May 242016
 

I had a rough night last night.  I was awakened by an intermittent sharp stabbing pain in my left ankle, and it remains.  What make it particularly difficult, besides ruining my night’s sleep and my morning nap, is that my left ankle is made of titanium and is about three feet away from me.  On the plus side, I called my medical equipment company and told them to come pick up my O2 tanks and concentrator, because my Pulmonologist told me that he doesn’t think I need them anymore.  I really needed that good news.  My turn for some was overdue.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:51 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Think Progress: Climate education in Oregon just took a big step forward.

Last week, the Portland Public Schools board voted to eliminate the use of any textbooks or other materials that are “found to express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities.”

“A lot of the text materials are kind of thick with the language of doubt, and obviously the science says otherwise,” Bill Bigelow, a former Portland public school teacher, told the Portland Tribune. “We don’t want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry.”

In his testimony to the board, Bigelow quoted from the book Physical Science, published by Pearson.

“‘Carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, power plants and other sources, may contribute to global warming,’” he read. “This is a section that could be written by the Exxon public relations group and it’s being taught in Portland schools.”

Other books have also been found to cast doubt on climate science: A review of sixth-grade textbooks in California, for instance, found that the books “framed climate change as uncertain in the scientific community — both about whether it is occurring as well as about its human-causation.”

No doubt the problem of Republican skience replacing science in many of our nation’s textbooks stems from the influence Texas exerts on the publishers. Kudos to the Portland School Board. Oregon leads the way!

From American Bridge PAC: Donald Trump Profited From Companies He Blasted For Outsourcing

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Rump Dump Trump remains Republican in all the ways that count. What he says bears no relationship to what he does.

From NY Times: Palestinians, settlements and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rendered him effectively unwelcome in Washington and toxic to Palestinians. Yet to shore up his coalition in the Israeli Parliament, Mr. Netanyahu has now offered Mr. Lieberman the office of minister of defense — widely considered to be the second most powerful position in the Israeli government, with a critical role in dealing with the United States and the Palestinians.

Mr. Netanyahu may think his political needs are more important than relations with the soon-to-end Obama administration, relations that are already severely strained by the nuclear agreement with Iran. But the administration had at least established a working relationship with Moshe Yaalon, the tough but pragmatic defense minister who resigned once the offer to Mr. Lieberman became known. The timing of this changing of the guard is particularly sensitive because a critical 10-year defense agreement establishing new levels of American military aid for Israel is in the final stages of negotiations.

All US military aid to Israel should be suspended, as long as Bibi the Butcher continues to slaughter Palestinians, while ignoring Israel’s treaty obligation to pursue a two-state solution.

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May 242016
 

I have stayed true to my promise to be good to myself and I have been relaxing this Victoria Day long weekend.  The sinusitus is definitely almost gone!  Woo Hoo!!!  It has been cloudy today with temperatures around 14 C (58 F) and intermittent rain.  This week is another busy one so I'll have to remind myself not to do anything stupid to re-aggravate the sinusitis.  The babies have been napping around me all day, but as soon as I announce "bikkies", they will be fully awake and running downstairs to their food dish.  I can smell my neighbour's bar-be-que, probably fired up for steaks, which is making me hungry.  Chicken and salad for me tonight.  Enjoy the rest of your week.

Short Takes

Daily Beast — Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is reportedly under investigation by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for $120,000 worth of campaign donations from Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang. …

Wang, the individual at the center of the investigation, also contributed $2 million to the Clinton Foundation. The investigation is ongoing. 

This investigation along with the SCOTUS decision on gerrymandering in Virginia has brought Virginia into the fore.  It will be interesting to see what happens with the DOJ investigation and how it impacts Democrats in this federal election year.  Also of concern is the perceived influence of Wang Wenliang, a Chinese businessman, on Hillary Clinton with his contribution to the Clinton Foundation.  I hope this does not turn normally blue voters away from the polls in November.

NYTimes — Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees on Wednesday as part of an effort to quell concerns that he would not select conservative jurists.

