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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Chilling


Chilling beauty. A fantastic way to spend 10+ minutes.




Presidential Protests?



As we know, there is what is described to be a large women's protest in the nation's capitol today, Washington, DC after and about the Presidential inauguration yesterday.

Women's March on Washington




These marches are in big and not so big cities all across the nation today, from Los Angeles to our own, right here in Kansas City.






But there are protests in other nations, too, and not just by or for women.






So here's the question. Let's put this in perspective.

When was the last time a newly-elected world leader, let alone our own newly inaugurated president, just put into office, was protested around the nation? More to the point, when was the last time a newly-elected national leader was ever protested across the globe, around the world?

Never?

Would that be never?

Isn't that instructive? Doesn't that tell us something?

Anything?

Shouldn't it?




Friday, January 20, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Inaugural Edition





Republicans, The Next Four Years Are All On You (Redux)



Yes, Republicans and all who supported and voted for Donald J. Trump for president, after today, he and all he does and all the ramifications are all, every one of them, on you.

Sure, Mr. Trump is already taking us down his deep, dark "rabbit hole" and we'll all suffer but his actions? The blame for what he does and says and tweets and all the ramifications? Even the ones from the election to today, while he was only president-elect, everything from November 8 to today and for as long as he is president, it's all on you. We have you and your vote and your actions to blame.

The economy?   On you.

The nation's international standings?

You.

Any debt or debts he accrues?

Wars?

All.

On you.

And believe me, if he should do anything right and/or well and good, sure, you absolutely get any credit there.

Should that occur.

Same for Mike Pence, as Vice President or, God also forbid, President.

You get all the blame.  It's all on you, to repeat.

You wanted this. You voted for it. You supported him and all he represented then and represents since.

Yes, he's all our President, the nation's President but not because we voted for him, not because a majority of us voted for him.  You did this.

So buck up and suck it up, kids, because Mr. Trump has already shown us all, since that fateful November election day last year that this is going to be a bumpy, bumpy, unpredictable ride.

Any debt. Any wars. Any bloodshed. Any diplomatic and/or international political mistakes and/or miscues.

It's all on your hands.


Right Wingers: Who You Gonna' Hate Now?



Okay, so it's January 20, 2017, inauguration day. Donald J. Trump is sworn in President. (shudder)

So my question now, today, to all Right Wingers, Republicans and Obama haters:

Who are you going to hate now? Well, besides the Democrats and Liberals (or is that "libruls"?) and Progressives and--gasp--Socialists, that is.

After hating the Black man in the White House for 8 years, thinking he's going to take your gunz and impose Sharia Law and betray and destroy the nation, who are you going to rail about now?

After seeing headlines from Right Wing sites like the following for the last 8 years:

Obama runs $100M vacation tab on taxpayers








So, after all this nonsense, repeatedly, for the last 8 years, who are you all going to hate after today?

Who's your big bogeyman now?


Timely Question For Our New President, His Supporters And All Republicans


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Inauguration Day 2017



God help us.


Inauguration Day: One Last Dig



From here on, God help us.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Rock and Roll


It's back...


Some will beg for forgiveness
From someone above
For something they did
To someone they love


Number 44 to 45: The Handoff


I never feared a new administration in the White House before. Ever. I may have not liked what was coming but be it Reagan or George W. Bush, no matter how bad I ever thought the person would be there, I never feared for the nation, for us all.

Not in 6 decades. This catches it.


God help us.


This Is It. Final Day


It's like he didn't even try...

Image may contain: 1 person, suit and text

"Once More Unto the Breach..."



We survived Nixon. We survived Reagan. We survived George W.

Hoping we survive this.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

Link:



The Topsy-Turvy World of Trump


First there was this:

Trump's EPA pick rejects climate science, 

fights for fossil fuels


It gets worse.

Trump's EPA pick has fought vehemently ... 

against the EPA


And then there's Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick to head Education:


I'm telling you, folks, God help us.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Entertainment Overnight - New


I was only just introduced to Sturgill Simpson and his band last Saturday Evening after having seen their performance on Saturday Night Live. I liked the rock and roll I saw there but this is another really nice one, completely unlike their two pieces that night.



