Nov 282016
 

It is still raining cats and dogs and my arthritis is running wild.  I managed to make some barley vegetable soup and I can smell it through out the house.  I know what is for supper tomorrow night.  Homemade soup and the knowledge that I won my Fantasy Football match this week will keep me going.  Sorry Viv but that FF win feels really good.  This is a busy week coming up so I'd best get this posted.

Short Takes

LA Times — Donald Trump is branded with all manner of unflattering labels, but one that hasn’t seemed to much bother him is “climate pariah.”

The president-elect is unabashed in his disdain for America’s global warming policy. He has placed a staunch climate-change doubter and antagonist of mainstream science in charge of reshaping — or as Trump has suggested, dismantling — the Environmental Protection Agency. He has talked frequently about reneging on the historic Paris global climate treaty the U.S. took a lead in drafting. And he has said he wants every federal green-energy program eliminated.  …

coal-trucks-leaving-pacificorp-power-plant-huntington-utahCoal trucks leave a power plant operated by PacifiCorp, Huntington, Utah. (George Frey/Getty Images)

Major U.S. trading partners that signed on to the nearly 200-nation accord reached in Paris last year are already signaling that they will retaliate if the United States backs out, possibly by slapping environmental trade tariffs onto some American products.

None of those potential consequences faze the free-market think tanks urging Trump to go rogue. Just weeks ago, these groups were on the lonely fringe, pursuing an agenda written off as wacky by the mainstream science community, but now find themselves helping drive policy at the highest levels.

There are multiple consequences for every decision and they must be weighed carefully.  With Trump vowing to be a climate change denier extrordinaire threatening to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, other countries could step in to fill the void and the US could suffer sanctions.  One upmanship has its drawbacks.  With Trump at the helm, is the US in danger of losing its self anointed title of "leader of the free world"?

NY Times — President-elect Donald J. Trump said on Sunday that he had fallen short in the popular vote in the general election only because millions of people had voted illegally, leveling the baseless claim as part of a daylong storm of Twitter posts voicing anger about a three-state recount push.

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” Mr. Trump wrote Sunday afternoon.

The series of posts came one day after Hillary Clinton’s campaign said it would participate in a recount effort being undertaken in Wisconsin, and potentially in similar pushes in Michigan and Pennsylvania, by Jill Stein, who was the Green Party candidate. Mr. Trump’s statements revived claims he made during the campaign, as polls suggested he was losing to Mrs. Clinton, about a rigged and corrupt system.

As usual, Trump is making accusations without evidence to support them, and proving just how vindictive and sniveling he is.  It is going to be a long four years unless it is cut short by some means.

Daily Beast — Ben Carson spent the weekend thinking about his offer to be the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in Donald Trump’s administration, and if he accepts, the retired neurosurgeon could complicate progress made on anti-housing discrimination laws during the Obama administration.

ben-carson

While it is somewhat unclear as to what Carson’s goals would be in the position, he has criticized a recent HUD fair housing rule, which requires local communities to assess patterns of income and racial discrimination in housing.

He has referred to the rule, known as “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” as a “mandated social-engineering scheme,” and in one instance said it was indicative of policy in a “communist” country.

From Wikipedia:

In his book America the Beautiful (2013), he wrote: "I believe it is a very good idea for physicians, scientists, engineers, and others trained to make decisions based on facts and empirical data to get involved in the political arena."

A novel concept for a Republican, making decisions based on facts and empirical data.  Hmmm . . .

My Universe —

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14233185_1794382067496608_4131701842428868584_nTomorrow is Monday!

