Nov 152015

Individually and as a society, we must examine our attitudes towards terrorism, and our response to terrorist attacks.


Anytime there is an attack on civilians in the post-9/11 West, demagogues immediately blame it on Muslims. They frequently lack evidence, but depend on the blunt force of anti-Muslim bigotry to bolster their accusations.

Actual evidence, on the other hand, shows that less than two percent of terrorist attacks from 2009 to 2013 in the E.U. were religiously motivated. In 2013, just one percent of the 152 terrorist attacks were religious in nature; in 2012, less than three percent of the 219 terrorist attacks were inspired by religion.

The vast majority of terrorist attacks in these years were motivated by ethno-nationalism or separatism. In 2013, 55 percent of terrorist attacks were ethno-nationalist or separatist in nature; in 2012, more than three-quarters (76 percent) of terrorist attacks were inspired by ethno-nationalism or separatism.

These facts, nonetheless, have never stopped the prejudiced pundits from insisting otherwise.

On Friday the 13th of November, militants massacred at least 127 people in Paris in a series of heinous attacks.

There are many layers of hypocrisy in the public reaction to the tragedy that must be sorted through in order to understand the larger context in which these horrific attacks are situated — and, ultimately, to prevent such attacks from happening in the future.  

The Paris attacks, as horrific as they are, could be a moment to think critically about what our governments are doing both abroad and here at home. If we do not think critically, if we act capriciously, and violently, the wounds will only continue to fester. The bloodletting will ultimately accelerate.

In short, those who promote militarist policies and anti-Muslim and anti-refugee bigotries in response to the Paris attacks are only going to further propagate violence and hatred.

Click through for the rest of this inward looking article from Alternet.  Do we want a world at peace?  How far are we willing to go to bring about peace?  Are we even capable of bringing about peace?  Such will require a great deal of hard work.

Nov 142015

Des policiers recouvrent le corps d'une des victimes des attentats à Paris vendredi soir.From Le Figaro

Alternet — This is a running update based on information from The Guardian

  • One of the attackers at the Bataclan is understood to be a 30-year-old French national, who was known to French police because of links to Islamic radicals.

The news will be awash with questions, speculation, and hate in the coming days and weeks and months.  At one point I read that these attacks are by far the worst on French soil since WWII.

While ISIS claims responsibility and rejoices at the carnage, conservatives have pulled out all the stops on their vitriole.  This and others from Alternet

James Woods ✔@RealJamesWoods

If we can survive Obama and Kerry and Hillary until we can close our own borders, we might avoid this. …

3:07 PM – 13 Nov 2015

 The Daily Beast


From Le Figaro, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: «Nous répliquerons coup pour coup pour détruire Daech» (translation: We will repay blow for blow to destroy Daesh).  

And further down the page, The Metropolitan Opera showed solidarity with France by singing LaMarseillaise, the French national anthem.

From Al Arabiya 

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Egypt have been among the Arab states leading condemnations of the simultaneous attacks in Paris that killed 129 people and wounded 250 – 80 critically – on late Friday.

In addition, Saudi King Salman has sent condolences to French President François Holland and the people of France.  But is he playing both sides of the fence?  Saudi Arabia has been known to support ISIS in the past.

Of course Ted Cruz wasted no time in politicising the Paris tragedy for his own political gain.

Alternet — Ted Cruz continues to try to outflank the other Republican candidates from the right, wasting no time after yesterday's attacks in Paris to issue a bellicose statement insisting President Obama was too concerned with civilian casualties in Syria. 

"It will not be appeased by outreach or declarations of tolerance. It will not be deterred by targeted airstrikes with zero tolerance for civilian casualties, when the terrorists have such utter disregard for innocent life. We must make it crystal clear that affiliation with ISIS and related terrorist groups brings with it the undying enmity of America—that it is, in effect, signing your own death warrant."

NBC News has a series of short videos which includes CAIR denouncing the attacks.  We must be careful not to condemn all Muslims for these cowardly attacks.  Perhaps if we all pull together as one people, we can defeat ISIS.

Please join me in condolences for France, the dead and their families, the injured and their families, the first responders.  Let our prayers and thoughts be with them in their time of need.

