Shri Saibaba’s Holy Paduka’s Darshan Programme in India and Abroad News         

by Shrutee K/DNS

On 18th October, 2018, Sadguru Shri Saibaba’s Samadhi Embrace will attain 100 years at Shirdi. This auspicious occasion is of extra ordinary significance and life-time memories, for Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust as well as Sai devotees all over world. Hence, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi has decided to celebrate this holy event as a grand festival, starting from 1st October, 2017 to 18th October, 2018.

On this auspicious occasion, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi has planned to arrange various religious and cultural programmes. In line with this spirit, on behalf of Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi a festival of ‘Shri Sai Paduka Darshan’ will be organized in every district of Maharashtra and each state of our country, as well as 25 nations around the world.

Lakhs of devotees have come together and erected hundreds of Sai temples, all over India.  Their devotion to Shri Saibaba is of spiritual importance, arranging ‘Shri Sai Paduka Darshan’, through Sai temples, will serve as a life time opportunity for Sai devotees to celebrate Centenary Year of Shri Saibaba’s Samadhi, in their town.

Dr Shri Suresh Haware, President, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi appeals to trusts & organizing bodies of Sai temples, desirous of arranging ‘Shri Sai Paduka Darshan’ festival in their town, to contact with complete details – Deputy Collector, Email – dycoll.2@sai.org.in, Mob – 07720077205 or Shatabdi Cell, Email – shatabdi@sai.org.in, ph – 02423-258907-Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi.

          ISKCON Kharghar Celebrates Sri Krishna Janmashtami from 13th to 16th August, 2017        

​


by Shrutee K/DNS

Navi Mumbai, 09th August 2017:  The devotees from ISKCON Kharghar will be celebrating Sri Krishna Janmashtami Festival which starts from 13th to 16th August, 2017 at Sri Sri Radha Madanmohanji Temple, Kharghar- Navi MumbaiThe Janmashtami celebrations are part of the festivities of the Radha Madanmohanji Mahotsav 2017 which have begun from 03rd August 2017 with the Jhulan Yatra Utsav and end on 16th August 2017 with the celebration of Srila Prabhupada’s 121st Vyasa Puja.

The highlights of this festival are the SRI KRISHNA KALASH ABHISHEK which will be held on 15th August 2017 from 7.30 pm onwards, wherein donors are given an opportunity to bathe Their Lordships with panchamrita in Silver Kalash. The most important event is the MAHA ABHISHEK of The Lord in the temple at 12 midnight. This year it is special as it will be held in the pandal so that thousands of devotees who visit the temple can have Darshan of this divine spectacle.

Bhakti Kala Kshetra, the cultural wing of ISKCON is organizing a cultural program comprising of dance, drama, discourses and bhajans has been organized in the pandal from 13th to 16th August and shall feature performances by congregational devotees, local artists and cultural organizations. The star attraction is going to be the celebrity performances of flute recital by Shri. Ronu Majumdar and bhajans by Shri. Shounak Abhisheki, Smt. Anuradha Paudwal, Shri. Anup Jalota, Shri. Vinod Trivedi and Dr. Vikram Parlikar.

On 16th August to commemorate the 121st birth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON Kharghar has organized a day long program in which prominent people, devotees and congregational devotees will offer homage and heartfelt offerings to Srila Prabhupada from 10am onwards. This celebration shall comprise of Pushpa Abhishek and aarti to Srila Prabhupada at 12:30 noon followed by special 1008 offering. There will be prasadam for all after the celebration. In the evening from 6.00 pm onwards, congregation devotees, life members and donors will bathe Srila Prabhupada with milk, honey and gangajal in special kalash made of meena and brass. Devotees shall sing the glories of Prabhupadaji and remember his teachings that deeply touch the heart of people all over the world.

Preparations for Janmashtami festival at ISKCON Kharghar began almost 2 months prior to the actual festival. A special festival committee is formed to organize, manage and coordinate the festival.

About The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Kharghar:
ISKCON’s Sri Sri Radha Madanmohanji Temple at Navi Mumbai, is designated as ‘Glory of Maharashtra- A Vedic Educational and Cultural Center’. Spread over nine acres of land it is more than just a temple. It offers a spiritual and cultural experience that is one of its kind. While the magnificent temple with three alters dedicated to Sri Sri Radha Madanmohanji, Sri Ram Sita Laxman Hanuman and Sri Nitai Gaur Sunderji, is the main attraction, the project has other features that will make it a prominent landmark, like the Bhaktivedanta College of Vedic Education, which will teach the ancient Vedic philosophy as well as a Bhaktivedanta Library. Other facilities include a Guest House, Ayurveda Wellness Center, Vanprastha Ashram (old age home) and a magnificent Auditorium to cater to the cultural events in Navi Mumbai. Though the project is in the making, there is a small temple with the deities installed and  it has  already become a major landmark and place of  tourist attraction in Navi Mumbai.

          1994        

From: "scrittore della domenica" <scritdom72@unimi.it>
To: "lorenzo" <Lrnz73@unipi.it>
Date sent: Mon, 14 Feb 1994 12:09:05
Subject: Eccomi

Mannaggia a te! Che c'era di male nelle lettere cartacee? Signornò. "Dai, mandami un'e-mail! E' facile, divertente, vedrai!". - Intanto ho dovuto iscrivermi al laboratorio d'informatica di questa cavolo di università, dove bisogna fare domanda in carta bollata anche per un caffè al bar. Poi, io il computer manco lo so usare. A quest'ora dovrei essere in sala studio a preparare l'esame di diritto privato comparato (capirai); invece sto qua ad arrovellarmi con tastiera e mouse.

Va beh. Ti scrivo per questo: devi assolutamente registrarmi un po' di cassette di musica rock. Hai presente? Quella che tu hai sempre detto che io la snobbo. Specialmente, quanto più progressive anni '70 riesci a procurarmi. Non so, gli Yes, i Genesis, i King Crimson, quella roba là. E poi il grunge. Non i Nirvana, ché onestamente non li reggo: Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden. E magari della musica da discoteca, però di un certo livello. E ci sarebbe un pezzo di un gruppo inglese che mi ossessiona, si chiama... ce l'ho sulla punta della lingua. Basta, appena mi ricordo il titolo te lo dico.

