Aug 202017
 

Today has been one of those days.  I did something I have never done before — I slept in until 1450 hours!  My furbabes did not even wake me up even though they were hungry!  Within 40 minutes, I showered, dressed, fed the babes and was half way to the bakery to pick up some bread before going to my favourite eatery to say goodbye to one of the hostesses who was leaving.  She is a wonderful young lady who will be finishing high school this coming year (Bye Andy) and says she will be checking into the blog.  Fortunately our temperatures have moderated here in Metro Vancouver so it has been quite pleasant this past week.  Nights have been quite cool so I think that autumn is truly on the way.

Short Takes

The Independent Iceland is close to becoming the first country where no-one gives birth to a child with Down’s syndrome.

Pre-natal tests were introduced in the early 2000s, and the vast majority who receive a positive test have terminated their pregnancy.

While the tests are optional, all expectant mothers are informed about their availability, and up to 85 per cent choose to take it.

It’s called the Combination Test, and uses ultrasound and blood tests – as well as factoring in the mother’s age.
This determines whether the foetus will have a chromosome abnormality, the most common of which results in Down’s syndrome.

The law in Iceland allows for abortion after 16 weeks if the foetus has a deformity, and Down’s syndrome is included in this category.

There is another video at the beginning of the article which I would recommend watching only after reading the article and watching the above video.  It is from Faux Noise (need I say more?) and is an interview with Tony Perkins (now I know I need not say more!).  To be clear, Iceland does not have a cure for downs syndrome, a genetic condition.  What they do have is a different way of looking at abortion than in the US.  As the Icelandic counsellor said: 

“We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication… preventing suffering for the child and for the family. And I think that is more right than seeing it as a murder — that’s so black and white.”

“Life isn’t black and white. Life is grey.”

Personally, I am closer to the Icelandic view than the American view.  I believe it is up to each woman to decide what is right for her, and make that decision in consultation with her partner and her doctor. 

CBC — Around 4,000 people showed up at Vancouver City Hall to protest against a far-right rally on Saturday afternoon.

Tensions rose briefly as protesters from opposing sides began yelling at each other, but Vancouver police quickly escorted several far-right demonstrators away from the crowd. One protester was in handcuffs.  …

                                   Thousands showed up to protest an anti-Islam rally planned for Saturday afternoon at Vancouver City Hall. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Plans for the far-right demonstration began circulating on social media earlier in the week, not long after a deadly white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Va.

According to a Facebook page for the event, the rally is protesting Islam and the Canadian government’s immigration policies. The page is no longer live, but the demonstration was expected to begin around 2 p.m. PT.

By 3 p.m., a handful of far-right protesters appeared to have gathered. They held confederate flags and the “alt-right” symbols for Pepe and Kekistan. One wore a shirt in support of U.S. President Donald Trump.  …

Rowe-Codner said the coalition saw some pushback about the rally earlier in the week, and not just from the far-right.
“A lot of people [who lean left and central] are saying, maybe if you ignore this situation they’ll go away … But there are a lot of people and communities out there that face white supremacy and who can’t ignore it,” she said.

Ignoring the problem is the same as silence.  Silence is consent and THAT is just plain unacceptable!  I was very happy to see the numbers in attendance.  I had wanted to go but had another commitment.  Quite clearly, Charlottesville is having its effects felt far and wide.  It encourages me to see more people coming out in support of diversity than those showing up in support of a closed society.

AlterNet —  Felix Sater, one of Donald Trump’s shadiest former business partners, is reportedly preparing for prison time — and he says the president will be joining him behind bars.

Sources told The Spectator‘s Paul Wood that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s deep dive into Trump’s business practices may be yielding results.

Trump recently made remarks that could point to a money laundering scheme, Wood reported.

Sater, who has a long history of legal troubles and cooperating with law enforcement, was one of the major players responsible to for selling Trump’s condos to the Russians.

And according to Wood’s sources, Sater may have already flipped and given prosecutors the evidence they need to make a case against Trump.

For several weeks there have been rumours that Sater is ready to rat again, agreeing to help Mueller. ‘He has told family and friends he knows he and POTUS are going to prison,’ someone talking to Mueller’s investigators informed me.

Sater hinted in an interview earlier this month that he may cooperating with both Mueller’s investigation and congressional probes of Trump.