 

 

 

 

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Everyday Erinyes #51

 Posted by at 7:38 pm  Politics
Nov 182016
 
furies

It's another week when I have many items 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 start with an article that does NOT call for erinyes action, but instead gives helpful advice for survival under the new regime, written by Masha Gessen, who, having lived most of her 49 years in one autocracy or another, should know.  I want to start with it because last week I pointed out the difficulty I anticipate of continuing to be able to feel outrage instead of becoming numb when outrages become too common.  Masha points out in her rule 4 the necessity of maintaining outrage:

[I]n the face of the impulse to normalize, it is essential to maintain one’s capacity for shock. This will lead people to call you unreasonable and hysterical, and to accuse you of overreacting. It is no fun to be the only hysterical person in the room. Prepare yourself.

I highly recommend clicking through to the whole article, bookmarking it, printing it out, whatever you need to do to keep remembering – because remembering will become harder and harder.  I am serious about this.  You. Will. Need. It.  But I will continue to report outrages here, and I will continue to focus on unreported and underreported outrages and hope to provide a stimulus to keep our outrage alive – and the Furies occupied.

With that in mind, I am sharing this story though it is "ancient history" because it is just recently coming to light.  The Reader's Digest version is that Mark Ober, the Hillsborough County (Florida) State Attorney, spent ten months walmartprosecuting a 57-year-old disabled mother for shoplifting $29 worth of flea medicine, in order not to upset WalMart, despite the fact that WalMart's own security tape shows every detail of an elaborate frame set up by the security guard who arrested her.  Yes, you read that right.  The case went all the way to a jury trial, where the defendant was acquitted in less than sixty seconds, which is one silver lining here (there is a civil suit in the works.) 

The other silver lining is that Ober lost his bid for re-election.  This is the same Mark Ober who refused to prosecute the rapist of a girl who was fifteen when he made her his sex slave because "she went with him voluntarily."  Though he's now out of office, I think he is worth going after, as is the security guard, Arismendy Rosario, who appears to have had no discernible reason for framing his victim.  Tisiphone, it sounds like it's up your street.

I suspect everyone here is watching the standoff over the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the atrocities being perpetrated there by law enforcement, not only North Dakota law enforcement, but tourist law enforcement from multiple states.  taraWhat happened to Tara Houska on Veterans Day is only one outrage among many, but she is educated (an attorney) and articulate, and was interviewed by Amy Goodman for Democracy Now:

Yeah, I was arrested for criminal trespass as I was, you know, leaving a peaceful demonstration and getting into my car on a public road. They arrested us and zip-tied us on the side of the road for two hours. We were then thrown into jail … and put in a dog kennel … for over six hours, while they didn’t even actually charge us with crimes. After that, I was strip-searched and then thrown into jail and, finally, late, late that evening, was charged with a crime.

Wouldn't you think that, with all the law enforcement from all the states that is there, they could have found actual handcuffs instead if having to use zip ties, and maybe even put their detainees into a squad car rather than a dog kennel?  Oh, wait, they probably are arresting so many people they ran out.  Silly me.  Do click though and find out more about who Tara is, and how confident the pipeline company is that President Trump will push their pipeline through.  Alecto, good luck with putting an end to the unending.  I'm afraid you'll need it.   (One piece of good news, though – yesterday Bank DNB announced it is pulling its money out.  Of course this not a solution, but it's a step.)

Speaking of Veterans Day, this also happened:

U.S. Army veteran Ernest Walker started recording video when a manager at awalker Chili’s restaurant in Cedar Hill, Texas, questioned his military service and took away his food.

Like some other establishments around the country, Chili’s offered free meals to veterans and active military service members on Veterans Day. Walker wrote on his Facebook page that he was eating at Chili’s with his service dog, Barack, when an elderly customer wearing a Trump shirt came up to him. “He said he was in Germany, and that they did not let Blacks serve over there,” Walker wrote.

Soon after, Walker said the restaurant’s manager approached him and said that a fellow customer said Walker was “not a real soldier because [he] had [his] hat on indoors.” He asked to see identification, and continued to question Walker. Eventually, he took his food away, even though Walker showed him his military ID and discharge paperwork.

