Thursday, October 17, 2019

Fact Check Before Sharing - Please...

Here is a FB post by Drewbie that I think is worth sharing. Though it took me awhile to get to it...
"Every couple of years I find myself advocating for fact checking before hitting that share button on social media. Admittedly, sharing of pretty much anything at all is the main reason I, and so many others I know, have gone away from facebook altogether. I only ever joined so I could share pictures of my kids with far flung family and friends and see their families grow and go on adventures as well.
Now when I scroll through the "news" feed from time to time, I see more than half of the posts are reposts and shares from other sources. Now, a recipe or craft idea can be fun, but really, I'd rather see a picture of you making the recipe or you doing a craft. I don't really care what social media influencers have to say about anything. 
The main driver of this particular post is to rail on the other kind of share / repost; the political stuff. It is exceedingly rare to see a post with a political tilt that presents facts that are true. A 10 second search will show the bias in the information presented and tell you the real story of the often twisted origin of the information being presented. If you feel compelled to hit that share button, please take those 10 seconds to verify the integrity of the information you're about to post. Don't perpetuate the "fake news" from either side of the political divide. 
Continuing to push these false narratives does nothing but drive a deeper wedge between people. It creates a stronger "Us vs Them" mentality which won't help anyone except those that stand to gain from that division. Be better than that. Please.
If you have an opinion, please feel free to post that. Engage in conversation. Ask questions of each other about why you feel the way you do. Get better informed from both sides of the aisle and maybe find common ground with those that seem so diametrically opposed to your thoughts. 
In the meantime, I'm done doing the fact checking for people. If I see something that's not true, I'm just going to flag it as "false news" because facebook has given me the tools to do so. I encourage you all to do the same, or better yet, just stop sharing other people's nonsense and start posting the personal excitement that we all first signed up to this site to see.
Here was my response...
 Oh come now... You should think of all those Far Left and Far Right posts as an opportunity to spread truth and annoy difficult people... :-) 
Of course, this is coming from a guy who made a hobby of doing so regularly with his own blog... The fun of doing it on Facebook is not only do you get to help the poster learn how foolish they have been... You get to share that knowledge with all their likely similarly challenged FB friends. And they can not complain about you "going political" on them since they started the string. 
By the way, I am likely to steal your post for an up coming blog post...
The good news is that he said he likes G2A and agreed to letting me post his wise tirade.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Loving Crazy People

John Pavlovitz The Cult of Trump

This is a very thought provoking piece posted by a liberal FB friend...  Here were our comments:
We’ve all lost someone to this cult. FB Friend 
Very interesting piece. I think Rush Limbaugh and similar started the programming long before Trump. But of course I think folks on the far left suffer from a similar but different cult. It is strange having parents in one and kids in the other. G2A 
I think there is a lot more distance between the “mainstream left” and the “far left” than there is between the “mainstream right” and the “far right.” FB Friend 
Maybe... Not too sure though...  Warren and Sanders seem pretty popular. G2A
And I was being honest about having loved ones in each cult.  Just asking questions or showing facts / data in their ways of thinking triggers them to either clam up, call me names or walk away.

So I just love them the way they are and hope that someday they will come back to their senses... :-)

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Barr Says Secularism is BAD?

CNN Barr slams attacks on religious values, says 'moral upheaval' leading to societal ills

The Hill Barr bemoans 'moral upheaval' that has brought 'suffering and misery'
""The campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has coincided and I believe has brought with it immense suffering and misery. And yet the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy," Barr said." 
"Among the militant secularists are many so-called progressives. But where is the progress?" Barr asked. "Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake: social, educational and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social media campaigns."
Now I agree that the war on poverty had some pretty terrible results. It is rarely good to give people something for nothing for a long period of time.  And it is even worse to give them something for doing something that is bad for them, their children and society. (ie more single moms with more babies getting more welfare)

However having Barr preaching moral behavior as he enables a guy who lies, cheats, pays off porn stars, etc seems incredibly hypocritical. I mean is he saying that religious people needing to provide flowers for LGBT events will somehow damage our society?  Women having the right to access and use all birth control methods is somehow bad?

The folks on the Religious Right simply amaze and somewhat disgust me.  They preach morals and religion while resisting helping young children learn, and forcing parent(s) to fulfill their obligations to the kids.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

What about Private Devices being AWFUL?

