May 232015
 

The surprises keep coming.  Last night I fell into a deep sleep, between 8:00 and 9:00 PM.  Since preparations for my prison volunteer trip next week and my ongoing medical mayhem have kept me completely occupied, I had no idea that the opening ceremonies for the annual Portland Rose Festival wired also last night.  The launch site for the fireworks is six blocks away.  The blasts echoing between they downtown buildings amplifies the noise level.  I awakened thinking I had fallen asleep during an MRI.  I did get back to sleep eventually, but not soon enough.  My doctor’s staff continues to screw up.  The Orthopedist to whom they referred me was actually the nurses station of the Orthopedics floor of the hospital.  The nurse was quite amused when I tried to schedule an appointment with a doctor through her.  I think I found one on my own, but my doctor’s office tool a 5 day weekend. ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: Reinvent Education

Wall-to-wall testing and skyrocketing tuition have destroyed American education. Here’s how we fix it. \

 

Amen to everything he said. This is the fifth video in the series and now the Reich on the left has been right five times. Please click through to MoveOn and share it from there.

From Daily Kos: A judge has sentenced an Arizona woman to 3 ½ years in prison for running over her husband with an SUV because he didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election.

Thirty-one-year-old Holly Nicole Solomon of Mesa pleaded guilty to assault charges stemming from injuries her husband suffered days after President Barack Obama was re-elected. She was sentenced on Thursday.

Authorities say Solomon was upset about Obama’s re-election…

Republicans seem to take voting more seriously that we do, even though their solutions for every obstacle are criminal and/or violent.

From NY Times: Ever since the Gold Rush, California farmers have staked their claim to water and ferociously protected their rights to use it to irrigate the crops that have made the state the greengrocer for the nation.

But on Friday, in a sign of how the record-setting drought is shaking up established ways here, state officials accepted an offer from farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to give up a quarter of their water this season, either by leaving part of their land unplanted or finding other ways to reduce their water use. In return, the state has assured them that it will not seek further reductions for the growing season.

It looks like people are going to go hungry, because oil and coal, the m,ain causes of the drought, are not edible.

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May 082015
 

Here’s the rest of what happened yesterday.  Fortunately the LIFT bus dropped me off over an hour early, because I discovered that my doctor’s office sent me to the hospital Imaging Department, when I was supposed to go to the Professional Plaza Imaging Department down the street.  I called TriMet LIFT and they agreed to change my pickup location.  A walk up a steep hill later, I got to the Professional Plaza who discovered that my doctor’s office screwed up the paperwork for the X-Ray.  They called and found that her back office staff had just left for lunch.  I had to sit al hour waiting for them to return to fax them the right paperwork.  Apparently the order was unsigned.  After they got the paperwork I went into the queue.  The X-Ray only took 10 minutes, which was good, because I made it to the LIFT bus area with only a few minutes to spare.  I got to take the grand tour dropping off other riders, but there was no congestion from Obama’s visit.  I’ll be brief, because I’m worn out.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 4:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: Fight For $15

No one who works full-time should live in poverty. A decent nation ensures that all workers can pay their rent and feed their family.

 

Please click through to MoveOn to share this from there.

From The New Yorker: In a deepening humanitarian crisis, residents of the city of Austin report that they are completely surrounded by Texas, a situation that locals are calling “dire.”

Austin has traditionally enjoyed freedoms as a semi-autonomous region, hosting film festivals and literary events without the interference of its hostile neighbors, but there are growing fears that those days may be coming to an end.

Alarmingly, citizens of Austin report, extremists within the city limits have taken over the Capitol Building and installed a militant government with dominion over its residents.

In recent days, Austin has made desperate requests for assistance to the U.S. military, which will be conducting exercises in Texas in July.

From Andy we have the clarion call. Save Austin!!

From Reuters: Prime Minister David Cameron won a stunning election victory in Britain, confounding poll predictions that the vote would be the closest in decades to sweep into office for another five years with a clear majority and his Labour opponents in tatters.

My condolences to the people of the UK for demonstrating that the US does not have an exclusive on voter idiocy. Perhaps Pat can fill us in on why this happened.

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May 052015
 

I’m waiting for Store to Door to call me for my grocery order, and it’s a very busy week.  Tomorrow is grocery delivery day and Thursday afternoon I go for the MRI on my shoulder.  Getting home, even on the Lift bus, just got a whole lot more difficult.  I just learned that Barack Obama will be attending a fund raising event just seven blocks from my home that afternoon, and the streets will be clogged with spectators and the demonstrators protesting the TPP.  It could take me hours to get home.  Now I’m all for Obama fundraising in Portland, and I’m all for protesting the TPP, but does it have to be THAT day?  ARGH! :-(

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:36 (average 5:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do? 

