It’s Not Just the South

 Posted by at 12:19 pm  Politics
Aug 182016
 

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

USA-ELECTION/TRUMP

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

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

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

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

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

From <Alternet>

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

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

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

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Everyday Erinyes

 Posted by at 12:10 am  Politics
Aug 132016
 
furies

I have a few items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

First, though, before handing off to the Furies, I want to follow up on July 30's story about "National Whistleblowers Appreciation Day."  You may recall I quoted from John Kiriakou and Tom Drake, and mentioned Jeffrey Sterling not being available as he is still locked up.  I have since received an email forwarded by Roots Action from his wife, Holly.  She states that he has served a bit over one year of his three-and-a-half year sentence, and there are a few things we can do ourselves. 

The need is threefold.  First, he is not getting appropriate attention for serious cardiac medical issues.  He has a history of atrial fibrillation (in the past he has been hospitalized for it) and is now experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, and dizziness.  Holly has written to the Warden about his medical conditon, and has received no answer.  She would really appreciate if anyone who can would contact the prison warden, Deborah Denham, to advocate for medical attention for Jeffrey.  The email address is ENG slash ExecAssistant at bop dot gov (I'm spelling it the long way to avoid a link that's not to a site) and the phone number 303-763-4300.  (Personal note from me: if I can come up with any more accuracy or other alternatives I will add it/them in a comment.)

Second – I vividly remember when John Kiriakou was incarcerated how the family, his wife and three little girls, were up against the wall just to try to make the mortgage payments, and on top of that, they did not put him in the nearest prison, so that visiting was a challenge both in terms of energy and financially.  (They also threatened "diesel therapy" – a creative term for moving him between prisons without notice.)  Firedoglake was collecting for John, and, with help, they did not lose their home.  The Sterlings have a Sterling Family Fund set up for them on GoFundMe.  They want to appeal his conviction, and Holly would like to make the 800-plus mile trip to visit him once in a while, and both require money.  (There's also more background information there, should you be interested.)

Third, for those of us who are not locked up, it may be impossible to realize how much words of encouragement can mean.  Even if it's just a card.  He can receive snailmail at

JEFFREY STERLING, 38338-044
FCI Englewood
Federal Correctional Institution
9595 West Quincy Avenue
Littleton, CO 80123

And, yes, there is a petition .  It also has more background.

Now, moving right along, I'll whip quickly through a few stories of jaw-dropping – something.  First, let's go to Indiana, specifically to South Bend, where, in 2012, Vivian Franklin awakened to loud pounding on her door between three and four in the morning.  Three (warrantless) police officers shining a flashlight in her eyes  barged in.  They were looking for Dan, Vivian's older son, who was not there.  This did not stop them from hauling her younger son, DeShawn, 17, out of bed and assaulting him with fists and tasers.  In the process, a taser probe got stuck in DeShawn's side; the officers were unable to remove it and had to call an ambulance and EMT's to do so.  (I am restraining my snark here.) 

Where the incident goes right through the Looking Glass is that, while DeShawn was shouting he was not Dan, and Vivian was shouting DeShawn was not Dan, and the officers were insisting Dan must be there because they had trailed him to the home – Dan showed up.  Whereupon the officers opted not to arrest him. 

So in March, 2013 the Franklins reasonably filed suit.  Named in the suit were the three officers, the city, the mayor, and the police chief.  Finally, this year, the suit was adjudicated in Fort Wayne.

The jury found that the Franklins' constitutional rights had been violated.  They awarded damages of ONE DOLLAR. Yes, you read that right.  One dollar.

Grudging, I would say.  Megaera, I woudn't stop with the officers, the city, the mayor, and the police chief.  I'd definitely follow up with that jury.  Perhaps Indiana, or at least South Bend, really did deserve Mike Pence.

Let's now go to Watauga, Texas, where an unidentified man made a threat in a phone message to a local mosque, in which he threatened to decapitate Muslims who attended it.

The caller identified as a "Christian."  Police in Watauga are investigating but aren't treating it as a direct threat at the moment.  the FBI has also been notified.

Of course, Tisiphone, you will want to find this person.  But almost more chilling was the remark that "a caller made explicitly violent threats that went well beyond the kind of verbal abuse callers normally level against the mosque." 

It should NOT be "normal" for callers to "level verbal abuse" against ANY person or group.  And it is un-American that this happens.

So you may be digging out a long, long list.

