May 082015
 

Here’s the rest of what happened yesterday.  Fortunately the LIFT bus dropped me off over an hour early, because I discovered that my doctor’s office sent me to the hospital Imaging Department, when I was supposed to go to the Professional Plaza Imaging Department down the street.  I called TriMet LIFT and they agreed to change my pickup location.  A walk up a steep hill later, I got to the Professional Plaza who discovered that my doctor’s office screwed up the paperwork for the X-Ray.  They called and found that her back office staff had just left for lunch.  I had to sit al hour waiting for them to return to fax them the right paperwork.  Apparently the order was unsigned.  After they got the paperwork I went into the queue.  The X-Ray only took 10 minutes, which was good, because I made it to the LIFT bus area with only a few minutes to spare.  I got to take the grand tour dropping off other riders, but there was no congestion from Obama’s visit.  I’ll be brief, because I’m worn out.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 4:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: Fight For $15

No one who works full-time should live in poverty. A decent nation ensures that all workers can pay their rent and feed their family.

 

Please click through to MoveOn to share this from there.

From The New Yorker: In a deepening humanitarian crisis, residents of the city of Austin report that they are completely surrounded by Texas, a situation that locals are calling “dire.”

Austin has traditionally enjoyed freedoms as a semi-autonomous region, hosting film festivals and literary events without the interference of its hostile neighbors, but there are growing fears that those days may be coming to an end.

Alarmingly, citizens of Austin report, extremists within the city limits have taken over the Capitol Building and installed a militant government with dominion over its residents.

In recent days, Austin has made desperate requests for assistance to the U.S. military, which will be conducting exercises in Texas in July.

From Andy we have the clarion call. Save Austin!!

From Reuters: Prime Minister David Cameron won a stunning election victory in Britain, confounding poll predictions that the vote would be the closest in decades to sweep into office for another five years with a clear majority and his Labour opponents in tatters.

My condolences to the people of the UK for demonstrating that the US does not have an exclusive on voter idiocy. Perhaps Pat can fill us in on why this happened.

Cartoon:

0508Cartoon

Share
May 052015
 

I’m waiting for Store to Door to call me for my grocery order, and it’s a very busy week.  Tomorrow is grocery delivery day and Thursday afternoon I go for the MRI on my shoulder.  Getting home, even on the Lift bus, just got a whole lot more difficult.  I just learned that Barack Obama will be attending a fund raising event just seven blocks from my home that afternoon, and the streets will be clogged with spectators and the demonstrators protesting the TPP.  It could take me hours to get home.  Now I’m all for Obama fundraising in Portland, and I’m all for protesting the TPP, but does it have to be THAT day?  ARGH! :-(

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:36 (average 5:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do? 

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The most racist areas in the United States

0505Racict

Some of the spots are surprising.

From Upworthy: See how a group of Swedish police officers responded when a fight broke out on the New York subway.

 

Portland should hire a few Swedish cops!!

From NY Times: When the U.K. Independence Party received a donation of 1 million pounds a few weeks ago — about $1.5 million — it seemed like a big lift heading into the British general election on Thursday.

But the populist, anti-immigration party then faced an unusual problem: spending its cash.

In a country where television election spots are banned, billboards are booked long before voting day, and other strict laws constrain election spending, that task proved so hard that the party says it is unlikely to use all the money before Britons go to the polls.

Britain is not unusual in running short, relatively inexpensive campaigns. But few nations combine enthusiastic fascination with American-style politics — the governing Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party both hired top advisers to President Obama this election cycle — with campaign finance rules so stringent that they would seem better suited to City Council races in the United States.

The US needs to implement campaign finance rules from the UK.

Cartoon:

0505Cartoon

Share
Jan 082015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 64.  I’m also waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries.  I missed sleep because of street noise, and cannot catch it up until my groceries are here and stashed, so I’m feeling quite tired.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:29 (average 5:09).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Reuters: Hooded gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a weekly satirical magazine known for lampooning radical Islam, killing at least 12 people, including two police officers in the worst militant attack on French soil in decades.

One of the men was captured on video outside the building waving his arms and shouting "Allah!". After dozens of shots rang out, two assailants were seen calmly leaving the scene. One police officer was seen being shot as he lay wounded.

