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Stacy Alexander

 

© Stacy Alexander – 2017
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Reproduction or use of the content on this blog restricted without author’s permission.

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Stacy Alexander – ARTE CALIFORNIA – Welcome!

Fake News. Oh, Really?

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Part of donald trump’s strategy to divide and conquer, is to keep everyone and everything around him in chaos and disarray, creating distractions that will divert attention from the current Federal investigations that are being conducted into his misbehavior, both before and after the election.  There are sexual assault and rape allegations against him. Russion collusion allegations, misappropriation of funds, and many other Federal investigations going on right now.

At this point, trump’s followers only consists of a scant 30%, give or take, of the American population. In fact, no other President has ever sunk so low in popularity as the current one.  This demographic is largely uneducated, fundamentalists and generally not very bright, as indicated by their poor reasoning abilities, limited vocabularies and redneck proclivities.  They are very easily swayed, and rather than weighing actual facts, they turn to only trump-sanctioned news outlets for their misinformation.

One of trump’s most highly touted manipulative devices, is to attack what he terms the “lame stream media,” which calls him out for his many misdeeds.  If he can convince the rednecks that they are being lied to, they’ll follow him anywhere.  However, there are problems with trump’s claims.

Donald trump is the person who falsely propagated the following lies, or fake news.  The following list contains a number of his better known lies.  These things have all been debunked over and again, and are things that he placed in the news, which can be termed, “Fake news”.  Mind you, these things are but a few of many, many more lies this man has told.

 

  • 3 million illegal votes were cast in the election
  • Ted Cruz’s father helped kill JFK
  • Mexico is going to pay for his border wall
  • Thousands of Muslims cheered in the streets right after 9/22
  • He was against the Iraq war
  • The unemployment rate is at 42%
  • Crime is reaching “record levels” in America
  • Global warming is a Chinese hoax
  • Obama was born in Kenya

 

When I was younger, I worked for two different major news outlets. At no time, during that period of time, was  I asked by my editors to lie about any politician, nor any person in general.  I had to thoroughly research everything that I wrote, and like all major news outlets, my writing had to pass the scrutiny of my editors and fact checkers.  I had to empirically substantiate every single word that I wrote.  As a person with first hand experience, I can say without hesitation, that donald trump’s claims about the “fake media” or “fake news” are nothing but lies.

As Noam Chomsky pointed out in “Manufacturing Consent.” all of the major news outlets do trace back to a number of corporations, and each one has an Editor in Chief, who makes the final decisions about what does and does not appear in print.  Someone has to.  However, to make the claim that despite trump’s lies and bizarre behaviors, he is being discriminated against because of a biased news media is simply not true.  His negative behaviors are frequent, severe and are newsworthy.  I know that if trump stopped behaving like this, the news about his behavior would change drastically.

A Day at Cannon Beach

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Please enjoy my original photography from our trip to Oregon’s beautiful Cannon Beach yesterday.  It was a day to be reckoned with!   Best viewed with an enlarged screen and speakers on.  Music by Aaron Neville.

 

PS – The first photo, of the hummingbird, was taken at our home.  The rest of them were taken at the beach, and traveling to and from.

Fact

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FACT: Hillary Clinton didn’t sell anything to Russia. 9 government agencies awarded a Uranium mining contract to a company that included some Russian investors. They were allowed to mine US Uranium for use by the United States and Canada ONLY. Russia never got any Uranium.  This issue has already been investigated, and she has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Original Photography by Stacy Alexander – October 28, 2017 – Portland, Oregon

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Today. I went out and about with one of my cameras, and I managed to put it all together into a pretty decent slideshow that I wanted to share with all of you.  It’s nice being able to share my day in this way.

All original photography by Stacy Alexander – Copyright 2017 – All Rights Reserved 

 

This is the Time of Year that I Love Most

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I have always been an autumn person, even as a kid, I appreciated the relief that the cooler temperatures brought, and I embraced all of the fun autumn activities….the pumpkin patches…the bonfires…gatherings of like-minded people…music…fun.  This time of year has always symbolized good things for me.  This year is no different.  It is a stunning autumn in Portland right now. The trees have turned colors, just as they did when we lived in New England.  I’ve been taking long walks and meeting with friends, and moving ahead in life and in business….and in love….and things are going great in all of those areas…..so thank you to the blue skies and multi-colored leaves.  Thanks for the good feelings and the good fortune.  I am one happy woman.