Finally for this week, this happened in Punta Gorda , FL (one of only a few states we might expect it in).  I'll just quote:

A woman, identified as Mary Knowlton, was selected to participate in a “shoot or don’t shoot” training exercise at the Punta Gorda Police Academy. She was selected at random from a group of 35 citizens who were participating in a two hour Citizens Academy—a program created to teach local civics to civilians.

Mary Knowlton, 73, was shot during a role-play scenario in which the Punta Gorda police officer was playing a “bad guy” and fired several times at the woman who was supposed to be playing the victim, according to Sue Paquin, a photographer who was covering the event for the Sun and witnessed the incident.

Knowlton was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Mrs. Knowlton was originally from Austin, Minnesota and was retired in Punta Gorda. She had been a librarian in Scott County, Minnesota.

This incident may reflect more stupidity than malice (and once again I need to restrain my snark/sarcasm).  But things like this happen all the timeAlecto, maybe you can inject some sense here.  I certainly hope so.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4004933

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Jul 182016
 

The doctor told me that I don’t have arthritis, bit that I do have tendonitis in my left hand.  He have me a cortisone shot (quite painful) and declared me fixed.  I’m skeptical.  I’m also quite pooped.  This is today’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:30 (average 8:31).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From HRC: Get The Facts about Donald Trump

Barf Bag Alert!

 

If you’re gay, vote blue! If not, vote blue!

From Daily Kos: Now then, let’s see how Conservapedia takes that ignorant liberal, Albert Einstein down a few pegs………..

Under the heading E=mc², we find the following:

E=mc² is Einstein’s famous formula which asserts that the energy (E) which makes up the matter in any body is equal to the square of the speed of light (c²) times the mass (m) of that body. It is a statement that purports to relate all matter to energy. In fact, no theory has successfully unified the laws governing mass (i.e., gravity) with the laws governing light (i.e., electromagnetism), and numerous attempts to derive E=mc² in general from first principles have failed. Political pressure, however, has since made it impossible for anyone pursuing an academic career in science to even question the validity of this nonsensical equation. Simply put, E=mc² is liberal claptrap.

Huh?!!? Here’s a rule as good as E=MC2: Thou shalt not commit TEAbuggery!!

From NY Times: “Officer down!” an officer screamed frantically into his police radio Sunday morning in Baton Rouge, La. “Shots fired! Officer down!”

One of the most dreaded calls in policing triggered a surge of officers to the city’s Airline Highway, not far from Police Headquarters, an agonizing replay of the distress calls 10 days earlier that prompted the Dallas police to scramble to the aid of their fallen colleagues.

The twin attacks — three officers dead Sunday in Baton Rouge, five killed on July 7 in Dallas, along with at least 12 injured over all — have set off a period of fear, anguish and confusion among the nation’s 900,000 state and local law enforcement officers. Even the most hardened veterans call this one of the most charged moments of policing they have experienced.

Don’t mistake what I’m saying. Gunning down cops in cold blood is evil. There is no excuse or justification for it. That said, this will happen again and again, as long as good cops cover up the murders committed by racist bad cops. Good cops everywhere and all who love them are in my thoughts and prayers.

Convention Observation:

The Repuglicans have already violated their own rules.

Cartoon:

0718Cartoon

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Jul 162016
 

A lot has happened in the world since my last post a week ago and much of it saddens me — Nice, Turkey, racial anger in the US.  But there are also things that inspire hope — kids getting excited about a day trip to a mine, purring kitties, a young woman succeeding at learning to walk again after a traumatic brain injury.  My brother, his wife and their friends dock tomorrow here in Vancouver and then immediately fly home.  I am sure that they enjoyed their trip and will be sorry when the ship docks.  So far in July, temperatures have been about 3 C (5.5 F) below normal, which for me is great — no super hot days and nights — and we've had needed rain.  I had someone approach me at physio about doing some more ESL teaching.  I'll have to make sure I don't take on too much.

Short Takes

Huffington Post — It's so hot that the door to The Depanneur restaurant is propped open for air circulation. The smell of frying onions and then stewed chicken wafts outside into the steamy Toronto afternoon.

It's hard not to stop and peer at what's going on inside the crowded open kitchen in the back.

About a dozen women — some wearing headscarves, others in jeans — are busy cooking a three-course meal. But none are staff; they're Syrian refugees who have been in their new home of Canada for just three months.

"I like the smell of cooking," said Majda Mafalani. "It feels great to be cooking again. I feel that I was born again."

