The Watering Hole, Saturday, March 4th, 2017: Look Back and Laugh…and Sigh

We need to take a break from the horror that America has become under a dark, grim authoritarian regime that’s less than two months old, and look back at what – in now-stark contrast – were the halcyon days of Barack Obama, The Laughing President.

President Obama was always at ease with himself, so he was also (almost) always at ease with foreign leaders, celebrities, his fellow Democrats, former Presidents from both sides of the aisle, even the Pope, for heaven’s sake; and even, FFS, the PRESS, that “Enemy of the American People”:

Notice that German Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn't mind President Obama touching her.

Notice that German Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn’t mind President Obama touching her.

Jon Steward and President Obama share a pose and a smile

Jon Stewart and President Obama share a pose and a smile

President Obama has a good laugh with David Letterman

President Obama heartily laughing with David Letterman

V.P. Joe Biden and President Obama acting casually.

V.P. Joe Biden and President Obama perform synchronized laughing.

Patently genuine laugh between Hillary Clinton and President Obama

Patently genuine laugh between Hillary Clinton and President Obama

Hillary's losing it, but Obama is happy to provide support

Hillary’s losing it, but Obama provides support

President Obama and former President Bill Clinton having a good time

President Obama and former President Bill Clinton having a good time

"THERE ARE FOUR PRESIDENTS [laughing]!"

“THERE ARE FOUR PRESIDENTS [laughing]!”

The President and The Pope

The President and The Pope

President Barack Obama's mic drop at his final Nerd Prom

President Barack Obama’s mic drop at his final Nerd Prom

But the ease and warmth that he obviously shared with so many others pales in comparison with the almost-visible aura of the unmistakable ease, warmth, humor, respect and love that he shares with his wife Michelle:

Barack and Michelle, side by side, as a loving couple should be...

Barack and Michelle, side by side, as a loving couple should be…

Date night out?

Date night out?

Now THAT'S "Class!"

Now THAT’S “Class!”

I won’t sully this brief remembrance of better times with the name(s) or photo(s) of the current fake occupier of our White House. I hope that, as I did, you couldn’t help but smile in response to President Barack Obama’s infectious grin.

[…sigh…]

This is our Open Thread, a bit late – enjoy!

The Watering Hole; Th/Fr December 1 and 2, 2016; “Thou, Whoever Art Above . . .”

I’ll admit it. I’m DISGUSTED!

I know I’m not alone in this, but I can say with heavy duty authority that in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential (s)election, my disgust has peaked at levels I’ve never known before, levels that, until November 9, I would have never guessed attainable, much less even possible. But it happened. Somehow, the most narcissistic, egomaniacal, misogynistic, xenophobic, bigoted, racist, fascistic and ego-driven presidential candidate in American history has been (s)elected (at least via Electoral College terms), and will become POTUS on January 20, 2017.

My initial reaction was to rant (which I did), then attempt to listen to those voices of ‘moderation,’ those voices that try to convince us “radicals” that hey, this is America where the voice of “the people” — not of the tyrant — is heard, is determinative of the nation’s (and the world’s) future. Those voices of moderation are, of course, nonsensical in that they ignore the obvious consequences that invariably occur when the entire government of a nation is turned over to what is, effectively, a far right wing politic, a Fascist majority. And sadly, that is precisely what ‘we the people’ did on November 8, 2016; we “elected” a Fascist president, and left in place right wing majorities in both the Senate and the House along with a vacancy on the Supreme Court which will now be filled by an extreme right wing appointee, thus granting control  of the entire of our federal government to the American Fascist Movement.

That should be the point that causes any salient mind to rant and rave for hours on end about electoral national destruction, but then again, to the “salient” mind, what would be the point? As Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar noted, “The die is cast.” Besides, it does one no good at all to imagine being down in the pit, surrounded only by idiots, white supremacists, Republicans, Fascists  — assuming there’s a difference. There are, after all, other places — peaceful and quiet places, places brimming with ‘salient’ life forms — places that are far better, that inspire rather than denigrate one’s imagination.

Here’s an example: a six line poem by longtime colleague and friend T.R. Nissle, words which he penned some 40 years ago in response to a few photos I managed to ‘snap’ during my frequent and solitary sojourns “out there” on some then relatively undisturbed corners of the Sonoran Desert in southwestern Arizona. Six lines with six photos (the top three ‘inspired’ the poem), together offer a refreshing look at the living world — though not expressly through human eyes.

THE PRAYER OF THE CACTUS

ca-1972-cave-creek-wasjh-praying-saguaro

▲Thou, whoever art above, hear me die –▲

ca-1973-white-tanks-old-sentry

▲Hear my silent, lonely prayer –▲

ca-1975-mcdowells-saguaro-backlit-350pxl

▲For tongueless creatures everywhere;▲

003s▲We neither savage, jest, nor boast of soul –▲

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA▲But flower unmaliciously –▲

2004-january-sunrise-ove-salt-river-valley-022f▲Disjoin us from Humanity.▲

Those six photos are of the Sonoran Desert’s most unique life form, the Giant Saguaro Cactus, in various stages of both life and death. Curiously enough, the Saguaro’s longtime scientific name Cereus giganteus (Britton & Rose) was, in recent years, changed to Carnegiea gigantea in honor of renowned wealthy industrialist-become-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie who, in his last years prior to his death in 1919, donated (as 2015 share of GDP) some $78.6 Billion (approx. 90% of his accumulated wealth) to charities, foundations, and universities. I suppose it could simply be my naivete, but I seriously doubt that any of today’s billionaires will ever wind up with a signature cactus named after them. Trumpissonia gigantea? Probably not.

The bottom line remains: If humans would take a moment and agree to (1) abolish all war, (2) disallow greed,  hate, and irrational fear, (3) abandon their never-ending savage quest for power, and (4) agree to never again boast of soul — but flower unmaliciously, the world would fast become a livable place for all its creatures, big or small. Including even ourselves.

I remain filled with doubt, however; human history has yet to suggest that humans are uniformly capable of being earth-friendly in any context. More than two centuries ago, for example, William Wordsworth  noted that though . . .

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
the earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;–
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

To which I can only add, in MY voice to all of earth’s creatures everywhere:

Disjoin US from “Humanity.”

2005-mar-brittlebush-encelia-farinosa-022s-sharper

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OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Th/Fr Nov. 17/18 2016; ‘Oh Say — Can You See’?

“Now the face that I see in the mirror,
More and more is a stranger to me;
More and more I can see there’s a danger,
Of becoming what I never thought I’d be – “
(Lyric by John Denver)

******

▼Rising ‘Beaver’ Moon; Nov. 14 2016▼

2016-nov-14-rising-beaver-moon-2504cr

♬  Oh say, can you see, by the moon’s subtle light,

How PROFOUNDLY we’ve failed, since the twilight’s last gleaming . . . ♬

******

“If ever we put any other value above liberty, and above principle, we shall lose both.”
~Dwight D. Eisenhower (1960)

League Of The South Hails Trump, Wants ‘No Mercy’ Towards ‘Jews, Minorities And Anti-White Whites’: “You, by God’s grace, may have been given a short reprieve from this scenario. Redeem the time! As for me, I recommend that we get busy with Southern independence. We need our own country, and it must be run by us for our own interests. It must once again be White Man’s Land.”

