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.

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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.

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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.

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Jul 092016
 

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."

Frankly, I did not expect to be sharing this story of grudgingness today.  I try to find outrages that go under the radar, as it were, and, although this is a followup to an earlier story you may remember, I still expected it to be picked up by other sites and get a lot of publicity.  I was wrong.  I find that sad.

"Please accept our condolences on your loss,” explained a letter from the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority of New Jersey. “After careful consideration of the information you provided, the authority has determined that your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness. Monthly bill statements will continue to be sent to you.”

The recipient of this letter received no direct benefit from the loan in question, and indeed, no indirect benefit, such as being related to someone who has increased earning power, which sometimes comes to those who graduate from college.  The student, the borrower, was her son.  And he was murdered last year.

The loans were not Federal loans.  The Federal Government has provisions to give some relief to borrowers who experience life-changing circumstances – such as losing a job.  Wken non-Hodgkins lymphoma survivor Chris Gonzales was laid off by Goldman Sachs, the Federal Government suspended his federal student loan payments.  However, he had also received some loan funds from New Jersey – which sued him and confiscated his state tax refund.

Marcia DeOliveira-Longinetti, the bereaved mother who received the letter quoted above, has been forced to make 18 monthly payments of $180 to the state.  Only 92 to go.

Not every state administers its own student loan program (states that do not do administer their states' share in the Federal loan programs.)  Two that do are New Jersey and Massachusetts.  But, in Massachusetts, there is automatic debt forgiveness if the borrower dies or becomes disabled.  New Jersey, on the other hand, goes aggressively after loan repayment regardless of the circumstances.  And, since federal law does provide some possibility of relief, New Jersey pretty much stopped giving federal loans some years ago, substituting their own loans instead.

But New Jersey will sell students taking out loans life insurance!  My, what a big heart!  Knock yourself out, Megaera.

There is another story, this one of vengeful destruction, which needs to be told.  THere is a church in Kansas where a volunteer in 2014 attempted to rape and electronically solicit two girls under fourteen who attended the church.  Last year he pleaded guilty to these charges.

The volunteer, who was seventeen, at the time of the crime, had a string of past sexual conduct and crimes behind him, but was still allowed to be around children without supervision.  On June 9 of this year, the girls and their families filed a lawsuit against the church, alleging that the church violated its own protocols, thereby allowing the assaults to occur.

Naturally, the church has filed a petition asking the court to require the victims and their parents to identify themselves publicly before the case can proceed.

Wait a minute, you are probably saying to yourself.  What is this church?  Westboro Baptist?  That's in Kansas, right?  Well, no, it isn't Westboro Baptist, though it is a Southern Baptist church.  It's just creepily similar.  Its name is Westside Family Church.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has been a victim advocate for 28 years, and has never seen a petition like this before in a case involving children, and only occasionally when the victim(s) are adult.  And children these victims still are.  If they were under fourteen in 2014, they cannot now be older than sixteen.

Clohessy called the move "a shameful move by officials who profess to be 'Christians.'"  I concur.  Tisiphone, you know what to do.

(Note: the photo of mother and son shows the mother and son in the story.  The photo of the girl is a stock photo from Shutterstock, which AlterNet picked to illustrate the narrative.)

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross-posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/3997742

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Jul 032016
 

Three of the prisoners with whom I do volunteer work were very young men on death row in the 1970s.  When SCOTUS suspended the death penalty, Oregon commuted their sentences to Natural Life.  Although they will never be released from prison themselves, they have dedicated their lives to helping other prisoners learn to avoid the mistakes they have made and become law-abiding citizens.  I have known all three for years, and they are a huge factor in my opposition to the death penalty in all situations, with only one possible exception.  On the other hand, four horrid Republicans help make theirs the Party of Death.

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One kept a paperweight model of an electric chair on his desk. Another boasted about being named the “deadliest prosecutor in America” by the Guinness Book of World Records and mocked defendants with intellectual disabilities. A third was dragged from the courtroom when jurors who acquitted six defendants he had charged with shooting police officers said he approached them and reached for his gun.

These five people are members of a very small club: The death sentences they have obtained are equal to 15 percent of the current national death row population.

