The Watering Hole, Saturday, June 29, 2013: Don’t Weep For the White Man

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s NYPD (the largest and most heavily armed police force in the country; the mayor brags that it’s the seventh largest army in the world) has a stop-question-and-frisk program that has generated not just a lot of heavy criticism from civil libertarians, but lawsuits that cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars. The reason for the controversy is that when police figures on how many such stops made were finally released, they showed that not only were the numbers of stops increasing at an alarming rate every year, but that nearly 90% of those stopped were young black or Latino males. And about 90% of those stopped were completely innocent of any kind of wrongdoing. It has gotten so bad that the Justice Department has joined a lawsuit against the city’s policies.

The debate over stop-and-frisk became a focal point for NYPD critics last May after the New York Civil Liberties Union released statistics showing police stops have risen sharply during Bloomberg’s administration – from 160,851 in 2003 to 685,724 in 2011. About half of the 2011 stops resulted in physical searches.

The analysis also concluded that the policy disproportionately targets minorities, and noted that in 2011, NYPD records showed police conducted more stops of black males between the ages of 14 and 24 than the total number of young black males living in New York City. Just 1.8 percent of searches of minority suspects that year resulted in weapons seizures.

The DoJ supports having a court-appointed monitor look over the program, while the Mayor and NYPD vehemently disagree (of course). Proponents of the program claim (as they often do when they exceed their authority under the Constitution) it is a vital part of how murder rates have fallen to historic lows, but the ends do not justify the means, nor does the logic. The murder rate in NYC was on the decline before stop-and-frisk became the policy, and other major US cities have seen their murder rates drop without the use of any stop-and-frisk policies. Proponents also claim that the program is removing guns from the street, but the NYPD’s own statistics do not support that claim – less than 0.2% of all stops result in the seizure of a gun.

You may wonder how such a program could be Constitutional. You would be smart to do so. The mayor claims the program is permissible based on the Supreme Court decision in Terry v. Ohio. But as I read about that case, one striking difference is that the suspects in that case were actually engaging in behavior that any reasonable person would conclude was suspicious. (They walked back and forth in front a store, peering each time to see inside, then Met at the end of the street to converse before going back to look inside again. I think any reasonable person would have suspected that they were casing the joint in preparation for a robbery, possibly even a murder of someone inside. I’m a liberal libertarian and even I would have said the cop had a right to suspect a crime was about to go down.) In many stop and frisk cases there is no real suspicion that any criminal activity is going on at all. But they do have a form they’re supposed to fill put explaining why they made the stop. They also give quarterly reports to the NYC Council, but those reports do not have the same level of detail that the forms do.

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) issued a report in May that suggests, among other things, that the stop and frisk program is less about getting guns off the street and more about making marijuana arrests. While the program got 792 guns off the street, it also resulted in more than 5,000 arrests for possession of pot. In New York State, possession of small amounts of pot not in plain view is a violation punishable by a fine and not a criminal arrest. But cops would insist that detainees empty their pockets, and when a joint or bag of weed comes out, the cops charge them with possessing pot “in plain view.” That is, of course, bullshit, because the pot would never have been visible if the cops hadn’t ordered the detainee to empty his pockets. The cops were, in essence, forcing their detainees to violate the law and then arresting them for it.

So why bring this up now? Because despite all the apparent evidence that minorities are being disproportionately stopped and frisked, Mayor Mike Bloomberg thinks that white people are getting stopped too much and minorities too little. I’m not making that up.

Mayor Bloomberg claimed that people of color should be stopped and frisked more — not less — while whites are stopped too frequently.

“I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little. It’s exactly the reverse of what they say,” Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show, in response to the City Council passing two bills aimed at reining in the controversial policing tactic.

His justification for doing the stops is devoid of logic.

To buttress the mayor’s remarks, his office released a set of statistics. The numbers showed that 87% of the people stopped under stop-and-frisk in 2012 were black or Latino, and that 9% were white. That same year, more than 90% of those identified as murder suspects were blacks or Latino; just 7% were white.