Weep for Napa

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Yesterday, my cousin Billy’s house burned to the ground off Atlas Peak Road in Napa.  Today, my Aunt Gaylon called to tell me that the fire has almost reached the hill at the back of their house, and that she has evacuated.  My cousin and uncle remained behind to release the horses, should the flames reach the barn.  They are in grave danger, but she assured me that they have a plan.  There is devastation everywhere in the Napa Valley that I love, and my heart is broken. However, my own feelings are of minor concern right now.  My family is in danger.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the effects of global warming on temperature, precipitation levels, and soil moisture are turning many of our forests into kindling during wildfire season.  When are people going to listen to the gravity of Global Warming?  The ignorance of our current president is staggering, as he continues to eliminate the very climate regulations that are causing disaster after disaster in this country.  This is EXACTLY what Al Gore predicted would happen 10 years ago, yet the uneducated are still in denial.

As the climate warms, moisture and precipitation levels are changing, with wet areas becoming wetter and dry areas becoming drier.

Higher spring and summer temperatures and earlier spring snow-melt typically cause soils to be drier for longer, increasing the likelihood of drought and a longer wildfire season, particularly in the western United States.

These hot, dry conditions also increase the likelihood that, once wildfires are started by lightning strikes or human error, they will be more intense and long-burning.

The costs of wildfires, in terms of risks to human life and health, property damage, and state and federal dollars, are devastating, and they are only likely to increase unless we better address the risks of wildfires and reduce our activities that lead to further climate change.

Wildfires are already on the rise

Wildfires in the western United States have been increasing in frequency and duration since the mid-1980s, occurring nearly four times more often, burning more than six times the land area, and lasting almost five times as long (comparisons are between 1970-1986 and 1986-2003).

Natural cycles, human activities—such as land-use (clearing, development, mining) and fire exclusion—as well as climate change can influence the likelihood of wildfires. However, many of the areas that have seen these increases—such as Yosemite National Park  and the Northern Rockies—are protected from or relatively unaffected by human land-use and behaviors. This suggests that climate change is a major factor driving the increase in wildfires.

What is the relationship between precipitation patterns, global warming, and wildfires?

While severe wildfires have been observed to occur more frequently and this trend is projected to continue throughout the 21st century, it is worth noting that not every year has an equal likelihood of experiencing droughts or wildfires.

Natural, cyclical weather occurrences, such as El Niño events, also affect the likelihood of wildfires by affecting levels of precipitation and moisture and lead to year-by-year variability in the potential for drought and wildfires regionally.

Nonetheless, because temperatures and precipitation levels are projected to alter further over the course of this century, the overall potential for wildfires in the United States, especially the southern states, is likely to increase as well.

As the world warms, we can expect more wildfires

Wildfire seasons (seasons with higher wildfire potential) in the United States are projected to lengthen, with the southwest’s season of fire potential lengthening from seven months to all year long. Additionally, wildfires themselves are likely to be more severe.

Researchers and modelers project that moist, forested areas are the most likely to face greater threats from wildfires as conditions grow drier and hotter.

Surprisingly, some dry grassland areas may be less at risk, but not because they would be flourishing—the intense aridity is likely to prevent these grasses from growing at all, leaving these areas so barren that they are likely to lack even the fodder for wildfire.  

A conflagration of costs

The economic costs of wildfires can be crippling. Between 2000 and 2009, the property damages from wildfires averaged $665 million per year.

In addition to the property damage they wreak, wildfires cost states and the federal government millions in fire-suppression management; the U.S. Forest Service’s yearly fire-suppression costs have exceeded $1 billion dollars at least twice since FY 2000.

The risk to property owners at the “wildland-urban interface” in California (more than 5 million homes in southern coastal California, the Bay Area, and north of Sacramento) is projected to increase with the increase in wildfires near these areas.

The environmental and health costs of wildfires are also considerable: not only do wildfires threaten lives directly, but they have the potential to increase local air pollution— exacerbating lung diseases and causing breathing difficulties even in healthy individuals.

Additionally, a counterintuitive aspect of wildfires—especially in the semi-arid southwest United States—is that when the rains do come, mountain forest wildfires increase flash flood risk in lower-lying areas in the days and months following the fire due to loss of vegetation and the inability of burned soil to absorb moisture (PDF). For example, residents in Arizona living along usually dry stream beds have lost property and life following such tragic and unexpected post-wildfire flash floods.

What can we do to address the threat of wildfires?

The global temperature is increasing and the climate is changing due to the greenhouse-gas emissions we have already produced, leading to a likely rise in the incidence of wildfires.

But it is not too late. What we do now has the power to influence the frequency and severity of these fires and their effects on us.

