May 232017
 

I have not posted in a while as I deal with my mother's passing and preparing her estate.  There is still much to do and it will get done eventually.  This week is very busy with numerous meetings all crammed into 4 days because yesterday was Victoria Day, a statutory holiday in most of Canada (Québec calls it Patriot's Day).  Today's big adventure is taking my 3 furbabes to the vet's for their annual checkup and shots.  They love their vet (he's their godfather) and he loves them.  By the time I get them home, the car and me will be covered in cat fur, literally!

Short Takes

CBC — A jawbone discovered by German troops in Athens during the Second World War could be evidence that apes and humans diverged 200,000 years earlier than the current theory says.

Chimpanzees and bonobos are the nearest known relatives to humans, sharing 99 per cent of our DNA. It's believed that we split between five and seven million years ago. 

However, researchers analyzing two fossils — a jawbone from a German museum and an upper premolar from a collection in Bulgaria — concluded their ages to be roughly 7.2 million years, and belonging to a pre-human.

But there's another significant finding: that human split occurred in the eastern Mediterranean and not Africa, as it is believed.

Well doesn't this just bite if you're an evangelical creationist who believes the earth was created only 6,000 years ago and that God created humans, and humans did not evolve from apes!  While the 7.2-million-year-old pre-human fossils might challenge current evolutionary theory, it certainly slams creationists.  Let's hear it for science!

Business Insider UK — For most in the hospitality industry, the odd bad review is part and parcel of the trade, but one venue appears to be determined to silence its critics.

According to The Mirror, Sarah Gardner, a 44-year-old mother and part-time nurse, has been threatened with legal action after posting a negative review on TripAdvisor of the Tunbridge Wells-based High Rocks restaurant and wedding reception venue.

The review posted on March 22 has since been taken down, but according to a screenshot obtained by the Daily Mail, it said: “Visited here with my family, been coming here for years. I have found the staff more and more rude each time."

“They have an arrogance that should not exist in a service industry, particularly the management. It’s as if they are doing you a favour, I found dealing with them frustrating and perplexing."

Click through for the rest.  Don't let Drumpf see this or he'll try to sue everyone and anyone who speaks negatively about him whether it comes under freedom or speech or not!

Washington Post — President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials.

Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.

Trump sought the assistance of Coats and Rogers after FBI Director James B. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 that the FBI was investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

How many ways are there to say "obstruction of justice"?  Drumpf keeps digging a bigger and bigger hole with no end in sight until he is actually impeached or he resigns.  I agree with those that say Drumpf thinks he is untouchable.  If he resigns the presidency as Richard Nixon did back in 1974 before he could be impeached, I understand that he could still face criminal charges.  I guess things are going to get worse before they get better.

YouTube —  Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 5/21/17 : Stupid Watergate

John always has something to say and he does it with humour.  With the state of US politics right now, if we don't laugh on occasion, we might cry excessively!

US News and World Report — Like most things in politics, impeachment is not as simple as one might think.

The U.S. Constitution lays out impeachment powers for Congress, allowing the governing body to put certain government officials on trial and remove them from power. When an official is impeached, he or she isn't necessarily removed from office – that's a separate step in the procedure.

The process takes on the form of a trial, but the trial takes place in the House of Representatives and the Senate, not the courts.

The result is a blend of law and partisan politics in an often months-long process.

1. Who can be impeached?

According to the Constitution, at the federal level "the president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States" can be removed from office. There have been 19 formal impeachment proceedings at the federal level in the U.S., which ended in seven acquittals, eight convictions, three dismissals and one resignation.

State legislatures can impeach state officials, including governors.

This is a very simple look at the impeachment process.  It is not as simple as "kick the bumb out!" no matter how we wish it to be.  Some of us remember the Richard Nixon resignation in 1974 when he thought he would be impeached.

YouTube — John Oliver – James Comey              

Need I comment further?  The Drumpf administration is the worst administration I can think of.  Nixon was bad, but Drumpf has him beat.

YouTube — The Young Turks — BREAKING: Eric Trump Is Staggeringly Stupid              

I have always felt that Eric Trump was on the clueless side.  From confirming his like of nepotism to his comments on Russian money in the family real estate business, he might actually be a prosecutor's best friend.  And Drumpf wanted a security clearance for this rube?

My Universe — In the video, which was posted to Youtube by Vancouver’s Michael Fujiwara, the sea lion surfaces near the dock, and swims about looking harmless. No doubt it was drawn by the fish — this is an area, after all, that was once nicknamed Salmonopolis.

