I’m so sick of all this…so let’s just see a few tweets and call it a day.
Hillary Clinton is a private citizen! She can say whatever she wants to say! Period! Name one former male presidential candidate living who is barred from speaking or giving their opinion. This wicked witch branding of her is getting old. #pmjoy
Sanders isn’t running against trump – he’s running against Hillary. Sanders isn’t running for this country – he’s running for himself. Sanders has no plans – he has no foundation. His followers are brainwashed into believing a man that’s accomplished nothing. #NeverBernie
“This Address will be unlike any other. Your President is in the middle of an all-out IMPEACHMENT WAR, and the Left is doing everything they can to try and take me down. They’re trying to take you down.” …#ImpeachmentHearing
From the LA Times Editorial Board: It is time for the U.S. Senate to convict President Trump, remove him from office and disqualify him from holding any “office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.” #RemoveTrumphttps://t.co/nJU6dGlHY7
BREAKING NEWS: DOJ and White House Withheld Existence of Two Dozen Ukraine-Related Emails Highly Relevant to the Impeachment Trial Until Hours After McConnell Closed the Evidentiary Record, Underscoring Widespread Fears of a Deliberate Cover-Up Intended to Save Trump's Presidency https://t.co/Z8kf1uUyg5
On a personal note, I have become an Initiate in The Temple of Mary.
The mysteries of the Temple of Mary focus on the spiritual transformation of body, mind and soul.Through the study and understanding of symbol, metaphor and myth, we discover that human consciousness has been evolving through the ages, but the message of Love has always been a part of our sacred stories and even more importantly, that all stories contain the same archetypes, the same challenges and are in many ways, the same story – just with different names and cultures.
I came across Hettienne Ma, during the Walking with Mary month of contemplation. After this time, I started to study with her about the Black Madonna…Divine Femine, Carl Jung, Hindu and Buddhist spiritual stories, tarot, teachings of Anandamayi Ma…and so many others. It is ongoing, and fascinating. Here is some more information about Hettienne and the Order of the Dove:
I have reached a point where Hettienne has given me a spiritual name…Niranjana Maria Devi…and yesterday was my Namadiksha.
I graduated high school in June of 1988, so this bringing down of the wall was a huge thing to live through. Seeing all these photos brings so much of the memories back.
Peter and David Turnley, twin brothers, made prize-winning photographs of the events leading to the fall of the The Wall. Each in his own way captured the emotions of the moment. https://t.co/p9YZerBx87
I don’t think it is going to work, not with tRump. For as you can see, 🍊💩 finally got his praise:
trump greeted by ovation? 1) student govt put out a memo stating any (student) fan who booed prez would lose their season tix. that 1st amendment thing being of no consequence. later they walked it back but…2) trump jinx still in place. he turns everything to ash. #GoTigers
That link takes you to a gallery of pictures representing celebrity deaths from 2018….including:
The Oscar-nominated actress passed away on Nov. 3. The Any Which Way You Can star was 74 years old.
The magician and actor, best known for his roles in Tomorrow Never Dies, Deadwood and Boogie Nights, died on November 24 from natural causes. He was 72.
The country star was known for hosting Yee Haw died at the age of 85 on November 15. He died of complications from pneumonia while surrounded by family and friends at his Tulsa, Okla. home.
The star, who played Harriet Oleson in the ’70s hit series Little House on the Prarie, died on November 13 at the age of 93. She was living at the Motion Picture Fund Long Term Nursing Care facility in Woodland Hills, California at the time of her death.
The famous Broadway playwright and screenwriter, known for plays such as The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park, died at age 91 on August 26 after battling complications from pneumonia
The Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist died on August 22 at age 68 after battling lung cancer.
The iconic songstress died at home in Detroit on August 16 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76 years old.
The ’50s movie idol (born Arthur Andrew Kelm) died July 8, three days shy of his 87th birthday. Known for starring in movies like The Burning Hills and Damn Yankees, Hunter came out of the closet in 2005 in his autobiography, confirming rumors that had been swirling since his heyday. Hunter’s cause of death was not immediately known.
The famous fashion designer died of apparent suicide in June 2018. She was 55 years old.
The Austin Powers star died on April 21 at the age of 49. A statement was posted on the actor’s social media that said, “It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today. Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday.”
The Night Court star passed away April 16 at his home in North Carolina, the Asheville Police Department confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 65. No foul play was suspected.
The renowned physicist, scientist and professor passed away at 76. His life story was portrayed in the 2014 film titled The Theory of Everything.
The actor, whose credits included Vacation, MASH and Tin Cup, passed away Wednesday, February 7 from a long illness. He was 76.
The Temptations lead singer passed away in Chicago on February 1 just days before his 75th birthday.
The Emmy-winning actress, known for her work in such the famed 1977 mini-series Roots and Backstairs at the White House, died on Jan. 19 at her home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She was 75.
The Irish actress, best known for her performance in 1950’s Gun, Crazy, passed away at the age of 92 after suffering a stroke.
The surprise for many was the recent death of Penny Marshall:
As both a performer and a filmmaker, Marshall, who died Monday at the age of 75, stood counter to the prevailing wisdom of what women like her were supposed to be, and do. From her breakthrough as a sitcom star to her subsequent success as a blockbuster filmmaker, Marshall never seemed to get hung up on what other people thought she was supposed to be doing — or if she did, you could never tell. And as both an actress and a director, she was simultaneously big and subtle, aiming at the widest possible audience while smuggling in little grace notes that caught even fans by surprise.
When viewers of a certain age first noticed Marshall on sitcoms in the 1970s — first as Oscar Madison’s secretary on The Odd Couple, and then as Laverne DeFazio on Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley — they saw a throwback to character actresses from ’50s television and prewar movies. She was a scene-stealer with big city, white ethnic bluntness, the kind of woman who might’ve dispensed tough but loving advice to Grace Kelly or bashed a mugger over the head with an umbrella.
