Apr 142016
 

Yesterday Lu came for the last time.  She was about four hours late, but getting the day right was an improvement.  So I’m a perfumed puddy tat.  My groceries came.  I put them away.  I also did the dreaded task! Eye rolling smile  Tomorrow I have an appointment with a Retinal Ophthalmologist to check out my choroidal nevi.  The appointment will take three hours, and I’ll be unable to use a computer afterwards until late tomorrow night.  So expect only a Personal Update, please.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:51 (average 4:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily KosWhen Scott Walker came into office, he claimed that he had no interest in trying to get “Right to Work” laws passed. Unfortunately for the people of Wisconsin, Scott Walker is a liar and a terrible person. In fact, he and his fellow Republican legislators introduced an ALEC inspired written bill making Wisconsin a Right to Work state. Since the bill was signed into law, Wisconsin’s workforce has diminished by at least 10,000. Wisconsin is hemorrhaging jobs because Right to Work laws don’t have anything to do with generating living wage jobs, or much in the way of real work, at all. Three unions filed lawsuits against the bill, arguing that the law posed an unconstitutional seizure of union property, and on Friday they received some good news:

Dane County Circuit Judge William Foust agreed. He said the law amounts to the government taking union funds without compensation since under the law they must represent people who don’t pay dues. That presents an existential threat to unions, Foust wrote.

"While (union) losses today could be characterized by some as minor, they are not isolated and the impact of (the law) over time is threatening to the unions’ very economic viability," he wrote.

This judgement, [sic] calling the law unconstitutional on the grounds that it is an “existential threat,” could have some far-reaching ramifications in the many Republican-backed legislatures that really want to put the screws to the working folk of this country. The importance of this ruling also means that there will be further appeals.

This issue is far from settled, but any day the Koch-sucking Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan takes a loss at any level is a better day for America.

From Real Clear Politics:

Polling Data

Poll

Date

Sample

MoE

Cooper (D)

McCrory (R)

Spread

RCP Average

1/18 – 4/11

44.0

41.0

Cooper +3.0

WRAL-TV/SurveyUSA

4/8 – 4/11

701 LV

3.8

47

43

Cooper +4

Elon University

2/15 – 2/17

1530 LV

2.5

42

40

Cooper +2

PPP (D)

1/18 – 1/19

948 RV

3.2

43

40

Cooper +3

It looks like the Religious Reichsfuhrer of the Theocratic Republican Dictatorship of McCrorystan is also experiencing backlash from his hatred and bigoted policies.

From TPM: Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, will not be prosecuted in Florida for battery after he allegedly manhandled a reporter, Politico reported on Wednesday night, citing unnamed sources.

CNN also reported that Lewandowski will not be prosecuted early Thursday morning, citing unnamed sources.

What a travesty!  Don’t get me wrong!  I have no bias favoring his victim.  The reporter he assaulted worked for Breitfart, a source for which I have so little regard, that I refuse to embed links to it.

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Jan 142016
 

Yesterday, after groceries came, I made five more suppers ns now have 12 meals prepared and frozen.  This afternoon I have a building community meeting.  I’m feeling very tired, so please pardon my brevity.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:17 (average 6:36).  To do it, click hereHow did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Sometimes a small change in language can reveal an obvious truth.

As I have written about elsewhere, done interviews about, and discussed more generally, if the Bundy Brigands who are engaged in an armed "standoff" in Oregon were "Muslims" or people of color–especially African-Americans–they would at worst be dead by now or at the very least in jail.

The Bundy Brigands have begun to amplify their noxious, aggressive, and threatening behavior towards local authorities and residents who live in the area around Burns, Oregon.

I have made a small change in the language of a recent report from CNN about the Bundy Brigands in order to highlight how the double standard for white, right-wing, domestic terrorists enables their bad behavior and insulates them from consequences, i.e. what conservatives like to call "personal responsibility".

The author is spot-on. If Y’all Qaeda were black they’d be dead.

From PRWatch: Justice Samuel Alito has been scouring the land looking for a case to make his mark on history.

Could he find a way to hold a big bank accountable for ripping off millions of consumers? Could he interpret intellectual property law to give more desperately ill people access to essential medicines? Could he hold a chemical company to account for poisoning people and hiding it for decades?