But after surveying the area and discovering no fish, the sea lion surprises everyone by approaching a young girl, then suddenly, biting down on her dress and dragging her backwards into the water. …

“The sea lion actually attracted a lot of attention from the visitors there, including the young girl,” he said. “She and her family, I guess, they came, they started feeding the animal bread crumbs or whatever it was, and then I guess the animal got a little too comfortable.”

Fortunately, the young girl was pulled from the water immediately by a family member. The young girl was unharmed, albeit a little soggy, and with a newfound, healthy fear of sea lions.

This happened at the Steveston Wharf which is where many fish boats are docked, so it would be quite normal for seals and sea lions to be around the wharf area.  People need to respect wild creatures for the potential harm they can inflict.  Seals and their bigger cousins, sea lions, can be dangerous.  Nobody should be feeding any wild animal.  Here is an additional CBC article about the incident with a little more detail.  Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.

 

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Putin’s Other Proselyte

 Posted by at 10:52 am  Politics
Jan 132017
 

At this point there can be no doubt that Vladimir Putin (R-RU) greatly assisted his proselyte, Donald Trump, to eke out a minority victory and seize the White House.  However, it’s important to reminder that they had help from anther presidential candidate and to drive Putin’s other proselyte from politics before she does more harm to our nation.

0113PutinsStein

Jill Stein ran to the left of Hillary Clinton, but her views frequently line up with Vladimir Putin — whose policies contradict many of the left-wing values she champions.

Journalist Casey Michel reported for The Daily Beast on Stein’s political ties to Putin, who considers Clinton his enemy, and how the Kremlin-sponsored media outlets promote anti-American views aimed at both the far-right and far-left in the U.S.

“Stein presents herself as a champion of the underclass and the environment, and an opponent of the surveillance state and corporate media, and yet she seemed to take pleasure in her marriage of true minds with a kleptocratic intelligence officer who levels forests and arrests or kills critical journalists and invades foreign countries,” Michel wrote. “Their true commonality, of course, is that both Putin and Stein are dogged opponents of U.S. foreign policy.”

Intelligence officials explained to both Donald Trump and President Barack Obama last week how Russia uses media outlets such as RT, formerly known as Russia Today, to undermine domestic trust in American democratic institutions.

According to intelligence officials, RT also actively collaborated with WikiLeaks to peel away American leftists from Clinton, who Putin despises for challenging the fairness of Russian elections.

Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, was heavily promoted by RT during the election campaign and was invited to Moscow last year for the network’s 10-year anniversary.

It’s not clear who paid for her December 2015 trip, although a former British spy claims in the infamous “golden showers” memo that the Kremlin did so indirectly, but her campaign has refused to comment on the matter.

Stein sat at the same table as Putin during the event, along with Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, Trump’s pick for national security advisor, who has admitted he was paid by RT to attend.

Green Party officials in Europe were shocked that Stein seemed more opposed to Clinton than Trump, and one Swiss party official called her “delusional.” … [emphasis added]

From <Raw Story>

I don’t think Stein’s intent was to advance Putin’s agenda or install a Russian plant in the White House.  I think her intent was to advance her own career. and that if advancing her own career included becoming Putin’s proselyte, rubbing elbows with American Alt-Right Nazis, like Flynn, at the Kremlin, parroting GRU propaganda on Russian TV, and helping Trump take over, so be it.

Worldwide, the Green Party is a dedicated campaigner for environmentally sound and socially humane policies.  But in the United Stated, the Green pr5esaidential candidate accepted Republican money, volunteers, and legal aid in 2000, which brought us the GW Bush Regime.  Sixteen years later, the Green Candidate colluded with Putin, and won just enough votes in three states to hand the White House to Trump, to the dismay of virtually all decent people everywhere.  Is it any wonder that foreign Greens are calling for their US affiliate to ditch Jill Stein?  They should do so without delay.

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Nov 262016
 

Well I fell asleep at the switch last night and did not get this finished as I had wanted.  The news is a bit slow but that will change as Trump makes his mark.  He has commented that we will see more proposed cabinet announcements next Friday.  In the interim, it is raining cats and dogs here and I should go out shortly, but I think I'll stay warm and dry.  I prefer my cats dry and purring . . . not a difficult choice.

