Sep 272015

The first part of the day was steady with trying to finish some research and work on a more involved article.  Then it was off to see my mother who lives in a care centre.  She needs 24/7 care as she is in the late stages of dementia.  I fed her dinner which smelled really good.  There was an extra dinner at the table which staff said I should eat, so I did and it tasted even better than it smelled.  As a member of the Family Council advocating for family members, I will be able to report back on the quality of food.  Again this evening, I was breaking up fisticuffs between several women — I wonder if the full moon has anything to do with it.  In addition to sitting with my mother and rubbing her back and shoulders which she really likes, I am an extra pair of eyes and hands to help staff.  When I arrived home, I was exhausted but also anxious.  It is hard to watch a parent die a little bit every day.  So now I am calm again and I am off to bed.  My three cats will be soothing to me, their gentle breathing and purring.  Good night all.

Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:13 (average 4:34). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.

Short Takes

CBC — A U.S. drug company is taking the Canadian government to court for its attempt to lower the price of what has been called the world's most expensive drug.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals has filed a motion in Federal Court, arguing that Canada's drug price watchdog has no authority to force the company to lower its price for Soliris.

A University of Ottawa professor who specializes in health law said he was shocked that Alexion would challenge Canada's authority to regulate drug prices. If Alexion's case is successful, it could end Ottawa's ability to control the cost of patented drugs, Amir Attaran told CBC News.

"This is the single greatest threat to pricing of drugs in Canada ever," he said Thursday.

The provincial governments in Canada negotiate drug prices directly. Medical associations are currently pushing the federal government to do this nationally.  In the past, some Americans have also arranged to get their medications from Canadian pharmacies to take advantage of our lower prices.  So, if Alexion Pharmaceuticals wins this case, the whole idea of affordable medicines goes out the door.  For Alexion, this is all about their profits.  For Canada, this is all about healthcare for 33 million Canadians.  Watch also the rise in such things should the TPP come to fruition.

Daily Kos — Each week, TIME Magazine designs covers for four markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. Often, America's cover is quite, well – different. This week offers a stark example.

time magazine

How much does this contribute to the "dumbing down" of the US population (and Canada's since we get the same US cover)?  In general, the US population is wildly ignorant on international events, and often ignorant on domestic issues.  Have a look at the current political rhetoric, particularly from the Republican side.  It's a lot of marketing by fear . . . fear of diversity, fear of Iran, fear of Islam, and the list goes on.  Faux Noise aka Fox (I refuse to call Fox news because it is at best, opinion) is a prime example, but not the only one by far.  The author asks "do these moments of marketing (through a choice in covers) reveal more about Americans, or about the state of American journalism?"  I think both because the magazine in this case is pandering to make more money and increase its market share.  But it also serves to increase American xenophodia.

The Nation — Not content with alienating single women, Latinos and the LGBT community, the two front-runners for the Republican nomination indulged in some naked Islamophobia this past week.

Then Ben Carson appeared on Meet The Press, where he told Chuck Todd that Islam was inconsistent with the Constitution and said that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.” 

…and there’s no evidence that they embrace extremism at a higher rate than Christians or Jews. 

It’s time for this to stop. After 400 years in the Americas, and having helped build and defend this country, we need to accept that American Muslims are just as American—and just as loyal—as anyone else. 

An excellent piece from The Natiion which I hope you'll read in its entirety. No one people or religion has a lock on extremism.  Timothy McVeigh, a white Anglo Saxon Roman Catholic, blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK where 168 were killed and over 680 were wounded.  

My Universe — The Box!

Jul 172015

Here are the results of our “Which is Terrorism” poll.  Politics Plus Polls are not scientific, because those who respond are not balanced according to demographic categories.   Therefore, we do not accurately reflect the makeup of the US population.  Nevertheless, our polls are usually factually accurate, and more often than not, they reflect thinking or will of the national majority.


Our Polling Host no longer allows us to copy and paste your comments made when taking the poll.  To read them, click here.

I hoped this poll would demonstrate that terrorism is defined by behavior, not by which extreme ideology is being used to justify it.  I think that the view of our readers us correct.  When Crawford Caligula was un office I uses to say that America has more to fear from al Dubya than we ever did from al Qaeda.  Events since have repeatedly proven me right.

There is a new poll up now.  Please vote.