No. Alito apparently decided to make his mark by helping a massive right-wing funding machine crush wages for teachers, nurses, firefighters, cops and prison guards.

The case is Friederichs vs. California Teachers Association will be heard on Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Click through for more details of what could be Scalito’s legacy in the ongoing case, SCROTUS v. Constitution.

From NY Times: There is no longer any question that Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky plans to shut down the health insurance exchange his state built to enroll residents for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Now that he has notified the Obama administration of his intention to do so, the question is, will it change the law’s substantial impact there?

It is hard to predict, partly because what Mr. Bevin is doing is without precedent. While a few states have been forced to largely rely on the federally run exchange after their own versions failed, Kentucky will be the first to abandon a homegrown exchange that functions well.

Condolences to the residents of Kentucky. On the other hand, they did this to themselves.

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Jan 092016
 

Perhaps the most critical reason Democrats must win the White House in November is that the next President will likely appoint two or three Supreme Court Justices.  At 82, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is likely to retire first.  She us the most liberal Justice.  If a Republican replaces her The Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) will become the Swastika Six, and we can kiss America goodbye.  In the meantime, will SCROTUS gut Public Unions.

SCOTUS4
Harlan Elrich is a high school teacher in California, and that means he must pay about $970 a year to a labor union. He teaches math, and he said the system did not add up.

“I get to choose what movie I want to go see,” Mr. Elrich said. “I get to choose what church I want to go to. I get to choose what gym I want to join.”

He should have the same choice, he said, about whether to support a union.

Mr. Elrich and nine other California teachers have sued the union, saying that they are being forced to pay to support positions with which they disagree, in violation of the First Amendment. Their lawsuit, if it is successful, will be the culmination of a decades-long legal campaign to undermine public unions.

And there is good reason to think they will win. The Supreme Court, which will hear arguments in the case on Monday, has twice suggested that the First Amendment bars forcing government workers to make payments to unions…

Inserted from <NY Times>

Looking at this the arguments made by Elrich, a Republican Party front, the presence of a union does not leave him without choices.  He can work for a private school or in another field.  The decision to unionize has been made by the majority of teachers, state by state.  Teachers unionized long before Elrich began the specialized education to become a teacher, knowing there was a union.  He made his choice then.

If being forced to support positions with which we disagree violates the First Amendment, most of us should  have a big tax refund coming, since paying to support positions with which we disagree is a regular feature of any Republic, even a nominal one like ours.

I started paying taxes in 1962, so each of my tax dollars spent for the Vietnam War, The Iraq War, financing Israel’s repression of the Palestinian people, capital punishment, LGBT repression, mandatory minimums, private prisons, and many more items has been forced payment to support positions with which I disagree.  Should I expect a refund check next week?

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Terse Tuesday Tidbits

 Posted by at 8:07 am  Politics
Dec 152015
 
wkfc

Happy Tuesday (hey, at least it's not OGIM).  JL will be away from her computer for a while, and asked me to stand in for her (replace her, I couldn't possibly, but stand in – maybe.)  She sent me a starter and I have compiled a few related posts and sites.

Headline:  Wal-Mart's reliance on Chinese imports has cost over 400,000 U.S. Jobs.  So says a new report from the Economic Policy Institute.          walmart    

Headline:  China:  police crackdown on labour rights activists.  Apparently even those 400,000 jobs aren't what they are cracked up to be.  The IUF unites food, farm and hotel workers world wide. 

Headline:  Farm Worker Ministry Northwest Attends UFW's Darigold rally.  This was a few months ago, but if I am not mistaken, it was over two YEARS ago that Randy drowned in a pool of Darigold manure, and Darigold has still not even started to look at improving worker safety – plus there are other issues.

And in Iran:  Detained teacher unionist on hunger strike.  He is in fact one of six from his union council who are detained just for being union officials.

There are of course groups working to help working people at least survive, and hopefully, succeed.  This is a very NON-exhaustive list.  Feel free to add groups in commentschina.

Working Families

Labor Rights

Jobs With Justice

American Association of University Women  (srsly)

Labour Start  (international, helps unions run campaigns)

It is just as true now as it was when Joe Hill was alive – capital does not give up anything without a struggle.  If you are working, and there is a union in your industry, and you don't belong, for heaven's sake JOIN already.

