Recent comments

  • Natural disasters at a ten year low?   1 day 18 hours ago

    effects... are affected...

  • $20,000 bottles of wine and Private Jets: Martin Shkreli is the obvious product of Obama's America and TPP   1 day 19 hours ago

    This from the SumOfUs:

    Two weeks after 32-year-old hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli promised to roll back the cost of Daraprim, the essential medication remains at 5500% of its original price.

    Under intense public pressure, Shkreli said he would roll back "some" of the price increase of Daraprim, a critical medication used by cancer and HIV patients.

    Today, the price remains at $750, astronomically higher than the $13.50 it cost before Shkreli cornered the rights.

    Shkreli backed off his dangerous business plan once he saw the outrage worldwide -- but now we need to make sure he follows through.

    Please help us keep the pressure on Shkreli by signing this petition now.

    Daraprim is a 62-year old drug used to treat a parasite that afflicts millions worldwide, and is a common treatment for HIV and cancer patients. With Shkreli's 5500% increase, the drug would cost at least $336,000 for a year's worth of treatment.

    An incredibly hard-working coalition is keeping the pressure on. Last week, they hoisted a banner in front of Shkreli's office in Manhattan with a message directly from 223,000 SumOfUs members: reverse the price of Daraprim now.

    This is about more than just one hedge fund manager. It’s a worrying new trend -- corporate interests are buying up cheap, old patents and then milking patent monopolies to gouge patients.

    But citizens are fighting back against corporations trying to profit off the sick -- and winning. Public backlash has worked, forcing another company, Rodelis Therapeutics, to reverse an overnight price increase for an essential tuberculosis medication.

    And this week we received some good news: A two-time cancer-surviving grandmother from Australia won a court battle against US biotech firm Myriad Genetics. Myriad wanted to patent the BRCA-1 cancer gene, making breast cancer testing more expensive and difficult to access. But it was stopped in its tracks. Over 150,000 SumOfUs members spoke out against Myriad’s attempt to patent the sick.

    Let’s do it again. If we keep the pressure up, Shkreli will have to back down from his senseless price gouging, and HIV and cancer patients will be able to get the medicine they need.

    It's been two weeks, Martin Shkreli. Reverse the gouging cost hike now.

    Thanks for everything you do,

    Paul, Angus, Rosa, and the rest of the SumOfUs team

    More information:

    After Martin Shkreli Promises Decrease, Daraprim Price Still Up 5000%, ATTN:, October 7th, 2015
    Company Will Lower Drug Price After Critics Called 4,000% Hike 'Unjustifiable', ABC News, September 19, 2015

  • Can Rep. Paul Ryan save the Republican Party?   2 days 16 min ago

    I say "No" because even if they attempt kicking out the tea party or whatnot it won't save their reputation. I think what will likely happen is they split into new parties based on their right wing ideologies.

  • Real Money Is Going To Replace Federal Reserve Notes   2 days 58 min ago

    It ain't spam, and it ain't psycho-babble, actually it is a case of over-zealousness and bad etiquette by PeterPalms. It is unethical to swamp a forum with a dozen or so long posts, all cut-and-paste specials, way too long for most readers to bother with.

    Peter you should only post your long and large topics ~ once per week, and keep it shorter, summarize your main points and instead of posting a whole book, post a summary and include links to your sources, so those who are interested in your topics can read them at their leisure. I like to use boldface type to highlight the main points so readers can quickly skim through and easily decide if they are interested in reading more thoroughly.

    The majority of readers, including myself, either have no time for or no interest in most topics published here, so don't be extreme and swamp out the forum with your issues. Like most people, probably 70-80% of the posts are of no interest to me, but I take a quick look to see what they are about. In balance I find there is a lot more good information available here than you will find on your typical big-money mainstream media outlet. A lot of good links to well documented sources also.

    So Peter just ease up, slow down, take some time to develop your points, and don't post so much at once.


    Putin is just following in George 'the Chimp" Bush and Darth Cheney's footsteps. They set the agenda and the policy of "Might is Right" & "invade & conquer". So Putin rightly feels Russia is entitled to copy US foreign policy. Pretty simple really.

    I wonder how long before China decides to assert its right to copy American foreign policy.

  • Natural disasters at a ten year low?   2 days 1 hour ago

    Severe climate effects on population centers is effected by global climate change over long periods of time but year by year fluctuations are essentially random. You can throw dice and end up with no "1's" for 40 throws in a row, just random chance. The overall effect of global climate change is inevitable, that is increased frequency & severity of climate related natural disasters. That is not going to end the world, but it does have very high costs. Far higher costs than the cost of replacing the fossil fuels that caused the problem in the first place. Although, of course, nutty renewable energy scams, will neither reduce the problem of climate change or reduce the overall costs of climate change disasters.

  • Tax cheats stash $2 trillion overseas!   2 days 1 hour ago

    "...The corporations that he calls “tax cheats” are merely taking advantage of the US Internal Revenue Code as it is currently written. This they have every right to do..."