MSN.com — Canada suddenly has its first hijab-wearing news anchor on commercial television.

aakgbuw

"For me, it's just a step forward in my career," Ginella Massa, who jumped at the chance to fill a vacant anchor chair at the CityNews network in Toronto last Friday night, tells The Hollywood Reporter. But when Massa ended the 11 p.m. newscast just before midnight and checked in with her assignment editor, they agreed Canada had also taken an even bigger leap forward for diversity.

"He said, was that a first? And I said, yes, I think it was, to have a woman in a hijab anchor the news in Canada," she recalls. So Massa marked her career milestone on her Twitter account and on Facebook, where she wrote: "That's a wrap! Thankful to have opportunities like this at a time when there is so much hate and vilifying of Muslims." 

I am very happy for this young woman, and for Canada.  But I am also sad because this should not be news . .  . it should be an everyday occurrence.  Skills should be the measure, not outward appearances.  May we see more barriers broken down!

The Nation — Donald Trump ran on a series of impossible promises, but enough people believed he could deliver on them that he won the Electoral College. His supporters are in for what might be the rudest awakening in recent political history.  

trump_supporters_california_rtr_imgDemonstrators hold signs in support of President-elect Donald Trump in Oceanside, California, November 11, 2016. (Reuters / Sandy Huffaker)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immediately after the election, the candidate who ran against the esreadtablishment, the guy who promised to “drain the swamp,” immediately surrounded himself with party hacks and lobbyists. He announced that Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, perhaps the most prominent face of the dreaded “establishment,” would be his chief of staff. Good-government advocates expect the Trump regime to gut what remains of our already tattered campaign-finance laws. Reuters reports that, “despite his professed opposition to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, President-elect Donald Trump is considering several of the major advocates of that war for top national security posts.” And as Politico’s Ben White put it, “a populist candidate who railed against shady financial interests on the campaign trail is now putting together an administration that looks like an investment banker’s dream.”

Trump’s not going to make coal cheaper than natural gas and bring back a bunch of mining jobs. He might be able to negotiate some new riders for NAFTA, but they’ll be guided by the same corporate lobbyists who effectively wrote it in the first place, and won’t do anything to bring back jobs that have been sent overseas. There will be no 35 percent tariff on imports from Mexico or China.

Click through for the rest of an interesting read.  As the author concluded, "What’s certain is that they’re headed for an epic case of buyers’ remorse."

Daily Beast — Fidel Castro  13/08/1926 – 25 /11/2016

Fidel Castro relinquished the presidency in 2008, handing power to his brother Raul after a period of illness. Since then he has gradually disappeared from public life, occasionally penning a column for the state newspaper, Granma.

Long after the heroism and mystique of the revolution has faded, Fidel Castro will likely be remembered for his role in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when civilization came as close as it has yet come to nuclear Armageddon. During that 13-day trilateral confrontation, while the world watched the stand-off on black and white television sets, behind the scenes Castro was furiously writing to his Soviet counterpart Nikita Khrushchev demanding that the Ukrainian press the button and incinerate us all by launching a first nuclear strike on the United States. “However hard and terrible the solution might be, there is no other,” wrote Castro. Thankfully Stalin’s former henchman, who by his own admission was “up to his elbows” in blood, chose not to heed Castro’s advice.

There is no doubt that Castro was a thorn in many people's sides, but probably more so in the US's side.  Being merely 90 miles off the south-east coast of the US, Cuba's Castro and the US came to verbal blows many times.  And of course there is the Cuban ex-pat community that grew in the US, particulary in Florida.  Some will celebrate his passing, others, not.  Reuters carried reactions from leaders and others around the world.  "[US] President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday called Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who died on Friday night aged 90, a "brutal dictator who oppressed his people for six decades."

"While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve," Trump said in a statement."  President Barak Obama was much more conciliatory.

My Universe

 

 

 

 

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Nov 192016
 

Today has been "one of those days".  I slept late and then spent play time with my three cats which was very relaxing.  It was hard to tear myself away from my furballs, but I did.  After our play time I spent several hours at the local hospital visiting some of our church members who are on my pastoral care list.  One lady, who I call my second mum, did not look like herself at all when I first went in, but that soon changed and we had a wonderful visit talking a lot about her oldest grandson who was in my Sunday School class 20 years ago.  This weekend, I will be visiting my mother and hoping Patty Monster does not kick my butt at Fantasy Football!

Short Takes

CBC — President-elect Donald Trump on Friday named his earliest and staunchest supporter in the Senate, conservative Republican Jeff Sessions, to become the next U.S. attorney general, triggering an outcry from civil rights groups as well as some conservatives outside Congress who are uneasy about Sessions' positions.

jeff-sessions

Sessions is one of three senior leaders Trump has appointed  to his national security and law enforcement teams, including Representative Mike Pompeo as CIA director and retired Lt.-Gen. Mike Flynn as national security adviser.

