Dyson: Death In Black and White


Images showing the dying moments of Philando Castile, a black man shot by the police in Minnesota during a traffic stop. Mr. Castile’s girlfriend broadcast the scene on her Facebook page.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

This essay has been updated to reflect news developments.

We, black America, are a nation of nearly 40 million souls inside a nation of more than 320 million people. And I fear now that it is clearer than ever that you, white America, will always struggle to understand us.

Like you, we don’t all think the same, feel the same, love, learn, live or even die the same.

But there’s one thing most of us agree on: We don’t want cops to be executed at a peaceful protest. We also don’t want cops to kill us without fear that they will ever face a jury, much less go to jail, even as the world watches our death on a homemade video recording. This is a difficult point to make as a racial crisis flares around us.

We close a week of violence that witnessed the tragic deaths of two black men — Alton B. Sterling and Philando Castile — at the hands of the police with a terrible attack in Dallas against police officers, whose names we’re just beginning to learn. It feels as though it has been death leading to more death, nothing anyone would ever hope for.

A nonviolent protest was hijacked by violence and so, too, was the debate about the legitimate grievances that black Americans face. The acts of the gunman in Dallas must be condemned. However, he has nothing to do with the difficult truths we must address if we are to make real racial progress, and the reckoning includes being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed or discounted.

Continue reading Dyson: Death In Black and White

Patent exhaustion

Why You Should Care About The Supreme Court Case On Toner Cartridges

A corporate squabble over printer toner cartridges doesn’t sound particularly glamorous, and the phrase “patent exhaustion” is probably already causing your eyes to glaze over. However, these otherwise boring topics are the crux of a Supreme Court case that will answer a question with far-reaching impact for all consumers: Can a company that sold you something use its patent on that product to control how you choose to use after you buy it?

The case in question is Impression Products, Inc v Lexmark International, Inc, came before the nation’s highest court on Tuesday.

As with many SCOTUS disputes, Lexmark is a devil-in-the-details case that could have wide-ranging implications for basically everyone who ever buys anything — so, all of us.

Here’s the background: Lexmark makes printers. Printers need toner in order to print, and Lexmark also happens to sell toner.

Then there’s Impression Products, a third-party company makes and refills toner cartridges for use in printers, including Lexmark’s.

Lexmark, however, doesn’t want that; if you use third-party toner cartridges, that’s money that Lexmark doesn’t make. So it sued, which brings us to the legal chain that ended up at the Supreme Court.

Printer makers are notoriously finicky about cartridges, because that’s where all the money is. Companies like Canon, HP, and Lexmark aren’t really making their millions from the $75 you spend on a printer; the real cash comes over the longterm when you have to keep spending $30 on name-brand ink cartridges once or twice every year that follows.

In an effort to keep others from getting a piece of that sweet toner revenue, Lexmark turned to its patents: The company began selling printer cartridges with a notice on the package forbidding reuse or transfer to third parties. Then, when a third-party — like Impression — came around reselling or recycling the cartridges, Lexmark could accuse them of patent infringement.

So far the courts have sided with Lexmark, ruling that Impression was using Lexmark’s patented technology in an unauthorized way. The Supreme Court is Impression’s last avenue of appeal.

What’s the legal argument? Continue reading Patent exhaustion

30 Days of Commentary

Thirty Days in the Swamp

(commentary sent via Facebook, Twitter, and Google by Richard Pressl)

3/19/2016: LGBT Issues

We have a problem Houston, and New York, and LA…and it can be seen in the LGBT issue, where the interests of the average American diverge sharply from that of the LGBT community, and which also points a challenging finger at the Democratic Party and the “Left” in general.

The “average American”, being in the majority, considers the focus of both political parties on sex matters, whether it’s abortion, same sex marriage, mixed sex bathroom facilities, et al to be a legitamized subject of concern; but by being mostly hetero they perceive the focus on LGBT issues to be distinct from their own concerns and orientation.

The perception arises that the Democratic Party political base consists only of a collection of special interest groups that fundamentally does not include “people like me”. America has a long history of bipolarism in its politics which at times in the past resulted in a consensus obtained by necessity and compromise.

This is no longer the case. As a simple examination of the failures one only need review the dysfunctional condition of our political system which feature corporate and special interest domination of political fundraising, party line voting, extremism, and elitism.

Thus, the legitimate core concerns for fairness, equality before the law, equal opportunity, and shared civility promoted by our Constitution becomes corrupted, disfigured, and potentially subject to autocratic or tyrannical forces. It has happened in countless tribes, regions, and civilizations from ancient Mesopotamia to Mississippian to Aztec cultures from pre-historic to modern times.

