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Protect our Voter Rights | 2018

quake's world

Futbol
the spur
bbc football daily podcast
ball street
guardian football
WSC
one touch football
200%
bbc five live radio, plus quality podcasts

Beats
jukebox

YouTube progressive politics channels secular talk
YT
msnbc & msnbc you-tube
ring of fire
majority report with sam seder
rational national canada
some more news
david pakman
progressive voice
humanist report

Other likeable links

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/the-birth-of-a-new-american-aristocracy/559130/
America's toxic class divide link


the intercept and podcasts
slate plus slate amicus podcast
splinter news
dem underground
washington post
the guardian
raw story
think progress
TPM talking points memo
common dreams
daily kos
politico
democracy now
robert reich
axios
the daily beast
media matters
bob cesca show, has the ring of old school AM radio style
buzz burbank
npr news
how appealing
public citizen
pro publica
alison hartson
new york times the daily podcast
vox
democracy forward
daily DC
xe.com currency currency exchange converter
seeking stillness
the last quiet places
mac option key symbols
annualcreditreport.com
allcarselectric.com
plugincars.com

Usually reliable online TV streams
euronews in english, new link sept 2018
al jazeera in english re-add Oct 2018
france 24 in english, and french
PBS newshour episodes, live 3-4pm M-F pacific USA time
CBS news "cbsn" cbs hi rotation rolling feed, USA live
DW german intntl news in english
sky news uk, live on you-tube
crtvg, galicia, espana, us feed
tvr britanny, france
elonce tv argentina
rte dublin, ireland
rtl muenchen deutschland
center.tv dusseldorf, deutschland, updated 2016
telemolise southern italia
bbc britain
sfgovtv san francisco, usa

San Francisco & Monterey online radio
kqed san francisco radio
kalw san francisco radio
kazu nat. public radio for the monterey bay

Other radio
bbc world service

Radio programs and podcasts
the takeaway
PRI
On point
philosophy talk [live on kalw]
on the media

Previous posts and links

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg tries to show that he really is human. He eats a sandwich and virtually inspects the devastation in Puerto Rico.


london


san francisco
arriving by luft re-add Nov 2015

gran canaria

monterey county

Local voters ban fracking in Monterey County despite aggressive opposition from big oil and gas



October 2018

Unmasking bad guys

The internet researchers unmasking Russian assassins. NPR radio link to audio file.

Donald Trump is, and always has been, a bad businessman, but luckily for him, daddy's unbelievable success and wealth has allowed the orange menace, to this day, to be a massive and destructive pest, ultimately infesting the entire global population's quality of life. Trump University and Trump Vodka are well known disasters of his, but here are many more of his biggest flops, including an airline.

Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington [CREW] are among the heroes who brought attention to former "ambassador" Haley's "personal relationship gifts" received while fronting for Trump's corrupt White House ongoing looting spree. Is there anyone on the Trump team that isn't bent? The bought-n-paid-for State Dept is unlikely to act unless the Dems win Congress and have some clout to get justice for the taxpayers and a non-beholden political leadership.

"The man [Trump] is the arsonist and the fireman. When he's the fireman, he claims he's achieved something. He's put out the fire." -- Sidney Blumenthal.
Self-pitying, hysterical,
conjuring up conspiracies,
vindictive.

Fight back!

Former Bush official Eliot Cohen wrote recently in the Washington Post that "perhaps the collapse of modern conservatism came out most clearly in Kavanaugh's own testimony - its self-pity, its hysteria, its conjuring up conspiracies, its vindictiveness. No one watching those proceedings could imagine that a Democrat standing before this judge's bench in the future would get a fair hearing. It was, rather, personalized grievance politics."

Tom Nichols: "To those conservatives who are willing to look away from Kavanaugh's bizarre, evasive, immature, intemperate, weaselly, disrespectful answers to the Senate, that's not conservative, that's just tribal loyalty over prudence and principal."

"Instead of acting like the minority and like victims, Dems need to go on the offensive and act like a majority. Investigate, interview, and use the power of the media loudly, with courage and fervor!" -- Allie Katz, as reported by Jon Queally, Common Dreams

Angela Calvillo, contributor to Crowdpac: "The 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote, now let's amend it to secure a woman's right to her reproductive health."

Let's reward Dems who are progressive, and punish Republicans wherever and whenever possible. Senator Collins voted "yes" on Trump's Supreme Court nominee, the unhinged and blatantly agenda-drunk, booze crazed Brett Kavanaugh.

Support Collins' future challenger in Maine on Crowdpac. The enemy may have most of the billionaire's on their side and unlimited dark money from corporate donors, but ordinary American citizens can fight, and do whatever we can, to take back our nation from the right-wing greedsters and con[servative] artists who have rigged the US political system. Be a hero today.

Jennifer Rubin on Susan Collins: "It's one thing to cast a safe vote; it's another to embarrass oneself and sound gullible about a nominee who revealed his partisan stripes."

Cold staters may think twice about Florida

Florida has almost brought itself to terminal decline before the non-Dems have "woke" to the reality that the anti-environmental Republicans have really ****** up their state, and maybe they should rise above the right-wing brainwashing and do something about it, assuming it's not already too late. The joys of living in a southern red state, eh. Beaches? Sorry folks, now just oil slicks, green and red slime, and dead fish. Come one, come all, tourists don't be shy. And don't get gunned down in the parking lot as you show up to gawk at the goo.

Florida also "enjoys" the award of third most stressed out state in America, bested only by Georgia at #2 and the "mafia state" New Jersey, reliably #1. Badda bing.

Not enough to think twice? How about the Vero Beach woman who just cut up her bloke's face for not having sex with her? Before it got too polluted, she could have waded into the ocean for a relaxing swim instead. Some people don't mess around down there, except with the environment, of course.

The KavanNO Debacle: The sham investigation.
The odds are that the disastrous Kavanaugh nomination will be pushed through but it's unlikely boozy Brett will have a smooth ride even after he achieves his self-interested ultimate career goal. The latest sham investigation's only use is to allow key Senators on both sides to throw an excuse at their electorate for voting whichever way they do. Even after his election to the Supreme court this controversy is likely far from done and dusted, especially if the Dems do well enough in the mid-terms to put some feet to the fire.

Matthew Miller of Politico Magazine asks us to "consider who [was] in charge of the FBI's invesrtigation: Director Chris Wray, who attended Yale Law School with Kavanaugh...and, like Kavanaugh, joined the Federalist Society...Rosenstein's ties to Kavanaugh run even deeper -- they worked together on Ken Starr's investigation of Bill Clinton in the 1990s."
New York Times

Brett Kavanaugh is a willing pawn in the radical right's "stealth bid to reverse-engineer all of America, at both the state and national levels, back to the political economy and oligarchic governance of midcentury Virginia, minus the segregation" as historian Nancy MacLean puts it. The billionaire backed originalist libertarian cult's historical inspiration -- James Buchanan -- represents "the true origin story of today's well-heeled radical right."

Dumb gibberish from Dumbald Trump: "Hurricane Florence. One of the wettest we've ever seen, from the standpoint of water."

Trump firing up GOP misogynists

"By mocking Christine Blasey Ford at a campaign rally, Trump is simply following his calculations for his 2020 campaign. He either knows or doesn't care how the Kavanaugh appointment will turn out. Instead, he is simply firing up his misogynistic followers and those who enable them. He doesn't care, really.