    That is correct. The real issue is corporations buying our politicians so that the tax code allows them to avoid fair taxation. One person one vote is fundamental to democracy, allowing corporations and super-rich elites to buy our politicians is tantamount to high treason, and must be stopped.

    A rational government, accountable to the people, would not allow these loopholes in the tax code.

  • Why is America violent against their heroes and Veterans?   2 days 1 hour ago

    How to solve Veteran Homeless?

    A plan to buy homes in communities that Veteran may want to live. The Veteran Affairs must have statistics about where Veterans are Homeless and cross that list with accessibility to Veteran Hospitals and other Veteran services. Plus ask the veterans where do their families live and get the Veterans close to that location.

    This idea is about creating group home style of services in communities, where there are homeless veterans. A group home for a veteran could provide the stability and support needed to get the Veteran off the street. Some veterans may never be able to fully live on their own and that should be their choice, but the veteran’s group home located in their community will always be there for Veterans.

    The current statistic states there is about 50,000 homeless veterans living on the streets in America.

    How does the Veterans Affairs come up with about 10,000 to 15,000 homes? The government uses Federal or US attorneys to purchase properties at referee auctions (These are homes that have been foreclosed on by back taxes owed on the property). The US attorneys would be given a list of properties to buy and ceiling or maximum cap to pay for each property. The asset management division would have to create a division of specialist to analyze properties to be purchased. A few criteria for the properties to be purchase would be areas most helpful for the veterans (near family and friends, near veterans services (but there is always transportation that can be provided), size of the home being purchased (able to convert for the needs of the veterans). Another criterion is the home must have been a known as a vacant house prior to tax foreclosure (no one wants the government to have an incentive to do tax foreclosures).

    Once the property is bought most likely it will need to be fixed and repaired. Using sort of the Habitat for Humanity model Veterans will volunteer their time (or any community member) to remodel and modernize the property. Veterans could be shown as intern and apprenticeship all the office and administration work. For properties that may assist disabled veterans design the home for that purpose. For properties that are 20 miles or more away from a veteran’s hospital design one room as an outpatient medical exam room for nurses, doctors and physician’s assistants to do on sight exams.

    The goal with these Veteran group homes is to help veterans live near their friends and families; learn skills (construction or other jobs); live in areas that offer and require a more diverse set of skills; give a veteran a permanent home with permanent connection and access to resources.

    There is an estimated 1.5 million vacant homes in America there is inventory enough to find homes for our veterans.

    Just for numbers if the Veterans Affair could buy fee simple (absolute ownership) of properties on average of $10,000 tax foreclosure (that is a high estimate) multiple times 15,000 homes is about $150,000,000. Some of these properties may have vacant house or vacant lot next store that could be purchased for an additional $100.000.000 (for parking lots, playgrounds or a just a place to sit outside). $250,000,000 used to buy the properties to be used as Veteran group homes.

    What about remodeling how much? About $40,000 with contractor labor, this model borrows the idea of volunteer labor and only paying for a lead master carpenter or general contractor as the lead foremen for the jobsite.

    Average habitat for humanity home is sold or mortgage for about $80,000 average cost for a habitat for humanity home is about $90 per square foot.

    Average new home is about $150 per square foot for a residential home to be built. For a medical facility style featured facility about $206 per square foot average home size about 2,000 to 2,500 feet is about $202,500 to $400,500 at most per house for remodeling or rebuilding. To buy and build all these homes is about $4.6 billion dollars to about $6.1 billion dollars. Plus $250,000,000 to purchase the actual land purchase.

    Veterans Affairs will have a budget for 2016 for about $169 billion dollars of that amount $70 billion dollars will be for discretionary spending. I do not know exactly what discretionary spending is but I hope that includes $6.1 billion dollars to get all the veterans into a home they built with their fellow veterans and members of their community.

  • Bumper Music- Let's Work Together!   2 days 2 hours ago

    Hi. I was asked to pass this song along for Columbus Day:

    It's a bouncy upbeat sound. Lyrics here:

    Consequently by Kid Creole and the Coconuts

    The year was 1492,
    Columbus sails the ocean blue,
    And stumbles on an island in the sun
    The natives greet them with a song,
    The sailors dare not stay too long,
    For their concerns are economic ones

    A tribe that lived 500 years
    Is decimated then and there,
    Don’t be surprised,
    It’s just formality…

    Life goes on…
    Life goes wrong…
    Man is born to be
    A liar,
    A sneak,
    A slave-driver

    I'd request Call It Democracy by Bruce Cockburn but it's got the F bomb. Oh well.


  • 10-6-2015; High pressure maintained over California   2 days 3 hours ago
    Quote ABCee:

    10-9-2015; Tropical Storm Nora Forms

    Pt. 2: 10-9 Tropical Storm Nora being blown apart

    So your "theory" is that the US government isn't just trying to flood SC so they can piss away a few billion in disaster relief... but they're tying to create a drought in Cal... so the federal government will have to rescue CA as well.