So far removed from their homeland torn apart by civil war, this natural and simple act of cooking has given them back a semblance of community and identity, and an unexpected foray into entrepreneurship.

newcomer kitchen syrian

Senater said: "She said to me, 'I like coming here because I am learning new recipes and learning more about being Syrian' and I said 'I like having you guys here because I learn more about being Canadian."

From refugees to entrepreneurs with some support from the local community.  Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to support refugees.  And that support leads to a stronger community, one filled with a great multitude of peoples.

Raw Story — A Kentucky county judge refused to officiate a couple’s wedding after they requested he respect their lack of religious beliefs, the Friendly Atheist reported.

Trigg County Judge/Executive Hollis Alexander confirmed that he turned away Mandy Heath and her fiancee when Heath went to file the necessary paperwork at the local courthouse on the day before their wedding.

Move over Kim Davis — you have company!  I guess it shouldn't surprise me that a judge, charged with upholding the constitution, doesn't understand it.  I'm going to go out on a limb, but Alexander must be a Republican.

Daily Kos — [Ten-year-old Carter Beckhard-Suozzi of New York] was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma in May 2015. He underwent five months of grueling chemotherapy and surgeries before being told by doctors he had beaten the cancer, according to his mom, Jane Beckhard-Suozzi.

While Carter was in the hospital, he was visited by officials from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Months later, out of the blue, he told his mom what he wanted his wish to be.

Screen_Shot_2016-07-15_at_4.37.13_PM.png

“He said, ‘Mom, I figured it out. I want to meet President Jimmy Carter,’” Beckhard-Suozzi recalled. “When I asked why, he said, ‘We have three things in common. We have the same name. We both have survived cancer and we both love helping people.’

A moment of hope in a bleak week!  I just loved this so I had to share it.  Can't you just feel that awesome hug!  There is also a petition to sign thanking Jimmy Carter.

Washington Post — Mike Pence was a young lawyer on the rise, challenging a longtime Democratic congressman in a Republican-leaning Indiana district.

And then, scandal.

Campaign finance records from the 1990 effort showed that Pence, then 31, had been using political donations to pay the mortgage on his house, his personal credit card bill, groceries, golf tournament fees and car payments for his wife.

The spending had not been illegal at the time. But it stunned voters — and undermined Pence’s strategy to portray the incumbent, Rep. Philip R. Sharp, as tainted by donations from special-interest political action committees.

“It was a brazen act of hypocrisy,”…

Pence_drug_Ad_1988_composite21468605731.wdp

Pence was unapologetic at the time, telling reporters that he had taken a 30 percent pay cut to run for office and needed the money. “I’m not embarrassed that I need to make a living,” he said.

Finally, we have another extreme right wing politician to expose on a national level for all to see.  Trump = disaster.  Pence = disaster.  Trump + Pence = a disaster of monumental proportions whose destruction supercedes that of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

VOTE BLUE ALL DOWN THE LINE!!!

The New Yorker — Over the past couple of months, Donald Trump hasn’t done much right, but in picking Mike Pence, the staunchly conservative governor of Indiana, as his running mate, he probably made a wise choice. History suggests that Vice-Presidential candidates don’t make much, if any, difference to the outcome of Presidential elections, but here are some reasons why, from Trump’s perspective, Pence was the best bet: …

3. He’s a Midwesterner. Further to my previous point, Trump’s only realistic, or semi-realistic, chance of getting to two hundred and seventy electoral votes is to storm through the Midwest and the Rust Belt, racking up huge majorities of white votes. To this end, his ideal choice would have been John Kasich, the popular governor of Ohio, but Kasich didn’t want the job. Nor did Rob Portman, the Ohio senator who served in the Bush Administration, or Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin. And no one in Michigan or Pennsylvania was particularly suitable, either. That left Pence, who runs the most staunchly Republican state in the region. Although his ardent social conservatism may turn off some people in the suburbs of Detroit and Cincinnati, he can claim to be a Midwesterner through and through.

This is the third of seven reasons it made sense for Drumpf to pick Pence as his VP running mate.  Now it is up to voters to permanently retire these two Republican misfits who have absolutely no concern for the average American.

UltraViolet —

Gov. Mike Pence: 5 things you should know

Pence has been a big mistake for Indiana, and will be an even bigger mistake for the nation.

My Universe —

cat and rubiks cubeAfter the mental stimulation of Rubik's Cube . . .

cat traps workingafter the physical stimulation of escaping cat traps . . .

5733a.giftime for a satisfying Lona nap!!!

