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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Chauvin Guilty On All Three Counts: But We Have a Long Way To Go

Worth a listen:

 

" President Biden & Vice President Harris Address the Nation on the Derick Chauvin Trial Verdict" 

 

 

 

 ~~~~~

 


 
 
~~~

 Robert Frost was JFK's favorite poet. Stay Safe you guys.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Gun Violence In The USA Is Out Of Control - Biden Flips On Migrante Quota

I was trying to keep tract of all of the shootings in the United States since last month and I simply lost count. And, it seems the Republicans are not going to budge an inch on gun control, which is shameful.

Here are the most recent reports which will probably be updated in the next few hours to include the Austin shooting and the Minnesota National Guard being fired on which appears as a video on the link.

 

 ~ From CNN: CNN lists the carnage:

 

The US Has Reported at Least 50 Mass Shootings Since the Atlanta Spa Shootings

 

 

Updated 6:55 PM ET, Sun April 18, 2021

 

~~~~~

 

 

Mass Shootings and The Chauvin Trial Force America To Confront Its Culture of Violence 

 

Updated 12:03 AM ET, Mon April 19, 2021

 

 "America is being forced to confront a basic failure to keep its own citizens safe with a murderous daily churn of mass shootings and the nation on edge for the end of the trial into George Floyd's murder.

That core duty of any political system is being undermined by polarized cultural and ideological divides that have so far made it impossible to adequately address gun violence, police misconduct and racial inequality.
 
While there have been a flurry of efforts at local levels, the usual outcome at moments like this is political paralysis as Washington -- where national polarization is institutionalized -- fails to produce even marginal reforms to law enforcement or gun safety.
 
The question now is whether a nation that has lost more than 560,000 people in a pandemic, which disproportionately affected minorities, is willing to accept a return to its old normal. Events of recent days suggest that there is no end in sight to a grim cellphone video showreel of Americans of color dying at police hands and regular mass killings.
 
Jurors in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minnesota cop who left his knee on Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds while he died last May, will hear closing arguments on Monday before retiring for their deliberations.
 
The need for a functioning and fair court system requires them to base their verdicts on two murder charges and one manslaughter count solely on the evidence raised during an often harrowing trial.
 
But that has not stopped the trial from being seen in the United States and around the world as a watershed moment that will highlight unfairness in how the American law enforcement system treats Black and minority Americans.
 
Given the deeply disturbing footage repeatedly aired at the trial of Floyd's agonizing last moments, the need for unanimity among the jury, and the high profile of the trial, there is concern about what could follow not guilty verdicts.
 
"I don't think anyone in Minneapolis, frankly, anyone in the United States or over a good part of the world would understand any other verdict other than guilty," California Rep. Karen Bass told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union."

Verdict is only the first step

If Chauvin is convicted, the sentencing phase of the trial will also be crucial, Bass said. "The verdict is step one, but what we've seen in too many of these cases, in the rare time there is a guilty verdict, we have seen people get off with minimal sentences," added Bass, the sponsor of the Democratic police reform bill named for Floyd.
 
Her comments were an example of the extraordinary political pressure surrounding the trial in Minneapolis, from which the jury will be insulated by being sequestered for as long as it takes to complete their deliberations.
 
The idea that the case, which stirred massive nationwide and global activism after Floyd died last year, would prove in itself to be a change agent has been belied by a stream of recent police killings and harassment of Americans of color. 
 
The shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by a police officer in a Minneapolis suburb a week ago, for instance, highlighted how routine law enforcement stops can still quickly escalate with tragic consequences. Tensions are high in Chicago after the release of body camera footage after a police officer shot dead 13-year-old Adam Toledo in March. The heartbreak of these incidents lies not just in the young lives lost, but in the fact that they feel so routine.
 
Still, despite the continuing violence, some activists see the Chauvin trial as a highly consequential moment.
 
"The outcome that we pray for in (the) Derek Chauvin trial is for him to be held criminally liable for killing George Floyd because we believe that could be a precedence of finally making America live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all," civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said Sunday.
 
"We have to finally have this racial reckoning, America, because if we don't, then people are going to continue to have these emotional protests," Crump, who acts for Floyd's family, said on ABC's "This Week."'
 
Whatever the outcome of the trial, it will be up to America's political leaders to determine what level of action is required to tackle a culture of impunity that reinforces discriminatory and even lawless behavior in police dealings with minorities.

The realities of a deadlocked Senate

The Democratic-led House has already passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which takes a series of steps including setting up a national registry of police misconduct and overhauling qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that critics say shields law enforcement officers from accountability.
 
But like most other issues before the Senate, the package faces an uncertain future in a 50-50 chamber amidst a tense political atmosphere that is prone to demagoguery from radicals on both sides of the political aisle.
 
Republicans, for instance, have seized on demands by a minority of left-wing Democrats to defund and dismantle police departments, to portray the entire bill as a passport to eliminating policing entirely. That's a position that even Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has said he disagrees with.
But those attacks, portraying the bill as part of an extreme liberal crusade, put moderate Democrats, like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin -- a crucial vote in the caucus -- in an uncomfortable position. Other Republicans, meanwhile, are likely to object to the bill by arguing that it imposes unworkable and undesirable federal solutions on local jurisdictions.
It is also unclear how much political capital President Joe Biden will invest in the effort, given his personal political priorities including infrastructure, a desire not to alienate moderate Republican voters he has courted and given his historic kinship with police unions. Still, Biden is under intense pressure on the issue given that his victory in the Democratic primary was largely based on the support of African American voters -- who were also critical constituencies in big cities in the swing states like Georgia and Pennsylvania that handed him the White House.
Bass, however, said on "State of the Union" that she was hopeful common ground could be forged in the Senate, especially under the leadership of South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott.
"I believe that the Republicans that I am working with are operating in good faith," Bass said. "Again, it's one thing to pass legislation in the House. It's a super hurdle to get it passed in the Senate."

The mass shootings just go on and on

The weekend brought no respite from the firearms deaths.
 
Three people are dead after someone opened fire inside a tavern in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Another three people were killed in a shooting that police said appeared to be related to a domestic incident in Texas. Authorities said a potential mass shooting was averted at San Antonio airport when a parks officer stopped a man with a box full of ammunition and a .45 caliber handgun.
 
Such events underscore the easy availability of deadly weapons. The 19-year-old who killed eight people in a massacre at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis late on Thursday bought his two assault rifles legally, police said over the weekend. According to a CNN analysis, the United States has suffered at least 50 mass shootings since March 16, when eight people were killed at three Atlanta-area spas. Six of the victims were women of Asian descent. 
 
Dr. Anthony Fauci, America's top infectious disease expert, who is most identified with the fight against Covid-19, bemoaned the incessant loss of life from gun crimes during an appearance on "State of the Union."
 
 
"I mean, in this last month it's just been horrifying what's happened," Fauci told Bash when asked whether gun violence was a public health emergency. "How can you say that's not a public health issue?" 
 
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last week that he planned to bring legislation to the Senate floor to address the "epidemic" of gun violence. Given that there is little sign that the political dynamics of gun control have shifted, Schumer's efforts seem most likely to amount to symbolism.
 
Republicans have little political incentive to cooperate with Democrats given the antipathy to any form of firearms restrictions among grassroots conservatives persuaded by GOP arguments that any restrictions are unconstitutional. But there is often less attention on the freedoms to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness denied the multiple victims of mass shootings.
 
For example, when Biden recently used executive power to enforce some modest measures, including limiting self-assembled or handmade firearms made from directions and materials available online, he was falsely accused by former President Donald Trump -- still the most powerful voice in the GOP -- of seeking to overturn the Second Amendment. 
 
Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have been seeking Republican votes for a set of limited reforms to background checks and restricting gun sales to the mentally ill.
But Republicans argue that Democrats use mass shootings as an excuse to take away guns from law-abiding Americans who need weapons to defend themselves in such situations. 
 
So the chance of any serious gun control measures reaching the threshold of 60 votes in the Senate to overcome Republican blocking tactics remains slim. Hopes for police reform could dissolve for the same reason, rooted in the entrenched politics of an internally estranged country."
 
 
~~~~~
 