    What utter bullsh*t.

    Weather patterns are complex. Given enough weather anyone can find the "patterns" they're looking for just as Jesus and Mary crazies find those faces in a pizza, a piece of toast, or stains in a defective window. Ah gee... cyclones THAT FEED OFF OCEAN HEAT... and always have, are really being heated instead by "microwaves".

    Yup, there have NEVER been any such cyclones before "chemtrails". So I can only assume the Nazis sent the Great Hurricane of 1938 and the Ruskies sent the hurricane of 1955 right into New England.

    The evil bastards.

    Rather than understand the defects in the human mind that can create patterns out of nothing, you and your chemtrail nuts wallow in those defects.

  • 10-6-2015; High pressure maintained over California   2 days 3 hours ago
    Quote ulTRAX:
    Quote ABCee:

    Weather Warfare: Massive Unnatural Moisture Flow Pulled from Hurricane

    I just LOVE the insane crazies you've managed to find. So let's see if I understand the theory... the US government is directing massive floods into SC so it then will be forced to provide a few billion in disaster relief.

    Wow! That makes PERFECT sense!!!

    ABC evades this simple question. What a surprise.

  • Oregon Massacre   2 days 3 hours ago

    I find it fascinating that Dex would describe the present situation wth guns and gun violence as a situation in which "lefties" are going around with their hair on fire. That is hardly apt since the inicdences of mass shootings keep happening at an ever faster rate. I hardly think the situation can be described as a certain group of us having our hair on fire considering how f#%king patient and indulgent we with some sense have been toward gun fetishers. There needn't be party affiliation division between people who think there's too many free floating guns going around.

    I don't want the government listening in on my phone calls or monitoring my emails but I do want somebody keeping track of who is amassing a cache of weapons and maybe asking them why they feel like they need them.

  • IF I WERE BLACK   2 days 3 hours ago

    No Allen, I’m not letting this go until I’m satisfied I’ve had my say, and I’m saying it right out here in the open! I don’t take abuse sitting down, not anymore. I don’t allow myself to be belittled, violated, spat upon and/or denigrated without fighting back, especially in a public forum like this. Sorry, pal. I came right here to further air my grievance, for one simple reason: any thread I start on this topic would simply be sidestepped and ignored. Since Allen chooses to add insult to injury, I'm back, with plenty more to say about it, where I know my intended "audience" is likely to hang out.

    This whole ugly drama was so uncalled for, so pointless and unnecessary! It didn’t have to happen. If all it takes is for one to state a dissenting opinion to ignite a shit storm of this magnitude, something is seriously amiss.

    It all began with my objection to Gil Scott-Heron's dismissive insult to feminists ("hairy-armed women's liberationists") in "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". I was not trying to be rude or disrespectful, posting my comments; I was just saying what I thought and felt about it. I was careful to make my case in a respectful tone. I say this with confidence, knowing full well the evidence is in that blog Ghost brags about keeping for posterity. Despite my efforts to keep it civil, Kenyatta took offense to this simple assertion, calling it "disingenuous" and "insulting". It was nothing of the sort. It was just my opinion. Had Kenyatta instead responded more rationally and in a respectful manner, that conversation would have quickly ended and we'd have returned to his original topic, hardly missing a beat. Because he chose to react as if personally attacked by my comment, and lash out at me, it went a whole other way. Sorry guys, I accept no responsibility for that.

    I stood my ground, countering with tactful rebuttals explaining my position. Despite my sincere attempt to keep it polite, Kenyatta took my argument as a personal affront. His whole attitude towards me changed. The tone of his posts grew steadily more aggressive and rude as the conversation continued. For awhile I pursued Kenyatta via e-mail, in a continued effort to convey good will despite our divergent views on this one point, while seeking assurance that our friendship remained intact. I did this both on and off the blog. I left the door wide open for a private conversation, simply to put the period on it and move on. This is what friends do. He kept saying it was over and done with, but he wouldn't lose the attitude. Kenyatta kept getting more irritable, more belligerant, despite my best efforts. The evidence is all over those posts, #1-14 Allen. I might have left a teasing little nudge at His Royal Highness in the interim, but that’s it; nothing mean or malicious, certainly nothing demanding Kenyatta’s immediate response or any response at all.

    The e-mails I’d sent were not hostile or vindictive either. They were simply an effort to re-connect with this person and hopefully, set aside our differences. But no matter what I did, Kenyatta’s hostility was unrelenting while it stayed at a steady crescendo.

    Next came that nasty, sarcastic rant where Kenyatta condescendingly dismissed my overtures as "melodramatic" and “juvenile”… while at the same time, elaborating at great length about his busy, important life. This is when I finally had had enough and lost my patience. This is when I told Kenyatta to “shove it up his ass”!