 
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Jul 122016
 

The past few days have been busy with my brother and SIL, and their friends, in town for a few days before boarding a cruise ship for Alaska.  We had a chance to spend Friday afternoon with my mother and then go out for a great dinner.  Even my 3 furbabes got in on the action eating prime rib leftovers which they very much enjoyed!  Although the weather was supposed to be rainy, we lucked out with clear skies at all the right times.  I certainly was tired and sore from a lot of walking, but it wasn't as bad as I had feared.  I wanted to take them to the Britannia Mine Museum but an auto accident on the highway brought that activity to a screaming halt, and the plan B was Stanley Park.  I have several meetings, a haircut and a teaching session with Lucia during the rest of the week.

Short Takes

Alternet — Blame abounds in the wake of the brutal slaying of five police officers in downtown Dallas. But while most people place the responsibility for this tragedy squarely in the hands of the man who shot the police officers (who were by all accounts monitoring and protecting protestors), some on the right believe other people are to blame.

Here's a roundup of some of those (besides the gunman himself) who are being blamed for the Dallas shooting.

2. President Barack Obama

As expected, the annals of Twitter were immediately inundated with charges that “Barack is smiling his smug little smile.” Unfortunately, the notion that President Obama bears any responsibility for the Dallas shooting was hardly limited to the fringes of the internet.

“3 Dallas Cops killed, 7 wounded,” former Illinois GOP congressman-slash-ostentatious-right-wing-radio-host Joe Walsh wrote on Twitter. “This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black loves matter punks. Real America is coming after you.”

Walsh has since deleted the tweet, but he continued posting video of the chaos in Dallas throughout the night. 

“10 Cops shot. You did this Obama. You did this liberals. You did this #BLM. Time to defend our Cops. Wake up,” Walsh posted.

He later added that Obama “stoked the flame” and “defends Islam.” Eric Trump, son of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, reportedly retweeted a post by Walsh accusing Black Lives Matter of calling for the death of police officers.

Walsh later clarified he “wasn’t calling for violence, against Obama or anyone.”

William Johnson, the executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, also blamed Obama, taking issue with the president’s completely accurate statement that “when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes it more deadly and more tragic, and in the days ahead we are going to have to consider those realities as well.”

"The Obama administration is the Neville Chamberlain of this war,” Johnson told Fox News. “I think their continued appeasement at the federal level with the Department of Justice, their appeasement of violent criminals, their refusal to condemn movements like Black Lives Matter, actively calling for the death of police officers, that type of thing, all the while blaming police for the problems in this country has led directly to the climate that has made Dallas possible.”

Other GOP groups took issue with a statement Obama gave Thursday addressing the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police. “To be concerned about these issues is not to be against law enforcement,” Obama said. ”When people say black lives matter, it doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter.”

“Obama lectures nation on racial disparities hours before assassination of Dallas police officers,” the conservative group GOPUSA said in an email.

“It was bound to happen,” the email reads. “It was a Daily Beasttime bomb. Every time Barack Obama speaks on race, things get worse.”

For his part, Obama spoke out forcefully against the Dallas shootings Friday morning.

"I believe I speak for every single American when I say we are horrified over these events, and we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas,” Obama said, calling the assault a "vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.”

"We will learn more, undoubtedly, about their twisted motivations, but let’s be clear: There is no possible justification for these types of attacks," Obama said. "Anyone involved in the senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done.”

This is the second of 4 absurb right wing reactions to the killing of 5 Dallas police officers.  Click through for the other three.  As is usually the case, this is totally insaniTEA!

Daily Beast — Donald Trump is all about branding, and here’s a striking irony: while his political brand is built on Muslim-bashing, Hispanic-bashing, and, not least, China-bashing, his hotel brand appears to be thriving here in Asia.

Last October, well after Trump’s xenophobic and sinophobic presidential campaign got under way, Trump’s man in China, Eric Danziger, told Chinese state-run media that the Trump Hotel Collection is actively seeking expansion opportunities in Asian metropolises, including Chinese cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen.  …

A former Chinese public servant who acquired a green card through the EB-5 program told The Daily Beast that he never expected a profitable return on his $500,000 investment. This is common, as many projects funded via EB-5 become inactive or are poorly managed. For Trump, who has had four businesses file for bankruptcy, the program is perfect. 

 

 

In fact, during the application process, details of the investor’s previous employment were never called into question—how did a low-level official accumulate half a million dollars to burn, with plenty to spare? The former public servant never had to provide an answer.

 

 

Congressional overseers and the Department of Homeland Security have pointed out the vetting process for EB-5 is lacking, and could be a portal for dirty money and those who possess it to enter America.