We have ample evidence in the animal kingdom describing what happens when the organizing framework of a society degrades past a tipping point, whether it be from pesticides, glaciation, climate change, or human interventions. Sometimes it is slow and generally imperceptible like with species extinctions, sometimes rapidly due to what are considered “natural disasters”.

As a species we collectively must begin to develop a ‘hive mentality’ if we envision a planet containing up to 10 billion humans. With that collective featuring an all-against-all, survival of the fittest mindset there can be no sustainable future for humanity that does not demand autocratic control of differentiated populations.

A meme floating around the Internet suggest, America’s future will depend on whether citizens begin to think and act as generic Americans, not as Democrats, Republicans, or members of an LGBT community.

————————————————————————————- Continue reading 30 Days of Commentary

Calvin considers death

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Tools for Resisters

 – Nov. 21st, 2016 –
* * * *
“Here are 20 lessons from across the fearful 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.
1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.
2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.
3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.
4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words. Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.
5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.
6. Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. (Don’t use the internet before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom, and read.) What to read? Perhaps “The Power of the Powerless” by Václav Havel, 1984 by George Orwell, The Captive Mindby Czeslaw Milosz, The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.
7. Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.
8. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.
9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Bookmark PropOrNot or other sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.
10. Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.

Continue reading Tools for Resisters

The Gulf of Tonkin incident

Case Closed: The Gulf of Tonkin Incident


This article by Capt. Carl Otis Schuster, U.S. Navy (ret.) originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Vietnam magazine. A National Security Agency report released in 2007 reveals unequivocally that the alleged Aug. 4, 1964, attack by North Vietnam on U.S. destroyers never actually happened.

In the first few days of August 1964, a series of events off the coast of North Vietnam and decisions made in Washington, D.C., set the United States on a course that would largely define the next decade and weigh heavily on American foreign policy to this day. What did and didn’t happen in the Gulf of Tonkin on August 2 and 4 has long been in dispute, but the decisions that the Johnson Administration and Congress made based on an interpretation of those events were undeniably monumental.

While many facts and details have emerged in the past 44 years to persuade most observers that some of the reported events in the Gulf never actually happened, key portions of the critical intelligence information remained classified until recently.

An oil painting by Cmdr. E.J. Fitzgerald depicts the engagement between Maddox and three North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats on 2 August 1964. (Naval History and Heritage Command)
An oil painting by Cmdr. E.J. Fitzgerald depicts the engagement between Maddox and three North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats on 2 August 1964. (Naval History and Heritage Command)

In late 2007, that information was finally made public when an official National ­Security Agency (NSA) history of signals intelligence (SIGINT) in Vietnam, written in 2002, was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. With that report, after nearly four decades, the NSA officially reversed its verdict on the events of August 4, 1964, that had led that night to President Lyndon Johnson’s televised message to the nation: “The initial attack on the destroyer Maddox, on August 2, was repeated today by a number of hostile vessels attacking two U.S. destroyers with torpedoes…. Air action is now in execution against gunboats and certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam which have been used in these hostile operations.”

The next day, the president addressed Congress, seeking the power to “to take all necessary measures in support of freedom and in defense of peace in Southeast Asia.”

A joint resolution of Congress dated August 7, 1964, gave the president authority to increase U.S. involvement in the war between North and South Vietnam and served as the legal basis for escalations in the Johnson and Nixon administrations that likely dwarfed what most Americans could have imagined in August 1964.
Continue reading The Gulf of Tonkin incident

A bridge too far?


This weekend, President Trump was mostly up to his usual stuff, popping off on social media, peddling unfounded conspiracy theories to divert attention from stories he doesn’t like, and generally acting in an alarming, obnoxious manner. But this particular “Trump rants and rages” story might have lasting significance. According to numerous reports, James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has asked the Justice Department to knock down Trump’s new claim that former President Obama ordered Trump’s phones to be wiretapped. Even for Trump, who has been busy rewriting the Presidential etiquette book since the day he was inaugurated, being labelled a liar by a major federal agency would be a first.