    Kenyatta’s response was tantamount to shooting ants with an assault rifle. The verbal assault that followed was one of the vilest, most vicious diatribes ever directed my way. Get a load of this:

    “I do not ‘shove' things up my ass’ white girl; I submit that you would be more anatomically, and psychologically, predisposed to such activity." Gee how nice. "I have not read your email, as I have not had time." Yet you had all this time to post here, Kenyatta, at great length. "Once again, you being so 'passionate' about 'women's issues' makes you hypersensitiive about single parenting, right?" I told you, I'm not a parent, and your single parenting issues are not my problem. "While you are 'trying to understand the issues of black folks and their daily lives', I live it." Duhh. "See, this ain't no ride at Disneyland, or some flight of white fancy... this is real." Yes SIR, eye-eye SIR. "You are damned right: you are not a parent, and you are not black; therefore, having zero frame of reference, those are two issues that you are utterly ignorant about and which you should, therefore, keep your damned mouth shut about." Prior to this Kenyatta, I never had anything to say about single parenting except for briefly stating that I'm not a parent. And I never claimed to be a spokesperson for black folks, let alone the black experience, being automatically disqualified by white skin. I've acknowledged this a number of times. "You definitely got the wrong nigger, sister." I already commented on that line which turns my stomach, thus killing any respect I had for the"professional wordsmith" prior to this. "I happen to be one of the models that doesn't give a rats ass about straightening out colorless offenders... as you must clearly know by now." Yeah whatever. "When you use words like 'side-kick' (who would be whom's?)..." Almost everyone else on that thread, sir, got in lockstep with you. The Ditto Head Brigade! "...liver lipped" and analogies to blacks and "apes..." That was nothing of the sort, Kenyatta, as I've already explained at great length. (Can you say the word "CONTEXT"? Do you even know what it means?) "...falls a bit short of respectful to me...." But you sure can dish it out, asshole. You'd best learn to take it then, because occasionally someone like me will be dishing it right back. "Now, I know the colorless, hairy armed, stringy haired majority are unused to seeing younger, intelligent, articulate REAL brothers in these environs, so maybe you are used to getting away with that kind of shit from older step'nfetchit type Negroes." I don't know any of those "step'nfetchits", sir, nor am I seeking them out or presuming anyone to be one. "Not here whitey, not here. And since you saw it fit to suggest that I sodomize myself..." No; just cut the sarcasm and the bullshit, compadre. "...(something you would only do from a distance)..." Ooh I'm so scared. "...and invoke not only sexual references, but homosexual ones..." Gimmie a break. "...there is not only 'no apology forthcoming', I wouldn't piss on your face if your teeth were on fire." Spoken like a real gentleman and man of letters! Pillar of any community, online or off. "You must be out of your mind.” Crazy like a fox, Kenyatta.

    When I tell His Majesty to shove that sarcastic, belittling language of his "where the sun don't shine", he twists that around to mean I'm telling him to "sodomize" himself while "invoking sexual references". Hogwash. Only a complete idiot would take a statement like that so literally, especially after having gone out of his way to provoke it.

    It all just kept going downhill from there. I refused to step back. I stood up to Kenyatta, countering his hostile diatribes as I saw fit, calling him out on his shit. I refrained from using abusive language for the most part, although in retaliation I called him an asshole a couple of times. That's it. (Wow, big deal.) But I wouldn't back down from his abuse, even while managing to keep personal attacks and colorful language mostly absent from my end of the dialogue. All this restraint on my part, while Mr. Kenyatta fucking defecated on me: “Dumb ass", "pasty ass", "colorless ass", "redneck", "inbred moron", "closet racist..." ad-fucking-nauseam.

    We've all got limits. Took me ’til around the sixteenth post of that thread to finally lose my temper, along with any grip on civility.

    While refusing to engage via e-mail, which would have kept it casual and private, this guy chose instead to verbally assault me on a public forum. It was ugly and nasty, and came with scant provocation. Through its duration, it deserved to be kept right out in the open air for all to see. Since Kenyatta chose to make this largely public, I had no other choice but to suffer in silence, which for me isn't an acceptable option. I’m here to expose this for what it is: a bullying free-for-all against this woman for sharing an opinion, one these three men don’t happen to like. Well, well. I’m not shutting up about it until I’m good and ready, because it was unjustified, unnecessary and fucking abusive. Sorry Allen but I repeat: I don’t take shit like this off anyone. Not anymore!

    Yeah this is the second thread I’ve barged into, counting the one where this blow-out got started. Sorry Zap, to rain on your parade. Nothing personal; your essay is wonderful. You just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. But don’t worry guys, there won’t be a third blog intercepted by me. As Allen’s post makes abundantly clear, I wasn't quite done defending myself against this tsunami of hate. I still had more unfinished business to address. Characterizing my opinion with words like “disingenuous” and “insulting”, as Kenyatta did, is hardly “assuring” me anything is “okay”. What a load of crap, rs allen… Talk about disingenuous!

