Aug 262016
 
nwed

Actually, I'll mention two days you probably didn't know about – with a tip of the hat to Lona the Napster.

First – August 26 was designated by Congress as Women's Equality Day by Congress in 1971 at the behest of Bella Abzug (remember her?)  The date was chosen because it was the day in 1920 that Congress certified the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote (and incidentally to hold public office).

Second – August 26 is also National Dog Day.  National Dog Day was founded in 2004 by Animal Advocate Colleen Paige, who chose August 26 because it was the date that her family adopted her first dog "Sheltie" when she was ten.  Colleen is also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day, National Cat Day, and other national days to bring attention to, and encourage adoption of, animals.  I hadn't planned to include this, but when I learned that more Americans are aware of National Dog Day than are aware of Women's Equality Day,  I thought I had better mention it, before someone else did, and get it out of the way.

Back to Women's Equality Day, which is what the column is really about, it was, as I said, created in 1971, by a joint resolution of Congress:

Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971
Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the certification of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and

WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.

The responsibility for keeping it going seems to have (appropriately) fallen to/been adopted by the National Women's History Project, a non-profit educational organization, which, among other achievements, got March designated as National Women's History month.  They produce and provide resources for educators, speakers for groups, guides for historic site tours, and – well, you name it.  They offer an on-line trifold brochure in color about the Day and detailed instructions on how to print it.

Mrs. Abzug spearheaded the Day as a celebration of women getting the right to vote, but it has become more general in focus, and, while you may notice the brochure has a voting quiz, they also pick a different theme each year to highlight, connected to women's history in general rather than just voting.  This year the theme is "Working To Form A More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Servide and Government."  A very appropriate theme for 2016.  Last year, Time magazine developed and published the graphic on the right for National Women's Day, which is, alas, still pretty accurate.

But I also want to mention two other organizations who work every day to make it easier for women to vote.

We probably know each major party has a GOTV effort in place this very important year.  But the American Association of University Women, along with their other projects, is providing non-partisan GOTV skill training free through webinars, specifically aimed at registering women in the milliennial generation, through their "It's My Vote: I Will Be Heard" initiative.  This program also includes providing voter guides, and goes beyond that to training participants how to create their own voter guides if none are available which are specific to their area.  Yes, they have "University" in their name, but they are far from an elitist group.  They are envisioning holding these drives on campuses, but that's because they are timing this set of webinars with back-to-school.  I can't imagine them being upset if someone wanted to hold a drive in, say, a mall, nor if someone signed up a male or two while registering women.

Then of course, probably the grandmamma of all organizations which pair women and votes – it was founded, by Carrie Chapman Catt, six months before the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified – is the League of Women Voters.

The League began as a "mighty political experiment" designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. It encouraged them to use their new power to participate in shaping public policy. From the beginning, the League has been an activist, grassroots organization whose leaders believed that citizens should play a critical role in advocacy. It was then, and is now, a nonpartisan organization. League founders believed that maintaining a nonpartisan stance would protect the fledgling organization from becoming mired in the party politics of the day. However, League members were encouraged to be political themselves, by educating citizens about, and lobbying for, government and social reform legislation.

To this day the League concentrates on educating voters on issues rather than on candidates.  It is committed to being grassroots and non-partisan.  And it does register voters.  Last spring, League volunteers registered nearly 15,000 high school and community college students throough 350 registration drives.  They are looking to repeat or expand on this on National Voter Registration Day, which will be Tuesday, September 27.

However, the league does not stop at educating and registering.  It does get involved in fighting on issues.  Money in politics and defending the environment are the biggest, but there are some others as well.  You might be surprised how many others.  Click thrugh to the site and scroll down for a look.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4007182

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Aug 072016
 

I’m running late, as Wendy just left.  She left both the TomCat and the Cat Box bright and shiny.  We feasted on Baby Back Ribs! I’m very tired as the hot sticky weather kept me up last night, but we have three days of cool weather before the heat returns.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:12 (average 5:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Alternet: In an effort to bolster his policy platform, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump announced Friday a new 15-member economic advisory council that does not include a single woman.

Rump Dump measures women’s intellect in bra size, not IQ.

From Crooks and LiarsA somewhat important question that Julian Assange manages to completely dodge.

 

If Assange had ducked discussing his complicity with Putin and Trump any harder, he would have quacked.