And if not, do what you can (and I realize that may be very little) to help unions and to help unionized workers.  We still need to hang together in order not to all hang separately

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Everyday Erinyes

 Posted by at 7:18 am  Politics
Nov 282015
 
furies

I said when I started calling upon the Furies they there would be no shortage of material for them to deal with, and there certainly isn't. Just 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."

This being Thanksgiving week, I want to start by calling on Megaera to listen to the tale Leo Gerard has to tell.  You see, every Thanksgiving, at the Old Homestaed Steakhouse in New York City, a very special meal is served.  This year three lucky families will spend $45,000.00 – each – for a Thanksgiving meal most of us can barely imagine.

Each meal includes two turkeys.  Because when would one, 20-pound free-range, organically raised bird at $75 a pound ever be enough?  It includes gravy made with Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, which goes for $4,900 a bottle. Because when would $9 worth of cooking sherry ever be good enough?  It includes whipped sweet potatoes festooned with $1,600-an-ounce Royal Osetra caviar. Because when would the red-light-special, $115-an-ounce can of fish eggs ever be acceptable?  (Let alone – shudder – marshmallows.)   The final course is pumpkin ice cream decked with 24-carat gold flakes and a $4,200 bottle of private reserve rum-infused eggnog sauce.

Oh, yes.  And a 2 carat diamond ring in the stuffing.  Mustn't forget that.

Leo points out that, while we don't have their names (and that must be a sad challenge for them – trying to get their names publicized enough to get them bragging rights, but not enough for the general public to show up at their homes with pitchforks), anyone who HAS that kind of money and CHOOSES to spend it on a single meal has essentially stolen it from working people via their trickling up of productivity gains away from the productive workers and toward overpaid bosses.  Since we don't know names, can we be certain they are people who are helping to take safety nets away from the poor, and keeep the minimum wage as low as possible?  No.  Would we bet money (not that kind of money, but something we could afford) that they are?  Oh, yes.

Of course, Megaera, you are a professional and probably don't need advice – but it did occur to me you might think of reserving standing room in Tantalus's lake for the patrons.  For the restaurateurs, maybe the Midas touch.  Only something other than gold.  They'd just sprinkle that on ice cream.

I certainly thought of Alecto when I saw this sub-heading in Bloomberg Business: "The retail giant is Always watching."

In the autumn of 2012, when Walmart first heard about the possibility of a strike on Black Friday, executives mobilized with the efficiency that had built a retail empire. Walmart has a system for almost everything: When there’s an emergency or a big event, it creates a Delta team. The one formed that September included representatives from global security, labor relations, and media relations.  More terrifying than the thought of a strike was the thought of labor organizing into unions.

The group working on the strike was (and is) called the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart).  Publicly Walmart pooh-poohed the size and potential influence of OUR Walmart.  “This is just another union publicity stunt, and the numbers they are talking about are grossly exaggerated,” David Tovar, a spokesman, said on CBS Evening News that November.

Privately, though – Walmart "hired an intelligence-gathering service from Lockheed Martin, contacted the FBI, staffed up its labor hotline, ranked stores by labor activity, and kept eyes on employees (and activists) prominent in the group. During that time, about 100 workers were actively involved in recruiting for OUR Walmart, but employees (or associates, as they’re called at Walmart) across the company were watched; the briefest conversations were reported to the 'home office,' as Walmart calls its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark."

Over a thousand pages of documents were produced in discovery ahead of a NLRB hearing into OUR Walmart’s allegations of retaliation against employees who joined protests in June 2013.  The testimony was given in January 2015, during the hearing. OUR Walmart, which split from the UFCW in September, provided the documents to Bloomberg Businessweek after the judge concluded the case in mid-October. A decision may come in early 2016.  So Bloomberg is able to go into quite a but of detail about what happened.

The "intelligence-gathering service from Lockheed Martin" is a very little known servce of Lockheed.  From the website: "LM WISDOM® ITI (Insider Threat Identification) is the industry leader in detecting and mitigating insider threats.  LM WISDOM® ITI is a leads generator tool based on employee attributes, behaviors and actions that may be indicators of potential insider threat.   This capability significantly improves the productivity of your security and counterintelligence organizations, allowing analysts to focus on the highest priority threats and take proactive mitigation steps.  Built on best practices from counterintelligence professionals with decades of commercial and government experience, LM WISDOM® ITI takes a holistic approach — seamlessly fusing data sources across the enterprise and modeling behavioral indicators on the individual."