No, non sono impazzito. E' che ho conosciuto una ragazza molto simpatica che ha questi gusti musicali. Anche molto bella, a dire la verità. Anzi, la sola cosa che le vorrei dire è proprio questa: che la trovo bellissima. Ma, tu mi conosci; non c'è verso; se provo ad affrontare l'argomento, ammutolisco senza rimedio. Così mi servono urgentemente altri argomenti di conversazione. Lei studia inglese, e fin qui posso arrangiarmi. L'ho anche accompagnata a lezione, ho studiato i suoi appunti. Sai? Sto diventando, credo, il massimo esperto di T. S. Eliot di tutto il basso Ionio reggino. Quest'estate, se non altro, potrò esibirmi nei locali sul lungomare recitando The Waste Land a memoria.

Ma tutto questo non basta. Prima o poi dovrò trovare il coraggio di invitarla a uscire una sera, che so, ad un concerto, o addirittura (non ridere) a ballare. Perché ho capito che alle matinée in Conservatorio lei non ci viene. Ebbene, è qui che subentri tu. Devi aiutarmi ad andare oltre Beethoven. Ripeto, procurami del rock, perché mi serve come il pane!

Attendo tue notizie, stammi bene.

P.S. Mi sono ricordato il titolo di quella canzone: Creep, dei Radiohead.


From: "scrittore della domenica" <scritdom72@unimi.it>
To: "lorenzo" <Lrnz73@unipi.it>
Date sent: Mon, 21 Mar 1994 15:31:22
Subject: Re: Re: Eccomi

Grandi novità! Abbiamo occupato. Ora la nostra casa dello studente è Pensionato Universitario Occupato Autogestito. L'abbiamo deciso venerdì sera, al termine di un'agitata assemblea sugli ultimi aumenti delle rette e della mensa. Io mi sono aggiudicato la gran parte dei turni di notte in portineria: sia per evitare i turni di pulizia, sia perché mi piace fare le ore piccole e perché durante l'occupazione c'è un bel clima. Si parla, si beve, si fuma tabacco e non solo: effettivamente, non sto studiando granché. Però mi diverto.

Ieri, per esempio, verso la mezzanotte la situazione comprendeva una bottiglia di mirto, uno stereo, sei-sette persone fra cui Alice (la ragazza di cui ti ho parlato nella mia ultima lettera) e me. Il guaio è che dopo un'oretta loro sono usciti, per andare credo in discoteca, mentre io dovevo rimanere per continuare il turno; ma mi hanno lasciato la bottiglia, d'altronde semivuota, e lo stereo. O forse due bottiglie e due sterei, a quel punto non capivo più bene. Sono riuscito, in qualche modo, a togliere la cassetta dei Rage Against The Machine e a mettere su il Lamento d'Arianna di Monteverdi, che in quel momento era anche più adatto.

A proposito: mi hai registrato le cassette che ti ho chiesto? Se scendi anche tu in Calabria per le elezioni, tra una settimana me le puoi dare. Ma l'hai visto quel pagliaccio miliardario? E pensa che magari qualcuno lo voterà anche. Viviamo in un paese meraviglioso.


From: "scrittore della domenica" <scritdom72@unimi.it>
To: "lorenzo" <Lrnz73@unipi.it>
Date sent: Fri, 15 Apr 1994, 16:05:30
Subject: buona notte al secchio

La sai una cosa? Tre anni fa, dopo il diploma, commisi un solo errore.

Allo sportello della stazione chiesi un biglietto per Milano. Sbagliai: avrei dovuto comprare un sola andata per Londra, o per Parigi, o per Berlino.

L'occupazione è finita. L'Ente per il Diritto allo Studio ha promesso che, col nuovo bilancio, ben il 3,75% delle risorse aggiuntive sarà stanziato per porre rimedio ai recenti rincari delle tariffe, compatibilmente con il principio del pareggio contabile.

Insomma: non abbiamo ottenuto un bel niente.

Ho saputo che Alice si è fidanzata. Con uno studente d'ingegneria, milanese da varie generazioni e di ottima famiglia, buon giocatore dilettante di basket. Ha una macchina svedese con doppia alimentazione, benzina verde e gas, perché bisogna proteggere l'ambiente. Un bravissimo ragazzo.

Tutto è perduto. Mentre questa ridicola nazione, consegnatasi ancora volontaria nelle mani di un tirannello squilibrato, si avvia verso il suo triste destino, io ti comunico la mia irrevocabile decisione.

Pongo rimedio al mio errore.

Espatrio.

E basta, con queste e-mail del piffero! Ti farò avere prossimamente il mio nuovo recapito estero.

La sai un'altra cosa? Siamese Dream degli Smashing Pumpkins è molto più noioso della più tediosa sinfonia di Bruckner.


From: "scrittore della domenica" <scritdom72@unimi.it>
To: "lorenzo" <Lrnz73@unipi.it>
Date sent: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 16:28:43
Subject: scherzavo

E niente: all'estero non sono andato.

Ti spiego cos'è successo.

Sai che mi è sempre piaciuto stare sveglio fino a tardi; ultimamente sto esagerando; mi succede spesso di fare l'alba. Da un po' non scendo neanche più in sala studio, per non rischiare d'incontrare Alice. La sera me ne sto tappato in camera, ascoltando Brahms.

Un mio consiglio per i giovani: se abitate in una casa dello studente, cercate di non innamorarvi mai di un'altra persona ospite del pensionato. Soprattutto se non corrisposti.

Bene: domenica notte, mentre studiavo, ho messo su il Tristano. Così, tanto per cambiare. Ma, poco dopo il preludio, ho dovuto spegnere.

Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu
Mein Irisch Kind,
Wo weilest du?


Mi si è annebbiata la vista, e ho scoperto che avevo finito i kleenex. Ho chiuso il libro. Mi sono alzato dalla sedia e sono andato a lavarmi il viso con l'acqua fredda. Poi sono tornato alla scrivania.

Ho acceso il quinto canale della radio (quello che trasmette solo classica). C'era un brano di avanguardia; una cosa che non conoscevo, una specie di collage sonoro sul tipo di Revolution 9 dei Beatles, hai presente? Folle in tumulto, suoni strani, rumori ambientali, nastri in loop, voci umane che declamano sillabe incomprensibili. Un delirio.