So, let’s be clear: Trump-branded procriminal enterprisejects have ignored concerns raised by government overseers and might be actively creating channels for money laundering.

Is this the kind of POTUS that Americans want . . . one that indulges in criminal enterprise for his own profit?  So if elected president, what will come first . . . the country or his profit?  I still really like Huffington Post's disclosure on Trump articles:

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.

Dear Huff Post, I think you need to add some more descriptors for Drumpf like 'criminal' and 'narcissist'.

Think Progress — G.T., who escaped from Eritrea due to political and economic turmoil, works as a steward at a Washington, D.C.-area Hilton hotel. He cleans and washes dishes among other tasks, makes $14.85 an hour, and saves up a portion of his paycheck because he aspires to go to college one day. His life is far different from when he left Eritrea to escape a lifetime of forced military conscription.

Now, G.T. earns a steady paycheck and has become a success story of a controversial refugee resettlement process in the United States that some politicians want to restrict on fears that terrorists could come into the country through this manner.  …

Last year, U.S. politicians began tearing into the refugee resettlement process, claiming that terrorists could potentially come into the country disguised as refugees because the country lacks a rigorous refugee application process. As testimony to their fears, as many as 31 state governors rejected refugee resettlement in their states after the terrorist attacks in Paris, France. Roughly 800,000 people have been resettled in the country since 9/11, but not one refugee has been arrested on terrorism charges.

In spite of these vicious claims against refugees, G.T.’s successful integration into U.S. society stands out as an example of the reciprocal, beneficial relationship that refugees and local communities can have on one another. Some local politicians see refugee resettlement as a way to revitalize their cities and to harness talent and skills for entry-level jobs that many native-born Americans may not necessarily want to do.

So what is the Republican line . . . shiftless, lazy, uneducated, thieves, and terrorists?  All refugees are not alike but the vast majority are honest, hard working people who want nothing more than safety and the opportunity to properly provide for their families.  Properly supported, refugees will add to the community making it a more vibrant place to be.

My Universe — OK, equal time for all the dawg lovers out there!

 

 

 

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Jun 282016
 

My horoscope today said in part: "Today the moon is in your sign lined up with wild, wacky Uranus."  Uranus?  Uranus!  I want nothing to do with Ted Cruz.  It was bad enough that I had already seen the Raw Story article below, but then to see my horoscope contained Uranus . . . well that was just too much!  The day started off on a low note with a 2.8 blood sugar reading (50 on the US scale) which had me sleeping all morning, even through the heat.  Then the heat hit 29  (85 F) and I was getting more miserable.  It has cooled down at bit but is scheduled to drop to 13 C (55 F) over night (I have my pom-poms out!).  At least I had some laughs when a respected local radio commentator to whom I enjoy listening, in commenting about Brexit and the ultra conservative US politicians (read Drumpf), referred to the UK as our ailing mother and the US as our weird and wacky brother.  Tomorrow will be busy with physio and teaching.  Inbetween the two, I have to go pick up a new cell phone.  Two days ago, it slipped from my fingers into the toilet (another good reason to leave the lid down!).  I rescued it very quickly but some damage was already done, although I was able to use it — just not reliably.  When I charged it yesterday, it slipped again from my fingers and fell about 25 cm (10 inches) to the carpet.  That finally did it in!  Do you see what I mean about Uranus???!!!

Short Takes

Alternet — During an explosive CNN segment on Sunday, former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) lashed out at President Barack Obama because she said she was tired of being called a “bigot” for supporting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.  …

“Obama just always comes tearing after Republicans constantly, calling names and calling people bigots and racists,” she complained. “And that’s their big comeback, you know. And it’s absolutely ridiculous. To see a president speak like that is offensive.”

It has been awhile since I have seen or heard of the battle-axe of Arizona, and I have thoroughly enjoyed her silence.  But recently, she unleashed her big mouth attached to her fact devoid brain and lashed out at Obama for using facts when talking about Drumpf.  It seems that she feels "guilty" about her association with Drumpf, or at least getting caught publicly with her hand on his ass.  Even while she was governor, she demonstrated no respect for Obama, so this latest extremism does not surprise me.

Raw Story — Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz on Tuesday accused the Obama administration of under-emphasizing the “threat of radical Islam” as he presided over a Senate hearing for the second time since suspending his presidential campaign in early May.

President Barack Obama and top Justice Department officials have come under fire from conservatives for avoiding the term “radical Islam” when denouncing attacks by violent extremists who claim inspiration from Islamic State, such as the Orlando nightclub shooter.

