Aug 272016
 

In a recent conversation, I was asked to explain Alt-Right.  I said that it refers to a a loose coalition of Republicans, fascists, white nationalists, bigots, misogynists and and homophobes that usually encourages their followers to express their hatred through violence.

0827alt-right

Like all political movements, the alt-right has its own lexicon and memes, as well as its own interpretation of news events. Below you’ll find a brief list of terms you may use as a guide if you care to visit the swamps in which adherents to this 21st-century version of white supremacist ideology reside.

1. Alt-right. As Julie Andrews once sang before her character fled the Nazis: “Let’s start at the very beginning.” The term “alt-right” is shorthand for "alternative right." Just as, say, alt folk musicians envisioned themselves as a more modern, hipper iteration of the Dylan-era folk music that preceded them (which really wasn’t folk music at all, but I digress), alt-righties perceive their movement to be the tweaked-for-millennial-consumption adaptation of the ideologies professed by such uncool paleoconservatives as Cranky Uncle Pat Buchanan and Klanboy David Duke.

There are, however, disagreements among alt-righties on the scope of their hatred. The self-parodying Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos, for example, wears his gay identity as a badge, even as he spews vitriol against Muslims and blacks. Others who wear the alt-right label, such as the Daily Stormer’s Andrew Anglin, spurn Yiannopoulos as a “degenerate.” Yiannopoulos’ latest badge of courage is being banned by Twitter for his racist dogging of actor/comedian Leslie Jones, a star of the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters. (Since then, Jones’ personal accounts have been hacked in a brutal cyberattack.)

One form of hatred that appears to unite alt-righties? Misogyny. Man, do they hate feminists! Yiannopoulos even did a lecture tour titled, “Feminism is cancer.”

Gearing up a Twitter offensive in advance of Hillary Clinton’s speech in Reno about the alt-right, #altright members on Twitter set out to define their own movement.

#AltRight means you don’t think a room full of white males is a problem to be fixed,” wrote @hateful_heritic.

#AltRightMeans it’s time to oppose HUD/Section8 housing moving blacks into the suburbs. Save our White neighborhoods”, added@_AltRight_, with an accompanying photo of a lone white man in a swimming pool, surrounded by dark-skinned people.Some posted Richard B. Spencer’s white-identity video, “Who are we?” (Money quote: “I’m a Roman, a Briton, a Dane…”)

From <Alternet>

Here is that "white identity" video.  It contains hateful propaganda to justify white supremacy.

Barf Bag Alert!!!

Note the closing implied call to violence, using "RISE" displayed within flames.

The article’s list of terms you need to understand Alt-Right has seven terms.  I shared one.  Click through for the other sic.

Thinking back to my original conversation, I think they should be called Alt-Wrong.

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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 262016
 

Last night, I stayed up late to optimize our site.  First, I analyzed the load times for plugins and found that we had a huge resource hog.  Our Top Commentators plugin used more than three times the resources of all our other plugins combined and was adding 33% to the time it took to load every page.  I really liked it, but dang!!  I took it out.  Next, I optimized the database.  Most important, I have begun optimizing images.  We have over 25,000.  One I have the old ones done, I’ve set up a service to automatically optimize new ones for about $10 per month.  Now I get to venture into the heat for abuse.  I’ll finish when I return.

PT went very well.  Courtney was merciless, but I managed all her tasks.  I stopped at the bank on the way home, but when I got here the elevator was out of service AGAIN.  I had to wait in the heat for an hour, before the repair tech could run the assembled cripples upstairs.  In the interim, I’ve wilted.  This is my only article today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:48 (average 4:15).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Warren Hinckle, the flamboyant editor who made Ramparts magazine a powerful national voice for the radical left in the 1960s and later by championing the work of Hunter S. Thompson and helping introduce the no-holds-barred reporting style known as gonzo journalism, died on Thursday. He was 77.

The cause was complications of pneumonia, his daughter Pia Hinckle said.

Ramparts was a small-circulation quarterly for liberal Roman Catholics when Mr. Hinckle began writing for and promoting it in the early 1960s. A born provocateur with a keen sense of public relations, he took over as the executive editor in 1964 and immediately set about transforming Ramparts from a sleepy intellectual journal to a slickly produced, crusading political magazine that galvanized the American left.

0826Ramparts

RIP Warren. Back in the day, I used to read every issue of Ramparts.

From Alternet:

Here are 12 examples [of Rump Dump Racism] cited by Clinton.

