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Friday, June 23, 2017

A Tale Of Two Tweets — And Discussion Of The Senate's 2017 Bill For Healthcare Reform





And what of the most recent healthcare bill, which some have called ObamaCare Lite? According to the Conservative Tribune:
...Both the House and Senate versions of health care reform would get rid of the individual mandate, phase out Medicaid expansion, eliminate Obamacare’s onerous taxes on the wealthy and defund Planned Parenthood for at least one year.

The bills differ in regard to subsidies for purchasing insurance, as well as the rate at which Medicaid expansion would be stopped. The Senate has proposed a more gradual path than the House put forward....
Business Insider offers this detailed rundown of the Senate version, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (as well as the full version of the bill):

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Making Sense Of Social Justice Warriors

(with a hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance)

At last we have an explanation for what ails 21st Century Social Justice Warriors (SJW's)!



The full length video is below the fold. In case you feel that you need to see it. Heh.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Referendum On Trump?

According to the Chicago Tribune and numerous other Democratic Party mouthpieces, the June 20, 2017 special election for the 6th District of the United States House of Representatives, was a referendum on Trump.

Well, Democratic Party candidate Jon Osoff lost to Republican Party candidate Karen Handel.

According to the New Yorker, this election result is a reality check for the Democrats.


Don't miss the actual photo of disappointed Democrats below the fold (hat tip to Bunkerville). Spew alert!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Flashback About Otto Warmbier — And A Few Questions (With Addendum)

Image credit
I wasn't going to post today until I stumbled across the following about 22-year-old University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, brought home in a persistent vegetative state. Home six days after eighteen months of imprisonment in North Korea, Otto Warmbier died on June 19, 2017, at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

From Grabien News...Flashback: Left-Wing Media Outlets Mocked U.Va. Student for 'White Privilege' Running out in N. Korea.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Recommended Reading

[Note:this blog post was previously published early on the morning of June 14, 2017, but pulled back into draft form after the news about the shootings of Congressmen in Alexandria, Virginia, broke]

Apparently, Trumpophobia extends to attacking an eleven-year-old boy, particularly in the social media. See Sick: Barron Trump Roasted for Holding Innocent Item in Photograph.

 In December 2016, Forbes declared: Fidget Spinners Are The Must-Have Office Toy For 2017, but because Barron Trump was spotted using a fidget spinner, some Trump haters have concluded that the boy must be autistic. The social media are toxic.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

45th Wedding Anniversary Blog Break (With Addendum)

(For politics, please scroll down)

Mr. AOW and I tied the knot on June 17, 1972. Today, we are celebrating our sapphire anniversary:


From Wedding Anniversary by Years:
...Most Popular Song 45 Years Ago: "THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE" - Roberta Flack...


As that song says:
...I knew our joy would fill the earth
And last till the end of time my love...

Addendum at the suggestion of FreeThinke...Below the fold are two photos of the sapphire-and-diamonds pendant that Mr. AOW presented me for our 45th anniversary. These photos do not do justice to the pendant!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Why Trump Tweets

And should continue to Tweet (HERE and HERE, two different Twitter accounts).


The Democrats, the establishment GOP, and the media want President Trump to stop Tweeting because his Tweets are interfering with and eroding the narrative.

As Donald J. Trump Tweeted @ 8:23 this morning:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Here Is The Left In All Its "Glory"

Steve Scalise is in critical condition after surgery, and Sonia Gupta must be delighted about that bit of dire news.

According to Grabien News, Sonia Gupta is a former prosecutor from Scalise's home state of Louisiana.

Her Tweets are protected, but here is an image capture of one of her Tweets today, upon hearing that Rep. Steve Scalise had been shot (from Grabien News):



Her Twitter profile shows the following:


Overcoming internal resistance and just...being. 😊 New Orleans Lawyer➡️ Denver Software Developer. Always seeking new opportunities.
Denver, CO
Joined March 2016




ADDENDUM

Now go read It Wasn't The Trump Supporters at Infidel Bloggers Alliance.