Even as most states have moved away from capital punishment, the practice continues to be used in a tiny fraction of counties, and under the leadership of specific prosecutors, according to a new report by the Fair Punishment Project at Harvard Law School.

The prosecutors are Joe Freeman Britt in North Carolina, Robert Macy in Oklahoma, Donnie Myers in South Carolina, Lynne Abraham [DINO] in Philadelphia and Johnny Holmes in Texas. Of these five, only Mr. Myers remains in office. But during their tenures, each either secured dozens of death sentences personally or led offices that won hundreds. And each, in his or her way, embodies the vindictive, idiosyncratic nature of state-sanctioned killing.

The five prosecutors also share a disturbing tendency to break the rules to win. Mr. Macy — the one who pulled a gun on the jury — won 54 death sentences during two decades as Oklahoma County’s district attorney. But courts overturned almost half of them, and they found him guilty of misconduct in one-third of them. Three people he sent to death row were later exonerated…[emphasis added]

From <NY Times>

Oregon still has the death penalty, but they actively seek death warrants only when prisoners request execution.  Even that is too much, but it’s far better than Republican dominated states’ practices.

I  can see only one possible circumstance in which the death penalty might be warranted.  The US system of injustice is already heavily stacked against criminal defendants.  If a prosecutor obtains a conviction through criminal means, and the defendant subsequently is proven innocent, that prosecutor should receive the same sentence the innocent defendant endured.  If the state has already murdered the innocent defendant, should the prosecutor be killed also?  At least the prosecutor could serve Natural Life.  What do you think?

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Jun 302016
 

After staying here nine nights, Julie and Killer Dawg moved out yesterday.  I’m feeling lonely.  After a while I‘ll get used to my routine again.  She will be back for about four hours on Saturday and will help train her replacement for a couple hours on Tuesday.  I felt too tired to sleep well last night, so I took a Lona Nap this morning and I am running late.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:44 (average 5:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Because that is what Jesus would do, right? No, wrong. Assault weapons are meant for one thing — to kill. Jesus was against killing.

The Globe reports on a church in Joplin, Missouri, that held a raffle and gave away two Black Rain AR-15 assault rifles on Father’s Day. Fathers were given one free ticket and another for each child they brought in. (I wonder if you could bring in someone else’s child for extra tickets…) Ignite says it was part of a marketing strategy to “lure”  young men between 18-35 to follow Jesus. Because that’s what Jesus would do right? No, wrong. No where [sic] does it say Jesus “lured.”

It would appear that church exists to worship Republican Supply-side Jesus, who Republicans invented to justify their false gospel of violence, lies, hate and greed. Republican Supply-side Jesus is the polar opposite of the real Jesus.

From MSNBC: Rachel on Benghazi BS

 

 

Republican Benghazi BS had one purpose only, to propagandize against Hillary Clinton. And Nameless was right. It STILL isn’t over.

From Alternet: Donald Trump has been showered with accusations of financial impropriety, from fraud suits levied against his now-defunct Trump University, to charges that the presidential candidate drastically inflates his charitable donations. To add fuel to the monetary fire, Trump is now facing repercussions for poor fundraising acumen; on Wednesday, the Federal Elections Committee filed a complaint against Donald J. Trump for President for “soliciting contributions from foreign nationals” in a series of emails the campaign sent to “foreign nationals in Iceland, Scotland, Britain and Australia.”

Following reports earlier this month that Trump’s fundraising numbers are severely lagging, the presumptive Republican nominee sent emails to members of the British parliament, Talking Points Memo reports.

Sir Roger Gale, British Member of Parliament (MP) complained about the correspondence to the Speaker of the House Commons, Politics Home notes. "Members of Parliament are being bombarded by electronic communications from Team Trump on behalf of somebody called Donald Trump,” Gale said Tuesday. ”Mr Speaker, I’m all in favour of free speech but I don’t see why colleagues on either side of the House should be subjected to intemperate spam."

Click through for more details. Trump has not even tried to hide his criminal foreign fundraising behind bogus nonprofits, the way Republicans normally do.

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They need to Vote Blue!