Nothing matters to Trump. Not common decency. Not the fears women have of being targeted and assaulted by men like Trump. Nothing. He doesn't care. He knows that speech like what he said at the rally yesterday will get cheers from the people who are like Trump, want to be like him or, in some cases, are afraid of people like him but have to live with them.

Will his calculations work? Possibly. Things have changed. No longer is being a boor and a braggart a cause of failure. If you can reach enough people who are just like yourself, you can win in today's climate. So, Trump plays to his peers and ignores others' fears." -- Mineral Man, Dem Underground

September 2018

Privileged Rage & Lies of the "Right"
Europe 17.5 USA 10.5 in
Ryder Cup 2018, HILITES

Saturday night live hearing rendition.

Kavanaugh is lying. His upbringing explains why. [Washington Post article].

"A witness who is not credible lashes out at his accusers and assumes a more reasonable demeanor under neutral questioning. That is exactly what we saw with Kavanaugh. While a falsely accused man has every right to be angry, Kavanaugh's rage - whether he is innocent or not - played poorly in large part because it was infected with self-pity and devoid of insight." [Politico article].

Freak-out Friday

The nomination moved forward but with the bar association, Yale, and the general public calling for an FBI inquiry which we now are getting [one week, though? Surely this will take longer?]. It's hard to believe this completely inappropriate candidate can really get away with hanging in this long. Go. Step down. Never come back.

Cancel Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh showed himself to be irrationally angry, immature, politically motivated, and blinded by self-interest and greed. He places his own self-aggrandizement and selfish agenda-laden career before the good of the country. Horrible, diabolical choice for Supreme Court. Shame on all Republicans.

Thursday or Friday, or one day next week, will likely live in infamy as a battered America looks at how the breakdown of its political mechanisms now leaves us with a nation "led" by people whose goals are the polar opposite of the wishes of the people. At the time of writing, loathsome Brett Kavanaugh is -10pts with registered voters [this from a highly right biased pollster: Fox], and the great majority of Americans want Rod Rosenstein to stay and for the Mueller investigation to keep going to its conclusion. But in the current US, the people's will counts for little and has almost no proper representation.

Vlad Putin will be watching, popcorn and vodka in hand, as the rest of the globe wonders, yet again, "what the **** just happened over there?". There is an explanation, but it won't fit into a sound byte, and there are also solutions, but they have no sufficient avenue of expression or actuation of executive and judicial remedies that could rectify the situation.

In November we have a chance to maybe save the legislative branch from complete capture, but even that's not guaranteed, with voter de-registration, fraud, and suppression being aggressively perpetrated by the corporate and 1% backed right-wing.

Even if the legislative third of the pie is rescued, it may not be enough. But it's crucial for any hope of saving the US from this tailspin into disaster.

US BIG BIZ still dictating the fate of Brexit: Their massive infusion of propaganda money duped sufficient numbers of gullible UK voters into leaving the EU, now they want to make sure it's a hard Brexit, and the greedy and grateful right-wing British politicians are compliantly taking their big bucks. UK = bought and paid for, a long time ago.

Swampiest Swampman starts singing

"New details revealed Friday show how far beyond the law Manafort went in pursuit of his goals" wrote the Washington Post, and those goals involved dastardly deeds by the truckload, and the Trump swamp is squirming: now that the world's currently most famous criminal is ready to spill all the beans. The serious swamp stuff that is emerging could, as a by-product, sink tawdry Trump's occupation of the presidency of the most globally important nation on Earth [still].

The roller coaster ride may be far from over but it's time to be proud of being American again as, so far, the national mechanisms to thwart rampant foul play and corruption seem still up to the task. Without them, corruption eventually brings down functioning democracy to leave a nation to drown in the cesspool of a mafia run totalitarianism propped up by "the 1%" who alone benefit.

The man who's always correct [part two]

Our first rolling entry of the year began with: "The man who's always correct -- Professor Allan Lichtman, and the case for impeachment."

At that time it was hard not to think, "yeah but the Republiscum ain't gonna impeach the crook, maybe the good professor has gotten too cocky by half. Well, OMG, he's on track to be right again. Too much being right. Actually, he talked about probabilities and did mention that the Republicans were wimping out at the time, and he did say it was a "case" for impeachment, not a guarantee, but, with mid-terms 'n all, he's uncannily on the ball with his always thorough predictability models. A beacon in a political world of chaos and confusion. Here's a more recent appearance of his, this time on the MSNBC morning show.

Russian trolls spent years tweeting about Obamacare.

Any good news? Any? Well, maybe, kinda...

In the face of all the disgusting actions of the Republiscum and the fake president Trump's Blight House, whether it be diverting money for cancer research to expanding concentration camps for asylum seekers, subverting the nation's health care options, rampant and unashamed corruption, and any number of outrages perpetrated on the American people, is there any actual good news? Occasionally, a positive story does sneak through. "We are about to drive a lot of dark money donors into the light - it's gonna look like the climax of a Harry Potter movie where the creatures shrivel in the sun," writes Jon Queally of Common Dreams in an article about more potential transparency regarding dark money and who's providing it.

Oh but wait there's a catch. As one poster responds: "People - rich or poor have the opportunity to support their political cause - mine or theirs, but when the dollars are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars - either through personal or corporate accounts, this should be revealed. Doesn't appear that this decision moves us much further in that direction." And there was us thinking the Supreme court had actually tried to do something to thwart the complete monetization of political power. Dream on.

The Kavanaugh Nomination: The Hard Right's push to rewrite the Constitution

Adherents of the "originalist" hard-right movement appear to share a quest to, among other things, permanently quash progressivism and actually change the constitution to reflect a Messianic vision and execution of iron rightwing authoritarianism over the US. The Federalist Society, who pick the judicial nominations for the new era Trumpist Republicans, have focused on capturing the supreme court as soon as possible and for ever.

Their planned election of Brett Kavanaugh plays a crucial role in their master gameplan which right now includes garnering a majority of supreme court judges and make possible such drastic changes which will effectively impose an ultra right westernized version of Sharia law onto the US.

The weirdness and outrages perpterated recently by the right-wing and Federalist Society [like many hard right organizations the name is deceptive] is not haphazard madness, other than perhaps aspects of Trump's own declining faculties and mental illness. It's a concerted long term plan and it's coming towards fruition. The organized far right feel they must get control of the supreme court this time around before the post-election "real" [progressive and "non-bought"] Dems can do anything to stop this multi-pronged assault. For progressive and mainstream secular America this will mean giving ground that may not ever be recovered.

That's why defending what's left of our democracy, already unacceptably gerrymandered, is something every American of every generation must struggle to protect and restore on an ongoing basis. It never stops. An extremely organized and financially overwhelming multi-billionaires backed Federalist Society [like many hard right organizations the name is deceptive] onslaught will not voluntarily cease their goal to permanently impose their distorted and misguided vision onto the rest of us.

Fascism doesn't happen overnight in a sudden secretly concocted coup, though violent repression will be an ingredient at, and beyond, the endgame. It happens incrementally and then speeds up just as the majority are realizing something is very wrong. By then, it's often too late, as a previous generation of Germans, Italians, Spaniards, and Japanese, to name just four, discovered. The price, for them, was catastrophic.