BREAKING NOW: HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP STEVE SCALISE HAS BEEN SHOT AT AN EARLY MORNING GOP BASEBALL TEAM PRACTICE IN ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA!

(Note to readers: tomorrow, I will republish the original post I had already put up for today)

The scene this morning (image credit)

Details everywhere on the web (Google search term: steve scalise shot), including at Infidel Bloggers Alliance, where I have been frenetically posting updates.

Congressman Steve Scalise (R-Lousiana) was shot and was lying wounded on the outfield for about 10 minutes.  Two Capitol Police officers have also been shot.

Among the updates I've posted at Infidel Bloggers Alliance:

This shooting appears to be a deliberate, target attack on the GOP (CNN).

The weapon appears to have been an AR-15 (according to some gun-savvy witnesses, Fox News).

Fox News: the shooting went on for 10 minutes. The shooter reloaded at least once.

The Congressional Teams Baseball Game was supposed to take place tomorrow at Nationals Field and has been well-publicized (Fox News).

One of the Capitol Police officers, although shot, was able to take down the shooter. The shooter is now en route to a hospital (Fox News).

Congressman Scalise was airlifted from the scene and is now in the hospital, probably INOVA Fairfax Hospital, which has a trauma center (Fox News).

"It was a shooting field" (Rand Paul, interviewed by phone on Fox News). Some 50 rounds were fired by the gunman.

According to Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), Steve Scalise was playing 2nd base. When he was shot, he dragged himself into the outfield so as to be further away from the shooter, who was behind the 3rd base dugout. Congressman Jeff Flake went to the outfield to put pressure on Scalise's hip wound. The Congressional Baseball Game has been a Washington tradition for over 16 years (Fox News).

Report on Fox News: before the shooting started, a man in running shorts came up and asked if the baseball team was Democrats or Republicans.

UPDATE: Congressman Scalise may be at Georgetown University Medical Center. Police in assault rifles all over the ER entrance there.  The Today Show Twitter feed is showing that he may have a groin wound:



As Anonymous posted at Infidel Bloggers Alliance:
If the shooter is tied to the right Trump will be blamed. If the shooter is tied to the left the gun will be blamed.

As predicted (with thanks to Anonymous at Infidel Bloggers Alliance):



UPDATE...Shooter identified by law enforcement officials as James T. Hodgkinson:
The shooter at the GOP congressional baseball practice this morning is James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., according to law enforcement officials. Hodgkinson, 66, owns a home inspection business. His home inspection license expired in November 2016 and was not renewed, state records show.

Hodgkinson was charged in April 2006 with battery and aiding damage to a motor vehicle, according to online records in St. Clair County, Illinois. The charges were dismissed, records show.
Apparently, the shooter is a Bernie Sanders supporter and rabidly anti-Trump.  More information about the shooter HERE at Heavy.com.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Maxine Waters Hotly Rejects Reporter's Question

At Los Angeles March for Truth on June 3, 2017, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the Democratic Party's Representative for the 43rd District of California, once again declares her mission to impeach President Trump because of his supposed collusion with Russia to undermine our elections.

Same old, same old.  Yawn.

What is interesting in the video below, however, is Congresswoman Waters's reaction to the reporter's question about President Obama's policy with regard to Russia (about time marker 1:04ff):


The Washington Post's article about the above-mentioned portion — and much more — below the fold.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Nostalgic Weekend Break From Politics

(For politics, please scroll down)

One of my Facebook finds:


I miss Mom's homemade vegetable beef soup, made from leftover pot roast and vegetables canned from our one-acre garden.

Without success, I've tried over and over again to duplicate Mom's vegetable beef soup. To my knowledge, she didn't use a recipe for that wonderful soup.

What do you miss from the days that your grandmother or mother did the cooking? Recipes welcome!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Stabbed In The Neck

(with a hat tip to Tammy Swofford, who provided the medical information in this blog post)

We spend much time discussing jihadists. What of their victims, particularly their surviving victims?