1. Deeply Insulting African Americans: Trump’s remarks show he has no appreciation for black culture or achievement, Clinton said, but instead utters one ugly cliche after another. “In just the past week, under the guise of ‘outreach’ to African Americans, Trump has stood up in front of largely white audiences and described black communities in such insulting and ignorant terms. ‘Poverty. Rejection.  Horrible education. No housing. No homes. No ownership. Crime at levels nobody has seen.’ ‘Right now,’ he said, ‘you walk down the street and get shot.’ Those are his words.”

2. Racist then, racist now: Trump has a decades-old history of mistreating and stereotyping blacks, Clinton said, starting with his refusal to rent New York City apartments to them. “When he was getting his start in business, he was sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to black and Latino tenants,” she said. “Their applications would be marked with a C—C for ‘colored’—and then rejected. Three years later, the Justice Department took Trump back to court because he hadn’t changed… And the pattern continued through the decades. State regulators fined one of Trump’s casinos for repeatedly removing black dealers from the floor. No wonder the turnover rate for his minority employees was way above average.”

3. His racist lies don’t stop: Before the 2016 presidential election, Trump was at the forefront of the right-wing effort to discredit President Obama’s legitimacy by questioning his national origin. “Let’s not forget that Trump first gained political prominence leading the charge for the so-called birthers,” she said. “He promoted the racist lie that President Obama is not really an American citizen; part of a sustained effort to delegitimize America’s first black president. In 2015, Trump launched his own campaign for president with another racist lie. He described Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals. And he accused the Mexican government of actively sending them across the border. None of that is true.”

I shared three. Click through for the other nine.

From Crooks and Liars: This is unreal. Kellyanne Conway graced the set of The Rachel Maddow Show last night. Among other things, Rachel asked about the "pivot" away from a total ban on Muslims to an "extreme vetting" of those entering the United States.

As usual, Rachel had clearly done her homework. The "extreme vetting" that the Trump campaign correctly identifies as originating during the Cold War, was vetoed by Harry Truman, passed as an override by Congress anyway, and then found unconstitutional. By all modern legal measures, the similar Trump proposal would also be found unconstitutional.

 

No matter how many times Rachel said it’s unconstitutional, Conway ignored her and circled back to her talking points. Like other Republicans, Trump’s Rectumites don’t care about the Constitution.

Cartoon:

0826Cartoon

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Aug 212016
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how sick InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

0821Scarborough
Joe Scarborough makes really lame defense of Trump’s racism.

Trump is just playing, Joe Scarborough said on his morning show Friday.

Really?

The Morning Joe host has been on the outs with Trump for the past few months, exchanging withering tweets with him and withdrawing his endorsement. But maybe the bromance isn’t all together over. Scarborough not only bought Trump’s lame, blanket, scripted apology this week for saying things that “may have caused personal pain,” he said that much of what Trump has been doing on the campaign trail has been an act. “This loud, screaming, racially insensitive, at times race-baiting buffoon that gets behind microphones at political rallies, that’s Donald Trump playing a role,” Scarborough said.

His guest, adman and fellow white man Donny Deutsch added, “I’ve always found him to be charming, smart, generous of spirit if you ever called him up.”

So, maybe the Mexicans he maligns and tosses out and the Muslims he bans would just call him up?

“Having said that, this man I’ve seen up on the stump is repulsive to me,” Deutsch hastened to add.

Scarborough bought into the narrative that the feeble Trump apology represented the long-awaited and prayed-for pivot that desperate Republicans are longing to see in their nominee.

Not bloody likely.

Like Bill O’Reilly, Donald’s white male pals have never heard him say anything racist behind closed doors. Selective hearing is a wonderful thing.

When people are out committing hate crimes and invoking your name, and children are chanting “Build the wall” to their tearful Latino classmates, playing a role just does not cut it, Morning Joe.

From <Alternet>

Trump is not serious.  The Pope is not Catholic.  And bears never, ever shit in the woods!  Republicans call MSNBC librul propaganda.  Ha!