Read through to get an idea of a possible timeline.  If Sater’s timeline is correct, there could be a change in the leadership in the US before too long.  Of course, due process must playout.

CBC — Thousands of people took to the streets of Boston on Saturday to protest hate speech a week after a woman was killed at a Virginia white-supremacist demonstration, and their shouts drowned out the “Free Speech” rally that sparked the counter-protest.

Organizers of the rally had invited several far-right speakers, who were confined to a small pen that police set up in the historic Boston Common park to keep the two sides separate.

Police estimate that as many as 40,000 people packed into the streets around Boston Common.  …

On Saturday, Trump on Twitter praised the Boston protesters.
“I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!” Trump tweeted.

Boston was peaceful this weekend as a “free speech” rally mostly fizzled from poor planning, and a larger, louder counter protest in support of diversity.  Charlottesville this was not, thankfully!  However Trump’s response was in direct contrast to his response to the Charlottesville riot.  Where he talked in support of white nationalists in Charlottesville, he applauded those that spoke out against bigotry and hate in Boston.  He is at odds with himself but I am inclined to believe that his response to Charlottesville is his true nature.

CBC — Meike Muzzi is not dressed for travel.

Hospital bracelets in all three primary colours encircle her wrinkled right forearm, a gold bangle on the left.

But she says she’s ready for today’s trip — the promise of an escape from the Toronto palliative care ward in which she’s spent the past five weeks waiting to die.

David Parker is there to fulfil that promise with the help of his virtual reality goggles.

“What you’ve brought me so far has been beautiful,” Muzzi says, settling the soft black material of the goggles into the creases around her eyes.

The pair has already travelled together through the plains of Africa. And Muzzi reminds her guest that she would have liked to linger longer with the elephants.

Parker already knows this.

He listens to her stories, interviewing Muzzi and all the patients he visits at Bridgepoint Health in Riverdale, so he can store the information away and use it to help them revisit the moments of particular meaning in their lives.

Parker’s idea to offer virtual reality therapy began at Christmas.

The IT consultant received the headset as a gift. He first used them to take his wife’s grandmother to Venice, gliding through the canals on a gondola. Then he realized he could offer the same experience to those in hospice or having long-term hospital stays.

That idea has bloomed into both a pilot project at Bridgepoint and a passion project for Parker. Right now he donates his time and the equipment, but says that — even though he runs a creative agency — he can see this becoming his life’s work.

One of the things that I learned while I looked after my mother was that quality of life is most important.  Quantity means nothing if there is no quality.  And what makes quality often depends on the person and their situation.  For my mother, it was sitting quietly as I brush her hair for hours.  For Muzzi, it is travelling and seeing things that gave her joy.  Click through for the rest of the story and watch the short video of what Muzzi was viewing.  Unfortunately, I could not embed the video properly so that you could see it all.

My Universe

 

 

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Jun 262017
 

Yesterday the heat wave came to an end with another record high temperature: 104° (40°).  The next three days are forecast in the high 70°s, but it will take two days, before this building bleeds off enough heat for interior temperatures to reflect the weather outside.  My AC is holding it’s own a bit better than yesterday.  I’ve had very little sleep in the last two days and am feeling quite tired.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 4:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): We need action

 

Just as trans people are joining the struggles for freedoms not specific to LGBT rights, straight people must join the struggle for LGBT freedom. If you click through to the MoveOn Channel link, you’ll find videos of Bernie’s healthcare rallies in Pittsburgh and Columbus. Both are over an hour long. RESIST!!

From YouTube (RWW Channel): RWW News: Mike Pence Boasts Of Trump’s Anti-Choice Accomplishments To Focus On The Family

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Once again, Pence is just like Trump with two minor exceptions. He is not a puke shade of orange. Whatever pussy grabbing he does, he keeps it secret. RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Two groups, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, CREW, and the National Security Archive, have filed a lawsuit against the president, arguing that he “appears to be violating the Presidential Records Act and the Constitution’s requirement that the president ‘take care’ that the laws be faithfully executed.”

The groups specifically allege that the president has gone on a campaign to destroy tweets and that administration officials regularly use other means of correspondence, such as special apps that automatically delete read emails. The apps also allow for private communications among top staff that effectively cut the public and the press out from learning of the goings on of the president.

