Everyday Erinyes #40

 Posted by at 12:05 am  Politics
Aug 272016
 
furies

I have three items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. In honor of the 40th post, I am going to start numbering 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."

Normally I shy away from calling the Furies' attention to a corporation or group.  There were no corporations in ancient Greece, not as we understand the term; and while there were some groups, they just weren't of the sizes and in the quantities we have today.  I want them to be comfortable doing work they know how to do.

But, in this case, a corporation has acted so much like a particularly despicable individual, that I simply have to address it.  Also, I have a name.  Also, I have a signed letter.

You may have read that Aetna (originally Aetna Insurance Company, later Aetna Life Insurance Company, still later Aetna U.S. Healthcare, now apparently just Aetna) is pulling out of Obamacare in 11 of the 15 states it has been serving.  You may have read this pullout has been attributed to financial loses in those states.  You may have read that Republicans are delighted by this turn of events. 

You may even have read that the pullout is not really due to financial losses, but is retaliation against the administration (and, incidentally, every citizen previously covered by them under Obamacare) because their request to but Humana was denied.

You may or may not have read that Huffington Post has obtained, through the FOIA, a copy of a letter sent to the Justice Department by Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini which in essence said (my reconstruction) "Nice Affordable Care Act you got there.  Be a shame if anything happened to it.  Give us our merger and we won't pull out."

So now, because Bertolini didn't get his merger, Obamacare and ordinary Americans who need health insurance will suffer the consequences.  Obamacare is already facing an uphill battle with regard to critics of the law's suatainability.  By leaving a system which relies on subsidized public-private health insurance plans, Aetna's move will only further tip the scales in favor of Obamacare's criticn [sic] and drive up costs.

Incidentally, Aetna is officially claiming that the letter and the pullout are unrelated.  Right.  I call it extortion.  What do you say, Megaera?  (And what can you expect from a company named after a volcano?)

Meanwhile, back in Tulsa, OK, a family named Jabara has since 2013 or earlier been living next door to a terrorist named Vernon Majors.  I don't know how much earlier, but it was in 2013 that Haifa Jabara, the materfamilias of the Jabara family, filed a protective order against Majors.  He had been sexually harassing her, knocking on windows late at night, stalking her, and subjecting the entire family to racist remarks.  (The Jabaras' family background is Lebanese, but the racist remarks included "dirty Arabs," "filthy Lebanese," "AY-rabs," "MOOS-lems," and he had a whole vocabulary beyond that for use with Mexicans and black people.) 

In 2015 Haifa's son, Khalid, also filed a protective order against Majors.  Majors had been harassing Khalid, stalking him and following him around, leaving notes on the door, and vandalizing the inside of the house.  Wait – what?  Vandalizing the inside of the house?  This creep had been actually getting inside their home to do damage? Eeeeeeww!!

And then in September of 2015, Haifa was jogging in the neighborhood when Majors drove by, aimed his car at her, clearly attempting to run right over her, which he didn't quite do, but he did put her in the hospital.  A broken shoulder, collapsed lung, broken ankle, broken nose, head trauma, and fractured ribs were only some of the injuries she sustained.

Well, he did get locked up then, charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon (which he admitted, providing the motive "filthy Lebanese"), and was awaiting trial, but in May he posted bond.  It was originally set at $30,000.  The prosecutor asked the judge to, first choice, hold him without bond, second choice, set bond at $300.000.  Instead the judge made it $60,000, and he bonded out immediately.  He was released wih no additional conditions – no ankle monitor, no drug/alcohol testing, nothing.

Now, despite having been arrested for a felony, and having been previously convicted of a felony in California, and thus ineligible under Federal law to own a gun , somehow he had one.

The day Khalid was murdered, he called the police to tell them this terrorist had a gun.  The police came and said there was nothing they could do.  Thirty minutes after the phone call, Khalid was dead.

This next thing has nothing to do with the case, it just struck me, so I have used both pictures.  A blind person on a fast horse riding by could see that Khalid is better looking than Majors (much, MUCH better looking.)  Is it my imagination?  Or is he also whiter than the so-called white guy?  A thing like that should not matter to any sane person, of course.  But then Majors apparently isn't.  Sane.  Tisiphone, if you will follow the case and guide at strategic points to make sure the community in general and the Jabara family in particular are never in danger from him again, maybe even instigate the DOJ to investigate as a hate crime – two hate crimes –  it will be most appreciated.

