In honor of my beloved father, who served his country in the US military, I would like to remind America of the following: CLICK HERE
In honor of my beloved father, who served his country in the US military, I would like to remind America of the following: CLICK HERE
Opposition research is not a crime. Hillary Clinton is not President. Obama is not President. They didn’t interfere with the election because the dossier wasn’t released until after the election. The Orange Shitgibbon keeps grasping at straws! Bwahaha!
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.
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
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.
Warning! Trump’s Executive Order on Healthcare is not a fix. It’s not intended to be. It’s blatant sabotage. Expect your rates to sky rocket, and then for Trump to continue to blame Obama. Only hope is that this causes GOP house seats to be lost and a bipartisan plan in a few yrs!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We both desperately needed to get away today, so decided to take the beautiful drive up to the Oregon Zoo, where I managed to take some great pictures that I’d like to share with you:
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.
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.
Here Are A Bunch Of Ways Americans Disrespect Our Flag Daily–And No One Complains About It
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
8 years ago today, we were blessed with the birth of our darling Ingrid. I spoke to her on the phone earlier, and she is absolutely high on life. I have never met a happier child.
We will be celebrating this afternoon, and have lots of surprises ready for her.
I am so grateful for this child, for my awesome family, for my best friend, and for all of my friends in general . My life is a simple and good one, that is filled with love.
Ingrid contributes to this mix in the most delightful way. I learn something new from her every time I see her. I fully understand how lucky I am.
Happy birthday, precious Ingrid. I am so happy that you are a part of my life.
From someone who was there, as a medic. Don’t want to hear any more about it being two sided.
From a (verified) source who was on the ground at Charlottesville. Please link to this and/or share it with everyone you know. This is important information.
I rarely post politics or anything else on Facebook …. But let me be clear. I was acting as a medic in Charlottesville. “Both sides”-ing about it is absolutely unacceptable. Content note: I’m going to get quite graphic here, because while I understand that there’s quite a range of political viewpoints among my Facebook friends, I want to *get this point through to everyone whatever your politics*.
In the run-up to that weekend, some local counterprotest organizers’ families were forced to flee their homes because of violent threats. Some of them had “bodyguards” – friends escorting them everywhere they went that week, even to the grocery store, work, all the mundane places that people go in their normal lives.
On Friday night, a torch-wielding mob chanting Nazi and other racist slogans (e.g. “blood and soil,” “Jews will not replace us”), some doing Nazi salutes, surrounded, screamed “White lives matter” and “anti-white” at, a small group of college student counterprotesters who had linked arms around a statue and had a banner. They then threw fuel at them, beat them with lit torches, pepper-sprayed them, and punched them (including pepper-spraying a girl in a wheelchair). The police mostly stood by until the nazis were gone. A medic who was wearing a kippah (a Jewish skullcap) was followed in the dark by one of the nazis, and took it off after that so as not to be targeted. A university librarian who joined the students to try to protect them has now had a stroke. At some point that evening, the torch-wielders also surrounded a black church while chanting racist slogans. All of this not only hurt people that night but set expectations for how the white nationalists would behave the next day.
On Saturday morning, a line of clergy, along with a gradually growing group of other protesters, showed up outside the nazi rally (given the iconography, including swastikas, the Black Sun, and fasces, and the chants, of involved groups, I don’t have a problem using that word, don’t let anyone fool you into thinking these were mainstream conservative groups that are being described hyperbolically), facing militia movement members who were carrying assault rifles. There was shouting back and forth, and a small early fistfight where a nazi punched a nearby counterprotester who spilled coffee on him. Nazis were screaming antisemitic things at rabbis in the clergy line, and chanting “blood and soil” in response to the clergy singing “This little light of mine.” At one point, some clergy did a peaceful blockade of one of the park entrances, which was forcibly broken by an incoming white nationalist group with skulls painted on their shields.
The heavy bidirectional fighting, though, mostly got going after a group of counterprotesters nonviolently blocked the way of an oncoming group of white nationalists, who broke through the blockade with clubs and heavy shields. Some people defended themselves as the white nationalists kept charging and swinging clubs. After that, there were fistfights and club-fights breaking out all around, nazis pepper-spraying and tear-gassing counterprotest crowds, plastic water bottles thrown in both directions. A nazi group that didn’t know where the entrance to the park was added to the street fights.
Some clergy ran to shield vulnerable people with their bodies, and those clergy were protected by antifa-associated counterprotesters – multiple clergy/theologians have said that they would have been “crushed” and maybe killed if antifa had not protected them. This went on for a long time. For most of this, the police stood around. Eventually, they cleared both sides out of the area.
The town’s synagogue is a short distance from the park. Throughout the day, nazis paraded by it doing the Nazi salute and shouting antisemitic slurs. The police had refused to provide a guard to the synagogue for some reason, so it had hired its own armed guard. There were threats of burning it down coming in. It had to cancel a havdalah service at a congregant’s house that evening out of fear of attack.