Nov 092015

I was able to get back to sleep, after they woke me up last night, but I still feel very tired.  They put a goopy cream on my donor site to soften the thick scab so it will flake off.  It also increased the pain level.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Presidential candidate Ben Carson has issued a dire warning that President Obama’s cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline has left the United States with “virtually no place to store grain.”

Without the massive pipeline, Carson told Fox News, the nation’s network of silos is woefully inadequate “to store the bounty of grain that we soweth.”

Andy might as well be quoting Uncle Token, because the statement fits his stupidity level.

From Daily Kos: Why any ostensibly rational person living in Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana who saw this map, and still would think their states’ Republican leaders’ policies were delivering the economic growth their region so sorely needs is beyond comprehension.

Where Are the Hardest Places to Live in the U.S.? 

The toughest places to live in America

Almost every county in the U.S. has its share of haves and have-nots. But there are some regions where it’s just plain harder for Americans to thrive, places where the poor far outnumber those living in middle-class comfort.

Ten counties in America stand out as the most challenging places to live, based on a survey of six criteria including median household income, disability rate and life expectancy, according to an analysis by The New York Times.

The county with the dubious distinction of being the worst of all is Clay County, Kentucky, where residents can expect to die six years earlier than the average American.

The other four counties ranked at the bottom of the survey include four counties in the rural south: Humphreys County, Mississippi; East Carroll Parish, Louisiana; Jefferson County, Georgia; and Lee County, Arkansas.

The findings highlight an often overlooked issue in the debate about income inequality — the stubbornness of rural poverty. In the U.S., the number of poor rural residents outnumber those in the cities, with 14 percent of rural Americans living below the poverty line, compared with 12 percent in urban areas, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s Rural Poverty Portal.

Of course you’d never get an inkling of any of this from watching Fox Noise.


There is a way to improve these areas. Forget the hate and fear that the Republican Reich peddles on Faux Noise, and elect lefties in all levels of government. Every Republican in office is one republican too many!

From Think Progress: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed legislation Monday that would have added 1.6 million new voters to the state’s rolls and made New Jersey the third state in the country to adopt automatic voter registration.

After sitting on the “Democracy Act” for almost five months, the governor and Republican presidential candidate vetoed his second voting rights-related bill in three years, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Christie has previously said that he does not support making it easier for residents of his state to vote.

Now that residents of NJ have experienced what PIGnocchio is really like, he knows that his only good shot at keeping his job is to disenfranchise voters. Republicans like nothing better than separating YOU from your Constitutional and human rights.


Nov 022015

From "Kossack" Steeler Grrl at Daily Kos:

A church in Concord, NC, called Showers Of Blessings has become the target of complaints from its neighbors for following the teachings of the Bible.

Residents living next to a Concord church are frustrated because they said no one told them a program that houses homeless people opened up inside the church.  That program has been operating for one-and-a-half years.

For a year and a half, nobody noticed the homeless people were there. What tipped the neighbors off? Construction. Nothing perks up Southerners' noses like construction vehicles in the neighborhood. The facility is called My Father's House. There's even a sign out front.  Run by Concord-based Cooperative Christian Ministry, it currently has housing for four families and has been approved to build four additional units in the church sanctuary.

Cooperative Christian Ministry (CCM) began in 1981 when seven Concord (NC) churches decided that by combining their efforts they could reach more people in need and provide greater assistance to the community as a whole. Today churches, businesses and other organizations work in conjunction with many, many individuals to actively support the ministry.

CCM has the support of Concord city government and city leaders have confirmed that the ministry is operating within the law. Nonetheless, at least two neighbors are angry they weren't notified Christianity is being practiced inside God's house.

Jeffrey Collins: "We just don't want them walking around, this neighborhood has been quiet."

Lindsay Coronis: "We weren't notified about it and I don't think that's fair for any of the neighbors….  I just don't think its good for my kids to be around it."

The CCM executive director, Ed Hosack, points out "These are families from our communities that may have experienced job loss.  There may have been medical bills, the break up or loss of a family member.  All of the residents remain engaged in purposeful, intentional activities and most of them go to work each day.  Residents are screened and drug tested and the facility has 24-hour management."