The unusual move comes as Mr. Trump is looking to unify the Republican Party behind him and win over critics who remain skeptical about his candidacy. While some Republicans who oppose Mr. Trump have considered supporting Hillary Clinton or sitting out the election, he has regularly reminded them that the future of the Supreme Court is at stake.  …

… but Mr. Trump has previously said that he was seeking guidance from conservative groups such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.

Mr. Trump’s selections consisted of six federal appeals court judges appointed by President George W. Bush and five state supreme court justices appointed by Republican governors. All are white, and eight of the 11 are men.

"All are white, and eight of the 11 are men."  Indeed, the future of the Supreme Court is at stake.  A decidedly conservative court would affect generations to come, and not in a positive way.  Along with a Republican White House and Congress, the US will regress socially and economically.

Politico — … President Barack Obama on Monday signed the dissolution of the nearly 50-year embargo on selling arms to Vietnam, ending one of the last vestiges of the Vietnam War.

But what Obama had to say and do about open democracy here was as sparse as the turnout in polling places here just hours before Air Force One landed — despite, of course, government numbers putting nationwide turnout for the National Assembly elections at 98.77 percent.

Suspicious election results don’t usually come together with presidential visits, especially within hours, and especially when the president is arriving with a huge and much desired gift in the form of opening up arms trade.

Hanoi had been pushing Washington for years, as both a point of pride and out of desire for American weapons. The change is potentially huge for American interests, empowering pro-Western forces internally and sending a very charged signal to China, long Vietnam's regional adversary.  …

"I made it clear that the United States does not seek to impose our form of government on Vietnam or any nation … at the same time, we will continue to speak out on human rights.”

It seems that there is a contradiction here . . . selling weapons to Vietnam while at the same time speaking out about human rights.  In a time when the world should be coming together, weapons only serve to divide and destroy.  And the US, like all countries, has troubles with its own human rights record.

ThinkProgress — Donald Trump vowed to get rid of “gun free zones” during the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Louisville Friday, going a step further than his frequent promise to allow guns in schools and military bases.

Despite the fact that many Trump hotels and the convention center where he spoke on Friday are all gun-free zones, the presumptive nominee said he went off his telepromter to promise the NRA members in attendance that he would eliminate gun-free zones altogether. Trump also earned the NRA’s endorsement at the event.

“The Second Amendment is under a threat like never before,” Trump said, repeating the NRA leadership’s claim that Hillary Clinton will dismantle the Second Amendment.  …

This is the most basic human right of all, and Hillary Clinton wants to strip it away,” Trump said. “I’m going to guarantee that law-abiding citizens have the right to self defense, 100 percent.”

Amazing how many times Trump flip-flops on his positions . . . pro choice now pro life; pro gun-free zones now eliminate gun-free zones; irreligious now religious; and there are more.  Trump is an opportunist, changing his stance to suit his goal of becoming POTUS.  I believe the expression is "whatever it takes" or the end justifies the means".

CBC — "I want to be out. I want, want, want, want — please God! — let us be out."

Councillor Yvonne Stevens is campaigning for Britain to vote to leave the European Union.

This is Yvonne Stevens, a local councillor for the U.K. Independence Party or UKIP. Its roots date back to the 1990s and British opposition to the signing of the Maastricht Treaty enshrining key tenets of European integration.

It's also a party that's played heavily on anti-immigrant sentiment, and immigration is one of the key issues motivating those who want Britain to leave the European Union in a referendum on June 23. Stevens is no exception.

"Let's say, 'No, let's stop,'" says Stevens, referring to unfettered immigration of EU citizens entitled to live and work in any EU country of their choosing.

The discussion of UK membership in the EU is known as "Brexit".  Whether the UK stays within the EU or opts out, there will be global repercussions.  In another CBCreport, Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has urged the UK to remain within the EU.  He said

"More unity is a path toward greater prosperity. We have a great relationship with a strong and united Europe and certainly hope that that continues," Trudeau said in an interview with Reuters. "Britain is always going to have clout, it's just obviously amplified by its strength as part of the EU."