 
 If this rash of insanity continues at the current levels, it is going to make Mexico look like a cake walk. So be careful out there.
 
 
Meanwhile Biden flips on the quota:
 
 ~ From Informed Comment : (with video)
 

 

 
 

"Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – About one quarter of one percent (0.25 percent) of the US population consists of refugees — some 838,000.

This minuscule number was too much for the white supremacist Trump administration, which drastically cut back refugee admissions from an average of 70,000 to 80,000 per year earlier in this century to only 30,000 in 2019 and to only 18,000 in 2020. (The pretext for the latter was the pandemic, but I think we know the real reason).

President Biden came under pressure from his own party activists to reverse Trump’s heartless policy, especially since Biden had campaigned on doing so. He now aims to recognize 62,500 asylum-seekers as refugees by October.

Mind you, Pew reports that Trump did not actually cut down on immigration in general very much. It was only desperate asylum-seekers that he barred. In 2019, 710,000 people received lawful permanent residence status in the US through family sponsorship. In all, about a million people were let in, which is par for the course in the US.

That is, Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric had little practical effect in most sectors of immigration. He was fine with well off people coming in, in droves.

He denied the most miserable and needy applicants, that is, the asylum-seekers. You might call it the sadism immigration policy.

The US, despite priding itself as a refuge for the huddled masses, does very little for asylum-seekers compared to many of its industrialized peers, and does less even than some developing countries.

The UN High Commission for Refugees estimates that there were 80 million forcibly displaced people around the world as of last summer, a little over half of them internally displaced, and the rest of them forced abroad. Some 30-34 million are children.

An average of one person is displaced every 2 seconds. Despite what you think, it could at any moment be you.

About 26.3 million have been granted refugee status, and another 4.2 million are still only pressing such a claim, and so are considered “asylum-seekers.”