From Raw Story: North Korea has accused Washington of planning a pre-emptive nuclear strike, after the US announced it would deploy its B-1 bomber in the Pacific for the first time in a decade.

That’s insane even for North Korea. Is there a new leader there named Kim Jong-Trump?

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Everyday Erinyes

 Posted by at 11:22 am  Politics
Aug 062016
 
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."

I try not to feature occurrences that are too new (like, say, yesterday) or which have received a lot of publicity – there are plenty out there under the radar more in need of the Furies' attention.  In this first item, the fact of it being under the radar actually IS the story.

On Friday, July 22, Germany was rocked by news of a terrible event – a young man shot multiple people outside a shopping center in Munich.  It became clear that the shooter, Ali David Sonboly, had Iranian ancestry; no one in the media hesitated to link him with Islam.  He was styled as "German-Iranian," and rumors spread that he had shouted "Allahu Akbat" before shooting (spoiler: he didn't.)  Right-wing politicians did their best to use the shooting to spread hatred and fear against Muslims, migrants, and refugees.

But once the dust cleared, the inident changed into a "classic shooting rampage" instead of an "act of terror," and quietly disappeared from news feeds.  Why?  He was not a Muslim, but a right wing extremist.  It wasn't the West he hated, but Turks and Arabs.  His hero was Anders Breivik who, five years to the day earlier, had killed 77 people in Norway.  His other hero was Hitler, with whom he considered it "an honor" to share a birthday.  Seven of his nine victims were Muslims or of Muslim background.

Sonboly's racist ideology was spawned in Central Asia, all right, but it was anything but Muslim.  Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan all consider themselves to be the cradle of the Aryan people (who lived 3,000-4,000 years ago and scientifically have little to do with the historical, or maybe I should say pre-historical Aryans.)  "Iran" actually means "land of the Aryans," and when Iran changed its name from Persia in 1935, both Afghanstan and Tajikistan responded with variations on "Who do you think you are?!!?"

German authorities mostly do not hesitate to link every rampage with Islam, but when right-wing terrorism takes place, they do their best to obscure the roots of the crime. This week, Bavaria's Interior Minister, Joachim Herrmann, insisted that Sonboly “probably had no links with right-wing networks.” And shortly after the massacre, Bavarian government and police officials claimed that there was no political motivation behind the massacre, claiming Sonboly had chosen his victims at random. According to this logic, a mass killer must shout “Allahu Akbar” in the midst of his murder spree for his political motives to be acknowledged. Everything else, no matter how clearly influenced by rightist ideology, is just a classic shooting rampage.

As long as right wing terrorism continues to be trivialized as isolated "rampages," and not treated as terrorism from the right, we in the west will make no progress toward suppressing terrorism at all.  Germany is by no means alone in this; it happens in the United States constantly.  Another case of decisions made on "facts" insteat of on facts are mostly very poor decisions.  Well, Bavaria is quite beautiful, Tisiphone.  Stop in to look at Neuschwanstein while you are educating Bavarian government officials.

I also have a couple of incidents related to rape culture, possibly appropriate in a week when a Presidential candidate and his number one son have said or implied that "strong women" do not get sexually harassed.  Yeah, right.

The situation in this story from Utah (but which could have happened anywhere) seems to me to illustrate just how extensively complaints of rape are routinely dismissed.  "In the most recent account, four women who reported that they had been raped by the same man were ignored by the Utah State University’s Title IX office, and by the police detectives investigating the complaints in Logan, Utah."

Had not reporter Alex Stuckey of the Salt Lake Tribune dug into this, no one but the victims (and the rapist) would even know the rapes had occurred.

Reporter Alex Stuckey of the Salt Lake Tribune conducted an in-depth investigation of a pattern of alleged rapes committed by an unnamed assailant. The first assault was reported in January of 2015; the fourth in December. The male student continued remained on campus until spring of 2016, when he graduated.

The four women did not know one another, and they all filed separate reports. Three of the women were Utah State students and reported the assaults to their school. Title IX, the federal statute passed in 1972 that mandates equal treatment of the sexes in education, requires that “schools must take action if there is a potential continuing threat to students.”

In stories that echo the disturbing details recounted in Jon Krakauer’s book, Missoula, which documented a spate of rapes in the Montana college town, police seemed more interested in helping preserve the reputation of the alleged rapist than in helping the women prosecute the man who had hurt them.