Roba forte! Ho attaccato lo spinotto delle cuffie alla radio e mi sono sparato il brano nelle orecchie, chiudendo gli occhi e reclinando indietro la testa. A un certo punto, dal tappeto sonoro ha cominciato a emergere una voce femminile, che sembrava pronunciare un testo coerente. Dapprima si sentiva sullo sfondo, e non si capiva bene cosa dicesse; qualcosa sul Vietnam. Man mano, la voce diventava sempre più forte, più netta, e veniva sempre più in primo piano. Alla fine, con una presenza sonora impressionante, la voce scandiva, anzi no scolpiva, queste parole: "Rimanete qui, e combattete per la vostra dignità di uomini".

"Avete ascoltato: Luigi Nono, Contrappunto dialettico alla mente", ha detto l'annunciatore.

Ho staccato lo spinotto, ho tolto le cuffie e ho spento la radio.

Ho riconsiderato la mia intenzione di espatriare. Ho pensato: ma non l'ho già fatto? Sono già emigrato. E prima di me mio padre, proprio negli anni in cui Nono componeva quel pezzo.

Quante volte ancora voglio fare le valigie?

Possibile che l'unica soluzione sia quella di scappare sempre più lontano?

L'indomani, 25 aprile, sono andato alla manifestazione. Il concentramento era alle due del pomeriggio; ma mi sono svegliato così tardi che non ho potuto neanche fare colazione. Ho preso un caffè al distributore automatico giù in atrio e sono uscito, in direzione porta Venezia.

Era previsto un corteo molto grande. E' stato immenso. Mai vista tanta gente tutta insieme! E che varietà, quanti colori, che musiche, che allegria! Quanta pioggia, anche: veniva giù a secchiate, per tutta la durata della manifestazione.



Io ero in fondo al corteo, e pensa che non sono neppure riuscito a entrare in piazza Duomo, tanto era gremita! Ho svoltato per piazza Fontana, poi per via Larga. Ho vagato per un pezzo; non so chi o cosa mi aspettassi di trovare, a parte qualcosa da mettere sotto i denti, dato che avevo una fame da lupo.

Mi sono ritrovato, non so come, in piazza Sant'Alessandro, vicino alla facoltà di lingue, che naturalmente era chiusa; c'era però un bar-tavola calda miracolosamente aperto; mi ci sono fiondato dentro.

Ero seduto sul mio sgabello, dando le spalle all'ingresso, e divoravo la mia pizzetta, ovviamente pessima come solo a Milano la sanno fare, quando mi è parso di vedere una sorta di variazione nella luce. Come se avesse improvvisamente smesso di piovere e fosse uscito un sole splendente.

Mi giro, e vedo Alice entrare nel locale e raggiungermi.

Era in tenuta da manifestazione: jeans sdruciti, camicia grunge, niente make-up (lei che di solito è così curata). I lunghi capelli biondi inumiditi dalla pioggia, che intanto continuava a scrosciare.

"Ciao", le dico. "Dov'è il tuo fidanzato?"

"Sciocco", mi ha risposto. "Oggi ci sono cose più importanti", ha detto. "C'è mezza casa dello studente qui fuori: abbiamo fatto uno striscione molto figo, lo andiamo ad attaccare al portone dell'I.S.U. Cosa fai qua, solo come un gufo? Vieni anche tu!"

Non me lo sono fatto dire due volte.

E dunque. Fra un mese ho l'esame di diritto sindacale. Materia interessante, sai? Credo che chiederò la tesi.

Per ora rimango qui.

(Racconto già pubblicato su Evulon. Ogni riferimento a fatti, persone, città, eventi, uomini politici, bar e pizzette della realtà è puramente casuale).
          European Banking System on Verge of Collapse (no replies)        
'..doubt that European banks still had a viable business model.'

- 'Europe’s banks .. a “very fragile situation”..'


'..Monte dei Paschi, Italy’s third largest bank and oldest bank in the world is insolvent in any realistic scenario.

..

The Financial Times discusses the Vanishing Market Value of European Banks.

“The key to us is understanding this is a profitability issue versus an insolvency issue,” says Hani Redha, a portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments, regarding the sector’s performance.”

I suggest (as does the market) the entire European banking system is on the verge of collapse.'

- Mike "Mish" Shedlock, European Banking System on Verge of Collapse; Market Votes “No Confidence” in Italian Bank Rescue, August 2, 2016


Context (Banking Reform - English/Dutch) '..a truly stable financial and monetary system for the twenty-first century..'

'..the mismanagement and corruption of bankers and politicians in the 21st century.'

'Monte Paschi .. should be put into resolution, not bailed out.'

'..Like monetarists, Keynes held no capital theory .. the role time plays..' - Jesús Huerta de Soto

          Jupiter Chevrolet Sponsors GISD Teacher of the Month Contest        

  The monthly contest compiles votes from parents and students at Jupiter Chevrolet’s Facebook page.  Every month, the highest vote-getter will win the services of a Jupiter Chevrolet vehicle for an entire month.  The contest, which awards the teacher who receives the most votes at the Jupiter Chevrolet Facebook page with a free car for […]

The post Jupiter Chevrolet Sponsors GISD Teacher of the Month Contest appeared first on Car News in the USA.


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It’s Thursday – we’re almost there! And boy, do you all have some serious opinions about “American Idol” (thanks for the feedback). Seems very few of you are fans of Howard Stern: The Music Judge.  Although maybe he likes it that way.  In TV news, an obit. Captain Phil Harris, the man who piloted the … Continue reading
          Your weekend: Megan’s Body, Meatballs or Matt Damon?        
That’s not to say that you won’t be so anxious about entertainment that you’ll sit idly by and wait for the Emmy’s on Sunday (by the way — any thoughts on best comedy: Entourage, Family Guy, How I met Your Mother, etc? Or dramas: Big Love, Breaking Bad, Lost or Mad Men/ My money’s on … Continue reading
          KERALA ELECTIONS 2011- WHAT THE PEOPLE EXPECT        
As Kerala prepares to vote for electing members to the new State Assembly, the question that we need to ask is what have changed in the last 55 years. Kerala had come into existence on 1.11.1956. Kerala also has the history of electing the first communist government in the world. Into the 70’s and 80’s […]
          The 10 Questions You Should Answer Before Entering Into Same-Sex Marriage        
Now that more states have voted in gay marriage, beginning what could be a trend that isn’t likely to slow, the gay community has a more personal hurdle to face. LGBT activist Rob Watson warns that, “The fact that we … Continue reading
          What American White Men Just Admitted to the World        

The next time somebody interrupts your legitimate complaints about a man to chide you, “Now, now, not all men are that way”, you can remind them that in 2016, 63% of white American men told us they are. In order to vote for Trump, there are a couple of things you have to believe. At

The post What American White Men Just Admitted to the World appeared first on The Hathor Legacy.