The saga began on Friday afternoon. Trump, reportedly furious at how stories about Jeff Sessions’s meetings with the Russian Ambassador had stepped on the good reviews he’d received for his address to Congress, threw a hissy fit at the White House. Then he left town for Mar-a-Lago—his fourth trip to his Florida waterfront resort in five weeks—leaving behind several members of his senior staff, including Reince Priebus, his chief of staff, and Steve Bannon, his chief strategist. Early Saturday morning, presumably from Mar-a-Lago, Trump took to Twitter and declared, “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.” He didn’t provide any evidence to back up this claim, but he did say, “This is Nixon/Watergate,” and, in reference to Obama, he added, “Bad (or sick) guy!”

A political media storm ensued. On Saturday afternoon, a spokesman for Obama issued a statement that said, “A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

On Sunday morning, James Clapper, who had been the director of National Intelligence under Obama, went on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and explicitly denied that any part of the national-security apparatus he’d overseen had obtained a court order to wiretap Trump Tower. There “was no such wiretap activity mounted against the President-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign,” Clapper said.

Continue reading A bridge too far?

Chart of vote history for Barry Loudermilk, (R) 11th District, Georgia

Representative Barry Loudermilk


photo of Representative Barry Loudermilk
Party: Republican
State: Georgia (District 11)
Joined the House: 2015
Left the House: Incumbent (term ends 2019)
Birth Date: December 22, 1963
Phone: 202-225-2931
Contact: Web form
URL: Official site
Fundraising History: Open Secrets
Election History: Ballotpedia
Biography: Wikipedia

Summary of voting record: Representative Loudermilk opposes taxing businesses, consumer protection, funding education, environmental protection, financial sector regulation, gun control, public health, foreign and humanitarian aid, humane immigration policy, labor rights and wages, lgbt rights, avoiding default, poverty amelioration, racial equality, increasing revenues, taxing the wealthy, a robust safety net, higher spending, domestic surveillance, women’s rights

…and supports big business, hawkish foreign policy, taxing the middle class, military spending.
Continue reading Chart of vote history for Barry Loudermilk, (R) 11th District, Georgia

House Republicans show active intention to debase life in America

While we were distracted by Trump, Republicans advanced these 9 terrifying bill


The Republican-led Congress is wasting no time forcing through the most horrendous bills seen in decades while America’s eyes are on Russia.

With both houses of Congress solidly under Republican control, there’s little in the way to stop House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) from sending bills to President Trump’s desk that embody the most dangerous aspects of radical right-wing ideology.

However unlikely these bills’ passage would have seemed in the 114th Congress, the possibility of these nine bills becoming law is much higher now, especially considering the flurry of headlines around Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal on the ongoing investigation into the president’s Russian connections, and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s multiple meetings with several of Trump’s top lieutenants.

 Here are the nine worst bills to keep an eye on:

1. H.R. 861: To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency

This bill — cosponsored by Republican members of Congress from fossil fuel-producing states — is just one sentence long, and says nothing about what would happen to the multiple environmental regulations the EPA has instituted since 1970, or its multibillion-dollar budget, or its thousands of staffers. H.R. 861 is currently awaiting action in the subcommittee on environment.

2. H.R. 610: Tax dollars for private schools

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced this bill in January, which would redistribute funding earmarked for public schools in the form of vouchers for parents to send children to private schools. Over the long term, this would eventually bankrupt public schools, and create a stratified education system in which cash-strapped public schools would be unable to meet the educational needs of low-income students. The bill is awaiting action in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

3. H.R. 899: To terminate the Department of Education

If this bill, introduced by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky), becomes law, the U.S. Department of Education would terminate by the end of 2018. The bill’s brevity leaves many questions unanswered, like what would happen with Department of Education grants for public schools and universities, its budget, or its staff. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said she would personally be “fine” if the agency she heads were to be abolished.

4. H.J.R. 69: To repeal a rule protecting wildlife

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), whose constituents likely include hunters who kill wildlife for sport rather than for food, introduced this joint resolution voicing displeasure with a Department of Interior rule that prohibits “non-subsistence” hunting in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. The resolution passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.

5. H.R. 370: To repeal the Affordable Care Act

While President Obama was in office, House Republicans voted at least 60 times to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — despite its futility. However, the Trump administration has made the repeal of Obamacare a top priority, meaning the repeal bill from Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) is likely to pass.