You can read a short history of the UK's participation in the EU at "Brexit".

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May 222016
 

Yesterday’s activities must have really tired me out, because despite oversleeping this morning, I still needed to snag a Lona nap, even before finishing my research.  Tomorrow I have a bi-annual appointment with my Pulmonologist, so please expect no more than a Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:27 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 11/2015):  The resident Republican blowhard on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, has staked out his post as the network’s voice of rightist disinformation. He commands his three hour block of airtime like a junta leader, ordering the topics of discussion and interrupting his guests incessantly.

This morning Scarborough appeared to have a severe cognitive collapse during a segment about the Republican Party’s debate-o-phobia (video below). Like most of his ideological allies, he is suffering from the delusion that the American media, owned by a handful of megalithic, multinational corporations, is dominated by liberals. Scarborough set off on a rant about the absence of conservatives on nightly news programs, Sunday shows, and in the executive suites. He badgered his guests to come up with examples of Republicans in those roles, and insisted that they could not do it.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Morning Jerk’s central proof was absurd. We cannot name an anchor or a Sunday morning talk show host, who has voted in a Republican primary, because none announce their voting habits.

From NY TimesLast week an openly gay man, Eric Fanning, became secretary of the Army. Read that sentence again and contemplate what it reveals about how much and how quickly American society has changed. Only five years ago, openly gay people were barred from serving in its armed forces.

Under Obama, we have made some major advances toward LGBT equality, except in locations in thrall to the Republican Reich.

From Crooks and LiarsThe old foes commiserate on the campaign, drink a few beers, and have a waltz together.

 

Kudos to SNL! There comes a time when the opposing sides need to stop fighting long enough to laugh.

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May 212016
 

Well I still have sinusitis, albeit the end stages I hope.  I am at least able to, for the most part, wear my glasses and read.  Tonight is my last anti-biotic but I am still without a lot of energy.  I have been resting a lot and drinking a lot . . . the hard stuff . . . H2O.  I had physio on Wednesday which, despite being at a reduced intensity, tuckered me out.  Thursday, I took my mother for her annual eye exam and then later in the evening attended my course (next week is the completion).  Friday was more physio and then teaching.  I was really tired by the end of yesterday but had a good night's sleep.  So this long weekend is very low key, a gift I give to myself to hopefully build up some reserves.  This Canadian long weekend celebrates Queen Victoria's birthday and is unofficially the start of the summer season, although summer does not really start until about 21 June.  This is often the "first" camping weekend of the season, and, in many areas of Canada, flowers and vegetable gardens are not planted until after 24/05 because it is generally considered too cold.  When I lived in northern BC, the last snowfall was usually around the end of May.  Here in greater Vancouver, this is not the case as we have a more temperate climate.  Hope you are having a relaxing weekend.

National Law Journal In the alternate universe of John Banzhaf ("When the Rabble-Rousing Turns Criminal, There's A Civil Solution," The National Law Journal, March 28), protesters have taken over the streets and hijacked the political process. Police step back and do nothing. They "yield the streets," sometimes because they are "afraid to make arrests," sometimes because "there is sympathy with their cause." If arrests take place, protesters end up in court and "face only a token fine."

The real world of street protest bears no relation to what Banzhaf describes. In fact, the post-9/11 trend, of which his anti-protester screed is symptomatic, is of increasing hostility to street protest. In the crackdown on peaceful ­protesters, police show no "sympathy with their cause" and are entirely "[un]afraid to make arrests." As a consequence of the amped-up focus on security since 9/11, the "war on terror" has also become a war on dissent.

In my last post, I brought you a piece by law professor John Banzhaf.  In it, Banzhaf argues that protesters who prevent others from hearing a speaker, specifically Trump in that case, are guilty of obstructing freedom of speech and assembly for those attending a Trump rally.  He goes on to say that protesters face few penalties and that police are afraid to arrest protesters etc.  I think you and I would for the most part disagree with Banzhaf on his police point having witnessed police actions in Ferguson, Missouri and other locales.  Author Alan Levine, himself a practising civil rights and constitutional lawyer in NY, sees the current police attitude in general, as impinging upon the freedom of assembly and  the freedom of speech.  Have a look.

