Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The President Called Our Senator a Whore - In Case You Missed It

New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand has been out spoken proponent of challenging men who assault women. See was the first Senator to call for John Conyers to resign and for Al Franken to resign (both Democrats, as is Senator Gillibrand.

The other day she called on the President to step down or to face up to the charges against him. Instead he tweeted that she has begging him for donations and would do "anything" for them.

USA Today - as centrist as you can be - did not appreciate it...(link)

As for the President. His Sarah Gobbels-Sanders said that only someone who's mind is in the gutter would think there was anything to the comment.  This about her boss who is on tape about barging backstage during pageants to ogle the girls and bragged about kissing women right away and bragged about being able to " anything, grab them by the pussy..." because he is famous.

And we have our minds in the gutter.

Thank You Alabama

Thank you Alabama for rejecting tribalism for country. A state that gave President Trump a 30 point win just a year ago was always going to be a tough state for a non-Republican to win.

But you voted to elected Doug Jones - a Democrat that believes in a woman's right to choose - over a deeply, deeply flawed Republican candidate. That wasn't easy.

It helps reboot my belief that the people of this country love the country more than Republicans or Democrats.  We are Americans first.

Thank you.

Monday, December 11, 2017

This Happened on the Block of Our Old House - We Are All Fine

This happened near our old house. If you have any questions. We are fine.  It happened in the tunnel from the Port Authority to the Subway, where we have taken almost all of our friends.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Non-Profit I Work With

Project 1948 works on inter-generational trauma in Bosnia Herzegovina. I often have a difficult time explaining what they do, or why I care.  This short (13 minute) documentary shows it all.

It's embedded here, or YouTube LINK here.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Saw Call Me By Your Name

I loved it. Armie was good, but the breakout was Timothee Chalamet.  He was stunning. They are both straight guys, but energy was believeable.  A fair amount of kissing, but not sex shown (so safe for your mom).


And Dad's speech at the end brought me to tears.

Friday, December 08, 2017

The First Vote Presidential Vote I Ever Cast....

John Anderson passed away this week.  For most people he is but a footnote in history. For me, he was the first Presidential vote I ever cast.

"But Scott", I hear you ask, "you hate throwing away your vote.  Why?!"

Well, I lived in California and voted after school and work. By the time I got to the polls - at 5:45 PM PDT, President Carter had already conceded to Ronald Reagan. Nimrod. So my vote wasn't wasted so much as useless before I voted. So I voted my heart.

Why vote at all, you ask. Well, there were down ballot races that were important - and probably changed when Carter conceded too early.

Back to John.  John Anderson was what was, at that time, a liberal Republican. We don't have those anymore. He was socially liberal / libertarian, but financial conservative. California had a shit-load of those until Pete Wilson screwed the pooch with the anti-Hispanic propositions.

Oddly, I was around when the amendment happened to drop the voting age to 18 (if they were old enough to fight in Vietnam, they were old enough to vote - went the saying). And, even odder, it didn't effect me at all. My first presidential election was when I turned 21.  The previous one was when I was 17.

I also remember my first vote period. It was in the 1980 Democratic primary. I selected 5 electors pledged to Jessie Jackson and 3 electors pledged to Jimmy Carter. An elector system that was only used once in California.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Watching Synergy in Nature Real Time

The twin process of climate change and man encroaching on natural habitats is creating real time changes that people are studying.

In this case, it is the synergy rising between Elk and Magpies. In parts of Alberta (Canada), Elk have taken to staying close to towns and not migrating. Partially due to climate change and partially due to humans settling in areas that elk live in and partially due to wolves that are moving into the territory.

What researchers have found is that Elk in town are braver. "Shy" elk, those that don't like people, still migrate.

But now migrating "shy" elk, at the end of a day, will lay down and "brave" magpies will approach them. The magpies groom the elk by eating ticks that attack the elk. The rise in ticks is due to climate change.

Right now it is the "shy" elk that migrate and need groomers and the "brave" magpies that started approaching them to groom them.

In 50 or 100 years, we may see a species synergy like the honey badger and the bee-catcher in Africa. We are seeing it happen in front of our eyes. Which is a bit magical, even though it is driven by human forced needs.

link to full story.

Bluster that is Relatively Safe

President Trump's statement on Jerusalem is neither shocking nor groundbreaking. The movement of the embassy has been talking point of his backers for a long time.

Sheldon Anderson, a prominent Jewish backer - who has donated billions to various Republicans for years AND who started a newspaper in Israel - has been pushing for this for a long time. For him, it serves as marker that the United States supports Israel over the Palestinians.

For many on the Evangelical right, it serves as the start of the time Second Coming. Sure it will kill hundreds of millions in the middle east, but it saves them. Yay.

For some people in America, with a persistent but low level of anti-Muslim bias, it is a way to poke the Muslim world with very little downside.

For most Americans it is a non-issue. Given everything else going on in the country, this is relatively unimportant to us as an issue.

For the "international community", it makes the US less able to be an independent arbiter of peace in the Middle East. But most foreign actors didn't ever think we independent arbiters before. For some international observers, it makes us subservient to Israel policies - but Americans don't care. We believe about foreigners in general "they hate us anyway - no matter what we do".

We are breaching international norms, and our own stated morality - but welcome to Donald Trump's America kids. Breaching our own morality is what we do now.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Imagine Your Spouse Didn't Get Equal Benefits Becasue They Were Jewish or Black

Let us say that you are working. Your co-worker's husbands got medical and dental insurance via marriage. But you were married to a Jewish Man and he couldn't get those benefits because he was Jewish. Or you were married to a Black man and he couldn't get those benefits because he was black.

Or you were legally married to a man who was the same sex as you, and he wasn't given medical or dental because your are both men or women.

Of those three ideas, guess which one is legal in Texas.

And guess which one the Supreme Court just upheld as legal in the United States. Yep, it is totally legal to give different rights (and always fewer) to people married to same-sex partners as opposed to opposite sex partners. Supreme Court says so...

full story

Again my triggers on GTFOOD (... getting the fuck out of Dodge).

- - - - from Jan 20, 2017 - - - -

So, in reality, these are the triggers I see that would make me want to get the fuck out of Dodge.
1. Right to Marriage is overturned via Supreme Court
2. Serious talk of "postponing the next election" occurs and / or legislation is introduced (my guess is this would occur - IF it occurs - due to a terrorist attack and we should "all come together).
These are general warning signs and hitting a majority of these would tend to have me thinking of leaving:
1. Right to discriminate laws are passed and upheld by the Supreme Court <- DONE 12/4/2017
2. Any registry of Muslims is started up and advertised as a positive
3. Newspapers are successfully shut down for negative press coverage
There you go. That is my list of triggers per last night's discussion.
I feel better for getting these down.