Give that obit a read through…it details Marshall’s work in Hollywood through the years.
Actress and director Penny Marshall died “peacefully” last night at age 75 at her Hollywood Hills home, E! News has confirmed. Her cause of death was complications from diabetes, and a celebration of life ceremony will be held at a later date. “Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall,” a spokesperson for the star’s family told E! News in a statement. Born Oct. 15, 1943, Penny is predeceased by her brother, actor/director GarryMarshall. She is survived by her sister Ronny Marshall; her daughter Tracy Reiner; and her three grandchildren.
A no-nonsense New Yorker, Penny’s Hollywood breakthrough came from starring in the hit sitcom Laverne & Shirley, which ran for eight seasons on ABC from Jan. 27, 1976, until May 10, 1983. But Penny found even more success behind the camera, directing hit films like Big (1988), Awakenings (1990), A League of Their Own (1992), The Preacher’s Wife (1996) and Riding in Cars With Boys (2001), among others. With Big, Penny made history as the first woman to direct a movie that grossed $100 million—something she did again with A League of Their Own.
“With directing, I didn’t have to wear makeup or get my hair done. But I do not like getting up that early,” she said in a Women and Hollywood interview in 2012. “In TV we did our show in front of an audience, so we got up early only one morning. We did camera blocking in the morning and we shot at night which was a much more humane existence. No one is funny at 7 a.m. It’s faster to act, but a lot of times you are sitting in a Winnebago waiting. Directing is more fun—if you can create stuff, if you can create business for people to do and not just pull lines out of people’s mouths. So if people come prepared then you can add business. I like behavior.”
A multitalented workhorse, Penny also produced a number of movies and TV series. “Penny was a girl from the Bronx, who came out West, put a cursive ‘L’ on her sweater and transformed herself into a Hollywood success story,” the Marshall family said. “We hope her life continues to inspire others to spend time with family, work hard and make all of their dreams come true.”
When actress, director, and general multi-hyphenate trailblazer Penny Marshalldied earlier this week, one of the trending topics that followed the news was her BFF status with Carrie Fisher — fun quotes they said about each other, some cute photos, you name it. We love it! But despite the very public celebration of their friendship on social media, the women enjoyed spending time together away from life’s flashbulbs and recorders, really only regaling us with their life’s anecdotes through memoirs and rare interviews. “We’ve lasted longer than all of our marriages combined. Our crazy lives have meshed perfectly,” Marshall perhaps put it best in her 2012 memoir. “We’ve always said it’s because we never liked the same drugs or men, but I know there’s more to it.” Here, let’s take an abridged look at the early stages of their pairing, which we promise we won’t refer to as “friendship goals.”
Great pictures there at that link…and read the few stories as well. A cheerful look on both women’s lives.
The last surviving fighter from the doomed 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising by Jewish partisans against the Nazis died Saturday in Israel aged 94, the country’s president said.
Simcha Rotem, who went by the nom-de-guerre Kazik, served in the Jewish Fighting Organisation that staged the uprising as the Nazis conducted mass deportations of residents to the death camps.
“This evening, we part from… Simcha Rotem, the last of the Warsaw Ghetto fighters,” Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin said in a statement.
“He joined the uprising and helped save dozens of fighters”.
Hundreds of Jewish fighters began their fight on April 19, 1943, after the Nazis began deporting the surviving residents of the Jewish ghetto they had set up after invading Poland.
The insurgents preferred to die fighting instead of in a gas chamber at the Treblinka death camp where the Nazis had already sent more than 300,000 Warsaw Jews.
Speaking at a 2013 ceremony in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the uprising, Rotem recalled that by April 1943 most of the ghetto’s Jews had died and the 50,000 who remained expected the same fate.
Rotem said he and his comrades launched the uprising to “choose the kind of death” they wanted.
“But to this very day I keep thinking whether we had the right to make the decision to start the uprising and by the same token to shorten the lives of many people by a week, a day or two,” Rotem said.
Thousands of Jews died in Europe’s first urban anti-Nazi revolt, most of them burned alive, and nearly all the rest were then sent to Treblinka.
Rotem survived by masterminding an escape through the drain system with dozens of comrades. Polish sewer workers guided them to the surface.
He went on to participate in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising led by Polish resistance fighters against the Nazis.
And let us not forget the death of Jakelin Caal… and the deaths of other children and immigrants who seemed to lurk in the background of news story recaps:
Antelope Wells, an isolated point of entry in New Mexico, is where hundreds cross over, seeking refuge from violence
The black shadows of yucca shrubs huddled under a three-quarter moon. A stiff desert wind hushed all but the deafening crunch of footsteps where a chest-high barrier divides the US and Mexico.
Behind María and her son were the thousands of miles they covered overland from Guatemala, with Mexico streaming by the bus window, day and night. On the way, she broke her ankle but pressed on with few stops.
Then came the last leg: the night crossing into the New Mexico Bootheel. The state’s rugged, remote south-western corner was where seven-year-old Guatemalan girl Jakelin Caal crossed with her father one December night and became gravely ill.
Her death earlier this month became the symbol of a dangerous new pattern of human smuggling through New Mexico, where 20 groups of more than 100 migrants each have arrived since October, a massive increase from just eight large groups in all of fiscal 2018, according to US Customs and Border Protection. A record number are asking for asylum in the US.
I was going to end it there…but here are a few news worthy links:
A volcano…Child of Krakatoa has made some noise, this time causing a tsunami that has killed and injured many in Indonesia.