MSN — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking from the floor of an institution that once enacted racist policies against large-scale immigration from Asia until the 1960s, apologized Wednesday for the 1914 Komagata Maru incident.

“Mr. Speaker, today I rise in this House to offer an apology on behalf of the government of Canada for our role in the Komagata Maru incident,” he said, triggering a standing ovation with MPs of all major parties applauding. 

“More than a century ago a great injustice took place.”

Trudeau spoke in a chamber filled with MPs and Indo-Canadians from across the country, including a delegation of more than 100 from B.C. who were led by Premier Christy Clark.

Trudeau said Canada would have been richer if the 376 passengers – mostly Sikh along with a handful of Muslims and Hindus – had been allowed to disembark from that Japanese ship.

Many people, including many Canadians, are not aware of the Komagata Maru incident of 1914 in Vancouver.  It is not a proud moment in Canadian history, but I am sure that it is something that Herr Drumpf in the US would endorse.  This from Wikipedia:

The Komagata Maru incident involved a Japanese steamship, Komagata Maru, that sailed from Hong Kong, then a holding of the British Empire, through Shanghai, China, then on to Yokohama, Japan, and then finally to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 1914, carrying 376 passengers from Punjab, British India. Of them 24 were admitted to Canada, but the other 352 passengers were not allowed to land in Canada, and the ship was forced to return to India.[1] The passengers comprised 340 Sikhs, 24 Muslims, and 12 Hindus, all British subjects. This was one of several incidents in the history of early 20th century involving exclusion laws in both Canada and the United States designed to keep out immigrants of only Asian origin.

In the park where I walk, there is a memorial to the people of the Komagata Maru.  I'd like to think that we have come a long way since 1914, and maybe we have, but there is still a long way to go before we become a totally inclusive society.

The Economist He was for far too long underestimated. The same must not be said of the threat his egomania and pernicious nativism represents to America and the world.  …

Yet if Mr Trump’s supporters like his message, many are also motivated by disdain for the party bosses who so haplessly opposed him. Exit polls in Indiana suggested half of Republican voters felt “betrayed” by their party. This is a harvest the party sowed in two ways. First, though it is a caricature to suggest, as Mr Trump and others have, that the Republicans have long made fools of distressed working-class whites by offering them God, the flag and tax cuts to the rich, it is a caricature with some truth to it. None of Mr Trump’s 16 rivals spoke convincingly to the concerns of wage-distressed workers; none had a thoughtful answer to them.

Second, years of partisan grandstanding in Congress have discredited America’s entire political process, and the Republicans—especially those of them thrust to power by the party’s previous populist insurgency, the Tea Party—are mainly responsible. The several recent crises Republican congressmen have engineered over the passage of the federal budget, which they sought to hold hostage to their unrealistic and unconstitutional demands of Mr Obama, have earned the voters’ disdain. In that sense, the Trumpian revolt is not a continuation of the false promise raised by the anti-government Tea Party, but its successor. With Mr Trump’s nomination almost assured, its fires, too, must now rage and burn out.

Fear trumps hope!  There is no doubt in my mind that Republicans are finding themselves in a pickle.  But  Trump, as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is not backing down.  In this article and another, Trump's articulated platform will lay waste to just about everything.  To me, it seems that Trump is playing the "American exceptionalism" card.  Has he forgotten that negotiation is not the same as dictating the terms?

CBC WIL-bur-r-r-r-r-r

Actor-comedian Alan Young, who played the amiable straight man to a talking horse in the 1960s sitcom Mister Ed, has died, a spokeswoman for the Motion Picture and Television Home said Friday. He was 96.