6. H.R. 354: To defund Planned Parenthood

Despite the widely publicized debunking of the video alleging the women’s health nonprofit was selling human organs, Republicans are still refusing to stop destroying Planned Parenthood. Rep. Diane Black (R-Tennessee) introduced a bill that would prevent any federal grants from going to Planned Parenthood for a full year unless they swore to not perform abortions. As the chart below from Planned Parenthood shows, only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood resources go toward abortions, while the vast majority of funding is used to help low-income women get STD tests, contraceptive care, and breast cancer screenings:

7. H.R. 785: National Right-to-Work legislation

Conservative ideologue Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is aiming to cripple unions at the nationwide level with a bill that would systematically deprive labor unions of the funding they need to operate. Unions often provide one of the crucial pillars of support for Democratic candidates and causes, and conservatives aim to destroy them once and for all by going after their funding. It’s important to note that right-to-work is bad for all workers, not just union members — in 2015, the Economic Policy Institute learned that wages in right-to-work states are roughly 3.2 percent lower than in non-right-to-work states.

8. H.R. 83: Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act

Multiple cities and states around the country have openly stated that they won’t abide by President Trump’s plan to aggressively round up and deport undocumented immigrants. A bill by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pennsylvania) would strip all federal funding of any city for up to a year that doesn’t obey Trump’s immigration policies.

9. H.R. 147: To criminalize abortion

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona) wants to aggressively prosecute pregnant women seeking abortions, along with abortion providers, by making abortion a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The bill is currently awaiting action in the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.

To fight back against these bills, call 202-224-3121, ask for your member of Congress, and tell them to vote no.

Freedom reviewed

by Richard @ Flexible Reality – Mar. 3, 2017
 We exalt freedom as the primary virtue and goal not only for individuals but for States as well; however the concept is viewed quite differently by different groups, and at different times. In general when we think of freedom we have in mind “a” freedom: freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, etc. This type of freedom is seen as a transcendent article of human society and is considered immutable.

However, there are two other orientations that need to be considered. Namely, the freedom “to” something: clean water, fresh air, to be secure in one’s possessions. The other is a freedom “from” something: unreasonable search and seizures, involuntary conscription to military service, etc.

With the decay of democratic processes around the World we are facing the prospect of the abridgment of the first type, where for example the Trump White House claims there neither is, nor should be, a completely “free press”, or a freedom to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.  While the compartmentalized groups in the country assert their “right to” the freedom of personal expression, such as the freedom to do almost anything not expressly forbidden by law.

What we are now seeing is the negation of the universal freedom articles, the supremacy of the freedom “to” do by and for ourselves, and the militarized force to support freedom “from” for and against others.

Activism Now

Who Says It Can’t Happen Here?

We have endured 40 years of creeping authoritarianism and it now appears that it may run right over democracy. We must resist and act in solidarity.
 Donald Trump’s candidacy and now, presidency, have resurrected a public discourse not heard in this country since the Great Depression — an anxious discourse about the possible triumph in America of a fascist-tinged authoritarian regime over liberal democracy. It’s a fear Sinclair Lewis turned into a 1935 bestselling novel, It Can’t Happen Here — although, as Lewis told it, it sure as hell could happen here.

It did not happen, however. Not then, at least. Electing Franklin Roosevelt as president and taking up the labors of the New Deal, our parents and grandparents not only rejected the sirens of authoritarianism, they actually extended and deepened American freedom, equality and democracy. They subjected big business to public account and regulation; expanded the nation’s public infrastructure and improved the environment; empowered the federal government to address the needs of working people and the poor; mobilized farmers’ organizations, labor unions, consumer campaigns and civil rights groups and fought for their rights, broadening the “We” in “We the People.”

Undeniably, they left a great deal to be done. But they gave themselves the wherewithal to defeat fascism overseas and learned how to democratically rebuild the nation.

Now we find ourselves anxiously asking, Can it happen here? Trump has given us plenty of reason to worry. He has referred to Mexican immigrants as murderers and rapists; ordered mass deportations of the undocumented by resorting to what he himself describes as “a military operation;” spoken of creating a “Muslim registry” and sought to ban Muslims from entering the country. What’s more, he repeatedly has expressed admiration for Russia’s authoritarian strongman Vladimir Putin; called members of the federal judiciary “so-called judges;” and charged the news media with being “the enemy of the people.” He lost the popular vote but claims it was due to voter fraud, and has proceeded to “govern” as if he actually won a popular mandate. And his Cabinet appointments signal a determination to carry out a decidedly reactionary policy agenda long championed by the right wing.
Continue reading Activism Now

A few words on subscriptions and support for Mother Jones & other specialty magazines

Dear Mother Jones reader,

According to our records you’ve been receiving Mother Jones email newsletters for about a month now—so this is the last “welcome” message you’ll receive from me.

So far, I’ve explained who Mother Jones is and how our model of reader support makes us unique. I’ve given you a free sample of our magazine and extended a special $9.99 offer to give it a try for a full year. And today, I’m making a pitch for a tax-deductible donation to support the reporting you’ve been reading from us.