Next, from the "You don't have to be black to get killed by police" files, comes the story of Daniel Patrick Harris, 28, of Charlotte, NC.   Harris is – excuse me, was -profoundly deaf, and he communicated using American Sign Language (ASL).  He was able to drive, and was pulled over, or at least an attempt was made to do so, this month.  The best guess of those who have been covering the story is that he may have been speeding, but that is unconfirmed.

Also unconfirmed is whether Mr. Harris simply did not hear any sirens, or whether he trying to get home, where family were present who would be able to interpret for him,  or some combination.  He was a few within feet of his home, when the two cars collided.  Mr. Harris then got out of his car and started signing to the officer, who, according to neighbors, shot him as soon as he got out, killing him.

The officer, trooper Jermaine Saunders, is on administrative leave while the investigation goes on, and is not giving interviews.  Mr. Harris is dead, so we can't ask him.  The most we can do is speculate.  Did Trooper Saunders think Harris was flashing gang signs?  Did he think Mr. Harris was making threatening gestures?  We don't know.  We only know that Mr. Harris is dead..  Oh, yes, and that he liked turtles. 

Alecto, I didn't have anything specifically for you last week.  But I would say that this is in a category of things that happen All. The. Time.  Let us know what you find out.

Finally – I seldom do humor here, for obvious reasons, but I guess if Shakespeare can use comic relief, I can try.  So here is a little trivia question.  Based on the news from this week, one can conclude that that

a.  Not all gun nuts live in the United States.

b.  Having had a taste of entertainment from the filming of "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit," New Zealand parents have started training their children to star in some future remake of "Game of Thrones."

c.  Both of the above.

Click through for the answer ( spoiler: "c" is correct).

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4007417

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Aug 202016
 

Yesterday the temperature hit 102°.  Today may well be worse.  My A/C is holding it’s own, but the building’s hallways and restrooms have become super-heated.  After my morning regal trip to the throne at 5:30 AM, taken to contemplate the odor of the Republican Party, I had to change my shirt to one that wasn’t sweat-soaked.  Today I plan to write, attend the live draft of our fantasy football league, care for personal needs, and as little else as I can.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:25 (average 5:03).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The Nation: If you watch cable news, you’ve seen someone from an outfit called the “Independent Women’s Forum” promoting a conservative take on the women’s issue of the day. It’s no secret that the group leans right; it grew out of “Women for Judge Thomas,” which formed during Anita Hill’s testimony about Clarence Thomas at his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and was formally launched in 1992 by the late Barbara Olson and Rosalie “Ricky” Silberman, along with a cadre of powerful conservative women that included former second lady Lynne Cheney. Still, it’s always billed itself as “non-partisan” and “independent.” In its early years, it promoted IWF-affiliated author Christina Hoff Sommers’s brand of “equity feminism” and opposed the “radical feminism” of the ’90s women’s movement, which it argued was pushing myths about sexual harassment, pay inequities, and discrimination in the workplace and widespread abuse on college campuses. For years it played no formal role in electoral politics.

But an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), provided exclusively to The Nation, reveals that since 2010, IWF and its political arm, Independent Women’s Voice, have become aggressive players in Republican politics, embedded in the network of organizations backed by Charles and David Koch, advocating for the Koch brothers’ myriad concerns, and playing on their “independent” label to elect GOP candidates. If this country is to elect its first woman president, Hillary Clinton will have to face down this powerful conservative women’s group to get there.

RepubliSpeak Dictionary
Independent Nonpartisan: Koch Sucker

From Media Matters: The Fox Cycle is the process by which Fox News pushes right-wing fringe stories into the mainstream news. Fox distorts facts, spreads myths as truths and devotes heavy, one-sided coverage to make viewers believe in baseless, manufactured stories — and, worse, to convince mainstream media outlets to cover these lies.

 

Example:

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

That’s exactly how the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, deceives the Black SheepBlack SheepBlack Sheep.

From Daily Kos: Yet another story whose full import won’t be discussed anywhere that the majority of Americans are likely to see it:

After the Director of the FBI fully exonerated Hillary Clinton and made clear that she broke no laws and told no lies, House Republicans took the extraordinary step of demanding copies if the FBI’s notes from its interview with Clinton. That request was granted, and almost immediately, information from those notes began leaking to the media. The trouble: every word of those notes is, by definition, classified information.

