Jul 302015

Let me begin by saying that I am not opposed to Israel.  I fully support that nation’s right to exist in peace and safety.  That said, I oppose Israel’s current government, because, contrary to international treaties, that government is denying the same right to exist in peace and safety to the Palestinians.  There is now solid evidence of Israeli war crimes from Amnesty International.


Amnesty International says its new report provides "some of the most compelling evidence yet" that Israel committed war crimes during its attack on Gaza last summer.

‘Black Friday’: Carnage in Rafah during 2014 Israel/Gaza conflict states that findings indicate that Israeli forces acted in retaliatory manner, with disregard for civilian life, after Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was captured by Hamas fighters, and that the events demand urgent, independent investigation.

"The ferocity of the attack on Rafah shows the extreme measures Israeli forces were prepared to take to prevent the capture alive of one soldier—scores of Palestinian civilian lives were sacrificed for this single aim," said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

The report from the human rights organization and Forensic Architecture, a research team based at Goldsmiths, University of London, focuses on a three-day period, from August 1 until August 4, during what Israel called Operation Protective Edge.

Researchers reconstructed events using evidence including videos, photos, satellite images, news reports, and eyewitness accounts… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

The following video shows Amnesty International’s forensic analysis.

Here in the US, Black lives matter, and the Republican Party do everything possible to make sure that they don’t. In the Middle East, Palestinian lives matter, and Likud, led by Butcher Bibi Netanyahu (R-IS), do everything possible to make sure that they don’t.

Jul 112015

I’m getting a late start today, because I’ve been busy talking to my friend with cancer, proofreading and editing a manual that another organization is preparing for prisoners on how to prepare for a parole board review, and planning an upcoming three day prison volunteer trip in September. I’m not fully well, but am still mending.  I hope you are having a fine weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:46 (average 6:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We may still need one new player for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  Viv and her Hillbilly Lefties are now onboard. We may have found our last player. For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: From Business Insider:

The national Democratic Party released a new video Thursday that connects the entire Republican presidential field to the immigration remarks made by real-estate magnate Donald Trump.

The Democratic National Committee’s video is titled, "Retrumplican Party."

Barf Bag Alert!!


I say again, the reason Hairball is leading in the polls is that that he represents the actual values of the Republican Party. The others are freaking out over him, because he says directly the things that they disguise with dog-whistle rhetoric.

From NY Times: The first detailed accounts of the brutal interrogation program the Central Intelligence Agency established after the Sept. 11 attacks noted that psychologists and other medical professionals played key roles in abetting the torture of terrorism suspects. However, much about their role and their degree of responsibility in one of the most macabre and shameful chapters of American history has remained shrouded in secrecy.

A new report by a former federal prosecutor, first disclosed by James Risen in The Times, contains astonishing, disturbing details. It found that top members of the American Psychological Association, the largest professional organization of psychologists, colluded with officials at the Pentagon and the C.I.A. to keep the group’s ethics policies in line with tactics that interrogators working for the agency and the military were employing.

At a time when intelligence and Department of Defense officials were desperate for intelligence that would help them foil new terror plots, they were willing to pay handsomely for experts who could give the torture program a veneer of legitimacy. Prominent psychologists were apparently happy to indulge them. “A.P.A. chose its ethics policy based on its goals of helping D.O.D., managing its P.R., and maximizing the growth of the profession,” the report said.

Every psychologist and medical professional of any kind that participated in the Republican Torture program should charged with war crimes. Those who merely abetted the Republican torture program should be stripped of their licenses to practice ever again for violating their professional ethics.

From Alternet: After suffering through weeks of white men complaining how political correctness is "ruining comedy" (read: "people have stopped laughing at my jokes"), the Key and Peele Show’s latest viral bit involving pirates singing a catchy feminist shanty offered a much-needed respite, showing that comedy can be both funny and inclusive.





Jul 102015

I can’t express how happy I am to have a wide open window and my A/C set on fan.  It will take a couple days for the building to bleed off the heat.  Old masonry structures are like that.  TGIF!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:39 (average 4:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We may still need one new player for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  Viv and her Hillbilly Lefties are now onboard. We may have found our last player. For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Yep, that’s what Jeb Bush said in a press interview with New Hampshire’s Union Leader. Unbelievable. People already WORK LONG HOURS, and we’re actually one of the most productive countries in that we work longer than any other industrialized nation in the entire world. Here’s the context in which Jeb Bush said his damning quote:

“My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.”

Call me crazy, but when we’re working up to 50 hours a week, and in many cases, more hours than that, and we’re not getting paid well in doing the work we do. Many people work long hours at the minimum wage level, and Americans work longer hours just to make the ends meet these days. The part-timers want to work full hours, but they can’t find other work, so they don’t often make ends meet without the assistance of government programs.

These are the facts, Jeb Bush, we already work damn hard, and we’re entitled to the right wages for our work. We should NOT be underpaid, we should NOT have our hours cut, we should NOT have our benefits cut so we work longer, and we should NOT be spending so much damn time at the office just to make ends meet.

