The Watering Hole; Thursday February 12 2015; The Week That Just Was

It’s been a weird week. Last Thursday, the fifth of February, Obama attended the National Prayer breakfast, and when he spoke, he included a condemnation of all who ‘hijack religion’ and use it for tyrannical purpose even as they consider there actions justifiable by said religion. He was duly critical of the Islamic State aka ISIS, calling them a “death cult.” He was also critical of all religions who have, in their respective histories, irrefutable evidences of tyrannical behavior. He said, for example, that

“Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

“So it is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.”

From that point forward, the shit hit the fan bigtime in Wingnuttistan. In the days that followed, there clearly was more ‘Christian’ (I use the word loosely when it refers to far right wing adherents) outrage — more virulence — than most of us have seen in years, and it all came thundering down within a few days. I won’t bother to quote the vitriol, but for the curious, a quick peek here should satisfy: it’s where one Janet Mefferd Slams Interfaith ‘Garbage’ At National Prayer Breakfast and reveals a fairly good-sized chunk of wingnut Christian misinterpretation, especially of each and every word spoken by their arch-enemy — that Muslim-commie-fascist-Nazi-usurper — President Barack Obama.

OK, enough of Wingnuttistaniarrhea. There were other ‘happenings’ in the week that were a whole lot more interesting, happenings that I managed to record with my Sony (boy, do I like that 64X optical zoom and 20 megapixel resolution!) digital camera.

Here are a few captured moments from the past week. First, from February fifth (and note that even after the National Prayer Breakfast, the universe appears relatively undisturbed) a humble attempt at Monet-style impressionism with this inverted scene of shore and goose reflections in our slowly thawing local lake:

Geese 817 flipNext, the big event on the evening of that same day, the full moon rising behind the thinnest veil of winter’s hazy sky. Notice how, in spite of Obama’s earlier-in-the-day National Prayer Breakfast ‘blasphemy,’ the surface of the moon remains dutifully scarred, and even though it’s our nearest ‘heavenly’ body, it has obviously NOT been tossed from our view by a vengeful and merciless G– . . . Oops, never mind. Sometimes I tend to get carried away when the nuts come out — during the full moon, y’ know..

Rising moon 824On Feb. eighth (temp in the 70’s) most of the surface snow on the ice had melted, leaving behind only a series of goose tracks, dutifully recording the ‘pathways’ upon which they walked to/from the grassy area on the the shore where they like to hang out, and to/from their island roosting places:

Icy goose prints 827On the ninth — another mid-70’s day — the ice was melting fast and the honkers were, predictably, enjoying it. Most interesting was something I’d never before noticed in the local goose population which has been forever staffed with typically light brown Canadians. I don’t know whether these near-black critters are a variety of Canadian or another type altogether, but whatever, they seemed to get along with the more common locals, no problem. Here are a pair of the dark guys standing one rock away from a typical Canadian in the process of catching forty winks.

Geese rocks water ice 862Here’s a closer view, one of each.

Geese Canadian and dark 857 William Wordsworth once managed to sum up the enduring nature/human disparity when he wrote (in Intimations of Immortality) –

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a Mother’s mind,
And no unworthy aim,
The homely Nurse doth all she can
To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.

Long story short: I can’t imagine why it is, but for some reason my tendency is to enjoy the natural world “out there” far more than the non-feathered two-legger’s domain — you know the place, “that imperial palace whence [we] came.” It’s where, according to Rick Santorum, ‘Sexual Activity’ Rights are Encroaching On Religious Rights.  Funny how geese and most other wild critters never seem to have that problem. Wonder why that is?

OPEN THREAD

 

 

State of the Union speech, 2015 — live-blogging

2011_State_of_the_Union

(photo source)

It’s that time of year again — the President will paint a sunny picture of the state of this nation, and will talk about things he’d like to do this year, even though he knows this Congress isn’t going to do anything thing but keep his veto pen busy.  Fun times.

Who will heckle the President this year?  Which SCOTUS members will be present and absent?  How many times will the Dems pop up for applause, and how many times will the Repubs boo?  Which Fox “News” pundit will trash the speech before it’s even given?  How many members of Congress will be spending time on their phones, instead of giving the President the slightest bit of respect?

It’s open season, when live-blogging on TheZoo, on the Prez and Congress, which means everything is fair game:  Clothes, ties, hair-dos, hugs, praising the POTUS for good stuff, and giving him hell for bad stuff.  Knock yourselves out, Zoosters.

Make sure you stay tuned for the Repub and Tea Party responses to the SOTU, because Sen Joni Ernst, the pig castrater from Iowa, will be hollering the Repub response; and Rep Curt Clawson, the clueless they can’t be from Amurka if their skin is brown and they have funny names idiot from Florida, will confidently spew Teabagger crapola.

I’m not encouraging drinking games, but feel free to BYOB and party on.  I’ll be abstaining from the evils of drink this evening, so I’ll make sure y’all are laying on your sides, and will turn out the lights when I leave.  We don’t want a repeat of last year’s SOTU party — whatever might have happened…

Tuesday February 25, 2014 Watering Hole: Environmental News and Food Politics – Open Thread

Let’s start with some of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules:

#11. Avoid foods you see advertised on television.

#19. If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.

#20. It is not food if it arrived through the window of your car.

The rest of the rules here: Michael Pollan’s Food Rules

Obama’s most effect environmental action, from High Country News: Smog in the West

Not environmental per se, but more from HCN – Failed secession movements litter the West.