Click through for additional details of the attacks and the sham "investigations" conducted, if you haven't been nauseated enough by the brief summary I quote.  The prosecutor claims to be looking at the case more closely.  Alecto, maybe you can hold her feet to the fire.

Just in case anyone thinks the above story doesn't address sexual crime against strong women, this third story should lay all doubt to rest on that point.  It's had more exposure than the other two, as far as I can find (and I'm already late), so I'll be brief.

A prominent feminist writer and columnist said she is being forced to abandon social media after receiving rape and death threats against her 5-year-old daughter.

On Twitter, Jessica Valenti wrote: “This morning I woke up to a rape and death threat directed at my 5 year old daughter. That this is part of my work life is unacceptable.”

You know, after you've said that, what do you say?  Jessica goes on with several more tweets elaborating on the facts of this situation, and what an impossible position it puts her in.  I expect anyone here could have come up with every point.  Unacceptable?  Yes.  Of course.  But Facebook, Twitter, and law enforcement all seem to accept it just fine.  Megaera, everyone else already has an assignment.  But you are going to need reinforcements.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4003531

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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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Everyday Erinyes

 Posted by at 10:04 am  Politics
Jul 092016
 

I have two 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."

Frankly, I did not expect to be sharing this story of grudgingness today.  I try to find outrages that go under the radar, as it were, and, although this is a followup to an earlier story you may remember, I still expected it to be picked up by other sites and get a lot of publicity.  I was wrong.  I find that sad.

"Please accept our condolences on your loss,” explained a letter from the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority of New Jersey. “After careful consideration of the information you provided, the authority has determined that your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness. Monthly bill statements will continue to be sent to you.”

The recipient of this letter received no direct benefit from the loan in question, and indeed, no indirect benefit, such as being related to someone who has increased earning power, which sometimes comes to those who graduate from college.  The student, the borrower, was her son.  And he was murdered last year.

The loans were not Federal loans.  The Federal Government has provisions to give some relief to borrowers who experience life-changing circumstances – such as losing a job.  Wken non-Hodgkins lymphoma survivor Chris Gonzales was laid off by Goldman Sachs, the Federal Government suspended his federal student loan payments.  However, he had also received some loan funds from New Jersey – which sued him and confiscated his state tax refund.

Marcia DeOliveira-Longinetti, the bereaved mother who received the letter quoted above, has been forced to make 18 monthly payments of $180 to the state.  Only 92 to go.

Not every state administers its own student loan program (states that do not do administer their states' share in the Federal loan programs.)  Two that do are New Jersey and Massachusetts.  But, in Massachusetts, there is automatic debt forgiveness if the borrower dies or becomes disabled.  New Jersey, on the other hand, goes aggressively after loan repayment regardless of the circumstances.  And, since federal law does provide some possibility of relief, New Jersey pretty much stopped giving federal loans some years ago, substituting their own loans instead.

But New Jersey will sell students taking out loans life insurance!  My, what a big heart!  Knock yourself out, Megaera.

There is another story, this one of vengeful destruction, which needs to be told.  THere is a church in Kansas where a volunteer in 2014 attempted to rape and electronically solicit two girls under fourteen who attended the church.  Last year he pleaded guilty to these charges.

The volunteer, who was seventeen, at the time of the crime, had a string of past sexual conduct and crimes behind him, but was still allowed to be around children without supervision.  On June 9 of this year, the girls and their families filed a lawsuit against the church, alleging that the church violated its own protocols, thereby allowing the assaults to occur.

Naturally, the church has filed a petition asking the court to require the victims and their parents to identify themselves publicly before the case can proceed.

Wait a minute, you are probably saying to yourself.  What is this church?  Westboro Baptist?  That's in Kansas, right?  Well, no, it isn't Westboro Baptist, though it is a Southern Baptist church.  It's just creepily similar.  Its name is Westside Family Church.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has been a victim advocate for 28 years, and has never seen a petition like this before in a case involving children, and only occasionally when the victim(s) are adult.  And children these victims still are.  If they were under fourteen in 2014, they cannot now be older than sixteen.

Clohessy called the move "a shameful move by officials who profess to be 'Christians.'"  I concur.  Tisiphone, you know what to do.

(Note: the photo of mother and son shows the mother and son in the story.  The photo of the girl is a stock photo from Shutterstock, which AlterNet picked to illustrate the narrative.)