Strike Three backtracked and said he was only referring to underemployed part time workers. However, the context in which he made the statement was as the means by which he intended to achieve economic growth of 4%/year. Increasing work for the underemployed could not possibly achieve even 1% growth, so either he’s lying about making YOU work more for less, and/or his entire economic plan is a lie. In my opinion, he’s lying about BOTH. Why? He a Republican, and he’s a Bush.

From Daily Kos:

Former President George W. Bush charged $100,000 to speak at a charity fundraiser for U.S. military veterans severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, and former First Lady Laura Bush collected $50,000 to appear a year earlier, officials of the Texas-based Helping a Hero charity confirmed to ABC News.


The former President was also provided with a private jet to travel to Houston at a cost of $20,000, the officials said.

It’s obscene that GW ChickenHawk is not donating his time to help the heroes that he maimed by using them as cannon fodder in his criminal war.

From Raw Story: [T]he anti-LGBT owners of an Oregon bakery were not fined for refusing to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple – they were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages for intentionally causing their would-be customers emotional distress.

The case has attracted widespread media attention since the couple first filed their complaint in January 2013, and that is largely through the efforts of Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

After the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries handed down the order last week, Aaron Klein claimed the ruling was an example of the “persecution of Christians” in the U.S.

However, the ruling shows the bakery owners had made Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer the victims of persecution and makes clear the payment was compensation for damages and not a fine or civil penalty.

I could agree that $135,000 would be a bit excessive as a fine, but the "Sweet Cakes" pseudo-Christian Republicans went beyond mere refusal of service. They published the lesbian couple’s address to make them a target for other gay-hating Republicans. I was targeted at home by peace-hating Republicans in 2003, so I know that $135,000 is not enough!



Apr 142015

When I dug into my corporate reporting for my volunteer group, I discovered I have until mid-May to get that done, so I decided to blog instead, in addition to delving into the mess I need to tackle for grocery delivery day tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:38 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: South Carolina wants to be able to continue to ban gays and lesbians from marrying each other. They want to do that so much that they filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court that they should continue to be able to do so. In it, they make an "originalist" argument that if the Constitution is read just as its drafters understood it, gays can be discriminated against because women can be discriminated against. Mark Joseph Stern at Slate has all the crazy.

Here’s the gist of South Carolina’s fascinatingly sexist argument. The state wants to prove that the 14th Amendment—which guarantees "equal protection of the laws" to every "person"—was not intended to displace state marriage laws. And what did those laws look like at the time? One major feature: In many states, married women were not permitted to own property or enter into contracts and had no legal existence apart from their husbands. According to South Carolina, the framers of the 14th Amendment explicitly preserved the rights of states to deprive married women of the ability to function independently from her husband. This right to deprive married women of basic liberties, South Carolina argues, is enshrined in the 10th Amendment and is not at all undercut by the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equality.

Were SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) to agree with this brief, not only would gays become the subjects of continued discrimination, but also, "barefoot and pregnant" laws would sweep those states, where Republicans have complete control.

From The New Yorker: Hillary Clinton has followed up the official announcement of her candidacy with a new campaign ad featuring nothing but kittens.

The sixty-second spot stars an assortment of kittens—tabbies, calicoes, Siamese, and a dozen other breeds—in a variety of adorable vignettes.

At various points in the advertisement, the kittens are shown playing in a sock drawer, tangled up in yarn, and chasing a duckling.

Clinton herself appears only in the final seconds of the ad, saying merely, “Hi. I’m Hillary.”

Andy, I certainly hope my kitty cousins are not exploited in such a shameful manner. Wouldn’t it be better to portray the kittens using Republicans as a cat box? I might get in on that action myself!!

From NY Times: One by one, four former Blackwater security contractors wearing blue jumpsuits and leg irons stood before a federal judge on Monday and spoke publicly for the first time since a deadly 2007 shooting in Iraq.

The men had been among several private American security guards who fired into Baghdad’s crowded Nisour Square on Sept. 16, 2007, and last October they were convicted of killing 14 unarmed Iraqis in what prosecutors called a wartime atrocity. Yet on Monday, as they awaited sentences that they knew would send them to prison for most if not all of their lives, they defiantly asserted their innocence…

…The judge, Royce C. Lamberth, strongly disagreed, sentencing Mr. Slatten to life in prison and handing 30-year sentences to the three others.

My only regret is that the top war criminals, Bush and Cheney, were not sentenced with them.



Dec 182014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 43.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries.  I’m still feeling pretty crappy, but I do have a second article for you.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:58 (average 5:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: What some insiders are calling a “rash display of backbone” last week could endanger Senator Elizabeth Warren’s career as a Democrat, leading party operatives say.

Harland Dorrinson, a strategist who has guided the campaigns of dozens of Democratic candidates, said that the Massachusetts legislator’s “recklessly truthful” tirade about banks left him “smacking my head.”

“She stood up for what she believed in and didn’t try to water it down,” he said. “That is a serious violation of the Democratic playbook.”

