Oct 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 181.  I’m sorry about yesterday.  I just ran out of gas and had to recharge.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Ord.  My Broncos’ have the featured Sunday night service with the the Fortyniners.  I’m glad it’s at home.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 4:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Right now, income inequality is the highest it’s been in our society since 1928. A lucky few in America make billions, while millions of others struggle just to get by. Nowhere is this gap more apparent than in the 4,100 plus Walmart stores across the country. Rob Walton and his family have amassed an empire of riches, and they built it on the backs of the working poor. The consequences of such skewed earning potential – where the family on top is worth $150 billion while their employees earn less than $25,000 per year – are significant and unsustainable.

As the nation’s largest employer, with $15 billion in profits annually, Walmart can afford to pay their employees a livable wage. Instead, they choose to manipulate schedules and hours to pay the majority of their workers abysmal wages. Sandra Sok, who works in Phoenix Walmart Store #5331 is a perfect example. After eight years of service to the company, she still struggles for enough work and income to make ends meet. She pleads with management every week for additional shifts because the 30 hours she is usually scheduled for simply aren’t enough. Sandra’s done her part to help Walmart succeed – she deserves more than poverty pay in return.

Many workers like Sandra are forced to rely on food stamps, health care assistance and other taxpayer-funded programs to get by. So while the Walton family alone has as much wealth as 43% of American families combined, the American people still have to pick up the tab for the Walton’s appalling business practices. And it’s not cheap: Walmart is estimated to cost the taxpayers $6.2 billion annually through public assistance costs, with expenses ranging between $3,015 and $5,815 per worker. All the while, Walmart and the Waltons are taking $8 billion a year in tax breaks that subsidize their low-wage business – and add to their profits. It is estimated that the family has avoided paying $3 billion in taxes by using special trusts to dodge estate taxes.

It’s time to end this charade and shut down the Walmart scam.

Click through for more. If you must enter Wal-fart, go to leave methane, not money.

From Upworthy: I come from a Caribbean immigrant household. Even with all the advances gay rights have made in America in the last few years, my family is still pretty much stuck in 1950. There are, of course, a few exceptions — shoutout to my sister Loree!

After watching this clip and hearing the crazy things this family says, this scenario playing out in the lives of every gay person with a less-than-accepting family would be a beautiful, absurd, and hilarious step forward.

That’s hilarious, but I can see it happening.

From TPM: The Supreme Court has rejected an emergency appeal from the Justice Department and civil rights groups who were trying to prevent the Texas voter ID law from being enforced in the November election. As you’ll recall, a district judge found the law to be unconstitutional last week because it intentionally discriminated against minority voters. But the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and now the Supreme Court have blocked that ruling from going into effect while appeals are pending. That clears the way for Texas to enforce the law in the upcoming election.

You’ve got it fight. A District Judge has ruled that this law is racist. It INTENTIONALLY discriminates against minority voters. But the Fascist Five Injustices from SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) say, go ahead and discriminate, as long as it’s on appeal.

Cartoon:

1019Cartoon

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Oct 142014
 

Some people do a very thorough job of representing the false gospel lies, hate, and greed that Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the polar opposites of authentic Christians) inflict on America.  Even more through is former governor and current bullshitologist for the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, Mike Huckabee, aka Upchuck Huck.  Here is his latest.

1014huckabeeMike Huckabee is still in the throes of last week’s hissy fit over the Supreme Court’s decision to allow lower court rulings on gay marriage stand.

This offends his delicate sensibilities because liberty to Huckabee means we should all live just the way he says we should, because he is the Dictator of All Morality and Human Behavior.

Yes, that’s sarcasm. But in his latest rant above, he suggests that the entire country needs to revisit their civics lessons to understand that the Supreme Court’s ruling just means we should all rise up and override it somehow. He would like all his fellow haters to "grow a spine."…

…In my civics classes, I learned that voters accept or reject positions of candidates and the voters’ verdict determines the outcome of elections. What some Republicans are coming to understand is that when they exclude gays, or women, or make hate the centerpiece of their candidacy, they lose. As a result, they can either leave politics altogether or adjust their positions according to the will of the majority of those they represent.