What a horrid crime! My heart goes out to the surviving victims and to all the victims’ families and loved ones. Remember that these violent reactionary right-wingers are not authentic representatives of Islam. Also, contrary to the Republican Reich rumors that have already begun, this attack has nothing to do with Barack Obama.

From Upworthy: Honestly, I think what the Waltons do to people who work for them is criminal. But let’s hear more about that from economist Robert Reich.

 

Than goodness Robert Reich is the Reich on the left. The Walton family supports and is represented by the Reich on the right, the Republican Reich.

From The New Yorker: In a troubling sign for the 114th Congress, a new poll released on Tuesday indicates that the day-old legislative body is the most hated in the nation’s history.

According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, only eight per cent of those surveyed approved of the job Congress is doing, a scathing indictment of the legislators’ first day on the job.

The 114th Congress started the day on a slightly more positive note, garnering a ten-per-cent approval rating, but after the House of Representatives reëlected John Boehner (R.-Ohio) to a new term as Speaker, the number sank to eight.

On the Senate side, Joni Ernst (R.-Iowa), newly elected to the most despised Congress in American history, said that the low approval number was no cause for concern.

LOL Andy!! Give them time. They’ll get it much lower than that.

Cartoon:

0108Cartoon

Being the Nevada Leg Hound can be dangerous!

Share
Sep 072014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 139.  What a rude awakening!  I took a cat nap after breakfast and did not wake up until after supper. :-(  Fortunately, I did my research before breakfast, so all I have to do is compose.  Tomorrow is a Holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, and the mighty Broncos will be honored with the first Sunday night meditation.  They hope to dine on small horse, but last time they tried, the small horses’ Luck was amazing.  This time, it’s our pasture.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:55 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: A special Upworthy partnership with the UN Climate Summit 2014. Made possible by Unilever Project Sunlight. Read more.

When you see photographs of the Earth from far away, the implications may not immediately be clear. This puts it all into perspective.

 

Amen!

From Daily Kos: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach—the same birther guy who thought it was a good idea to get President Obama’s birth certificate before considering a challenge to putting him on the ballot in 2012—is trying to help incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts win reelection by refusing to allow the former Democratic candidate to remove his name from the ballot…

…Taylor, however, says he spoke with the head of the state’s elections division who told him that he’d done everything he needed to do in order to withdraw. Taylor’s withdrawal boosts the independent campaign of Greg Orman, who has a very good chance of unseating Roberts in November’s election.

Assuming Taylor is telling the truth—and given Kobach’s history as a bigoted right-wing lunatic I’d trust him over Kobach any day of the week—then Kobach is going to have a hard time explaining what appears to be a nakedly partisan move.

There is no crime Republicans will not commit to steal an election they cannot win legally. Get out the vote!!

From Think Progress: Canada leads the world in forest degradation, according to a new mapping project.

The project, put together by World Resources Institute, Greenpeace and multiple other groups, uses interactive maps to display forest degradation and destruction around the world between 2000 and 2013. According to WRI, more than 104 million hectares (about 401,546 square miles) — a chunk of land the group notes is three times the size of Germany — of the world’s remaining large, undisturbed forests, or Intact Forest Landscapes, were degraded in the last 13 years. The Northern boreal region of Canada, Russia and Alaska had some of the largest area of degraded forests, with the Amazon having the second-largest and the Congo basin the third.

In Canada’s tar sands region, forest fires and industrial development have destroyed or degraded almost two million acres of boreal forest since 2000, according to Peter Lee, Director of Global Forest Watch Canada. Lee told ThinkProgress in an email that Canada’s main driver of forest destruction is an “increased frequency and extent of forest fires” driven by climate change. These fires are likely converting areas that were once heavily forested into shrublands. Logging and road-building are the second-biggest causes of forest destruction and degradation, Lee said, and “massive increases in the pace and scale of energy developments, especially non-conventional oil and gas developments in northern Alberta’s tar sands region and also in north-eastern British Columbia with the shale plays,” is the third.

I almost always have reason to compare Canada favorably to the US the, but in this case Harper and his Harlots are outdoing us. They must have taken a course in Koch … never mind.

Cartoon:

0907Cartoon

I have mixed feelings about the pageant.  Because I grew up in Atlantic City, it was the source of several pleasant childhood memories adolescent fantasies.  I understand that it tends to objectify women, but at the same time, it provided more scholarship money to women than any other organization in the country.  For me, it engendered respect for the beauty within women, not just without.

