Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

A local writer posted about stopping with the no-citations copy and paste stuff on Facebook. “Opinions, OK. Assertions of fact passed along without some source are rumors…Don’t play.”

I replied: “I suppose you’re right, although sometimes I think the info is SO obvious. e.g. someone was complaining about the proposed federal budget cutting EPA, et al, and someone else popped, “Citation, please.” Really? OK, here’s CBS, oh, and here’s WSJ and Common Dreams and… Are there no agreed upon facts anymore?”

Someone else chimed in: “It’s pathetic when Facebook friends have to demand higher standards for reposting than the President of the United States.”

And THAT, I suddenly realized, is one of the reasons it’s been such a tough winter. I wonder if it’s made me literally sick.

My friend Dan Van Riper has been saying for a while now what will bring a country down is “looting by the elites.” The draconian budget that will, among other things, cut medical research 20%, and the awful health plan are going to destroy our country if passed anywhere near their present forms. Why offer such an orgy of unnecessary cruelty?

Yale historian Timothy Snyder warns If We Don’t Act Now, Fascism Will Be on Our Doorstep; comments about fascism always seem to irritate people, but if the regime fits… And who IS running the show?

Most people who have been POTUS have stayed within a fairly wide swath of what one could call “American values.” Not so with this regime, measured by the fact that both GWB and BHO have, uncharacteristically, criticized him. His words before and after the election have inspired a pattern of ugly American behavior.

I won’t even get into his embarrassing behavior with Germany chancellor Angela Merkel or his idiot tweets that required a rare “sort of” apology to the UK’s Theresa May. Some are amused by his behavior, but I’m just horrified.

Last year, I was a believer in the “useful idiot theory”, that they’d dump him as soon as they wreaked the havoc to every agency and gotten their murderous health insurance allocation to the rich passed. But now he’s SO embarrassing on the world stage, and with the “health care” bill in trouble, maybe they need to dump him sooner or later, over some emoluments thing, likely.

(Serious questions that I do not know the answer to: are the tweets on the POTUS accounts buffeted somewhat from libels laws? And is Clarabelle, posting on realClarabelle, more susceptible to libel law?)

In fact, the only thing that makes sense – not “sense” in “that’s a good idea” but some sort of keep himself in power salvo is the Secretary of State’s threat to North Korea. Hey, everybody loves another war, right? Clarabelle will expect the country to rally around their “leader,” and Kim Jung Un is possibly the one head of state even more unhinged.


What Is Your Name? Where Are We? Who Is President? Oh God

Trump(Doesn’t)Care cartoon

Poor People Need BETTER Health Insurance than the Rest of Us, Not Worse

The lessons we fail to learn: Warren G. Harding

American ‘Christianity’ Has Failed and I don’t want to preach a faith that can be so easily adapted to self-hatred and self-harm

How the baby boomers destroyed everything

The 1862 Binghamton (NY) Race Riot – something I did not know about my hometown

After Slavery, Searching For Loved Ones In Wanted Ads

Coins of the Rebellion: The Civil War currency of Albany merchants

Jobs, Income, and the Future

A brief history of men getting credit for women’s accomplishments

The Weight of The Last Straw

7 Lies About Welfare That Many People Believe Are Fact

Albany, NY Plane Crashes Into Houses On Landing Attempt, March 1972

Contractor sues for $2 million in unpaid bills on Drumpf’s D.C. hotel

Kellyanne Conway’s interview tricks, explained, and her boss’s 10 steps for turning lies into half-truths

A college course on calling out scientific crap

The adult children of him will ditch Secret Service protection once he leaves office

Sen. Gillibrand Has Perfect Response To Regime Misspelling Her Name

‘Where I come from’ we claim universal generalities as our peculiar virtues

Some ‘snowflakes’ can take the heat

The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity, it’s loneliness

About Robert Osborne

Amy Biancolli: woman walks into a sandwich shop

The Toxic Attraction Between An Empath And A Narcissist

You May Want to Marry My Husband

This 75-Year Harvard Study Found the 1 Secret to Leading a Fulfilling Life

David Kalish: I am my dog’s seeing-eye person

Coke: Global ad campaign celebrates inclusion and diversity

Alphabetizing Books

Ruben Bolling won the 2017 Herblock Prize

Now I Know: The Boy Who Captured the Wind and How to Claim Antarctica and The Park at the Bottom of the Lake

MEET APRIL THE GIRAFFE, formerly from Catskill Game Farm!