ConcernUSA.org explains, “Refugee is the classification for someone who is forced to flee their country of origin due to conflict, violence, or persecution. They are unwilling or unable to return based on a demonstrable threat due to their race, religion, political stance, or social status.” In international law, because of the danger to the refugee of being returned to the country of origin, this process or “refoulement” is forbidden. The Trump administration thumbed its nose at this principle of international law, however.

ConcernUSA.org defines the next category this way: “Asylum-seeker is the classification for someone who is seeking international protection from danger in their country of origin, but whose claim for refugee status hasn’t been finally decided. Every refugee begins as an asylum-seeker, but not every asylum-seeker will be granted refugee status.”

Most of these externally displaced people, some 67%, come from just five countries. Some 6.6 million are from the Syrian Arab Republic, 3.7 million from Venezuela, 2.7 million from Afghanistan, 2.3 million from South Sudan and 1 million from Myanmar.

Some 39% of those displaced abroad are hosted by just five countries, mostly neighbors of the country from which people have been violently expelled. Turkey has 3.6 million Syrian displaced people (DPs). Columbia has taken in 1.8 million, largely Venezuelan DPs. Pakistan still has 1.4 million Afghans. Uganda hosts 1.4 million DPs. Germany has taken in 1.1 million DPs.

Despite the hype by white supremacists in the US and Europe about invading hordes of black and brown displaced people, 86% of DPs are hosted by developing or by the least developed countries. That’s right, of the tens of millions of Externally Displaced People (EDPs), only 14 percent are taken in by the rich countries.

Some wealthy states are exemplary. Sweden takes in more refugees than most of its wealthy peers, and 2.7 percent of its population is refugees. In Germany, 1.5 percent of the population are refugees.

The US can and should do more, and better. The refugees America has taken in have been among its most productive and outstanding citizens. Moreover, our gargantuan carbon emissions and our military conflicts have themselves created many DPs. We owe them. We owe humanity."

—–

~~~~~

 

Another slight emergency here; Totsie had to go in to have a foxtail removed from her eye. So now I have two little sick ones, Mike is better.

See you guys later.  

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Still Here

It has just been crazy. My other knee went out, so the projects ground to a halt (sigh),  Mike has been home sick for the past two days with a stomach bug but SIMI took care of it, Paris had foot surgery so she is down for the next couple of weeks, I'm afraid to go up to the states due to the rash of active  & Police shooters, pissed off at Biden for keeping the Trump cap on the migrantes, refrigerator is acting weird we think due to the jolts of electricity here on and off on and off on and off, one neighbor has called CFE a billion times but they keep telling him nothing is wrong but there is something really wrong like a bad transformer, given up on looking for places up north with the exception of Pacific Grove - too much crime in Santa Cruz plus the ocean is polluted but I still love the redwoods, we did watch Nomadland and spent days talking about the characters and society in general, also had to take more medication for the knees which makes me loopy who knows maybe the doc will finally do a double replacement...I wonder if I could still surf with that? Anything would be better than this.  Computer people will be here tomorrow for the eleventh time, but we want to give them a chance since they are fighting the goliath Telnor.

Meanwhile, I hope you are all staying safe ! Oh right, Prince Phillip's funeral is today,very sad. It truthfully is the end of an era.We can pick up Sky News here, Mike will turn it on in the morning.

Look: he looks like he could have been a surfer: 

From BBC - Phillip getting ready to do MacBeth  

 

 So, I'm wondering if he would say about the funeral, "Just get it bloody fucking over with !"

 

Over and out for now.

  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Something a Little Bit Different: "Alma's Not Normal"

 



Speaking of the Royal Dysfunctional Family and the fact that we are all stuck in the ongoing pandemic and dysfunctional societies more or less, Mike is constantly finding interesting films and shorts for us to watch so we don't completely lose our little minds. What a better way to take away the stress (other than gardening) ?

Last year he downloaded the first episode of "Alma's Not Normal" and we never got around to watching it until this evening. We love British  shows, all of them. "Alma" imho is a winner. This year BBC2 will be airing the first six episodes - exactly when I don't know yet, so we are waiting on pins and needles for the official announcement date.

Meanwhile, here is the first episode which aired last year around the same time for y'all to enjoy.  It runs just short of 30 minutes:

 

 

Alma's Not Normal - episode 1 from Daniella Pearman on Vimeo.

 

~~~~~

 

stay safe out there !

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Trying to Catch Up

One subfloor accomplished, one more to go...the backlog here is crazy... and my knee is killing me.

After seven drowsy days on antihistamines, Paris is doing  much better, she goes in tomorrow to get a Cytopoint shot, she had a spa treatment today and when she doesn't feel well, she is cranky.  I had to turn on the A/C a couple of days back for her and hook up the vornados - it was a shocking 90 degrees here. Totsie has been sharing her gerbers baby food with her buddy Paris..we go through this every year with her allergies.

In between times, I have not been watching the Derek Chauvin trial due to not having the time and the intense emotionality of it - Mike thinks Chauvin will get off on manslaughter.  However, the highlights are here and if you watch Don Lemon, Cornel West has been making guest appearances which is a real treat.

