Oct 262014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 188.  Yesterday I reached into my drawer for a pair of undershorts and came up empty, so despite sleeping most of the day, I did the dreaded task last night.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, but my meditations will be limited.  I’m already religiously ecstatic.  I afraid I have another hectic week on tap.  Tuesday is a prison volunteer day, Wednesday is a grocery delivery day, and Thursday I have the appointment with my Pulmonologist, for which I recently had the CT Scan done.  So I’ll be intermittent with my posting.  I did complete my most important task of the year.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 4:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: An organization of University of North Carolina athletic boosters expressed shock and outrage today over a report that a few members of U.N.C. sports teams may have taken real classes, despite the widespread availability of fake ones.

The report, which alleges that several players may have fulfilled the curriculum requirements of actual classes, sent shock waves through the U.N.C. booster community.

“These players apparently attended classes, wrote papers, and took exams,” Hal Cowlington, the president of a prominent U.N.C. booster club, said. “The impact of these distractions on their athletic performance is, to put it mildly, incalculable.”

Andy is on top of it. The last thing the boys on the Bubba Bagger Booster Bus ever intended is for college athletes, especially black ones, to actually get an education.

From Upworthy: Attacks on Canada are rare. But what’s special is how they handle times of crisis. Instead of getting engulfed with fear and sensationalism, they remain who they are. They won’t allow such an attack to shake them up or change them.

 

Kudos to Canadians. Statements like these are the polar opposite of what we are hearing from Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians.

From Blue Oregon: Of all the sound bites gushing forth from the No on 92’s PR spin machine opposing GMO labeling, one stands out as a masterpiece of deception.

From their website:“Would Measure 92 end up costing taxpayers?

Yes. Measure 92 would create two new state bureaucracies to enforce and implement its costly regulations. The Oregon Department of Administrative Services staff estimated that inspection programs to enforce Measure 92 would cost taxpayers more than $14 million every budget cycle.”

The $14 million figure is everywhere – in their ads, in the Voters’ Pamphlet and on the lips of the PR professionals their campaign has hired to do their debating for them.

Yet the actual, official cost estimate from the Secretary of State’s office is that Measure 92 is “expected to result in direct expenditures by State agencies for initial one-time start-up costs estimated at between $550,000 and $600,000.”

This comes to a one-time cost of 15 cents per Oregonian for work performed by current staff… [emphasis original]

Click through for more. I’ve been inundated by No on 92 ads from phony farmers, ersatz environmentalists and scam scientists. Vote YES on Oregon 92.

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Oct 242014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 186.  I’m rushing to get this finished before I leave for my volunteer work in prison.

The Victims Impact meeting went very well, and my presentation was well received.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 4:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

1023-Broncos35-Chargers21

As penance for missing it, I must say 513 Hail Peytons. :-)

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Republican Gov. John Kasich got a lot of attention on Monday for acknowledging reality when he said that Obamacare repeal is "not gonna happen." Then he went even deeper, saying that the "political or ideological" opposition to Obamacare—and, in particular, Medicaid expansion—doesn’t "hold water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives." Two thoughts spring to mind reading that. Either John Kasich has given up any presidential aspirations or Kasich is seeing a shift in his party away from Obamacare insanity.

As it turns out, it’s neither of those things, because Kasich immediately "clarified" his position.

"I don’t back Obamacare. I never have. I want it to be repealed," he told The Washington Post in a telephone interview. "If the House and the Senate [are Republican-controlled] and we have a Republican president, Obamacare will be repealed flat out. Flat out. And it will be replaced."

So much for "real improvements in people’s lives." But that’s not the best part. He goes full McConnell in his backtracking talk with Politico.

Even when one acknowledges the need to feign sanity, the need to suck … nevermind … for money requires that they goosestep first.

From NY Times: Four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards were convicted and immediately jailed Wednesday for their roles in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad’s Nisour Square that marked a bloody nadir in America’s war in Iraq.

A jury in Federal District Court found that the deaths of 17 Iraqis in the shooting, which began when a convoy of the guards suddenly began firing in a crowded intersection, was not a battlefield tragedy, but the result of a criminal act.

The justice here, although commendable, is incomplete, as long as the company exists in any form. Because it became known as the Republican Gestapo, it changed it’s name to Xe and then to Academi. as it remains as part of Constellis Holdings.