This is why Mike Huckabee is not president, nor was he the nominee in 2008, much to his chagrin…

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

Barf Bag Alert!!!

 

Upchuck Huck cares nothing for the Constitution, as he would ignore the rights it guarantees all Americans. Have you ever seen such an extreme example of projection? He casts the Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian minority as the majority, while claiming that the minority that opposes equality is the majority. We’ve seen this tactic before. Russia experienced a left wing socialist Revolution in 1914. In 1917 a group of right wing totalitarians under Lenin staged a military coup. Although they were the minority, they called themselves Bolsheviks (majority) and called the majority socialists Mensheviks (minority). They established a right wing dictatorship, even though them maintained the surface appearance of communism. The propaganda employed by those who would establish Republican rule by the few has not changed much in the last 100 years.

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Oct 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 172.  I took an hour of sun-basking this afternoon.  Before long there will be only Oregon liquid sunshine.  It’s as minor Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos’ service is not until Sunday, but tonight’s game should be a good one.  It’s almost nap time.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 5:00).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: G. Yamazawa takes you back to his childhood to share an important lesson he learned.

 

Very well said by an authentic Buddhist!

From AlterNet: Gay Marriage Will Of Course Lead To Polygamy: Right-wing radio host and activist Erick Erickson predicted [Wing-nut delinked] that “all the people now saying polygamy is different from gay marriage will be polygamy’s chief advocates within the decade.”

Isn’t it ironic that the people actually practicing polygamy are part of the Republican fringe? This is just one of ten crazy Republican Responses to expanding marriage equality. Click through for the other nine.

From TPM: Republican senators are calling on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to attach spending limits to an Obamacare program in a bill that must pass in the lame-duck session to keep the federal government open.

The strategy carries echoes of the 2013 government shutdown fight waged by the GOP over defunding Obamacare, although with smaller ambitions this time.

Fourteen conservative senators, led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), wrote a letter to Boehner on Wednesday calling on him to use the continuing resolution — which must be enacted by Dec. 11 to avert a shutdown — to prohibit "unappropriated and unauthorized funds" under a market stability mechanism in Obamacare known as risk corridors. The program collects funds from insurers who enroll healthier patients and pays insurers who enroll sicker patients.

Even though some will try to appear reasonable and conciliatory for the election, you know that after the voting is done Republicans will still be seditious saboteurs.

Cartoon: (Barf Bag Alert!!)

1010Cartoon

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Oct 082014
 

One might think that the Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) to have turned left to hear Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian hate mongers scream and wail.  Has SCOTUS turned librul?  Even though it’s a good thing that hundreds of same-sex couples are now free to marry, fairness and integrity have nothing to do with this non-decision.

USA SUPREME COURT DOMAThe Supreme Court on Monday let stand appeals court rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states, a major surprise that could signal the inevitability of the right of same-sex marriage nationwide.

The development cleared the way for same-sex marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Gay and lesbian couples started getting married in those states within hours.

The decision to let the appeals court rulings stand, which came without explanation in a series of brief orders, will have an enormous practical effect and may indicate a point of no return for the Supreme Court.

Most immediately, the Supreme Court’s move increased the number of states allowing same-sex marriage to 24, along with the District of Columbia, up from 19. Within weeks legal ripples from the decision could expand same-sex marriage to 30 states.

That means nearly two-thirds of same-sex couples in the United States will soon live in states where they can marry, according to the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

The problem SCROUTS has on this issue is that the Fascist Five Injustices are only four.  Kennedy tends to lean the other way.  Had the court agreed to hear one of those cases, there is a good chance that they would have set a precedent in favor of gay marriage.  On the other hand, this non description kicks the can down the road.  If, God forbid, a Republican wins the presidency in 2016, we may see another Scalia replace a moderate.  Also, the non decision keeps other forms of discrimination against LGBT people legal, as Lawrence O’Donnell and his guests explain.