I am tired of hearing the term "radical Islam" from the likes of Ted Cruz.  When will we hear of "radical Christianity" and "radical Judaism"?  Yes they do exist!  In the news over the past several days, I have seen Pastor Steven Anderson of the Independent Fundamental Baptist church (Christian) in Tempe, Arizona preach from atop his lectern condemning the LGBTQ community with the most toxic vitriole ever, calling for the death penalty for gays, and celebrating the deaths at Orlando.  Now he is calling for the  death penalty for adulterers.  I suppose that is one way to get rid of some politicians! — you know those family values Republicans!  Of course there is "Pastor" Terry Jones formerly of Gainesville, Florida who threatened to burn Qu'rans.  Or let's see, there are extremist Jews, some of them settlers who occupy Palestinian lands.  Let's call this what it is with no adjectives — extremism!  OK, rant over.  I was appalled with the tenor of Cruz's hearing.

Globe and Mail — The Supreme Court issued its strongest defence of abortion rights in a quarter-century Monday, striking down Texas’ widely replicated rules that sharply reduced abortion clinics in the nation’s second-most-populous state.

By a 5-3 vote, the justices rejected the state’s arguments that its 2013 law and follow-up regulations were needed to protect women’s health. The rules required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery.  …

Breyer wrote that “the surgical-centre requirement, like the admitting privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes an ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”

A great judgement that should never have been necessary.  There are pending actions in Mississippi and Louisiana which will likely fall.  Let's hope that all such laws and regulations in all states will be declared unconstitutional now that SCOTUS has ruled.

My Universe —

Nice ride Dolly

Thank God for 9 lives!

Good morning

Arrggghhhh!!!!!  Kitty breath!

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#Texit!

 Posted by at 10:28 am  Politics
Jun 252016
 

I have not been able to follow the Brexit news as closely as I wanted to, but felt dismayed to learn that the Brits have surrendered their prerogative to call Americans stupid, as Andy put it so well.  However there are a couple silver linings.  First, the UK Tory government is toast.  More important the secessionist seditious Republicans in Texas want to follow suit.  That’s the one really good thing for the US!

0625texit-tnm

They’re at it again. Sarah Palin was encouraged by the Brexit vote to call for the US to divorce the UN. But in Texas, they aim for something bigger.

Never mind that the United States Constitution forbids it: Inspired by Brexit, the Texas Nationalist Movement [Republican seditionists delinked] wants to #Texit. Just as Donald Trump failed to realize Scotland did not vote to leave the EU, Daniel Miller, president of the TNM, doesn’t seem to realize that not only do most Texans not want to leave the Union, but they couldn’t if they wanted to…

Miller irrelevantly lamented to news.com.au,

“The vast majority of the laws, rules and regulations that affect the people of Texas are created by the political class or unelected bureaucrats in Washington.”…

…Honestly, given how Texas is governed, it’s not surprising that the uneducated and poorly informed would think it’s the Federal Government and not their own Republican Party running their state down…

From <PoliticusUSA>

Republicans love the idea! Here’s a Republican fascist calling for Texit!!

Barf Bag Alert!!

There is one thing about this that boggles the mind.  If Texas secedes, they could make Rump Dump Trump correct about Mexico cooperating with the US in building a wall… a wall to surround Texas!

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Jun 232016
 

It is late, very late, and I am just finishing off the Open Thread for today.  And yes, my computer is still acting up, although either I am becoming accustomed to its antics, or it isn't happening as much.  It has been a very busy day with 2.5 hours of physio and an extended teaching session helping my student ready herself for an English test on Friday.  It has rained a bit late this afternoon but we are scheduled for thunder storms tonight and Thursday.  Last week we were told that our local reservoirs were at 91% of capacity and that the snow pack had not made it down from the mountains yet.  We are looking good for water this year but we still have water restrictions in place.  Summer is here and it is a long time until the cooler temperatures of autumn.

Jig Zone Puzzle

Today’s took me 3:50 (average 5:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes

The New Yorker In what some are calling a sign of its desperation to raise cash, the Presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump is auctioning off New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the popular e-commerce site eBay, campaign officials have confirmed.

Christie, who is described on the site as being in lightly used but good condition, is believed to be the first sitting governor ever to be auctioned on the Internet.

According to the description of Christie on eBay, the governor can perform a full range of escort duties and has “extensive experience in chauffeuring, door-opening, umbrella-holding, reflexive clapping, and soothing end-of-the-day foot massages.”