    I had thought we were friends, Kenyatta and I. Real friends talk things through when a situation warrants it. Real friends find ways of resolving, or at least accepting and managing, their differences. It is not unreasonable to expect that of anyone you think is your friend.

    Aside from that, your judgment of what matters most is myopic and rigid. And in its rigidity, it stinks of authoritarianism and demagoguery. This shit “teaches” nothing, heals no wounds, unifies and helps no one. It’s only about dumping on perceived enemies, along with some real ones I suppose, and preaching to the choir. I’ve got news for you, Allen; authoritarians are not all rich white dudes. They come in all stripes, from all backgrounds and walks of life.

    I’ll not waste another moment defending gender-based issues here. I only meant to criticize one offensive line in GSH's song. Your dismissive attitude towards feminists and the issues they call to task comes across loud and clear.

    No Allen, I've not been stopped for "driving while white" or “driving while female” or beat up by police. Pll-EEEEZ. Over the past twenty years I've been pulled over a couple times at night, for exiting well-lit parking lots without turning on my headlights (easy to do); both times, without incident or repercussions. But when was the last time you were battered and raped, or denied life altering, gender-specific health services, or sent to prison for falling down some stairs and having a miscarriage? But never mind; my purpose is no longer to defend my position on all that. My purpose, here and now, is to call out Kenyatta on his abusive, inappropriate behavior towards me, and answer his vicious accusations.

    Kenyatta’s bombastic sidekick NatTurnersGhost, who once rhapsodized about how “intelligent” I am, has by now dismissed me as just another "white zero". Yeah, been through a few rounds with that guy too, on the Hartmann website. Nasty, bullying pig. That’s about all I’ve got to say about Ghost.

    Took several days for Kenyatta to FINALLY get around to opening those e-mails I’d sent. I had assumed that, in light of all the time he’d spent posting here, he could somehow squeeze a few moments out of his busy life to read and answer my e-mails as well. Having read these at long last, Kenyatta sent a fairly civil reply, admitting to some regrets over not having read them before going off on me here, on this public forum. Swell. Too little, too late however. And the bullshit never really ceased, now involving Kenyatta’s sidekick NatTurnersGhost who, apparently, is enraged at me for “disrespecting” his guru. Too bad, Ghost. In my reality there's no guru, just humans with "feet of clay".

    To say I'm disappointed in you guys is an understatement. And Allen, your #25 post only adds insult to injury. I repeat: I had thought we all were friends. I thought Kenyatta had way more class than that. I admired, respected, even loved the man. Starting a conflict with Kenyatta was the last thing I would have elected to do. Not on purpose, anyhow.

    I was simply stating an opinion, is all. I figured Kenyatta would probably not agree with it… But since this happens to be a BLOG, a PUBLIC FORUM in other words, where people voice their OPINIONS, and since I believed myself to be among friends, I thought it a safe environment, one where I could express myself openly and freely without repercussion… I thought we all had that right as bloggers on these forums, regardless of who agrees with us or doesn't. Oh well.

    This ain’t the first time I’ve caught shit overestimating people. I always try giving my friends, or those I perceive to be friends, the benefit of the doubt… to a point anyway, especially if I’ve taken a liking to them as I had to Kenyatta and Ghost. Had I known how intolerant and hateful they actually are, I would never have been interested in debating them regardless of the topic at hand, let alone fraternize with either man off the blog. I would have probably avoided engaging with them at all. At the end of our last round however, there was one person in my corner who stood up for me. Someone Allen conveniently left off that little tally of his.

    Sorry to break it to ya guys... Majority status does not make you "right".

    I have to confess, this has been rather traumatic for me. I probably should have known better... But hey, I already happened to have met one of my nearest and dearest friends through these blogs! That relationship has thrived off the blog for more than a year already. I figured if it happened once, it could happen again. My mistake. I got suckered by Kenyatta's charisma and charm, along with his writing skills and initial message. But that charisma and charm is only a mask Kenyatta hides behind.

    When Danielle wiped everything off that blog under Kenyatta's Gil Scott essay, it left all this shit unresolved for me. So I laid out a little bait and re-ignited the "rumble" here, just to say my peace. Prior to Allen's input, I'd thought that finished. No such luck; more bullshit to answer to. So I've answered it. How naughty and rude of me, and unladylike! Tee hee.

    I think from now on, after my sabbatical from Blog Land, I shall refrain from seeking off-the-blog correspondences with other bloggers, no matter how well we seem to click. Because after all, what we see ain't always what we get. After this experience, it's gonna be much harder to trust anyone off these blogs. Since this shit storm erupted, I’ve learned it’s generally not recommended that people even try connecting like this anyway. Once again, I've learned my lesson.

    As I'm reminded by this turn of events, there is no brighter red flag to indicate an authoritarian, abusive personality than animosity like this, over any difference of opinion that bubbles to the surface, something any well-adjusted adult would take in stride.