Share
Sep 032014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 135.  It has been an incredibly busy day, so this is tomorrow’s only article.  I cleaned in preparation for a maintenance inspection.  I ordered groceries for delivery tomorrow from Store to Door.  I learned that the prison has approved  joint executive body meetings this month.  During the week if the 21st of this month, I’ll be spending two nights in Salem for joint meetings between the Officers of out outside group and the officers of my guys’ inside group for planning and coordination.  I got my motel reservation and bus tickets.  I negotiated the migration of this blog to more a more powerful server while renewing our HSP service until September, 2016.  The blog may be offline, starting at about 2 AM Pacific time until that transition is complete.  If you could not get through, that’s why.  I’m so swamped, I even stole last year’s cartoon again.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:06 (average 5:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: All over Mexico, children have begun making their way to school for the start of a new year — many stepping into run-down buildings without running water, new textbooks or trained teachers.

Spending is not the issue. Mexico budgets more for education, as a proportion of gross domestic product, than Brazil, Spain and even Switzerland. So where does the money go?

According to one calculation now appearing on a new “abuse meter” — a giant electronic billboard hovering over a busy intersection here in the capital — about $2.8 billion annually goes into the pockets of 298,174 no-show teachers and administrators who collect pay without working.

While I agree that Mexican teachers and administrators should not be paid for not working, it’s rather hypocritical of us to criticize. After all Republicans in Congress get paid a hell of a lot more than Mexican teachers, and they do even less than nothing.

From The New Yorker: In what he called “a provocative and defiant act,” President Obama charged on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has started letting his calls go directly to voice mail.

Speaking at the White House before this week’s NATO summit, a visibly furious Obama said that Putin’s new practice of letting his calls go straight to voice mail “hampers our ability to discuss the future of Ukraine and other important issues going forward.”

Having left dozens of voice mails for the Russian President, Obama said that he tried to reach him via e-mail on Monday night but received an out-of-office auto reply.

“Given what he has been up to in Ukraine over the past few weeks, I find it impossible believe he has been out of the office,” Obama said.

No matter what Andy says, Obama is wasting his time trying to get in touch with Vladimir Putin (R-RU). Just like other Republicans, “GOP Pootie” will just lie to him anyway.

From Daily Kos: At the beginning of the year, we heard a lot of talk about how 2014 was going to be another Republican wave year, like 2010, or bigger [Limbarf delinked]. Now, however, it’s clear that 2014 has not followed the same trajectory as 2010.

By this time in 2010, Democratic fortunes were sliding downhill fast, according to generic congressional ballot polling questions. This year—not so much. Take a look at the trends (Loess curves):

0903Loess

Based on the Loess curves, we should win easily, but due to Gerrymandering Republicans have marked the cards and stacked the deck.  No doubt Joanne will agree that neither of us has ever said that it comes down to turnout. Riiiiiiiiight!! Get out the vote!

Cartoon:

0903Cartoon

And the Holy Light broke forth from the Ellipsoid Orb!

Share
Aug 302014
 

I have long supported the idea of a carbon tax because it is the most direct way for corporate polluters cover the cost they are now pushing onto taxpayers.  In several nations, the carbon tax ix making inroads.  Chile, for one, is making excellent progress since throwing off the murderous Pinochet dictatorship, established by Nixon, Kissinger, and the US Republican Party in 1971.

0830chile_glacierIt’s a big year for fighting climate change in Chile. A carbon tax is set to go before its House of Representatives next week, as part of a larger tax reform package that includes measures intended to fight air pollution and climate change. Chile would become the first country in South America to institute a carbon tax, and the second in Latin America after Mexico, which imposed its carbon tax in January.

A carbon tax is what it sounds like. The government charges emitters of carbon pollution for every metric ton they release into the atmosphere. Carbon taxes are gaining popularity as a way to massively cut the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere, while creating jobs, raising incomes, and cutting deficits in countries where they’re implemented. British Columbia, Canada has had a carbon tax since 2008 and has seen success cutting energy use and carbon emissions, and giving revenue from the tax back to low-income families to offset higher energy prices.