 ~ From CNN:

 Derek Chauvin Is On Trial For George Floyd's Death 

 

More mass shootings across the U.S.; after the Orange county shooting, CNN writes:

" T his is at least the 20th mass shooting since the Atlanta-area spa attacks two weeks ago that left eight people dead. CNN defines a mass shooting as a shooting incident that results in four or more casualties, dead or wounded, excluding the shooter."

 

 And, gun sales are up.

 

Scary.

~~~~ 

Let's not forget Georgia:


 ~ From Truthout:

Georgia's New Voting Law Is Rife With Hidden Horrors

 

 

Trying to Catch Up

One subfloor accomplished, one more to go...the backlog here is crazy... and my knee is killing me.

After seven drowsy days on antihistamines, Paris is doing  much better, she goes in tomorrow to get a Cytopoint shot, she had a spa treatment today and when she doesn't feel well, she is cranky.  I had to turn on the A/C a couple of days back for her and hook up the vornados - it was a shocking 90 degrees here. Totsie has been sharing her gerbers baby food with her buddy Paris..we go through this every year with her allergies.

In between times, I have not been watching the Derek Chauvin trial due to not having the time and the intense emotionality of it - Mike thinks Chauvin will get off on manslaughter.  However, the highlights are here and if you watch Don Lemon, Cornel West has been making guest appearances which is a real treat.

 ~ From CNN:

 Derek Chauvin Is On Trial For George Floyd's Death 

 

More mass shootings across the U.S.; after the Orange county shooting, CNN writes:

" T his is at least the 20th mass shooting since the Atlanta-area spa attacks two weeks ago that left eight people dead. CNN defines a mass shooting as a shooting incident that results in four or more casualties, dead or wounded, excluding the shooter."

 

 And, gun sales are up.

 

Scary.

~~~~ 

Let's not forget Georgia:


 ~ From Truthout:

Georgia's New Voting Law Is Rife With Hidden Horrors

 

 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Super HOT News From Democracy Now ! & The Daily Beast On the Immigration Dilemma - AMLO Blames Biden - The PEW Report - Looks Like Everyone With No Sense Is Down On Joe

I am late, sorry.  Paris had to go to VCA last Friday, Mike was there all day and didn't get back home until after 10:30 - Paris is on a really strong antihistamine so she does not feel well, and I popped my knee again trying to do things around here, it has been crazy. Well, the good news is that Paris does not have the nasal carcinoma like little Freidamuffin had, just a bad allergy.

 If you don't read or watch anything else, please check this out  - I have not checked to see if the Mexican or USA  Corporate Media is covering this, I'll let you know. Look, I want to give Biden a chance...so I'm also including the recent PEW Report on what he has accomplished on the border, despite AMLO blaming him for the mess. I can't say anything about AMLO, other than what he said and another article from Zeta rubbed me wrong way. Here we go:

 ~ From Democracy Now ! 

  Border Invasion? Mexican MAGA Influencers Push "Damaging" Conspiracy Theories About Asylum Seekers  - for Espanol hit" espanol "top right corner of report on the link

 

 

 

~~~~~ 


Here is the Daily Beast Report: 

 

Courtesy the Daily Beast...gosh, Maybe They Should Have Included AMLO In The Pic ?  

 

 Mexican MAGA Conspiracy Theorists Fan Flames At The Border

 

By,  Jean Guerrero

 

 

 ~~~~

 ~ Here's AMLO on  (GASP!) Fox "news":

 

No Comment

 

 Mexico's President Says Biden Immigration Policies Prompting Border Surge

 

 

 

 ~~~~

 

  ~ From the PEW Research Center: 

 

Key Facts about U.S. Immigration Policies and Biden's Proposed Changes 

 

By Jens Manuel Krogstad and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera

 

~~~~~~ 

 

I believe Biden will hold a press conference tomorrow Thursday and looks like Kamala will be running the Immigration show; I wonder if AMLO will insult her too ? 

Well Joe, look...with friends like these (with the exception of PEW & Kamala)) you certainly do not need enemies.  Hang tight. BTW, it is also crazy with executions everywhere in Baja, Christ.

 

Stay safe guys.

 



~~~

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

"I Pity the Poor Immigrant" - Happy St. Patrick's Day BTW ! - Adding Link to Zeta and U.S. General Glen David VanHerk Covered by Carlos Alvarez

 

Courtesy CNN


We are still here - I am up to my eyeballs in home improvement projects, trying to make up for lost time and an attempt to beat the heat when I just wilt.  Notably and most important and not covered down here was Biden's super victorious American Rescue Plan, which truly was,"... for all its flaws, it remains a major achievement, and one hell of a good start."

But, for weeks and especially now, the Republicans (and others) are rubbing their greedy little hands together hoping and praying that Biden will fall into ruin due to the immigration dilemma. It is an act of pure schadenfreude if ever there was one.  My question is, who spread the misinformation that the United States was now granting free access particularly during this pandemic with mulitple variants of concern?  

Several years ago back in 2014 there was general agreement that the Drug Cartels themselves were encouraging the migration of thousands upon thousands of children  to create a diversion - to confuse and humiliate U.S. law enforcement.  These days, it's difficult to pin the blame on any one group - although several come to mind: Russia, Iran,  the insane brother and sister act of North Korea...and jealousy and bitterness runs deep around the world as many countries that simply handled the COVID -19 virus poorly and are so far behind in vaccinations  is incredible. Their dwindling societies remain suffering with lack of hope, stifled by the pandemic and economic disaster. Depending on how you feel, there have been obstructions for a smooth transition from the Trump Reign of Terror to the Biden Days:

 ~ From The New York Times:

Mexican Law Halts U.S. From Turning Back Some Migrant Families 

 By,  Zolan Kanno-Youngs


I believe it is fair to say that San Diego detainment facilities are at capacity with unaccompanied migrant children as we speak.  So, here are some highlights:

 

  ~ From the National Immigration Forum:

 Fact Sheet: Unaccompanied Migrant Children (UACs) 

 By Danilo Zak |