    Far as Melanic Nation's website is concerned, writing a column is a lot of work. I'd already written the first two op-eds for Beyond The Pale, the title of my column there. I was at least smart enough to see the pointlessness in writing a third op-ed without some assurance that I could freely speak my mind on that venue. Without that assurance, I knew I'd be wasting my time. Yeah it was a letdown when Kenyatta flunked the test, but look at all the trouble it saved me! Glad I put my cards on the table right away, and let the consequences reveal what I needed to see, before deciding whether to move forward or jump off the train.

    I'm secure and at peace knowing that no matter what these ugly, toxic bullies have to say about it, Aliceinwonderland is no racist. I’ve nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to regret here. I can chalk this up as just another bad experience, and leave it at that. I refuse to let it discourage me. Not every black person I encounter has this sick impulse to dump on any white whipping post to be found within dumping range, little to no provocation necessary. Very few, in fact, have had this tendency, measured against the total number of black people I've crossed paths with through the years. So having said my peace, hopefully for the last time, I’ll just shrug this thing off and let its lingering stench fade off like the proverbial fart in a windstorm. For posterity, that's all the space it deserves, in my memory and in these archives.

    Defending Kenyatta and his lapdog, Allen, makes you no better than them. Takes someone either clueless, or similarly mean-spirited and sadistic, to defend this sort of behavior. Sorry to have barged in like this and gone on at such length, but there's another side to this story and it needed to be told.

    With the exception of Zap, you guys are pond scum to me now. So tah-tah, have a happy life and fuck you too. - Aliceinwonderland

  • Why is America violent against their heroes and Veterans?   2 days 4 hours ago

    To build the green house style of group home for all veterans would be about $8.2 billion dollars. That is about 5 % of the the Veteran Affairs budget. Plus, $250,000,000 for the property.

  • Another Congressional Vote Coming on TPP   2 days 5 hours ago

    Here is an excellent review by economist Dr. Jack Rasmus from the St. Mary's College in Moraga, California of the damaging effects of the TPP agreement and the many pro-TPP propaganda arguments presented by the media and congress .

    Alternative Visions – Transpacific Partnership Free Trade Analysis – 10.09.15

    Jack takes a look at the leaks concerning provisions of the TPP trade agreement signed this past week. Why the TPP will mean loss of jobs with little or no job creation in the US in return. Why it means reduction in wages will continue. The phony statements by Obama and pundits about its effects, and the verbal maneuverings by Clinton and Republicans.

    Jack explains how China is not the currency manipulator, but Japan and now the other Asian members of TPP. Special focus on the treaty’s effects on pharmaceutical and health, autos, agriculture, manufacturing, Boeing Corp., and other sectors in the US. Negotiation maneuvers between the US, Australia, Japan and others.

    Why a vote next year, during election cycle, is more likely to pass rather than less likely.

    Why Congress will talk the talk, but then pass it.

    How TPP and free trade is really about US corporations’ foreign direct investment and less about goods exchanges between countries. Jack concludes explaining that the global trade recession now beginning will result in currency declines accelerating in the other countries that will more than offset the tariff cuts.

    The net result will be no gains for the US and big losses as a result of currency manipulation by other members of the treaty.

  • Why is America violent against their heroes and Veterans?   2 days 6 hours ago

    US Congress need better statistics and tracking of Veterans in prison or under arrest. These Veterans need to have some sort of public defender that represents the interest of Veterans and it must be know the person is a Veteran.

    US Congress should not be able to hide behind phony statistics that state the "System is working", when the system is broke. A veteran dies unknown on the street or a veteran incarcerated in prison is proof the system is broke.

    The people of United States of America want to know their Veterans are safe.

  • Why is America violent against their heroes and Veterans?   2 days 7 hours ago

    US Congress need better statistics about homeless that die on the street. Homeless that die and are veterans need a proper burial.

    What happens to the nameless veterans that die on the streets and die unknown?

  • Oregon Massacre   2 days 7 hours ago
    Quote ulTRAX:
    Quote mjolnir:

    Yeah, that would be the 40% of firearms criminals obtained illegaly in the study both you and mdhess linked, not long after you criticized the study - Lol.

    My criticism wasn't a dispute with the 40% number... but that we could not draw from them that only 2% came from gunshows. ... ....So M... what's YOUR approach to repeat buyers who intend to sell guns in the illegal market.

    Put their a** in jail. You don't dispute the 40% number in this, admittedly small study, but dispute the <2% number. My question is why? These are felons, already in prison, what do they have to gain by fudging the numbers?

  • Why is America violent against their heroes and Veterans?   2 days 7 hours ago

    If a veteran is disabled how does the US Congress think the Veteran will make their appoinment within 39 miles?

    Jon Stewart did a story on a Veteran that lived on an island and took hours to get to the nearest veterans facility.