In Donald Trump’s America, fear, violence and intimidation are taking over college campuses: Vandalism and slurs have surged on college campuses, from “Trump!” graffiti to pushing a Muslim student down a hill

Worst potential Trump pick of all? It might be anti-immigration guru Jeff Sessions as attorney general: The Alabama senator wants to shut down immigration and birthright citizenship — and tells “jokes” about the KKK

From 9/11 to 11/9: Is Donald Trump’s election collateral damage from the War on Terror?: How Trump exploited the War on Terror’s effects on our political culture, economy and national psyche

Why Recent Child Rape Case Against Trump Should Not Be Ignored: Victim Has A Witness (updated): Tiffany Doe herself says that she is in mortal fear of Mr. Trump to this day: “I am coming forward to swear to the truthfulness of the physical and sexual abuse that I personally witnessed of minor females at the hands of Mr. Trump and Mr. Epstein . . . I swear to these facts under the penalty for perjury even though I fully understand that the life of myself and my family is now in grave danger”. (See also: www.huffingtonpost.com/…)

Trump adviser promises a return to `Drill, Baby, Drill’: An adviser to President-elect Donald Trump has now promised that the incoming administration will collect “hundreds of billions of dollars” in revenue by “opening up” federal lands and oceans to oil, gas, and coal development.

NASA: `Planetary warming does not care about the election’: A very warm October ensures 2016 will be the hottest year by far: The only way to stop this vicious cycle of ever-more dangerous threats is through a global effort to slash carbon pollution deeply and rapidly. Tragically, elections can and do affect whether major emitters like the United States will keep trying to solve the problem — or become a major reason we don’t.

“But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy
and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is
a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist
dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the
bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that
they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism
& exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
~Hermann Goering (1893-1946)

Seattle Councilwoman Gets Threats After Call To Shut Down Trump’s Inauguration: ‘I will come and tattoo a swastika on your head and on that bitch’s head.’

Democratic Coalition Files FBI Election Complaint Against Stephen Bannon: Whoopsie! It looks like Brietbart head racist in charge and alt-Right champion may have skirted some pretty serious campaign finance laws while working to elect Cheeto Jesus Trump.

Steve Bannon To Help Trump Bring White Nationalism, Misogyny and Anti-Semitism To The White House

Donald Trump Taps Radical Conspiracy Theorist Frank Gaffney For Transition Team

Trump Reportedly Considering White House Post For Anti-Muslim Activist Who Called Joseph McCarthy ‘Spot On’: Trump is considering naming Center for Security Policy official Clare Lopez to a top national security post in his White House. . . . Responding to protests against Trump’s candidacy that turned violent this summer, Lopez linked the protests to a “witch’s brew” of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, Black Lives Matter activists and a “conglomeration of anarchists, communists, socialists, progressivists, leftists of all sorts, Occupy, Bill Ayers types,” all seeking to bring down “the American political system.” She also warned of “a coordinated effort to involve Muslims into the electoral process,” an effort that she said was being “directed by the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Jan Brewer: ‘Orchestrated’ Trump protesters are ‘just awful’ — and many owe allegiance to Mexico: “Obviously their allegiance isn’t to the United States, it was to Mexico,” she said, while also calling the protests “orchestrated” and “just awful.” “They’re not entitled to behave like that, I don’t believe. You know, people protest, it’s fine. A lot of them aren’t legal citizens and some of them are and they didn’t even vote and now they’re outraged. They could at least give him a chance.”

What luck for rulers, that men do not think.
~Adolph Hitler

Michele Bachmann: Trump’s Election Was ‘God Answering The Prayers Of His People’: “We saw the Lord answer so specifically that only the hand of God could do that,” she said. “Let’s pray and join and ask the Lord that godly believers would be put in these key sensitive positions. People that the Lord will use for blessing for the United States and for the world. This was the number one story of 2016: God answering the prayers of his people.”

Jim Bakker: Trump’s Election Is ‘The Greatest Miracle I Have Ever Seen’

Kenneth Copeland Now Has A Direct Line To Deliver Messages From God To President Trump: “I am totally convinced that if the Lord were to say something to me … that the president needs to hear,” he said, “I have no doubt that we could do it and do it quickly and have audience to say, ‘Thus saith the Lord’ and he wouldn’t just turn it over to an aide or something and just write it off. He would listen and it would mean something to him.”

Mike Huckabee Tells Far-Right Gathering That Trump Could Be One Of The Greatest Presidents Ever: He said that he trusted Trump to “put good people in the Supreme Court” and “put people in the State Department that might rid Foggy Bottom of the horrible pro-terrorist nonsense that has infiltrated that hideous agency.”

“The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense
founded on the Christian religion.”
~Treaty of Tripoli, signed on June 10, 1797,
by President John Adams.

2016-nov-15-setting-beaver-moon-2506

▲Setting ‘Beaver’ Moon; Nov. 15 2016▲

******

Who are we, really? Do we know?

“Our Revolution commenced on more favorable ground
[than the foundation of the Ten Commandments]. It presented
us an album on which we were free to write what we pleased.
We had no occasion to search into musty records, to hunt up
royal parchments, or to investigate the laws and institutions of
a semi-barbarous ancestry. We appealed to those of nature,
and found them engraved on our hearts.”
~Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Major John Cartwright, June 5, 1824

******

“The office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not
in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”
~Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist #68

******

“The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost
duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It
will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation
has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our
national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.”
~Adolph Hitler; My New World Order, Proclamation to the
German Nation at Berlin, 1 February 1933

******

My response to the election
of Donald J. Trump
and
to the dishonor of ALL who
are responsible for his electoral “victory.”

NONE

None there are so blind as those
Who neither care nor dare to see;
And None there are so dunce as those
Who neither dare nor care to think –

But worse than those who dare not dare
To think, perchance to see,
Are those who never care to care,
But think each lie their leader speaks –

Bespeaks reality.

******

Finally, my interpretation of the rise of the (emerging) Trump Reich:
(to the tune of the Colonel Bogey March)

♬  Donald, has only got one ball
Putin, has two but they are small
Priebus has two, but Jeebus —
Herr Stephen Bannon has no balls at all!  ♬

bannon

******

‘We’ll have to leave it there.’

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Friday October 21 2016; “It is not now as it hath been of yore”

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
the earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.

Those are the opening five lines of the first stanza of William Wordsworth’s classic work of poetic art entitled “ODE ON INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY From Recollections of Early Childhood”  (comp. 1802-1804). What’s long fascinated me is the fact that even though ‘Intimations’ was written more than 200 years ago, its words still describe — with amazing precision — moments of emotional recognition that most any cognitive mind can find itself pondering even today.

In the summer of 2007, for example, we spent pretty much the entire month of July camped in Arizona’s Apache National Forest, on the edge of a forest meadow (Cienega) which was located some 30 miles from the nearest town, some 5-6 miles north of the edge of Arizona’s grand escarpment, the Mogollon Rim (elevation approx. 9000 ft.) and roughly 10-15 miles west of the New Mexico state line. The forest meadow was named Butterfly Cienega, and it lay in a lush and peaceful corner of a forest teaming with life.