Don't ask me when Lockheed Martin decided it needed to privatize intelligence, because I don't know.  Companies have always kept an eye on their workers, of course.  But this seems to be an unexpected level.  "While most of the OUR Walmart activists being watched expected to be, none thought it would be by a company like Lockheed Martin. 'We’re artists, not ISIS.'"

Training videos, executive memos, and various other anti-union materials have been leaked over the years by groups hoping to embarrass Walmart. A 49-page document from 1997, A Manager’s Toolbox to Remaining Union-Free, begins: “As a member of Walmart’s management team, you are our first line of defense against unionization.” Based on the documents from the ongoing case, many of the tools in the toolbox remain in use. The 1997 guide instructs managers to remain alert for signs of low morale or organizing among their employees. They’re supposed to address the causes of low morale and report the organizing to the Bentonville hotline.There is far too much detail in Bloomberg to give – you are welome to click thorugh.  This year, instead of striking, OUR Walmart has been staging a 15-day fast leading up to Black Friday. Workers want to wait until the NLRB ruling before walking off the job again…. The hunger strike is in support of a $15-an-hour minimum wage and to highlight the problems some Walmart workers have feeding their families.  Some 1,400 people have been participating in the fast as they see fit and about 200 of those are former and current employees.

On Black Friday there were demonstrations around the country, organized by groups connected to OUR Walmart and joined by employees who had already taken the day off or weren’t scheduled to work. In addition to the nation, I'm sure Alecto will have been watching.

Early in the morning of Sunday, November 15, 2015, a young man of color was shot and killed by police in Minneapolis, MN.  Yes, I know this happens all the time, though less often in Minneapolis, which is a fairly progressive city, but stay with me, Tisiphone and readers, I do have a point to make.

Witnesses say Jamar Clark, 24, was unarmed and handcuffed when an officer shot him.  Police, of course, dispute this.  Activists took to the street and protested outside the Minneapolis Police Department.  This too is hardly new.

"The young man was just laying there," Teto Wilson, a resident who claims to have witnessed the shooting, said. "He was not resisting arrest. Two officers were surrounding the victim on the ground, an officer maneuvered his body around to shield Jamar's body, and I heard the shot go off."  Black Lives Matter activists and the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP have called for the officers to be fired.  Still familiar ground.

On the night of November 23, the story took on a little different direction.  There is the background that activists representing several different organizations, including Communities United Against Police Brutality as well as the groups previously mentioned, started to notice on the furst night of the protest, and continuing every night, white supremacist groups (the participants described as masked men in military style clothing) were also out and threatening violence.  The activists were concerned enough to put together a safety committee.  On November 23, then, three men wearing masks and bulletproof vests were noted and were removed from the protest area.  They were confronted by the safety committee, and there was an argument.

The three men walked away from the crowd and through a gate, and some activists followed.  Witness said the three men ran off, with several activists chasing them.  They stopped in an area where there were no cameras, turned around, and opened fire.  Five protestors were shot, fortunately, none was seriously injured.  The shooters were not immediately identified.

Some social media users began claiming the shooters fired in self defense.  Well, we've heard that before too.

That was November 23rd.  On November 24, a suspect was arrested.   A 23 year old while male.  So close in age to Jamal.  So far away in spirit. 

It has now been learned that white supremacists have discussed various strategies online for sparking confrontation at the demonstration, which they described as a “chimpout.”

“Do you know if the BLM n*****s are planning to protest again tomorrow, and if so, at what time?” one white supremacist asked in an email chain.

They agreed to wear camouflage clothing and display a four of clubs to identify each other, and the white supremacist agitators argued over whether they should carry guns or wear Guy Fawkes masks.

SInce then, a total of five suspects have been arrested.  One was released because he was not present at the shooting.  The other four are being held.  The County Attorney has received an extension of time to determine charges; hate crime charges are being considered.

Here's the point I have been going for.  It appears there are numerous people in different groups shooting guns in Minneapolis.  However, only one group is being shot at.  Black Americans.  Tisiphone, I hope you are still with me.  Please, see what you can do.

For the rest of us, there is a petition on Force Change regarding this case.  We too can do something.