Of course, that rationale assumes that every murder or violent crime has a reliable witness. Many crimes don’t have witnesses, which is how the criminals get away. Then there are the crimes that go unreported, which is impossible to measure because you don’t know if a crime has been committed if nobody says anything. Also witnesses do lie. Former Comptroller Bill Thompson, the only black mayoral candidate, said of Mayor Bloomberg, “He basically said that if you’re black or Latino, you’re automatically a murder suspect,” Mr. Thompson said. “It just continues to show how out of touch the mayor is.”

But Bloomberg also ignores the fact that a study found that the white people stopped and frisked were twice as likely to have a gun than minorities. When you couple that with how few stops result in the confiscation of a weapon, where is the justification for Bloomberg’s assertion that white people are getting stopped too much? Too much for whom, the white mayor of New York?

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Stop and Frisk or anything else you wish to discuss. Please, no weapons.

Could this be the REAL cause of #Zimmerman s head injuries? #ZimmermanTrial #J4TM

This is very interesting!

Friends of Harvey

Is anyone else having problems with the cause of the injuries to George Zimmerman’s head? Yep me too. At first glance some of the photos look bad . But when George’s wounds are cleaned up at SPD the next photos show the wounds are really quite small. Even in the cleaned up photos. I’ve shaded what I believe to be the extent of the major wounds to the back of his head below


As a former firefighter the puncture wounds seem inconsistent with being hit against concrete. Scalp wounds have specific  characteristics due to these factors.

  • The skin on the scalp is stretched over the skull.
  • The scalp is well supplied with blood

If Zimmerman had his head repeatedly hit against concrete, to the extent the defense team are purporting, a high degree of bruising would result and  major wounds would likely to have split open.

For anyone who has…

View original post 455 more words

The Watering Hole; Thursday June 27 2013; “How Would American Indians Teach US History?”

Assume, for the moment, that you are an American, a ‘native’ American, one who is descended from any one of those tribal peoples who first populated this particular continent. Ignore, if you dare, the European invasion, the wars, the subsequent rape of the land and its peoples — your land, your people; ignore your ‘incarceration’, your internment on ‘Reservations;’ ignore all of the horrors that surely are implicit — once hatred and prejudice are the victors, once they became the rule.



Tell us . . . we who are remnants, offspring, of those who came uninvited, unannounced . . . those who were filled with fear . . .  fear of . . .

nov06 v-v 5Tell us . . . explain . . . our FEAR . . .

Our fear of . . . well, you know, savages. Etc.

I mean really . . . it is WE that control and OWN the WOrld. Admit it! WE of the WHITEness. The mental superiority. The inventors of . . . guns and bombs and stuff.

Why . . .  ummm . . . shhh . . . why are WE so afraid . . . ???

Petroglyph composite-a

Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman write, “True sanity must face and embrace the insanity of today’s world and, in the process, offer to the temporarily insane anew awareness and a pathway to achieve harmony . . . sanity is about integrating opposites rather than taking refuge in one polarity or the other” (2009, p. 195).

“True sanity” . . . the automatic complete and total dismissal of today’s Wingnuttistanian nonsense; instead, the renewal of ancient, and cosmic, wisdom:

collage-2v petro

Imagine it . . . a world free of fear, of irrational hatreds, of faux  infestations of faux supremacy . . . imagine a world driven by the concept spoken oh, so many years ago:

“It does not require many words to speak the truth.”  ~Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

Or perhaps this?

“Why not teach school children more of the wholesome proverbs and legends of our people?  That we killed game only for food, not for fun . . . Tell your children of the friendly acts of the Indians to the white people who first settled here.  Tell them of our leaders and heroes and their deeds . . . Put in your history books the Indian’s part in the World War. Tell how the Indian fought for a country of which he was not a citizen, for a flag to which he had no claim, and for a people who treated him unjustly.  We ask this, Chief, to keep sacred the memory of our people.”   ~Grand Council Fire of American Indians to the Mayor of Chicago, 1927

Or this???

“Your destiny is a mystery to us.  What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered?  The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires?  Where will the thicket be?  Gone!  Where will the eagle be?  Gone!  And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt?  The end of living and the beginning of survival.”   ~Attrib. Chief Seattle, in a letter to the US Government in 1852

nov06 v-v 7

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” ~George W. Bush; Nashville, TN, Sept. 17, 2002

.Or, as the Sinagua once ‘said,’


Open Thread. Petroglyphs Welcome.