The English-born, Canadian-educated Young died Thursday, according to Jaime Larkin, spokeswoman for the retirement community where Young had lived for four years. His children were with him when he died peacefully of natural causes, she said.

Young was already a well-known radio and TV comedian, having starred in his own Emmy-winning variety show, when Mister Ed was being readied at comedian George Burns' production company. Burns is said to have told his staff: "Get Alan Young. He looks like the kind of guy a horse would talk to."

I am sure that many of you will remember Mr Ed, the talking horse.  I used to delight in watching the programme and wondered how the horse learned and said his lines.  I was young and naive . . . what can I say!  Anyway, Alan Young, who played the "straightman" to the horse, passed away 19/05/2016.  Bamboo Harvester, the original Mr Ed, died in 1970.  Here is an episode of "Mr Ed" to take you back down memory lane.

And of course, the theme song for the programme is yet another earworm that Nameless mentions in his Friday post Friday Fun: A Coke – OR Koch – Earworm (In Memoriam) .

A horse is a horse, of course, of course,

And no one can talk to a horse of course

Unless the horse of course, is the famous Mr Ed.

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May 212016
 

I'm waiting for Julie to arrive.  She's now almost two hours late, and since she lost her phone, I cannot contact her.  I'm very worried.  Phew, she made it 2 1/4  hours late.  We made me a polished puddy tat, did the dreaded task, cleaned the apartment, made a 4 – 5 day supply of γέεννα chili, and talked.  Now it's late and I'm pooped, but that's OK.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today;s took me 5:03 (average 7:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily KosWhile washing her hands in a Connecticut Walmart bathroom, a woman named Aimee Toms, 22, was harassed by another customer who said:

“You’re disgusting!”
"You don’t belong here!”

 

We can put her argument against Republican bigots another way. "Thou shalt not commit TEAbuggery!!"

From KP Daily Funnies: The Liberal Redneck tells conservatives how it is in language they can understand

 

Even Bubba Bagger could understand that!

From Daily Kos: Louisiana state Rep. Kenneth Havard from Jackson proposed an amendment to a bill yesterday, then pulled it, which would limit the age and weight of exotic dancers. The Louisiana House was discussing bill No. 468, that would raise the minimum age of exotic dancers from 18 to 21. But that wasn’t what the amendment was about.

AMENDMENT NO. 1
On page 1, line 14, after "shall be" delete the remainder of the line and insert the following:
"between twenty-one and twenty-eight years of age and shall be no more that one hundred sixty pounds in weight."

In my younger days, I knew a stripper, who went by "U.C. Moore". She weighed over 250, had a humongous chest, and was far a far better comedienne than this Republican asshole is a Representative.

Cartoon:

0521Cartoon

Given the chance, Rump Dump Trump will guarantee that more will be exploded.

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May 172016
 

The weekend was not kind to me.  Instead of feeling better each day, I was totally wiped out by Sunday afternoon.  Monday I stayed down and did not go to physio.  Apparently, there is a bug about which may be the cause of my malaise.  But it could also be cottonwood allergies that caused the sinusitis.  Either way, wearing glasses adds additional pressure to my nose and does not help the headaches.  No glasses, no reading.  My three beautiful furbabes have been wonderful companions.

Short Takes

National Law Journal Although the right to peacefully protest is enshrined in the Constitution, there is no constitutional or other legal right to commit criminal acts to make a point. Earlier this month, criminal disrupters in Arizona prevented many people from hearing Donald Trump by blocking a major highway leading to his rally and creating a 10-mile backup. The threat of arrests — only three reportedly occurred — and fines weren't much of a deterrent. What happened in Arizona was only the latest example of major disruptions of presidential rallies, with even larger ones now being openly planned.

The criminal justice system can't handle the problem alone.

Now spreading to political campaigns is what we have unfortunately all too often tolerated on college campuses — ­protesters who interrupt speakers to prevent ­others from hearing them, who physically block attendees' access, and who threaten violence to squelch speech. Unless we do something about it, the problem will persist — and could get worse.