  • "Men Explain Things to Me" by Rebecca Solnit   2 days 7 hours ago

    I'd much rather that you explain forced invisibility than I make the effort. It would be a bit like mansplaining for me to even try. I figured any woman could fill in the blanks. But I did at least try to show by empathy that being forced into invisibility is a bit different than choosing it. Nevertheless, I've always felt and admired that women have special insights, and that their forced invisibility plays a role in that. There was certainly some element of role model involved in my own tendencies. I like to learn.

    I didn't really go into my feelings about Albee's play/movie. I merely described my stunned reaction as I walked out. I saw that movie just before I wound up in boot camp, not long after I'd dropped out of my second semester of college as a lit major. Everything you say is right on the mark as to what I saw taking place. As Albee is supposed to have once said, "one must let the play happen to one." And I did. As context for what did happen to me, at that age I was dedicated to never putting myself in the horrors of matrimony. With the sadistic marital games on display in that movie, I saw life as I'd experienced it in my own dysfunctional family, both at home and extended, only on steroids with the talents of writer Albee, actors whose names we all know, and the budding director Mike Nichols. The reality portrayed was yet another nail in my anti matrimony coffin. Well, I was just a kid.

    I see it as social criticism by shock treatment. Those words from Martha were last for a reason, I've surmised. The sadistic trap that this married couple lived might have come out quite differently if she wasn't afraid of Virginia Woolf. It's Virginia Woolf by shadows cast on the cave walls. Between the Acts was more than twenty years past by the time Albee wrote the play.

    There are, I suppose, reasons why I would call Albee a good writer, while I dismiss Woodie Allen pretty much altogether. I've never put any of Allen's work in my quality art-form bracket. People were initially shocked at my saying so years ago when he was all the rave. What could I say? It wasn't a rational analysis. I could add what you've said, but its more like confirmation of my earlier impressions. I don't know what those people who once raved about Woodie would say now.

    More from Rebecca on darkness:

    Quote Rebecca Solnit:

    Looking, Looking Away, Looking Again I began my book with that sentence about darkness. The cultural critic and essayist Susan Sontag whose Woolf is not quite my Woolf opened her 2003 book on empathy and photography, Regarding the Pain of Others, with a quote from a later Woolf. She began this way: “In June 1938 Virginia Woolf published Three Guineas, her brave, unwelcomed reflections on the roots of war.” Sontag went on to examine Woolf’s refusal of the “we” in the question that launches the book: “How in your opinion are we to prevent war?”— which she answered instead with the statement, “As a woman I have no country.”

    Sontag then argues with Woolf about that we, about photography, about the possibility of preventing war. She argues with respect, with an awareness that historical circumstances had changed radically (including the status of women as outsiders), with the utopianism of Woolf’s era that imagined an end to war altogether. She doesn’t only argue with Woolf. She argues with herself, rejecting her earlier argument in her landmark book On Photography that we grow deadened to images of atrocity and speculating on how we must continue to look. Because the atrocities don’t end and somehow we must engage with them.

    Sontag ends her book with thoughts about those in the midst of the kind of war that raged in Iraq and Afghanistan. As she wrote of people in war, “‘ We’— this ‘we’ is everyone who has never experienced anything like what they went through— don’t understand. We don’t get it. We truly can’t imagine what it was like. We can’t imagine how dreadful, how terrifying, war is; and how normal it becomes. Can’t understand, can’t imagine.

    Sontag, too, calls on us to embrace the darkness, the unknown, the unknowability, not to let the torrent of images that pour down on us convince us that we understand or make us numb to suffering. She argues that knowledge can numb as well as awaken feeling. But she doesn’t imagine the contradictions can be ironed out; she grants us permission to keep looking at the photographs; she grants their subjects the right to have the unknowability of their experience acknowledged. And she herself acknowledges that even if we can’t completely comprehend, we might care.

    Solnit, Rebecca (2014-04-14). Men Explain Things to Me (Kindle Locations 703-720). Haymarket Books. Kindle Edition.

    We might care, even if we can't completely comprehend. Try explaining that to an autistic sociopath.

  • Oregon Massacre   2 days 7 hours ago
    Quote Garrett78:

    Race, Crime and Statistical Malpractice: How the Right Manipulates White Fear With Bogus Data

    Please point out exactly what is "Bogus" about the data linked in my previous posts.

  • The US has a war culture which drives many of our social problems   2 days 8 hours ago

    Thanks, Ren. I'll check out Swanson's works.

    And thanks, Suze, for starting a thread about a core issue. It's easy to get lost in the details, so to speak. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the seemingly constant examples of violence, greed and bigotry. I think more discussion of those broad topics and their root causes are called for.

  • Oregon Massacre   2 days 8 hours ago
  • Oregon Massacre   2 days 8 hours ago
    Quote mjolnir:

    Yeah, that would be the 40% of firearms criminals obtained illegaly in the study both you and mdhess linked, not long after you criticized the study - Lol.