The Supreme Court of the United States just issued its long-awaited ruling on the gay marriage cases pending before it. In a stunning decision that surprised constitutional law scholars on both sides of the aisle, the Supreme Court struck down marriage as unconstitutional.

In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Scalia, the high court ruled all marriage laws violate the Constitution. “Nowhere in the Constitution is marriage mentioned.” Scalia’s opinion stated. “As a strict constructionist, if it isn’t in the Constitution, the government has no business regulating it.”

“Our founding fathers knew about marriage, and if they wanted to include marriage in the Constitution, they would have. But the Constitution is silent on the issue. One searches in vain through the Federalist Papers and other correspondence written between the founding fathers for any mention of marriage as a Constitutional right.”

“On the other hand, the pecadillos of Ben Franklin are well-known. And that Thomas Jefferson fathered out-of-wedlock children is indisputable.”

“But the case was made, and the point well taken, that marriage is a sacred institution, ordained by God. That being said, the First Amendment compels but one decision, and one decision only. All laws respecting the institution of marriage impermissibly impinge on the First Amendment’s “wall of separation” between church and state.”

“While prohibiting some people from getting married based solely on their gender may be violative of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection mandates, we do not reach that decision today. For today we must reach a different conclusion. And that conclusion is that all laws respecting the sacred institution of marriage are unconstitutional and are hereby declared null and void.”

Justice Thomas concurred, writing, “What he said.”


The Watering Hole, Monday, June 24th, 2013: The Silence of the Dems

Pretty much every single day, Republicans do or say things that make us either laugh at their foolishness or gasp at their political machinations. On the one hand, we hear idiots like Michele Bachmann spout ‘history’ that she pulled out of her ass, or the ignorance of misogynists such as Trent Franks and Michael Burgess, or just about anything out of the mouth of Steve King. On the other hand, Republican governors and congresspersons are busily doing ALEC’s bidding, continuing and escalating their war on women’s reproductive rights, joined by the supposed “jobs, jobs, jobs”-focused Republican-controlled House. It would seem to be easy enough to just sit back and watch the Republican party descend into oblivion.

Yet, while some of their utterances can be amusing, the Republicans’ overall strategy of limiting citizens’ rights, particularly women and minorities, along with their disdain and antagonism towards the poor among us, is deadly serious. But what are the Democrats doing to stop them, or at least to draw the country’s attention to the medieval legislation being proposed and passed by the Republican governors? I, for one, am sick of the “State’s Rights” BS by which Republican governors and Congressmen swear. President Obama has talked about their divisiveness, and a few of the more left-leaning Democratic Senators have as well, but where are the majority of the Democrats?

But it’s not just Republican schemes that the Democrats need to decry: where are they on President Obama’s illegal (in my mind) drone program, or the NSA spying, or the continuation of the ill-begotten PATRIOT Act? While dinosaurs like Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer seem perfectly comfortable with spying on Americans, and denounce whistleblowers as traitors, where are the other Democrats speaking up for our rights as citizens? Where are the Democrats when it comes to the apparently untouchable big corporations, banks, etc.?

Since talk of the next round of elections started the moment the general election in November was over, it seems that most liberal pundits are focusing more on the self-destruction of the Republicans than on what potential Democratic candidates will offer as an alternative. Democrats need to start now to distinguish themselves from the Republicans on issues, and they’re going to need to speak loudly and carry a big stick. They cannot simply rely on pointing at Republicans and laughing from the sidelines. The time for them to speak up is now!

This is our Open Thread. What do you have to say today?

The Watering Hole: June 2 — Sculpture in South Dakota

Photos by Zooey

Imagine, if you will, that you’ve just begun driving across South Dakota, and you’re already cross-eyed because of the flatness.  Then, up ahead, you see a hill.  Wow!  This is interesting…cuz it’s a hill.

And on that hill you see something and think, “What the hell am I seeing?” Cuz you’re seeing this:

Yeah.  This!

Whatareyagonnado?  There’s an exit ahead, and you gotta take it, which leads you to Porter Sculpture Park.