PANDEGLANG, Indonesia (Reuters) – A tsunami killed at least 222 people and injured hundreds on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra following an underwater landslide believed caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano, officials and media said on Sunday.
The volcano that apparently triggered a deadly tsunami in Indonesia late Saturday emerged from the sea around the legendary Krakatoa 90 years ago and has been on a high-level eruption watchlist for the past decade.
Anak Krakatoa (the “Child of Krakatoa”) has been particularly active since June, occasionally sending massive plumes of ash high into the sky and in October a tour boat was nearly hit by lava bombs from the erupting volcano.
At last, we’re getting somewhere. Two years after Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, we’re finally beginning to understand the nature and extent of Russian interference in the democratic processes of two western democracies. The headlines are: the interference was much greater than what was belatedly discovered and/or admitted by the social media companies; it was more imaginative, ingenious and effective than we had previously supposed; and it’s still going on.
In a scathing letter to the magazine’s editors, Richard Grenell, US ambassador to Germany, claims the journalism of Claas Relotius, who resigned from the German news magazine last week, was symptomatic of anti-American bias across the mainstream media. “It is clear that we were the victims of a campaign of institutional bias,” Grenell wrote to Der Spiegel, in a letter also seen by the daily newspaper Bild. He said he was aghast at the way “anti-American coverage” had been facilitated by the magazine.
You can read the details at the link, main focus being:
The scandal has sparked fears that the far right will exploit the scandal to sow further distrust of the media. The German far right has a long history of attacking the press.
In recent years, the anti-immigration group Pegida and elements of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) have resurrected the Nazi-era slur of Lügenpresse (“lying press”) to describe mainstream journalism they claim does not represent the world as they see it. These voices have been further emboldened by US President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media and his use of the term “fake news.”
“Relotius is in the end only a product of an absurdly leftist writers’ fraternity that is increasingly seldom prepared to leave its own convenient moral comfort zone in favour of the facts,” wrote Alice Weidl, a leader of the AfD, in a Facebook post.
The leading German journalist Hendrik Wieduwilt wrote: “It’s started! The fraud of ‘reporter’ Relotius has now been made into ‘fake news’, or strategically fraudulent lies. The AfD will exploit this for all it is worth. That’s probably the biggest damage of the whole scandal.” The independent media journalist Stefan Niggemeier took to Twitter to express fears the case represented a “deep blow – not just for Der Spiegel, but for German journalism.” In a series of soul-searching written apologies, the magazine acknowledged the wider undermining affect Relotius’s actions will have on those striving to deliver objective, informative and well-sourced reporting.
“We are aware that the Relotius case makes the fight against fake news that much more difficult,” wrote the incoming Spiegel editor-in-chief Steffen Klusmann and deputy editor-in-chief Dirk Kurbjuweit in a joint open letter to readers. “For everyone. For other media outlets that are on our side and for citizens and politicians who are interested in an accurate portrayal of reality.”
One more link because, this is really a heavy post for a Sunday before Christmas…
Hundreds of books about the Middle Ages are published each year. They cover a vast number of topics, sometimes offering new research, sometimes retelling stories for new audiences. What makes one book stand out above the rest?
I’ve made it a habit the last few years of keeping track of as many new books about the Middle Ages as I can – a process that leads me to visit many libraries and book stories. I can’t possibly get familiar with all the works that have come out, so my choices are subjective, but I think the books mentioned below will prove to be important contributions to medieval studies. I look for those that I think will enlighten and expand our understanding of the Middle Ages, that are well written and well researched, and will have lasting significance in their field.
So, what is the book of the year?
The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the Africa, by François-Xavier Fauvelle, is my choice for the medieval book of the year. It’s not a particularly large book at just 264 pages, but it offers readers a great trove of topics related to the medieval history of Africa (with the exception of Egypt and the Mediterranean coast). It consists of 34 separate stories, each about six to eight pages long. They cover events between the eighth and fifteenth centuries, and zig-zag across the African continent, so you will be at first reading about Mauritania, then going to Zimbabwe, and then off to Ethiopia. Fauvelle is highly effective in giving us snapshots of life in these places, all the while acknowledging that his sources are often fragmentary and sparse.
Fauvelle’s aim in this book is to show that Africa was not mired in the ‘dark centuries’ as many historians have assumed, but was going through something more akin to a ‘golden age’ during the Middle Ages. Many of his sections reinforce the idea that merchants were flourishing in medieval Africa, with gold and slaves being sent across the continent into the Arab world, India, and even to China. Perhaps medievalists have been too focused on the connections between medieval Europe and Africa, which are very limited, and haven’t yet researched the much deeper relations between the Islamic and African worlds. Here Fauvelle offers a guide to historians on how they can learn more about Mali, Somalia or the Sahara, and the role they played in the medieval world.
Imagine what the millions of soldiers who lived months at a time in rainy, wet trenches fighting for freedom would say about a President blowing off a memorial in their name because he didn’t want to get his squirrel’s nest toupee wet.
As I said, that thread deserved the full treatment. For serious.
So what has happened today?
Macron speaks in front of the Arc de Triomphe, calling for 'patriotism' instead of 'nationalism'… in front of Trump and Putin, he condemns the 'fascination for withdrawal, isolationism' as a grave error which will be condemned by future generations
Macron: "Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism by saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace. And what is essential— its moral values."
The soundscape of the Great War must have been devastating: constant artillery bombardment, rifle shots, fighter planes buzzing overhead and the screams of soldiers encountering gas. But we don’t actually know quite what the World War I sounded like. Magnetic tape didn’t exist yet and recording technology was in its infancy, requiring sound to be mechanically produced using a needle and soft wax or metal. Taking such machines into the field was not practical.