Chile’s initial tax will be $5 per ton of CO2, and Mexico’s taxes fuels at different rates, averaging out to about $3.50 per ton. Those are both pretty low, but once a carbon tax is in place, it can be raised. British Columbia’s started at C$10 per ton in 2008, ramping up over the years to C$30 in 2012. A study in California found that even a $200-a-ton carbon price would actually help businesses and create jobs in the state, though it’s far higher than anything that has been tried yet.

There is currently no carbon tax in the United States, and any attempt to pass one would be extremely difficult, thanks in part to a pledge from the Koch-backed organization Americans For Prosperity that requires signers to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” A third of the U.S. House of Representatives and a quarter of Senators have signed the pledge… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

In 2008, Obama supported a Carbon Tax, while both Clinton and the Republican Party supported Cap and Trade.  In a misbegotten early attempt to foster bipartisanship, Obama switched to Cap and Trade, and the Republican Party disowned it immediately, calling it Cap and Tax and a Socialist, Kenyan conspiracy.  Now Republicans just support polluters, because that what the Koch Brothers want.  So we get to suck pollution, while Republican politicians suck … never mind.

Share
Aug 292014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 130.  This morning I was tied up trying to fix a computer problem.  In addition, I had no water for two hours, because maintenance had to do repairs in a neighboring unit.  I got my research done, but it’s much later than normal.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:51 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

0828-Broncos27-Cowboys3

Short Takes:

From NY Times: The four-hour tours offered by one of the big gun ranges here are a popular tourist attraction. Starting at $200 a person, a bus will pick up visitors at their hotel in Las Vegas, 25 miles to the north, show them Hoover Dam and bring them to a recreational shooting range called Last Stop, where they can fire the weapons of their dreams: automatic machine guns, sniper rifles, grenade launchers. A hamburger lunch is included; a helicopter tour of the nearby Grand Canyon is optional.

But on Monday, one family’s adventure went horribly wrong. A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally shot and killed her instructor with an Uzi submachine gun while he stood to her left side, trying to guide her. A video of the shooting, which her parents recorded on a cellphone, suggests that the girl, in pink shorts and with a braided ponytail, was unable to control the gun’s recoil; the instructor, Charles Vacca, 39, was rushed to a hospital in Las Vegas, where he died Monday night.

I remember being a nine year old at an NRA shooting range, but the weapon they gave me was a single shot .22 short rifle, not an Uzi submachine gun. I consider any instructor who would put such a weapon in a child’s hands a victim of his own Republican Ammosexuality, but he and the girl’s idiot parents have emotionally scarred the girl for life. She is the real victim here.

From Christian Science Monitor: The toughened economic sanctions the United States and the European Union imposed on Russia a month ago over its actions in Ukraine appear to have had little of the desired impact.

Instead of pulling back from the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russia appears to be escalating its involvement. On Thursday, Western officials asserted that more than 1,000 Russian soldiers have crossed the border into southeastern Ukraine to bolster beleaguered pro-Russia separatists.

That action quickly raised questions concerning what more and what kind of action the West is likely to take in response. And the quick answer appears to be: not much.

Vladimir Putin (R-RU), aka GOP Pootie, because the Republican Party adopted him on account of his hatred toward and persecution of gay people, is ignoring the sanctions, because he recognizes that we have our hands full with ISIS and he sees the power vacuum in the US, where Congress has the responsibility to decide military action against ISIS, but the Republicans in the House would rather duck their responsibility, and complain that Obama has not taken action, while suing him over the hast time he took action, when they complained that he hadn’t taken action.

From CBS: They rejected him in 2008 and 2012, but Iowa Republican caucus-goers may finally be ready to embrace Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee.

According to a new USA Today/ Suffolk University poll, 35 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in Iowa would vote for Romney in the 2016 GOP caucus if given the opportunity to do so.

The pollsters initially gave the voters a list of a dozen potential 2016 Republican candidates, not including Romney. Asked to name their first choice, 13 percent said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (who won the 2008 GOP caucuses). Another 11 percent named New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, while 9 percent chose Texas Gov. Rick Perry and 7 percent chose former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

If the best they can come up with for 2016 is Little Lord Willard, infamous for Etching his Sketch, when reality does not suit them, Republicans are screwed in 2016. Vulture Capitalists make lousy candidates. Their greed sticks to them. Now we need to save the country by keeping them from increasing their power base before then.

Cartoon:

0829Cartoon

Share