          Daniel Boone        

Daniel Boone

BOONE, Daniel, pioneer, born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, 22 October, 1734 (For more on Daniel Boone's birthplace please visit his Homestead); died in Missouri, 26 Sept., 1820. Among the immigrants that landed, 10 Oct., 1717, at Philadelphia was George Boone, of Exeter, England, who came with his wife and eleven children, bought land near Bristol, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and joined the society of Friends. His son, Squire Boone, married Sarah Morgan, and Daniel was their son. Squire Boone, who was a farmer, moved, about 1748, to Holman's Ford, on the Yadkin, in North Carolina.

Daniel's education was very limited; he could read and write, but beyond that all he knew related to the fields, the woods, the net, the rifle, and hunting. He was a hunter born, and loved the solitude of the forest. Strong, brave, lithe, inured to hardship and privation, he traced his steps through the pathless forest, sought out the hiding places of panther, bear, and wolf, and was the match of any Indian in the sagacity with which he detected the footsteps of the red man. About 1755 he married Rebecca Bryan and set up his own log cabin, but, displeased with the encroachments of civilization on his solitude, and incited by the glowing accounts brought by John Finley, who had penetrated into the unknown regions of Kentucky, formed a company of six kindred spirits, and, bidding adieu to his family and the comforts of home, on 1 May, 1769, set out on his perilous journey of exploration.

America's Four Republics: The More or Less United States
By: Stanley Yavneh Klos
Edited: Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D.

  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 8th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.

After numerous adventures with the Indians, having become intimately acquainted with the character of the country, established an enviable reputation for sagacity and integrity on important frontier service assigned to him by Lord Dunmore in the campaign against the Indians, usually called "Lord Dunmore's War," and constructed a strong fort on the left bank of Kentucky river, which he named "Boonesborough," he determined to bring his wife and family to the new home. Some of his neighbors joined him, and he conducted the party, numbering upward of thirty, safely to "Boonesborough" without having encountered any other difficulties than such as are common to this passage. 



 Daniel Boone founded Boonesborough while he worked for Richard Henderson of the Transylvania Company.


On one occasion Boone, with an armed party of thirty men, had gone for a supply of salt to a place called "Salt Licks," nearly 100 miles north of Boonesborough, and was captured, with twenty-seven of his men, by a band of more than 100 Indian warriors led by two Frenchmen. 



They carried them first to Old Chillicothe, on the Miami, and then to Detroit, where they surrendered for a ransom all their prisoners except Boone; him they took back to Old Chillicothe, where the great Blackfish, a renowned Shawanese chief, adopted him into his family under an imposing but painful ceremonial; all his hair, except a tuft three or four inches in diameter on the crown of the head, was plucked out; that tuft was allowed to grow to the length of the "warlock," dressed with feathers and ribbons; an ablution in the river was supposed to cleanse him from the taint of white blood; a coat of paint on his face, and a solemn charge from Blackfish, completed the rite. 

After a prolonged and anxious residence among them, during which he was kindly treated, he discovered their intention of marching upon Boonesborough, and resolved, at the peril of certain death in the event of recapture, to attempt his escape and save his family and friends. Chased by 450 Indians, he performed that daring feat in the forty-third year of his age, and thus simply records it: "On the 16th [of June], before sunrise, I departed in the most secret manner, and arrived at Boonesborough on the 20th, after a journey of 160 miles, during which I had but one meal." 




At the fort he learned that his wife and children, despairing of ever seeing him again, had returned, and safely reached her father's home in North Carolina. The Indians assailed the fort, but were repelled with loss, and retreated. Boone then, in the autumn of 1778, rejoined his family on the Yadkin, and returned with them to Kentucky in 1780. 

The country, though well settled, was still unsafe, and, soon after his return, Boone and his brother, Squire, were surprised by Indians; Squire was killed and scalped, and Daniel had a narrow escape. A sanguinary engagement, called the "Battle of the Blue Licks," took place in 1782, in which Boone's two sons fought at his side. One of them was killed, and the other severely wounded. Boone was full of expedients, and on one occasion extricated himself from four armed Indians by blinding them with tobacco dust. Kentucky was admitted into the union, 4 Feb., 1791, and in the survey of the state the title to Boone's land was disputed. The case was decided against him, and, stung to the quick by the wrong, he had again to seek a new home, which he established at Point Pleasant, between the Ohio and the Great Kanawha; but in 1795 he removed to Missouri, then a Spanish possession, and received not only the appointment of commandant of the Femme Osage district, but a grant of 8,000 acres. The Spanish possessions passed into the hands of Napoleon, who sold them to the United States, and, in the survey that followed, the Spanish grant of Boone's lands was pronounced invalid. An appeal to the legislature of Kentucky, and another to congress, resulted in a grant by the latter of 850 acres. Boone was then seventy-five years of age, hale and strong. The charm of the hunter's life clung to him to the last, and in his eighty-second year he went on a hunting excursion to the mouth of Kansas river. He had made his own coffin and kept it under his bed, and after his death they laid him in it to rest by the side of his wife, who had passed away seven years before. 

On 13 Sept., 1845, their remains were removed to the cemetery near Frankfort, Kentucky, a few miles from the fort of Boonesborough, by the concurrent action of the citizens of Frankfort and the legislature of Kentucky. 


Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky where Daniel and Rebecca Bryan Boone were re-interred


His son, Enoch, born in Boonesborough, Kentucky, in 1777 ; d. 8 March, 1862, was the first white male child born in Kentucky. Daniel Boone's wife, with her daughters, went to live with her husband in his palisaded fort in June, 1776, and while there gave birth to this son; but after Boone's capture, on 7 Feb., 1778, his family returned to North Carolina. -- Edited Appleton's American Biography Copyright© 2001 by Stan Klos TM




An American biographical and historical dictionary Containing an account of the lives, characters, and writings of the most eminent persons in North America from its first settlement, and a summary of the history of the several colonies and of the United States. By: W. Hyde, 1832.