WAPO Clinton-email critics pull a role reversal as Trump administration draws fire for private phone use

I am always amazed how hypocritical GOP politicians can be...

HP Man Obsessed With Hillary Clinton’s Private Server Hid Documents On A Secret System

Is it okay for GOP politicians to use unsecured devices and to hide their data from us citizens?

Trump will be SO MAD at FOX Now

Fox News Poll: Record support for Trump impeachment
"A new high of 51 percent wants Trump impeached and removed from office, another 4 percent want him impeached but not removed, and 40 percent oppose impeachment altogether. In July, 42 percent favored impeachment and removal, while 5 percent said impeach but don’t remove him, and 45 percent opposed impeachment."
And a FOX update on the Kurdish catastrophe.

What is the Meaning of SEX?

CNBC Supreme Court clashes over meaning of ‘sex’ in LGBT discrimination cases

For a change of pace, we can go back to one of our favorite arguments.

And if you wish to expand discussions, it looks like the balance of SCOTUS will be tested this session

Trump Says NO to Legal Process

NYT White House Declares War on Impeachment Inquiry, Claiming Effort to Undo Trump’s Election

Well if you are certain that the evidence is bad for you, I suppose this is one way to slow things down... Tell the "court" that they do not have the right to see the evidence. :-( 

Here is the actual letter

It seems to me that they are intentionally confusing the roles.  This is an "Impeachment" Inquiry, not the "Impeachment Trial" which would be held in the Senate which the GOP controls.

I have never seen an "INNOCENT GENIUS POLITICIAN" fight so hard to keep his government workings hidden from the citizens.  Of course the Trump True Believers won't even question his motives.

Even though if Obama or Clinton had tried to hide facts and data from Congress like this, they would have been screaming cover up!!!  People are so fascinating and disturbing!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Minneapolis To Charge Trump Campaign Security Fee

CBS WCCO Trump Administration: Minneapolis Is Trying To Make Campaign Cover Rally Security Costs

I guess I am curious who you think should pay the security cost for Trump's election rallies?

The tax payers or the candidate?

I am more curious also to know if Baby Trump will be in town... :-)

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Tale of the Texts

USA Today A visual timeline of the text messages in the Trump-Ukraine affair

Politico Reading the Text Messages

It is very humorous how the string changes as they learn of the Whistle Blower... :-)

Please remember... Why was Giuliani involved if this was actually about government business?  He is Trump's personal Lawyer... Not a member of the FBI or Justice department...

Trump to Betray Allies, Help ISIS / Iran

AP Trump's Syria withdrawal announcement draws GOP condemnation

Politico 'Disaster in the making': Republicans torch Trump's Syria policy

NBC Trump's backing for Turkey's Syria plan could cause havoc in an unstable region, experts warn

BBC Turkey-Syria border: Kurds bitter as US troops withdraw

FOX Sen. Graham warns Syria withdrawal would be 'big win for ISIS,' compares Trump's strategy to Obama
"Graham said Trump had a valid point about European nations having to do more and carry their weight in the fight against ISIS, but claimed Iran will benefit most from a policy of withdrawal. He also said Trump's proposed strategy will only lead to further destabilization and be to the detriment of the United States.

"When... Obama was told what would happen in Iraq, it did," he said. "And I’m here to say that this is going to lead to the reemergence of ISIS and the biggest winner of all this will be the Iranians and that’s too bad."

Graham also criticized the Trump administration for claiming ISIS is defeated and said there are still thousands of active fighters looking to destroy the West through terrorism.

"ISIS is not defeated," he said. "The biggest lie being told by the administration [is] that ISIS is defeated. The caliphate's destroyed, but there's thousands of fighters over there. And no, the caliphate would not have been destroyed without the Kurds, and I applaud the president for getting the Kurds and the Arabs to do most of the fighting. The casualties destroying the caliphate was very low. We've got less than 1000 troops now in Syria.

"But this impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gains we’ve made, thrown the region into further chaos," Graham continued. "Iran is licking their chops. And if I’m an ISIS fighter I've got a second lease on life. So to those who think ISIS has been defeated you will soon see."

ISIS fighters and other terrorists comprising the more than 10,000 Islamic militants jailed in northeast Syria could launch a mass prison break as U.S. troops withdraw from the region in response to Turkey's impending incursion, Syrian Kurdish fighters warned Monday."