~~~~~ 

 

 ~  From CNN:

~~~~~ 


 ~ From Democracy Now !:

Immigration

 

~~~~~ 

 - Adding this link so you are up to date on the drug war carnage down here;scroll through "Noticias del Dia " - and  also click "Ensenada". I need to note that Carlos Alvarez  is covering the statements of General Glen David VanHerk.  No es bueno amigos:


Zeta Tijuana

 

~~~~~

 

 

Meanwhile...Happy St. Patrick's Day Y'all !


 
 
The island it is silent now But the ghosts still haunt the waves And the torch lights up a famished man Who fortune could not save Did you work upon the railroad Did you rid the streets of crime Were your dollars from the white house Were they from the five and dime Did the old songs taunt or cheer you And did they still make you cry Did you count the months and years Or did your teardrops quickly dry Ah, no, says he, 'twas not to be On a coffin ship I came here And I never even got so far That they could change my name Thousands are sailing Across the western ocean To a land of opportunity That some of them will never see Fortune prevailing Across the western ocean Their bellies full Their spirits free They'll break the chains of poverty And they'll dance In Manhattan's desert twilight In the death of afternoon We stepped hand in hand on Broadway Like the first man on the moon And "The Blackbird" broke the silence As you whistled it so sweet And in Brendan Behan's footsteps I danced up and down the street Then we said goodnight to Broadway Giving it our best regards Tipped our hats to Mister Cohen Dear old Times Square's favorite bard Then we raised a glass to JFK And a dozen more besides When I got back to my empty room I suppose I must have cried Thousands are sailing Again across the ocean Where the hand of opportunity Draws tickets in a lottery Postcards we're mailing Of sky-blue skies and oceans From rooms the daylight never sees Where lights don't glow on Christmas trees But we dance to the music And we dance Thousands are sailing Across the western ocean Where the hand of opportunity Draws tickets in a lottery Where e'er we go, we celebrate The land that makes us refugees From fear of Priests with empty plates From guilt and weeping effigies And we dance

https://www.letssingit.com/the-pogues-lyrics-thousands-are-sailing-1f8k9s8
LetsSingIt - The Internet Lyrics Database
 
"The island it is silent now
But the ghosts still haunt the waves
And the torch lights up a famished man
Who fortune could not save

Did you work upon the railroad
Did you rid the streets of crime
Were your dollars from the white house
Were they from the five and dime

Did the old songs taunt or cheer you
And did they still make you cry
Did you count the months and years
Or did your teardrops quickly dry

Ah, no, says he, 'twas not to be
On a coffin ship I came here
And I never even got so far
That they could change my name

Thousands are sailing
Across the western ocean
To a land of opportunity
That some of them will never see
Fortune prevailing
Across the western ocean
Their bellies full
Their spirits free
They'll break the chains of poverty
And they'll dance

In Manhattan's desert twilight
In the death of afternoon
We stepped hand in hand on Broadway
Like the first man on the moon

And "The Blackbird" broke the silence
As you whistled it so sweet
And in Brendan Behan's footsteps
I danced up and down the street

Then we said goodnight to Broadway
Giving it our best regards
Tipped our hats to Mister Cohen
Dear old Times Square's favorite bard

Then we raised a glass to JFK
And a dozen more besides
When I got back to my empty room
I suppose I must have cried

Thousands are sailing
Again across the ocean
Where the hand of opportunity
Draws tickets in a lottery
Postcards we're mailing
Of sky-blue skies and oceans
From rooms the daylight never sees
Where lights don't glow on Christmas trees
But we dance to the music
And we dance

Thousands are sailing
Across the western ocean
Where the hand of opportunity
Draws tickets in a lottery
Where e'er we go, we celebrate
The land that makes us refugees
From fear of Priests with empty plates
From guilt and weeping effigies
And we dance"


Writer/s: Philip Chevron

 

 Back to the salt mines...stay safe... 

 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Brooks & Capehart On the Covid Relief "Debate" & the Political Divide On Voting Rights - William Rivers Pitt On "Neanderthal Thinking " - What's A Matter With You ? - Excellent Chicken Soup Recipe Coming Up

Or should I have said the Republicans are acting out like spoiled brats and there seems to be trend to return to Jim Crowism ? In case you might have missed them (and we do miss Mark Shields who retired) here is tonight's Brooks & Capehart hitting the highlights:

 

~~~~~

 

 ~  From Truthout:

 Reckless Governors are Lobbing a Hand Grenade Into Biden's COVID Plan 

 

 

" To “step on a rake” is a euphemism for inflicting pain and damage upon yourself. The imagery is straightforward: You’re walking through a yard, accidentally step on the head of a rake, and the handle whips up and smacks you on the bean. Sideshow Bob of The Simpsons perfected the art.