On the bright side, millions of lost lives later, the darkside didn't hold sway forever. But the price to a nation that's been "fashed" will be colossal and it could include not just brutal repression of individual liberty but also your very life, and those of your kids and grandkids. Welcome to the battle.

Utterly lacking in compassion or empathy, Kavanaugh refuses to shake hand of father of slain daughter shot at Parkland.


Goons manhandle woman protesting rape by Mormon priest

Mormonism is in crisis with plummeting attendance, as reported by one its journalistic members, who especially mentioned young males with their pesky propensity to look stuff up on the internet, yet this controversial fringe Xtian spin-off group appears to be repressing revelations by members outraged at sexual assault allegedly perpetrated by Mormon authority figures, as disturbing reportage and footage publicized by Raw Story spread to the Washington Post and beyond, reinforcing the horrific dangers of rampant abuse perpetrated by American pseudo and mainstream "Christianity" in all its various and usually bizarre guises. Aforementioned journalist Jana Riess also recently linked a 2012 document via Mormonleaks on the same general topic as this post. Jana writes: "This two-page document seems to chronicle only about two months in 2012, which of course begs the question: how many more such memos are out there, detailing the Church's attempts to hide, obfuscate, delay or otherwise deny justice to victims? So filing reports like this is a kind of quarterly thing, just business as usual?" Scary bunch. Keep your kids safe.

August 2018

Trump & Republicans eating it

Another wacky week ends with an ABC/WaPo poll that says just 36% approving of tosspot Trump's job performance. Even Fox were in damage control as the poll they commissioned did not give them the fake pro-Tramp numbers they wanted and showed even rightwing nutcases are starting to smell a presidential rat.

Meanwhile, in fake news land: "There's two types of people. Those who watch porn and those who lie about watching porn," babbled pro-Trump Republican conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, inadvertently admitting to falling into both categories after his cell phone screen got caught showing trans porn by his "doc cam" peering down onto his desk from behind. This time he didn't have to fake being entertaining. I guess there's now a third group of which he is the leader: those that watch trans porn and don't manage to keep it a secret.

Republican candidate for Florida governor, Ron DeSanitise's first address following Andrew Gillum's Democratic primary victory to be Ron D's rival for the same job included a racial slur. A look at the 'Scummer's recent past catches him hanging out on a white nationalist group's Facebook site, suggesting his verbal monkey business was not accidentally uttered or just an unfortunate turn of phrase.

Going back a bit, Noam Chomsky on the amazing primary upset of recent times as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stunned the Democratic establishment.

Noose tightens as Pecker & Weisserberg roped in by R. Francis

Donald may be having a hard time keeping his pecker up these days. Publisher David Pecker has agreed to tell investigators how he turned his checkout-stand rag mag into a clearinghouse for payments for dodgy dealings. He joins Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Org finance boss, in an ever growing list of co-operators ready to expose the Commander in Thief, I mean, Chief. The list grows so fast that as soon as you upload one, it's out of date.

"The rats are leaving the ship. He [Trump] has lost Richard Gates, George Papadopoulos, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, and now David Pecker," said a guest on the MSNBC morning show near the end of the week from hell for the Orange One [Aug 19-25], presciently adding: "He'll probably lose others from the Trump Organization." Badda boom: as if on song, money man Weissy said he's ready to chirpy chirpy cheep cheep!

By the way, I've always been suspicious of the National Enquirer, not just for its notoriously unbelievable tales [so I'm told], but because I've yet to witness, after decades of shopping, anyone actually buy it, not even before the internet destroyed such tabloids' supposed, ahem, "business models".

It's like the endlessly repeating mattress outlets at strip malls covering America, always deserted. One isn't necessarily suggesting they're mostly money laundering fronts, but how many mattresses do Americans really, allegedly, need? And where have all the people gone?

New subpoena for Cohen spells big trouble for Trump family

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow did a great job explaining the low-down on how this story emerged, but props that she credits the gum shoe reporters at the New York Times who, back in May, were at Albany state courthouse and realized something potentially explosive was about to ignite, which now looks set to inflame the tawdry Trumps' weaselly world.

Dozy Donald can't pardon his way out of this potential Excedrin sized headache which makes it the biggest threat that he and his family may have to face so far. It's being worked by the legal beagles of the New York state tax department, and so the bent fake president can't use his super power of the pardon to get himself or his family off the hook.

It involves the Trump's so-called, ahem, "charity" foundation. Nothing to do with money laundering or tax evasion, then.

"This week, it seems more likely that America is heading toward a gradual recovery from the trauma of the Trump presidency. For Republicans, there is a last chance over these next two months to finally show some guts and principle by separating themselves from Trump." -- David Ignatius, Aug 23, Washington Post

Weasel Wednesday: Wittes warning for Trump

Trump can't fire his way out of this one, writes Benjamin Wittes of The Atlantic. Cohen's Tuesday bombshell of fingering the deranged Orange orifice has the weaselly POTUS in a very serious pickle.

If Trump still thinks his ticket to ride is still to spout "no collusion" he's gonna soon wish it really still was only about collusion [if he has the mental capacity to take in what just happened on Tues Aug 22]. The pressure just got way more intense than that.

Gotta love Wittes' response to Trump's tweet. DJT: "If anyone is looking for a good lawyer. I would strongly suggest that you don't retain the services of Michael Cohen!" BW: "This is the first presidential tweet I can remember with which I wholeheartedly and unreservedly agree."

"Treasonous" tawdry Trump's terrible Tuesday

August 21, 2018 is another milestone date in the tawdry, destructive, poisonous reign of a fake president beholden to foreign influence and deeply committed to the dismantling of the democracy and integrity of the United States.

Another two members of Team Trump's inner circle, deeply involved in his bent campaign and the emerging felonious violations being exposed, are going down in flames, hereafter branded as convicted criminals.

The noose tightens another notch around the meaty, weirdly orange colored neck of the occupationist fake president.

At any moment the disgusting fake leader could engage in further obstruction of justice by firing Mueller or pardoning his criminal fake "friends" like Paul Manafort [pictured], guilty on 8 counts of financial crimes, all the while as cowardly Republicans refuse to act towards impeachment of the clownish, disgusting reality TV show huckster.

Trump now has in effect become Michael Cohen's as yet un-indicted co-conspirator [get ready for that to be the catch phrase of September] in campaign and election related criminality.

It was possible again, as Robert Khuzami [Deputy US attorney, SD of New York] revealed Cohen's guilty plea, to be an American and refilled with pride and a strengthened belief that our nation has the possibility of saving itself from the darkness of the current Trumpian Republican corruption, dishonesty, and probably much much worse.

What could go more wrong, all on this mind-bending day? As if all of this wasn't enough, Omarosa then went on to MSNBC's grating Chris Mathews program where she revealed a tape of Michael Cohen getting on a plane. Huh?

What if the Pope took a truth serum?

What if the Pope was given a truth serum for a day? Here's what the press might report under such a scenario: "The Roman Catholic Pontiff today announced the end of the Roman Catholic Church worldwide. Speaking from a balcony to a crowd of worshippers, he said: 'We have failed utterly to act as Jesus taught us. Our priests have committed sexual abuse crimes against children all over the world, and the Church itself has covered up those crimes for centuries. We cannot call ourselves Men of god, for we have long acted as representatives of Satan. The Roman Catholic Church is no more. It is hopelessly morally bankrupt and is now defunct. We encourage the faithful to abandon their faith, as I have done today." [Announcement inspired by Mineral Man].