Interestingly, President Trump once accused Hilary Clinton of her own deletion problem.

Kudos to CREW. The doings of the Fuhrer and his Republican Reich are too evil to withstand the light of day. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0626Cartoon

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Jun 192017
 

It’s a crazy day.  We have 87° and muggy forecast, which would tie the record for this date, so my AC is fighting to keep up with the sun on the wall.  I’m afraid it has ruined the lovely shower Wendy gave me yesterday.  My replacement credit card came this morning, and I updated my most critical vendors, but there are many more to update.  I hope you had a fantastic weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:49 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: A member of President Trump’s legal team said on Sunday that the president was not under investigation by the special counsel looking into Russia’s election-year meddling, contradicting Mr. Trump’s assertion in a Friday morning tweet that he is a subject of the widening inquiry.

The denial on Sunday by Jay Sekulow, one of several personal lawyers Mr. Trump has hired to represent him in the Russia case, is the latest of many examples in which the president’s aides and lawyers have scrambled to avert a public-relations mess created by Mr. Trump’s tweets, off-script remarks or leaked private conversations.

How can you tell if a lawyer is lying? Look for any sign of life. Trump is not under investigation, the Pope is not Catholic, and bears never, ever shit in the woods. RESIST!!

From Huffington Post: Christian and Jewish clergy members have been part of the movement for reproductive rights for decades. Religious denominations, such as the Anglican Communion, the United Church of Christ, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), have passed resolutions supporting birth control. And during the 1960s, religious leaders were actually a “driving force” in the movement to legalize abortion in the United States.

Today, this history of activism has largely been overshadowed by prominent voices on the “religious right,” who promote the idea that it is impossible to be both religious and pro-abortion rights.

 

There is no conflict between authentic Christianity and a progressive agenda. Conversely authentic Christianity and the Republican Reich are mutually exclusive. RESIST!!

From TPM: Authorities say a noose was found hanging from a lamp post outside a museum in the nation’s capital, the third such incident in recent weeks.

U.S. Park Police Sgt. Anna Rose said the noose was found Saturday afternoon outside the National Gallery of Art.

She said her agency is currently investigating how it got there.

Tourists found a noose last month on the floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. A few days earlier another noose had been found on the grounds of the Hirshhorn Museum, which features contemporary art and culture.

Ever since the Dixiecrats became Republicans, the noose has been a Republican calling card. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0619Cartoon

This is when Dixiecrats became Republicans.

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Jun 162017
 

This is today’s only article from me.  The good news is that I seem to have recovered from Republicosis.  The bad news is that the blog caught it.  I went to update the poll this morning, and went to the administrators’ page that I always use to edit the sidebar widgets.  It is blank.  That means we have a conflict, between one of our plugins and WordPress, between two of our plugins, or between our theme and WordPress.  I’m going to have to deactivate all our plugins and add them back one at a time until I find the culprit.  During the process, the blog will be changing rapidly in appearance and function, so please be patient, and know that you are not the cause of this.  At worst I may need to rebuild from scratch with far fewer bells and whistles. I needed this like America needs Trump!  ARGH!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:23 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): 13 Men Deciding Health Care

 

I have nothing against men. I am one. I would not want 13 women to make decisions on my absolute need to scratch certain itches, and 13 well-intended progressive men, let alone 13 Republican misogynists, must not be allowed to make decisions on women’s health needs. RESIST!!

From YouTube (Full Frontal Channel): Sessions ‘n Cotton’s Movie Talk

 

The Red Queen should sue over her comparison to the Fuhrer. RESIST!!

From Exposed by CMD: This year’s legislative season saw a strong push in the states from right-wing groups, bankrolled by the Koch brothers and other ultra-conservative billionaires, hoping to convene a national constitutional convention in order to inject rigid fiscal constraints into our country’s founding document. Advocates of a federal “balanced budget amendment” (BBA) picked up two more states, Wyoming and Arizona, in their drive to win the 34 resolutions needed to bypass Congress and convene a convention to propose changes to the U.S. Constitution.

That momentum, however, was blunted by surprisingly successful campaigns to rescind convention calls in three states, New Mexico, Maryland, and Nevada. As a result, BBA proponents now claim 27 states in their column, down from 28 at the beginning of the year.

Two steps forward and three steps back…from the brink of a political experiment untried since 1787.