"It's all a dream.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Seemingly Timely Reminder


A friend on FB reminded me of this today. It seems, again, very timely.


THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

--William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)


15 Warnings On the Upcoming Trump Presidency


Professor Robert Reich wrote and warned the following, early this month. I thought it important and that more should see it.


The 15 Warnings Signs 

of Impending Tyranny


As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically:

1. Exaggerate their mandate to govern – claiming, for example, that they won an election by a landslide even after losing the popular vote.

2. Repeatedly claim massive voter fraud in the absence of any evidence, in order to restrict voting in subsequent elections.

3. Call anyone who opposes them “enemies.”

4. Turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum.”

5. Hold few if any press conferences, preferring to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements.

6. Tell the public big lies, causing them to doubt the truth and to believe fictions that support the tyrants’ goals.

7. Blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias and even violence against them.

8. Attribute acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and use such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties.

9. Threaten mass deportations, registries of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees.

10. Seek to eliminate or reduce the influence of competing centers of power, such as labor unions and opposition parties.

11. Appoint family members to high positions of authority

12. Surround themselves with their own personal security force rather than a security detail accountable to the public.

13. Put generals into top civilian posts

14. Make personal alliances with foreign dictators.

15. Draw no distinction between personal property and public property, profiteering from their public office.
______________________________________________________

Here's hoping he, Mr. Trump, proves us wrong.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Incredible


Rachmaninov.




The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr--On Donald Trump?


The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave this quote, this warning, all those years ago about a Republican presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater. With the exception of the then-accepted word Negro and the fact that Dr. King said Goldwater wasn't a racist, it could very well have been said about then-candidate Donald Trump this year, in the just-finished presidential contest.



“The Republican Party geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction, and extremism...On the urgent issue of civil rights, Senator Goldwater represents a philosophy that is morally indefensible and socially suicidal. While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulates a philosophy which gives aid and comfort to the racist. His candidacy and philosophy would serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes would stand. In the light of these facts and because of my love for America, I have no alternative but to urge every Negro and white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and to withdraw support from any Republican candidate that does not publicly disassociate himself from Senator Goldwater and his philosophy.”

Link:

Jeff City Republicans Seem to Want To Go Down the Kansas Deficit Rabbithole


What is it about these Republicans down in Jefferson City? 

You'd think they could and would look just across the state line, to Kansas and their budgets and budget problems since 2012 with their "trickle down economics" tax cuts for the already-wealthy and corporations and learn their lessons. 





And these were just some of the ugly, unnecessary results:





And there's been plenty of evidence that the path they chose for taxes was a mistake, too, those Kansas Republicans.



California Raised Taxes, Economy Grew 4.1%; Kansas Lowered Taxes, Economy Grew 0.2%

So, with all that history, from 2012, when the Kansas Republicans set all this in motion, to today, do you think Missouri Republicans in our statehouse in Jefferson City would take any and all of it into consideration and respond accordingly?

Wouldn't you?

Oh, heck no. Take a look. This just hit from Yael Abouhalkah on his blog.

ERIC GREITENS SLICES MISSOURI BUDGET, FAILS TO BLAST GOP’S IRRESPONSIBLE TAX CUTS

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Monday slashed $146 million from the current budget — more than half coming from higher education spending — to try to keep it balanced for the fiscal year.

Missourians and Kansans, both, naturally want to have good education systems but where do state representatives slash the money from when they've screwed up the budget? You guessed it, education. Wonderful. To heck with you students and the state's future, we've got budget cuts to make---for our irresponsibility.

Yael goes on to point out:

...for a guy who keeps telling people he’s going to be a truth-teller, someone not beholden to the old ways of doing business in Jefferson City, Greitens partly misled the public about why he had to do that.