That said, stories of non-Roman "Christian" child abuse and cruelty by pastors, officials, mega church hucksters, evangelical used-car salesmen, cult leaders, Witnesses, hit the global news in a constant stream, mostly [but not restricted to] often horrific accounts from the USA.

Why are Trump political hires so immoral?

As the Trump regime lurches from one scandal, dogfight, and lawsuit to another, the Washington Post asks why, oh why, oh why-oh? "We've certainly never had a president who was so eager to tell everyone that his administration is a wretched hive of scum and villainy." Indeed.

Sacha uses "pervert detector" on Roy Moore

Master of disguise Sacha Baron Cohen uses new techology, a "pervert detector", on unsuccessful Republican Congress candidate Roy Moore, who's bid was buffeted by sexual misconduct allegations, and who subsequently threatened fire and brimstone if the Sacha clip was ever aired. It ran on Showtime.

In "some more news": If you don't want to be called a fascist, stop supporting Donald Trump, a fascist.


July 2018

Trump's last few months before becoming a lame-duck?

Amazing how rapidly the November elections are approaching. Will the destructive Trump agenda effectively become history if the Democrats win the mid-terms, or will lame Donald "duck" his defeat by imminently declaring war on Iran and martial law as the final avenue to retain and cement his hold on power, something unpopular right-wing politicians globally do [that is, invade a neighbor or start a war when they see their power and/or popularity slipping away]? Either way, the repercussions are gonna be gargantuan.

Trumpism = Fascism....
Why Trumpism is just a synonym for fascism.

World Cup morphs into English football season

The World Cup 2018 is over, and among all the terrific stuff we also witnessed a clutch of world class goals. And now the English football season is already upon us, and the question everyone is asking is: will Spurs buy any star players? And should they? They've done amazingly well under Poch by gelling the existing talent. But that doesn't satiate the addiction to new shiny toys.

Truth hurts Trump

Ex-White House stenographer says truth bothers Trump.

Meanwhile the anticipated mega-fine by the EU on Google has come to pass. Too little too late say the experts but if it's put to good use then it's a still a nice addition into the piggy bank of the last remaining global bloc that actually fights for its citizens' freedom. In tangent, Japan cements a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU as Trump's pro-Russia but anti-allies version of Amerika gets further marginalized.

Trump collusionists But-hurt as Feds nab Maria
Maria Butina's arrest around the time that Trump was groveling to Putin in Helsinki is a decisive new step in the collusion noose that is tightening around the meaty but gurgling neck of the fake president and his Republiscum cultists. Whilst Trump's endless tweets and words continue to help build a case against him, this is the most significant step against the occupationist forces that has arisen this month so far, and ties in the NRA as a pipeline for Russian money laundering into support for the collusionist Trump regime.

"Treasonous" Trump sides with Russia against U.S. over meddling

The poodle has yapped his support for his master and handler Vladimir Putin, indicating he chooses to trust the Russian leader's lies over the findings of the US intelligence agencies. "Trump just colluded with Russia. Openly."

This is what happens when a president of the United States appears to actively support a foreign country to deliberately harm the nation's actual democratic system in order to further his own personal interests and boost his own ego.

This is not fiction. This just happened before our very eyes. We are approaching America's "D Day", do or die. Either we put an end to this occupationist fake presidency as soon as possible or this country will have to accept it just lost the war for control of its own democracy and freedom, and is now under the control of Russia. This is what it's come to. There may be a Russian invasion of eastern Europe before we sort it out. The Republicans care only about saving their hides in the mid-terms and care nothing for their country or the well-being of the world.

"Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of high crimes & misdemeanors. It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin." -- John Brennan, former CIA director.

"I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful." Jeff Flake, July 16.


Day/DateSEMI-FINALScore
Tu July 10France vs Belgium1:0
Wd July 11England vs Croatia1:2

Croatia nicks it
Spurs star Trippier scores
Semifinal, July 11, 2018
England 1
Croatia 2
FINAL SCORE

FULL TIME: England, down to ten men with an injury and no subs left, bow out at the semifinal stage to a professional and talented Croatia, a small country who typically punch well above their weight, who go though to meet France in the final.

30min EXTRA TIME: OK into the final 15min segment of extra [tie-breaker] time, and, heartbreak, Croatia score [Mario Mandzukic with an assist from the ever threatening Perisic, surely man of the match].

Brilliant header from Stones cleared off the line. So close to England joy, denied. England have steadied the ship and all square by the time of the additional time break but not before another big save by Jordan Pickford, his 4th in the game.

Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose and Dier have come on as subs joining for most of the additional tie-breaking half hour to give Spurs almost half the total of all the England talent on display [Kane, Alli, Dier, Rose, Trippier], and if Walker hadn't left for Man City it would be pretty much "England Hotspurs". Will this extra 30 minutes develop into the edge of the seat stuff of the regulation second half or will it calm down a bit?

Well this is knife-edge stuff. Could go either way but England need to mentally and physically re-calibrate and regroup because they were overrun since conceding the equalizer. Not on ly that, Croatia looked like they're just getting warmed up, England look punch drunk and spent. But things could change. We 'ope.

2nd HALF OVER: England all over the shop, including moments of actual panic like a dangerous back pass intercepted. It's stressful stuff to watch for Englanders as it turns into Pickford vs Croatia. The England outfielders are are in shock. Seriously weird.

Since the equalizer this game has exploded. The tenseness of the crowd has turned into fever pitch. England need to find a way to stop the almost total Croatian dominance since the equalizer, including Perisic hitting the post.

England croaks, Croatia equalizes. The opponents have shown they know how to play, crisp passing, good vision, know how to create space, and it led to an impressive headed equalizer from Perisic. Walker having taken a bad knock may have contributed to his inability to foil the scoring header, but Croatia never looked worried about being a goal down, they seemed like they knew they had what it took to turn it around, and they did.

END OF 1st HALF. Talking of Kieran Trippier, he scores from a free-kick within five minutes! "Bending, dipping, over the wall..." "Such precision...." "Kieran Beckham!"

This Cup final has catapulted Harry Kane into global household fame even beyond his already massive status among football fans the world over. Tottenham's Kieran Trippier and Dele Alli also in the starting line-up.

Exciting times, let's hope it's a more stimulating match than the other semifinal.

It's kicked off. The biggest match England's played in a very long time and a chance to make the World Cup final, with France having made it already by beating Belgium yesterday.


UN Human Rights Council alarm over US Gov violating citizens' rights

Philip Alston [pictured lower left] of the UN Council on Human Rights highlighted the grave danger to democracy and the civil and political rights of United States citizens resulting from US government policies undermining human rights. Anticipating this warning, White House weasel Nikki Hailey has of course announced that the US is leaving the Council, defending the US government's present position that, among other things, there is no human right to food [it's just a nice thing if people do happen to have access to food].

"The president is a national security threat." -- Ed McMullin, former CIA operative.

How Buddhist meditation kept the Thai boys calm in the cave.

A Twitter hate storm goaded by right-wing media against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was met with a cool as you like response from what could be the future first woman president, presently still in her 20s: "Surprise! Thank you for this amazing educational opportunity. You can, in fact, pursue an agenda of healthcare, fair wages, and education while supporting small businesses. Having mega-corporations pay their fair share means you can give small mom & pops a break". Young socialist takes on the aging right-wing trolls and wins effortlessly, to the acclaim of twitter. Maybe there is a red wave coming, but not the one the fake occupationist president had in mind.