BOONE, Daniel, colonel, one of the first settlers of Kentucky, was born about 1730. While he was young, his parents, who came from Bridgeworth,England removed from Pennsylvania or Virginia to the Yadkin river in North Carolina. 






He was early addicted to hunting in the woods; in the militia he attained to the rank of colonel. In 1769, in consequence of the representation of John Finley, who had penetrated into the wilderness of Kentucky, he was induced to accompany him in a journey to that country. He had four other companions, John Stuart, Joseph Holden, James Money, and William Cool, with whom he set out May 1. On the 7th of June they arrived at the Red river, a branch of the Kentucky; and here from the top of a hill they had a view of the fertile plain's, of which they were in pursuit. They encamped and remained in this place till Dec. 22, when Boone and Stuart were captured by the Indians near Kentucky river. In about a week they made their escape; but on returning to their camp, they found it plundered and deserted by their companions, who had gone back to Carolina.




Stuart was soon killed by the Indians; but Boone being joined by his brother, they remained and prosecuted the business of hunting during the winter, without further molestation. His brother going home for supplies in May 1770, he remained alone in the deep solitude of the western wilderness until his return with ammunition & horses July 27th. During this period this wild man of the woods, though greeted every night with the howlings of wolves, was delighted in his excursions with the survey of the beauties of the country and found greater pleasure in the solitude of wild nature, than he could have found amid the hum of the most elegant city. With his brother he traversed the country to Cumberland river. It was not until March 1771, that he returned to his family, resolved to conduct them to the paradise, which he had explored.


Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200. - Click Here for more information



Having sold his farm, he set out with his own and 5 other families, Sept. 25,1773, and was joined in Powell's valley by 40 men. After passing over two mountains, called Powell's and Walden's, through which, as they ranged from the north east to the south west, passes were found, and approaching the Cumberland, the rear of the company was attacked by the Indians on the 10th of October, when six men were killed, among whom was the eldest son of colonel Boone. One man was also wounded, and the cattle were scattered. This disaster induced them to retreat about 40 miles to the settlement on Clinch River, where he remained with his family, until June 6,1774, when, at the request of gov. Dunmore, he conducted a number of surveyors to the falls of Ohio. On this tour of 800 miles he was absent two months. After this he was entrusted by the governor, during the campaign against the Shawanese, with the command of three forts. 



Early in 1775, at the request of a company in North Carolina, he attended a treaty with the Cherokee Indians at Wataga in order to make of them the purchase of lands on the south side of the Tennessee river. After performing this service, he was employed to mark out a road from the settlements on the Holston to the Kentucky river. While thus employed, at the distance of about 15 miles from what is now Boonesborough, the party was attacked March 20, and 23, 1775 by the Indians, who killed four and wounded five. Another man was killed in April. On the first day of this month at a salt lick, on the southern bank of the Kentucky,in what is now Boonesborough a few miles from Lexington, he began to erect a fort, consisting of a block house & several cabins, enclosed with palisades. On the 14th of June he returned to his family in order to remove them to the tort.. His wife and daughters were the first white women, who stood on the banks of the Kentucky river. Dec. 24th one man was killed and another wounded. July 14, 1776, when all the settlements were attacked, two of Colonel Calway's daughters and one of his own were taken prisoners; Boone pursued with 18 men and in two days overtook the Indians, killed two of them, and recovered the captives.






The Indians made repeated attacks upon Boonesborough; Nov. 15,1777 with 100 men, and July 4 with 200 men. On both sides several were killed and wounded; but the enemy were repulsed; as they were also July 19 from Logan's fort of 15 men, which was besieged by 200. The arrival of 25 men from Carolina and in August of 100 from Virginia gave a new aspect to affairs, and taught the savages the superiority of "the long knives," as they called the Virginians. Jan. 1, 1778 he went with 30 men to the blue licks on the Licking river to make salt for the garrison. Feb. 7, being alone, he was captured by a party of 102 Indians and 2 Frenchmen; he capitulated for his men, and they were all carried to Chillicothe on the Little Miami, whence he and 10 men were conducted to Detroit, where he arrived March 30. The governor, Hamilton, treated him with much humanity, and offered 1001, for his redemption. But the savages refused the offer from affection to their captive. Being carried back to Chillicothe in April, he was adopted as a son in an Indian family. He assumed the appearance of cheerfulness ; but his thoughts were on his wife and children. Aware of the envy of the Indians, he was careful not to exhibit his skill in shooting. In June he went to the salt springs on the Sciota. On his return to Chillicothe he ascertained, that 450 warriors were preparing to proceed against Boonesborough. He escaped June 16, and arrived at the fort June 20th, having travelled 160 miles in 4 days, with but one meal. His wife had returned to her father's. Great efforts were made to repair the fort in order to meet the expected attack. On August 1st, he went out with 19 men to surprise Point Creek town on the Sciota; meeting 30 Indians, he put them to flight and captured their baggage. At last, Aug. 8, the Indian army of 444 men, led by captain Dugnesne and 11 other Frenchmen, and their own chiefs, with British colors flying, summoned the fort to surrender. 



The next day Boone, having a garrison of only 50 men, announced his resolution to defend the fort, while a man was alive. They then proposed that 9 men should be sent out 60 yards from the fort to enter into a treaty; and when the articles were agreed upon and signed, they said it was customary on such occasions, as a token of sincere friendship, for two Indians to shake every white man by the hand. Accordingly two Indians approached each of the nine white men, and grappled with the intent of making him a prisoner; but the object being perceived, the men broke away and re-entered the fort.



An attempt was now made to undermine it; but a counter trench defeated that purpose. Atlast on the 20th the enemy raised the siege, having lost 37 men. Of Boone's men two were killed and four wounded. "We picked, up," said he, "125 pounds of bullets, besides what stuck in the logs of our fort, which certainly is a great proof of their industry." In 1779, when Boone was absent, revisiting his family in Carolina, Colonel Bowman with 160 men fought the Shawanese Indians at old Chillicothe. 



In his retreat the Indians pursued him for 30 miles, when in another engagement col. Harrod suggested the successful project of mounting a number of horses and breaking the Indian line. Of the Kentuckians 9 were killed. June 22nd,1780, about 600 Indians and Canadians under col. Bird attacked Riddle's and Martin's stations and the forks of Licking river with 6 pieces of artillery, and carried away all as captives. Gen. Clarke, commanding at the falls of Ohio, marched with his regiment and troops against Reccaway, the principal Shawanese town on a branch of the Miami, and burned the town, with the loss of 17 on each side. 