The following series of photographs effectively portrays a tiny portion of the experience, and essentially acts as a bridge to another event that was to occur some four years down the road — May, June and July, 2011. The photos are presented in no particular order, but are interspersed with three additional excerpts from Wordsworth’s ‘Intimations’ Ode which together re-tell the story implied in the Ode’s nine-line first stanza, as quoted up top and in the four lines immediately below.  Continue reading

The Watering Hole: Saturday, October 15th, 2016: KITTENS!

I was going to title this “ALL-PUSSY EDITION”, but it might have attracted the wrong crowd. Heh.

Wayne and I have just added two kittens, sisters, to our family. No names yet, but it’s only been about ten days since we got them, and I’m observing their behavior/personality traits for clues as they settle in. They made themselves at home within the first day or two, and while Wayne and I find them highly entertaining and completely adorable, the rest of our kids are not so amused. The older four, Missy, Buster, Fitzgerald and Cecilia, are happy to have the bonus of Kitten Chow (and even though I started out feeding the little ones separately, in the other side of the house, the others quickly sniffed it out anyway), but otherwise avoid them at all costs. Squiggy, on the other hand…

Squiggy's a big (and heavy!) boy now.

Squiggy’s a big (and heavy!) boy now.

Squiggy, about two years old now, is a big boy and loves to play, especially “fetch”. We’ve always had lots of toys around for him, often stockpiled for when he goes after a thrown toy but comes back empty-mouthed, yet still asking for another throw. With the exception of the occasional spontaneous outburst of play on the part of our older ‘girls’, Squiggy has had most of the toys pretty much to himself. He has his “favorite” toys, his “okay-I’ll-play-with this-one-until-you-find-me-one-of-my-favorites” toys, and the “I’m-just-gonna-let-that-one-go-by-while-looking-bored” toys. Whatever he thought of them before, the two invaders now consider all of the toys to be theirs. Not even Squiggy’s favorites have been spared, and, although he seems simply fascinated by their antics at times, and sometimes joins in when the two girls are running full-tilt through the house, he is all-too-often bemused, bothered, befuddled and bewildered. We’re trying to make sure that he and the others get their previously-normal share of attention and loving, but, as I said, the older ones currently prefer to steer clear. We’ll all adjust eventually, they just don’t know that yet.

No more prologue is necessary, so here they are:

It's tempting to name her

It’s tempting to name her “Blaze”.

Her blaze has stripes.

Her blaze has stripes.

I only got one picture of this little girl's face, unfortunately. And obviously, I had to clean up the background to make it presentable in public.

I only got one picture of this little girl’s face, unfortunately. And obviously, I had to clean up the background to make it presentable in public.

Here's a nice back view of the lighter one's markings.

Here’s a nice back view of the lighter one’s markings.

“She likes to wash.”
That’s Wayne’s hand, for the record.

And one last one – Sorry, but I couldn’t help making this shot into a political meme:nastyorangemanwearingroadkillgrabswha3

This is our daily Open Thread – don’t forget to sprinkle some compliments in amongst your comments!

Also, too, any and all suggestions for names will be welcome.

The Watering Hole; Thursday October 13 2016; Politics? No Mas!

 

Politics. Enough is Enough! as someone once said. I can buy that. Boy, can I buy that.

I confess. I’m sick to death of politics. I wait with baited breath for this election season TO END! and for Donald Trump and all like him to wind up as floaters in the political sewage lagoon where they belong. Manifest Destiny, in a word (well, two words, actually, but what the hay).

So to hell with politics. To hell with Trump and all he “stands” for (i.e. himself, nothing else; it’s so simple, really). Why not a look around at something else, at things and scenes that are well worth a view, a view that has absolutely ZERO to do with today’s political mess that’s come to define this nation’s existence at this unfortunate point in time?

Great idea, seems to me, so following are some ‘snapshots’ of highlights gathered from days past (within the last forty years, give-or-take). Each and all still stand tall as depictions of what once was – ‘Out There’ – in a world devoid of politics and filled instead with LIFE — as each and every moment can easily become.

So relax, lay back, prepare for a non-political — relaxing (and peaceful, mostly) — soliloquy. Enjoy!

flower-004

▲Bird of Paradise; Kauai, 1978▲

▲Bald Eagle; Lake Beckwith, Colorado; 2009▲

ca-1975-mcdowells-saguaro-backlit-350pxl

▲Backlit Sonoran Desert Giant Saguaro; ca 1975▲

corals-anse-chastanet-st-lucia-sept-1983

▲Coral Reef; St. Lucia, Caribbean; 1983▲

ca-1980-cabo-san-lucas-seal

▲Seal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; ca 1980▲

▲Chipmunk, San Isabel N.F., Colorado; 2009▲

2014-june-29-bullsnake-116

▲EEK! Gopher Snake, Colorado; 2014▲

0716-indian-paintbrush-detail

▲Indian Paintbrush Wildflower, Arizona, ca 2002▲

cocoa-palms-lagoon-water-lillies

▲Water Lillies, Kauai; 1978▲

A world without politics; a world without Trump! Imagine it! The Peace! The Beauty!

▼EEEK!! TRUMP??▼

▲Pu’uhonua, Hawaii; 1978▲

Seriously, did King Kamehaha have to deal with his own version of Trump? Really? I see the dude does have small hands; and what about the face? The hair? They had to deal with the sum of all of THAT too? In ancient Polynesia? Way back then? I mean, really, that’s just plain bizarre!

*sigh*

Brings to mind this one. It’s not one of mine, but whomever it was that tripped the shutter captured the best summation of the entire of the Trump “movement” I’ve ever seen!

gop-training-film

▲Dump Trump!▲

Eww. Guess we’d better leave it there.

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OPEN THREAD


 

The Watering Hole; Friday September 30 2016; Uncategorizable Wingnuttistanian Nonsense, and The Remedy

A darting fear — a pomp — a tear —
A waking on a morn
To find that what one waked for,
Inhales the different dawn.
(Emily Dickinson)

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I. UNCATEGORIZABLE WINGNUTTISTANIAN NONSENSE

This Just In:

David Barton Claims The Founding Fathers Used ‘The Exact Language Of The Bible’ To Write The Constitution

Barton . . . once again insisted that the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution by using the “exact language” of the Bible.

Barton was making the case that the Bible tells voters all they need to know about how to choose their elected leaders, repeating his falseclaim that 34 percent of the political documents from the founding era cited the Bible, which he claimed is why the Constitution is filled with direct quotations from the Bible.

“I can show you clause after clause in the Constitution where they used the exact language of the Bible in the Constitution,” he said. “It’s just that we’re so biblicaly illiterate today that we don’t recognize that in the Constitution.”

I’m no biblical expert, but Barton’s claim sounded interesting so I decided to take a quick look. First, the Preamble:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

No luck there, so I made up a list of words that I figured were genuinely biblical and then word-searched each one in my docx version of the Constitution, as amended. Here are the words I chose:

In the beginning
Genesis
God
Jesus
Virgin
Mary
Revelation
Solomon
David
Exodus
Job
Psalm
Thou shalt not kill

Got a hit on only two of them. David Brearley from New Jersey was one of many who signed the original 1787 document. Also, I got a whole pile of hits on the word Virgin, not in biblical style, but since the word “Virginia” appears regularly . . . well, you know [reminded me of that old college joke that went something like, “I dated a girl named Virginia. I called her Virgin for short, but not for long.” (sorry about that)]. None of the other words or phrases showed up anywhere in the Constitution, so I’m guessing maybe it’s fair to doubt either Barton’s premise or my own ability to pluck worthy stuff from the Bible. Time will tell, I guess.