By engaging in mitigation efforts—creating buffer zones between human habitation and susceptible forests, and meeting home and city fire-safety standards—and by taking steps to reduce our impact on the climate, we can help to keep our forests, our homes, and our health safe.

A word from Ms. Tan

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The following is from Amy Tan:

I was shocked and dismayed to learn a few days ago that a friend I’ve known for years is an ardent 45 supporter. The realization that we are fundamentally and morally very different people was underscored when I was told her answer to healthcare was this: “If someone cannot afford health insurance, they should work two jobs, and then they will be able to pay for it.” What a simple answer! Hey, cancer patients, did you hear that? 
I have mulled over why she would say this. It’s significant, I think, that she makes millions a year. I think it goes along with the 45 belief system: that “America First” for many 45 supporters is “Me, first.” Their rationale is that they don’t want to pay for those who they perceive to be a burden on society. To them, people in Puerto Rico are not American citizens and thus, we should not provide too much assistance. Guess what? They are American citizens and we should help them as we did those in Texas and Florida. Under 45’s steering we are headed toward a Mockracy of what the values of this country used to be. Pack up the Statue of Liberty and send her to Puerto Rico.  
The 45 supporters have perverted the word, “Liberal.” They say it with a sneer, implying that Liberals are spendthrifts and flaky over “political correctness.” They think people are being too sensitive when racial epithets are thrown around and women are referred to as bitches and sluts. Liberals, they say, are concerned with non-essential issues, like polar ice caps melting versus the benefits of coal mining. They say: What’s wrong with turning national parks into privatized real estate? They think the answer to people who are struggling is a trickle-down economy, which has always served as the potemkin of the GOP’s false beneficence, proven to benefit only the wealthy.  
The 45 supporters can continue to mock “liberals” as soft on issues that they think are dragging down the country. I define Liberal as COMPASSIONATE. We are the compassionate people who believe “Me First” is the opposite of making America great. We care about everyone, now and into the future.  
   I cannot maintain a civil relationship with my friend, the 45 supporter. I could not bear to hear her mocking tone about liberal concerns, her disdain for those who need compassion instead of a second job to pay for healthcare.  
I know that some followers on my Facebook page are 45 supporters and may be offended by what I say. Perhaps you don’t follow all of 45’s Ideology. But if you do, please don’t bother to threaten to never buy my books. My answer to that is a hearty laugh. In fact, you definitely should not buy my next book. It contains a chapter on the morality of those who have bought into 45’s ideology. A 45 fan would hate it.

About That Kneeling Thing….

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The REAL Patriots are the protestors.

Donald Trump says that he supports a peaceful protest because it’s an American right….but not the protest about black oppression and racism…..and this is the problem.    Any protest that he, or any conservative, does not agree with, is, according to conservatives, a protest that should be stopped.

Martin Luther King should have marched across a different bridge.  Young black Americans should have gone to a different college and found a different lunch counter, and college kids in the 60’s had no right to protest an immoral war.

People who served in the military during the Vietnam war ….some of them with injuries that our President would have claimed disqualified them from doing so.  They served anyway, because they loved their country.  Their friends were killed in combat….their brothers. Those people did not die so that you could decide who is a patriot and who loves America more.

The young black athletes are not disrespecting America nor the military by taking a kneel during the anthem.  They are respecting the best thing about America.   It’s a dog whistle to the uneducated, racist rednecks among us to say otherwise.   They, and each one of us, should protest how Black Americans are treated in this country.  And if you don’t think white privilege is a fact, you simply don’t understand America.

The comedian, Chris Rock, says it best.  There’s not a white man in America who would trade places with him….and he’s rich.  It has not gone unnoticed that trump has spoken out against the Mexicans who want to come to America for a better life, against the Muslims, and now, the great black athletes.   However, he keeps his mouth shut for days, about the white men who marched under a Nazi flag in Charlottesville, except to remind us, there were “good people” there.   And when he finally tried to say the right thing, NOT ONE of them was called an S.O.B., nor did he say they should be fired.

We have white men in America who wave the Nazi flag or the Confederate flag, and he’s concerned about taking a knee because it “disrespects” this flag.  We use that flag to sell mattresses and beer. We wear it as swimsuits, and wrap our bald heads in flag bandanas, and stick it in our pants, because we disrespect that flag every single day.

Perhaps we all need to read the Constitution again.  There has never been a better use of pen to paper.  Our forefathers made freedom of speech the first amendment.  They listed 10, and not one of them says, “You have to stand during the anthem,” and I’m pretty sure that those men respected the country that they fought for and founded, a great deal more than the self-proclaimed patriots who are simply ignorant hypocrites, because they want to deny the basic freedom of this great country, a country they supposedly value and cherish so much.