He’s got fish…

He’s got snakey monsters…

He’s got flowers…

And he’s got vultures with bib, knife and fork…

I don’t know why, but I was smiling the whole time I was there.  🙂

Music Night, June 21 2013

Still working on that theme. 1968 was a fantastic year for rock music and blues, continuing the tidal wave from 1967. One of my favorite albums of the year, and forever after, was the first record from Mother Earth, Living with the Animals. Featuring another pint-sized singer with a huge voice, Tracy Nelson, it was a strange blend of folk, country and rock that never really took off commercially but was soulful and well-loved by some of us. (It also featured some work by a fellow named Mikail Blumfeld, IIRC, whose contract elsewhere prevented him from receiving clear credit).

The album was followed the next year by Make a Joyful Noise which, if anything, was better than the first. This video is from that period and I think it gives a great look into the heart of the band. Tracy Nelson is still working and still belting it out.

The Watering Hole, Friday June 21, 2013: Butterflies

No politics today, but since a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, here comes a 5000 word essay on butterflies . . . in the form of five photos taken by my old college buddy, Denny Green, of Tempe Arizona. The photos were taken in a place called “Butterfly Wonderland,” apparently located somewhere in the Phoenix AZ metro area. It’s new since I left the area some five years ago, but is obviously well worth the time it must take to wander through.

BTW, I have no idea as to the specific identities of any of the attached gallery, so if there are any well-informed butterfly aficionados out there, feel free to speak out!

Butterfly 1

Butterfly 2

Butterfly 3

Butterfly 4

Butterfly 5

Ah, summertime. Today’s day one, right? May we all enjoy it in the manner suitable to the critters pictured above. Special thanks to photographer Denny Green, one of the most gifted nature lovers around today on this, or on any other cosmic particle!

Open Thread. Enjoy the Beauty of this Cosmic Speck we call Earth!

The Watering Hole, Thursday June 20, 2013; “Mystic Eye of the Darkened Sky”

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . . an old friend of mine found himself wandering through that depressing maze that shows itself around the time that virtually everything seems to be going wrong. Such was the case nearly four decades ago when he wound up living alone in Utah, his family still in Arizona, while engaged in what turned out to be a temporary and interim, but lonely, employment. About midway through his six month stint ‘up there’ he sent me a poem he’d written one night whilst he watched a full moon rise over the mountains, and over a bottle of sorrow-drowning Scotch.

It occurred to me recently, while contemplating the dismal impact of today’s absurd and thoughtless domestic (Wingnut) political agenda and practice that in many ways, not much has changed in the nearly forty years that have passed since I received his brief but compelling poem in the mail. So I retrieved the poem from its home in the dusty archives and couldn’t help but notice that, as with any imperative poetry, the message is, indeed, timeless no matter the details of the original inspiration. And, too, it seems that the far more recent photographs, when coupled with the sadness implicit in the message, suggest that no matter how dismal the moment might seem, a visit with the beauties implicit in Nature, in that which lies beyond the reach of human foible, can and often does serve to revitalize the sagging spirit.

So, without further ado . . . poem by T.R. Nissle, photos by moi.

The Moon
by T.R.Nissle (ca. 1975)

Mystic eye of the darkened sky,
Compelled to stray estranged on high,
Pallored by the sight of woe below, it watches

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt night when groping souls emerge,
And hears the sobs that upward surge
From broken things – even the wolf’s howl and questioning;

Mystic EyePropelled in unrelenting circuit,
It lights the gloom for lives unfit
That, too, wander derelict alone – and mirrors peace . . .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn its imprisoned solitude.

Stated another way, to hell with greed, with the lust for power and control; to hell with Wingnut politics, to hell with human foible and with the gloom for lives unfit . . . !!

And hello to the Beauty implicit ‘out there,’ far beyond all the nonsensical BS we have to deal with every day ‘in here.’


The Watering Hole, Wednesday, June 19, 2013: Syria Announces Plans to Arm the Tea Party

In response to President Obama’s announcement that he will begin providing weapons to Syrian Rebels because the Syrian Army used chemical weapons, Syrian President Al-Assad announced his country will begin arming Tea Party Patriots to support their revolution against the American Government.