Then there was this one:

Rick Joyner: Climate Change Is A Communist Plot

Joyner said that climate change goes all the way back to a purported 1930s-era Communist Party “plan for subduing America” through “reeducation” and subversion.

Part of the plan, he said, was to “co-opt” young people knowing that “the youth will always respond to environmental issues and we have to keep inventing crises so that we can be the ones who save the world or are the answer to saving the world over and over.”

I dunno, I’m clearly in a tee-tiny minority, but I still think climate change has something to do with CO2 emissions from fossil fuel consumption, but who am I to compete with a brainiac like Rick Joyner.

Then last but by no means least, this gem popped up:

Ken Ham: Christians Who Believe In Evolution Follow A ‘Pagan Religion’ & Invite God’s Judgment

Ken Ham, the head of the Creationist group Answers In Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum, joined conservative radio host Janet Mefferd last week to discuss a new book about evangelicals who have embraced the theory of evolution. These Christians, Ham said, are following a “pagan religion” and are therefore inviting the judgment of God. . . .

“I’m going to say it out very bluntly,” he said. “Look, millions of years in evolution is the pagan religion of this age to explain, to attempt to explain life without God. And when you compromise God’s word with millions of years and evolutionary ideas, you’re no different to the Israelites, who took the pagan religion of the age—or the Canaanites, or whatever—incorporated into their thinking. And look what happened. It destroyed them, and God judged them before it. We are no different, there’s nothing new under the sun.”

I think it was Solomon who said, “there’s nothing new under the sun,” but I looked, and that phrase isn’t in the Constitution either.

Solomon was wrong on that one, though, because each and every day and on every corner of the earth there’s ALWAYS something NEW under the sun! Life’s like that, you know. Unlike preachers, politicians, and radio talk-jocks. Nothing new there, same old same old.

II. THE REMEDY

If I had my choice between hanging around with Ken Ham, or Rick Joyner, or David Barton, or a desert sunrise, guess what my choice would be! Time to give equal space to all that “emptiness” 🙂 one sees under the rising sun and then decide if it’s possibly more interesting than the three dudes cited above. So here goes, as they say, “nothing.” Dude/Desert comparisons welcome; y’all be the judge!

▼1. September 2003 dawn, seen from the center of metro-Phoenix in the Phoenix Mtn. Preserve.▼

2003-sep-four-pks-sunrise-phxmp-008f

▼2. January 2004, view from White Tank Mountains regional park overlooking the entire of metro-Phoenix (downtown visible in center on the horizon)▼

2004-january-sunrise-ove-salt-river-valley-022f

▼3. March 2007 cloudy dawn from White Tanks Regional Park; first mountain is Camelback in the center of Phoenix, Superstition Mountains in the background.▼

2007-mar-dawn-over-camelback-superstitions-015f

So the landscapes in those split second views are apparently somewhere in the vicinity of fifty million years old, give or take ten or twenty million years. There are no signs anywhere of the passage of Noah’s Ark all those 5000 years ago (no sign of a flood either, at least not that I ever noticed). But it remains a virtual certainty that during all those millions of geologic years there’s been plenty of NEW stuff under that old sun! Regularly, too!

There. That feels a LOT better!

******

OPEN THREAD

 

 

 

The Watering Hole; Friday September 23 2016; The Last “Bugs” of Summer

Fall has arrived, finally! There are flowering plants in full bloom, along with various little Arthropods on the wing, anxious to take full advantage of slowly waning sunlight and warmth — much to their collective delight, and to the everlasting benefit of the flowers. Life goes on, and if nature has her way, it will flourish.

Below, a small handful of photos from just the last few days of all that life-enhanncing activity.

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▲Not sure if this was Bee-1, Bee-17, Bee-29, or Bee-52, but here it comes! ▲

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▲Bee refueling at “Hanger,” sotospeak▲

2016-sep-21-bug-max-sunflower-2482

▲Not sure the ID of this guy, only know he was close to a quarter-inch long▲

It’s also fall in the human world, of course, and in a leap year as well, which means there’s a national election coming up in somewhere around fifty days, an election which will choose our next President. Unfortunately, however, a high percentage of Americans no longer have the intelligence-driven capabilities of flowers and insects and have become known, instead, as Conservative Republicans. The problems of diminished intelligence are obvious everywhere, but can be, today, quite ably summarized by just a small handful of headlined links to more detailed analyses. For example, from the last few days of summer, 2016, these:

WorldNetDaily Explains Why It’s ‘Not Natural’ For A Woman To Run For President

Frank Amedia: God Has Called Trump To Tear Down Walls

Jim Bakker: Supporters Of The Constitution Are Mysteriously Dying

Tom DeLay: Obama Will ‘Go Down As The Worst President That Has Ever Served This Nation’

Rand Paul: Obama Should Have Moved Us ‘Beyond Race’ But Race Relations Have ‘Gotten Worse’

Louie Gohmert: US Killed Al-Awlaki To Cover Up ‘All The Different People He Worked With In The Administration’

Gary Bauer: Donald Trump Might Be The Last Chance Conservative Christians Have To Save America

There’s another human problem, one that’s exacerbated by diminished intelligence; it’s the fact that human activities, unlike those of flowers and insects, are changing the planet’s climate — not for the better, but for the worse — to the point where unless corrections are made quickly, the entire biosphere of the earth will change to the point where it will have a severe impact on virtually every life form including flowers, insects, coral reefs, even the life form that will be the last to notice, i.e. Conservative Republicans.

Dangerous Denial of Global Warming

An open letter just issued by 375 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and its foreign affiliates, including 30 Nobel laureates, warns that “rapid warming of the planet increases the risk of crossing climatic points of no return, possibly setting in motion large-scale ocean circulation changes, the loss of major ice sheets, and species extinctions. The climatic consequences of exceeding such thresholds are not confined to the next one or two electoral cycles. They have lifetimes of many thousands of years.”

They also took a direct swipe at Trump, saying “it is of great concern that the Republican nominee for President has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord. . . . Such a decision would make it far more difficult to develop effective global strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change. The consequences of opting out of the global community would be severe and long-lasting – for our planet’s climate and for the international credibility of the United States.”

Surveys show that Republican are twice as likely as last year to express doubts about the existence of global warming, According to University of Michigan researchers, one factor may be their presidential candidate’s oft-repeated insistence that global warming is “a total, and very expensive, hoax!”

Here is a closer look at the climate policies of the major Conservative Republican candidate for President:

Donald Trump isn’t backing down from his terrifying climate policy

“We need an America-First energy plan,” Trump said. “This means opening federal lands for oil and gas production; opening offshore areas; and revoking policies that are imposing unnecessary restrictions on innovative new exploration technologies.”

If elected president, Trump has pledged to revoke both the Clean Power Plan and President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the cornerstones of Obama’s domestic climate agenda, and important signals to the international community of the United States’ commitment to climate action.