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Jun 172016
 

It’s almost time for me to leave for my blood test.  There probably won’t be time to post this before I return this afternoon.

I’m back.  I’m done.  I’m so tired I hear Lona calling from my pillow,.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:02 (average 5:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: Fox’s Geraldo Rivera Shames Orlando Victims For Not Fighting Back

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Isn’t it just like the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, to blame the victims?

From Daily Kos: Though the outcomes of the legislative votes are far from sure, the filibuster begun by Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy has succeeded in bringing Republicans to the table for a pair of votes.

Senate Democrats ended a nearly 15-hour filibuster early Thursday after Republican Party leaders reportedly agreed to allow votes on two proposed gun control measures.

The votes will supposedly include a proposal to provide universal background checks, and another to prevent those on the no-fly list from obtaining weapons. The second bill apparently addresses the no-fly list, not the much larger terrorist watch list. These are both positions that have wide, bipartisan support in the public, but which Republicans have either blocked from a vote or voted down in the past.

As wonderful as this sounds, Senate Republicans caved in, while secure in the knowledge that House Republicans will never allow either bill to come to the floor.

From NY Times: A member of Parliament was gunned down outside a library in northern England as she was wrapping up a meeting with constituents on Thursday afternoon, a rare act of gun violence in a nation that strictly regulates firearms.

The lawmaker, Jo Cox, 41, who was considered a rising star in the opposition Labour Party and a passionate advocate for victims of the civil war in Syria, was shot in Birstall, a town about six miles southwest of the city of Leeds. A 77-year-old man was slightly injured in the attack.

A 52-year-old man was arrested in Ms. Cox’s killing, and the police said they were not looking for any other suspects. No motive has been established, officials said.

The suspect was identified in the British news media as Thomas Mair.

On Thursday night, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported on its website that Mr. Mair was a “dedicated supporter” of the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi organization in the United States. The center, which tracks hate groups, said Mr. Mair bought a manual from the alliance in 1999 that included instructions on how to build a pistol. It based its reporting on invoices it said it had obtained, copies of which were published on its website…

Please offer Prayers and condolences to the family and loved ones of Jo Cox, who may well be the first UK victim of terrorism by a Republican-supporting fascist.

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Jun 162016
 

It’s another busy day as I had to find a replacement fort Julie.  A woman she recommended has agreed to take the job, and another woman she recommended, has agreed to be on-call backup.  Both are registered with the same agency.  I have to use it, because the state pays for six hours per month of my care through their disabled seniors program. I have to pay for the rest, but every little bit helps. Tomorrow, I have my last pre-surgery blood tests, so please expect no more than a Personal Update tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:46 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The Dixie Chicks are back, and they’re already making trouble. The much-loved liberal bad girls of country/pop kicked off their North American tour this month with a nice big flip-off to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Unabashed in their political views, the three Grammy-winning musicians have taken the long way getting back on tour, after dissing George W. Bush in 2003 while on stage in London. The trio suffered a backlash not many artists can or will survive. Like millions around the world, they were angry at “W” for starting the Iraq War. In comparison to the racist and incredibly disrespectful remarks made publicly about President Obama on the likes of Fox News every day, the Dixie Chicks’ lead singer Natalie Maines merely said she, "Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."… [emphasis original]

The article did not include a picture of what they did to Rump Dump. Here it is.

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The article did include the song they played right after dissing Crawford Caligula. Here it is.

I love that tune!! Kudos to the Dixie Chicks!!

From NY Times: After the Central Intelligence Agency transferred Abu Zubaydah to the American military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and he was brought before a panel of officers for a hearing in March 2007, he described in broken English how he had been tortured in the agency’s black-site prisons.

He said his body had shaken when he stood for hours, naked and shackled in a cold room and unable to shift his weight to an injured leg. He spoke of his humiliation at having to relieve himself in a bucket in front of other people, “like an animal.” And he described being waterboarded until he stopped breathing and required resuscitation.

“They shackle me completely, even my head; I can’t do anything,” Mr. Zubaydah said. “Like this, and they put one cloth in my mouth and they put water, water, water.” At the “last point before I die,” he said, interrogators stood the board back up and “make like this” — he made breathing noises — “again and again they make it with me, and I tell him, ‘If you want to kill me, kill me.’ ”

Mr. Zubaydah’s testimony was contained in newly declassified transcripts of military hearings for the C.I.A.’s former prisoners. The government disclosed the accounts this week in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which provided the documents to The New York Times.