I do not agree with all the points made by the author.  Based on various newscasts, police pay plenty of attention to disruptors.

"Disrupters who violate criminal laws know that their chances of actually being arrested are small, as more police forces yield the streets to their ­blockades, their "die-ins," and their tactics of ­chaining themselves to things. Police often are afraid to make arrests. There's also the ­attitude of allowing them to "let off steam," and, at times, there is sympathy with their cause."

But what the author seems to forget is the incitement of violence by politicians like Drumpf and that little has come legally against this incitement.  I also seem to recall that anti OWS protesters interfered with the peaceful OWS protesters with little backlash.

Alternet Charles Koch is known for being CEO of industrial giant Koch Industries and a chief financier of the massive conservative political operation he runs with his brother David. In recent years, student activists and investigative journalists have exposed another of Koch’s hats: mega-donor to hundreds of colleges and universities, often funding free-market-focused academic centers housed at public and private schools alike. One Koch-funded program is advocating cutthroat economics to grade school students, even sacrificing lives for profits.

Anti-tax industrialist billionaires like Charles and David Koch stand to gain a lot by financing higher education programs tailored to their ideologies. Richard Fink, the Kochs’ right-hand man for decades, laid out their “Structure of Social Change,” the plan they devised in the late 1970s to shape society with their libertarian ideals. The plan begins with funding academic programs that favor laissez-faire economics, resulting in academic papers promoting the free market and chastising regulation and taxation. Next, think tanks they fund repackage the academic work into more easily digestible policy proposals that “citizen activists” (actually Koch-funded “social welfare” groups like Americans for Prosperity) use to pressure lawmakers.

"Common sense economics" . . . what a misnomer!  The Kochs have learned too well that "wars" are fought on many fronts.  On this front, they are fighting for the future of their way, the Koch way, by indoctrinating future generations.  That is long term planning.

HuffingtonPost — Legislation to extend human-rights protections to transgender Canadians will be tabled in the Commons on Tuesday, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  …

"We must continue to demand true equality," Trudeau said. "We must carry on the legacy of those who fought for justice by being bold and ambitious in our actions and we must work diligently to close the gap between our principles and our reality."

This is a good start to enshrining legal and human rights protection to transgender people across Canada.  This from a CBC article today:

"I'm proud to say that moments ago, I introduced legislation, Bill C-16 … that would ensure that Canadians will be free to identify themselves and to express their gender as they wish while being protected against discrimination and hate," said Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould adding that, "because as Canadians, we should feel free and safe to be ourselves."

Now, to work on changing the attitudes of the people who will oppose such legislation.  Kudos to Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice, and the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau.  Trudeau's father, PM Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and his Liberal government were responsible for the Canadian Human Rights Act in 1977.

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May 152016
 

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 bad InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

Trump confidante says completely unhinged thing about Hillary Clinton.

0515roger-stoneIn fairness, saying completely unhinged things about Hillary Clinton is Trump’s longtime friend, confidante and adviser Roger Stone’s stock in trade. The larger-than-life Republican dirty trickster spent some time with his favorite nutty conspiracy theorist Alex Jones again this week.

Per RightWingWatch: Stone told Jones and another guest, Gary Heavin, the founder of the fitness business Curves who just happens to be a 9/11 truther and right-wing movie producer, that he fears for his life because his nemeses Bill and Hillary Clinton own and operate a "machine that has a trail of bodies as far as you can see.”

This from a man who has called for Hillary Clinton to be executed, also that treasonous socialist, Bernie Sanders.

Would-be Stone assassins should be aware that he has increased his security, because those evil "Clintons have a track record” of beating and killing anyone who stands in their way.

No one really doubts that Stone has already written much of the script Trump will follow in the general election against Clinton. [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Alternet>

I found video of Stone’s absurd claims.

Barf Bag Alert!!

This just the fifth of five worst Republican moments listed from last week alone.  Click through for the other four, if you dare.