Trump has also promised to roll back the Waters of the United States Rule, which would extend drinking water protections for millions of Americans. Instead, he said that he would redirect the EPA to “refocus…on its core mission of ensuring clean air, and clean, safe drinking water for all Americans.”

IF human-caused climate change should become the engine fueling the earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction, the odds are very strong that most of what we know of flowers, of insects, of sea life, animal life, and plant life will disappear forever, and evolution will once again be challenged to bring life-on-earth back up to snuff by some point in the distant future. And with most life forms extincted because of Conservative Republicans, evolution will once again have to find a place from which to start its process. In the past, for example, one of the re-start life forms has apparently been the common cockroach from whose DNA has emerged the bulk of what some might call “higher life forms.” The problem is that there’s no guarantee that bugs, flowers, and other forms of intelligent life will re-emerge in that situation. It is fairly likely, however, that if life begins anew based on roach DNA, what we’ll end up with is a creature that more resembles today’s common roach than, say, either a bee or a flower. Something more like this would be a safer bet:

trumpthumb

▲The “First” Roach of Summer? Fall? Winter? Spring?▲

If that should happen again, well, I don’t wanna be here to see it, would prefer to remain extinct. Yuk. Life forms derived from roaches can be so deplorable.

******

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Tuesday, August 30th, 2016: “Invest in Beauty”

I was going to tell a dreary tale – about a disturbing conversation I had with a customer who, somewhere in the discussion of her foot problems, managed to bring up Trump and her buzzword-laden approval of him – for today’s post. Instead, thanks to two Zoosters’ comments from yesterday’s thread, here’s some cat stuff.

In yesterday’s comments, pete contributed the following:

“I have often thought that the world would be a better place if evolution had just stopped after cats; large and small. Sure. They are vicious predators with a complete absence of mercy but they are also graceful, intelligent, and have a fantastic sense of humor.”

Not much later, fatherbob posted a link to an article about a lost cat being found next to its “missing cat” poster. The same site had another article about professional photographer Robert Sijka’s photos of “Bearded Cats”, aka Maine Coons; the article includes a brief gallery of glorious creatures, and a link to more. You HAVE to check them out.  As the author of the article says:

“Maine Coons are the largest domesticated felines in the world, able to grow up to four feet in length. The breed is characterised by their gentle nature and their fabulous fur, which can easily be mistaken for a scruffy beard.
Basically, they’re kinda like a lynx, except that they won’t try to kill you.”

Of course, Maine Coons start out all tiny and innocent-looking, like these:
MaineCoonsPictures-1024-768-Origami-MCO-f2203-photos-Ni794815Maine_Coon_cat_licking_its_paw_044972_But they eventually turn into the fiercely beautiful, majestic, dignified, imperial creatures that all cats innately are, regardless of size or fur length.
MaineCoonSilverTabbyMaine-Coon-Cat-6-1024x680There, that’s better than some scary Trump supporter, right?

Last week I ran across a quote on a greeting card that I’m compelled to share:

“If you ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.”

~ Frank Lloyd Wright ~

This is our daily Open Thread. You know what to do.

The Watering Hole; Thursday August 11 2016; 2016 Election, Primaries thru Conventions; Images Worth Recalling

“To see a world in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.”
(William Blake, in ‘Auguries of Innocence’)

It’s been a long year already. In January there was the run-up to both the Democratic and Republican Presidential Primaries. The Dems featured a reasonable contest between Sanders and Clinton; the Republicans brought a clown car to the fest, filled with seventeen ___________ (use your word of choice). But in both cases — finally — the chatter was pretty much over and the real contest, complete with voters, was about to begin. The primaries (and caucuses) themselves began in early February and splashed down regularly until they finally were over in early June.

During those months, I’ll admit that I did indeed pay a certain amount of attention to the whole political melange that has come to define the bulk of this country’s electoral system. And every time I watched an episode or two or three on the telly, I typically became totally disgusted and wondered why the hell would anyone with a functioning mind waste their time doing that? Is it because such nonsense is the only thing remaining in this world that’s worth pursuing, worth pondering or thinking about?

Answer: Hell no! There’s another world out there, a world that’s NOT inhabited and driven by idiots! And it’s not far away — it’s ‘right over there’!

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Jan 23 2016 geese 2165

▲January: a pair of obviously bored Canadian Geese▲

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▲February: a Bald Eagle, clearly waiting for word from Iowa and New Hampshire▲

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Mar 19 2016 North peak-St Charles low snowfall 2206

▲March: Weird upside-down snowfall pulls attention away from primaries▲

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Spring 2016 setting full moon 2216

▲Late March: Setting full moon. No politics can compete. Thank all gods!▲

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2016 May 2 North Peak and St. Charles 2223

▲Late April: Rightside-up snowfall. What are primaries, again?▲

May 12 2016 Gosling 2279

▲May: Gosling; next generation’s arrived and doing well!▲

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May 9 2016 goose family 2259

▲May: Canadian (goose) family. All’s well.▲

****

So where were we? We were talking about something . . . something human . . .

Oh, yes, now I remember. Politics. Boring. Yuk. Well anyway, so in early June, Clinton and Drumpf had become, thanks to fifty primaries/caucuses, their respective Party’s nominees for President of the United States, nominations that were confirmed at the respective Republican and Democratic National Conventions, held the last couple of weeks in July. Bang Zoom. Only around 100 days left till the election!

I remember reading that somewhere. One hundred days. Another eternity on the hoof. Where are the distractions when you need them, I wondered.

Then it happened!

2016 Aug 7 Butterfly 2407

▲Early August: Intruder in the Zinnia garden!▲

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2016 Aug 7 Butterfly 2408

2016 Aug 7 Butterfly 2413

I have no idea what the critter’s name might be, but I KNOW it’s not ‘Trump,’ not ‘Hillary.’ But one thing is certain: it’s far more interesting, far more colorful, far more gentle, far less intrusive than anything I’ve seen on the campaign trail or the telly in the last week year — or likely will see in the next 90 days, give or take! Instead, we’re left with . . . ewwww. (see below)

Trump 1

Make Amurkkka Great Again??

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I think I prefer Wordsworth:

Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

****

OPEN THREAD

 

 

The Watering Hole, Monday, July 11th, 2016: “Christians” vs “Critters”

If you’d like more proof that at least some “Christian Evangelical” megachurch “leaders”, along with the “Prosperity” Jeebus hucksters and their varied brethren, should be under the microscope of the IRS, there’s a few articles on the Christian Post’s “Politics” page. (Also see RawStory’s recent thread about “Pastor” Jeffress.)

Or, if you prefer to start your day/week with some ‘critters’, here’s the official “Watering Hole”:
watering hole
bear cubs boxing cutefunnyanimalz blogspot com
belly up pups
black kitten
leaping lemurs
sea_lion a to z animals
upclose kitty amolife com
fucking love this stick animal animal animal blgspt

This is our daily Open Thread–say whatever you want.