From Upworthy:

She’s already America’s sweetheart, and now she’s won an award for her anti-bullying work. As someone who was bullied herself, Julia Roberts can really relate to the teens she works with.

 

Kudos to Julia. And she’s right. It’s wrong to stand by and do nothing. But even worse, the Republican Party demands that bullying LGBT people is part of their right to religious expression.  How hateful!

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Oct 232014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 185.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries, and then I need to prepare my materials for tomorrow’s prison volunteer day.  Tomorrow is also a high Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos are at home in the nationally televised Thursday night worship with San Diego, and I’ll be in prison, far from a TV.  When I return home and find out what happened, I’ll have to do penance.  It would be nice to have to say 515 Hail Peytons.  I hope to get articles prepared before I leave, to crash when I get home, and to post them when I wake up.  We’ll see.  However, I will probably have only a Personal Update on Saturday.

Late (early) Update:  I crashed at the keyboard, before I ran out of work, and I just woke up. :-(

Condolences to Canada over your terrorist attacks by extreme conservative pseudo-Muslims.  Extreme conservative pseudo-Christians, like the the Theocon wing of the US Republican Party, would have us react out of hatred.  Do not follow their lead.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:02 (average 5:23).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Could you imagine what it must feel like to be the one on whose shoulders the language of your people depends?

 

Major Kudos to Marie. We have already trashed so much native culture irretrievably, that whatever can yet be preserved needs to be.

From The New Yorker: A controversial new bill in the Texas House of Representatives would require those running for governor to show proof of the minimum I.Q. necessary to perform the duties of the office.

If the bill were to become law, every politician in Texas with gubernatorial ambitions would be issued an I.D. card featuring his or her photo, current address, and performance on a state-administered I.Q. test.

Andy has to be mistaken. Didn’t they outlaw IQ there? Don’t they already arrest anything brighter than a turnip? Won’t the RNC just issue fake ID’s to Republicans?

From Daily Kos: It was one of the great unanswered questions of the 2014 campaign: How in the world would the uninspiring Mitch McConnell build "enthusiastic" crowds to bring his campaign across the finish line?

Now we know the answer—with a checkbook.

McConnell will pay expenses in return for ‘enthusiasm’ at events

The Kentucky Republican Party is offering volunteers all-expenses-paid trips to join Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) campaign bus tour and "contribute to an enthusiastic atmosphere" at his events.

In exchange for transportation, meals, and lodging, the state GOP expects the lucky few chosen for the ride to "join local supporters in contributing to an enthusiastic atmosphere at each of his events."

I’d be overjoyed to attend a campaign event for Bought Bitch Mitch, and nobody would have to pay me to feign enthusiasm. Please pass the rotten eggs!!!

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Now they’re campaigning to make it three times.

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Oct 222014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 184.  It’s already evening, and I finally have time to write.  ARGH!  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day, and Thursday is a major prison volunteer day.  Color me rushed.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 3:53).  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:

7Scores

Standings:

7Standings

I could shoot Foster!

Short Takes:

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

 

Bubba Bagger should be hanging his head in shame!

From NY Times: Giving this city a measure of calm for the first time in weeks, 43 people who had direct or indirect contact with the Liberian man who died here of Ebola were declared Ebola-free on Monday.

The 43 people who were released from monitoring had all had potential contact with the Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, before he was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Sept. 28. Ultimately in the coming days, a total of 48 people are expected to be cleared of any risk of contracting Ebola and will start rebuilding their lives, after a 21-day isolation that amounted to a self-imposed quarantine for some of them and a more serious state-ordered quarantine for others.

Republicans had better hurry. This issue is running out of steam as a way for them to fear monger. On the other hand, Faux Noise viewers may lot learn of this.

From Upworthy: Space is vast and mysterious and kind of generally mind-freakingly amazing. And yet, we’re not really trying to get there anymore. Neil deGrasse Tyson isn’t too pleased about that.

 

How true! It seems that Republicans would prefer to keep the known universe from expanding into the vast empty spaces between the ears of idiots who elect them, especially those idiots that choose not to vote!

Cartoon:

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Oct 172014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 179.  I’m still feeling quite tired from Tuesday’s volunteer work.  Next week will be very hectic with a Urologist appointment on Monday (routine semi-annual) and a volunteer day in prison on Thursday.  I have to prepare a presentation to give to over 100 prisoners and a dozen crime victims, so I’ll have lots to do between now and then, so I may be intermittent.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 4:59).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From sojo.net (Hat-Tip Joanne Dixon): Thousands of people from around the country came to Ferguson, Mo., for a “weekend of resistance.” But for faith leaders it was a weekend of repentance. Twenty of us were arrested in Ferguson yesterday for an act of repentance.