Jul 172015

Yesterday morning I reached Store to Door.  Someone had misplaced my grocery order, so it had not been filled.  They had not called, because they were gone by the time I called them, and they had not realized there was an order to call about.  They had just found my order and were very apologetic.  hey did an emergency shop for me and delivered mf food around noon.   After I put them away, I slept fore the rest of the day and night.  I’m feeling groggy, but relieved.    We have three more days of very hot weather forecast: high 80°s today and 90°s Saturday and Sunday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:37 (average 4:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: By easing tensions with Cuba and now Iran, President Obama is “recklessly squandering America’s precious supply of enemies,” the leader of a conservative think tank said on Tuesday.

“Our adversarial relationships with Cuba and Iran took years of frostiness and saber-rattling to maintain,” Harland Dorrinson, the executive director of the Washington-based Institute for Infinite Conflict, said. “Thanks to the President, decades of well-crafted hostility have been thrown out the window.”

According to Dorrinson, fears abound in conservative circles that the President might be “capriciously casting about for other powder kegs to defuse” during his remaining time in office.

“If his shameful record is any guide, he’ll probably try to disarm North Korea,” Dorrinson said. “That’s the doomsday scenario.”

Oh Andy!! Down with that Kenyan!! If world peace were to break out, it would destroy the Republican party, who need hostility to feed the fires of hate and fear.

From Upworthy: Business can thrive on kindness.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about Rosa’s, check out our interview with Wartman. And of course, pay it forward and pass it on.


Click through to see how well this wonderful company has done, since Upwsorthy first told their story back in March. Isn’t this better than how Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians use their businesses to propagate hatred?

From NY Times: A 24-year-old Kuwaiti-born gunman opened fire on a military recruiting station on Thursday, then raced to a second military site where he killed four United States Marines, prompting a federal domestic terrorism investigation. Three other people, including a Marine Corps recruiter and a police officer, were wounded, according to law enforcement officials.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation identified the gunman, who also died Thursday, as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, who became a naturalized United States citizen and went to high school and college in Chattanooga. Although counterterrorism officials had not been investigating Mr. Abdulazeez before Thursday’s shooting, federal officials familiar with the inquiry said that his father had been investigated years ago for giving money to an organization with possible ties to terrorists.

At a late night news conference, F.B.I. officials said that thus far they did not have “anything that directly ties” the suspect to international terrorist organizations.

For now, there is not enough public information about this terrible crime for me to comment, but I would like to say two things. The Republican attempts already springing up misuse this tragedy to generate hatred against Muslims in general are shameful. I offer condolences, thoughts and prayers for the surviving victims, their families and the families of the slain heroes, and all who loved them.  Please join me in that.



InsaniTEA Bags

Feb 192015

The Republican party faces a dilemma.  They claim to be kind and gentle, compassionate conservatives, while their behavior portrays the polar opposite.  For example, Republicans are hell bent on condemning Obama for not using the word Islamic in conjunction with condemning terrorists.  Could it be that they want to shift attention away from their own terrorist tactics?


Every other year since 2003, hundreds of Muslim Texans – families, young students, community leaders – caravan in from around the state to meet on the steps of the august Texas State Capitol building in Austin. They hope to meet lawmakers, advocate for issues important to them, and just learn about the American political process.

Previous gatherings have mostly gone without a hitch, organizers say. But on Thursday, during the seventh biennial Texas Muslim Capitol Day, the hundreds who gathered were met by a group of angry protesters, who heckled and jeered the crowd as they began – as Texas political events often do – with prayer and the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Emotions have run high as world events, including the rise of the Islamic State militant group and the terrorist massacre in Paris, have sparked pockets of anti-Muslim sentiment throughout the Western world. On Thursday, the protesters, about two dozen members of the Patriot Defense Foundation [Hate Delinked], shouted slogans such as “Mohammed is dead,” “Go back to Baghdad,” and “Remember 9/11.” Some of the group’s signs read "Save America, Stop Islam" and "Go Home and Take Obama with You."…

Inserted from <Christian Science Monitor>

It was actually far worse than the article lets on. Rachel Maddow covered this event in detail, and others, as part of her coverage of Obama’s statement on bigotry.

The problem here is obvious. Obama seems right to us.  We are not terrorists, and America is not at war with Islam. O’Lielly and his declaration of Holy War seem right to Republicans.  The Republican Party are the terrorists, and they are at war with Islam.  Sadly, we are confronted with terrorism on two fronts, one foreign and one domestic.  The most dangerous terrorists of all are the elected kind.