But I’m kind of tired of the usual marketing gimmicks: HELP! We’ll go out of business if readers don’t support us.

I mean, it’s actually true—because 70 percent of our funding comes from readers—but panicky emails like that don’t exactly appeal to your intelligence. So we had this other idea: What if we did appeal to your intelligence? What if we transparently explained the challenges of paying for journalism in the digital age and how your support makes Mother Jones possible?

If you already get it, I hope you’ll MoJo Reader&a_last_name=&a_address_1=&a_city=&a_state=&a_zip=&a_email=bizmarts@yahoo.com” data-mp-url-id=”_fd6a251b279f5ec4e53af88193fe3ccee0e1fd62″ mp-encode=”false”>make your tax-deductible gift to support Mother Jones right now via credit card or PayPal.

MoJo Reader&a_last_name=&a_address_1=&a_city=&a_state=&a_zip=&a_email=bizmarts@yahoo.com” data-mp-url-id=”_fd6a251b279f5ec4e53af88193fe3ccee0e1fd62″ mp-encode=”false”>But if you need more convincing, here goes.
Continue reading A few words on subscriptions and support for Mother Jones & other specialty magazines

On the first election afterwards

Will anti-Trump backlash let Democrats win the Georgia special election to replace Tom Price

via the Daily 202 in Washington Post  – by James Hohmann with Breanne Deppisch – Feb. 23rd, 2017


ROSWELL, Ga.—National Democrats are deploying resources to Georgia in hopes that the special election to replace Tom Price becomes a referendum on Donald Trump.

Mitt Romney won Price’s House district, (GA 6th), which spans the affluent and highly-educated suburbs north of Atlanta, with 61 percent in 2012. Donald Trump pulled just 48 percent in November, running neck-and-neck with Hillary Clinton. That was one of the biggest swings of any congressional district in the country.

Now Price has resigned to become the secretary of health and human services, and Democrats see a unique opportunity to pick up his seat, which was once held by Newt Gingrich.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has just transferred money to the Georgia Democratic Party to hire nine staffers on the ground. In a lower-turnout contest, this field program will identify and register voters who have never been targeted in previous elections.

Price never won reelection with less than 62 percent of the vote, but this is the kind of district that Democrats will need to find a way to flip if they are going to seize the House majority in Nov. 2018.

While 11 Republicans have jumped into the race and are already duking it out, Democrats have mostly coalesced behind a former congressional aide named Jon Ossoff. It’s a jungle primary, which means that all the candidates are going to appear on the same ballot on April 18. The top two finishers will then face off in a June 20 runoff. Democrats hope the contenders in the crowded GOP field beat each other up and try to outdo one another in pledging loyalty to Trump.

Ossoff just turned 30. He worked as a staffer for Rep. Hank Johnson, who represents a majority African-American district in Atlanta, off and on from 2006 to 2012. He speaks French, did his undergraduate studies at Georgetown and earned a master’s from the London School of Economics. He started a firm that makes documentary films about corruption.

He faces a tricky balancing act: Capitalize on the surge of anti-Trump energy on the left that has led to mass protests and a fresh wave of activism while also presenting himself to voters in a right-leaning district as a pragmatic moderate. The liberal Daily Kos website has helped him raise almost $1 million online, a wild amount of grassroots support for an unknown House candidate, and the campaign says more than 3,500 Georgians have signed up to volunteer.

Ossoff is pretty open that he wants the race to be all about Trump. “I think people are embarrassed by him,” he said during a lunchtime interview at Fellini’s Pizza in Decatur. “People are concerned he’s dishonest and not competent.”

The first-time candidate downplayed his partisanship, spoke very cautiously and relentlessly stuck to his moderate message during our conversation. “I will carry myself with respect and humility and talk about solutions, rather than name calling,” he said, stressing that he believes in strong oversight of the president regardless of which party is in power.

It’s hard to forecast what the political environment will be like in four months. Many GOP congressional candidates successfully distanced themselves from Trump on the trail last year, when conventional wisdom was that he wouldn’t win and his brand was perceived as distinct from the GOP’s. In the midterms, when his presidency is no longer a hypothetical, will voters tie the party’s congressional candidates to Trump? We’ll get an early indication of that here in Georgia.