You can see all that in the video, which is difficult to embed, but can be viewed here:

CCM is holding (by today, has held, but I have no update yet) a community meeting in the church fellowship hall on Sunday to address neighbors' concerns. When the legal practice of religious freedom puts Jesus' teaching into action and is met with hostility in a red Southern city, the demonization of poverty must be nearly complete.


Oct 302015

Well today was one of those days when I was hoping to get something done . . . like laundry!  So that didn't happen but I did manage a nap of several hours.  I hear the rain so I think that is my clue to go to bed and snuggle with my babes!  Tomorrow is physiotherapy with the promise of neck traction and exercises I missed earlier because I was sick.  Update — It's Friday at 5:30 pm and I just arrived home after a full and tiring day.  I awoke with a blood sugar low (I am diabetic) which prevented me from getting the article up before going to physio.  Sorry about that!

Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:12 (average 5:42). To do it, click here. How did you do?  Did I mention that I used to swim competitively in high school?  No umbrellas, but lots of lane markers!

Short Takes 

Common Dreams — "The conference of Presidents decided that the Sakharov Prize will go to Saudi blogger Raif Badawi,"said Martin Schulz, the Parliament’s president. "This man, who is an extremely good man and an exemplary good man, has had imposed on him one of the most gruesome penalties that exist in this country which can only be described as brutal torture."

Schulz then went further, calling on the Saudi king "to free him, so he can accept the prize."

"Freedom of expression is the air that every thinker breathes, the spark that lights his thoughts. Over the centuries, nations and societies have only progressed thanks to their thinkers."
—Raif Badawi

I have signed many petitions for the safe release of Raif Badawi who has a home in Canada, where his wife and children were given asylum, when he is released.  Sweden announced some time ago that an arms deal with Saudi Arabia was cancelled.  Afterwards there were many apologies.  I am hoping that the new government in Canada will step up diplomatic efforts with Saudi Arabia.  Following are four petitions calling for the release of Badawi, some of which you may already have signed.

Amnesty International, UK with over 1 million signatures

Amnesty International, Canada with almost 92,000 signatures

AVAAZ     GoPetition

IBT — Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has become the latest in the restaurant industry to show his dislike for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his controversial position on illegal immigration. During a recent interview on SiriusXM's StandUp With Pete Dominick, Bourdain defended undocumented immigrants in the US and took a shot at The Donald. … According to Eater, Bourdain would go on to say that if Trump won the general election and fulfill his promise to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US, "every restaurant in America would shut down." 

I wonder if Trump will try suing Bourdain like he is suing two other chefs. Mind, they pulled their restaurants out of a Trump Hotel project.  I wonder, if Trump should ever become POTUS, would he ever put all his business dealings and assets in a blind trust?  Nah! . . . and I don't think he'll be POTUS!

Huffington Post — The new EU proposition specifically asks countries to "drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender." 

Will the EU member countries stick to this or will some cave to US extradition attempts should Snowden leave Russia?  Will Russia allow him to leave if he chooses?  Some unanswered questions for now.

Alternet… debates took place in an alternate reality, where facts are made up on the spot and history doesn't matter.

Here are some of those lies, distortions, and misrepresentations.

1. The fake “forced…socialism” of Obamacare.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) said that the Democrats “forced Obamacare and socialism down our throats.” That ignores the fact that the Affordable Care Act is far from socialist; it was based on a plan implemented by Republican Mitt Romney in his state, and mirrors a proposal from the conservative Heritage Foundation. After all, Obamacare is based on expanding care through private health insurance plans. It's worth noting that we do have socialism in our system; the Veterans Administration and Medicare, and Americans love both.

Click through for the other seven lies and distortions.  With all the demonising of CNBC at the 3rd debate, word has it that the campaigns are plotting a revolt against the RNC  . . . "to plot how to alter their party’s messy debate process — and how to remove power from the hands of the Republican National Committee."

My Universe — 





Oct 092015

From Think Progress

Tennessee’s first year of drug testing welfare recipients uncovered drug use by less than 0.2 percent of all applicants for the state’s public assistance system.