About this time Boone returned to Kentucky with his family. In Oct. 1780, soon after he was settled again at Boonesborough, he went with his brother to the Blue Licks, and as they were returning the latter was slain by a party of Indians, and he was pursued by them by the aid of a dog. By shooting him Boone escaped. The severity of the ensuing winter was attended with great distress, the enemy having destroyed most of the corn. The people subsisted chiefly on buffalo's flesh. In May 1732 the Indians having killed a man at Ashton's station, captain A. pursued with 25 men, but in an attack upon' the enemy he was killed with 12 of his men. Aug. 10 two boys were carried off from major Hay's station. Capt. Holden pursued with 17 men; but he also was defeated, with the loss of four men. In a field near Lexington an Indian shot a man and running to scalp him, was him- self shot from the fort and fell dead upon his victim. On the 15th Aug. 500 Indians attacked Briant's station, five miles from Lexington,and destroyed all the cattle; but they were repulsed on the third day, having about 30 killed, while of the garrison 4 were killed and 3 wounded. Boone, with cols. Todd and Trigg and major Harland, collected 176 men and pursued on the 18th.



They overtook the enemy the next day a mile beyond the Blue Licks, about 40 miles from Lexington, at a remarkable bend of a branch of Licking river. A battle ensued, the enemy having a line formed across from one bend to the other, but the Kentuckians were defeated with the great loss of 60 killed, among whom were cols. Todd and Trigg, and Major Harland, and Boone's second son. Many were the widows made in Lexington on that fatal day. The Indians having 4 more killed, 4 of the prisoners were given up to the young warriors to be put to death in the most barbarous manner. 

General Clarke, accompanied by Boone, immediately marched into the Indian country and desolated it, burning old Chillicothe, Peccaway, New Chillicothe, Willis town, and Chillicothe. With the loss of four men he took seven prisoners and five scalps, or killed five Indians. In October the Indians attacked Crab orchard. One of the Indians having entered a house, in which were a woman and a negro, and being thrown to the ground by the negro, the woman cut off his head. From this period to the peace with Great Britain the Indians did no harm. "Two darling sons and a brother," said Boone, "have I lost by savage hands, which have also taken from me 40 valuable horses and abundance of cattle. Many dark and sleepless nights have I spent, separated from the cheerful society of men, scorched by the summer's sun and pinched by the winter's cold, an instrument ordained to settle the wilderness."

From this period he resided in Kentucky and Virginia till 1798, when in consequence of an imperfect legal title to the lands, which he had settled, he found himself dispossessed of his property. In his indignation he fled from the delightful region, which he had explored, when a wilderness, and which now had a population of half a million. With his rifle he crossed the Ohio and plunged into the immense country of the Missouri In 1799 he settled on the Femme Osage river with numerous followers. In 1800 he discovered the Boone's Lick country, now a fine settlement: in the same year he visited the head waters of the Grand Osage river and spent the winter upon the head waters of the Arkansas. At the age of 80, in company with a white man and a black man, laid under strict injunctions to carry him back to his family, dead or alive, he made a hunting trip to the head waters of the Great Osage, and was successful in trapping beaver and other game.




In January 1812 he addressed a memorial to the legislature of Ky. stating that he owned not an acre of land in the region, which he first settled; that in 1794 he passed over into the Spanish province of Louisiana, under an assurance from the governor, who resided at St. Louis, that land should be given him; that accordingly 10 thousand acres were given him on the Missouri and he became Syndic or chief of the district of St. Charles; but that on the acquisition of Louisiana by the United States his claims were rejected by the commissioners of land, because he did not actually reside; and that thus at the age of 80 he was a wanderer, having no spot of his own, whereon to lay his bones.

The legislature instructed their delegates to congress to solicit a confirmation of this grant. He retained, it is believed, 2,000 In his old age he pursued his active course of life, trapping bears and hunting with his rifle. Though a magistrate and sometimes a member of the legislature of Virginia, and much engaged in agriculture; yet he preferred the solitude of the wilderness to the honors of civil office and the society of men.


He died at the house of his son, Major A. Boone, at Charette, Montgomery Company, September 26th, 1820, aged nearly 90 years. His wife died in the same place. He left sons and daughters in Missouri. In consequence of his death the legislature of Missouri voted to wear a badge of mourning for 20 days. A brother died in Mississippi Oct. 1808, aged 81. 

Col. Boone was of common stature, of amiable disposition, and honorable integrity. In his last years he might have been seen by the traveler at the door of his house, with his rifle on his knee and his faithful dog at his side, lamenting the departed vigor of his limbs, and meditating on the scenes of his past life.

Whether he also meditated on the approaching scenes of eternity and his dim eyes ever kindled up with the glorious hopes of the christian is not mentioned in the accounts of him, which have been examined. But of all objects an irreligious old man, dead as to worldly joy and dead as to celestial hope, is the most pitiable. An account of his adventures, drawn up by himself, was published in Filson's supplement to Imlay's Description of the Western Territory, 1793.— Niles Register, March 13, 1813.

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'Therefore whatever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which you have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed on the housetops.'
- Luke 12:3







Finalists,
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  •           Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul Lead All Guards In NBA All-Star Voting        
    LeBron James is the early vote-getter for the NBA All-Star game, edging Kevin Durant.
              Resistance at Standing Rock: Dispatches from the Front Lines        

    UPDATES:





  • Water Protector Legal Collective Files Suit for Excessive Force against Peaceful Protesters


  • Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields’ for Dakota Pipeline Protesters



  • Oceti Sakowin encampment on Oct. 6, 2016. The proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires.








    Story and Photos by John Briggs

    Cool Justice Editor's Note: OK to repost, courtesy of John Briggs and The Cool Justice Report.







    Corporate – Government Alliance Versus the American People

    Native Americans from tribes across the country have gathered on the windswept plains of North Dakota to pray with Mother Earth to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from pumping 500,000 gallons of oil a day beneath the Missouri River. The natives know the pipeline will most certainly leak or break, as have most U.S. pipelines, fouling the water for the Great Sioux Nation and 18 million non-Natives downstream.