Jennifer Palmieri, the Communications Director for the Hillary Clinton campaign, tweeted this evening that she “Would remind all that this material is classified. So this is leaking of classified material.” Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta added that he’s “Already hearing from people who have been contacted by reporters with knowledge of the content of their interviews in FBI 302’s.”

This is GOP SOP. As a rule Republicans break the law, leak classified information, and threaten national security to gain even a slight political advantage. Don’t take my word for it. Just remember Valerie Plame.

Cartoon:

0820Cartoon

Never has a village idiot felt so wanted!

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Everyday Erinyes

 Posted by at 12:04 am  Politics
Aug 202016
 
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."

First stop Raleigh, North Carolina, where a family in the Neuse Crossing neighborhood was having a y'all come party, and a neighbor (and probable Trump voter) named Chad Copley was having hallucinations.  If our nation had appropriate understanding of mental health issues like hallucinations, and adequate ways to treat said hallucinator without continuing to endanger the neighborhood, I might not be telling this story to the Furies.  But, with things as they are, I see no alternative.

So let's talk about Copley's hallucinations.  To begin with, he hallucinated that there was a Neighborhood Watch program in his neighborhood, and that he was in it, and on duty,

…residents and a manager of the Neuse Crossing Homeowners Association say the neighborhood where the fatal shooting happened does not have a neighborhood watch. And police say that where homeowners do organize neighborhood watch programs they are told to call 911 when they see suspicious or criminal activity, rather than take matters into their own hands.

Then, he hallucinated that guests at the party two doors away were "racing up and down the street," that they were armed, and that "there's some devil in them."

Jalen Lewis, who hosted a party at his home, two doors down from Copley’s, on the night of the shooting, said the victim was one of roughly 50 guests at the party, he told CNN affiliate WTVD.

He didn’t know Thomas personally, he said, and he didn’t see anyone armed or causing problems outside his home that night. Lewis told WTVD he has never interacted with Copley in the seven years he’s lived in the Raleigh neighborhood.

Thirdly, he hallucinated that there was a legal requirement for him to fire a warning shot (prior to doing what else, he didn't say.)

I yelled at them, ‘Please leave the premises,’ ” he said. “They were showing firearms, so I fired a warning shot and uh, we got somebody that got hit. …

“I fired my warning shot like I’m supposed to by law. … They do have firearms, and I’m trying to protect myself and my family.”

The dispatcher pressed for more information: Who’s been shot, how badly are they injured — and where, exactly, is the victim?

“Please just send a car,” Copley responded. “There’s friggin’ black males outside my friggin’ house with firearms. Please, send PD. Thank you.”

His "warning shot," which, it transpired, had been fired from a window in his garage, did kill someone: 20-year-old Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, who was out near the street.  Thomas’s mother says he worked at a waffle house, and had a girlfriend about to begin college.

Copley has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.  I would call that a step in the right direction.  Tisiphone, perhaps you can help keep this direction on track and ensure the one step is not the only step to secure this vengeful destroyer away from the public.

Meanwhile, over in Oklahoma – and I must say we all know there are many wonderful people in Oklahoma; this guy just isn't one of them – a retired agriculture teacher named Larry Long has made the news.  It seems that at a retirement presentation they were giving for him at the Oklahoma Career Tech Summer Conference in Oklahoma City he decided to show off what a fine sense of humor he has.Long

So he called a black colleague (probably not a coincidence that the colleague of color is the ONLY black agriculture teacher in the entire state) up to the stage with him, and presented him with a white robe and white hood (complete with Klan insignia), which he placed on the teacher, and then added a Confederate flag (as the bow on the package?)  Wow.  What a barrel of laughs.  Hundreds of people attended this "program," by the way.

I should be specific that CareerTech was not his employer, and he was not retiring from CareerTech.  CareerTech is a state agency, and it does not employ teachers to teach; it oversees them.  The employer from whom he had retired during the year was Elk City High School, where he had apparently worked for 49 years.  He must have been appreciated there, since the board of Elk City Public Schools recently voted to  name the high school's new agriculture building after him.

Those at the meeting were instructed not to speak of it, and to erase any and all cell phone video.  But someone sent an anonymous email to state lawmwkers, and it is now out in the open.