Bush, Chaney, Rice, Rumsfeld Gonzalez, Yoo and more belong behind bars for this.

From Alternet: At first blush it seems almost un-American—a universal basic income (UBI) that grants an income to every US citizen without any obligation to work or perform a socially mandated task. In a country that celebrates hard work as the path to fulfillment and riches, the idea of getting money for nothing—even if it’s just enough to keep you and your family off the debt collector’s call list and above the poverty line—is heresy. And yet, in some ways, UBI is as idealistic, optimistic, and American as the Declaration of Independence and its foundational principle that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Even with our current economic problems, we live in a land of abundant wealth and resources. And UBI is rooted in the belief that every human being should have at least the basic means to choose the life they want for themselves and their families. At a time when the tried-and-true twentieth-century solutions are failing us, UBI has the potential to give our troubled economy a twenty-first-century shot in the arm by transforming the technological disruption that’s been causing us so much anxiety into a force for self-fulfillment and the common good.

If these sentiments sound lofty and gilded, as I’m sure they do, my hope is that the conversations here will inspire you to see UBI as a policy that can raise the floor and reinvigorate our nation’s founding principles while providing new scaffolding for the American Dream.

Click through for his detailed support for his position. I agree with him.

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We need it back!

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Jun 022016
 

I'm rushing to to finish as much as I can before my CAT scan,  I'll say hi to the cat for you.

I'm back.  The cat made me drink a quart of cat pee called contrasting agent and then injected more.  YUCK!  I have my pre-surgery physical tomorrow morning sp expect no more than a late Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 3:25 (average 5:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: A federal judge ordered the release of hundreds of documents related to the fraud case against Donald Trump for his now defunct (like most of Trump’s businesses) Trump University. The so-called “university” was a series of real estate seminars that promised to teach people insider secrets of the real estate business. The documents reveal high pressure sales tactics that were designed to play on people’s emotions and carefully convince people to part with their money, often encouraging them to take on huge amounts of debt to finance their “education.” The manual instructed Trump University sales staff to find out personal information and then use that to close the deal and separate already desperate people from what money they had, even if that meant taking on credit card debt…

 

Everything about Rump Dump, like his CONiversity, is also a lie.

From NY Times: A wave of prominent Republicans have announced their intention to skip the party’s national convention in Cleveland this summer, the latest sign that Donald J. Trump, who last week secured the delegates needed to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, continues to struggle in his effort to unite the party behind his candidacy.

The list of those who have sent regrets includes governors and United States senators — almost all facing tough re-election fights this year — and lifelong party devotees who have attended every convention for decades. Some are renouncing their seats like conscientious objectors.

“I could not in good conscience attend a coronation and celebration of Donald Trump,” wrote one Indiana delegate, Josh Claybourn, in a blog post resigning his position.

The coolness toward Mr. Trump amounts to a remarkable rebuke. A broad range of party leaders are openly rejecting the man who will be their nominee. And the July 18-21 convention, usually a moment of public catharsis for political parties after contentious primaries, is shaping up to be another reminder of the disarray and disunity that is still rocking the Republican Party after a bitter 17-way fight for the nomination.

Extinction is the only proper fate of the Republican Party.

From Alternet: The City of Portland has created and implemented strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for more than 20 years. In the early 1990s, it became the first city in the United States to adopt a comprehensive carbon dioxide reduction strategy. In 2001, Multnomah County (the most populous of Oregon’s 36 counties) and the City of Portland (which is the seat of Multnomah County and Oregon’s largest city) passed their joint Local Action Plan on Global Warming.

In 2009, Multnomah County and Portland adopted an updated climate action plan (CAP) with expanded categories for actions and more-rigorous reduction targets. The plan identifies 93 action steps in 8 categories to reach its emissions reduction goals, ranging from curbside pickup of residential food scraps to expanding the city’s streetcar and light rail system.