Sammy Davis Jr. Oscar blunder

Cush Jumbo

Lawyer’s Pants Catch Fire During Closing Argument

Garter snakes can be super deadly

Music

Divenire – Composer Ludovico Einaudi

There’s a Platypus Controlling Me (from Phineus and Ferb)

What are the songs that best capture our moment?

K-Chuck Radio: A dose of Northern Soul

Don’t Let Me Down – The Beatles

10 Beatles Covers You Really Need to Hear

Songs about the moon

It’s Ash Wednesday, the first day of the holiest period on the Christian calendar. The news is on the TV. The previous evening, he gave a speech before Congress in which he exploited the misery of a Gold Star widow. Earlier THAT DAY, he threw his generals under the bus for the death of that Navy SEAL. “They lost Ryan.”

I wasn’t yelling, but was talking aloud, “You schmuck! You’re the Commander-in-Chief! The buck stops with YOU! You’re SUPPOSED to say, ‘WE lost Ryan,’ you @$$#01e!” This was loud enough that The Wife, who had been upstairs at the time, to comment that she heard that. She also opined that I’ve cursed more in the past three or four months than I have in the 20+ years since I’ve known her. And this is almost certainly true.

It has usually happened when he lies about his lies. Or when one of his surrogates does the same. I remember giving the finger to the TV when adviser Kellyanne Conway came up with the phrase “alternative facts.”

When Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz said that rather than “getting that new iPhone that they just love,” low-income Americans should take they money they would have spent on it and “invest it in their own health care” – as though that was anywhere near equivalent cost, I gave him a silent “Chuck you, Farley.”

I have mixed feelings about swearing. I don’t buy that “everybody does it, so it’s OK.” I know PLENTY of people who forego it, at least not publicly. Moreover, he is a well-known vulgarian, and I don’t want to stoop to his level. I do keep reading that swearing is actually a sign of more intelligence – not less, but that’s obviously NOT universally true.

In other religious topics:

* My presbyter (think bishop, but it’s not, really) Shannan Vance-Ocampo wrote about going through the immigration process with her husband. Beyond the personal agony of these stories, I worry that we’ll discourage people coming into the country who have long provided economic wealth to this country, such as students and scholars, because of our xenophobia.

* Ashraf Qandehari-Bahadorzadeh, Iran’s Mother Teresa, Passes away at 91. She’s the aunt of Darius Shahinfar, the Albany city treasurer, who I first met when we were schlepping our kids to the same preschool.

* Diane Cameron, who led a writing exercise I participated in nearly three years ago, has written her third book, Never Leave Your Dead – A True Story of War Trauma, Murder, and Madness. Initially, this was about a guy who was involved in a dismal US military (in)action barely hinted at in this narrative. She writes about how “war can inflict deep and lasting psychological wounds in warriors.”

She spoke at my church on a Friday night in February. “In March of 1953, Donald Watkins, a former Marine… who served in China during the Japanese invasion of 1937, murdered his wife and mother-in-law.” Some of her points she also shared in this December 2016 TEDx talk. Not incidentally, Donald Watkins, many years later, married Diane’s mother. Riveting stuff.

* I just got a flyer for Dr. Henry G. Covert’s book Ministry to the Incarcerated, “a vital resource for prison ministry. The contents include the emotional world of inmates, institutional challenges, models for prison ministry, biblical teaching outlines, penal reform, re-entry and aftercare… Ministry to the Incarcerated is available on Amazon, eBook, and Kindle.”

* The Day Ringo Starr Got Death Threats -for Being Jewish. September 1964: I had forgotten about this.

WHY FACTS DON’T CHANGE OUR MINDS

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Obamacare and Putin

The Peril of Potemkin Democracy

The Shallow State celebrates its ignorance

Steve Bannon to media: We’re going to make it worse for you every day, then WH bars news outlets from briefing

Bannon Admits Cabinet Nominees Were Selected To Destroy Their Agencies

Private prison company hires former Jeff Sessions aides to lobby in D.C. (Oct 2016); Attorney General Jeff Sessions: U.S. to continue use of private prisons, reversing Obama directive (Feb 2017)

FCC Is Already Canceling Internet Services for Low-Income Customers

Eliminating arts funding programs will save just 0.0625% of budget

Have your papers ready’: Customs agents checking IDs on DOMESTIC flights

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s mom

While Orange scandals mount, Chaffetz decides to investigate … a cartoon character

Gabby Giffords to Louie Gohmert: ‘Have some courage. Face your constituents’

He could make things a little easier for preachers

Dear Evangelicals, I Don’t Think You Realize How You Sound To Everybody Else

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau affirms $50M for physics think-tank in Waterloo, Ont.

Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis

Human Rights Watch fights to end child marriage in New York

Meet the Math Professor Who’s Fighting Gerrymandering With Geometry

The Only Thing, Historically, That’s Curbed Inequality: Catastrophe

How to Spot Manipulation

What a Silicon Valley liberal learned from supporters of 45

I Was a Muslim in This White House

The Atlantic: Michael K. Williams Asks: Am I Typecast?

The Color of Love: Kim Novak and Sammy Davis Jr.

City Fines Interracial Couple Who Found Racist Graffiti On Home

Breaking the silence: Jason Gough talks about being sexually abused as a child

When Things Go Missing

Understanding Alzheimers in three minutes

Why you should really start talking to old people more

The only library in the world that operates in two countries at once

The Darkest Town In America

Is Verizon’s new unlimited plan worth it?

TED Talk with Norman Lear

Arthur: Not blogging is exhausting

Oscars 2017: What It Was Like Onstage During the Best Picture Mistake; most misspelled nominee: Naomie Harris

Noted actor Bill Paxton dies at 61 – saw him in Apollo 13, Titanic, Spy Kids 2, Million Dollar Arm, and Twister, among other films, plus the video Fish Heads by Barnes & Barnes

Richard Schickel, Movie Critic, Author and Filmmaker, Dies at 84

Coverville’s Brian Ibbott: What happened to manners at movie theaters?

Bertram Forer, American psychologist who described the technique for self-deception familiar to psychics, astrologers and even popular business personality tests

Library Hand, the Fastidiously Neat Penmanship Style Made for Card Catalogs

Dictionary’s latest additions include ‘side-eye,’ ‘humblebrag,’ and ‘ghost’

VHS memories

Major League Baseball: Intentional walks will now be granted to hitters with a signal from the opposing dugout, rather than by having the pitcher throw four obvious balls; BOO! HISS!

On Why Serena Williams Is His Favorite

The NBA G-League? No. No no no no no no no…

Philosophy Jeopardy

Unputdownable: 17 books I read in 24 hours or less (because they were just that good)

Vanna White turns sixty

Twisted, sister

Now I Know: Georgia’s Version of Stonehenge and The Pink Light That Wipes Out Teenagers and How Cows Mooved Through Manhattan and Why Knowing is Half the Battle

Music

The K-Flow Show Episode 1, featuring Rebecca Jade (the niece!)

Pac-Man – Weird Al (to the tune of the Beatles’ Taxman)

Total Praise – Richard Smallwood and Vision

Sam Cooke with “Touch the Hem of His Garment”

Down to the River to Pray – Alison Krauss [Live]

Which Side Are You On? – Ani DiFranco

Simon & Garfunkel take to the stage to perform their iconic hit Sound Of Silence

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

David Bowie’s son shares emotional tribute after his five posthumous Grammy wins

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr Reunite to Record Together in Studio

Where Should Axl and Slash Go Now?

There’s been a LOT of advice out there about what to do, and NOT to do, in response to the current American regime.

As someone who’s gone to more than a few demonstrations, and written some letters, in his time, some observations:

We all have different gifts; it’s Biblical. So it is unrealistic to suggest that we ALL should act on a list of ALL things ALL the time. Among other things, that will create burnout, which is the enemy of change.

Find the thing or things you can do. Be aware, though, that it may be something you’ve never done before. There was a guy on NBC Nightly News this month, who looked to be over 35, who had NEVER been to a protest march before 2017. Now he is getting guidance from the Indivisible guide every day. Or you could sign up for ACLU ACTION TEXTS. e.g.

Keep repeating the narratives, especially the ones you don’t think are getting adequate coverage, on social media. I was reading a piece in fivethirtyeight about what makes a story stick. Sometimes it’s just timing. “Persistence matters.”

One story I’d personally like y’all to beat to death is Read the rest of this entry »

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