The state implemented the testing regime in the summer of 2014, adding three questions about narcotics use to the application form for aid. Anyone who answers “yes” to any of the three drug questions must take a urine test or have their application thrown away immediately. Anyone who fails a urine test must complete drug treatment and pass a second test, or have their benefits cut off for six months.

In total, just 1.6 percent of the 28,559 people who applied for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits in the first year of testing answered one of the three screening questions positively. Out of the 468 people who peed in a state-funded cup, 11.7 percent flunked the test.

You can read the rest of the article HERE.  In an earlier Think Progress article, Missouri, Oklahoma, Utah, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arizona were examined for the costs-benefits of their programmes.

As state legislatures convene across the country, proposals keep cropping up to drug test applicants to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, or welfare.

Proponents of these bills claim they will save money by getting drug users off the dole and thus reduce spending on benefits. But states that are looking at bills of their own may want to consider the fact that the drug testing programs that are already up and running haven’t seen such results.

The High Costs And Few Rewards In Each State

The drug-testing regimes in the seven states all differ slightly, but the lack of effectiveness is widespread.


In 2011, Missouri adopted a law to require screening and testing for all TANF applicants, and the testing began in March 2013. In 2014, 446 of the state’s 38,970 applicants were tested. Just 48 tested positive.

The budgeted cost for that year’s testing program was $336,297. And, according to numbers provided to ThinkProgress by a Missouri Department of Social Services spokeswoman, the first three years of the program will likely cost the state more than $1.35 million, including start-up costs.  

In 2011, Florida passed a law to require every single applicant for TANF to pass a urine drug test, at his or her own expense (not just those for whom there was a reasonable suspicion). In four month of implementation,108 out of 4,086 applicants tested positive at a cost of $118,140. Applicants who tested negative would be reimbursed by the state. A federal courtstopped the requirement as a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s “unreasonable search and seizures” clause in 2013 — a ruling upheld in December by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The three-judge panel noted that Florida had “not demonstrated a more prevalent, unique or different drug problem among TANF applicants than in the general population.” A 2012 Georgia law like Florida’s, was revised in 2014 to include a “reasonable suspicion” requirement. A spokeswoman for the Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services told ThinkProgress that the program is “currently on hold, pending a case in the U.S. District Court.” Its ultimate result could determine the constitutionality of the requirements in other states.

Read the rest of the ARTICLE to see how the other states fared.

Too many states are seeing drug testing as a panacea for high welfare costs.  Unfortunately, the costs far out weigh the benefits.  And the causes of job loss or welfare assistance are not uniquely the fault of applicants. But in addition, there are other costs like the affront to a person's dignity.  I can remember the first time I had to go on Unemployment benefits.  I stood at the counter, dressed as if I were going to work, in full blown panic attack mode, shaking like a leaf in a strong wind.  I had to fill out papers but I could not write. With no one at home to assist me, the clerked filled it out as I mumbled answers to her questions.  My face was beet red, my legs like jello.  I finally signed it but the signature didn't resemble my usual signature.  Had I been required to "pee in a cup", I think I would have totally lost my mind.

Is it right to ask people to "pee in a cup" when they are already down, especially when the testing lacks effectiveness?

Oct 032015

It has been a busy day!  I did two hours of physiotherapy followed by 3 hours of teaching ESL.  Once I arrived home, it was straight to the computer to get the 02/10/15 articles posted to Care2 and links distributed. I took advantage of one of Lona's cat naps . . . soooooooo relaxing! and then had a late dinner.  As a result, this is today's only article.  Tomorrow won't be so busy outside the house, but I need to do laundry before I start scaring the neighbourhood!

Puzzle — Today’s took me 2:31 (average 4:24). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.

Upworthy — Female genital mutilation, also known as FGM or FGC (female genital cutting), is performed in several African countries and parts of the Middle East, and less frequently in Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and Pakistan. It also occurs in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Europe — despite being illegal in many places.

FGM is barbaric, inhuman and a violation of human rights and dignity. Please sign this petition to end FGM.

Read the rest of the article and see how five young men react to this proceedure.

Rachel Maddow — h/t Jim PhillipsA look at Kevin McCarthy, poised to be the new Speaker of the House when Congressional Republicans vote next week.