Trump Ordered to Turnover Tax Returns

NYT Trump Taxes: President Ordered to Turn Over Returns to Manhattan D.A.

NM The Many Times Trump has Promised to Release his Taxes

For someone with nothing to hide and a history of demanding that other's release their tax returns, he certainly is resistant to fulfill his campaign promise.

"During the 2012 presidential election, Trump encouraged Mitt Romney to release his tax returns. Romney’s failure to do so until days before the general election has been interpreted as a fatal mistake."

Sunday, October 6, 2019

"We the People," not "Me the President"

The Hill: Powell: 'The Republican party has got to get a grip on itself'

To all the spineless GOP politicians out there, Colin Powell has some wise words for you.

"We got to remember what 
the Constitution started with: 
"We the People," not 
"Me the President,"

On one side we have Mitt Romney who has great character and morals, along with Collins and Sasse who can admit that it is WRONG for the POTUS to ask foreign governments for dirt on his leading opponent.

I mean please remember again, he did not ask them to work with the FBI / Justice Department.  He asked them to work with his personal lawyer...  Who should have NO ROLE in investigating corruption in another country.

Then we have a sleaze like McConnel who says he will work to stop the Impeachment proceedings even though he has not seen the evidence.

Then we have this idiot Graham who is trying to scare whistle blowers into silence, which certainly would be bad for our country.

Do you really want people to stay silent
when they see your politicians breaking
the law or embezzling funds because they 
may be harmed professionally or physically?


Do you want them safe to come forward 
so the questionable actions can be 
reviewed through the systems that
our country holds dear?

If Obama was POTUS, would your answer change?  Maybe that is a personal problem. :-(

NYT How to Sell Your Soul to Trump.

Impeach Process Comic

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Why Are There So Many Homeless in California?

FOX News LA city officials pressuring Newsom to declare state of emergency amid homeless crisis

Now I understand that California has moderate climate where people can sleep outside year round, not like Minnesota. However how can homelessness and poverty be so bad in one of the most Liberal Wealthy states?  Wouldn't they have solved this in their Liberal Utopia?  Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Trump True Believers are UNREAL !!!

USA Today Poll: Only 4 in 10 Republicans think Trump mentioned Biden on Ukraine call even though he acknowledged doing so

The Summarized Transcript as released by Trump Etal
The President: The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.
What are these 40% of Republicans thinking, or has Trump lobotomized them somehow? :-)

Believe it... Trump said... "I would like you to do us a favor though ..."  It is in the document the White House released.  Now the question is do you support the Rule of Law or Trump?

Trump's Misleading Map

CNN Trump's Misleading Map

I'll never understand Trump's inability to understand that it does matter how popular you are in your head.  If you violate your oath and rules of office, you can get impeached.

He is like the Homecoming King saying that he can not get expelled for bringing a gun to school because he is popular...  Is Trump this disconnected from reality?
Kind of like when he was bragging about his record electoral vote win...  When it was number 46!!!  I mean the only modern President with a lower ratio was Bush in 2000!!!

Besides the first map is how he likely sees the country, where as the other two represent reality.  Since only Citizens / State Votes matter in our system.  That is unless you want some desert running the USA.  Thoughts?

23 Additional Maps

I had to add this comic... :-)

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Trump the Thin Skinned

The Hill: Trump demands to meet whistleblower, warns of 'big consequences'

Now let's see, Trump the guy who name calls everyone he dislikes and retaliates against everybody who he perceives has wronged him is mad at Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and wants to meet the whistle blower...

Either he is as petty, impulsive and foolish as he often seems, or he is trying to manipulate his "True Believers".  Because Schiff has Freedom of Speech on his side and no Trump does not have the right to know who exposed his stupid conversation.  And please remember that these are just White House notes...  Not an actual transcript...  We have not seen this yet because Trump and Crew buried it in a top secret server that is usually used for top secret communications.

President Zelenskyy: Yes you are absolutely right. Not only 100%, but actually 1000% and I can tell you the following; I did talk to Angela Merkel and I did meet with her I also met and talked with Macron and I told them that they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions. They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine. It turns out that even though logically, the European Union should be our biggest partner but technically the United States is a much bigger partner than the European Union and I'm very grateful to you for that because the United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine. Much more than the European Union especially when we are talking about sanctions against the Russian Federation. I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost. ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes. 
The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it if that's possible.
President Zelenskyy: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly.. That I can assure you.
The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.
And as for that good prosecutor and Biden's "bragging...