The Watering Hole; Friday July 1 2016; Songs From the Younger World; a Soliloquy of Sorts

I occasionally get fed up with the day’s news, the day’s politics, and the idiocy layered there within that all too often bubbles to the  surface and causes one to wish that another (preferably uninhabited) planet was available for immediate transport. Today is a good example of all of the above coming together at the same time, as in (1) the recent mass shooting in Orlando and the terrorist attack on Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, (2) Donald Trump, and (3) Donald Trump. Unfortunately, no other planet is available; that sad reality both forces the few of us with functioning minds to remain here, even though the consequences usually are terribly painful, to say the least.

There is, however, a potential remedy, one that simply requires a look back to another time, another situation where idiocy seemed to be totally in charge. A good one for me is 2004, back when the daily turmoil consisted of (1) the Iraq war, (2) George W. Bush, and (3) George W. Bush. During that entire span of political trash, I found that the greatest comfort available was to dismiss the moment in its entirety and wander, instead, to and through those other worlds that are dominated not by idiots, but instead by poets, by nature itself, and by the merge of both verbal and visual ideas — “Songs” — from both sources. I hope the following Soliloquy — a single brief narrative, a traverse through that other world — might serve to relieve the pain of today’s political silliness. Maybe it will also inspire readers to seek — and find — their own refuge from stupidity.

Below a photo-poetic essay, a reiteration of calming moments garnered in days past; 2004, to be exact. Photos are, each and all, my own — from Arizona’s majestic Sonoran Desert, a place of solace, a corner of that Younger World which, once discovered, forever beckons.

******

◆Songs From the Younger World◆

Ides of March - 4

The poetry of earth is never dead.
(John Keats; 1817)

In his famous environmental treatise A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold proposed that “Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf.” Jack London, in The Call of the Wild referred to that same howl as “A song of the younger world.” Today, amidst the din and clang of modern life in the modern city, many seem to have lost – or perhaps have never found at all – that sense of melody, that voice which is the song of the untrammeled world.

And, too, how to describe the bugling elk, or the creak of the crow’s wings as they pound through the silent forest air? And the rustle of the wildflower in a soft breeze – is that in itself the flower’s song, or is there more? John Muir spoke of the Ponderosa when he wrote, “Of all the pines, this one gives forth the finest music to the winds.” Few who have listened closely enough to genuinely hear that melody will dare to argue.

Cholla

William Blake began his Auguries of Innocence with a scant twenty-nine words which reveal both his vision and insight:

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.

Desert Cicada

One might surmise that Blake understood, that he had heard the song even as he watched the orchestra perform. In that regard he was, indeed, a most uniquely fortunate man.

In his Ode on Intimations of Immortality William Wordsworth noted his abiding concern for the natural world and man’s impact thereupon when he wrote:

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;–
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

Baboquivari Peak

Wordsworth also noted that

Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.

Or perhaps those things are still there to see, for those who care to look? Emily Dickinson once described death as that moment when “I could not see to see”; perchance this ‘glory’ which has ‘past away’ is not of the earth itself but is, rather, more a failure of the observer ? a manifest of a myopic inability or unwillingness to look, to listen, to See?

Praying Saguaro

While it’s probably true that nothing we know to do can capture the entire of even the briefest spot of time, perhaps even the effort can offer an encouragement for others to leave behind, for the moment, the commonality of the human foible which pretends to fuel life’s engine and substitute, instead, a reason to look and listen for the Song of that world far younger than ours, to hear those erstwhile Voices in the Wind. They are, after all and to the attentive mind and heart, part and parcel to the Sum of Life.

Wordsworth asks,

Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

And almost as if in answer, William Cullen Bryant proclaims:

To him who, in the love of Nature, holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language . . .

Listen. Hear. See. Enjoy. And remember, always, these words by John Keats in 1817 . . .

Sentry reflections mod

◆The poetry of earth is ceasing never.◆

******

And now, brace yourself. Today’s world awaits. Breathlessly.

See below: proof that . . .

Trump Dumb

◆The poetry of earth is ceasing.◆

******

OPEN THREAD

 

The Watering Hole; Friday June 10 2016; A Look Back

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks going through old boxes filled with old photographs, looking for old prints worth digitizing. Found a bunch of 8×10 Cibachromes that I developed myself in my own (tee-tiny) darkroom all those many years ago, and believe it or not, they served to make the moment a lot more enjoyable — not so much for the memories, even though they were, indeed, remindful of that younger world in I (we) once lived. I guess what really caught my attention was that, first, there was no hint of Trump anywhere in either the photos or the memories, mainly because back in the 1970’s I’d never even HEARD of the bastard! Wow, speak of a delightful era!

Anyway, I found about fifteen that were worth digitizing — scenes from various 1970’s destinations including Minnesota, Colorado, Arizona, California, and Hawaii — and thought maybe a handful were worth a wider look. So go ahead, close the door on current politics and wander, instead, backward some forty or so years to that other era — not the era of Tricky Dick, the Nam, and Gerry Ford, but those more peaceful spots that were, back then, far more accessible and less traveled than they are today.

Enjoy the soliloquy.

Colt, MN, Heselton,ca 1975 - 350pxl▲Very Young Colt; Faribault, Minnesota; circa 1973▲

 1975 Yucca McDowell MtnsYuccas in full bloom; Arizona, circa 1975

 Ocotillo Blossom ca 1972 350 pix▲Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) flower; Arizona, 1972▲

La Jolla Sunset ca 1978▲Sunset, La Jolla California; circa 1974▲

1978 field of flowers, Haleaka, Maui▲Wildflowers on Mt. Haleakala, Maui; 1978▲

Flower 004▲Bird of Paradise, Kauai, 1978▲

And finally, this:

▼Rocky Mountain Crocus on Mt. Evans, Colorado, 1971▼

Rocky Mtn Flower

So there you have it, the 1970’s revisited. Hard to believe some of that stuff is ‘already’ more than forty years old, esp. when each one seems like it was captured maybe yesterday — last week at the most — all via those old-fashioned cameras that even required a roll of film in ’em before you could make them work.

In any case, they did their job quite well, and even now at this late date, the flashbacks offered can be fun and very peaceful . . .

. . . unless they should happen to remind one of the crap that’s prominent in today’s world (see below).

DT4Pres-2

How could a Ki’i from Hawaii’s Pu’uhonua o Honaunau — photographed in 1978 — possibly remind anyone of Trump in 2016?

Must be the hair; the hands are way too big.

Sigh. Guess it’s back to the future. Again.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Friday April 22 2016; Eternity

I’ve dropped my Brain — My Soul is numb —
The Veins that used to run
Stop palsied — ’tis Paralysis
Done perfecter on stone
(Emily Dickinson)

I spent WASTED about five minutes yesterday, briefly watching Matt Lauer’s “interview” (yeah, right) of Donald Trump in a Town Hall, somewhere. My response, having shut the damn thing off as soon as I could find the remote, was to IMMEDIATELY thank Emily Dickinson for those four lines. Why? Because as a result of that momentary indiscretion on my part, I’ve dropped my Brain — My Soul is numb — eight words that have actually become the most able summation of my reaction to this year’s political asininity that I’ve run across to date.