Syrian Armored Personnel Carrier reportedly en route to Tea Party Patriots

Syrian Armored Personnel Carrier reportedly en route to Tea Party Patriots in Texas

“It is widely known” Al-Assad proclaimed, “that the American government sponsors the widespread uses of chemical and biogical weapons. Through its puppet, Monsanto, a corporation totally immunized from civil and criminal prosecution for its actions, the U.S. Goverment is poisoning its people with biologially altered food, sprayed with chemicals so toxic their agents have to wear hazmat suits.” The Syrian President went on to note that the United States tried to invade other countries with these biological and chemical weapons, only to be soundly defeated abroad.

Syrian Troop Transport reportedly leaving Tijuana on its way to North Carolina Tea Party Patriots

Syrian Troop Transport reportedly leaving Tijuana on its way to North Carolina Tea Party Patriots

“The Tea Party stands out,” Al-Assad said, “in its open resistence, carrying small arms and assault rifles to its protests. And the Tea Party not only opposes the deployment of these chemical and biological weapons, it opposes everything the corrupt American Goverment does. That makes it an ideal ally in our fight against American Imperialism.”

A spokesperson for the Syrian Government refused to comment on the rumor that the government has already recruited bedouins to disguise themselves as Mexicans to bring heavy machine guns and other military equipment across the southwest border between the U.S. and Mexico. However, flight manifests indicate a large number of camels and other items of a suspicious nature have already been shipped to Tijuana.

As of this writing, every Tea Party spokesperson contacted by The Zoo has flatly denied any deal with the Syrian Government. However, it goes without saying that if Tea Party militias were receiving arms from a foreign government, they would flatly deny doing so. Thus their denials merely feed the growing suspicion that the Tea Party is planning a major offensive against the Obama Administriation, with the full backing of the Syrian Government.



The Watering Hole, Monday, June 17th, 2013: Small Gummint/Big Gummint: A Love/Hate Story

It’s been two months since the tragic fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. Currently, town leaders and residents looking for financial assistance in rebuilding seem to be involved in navigating a maze to acquire that funding. Of course, first the people of West who had insurance coverage have to start there, while other funding sources must wait in the wings to pick up where the insurance leaves off. But that’s where the real maze starts.According to the local ABC News affiliate,

“…more than $5 million in private donations has funneled into accounts set up at the town’s two banks, as well as a variety of relief funds through agencies like the Salvation Army, Baylor University and the Waco Foundation.
The Waco Foundation has collected the largest amount to date, close to $1.4 million. Executive director Ashley Allison…admits only about $20,000 of the $1.4 million has been handed out.

Baylor hasn’t yet distributed a single penny.

The Salvation Army told News 8 most of the money it has put into West so far was to cover operational expenses of their relief efforts on the ground.

So what accounts for the holdup?

Town leaders have been pushing for most of the private donations to be channeled through a newly established non-profit organization called the West Long-Term Recovery Center. The center is trying to attain a 501(c)3 designation so it can fully operate as a charity and start helping distribute the private money that the relief funds and banks have collected.

“It is a process, we know that,” said interim executive director Karen Bernsen.

The Internal Revenue Service will ultimately decide on approving the center’s designation. An application was filed last month, but there is no timetable for approval.”

But no one is going to pay attention to mundane details about local West town government, when there’s an opening to complain about a ‘big gummint’ agency. As reported,

“According to a letter obtained by The Associated Press, FEMA said it reviewed the state’s appeal to help West but decided that the explosion “is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration.””

From, responses to FEMA’s decision:

“Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was critical of the federal response.

“…once the cameras have stopped rolling, President Obama’s FEMA has denied our state and our neighbors the necessary opportunities to rebuild critical infrastructure in the town, including an entire school.””

West Mayor Tommy Muska: “… In my opinion, the federal government is looking for the state to pony up and the state is looking at the federal government to pay.””

“U.S. Rep. Bill Flores…said he will urge fellow Texas Congress members to sign a letter urging the president to reverse the decision.”

Texas Sen. Brian Birdwell,
R-Granbury, said in a statement he also was “stunned” at the ruling and pledged to work with Perry, Flores and U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz toward winning an appeal.