Trump voters are furious at the viciousness in the way people make fun of them.


EPA swamp-dog self-dealer Pruitt exits

Just one needed blow against GOP corruption: the most unpopular man since Donald Trump, the swamp-dog of self-dealing as head of the EPA Scott Pruitt exits. One more scum down, many more to go. "Scott Pruit is resigning in order to spend more money with his family," tweeted Alexandra Petri. Taxpayer money. Graft money. Environment busting money. Meanwhile the fake president lauds his work. I thought the orange blob was supposed to be fighting corruption? Instead, it's running rampant under the far-right Republican rip-off.

Now on to "stuff the Quake watches". Is Jordan Klepper far from finished? Or is it over. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, the unforgettable utterance "you are killing my grandfather" can probably be tracked back to this BritCom from the mists of yesteryear. Although I haven't yet tracked that specific line being said on the show so far, it'll give me an excuse to watch more than two episodes.

Definitely ahead of its time in its own weird and wonderful way. What seemed like hastily assembled filler, to prop up commercials when it came out, seems to have become a left-field cult smash. Most ethnic viewers are surprisingly enthusiastic, often the biggest fans, since it became accessible worldwide by the likes of Youtube and overseas cable/sat channels looking to devour ever more "retro" content. Even big on Bollywood.


The Spur's World Cup [Quarter-final match-ups above]
Spurs players spot kick their way to triumph
Spurs boast Alli, Trippier, Kane, Dier, Rose for Eng., Sanchez for Col.
July 03, 2018 (World Cup 2018)
England 1
Colombia 1
match highlights
Moscow, Russia. by Rob Francis

PENALTY SHOOT OUT: Uh oh. Here we go again, England....... [intense moments].... Tottenham players execute incredible spot kicks -- Eric Dier kills 'em off, Harry and Kieran also score!

Glory glory Tottenham Hotspur and England! Absolute joy. Amazing. Well played, lads! Special extra mention to the incredible penalty save by Everton's Jordan Pickford [the keeper turned down by next door neighbors Liverpool FC before joining the Toffees two years later from Sunderland for GBP30m].

Final 15 min segment: Come on you Spurs, I mean, England. This right now doesn't look great for England, who look deflated. One thing is the Spurs players did a great job bouncing back from adversity this last season, so maybe the Tottenham players can inspire the other clubs' players to turn this around. An "emotional mangle" says the Scottish commentator.

Vardy gets a shot in but not a problem for Colombia's keeper. England seem a bit lost now. Right now I'd say 60%-40% win probability in favor of Colombia. That said, Danny Rose almost scored!

Additional 30 mins of play: Spot kicks here we come. Guardian in-play: "You know who's lovin' this. Sweden. That's who's lovin' this." Momentum is dramatically with the south Americans. England manager gambled on taking the flair of Alli off for the hoped for stability of Dier. A gamble that didn't pay off but all is not lost, but we've been driven back to Dunkirk at this point. [Update/apology: in the end, though, hats off to Gareth Southgate, because Dier went on to score the winning penalty in the shoot-out.]

Are we going to bring on another Spur in the form of Danny Rose? Yes. How often do Spurs players practice penalty kicks? We'll soon find out.

Even Falcao has come out of a deep coma for Colombia and that's bad news. Right now, if he comes fully alive we're burned.

Second half is done. A penalty from Kane puts Inglaterra in the driver's seat.

Colombia want to play rough, THFC's Kieran Trippier happy to oblige. Guardian in-play: "Colombia are putting on some pressure but their lack of a high-calibre final ball is plain. They are missing Rodriguez badly."

Spur for Spur: Eric Dier replaces Dele Alli. Cuadrado breaks free from former Spur Kyle Walker but balloons way over the crossbar. Their golden chance just happened. Hopefully the last one from these thugs, but there'll be more of both foul play and a chance or two, no doubt. Bye bye Colombia. Don't come back soon. Good luck with your newly elected Trumpesque populist government. Keep the drugs coming for the Republicans.

F*** it. They just scored from a corner! In stoppage time.

First half highlight: Tottenham pair Trippier with the deep run and cross, and Kane with the header, give Colombia a scare about 15 mins in. No score at half time. More reactions as they happen.


Oh wow. Did you see Japan vs Belgium?

Oh wow. Belgium and Japan in match of the tourney? Which, on the subject of Japan, makes me grateful I'm a dual American citizen by not being Japanese, because they won't allow it. There's a move, especially by younger Japanese or spouses thereof, to try to get their homeland to get with the program in this era of cosmopolitanism. Since the Japanese population is dwindling by not reproducing, sheer necessity may prod them into the brave new world, better sooner than later.

Meanwhile, the match is over. Japan, two goals up, lose 2:3. Despite a series of amazing quick reaction saves from the sometimes erratic Japanese goalkeeper, star studded Belgium powered back -- just in time -- with the winning goal from ex-Spur Nacer Chadli. So Tottenham Hotspur's Belgian defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen [who also scored] live to fight another day. The announcer/DJ seemed to like Gala's "Freed from desire" as the musical way to celebrate, but I thought she was Italian-NewYorker, if that matters. Oh wait, it went to #1 in Belgium.

With world class players including Manchester City's De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany, Manchester United's Lukaku, and Chelsea's Eden Hazard, alongside THFC's contingent of Belgians [which also includes the hugely popular midfielder Mousa Dembele], I had them pegged as the dark horse winner of the World Cup. But perceived as a small and unglamorous country, with perhaps only techno and trance fans recognizing the amazingness of its citizens, this thrilling win is getting them the attention they deserved a lot earlier. Sorry to lose the last Asian nation Japan, though.

More reaction soon.

Was the goal that majorly helped France beat Argentina [to go thru to the quarter-finals] perhaps the best goal of the tournament? Well, of course there have been some absolute crackers and otherwise wondrous goals to behold, but this is gonna be a lot of people's pick so far. Benjamin Pavard unleashes a stunner and he's one of the new heroes of the French [although of course Kylian Mbappe's amazing game for Les Bleus garnered even more media hype]. France seems to have a pipeline of many up-'n-coming talents and that bodes very well for the nation's futbol future, even as so many of the other national giants of the game [Spain, Argentina, and Germany to name but three] have fallen by the wayside before even the quarter-finals, with Italy failing to even qualify.

Softening the blow

Softening the blow of another Trumpian Supreme Court judge being the outcome of justice Anthony Kennedy's resignation, there was some excellent news that could herald a true blue turning of the tide.

One was the primary election of the anti-establishment Democrat, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in the Bronx. The other, less heralded but potentially a game-changing result that could tip Florida blue, was the election of an Anglo Democrat, Eileen Higgins, in Miami's Little Havana in what has been, since the 80's, a massively pro-Republican Cuban-American neighborhood that could be entering a political sea change. Now, we see that the Democratic party, even fielding a non-Cuban candidate, won the support of the rapidly diversifying district. This trend should accelerate even more as older ultra-right anti-Castro ex-pats die out, replaced by heavily pro-blue central American immigrants.

June 2018

Argentina in dramatic late win to go thru

Just caught the last 15 minutes of Argentina's thrilling late win over Nigeria. It'll be a heck of match-up against France in the start of the knockout stages. What a winning goal from Marcos Rojo in almost the last few minutes. Along with Mexico's unexpected win over Germany, these have been the two most atmospheric moments of the World Cup so far, admittedly I haven't been able to watch it all.