Still, there were people on the front recording. Special units used a technique called “sound ranging” to try and determine where enemy gunfire was coming from. To do so, technicians set up strings of microphones—actually barrels of oil dug into the ground—a certain distance apart, then used a piece of photographic film to visually record noise intensity. The effect is similar to the way a seismometer records an earthquake. Using that data and the time between when a shot was fired and when it hit, they could then triangulate where enemy artillery was located—and adjust their own guns accordingly.
At least one bit of that “sound ranging” film survived the War—the film recording the last few minutes of World War I when the guns finally fell silent at the River Moselle on the American Front. As Richard Connor at Deutsche Welde reports, part of a new exhibit called Making a New World at London’s Imperial War Museum uses those graphic sound waves to recreate the moment the Armistice went into effect and the guns fell silent.
As part of a celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the war, the museum commissioned the sound production company Coda to Coda to use the film strip of the guns firing away at 10:58 A.M. on November 11, 1918, then going silent when the clock strikes 11, the symbolic moment politicians determined the war would end, to try and recreate what that instant may have sounded like.
That link is to the direct Coda to Coda website, it plays the full one minute of the last sounds of WWI.
The Facebook link below does not play the full recording.
One hundred years later, the absence from the orange asshole mouth fuckwad, is overwhelming:
As a veteran a find his excuse disgusting and wonder how any veteran could support him. How many Americans complained about kneeling at football games, but remain silent at his disrespect to veterans who gave their lives. My grandfather was a WWI vet
This is what dignity, leadership and duty look like. Trump debased his office, disgraced the memories of fallen American heroes and shamed himself today. He is as unfit for his office as he is weak and cowardly https://t.co/614VtMoHKE
Hours after tweeting a cruel statement falsely blaming California (which only controls 2% of its forests; Trump cut funding to the 98% the Fed operates) for its own fires, someone took Trump's phone and tweeted this. We see you, desperate staffer. pic.twitter.com/aM1gSNfrTN
President Trump threatened to pull federal funding from California in a tweet on Saturday for the state's "gross mismanagement of the forests," as the most destructive wildfire in the state's history ravages the region. https://t.co/8Y5ZBOUUsd
As of now (9:30PM Paris time), Trump has not shown up to the dinner for world leaders hosted by the French president at the @MuseeOrsay. Trudeau arrived at 7:30 as scheduled. Thanks for following along today – I am signing off Twitter for the night.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government impose criminal liability on correctional facility staff who have sexual contact with people in their custody. These laws recognize that any sexual activity between detainees and detention facility staff, with or without the use of force, is unlawful because of the inherent power imbalance when people are in custody. Yet, one immigration detention center is trying to avoid responsibility for sexual violence within its walls by arguing that the detainee “consented” to sexual abuse.
E.D., an asylum-seeker and domestic violence survivor from Honduras, was sexually assaulted by an employee while she was detained with her 3-year-old child at the Berks Family Residential Center in Pennsylvania. At the time of the assault, E.D. was 19 years old.
She filed suit against the detention center and its staff for their failure to protect her from sexual violence, even though they were aware of the risk. The record in the case, E.D. v. Sharkey, shows that her assailant coerced and threatened her, including with possible deportation, while the defendants stood by and made jokes.
Although the employee pled guilty to criminal institutional sexual assault under Pennsylvania law, the defendants contend that they should not be liable for any constitutional violations. Their argument rests in part on their assessment that the sexual abuse was “consensual” and that they should be held to a different standard because the Berks Family Residential Center is an immigration detention facility rather than a jail or prison.
Read the rest of this disturbing case at the link.
n the 158th year of the American civil war, also known as 2018, the Confederacy continues its recent resurgence. Its victims include black people, of course, but also immigrants, Jews, Muslims, Latinos, trans people, gay people and women who want to exercise jurisdiction over their bodies. The Confederacy battles in favor of uncontrolled guns and poisons, including toxins in streams, mercury from coal plants, carbon emissions into the upper atmosphere, and oil exploitation in previously protected lands and waters.
Its premise appears to be that protection of others limits the rights of white men, and those rights should be unlimited. The Brazilian philosopher of education Paulo Freire once noted that “the oppressors are afraid of losing the ‘freedom to oppress’”. Of course, not all white men support extending that old domination, but those who do see themselves and their privileges as under threat in a society in which women are gaining powers, and demographic shift is taking us to a US in which white people will be a minority by 2045.
More of course, at the link.
Those racist will tell you, the Civil War was strictly over the question of “state’s rights”:
Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker said he believed states have a right to nullify federal law, CNN reports. In a campaign speech for his GOP primary run for Iowa Senator, Whitaker touted the need for states to have “political courage” to nullify federal laws. “Now we need to remember that the states set up the federal government and not vice versa. And so the question is, do we have the political courage in the state of Iowa or some other state to nullify Obamacare and pay the consequences for that?” Whitaker said in response to a question at a September 2013 campaign speech. “The federal government’s done a very good job about tying goodies to our compliance with federal programs, whether it’s the Department of Education, whether it’s Obamacare with its generous Medicare and Medicaid dollars and the like… But do I believe in nullification? I think our founding fathers believed in nullification. There’s no doubt about that.” According to a Des Moines Register columnist, Whitaker reportedly made similar remarks about nullification in April 2014 but said he didn’t believed states would do it.
Oh, there is always a latest these days…every few hours, someone from tRumpWorld says or does something outrageous, that had the same “thing” been said or done a couple of years ago…would have been cause for resignations, being fired, impeachment, imprisonment…etc.
After the crash of his presidential campaign, the smoking pieces of Gary Hart’s life were blown across the front page of every newspaper in America. Gail Sheehy discovered the black box in the wreckage, and has put all the pieces back together. What she found is startling: the world of Donna Rice is much darker than it seemed, and Hart was on a collision course with it all along.