As things sit now, the Speaker, 2nd in succession to the White House behind the Vice President should something happen to the President, is elected by only 247 members of the House of Representatives.  Scary! Does Kevin McCarthy represent the level of competence that the Republicans, or more specifically the Teabaggers, bring to the Congress? Even scarier!!  If so, then God help the US.

NY Times — Ever since it became public that Pope Francis met in Washington with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples, the questions have been swirling: Why did he meet with her, and was it meant as a political statement?

As it turns out, the Vatican said on Friday, the pope did not mean to endorse Ms. Davis’s views. It also said he gave her no more than a typical brief greeting, despite what her lawyer described.

Instead, the Vatican said that Francis gave only one “real audience”: to someone later identified as one of his former students, Yayo Grassi, a gay man in Washington who says he brought his partner of 19 years to the Vatican’s embassy in Washington for a reunion. They even shot video.

This is a portion of a Faithful America e-mail that Joanne brought to my attention:

After days of speculation, the truth has finally come out: Pope Francis did not hold a private meeting to express his support for Kim Davis's efforts to block gay marriage licenses.

According to an official Vatican statement, Kim Davis was among "several dozen persons" attending a reception at the Vatican embassy, "the pope did not enter into the details of the situation," and "his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support."

Moreover, it seems that the pope did not request Kim Davis be invited.

According to press reports, one man was likely responsible for Davis's invitation: Carlo Maria Vigano, a conservative church official who was appointed by Pope Benedict as Vatican ambassador to the United States (formally called the "apostolic nuncio").

Having created an opportunity for right-wing evangelicals to dishonestly hijack the message of the pope's visit to the United States, Vigano must now resign.

If you are interested in the Faithful America petition, you can find it HERE. 

I believe that Kim Davis is being used as a political bullet within the Vatican in a dispute between the very conservative factions and the more liberal Pope Francis.  I have no sympathy for her whatsoever.  Davis has a job to do . . . act in accordance with the laws of the land . . . and if she cannot do that for any reason, she should resign.

Mother Jones — While speaking to reporters during a campaign stop in Greenville, South Carolina, on Friday, Jeb Bush weighed in on the latest school shooting to take place in the United States, this time in Oregon, just a day before.

You can read a transcript of his comment HERE.  Mr Compassionate speaks out . . . what a farce!

My Universe — 


Give these boys a remote control and they will be attending services

at the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb!

Sep 232015

This afternoon, I spent some time looking at Racel Maddow tapings as well as some other worthy videos on YouTube.  That's when I came across the video of Bernie Sanders speaking at Liberty University.  Here it is, approximately 53 minutes in length, speech and a Q&A.  It is refreshing to see someone, especially a politician, that acknowledges that he can't be all things to all people.



What do you think about his stance on family values . . . moral values?  I was suitably impressed.

Feel the Bern!

Sep 212015

OGIM!! as TC would say!  Actually, it is Sunday afternoon and I am back from church and working on this post for Monday.  I asked the congregation to pray for TomCat's healing and lit a candle for him.  I had a number of people acknowledge that they would pray for him.  Otherwise, Sunday afternoon is pretty mellow.  I did have a good laugh at a radio commercial for a home equity lending company though.  Seems the fellow wanted to borrow money to set up a sasquatch farm with tennis courts and a swimming pool.  Sasquatch is a nickname that TC gave me, so I think he would appreciate the humour.  I will likely have dinner, finish this off and have an early date with my pillow.  Monday will be busy!

PLEASE NOTE: I have made the post title the hyperlink to the original article with the exception of the puzzle.

Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:10 (average 4:59).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?  For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.

The New Yorker — Two days after asserting that President Barack Obama was a foreign-born Muslim, a guy who asked Donald Trump a provocative question at a New Hampshire rally is now the front-runner in the Republican race for President, according to a new poll.

The poll, which was conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, shows Muslim Question Guy leading the G.O.P. field with thirty-four per cent as opposed to nineteen per cent for Trump.

I know this is Andy's satire, but with all the Republican BS and the Islamophobes coming out from under rocks, this could actually be real reporting.

The Guardian — The Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has said no Muslim should be president of the United States of America.

In an interview with NBC for broadcast on Sunday morning, the retired neurosurgeon said: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

This week, Ellison carried a clock around Congress to show support for Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old boy who was arrested at his school in Irving, Texas over suspicions a homemade clock was in fact a bomb.