Image credit: Candice Hedge, from Brisbane, was viciously attacked in the city's centre on Saturday night while having a drink after work. She has described the horrifying moment her throat was slashed.

What kind of man looks a woman in the eye, then stabs her in the throat?

Candice Hedge, survivor of the London Bridge jihad attack, appears to have a "Panda tube" coming out of her nose. The Panda tube is a weighted feeding tube. Ms. Hedge probably sustained a tear in her esophagus. Thank God it was not her trachea!

From London attack: Australian woman Candice Hedge stabbed in neck (dated June 4, 2017):

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Tipping Point?

To this we have come....

But not all that surprising when we consider some of Wellesley's alumnae who entered government and public service.  That particular list includes Hillary Clinton.

We also read that Charlotte Anita Whitney is an alumna of Wellesley. She was an early Communist Labor Party of America and Communist Party USA organizer in California. She was named the national chairwoman of the Communist Party in 1936.

From Wellesley College Students: ‘Hostility’ Is Warranted Against People Who Say Anything Offensive:
... The student editors say it’s fine to suppress and deny people the right to speak their minds if their thoughts offend others.

“We have all said problematic claims,” the editorial reads. “Luckily most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way.”

If that doesn’t sound like it was ripped from a dystopian novel, what comes next is truly Orwellian: “If people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted.” In other words, if you say things some people find offensive, then there will be physical consequences.

[...]

This weird interpretation of free speech — that saying offensive or politically incorrect things deprives others of rights — is not exclusive to the faculty. Here’s how the student editorial staff describes the objective of free speech: “The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.”...
Read the rest HERE.

Parents, beware when you send your children off to college! Our institutions have become bastions of the suppression and extermination of any and all ideas not in accordance with Leftism.

Related reading: Radical Professor Arrested for Anarchist ‘Bike Lock’ Assault at Berkeley. Brief excerpt:
...[T]hree separate victims...were injured by an attacker suspected to be Eric Clanton. In all three cases, the victims were struck in the head or neck with a bike lock.
Read the rest HERE.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Ugly Reality

Posted by the Voice of Europe in the wake of the June 3, 2017 jihad attacks at London Bridge and the nearby Borough Market:


This is the third terror attack in the UK since March:
On 22 May, 22 people were killed and 116 injured in a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena.

On 22 March, six people died, including the attacker, and at least 50 people were injured in an attack near the Houses of Parliament.
Read the rest at Zero Hedge's "This Is For Allah" - Seven Killed In London Terrorist Rampage; Three Assailants Shot.

The complete text of Prime Minister Theresa May's speech below the fold. If you watching instead of reading, there is also a video of the full speech below the fold.  I will leave it to commenters to parse the speech.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

One hundred minutes of the incomparable J.S. Bach:


Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Higher Education? (With Addendum)

Did you see Tucker Carlson's May 25 interview of Evergreen State College Professor Bret Weinstein, a self-declared Progressive?  Before reading the rest of this blog post, please watch the video — even if you don't like Tucker Carlson.  This time, Carlson allowed a guest to speak without constant interruptions.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Another Manchester Victim?

7/7 London attack survivor Tony Walters has been found dead amid suicide fears

From the UK Sun (May 28, 2017):
7/7 HERO IS '23RD VICTIM': Survivor of 7/7 London terror attack Tony Walters, 52, found dead hours after Manchester bombing as friends claim ‘he didn’t want to live in a world where ­attacks continue’

Pals believe recent Westminster attack and Monday night's atrocity at an Ariana Grande concert brought back traumatic memories for the haunted 52-year-old

A SURVIVOR of 7/7 was found dead hours after the Manchester Arena attack — amid fears he took his own life.


Haunted Tony Walters, 52, was discovered at his home after failing to go to work. A friend said: “He is the 23rd victim of Salman Abedi‘s suicide bombing.”