Retired teacher Larry Long issued a statement … in which he said he was trying to make a joke with a colleague who he respected and that he never intended to convey any racism.  He says he realizes his actions were "harmful, offensive, and hurtful."  Long says he has requested a meeting with members of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus, who expressed outrage at the incident.  A member of the caucus, Democratic Rep. Mike Shelton, says the group welcomes the meeting.  The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology says it is investigating the incident.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Nothing to see here, just move along.  Alecto, if that meeting hasn't already happened, maybe you'd like to be present at it.  Could be interesting.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news /member/101612212/4006109

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Aug 142016
 

Wendi should be here momentarily, and I don’t know how much I can do.  I’m still feeling queasy and quite lethargic, and I think I may have had a reaction to a tetanus vaccine received Friday.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with my Urologist (routine), so please expect no more than a Personal Update.

Wendi just left, so the TomCat is primped and polished.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:35 (average 5:37).  To do it, click here.  Hoe did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: When you’re busy accusing political opponents of founding terrorist organizations, and you’re tired of saying just kidding, what are you going to do about it? When you finish your political show trials for opponents you’ve accused of consorting with the devil, just where are you going to lock her up?

A President Donald Trump might push for Americans accused of terrorism to be tried in military tribunal at the U.S. Navy base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Republican nominee told the Miami Herald on Thursday.

“I would say they could be tried there, that would be fine,” Trump said in a brief interview ahead of his speech to home builders in Miami Beach.

Regular US prisons are too good for them. And of course, ordinary justice is too good for them. Those accused by the pointing orange finger get special treatment.

I’ve been calling it the GOP Gitmo Gulag for years. Was I wrong?

From The New Yorker: Clarifying his position on a key national-security issue, Donald Trump said on Friday that as President he would be willing to use nuclear weapons, “but only in a sarcastic way.”

“People who are worried about me having the nuclear-launch codes should stop worrying, O.K.?” Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “If I ever used nuclear weapons, it would be really obvious that I was just being sarcastic.”

Pressed by Blitzer to explain the difference between a sarcastic and non-sarcastic nuclear attack, Trump responded, “You’d use the weapons and everything, but then you’d say, ‘Just kidding.’ ”

Andy, evilly is the only way Republicans would use nukes, but I can sure see them saying that.

From Alternet: Why are they still supporting him? In Krugman’s view, because their proposals are con jobs, and all they want to do is reduce taxes on the rich, which will be much harder to do if Clinton wins. That’s the short answer.

Krugman suggests that the key to Republican thinking lies in one number: 34.

What’s that? It’s the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the average federal tax rate for the top 1 percent in 2013, the latest year available. And it’s up from just 28.2 in 2008, because President Obama allowed the high-end Bush tax cuts to expire and imposed new taxes to pay for a dramatic expansion of health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Taxes on the really, really rich have gone up even more.

If Hillary Clinton wins, taxes on the elite will at minimum stay at this level, and may even go up significantly if Democrats do well enough in congressional races to enable her to pass new legislation. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that her tax plan would raise the average tax rate for the top 1 percent by another 3.4 percentage points, and the rate for the top 0.1 percent by five points.

But if “populist” Donald Trump wins, taxes on the wealthy will go way down; in particular, Mr. Trump is calling for elimination of the inheritance tax, which these days hits only a tiny number of really yuuuge estates (a married couple doesn’t pay any tax unless its estate is worth more than $10.9 million).

So if you’re wealthy, or you’re someone who has built a career by reliably serving the interests of the wealthy, the choice is clear—as long as you don’t care too much about stuff like shunning racism, preserving democracy and freedom of religion, or for that matter avoiding nuclear war, Mr. Trump is your guy.

Preserving inherited wealth in a nutshell is the mainstay of the conservative movement. How noble!

Greed from Republicans is expected. It is shocking that they dupe so many on the right and even a few on the left to vote against their own interests.

Cartoon:

0814Cartoon

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Everyday Erinyes

 Posted by at 12:10 am  Politics
Aug 132016
 
furies

I have a few 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."

First, though, before handing off to the Furies, I want to follow up on July 30's story about "National Whistleblowers Appreciation Day."  You may recall I quoted from John Kiriakou and Tom Drake, and mentioned Jeffrey Sterling not being available as he is still locked up.  I have since received an email forwarded by Roots Action from his wife, Holly.  She states that he has served a bit over one year of his three-and-a-half year sentence, and there are a few things we can do ourselves. 