    The standoff -- which began in April -- continues as a new U.S. administration ascends to power with a president-elect who campaigned denying human-caused climate change and threatening the Paris Climate accords. This remains the overriding reality despite a mini walk back by Donald Trump pledging an open mind to The New York Times this week.

    Standing Rock illuminates the brazen alliance that has developed between corporate and government interests. Viewed from the front lines, the law has been turned into a fig leaf for repression and suppression. Only the discipline and spiritual clarity of the water protectors and the native elders has kept people from being killed or seriously injured since April when the movement began.

    The fused police-DAPL force is doing everything it can to incite a violent reaction from the resisters so as to crack down, clear the camps, imprison, or even gun down the natives. More than one commentator has found the atmosphere at Standing Rock similar to what led to the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 when 300 Sioux were murdered by government troops who mistook their prayerful Ghost Dance for a war dance.

    A great deal is at issue at Standing Rock. The Sioux and their numerous native and non-native allies face a militarized force whose composition tells us something dark about the complex façade that U.S. democracy has become and suggests the proto-fascist zombi lurking beneath. More deeply, Standing Rock also emblemizes a struggle that is taking place at this moment in human history between two distinct modes of human consciousness.

    One mode is the familiar anthropocentric (human-centered) consciousness that the dominant culture most of us were born into favors—a consciousness that assumes reality is a collection of objects to be extracted, owned, and branded. Humans are the focus of this consciousness, meaning that our concerns about climate change focus primarily on the fate of our own species.

    Distinct from this anthropocentric mind-set is a second, ancient and spiritual mode of awareness that understands that the earth and its landscapes are not objects; they are relationships, including the tangle of relationships that gave us birth. This ancient mode of consciousness is potential in everyone, but for most it has been buried beneath the piles of conceptual objects that we have come to believe constitute our reality.

    The Indigenous Peoples gathered at Standing Rock are guided by this ancient, holistic, earth-mind consciousness, and so they understand that humans are not the most valuable living objects on the planet: we are not in control of the planet; it is not our job to manage nature; rather, our sacred task is to work with Mother Earth and other beings as members of Earth’s family. If we don’t, Mother Earth will make us face this spiritual truth one way or another.

    Guided by their ancient, earth-mind awareness, Native Americans have taken up a role as “water protectors.” “Mni Wiconi, Water is Life” is the slogan of the Standing Rock movement.

    Every day scores of Sioux from North Dakota, South Dakota and nearby states, along with Paiute, Shoshoni, Diné, and a sampling of other Natives from the 300 or so tribes whose flags fly at the Standing Rock encampments set out to pipeline construction sites in a convoy to engage in “actions” on the “front lines.”

    There the protectors sing and pray in the face of physical harassment and arrests by heavily armed police fused with a corporate security force.

    DAPL and their overlord company, Energy Transfer Partners, have lavished campaign contributions on politicians in North Dakota and the U.S. Congress so that they could use the state’s eminent domain powers to force purchase of land for the pipeline all across North Dakota, beginning in the Bakken fields in the northwest corner of the state where the fracked crude oil is extracted. Similar eminent domain arrangements were achieved in other states through which the 1,200-mile line traverses before reaching a river port in Illinois. The company promised Congress and the public that the pipeline would carry oil for 100 percent domestic use only, but it is clear from reporting done by the website The Intercept that the oil will be sold on international markets.

  • Though Promised for Domestic Use, Dakota Access Pipeline May Fuel Oil Exports


  • The DAPL line, now virtually complete except for permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to fill in the link that crosses under the Missouri River, passes just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The DAPL construction runs through sacred burial and archeological grounds that the Lakota people were given free access to by treaties with the U.S. Government in the 19th Century. In mounting their resistance to the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux have been turned into “trespassers on their own land.”

    In late August, the tribe’s lawyers filed a stop work petition in federal court detailing areas where sacred sites would be disturbed if construction continued on its planned trajectory. The federal judge routinely forwarded a copy of the filing to DAPL. Over Labor Day weekend, when the company would not have been expected to work, pipeline crews leapfrogged to the disputed sacred and preemptively bulldozed them under. Too late, the judge granted the Sioux an emergency restraining order, but, then in a curious move, allowed construction in some areas where sacred sites have been discovered. DAPL has ignored a request from the Obama administration not to work in buffer areas on either side of the river. No fines have been imposed for intentionally bulldozing the disputed sacred sites.

  • The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline


  • Burial ground at center of police confrontations is known historical site


  • In recent live-stream videos from the front lines, DAPL-police snipers can be seen perched on top of a sacred mound called Turtle Island, their high-powered rifle crosshairs trained on the water protectors who are standing in prayer in the frigid lake below.

    North Dakota wants the federal government to pick up the tab for the massive expenditures required to keep the Native Americans under their guns. Alternatively, the CEO of Energy Transfers, Kelcy Warren, has offered to pick up the millions-of-dollars tab.

  • ETP CEO Kelcy Warren Says They Have Offered to Pay Protest Related Expenses


  • Native media have documented that DAPL has already been supplying military-style equipment, drones, armored vehicles, riot gear, water canons, concussion grenades and other armaments. The tax-payer-funded and corporate-sponsored front lines phalanx is led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, which has local jurisdiction, reinforced by North Dakota State Troopers, North Dakota National Guard units, sheriffs and police from six nearby states—all interpenetrated by DAPL security (while the FBI lurks in the background). A contingent of Hennepin County, Minnesota, Sheriffs’ Deputies were recalled following protests back home. Residents in the state of Ohio are writing letters and calling legislators to express their distress that their law enforcement has been enlisted into this repressive force.

  • Hennepin Co. sheriff's deputies leave Standing Rock protest


  • Native media’s live stream videos show DAPL security teams in mirror-visor helmets and black ops body armor with no identification, mingling with the police, sometimes directing them when and who to mace or pepper spray. They point out media making video for arrest. The big fossil fuel company evidently has plenty of experience dealing with protestors around the world. In their blank, reflecting visors we can see the soulless Darth Vader face of the government-corporate proto-fascist state the U.S. is becoming.