Friends believe he killed himself because he was overwhelmed by the horror of yet more innocent lives lost to terrorism.

One said: “He didn’t want to live in a world where these ­terror attacks continue.”

[...]

On July 7, 2005, Tony was yards from fanatic Mohammad Sidique Khan when he detonated a device on a Tube train after it left Edgware Road station.

Seven people, including Khan, died. Tony was showered with shrapnel but survived.

Friends believe the Manchester bombing, coupled with the Westminster attack in March when four people were killed by Khalid Masood, brought back traumatic memories of 7/7 and Tony could not cope.

[...]

“Everyone that knew Tony believes he is the 23rd victim of the Manchester Arena attack....
Read the entire article HERE.

The empty same old, same old did not begin to console or help Tony Walters. He had been bloodied on the field of jihad warfare on his home soil almost twelve years ago. Some experiences are just too intense to forget and continue to claim victims.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend 2017

(For politics, please scroll down)

With all our busy-ness, let us not forget the meaning of Memorial Day.  Instead, with solemnity and humility, let us remember and honor the more than 1.8 million servicemen and servicewomen who have died in the service of our nation since 1775.





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Same Old, Same Old

With a hat tip to Bocopro (Click on the image to enlarge it):


There is no genuine or lasting outrage — even when children are slaughtered in the name of Allah.

Neither is there a change in policy on the part of the West's feckless leaders.

I am so sick of the West's dhimmitudinal cycle.

Related reading at the blog site Bunkerville: Every Nine days, a terrorist attack is attempted in Europe in 2017.

Monday, May 22, 2017

President Trump's Riyadh Speech

Click directly on the image to enlarge it:


The comment below appeared to the opinion piece "This Wasn't a Speech About Islam" by Mustafa Akyol and Wajahat Ali (New York Times, May 21, 2017):
TDurk Rochester NY
I am not a supporter of Donald Trump. I find the man to be repugnant and his proposed domestic policies to be injurious to the interests of the American people.

That said, his speech focused on the responsibility of the Muslim people to stamp out Islamic terrorism. He correctly laid the issue at the feet of the states, the clergies and the money who have, either through benign neglect or quiet support, allowed barbarians to use religious fervor as an excuse to commit barbarous acts upon innocents. He correctly stated that the problem is not the problem of the US or of Europe to solve, although the west may need to eradicate the terrorist structures, root and branch.

In this instance, Donald Trump is right.
In the opinion piece, Mustafa Akyol, a contributing opinion writer, is a visiting fellow at the Freedom Project at Wellesley College and the author of The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims, whined:
A “speech on Islam” could have included some references to the faith, an acknowledgment that Islam is a great religion with values in common with Judeo-Christianity, and with a history of pluralism and tolerance. A “speech on Muslims” could have also been richer, with perhaps examples of how Muslims have contributed to the world, including to American society. This was a more modest, narrow and pragmatic speech, mostly appealing to Muslim leaders — in fact, only Sunni ones — for more cooperation against terrorism. But given Mr. Trump’s earlier views on Islam, it could have been worse!
Mr. Akyol is correct: President Trump's Riyadh speech wasn't nearly as sycophantic as the 2009 Cairo Speech spewed by Apologist-In-Chief Barack Hussein Obama.

My take:

The Riyadh Speech was as daring a speech that an American President could give on Arabian soil to an assembly of Arab nations.

As Kid mentioned at Infidel Bloggers Alliance, there was much nuanced threat.

Yes, indeed! Note this portion about condemned souls:
Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.
A deliberate salvo directed at the Wahhabist imams, many of them from Saudi.

President Trump also called out Hamas.

I also note that President Trump at one point said, "Islamic extremism." Apparently, the original script said "Islamist extremism." An accident on Trump's part?

Additional reading...Tale of the Tape: How Trump's First Middle East Speech Compares to Obama's: Half as many self-references, zero Koran quotes, more focus on Islamic extremism.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

My music appreciation teacher in elementary school introduced us to Classical Period music by having us listen to Haydn's Surprise Symphony; we also learned about the basics of symphonic form.