Speaking at Trump Tower, in Manhattan, the presumptive Republican nominee said that he was still considering financing his general-election campaign himself, but he added, “First I wanted to see what I could get for Chris.”

I think Drumpf is in for a surprise — Christie is damaged goods and not likely to bring in much even from the staunchest Republicans!

Daily Kos — Georgia Rep. Rep. John Lewis, the heart, the soul of congressional Democrats, is leading his colleagues in a sit-in for a vote on gun safety legislation. You won't see it televised, because the Republicans controlling the House also control the cameras. C-SPAN, however, is replaying the speeches of Democrats leading up to the action.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who led the talking filibuster to force the votes in the Senate earlier this week is on the House floor in solidarity.

 

This courtesy of Raw Story

As I travelled about today, I kept hearing news of the Democratic sit-in in the House of Representatives over bringing gun control bills up for a vote.  The Republicans, who control the House, attempted to bring order but ended up shutting off the cameras and calling a recess.(Raw Story)  According to a story in Politico, when Paul Ryan slammed his gavel, Democrats started chanting.  Members of the public in the gallery joined Democrats in the chanting.  According to some sources, 80% of Americans favour some common sense gun control measures but Republicans continue to obstruct.  The people's House?

CBC — Contagious cancers are a scary idea to begin with, but scientists have made some startling new discoveries about them – they are likely more common in nature than originally thought, and some can even spread between species.

A new study has found a contagious, leukemia-like disease appears to be widespread among shellfish with hinged shells, called bivalves, such as clams, mussels and cockles. And, for the first time, researchers have found evidence of the cancer spreading from one species to another.

Spanish scientists collected cockles (Cerastoderma edule) in the ria of Arousa in Galicia, Spain. Contagious leukemia was found in cockles, mussels and golden carpet shell clams.

Mussels living off the coast of British Columbia, along with cockles and golden carpet shell clams in Spain, are all prone to the contagious cancer, similar to one that has devastated soft-shell clam farming operations in P.E.I., the Canadian, U.S. and Spanish scientists reported Wednesday in Nature.

"It may be more widespread in nature than we know," said Jim Sherry, an Environment Canada scientist based in Burlington, Ont., who co-authored the study.

Because cancers originate from the mutated cells of an individual and are genetically similar to that individual, genetic analysis of the cancer cells allows scientists to figure out their origin.

I thought it would be appropriate to have a short break from US politics — one can only take so much Drumpf!  This contagious cancer  crossing between species is interesting, and presents the possibilities of cancer cell transfer with other species.

My Universe — OK, so I figured I'd have to give some page time to dawgs!  From Petcha.com

The dogs take turns scoring the ice and making it hail all over the kitchen floor. The video is called Ice Cube Jackpot, and that’s exactly what it looks like.

 

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Jun 212016
 

I hope you all saw TomCat's Personal Update which he posted here and to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/527046926/3994080

Today has been another difficult computer day and I might yet commit computercide!  I was typing away and suddenly everything since my previous save disappeared.  This is so very annoying!  We have been having a lot of rain of late, including earlier today.  In Dawson Creek which is in northern BC and where I lived from 1983 to 1987, they declared a state of emergency after receiving over 100 ml of rain in one day.  That may not sound like a lot, but it washed out roads and bridges in this rural community.  Tomorrow I have physio and teaching so I will be very late in posting.

Jig Zone Puzzle

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes

Alternet — A new report by Politico’s Ben White reveals major donors to Hillary Clinton’s campaign may revoke their support of the candidate if she chooses Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as her running mate for the general election.

Several donors, interviewed under the condition of anonymity, told Politico that Clinton’s Wall Street base would “leave her” if she picks Warren. “They would literally just say, ‘We have no qualms with you moving left, we understand all the things you’ve had to do because of Bernie Sanders, but if you are going there with Warren, we just can’t trust you, you’ve killed it,’” one donor said.

I was one that said a few years ago that I'd like to see Elizabeth Warren run for POTUS in 2016.  But now, I see things differently.  Even having Warren as VP would tend to muzzle her, making her impotent at what she does best.  The reaction of some of Clinton's Wall Street donors shows just how tenuous Clinton's hold on Wall Street could be.

Think Progress — A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that internet providers must abide by the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality regulations, which prohibit them from blocking or slowing broadband connections, and providing special access through paid fast lanes.

The White House-backed net neutrality rules issued last year came with a promise to treat all internet access equally. But those rules, and how the FCC justified them, drew major criticism from Republicans and broadband companies.