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross-posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/3997742

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Jul 072016
 

Yesterday my Ocular Oncologist's lead technician and head nurse both called in sick.  Therefore, I did not get my appointment until after my ride home was scheduled and did not get home from my 11:00 AM appointment until after 4:00 PM.  The good news is that the eye is healing well.  There was no apparent shrinking of the tumor, but none is expected yet.  We'll know if it was successful in six months.  The bad news is that there is very little we can do to correct my horrible vision until after my six month evaluation,  I'm 20/30+ in my left eye and 20/300 in my right.  In addition I have cataracts in both an d gave pronounced double vision  I'm getting a late start, because I tried to nap after breakfast.  Store to Door is taking this week off, so I'm got my grocery delivery from Safeway.com.  I got everything put away.  I'm very pooped.  Tomorrow I have PT with Courtney.  I'm still on light duty, but I trust she'll find some minor tortures.  Please expect no more than a personal update tomorrow.  For the record, I have nothing to cover the murder of two more innocent black men by police.  First, everything I would say is being said already.  Second, I just can't wrap myself around how many there have been without screaming.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 3:02 (average 4:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Don Christy is a self-described “patriot” and took it upon himself to join the 4th of July parade of vehicles in the Sheridan, Indiana. Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and a blonde wig, Christy shocked parade-goers with a doll meant to look like President Obama in a toilet with the words “Lying-African” underneath. From the IndyStar:

"I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican," Christy said. "I'm a patriot."

Christy said he is tired of political correctness and was just trying to be funny. The display was not intended to be racist, he said. Christy agreed that others have a right to be offended, just as he has the right to express his views.

"I apologize to anyone I offended, which would be a total liberal. I have my right to say things," Christy said. "Isn't that what the Fourth of July's about? Freedom.”

As noted by the large Trump signs on top of the golf car, Christy is a big fan of the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. He’s just tired of all this gosh-darned political correctness these days!

Bull!!  If this Racist Republican isn't one, then why is he goose stepping with the presumptive rectum of the Republican Party?

From NY Times: On July 28, 2002, roughly eight months before the American-led invasion of Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain sent President George W. Bush a personal note that alarmed some of Mr. Blair’s top national security aides — and was greeted with relief in Washington.

“I will be with you, whatever,” Mr. Blair wrote, in what appeared to be a blanket promise of British support if the United States went to war to topple Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi leader. Getting rid of Mr. Hussein was “the right thing to do,” Mr. Blair wrote, predicting that “his departure would free up the region.”

Fourteen years later, Mr. Blair’s pledge was revealed publicly on Wednesday as part of a voluminous, seven-year official investigation into how and why Britain went to war in Iraq.

The main conclusions in the report, by the independent Iraq Inquiry Committee, were familiar: that Britain, like the United States, used flawed intelligence to justify the invasion, that Iraq posed no immediate national security threat, that the allies acted militarily before all diplomatic options had been exhausted and that there was a lack of planning for what would happen once Mr. Hussein was removed.

There was a reason we called Blair "Bush's poodle". Both and more should be imprisoned for life.

From Alternet: Longtime Fox News host Gretchen Carlson shocked the media world on Wednesday by filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former boss, CEO Roger Ailes.

In her suit against Ailes, she also alleged that she faced a hostile work environment from many of her male colleagues including former Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy. Looking back on some choice clips of Carlson, we can see signs that she was sending out secret cries for help for years.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I can't help but believe that, after all the years of legs, cleavage, and batting her eyes like an obedient Republican bimbo,  she had to know why she was hired. I'm not defending Faux Noise sexism.  I abhor it, but she was clearly prostituting herself on camera for so long, that to cry foul at this point is hypocritical.

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Jul 042016
 

It’s a good thing I slept well on Saturday and Sunday nights, because I know I won’t tonight.  The main fireworks display is only seven blocks from me.  I hope you are all having a happy and safe weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:10 (average 6:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 7/2014): 1. Conservatives opposed the Founding Fathers, the American Revolution and a lot of other righteous stuff as well.

By definition a conservative is one who wishes to preserve and/or restore traditional values and institutions, i.e. to “conserve” the established order. No surprise then that 18th century American conservatives wanted no part of breaking away from the British Empire and the comforting bonds of monarchical government. Those anti-revolutionary conservatives were called Tories, the name still used for the conservative party in England. The Founding Fathers? As radically left-wing as they came in the 1770s. The Boston Tea Party? The "Occupy Wall Street" of its day.