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May 152016
 

I’m running way late today, because I overslept this morning, and I still felt so tired, I needed another Lona nap after completing most of my research.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:13 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

The light from the Holy Ellipsoid Orb will soon shine forth to bathe the world in blessing!

We have a Live draft which is set for Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 1:00pm PDT.  If you played last year, but cannot do so this year, please let me know ASAP.

The new season kicks off on Thursday. September 8, the same way the last one ended. The Panthers will look to exact a measure of revenge for their defeat in Super Bowl 50 over the now Peyton Manning-less Sick smile Broncos.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Classic 3/2016): This November 1922 article about Hitler in the New York Times should be a stark reminder just how dangerous rhetoric can be:

But, several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as bait to catch messes of followers, and keep them aroused, enthusiastic and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.

A sophisticated politician credited Hitler with peculiar political cleverness for laying emphasis and over emphasis on anti-Semitism, saying: “You can’t expect the masses to understand or appreciate your finer real aims. You must feed the masses with cruder morsels and ideas like anti-Semitism. It would be politically all wrong to tell  them the truth about where you really are leading them.”

I’m not saying a Trump presidency would lead to mass genocide on the scale of the Holocaust. But, his rhetoric is already dangerous.

Does that sound like the lies that fascist Republicans are spewing about Rump Dump or what?

From NW Herald: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is abolishing the agency that currently investigates police misconduct and replacing it with a civilian department he said will have more independence and resources to do its work.

Emanuel’s announcement late Friday came a month after a task force recommended the move in a report that said police in the nation’s third-largest city have “no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color” and have alienated blacks and Hispanics for decades by using excessive force and honoring a code of silence.

The Task Force on Police Accountability had recommended replacing the “badly broken” Independent Police Review Authority, or IPRA, with a “new and fully transparent and accountable Civilian Police Investigative Agency.”

Dang!! That sure doesn’t sound like Rahmbo, He must be desperate to save his job to behave so far out of character.

From Crooks and Liars: Don’t look for old Stabby Ben to pull a Cheney and pick himself as Drumpf’s running mate, but he did give us a preview of who may be on his short list, and oh joy, and it includes the Quitta’ from Wasilla:

SNL had fun with Rump Dump’s VP search.

If Rump Dump actually picked Bloody Bullseye Barbie, aka Drill Baby Dingbat, I would have just two words: Woooo Hoooo!!

Cartoon:

0515Cartoon

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May 142016
 

Well it has taken me several days to get this OT finished because I am in the midst of a bout of sinusitis, which among other things, has played havoc with my eyes and my ability to concentrate (headaches).  So now, with too much rest and some anti-biotics, I am starting to feel better.  I must say though, the sun has been too bright for the eyes, and the temperatures too hot — 27C (80F).  I have been binge watching Games of Thrones videos and NCIS:Los Angeles videos, which while enjoyable programmes, are too much for 3 days straight.  My sweet Primo, who I affectionately call Primolicious, has been close at hand the entire time.  He's not a lap cat but likes to be close.

Short Takes

CBC — The blackened landscape around Fort McMurray is far from a dead zone, despite a wildfire that has reduced more than 229,000 of hectares of boreal forest to cinders and ashes.

Amid the charred skeletons of spruce and still smouldering muskeg, Alberta's fire-loving insects are on the move.

"Its really spooky if you ever go to a burn after it's gone out," said Peter Heule, an insect expert with Edmonton's Royal Alberta Museum.

Tar sand beetle

These long-antennaed creatures move quickly into areas torched by wildfire to find a nicely charred spot to lay their eggs. (Royal Alberta Museum )

"Every step you take, there is just ash and soot, and you see these little beetles shimmering like little jewels on these black-burned trees, laying their eggs and doing their thing."

Out of the ashes of destruction springs new hope.

Politico — Nine House committee chairmen are formally uniting behind Donald Trump’s campaign, announcing their endorsement of the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee Friday as the only pathway to winning the White House in November.