So as is usual...  Trump did something really stupid and self centered and he wants to blame everyone else.  Now the question is will the True Believers start researching and thinking for themselves...  Or will they swallow whatever Trump chooses to feed them?  Thoughts?

Friday, September 27, 2019

East Carver Schools Equity Strife

MinnPost Video attacking equity efforts inflames racial controversy in Eastern Carver Co. Schools

Apparently Sean's schools are facing the same challenges as mine...  What to do when lucky kids with two great English speaking successful parents do well in school, and unlucky kids with a less strong support system struggle?

Here is the Alpha News video being discussed.

SW News ROAR involves Ellison

East Carver Schools Equity Page

ECCS Achievement and Integration Plan

And they are into PBIS also...  Oh my...

I keep hearing non-teachers complaining about funding, however it sounds like the biggest problem in the classroom is "what to do with really disruptive kids"...  It seems that these districts in the name of "Equity and PBIS" are not removing the kids that actually put the teachers and other students at risk because they are worried about the race based statistics being different between groups.

It is a little amusing watching this highly affluent mostly white district have these arguments.  I think all of them should be thankful for their demographics and great schools. :-)

ECCS vs RDale MN DOE Report Card

What to do about Surprise Billing?

NYT In California, a 'surprise' billing law is protecting patients and angering doctors

And here are the dark money people trying to scare you with all those TV commercials...  Doctor Patient Unity...  Here is their perspective...

Brookings Assessment
KHN Assessment
IS Congress Stalls

Now my family has some pretty good healthcare insurance, yet even I can relate to those surprise $5,000 and $10,000 bills that seem to come in from no where...

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Why One Should Treat Their Staff Well

BI Trump is facing the biggest firestorm of his presidency because his own staffers blew the whistle on him...

and of course instead of being concerned about the content of the whistle blower report...

FOX News Lindsay Graham wants to know who talked to the whistle blower

I find this quote most interesting... 
"It is imperative we find out which White House official talked to the whistleblower and why. Why didn’t they lodge the complaint?" Lindsey Graham
Duhhh…  Trump and the GOP want to punish Whistle Blowers !!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Formal Impeachment Inquiry to Begin?

WAPO Pelosi Announces Plan to Start Formal Inquiry

NYT Trump Says He Will Release Transcript

CNN Whistle Blower Wants to Talk to Committee

At least it is never dull in the USA.
They do not nearly this much fun in China, Russia, etc. :-)

The Wealth Tax Proposals

VOX Bernie's Wealth Tax Explained
VOX Warren's Wealth Tax Explained

Now I am often confused about what the correct answer is when it comes to taxing assets that increase in value...Especially when a person dies...

I mean currently a lot of the capital gains are never taxed because of the basis being stepped up for the person who inherits.  On the other hand, many of the assets like farm land and houses only appreciated at about the rate of inflation.  So they really are worth about the same in relative cost to when they were bought.

Now Warren and Bernie's proposals are even more challenging.  They apparently want to track and tax people's "wealth".  I mean what can go wrong with this...  Thoughts?

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Social Security Report

Brookings: Why Everyone Should Care About These Trustee Reports

Annual Trustees Reports provide estimates of the financial status of Social Security's Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds under current law. Recent Reports call for informed discussion, creative thinking, and timely legislation to address expected future deficits. Many policy makers have developed proposals and options to address this long-range solvency problem. Listed below is a broad range of policy options that would address Trust Fund solvency and other issues related to Social Security benefits and financing. Many of these options are part of comprehensive proposals intended to restore Trust Fund solvency.
We group the options into categories, as shown below. We also provide a summary list of all options (PDF version).

Saturday, September 21, 2019

So Trump True Believers

Is it okay if Trump did use tax dollars and foreign policy to try and get dirt on his political opponent?

Here is some FOX and WSJ coverage...

"The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that, in a July phone call, Trump repeatedly asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani on a probe into Hunter Biden. The call came a month before Trump put a hold on $250 million in military aid to Ukraine -- a hold that was eventually released after objections from the Senate."

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Isn't Trump For Less EPA Over Reach?

CNN Trump Threatens to Use EPA regarding California Homelessness

VOX Trump Demands California and Manufacturers Conform to EPA

So supposedly GOPers are to be for States rights and less Federal government intervention within states.  So of course this is another sign that Trump is really a RINO.