And, as if Drumpf wasn’t bad enough, here are a few additional tidbits that induce even more dropping of the brain, more numbing of the soul:

Oath Keepers Website Warns Clinton Victory Could Lead To ‘Outright Civil War’

Pamela Geller: Obama Is Enforcing Sharia

David Kupelian: The Left Is Driving ‘Good Decent Christian Patriotic Americans’ Insane

And finally this nugget — the approximate equivalent of accidentally stepping in a pile of cow shit whilst enjoying a morning walk in an otherwise pristine forest or meadow:

Pat Boone: Those Behind SNL’s Christian Movie Parody Are Going To Hell

“When you speak against God and his purpose, we don’t have to ask for an apology. We need to stand up for what’s true and right, but then step aside because they’re answering to Him, not to us. That’s outright sacrilege and, as you know, I don’t think people will be offended by this, Jesus said that every sin a man can commit can be forgiven except against blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Well, the Holy Spirit is God and that sin is not to be forgiven in this world or the world to come. So my feelings now are not so much anger as sadness for what I fear is ahead for the people that are doing these things.”

Conclusion: Jesus H. Christ and Goddammit! I’m apparently doomed to the worst hell I can imagine — spending eternity as Pat Boone’s eternal roomie!

OK. I give up. Hell with politics, hell with religionistas, hell with their subterranean level of brainpower, of eternity. As Voltaire put it, Écrasez l’infame. ‘Crush the infamous.’ I couldn’t agree more. Amen.

Here’s my better idea; explore — again and always — THIS eternity! A new and fresh one begins and ends EVERY DAY! Examples:

Aug 2014 Dawn over Beckwith 252a

▲Sunrise, Lake Beckwith Colorado, 2014▲

Wailua Sunrise, Kauai

▲Sunrise, Wailua Bay Kauai, 1978▲

▲Sunrise, Cabo San Lucas, 1983▲

Nov 2001 Desert Sunset

▲Sunrise, Sonoran Desert Arizona, 2001▲

▲Sunset, West Maui, 1978▲

There. Soothing. Gentle. That’s what the world could easily be . . . sans that unbelievably immense pile of subhuman dregs and their ever-boisterous advocates; learn from them, once again, that ancient lesson, and note that — indeed — some things never seem to change:

“Zapata . . . took to preaching God in all simplicity.
He announced to men the common Father, the rewarder,
the punisher, and pardoner. He extricated the truth from the lies,
and separated religion from fanaticism; he taught and practised
virtue. He was gentle, kindly, and modest; and he was
burned at Valladolid in the year of grace 1631.”
(Voltaire)

Take instead that other path — Wander. Observe. Enjoy.

And tell Drumpf, et al., to SHUT UP!

******

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Thursday March 31 2016; Different Worlds

“To see a world in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.”
(William Blake, from Auguries of Innocence)

I’m tired of politics, tired of the world in which it lives, tired of its occupants. Thankfully, that’s not the only choice available to those of us who flame out when surrounded by nuts, screwballs, and all the crazy ideas those wackos regularly come up with and spread around as if they have meaning. There’s that other world, the one ‘out there’ where humans don’t typically hang out. It’s the world of color, of peace, harmony, tolerance, and survival, the world inhabited by millions of critters but NO POLITICIANS! There is no stupidity out there, no vitriol, no irrational hatred, and best of all, NO RELIGION! It’s pretty close to the ideal world, truth be known.

Below is a demo of contrast, the ‘sound’ of critters from the political world intermingled with close-up views of critters in that other world, the better one. The contrast is, in a word, STUNNING!

✿✿✿✿

Larry Pratt: Liberals Have ‘Plans To Enslave An Entire Nation’

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May 16 2015 Beckwith turtle 1227

▲Turtle + Log ➤ Naptime▲

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Rafael Cruz: ‘One More Liberal Justice’ Could Allow A Dictator To Turn Guns On Americans

✿✿✿✿

Aug 5 2014 Happy Bug 301

▲Bug + Wildflower ➤ Life!▲

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Oklahoma GOPer Wants To Classify Abortion As First-Degree Murder

✿✿✿✿

Sep 7 2015 Bug on wildflower 1830

▲Bug + Sunflower ➤ Happiness!▲

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Robert Spencer: We Must Consider ‘Very Seriously’ That Obama Is Betraying America On Behalf Of Islamists

✿✿✿✿

Dec 1 2015 Snow bunny 2114

▲Bunny + Snow ➤ Peaceful Silence▲

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Trump Promises To Punish Women After He Outlaws Abortions

✿✿✿✿

Feb 9 2015 Goose water ice 852

▲Goose + Icy Water ➤ Geese?▲

✿✿✿✿

Right-Wing Author: ‘Insane’ Gay Rights And Liberalism Driving People To Suicide And Addiction

✿✿✿✿

May 3 2015 - Goose family 1126

▲Mom + Dad ➤ Triplets▲

✿✿✿✿

▼Sunset Over The Front Range — View From MY Window!▼

Nov 9 2015 Sunset 698

▲Critters + Land + Sky + Clouds + Sun + Peace –➤ MY World!▲

✿✿✿✿

Gohmert: Supreme Court Tried To Play God In Gay Marriage Ruling

Gouie Lohmert

▲Ick!! + Ewwwwwww!! –➤ THEIR World▲

✿✿✿✿

Lord, to account who dares thee call,
Or e’er dispute thy pleasure?
Else why, within so thick a wall,
Enclose so poor a treasure?
(Robert Burns)

Amen, Amen.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Monday, March 14th, 2016: Cuteness Trumps Evil At The End

This weekend I OD’d on Trump. And jelly beans. I’m not sure which made me feel worse.

I refuse to watch any of the myriad videos of Hair Drumpf that have dominated the internets over the past, well, forever it seems. As I have mentioned in comments elsewhere, being a lifelong New Yorker means, in part, that we’ve been exposed to toxic levels of NY’s own version of Agent Orange since long before “Celebrity Apprentice” existed. Having long ago dismissed Drumpf à l’Orange as a loud-mouthed, self-important asshole, it’s frightening to see so many people taken in by this vulgar charlatan. Especially if one looks at his mouth. It appears to have been shaped over a lifetime of angrily hurling bullying insults and orders. How can anyone look at Drumpf “speaking” without being disgusted and horrified?

Here’s a shot from a thread at ThinkProgress:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump describes how he was ready to punch a person who rushed the stage during an election rally earlier in the day, as he speaks to a crowd in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump describes how he was ready to punch a person who rushed the stage during an election rally earlier in the day, as he speaks to a crowd in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Nati Harnik

The next few are from various threads at Raw Story:

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Bloomington, Illinois, March 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Bloomington, Illinois, March 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young

Trump prepares to spit venom at Jake Tapper.

Trump prepares to spit venom at Jake Tapper.

A commenter at Raw Story posted this GIF.

A commenter at Raw Story posted this ‘Trump Snarling’ GIF.

But enough ugliness, even for a Monday. Here’s some cuteness to counteract the face if evil:
cat star

And perhaps a little tranquility for the end of the day:
SKYFIRE4V

This is our daily Open Thread – talk about whatever’s on your mind.

The Watering Hole, Monday, January 11th, 2016: Odds and Ends

Let’s start with some recent local news:

Woo-hoo!  New York State’s medical marijuana program is now open for business.  One of the new dispensaries is in White Plains, NY, about 40 minutes south of us.  I think I’ll email the story link to my doctor, who used to say that, if NYS ever legalizes pot, she’ll start her own business.  I realize that this isn’t the same as legalization, but it’s a good step in the right direction.