On Sunday Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, released a statement in answer to Carson’s comments.

“For Ben Carson, Donald Trump, or any other Republican politician to suggest that someone of any faith is unfit for office is out of touch with who we are as a people,” he said.

“It’s unimaginable that the leading GOP presidential candidates are resorting to fear mongering to benefit their campaigns, and every American should be disturbed that these national figures are engaging in and tolerating blatant acts of religious bigotry.” (my emphasis)

I happen to agree with Ellison.  But I also agree with Kasich when he says "“But, for me, the most important thing about being president is you have leadership skills, you know what you’re doing, and you can help fix this country and raise this country. Those are the qualifications that matter to me.”"  I would also add integrity.  So considering the 1st and 14th amendments to the Constitution and considering the skill sets and qualities for POTUS, being Muslim should not hold anyone back.  However, I do think that the anti-Muslim feeling within the country, almost a hysteria in some areas, would make being a Muslim POTUS almost untenable.  If the Republican/Teabaggers and the entire right wing render the Congress totally dysfunctional because POTUS is an African American Christian, what would the Congress be like with a POTUS that is Muslim?  It should not be this way.

NY Times — I’ve been going over what was said at Wednesday’s Republican debate, and I’m terrified. You should be, too. After all, given the vagaries of elections, there’s a pretty good chance that one of these people will end up in the White House.

Why is that scary? I would argue that all of the G.O.P. candidates are calling for policies that would be deeply destructive at home, abroad, or both. But even if you like the broad thrust of modern Republican policies, it should worry you that the men and woman on that stage are clearly living in a world of fantasies and fictions. And some seem willing to advance their ambitions with outright lies.

Another fine article by Paul Krugman.  I want to do a piece on the recent debate, but I just can't find a big enough barf bag.  To be sure, much of the press I have seen has declared Fiorina the winner, but nobody is sure of just what!  One thing is for sure, this is SSDD Republican/Teabagger style.

My Universe — h/t JL — That's me today!  How did I manage to work full time in a middle management job, do volunteer work and not feel as tired as I am tonight?  This is definitely a good word!


Sep 022015

Another day has brought another rush trying to get things done.  Today is a grocery delivery day, so I’ve been cleaning.  No heat waves are forecast through Labor Day, but it has been very humid.  I have a couple relatively light days tomorrow and Friday, so hopefully I can rest up then.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Saying that “things just didn’t work out,” the billionaire Koch brothers have decided to put Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker up for sale.

The Kochs, who earlier had purchased Gov. Walker with great fanfare, announced their plan to sell the politician in a terse statement from Koch Industries headquarters in Wichita.

“Scott Walker is a fine individual, and we wish him well,” the Kochs’ statement read. “We are confident that he will be a good fit for some other billionaire industrialists.”

Republican insiders, however, called the Kochs’ plan to sell Walker highly optimistic, and noted that the market for the Wisconsin Governor was, at this point, virtually nonexistent.

The Kochs, who reportedly had been frustrated by Walker’s poor performance in the polls, finally decided to sell the Wisconsinite after last weekend’s odd pronouncement, in which he seemed to support a border wall with Canada.

You’d better wish them luck, Andy. The Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan will be harder to sell than the Brooklyn Bridge!

From Daily Kos: John Oliver is making his presence felt.  After only about a year on the air, he’s influenced the FCC on NetNeutrality (causing their comments to overload), formed his own Church to make a point about "Prosperity Gospel" scams and engaged in an internet war with the President of Ecuador.

Now, he’s been cited by a Judge on one of the Courts just below the Supreme Court — the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  On his show on March 8, he mocked the lack of representation in US Territories because of a hundred year old group of Supreme Court cases — The Insular Cases.


I have no doubt that fascist five Injustices of SCROTUS will want to uphold the racism in The Insular Cases. These Americans should get to decide their own status.

From NY Times:

Defying the Supreme Court and saying she was acting “under God’s authority,” a county clerk in Kentucky denied marriage licenses to gay couples on Tuesday, less than a day after the court rejected her request for a delay.

Alex Wagner has the story on The Last Word.