If approved for the job by a simple majority in the Republican-dominated Senate, Sessions, 69, would lead the Justice Department and the FBI. He brings a record of controversial positions on race, immigration and criminal justice reform that Democrats may target.

OMG!!! or WTH(F)!!!  Can there be any other first reaction to Trump's choice of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General?  Sessions has a reputation as an unabashed racist.  From Wikipedia:

"In 1986, Reagan nominated Sessions to be a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. … At Sessions' confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, four Department of Justice lawyers who had worked with Sessions testified that he had made several racist statements in the context of the Marion Three case. One of those lawyers, J. Gerald Hebert, testified that Sessions had referred to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as "un-American" and "Communist-inspired" because they "forced civil rights down the throats of people"."

Sessiions has 4 years left in his Senate term which as I understand means that Alabama will appoint another person  (read Republican) to complete the term or run a byelection.  In 2014, Sessions ran essentially uncontested and received 97.25% of the vote, while in 2008 he received 63.36%, far ahead of his Democrat opponent.  I think we should have concerns over civil rights investigations and prosecutions.  Click through for the rest of the article.

Daily Kos — Irish Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin opened the upper house of the Irish legislature (Seanad Éireann) with a statement about the United States’ election of Donald Trump. Mr. Riordáin was responding to the hypocritical congratulatory reactions from fellow Irish politicians. Riordáin opened by quoting the Irish statesman, Edmund Burke.

The only way evil can prosper if for good men to do nothing.

It is good to know that other countries are looking at Trump's ascendancy to POTUS and recognising it for what it is . . . a fascist takeover of the US government.  Il Duce Trump.

Fiscal Times (MSN) — Throughout the presidential election, now-President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to undo the financial service industry reforms contained in the Dodd-Frank Act. The Trump transition team’s website makes it clear that the issue hasn’t been forgotten, saying that Trump will work to “dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act and replace it with new policies.”

In an appearance on Capitol Hill Thursday, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen delivered her verdict on the suggestion: bad idea.

Yellen was delivering regularly scheduled testimony before the Joint Economic Committee when she was asked by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) for her thoughts on the law that placed new restrictions on the financial services industry in the wake of the financial crisis that led to the Great Recession.

Although Yellen does not mention Trump by name, she responds to his proposal to gut financial regulations (Dodd-Frank), she is very clear that this will send the country into a deeper recession than 2008, and we all know how that turned out.  Thank goodness Sanders and Warren are still strong in the Senate.  Although I have not specifically heard anything, it would not surprise me find that Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau becomes "unemployed", unfortunately.

Daily Beast — John Oliver, like most liberal comedians, did his damnedest to prevent Donald Trump and Mike Pence from reaching the White House. He tore apart the former reality-show host for bragging about sexually assaulting women, explained how his scandals were far worse than Hillary Clinton’s, and even offered up his Emmy to Trump if he’d deliver a concession speech and ensure a peaceful transfer of power upon losing.

Well, Trump managed the unthinkable: He won. He is now the president-elect. And Oliver, like more than half of Americans who cast their ballot, is shocked and terrified. 

“It’s true! That happened!” he exclaimed. “It turns out, instead of showing our daughters that they could someday be president, America proved that no grandpa is too racist to become leader of the free world.”

We can always count on John Oliver for some good commentary.  He is so spot on!

My Universe — I don't know the story behind all of these pictures, and a few may well have been staged, but just the thoughts of what is happening, people helping other people or animals is enough to give one hope.  Click through for the remainder.

faith-in-humanity-3Jacqueline Kiplimo, the world-class marathon runner, slowed for several miles to help a disabled man drink. She sacrificed the $10,000 prize for finishing first.

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Nov 122016
 

Do you really think that Melania Drumpf taking up the cause of cyberbullying as FLOTUS is going to make a difference when after only 3 days we're seeing criminal behaviour like that which follows?  Please read to the end of this seemingly long article.  I have added comments after it.