Those who cannot watch MSNBC video can see this on YouTube.

SCROTUS did not take up a case, because, unable to win, they ducked a decision that would have legalized equality and outlawed all discrimination against LGBT people.  In addition, they stirred up the rabid Republican base into a frenzy of hate just four weeks before the elections.

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Oct 072014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 169.  I took the regular bus to my Cat Scan.  Since I was actually there less than half an hour, the upside is that it took me 3 – 4 hours less than the Lift Bus would have.  The downside is that I had to walk about 1.75 miles in places where there was no shade.  I took water, but I’m quite worn out.  Fortunately I did research before I left, so you get a full Open Thread.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:03 (average 4:59),  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: In its campaign across northern Syria and Iraq, the jihadist group Islamic State has been using ammunition from the United States and other countries that have been supporting the regional security forces fighting the group, according to new field data gathered by a private arms-tracking organization.

The data, part of a larger sample of captured arms and cartridges in Syria and Iraq, carries an implicit warning for policy makers and advocates of intervention.

It suggests that ammunition transferred into Syria and Iraq to help stabilize governments has instead passed from the governments to the jihadists, helping to fuel the Islamic State’s rise and persistent combat power. Rifle cartridges from the United States, the sample shows, have played a significant role.

I’ve heard many ask, of late, why we don’t just give weapons to the people fighting ISIL and let them deal with it. This is the reason.

From Think Progress: New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) argued on Sunday that President Obama has declared war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria in order to help Democrats win the midterm elections in November and expressed concern that he would abandon the fight in the new year.

Is that a load of RS (fouler than BS) or what? Throughout his presidency, Obama has been more willing to use military force than most anticipated.

From Right Wing Watch:

Last month, a number of Americans joined anti-gay and anti-abortion-rights activists from around the world at a Kremlin-backed conference on “Large Families and the Future of Humanity” in Moscow. The conference was originally organized under the name of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families, but WCF “suspended” its planning of the event after Russia seized part of Ukraine…then the event went ahead as planned with only nominal changes. Two WCF officials, Don Feder and Larry Jacobs, attended the conference officially in their personal capacities, and Feder gave a speech on how the sexual revolution will make the human race extinct.

Despite doing it on the sneak, Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians are still offering fool support for Vladimir "GOP Pootie" Putin (R-RU) in his Republican campaign of hatred against gay people.  This is also sedition.

Cartoon:

1007CartoonTCCatScan

For a mere four bits…
I’ll sniff your nose and your toes…
I’ll sniff your eye and your thigh…
I’ll sniff your lip and your hip…

Where else can you get such a thorough Cat Scan for fifty cents?

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Sep 242014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 156.  It’s another busy day, because I’m packing for tomorrow’s trip to Salem for prison volunteer work.  I’ll be leaving shortly before noon and returning early Friday afternoon.  I expect to post at least a brief Personal Update each day, while I’m gone.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:03 (average 4:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

3Scores

Standings:

3Standings

I’m in trouble.  I play the other undefeated team on Peyton’s bye week. :-(

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: A homeless man named Sandy and some vloggers on YouTube decided they wanted to explore the idea of transforming a "homeless man" into a suit-sporting "businessman." Same man, different duds, and a completely different way of how people treated him. It’s a true lesson in "clothes do make the man."

 

It tells us a lot about our cultural attitude, doesn’t it?