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The most racist areas in the United States

0505Racict

Some of the spots are surprising.

From Upworthy: See how a group of Swedish police officers responded when a fight broke out on the New York subway.

 

Portland should hire a few Swedish cops!!

From NY Times: When the U.K. Independence Party received a donation of 1 million pounds a few weeks ago — about $1.5 million — it seemed like a big lift heading into the British general election on Thursday.

But the populist, anti-immigration party then faced an unusual problem: spending its cash.

In a country where television election spots are banned, billboards are booked long before voting day, and other strict laws constrain election spending, that task proved so hard that the party says it is unlikely to use all the money before Britons go to the polls.

Britain is not unusual in running short, relatively inexpensive campaigns. But few nations combine enthusiastic fascination with American-style politics — the governing Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party both hired top advisers to President Obama this election cycle — with campaign finance rules so stringent that they would seem better suited to City Council races in the United States.

The US needs to implement campaign finance rules from the UK.

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Apr 212015
 

I’m still quite tired after doing the dreaded task and another noisy night, but I did get some daytime sleep yesterday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Notoriously addled butt munch Pat Robertson took a question today from a woman worried about her 11-year-old son who "started listening to music that speaks of the ‘beast within’ and the ‘infection in people.’" Consequently, his behavior has this poor woman "to the point of me giving up trying to parent him." Thank goodness she took her concern to that master oracle of parenting advice, good ol’ Pat.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Robertson remains the poster boy for Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity (the exact opposite of authentic Christianity).

From The New Yorker: Delivering a stirring populist message at a campaign appearance in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton vowed that as President she would help everyday Americans obtain large cash payments from foreign governments.

“Like a lot of everyday Americans, many of you are struggling to pay your bills,” she told an audience here. “As President, I will work tirelessly to help you make ends meet—by getting foreign governments to pay you.”

“In cold, hard cash,” she added, to a standing ovation.

Growing emotional, the former Secretary of State spoke of the “transformative power of foreign money,” calling it “nothing short of magical.”

Andy is back to satire for a change. The people behind the foreign money meme have a repeatedly demonstrated resume as liars.

From Alternet: Forget the top one percent, the top 0.01 percent of Americans gave nearly 42 percent of all political donation dollars in the 2012 election cycle. Just over 30,000 individuals contributed nearly half of all money. It is no coincidence that this proportion has increased steadily as economic inequality has increased. In 1990 when I was born, the figure was just under 13 percent. If we expanded the scope to the full one percent, you can be damn sure they gave the overwhelming majority of dollars in recent years.

And don’t forget that this does not even include the $billions more in secret donations to bogus Republican 501(c)4 organizations.

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Apr 062015
 

It’s such a slow day for news, that even Daily Kos is recommending only hits from the past, and because I’m still short of 100%, I’m making this today’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:42 (average 6:40).  To do it, click here.  How dod you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A new poll shows that Americans who were unconcerned about climate change as it wreaked havoc around the world are beginning to worry, now that global warming is affecting the appearance of their lawns.

According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, rising sea levels, the destruction of habitats, and catastrophic weather conditions, such as hurricanes and tsunamis, have not served as the wake-up call to Americans that their lawns’ unsightly barrenness has.

In interviews across the state of California, residents expressed anger and outrage that climate change had been allowed to worsen to the point that it has now severely limited their choice of ground cover, shrubs, and other decorative plantings.

Sadly, Andy seems to have captured the soul of the American voter.

From NY Times: An exuberant crowd that included public-school teachers, union bus drivers and nursing home workers packed into New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church on this city’s West Side on Saturday afternoon as Karen Lewis, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, issued an urgent plea.

“I am asking you, I am begging you, and — in my teacher voice — I am telling you, go vote,” Ms. Lewis, who wore a “Chuy” button on each lapel, called out, as a cheer rose through the high-ceilinged church. “Go vote!” she called out again. “Go vote!”At the heart of the campaign that has threatened to topple Mayor Rahm Emanuel are labor unions: Amalgamated Transit Union locals, the Service Employees International Union’s Illinois State Council and, perhaps above all, the Chicago Teachers Union. Jesus G. Garcia, the candidate known as Chuy, built his campaign on the backing of teachers, has received his strongest financial support from unions and was talked into running by Ms. Lewis herself. And the crowd inside this echoing church followed orders, scores of people streaming out together and marching down Madison Street to a polling location with less than an hour remaining for early voting in advance of Tuesday’s election.