Click Through.  A Constitutional Convention of, by, and for Republican Koch Suckers would be an unmitigated disaster. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0616Cartoon

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Apr 242017
 

I’m feeling slightly better than I did yesterday.  The pain when I cough is still excruciating, but I’m coughing less and was able to sleep.  Today, I put George on for the first time in two weeks.  The stretching hurt liked hell, but leaving Stumpy unconfined for so long was bringing back phantom pain.  Wendy and I got everything done yesterday, including the dreaded task.  This morning I scheduled my first cataract surgery for June 23.  There is light at the end of this tunnel.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:21 (average 4:26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Unpopular orange blunt object of a President Donald Trump had a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni recently. It’s hard to screw up a press conference introduction but the wannabe tiny-handed model did just that.

Through the ages your country has been a beacon of artistic and scientific achievement. That continues today. From Venice to Florence, from Verdi to Pavarotti—friend of mine. Great friend of mine.—These bonds…   

As an American I want to jump out of a window every time he speaks as president. Not since George W. Bush came on the scene has someone seemed so thoroughly unimpressive. He’s also an insane liar and, as the Independent in England reports, Pavarotti’s widow and his family can’t stand the guy—and they don’t imagine their late great Luciano could either. [emphasis added]

To settle the issue, Peach Pinocchio could create an opportunity to meet with Luciano Pavarotti and discuss it. RESIST!!

From RFI: The deciding round of France’s presidential election will pitch Marine Le Pen, the 48-year-old inheritor of the leadership of the far-right National Front (FN) against Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year-old former merchant banker and former economy minister who has never held elected office. What are the big differences in their programmes?

Sunday’s first round saw the candidates of the ruling Socialists, Benoît Hamon, and the mainstream right Republicans, François Fillon, eliminated, with the hard left’s Jean-Luc Mélenchon close behind Fillon and way ahead of Hamon.

So, although Macron was a minister in the outgoing government and Le Pen’s FN has been on the political scene since 1972, neither represent a party that has held the presidency or run the country before.

Many Socialists and Republicans on Monday called for a vote for Macron to stop Le Pen, whose party is strongly anti-EU and anti-immigrant.

Click through for analysis of their policy differences. I can’t say that I’m thrilled with either, but I have to support Macron over Le Pen [R-FR]. RESIST!!

From Think Progress: It all started with Steve Doocy.

On July 6, 2016, former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson sued Roger Ailes, alleging she was sexually harassed. The suit prompted an investigation of Ailes, his eventual firing, and a $20 million settlement for Carlson.

The investigation of Ailes, and the public standard it set for Fox News, set the precedent for the ouster of Bill O’Reilly last week, following numerous allegations of sexual harassment.

But Carlson’s problems with Ailes began when she complained to him about the conduct of Steve Doocy, her co-host on Fox & Friends.

According to Carlson’s complaint, Doocy “engaged in a pattern and practice of severe and pervasive sexual harassment of Carlson.”

Doocy was not named as a defendant. But Carlson claimed Doocy created a “hostile work environment” by treating her in a “sexist and condescending way,” regarding her as a “blond female prop.”

The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda has always reflected the misogyny of the Republican Party by treating women as props, and many of the ones I used to call Faux Noise Bimbettes, knew they were being hired as eye candy and cashed in on it. Since then, I have learned that even a woman’s active participation in the discrimination against her does not keep her from being a victim. Doocy is just one of the Republican crowd there. Put Faux Noise and the Republican Party out of business. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0424Cartoon

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Mar 132017
 

Well, here I am again.  It's TC's birthday and you may have seen the cartoon on his personal update which says "Crappy Birthday!"  He is still under the weather and is curled up in his cat bed where he belongs right now.  That means  you're stuck with me.  Today has been very rainy.  I'm in the living room with one cat on the ottoman draped over my feet and my little girl curled up in the rocking chair.  I think my other boy is upstairs in bed, his favourite snuggling place.

Short Takes

Second Nexus — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau further won the hearts of feminists and liberals by pledging $650 million of the national budget to sexual and reproductive health and rights initiatives. The funding would support contraception, reproductive health, legal abortion, sexuality education, and advocacy work worldwide, and it aims to make up for the loss of U.S. leadership and financial support in the wake of President Donald Trump’s global gag order.