Haydn (1732-1809, contemporaneous with George Washington), was a prolific composer, in part because he held the position of Kapellmeister for the Esterházy Family, who, in Haydn's words:  "forced [him] to become original."  The Esterházy estate ([s]ometimes called the "Hungarian Versailles") was distant from populated areas and isolated him from other composers and trends in music.

When I studied Music Appreciation in college, I discovered more of Haydn's glorious music, including the piece below.


About the above piece, from Musical Musings:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Impeachment?

All the chattering and nattering about impeaching President Trump!  Some — Left, Right, and Center — are openly longing for his impeachment.

To a great extent, some news networks (MSNBC and CNN, for example) are speaking as if impeachment and removal from office are a foregone conclusion.

Related reading...

(1) Impeach Trump Now (web site)

(2) Pat Buchanan: It Isn’t Watergate Yet, But How Long Can This Sustain?

Three questions:

1. What, specifically, are President Trump's impeachable offenses?

2. What might be the consequences, short term and long term, of such an impeachment?

3. What might be the consequences, short term and long term, if Robert Mueller, appointed as special counsel for the United States Department of Justice to oversee the investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, finds no cause for impeachment?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

That Time Of Year

(For politics, please scroll down)

As the end of the 2016-2017 school term looms, I am making the mad dash to complete the necessary paperwork: exams to score, grades to average, and report cards to issue.  Not the best of times!


At the end of every school term, I feel as if I've not accomplished much. And so it goes for teachers for whom teaching is a calling and a passion — not merely a career. Yet, we start over again the next school term.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Convention of States (bumped to the top by AOW)




Posted by Warren

Lately, I have been troubled by events in Washington DC and across the country. From the inability of Congress to perform its Constitutional duties to a rogue Judiciary that finds "rights" that don't exist in the Constitution and denies enumerated rights clearly stated in bold.

 In these troubling age, we see our Liberty eroded away at the hands of a duplicitous Congress, an unanswerable Judiciary; many who are no more than politically driven ideologues, plus a host of  nameless faceless bureaucrats whose regulations carry the force of law. 
 
In the evening, as I work, I listen to Mark Levin, Conservative, lawyer, Constitutional scholar, author and radio talk show host. He offers a solution to these problems which are Constitutional in nature
 

Article V, U.S. Constitution

* * * * * * * * * *
Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.


(Bolding added by Warren)

This is not a Constitutional Convention but a legitimate provision of the Constitution enabling the States to add amendments to the Constitution.                                          

Mark has thoroughly researched this subject and the rational for consideration in his book "The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic" . The book is available in several different formats.

The eleven amendments he proposes are:                                                                                 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

For Mother's Day 2017

(For politics, please scroll down)

Remembering Mom (January 3, 2016-November 8, 1987):


Mom, I miss you every day. Not a day goes by that I don't long for your wise advice and much-needed encouragement!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Illegal Aliens And Constitutional Rights

Please watch this video of less than one minute in length, and consider the concepts presented:


The now-ubiquitous phrase undocumented citizens as used so often by various media and other Leftists, is nonsensical! The very word citizens implies that these individuals have entered into the United States Compact (Constitution) when they have not.

Related reading: The Civic Cost Of Illegal Immigration by Victor Davis Hansen. Excerpt:
...[L]ost in this conundrum are the pernicious effects of illegal immigration on the idea of citizenship in a consensual society. In the Western constitutional tradition, citizenship was based upon shared assumptions that were often codified in foundational constitutional documents.

[...]

When borders are fluid and unenforced, it inevitably follows that assimilation and integration also become lax, as society loses a sense of who, or even where, their residents are. And the idea that the Bill of Rights should apply to those beyond U.S. borders may be a noble sentiment, but the practical effect of such utopianism is to open a Pandora's box of impossible enforcement, affronts to foreign governments, endless litigation, and a diversion of resources away from protecting the rights of citizens at home.

