for the monkey!

From The Sun-Sentinel: After they stood by kneeling, after they spoke loudly saying nothing, long after four Miami Dolphins players became a national story by their protest during the national anthem, they were joined by a fifth Dolphin.

Steve Ross, the team owner, went up to safety Michael Thomas in the locker room and shook his hand.

"Let’s get ready to do something about this," he said, even in the emotionally crushing aftermath of the Dolphins’ season-opening loss to Seattle, 12-10.

Kudos. At the same time all the Seattle players linked arms during the anthem to signal their unified opposition to the protesting players. Damn Seachickens!!




Everyday Erinyes #42

 Posted by at 12:28 pm  Politics
Sep 102016

I have two items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them.  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."

Let me first make it clear that I am NOT trying to pick on Oregon.  There are jerks and felons in every state, and Oregon has come, since its founding, probably further than any other state.  But even a state that is such a leader is not immune.

When "the duckbill," an iconic sandstone foundation at Cape Kiwanda State Park, came down, park officials thought it was natural erosion which took it, and issued a statemen including "The rubble serves as a sobering reminder of the ever present dangers of our fragile coastal rocks and cliffs."

Then a video turned up.  I will not embed it but you can click through to it.  Be aware the language is as crude as the vandals.

David Kalas, who took the video, asked them why they had done it.  The ringleader babbled something about a friend having broken his leg, and it was a safety hazard, and they were doing everyone a favor, yada yada yada.  Yeah, right.  Kalas himself has I think a better perspective:

(W)hat’s disappointing is how significant that one rock is to so many people. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have taken their picture on it over the years. “People got married on top of the rock, got their engagement photos on top of the rock,” Kalas said. "They can’t share that moment any more with their future children or their grandchildren or anyone like that, it will always just now be a memory," he added.

Let me make my own feeling clear.  I see NO moral difference whatsoever between these jerks and the jerks with more money than brains who want to mine for uranium on the edge of the Grand Canyon.  Both are treating public property as their own, with complete disregard for the rest of us.  The polite term for that is misappropriation.  When they steal from or willfilly damage public property, they steal from me.  And you.  And you.  And you.

Oregon State Police, and the rescreation department are now on the case, and say they "take… vandalism of a state park's natural features seriously."  But of course, they can only take is as seriously as the law does.  The maximum fine is $435.00.

It will take some intensive education to wring any regret from these – people.  Alecto and Megaera, prehaps you would team up and turn up the heat.  I have another case for Tisiphone today.

Shortly before midnight on August 10, in Gresham, OR, 19-year-old Larnell Malik Bruce, with some friends, was charging his cell phone outside a convenience store, when a red Jeep Wrangler pulled up and a man and a woman got out of it.

The man was 38 year old Russell Courtier, the woman, his girlfriend, 35 year old Colleen Hunt.  A fight quickly broke out. 

As Courtier smashed Bruce's head into the store's front window, cracking a pane of glass, his girlfriend encouraged the beating.

"Get him, baby," Hunt urged her byfriend, according to police.  "Get him, baby."

Eventually, Bruce pulled out a machete and the couple retreated back to their Jeep.

What happened next would be hard to believe if we had not seen so many outrages in just the last year.  Bruce started to run, headed towards his home and away from the couple.  They began to chase hi down in the Jeep.  He attempted to zig zag to avoid them, but they nearly missed him as they gunned the car toward him on the sidewalk.  As he tried to cross the street, security footage shows them moving directly toward him and incidentally into oncoming traffic.

Police arrived on the scene moments later, having been called when the fight began, to find Bruce lying in the street with blood gushing from his head and ears.

He died from his injuries days later.

You may, if you look at Courtier's history, wonder why he was actually on the street at the time.  He is a long time criminal, has a notorious history as a member of a white supremacist gang called European Kindred (EK), and was on parole at the time of the murder.  Yes, that's EK tattooed on his calf in the picture.  Not that that is his only tattoo.  For example, while in prison, he also tattooed "party bone" on his penis.  That and having the "make-shift tattoo gun" in his cell are only two of the almost 40 major prison violations he racked up between 2001 and 2013  How does someone with so many major violations get parole?  I don't know.

Courtier and Hunt have both been indicted for murder and are being held on $500,000 bail.  Their trial is scheduled to begin October third.

Incidentally Bruce's family has set up a GoFundMe page for help with funeral and medical expenses.  It includes this statement – "Though this tragedy has devastated our family, Larnell has the opportunity to save many lives through the Organ Donor program."  Well, SOMEONE in this story has class.

Tisiphone – whatever you can do.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4009830

Sep 012016

I spent the morning collecting the data and preparing the graphics for tomorrow’s Monthly Report.  That part actually takes considerably more time than writing the article.  I’m feeling quite tired, as I’ve been unable to nap.  When the weather started to cool, the city began a street repair project right below me.  For the last four days the noise has been deafening almost continuously from sunup to sundown.  Often there have been multiple jackhammers going at once.  ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:10 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Donald Trump’s immigration speech on Wednesday night was described here as “fascism in it’s [sic] purest, most vile form, slathered in an unbroken stream of lies,” while most in the media tip-toed around, trying to explain it all away. So, who was praising the speech? 

There was the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan:

A noted white supremacist and the founder of American Renaissance:

The editors of the white supremacist website VDARE:

In addition, Trump lied about his conversation with Peña Nieto. The Mexican President told him that he would not pay for Trump’s wall!

From NY Times: A deadlocked Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to revive parts of a restrictive North Carolina voting law that a federal appeals court had struck down as an unconstitutional effort to “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

The court was divided 4 to 4, with the court’s more conservative members voting to revive parts of the law. The court’s brief order included no reasoning.

North Carolina’s law, which imposed an array of voting restrictions, including new voter identification requirements, was enacted by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature in 2013. It was part of a wave of voting restrictions enacted after a 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision that effectively struck down a central part of the federal Voting Rights Act, weakening federal oversight of voting rights.

Challenges to the laws have met with considerable success in recent months, and Wednesday’s development suggested that the current eight-member Supreme Court is not likely to undo those victories.

We so need to dump Reichsfuhrer Roberts, Scalito, TEAbag Thomas, and Ku Klux Kennedy, all of whom voted against the Constructional right to vote.

From The Rachel Maddow Show: Trump anti-immigrant speech follows dark pattern of US history

Rachel Maddow shows how throughout American history, when normal politics breaks down, fringe voices gain prominence scapegoating immigrant groups. Duration: 16:12


After the Whig Party disappeared, a new progressive party sprung up to the left of the Democratic Party, and that Republican Party was wonderful, until it was coopted by Banksters, shifted right, and began the long slide to become the vile Reich it now is. It is my hope that the Republican Party disappears, and afterwards, a new progressive party will spring up to the left of the Democratic Party.



Republicans cheered!