…and more.


Her own marital history is the epitome of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian hypocrisy.



Aug 182015

I remember Julian Bond.  In the summer of 1966, I was in a workshop he taught on techniques to manage demonstrators committing nonviolent civil disobedience, so that their resistance was completely passive. This makes it obvious to onlookers that the police violence against us was the only violence.  The three things about him that stood out to me were that he was an intellectual giant, he was a compassionate soul, and he made us understand that what we had to say was important to him.  His life makes him worthy of mourning from us all.

Here is his early history.


Born: January 14, 1940

Nashville, Tennessee

African American civil rights leader, political activist, and politician

J ulian Bond is a civil rights leader, political activist, and politician who has spent most of his life fighting for equality in America. He has remained committed to the causes he believes in since joining the civil rights movement as a young college student.

Family and education

Horace Julian Bond, born on January 14, 1940, in Nashville, Tennessee, was the descendant of several generations of black educators and preachers. When his father Horace Mann Bond became president of Lincoln University in Oxford, Pennsylvania, the family moved into an environment that was mostly white. While in Oxford, the elder Bond caused a stir because of his protests against segregated facilities (people being required to use different facilities based on their race) and white attitudes of racial superiority. Young Julian, however, adjusted relatively easily to his new environment. He attended elementary school with white children and won the sixth grade award for being the brightest student in the class. He was sent to George School, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for his high-school education. He encountered a few instances of racial prejudice (being judged because of his race) during these years, but on the whole he adjusted well to the academic environment—although his grades were only average.

His father later became president of Atlanta University and the family moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Despite rumors of racial unrest, Bond decided to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta after his graduation from high school. Bond started college in 1957.

Early involvement in the civil rights movement

At Morehouse, Bond became the coordinator and spokesman for civil rights demonstrations. He started an Atlanta student civil rights group called the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights.

In 1960 Ella Baker (1903–1986), secretary of the civil rights organization known as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) invited students to meet at Shaw University, in Raleigh, North Carolina, to coordinate their efforts. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968), president of the SCLC, and Reverend James Lawson Jr., a believer in nonviolent resistance, spoke to the students and invited them to join the SCLC. Instead of joining the SCLC, several hundred students, including Bond, decided to form their own organization. They called their organization the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Bond was appointed communications director for the SNCC. He kept this position from 1960 until 1966. He became very active in the SNCC, dropped out of college, and did not complete his degree at Morehouse until 1971.

Inserted from <Notable Biographies>

Click through for the remainder of his history.  It’s worth the read.

I have seen several video tributes to him from which to choose, but I found one of the shortest the most compelling.

Julian Bond left us a worthy example for all activists to follow.  Human rights are civil rights and we must all work together to defend and extend the the rights we all share.

Jul 082015

When we think of segregation, we usually think of the South, where Republicans openly oppose anything that might taint what they consider the purity of the white race.  Many Americans do not realize that the problem is as bad in the north.  The law is frequently unenforced.  Barack Obama is working to change that.

0708projectWhen the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968, it barred the outright racial discrimination that was then routine. It also required the government to go one step further — to actively dismantle segregation and foster integration in its place — a mandate that for decades has been largely forgotten, neglected and unenforced.

Now, on Wednesday, the Obama administration will announce long-awaited rules designed to repair the law’s unfulfilled promise and promote the kind of racially integrated neighborhoods that have long eluded deeply segregated cities like Chicago and Baltimore. The new rules, a top demand of civil-rights groups, will require cities and towns all over the country to scrutinize their housing patterns for racial bias and to publicly report, every three to five years, the results. Communities will also have to set goals, which will be tracked over time, for how they will further reduce segregation.

“This is the most serious effort that HUD has ever undertaken to do that,” says Julian Castro, the secretary of the department of Housing and Urban Development, who will announce the new rules in Chicago on Wednesday. “I believe that it’s historic.”

Officials insist that they want to work with and not punish communities where segregation exists. But the new reports will make it harder to conceal when communities consistently flout the law. And in the most flagrant cases, HUD holds out the possibility of withholding a portion of the billions of dollars of federal funding it hands out each year… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Click through for more details.  I applaud this move and consider it long past due.