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Trump’s camp announced the endorsements of chairs Steve Chabot (Small Business), Michael Conaway (Agriculture), Jeb Hensarling (Financial Services), Candice Miller (House Administration), Jeff Miller (Veterans’ Affairs), Tom Price (Budget), Pete Sessions (Rules), Bill Shuster (Transportation and Infrastructure) and Lamar Smith (Science, Space and Technology). Though publicized in a statement encompassing the support of the range of chairs, some of the individuals named Friday had already voiced their support of the real estate mogul as recently as this week.

How the general election shakes out will largely be dependant on how Democrats respond to the Drumpf challenge.  There is no room for complacency.  No room for Bernie/Hillary supporter divisivness.  VOTE BLUE NO MATTER WHO!!! 

NY Times — After meeting with Donald J. Trump this week, SpeakerPaul D. Ryan uttered the words many in his party longed to hear: “I do believe that we are now planting the seeds to get ourselves unified.”

It is hard to win without party unity, as both Democrats and Republicans have learned. But neither party has confronted the prospect of a candidate denounced by some of its leading lights as a pathological liar unfit to be commander in chief and in need of therapy.

Here are four reasons congressional Republicans are desperate for unity this year, and for Mr. Ryan to endorse Mr. Trump.

1. Do the math

Congressional districts are far more gerrymandered than they were even 20 years ago; Republican members of Congress, by and large, come from very Republican districts. In the relatively few swing districts, Republicans cannot afford to alienate their base voters, many of whom may have voted for Mr. Trump in the primary (or other Republican presidential candidates) but could stay home in November if they are put off by party infighting.

And in Senate elections, no-show voters are a threat to incumbency. “Parties want to win, and if they have sharp divisions it makes it that much more difficult” down the ballot, said Robert Dallek, a presidential historian.

Click through for the other three reasons.  Are Republicans really starting to unify behind Drumpf or is this all smoke and mirrors trying to present a unified face to voters?

Huffington Post — Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Friday his state would give up all federal education funding in order to avoid complying with the gender equity law Title IX in how trans students are treated.

The result of forfeiting the $10 billion currently flowing from the U.S. government to schools and public universities in Texas could leave thousands of college students without a way to pay tuition, grind to a halt a majority of research taking place on the campuses, and leave low-income children without support for meals. 

“[President Barack Obama] says he’s going to withhold funding if schools do not follow the policy,” Patrick said Friday at a press conference. “Well, in Texas, he can keep his 30 pieces of silver. We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.”

The bluebonnet state is at it again, or should that be still!  It would endanger the lives of all Texas students by denying them a proper education rather than complying with a gender equality law.  They sure do grow them bigger in Texas . . . right wing nutjobs that is!

NY TimesThe casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson told Donald J. Trump in a private meeting last week that he was willing to contribute more to help elect him than he has to any previous campaign, a sum that could exceed $100 million, according to two Republicans with direct knowledge of Mr. Adelson’s commitment.

As significant, Mr. Adelson, a billionaire based in Las Vegas, has decided that he will significantly scale back his giving to congressional Republicans and direct most of his contributions to groups dedicated to Mr. Trump’s campaign. The two Republicans familiar with Mr. Adelson’s plans spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

A while ago, I seem to recall that Adelson (and the Kochs among others) said he was stepping out of campaign financing finding the then crop of Republican presidential misfits lacking.  Fast forward to today and the dye is cast with the drumpfing of all other candidates but he who must not be POTUS.  Should we maybe say that Adelson is holding his nose as he writes the cheques?  VOTE BLUE NO MATTER WHO!!!

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May 132016
 

It’s George’s ankle and exam day.  I have to get gone.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 4:36).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Take:

From Media Matters: Full Frontal’s Samantha Bee Details How "Crisis Pregnancy Centers Are An Illusion" And "A Complete Hustle"

Samantha Bee: "Crisis Pregnancy Centers May Look Sweet And Helpful, But They’re Really Full Of Toxic Bullshit"

 

BEEutifully done!

Women who vote Republican are like blacks that join the KKK!

Cartoon:

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Wooo Hooo!!  I crossed your path!!

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