I went to Ferguson as a faith leader but, in particular, as a white faith leader. Because the great disparity between how differently young black lives are treated in our criminal justice system than young white lives is a fundamental injustice that must not only be left to black faith leaders to raise up. Repentance must begin in the white Christian community for tolerating this offense to our black brothers and sisters and, ultimately, this offense to God. Let me be as honest as I can be. If white Christians in America were more Christian than white, black parents could feel safer about their children. It’s time for us white Christians to repent — turn around and go in a new direction.

Repentance is a powerful theme throughout the Bible. But its meaning is often not well understood. Repentance is not about being sorry or just feeling guilty. It is about turning in a new direction. The biblical word for repentance in the original Greek is metanoia, which means you are going in the wrong direction, and it’s time to turn right around.

Most frequently, the only thing we see from the white faith community is the false gospel of division, hate and greed from Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the opposite of authentic Christians).  An expression of authentic repentance is a breath of fresh air.

From Daily Kos: Georgia Republican David Perdue’s pride in his outsourcing career was screaming out for a campaign ad, and Democratic opponent Michelle Nunn has obliged. The ad is composed almost entirely of news coverage laying out the situation—and it’s damning enough on its own.

 

So do we want Perdue to take his vulture capitalism to the US Senate? Do we want any of it at all? No! We want Nunn! Get out the VOTE!!!

From The New Yorker: The president of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker, attempted on Wednesday to defuse the brewing controversy over his decision to change the network’s official slogan from “The Most Trusted Name in News” to “Holy Crap, We’re All Gonna Die.”

“This exciting new slogan is just one piece of our over-all rebranding strategy,” Zucker said. “Going forward, we want CNN to be synonymous with the threat of imminent death.”

He added that the network expected to see strong ratings growth as a result of having the words “Holy Crap, We’re All Gonna Die” on-screen twenty-four hours a day.

More straight News from Andy, as he exposes Faux Noise Lite.

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Oct 152014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 177.  Today is a Prison Volunteer day, so I’m writing early in the morning to complete my articles before I leave.  I’ll be returning home late this evening and will have missed sleep time.  The plan is to crash when I get home and upload the articles whenever I wake up, but since tomorrow is a grocery delivery day, don’t be surprised if I have nothing for Thursday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:06 (average 5:04).  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:

6Scores

Standings:

6Standings

I got Sasquatched in the last minute of the last game. :-(

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: But looking back at all Republicans have done, they seem to have achieved one goal really well: convince Americans making just enough that if only those with not enough had less, they’d be doing much better. Put another way, they’ve trained a certain segment of the population to kick downwards. Instead of looking at a system that makes it difficult to survive, instead of looking at the portion of the population that keeps getting richer and richer, instead of looking at how many hundreds and even thousands of times those above them make than everyone else…they look at the people just below them, getting poorer and poorer. Republicans have instilled such a level of contempt in people for unskilled laborers and the poor, that they do the work of justifying paying them less than enough to survive for the party.

Bear in mind, we’re not talking about people who don’t work; we’re not talking about people who earn a lousy living, but a living. We’re talking about people who work hard, and do not earn enough for the basic necessities. And as far as Republicans are concerned, this is good enough: the unskilled laborer’s comfort, standard-of-life, independence, self-respect, health and ultimately life are worthy of only disdain. He is a failure by virtue of being unskilled, and as such deserves contempt. A cheap Big Mac is more important than the person making it being able to afford to pay his rent and put food on the table after working 40 hours a week.

This article does an excellent job of going on to explain how Republicans use lies to convince fools to act and vote against their own interest. Click through for the rest.

From NY Times: Against a backdrop of growing impatience across Europe with Israeli policy, Britain’s Parliament overwhelmingly passed a nonbinding resolution Monday night to give diplomatic recognition to a Palestinian state. The vote was a symbolic but potent indication of how public opinion has shifted since the breakdown of American-sponsored peace negotiations and the conflict in Gaza this summer.

Though the outcome of the 274-to-12 parliamentary vote was not binding on the British government, the debate was the latest evidence of how support for Israeli policies, even among staunch allies of Israel, is giving way to more calibrated positions and in some cases frustrated expressions of opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance toward the Palestinians.