This is just the fifth of five listed sick Republican moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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Aug 212016
 

It looks like we have three days in the high 70°s, before the excessive heat returns to Portland on Wednesday.  We had our blog’s fantasy football draft yesterday.  By lot, I drafted last.  Even though, it was the worst position, I think I did well.  Wendy just left, and I feel so clean.  I was getting really stinky.  Tomorrow I have a routine appointment with my Podiatrist, so please expect no more than a Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:23.  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Donald Trump is heading to November like a certain zeppelin heading to New Jersey, in a darkening sky that crackles with electricity. He is fighting crosswinds and trying new tacks — hiring the head of Breitbart News to run his campaign, trying on a new emotion (regret) in a speech on Thursday night, promising to talk more this week about immigration, his prime subject. There’s still no telling what will happen when the gasbag reaches the mooring.

It could be that the polls are right, and Mr. Trump will go down in flames. But while that will solve an immediate problem, a larger one will remain. The message of hatred and paranoia that is inciting millions of voters will outlast the messenger. The toxic effects of Trumpism will have to be addressed.

In this case, I disagree with the Gray Lady. Trump is the symptom, not the disease. Racial hatred is not Trumpism, nor is Rump Dump even it’s messenger. Racial hatred is Republicanism. And Trump is just the disobedient parrot of that message, as he squawks when he’s supposed to be dog whistling.

From PoliticusUSA: Yes. It is true. Conservatives are freaking out because lesbians can be farmers too. And apparently there is something wrong with that. What has them all worked up is the “Iowa LGBT Rural Summit,” which took place on August 18 at Drake Law School. To make matters worse, the summit was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which joined with the National Center for Lesbian Rights…

…So yeah. Pretty scary stuff for right wingers who can never find enough stuff about which to be frightened. Rush Limbaugh launched into one of his famously incoherent rants over it, exclaiming,

“Have you heard the latest Democrat scam? Have you heard about the Agriculture Department’s financial grants to lesbian farmers? You think I’m making this up? See, this is how they do it.”

Dang!! I’d better check to make sure my breakfast cereal doesn’t have a wet spot! Seriously, I could not make this stuff up!!!

From The Oregonian: It looks like Donald Trump won’t be coming to Portland, after all.

The Republican presidential nominee on Saturday canceled his plans to appear at a fundraiser in the city and a public appearance that was slated for the same day. Trump’s Oregon campaign manager, Jacob Daniels, told OPB that the nominee’s schedule was adjusted to omit the Portland appearance after a visit to Louisiana.

Woooo Hoooo!! This proves that there is a God!! Winking smile

Cartoon:

0821Cartoon

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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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It’s Not Just the South

 Posted by at 12:19 pm  Politics
Aug 182016
 

Often times, many northerners, like me, slip into the habit of considering extreme racism as a mostly Southern problem.  Sadly, it just isn't true.  My NJ father was such an extreme racist that he would have considered Rump Dump a moderate.  It's mostly a Republican problem.  The only difference between Rump Dump and other Republican politicians and pundits is that he comes out and says what they merely reflect with their policies and dog whistles.  Check these Massachusetts Republicans out.

USA-ELECTION/TRUMP

A Massachusetts convoy of Trump supporters drove from Wrentham to Foxboro in their trucks, RVs and SUVs on July 31 and were caught on tape spewing racist epithets and calls for anti-black violence.

“Lynch the ni**ers by their d*cks!” said one driver, according to Winning Democrats, which highlighted a YouTube video of what the “Make America Great Again” convoy talked about on its CB channel when they thought no one was listening.

“Burn every single ni**er!” said another driver.

“All I know is we got plenty of trees to hang ni**ers from,” said another.

The convoy drove five miles from one township to another with their U.S. and Confederate flags waving…

From <Alternet>

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

If you've ever been to MA, you'll recognize that accent.  These were not Southern imports.

As convenient as it is to consider Trump the disease, he is not.  Trump is just a symptom of what the Republican Party has become.  They need to go the way of the Whigs.

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Aug 182016
 

Portland continues under an excessive heat warning through the weekend.  My A/C kept it cooler last night, but as the temperature approaches 70° early in the morning, the humidity is 92%.  I’m getting very little sleep.  Tomorrow and Saturday will be the worst of the days.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today'[s took me 2:45 (average 4:24).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Update:

Lefty Blog Friends players, our live draft is this Saturday at 1 PM PDT (2 PM MDT, 3 PM CDT, 4 PM EDT).  Feel free to contact me with questions.

Short Takes:

From KP Daily Funnies: Daily Show: Uncovering Discrimination in the Baltimore Police Department

 

Very little about this video is funny. That Rump Dump used a spiel to dog-whistle racist Republicans, under the guise of asking for Black support, is just… Republican!