Very good news!  However the decision does not prevent future challenges.  And I'm sure that the telecoms will be biting at the bit to overturn that decision supported by their Republican servants.

Huffington Post — Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump on Tuesday questioned the faith of Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, insinuating that neither may really be a Christian.

He told a group of evangelical leaders that he doesn’t believe there is enough public information about Clinton’s religious beliefs.

“She’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no, nothing out there. There’s like nothing out there,” he said. “It’s going to be an extension of Obama, but it’s going to be worse, because with Obama you had to have your guard up. With Hillary you don’t and it’s going to be worse.”

Drumpf is at it again! . . . or should that be still?  When did a religious test become necessary for the right to hold public office?  There is nothing in the Constitution about it.  If we equate a religious test with a poll tax, then the 24th amendment certainly covers voters, but what about aspirants?  Additionally, the US was not created as a Christian nation.  The founding fathers left Europe, particulary England, because of religious strife.  They would not set the new nation up for the types of wars and battles that they left behind.  Drumpf needs to "put a sock in it"!  Drumpf might want to consider his own position before throwing mud.

Some Drumpf humour from the pages of Huffington Post.  See more at the end of the article above.

The artist TABBY has dropped several Trump-inspired stencils across Vienna in recent weeks. "Trump is everything that's right and wrong with America and the world," TABBY told The Huffington Post. "He's the American Dream of being super wealthy and saying what you want, while being totally out of touch with reality."

TABBY says "Don't Feed The Trolls," also in Vienna, was created because the GOP front-runner can "say anything and the more that people get angry and talk about him because of it, the more known and stronger he becomes."

My Universe —

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Jun 072016
 

My appointment with the Radiation Oncologist was very informative, and I’m proud to have resisted the temptation to use "well" in association with Dr. Hung’s name.  I won’t glow in the dark or lose my hair.  I have jumped through all my hoops.  Now it’s just a matter of working out the timing and polishing the details with Shirley, who is Allison’s (my Ocular Oncologist) anal retentive assistant.  She is better suited to a career as a Dominatrix than as a medical professional.  She is one size fits all, talks through people, not to them, and does not listen well enough to hear.  I’ve been very assertive, and have not blown up at her, but… Steaming mad  I was completely exhausted and spent the morning using up my supply from Lona the Napster.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 5:14).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Real Clear Politics:

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

2383

1569

Delegates Won

4051

1812

1521

Superdelegates

(712)

571

48

The fat lady will sing tonight, after Hillary gets 214 or more pledged delegates, but AP was out of line to declare it over last night.

From Daily Kos: Louie Gohmert, America’s dumbest Congressman (courtesy of disgraced former Majority Leader Tom Delay) proves once again why he is worthy of his title—this time with dire warnings about gay astronauts and the end of the world:

I really wonder how many people in this body who had the ultimate power to decide whether humanity would go forward or not, whether there was an asteroid coming or something that would end humanity on Earth as dinosaurs were ended at one time—okay …

If you could decide what 40 people you would put on the spacecraft who would save humanity, how many of those would be same-sex couples?  You are wanting to save humankind for posterity—basically, a modern-day Noah. You have that ability to be a modern-day Noah. You can preserve life. How many same-sex couples would you take from the animal kingdom and from humans to put on the spacecraft to perpetuate humanity and the wildlife kingdom?

Yes, he really said that.

Go-Go-Goose-step. Does it again!! Actually, the best mix to save humanity would be to send all progressive lesbian couples with each woman pregnant from a different progressive man and also sperm samples from a completely different set of progressive men That would triple the gene pool on the space craft. The key is to keep the gene pool closed to Republican swimmers.

From Alternet: Political polarization in America is growing, and it’s not just due to the presidential election. But according to psychiatrist Gail Saltz, if we only knew how the other side’s brains work, we’d be able to communicate better.

"What’s really fascinating is that there have been a number of recent studies looking at brain structural differences between liberals and conservatives," said Saltz. "And what’s been found in several studies is that liberals tend to have a larger anterior cingulate gyrus. That is an area that is responsible for taking in new information and that impact of the new information on decision making or choices. Conservatives tended on the whole to have a larger right amygdala. Amygdala being a deeper brain structure that processes more emotional information—specifically fear-based information," Saltz explained.

We’ve seen similar studies before. Democrats tend to have brains that are better suited for problem solving and communications, while Republicans have brains that are better suited to fight of flight, or put another way, lizard brains.  That’s why the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, keeps hyping fear

Cartoon:

0607Cartoon.

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