From a Tottenham Hotspur viewpoint, the sensational Hueng-min Son goal wasn't enough to keep South Korea alive but it shows, yet again, the explosive talent of this player, who unfortunately has national conscription looming which could shatter his career.

The other highlights for Spurs include the success of England and Belgium in the group stages with both national sides incorporating key players who ply their club trade for Tottenham. Also, France thru to the round of 16 everyone is talking about, with THFC's Hugo Lloris in goal. Lionel Messi knows it's gonna be tough to get one past him.

Republinazis called out at Mexican restuarants

The evil architect of the Republican's policy of child snatching and concentration camps for minors, Trump's alt-right handyman Stephen Miller is so cowardly that he hides behind Homeland Security spokeswoman Kirstjen Nielsen. Now both share the same distiction of being named and shamed as they smugly dined at..... Mexican restaurants. This, along with the national outcry against the loathsome White House occupationist government's internment "policy", precipitated a backdown by the dishonest fake president, who previously lied about not being able to act without Democrats.

This, along with all the other grotesqueness of the current Republican regime, is changing the political landscape of upcoming generations. The Democratic Socialists, who shamed fascist Nielsen, is currently the fastest growing American political group.

The mysogynistic Christian right "remained silent and let the babies suffer. We won't ever forget," writes SemDem at Daily Kos.

Trump's new concentration camps, apart from exposing the ethical and moral bankruptcy of the American right, is costing the US taxpayer more than half a million dollars per day, not including all the expenses that graft and corruption adds to the bill.

Meanwhile, lost in the shuffle and chaos [amazingly], is a failed effort by the Repugs, this time anyway, to slash Medicare and social security to pay for the tax cut for the extremely wealthy. Any wonder people are not happy with the occupationists led by "six lies a day" Trump.

England & Mexico "glory in the global glare"

Mexico brought the World Cup group stages to life with a shock 1:0 win over world champions Germany. Riveting and atmospheric match.

A day later, Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane took only minutes to notch his first goal, a great way to start England's opener against Tunisia, in which Kane played alongside Spurs teammates Delle Alli and Kieran Trippier. It would have been four Tottenham players in the starting line-up if Kyle Walker [who just conceded a penalty] hadn't moved to moneybags Manchester City. So Tunisia level from the spot, and much of the rest of the match was England passing around to try to create chances, whilst Tunisia, confident they could get even a win from this, counter-attacked.

Well turns out Harry to the rescue -- his late headed goal wins it for England. Tough game, England not firing on all cylinders, Tunisia who at one time recently were above England in the FIFA world rankings, so not the obvious result that some automatically expected. But if you leave Harry, the prince of poaching, clear in front of goal, you pay the price.

Outcry as Trump rips families apart

What are the American people saying against Trump regarding separating families and placing children in roach and rat infested concentration camps with entire walls covered by Hitlerian blow-up photos of Fuehrer Trump?

The resistance and strength of disagreement, along with compassion for those being so cruelly treated, was palpable from the vast majority of respondents on public radio street interviews conducted by member stations, this from a network usually muzzled and neutered since the infusion of blood money from the extreme right-wing Koch brothers.

"My Dad, who was a veteran, would tell him, 'This is not what we fought for in WWII, so that Americans could go down the same path as Nazi Germany,'" says poster Clio2 at the Daily Kos.

Meanwhile the demented right-wing apologists, unable to mount any kind of moral or ethical argument for Trump's crazed insanity, claim, as does Ann Coulter, that the children separated from their families at the border are "child actors". Beyond words.

Lock 'em up!

Faith in the survival of beleagured American democracy and justice is dramatically boosted, sending the pro-Trump Republimafia into denial and panic at the jailing of the fake President's campaign manager, whose grotesque mafia-style acts of tampering with the course of justice left a judge no alternative but to put this grinning goon behind bars. The tentacles of justice are squeezing ever more tightly around the necks of the traitorous Republimafia top brass, with Trump himself audibly tight throated and desperate sounding.

In other heart warming news, Politico reports how the Feds reassemble shredded docs and access encrypted messages from Michael Cohen's electronic devices.

Starting to love America again. This nation apparently is not rolling over, or so it seems of late.

World Cup kicks off

The 2018 World Cup kicked-off with a landslide 5:0 win for Russia over Saudi Arabia, hours after the 2026 hosting award was announced and the "USA Mexico Canada" bid was the winner. Luckily, Trump won't be around any more and our neighbors will have forgiven us, and it's all a sizzling success. In a related podcast American fiasco Roger Bennett discusses the World Cup and America's relationship with the biggest sport in the world.

The Buyback economy credit bubble

Steven Pearlstein in the Washington Post: "Welcome to the Buyback Economy. Today's economic boom is driven not by any great burst of innovation or growth in productivity. Rather, it is driven by another round of financial engineering that converts equity into debt. It sacrifices future growth for present consumption. And it redistributes even more of the nation's wealth to corporate executives, wealthy investors and Wall Street financiers."

"Corporate executives and directors are apparently bereft of ideas and the confidence to make long-term investments. Rather than using record profits, and record amounts of borrowed money, to invest in new plants and equipment, develop new products, improve service, lower prices or raise the wages and skills of their employees, they are "returning" that money to shareholders. Corporate America, in effect, has transformed itself into one giant leveraged buyout."

Spurs players in the World Cup

Twelve Tottenham Hotspur players are expected to play in World Cup 2018 according to Oli Stein, Spurs fan and American rules football player, at Realsport.com, identifying these six as the ones to watch: Christian Eriksen [Denmark], Harry Kane [England], Dele Alli [England], Toby Alderweireld [Belgium], Heung-min Son [S Korea], and Jan Vertonghen [Belgium].

The Ringer reminds us of why club football is far more compelling than the World Cup to those of us who follow the game on an ongoing basis, whilst still tuning into the international scene if only for this tournament and the UEFA European Championship [next one starts Friday, June 12, 2020 if anyone is still around and not overly glowing from radioactive fallout].

Swing voters

More stuff happens in a week in the late "2000 and teens" era than used to happen in about three or four months back before the second decade of the new century, and it's not just the online and media explosion or irresistible clickbait that makes it seem that way. That said, those factors are key contributors to the event overload phenomenon.

So it's almost impossible in a short period of time or a few paragraphs to begin to cover the myriad topics that we humans create and have to deal with in even a few brief days.

And all I ever wanted to do was play tennis and watch a World Cup. But even the latter is largely spoiled by corrupt FIFA allowing a inappropriate countries, including the deeply dysfunctional fake-democracy Russia, to bribe their way into hosting the damn thing.

In a quest to find some even mildly positive news, one can point to the recent Irish national pro-choice decision which has put pressure on both Westminster and the medieval right-wing local government of "Norn Iron" to follow suit and let the people of Ulster decide the issue with a referendum in their part of the island, too.

In other mildly good news the USA's most influential state, California, resisted a local "red wave" even if a "blue" one didn't particularly materialize, whilst elsewhere in the nation some significant victories were won including Ralph Northam's inspiring triumph in Virginia.

Meanwhile a growing alarm at the international isolationism of the Trump regime, and the GOP's willingness to stab our historical allies in the back, is formenting the seeds of global resistance against the demented mindlessness of the current White House squatters, which in turn is likely to increase opposition at all levels domestically.