From Daily Kos: Today Nate Silver on 538 wrote a piece called "Clinton’s Lead Is Clear And Steady​"

0818Silver

Let’s not get complacent!

0818Deweytruman

From NY Times: Donald J. Trump named as his new campaign chief on Wednesday a conservative media provocateur whose news organization regularly attacks the Republican Party establishment, savages Hillary Clinton and encourages Mr. Trump’s most pugilistic instincts.

Mr. Trump’s decision to make Stephen K. Bannon, chairman of the Breitbart News website, his campaign’s chief executive was a defiant rejection of efforts by longtime Republican hands to wean him from the bombast and racially charged speech that helped propel him to the nomination but now threaten his candidacy by alienating the moderate voters who typically decide the presidency

I have to wonder, is it possible for Rump Dump to make a worse choice than the head of Breitfart?

Cartoon:

0818Cartoon

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Aug 172016
 

Whenever hatred abounds, you can be sure that Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the polar opposite of real authentic Christians) will jump on the hate train.  And with Rump Dump Trump as the personification of today’s Republican party, you can be sure that the supply of hatred will be endless.  The following author listed reasons they are backing Trump.

0817trumpholy

…Here are just some of the religious arguments made on Trump’s behalf:

1. God is using Trump to pave the way for the Second Coming

Frank Amedia, a pastor who has been serving as Trump’s “Christian policy” liaison, said that God told him personally last year that Trump would win the GOP nomination and help pave the way for the Second Coming. Amedia also suggested that only God could explain how Trump has survived all his blunders:

And the Lord spoke very clearly to me, and he said to me, ‘This man is going to win the nomination and I want you to be ready to serve my cause when I call you.’…In this instance, it’s not because Donald Trump has heralded his faith or the name of God, but the Lord has put His favor upon him, and how amazing it is that the favor of God can overcome so many mistakes, so many bumbles, so many things that otherwise we would think would destroy somebody in business, destroy them in politics, destroy them in relationships. But yet it’s very evident it was the will of the Lord to do this and here we sit now.

2. God is using Trump to get pastors to fight for religious freedom

Pastor Michael Anthony, president of Godfactor and founder of the National Week of Repentance, attended Trump’s June meeting with evangelicals and said he is convinced God is using Trump [pseudo-Christians delinked] to move Christians to act to defend their religious freedom. “I think God was speaking through him at that moment, to the church, to tell us why are you being silent about the most important thing about your lives?”

3. Trump could make America worthy of God’s blessing

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins was a big Ted Cruz backer and has publicly been a somewhat reluctant supporter of Donald Trump. He told radio host Sandy Rios that Trump has made plenty of mistakes, but that if he “walks in that grace that is available” and surrounds himself with good people, he could “cast a vision that moves America back to the country that honors God again and therefore would be a recipient of His blessing.”

4. Trump would make America friendlier to Israel

Many conservative evangelicals have embraced a theological approach to Middle East policy, interpreting Bible verses [pseudo-Christians delinked] to suggest that in order to enjoy God’s blessing, America must unconditionally support the Israeli government. Says [pseudo-Christians delinked] Pastor John Hagee, head of Christians United For Israel, “we have a mandate from the Bible and that mandate is to be supportive of Israel and the Jewish people.” Even though Trump said earlier this year that he would be “neutral” regarding the Israel-Palestine dispute (a position he later backed away from), right-wing leaders have long denounced Obama as an enemy of Israel. The Times of Israel notes [pseudo-Christians delinked] that Hagee, “has all but endorsed Trump by name.” Indeed, Hagee told his viewing audience that God would hold them accountable for their vote, saying, “I’m not going to vote for the party that has betrayed Israel for the past seven years.”  Hagee has complained [pseudo-Christians delinked] that “three million evangelicals did not vote in the past election,” saying “God forbid that happen again. We are going to storm the voting booths of America this time around.”…

From <Right Wing Watch>

I’ve shared the first four of twenty-five listed reasons that Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians are on the Trump hate train.  Click through for the other twenty-one.

They want Trump in the White House.  How do you plan to prevent it?

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Aug 172016
 

It is late and I cannot sleep because of the heat and humidity, currently at 88%.  To make matters worse, my one neighbour has been in and out slamming the door each time, as well as running up and down her stairs with lead feet.  This is not the first time for her antics.  I have been awakened by her before.  Temperatures on Friday and into the weekend are supposed to hit 33 C (92 F) — oh joy! NOT! — with high humidity.  Tomorrow I have physio and then I will relax in the heat if I can.