In a message delivered on Twitter, the new Republican chief executive trotted out Obamacare and the “previous administration” as the main culprits for these detailed cuts. Wrong — at least for the most part.

In reality, the budget was approved by the GOP-dominated General Assembly. That’s right: Greitens’ own party.

Plus, slow revenue growth has caused some of Missouri’s problems. That’s not because of former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon or the Affordable Care Act.

That gets us to this inconvenient fact for Greitens and the GOP.

One of the main problems with the current budget has been a collapse in corporate tax revenue. The tax collections dropped more than $150 million last year and are down an estimated $65 million more this year. Why?

Because bills passed in 2013 and 2015 have made it easier for some businesses “to reduce their Missouri tax liability,” according to this detailed explanation from the Missouri Budget Project.

And things could get even worse in the next fiscal year budget, which Greitens plans to unveil in February.

That’s because even more Republican-approved tax cuts (over the veto of Nixon) are expected to kick in by then. The tax reductions could slice state revenues by $50 million in the first year, which isn’t a huge deal.

But the GOP-passed bill calls for bigger tax cuts as the years roll by. The Missouri Budget Project says the fully implemented bill could cost the state “at least $620 million a year….”

The hardest hit in Greiten’s message were major state universities, with up to $76 million in cuts.

Apparently, new Missouri Governor Greitens is being a good, political party Republican so he's not knocking anyone in his party or their actions. That's all well and good but once again, these people need to put their constituents first, not that political party.

So these Republicans, both in Washington and in the state capitols are still, still, to this day bent on, as I said above, "trickle down economics" and how they think it will work. Just to give yet one more huge example of how it doesn't and how it, instead, creates huge deficits, check out red state Oklahoma's current experience:


And again, where do they take the money?


They, Republicans, don't learn. They want to keep slashing taxes for the already-wealthy and corporations, promising it will create jobs and tax revenue.

It doesn't. It patently, absolutely does not. It does neither.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is "trickle down economics", let there be no doubt.


Links:




Coming Republican Implosion? Sooner Than We Thought?


                  (I love the looks on these two faces just that moment)

Here's some rather fascinating news on what those pesky Republicans, flush from their wins last November, are doing this week in Washington. And I don't know that I'd trust it but it comes from the very business-friendly, Conservative and even Republican Forbes Magazine.

OMGHouse Republicans Are Preparing To Hit Consumers With A Horrible New Tax That Will Harm Trump And Hurt The Economy


What they're doing:

... it’s the Republicans, not the Democrats, who are ready to administer an unnecessary black eye to the new President. That’s not their intention, but it manifestly will be the result.

The vehicle for this unwitting GOP punch is a new exaction called the border adjustability tax. This levy will cost American consumers at least a trillion dollars over the next ten years. Knowing how Washington politicians calculate these things, you can bet the amount will end up being considerably more. Prices for everyday items, such as socks, shoes and household appliances, will go up. So will tech devices like the iPad, not to mention automobiles and trucks. Gasoline? Millions of Americans will pay an additional 30 cents or more per gallon at the pump. Lower-income and struggling middle-class Americans will get hit the hardest.

Here’s how, in essence, this sneaky, anti-consumer tax works. Importers will no longer be allowed to deduct an item as a business expense. To simplify things, let's say a store imports a pair of sneakers for $40 and then sells them for $50, making a $10 profit on which it would owe taxes. Under the Republican plan, however, the retailer wouldn't be able to deduct the $40 it paid for the sneakers. In fact, it would owe taxes on the entire $50! And who, ultimately, pays this tax? You, the consumer, in the form of higher prices or fewer choices of where you can shop. Retailers and their customers will be hit.

Many oil refiners import crude oil to turn into gasoline. This new tax will sharply raise their costs, which will spell pain when you fill up your tank. Worse, some could be forced out of business or have to sharply curtail operations, as drivers cut back on buying the suddenly more expensive fuel.