The big miscalculation by Trump is that by "playing to his base" he can continue to maintain power for himself and his far right lunacy, when in actuality it's a tiny pool of swing voters in a small amount of geographical races that wield the awesome [in its literal sense] power of deciding America's fate. Those are the ones politicans need to appeal to, and those invaluable beings appear to be a fickle and spontaneous bunch who get very little scrutiny, and mostly probably don't even know themselves who they are, or why they're so important to the very fate of this distressed planet.

The solid bases of either party are not the people who ultimately make the difference. The only way they can be important is if you can significantly demoralize the other side's base to the point of not bothering to vote any more. Enter..... Vlad and Donald!

Where have all the entrepreneurs gone?

A shrinking pool of mega companies are strangling choice for products with concomitant consequences including lower employee pay with higher workload, higher prices, and diminishing competition and research. With the judicial system bowing to political power and strengthening corporate power in recent decades, that's unlikely to change anytime soon, instead, it will grow.

Meanwhile, while the kids may be be abandoning Facebook as too fogeyish, one of those big companies, Google, is continuing to attract them in droves, through You Tube.

May 2018

Eire batters Xtian alt right

Deeplhy disturbing Christian behavior that were intially mindbending to process, stretching back into history, of orphans in church care being horrifically abused, forced to labor as slaves, even those small children killed and buried in mass graves, has not endeared the cruel oppressive Roman Catholic church in the minds of modern and diverse Irish citizens, and in what some see as a pent-up backlash and rejection of a corrupt church and its influence over fawning neo-conservative politicians, the abortion ban has been rejected in a tidal wave of change described as a "quiet revolution" by its visionary leader and prime minister Leo Varadkar, who added: "the people have spoken."

The New York Times reported the reaction of Gail McElroy, professor of politics at Trinity College Dublin: "This is devastating for the Roman Catholic hierarchy. It is the final nail in the coffin for them. They're no longer the pillar of society, and their hopes of re-establishing themselves are gone." This is a true sea change. Once a theocracy goes into a decline and loses its political authority, it's irreversible. This will also happen in the US, but it's more like a gradual erosion. Seems the Irish are joining Britain in a barely contained contempt of organized Christianity.

Staunch EU member Ireland is now looked up to in admiration by progressives on both sides of the Atlantic as it bucks the neo-right populism, the chaos, the fatigued despondency engulfing both British and American socio-political landscapes. Bravo Ireland!

Welsh wonderman steals the Euro Champs show

Former Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale, on as a a sub, makes a quick and transformational impact on 2018's European Champions final with a spectacular overhead kick to put Real Madrid ahead of Liverpool for the second time in a final that lives up to soccer's biggest club event, rarely the case. The Welsh attacking midfielder has come a long way since his Southampton FC youth academy days. Bale scored another to seal victory for the Spanish giants.

Whilst Real, along with the likes of Manchester United, are guilty of poaching some of Tottenham's best players over the years, the north London side are basking in excellent news of their own as talented Argentine manager Mauricio Pochettino signs a new deal and will continue to lead Spurs as the famous club moves into its brand new [as yet unfinished but truly impressive] stadium to perform more magic in just a few short months, following closely on from the World Cup.

Meanwhile congratulations to Fulham FC on their playoff win over Aston Villa to clinch promotion into England's lucrative top division allowing visitors to London two "must see" footballing venues in the capital hosting top flight football -- obviously Spurs' new stadium as #1, but also Fulham's cosy riverside hang-out is like taking a trip back in time to one of the most picturesque urban sporting locations in the land. And no silly Michael Jackson statue there any more, just the cool Cottage. One of the Dalai Lama's favorite clubs, or at least, the people who steer him around England when visiting.

EU wants to tame Facebook

Walled online communities have never held any appeal to people of an independent mind, but the public at large have collectively sold their soul to the likes of Facebook. The Euro Union is not FB's biggest fan, at least not in the site's present incarnation that runs roughshod over subscribers exposed by increasingly weakened US public protection. Starting May 25th, Europeans can withdraw their consent for personal data being used and demand that any company forget them.

Not so fast. Facebook moved all its data to America to escape regulations. But not so fast again. The EU is said to mull soaking them financially [they already fined FB $122m over disclosures in the WhatsApp transaction], although a recent meeting between FB's leader and the EU was regarded as farcical by some observers who felt the interview was too sheepish.

Americans may benefit from the Union's privacy crusade only tangentially so far, but if the European community gets tougher, as conjectured, its members could wind up flush with $$$ to, say, upgrade their transport systems and infrastructure, something US'ers could really do with, but are unlikely to ever get. They may have to forego their non-existent tram ride into the non-existent pedestrian town center, perhaps hang out online with their imaginary friends instead.

Cohen swamp account ignites pay to play scandal

Michael "Fixer" Cohen allegedly boasted "I'm crushing it" as corporate and shell money poured into his possible "pay to play" donation account to get into Trump's favor. Washington Post article: "The story is straightforward enough. After Trump's shocking win, corporations suddenly realized they couldn't rely on traditional lobbying channels for access, and Cohen raced to capitalize on it. He overtly marketed himself as the president's fixer to potential clients, and presented himself to companies as someone who was knowledgeable about Trump's, er, /ing on questions important to their bottom line."

Amazingly enough, slush and shell accounts can be entirely permissable in the US, another indication that politics is bought and paid for in modern America, if anyone was still in doubt. For Cohen, it's certainly easier and much bigger money than hustling New Jersey taxi medallions.

But as Sam Seder asks: where did any outflowing money go? Among many other questions, another that begs an answer: is Cohen a registered lobbyist? Oh sorry, AT&T and fellow opportunists weren't "lobbying". Got it. And yet the swamp, more than ever, spins out of control. You, dear federal taxpayer, get to foot the bill for the corrupt Republicans' lavish lifestyle while "consultants" and White Housers rake in the dough. Internet, phone bills, prescription drugs too high? They sold your info? They "lost" your info? Tough ****.

Pay to play.

Public DNA raises issues

The California East area rapist [a former cop], also known as the Golden State killer, most prolific serial predator in US history, just got caught [April 25] after decades in the shadows. This new way of working with DNA could blow open many more cold cases.

A Reddit poster posits the question: "Should those in law enforcement be required to submit DNA samples as a part of employment?" Apparently they already do in England, according to jessicamshannon who thinks "it's a very important step for law enforcement to take and very necessary."

April 2018

Repugs still complicit in Trump fiasco

"GOP leaders stand silent as President Trump trashes the rule of law, attacks federal judges and declares America's free press the enemy of the people. These lap dogs even remain muzzled as younger Americans are chained to a future of crippling debt." -- Joe Scarborough, Washington Post

April 9: Trump's Black Monday

Every citizen who's proud to be American and has been horrified at the corruption, criminality, and even possible collusion [or even treason] since the Trump election campaign and subsequent Republican election "victory", is breathing a massive collective sigh of relief. It's almost euphoric. It's Donald Trump's Black Monday, as the FBI seizes records of the Grump's personal lawyer in three simultaneous pre-dawn raids on Cohen assets.
Trump, Manafort, Flynn and others have to be mentally incompetent. How else can you explain that they got involved in presidential politics knowing they had all those skeletons in their closets? Put yourself in Trump's shoes. You have spent your career laundering money, raping women, and dealing with criminals, and so far you've gotten away with it. So what's your next move? Place yourself in the biggest spotlight in the world and invite your criminal accomplices to join you. Subject yourself to the most intense media scrutiny in history. What could go wrong?  
wizbing, forum poster mediamatters.org

DMD of Scottsdale Arizona comments on an article in the New York Times: "When the history of this period is written, Robert Mueller will go down as an American hero, whose integrity, fearlessness and commitment to the rule of law will serve as an example to us all."