Short Takes

CBC — Mauril Bélanger, the long-serving Liberal member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier, has died at age 61. Bélanger was diagnosed wIt is late and I cannot sleep because of the heatith ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, following the 2015 federal election, and his condition had deteriorated rapidly. 

mauril belanger

Mauril Bélanger 15/06/1955 – 16/08/2016

Honourary Speaker of the House

At the moment when Bélanger should have been celebrating his eighth electoral triumph as the member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier, he had struggled to find his voice to make a victory speech.

And yet even in his final days, Bélanger summoned his remaining strength eight months later to attend a vote in the House of Commons where his colleagues backed his private member's bill to make the lyrics of the national anthem more representative of all Canadians. 

That vote on 15 June 2016, Bélanger's 61st birthday, resulted in the approval of Bill C – 210 which changed the second line to "in all of us command " from "in all thy sons command".  And as sick as he was, he came into the House to vote.  In the video above, if you are trying to listen to the words, the first two lines are in English, with some subsequent lines in French.  I know the French version and can tell you it does not translate directly to the English version.

I brought to you short takes about Mauril Bélanger back on 30/01 and 12/03/2016.  This is an incredible legacy for Mauril Bélanger who championed this change for years.

RobertReich.org — It looks increasingly likely that Hillary Clinton, a self-described “progressive who likes to get things done,” will have her chance starting next January. But how much that’s progressive will she actually be able to get done?

The Senate may flip to the Democrats but there’s almost no way Democrats will get the sixty votes they need to stop Republicans from filibustering everything she says she wants to do.

She’s unlikely to have a typical presidential honeymoon because she won’t be riding a wave of hope and enthusiasm that typically accompanies a new president into office. She’s already more distrusted by the public than any major candidate in recent history. On Election Day many Americans will be choosing which candidate they loathe the least.  …

Even if Hillary sincerely intends to raise taxes on rich Americans in order to pay for universal child care, affordable higher education, and infrastructure spending, the moneyed interests have the clout to stop her.

They’ll also resist any effort to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour, require employers to offer paid family leave, or push them to share their profits with employees.

The heart of American politics is now a vicious cycle in which big money has enough political influence to get laws and regulations that make big money even bigger, and prevent laws and rules that threaten its wealth and power.

Before Hillary can accomplish anything important, that vicious cycle has to be reversed. But how?  …

The pragmatist in her must know that the only way her ideas will make it in real life is if the public is organized and mobilized behind them.

Which means that once she enters the Oval Office, she’ll need the countervailing power of a progressive movement – ironically, much like the one her primary opponent championed.

I read an article recently that stated that the Green Party needs to build its base substantially in order to be viable.  Recently, TC commented (probably not for the first time) that any third party needs to start building on 15 November of an election year.  Bernie has miraculously built a substantial base, one that challenged Clinton during the primaries.  He launched a political revolution and has committed to moving forward with it.  Part of that commitment means holding Clinton's feet to the fire.  Personally, I think Bernie has a better chance of revolutionising the Democratic Party than the Greens have of becoming viable.

Raw Story — Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) revived and justified Republican criticisms against Khizr Khan on Tuesday, telling CNN host Jake Tapper that the Democratic Party “used him” irresponsibly during their party convention last month.

“Because he had a son that he lost to terror, that gives him a free ride to say what he would like against a candidate that he’s not for?” Perry asked Tapper. “That’s not proper, that’s not correct.”

Lost a son to terror??  Capt Khan was killed in Iraq during a war started by George W Bush and his cronies over oil but under the guise of weapons of mass destruction.  How is that terror?  And since when can one not comment on a political candidate who is in a race to run the nation (in the case of Drumpf, to 'ruin the nation')?  That is a prime time to gather facts, form opinions etc.  And of course, the first amendment — freedom of speech — also applies to Mr Khan.  I also take exception to Perry claiming he is for service families because he writes the letters.  But hey, did he lose a son as did Mr Khan?  Little Ricky Oops! Perry is milking this for his own glory.

Youtube — This one is strictly to make you smile.

My Universe — This is a truly magnificent sight!  My understanding is that these kayakers were near a nursing humpback and her calf.  The breaching was likely done by the rest of the pod to protect the mother and babe.  The location is near Campbell River BC, on the east coast of Vancouver Island,  little more than half way up the Island.  More over, this is a well known playground for various types of whales.

 

And now a little humour . . .

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