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silicon valley USA | monterey co. USA | london UK | canaries ESP | 2018

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


June 2018

Outcry against Trump's ripping 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.

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

A day later, Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane only takes minutes to notch his first goal, coming in the nation'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. Can Lloris save it? Oh wait, he plays for Spurs and France [one of the faves to win the WC], not Spurs and England.

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.

The Right can't fight the future. Actually they can, Daily Beast, and they are, they just won't ultimately win by means of reactionary populism, and that's the only effective [though increasingly lame] horse they have.

Trump assault on America continues

"By releasing the Nunes memo, Trump betrayed the intelligence community to save his own skin." -- Phillip Carter, Slate.

The Daily DC examines the crumbling of America's institutions on the day of the release of the ill advised "Nunes memo".

January 2018

Another New Year is here

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

The man who's always correct -- Professor Allan Lichtman, and the case for impeachment.

quake's world

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

Beats
jukebox

Likeable links
daily DC
dem underground
bob cesca show, how AM radio should have sounded
washington post
raw story
little green footballs
slate
think progress
media matters
pro publica
daily kos
politico
axios
the daily beast link fixed Sept 2017
democracy forward
public citizen
vox
xe.com currency currency exchange converter
the last quiet places
mac option key symbols
annualcreditreport.com
free internet access for the city of santa clara
allcarselectric.com
plugincars.com
friendly atheist eye-opening daily accounts of the threat to the separation of church and state that America faces

Usually reliable online TV streams
euronews in english, new link may 2018
al jazeera in english
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
PRI
On point
philosophy talk [live on kalw]
on the media


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

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.
dhammaloka aus.
sacramento dharma center usa, three buddhist groups in one new home
jikoji usa
monterey bay zen center usa
tassajara usa
metta forest monastery usa
reddit buddhist forum

practice

online meditation timer

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

"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