It was recently revealed that Donald Trump had wanted to ruin summer fun for thousands of local children.  It seems that, a few years back, The Donald had been interested in turning Playland Park in Rye, NY, into a residential development.  Now, a little explanation is in order:  when we were kids, the end of many a school year was celebrated with a class trip to Rye Playland–it was fairly close, fairly affordable, and in addition to the rides, it had a decent-sized beach on the Long Island Sound.  I feel safe in saying that at least 90% of kids who grew up within a 50-mile radius of Playland has been there more than once.  Not to mention that the park has been around since 1928.

Rye Playland DragonCoaster5I was horrified to read about Trump’s offer in our local Patch online news – losing Playland, a part of our childhood, would be sad enough, but losing it to Trump would have been so much worse.  Good thing Trump’s meeting with Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to discuss the possible development came to nothing:

“I could just imagine the gates of Playland with a big ‘T’ on it, you know?” a chuckling Astorino  told The Journal News. “Trumpland.”

Exactly right, Mr. Astorino, and that would be SO wrong!

Next, a few pieces from The Weather Channel:

A traffic camera in Montreal caught a snowy owl in flight.  The gif below is comprised of four photos the camera took, which can be seen here in TWC’s article.

snowy-owlAlso from TWC for your viewing pleasure, here’s a series of photos entitled “Liquid Mountains”, by photographer Dave Sanford.  These are amazing shots of storm-tossed waves on Lake Erie–and take note of Sanford’s apt titles (shown above the upper left corner of the photos) for each of the shots.

This is our daily Open Thread – enjoy, discuss, whatever!

 

 

 

Sunday Roast: Color

Jade 036

Jade 015

Photos by Zooey

Sometimes, the color of the ocean is unbelievable.  I was going through some old photos on my computer — these are from 2011 — and found these in a folder called “Jade.”

I’ve never seen the ocean look like this since then, and I feel lucky to have captured these photos that day.

This is our daily open thread — What’s your favorite color?  😉

The Watering Hole, Monday, December 7th, 2015: Smile For The Camera!

With last week bringing us a tragic escalation in the madness for which America is the new poster-boy, this Monday calls for another diversion. So today’s fare will be: Animals – first in photobombs, then just cuteness. All photobombs courtesy of either dogtime.com, or from two separate photobomb categories from Huffington Post.

'Hey, look what I found!'

‘Hey, look what I found!’

'What - you've never seen a Boston Terrier driving?'

‘What – you’ve never seen a Boston Terrier driving?’

'Big Orange, Little Orange'

‘Big Orange, Little Orange’

'Cat Thinker with Derp Brother'

‘Cat Thinker with Derp Brother’

Now just cuteness:
baby leopardstar paws?????????????????????????????????????????????

There, that should help a bit.

This is our daily Open Thread–go ahead, talk about stuff.

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 23rd, 2015: NatGeo, Take Me Away!

I can’t deal with “Ugly Americans” [of course, “Ugly Americans” = “Republican Presidential Candidates and their Fans/Supporters”] anymore; we keep thinking, “How can these guys sink so low?”, then, the next hour or day or week, one or two or several of them come out with such outrageous shit that we really need a new word to define what circle of hell lies beyond “outrageous” or “horrific” or “despicable” or “abhorrent” or “inhuman” – sorry, I need more words!

And I’ve had it up to HERE with the holidays being turned into meaningless “shop-’til-you-drop” commercialism [how about if “Black Friday” could be turned into “Black Lives Matter Friday” – hell, make every day of the entire Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday shopping season a day of protests]. So I’m going with some beautiful photos from National Geographic to start the week.

Here’s some pretty birds, from “A Flight of Birds”, a section of NatGeo’s Photo Ark, including a photo capturing the iridescent plumage of the Purple Glossy Starling, such as seen below,
purple_glossy_starling
and a more close-up shot of the Javan Rhinoceros Hornbill, like the one seen below:
javan rhinoceros Hornbill

And if you prefer a larger gallery for leisurely viewing, here’s more from NatGeo’s 2015 Photo Contest. The “Week 10” group includes a brooding sunset photo of Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland – here’s a chilly winter shot of the falls, just to start the calming process:
waterfall-godafoss-iceland

This is our daily Open Thread – enjoy the views or rant away – or you can do both!

The Watering Hole; Friday October 16 2015; Nutcase Friday

I’m still dealing with some computer issues, so in place of a lengthy dissertation here’s a little brevity that pretty much amply represents a whole lot of this week’s Nutcasearrhea. Once again, the link titles pretty much summarize the content; enter at your own risk, i.o.w. 😉

Here goes nothing, as they say:

Peter LaBarbera Furious At Evangelical Leader For Acknowledging That Homosexuality Exists

Rick Joyner: ‘Donald Trump May Be One Of The Most Humble Of The Candidates’

Pat Robertson: ‘Don’t Let This Country Turn Into Russia

Huckabee: Don’t Take Syrian Refugees Just Because They’re ‘Not Living A Very Fancy Life’

Perkins: ‘Emasculation Of Our Culture’ Leading To Women In Military

There. That should be adequate insanity to last at least an hour! To ease the pain a little, here are a couple of respites, photos of INTELLIGENT critters (i.o.w. NOT Republicans, NOT fundies):

Oct 7 Bug on flower 2033

'Wally' the Goose

‘Wally’ the Goose

Sanity, obviously. Also better “hair” than Trump.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Thursday October 15 2015; Open Thread

I’m still having computer issues — two are dead in the water and have outlived their usefulness (memorial service arrangements pending). As I write this, number three is still in the repair shop, and number four is in serious need of some repair shop ‘adjustments’.

Conclusion: Apparently late September’s end times were indeed real, what with the blood moon and all, but rather than being aimed at the planet in general they were directed instead at the computers housed at my address. Who could ever have guessed that something so cool as a lunar eclipse would initiate my own computers’ end times!

Sept. 27 2015; 7:10 PM 7:21 PM, MDT

Lunar Eclipse — Sept. 27 2015; 7:10 PM 7:21 PM, MDT

8:12 PM 8.21 PM, MDT

Lunar Eclipse — Sept 27 2015; 8:12 PM 8.21 PM, MDT

Anyway, use this here Open Thread to discuss anything at all, including, of course, any word on future end times.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Monday, October 12th, 2015: I’ve “Got A Case Of The Mondays”

"Office Space"

“Office Space”

Technically, it’s not quite Monday as I’m writing this, but I’ve already “got a case of the Mondays.” So to help brighten up the day, here’s a little gif of cute animals:

Awwwww...Squeeeee!

Awwwww…Squeeeee!

There, I feel a little better already.

This is our daily Open Thread–what’s on your minds?

Sunday Roast: Spider!

L1070488

Photo by Zooey

This beautiful spider has set up an abattoir on a huge web outside my kitchen window.  He’s got about five of these little “packets” in his web at any given time, and just goes from one to another, stabbing in his sippy straw and chugging away.

It’s really rather disgusting, but fascinating at the same time — and as long as he stays on his side of the window, we will remain the best of friends.

This is our daily open thread — Anyone know what kind of spider this is?