Here is a particular bit to relish:
I examined Donna’s live-in love affair with a big-time cocaine dealer, who is currently serving ten years in a federal penitentiary. Four of Donna’s friends illuminated the rest of the smoke and mirrors in this high-rolling netherworld. It might be seen as the forbidden picture show to which Hart’s hidden, sybaritic side had always longed for admission. Indeed, it might be one in a dizzying series of mirrors on which, according to a senior political consultant who has known and watched him for over a decade, “Gary Hart has been writing in lipstick for years, ‘Stop me before I fuck again.’ ”
Geez, ‘Stop me before I fuck again.’ Could be the title of tRump’s biography…only perhaps a slight change to, fuck it up again?
1998- Bill Clinton…Another look from an article in 1998, yes this one is also from Vanity Fair…keeping with the same magazine for context.
When the dust of Clinton’s presidency settles, the laws against sexual harassment will still be on the books. But the social sanctions against the behavior will be irretrievably damaged.If you doubt this, look around. In the weeks that followed the Lewinsky scandal, those who had been most affronted by the awkward new social arrangements lately demanded of them shambled out of their caves to beat their chests. Conservative columnist John Leo, for example, crowed in U.S. News & World Report that the scandal was “probably the decade’s high-water mark of euphoria around the water cooler … a chance to break free from the office sex police.”It’s all very well to protest that we shouldn’t look to our politicians as role models: the saga of Clinton’s sex life is being played out on too large a screen to ignore. You can say until you’re blue in the face that public men are entitled to a realm of privacy; that certain kinds of bad private behavior do not necessarily conflict with political competence, or even genius; and that adultery is not in itself of feminist concern. These are all irrelevancies. This mess is on our hands, and we do not have the luxury of arguing with its existence; the best we can do is call it what it is.
Why is everyone making such a fuss about something all rich people do?
Last night on Fox News, in an unintentionally hilarious attempt to clear his client‘s name, our man Rudolph W. L. Giulianiinformed host Sean Hannity that not only did Donald Trump know about the hush money lawyer Michael Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels, but the president repaid the $130,000. In what appeared to be an (unsuccessful) effort to get Trump off for potential campaign finance violations, Giuliani told Hannity that the whole thing was “perfectly legal” because “they funneled it through a law firm, and the president repaid it.” As my colleague Abigail Tracypoints out, it doesn’t actually matter where the money came from—Trump’s own pocket, campaign contributions, or elsewhere—or if it was repaid; if, per the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, the money in question was used “for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office,” it’s still a crime! Which made Giuliani’s Thursday morning appearance on Fox & Friends slightly problematic, considering he told the group it was a good thing Cohen made the Daniels story “go away,” as it would have been really bad if “that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton.”
But hey, we’re not here to debate what is or isn’t a federal crime—we’re here to discuss the social mores of the 1 percent. After Giuliani finished his media blitz, Trump logged onto Twitter to inform his followers that despite how things might look, paying porn stars six figures for their silence is standard operating procedure for the rich.
Gee, the good old days, when news about tRump was just things like paying off porn stars with campaign funds, conspiring with Russia, money laundering etc.
Anyway, that trip down memory lane was brought to you by the little mini-series Tanner 88, made possible from director producer Robert Altman and writer producer Gary Trudeau. Check it out if you can…it is streaming on Filmstruck and Amazon.
ox News host Ed Henry had to shut down a discussion on President Donald Trump’s immigration policies on Sunday morning when White House adviser David Bossie told a black Democratic consultant that he was out of his “cotton-picking mind.”
During the segment, Democratic communications expert Joel Payne railed at the Trump administration racist policies. The criticism angered Bossie, who also complained about ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden comparing the child detention centers to a Nazi concentration camp.
“Michael Hayden posted a picture of Auschwitz,” Bossie complained.
““Yeah, that liberal Michael Hayden,” Payne shot back, sarcastically referring to the fact that Hayden is a conservative.
“You are out of your cotton-picking mind!” Bossie blurted, causing Payne to blow up.
“Cotton-picking mind?” Payne exclaimed. “Brother, let me tell you something. Let me tell you something, I got some relatives who picked cotton, okay?”
Host Henry tried to take control as the two guests began yelling at each other, with Henry insisting Bossie intended to say “out of your mind,” before he called an end to the panel.
Sara Sanders complained on Twitter about not being served at the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. WaPo reports that the owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, insisted that patrons uphold standards of honesty and compassion, and that Sanders flacks for an “inhumane and unethical” administration, defending Trump’s “cruelest policies.”
Wilkinson’s grounds for not serving the White House spokesperson amounted to personal indecency. It is important to underline that this is what social scientists call an “achieved” status. The grounds had to do with Sanders’ own record of behavior and character, not with anything arbitrary about her.
In contrast, to achieved status, you have ascribed status. The latter is determined by things people think about your inherited characteristics. Being Black or Latino is an ascribed status. Or your family religion as a Catholic or Jew would be in this category of ascribed. It has to do not with your personal standards of character but with what prejudices people might have toward a whole group, of which you are part by virtue typically of inheritance. Even if you converted to Catholicism, e.g., you are not responsible for what all Catholics might have done or for what fanatic Protestants think about Catholicism.
It is wrong to shun people because of their ascribed status. It isn’t wrong to refuse to associate people because of their achieved status.
Sanders achieved her status as pariah in many quarters by lying assiduously on television for a living– by saying things she knew were wrong and/or untrue.
In contrast, Sanders is an advocate for allowing restaurateurs to discriminate on truly objectionable grounds, of ascribed status.
On Saturday, using her official White House account, Sanders posted: “Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington [Virginia] to leave because I work for POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me.
“I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.”