The march that was attacked with a car by James Fields was that afternoon. What street fighting had happened was long-since over by then. It was a happy march, it was not fighting anyone. The car attack came out of nowhere and the aftermath looked like a war zone. It hit the front of the march as the march was going around a corner, and many people weren’t sure what had happened at first, people were screaming about a bomb. In addition to the woman who died, many people had serious injuries. A medic who was hit had to have emergency surgery to not lose her leg. A 13 year-old girl and her mom were among the injured. The street was covered in blood. The firefighters and paramedics were great. The police, on the other hand, rolled in an armored vehicle and threatened the crowd of survivors with a tear gas launcher. Police officers ordered the medics who were performing CPR on the woman who died to leave her and clear the area. They refused, and bystanders negotiated with the police to leave them alone.
There were several other incidents throughout the afternoon where white nationalists/nazis/whatever were menacing small groups of wandering counterprotesters with their cars, swerving toward them on the sidewalk like they were going to hit them, that kind of thing, including after the car attack. At one point my medic buddy and I were about 50 feet ahead of such a group and heard screeching car sounds and screams, and ran back, thinking for a second that there had been another terrorist attack and that this time we were the only medics on site, but fortunately it was just a scare – the driver then “rolled coal” (intentionally emitting a dark cloud of exhaust) at the people on the sidewalk before driving away. There was also an incident at some point where a young black man was badly beaten by white nationalists in a parking garage.
There is no “both sides” here. I mean, first of all, there is no moral both sides because antifascists and nazis aren’t morally the same, period. Disrupting nazis isn’t the same as being one, period. But there was also no “both sides” even beyond that. Mutual street fighting primarily kicked off by an attack from the opposing side, doesn’t compare to mowing people down with a car, to threatening a synagogue and a black church, to stalking someone for being visibly Jewish, to being part of a Nazi-slogan-screaming mob that surrounds and attacks peaceful college kids and could have easily killed one of them if the fuel thrown on a couple of them had been lit by one of the many thrown or swung torches.
Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking the Saturday rally was starting out just a rally like others, but with racist assholes.
The people organizing counterprotests, whose families had to flee town, would probably take issue with that. The black church and the synagogue, the synagogue congregant who had to cancel a religious/cultural ceremony out of fear, and the ones who had to leave the building in groups out the back entrance to avoid attack, would probably take issue with that. The people who were physically attacked, on Friday night, by those in town for the Saturday rally, would probably take issue with that.
Don’t elide the difference in the questions of whether hate speech should be criminalized, and how communities and their supporters should protect themselves when people who are already threatening to kill them roll into town to rally and then physically attack community members before their rally while the police don’t stop it. Don’t invoke the Civil Rights Movement to elide it, or tsk-tsk people who were on the ground in Cville. The Civil Rights Movement had its Deacons for Defense and Justice, and similar groups. Just as importantly, many of the leading lights of the Civil Rights Movement were murdered. If you think the only valid kind of activism in response to racist hate is martyrdom, you need to at least think through the implications of that belief.
I did not have a good weekend and I have no interest in hearing comments about how, despite everything I saw and everything I said here, you think this is a “both sides” thing.
From Social Good:
donald trump is using a classic “divide and conquer” strategy to gain and maintain power. Here’s how it works.
The strategy of “divide and conquer,” is as old as conflict itself. Basically, it says that if you want to conquer a group of people, you don’t want to fight them head on. Instead, you want to create division and distrust within that group.
The goal is to separate the enemy into factions that are not strong enough on their on. For instance, if you don’t want the media and the public to unite against you, you can turn them against one another by calling the media “FAKE NEWS,” and an “ENEMY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.” Some people will agree. Others won’t. But the point is that everyone will be forced to choose a side. ….and regardless of which side is chosen, the result is a fractured environment that only benefits one person.
You can see this strategy at work in some of trump’s cabinet picks. He picked a guy wo doesn’t believe humans are the main cause of climate control to lead the EPA. Now the EPA is fractured and cannot unite against him. He picked a woman with no background in education to head the Department of Education. Now, that department is fractured and cannot unite against him. Even in his own inner circle, trump surrounds himself with people who constantly fight with each other.
trump has reportedly said that this is to prevent any single aide from gaining too much power. As a bonus, this “divide and conquer” strategy gives his base an eternal enemy to fight against. As long as trump keeps his base distracted with conflict, they won’t notice how badly he is screwing them over.
Remember. The biggest threat to authoritarianism is unity. Ultimately, we’re all in the same boat, so don’t let yourself get labeled and separated into a category. No group is 100% good or 100% bad. We live in a country where Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart can co-exist peacefully. Surely we can bet along with one another. Only one person benefits from a divide and conquer country, and that’s not you nor I.