The plan, proposed on March 8, International Women’s Day, could use advocacy funds to fight for abortion rights in the 125 countries where abortion is illegal, according to The Globe and Mail.  …

Trudeau was clear in his statement announcing the Canadian plan:

“Like men, women should be able to choose when they want to start a family, how big their family should be, and who they want to start that family with. When women have equal power and equal weight and equal leadership influence, the kinds of decisions are better.”

This came in an e-mail from George Takei.  There sure won't be a bromance between Trudeau and Drumpfenfarten!  Trudeau is far from perfect, but I am proud of him for standing up to this insanity called Drumpf's global gag order.  Kudos Mr Prime Minister!

Distractify — … there's a good chance that some people are being a little too overly sensitive about Donald Trump's St. Patrick's edition, "Make America Great Again" hats.  But then again, considering his overly critical and oftentimes hypocritical speech, can you really blame people?

The green MAGA hat features Reagan's campaign quote that Trump appropriated on the front, and a four-leaf clover on the back.  There's only one problem.

The three-leafed shamrock is the official symbol of St. Patrick's Day.  Four-leaf clovers have nothing to do with Ireland.

This too came in an e-mail from George Takei.  So much for Drumpfenfarten making America great again, eh!  Not only did he steal Reagan's slogan, but he screwed up the shamrock!  I wonder if that is anything like breaking a mirror . . . seven years of bad luck?  LMAO!!!

The New Yorker — The middle-school student who wrote the Republican health-care bill that was unveiled earlier in the week complained on Friday that he still has not been paid for his work.

Kevin Tenco, a seventh grader from House Speaker Paul Ryan’s congressional district, in Wisconsin, said that Ryan hired him two weeks ago to write the American Health Care Act with the promise that it “wouldn’t be too much work” and that he would be paid handsomely for his effort.

“He said I would get paid, like, five hundred dollars, and I could buy a Nintendo Switch,” Tenco said.

Taking Ryan at his word, the thirteen-year-old, from Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, “pulled several all-nighters” to complete the health-care bill in time for its Monday unveiling.

“I basically went to the Wikipedia page for Obamacare, cut and pasted a bunch of stuff and then threw in some tax cuts and whatnot,” he said. “It doesn’t sound like a lot of work, but I was super tired by the end of it.”

Given the rancour and rush over the American Health Care Act just within the Republican party alone, it would seem to have been written by a 13 year old.

Daily KosHouse Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) just nailed the Republican Party with another example of their blatant ACA v. Wealthcare hypocrisy.

In 2009 and 2010, when President Obama and Democrats were seeking the passage of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, Republicans including Paul Ryan viciously accused Democrats of trying to ram the healthcare plan through — without any participation from the public. Oh!

Fast forward to the present. The newly elected Maryland Congressman Raskin presents the truth with facts — something America is starving for right now and can’t seem to get from Trump-loving Republicans.

Another Republican lie debunked!  Kudos to Jamie Raskin (D-MD)!

Think Progress — During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump said he would turn down any salary as President. Then, in his first big interview as President-elect in November, he again insisted, “No, I’m not gonna take the salary. I’m not taking it.” Instead of accepting the $400,000 presidents get paid each year, Trump would take just $1 a year.

Well, it’s been almost two months and President Trump has received at least one paycheck — and he kept it.

Part of his struggle to keep his promise is that the Constitution gets in his way. It requires the president to receive compensation and prohibits the amount from being changed (in either direction) during the course of a presidential term.

In light of this, the White House tweaked the promise in February, with spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders explaining to Politifact, “He is required to get a paycheck but will be giving it back to (the) treasury or donating.”

But there has been no evidence to support this claim, and this week the White House refused to provide NBC News with any documentation that he’s taken such actions.

Even I, as a Canadian, know that Drumpfenfarten is restrained by the Constitution from doing anything with the presidential salary other than donating it to charity after the fact.  But I'm not holding my breath on this "promise"!  As my momma would say, he lies like a rug!  Mind, in 7 weeks as POTUS, when ever did an insignificant thing like the Constitution ever stop Drumpfenfarten from doing what he wanted? 

 

Resist and Persist!!!

My Universe

Happy Birthday TC

Happy Birthday Uncle TC

from the Squance kids + 2 friends

Happy Birthday TC

from all of us!

 

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