Residency is also confused with citizenship, but they are no more the same than are guests at a dinner party and the party's hosts, who own the home.

A country reverts to tribalism unless immigrants enter it legally-often based on the host's determination of how easily and rapidly they can become citizens, and the degree to which they can benefit their adopted country-and embrace its customs, language, and habits.
Read the rest HERE. Worth your time.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Some years ago, Mr. AOW and I went to a National Symphony Orchestra concert presenting the piece below. Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) narrated the concert, which had accompanying photos taken by NASA projected on the big screens inside the Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

Enjoy Gustav Holst's The Planets (1914-1916) and the accompanying images:


Movements of the suite:

MARS, Bringer of War: 00:00
VENUS, Bringer of Peace: 7:20
MERCURY, Winged Messenger: 14:50
JUPITER, Bringer of Jollity: 18:41
SATURNE, Bringer of Old Age: 26:18
URANUS, The Magician: 35:29
NEPTUNE, The Mystic: 41:00

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Recommended Reading (The Recent Continuing Resolution, aka "The Budget Deal")

See Vice President Calls the Show to Defend the Budget Deal at The Rush Limbaugh Show (dated May 2, 2017).

Excerpt:
...RUSH: If this is what happens, Mr. Vice President, why vote Republican? What is the point of voting Republican if the Democrats are gonna continue to win practically 95% of their objectives, such as in this last budget deal?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, look, respectfully, Rush, I actually think this was, as the president said a little a while ago, I think this was actually a clear win for the American people....
Read the rest HERE.

What are your thoughts about the recent budget deal?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Even Without The Wall

Like many others, I'm frustrated that the border wall promised by Donald Trump is not under construction and still remains unfunded. The wall was the primary plank of Trump's campaign platform and launched his first political campaign.

That said, if the following information is true, the Trump Administration needs to get the word out — before Donald Trump loses the support of a core group within the electorate that elected him to the Oval Office. WE THE PEOPLE are wary of our so-called elected public servants, because they have so often reneged on campaign promises made.

Click directly on the image to enlarge it:

Related reading at RickWells.us: Trump And Americans Want The Wall – Vote In A New Congress If They Refuse Our Demands.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Musical Interlude

When in elementary school, our music teacher introduced us to the sections of the orchestra by having us listen to Peter and the Wolf. Later, when I was in college, our professor used the Peter and the Wolf as the beginning point of Music Appreciation I. Enjoy!



YouTube blurb:
This is Walt Disney's 'Peter & The Wolf' children's story. The images have been scanned at high quality, and the record digitized and cleaned as much as I can without losing the tonal clarity. It has then been edited into a short animated story to bring back memories in the big kids out there, and also something innocent and wonderful to watch for your new batch!...
Bonus video below the fold:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Thought For Today — And Beyond

Recently, FreeThinke posted What Concerns You Most?, along with some choices of concerns.  See FreeThinke's post for the list.

I weighed in under the category of Other.

Here is my biggest concern, applicable not only to politics:

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Conundrum


If the above is true, why do we try so hard to persuade or dissuade others for whom we have no respect in the first place?

Perhaps because...


Note: explanation for my recent absence from the blogosphere is below the fold.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Russia, Syria, Iran, Turkey, the US and other players

By Warren

A look at recent developments in the Middle East and elsewhere plus a more in-depth  byplay we don't often get. It looks to me like Russia has really stuck its foot in it.

 
From StrategyPage: 


Russia: Embarrassing Cold War Reminders

  The government has an awkward situation in Syria. Immediately after the April 7 American cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base (in retaliation of earlier Syrian use of nerve gas) the Russian Internet lit up with embarrassing discussions about that happened to Russian boasts in late 2016 that the Russian air defense system in Syria was operational.

...

Warren

 

 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Goodbye, Cameo

Cameo (July 30, 2001-April 16, 2017):

Cameo on our front porch with the azalea bush in the background.  She is gazing up at the birdhouse.