 

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Aug 042015
 

Today’s high is forecast at 80°, but the building is still hot.  Tomorrow will be busy because I have a nurse coming in the morning to do an annual health care evaluation, and tomorrow afternoon is a grocery delivery day.  I’m sad to report that I’m taking Immodium AD for Republicosis.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

I received the link in email, but the site is still down.  If you’d like to try it later, click here.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Political life in America never ceases to astonish. Take last week’s pronouncements from the Republican Presidential field. Please. Mike Huckabee predicted that President Obama’s seven-nation agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear capabilities “will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” Ted Cruz anointed the American President “the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.” Marco Rubio tweeted, “Look at all this outrage over a dead lion, but where is all the outrage over the planned parenthood dead babies.” And the (face it) current front-runner, the halfway hirsute hotelier Donald Trump, having insulted the bulk of his (count ’em) sixteen major rivals plus (countless) millions of citizens of the (according to him) not-so-hot nation he proposes to lead, announced via social media that in this week’s Fox News debate he plans “to be very nice & highly respectful of the other candidates.” Really, now. Who’s writing this stuff? Jon Stewart?

Over the decades, our country has been lucky in many things, not least in the subversive comic spirits who, in varying ways, employ a joy buzzer, a whoopee cushion, and a fun-house mirror to knock the self-regard out of an endless parade of fatuous pols. Thomas Nast drew caricatures so devastating that they roiled the ample guts of our town’s Boss, William Marcy Tweed. Will Rogers’s homespun barbs humbled the devious of the early twentieth century. Mort Sahl, the Eisenhower-era comic whose prop was a rolled-up newspaper, used conventional one-liners to wage radical battle: “I’ve arranged with my executor to be buried in Chicago, because when I die I want to still remain politically active.” Later, Dick Gregory, Richard Pryor, and Joan Rivers continued to draw comic sustenance from what Philip Roth called “the indigenous American berserk.”

Four nights a week for sixteen years, Jon Stewart, the host and impresario of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” has taken to the air to expose our civic bizarreries. He has been heroic and persistent. Blasted into orbit by a trumped-up (if you will) impeachment and a stolen Presidential election, and then rocketing through the war in Iraq and right up to the current electoral circus, with its commodious clown car teeming with would-be Commanders-in-Chief, Stewart has lasered away the layers of hypocrisy in politics and in the media. On any given night, a quick montage of absurdist video clips culled from cable or network news followed by Stewart’s vaudeville reactions can be ten times as deflating to the self-regard of the powerful as any solemn editorial—and twice as illuminating as the purportedly non-fake news that provides his fuel.

Kudos to the David Remnick for a most fitting tribute. Click through for the rest of it.

From Common Dreams: New Jersey Republican governor and straggling 2016 presidential hopeful Chris Christie faces a call to resign after he declared Sunday that teachers’ unions are "the single most destructive force in public education in America" and deserve to be punched in the face.

Christie made the comments on CNN’s State of the Union program with host Jack Tapper, who asked: "At the national level, who deserves a punch in the face?"

Christie responded: "Oh the national teachers union," referring specifically to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Extra-wide Barf Bag Alert!!

 

PIGnocchio is typically Republican in his preference to respond to learning with violence.

From The New Yorker: As preparations get under way for the first Republican Presidential debate, on Thursday night, a new poll shows that Americans are deeply concerned that the rest of the world might see it.

According to the poll, there is widespread fear that, if the debate were to be viewed in foreign countries, the cost to the United States’ prestige around the world would be incalculable.

On a more personal level, many expressed concern that any international broadcast of the debate would greatly diminish their desire to ever travel abroad or talk to foreigners.

As Andy later suggests international broadcast of the Criminal Clown Cavalcade should be blocked. Out reputation requires that the world never know.

Cartoon:

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Today’s Republicans would celebrate the arrest.

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May 302015
 

After returning from my volunteer work in prison, I slept for more than my norm and am feeling a bit groggy still.  I have another bust month ahead, but for the weekend, it’s writing, snoozing and basking in the early summer weather.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 5:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: Strengthen Unions

Inequality has skyrocketed as unions have weakened. That is no accident.

 

The Reich on the left is right. The Reich on the right is worse than wrong. It is Republican. I have never been a union member. I have never crossed a picket line. I do not intend to do so ever. This is the seventh video in the series. Please click through to MoveOn and share it from there.