Go Chuy! Chicago, give your heart to Jesus! (Garcia, not Republican Supply-side). Rahmbo acts more like a Republican than a Democrat!

From Alternet: A Georgia teacher — whose husband sits on the school board — is under fire for telling her students that President Barack Obama isn’t a Christian, and if their parents voted for him they are not Christians either, reports WMGT.

What a Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian statement that is! Even I allow for the possibility that an authentic Christian might have voted for Little Lord Willard, if that Christian were sufficiently stupid and misinformed.

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Apr 022015
 

The failure of American voters to turn out on election day has done more to contribute to the loss of freedom at the hands of Republicans and a few DINOS.  In few places, if any, has this been more apparent than it is in Ferguson, MO, where official racism runs rampant to victimize the majority of the voters.

0402FergesonNext week, Ferguson residents have the opportunity to vote for three city council members and alter the racial makeup of local government. To do that, they’ll have to clear one major hurdle: historically low voter turnout among the city’s African American majority.

Today, five of the six standing council members who represent the city’s three wards are white, while 67 percent of Ferguson’s population is African American. Three of the five are stepping down, and four candidates vying for the positions are black (Ella Jones, Adrienne Hawkins, Wesley Bell, and Lee Smith). Due to the ward breakdown, only two black contenders can be elected, although such a victory would secure half of the council seats and triple African American representation in the office. According to Fusion, the city has only elected two black council members in the past, including Mr. Dwayne T. James, who represents Ward 2.

But to shake up the predominately white government, black voters actually have to show up at the polls — something they don’t usually do in the small municipality. During the last municipal election in 2013, only 6 percent of eligible black voters cast a ballot. After Michael Brown was killed, many believed voter registration would skyrocket ahead of the St. Louis County executive election, but those hopes were shot when Director of Elections Rita Heard Days erroneously claimed that 3,300 people registered in the weeks after Brown’s death. In actuality, 128 people did so.

Several factors explain why so few African Americans vote in Ferguson. For example, city council elections occur in odd-numbered years, meaning they don’t align with presidential, gubernatorial, or state legislative elections. With an absence of big names on the ballot, voters aren’t drawn to the polls en masse on municipal election days. The black population is also younger than the white population, and older people tend to vote. Additionally, homeowners with lasting ties to the community are usually more inclined to vote, but most of Ferguson’s black voters are renters who haven’t lived in the city for long periods of time.

Nevertheless, organizers in the area strongly believe that next week’s elections will be different, because of the virtues and failures of the candidates on the ballot…

Inserted from <Think Progress>

I have been an activist for most of my life, so beating my head against the brick wall of apathy is not new to me.  I cannot remember a situation in which a community of people has seen a more obvious demonstration of the need for political change.  Will they turn out?  If not, they will have earned treatment they have received.  The punishment for apathy is living in as victims in a Republican Reich.

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Feb 252015
 

It’s a busy day.  I have a grocery delivery coming, and I need to prepare for prison volunteer work tomorrow,  I wont leave until early afternoon, so I hope to get articles posted before I leave.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s tool me 2:34 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do? Does anyone have some salt and pepper?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: John Oliver brutally mocks political ads for women, and it’s hilarious.

 

Labor did mess up on that one. To reach out to woman all they needed was a video of Pat A dancing in yoga pants.

From Daily Kos: Idaho lawmakers were debating a bill that ban doctors from prescribing emergency contraceptives during telemedicine consults (via private video chats, particularly helpful for those in rural areas), when they had a surprising question from Republican Rep. Vito Barbieri:

An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.

…….

Dr. Julie Madsen was testifying in opposition to the bill when Barbieri asked the question. Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.

Camera’s, on the other hand, are very useful for Republican rectal exams. Point the camera at the Republican’s face. 😈

From NPR: Amid turnout of only a third of registered voters, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is headed for a runoff in his re-election bid, according to figures released by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

With 98.6 percent of precincts reporting, the former congressman and chief of staff for President Barack Obama leads with 45.37 percent of the vote, followed by Democratic Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia with 34 percent.

Emanuel required a vote of 50 percent plus one to avoid a runoff. The runoff election with Garcia is scheduled for April 7.

The AP reports a number of problems that created a drag on Emanuel’s campaign…

Obama’s biggest appointment mistakes were the Three Blind Mice. Appointing Rahmbo was almost as bad. He’s corrupt. He’s corporate. He’s bad for Chicago. Go Chuy!

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