Heartbreak here. We have lost our beloved Siamese/Russian Blue to cancer.

There will never be another Cameo, our Rottweiler of a kitty. Such a spirited, domineering girl and ever relentless in her boldness! But also so very loving, on her terms, of course.

We will miss Cameo forever.

From day one, Cameo decided that the recliner was hers!

And Cameo loved to pose for the camera.

Pensive, on the back porch, June 20, 2016

Cameo on the new cat rug, March 9, 2017

Mr. AOW and I count it as a privilege to have shared space with such an intelligent and loving alpha cat with an adorable Rottweiler personality.  If only we could have had more time together!

Musical Interlude For Resurrection Day


Enjoy Felix Mendelssohn's joyous Symphony No. 4 In A Major 'Italian' on this Resurrection Day, the most important day on the Christian liturgical calendar:


Friday, April 14, 2017

Musical Interlude For Good Friday And Holy Saturday

Calvary



He died for me — as the propitiation for my sins:



I John 2:2 (KJV):
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Related reading at my friend Ed Bonderenka's blog site: What's so Good about Good Friday?


Music for meditation on this Holy Day (hat tip to Bunkerville):



Related listening at my friend FreeThinke's blog: J.S. Bach's The Passion of Our Lord According to St. Matthew.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Recommended Reading

See How Bad is the Opioid Epidemic? (dated Feburary 23, 2016) and Trump’s FDA Chief Cites Opioid Epidemic As Top Priority (dated April 7, 2017). Apparently, the use of opioids is so prevalent that Colleges can get free doses of naloxone for students overdosing on opioids (dated April 10, 2017):
The Clinton Foundation and Adapt Pharma are working together to give colleges 40,000 doses of NARCAN nasal spray, which is the only FDA-approved nasal spray and is designed to be simple enough to administer that people without medical training can provide a potentially lifesaving dose.
According to the first link: Twelve states have more opioid prescriptions than people, and there are urgent calls for action. What should that action entail?

At this point, opioids are the most effective pain killers known, and doctors with integrity wish to help patients suffering from debilitating pain syndromes, which are often mysterious in origin. On the other hand, some doctors are nothing better than legal drug dealers.

What should be the government's role in ameliorating the opioid epidemic?

And how did we get to this sorry point?

Monday, April 10, 2017

FEATURED QUESTION: The U.S. Supreme Court

After much ado and the invoking of the nuclear option (Dangerous precedent?), last week the United States Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court.  He will be sworn in today. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Palm Sunday 2017 Carnage In Egypt

(For the weekly Musical Interlude, please scroll down)

Coptic Church north of Cairo, 04/09/2017

According to Reuters:
Bombings at Egyptian Coptic churches kill 36, injure more than 100

At least 36 people were killed and more than 100 injured in bomb attacks on two Coptic churches on Palm Sunday, in the latest assault on a religious minority increasingly targeted by Islamist militants.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, which come a week before Coptic Easter and in the same month that Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt.

The first bombing, in Tanta, a Nile Delta city less than 100 kilometers outside Cairo, killed at least 25 and injured at least 78, Egypt's Ministry of Health said.

The second, carried out just a few hours later by a suicide bomber in Alexandria, hit the historic seat of the Coptic Pope, killing 11, including three police officers, and injuring 35, the ministry added.

Pope Tawadros, who had attended mass at Saint Mark's Cathedral, was still in the building at the time of the explosion but was not harmed, the Ministry of Interior said.

The bombings come as Islamic State's branch in Egypt appears to be stepping up attacks and threats against Christians....
Read the rest HERE.

Will President Trump speak about or Tweet about this using the term "radical Islamic terrorism"? If he avoids using that phrase, we then have a clear indication that National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster is significantly influencing our President and his policy with regard to Islam.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Friday, April 7, 2017

FEATURED QUESTION: Missile Strikes Against Syria

Last night, President Trump ordered our military to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles to strike Al Shayrat Airfield in response to chemical weapons having been deployed in Syria.