Thanks to strong government leadership, science-informed policy making has long been practiced in Portland. To avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change, the city set its latest emissions reduction target by referring to current science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Portland adopted an 80 percent emissions reduction target by 2050, with an interim goal of 40 percent by 2030. In line with IPCC recommendations, 1990 was set as the baseline year for the reduction target.

Oregon leads the way!

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May 282016
 
furies

Just one article this week which seems to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with it. 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."

I doubt whether the Furies need to eat, you know, being immortal and all, and if that's correct, they probably do not barf.  But if any story could do it, it's this one.  For the rest of us, you have been warned.  Barf bags are in order

A young black man with "mental disorders including learning disabilities," who is a player on the footballl team at Dietrich High School in Dietrich, Idaho, was sexually assaulted by teammates last October 23, after football practice, the Washington Post has learned.  The report was written by Michael E. Miller, a foreign affairs reporter for the Post, who also blogs for their Morning Mix.  [If you want to keep your breakfast down, you may want to avoid the Post’s “Morning Mix” every day] 

The Post does not print names of sexual assault victims, nor of suspects charged as juveniles (both policies with which I heartily concur), so I can't use names when I say that, after practice on that date, the youthful suspect held out his arms to the victim as if to hug him.  Instead, the suspect restrained the victim so that the other two suspects could attack.

There is both a criminal case and a civil suit regarding this incident.  Both say that as the victim was restrained, another teammate, Tanner Ward, 17, who is being charged as an adult, used force to insert a coat hanger into the victim's rectum, after which the third teammate, John R. K. Howard, also being charged as an adult, kicked the coat hanger several times (five or six?), causing "rectal injuries" that required hospital treatment.

This John R. K. Howard sounds like a real jewel.  According to the lawsuit, which describes all manner of harassment to which the victim was subjected, he is "a large and aggressive male who had been sent to live with his relatives in Idaho due to his inability to keep out of trouble in Texas."  Ummm – how much of a menace does one have to be to be kicked out of Texas, if one is white?  The lawsuit also says, "Mr. Howard is a relative of prominent individuals in the community and, at least in part due to his athletic ability and community connections, the Defendants ignored or were deliberately indifferent to the behavior of Mr. Howard which included aggression, taunting and bullying of The Plaintiff and other students in the District." 

The community referred to, by the way, is a town of 334 people, and predominatly white.  The victim was adopted by his white parents when he was four years old.

The amount and types of abuse doled out should be shocking – but even if we have seen so much now not to be shocked, they are certainly repugnant.  I won't list everything, but I will quote this from the article: "It was Howard who, with his bare fists, knocked out the victim, who was made to wear boxing gloves, as teammates and coaches formed a circle around them, the suit says."

Excuse me?  Teammates and coaches formed a circle around them?

Sounds like that $10 million lawsuit is pretty solid.

Instead of going into more detail on the abuse, I would like to quote some comments from the Daily Kos diary on the case.

CharlesCurtisVotes:  "This makes my heart [hurt] so much. I'm in the verge of tears. My brother (who I lost 4 years ago) was special needs and I can see his face lighting up at the thought of getting a hug only to see it turn so horrible. I can't even begin to describe my sadness."

jusducky:  "My brother too….same. Like his health issues were not a big enough hurdle, the bullying was terrible, but it was nothing like this."

Kela5283:  "The idea that teachers and other school officials were complicit and cheered this on is just so morally repulsive to me. It just sickens me. They should be fired."

rainmanjr:  (in response to Kela 5283) "No. They should be prosecuted as accessories."

Local news and views can be found in what is apparently the major news source in Dietrich, "Magic Valley."

Dear Alecto, dear Megaera, dear Tisiphone, I hope I'm right that you do not barf.  I feel like I need a shower just asking you to even be in the same state as these – people.  Let alone to pay close enough attention to sort out the guilt.  Because I am sure there is plenty of guilt to go around, and plenty of guilty parties who have not even been mentioned.  May the Force be with you.  (Yeah, I know, different mythology, but this will need all the mythology it can get.)

BTW, my husband had a suggestion for one way the perps might be treated, but if you don't eat or barf, you probably don't do that either.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross-posted to Care2 at

http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/3987590

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