The scandals and revelations are now coming thick and fast as the outraged Grump is shooting his mouth off more than ever, cornered like a guilty right-wing rat [no offense to actual rodents].

Orwellian Fake News script

Forum poster Ongoing responding to an article in the Washington Post entitled 'The real problem with Sinclair's fake news script' wrote: "Western oligarchs like the Mercers and the Kochs are making common cause with Russian oligarchs to destroy democratic governance and turn the United States and other democratic countries into Latin American style oligarchies with a very small segment of very rich people, the majority of the population destitute and no middle class. Sinclair is a hard right propaganda organization.... the next step in a dictatorial propaganda ministry."

Meanwhile, the Blue Wave washed away another Republican election hope on Tuesday [April 3] when Democrat leaning Rebecca Dallet convincingly won a Wisconsin Supreme Court race by over 11 points.

March 2018

Trumpism: brainless, sinister, clownish

"There is nothing more freeing than telling the truth, and it must be done, again and again, by those of us who refuse to be absorbed into this brainless, sinister, clownish thing called Trumpism, by those of us who refuse to overlook the fools, frauds and fascists attempting to glide along in his slipstream into respectability." -- Mona Charen, booed by "fellow" conservatives.

Meanwhile, Wolf PAC has persuaded a handful of "blue" states to request an Article V convention with the hope that it will reform campaign finance law.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee on the Internet. He invented it, what does he think of it now?

The kids are alright & they're all that's left

There is great news amid the carnage of the Trumpian wrecking ball that has placed the United States' environment, social fabric, democracy, healthcare, education, and soon its economy, on life support.

That good news is that, for all the media control by the billionaires and the right wing military-industrial cartel, for all the capture of social media by hostile foreign actors, the youth of America has not only survived the 24/7 brainwashing but is providing the beacon of liberty and safety that could inspire the rest of us to get America out of the distorted, nepotistic, and corrupt nightmare it's degenerated into.

Impressively, its not a generation of college aged youth like it was in the late 60s and early 70's, these are middle and high school aged children who are bringing wisdom and a thoughtful and well articulated path to lead a nation out of despair and frustration both at the insanity and horror of the constant gun massacres, but also at the utter depravity and disfunction of the "bought and paid for" US socio-political wasteland.

It's inspiring and actually mind-blowing to see the energy and vision of a new generation rise up like never before. They feel they've got no choice. Their very lives are on the front line and the adults won't act to protect them.

The extent to which the American system is able to be salvaged at this juncture is of course in question. Taking the money out of politics isn't on the horizon, though we must continue to fight its corrosive effects. But the kids have shown that accepting our fate is an option that leads to wholesale slaughter.

USA obesity crisis almost 10 times worse than Japan

Fat people in Japan are not very common. In most USA communities they're everywhere in plentiful quantity.

Why do Japanese citizens seemingly have little problem looking like normal humans whereas the US, and the UK for that matter, struggle with their weight [present company often included]. "What I've learned" youtube channel has some observations.

Mad oh numbers for Rachel

MSNBC evening host Rachael Maddow is now one of the hottest properties on TV. Not just cable, but the whole works.

Whilst right-wing trolls trumpet Fox News as the #1 "news" channel [albeit usually a narrow margin, usually over MSNBC], the right as usual don't tell the real meat of the story, that Fox's "set in their ways" geriatric demographic is of far less interest to advertisers than the younger and early midlife adults which Maddow's program delivers in droves.

And now she's not only been scoring regular leading viewership numbers among cable shows, but she's recently been threatening to break into the Top 10 of all television offerings [hitting #12 at the time of writing], beyond just scooping up cable's most prized demographic.

And now back to Scousers [Liverpudlians] behaving badly. Former Liverpool star and current TV futbol pundit Jamie Carragher gobs on a troll [or actually the troll's daughter in the passenger seat]. UK males behaving badly. Wag response: "Jamie did not spit, that's how a scouser talks." Ouch!.

Guns, Hicks, Kushner, Carson, & Nunberg

The classic Sam Nunberg meltdown on MSNBC.

The tide is noticeably turning against the occupationist Trumpists and it seems even his handler has given up on dirty Don who's always behaved as if highly compromised by his idol.

The Russians nonetheless scored a huge hit on these United States by getting their poodle elected, and even the most cursory surf through the political internet reveals the hostile botnicks and troll farms are still active, though not promoting the Grabber much any more. Their horses are now the likes of the NRA, fundamentalist Xtians, the Syrian poison-gas spraying regime, batty populists and mass murduring dictators, right-wing football thugs [including trained militia] with their darting eyes now lasere-beamed onto World Cup mayhem, Brexit pornmoters, anti-EU bot swarming, disruption of eastern European democracies, support of anti minority and gay organizations, pro misogyny agitation, and a host of other schills and shells.

Let's give props to the most talented writers and comedians who are providing nightly insight into the shambolic state of Republicanism and the ongoing train wreck that is the hollowed out Trumpist regime.

dhamma


lam rim
dhammatalks by thanissaro bhikku
audiodharma insight meditation center
bubbles of illusion dharma talk
jikoji zen dharma talk podcasts
"what it means to be a buddhist" [dharma talk]
shasta abbey rm daizui dharma talk podcasts
shradda tv, sri lanka

sangha

amaravati uk
hayagriva aus.
buddhist society of w.australia aus.
chattanooga insight usa
sacramento dharma center usa, three buddhist groups in one new home
austin buddhist center usa
jikoji usa
monterey bay zen center usa
tassajara usa
metta forest monastery usa
reddit buddhist forum

practice

meditation timer [download here]

buddhist global relief

"In your entire life there is only one person you need to meet and that person is your true self. The point of our practice is to meet ourself." -- dharma talk, kannon do

"To be alive and to know you're alive is the greatest miracle of all. Present moment breathing in, wonderful moment breathing out." -- thich nhat hanh

"Meditation is the key that unlocks your mind, permeating post-meditation with awareness. Wisdom arises from the still mind." -- bhante henepola gunaratana

"You are not the victim of your thoughts. You are the originator of your thoughts." -- ajahn sujato

"We can learn from nature enough to be enlightened." -- ajahn chah

"With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world." -- dalai lama

"There is no permanent self, but we have to be somebody. There is nothing to rely on. This is the hard thing we learn when we sit." -- angie boissevain, dharma talk

namo amitabha
buddham sharanam gachchami

In 2012 a study in Israel showed that meditators were less inhibited by 'cognitive rigidity': in other words, they were more open to completely new solutions to problems.

other

the benefits of buddhism
dhammakaya anthem
the buddha garden
om and om
aum
om mani padme hum
[namo tassa] bhagavato arahato sammæsambuddhassa re-add jan 2017
thai buddhist song, with voiceover
four noble truths
misunderstanding buddhism
positive psychology: catching up with ancient buddhist insight [pdf]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMGSFhXU1I8