The complete text of President Trump's post-strike statement....
Text: Trump statement on U.S. military strikes in Syria

My fellow Americans: On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.

Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons. There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and ignored the urging of the U.N. Security Council.

Years of previous attempts at changing Assad's behavior have all failed, and failed very dramatically. As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies.

Tonight, I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types. We ask for God's wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed. And we hope that as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will, in the end, prevail.

Goodnight. And God bless America and the entire world. Thank you.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
For his part, Bashar al-Assad has long claimed that he is quelling a dangerous uprising within his nation.

And, as we would expect, Putin Calls U.S. Syria Strike Aggression, Stops Air Cooperation.

FEATURED QUESTION (in two parts): 
(1) Was this military strike the right move? Why or why not?   
(2) Are you in agreement with the above statement by President Trump?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Recommended Reading

Note: I rarely publish "Recommended Reading" back to back. But I'm still fairly miserable, so I won't be up to my usual blogging routine for a while.

See‘Adulting 101’: Public Library Offers Basic ‘Living’ Lessons to Clueless Millennials from Heat Street

Details about the library's Adulting 101 program are below the fold.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Ridiculous Lawsuits

(For politics, please scroll down)

Twenty-four inanities:


What would Mark Twain have said about these ridiculous lawsuits? Read some of Twain's words about the law HERE.

[Explore additional random, interesting, and amazing facts at the web site Mental Floss]

Friday, March 31, 2017

Personal Update

(For politics, please scroll down)

March 30 was not one of my better days!

I tripped on uneven concrete steps at a house where I'd gone to look at a secondhand television, pitched forward from the bottom several steps, and planted my face in the street.

Blood everywhere.

As hard as I hit that asphalt, it's a wonder that all my front teeth weren't knocked out!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The U.S. Senate And The 2018 Midterm Election


Since the AHCA was pulled from the House floor, many GOPers have been in mourning.

But perhaps all is not gloom and doom — except, of course, for those who will have to endure health insurance woes in the form of soaring premiums and limited provider options for those insured by ObamaCare.

From It was a good week for the GOP. But it could have been great (March 25, 2017 opinion piece by Hugh Hewitt, not a diehard Trump supporter)
...Democrats face a potential disaster with 25 of their seats up in 2018 and only eight of the GOP incumbents campaigning....
The entire essay is copied and pasted below the fold for those of you who do not have a subscription to the Washington Post.  All emphases mine

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Clichés

(For politics, please scroll down)

Good ol' clichés. Well, maybe not so good. Lack of originality!


Aside from being both unoriginal and boring, clichés can be thought-terminating:
In his 1961 book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton introduced the term "thought-terminating cliché".[15] This refers to a cliché that is a commonly used phrase, or folk wisdom, sometimes used to quell cognitive dissonance. Though the clichéd phrase in and of itself may be valid in certain contexts, its application as a means of dismissing dissent or justifying fallacious logic is what makes it thought-terminating.

Lifton wrote:

"The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis."[15]
In George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the fictional constructed language Newspeak is designed to eliminate the ability to express unorthodox thoughts.[16] Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World society uses thought-terminating clichés in a more conventional manner, most notably in regard to the drug soma as well as modified versions of real-life platitudes, such as "A doctor a day keeps the jim-jams away".[17]

In her 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt described Adolf Eichmann as an intelligent man who used clichés and platitudes to justify his actions and the role he played in the Jewish genocide of World War II. For her, these phrases are symptomatic of an absence of thought. Arendt wrote, "When confronted with situations for which such routine procedures did not exist, he [Eichmann] was helpless, and his cliché-ridden language produced on the stand, as it had evidently done in his official life, a kind of macabre comedy. Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence."[18]
A few irksome clichés from recent television broadcasts:

(1) "at the end of the day"

(2) "oh, and by the way"

(3) "shared values"

(4) "going forward"

(5) "We need to have a conversation about...."

What other clichés permeate the conversation today?