 

First Lady-elect Melania Trump wants to stop bullying, but children all over America are being bullied because of her husband. "We must find better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media," Mrs. Trump said at a Pennsylvania rally last week. "It will be one of the main focuses… Continue reading »

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Nov 122016
 

As I cruise through the internet now, I always find too much to share.  Before the election, I thought the US would have Madame President-elect and the tempo would quiet down a bit.  Instead, the US got Herr President-elect, Fuhrer Drumphenfarten as TC would say.  Things will not quiet down but instead ramp up like never before. Stay tuned to Politics Plus as we continue to fight against Fuhrer Drumphenfarten and the fifth Reich.

Short Takes

Youtube — Finally, someone is actually taking responsibility for Herr Drumphenfarten win last Tuesday . . . well sort of.

Bee is so funny and astute . . . and Canadian! (well now with joint Canadian-American citizenship).

Washington Post — Few prognosticators predicted a Donald Trump victory ahead of Tuesday night. Polls showed Hillary Clinton comfortably ahead, and much of America (chiefly the media) failed to anticipate the wave of pro-Trump support that propelled him to victory. But a Washington, D.C.-based professor insisted that Trump was lined up for a win — based on the idea that elections are “primarily a reflection on the performance of the party in power.” …

At the end of our September conversation, Lichtman made another call: that if elected, Trump would eventually be impeached by a Republican Congress that would prefer a President Mike Pence — someone whom establishment Republicans know and trust.

“I'm going to make another prediction,” he said. “This one is not based on a system; it's just my gut. They don't want Trump as president, because they can't control him. He's unpredictable. They'd love to have Pence — an absolutely down-the-line, conservative, controllable Republican. And I'm quite certain Trump will give someone grounds for impeachment, either by doing something that endangers national security or because it helps his pocketbook.”

Click through for the remainder of the article.  I don't know Lichtman but his gut prediction makes sense. Fuhrer Drumphenfarten is an impulsive person given to doing only what benefits him.  Others have said they see a possible impeachment within a year.  Others are calling for impeachment now.  After that, it will be President Pence for the remainder of the 4 year term.

Youtube — And now a word or two from Bill Maher.

Bill is funny, irreverent, and spot on!

Globe and Mail — An Ontario Court judge wore a “Make America Great Again” hat in his courtroom the day after the U.S. election to mark president-elect Donald Trump’s “historic” victory, according to a source in the room.

Ontario Court Justice Bernd Zabel arrived at the John Sopinka courthouse in Hamilton on Wednesday morning wearing Mr. Trump’s signature campaign hat, according to the source, and addressed the numerous lawyers, police officers and defendants. Another witness in the courtroom did not dispute the details.

The incident has prompted an outcry from legal observers who say Justice Zabel’s political display undermines the public’s confidence in judicial impartiality. And they are particularly upset because Mr. Trump has made disparaging remarks about women and minorities.

 

trump-hat

“The clerk said ‘all rise’ and the door opens and Justice Zabel comes out. He is in a black silk robe with the crimson sash and the white tie. He has a poppy on his lapel. And he is wearing a scarlet-coloured baseball cap that says Make America Great Again. And we all stand because we are supposed to stand when the judge comes in and he looks at everyone and said he was wearing the hat ‘because last night was an historic occasion,’” the source told The Globe and Mail.

“He took the hat off and put it on the bench so everybody could look while he continued his court business. He didn’t put it away. It was sitting on the bench.” Mr. Zabel then came back with the hat after morning break, the source said.

In my book, this is totally unacceptable.  For an institution that is impartial and must be seen to be impartial, this judge sets the wrong tone.  Kellie Leitch, MP for Simcoe-Grey in Ontario, is excited about Drumphenfarten's win in the US and has called for his agenda, particularly his immigration agenda, in Canada. With that kind of rhetoric around, the courts should not be influenced as well.  BTW, Leitch is running for the leadership of the federal Conservative party to replace Herr Harper.

Huffington Post UK  Hat Tip Evelyn B Care2 through the Napster — When Republican frontrunner Donald Trump enjoyed a number of wins on Super Tuesday earlier this week, it seems that a number of Americans began considering a rather drastic option: moving to Canada.

But it looks like US citizens keen to escape the growing popularity of Trump – and perhaps even the nightmarish possibility of him becoming president – could find themselves facing a particularly big hurdle. Or at least if Adam Hills has anything to do with it.

Click through for the remainder of the story.  There is a link in the story where you can click for bricks or you can click here bricking it for canada.  Although this article dates back to 16 March 2016, it's even more appropriate now that Fuhrer Drumphenfarten has won the golden ring, so to speak.  The total bricks is at 2,057,675,870 and still rising!

My Political Universe — I always liked George Carlin!

george-carlin-stupid-people

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