The need is threefold.  First, he is not getting appropriate attention for serious cardiac medical issues.  He has a history of atrial fibrillation (in the past he has been hospitalized for it) and is now experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, and dizziness.  Holly has written to the Warden about his medical conditon, and has received no answer.  She would really appreciate if anyone who can would contact the prison warden, Deborah Denham, to advocate for medical attention for Jeffrey.  The email address is ENG slash ExecAssistant at bop dot gov (I'm spelling it the long way to avoid a link that's not to a site) and the phone number 303-763-4300.  (Personal note from me: if I can come up with any more accuracy or other alternatives I will add it/them in a comment.)

Second – I vividly remember when John Kiriakou was incarcerated how the family, his wife and three little girls, were up against the wall just to try to make the mortgage payments, and on top of that, they did not put him in the nearest prison, so that visiting was a challenge both in terms of energy and financially.  (They also threatened "diesel therapy" – a creative term for moving him between prisons without notice.)  Firedoglake was collecting for John, and, with help, they did not lose their home.  The Sterlings have a Sterling Family Fund set up for them on GoFundMe.  They want to appeal his conviction, and Holly would like to make the 800-plus mile trip to visit him once in a while, and both require money.  (There's also more background information there, should you be interested.)

Third, for those of us who are not locked up, it may be impossible to realize how much words of encouragement can mean.  Even if it's just a card.  He can receive snailmail at

JEFFREY STERLING, 38338-044
FCI Englewood
Federal Correctional Institution
9595 West Quincy Avenue
Littleton, CO 80123

And, yes, there is a petition .  It also has more background.

Now, moving right along, I'll whip quickly through a few stories of jaw-dropping – something.  First, let's go to Indiana, specifically to South Bend, where, in 2012, Vivian Franklin awakened to loud pounding on her door between three and four in the morning.  Three (warrantless) police officers shining a flashlight in her eyes  barged in.  They were looking for Dan, Vivian's older son, who was not there.  This did not stop them from hauling her younger son, DeShawn, 17, out of bed and assaulting him with fists and tasers.  In the process, a taser probe got stuck in DeShawn's side; the officers were unable to remove it and had to call an ambulance and EMT's to do so.  (I am restraining my snark here.) 

Where the incident goes right through the Looking Glass is that, while DeShawn was shouting he was not Dan, and Vivian was shouting DeShawn was not Dan, and the officers were insisting Dan must be there because they had trailed him to the home – Dan showed up.  Whereupon the officers opted not to arrest him. 

So in March, 2013 the Franklins reasonably filed suit.  Named in the suit were the three officers, the city, the mayor, and the police chief.  Finally, this year, the suit was adjudicated in Fort Wayne.

The jury found that the Franklins' constitutional rights had been violated.  They awarded damages of ONE DOLLAR. Yes, you read that right.  One dollar.

Grudging, I would say.  Megaera, I woudn't stop with the officers, the city, the mayor, and the police chief.  I'd definitely follow up with that jury.  Perhaps Indiana, or at least South Bend, really did deserve Mike Pence.

Let's now go to Watauga, Texas, where an unidentified man made a threat in a phone message to a local mosque, in which he threatened to decapitate Muslims who attended it.

The caller identified as a "Christian."  Police in Watauga are investigating but aren't treating it as a direct threat at the moment.  the FBI has also been notified.

Of course, Tisiphone, you will want to find this person.  But almost more chilling was the remark that "a caller made explicitly violent threats that went well beyond the kind of verbal abuse callers normally level against the mosque." 

It should NOT be "normal" for callers to "level verbal abuse" against ANY person or group.  And it is un-American that this happens.

So you may be digging out a long, long list.

Finally for this week, this happened in Punta Gorda , FL (one of only a few states we might expect it in).  I'll just quote:

A woman, identified as Mary Knowlton, was selected to participate in a “shoot or don’t shoot” training exercise at the Punta Gorda Police Academy. She was selected at random from a group of 35 citizens who were participating in a two hour Citizens Academy—a program created to teach local civics to civilians.

Mary Knowlton, 73, was shot during a role-play scenario in which the Punta Gorda police officer was playing a “bad guy” and fired several times at the woman who was supposed to be playing the victim, according to Sue Paquin, a photographer who was covering the event for the Sun and witnessed the incident.