Walter Shaub, federal ethics chief under Barack Obama and briefly Trumpand now a fierce critic of the administration, responded: “Sanders used her official govt account to condemn a private business for personal reasons … she can lob attacks on her own time but not using her official position.”
Since when do these people have any shred of ethics?
Case in point, Jeff Flake went on one of the Sunday shows:
Op-eds in The Houston Chronicle and the Canadian news magazine Maclean’s suggested the only way to quell the rising trade tensions is to strike at Trump’s businesses. While some countries, such as China, have appeared to try and sway the president through treating his family’s businesses more favorably, countries have not made moves to curtail the businesses’ activity within their borders.
Debbie Shon, an international trade lawyer at Quinn Emanuel and a former official in the US Trade Representative’s office under President Bill Clinton, said that effectively hitting Trump’s businesses using trade actions — while legal — would be difficult.
“Looking at Trump’s businesses, I’m not sure what goods he sells that could be subject to tariffs or how you could use trade actions to hit his businesses unless you really tailored some sort of measure targeting key industries like real estate,” Shon told Business Insider.
That would force any country trying to go after Trump to get creative with their response. Scott Gilmore, a social entrepreneur and former Canadian diplomat, suggested in Maclean’s that Canada should use anti-corruption laws to pressure Trump on trade.
Trump-branded skyscrapers in Toronto and Vancouver represent the president’s most prominent business ventures in the country.
The chaos isn’t just in the Southwest. Increased highway checkpoints and workplace raids away from borders are alarming advocates for immigrants.
The big picture: “For 11 hours on Wednesday, drivers who wanted to travel through a remote stretch of northern Maine were asked a simple question: Where were you born?,” the N.Y. Times reports.
“Border Patrol agents closed off all southbound lanes of Interstate 95 north of Bangor, Me., stopping drivers, searching outside their cars with drug-sniffing dogs and refusing to let them pass until they disclosed their citizenship.”
On acellphone video, a Bangor Daily News reporter was stopped near the lake and lumber town of Lincoln (more than 80 miles from the Canadian border) and told: “If you want to continue down the road, then yes ma’am. We need to know what citizen — what country you’re a citizen of.”
I have traveled that stretch of I-95 (all Trump country up there), and the checkpoints have been set up sporadically since 9/11. But they certainly have a different effect in this environment.
At least 10 babies and toddlers taken away from their parents after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are being housed in “tender-age shelters” in Miami-Dade, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the Miami Herald on Saturday.
The Florida lawmaker said the children — who range in age from newborns to 5 year olds — are being sheltered at His House Children’s Home in Miami Gardens and Catholic Charities’ Msgr. Bryan Walsh Children’s Village in Cutler Bay, formerly known as Boys Town.
These facilities are also housing about 88 children ages 6 to 12 who have been separated from their parents, she said.
When the Democratic congresswoman, who represents parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, provided the Miami Herald with these figures, she cited a document given to her by federal officials.
It is very disturbing…especially when you consider the other tweet BB linked to, that the children will be adopted out.
It says over 500 children have been reunited with their families.
CBP has reunited 522 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) in their custody who were separated from adults as part of the Zero Tolerance initiative. The reunions of an additional 16 UAC who were scheduled to be reunited on June 22, 2018 were delayed due to weather affecting travel and we expect they will all be reunited with their parents within the next 24 hours. There will be a small number of children who were separated for reasons other than zero tolerance that will remain separated: generally only if the familial relationship cannot be confirmed, we believe the adult is a threat to the safety of the child, or the adult is a criminal alien.
In many countries, when thugs take power, they inflict harm on others. Every person then has a choice to make: join the thugs or refuse to harm others. The morally correct choice is the harder one. The brave ones who refuse to be complicit ― such as my clients from El Salvador, Nepal, Haiti and Cameroon who were asked to make this very choice ― were met with the most dire consequences. If they escape, they forsake all they know in hopes that they will be safer in places unknown.
Clinging to the audacious hope that their children’s lives will be better, families flee to the U.S., the nation whose symbol is a Statue of Liberty and whose laws have welcomed millions seeking refuge. In the most cruel bait and switch, President Donald Trump ― aided by his attorney general and secretary of homeland security ― took those children away, stripping from their parents the very reason they risked so much.
They say the most unrelenting grief a person can experience is burying their child. Our country has inflicted this kind of pain on desperate parents. The very least we can do is grant them the right to stay here.
So, have a good afternoon and evening. This is an open thread.
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Apparently Page had written a book on his “academic” views of Russia, and in trying to get the book published…actually bragged about being a spy. However, in the last paragraph of the article, the editor who has remained anonymous summed up his opinion of Carter in very much the same way that most people view Carter:
“I just came to see him as a kook”
Yeah, I think that we all can agree about that…
From the link above:
Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page bragged that he was an adviser to the Kremlin in a letter obtained by TIME that raises new questions about the extent of Page’s contacts with the Russian government over the years.
The letter, dated Aug. 25, 2013, was sent by Page to an academic press during a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he had submitted for publication, according to an editor who worked with Page.
“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,” the letter reads.
As anyone reading or watching the goings on with Page, it doesn’t take much to see how bumbling a fool he was…maybe that was the main attraction for the Russians? (That is my own question to ponder, as you know Putin wants to create chaos.)
As this excerpt from the book COLLUSION by Luke Harding in Politico describes…the two Russian spies who recruited Page described him as an “idiot”:
As FBI wiretaps showed, the techniques for meeting with Buryakov were distinctly old-school. Typically, Sporyshev would ring Buryakov and tell him he had to give him “something”—a ticket, a book, a hat, an umbrella. The two would meet outdoors. This sometimes happened outside Buryakov’s bank office on Third Avenue—an inconspicuous brown tower with a 1960s abstract sculpture at street level opposite the foyer. They would exchange documents.