Governor Perry’s office: “The day of the West memorial service, President Obama stood in front of a grieving community and told them they would not be forgotten. He said his administration would stand with them, ready to help. We anticipate the president will hold true to his word and help us work with FEMA to ensure much-needed assistance reaches the community of West.”

Even though the main headline of the majority of articles was “FEMA denies aid to West, Texas”, most of them did, at least, admit that:

“FEMA has, however, provided emergency funds to individual residents.” ~

“FEMA said last week more than $6.5 million has been approved for nearly 800 residents impacted by the fertilizer plant explosion on April 17.” ~

“Though FEMA is denying aid to the city, agency representatives note that millions of dollars have gone directly to residents in the form of grants and low-interest loans.” ~

So, does anyone else besides me find it ironic that Texas, a state whose Republican leaders extol States’ Rights and despise all ‘big gummint’, especially the IRS and FEMA, now is looking to that same ‘big gummint’ for taxpayer-funded relief? Let’s see who, if any, amongst them, suggests that the federal government should cut spending elsewhere in order to ‘balance’ the FEMA aid that Texas requests.

Finally, there’s this pointless, obviously slanted piece by Mike Sackett of USA Today. Here’s a couple of excerpts:

“Federal agencies investigating the cause of the blast that killed 15 and injured 200 would do well to include in their findings the federal government’s pivotal role in making the stuff that exploded. That might change FEMA’s attitude.”

[The “federal government’s pivotal role”? Making ammonium nitrate into bombs in WWII! Darn gummint!]

~ and ~

“I suspect that as long as the National Security Agency’s domestic spying scandal sizzles in the glare of public scrutiny, federal investigators in Texas will loll in the shade, taking their sweet time investigating the explosion in West.”

[And I suspect that Mr. Sackett is pulling stuff out of his ass here.]

This is our Open Thread. Talk about anything that’s on your mind!

Wake Up, Little Newsies

Our mainstream media has, once again, let us down. Our Fourth Amendment rights are being eroded while the Journalists we depend on to keep us informed sit back and ignore the story. That’s really all this is about.

Wake Up, Little Newsies
Original words and music “Wake Up, Little Susie” by Phil and Don Everly, 1957
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider, 2013

Wake up, Little Newsies, wake up
Wake up, Little Newsies, wake up
You’ve all been sound asleep
Wake up, Little Newsies, and weep
The story’s over, the Fourth is blocked
And we’re in trouble deep
Wake up, Little Newsies
Wake up, Little Newsies, well

Whatta you gonna tell your viewers
Whatta you gonna tell the folks
Whatta you gonna tell the nuts
When they say, “Oooh, a hoax”
Wake up, Little Newsies
Wake up, Little Newsies, well

You told your viewers that you’d have news by ten
Well, Newsie Lady, looks like you goofed again
Wake up, Little Newsies
Wake up, Little Newsies, we gotta know more

Wake up, Little Newsies, wake up
Wake up, Little Newsies, wake up
Your story wasn’t so hot
You didn’t catch much of the plot
You fell asleep, our goose is cooked
Our Constitution is shot
Wake up, Little Newsies
Wake up, Little Newsies, well

Whatta you gonna tell your viewers
Whatta you gonna tell the folks
Whatta you gonna tell the nuts
When they say, “Oooh, a hoax”
Wake up, Little Newsies
Wake up, Little Newsies
Wake up, Little Newsies

Originally posted at Pick Wayne’s Brain

Sunday Roast: June 16, 2013 – Where’s the outrage?

I don’t get it. Seriously.

The news about the extensive data gathering by the NSA through Verizon‘s mobile phone records being outshone only a few days later with news about PRISM should have people out in the streets. Seriously.

I am not and have never been overly shy about internet use. I follow the usual dos and don’ts, but I am aware of the fact, that whatever you put out there is in everybody’s domain. If you shout it out on Times Square you have a smaller audience than when you put it on facebook, twitter, you name it. I know that by using it I have, sort of, agreed whatever I’m writing will be no longer private. Fair enough.

I’m fine that every time I read a New York Times article I will see in a sidebar which of my friends have read which article. It shows I have smart friends, not that I haven’t known that before, but still. I am even fine with the fact that for me all websites, be it news or other, which have commercial pop-ups are advising me how to get a flat stomach or how to ward off ageing. I take  the pop-ups as an punishment for having googled about weight-loss and heat-flashes and I stick out my tongue to them and just don’t buy whatever is advertised through them.