Knowlton was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Mrs. Knowlton was originally from Austin, Minnesota and was retired in Punta Gorda. She had been a librarian in Scott County, Minnesota.

This incident may reflect more stupidity than malice (and once again I need to restrain my snark/sarcasm).  But things like this happen all the timeAlecto, maybe you can inject some sense here.  I certainly hope so.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4004933

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Aug 102016
 

Seldom does a day go by that Rump Dump Trump or one of his close Republican Aides does not signal his followers to achieve through violence what he is unable to accomplish through his normal flood of hatred.  But lately, he has been calling for the assassination of the President of the United States, if he is not elected.  I learned how he gets away with treason.

0810TrumpKKK

Over half a century ago, Clarence Brandenburg stood before a small gathering of his fellow Ku Klux Klansmen dressed in full Klan regalia. “We’re not a revengent organization,” Brandenburg told the gathered bigots, “but if our President, our Congress, our Supreme Court, continues to suppress the white, Caucasian race, it’s possible that there might have to be some revengeance taken.”

On Tuesday, the Republican presidential nominee made a statement that was far more similar to Brandenberg’s than one would expect from someone who wants to become the Leader of the Free World. “If [Hillary Clinton] gets to pick her judges — there’s nothing you can do, folks,” Donald Trump told a campaign rally. Then he added an allusion to violence: “although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Both statements contained calls to violence against the speakers’ political opponents. And, at least under the letter of the law, there’s a plausible argument that Trump’s statement was illegal. One federal law provides that “whoever knowingly and willfully threatens to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon . . . a major candidate for the office of President or Vice President, or a member of the immediate family of such candidate” commits a federal felony. Another provides that someone who intentionally solicits another person to “engage in conduct constituting a felony that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against property or against the person of another in violation of the laws of the United States” may also face criminal charges.

But such a prosecution would be unconstitutional, thanks to a case that Brandenburg brought up to the Supreme Court. Donald Trump, arguably the most important racist leader in the United States for a generation, is the direct beneficiary of Brandenburg’s racist speech and the legal rule that emerged from it.

In the wake of his suggestion that “there might have to be some revengeance taken” against the president and other high officials, Brandenburg was prosecuted under an Ohio law that punishes individuals who “‘advocate or teach the duty, necessity, or propriety’ of violence ‘as a means of accomplishing industrial or political reform.’” But the Supreme Court ruled that, under the First Amendment, mere advocacy of violence cannot be a crime absent much more…

From <Think Progress>

In my opinion, Brandenburg v. Ohio was wrongly decided.  The next President will likely choose four Supreme Court Justices.  They will be chosen by Clinton or by Trump.  There are no other possibilities.  On the plus side, if we can break the Republican stranglehold on the Court, maybe we can challenge and overturn such miscarriages of justice.  That is my hope.

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Aug 082016
 

Even though it’s been cooler since yesterday, the building’s brick face continues to radiate heat inward, but I did nap for a couple hours this morning and hope to do so again this afternoon.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:28 (average 7:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From KP Daily Funnies: John Oliver on Journalism

 

Although John is quite funny, he does make a good point. Since 2013, when the corporate oligopoly that had bought the paper gutted it, the Oregonian has gone downhill. For Oregon journalism, I now prefer Willamette Week.

From Willamette Week: Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump will make a fundraising stop in Portland at the end of August, The Washington Post reports.

The Post, citing sources near the Trump campaign, says Trump will make a west-coast swing on Aug. 29-31, with visits to San Francisco, Seattle and Portland.

Trump’s Oregon Campaign Manager Jacob Daniels confirms to WW that Trump will make stops here, but declined to confirm the exact dates.

AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!

It will take weeks to wash away his slime! Sick smile

From Daily Kos: Trump’s big line is he should be president because he is a successful businessman. After reading this devastating Newsweek story, no Trump apologist can ever say that again.

The story goes through the bankruptcies of course, but there are defaults, people ripped off, and lie upon lie upon lie upon lie.