Sporyshev’s biggest headache was finding Americans willing to become intelligence sources for Russia. This was tough. He had approached two young women working in financial consultancy who had recently graduated from a New York university. Sporyshev told Podobnyy he was skeptical anything would come of it. Or, as he put it in chauvinist terms: “In order to be close you need to either fuck them or use other levers to execute my requests.”
The Russian spies, however, had one promising lead. This was a guy—an energy consultant based in New York City. Unlike the women, he was eager to help. And, it appeared, keen to make money in Moscow. There was a drawback: The source—whom the FBI called “Male-1”—was something of a dimwit.
The FBI intercepts record:
PODOBNYY: [Male-1] wrote that he is sorry, he went to Moscow and forgot to check his inbox, but he wants to meet when he gets back. I think he is an idiot and forgot who I am. Plus he writes to me in Russian [to] practise the language. He flies to Moscow more often than I do. He got hooked on [the Russian state energy company] Gazprom, thinking that if they have a project, he could rise up. Maybe he can. I don’t know, but it’s obvious he wants to earn loads of money.
SPORYSHEV: Without a doubt.
On a little more about Page:
In a blog post for Global Policy, an online journal, he wrote that Putin wasn’t to blame for the 2014 Ukraine conflict. The White House’s superior “smack-down” approach had “started the crisis in the first place,” he wrote.
Page’s rampant pro-Moscow views were at odds with the US State Department under Clinton and with almost all American scholars of Russia. After all, it was Putin who had smuggled tanks across the border into eastern Ukraine. Not that Page’s opinions counted for much. Global Policy had a small circulation. It was edited out of Durham University in the north of England.
His relationship with the journal fizzled out when he wrote an opinion piece lavishly praising a pro-Russian candidate ahead of the U.S. presidential election—Trump.
And then something odd happened.
In March 2016 candidate Trump met with the Washington Post’s editorial board. At this point it seemed likely that Trump would clinch the Republican nomination. Foreign affairs came up. Who were the candidate’s foreign policy advisers? Trump read five names. The second was “Carter Page, PhD.” Given Trump’s obvious lack of experience of world affairs, this was a pivotal job.
One former Eurasia Group colleague said he was stunned when he discovered Page had mysteriously become one of Trump’s foreign policy advisers. “I nearly dropped my coffee,” he told me. The colleague added: “We had wanted people who could engage in critical analysis of what’s going on. This is a guy who has no critical insight into the situation. He wasn’t a smart person.”
Read more at the link…some insight as to what Page spoke of while he was in Russia, and how
Page’s loyalty to the SVR was breathtaking. Podobnyy wasn’t an “imagined bogeyman” but a career operative working against the interests of the United States. And, moreover, one who had bad-mouthed Page behind his back, calling him “a bit of an idiot”.
Whatever Page’s motives were for helping Russian intelligence—greed, naivety, stupidity—his actions surely justified the FBI’s interest in him. There was a simple way of avoiding U.S. surveillance and a FISA court warrant. It could be summed up like this: Don’t hang out with Russian spies.
All this talk of Russia, it may be a good time to watch Stanley Kubrick’s classic, Dr. Strangelove….
The Trump administration released a report on the state of America’s nuclear weaponry on Friday. The assessment, known as a Nuclear Posture Review, mainly concerns U.S. nukes and missiles.
But buried in the plan is a mention of a mysterious Russian weapon called “Status-6.” On paper, at least, Status-6 appears to be a kind of doomsday device. The report refers to it as “a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo.”
“The radius of total or near-total destruction is the size of a pretty large metropolitan area, actually,” says Edward Geist, a Russia specialist at the Rand Corp. who has spent time looking at the weapon. “It’s difficult to imagine in normal terms.”
If it sounds somewhat familiar…the Status-6 has made an appearance before…
Status-6 made its first public appearance in 2015, while Russian President Vladimir Putin was visiting with his generals in the city of Sochi.
Russia state television reported on the visit. The camera shows Putin seated at a long table. Then it cuts to a shot over one of the general’s shoulders. He is looking at what appears to be a drawing of a new nuclear weapon called the Oceanic Multipurpose System Status-6.
Here is the main point:
Status-6 would launch from beneath a Russian submarine. It would shoot at a depth too deep to be intercepted and travel for thousands of miles. Upon reaching its target along the U.S. coastline, it would detonate, swallowing up whatever city happened to be nearby.
“The only possible U.S. targets are large port cities,” says Mark Schneider, a senior analyst with the National Institute for Public Policy, wrote in an e-mail. “The detonation of Status-6 in any of them would essentially wipe out their population into the far suburbs.”
“The detonation would cause a very large amount of radioactive fallout,” adds Pavel Podvig, an arms control expert who runs a blog called Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Podvig believes the weapon could potentially bathe the entire Northeast Corridor in radioactive soot.
Status-6 would probably be used as a “third-strike” weapon of last resort. If Russia fell under attack from the U.S. and couldn’t retaliate with its missiles, it might trigger Status-6: a doomsday machine. Or at least a doomsday-ish machine.
Did you all see the tweet from Paul Ryan before he deleted it yesterday?
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan deleted a tweet on Saturday cheering a $1.50 increase to a Pennsylvania school secretary’s weekly pay because of a $1.5 trillion tax cut after it drew criticism that he was out of touch with ordinary Americans.
Ha, no shit!
The Trump administration and Republicans have cast the massive tax cuts, which came into effect in January as creating jobs and boosting economic growth. But critics have argued that they benefited the rich and would blow up the national debt.
Some social media users accused Ryan of being out of touch, with California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom posting on Twitter that “Guess someone told Paul Ryan you shouldn’t go around praising yourself for giving a working person an extra $1.50 a week — because he deleted this tweet.”