Some of the other "traditional" values supported by conservatives over the course of American history have included slavery (remember that the Republican Party was on the liberal fringe in 1860), religious persecution, the subjugation of women and minorities, obstacles to immigration, voter suppression, prohibition and segregation.  Conservatives started off on the wrong side of American history, and that’s where they’ve been ever since.

2. The United States is not a Christian nation, and the Bible is not the cornerstone of our law.

Don’t take my word for it. Let these Founding Fathers speak for themselves:

John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797)

Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” (Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814)

James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” (Writings, 8:432, 1819)

George Washington: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” (Letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789)

You can find a multitude of similar quotes from these men and most others who signed the Declaration of Independence and/or formulated the United States Constitution. These are hardly the words of men who believed that America should be a Christian nation governed by the Bible, as a disturbing fundamentalist trend today would have it be.

These are just the first two of thirteen listed facts about America that Republicans wish you would forget. Click Through for the other eleven.

From Crooks and Liars: In this web exclusive, John Oliver lets us know just what we’re missing by declaring independence from Britain.

 

LOL! God save the Queen!!

From TPM: If elected president. Hillary Clinton plans to appoint enough women to the top levels of her administration that females would make up half of the cabinet positions, the New York Times reported. The report is based on interviews with friends and advisors close to Clinton — some on the record, some unnamed — and they told the Times that she also plans to look at talent from Silicon Valley to assemble a diverse cabinet.

Only about a quarter or a third of the president’s cabinet has been female in recent years, according to the Times.

I consider this move as progress in the right direction, but why stop mat half? Also, we’d better have a supermajority in the Senate, or many will not be confirmed.

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Republican Math

 Posted by at 11:47 am  Politics
Jul 012016
 

The presumptive rectum of the Republican Party said something that is not only idiotic, but also, proves intent that demonstrates just how critical it is that this man never progress beyond the leadership of the Republican Reich, whose values he reflects so well.

Trump-Nazi1

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump defied the laws of mathematics on Thursday, claiming that he could have turned around the Supreme Court’s 5-3 abortion ruling by nominating a pro-life justice to replace Antonin Scalia.

Radio host Mike Gallagher noted during an interview [Fascist delinked] with the candidate that the Supreme Court "handed the pro-life movement a disappointing decision" by striking down a Texas law that made it more difficult for women to get abortions.

Trump suggested that the 5-3 decision would have been flipped to a 5-4 decision upholding the law if he had been able to fill the vacancy left by the death of Scalia with a pro-life judge.

"Now if we had Scalia was living or is Scalia was replaced by me," Trump said, "you wouldn’t have had that. Okay? It would have been the opposite."

"So just to confirm," Gallagher pressed. "Under a Donald — a President Donald Trump-appointed Supreme Court, you wouldn’t see a majority ruling like the one we had with the Texas abortion law this week."

"No, you wouldn’t see that," Trump insisted. "And people understand that."…

From <Crooks and Liars>

Barf Bag Alert!!

The idiotic part is that replacing Scalia would have left the decision unchanged as the 5-3 vote would have been 5-4.  According to Rump Dump’s Republican math, 4 > 5.

However, knowing his intent, next Justice to be replaced is Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Imagine SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) after Rump Dump replaced her with a Nazi.  That must not happen.

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Jun 292016
 

I'm sitting here trying to finish this post and I have been hearing the music from that infernal ice cream truck for the past half hour.  It is making yet another run through the complex.  Is there a penalty for knocking that musical ditty into next week?  Luckily, my kids could not care less.  I suppose that is one small blessing.  Today has been hot again — 31 C (88 F) — but by Friday, Canada Day, temperatures should come down a bit.  On Friday, Canada will be 149 years old, while on Monday, the US will be 237 years old, so this weekend will  be full of picnics, outings, and fireworks.  I am staying close to home with the furbabes.  But for those who like to celebrate in a big way, be safe and

PARTY HARDY!!! 

Short Takes

Alternet — Samantha Bee is back, and in fine form!

Sam nails it like usual!  When I saw the markets tumbling earlier this week as a result of the Brexit vote, I kept saying to myself, "don't panic" and "don't rush to a hasty judgement", advice I would give my clients when I was working in investments.  I hear the markets have now fully recovered, or at least the TSX (Canada) and the DOW (US).