What I do not approve of, and I am royally pissed about that, is that a government, any government, is prying inside my personal communications. So I would, of course, go and vote accordingly. No party or candidate ever gets my vote, who supports this degree of spying into the personal communications of ordinary citizens. Period.

Hah! And now, when we Europeans are mad as hell, and believe me, virtually everybody I talk to is spitting mad over here, we’ll just vote them all out of office!!!!!


We can’t. We do not have, nor will we ever have any say in this.

This is our Open Thread. Don’t be shy. All yours.

The Watering Hole: June 15 — Landscape

Photo by Zooey

Cats and Nonewhere are on the road their Big Adventure ™ aka their move West to Oregon.  Safe travels!!

I took this picture just down the road from my place, but Cats & Nonewhere will be seeing more and more of this kind of scenery as they drive West.  Personally, I think they can handle it.  😉

This is our daily open thread — Where did you go on your last road trip?

The Watering Hole; June 14

June the Fourteenth, year of our Lord, etc., etc.

In the US of A, June 14 is, by official declaration, a pseudo-holiday, a day of celebration known as Flag Day; the Stars and Stripes fly on homes, businesses, and on main streets all across the country. But . . . What’s it all about, really?

My mother always liked to tell her tale from a long long time ago, back when she was five, maybe six, years old. On that particular June 14th, she asked her mom why the main street was lined with flags. Her mom replied, “Because it’s your birthday, of course!”

She’d be 105 today. An unforgettable woman she was, and surely one of the most humanly generous — and caring — people ever born. So Happy Birthday, mum, wherever it is you might be. Know that flags still fly in celebration!

Meanwhile, one hundred and five years later, here we sit (or stand, or sometimes sleep) as the country of our birth — our heritage, our being, our raison d’etre — is being slowly, maliciously, and deliberately slaughtered, and the best we seem able to (barely) accomplish is to (barely) recognize the details of our forced and orchestrated plunge into a grave already dug, that deep hole which awaits only its bundled burden and the accompanying back-fill of dirt, all done in the spirit of . . . of what?

What’s up? I always was taught that we’re BETTER than that which we seem to have become, that America is a Christian nation, a country which cares for all souls, for all of life, for our planet and all else gifted to us by that oft-referred, oft worshiped, Great God In Heaven. Right?


A quick look around seems to at least suggest . . . maybe even convince . . . the already devout that it’s really only the unrighteous naysayers amongst us and in our midst — non-believers, obviously — who are responsible for the digging of our national grave. On the other hand, maybe . . . maybe just a quick glance in the mirror by those same ‘devoutees’ could/would far more precisely identify the ‘culprit(s)’? Or, given the pain implicit in THAT scenario, how about instead a perusal of the Bible, of the “word(s)” of their (emphasis mine) very own God as the source, the means to identify the REAL culprit(s) behind our programmed demise?

A quick (well, lengthy, actually) peek into the Great Surround of the Great Book reveals some interesting (godly?) concepts, to wit:

In the Book of Proverbs (Mishlai), among the verses traditionally associated with King Solomon, it notes, specifically, those “six things the Lord hateth, and the seventh His soul detesteth”, namely:

  1. A proud look
  2. A lying tongue
  3. Hands that shed innocent blood
  4. A heart that devises wicked plots
  5. Feet that are swift to run into mischief
  6. A deceitful witness that uttereth lies
  7. Him that soweth discord among brethren

Hmmm. Scary scary. Hmmm.