From The New Yorker: Calling the Obama Administration’s actions against the soccer organization “weak and ineffective,” Senator John McCain on Thursday proposed military action to “dismantle and destroy FIFA once and for all.”

“These are people who only understand one thing: force,” McCain said on the floor of the United States Senate. “We must make FIFA taste the vengeful might and fury of the United States military.”

McCain said that he was “completely unimpressed” by the Department of Justice’s arrests of several top FIFA lieutenants this week, calling the action “the kind of Band-Aid solution that this Administration, sadly, has become famous for.”

“Rounding up a few flunkies in a hotel is meaningless when the leader of FIFA remains at large,” he said. “I will follow Sepp Blatter to the gates of Hell.”…

When will Andy call for military action against McConJob?

From Upworthy: What’s happening to put a stop to plastic microbeads?

Right now, about 18 U.S. states including California, Canada, Australia, and several countries in Europe are considering banning products that contain plastic microbeads. Unfortunately, industry is pushing back with a bill that leaves loopholes for the microbeads to be replaced with other kinds of plastics. The Story of Stuff Project is leading a coalition of over 100 groups to get these tiny plastic beads out of commerce. Ban the beads!

 

I learned about this several months ago. I had no idea I had been using a body wash with microbeads. I stopped immediately. I fully support banning them.

Cartoon:

0530Cartoon

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May 042015
 

Would you believe me if I told you that I’m still completely swamped with tasks?

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 5:00).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Have you ever heard of the West Virginia mine wars?

Maybe they were mentioned in your high school history class, or maybe they were skimmed over, or even left out entirely for one reason or another. Too often, these stories are deemed not "important" enough to warrant the time and attention they deserve.

But the West Virginia mine wars are critical to understanding the history of the labor movement in the U.S. — and soon a new museum will be open to tell the story.

The Battle of Blair Mountain, for example, was — and still is — the most violent labor confrontation in history, in which union-supporting coal miners fought against local government and a coal company-funded militia, eventually involving the U.S. Army.

 

Click through for the history of what happened. If Republicans gain complete control, it will happen again.

From Boston Globe: …A live video stream of the Garland event on the organizer’s website recorded the moment when the crowd was interrupted by a private security guard in military fatigues, who bounded onto the stage to announce that there had been a shooting outside. “Were the suspects Muslim?” a man shouted.

“I have no idea right now,” said the man in fatigues.

Geert Wilders, an anti-Islam leader in the Netherlands for the Party for Freedom, attended the event and delivered a speech. After the attack, he wrote “never surrender to terrorism!” in a Twitter post, and he posted a picture of himself with what he said were SWAT forces taken before the gunmen opened fire.

Pamela Geller, an organizer of the event who runs a website that attacks Islam, said the group decided to hold the event in the Curtis Culwell Center because members had heard that a Muslim group had a conference in the same room after the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office.

Geller described Sunday’s event as pro-free speech, and said that Muslims had become a “special class” that Americans were no longer allowed to offend.

“The media is self-enforcing a Shariah,” she said, referring to Islamic law. “Under the Shariah you cannot criticize or offend Islam.”

Don’t you know that a hateful gathering of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians performing offensive insulting acts will draw equally hateful Replican Supply-side pseudo-Muslims? Authentic Christians and Authentic Muslims coexist together in peace.

From NY Times: G.O.P. Hopefuls Now Aiming to Woo the Middle Class

RepubliSpeak Dictionary
Woo: lie to, hoodwink, deceive, bury in BS

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May 032015
 

As always, I have a very busy day on tap.  I spent a couple hours doing overdue computer maintenance, and I planned my itinerary, bought my tickets and paid for my room for my trip to Salem during the last week of the month for prison volunteer work.  I’m still in pain, but not so bad as to stop me.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:27 (average 4:39).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos:

Republican lawmakers know very well that they’re in an awful bind completely of their own making. They insisted on pursuing every possible avenue for destroying Obamacare, and now one might work out for them. The Supreme Court could very well decide in June to strike down subsidies to the around 8 million people who have purchased insurance on the federal exchange, making keeping that insurance impossible for many, and making those 8 million people very, very angry. Most Republicans have now come around to the idea that maybe that’s not going to be such a great thing for them, particularly those who have to be re-elected next year. One of them, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has introduced legislation that would extend the subsidies into 2017. But Johnson isn’t the only one who has some kind of fix, and most of those "fixes" create real problems going forward.