YouTube — Published on Mar 11, 2016

Tonight on Real Time, Bill Maher left a guest speechless. Moreover, the audience did, too, when they began cheering so loudly that the speakers had to pause. The first time was when Maher mentioned that a Donald Trump rally in Chicago was canceled because of protesters. The second time was when Bill Kristol brought up how successfully Bernie Sanders has been relying on private donations to fund his campaign.

Bill is always funny and of course irreverent.  The token Drumpf supporter is shut down.

Think Progress — Colorado Republicans nominated El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, a former Colorado Springs councilman and self-described “unapologetic Christian constitutional conservative pro-life second amendment-loving American,” for U.S. Senate on Tuesday. Despite his paltry campaign fundraising and his vow to oppose keeping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as his party leader, Glenn easily beat the establishment favorite. He received endorsements from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who he has said he would like to see appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK).

In an April state Republican convention speech, Glenn told the party faithful, “The one dorsed by Ted CruzI’m absolutely tired of hearing is Republicans reaching across the aisle. We need to step up and lead, ladies and gentlemen, I’m tired ofbeen en reaching across the aisle.” Here are some of the positions he would take with him to Washington if pseudo Christian nut job, defeats Sen. Michael Bennet (D) in November.

He does not believe the U.S. armed forces need follow war crimes laws.

As part of his speech at the Colorado GOP convention in April, Glenn also suggested getting rid of war crimes rules for the military. “We need to make sure our men and women are given the necessary tools and training and equipment to do their jobs, remove those rules of engagement and allow them to win,” he said. While the U.S. military has generally been given a wide berth in war times, such a move would have meant those involved in the My Lai massacre and the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal would not have been subject to any punishment.

From what I can see, this is one scary Republican and Coloradans better beware!  He has been endorsed by Ted Cruz, Republican pseudo Christian nut job, and by Bullseye Barbie, Sarah Palin, or as Jim P calls her, Sarah Palinsane.  Just read the article to get his positions on six other issues.  JD, is Darryl Glenn in your neck of the woods?  Have you any additional information you can share?

My Universe — After seeing this dog "kill" BB-8 by decapitation, and having just seen an ad for it at $170 (Canada), I was worried about this expensive toy.  Turns out the head does come off and you just put it back on — held on by magnets.  It really is quite interesting but I will not be getting one.

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Jun 282016
 

The elevator is finally fixed.  I’m running late, because Julie and I went to the bank, and we’ve been planning her cross country exodus next week.  I will miss her terribly.  Please pardon my brevity.  I will need the Squatch to do the Monthly Report for June.  I’ll learn what we need to do to correct this double vision on 7/6.  Pardon my brevity.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

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

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The billionaire Donald J. Trump’s bid to become a born-again Christian failed over the weekend after Jesus Christ turned down his friend request, campaign officials have acknowledged.

Jesus, who has not generally been active on Facebook, made a rare appearance on the social network on Monday to announce His decision to ignore the presumptive Republican nominee’s request for a personal relationship with Him.

In a brief post, Jesus offered the following explanation: “Just everything.”

The turndown from Jesus Christ, the inspiration behind one of the world’s most prominent religions, caps what has been a tough month for the Trump campaign.

Privately, campaign staffers fretted that the candidate would pen a disparaging tweet about Jesus, which might alienate evangelical voters in key battleground states.

I think Andy is making fun of us. If Jesus really had responded to Rump Dump Rectum, He would have said LMAO!!

From Daily Kos: Trump gave 5-minute sales pitch about his resort, was surrounded by swastika golf balls (seriously)

0628NaziBalls2

0628NaziBalls

Read the article!

From NY Times: In the most significant victory in a generation for a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, the Supreme Court on Monday struck down Texas’s harsh and dishonest anti-abortion law by a vote of 5 to 3.

The justices’ reasoning in overturning the law applies to hundreds of other attempts in recent years by Republican lawmakers around the country to restrict or destroy constitutionally protected reproductive rights.

While the decision was unquestionably correct, the vote should have been unanimous. The 2013 Texas law — which forced abortion clinics and their doctors to meet absurd, pointlessly strict medical standards — was the textbook definition of what the court had prohibited in a major 1992 ruling on abortion: “unnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion.”

Roberts, Scalito [sp. intentional], and Thomas were in the minority. If regressives successfully sabotage the Democratic Party, and allow a Republican win, as they did in 2000, this will be overturned, and women’s rights will be history.

Cartoon:

0628Cartoon

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