Kudos to the UK for calling out Butcher Ben. I bet our own Pat A had something to do with this. :-)

From Upworthy: So, yeah. Beer is kind of amazing.

 

This video got me wondering why all that beer consumption did not spur any evolution in Bubba Bagger, who continues his devolution toward the swamp. Then it hit me, just like yeast is the ingredient needed to make beer, Bubba has a missing ingredient. Brain cells. ;-)

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Vintage 10/2011

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Oct 142014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 176.  I spent most of the day finding a video made by the newest board member of my prison volunteer group.  He was speaking against the death penalty, from perspective of the murder of his father.  I’m used to getting things converted to use ON the web, not to use OFF the web , but I had to convert it and burn it onto a DVD.  It’s for my group’s Victim Impact Meeting on 23rd, which he is unable to attend. To get it approved I have to turn it in to the prison tomorrow, when I’m there for my normal volunteer work.  I never play DVDs so, when done,  I had to find a neighbor with a DVD player to make sure it would work somewhere other that my computer.  Tonight is a Holy Night in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, and my fantasy team has to beat back the thunder-toed Canuck.  I’m hoping that I can get articles for Wednesday prepared before I leave tomorrow.  Then when I get back from prison, I can crash and post them when I wake up.  We’ll see.

(Late update:  she sasquatched me in the last minute of the last game) :-(

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:51 (average 4:43).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: This is incredible:

All German universities are now free to Americans and all other international students. The last German state to charge tuition at its universities struck down the fees this week.

Why are they offering such a generous plan?

In explaining why Germany made this move, Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a Hamburg senator, called tuition fees "unjust" and added that "they discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study. It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany."

Major Kudos to Germany!  Click through for more.

From NY Times: Among the rolling hills and Spanish moss of Florida’s panhandle, voters have long demanded that politicians walk a wobbly tightrope between the two dominant political parties: Lean too far one way and a tumble is all but certain.

Navigating that kind of crossing in this part of Florida, which looks to the South for cultural kinship but still has a solid core of Democratic-leaning voters, is particularly treacherous these days. More than two dozen Blue Dog House Democrats, a near-extinct group of socially moderate, fiscally conservative lawmakers, have been defeated by Republicans or left office since 2010. The congressional district here, Florida’s Second, has followed that pattern: Four years ago, Representative Steve Southerland II, a political novice backed by the Tea Party, defeated a longtime moderate Democrat.

But in an election season full of dire predictions for Democrats, the party is pinning one of its few genuine chances to reclaim a House seat on a little-known northwest Florida woman with a well-known name. Voters know her just as Gwen, but it is her last name, Graham, that resonates — a marquee Florida brand brimming with centrist political currency. And her father, Bob Graham, who was a popular longtime United States senator and governor, is usually by her side these days, chewing on pork at a fund-raiser, gobbling peanuts at a rally and extolling his eldest daughter’s pledge to put people before party as a Graham Democrat.

She has my support, my endorsement, and if she wins, my deepest condolences over the company she will have to keep for the following two years.

From AlterNet: On Average, Most of Us Got ONE DOLLAR for Every BILLION DOLLARS of New Wealth

A look at the numbers compiled by  Us Against Greed shows how personal it really is. Out of that $5,350,000,000,000 ($5.35 trillion) made since the start of 2013, the bottom 80 percent of America took an average of less than $5,000 each. The richest 6 to 20 percent fared better, taking an average of about $65,000.

Now it begins to heat up. From that $5.35 trillion, the richest 2 to 5 percent took an average of about $343,000. The one-percenters need to be split up into the rich, the super-rich, and the filthy-rich:

—-The more common members of the one-percent (1,068,000 families) made over $1,000,000 each ($1,068 billion total)

—-The .1 percent (108,000 families) made about $4 million each ($480 billion total)

—-The .01 percent made about $40 million each ($480 billion total)

The unimaginably rich Forbes 400 each took, on average, almost $1,500,000,000 ($1.5 billion) since January, 2013.

That brings us to the Final 9 (Gates, Buffett, 2 Kochs, 4 Waltons, Zuckerberg). Each of them  has accumulated, on average, over $13,000,000,000 ($13 billion) since January 2013.

This is just one of four reasons why we should be taking America’s inequality very seriously. Click through tor the other three.

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In Like manner, the Republican Party hates the UN and has tried to get us out of it.

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