But wait, it gets worse. Another feature of this bizarre GOP scheme gives exporters a gargantuan tax break by, in effect, not taxing their export revenues. Let's say a corporation sells a piece of machinery to Iran for $5 million, which cost only $4 million to produce. That means $1 million in taxable profit. Under the new Republican scheme, however, that $5 million received from the mullahs wouldn’t be taxable. Instead of a $1 million profit, the corporation, for tax purposes, would have a $4 million loss. Loophole doesn't begin to describe this "tax break."


Don'tcha' just love these fuzzy little pinheads? And according to the article, it sets a wonderful trap for the soon-to-be President Trump, too, God love 'em, by setting up an economy with rising costs. The Democrats could then remind the American people that those increased costs are due to the Republicans and these changes they want to create in our taxes.

God, I love these people. They're sewing seeds for their own destruction both quickly and in big, big ways. Here's yet more of this wonderfulness. The following quote is from uber Right Wing columnist Bill Kristol:

"It's telling, I'm afraid, that Donald Trump treats Vladimir Putin with more respect than he does John Lewis."

Which arose because of this, further proving his cluelessness and even lack of knowledge of our own, American history.


Then The Donald adds on to all this, because he's just not finished yet.



And check this out. This is how bad Donny's inauguration is going.


Don'tcha' just love the smell of Right Wing and Republican self-destruction in the morning?

And afternoon?

And evening?

Sure, Donald J. Trump, arguably the least qualified person to ever be elected to the highest office in our nation and the most powerful position on the planet is about to be inaugurated this week but think happy, hopeful thoughts, campers.


Timely Quotes On This Martin Luther King Day


Yes, with Donald Trump about to be sworn in President, it seems especially important to keep some of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr's quotes in mind, now and for the next four years. Or as long as Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence remain in their offices.

mlk-jr-05

"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."

"A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus."

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Enjoy the holiday.

And good luck and God help us, in time to come.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Stevie Redux


Talented young man.





Three Dangerous and Nearly Unbelievable Moves By Trump and Company



Bad as Donald Trump has been and shown himself to be during the campaign and even since, he and the Republicans, this week, in the last few days have made some additional really awful moves and statements that, again, portend horribly for the nation and for our foreseeable future.

The first.

Republicans threaten to subpoena ethicsdirector for daring to criticize Trump


To begin, this takes chutzpah, real nerve. The ethics director of the Federal Government merely calls out the President-elect, to say we have to stay within the law and the Republicans attack him? They threaten him? What? They don't want ethics in government? That would seem to be the conclusion to be reached. This is nearly inconceivable.

Two. Another attack, yet another near inconceivability.


Donald Trump not only attacks Rep. John Lewis, in Twitter tweets, no less, but also calls him "all talk, no action."   Clearly, Mr. Trump knows nothing of even Rep. Lewis' work, let alone our own national history.

Fortunately, some good  came of this attack.


Trump slammed for attacking civil rights icon 

Rep. John Lewis



Unfortunately, however, the President-elect's Vice President-elect, Mr. Pence, doubled-down on this dumb.


I guess if you figure you can blame one person, one man, for the fact that Black people in the United States are still discriminated against and still impoverished, in education and finances and jobs and a lot of other ways, if you can do that, what he says would make sense.

To an ignorant, insensitive, outspoken, filthy-rich, extremely privileged, isolated white man it might make sense.

Then, there was this, just a few days ago.


The President-elect is having the Commander of the District of Columbia's National Guard dismissed IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS, THE PRESIDENT-ELECT'S, OWN INAUGURATION.

To start, that makes no sense whatever and then it has to be asked, why is he doing this? Worse, is this the kind of "leadership" we can expect from this guy? It surely seems so, given all he's done and said since winning this election.

For those of us connected to reality and decency and national and world and human history, how are we supposed to anything but dread this coming presidency of Mr. Trump's, especially given what he and his Vice Presidential pick and his supporting political party have said and done recently?

An additional scary, recent move:


Fortunately, there is this and things like it--people trying to keep him, his Vice President and their political party in line:

Chief Ethics Lawyers: Trump Will Be In Violation Of Constitution When He Takes Oath Of Office