    My criticism wasn't a dispute with the 40% number... but that we could not draw from them that only 2% came from gunshows. Obviously gun traffickers can buy them at a gun show and then sell them illegally. So the real question is where legal guns enter the illegal market... not who ultimately gets caught with them.

    Here's my original response

    The defects in this survey have been dealt with before. Gun Nuts grab onto that 2% and will claim SEE... there's no need to close the so-called gun show loophole. But the REAL question is when guns left the legal market and entered into the illegal market. Straw purchasers know how to play the game... doing repeat legal buys from FFLs and gunshows... then selling the guns in the illegal market. These people are hard to identify since even with a background check, these people come up clean and government records are usually destroyed in 24 or so hours. Gun shows are another source. Unless a state or a venue requires background checks, the private dealers are not required to background checks... a fact not lost on Al Quida and this spokesman encouraged jihadists to flock to gunshows and buy weapons.

    Bloomberg sponsored undercover investigators to go to gunshows in unregulated states and most private sellers were willing to sell to someone who admitted they probably could not pass the background check.

    So M... what's YOUR approach to repeat buyers who intend to sell guns in the illegal market.

  • "Men Explain Things to Me" by Rebecca Solnit   2 days 8 hours ago

    Quote .ren:

    Most of my life I've sought the sidelines, I've intentionally wanted to be camouflaged, or unseen, if you will. Writing is my way of being heard. But invisibility's a choice, not something forced on me. So I won't wax on about the benefits I seek by endeavoring to be an invisible observer, a fly on the wall.

    An anonymous fly on the wall, seems to me, enjoys a certain power. Even where invisibility has not been a conscious choice, as in the case of societally-imposed invisibility, sometimes that invisibility becomes an asset. Emily Dickinson comes to mind —”I’m Nobody! Who are you?/ Are you – Nobody – too?” Most poets and artists do know this; those who seek invisibility do so with the intention of being observer, even observing those who also prefer to be invisible— for example, Annie Dillard in her Stalking chapter.

    Every now and then I find myself enjoying such invisibility in public or private spaces, where I allow myself to take an introverted break from whatever’s happening. The poet or painter’s perch provides comfort, or a vantage point, a protected place to engage in the meandering Solnit mentions here and there in her book.

    To experience being invisible to others by force, however, that unwanted and undeserved invisibility inflicted by discrimination based on prejudice, hurts.

    Quote Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man:
    “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.”

    That invisibility hurts women in much the same way it hurts people of color. And to be rendered invisible is to be controlled, at least socially and politically. Treating others as invisible is a form of violence. Not believing women when they claim rape is another form of rendering them invisible; it is violence against women. It is authoritarian.

    This should remind us that violence is first of all authoritarian. It begins with the premise: I have the right to control you.” —Rebecca Solnit

    Today I watched the Cosby alleged victims’ testimonies. Notice, if you look: after every victim testifies, NBC posts a disclaimer on behalf of Cosby, most likely to avoid a lawsuit, but the effect is one of invalidation of their claims— a silencing, one by one.

    I didn’t come away with the same feeling as you did, .ren, about Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. I remember it, but only vaguely. (Maybe because I wasn’t paying attention, as usual.) I remember it for the sadism, the cruelty, that is, of the author. I’m not convinced it was built on feminist sympathies, but I realize I could be wrong. That’s one of my unknowing places, I suppose. I just can’t get past the title and its play on Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

    I am reminded of Woody Allen’s recent Blue Jasmine. It also had great acting. But it struck me as a most sadistic exercise of revenge against Mia and her daughter’s accusations against him of molestation, their disapproval of his inappropriate coupling with his young “daughter.” Perhaps you haven’t seen it, but if you were to see it, you might notice how the wife, Jasmine, falls apart bit by bit into insanity and betrays the husband —by informing to the FBI about his business frauds— for having an affair with the teen-aged au pair. You would see how the husband, upon being confronted by the wife about the affair, cold-bloodly tells her to calm down, and “Jasmine, you're having a tantrum…” and “Pull yourself together.“ And so the story ends, with the wife looking like a phony gold-digger without any talent of her own, a crazy, weak woman.

    I may not know everything, and I'm not psychic, nor am I brilliant in my analyses of most things, but it sure looks to me he put together a whole damn movie to discredit and stigmatize his former wife!

    The discouraging part is that the bastards keep getting away with it. The old ploys still work— outraged denial, stigmatizing their accusers, intimidating victims, and etc. Hierarchy works for those at the top.

    Oh, and another thing, but maybe for later: Girls have to work at learning to trust their gut. I'm not so sure it's a good thing for girls and women to doubt themselves, as in being dedicated to an "unknowing" state of mind.

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We Shouldn't Honor Genocidal Colonialists-End Columbus Day Now

Today, while millions of people across America are celebrating Columbus Day, the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico is doing something different -- it’s celebrating Indigenous People’s Day.

It’s using the second Monday in October as a chance to raise awareness about the cultural contributions of the people who lived on this continent long before the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria crossed the Atlantic.