Who could have imagined Trump trying to force states to comply with his "emperor's decrees"? :-)

I hope the law suits go well, since I am a real State's Rights conservative...  Not one of those Federal power grabbers like Trump and his supporters. :-)  And for your enjoyment!!!

Loose Lips Sink Ships

NYT Watch Dog Org Refusing to Update Congress
regarding whistle blower complaint involving Trump
saying things he is not supposed to say to a foreign leader.

WAPO More Details

I am so surprised... Trump's big mouth getting him in trouble? :-)

And more from this supposedly transparent President.
Trump Suing Again to keep tax records hidden.

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Strike at GM

CNN Business UAW GM Strike Kicks Off

Detroit FREEP GM CEO Compensation 281 time median worker

GM Jobs Pay Well + Great Benefits

Detroit News Comparisons
"Detroit carmakers are expected to point to the pay gap between them and foreign producers like Toyota and Honda with plants in the United States. With benefits and bonuses included, GM hourly employees make $63 an hour, Ford workers make $61 and Fiat Chrysler workers make $55. Foreign producers spend about $50 an hour for workers in U.S. plants, according to data from the Center for Automotive Research.

From 2014 to 2018, GM's labor costs per vehicle increased 14%, Ford's was up 8% and Fiat Chrysler's was up 42%, according to CAR"
I have no idea who is more greedy, the Union or the Executives...  However as they squabble I am sure their competitors will be happy to steal market share.

And then there is that HUGE QUESTION...  Are Liberal American Auto Buyers willing to put their money where their mouth is and support these American Union workers?  Or will they keep buying their high foreign content cars?  Or those made in the Southern lower cost states?

One more thing...  Temporary employees are very important in US Manufacturing jobs because of the cyclic nature...  My previous employer would be up to ~1000 employees on over time and then would need to scale back to about 600 during slow times.  It was not very fun at all...

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Where do the Beggars Come From?

A few years ago something changed in my neighborhood...  We started getting a steady stream of new and different beggars near the off ramps of 494 and Rockford road.

I have to wonder if there is a bus driving these pan handlers around or what?

The reason I say this is because the beggar changes daily. Sometimes a woman in a wheel chair, the next day an older gentleman, the next day a younger guy, etc...  Now if it was my local poor neighbors I would assume I would often see the same person or people...

And apparently these supposed poor can make some good cash in the burbs.  Here is an interesting Reddit discussing on how much "they can earn".  Here is a Brooklyn Park story.

I sure wish people would STOP giving to these folks...  If you want to help then give your money to organizations that help the insane, homeless, addicted, etc.  Thoughts?

Friday, September 13, 2019

CEO Rational Gun Control Letter

NPR CEO Gun Control Letter
  1. Back ground checks on all gun transfers
  2. Process to remove guns from mentally unwell people
I will never understand why people are against these common sense changes. The only thing I can come up with is that they want to support the illegal and undocumented exchanges that enable the criminal and insane folks to easily get very dangerous weapons.
Over there I have been asking Jerry the following questions.
  1. What do you want to do to save these innocent victims?
  2. Or is their dying an appropriate cost so people can have certain guns with no record of ownership or personal responsibility?
  3. How to stop legal guns from flowing to the illegal market?
Obviously he has given no good answers...
CBS How Dangerous People Get Guns
VOX US Guns vs Other Countries
US Guns in Mexico and Canada
NY Gun Pipeline
I truly believe that freedom comes with responsibility. If I am free to own and use a deadly weapon, I am responsible to ensure MY weapon stays secure and out of the hands of mentally deranged and/or criminal individuals.

We know that the guns are being purchased through legal channels, and then diverted to mentally deranged and/or criminal individuals. Thus enabling the deaths of thousands of innocent unsuspecting citizens. And yet anti-gun control people fear holding these gun diverting citizens to account even as the children die.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Attributed to Edmund Burke, including by John F Kennedy in a speech in 1961. Burke didn’t say it, and its earliest form was by John Stuart Mill, who said in 1867: “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” Thanks to Andrew Marshall."