Open Thread

Watering Hole: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 – Don’t Do It

Last week, I felt conflicted as to how the US should respond to the gassing of citizens in Syria by the Assad government.  I have since reached an opinion regarding the use of targeted missile strikes by the United States.  Mr. President, don’t do it.

Assad has already killed many Syrians using conventional weapons and air strikes won’t prevent him from killing more Syrians in the future.  Children are always collateral damage in a war regardless of the weapons of choice.

The use of chemical and biological weapons were outlawed after World War I at the Geneva Convention.  The Chemical Weapons Convention, which further bans chemical weapons and requires the destruction of these weapons, clearly specifies:

  • Prohibition,
  • Declaration Requirements,
  • Destruction Requirements,
  • On-site Activity,
  • Trade,
  • And Penalties for non-compliance.

You can read more at the Arms Control website.

Since it is clear that using chemical or biological weapons is greatly frowned upon, I am left wondering, “Where is the outrage by the rest of the world’s nations?”  Why isn’t Assad being charged as a war criminal by the Hague?  European nations are timid in their response.  Could this silence be because of the war crimes committed by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld when no nation spoke up?  Is Putin siding with Assad because he would do the same to Russians that oppose him?  Just asking.

I question why Assad used chemical weapons.  He knows that President Obama claimed their use was the red line and yet Assad used them.  Does he want the US to get involved?  Were these chemical weapons the lure on the line?  There are still too many questions that have not been answered.

Americans are tired of war.  If our government is struggling to handle the current case load of our veterans, it certainly can’t afford to add to that work load.  We are struggling to recover from a huge deficit by using “sequestration”.  Many home bound citizens are missing meals because of cuts to Meals on Wheels and children that could greatly benefit from early education are being denied admission to Head Start.  This is just some of the impact of the budgetary cuts made by Congress but yet, we are suppose to believe that the US can afford to pay for missiles.  A single Tomahawk cruise missile costs approximately $1.5 million and Hellfire rockets cost about $115,000.00 each.  These prices do not include the cost of transportation or the tools need to launch the weapons.

I am hopeful that the House will say “no” to President Obama’s request for military strikes in Syria.

In the meantime, you might want to dust off your yellow ribbons.

This diary at Daily Kos presents an interesting perspective.

This is the Open Thread.  Speak Up!

NB:  This post was created on Saturday, Sept. 7 and does not reflect any updates that may have occurred since then.

The Watering Hole, Thursday, March 21, 2013: Free Dumb

Video

Oddly the tea party still believes it will control the Repubican party.  CPAC held a straw poll and the winner for the 2016 primary is Rand Paul.  While that’s not really much to worry about the fact that so many current members of congress legislate with an eye to avoiding a tea party primary challenge is.

Tea Party Leader Defends Membership In Fascist Group

 James_Ives_Fascist

Nothing says patriotic like good old-fashioned Fascism, at least according to the president of the Greater Fort Bend County Tea Party, James Ives. As reported by the Texas Tribune, Mr. Ives’ title before he joined the Tea party was quite different: the director of propaganda for the American Fascist Party (AFP). When confronted with this information, he wisely did not deny, but what he did say was far more revealing:

“From my point of view, it was all pro-Constitution, pro-America.

I never did anything. There really weren’t enough people involved to be a gathering, let alone a rally. It was basically a scattering of people across the continent just complaining.”

READ MORE AT LINK

Obviously we can’t afford to ignore Rand Paul and the Tea Party types while they continue to force their beliefs on the rest of us.

THIS IS OUR OPEN THREAD.  WHAT’S UP?

The Sunday Roast: 2012 – The Best Line…and The Worst

I have been thinking a lot about what stuck in my mind from last year and, of course, there are numerous occasions that are memorable. In my own life and in politics. Not all good memories, but that was 2012 for me. Not all good. Let’s stick to politics.

Here the best line in politics of 2012. Hint: A door painted on a rock…

And there was in my humble opinion the worst:

The only way is to take away the guns from the bad guys. Period!

So, what are you thinking? There are some really great quotes out there you are welcome to post the best, funniest, most thoughtful, most thought provoking and most uplifting lines that come to your mind. I think we might as well end this year on hope. Heaven knows we can all use it.

To All Critters and Regulars and the Occasional Lurker. I wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Successful New Year. Let’s get 2012 behind us, we have been spared another Republican President, yes it affects us over here as well. But there is still a lot of work to do on both sides of the Atlantic. I wish us all the best for it.

EV

 

The Watering Hole: December 14 — Obamadon

obamadon

Guess who has a dinosaur named after him?  You’re right — President Obama!  Wow, you’re good guessers.

In the picture, Obamadon is the cute one in the foreground.  I think the other one is John McCain, screaming at Obamadon to get off his rock.

From examiner.com:

The lizard sized dinosaur is thought to have lived on insects, and was small in stature in comparison to other known behemoths. Researchers say that the dinosaur’s size is not in anyway a political reference. The name Obamadon was chosen due to the lizard’s tall, straight teeth. According to sci-news.comPaleontologist Nick Longrich said, “Obama has these tall, straight incisors and a great smile.”

Interestingly enough, our President has a fish and a fungus named for him as well:

Obamadon is not the first organism to be named after Obama. Other researchers have given his name to Etheostoma obama, the spangled darter or “Obamafish”, and the fungus Caloplaca obamae.

It’s nice to have a President who is so well-respected, although George W. Bush also had something named after him…

While in office President George W. Bush also had something named after him, the “agathidium bushi“; a slime-mold beetle.

You had to see that one coming.  :)

This is our daily open thread — It’s Friday, Obamadonbots!