On Saturday, Ryan tweeted a link to an Associated Press story with a summary that said, “A secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, PA, said she was pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week … she said [that] will more than cover her Costco membership for the year.”
Immediately after Ryan tweeted the story, many left-of-center critics pounced on the speaker for praising the minuscule raise — given that annual Costco membership are only $60 — while many corporate higher-ups have gained a much more substantial amount from the GOP tax bill. The Wisconsin Republican was then pressured to delete the tweet.
Specifically, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi slammed Ryan for the tweet. “Paul Ryan deleted his embarrassing tweet of a blatant admission because he and Republicans don’t want you to know the truth: the #GOPTaxScam is a gift to corporate America and the top 1% at your expense.
He also doesn’t want you to know he got $500.000.00 from the Koch family,” tweeted Pelosi.
At least two people were killed and 116 others injured when a train traveling from New York to Miami struck a freight train Sunday morning, authorities said. The crash left thousands of gallons of oil spilled at the scene near Columbia, South Carolina.
The collision occurred in Cayce around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, Lexington County spokesperson Harrison Cahill said. He said the injuries ranged from scratches to broken bones.
The two people killed were later identified as Amtrak personnel, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said in a news conference Sunday. McMaster said the CSX freight train was on the right loading side track “where it was supposed to be” before the collision and the Amtrak train was “on the wrong side.” He did not elaborate.
There were approximately 148 people aboard the train, including 139 passengers and 8 personnel.
The CSX train was stationary, Mr. McMaster said, and appeared to be on the correct track. “It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track,” he said.
The first engine of the freight train was torn up, he said, and the engine of the Amtrak train, Train 91, was “barely recognizable.”
“It’s a horrible thing to see — to understand the force that this involved,” Mr. McMaster said.
In a statement earlier Sunday morning, Amtrak said the lead engine and some of the passenger cars had derailed.
It was the second major crash involving an Amtrak train in less than a week. On Wednesday, a train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat in West Virginia hit a garbage truck in rural Virginia, killing a passenger in the truck.
Okay, the heel part is bad…and that is what most people seem to be focusing on, but what pissed me off more was the asshole is still condoning the white supremacist. Right?
I wanted to share this artwork with you, by cecile.dormeau . When I saw it, I immediately identified with the drawing. Many of you may also see yourselves…I tell myself daily, I don’t give a shit about the horrors around me, talking bout this jackass twit above. I avoid the news as much as possible, for the sake of my sanity…and still, I lie awake at night, unable to sleep because…
In the 72 years since the Indianapolis, a United States Navy cruiser, sank about 12 minutes after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, the disaster has inspired controversy, dozens of books, a play and a famous scene in “Jaws.”
But the resting place of the Indianapolis had remained a mystery.
“While our search for the rest of the wreckage will continue, I hope everyone connected to this historic ship will feel some measure of closure at this discovery so long in coming,” Mr. Allen said in a statement on his website.
Mr. Allen’s search expedition released pictures of wreckage on the sea floor, including a telltale piece of hull bearing the number 35 — evidence to the 22 still-living survivors that the ship they frantically escaped in the early hours of July 30, 1945, had finally been found.
The discovery promises to revive interest in the loss of the Indianapolis, the ordeal of the survivors and the controversial court-martial of the ship’s captain, Charles Butler McVay III. Roughly 400 of the 1,196 sailors and Marines onboard died in the initial attack, but those who escaped spent five days floating in shark-infested waters before they were rescued.
Only 316 men were saved after an aviator spotted them by chance.
I associate this wreck with the monologue from the film Jaws…
More on the find:
Photos from the wreckage of the Indianapolis, released Saturday by Paul G. Allen. At left, an anchor windlass mechanism; at right, a box that apparently held tools and spare parts and that bears the cruiser’s name.CreditPaul G. Allen
There is a lot more at the link, so please go and read the rest, plus watch the video about the underwater archaeology expedition.
Sad to see this come across my news feed last night:
The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.
“A Southern liberal?” he once said. “That’s a guy that’ll lynch you from a low tree.” Another: “When I get drunk, I think I’m Polish. One night I got so drunk I moved out of my own neighborhood.” On segregation: “I know the South very well. I spent 20 years there one night.”
Mr. Gregory, 84, died Aug. 19 in Washington. His son, Christian Gregory, announced the death on Mr. Gregory’s official social media accounts. The cause was not reported.
His expert timing and bold humor — often pulled from the day’s headlines — inspired the careers of comedians such as Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.
Mel Watkins, a journalist and scholar whose books include “On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy,” said that Mr. Gregory broke the mold among black comedians by employing political satire at a time when audiences expected black performers to do minstrel skits in baggy pants and outsize shoes and use slapstick humor.
“He was the comic that made white America aware of the fact that African American comedians were perfectly capable of satire,” Watkins said. “He was sharp. He was urbane. He smoked a cigarette on stage. He was very calm in demeanor but very outspoken in what he said. … He brought in current political and social issues into his comedy — which was astounding to most white Americans at that time. It was during a time when blacks were considered incapable of doing this.”
Read the rest of that obituary by T. Rees Shapiro, it is a very good article.
The Sky Dancing banner headline uses a snippet from a work by artist Tashi Mannox called 'Rainbow Study'. The work is described as a" study of typical Tibetan rainbow clouds, that feature in Thanka painting, temple decoration and silk brocades". dakinikat was immediately drawn to the image when trying to find stylized Tibetan Clouds to represent Sky Dancing. It is probably because Tashi's practice is similar to her own. His updated take on the clouds that fill the collection of traditional thankas is quite special.
You can find his work at his website by clicking on his logo below. He is also a calligraphy artist that uses important vajrayana syllables. We encourage you to visit his on line studio.