My favorite stuff from the article:

  • Trump lied to Congress.
  • Trump was publicly insulting Native Americans while other real business people were making deals to help manage their casinos.
  • Trump signed a deal with one Native American casino, and they paid him $6 million to go away.
  • Trump punched his second grade teacher
  • Trump lied in his books, then blamed the same woman he blamed for Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech.
  • Trump lied in a filing with a bank where he was trying to get a loan about how much he was worth.
  • Trump lied about how much money he got from his dad.
  • Trump’s dad gave him illegal loans by taking cash to his casino, turning it over at a craps table, loading up a suitcase with $5,000 chips, and leaving.
  • Trump’s earliest deals all lost money and he only did well when his dad guaranteed loans.
  • Trump spent $1 million per plane to turn a shuttle into a luxury trip that no one wanted to take. The planes were only worth $4 million each.

He really is a perfect match for Republican Reich Rectumites.

Cartoon:

0808Cartoon

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Jul 272016
 

Today is a grocery delivery day, so I took my nap in the morning to be up when they arrive.  The hot muggy weather continues unabated.  I’m running late because of a snafu with my Outlook Calendar.  I added Canadian Holidays, and there are so damn many of them that they cause some of my real appointments to be hidden in the month view. There is on obvious way to remove them.  ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:12 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Snopes.com: …Clinton announced that Wasserman Schultz had subsequently "agreed to serve as honorary chair of [the Clinton] campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country," adding that the former chair would "continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally"…

…This announcement was received by many as meaning that Schultz had been "promoted" to a position of "running the Hillary Clinton campaign," but others noted that the gesture was merely a symbolic courtesy:

Republicans and Regressives don’t seem to understand what honorary means, as so many are distorting it wildly. Other that no money, no staff and no power, it’s a great job.  It was intended only to give DWS the appearance of a normal exit.

From NY Times: American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence…

…The emails were released by WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, has made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency. It is unclear how the documents made their way to the group. But a large sampling was published before the WikiLeaks release by several news organizations and someone who called himself “Guccifer 2.0,” who investigators now believe was an agent of the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence service.

I’m not sure where, but I commented somewhere (probably here) that I would not take the story of the DNC emails seriously, until I had more confirmation than just the Regressive echo chamber sites. Now the story is confirmed, and as I have said, DWS should be driven from the party. However, it should be noted that Hillary Clinton has been requesting that DWS be removed for over a year, but Obama wanted to avoid the controversy. The second thing is that the purpose of the leak seems to be to discredit Hillary, even though there is no evidence to support any involvement by her in DWS’ unethical practices. Therefore I speculate that Donald Trump (R-Hades) and Vladimir Putin (R-RU) may have cooperated.

From PoliticusUSA: “I want to thank you for standing with us and supporting us, and we’d like to leave with you what God has given us: strength, love and peace,” Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, said in a moment of profound emotion Tuesday night, during the second session of the DNC.

“This isn’t about being politically correct. This is about saving our children,” Fulton said earlier, making it clear that asking for justice and saving lives is not asking people to be “politically correct”.

Fulton was speaking as a member of Mothers of the Movement, a group of women who lost their children due to gun violence or police brutality. They banded together at Hillary Clinton’s suggestion, in order to protect black Americans and reform our criminal justice system.

“You don’t stop being a mom when your child dies,” the mother of Jordan Davis said. Lucy McBath continued, “I lived in fear my son would die like this. I even warned him that because he was a young, black man he would meet people who didn’t value his life.”

“I am still Jordan Davis’s mother. His life ended the day he was shot and killed for playing loud music. But my job as his mother didn’t.”

Saying that Hillary Clinton invited the mothers to become a part of the solution, McBath said, “We’re going to keep building a future where police officers and communities of color work together in mutual respect to keep children like Jordan safe. Because the majority of police officers are good people doing a good job.”

Hear that? There was no demonizing of police.

The way those women told their stories in a loving, non-condemnatory way brought tears to my eyes.  They certainly were a contrast to the way in which Republican racists whooped and hollered in bloodthirsty glee to a speakers announcement that the all the cops that killed Freddie Gray had gotten off.

Cartoon:

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Thou Shalt Not Steal!!

 Posted by at 1:39 pm  Politics
Jul 192016
 

Yesterday evening, I had the misfortune of turning on the TV to MSNBC, who was spending far too much time covering the Rectumite Rampage in Cleveland.  Fortunately, I made it to the trash can in time.  I heard several speakers. Here is the complete list of everything useful and/or honest that they said:

[end of list]

One of the low points of the evening was the speech by Melania Trump, who made it clear that intellect was not the reason Rump Dump bought her.