This is a petty little thing, but, as a veteran myself, it eats at me.  Maybe more than it does at Mr Walker, who said "I believe if it wasn't for the temperature of America right now, I believe that man would have never reacted that way, because I think he's probably a good person.”  Well, I don't.  I don't think he's probably a good person at all.  I think he needs some re-educating, and I think Megaera is just the Fury to do it.  And the Chili's manager too.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4022028

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Sep 262016
 

I finally had a decent night’s sleep, last night, but feel no better, because it will take several more before I’m back to speed.  I’ll be stocking up on Barf Bags for tonight’s media circus.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:41 (average 4:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

0925Broncos29-Bengals17

Short Takes:

From NY Times: The pitched battle over President Obama’s signature climate change policy, which is moving to the courts this week, carries considerable political, economic and historical stakes. Yet its legal fate, widely expected to be ultimately decided by the Supreme Court, could rest on a clerical error in an obscure provision of a 26-year-old law.

That error, which left conflicting amendments on power plant regulation in the Clean Air Act, will be a major focus of oral arguments by opponents of Mr. Obama’s initiative when the case is heard on Tuesday in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The initiative, known as the Clean Power Plan, which Mr. Obama sees as at the heart of his climate change legacy, gave the United States critical leverage to broker the landmark 2015 Paris climate change accord. If the plan is struck down, the United States, the world’s largest carbon polluter over the centuries, will lose its main tool to cut greenhouse gas emissions. If it is upheld, it will transform the nation’s electricity system, closing hundreds of coal-fired power plants and setting in motion a wholesale shift to wind, solar and nuclear power, as well as to improved electric transmission systems.

As things stand now, the Supreme Court will probably vote 4-4, meaning that whatever decision the last Appeals Court will have made will stand. This should demonstrate just how critical it is for Democrats to hold the Presidency and take the Senate.

From Think Progress:

Hours after the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times published separate stories outlining the lies Donald Trump has told during his presidential campaign, Trump’s campaign spokesperson told ABC’s “This Week” that it isn’t the media’s job to factcheck the presidential debate.

“I really don’t appreciate the campaigns thinking it is the job of the media to go and be these virtual fact-checkers,” Kellyanne Conway said, in an apparent attempted jab at the Clinton campaign. She also opposed debate moderators questioning the candidates’ truthfulness in any way…
…Conway went on to praise Matt Lauer’s performance during a candidate forum earlier this month, during which he pressed Clinton on several issues, but accepted Trump’s (false) claim that he opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning.

“We thought he did a great job,” Conway said.

No surprises there.

From Robert Reich: Last week, Congress engaged in a bipartisan barrage of CEO bashing…

…Such shaming before congressional committees tends to reassure the public Congress is taking action. But – especially with Republicans in charge – Congress is doing nothing to prevent the wrongdoing from recurring.

Can we be clear? CEOs have only one goal in mind – making money. If they can make more money by misleading or price gouging, they’ll continue to do so until it’s no longer as profitable…

…So instead of setting up further rounds of CEO perp walks for the TV cameras, Congress should give the Justice Department and regulatory agencies enough funding to do their jobs.

While they’re at it, break up the biggest banks. And regulate drug prices directly, as does every other country.

It’s easy to holler at CEOs. It’s time for to stop hollering and take action.

The Reich on the left, Robert Reich, is right. The problem is that the Reich on the Right, the Republican Reich, is still deplorable. They will block reform as long as they have the power to do so.

Cartoon:

0926Cartoon

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Everyday Erinyes #42

 Posted by at 12:28 pm  Politics
Sep 102016
 
furies

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

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Sep 042016
 

The reason today’s articles are late is that Sunday is Wendy day.  She’s due in ten minutes.  One of her tasks today, other than buffing and stuffing the TomCat, is the complete cleaning of the area you know as the Cat Box:  my computer desk.

Wendy has not come and is not answering texts or phone.  I fear something is wrong, but had better get my articles up, in case she comes.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:40 (average 5:54).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From jacklinks.com (H/T JD): What has Lynn been up to?