Andy is on. Unlike the Nevada Leg Hound, Harry Reid, Liz does not hump a few Republican legs, while begging, whine, roll over, and play dead.

From Daily Kos: Yesterday, the former vice president of the United States and one of the architects of the American torture program explained why he was unconcerned about the torture of innocent prisoners.

CHUCK TODD: Let me go to Gul Rahman. He was chained to the wall of his cell, doused with water, froze to death in C.I.A. custody. And it turned out it was a case of mistaken identity.

DICK CHENEY: –right. But the problem I had is with the folks that we did release that end up back on the battlefield. […] I’m more concerned with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent.

CHUCK TODD: 25% of the detainees though, 25% turned out to be innocent. They were released.

DICK CHENEY: Where are you going to draw the line, Chuck? How are– […]

CHUCK TODD: Is that too high? You’re okay with that margin for error?

DICK CHENEY: I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective.

I’d be happy to chip in for his ticket to The Hague.

From Upworthy: Housing is a human right. And an economy based on financial markets doesn’t care about human rights. Maybe it’s time for a new economy?


Click through for more info. This is what Republican rule is doing to Detroit and to America.



Dec 122014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 37.  I’m still feeling quite ill.  Watching Congress has not helped.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Todays took me 5:48 (average 7:06).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: [Wisconsin Gov. Scott] Walker, the son of a Baptist preacher and a practicing Christian himself, has made note of his common ground with the Jewish faith …

In an undated letter unearthed by the liberal group One Wisconsin Now … Walker told Gimbel his office would be happy to display a menorah celebrating "The Eight Days of Chanukah" at the Milwaukee County Courthouse …

The letter is signed, "Thank you again and Molotov."

Oy! The Fartfuhrer of the Fascist Republican Plutocracy of Fitzwalkerstan is a schmuck!

From NY Times: Most of the possible presidential candidates have not plunged into Washington’s debate over the Senate Intelligence Committee’s withering report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s brutal interrogation tactics — and some are ducking questions entirely, illustrating the delicate politics of national security.

These are Republicans doing the ducking. Even Hillary the Hawk opposes torture on our side.

From USA Today: In a dramatic vote late Thursday evening, the U.S. House narrowly approved a $1 trillion government spending package despite a rare uprising from House Democrats. The bill passed on a 219-206 vote.

Initially all but two Democrats voted against it. Later approximately seventy caved-in, under pressure from Barack Obama. I understand his reasons, but shame on him. The cost is too high. Tomorrow in the Senate Elizabeth Warren will be debating the tag team of Bought Bitch Mitch and the Nevada Leg Hound.



Dec 112014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 36.  This is the only article, because I’m still down.  I’m waiting for store to door to deliver groceries, so I can eat and go back to bed.

Late note: No pass for funding bill without stripping Republican blackmail for Banksters and theft of Apache land.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:48 (average 4:28).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos:

Following the release of a 6,700-page report on American torture practices, Fox News was very upset. The network’s hosts and guests assailed the notion of transparency, attacked the report’s release as political, talked about Jonathan Gruber, and generally insisted that Americans should not know what our government is doing when it comes to torture. But leave it to Outnumbered co-host Andrea Tantaros to really put the Fox News position on torture in terms anyone can understand:

"The United States of America is awesome, we are awesome," she said. "We’ve closed the book on it, and we’ve stopped doing it. And the reason they want to have this discussion is not to show how awesome we are. This administration wants to have this discussion to show us how we’re not awesome."

"They apologized for this country, they don’t like this country, they want us to look bad. And all this does is have our enemies laughing at us, that we are having this debate again," Tantaros continued.

There’s the party line from the liars at the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda.

From NY Times: The release of the Senate report on the graphic torture of terrorism suspects by the Bush-era Central Intelligence Agency led to calls at the United Nations and elsewhere on Tuesday for criminal prosecutions and caused an international explosion on social media, including online jihadist exhortations for retaliation.

The State Department warned American citizens in at least two countries where the torture and abuse took place — Thailand and Afghanistan — that they could be confronted with anti-American hostility.

Publicity about the report, the United States Embassy in Bangkok warned on its website, “could prompt anti-U.S. protests and violence against U.S. interests, including private U.S. citizens.”

In Geneva, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s special investigator on counterterrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson, said he welcomed the report and commended the Obama administration for having resisted political pressures to suppress it.

We have a treaty obligation to prosecute the leaders responsible. The word is reacting to our failure to keep our word.

From The New Yorker: Former Vice-President Dick Cheney on Tuesday called upon the nations of the world to “once and for all ban the despicable and heinous practice of publishing torture reports.”

“Like many Americans, I was shocked and disgusted by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s publication of a torture report today,” Cheney said in a prepared statement. “The transparency and honesty found in this report represent a gross violation of our nation’s values.”

“The publication of torture reports is a crime against all of us,” he added. “Not just those of us who have tortured in the past, but every one of us who might want to torture in the future.”

Geez, Andy! Straight news again?!!?