Feb 072015

When Barack Obama attended the National Prayer Breakfast, something every President has done every year, since Dwight D. Eisenhower, he set off a national furor from the rabid extreme right, that is, the Republican Party.  Obama suggested that there have been examples of atrocities in all religions, so we should not be overly prideful in condemning others.  Obama was right.  We don’t have to go back that far in our own history.

They burned him alive in an iron cage, and as he screamed and writhed in the agony of hell they made a sport of his death.

After listening to one newscast after another rightly condemn the barbaric killing of that Jordanian air force pilot at the bloody hands of ISIS, I couldn’t sleep. My mind kept roaming the past trying to retrieve a vaguely remembered photograph that I had seen long ago in the archives of a college library in Texas.

Suddenly, around two in the morning, the image materialized in my head. I made my way down the hall to my computer and typed in: “Waco, Texas. Lynching.”

0207jesse1Sure enough, there it was: the charred corpse of a young black man, tied to a blistered tree in the heart of the Texas Bible Belt.

Sure enough, there it was: the charred corpse of a young black man, tied to a blistered tree in the heart of the Texas Bible Belt. Next to the burned body, young white men can be seen smiling and grinning, seemingly jubilant at their front-row seats in a carnival of death. One of them sent a picture postcard home: “This is the barbeque we had last night. My picture is to the left with a cross over it. Your son, Joe.”

The victim’s name was Jesse Washington. The year was 1916. America would soon go to war in Europe “to make the world safe for democracy.” My father was twelve, my mother eight. I was born 18 years later, at a time, I would come to learn, when local white folks still talked about Washington’s execution as if it were only yesterday. This was not medieval Europe. Not the Inquisition. Not a heretic burned at the stake by some ecclesiastical authority in the Old World. This was Texas, and the white people in that photograph were farmers, laborers, shopkeepers, some of them respectable congregants from local churches in and around the growing town of Waco.Here is the photograph. Take a good look at Jesse Washington’s stiffened body tied to the tree. He had been sentenced to death for the murder of a white woman. No witnesses saw the crime; he allegedly confessed but the truth of the allegations would never be tested. The grand jury took just four minutes to return a guilty verdict, but there was no appeal, no review, no prison time. Instead, a courtroom mob dragged him outside, pinned him to the ground, and cut off his testicles. A bonfire was quickly built and lit. For two hours, Jesse Washington — alive — was raised and lowered over the flames. Again and again and again. City officials and police stood by, approvingly. According to some estimates, the crowd grew to as many as 15,000. There were taunts, cheers and laughter. Reporters described hearing “shouts of delight.”… 

Inserted from <Bill Moyers>

Obama was right.  This travesty took place less that 100 years ago.  Republicans objected so strongly because the Republican Party has chosen chose to represent the same racist hatred that inspired this act, when they adopted the Southern Strategy.  And when they claim that there is nothing like this today, they are lying.  The same organization that sponsors the National Prayer Breakfast also sponsored an attempt by US Senators and Representatives to draft legislation for Uganda to execute their citizens for being gay.  They almost got away with it

That brings us to the thing Obama did wrong.  No US President should attend an event sponsored by such a hate-filled organization.

Feb 072015

Day 94.  I’m feeling quite tired, so I’ll try to be brief, so I can rest.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:26 (average 6:51).  To do it. click here.  Hoe did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The Guardian has posted  an article about FOX New’s embedding ISIS’s latest snuff film, unedited on their webpage:

Fox News has chosen to embed on its website the video of Islamic State burning a hostage to death, a move which makes them the only US media organisation to broadcast the video in full.

The extremely graphic 22-minute video shows Muadh al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, being set on fire and burned to death in a cage. Fox News did not post the videos of the killings of previous Isis hostages, and no other media company has hosted this video.Rick Nelson, a senior associate in homeland security and terrorism at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that posting the video actually empowers Isis.

… “These groups need a platform, and this gives them a platform,” he added.

Malcolm Nance, the executive director of the Terror Asymmetrics Project on Strategy, Tactics and Radical Ideology thinktank and an expert on counter-terrorism and radical extremism told the Guardian that by posting the video Fox News was propagating “exactly what Isis wants to propagate”.


“[Fox News] are literally – literally – working for al-Qaida and Isis’s media arm,” he added.

“They might as well start sending them royalty checks.”

Considering the extent to which both ISIL and the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, hate Obama, they are natural allies.

From The New Yorker: The reanimated corpse of Dr. Jonas Salk, the medical researcher who developed the first polio vaccine, rose from the grave Friday morning on what authorities believe is a mission to hunt down idiots.