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Slimy NC GOP Politicians

VOX NC GOP Politicians Vote While Others Mourn
AP GOP Holds Unplanned Vote
From Sean over at the End of Democracy
"If you want to talk about what's going to take down democracy, it ain't gonna be the debt. The original author had it right -- if it's going to happen, the unprecedented in recent history efforts by one party to shatter political norms and disenfranchise the other one is going to be the start of it. Just look at what has happened in North Carolina in the last year: a House election had to be tossed out because of Republican voter fraud, the Republican lame-duck Legislature (which only holds the majority because of gerrymandered map that has been found illegal by courts) voted to take power away from the incoming Democratic governor, and just yesterday voted to override a veto while Democrats attended a 9/11 memorial, breaking their promise to other lawmakers not to vote while that was happening. "
I thought this terribly disgusting non-democratic non-patriotic sleazy action deserved it's own post. I sure hope some court can over rule it.  Or that the voters toss the unscrupulous lot.

This comic may not quite fit, but it seems pretty accurate. I mean if you add the anti-choice and anti-LGBT+ crowd it would be nearly perfect.

SCOTUS Allows Barring Asylum Seekers

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Anti-Vaxxers Spread and Cause Fear

VOX America is in danger of losing its “measles-free” status

Another reason why I really dislike the anti-vaccination conspiracy movement.

Speaking of which, my anti-vaxxer relation still has not answered any of my questions.
"By the way, I am still waiting for your answer to my ethics question.

And here are my interesting ethical questions:
•If people fail to vaccinate their child(ren) for fear of a rare event.
•And other children suffer or die because of that choice.
•Did those parent(s) do the ethical thing?

Remember that you made the argument that people with good nutrition, good healthcare, etc have little to fear from some of these viruses... But we know that viruses can't pick who gets them... :-(

So which ones should the child not get and why?

More Details "

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

End of Democracy?

Politico: Paper Predicting End of Democracy
"Rosenberg, a professor at UC Irvine, was challenging a core assumption about America and the West. His theory? Democracy is devouring itself—his phrase — and it won’t last.  
As much as President Donald Trump’s liberal critics might want to lay America’s ills at his door, Rosenberg says the president is not the cause of democracy’s fall—even if Trump’s successful anti-immigrant populist campaign may have been a symptom of democracy’s decline.
We’re to blame, said Rosenberg. As in “we the people. ”Democracy is hard work. And as society’s “elites”—experts and public figures who help those around them navigate the heavy responsibilities that come with self-rule—have increasingly been sidelined, citizens have proved ill equipped cognitively and emotionally to run a well-functioning democracy.  
As a consequence, the center has collapsed and millions of frustrated and angst-filled voters have turned in desperation to right-wing populists. His prediction? “In well-established democracies like the United States, democratic governance will continue its inexorable decline and will eventually fail.”
Now isn't that a cheery prediction.  I am not sure if I agree that we will fail due to Right Wing Populists though.  I do agree that we will struggle as long as citizens demand more back from government than they are willing to pay into it

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Tax Payers Funding Trump Properties Again

VOX The US military may have spent millions to help prop up a Trump resort
CNBC Pence Stays at Trump Resort: 180 miles from meetings
The Bulwark Trump's Doonbegdoggle

And if this one turns out to be true, I hope every real fiscal Conservative turns his back on Trump.

Politico Trump's Resort Stopped Losing Money?

Or this Forbes Piece...

I wonder how many millions of tax payer's dollars flowing to Trump properties will ever be considered  "too much".  And since it is actually all "borrowed / deficit dollars, Trump is actually stealing from our kids and grand kids.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Brazil Adventure

Okay I made it to Sao Paulo Brazil, and yes they wonder about the news we get from people outside Brazil. I will not get up to the Amazon region since it is no where near here. (see below)

Anything you want me to ask? Here are some things I have learned already.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Another Day, Another Mass Shooting

Now isn't that a sad headline... :-(

VOX Texas Shootings
FOX Texas Shootings

Medical Center Hospital in Odessa said it received 13 shooting victims, seven of whom were in critical condition. Two others were in serious condition and one patient was deceased. One victim, a 17-month-old child, was airlifted to a level one trauma center in Lubbock, about two hours north of Odessa. The other two victims had been treated and released as of Saturday evening.

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And yet Trump is still scared of the gun lobby.

Of course I would go even further...