This week, a number of Republican officials across the country abruptly decided COVID was done, in defiance of all present evidence, and set about tap-dancing on a whole pile of rakes. It would be funny in a sad clown kind of way, but for this: When people like that step on rakes like these, COVID swoops in and kills thousands. It has happened already this year, and if these fellows get their way, it is about to happen again.

I just announced Texas is OPEN 100%,” Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott tweeted out of the clear blue sky of Tuesday afternoon. “EVERYTHING. I also ended the statewide mask mandate.” 

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, the Costello to Abbott’s Abbott, immediately followed suit. “Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules,” Reeves tweeted. “Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!”

This folly is not simply a regional affair. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, whose state was one of the first and worst COVID hotspots at the outset of the pandemic, is looking to step on his own chowdah-flavored rake. Starting on Monday, Massachusetts will allow significant capacity increases in restaurants and bars, theaters, indoor concert halls and stadiums.

Baker’s decision is not being greeted with the resounding cheers he was hoping for. “I’d say, ‘Charlie, you’re making a big mistake,’” Robert Horsburgh, a Boston University professor of epidemiology, told The Boston Globe. “Opening up these restaurants is going to prolong the epidemic, and increase the number of Massachusetts residents that die.”

The timing of this sudden outburst of COVID tommyrot could not be worse. A robust national vaccination program is well underway, but is only a fraction completed, and is currently in a footrace with several COVID variants that have proven far more infective than the original. The longer this virus is allowed to fester and spread, the more likely new variants will rise that could weaken the effectiveness of the vaccines. Any actions taken that might cause this must be avoided at all costs.

While the nation has certainly moved past the gruesome winter explosion of new cases that saw the death toll surpass half a million people, we are far from being free and clear. The U.S. saw 65,000 cases a day each day last week, a still-horrific number that shows the pandemic is nowhere near under control.

Last week, new cases in Texas rose 27 percent. New cases in Mississippi rose by 62 percent in the same time frame. The daily average of new cases increased in eight other states last week besides Texas and Mississippi. In Europe, a six-week decline in new cases came to an abrupt end with a 9 percent increase, and World Health Organization (WHO) officials fear another spike may be underway.

Back in April 2020, Governor Abbott got out over his skis and announced a lethally early reopening of Texas. “Every recommendation, every action by the governor will be informed and based on hard data and the expertise of our chief medical advisers,” Abbott adviser James Huffines told the press at the time. Thousands upon thousands of Texans died.

This time, Abbott isn’t even bothering: Three of his four official COVID experts were not consulted before this reopening decision was made.

“I don’t think this is the right time,” said Abbott COVID adviser Mark McClellan, one of the three who was not consulted. “Texas has been making some real progress, but it’s too soon for full reopening and to stop masking around others.”

McClellan is not alone in his concerns. “Some of Texas’ top doctors warned Wednesday that Gov. Greg Abbott’s sudden decision to ditch the mask mandate and lift coronavirus restrictions could result in a new surge of Covid-19 infections and deaths,” reports NBC News. “And while they now have enough masks, ventilators and emergency room space to treat a new wave of patients, they say there is an acute shortage of staffers who aren’t already stressed out and exhausted from battling the pandemic for more than a year.”

The problem, of course, is that what happens in Texas doesn’t stay in Texas. Neighboring New Mexico, a favorite vacation destination for many Texans, has spent months struggling to deal with Texas tourists who flout COVID safety rules because freedom, or something. Now, with pandemic matters finally beginning to come under some semblance of control, the idea of pulling back on COVID restrictions is terrifyingly irresponsible.

The editorial board of The Santa Fe New Mexican made a particularly barbed point on Tuesday: “Texas still is digging out of the crisis that erupted when the state’s energy grid crashed during a spell of frigid weather. Some cities still are having problems with their water supplies — news website Vox reported Monday that 390,000 Texans still lack drinking water. Surely, Texas doesn’t need another coronavirus outbreak on top of what state residents have named ‘SNOVID.’ One crisis at a time, please.”

At the federal level of government, “concerns” are being raised by Republicans about the size of President Biden’s latest stimulus package. Things aren’t that bad anymore, they argue, so let’s give the people less. As with all things COVID, however, the formula holds true: If you think you have a lid on this thing, wait a week.

Only when a significant majority of the population has been vaccinated will there be any kind of true daylight, and we may wind up having to endure one more winter of masks and social distancing before that happy moment comes to pass. The stimulus is merely adequate to the task, and much more remains to be done.

The United States has handled COVID about as poorly as anything could be handled over the last year, and more than half a million people are dead because of it. With the final scourging of Trumpism from the White House, an effective fight against the pandemic is finally underway. Now, reckless governors are lobbing a hand grenade into that clockwork.