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Here Are A Bunch Of Ways Americans Disrespect Our Flag Daily–And No One Complains About It

CLICK HERE

Yo! NFL! Go ahead and Sit!

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Ok….so the American flag is a piece of cloth. It, (the flag itself), can’t be “disrespected” but the things that it stands for can be. One of the American rights that our flag symbolizes, and that I am seeing being disrespected, is the right to protest. People are trying to destroy the lives of those PEACEFUL protestors who love our country, but who are kneeling or sitting down during the national anthem, simply because they choose to symbolize their objections to police violence and injustice in black America. I object to those things, too. Ending those things will make this a greater country. My friend, Genie Webster posted a quote by Daniel Bunch on her Facebook this morning. It asked, “If you mandate respect for an icon of freedom, can it continue to be an icon of freedom?” No, it can’t. Don’t tell me what to respect, and don’t try to convince me that someone is “bad” or “unAmerican” for exercising their Constitutional right to protest. This is America, not communist China. I’m just as American as you are, and I love my country just as much as every person who chooses to stand during the National Anthem or to dress in red, white and blue. So do those NFL players who are kneeling and sitting. This isn’t about who loves America more. It’s about what is right. Protesting against discrimination and oppression is right, because those things are wrong. This is not about the flag and the anthem. It’s about racism.

Happy Birthday, Sarah-Lynda

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Today, we are celebrating the birthday of my daughter, Sarah-Lynda.  I couldn’t be prouder of her.  She is a fabulous mother to Ingrid, wife to Nathan, and daughter to us.  She is an associate college professor, a magnificent artist, and a good person, in general.  She is the type of daughter others can only dream of having.   I am so grateful for every minute I can spend with her.

Happy, happy birthday, with love, Sarah-Lynda.

Guilt Over Happiness

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Yesterday, I read a Facebook post by a friend, who was expressing how she doesn’t feel she has a right to feel happiness in the face of all this darkness that our country (and the world) is currently facing…from the hurricanes, to the forest fires, to the racist idiot in the White House, the violence, and now, this horrible DACA thing.

I try to think of something to say that is upbeat or positive….like how much I have to be grateful for….because I do….or “Ooo! Doesn’t this food look good!”…but I think about those people in Houston.  I think about the 800,000 innocents who will be adversely effected by what just went down with DACA.  I think about my friend in Canada, who has been evacuated from her home, and another one who is fighting for custody of her children in a terrible divorce, and someone else, who is under a barrage of criticism, violence and unhappiness…and on and on….and it is so hard to smile.

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The stress from all of this, leaves me longing for a break from it all…but hey. I can’t even go out for a walk, because the air is filled with smoke, and it’s not safe. (Yeah, I know. Poor me. Right?  Wrong. ) However, I am fundamentally happy, and have so much to be grateful for….yet, I feel guilty during these times, whenever I feel this happiness.  It’s like, there are so many people out there who have it worse off than I do. What gives me the right to smile?

Then, I have to ask myself, what good that guilt does.  How does it help, in any way?  The answer is:  It doesn’t.   In order to feed positive energy into the world, when we have the opportunity, we should dance and sing and revel in order to bring that positive energy home to be shared with others.

My friend pointed out that perhaps all this is happening because the universe is jolting us awake to learn love and compassion for mother earth and all her sentient beings.  With regard to the heaviness of empathy and grief, Ram Dass recommends the luggage method…..Just pick it up, then put it down, pick it up, then set it down….so that we can stay present without any denial or clinging.  In other words, one must discover how to be happy AND sad at the same time, in order to stay sane and well balanced.

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Each day, I try to do what I can to affect good.  I can’t move mountains, but I can do little things….important things….whether it is to comfort my best friend in his time of need, or to listen to my little grandchild tell me about her day, or to cook something healthful for my ailing husband to eat.    I give what I can, and try to be the best person that I can be….and in the end….it does matter.  My being in a good place does not diminish those who are not in a good place.  My heart goes out to them all.

The Rae Gordon Band

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We went to hear the Rae Gordon band last weekend.  Just as I was about to request one of my all-time favorite songs, the band played the opening notes of it, and I flipped out. What a great rendition of a classic song.  I have no negative associations with this song. In other words, the lyrics don’t apply to me, since no one has “left me behind,”….but the music itself really sings to my heart.

I hope you love this as much as I do!   (WordPress is being wonky today.  Can you please comment and let me know whether or not you can hear it?  Thakns.)

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