The Johnson plan would prohibit new customers in both the state and federally operated exchanges from receiving subsidies and repeal the individual and employer mandates. In addition, it would eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s minimum essential benefit requirements, allow states to set those benefit rules, and grandfather in existing health plans that are not compliant with the ACA.

Another proposal, by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), would continue premium subsidies for 18 months but phase them out over that period. For six months after the court rules, financial assistance for all subsidy-eligible exchange customers would be set at a flat 65% of premium costs. That would decrease by 5 percentage points each month until the subsidies were completely eliminated. During the transition period, insurers would be prohibited from raising premiums. In addition, the Sasse bill would prohibit HHS from providing federal exchange technology to states interested in establishing their own exchanges. […]

On the House side, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and two other committee chairmen have proposed to offer a flat tax credit to people now receiving subsidies through the federal exchange. In addition, they would let states opt into an alternative Republican reform model without insurance mandates and including traditional GOP policy nostrums such as allowing insurers to sell plans across state lines.

In Short, the Republican fixes would all pretend to save ObamaCare, but would really convert it to standard RepubliCare, complete with the free RepubliCare Death Benefit. If you can’t afford to pay, you get to die.

From NY Times: A bill that would end prescribed wages on public construction projects in Indiana awaits the signature of Gov. Mike Pence. And Henry Burks, a union electrician who lives near Indianapolis, is bracing.

Mr. Burks, 57, is putting off plans to build a patio at his house. He is delaying painting and landscaping, too. And he said he is worried about how to continue helping his grown children with college costs if his income drops, as he firmly expects.

“This is going to inhibit me from taking care of my family,” Mr. Burks, who makes about $60,000 a year, said the other day as he took a break from installing conduit inside a corn processing plant in Lafayette. “Our wages will go down. The contractors we work for won’t get as many jobs. Maybe I’ll have to find work outside of Indiana.”

Sadly, it’s not just Indiana. The Republican War on Workers is a nationwide campaign.

From Crooks and Liars: Never mind decades of failed trickle-down economic policies on a national level, the talking heads at Fox want to pretend what happens in our cities takes place in a vacuum.

From this Saturday’s Cashin’ In on Faux "news," the usual suspects were on there bashing liberals, our social safety nets, and pretending that liberals running our big cities in America are solely responsible for all of the economic woes in communities across the United States, and with impoverished areas that haven’t seen the same sort of recovery as a lot of the country following the financial crisis that took place just as President Obama was being sworn into office.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

When it comes to inner city streets being a prison pipeline, I have to say that Democrats share the blame for that aspect of the unrest. Republicans had targeted Democrats as "soft on crime" so many times, that Bill Clinton and the Democrats in Congress went overboard in the opposite direction. However, Republicans are far more to blame overall. Starving inner cities for finding, exporting urban jobs to the third world, the decimation of labor, the war on the poor, and the rabid racism that the Republican Party employ are just some of the reasons why.

Cartoon:

0503Cartoon

Godwin’s Law – a common meme used by fascists, pseudo-intellectuals, and people with their heads in the sand (or in smellier places), whenever anyone points out the verifiable commonalities between today’s Republican Party and Germany’s National Socialist Party.

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Happy May Day!

 Posted by at 12:05 pm  Holiday, Politics
May 012015
 

0501MayDay

Here in the US, May Day is so generic that it isn’t even an official holiday.  Nevertheless, many people do celebrate it for a variety of reasons.  Happy May Day to you!  Whatever your reason for celebrating the day, I wish you the best.

According to Info Please:

May 1st, often called May Day, just might have more holidays than any other day of the year. It’s a celebration of Spring. It’s a day of political protests. It’s a neopagan festival, a saint’s feast day, and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday.

Click through for more about how people celebrate the day.

Personally, I tend to focus on the political aspects of the day.  Amy Goodman of Democracy Now has offered a video presentation in three parts on the history behind the day.

This show aired in April 2006.  So bear in mind, it does not even take into account the Republican reaction to a black president or their extreme assault on labor.  That makes the history all the more relevant for today.

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