I pray the good people of Texas, Mississippi, Massachusetts and, well, everywhere take stock of what they have sacrificed over this long year, and choose to ignore their state and local leaders when they are invited to fling themselves off a cliff.

We are not out of this yet, and every greedy capitalism-driven push to pretend otherwise only serves to extend the timeline and prolong the agony. It sucks. The alternative is worse."

 

~~~~~

 ~  From Forbes: (More reports on the link)

Breaking|


As States Drop Covid Restrictions, CDC Study Shows Resumption of In-Person Dining Linked to More Cases and Deaths 

 

By,  Alison Durkee

 
 
~~~~~ 


So these acting out antics by Republican sore losers got me to thinking of that old song you might remember ...'what's a matter with you...shutupa your face !' which  I considered trying to find and put up, but it was too nice and too funny; there is nothing funny about any of this.

 Someone really needs to ask these lame brain neanderthals..."What's A Matter With You ?"

 The chicken soup to die for recipe is coming up ...stay safe everyone.

 

~~~~~

 

Killer Chicken Soup

 

Sorry I'm late on this. This is the original recipe so you will need to double it to make it last two nights, it's even better the second night.  I buy the boneless breast at Sprouts, so they are large. The original recipe calls for you to cut the chicken breast(s) into small squares prior to frying it in the olive oil. I do it a bit different, I cook the entire breast(s) about 15 minutes a side in the olive oil, take it out and let it cool then I cut it, but my pieces aren't little squares, they are larger. Also, for the spices, do heaping teaspoons full but don't OD.  Serve with a nice crisp salad  if you want and warmed up Ciabatta bread loaf  for sure- you can also get those at Sprouts & warm them in the oven.  I use all organic veggies. The garbanzo beans are optional, if you use them make sure you drain and rinse them first.


3 heaping tablespoons of olive oil

1# boneless chicken breast, cut into large-ish cubes

2-3 carrots chunky sliced and quartered

1 very large onion, diced

3-4 celery stalks, diced

1 -2 zuccini squash, thick cut and quartered don't peel it

2 heaping teaspoons of minced garlic, more if you like

1/2 heaping teaspoon dried basil

1/4 heaping teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 heaping teaspoon thyme 

6 cups chicken broth (48 oz.)

2 largest cans of petite diced tomatoes with juice  ( 1 large can = 28 ounces)

1 can drained and rinsed garbanzo beans actually you can buy organic garbanzo beans at Walmart- again, more if you want.

1 (9 ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini - more if you want

2 cups baby spinach leaves - more if you want

garnish with grated parmesan cheese & parsley


1.  Heat olive oil in fry pan, season chicken with salt & pepper, saute until brownish (5-10 minutes) remove chicken from pan.

2.  To pan oils add carrots, onion & celery saute 10 minutes.

3. To large pot, put in chicken chunks, carrots, celery & onion, the zuccini, canned petite tomatoes, 

garlic, oregano, thyme, basil and the chicken broth and drained garbanzo beans if you want them.  Bring to a boil.

4.  Add the tortellini, reduce the heat and simmer  about 15 minutes.  Add the spinach leaves, simmer about 10 minutes more.

5. Season with salt & pepper - I use the pink Himalayan salt and coarse pepper.

6. Voila ! Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and parsley

7. Practice saying "what's a matta with you ?" 


This is really yummy, good luck !

 

~~~~~ 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

CPAC Wrap Up From Juan Cole - Under Pressure: Sharing the Vaccine & The Migrantes (Just for Starters)

Hooray ! We made it through the second Moderna shot; Mike experienced a headache , soreness, a slightly elevated temperature & tiredness. I was just wiped out tired for two days. I figured I better get over here, tomorrow heavy rains so the electricity will probably go out. Thursday, Paris will get a special baby bath at her "spa".  Must be nice.

Have you been paying attention to  CPAC ? Nobody says it better:

 ~ From Informed Comment: (with bonus video on the link)

 


 


The 7 Deadly Sins of Today's Conservatives

By, 

 "Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – That someone at the conservative political convention, CPAC, thought it a good idea to put up a gilded statue of the odious Trump says it all. Today’s conservatives are literally worshiping a gold calf, for all the world like straying children of Israel who lapsed from their devotion to God.

Contemporary conservatism has fallen into the seven deadly sins of pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, and sloth. This listing of faults originated with Evagrius the Solitary, a fourth-century monk from what is now Turkey. His original list had eight sins, but both pride and vainglory were on it, and subsequent authors collapsed them into seven.

I have never found conservatism an interesting ideology, and it seems to me patently false. Its exponents seem to believe that the rich are rich because they are more capable than others and the poor are poor because they are lazy. They decry the role of government in the economy but no one manipulates the government for the benefit of their social class (typically the owners of businesses) more than they do. They believe that there are social hierarchies and that these are a good thing. I once heard William Buckley on the radio insisting that the lives of the blind are obviously less full than the lives of the sighted. The crass and embarrassingly glib argument seems to me to sum up the conservative obsession with some people being innately better than others.