 

Dang Squatch!!! Is that your physio?

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): What Racism Has to Do with the High Cost of College

 

I could not agree more!

From NY Times: Huge vertical rulers are sprouting beside low spots in the streets here, so people can judge if the tidal floods that increasingly inundate their roads are too deep to drive through.

Five hundred miles down the Atlantic Coast, the only road to Tybee Island, Ga., is disappearing beneath the sea several times a year, cutting the town off from the mainland.

And another 500 miles on, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., increased tidal flooding is forcing the city to spend millions fixing battered roads and drains — and, at times, to send out giant vacuum trucks to suck saltwater off the streets.

For decades, as the global warming created by human emissions caused land ice to melt and ocean water to expand, scientists warned that the accelerating rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ coastline.

Now, those warnings are no longer theoretical: The inundation of the coast has begun. The sea has crept up to the point that a high tide and a brisk wind are all it takes to send water pouring into streets and homes.

We might be able to make some money out of this. Lets market SCUBA gear with the GOP logo on the tanks and wetsuits captioned "Global Warming Is a Hoax!"

Cartoon:

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Aug 242016
 

The heat wave has returned to Portland with a vengeance, and we are under an Excessive Heat Warning until Friday evening.  Today is a grocery delivery day, and late this afternoon, Wendt will be here to pamper and polish the TomCat.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:40 (average 4:37).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Horseback riders, their faces streaked in yellow and black paint, led the procession out of their tepee-dotted camp. Two hundred people followed, making their daily walk a mile up a rural highway to a patch of prairie grass and excavated dirt that has become a new kind of battlefield, between a pipeline and American Indians who say it will threaten water supplies and sacred lands.

The Texas-based company building the Dakota Access pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, calls the project a major step toward the United States’ weaning itself off foreign oil. The company says the nearly 1,170-mile buried pipeline will infuse millions of dollars into local economies and is safer than trucks and train cars that can topple and spill and crash and burn.

But the people who stood at the gates of a construction site where crews had been building an access road toward the pipeline viewed the project as a wounding intrusion onto lands where generations of their ancestors hunted bison, gathered water and were born and buried, long before treaties and fences stamped a different order onto the Plains.

Kudos to the Sioux. I endorse their protest wholeheartedly.

From Daily Kos: Officials in Sarnia, Ontario were surprised last night to find approximately 1,500 Americans illegally floating into Canada.

They were participating in the annual Port Huron Float Down, during which people simply float down the river on rafts, inner tubes and other flotation devices from Port Huron, Mich.

High winds pushed them to a number of points along the Canadian shore. They had to be rescued by Sarnia police, the OPP, the Canadian Coast Guard, Canada Border Service Agency and employees from a nearby chemical company Lanxess Canada.

Likely story. Probably a bunch of Justin Trudeau fans trying to get a glimpse.

If Harper’s Harlots still ruled Canada, they would have lured those terrorist wetbacks into portapotties, locked them in, and trucked them back to this side of the border.

From TPM: In a lawsuit filed Monday, former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros alleges that ex-network boss Roger Ailes was far from alone in making unwanted sexual advances during her tenure there. Tantaros alleges that network heavyweight Bill O’Reilly and former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) also contributed to a culture of “misogyny” at the conservative news network.

Tantaros’ suit comes after Ailes resigned from the network amid mounting allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation, first made by fired host Gretchen Carlson in a lawsuit filed in July (Ailes strenously denied those allegations through his lawyers). Tantaros’ lawsuit names the network’s newly appointed co-president, Bill Shine, public relations czar Irena Briganti, and two other high-ranking executives, along with Ailes, whom the complaint labels as a “predator.”

This is boggles the mind. Tantaros always lies. Ailes always lies. We have an oxymoron between morons!

0824Cartoon

At the time, Nero (R-RO) explained that there was no such thing as volcanic climate change.

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