0719MelaniaThief

The centerpiece of the opening night of the Republican Convention was the speech by Melania Trump, the wife of Donald Trump. But her pleasant performance was soon overshadowed by allegations of plagiarism.

Candidate Trump, the ultimate showman, made an unprecedented and dramatic appearance on the first night of the convention to introduce his wife. Mrs. Trump praised her husband, speaking in a Slovenian accent, to an enthusiastic reception from the delegates. But shortly after the convention wrapped up she became the center of a swirling controversy. Two of the passages she read were strikingly similar to the speech Michelle Obama made to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life,” a poised Mrs. Trump said, “that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life.” In her 2008 speech Mrs. Obama said, “And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: like, you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond, that you do what you say you’re going to do, that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them and even if you don’t agree with them.”

Mrs. Trump then added, “We need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow… Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.” Back in 2008, Mrs. Obama added, “Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values and to pass them onto the next generation, because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.”

Earlier in the day Mrs. Trump told NBC News that she had written the speech.

From <Huffington Post>

Rachel Maddow covered this Republican Crime in two segments.

First:

Second:

I agree that  Melania did not know she was plagiarizing.  She isn’t that bright, and when Michelle gave that speech the most intellectual thing Melania had ever done was strut her butt with a gun next to a Trump plane.  Trump’s speechwriters put Michelle’s words in Melania’s mouth, because Melania has no story of her own to tell, other that that of a rich old man’s trophy wife.

Instead of owning up and firing a speechwriter, the Trump campaign has decided that they did nothing wrong.  The incident, they say,  is Hillary’s fault.

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Jul 092016
 

Please pardon my brevity.  I’m just all the way tired out.  I heard from Julie yesterday.  She hit the road here in Portland on late Tuesday morning and drove all the way across the country to WV in just three days.  I can only surmise that she must have let Killer Dawg drive.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:19 (average 4:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Raw Story: Michael Strickland, the right-wing agitator and Trump supporter seen in this video brandishing a gun at a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally, has been charged with two class A felonies after being arrested and initially released Friday morning on his own recognizance without bail.

At his arraignment today at the Multnomah County Courthouse in downtown Portland Strickland was hit with two felony counts of “unlawful use of a weapon,” as well as misdemeanor charges of menacing and disorderly conduct.

The hearing took place on the same block where Strickland pulled a Glock 27, swept the gun at the crowd while yelling “Get the hell back!” He subsequently outfitted the gun with a large capacity magazine.

At the scene, Strickland said he was only armed in self-defense. But the Multnomah County District Attorney revealed in court that Strickland had six magazines of ammunition on him… [emphasis added]

 

Sadly, there are even Republicans like this Trump Humper here in Portland. I think that releasing him OR was a very stupid move by authorities. Kudos to the peaceful protestors who kept the situation from escalating, while waiting for police to intervene.

From Politico: Sen. Bernie Sanders has claimed victory in the fight for $15.

The Democrats’ platform committee late Friday approved an amendment that formalizes the party’s commitment to a $15 minimum wage, with indexing for inflation.

The language of the position reads: “We should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over time and index it, give all Americans the ability to join a union regardless of where they work, and create new ways for workers to have power in the economy so every worker can earn at least $15 an hour.”

Thank you Bernie for helping to change the Democratic Party the ONLY way it can be changed: one issue at a time from within.

From Alternet: The mainstream media in the U.S. and abroad badly botched the reporting of the Dallas police shooting that killed five officers Thursday, egged on by speculation by police sources that a team of snipers was bent on avenging the killing of two black men in Minnesota and Louisiana by white cops the day before.

Even after the Dallas Morning News changed its headline Friday afternoon to read, “Dallas sniper was loner, Army vet with stash of arms, bomb parts at home,” the article’s second paragraph said, “Four Dallas police officers and a DART officer were shot and killed in a coordinated sniper attack that followed a Thursday night protest."

The incorrect sniper meme was repeated internationally, such as this headline from the British Mirror, “Dallas police shooting: ‘Black Power group’ claims responsibility for police killings and warns of more assassinations to come.”

Yesterday, I repeated the false report that there were a team of snipers working together. I was wrong not to assume that Dallas Police Chief Brown was playing fast and loose with the facts, as I should have expected from a Republican appointee. Apologies!! When I’m wrong, I say so.

Cartoon:

0709Cartoon

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