Even Buckley, however, would be embarrassed by today’s conservatives, who have devolved into glassy-eyed cultists. They dance around denying reality, imputing the Capitol insurrection to “antifa” in contrast to FBI findings and the evidence of our own eyes. They insisted Joe Biden isn’t really the president. Making sure that the rich are not regulated or taxed in the interests of the public good, the old conservative objective personified by Mitch McConnell, is tame stuff by comparison.

Conservatism has become so prideful as to be narcissistic. Refusing to acknowledge that you lost an election fair and square is pride. This sin of pride led dozens of sitting congressmen to vote against certifying Joe Biden’s triumph. They were too full of pride to accept that they had been whupped. In fact, conservatism today cannot accept any criticism, any defeat on any issue at all. If they appear to lose, it is because of a conspiracy. Their increasing loss of touch with reality is driven by pride. They are constructing a fantasyland in which they always prove victorious. Their pride in being white Christians is also to the point of sin. They seem to have lost sight of that charity and humility business, and seem not to realize that the founders of Christianity were not “white” but brown Palestinian Jews.

The notion that people are rich because they are better than others also displays the sin of pride. Obviously, the rich are often capable people. Economist and former labor secretary Robert Reich points out, however, that most billionaires get to be that way through 5 techniques.

1. Exploit a monopoly
2. Insider trading
3. Buy off politicians
4. Extort investors into giving you a golden parachute
5. Inherit a sh*t-load of money

All five of these ways to get super-rich exhibit the sin of greed. Monopoly practices harm the public weal, and entrepreneurs who wield them are taking advantage of people while benefiting enormously themselves. Likewise, insider trading (which even some in Congress engage in) is a form of theft. Corrupting the political system the way Koch does, buying off politicians to lower his taxes, is also nothing but greedy. Greed is the desire to have and hoard a lot of something (in this case, money). The greedy don’t want to consume their gains, necessarily. Nor could they. Having a billion dollars is after all notional. You don’t actually have it. Most of it is directed by other people. The rich can only own so many appliances or eat so many meals. Most of their money is socked away in investments and does them no particular good as persons.

The Trumpist form of contemporary conservatism is all about wrath. Trump wants to punish those Republicans who voted to impeach him. He didn’t get animated at CPAC until he got to his enemies list. Conservatives are angry. Life isn’t fair to them (even though they are the richest and most privileged people on earth). They are angry at minorities for asking for equality under the law and eroding their white privilege. They are angry about polite requests that they help pay for the government services and infrastructure that allow their businesses to turn a profit.

Today’s conservatives are envious of the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left. These movements made it indelicate to express racist ideas publicly. They robbed conservatism of the racial epithets whereby they had kept some populations voiceless. That is why they keep crying reverse racism against whites. They have minority envy. They wish they could have the validation that comes with being oppressed. Hence, they imply, Jewish Americans are making a war on Christmas to the point where you have to say “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas. Christianity, the religion of 85% of the population, is being discriminated against. They don’t understand that activism on the part of the Establishment is not like activism on the part of the truly oppressed.

Conservatives don’t have a monopoly on lust. But the Trumpian brand that has taken over is ostentatious in its claims on white male privilege to sexually harass women. Trump himself is a notorious grabber of pudenda and a philanderer against whom many claims of sexual abuse have been filed. His brand of conservatism entails push-back against women’s desires to be treated like human beings instead of pleasurable objects. It seems clear from Rowan Farrow’s brave reporting that lust of this sort is common in corporate boardrooms, and its practitioners no doubt applaud Trump for parading it and trying to normalize it.

Gluttony is another sin of conservatism. It is the desire to consume as opposed to hoarding. Ted Cruz’s abandonment of Texas for Cancun was gluttony. He wanted to consume some nice weather and some leisure while the Texans he supposedly represents were shivering without heat or electricity in an ice storm. Trump is a notorious glutton, which can easily be seen in his girth. Many of the industries championed by conservatives involve gluttony. Flat top coal mining consumes the natural landscape, leaving only the husk behind. Likewise fracking. Promoting fossil fuels is a way of eating the earth right up. Belch.

The conservative approach to the pandemic last year was slothful. Trump and Republican governors just decided to let half a million people die rather than to take the needed actions. Indeed, Neoliberalism in general is slothful, consisting often in no more than a hope and a prayer that the market will swing into action and solve all problems. The market is, however, merely an artifact of social engineering and not a magic hand. Trump came into office promising to fix all those falling-down bridges and dilapidated airports. He never did. He was too lazy, as was his majority in Congress. They passed a tax cut on billionaires instead. The country is falling down around our ears because deregulating corporations and cutting their taxes are the primary goals of conservatives, not burnishing America’s assets."

 

~~~~~

  To Share Or Not to Share, That Is The Question....

Up until I read this recent report from Reuters, I thought the answer to AMLO's request for vaccine from the U.S. was "no".  Apparently not:

 

 ~ From Reuters:

Mexico Pins Hope On U.S. Vaccine Sharing After Biden's 100-Day Target

3 Min Read

 

~~~~~

 

An exciting approach:

 ~ From Foreign Policy: 

To Democratize Vaccine Access, Democratize Production