The zombie version of Salk, wearing a tattered white lab coat and looking “incredibly angry” according to one eyewitness, was seen advancing on the U.S. Capitol building at approximately 11 A.M.

While Senator Rand Paul, of Kentucky, hid in the Senate cloakroom, armed security forces repelled the zombie virologist, who, seemingly unharmed, moved on in search of new prey.

According to law enforcement, the reanimated Salk then stole a car and headed off in the direction of Trenton, New Jersey.

Dang Andy!! He should have persisted until he got Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot. Rand Paul is the idiot trifecta!!

From Crooks and Liars: On March 4th, the United States Supreme Court will hear a case that they should never have agreed to take, brought by an organization funded by the Kochtopus and raising issues which are completely bogus. If Chief Justice John Roberts has his way, they will rule on this bogus case and gut the Affordable Care Act.

Here’s the kicker: Three of the four plaintiffs in the case aren’t even eligible to participate on the exchanges, rendering this case even more bogus than it was when they started it.

As much as I hope the author is wrong about this, I fear she is spot-on.



Feb 052015

Day 92.  My barber just called.  She has the flu, so I’m not getting my haircut until Monday.  I’m very grateful to her for not trying to work through it and infecting me.  I’m still feeling very tired, but I’ll try to catch up on sleep, after I get my articles posted and uploaded.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:19 (average 4:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Jon Stewart masterfully used Mike Huckabee’s own words to make a broader point after Huckabee used the Bible to show the hypocrisy of those that oppose gay marriage. He first played a clip to lay the groundwork of Mike Huckabee’s general intolerance and head in the sand stance. Huckabee called women who use the f-bomb trashy after implying that women in the South and Midwest do not do that.

Mike Huckabee’s marriage position challenged by ewillies

He sure doesn’t know the same southern gals I knew in my youth! They just teamed the F-bomb with Y’all!!  Sadly, I don’t think Upchuck Huck has much of a chance to win the Republican nomination. Oh well, he probably wouldn’t legalize ownership of a Canadian anyway, despite my Biblical permission to do so. 😉

From PRWatch: In addition to unprecedented budget cuts to the University of Wisconsin (UW) system, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker struck "the search for truth" and the Wisconsin Idea from the university’s mission in his executive budget bill unveiled last night.

First summed up by UW President Charles Van Hise in 1904, the Wisconsin Idea means that "the borders of the University are the borders of the state." Van Hise declared that he would “never be content until the beneficent influence of the university reaches every family in the state” and this has long been the core philosophy of the UW System, which has worked hard over the decades to generate programs that serve people and communities all over the state.

Walker’s executive budget (see below) amends Sec. 1111 of the statutes to remove language specifying that the UW system has a public service mission to “extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campus" and to "serve and stimulate society." He strikes language ensuring that the mission of the UW is to extend "training and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition," as well as the language specifying that "the search for truth" is "basic to every purpose of the system."

Click through for much more on how the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan is trying to destroy their university system.

From NY Times: A still-classified section of the investigation by congressional intelligence committees into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has taken on an almost mythic quality over the past 13 years — 28 pages that examine crucial support given the hijackers and that by all accounts implicate prominent Saudis in financing terrorism.

Now new claims by Zacarias Moussaoui, a convicted former member of Al Qaeda, that he had high-level contact with officials of the Saudi Arabian government in the prelude to Sept. 11 have brought renewed attention to the inquiry’s withheld findings, which lawmakers and relatives of those killed in the attacks have tried unsuccessfully to declassify.

“I think it is the right thing to do,” said Representative Stephen F. Lynch, Democrat of Massachusetts and an author of a bipartisan resolution encouraging President Obama to declassify the section. “Let’s put it out there.”

Mr. Lynch and his allies have been joined by former Senator Bob Graham of Florida, who as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee was a leader of the inquiry. He has called for the release of the report’s Part 4, which dealt with Saudi Arabia, since President George W. Bush ordered it classified when the rest of the report was released in December 2002.

Mr. Graham has repeatedly said it shows that Saudi Arabia was complicit in the Sept. 11 attacks. “The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier,” Mr. Graham said last month as he pressed for the pages to be made public.

Click through. I fully agree that the pages should be made public, and have believed the Saudi’s were complicit, since September 2001. They helped arrange for the Bush family to make a ton of money from 9/11, due to their joint involvement in the Carlyle Group. In addition GW ChickenHawk arranged a secret flight out of the country for Bandar Bush and his associates, before the FBI could question them.