Moving on, maybe it’s better to ignore those (obviously CONTRIVED!) interpretations and stick instead to the pure word(s) of that biblical “god” Itself (as translated into English from the original Hebrew, Greek. Aramaic, whichever), who said, and I quote:

“Show No Mercy!” Deut 7:2
“Make no peace!” Deut 7:2
“March to War!” Numbers 32:20
“Ethnic cleanse!” Deut. 20:15
“Commit genocide!” Joshua 10:20
“Enslave!” Lev. 25:44
“Beat to death!” Ex. 21:20
“Kill women and chilldren!” Numbers 31:17, 1 Samuel 15:3
“Kill all prisoners!” Deut 7:2
“Destroy!” Deut. 7:16
“Annihilate!” Deut. 17:29
“Slaughter!” Deut. 13:15, Joshua 8:24
“Burn!” Deut. 13:15
“Torture!” Lev. 24:23, Numbers 5:11
“Massacre!” Numbers 21:2
“Exterminate!” Deut 2:34, Deut 3:3
“Crush!” Deut. 33:29
“Kill!” Joshua 9:24
“Destroy!” Deut 31:4
“Smote!” Esther 9:5
“Slash!” Judges 15:8
“Burn!” joshua 6:24
“Kill!” Joshua 10:10
“Kill!” Judges 11:33
“Kill!” Deut 9:3
“Loot!” Deut. 20:10
“Plunder!” Numbers 31:9, Deut 2:35
“Rape!” Numbers 31:18, Deut. 21:10, Judges 21:11
“Pillage!” 1 Samuel 23:5
“Kill!” Deut 9:3
“Kill!” Deut 20:15
“Kill!” Judges 21:11

So. All–mmighty then. God was (is?) a Republican . . . ??

Explains a lot, when you think of it.

OK: June 14 is Flag Day. My current response, this day, Flag Day, June 14 2013, is to once again, wave the good ol’ Stars & Stripes:

us flag

And, even after setting aside for the moment the silliness and stupidity of the political posture(s) implicit in America’s emergent neo-Fascist culture sometimes referred to as “Wingnuttistan,” or “Dumbfuckistan,” I do indeed recognize and celebrate the REAL Flag Day . . . as I bow and say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of the finest people ever born, one who would have NEVER gone along with any of the “six things the Lord hateth, and the seventh His soul detesteth” . . . or any other hate-based philosophy, regardless of source.

Happy 105th. Mom. Enjoy the peace, out there. And remember: this day’s for YOU! You earned it!

OPEN THREAD. June 14, 2013. Celebrate! Carpe Diem! Etc.

The Watering Hole; June 13 2013; Since nothing is going on anywhere . . .

Since there’s absolutely nothing going on anywhere in the human world today, I thought maybe it’d be far more interesting and compelling to take a quick peek at a place or two along with a creature or two where and for whom it remains business as usual. Note the absence of greed, of violence; note that there are no guns, no spies, no politicians, and (of course, given all that) no Republicans. Bliss, in other words. Let the photographic content speak for itself. My only comment is that all the shots were taken within a mile of where I sit right now, preparing this wee masterpiece! 😀

Robert Burns, the Scottish Bard, perhaps said it all better than anyone else when he wrote, in his poem “To a Louse,”

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,      
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!

Amen to that.







OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOK, that should do it. See, there really IS another world out there, one that has NO politics, and NO greed, NO guns, NO spies, NO idiocy, and of course, NO REPUBLICANS! The point is, of course, that were it not for THEM, we’d all live in a natural paradise. Right? Right.

OPEN THREAD.  Don’t hold back!

Watering Hole: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 – On the Road Again

IMG_0397Nonewhere and I will be starting our travels to the northwestern part of the United States on Friday, June 14.  We sold our house that we designed and lived in for 16 years and 1 day.  The east coast has been our home for all of our lives.  Over the years, we have made many good friends and it is sad to say “good-bye” so instead we say, “come visit us in Oregon”.  We have been very busy packing over the past several weeks and that is why you haven’t seen much of us lately.  It’s amazing how much stuff can accumulate over 16 years especially in a large house.  We like to entertain and a house this size provided ample room for political parties, family and friends parties, and house concerts.  Our next place will be quite a bit smaller.

The above picture shows the front of our house.  We had a small picnic table on this porch and we enjoyed many meals on this porch.  It was also a good place to hang out and listen to the evening birds, night cicadas and crickets.

The below picture presents a view of our patio.  We had an octagon shaped picnic table with benches that were made by the Amish along with folding Adirondack chairs.  The table got sold but the chairs are coming with us.


This will be my last “Open Thread” until I get settled.  I’ll let the ‘boss lady’ (Zooey) know when I am ready to get back to work.

Open Thread… Speak Up!