From Daily Kos: Connie Wilson, who just moved from California to the Houston area with her wife Aimee and their three children, received a hell of a welcome from the Department of Public Safety (DPS). The couple has been together nine years, and they finally tied the knot last year in California, after which Connie took Aimee’s last name. Connie was able to get all of her records updated with her new name, from her California driver license to her Social Security card to all of her financial and medical records. And then, upon moving to the Houston area, she visited the DPS office in Katy to obtain a Texas driver license. No big deal–when I moved to Texas, aside from waiting in a horrendous line at DPS, getting my driver license was painless. But I also didn’t have my name changed to that of my same-sex spouse. Wilson’s experience with DPS in Texas, where gays are barred from marriage by both statute and constitutional amendment (just to be safe, you know), has been quite different:

With her California driver’s license nearing expiration, Wilson took her documents to a DPS office in Katy last week to obtain a Texas driver’s license. When a DPS employee noticed that Wilson’s name didn’t match her birth certificate, she produced the couple’s California marriage license identifying her spouse as Aimee Wilson.

“Her only words to me were, ‘Is this same-[sex]?’” Connie Wilson recalled. “I remember hesitating for probably 10 seconds. I didn’t know how to answer. I didn’t want to lie, but I knew I was in trouble because I wasn’t going to be able to get a license.”

[...]

“She immediately told me, ‘You can’t use this to get your license. This doesn’t validate your last name. Do you have anything else?’” Wilson said. “She told me I would never get a license with my current name, that the name doesn’t belong to me.

This is why we need a Federal law that requires states to recognize marriages from other states without prejudice. And, if this treads too heavily on Bubba Bagger’s states’ rahts, let states do as they please, but make it a requirement for them to get federal highway funds.

From AlterNet: While most would argue that this is place where the people get  screwed many different ways [Faux Noise delinked], in  Washington, D.C., engaging in any sexual position other than missionary is illegal.

Dang!  No wonder Congressional Republicans always want to get out of town.  DC hookers must be more boring that the ones from home.  This is just one of the ten craziest sex laws in the US.  Click through for the other nine.

Cartoon:

0924Cartoon

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Sep 212014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 153.  Yesterday, when I returned from physical therapy, I hit the wall.  I slept from Noon until 5:30, almost didn’t make it to the bathroom, ate, and prepared the Personal Update.  Then I slept from 6:30 until 11:30, almost didn’t make it to the bathroom, did the puzzle, posted the Personal Update, and ate.  Then I slept from 12:30 until 6:00, almost didn’t make it to the bathroom and ate.  Today, I’ve been researching and working on my notebook in preparation for Wednesday’s trip to Salem.  Tomorrow is a Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos’ worship will be televised.  I’m hoping for a communion feast of fricassee of Seachicken, but few teams are harder to beat at home than Seattle.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:11 (average 4:41).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In an eleventh-hour development that could have an unpredictable effect on the vote to determine Scottish independence, Queen Elizabeth II took to the British airwaves on Thursday to excoriate the Scots in a one-hour, profanity-laden tirade.

The Queen’s speech began with the phrase “Listen, you Scottish bastards,” and became steadily saltier as the monarch blasted her subjects for having the impudence to consider leaving the fold.

“I’ll make you heel like a litter of [Anglo-Saxon vulgarity] corgis,” she said, as her rage reached a crescendo…

Andy gave us quite a revelation. I guess she must have whipped them into obedience, since "No" won.

From Daily Kos: Our kids are standing up against homophobia, racism, sexism, and despair. They’re standing up in North Carolina’s Moral Mondays’ movement and across the country for their right to vote. They’re standing up in Ferguson, Mo against racism and taking their town back. They will be standing up and marching this Sunday in the People’s Climate March. Our own Joan Brooker’s documentary film students are bringing their cameras and their spirits to the march.

Our young people stood up this Tuesday in Virginia for love instead of hate.  When an anti-gay, self described, "Preacher" showed up at James Madison University to tell gay students they were going to hell, students responded to his hate with love.

Here is the Republican hatemonger:

Barf Bag Alert!!

Here are the kids shutting him down!

 

Kudos to the kids!  Is there any question about who the authentic Christians are?

From Raw Story: Bill Maher says Palin needs to stop wearing her ‘mom genes’

 

Obviously it isn’t the entire segment, but any Maher is better than none, especially when he nails Drill Baby Dingbat!

Cartoon:

0921Cartoon

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