Continue reading On the first election afterwards

Reality Check of the Day


It was “insane,” a “marathon rant” at the media, and “a press conference for the ages.” Before you accuse me of liberal bias, these were the terms that Fox Business Channel’s Charles Gasparino, the home page of the New York Post, and Fox News’s Shepard Smith used, respectively, to describe the performance that Donald Trump put on during a lengthy press conference in the East Room of the White House on Thursday.

Nominally, the White House had hastily scheduled the press conference so that Trump could announce he was nominating Alexander Acosta, the dean of Florida International University College of Law, for the post of Labor Secretary. But it was clear something strange was afoot when Trump walked in alone—without Acosta. Then, when the President started to talk, his tone was one of thinly suppressed fury.

After briefly lauding Acosta’s credentials, Trump thanked Paul Singer, a conservative Wall Street billionaire who used to oppose him and now supports him, for paying him a visit. (One of the few things Trump seems actually to like about being President is having supplicant rich guys come and pay homage to him.) Then he changed tack and said, “I’m here today to update the American people on the incredible progress that has been made in the last four weeks since my Inauguration . . . I don’t think there’s ever been a President elected who in this short period of time has done what we’ve done.”

What Trump has actually done, of course, is demonstrate his manifest unsuitability for the job he now holds. He has also signed a bunch of papers, most of which have had little immediate effect, and one of which—his anti-Muslim travel ban—plunged America’s airports into chaos before being put on hold by a federal judge. For the past week, his Administration has been consumed by damaging stories about his ties to Russia, and his firing of his national-security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Continue reading Reality Check of the Day

The 45th seems to have ties with their lies

…also interesting is the photo on Wikipedia of past presidents: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States

Couple of images for the day

Language arts: definitions of grammatical terms

a glossary of grammatical terminology, definitions and examples – sounds and literary effects in language, speaking, writing, poetry..

This glossary of linguistics, literary and grammatical terms is aimed to be helpful for writers, speakers, teachers and communicators of all sorts, in addition to students and teachers of the English language seeking:

  1. to understand the different effects of written and spoken language – what they are called, from a technical or study standpoint,
  2. to develop variety, sensitivity, style and effectiveness in your own use of language – written and spoken – for all sorts of communications, whatever your purposes, and
  3. to improve understanding and interpretation of the meaning of words without having to look them up in a dictionary.

There are very many different effects of written and spoken language. Most people know what an acronym is, or a palindrome. But what is a glottal stop? What is a tautology, or a gerund? What is alliteration and onomatopoeia? What are the meanings of prefixes, such as hypo/hyper and meta, and suffixes such as ology and logue?

Words alone convey quite basic meaning. Far more feeling and mood is conveyed in the way that words are put together and pronounced – whether for inspiration, motivation, amusement, leadership, persuasion, justification, clarification or any other purpose.

The way we use language – in addition to the language we use – is crucial for effective communications and understanding.

The way others use language gives us major insights as to motives, personalities, needs, etc.

The study and awareness of linguistics helps us to know ourselves and others – why we speak and write in different ways; how language develops; and how so many words and ways of speaking from different languages share the same roots and origins. Also, our technical appreciation of language is a big help to understanding language more widely, and particularly word meanings that we might not have encountered before.

For example why is a prefix so significant in language? And a suffix?

Knowing these and many other aspects of linguistics can dramatically assist our overall understanding of language, including new words, even foreign words, which we might never have seen before.

Some of these language terms and effects are vital for good communications. Others are not essential, but certainly help to make language and communications more interesting, textured and alive – and when language does this, it captivates, entertains and moves audiences more, which is definitely important for professional communicators.

Note that many of these words have meanings outside of language and grammar, and those alternative non-linguistic definitions are generally not included in this glossary.

Continue reading Language arts: definitions of grammatical terms

Silence from the Corporations is deafening

Richard Pressl added 2 new photos.

16 mins – Feb. 9th, 2017·

Have you ever wondered why so few American Corporations have expressed objections to Stultus’s ‘Wall’ or Mexican immigration?

Maybe because they stand to gain so much from implementation of Stultus’s actions, such as the fact that his actions thus far have devalued the Mexican peso by about 20% relative to the dollar, so US Corporations benefit due to the decrease in their labor cost.

Even the threatened 20% tariff on goods brought into America from Mexico works against the best interests of the working people in both countries: since Mexican workers would be paid less, Americans would be required to pay more for goods, while US Corporations pass on the tariff to US consumers – “due to changes in the cost of business” – so Corporations win, and people – other than the oligarchs – suffer.

All of which seems to be incomprehensible to Trumpsters who support this theft from the commons!!!

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Sam’s the Man…