Gun Control Summary

G2A's Simplified Gun Policy Goal Statement:
  1. Ensure that trained, responsible people can keep and carry their hunting and self defense weapons.
  2. Ensure these weapons are removed from the homes of scary angry, insane and generally irresponsible people.
  3. Minimize the death, injury and/or trauma to the innocent citizens of the USA when the system fails and a scary angry, insane and generally irresponsible person does not have their weapons confiscated.
G2A's Supporting Policy / Tools 
  1. Mandatory back ground checks for every gun purchase or ownership transfer. Eliminate gun show / internet sales loop holes.
  2. Mandatory confiscation of guns from people with anger issues / restraining orders. (Red Flag Laws)
  3. Improve NICS, and State and Agency reporting into the database.
  4. Mandatory Gun Registration (especially for hand guns and semi-automatic rifles)
  5. Severe penalties for ANYONE holding a gun that is NOT registered, that should be.
  6. Allow law suits against people who allow their guns to be stolen, especially if they have not reported the theft.
  7. Allow trained school personnel to conceal and carry.
  8. Limiting clip sizes to ~15 or fewer bullets
  9. Banning weapons that are bump fire-able.
The good news is that Florida bill addresses some of these common sense changes. CNN Florida Gun Law Awaits Govs Signature

Trump Shares US Top Secret Capabilities

Vaccines and Their Risks

CH The Vaccine Study You Will Never See

Okay, I spent some time looking through 1200 Studies.  And here are the thoughts and questions I sent back to the author.  So far I have received no answers to my questions...  Sorry for the formatting, I have other things to get started on today. :-)

Okay I have skimmed to page 142 and am beginning to confirm that this is not an analysis paper, but a simple attack paper. I had to do a literature review for my thesis and they sure do not look like this. :-(

There is simply nothing fair or balanced about any of the topics, the risks, the rewards, the trade offs, etc. Just a bunch of numbers with cherry picked statements to try to back them up.
What I find most amazing is that you have stated that there is a link between vaccines and autism like it is a fact. When one of your source expert links clearly says that you are wrong.

The exact quote from the Autism Society... These I assume are the experts in this area of study... Why again would they unequivocally say that you are incorrect?

Statement of the Autism Society of America on Vaccine Safety
March 8, 2019, Bethesda, Maryland — The Autism Society of America is aware of the ongoing public discussion surrounding the use of vaccines. We affirm there has never been any credible scientific or medical evidence linking vaccinations with autism. In fact, robust scientific research and the overwhelming consensus of the medical community conclude that vaccines are safe, effective, and life-saving.  The Autism Society of America encourages parents to discuss any concerns about vaccines with their child’s physician.
For more information, please consult the following resources reviewed by our panel of professionals.
For questions, please contact Scott Badesch, Executive Director/CEO.

Now it sounds like you started this effort in 2015 after the Kimmel skit. And you state that you started "neutral", which I really have to question after reading the paper and how emotional you became during the skit...
So I am wondering, did you you have your children vaccinated or were you against vaccinations way back them?
By the way, you may have the last laugh on me... I am heading to Sao Paulo Brazil next Wednesday and the Travel clinic loaded me up with Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Flu and MMR vaccine just to be safe. So if you don't hear from me again you will know that the vaccines finally got me. :-)
I'll try to keep skimming, but I am sure losing hope of it being worth my time. :-(

A couple of more links from the Autism Science Foundation. Do you think they also are in the pockets of big pharma? That these Medical Doctors would risk the lives and well being of children? Cause and Risk Factors

People keep waiting until they are older to have children, more children are being born into impoverished single parent homes, we can now keep many people alive to procreate who never would have 50 years ago and you wonder why things are a changing... I am hopeful that the scientists will determine the true root causes sooner than later.

Okay I made it down to page 685 and it gets better with the Problem and Solution Statement. Especially the ones dealing with children needing good nutrition and healthcare. Since it sounds like you "pro-life" (taking the choice away from the mother), are you pro-medicaid, pro-welfare and other systems that are there to help the fetus and the new infant?
I ask because it seems you support the freedom to choose vaccinations or not? How are these topics similar or different from your view?
By the way, being part of the American society is also a free choice. If you do not like what the American society determines is best for the vast majority of Americans one is free to move to Mexico or another third world country that does not require vaccines. With our freedom comes a responsibility.

The "free document" having copy and paste blocked is very frustrating, so I will need to just paraphrase you. It seems on 708 that you are putting the onus on the vaccine proponents to accept your data and "do what is right". And yet it seems you are choosing to ignore their data and perspectives? Is this open mind supposed to go both ways?