    Of course, this struggle with the Wasi’chu (Lakota word for the white man, meaning literally “takes too much”) is an old story for Native-Americans. In the 18th and 19th centuries it took the form of the Sioux nations trying to hold back the tsunami of colonizers flooding into their ancestral lands, occupying and despoiling them. The big difference now is that the fire-power of the state (think Custer’s 7th Cavalry or present day militarized police) has been fused with vast profit centers dependent for their existence on plundering the earth in the name of energy-squandering lifestyle survival.

    The provocations the water protectors endure take many forms. There is the psychological pressure of constant surveillance: the heavy police presence on the roads around tribal and reservation lands, the DPLA helicopter and a small plane that circle constantly above the encampments; there is the Bureau of Indian Affairs station set up on a knoll to suck out data from the cell phones of anyone in the area. There is the pepper spraying and tasing of water protectors who are praying. There is the more recent blasting of the protectors with freezing water canons in sub zero weather. There is the constant threat of weapons pointed at them. One twitching trigger finger could set off a slaughter.

    The water protectors are unarmed. The resistance movement does not allow guns in the encampments. One day, at one of the front line actions, an armed man showed up with a pistol and began firing. Possibly he was paid by DAPL to create an incident. The Natives are aware of paid provocateurs or agitators passing through the camps, pulling dirty tricks, looking to start something. Antimedia reported about the man with the gun: “According to an official statement from the tribe, the man fired several shots from his gun before being peacefully apprehended by tribal police. Witnesses at the scene say he pointed his gun at several protesters. The man was clearly trying to provoke violence that could later be used to demonize protesters who have so far remained peaceful.”

    The news site added, “The Morton County Sheriff’s Department circulated a false report claiming the man was shot, presumably by protesters… [As images show], the man was not harmed. The Sheriff’s Department has since retracted that report. Anti-Media’s attempts to obtain clarifying comments from Morton County Sheriffs were ignored.”

  • Dakota Access Caught Infiltrating Protests to Incite Violence, Funding Trolls Online


  • On a hill overlooking Oceti Sakowin, the largest of the Standing Rock encampments, an old army tent houses the field office of the rotating teams of lawyers who come to Standing Rock to help out. They use donations made to the resistance to bail out protectors who have been arrested; they try to negotiate with the police so the protectors can be allowed to pray. The constant arrests on trumped-up charges are an ongoing harassment—people maced or beaten, violently thrown to the ground and zip-tied. Often activists are charged with trespass and “riot” on the Morton County Sheriff’s novel legal theory that if several people are arrested for trespass that must signify that they were engaged in a riot.

    All this naturally requires court time and money to defend, incarceration in usually unpleasant conditions, including dog kennels. (Though the white allies who are arrested seem to get better treatment.)

    Arrests are to be expected as a consequence of civil disobedience. But some arrests are directed at chilling speech. One lawyer who came to Standing Rock from the Oregon-based Civil Liberties Defense Center, an activist defense nonprofit primarily involved in climate protests, https://cldc.org/ told Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network that often after the day’s action was over, police would stop the last cars in the caravan. They would then make “snatch and grab” arrests, impounding the cars of people who had come to support the water protectors but had no expectation that they’d be arrested when the action was over and the police told them to leave. They have to pay heavy fines ($900) to get their cars back. She said the arrests and impoundment fines for their cars are unlawful. “The intention with those types of actions is to scare out-of-towners from being comfortable coming to these actions. So they’re trying to chill the rights of others to come and participate in these protests.”

  • Environmental Lawyer Explains Standing Rock Legal Issues




  • The authorities regularly characterize the natives as terrorists, and local radio spreads false rumors of farm animals being slaughtered and stolen, reported vandalism—the kind of thing you would expect from psychologically projected homesteader fears about savage Indians of earlier centuries.

    Yes, Magazine on Oct. 31 reported: “The county sheriff is claiming the water protectors were violent and that police were stopping a riot. But hours of live video feed from people caught in the confrontation showed instead a military-style assault on unarmed people: police beating people with batons, police with assault rifles, chemical mace, guns firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds, tasers.”

  • Why Police From 7 Different States Invaded a Standing Rock Camp—and Other Questions


  • The UN has sent human rights observers. According to Salon, Nov. 16, 2016: “The U.N. special rapporteur said that American law enforcement officials, private security firms and the North Dakota National Guard have used unjustified force against protesters.

    “ ‘This is a troubling response to people who are taking action to protect natural resources and ancestral territory in the face of profit-seeking activity,’ [Maina] Kiai [U.N. special rapporteur] said in his statement, which was issued by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and was endorsed by several other U.N. experts.

  • Native Americans facing excessive force in North Dakota pipeline protests – UN expert


  • “At least 400 activists have been detained and often have been held in ‘inhuman and degrading conditions in detention,’ Kiai added. Some indigenous protesters have said they were treated like animals and even held in dog kennels.

  • Dakota pipeline protesters say they were detained in dog kennels; 268 arrested in week of police crackdown


  • “ ‘Marking people with numbers and detaining them in overcrowded cages, on the bare concrete floor, without being provided with medical care, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment,’ the U.N. expert said.

    “ ‘The excessive use of State security apparatus to suppress protest against corporate activities that are alleged to violate human rights is wrong,’ he continued, noting that it violates U.N. guidelines on business and human rights.

    “Amnesty International USA, which has repeatedly criticized authorities for not respecting the rights of protesters, issued another statement on Tuesday noting that U.S. authorities had put up roadblocks to prevent journalists and human rights observers from documenting the protests and the official response.”

  • U.N. experts call for halt in Dakota Access pipeline, blast “excessive force” against protesters


  • Living on Earth reporter Sandy Tolan reflected: “You know, at times I felt I was back reporting in the West Bank, and not the Northern Plains…”

  • Standing With the Standing Rock Sioux


  • The Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians

    Compare the government response at Standing Rock with the response occasioned by Ammon Bundy and his gang of armed militants when they occupied Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for over a month in January 2016. Imagine if the Bundy gang had been pepper sprayed, beaten, hit with water cannon, tased. But the Bundy crew were taking over the refuge to proclaim their belief that public lands should be given free to the profit-making private ranching business. In other words, the Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians.

    The mainstream corporate media has largely ignored the stand-off at Standing Rock. Rallies have taken place around the world at places like Tokyo, Stockholm, and Auckland, but the sad truth is many foreigners have heard more about Standing Rock than Americans have. Not surprising. The news editors, working for corporate media conglomerates, choose what they believe we should know and what fits the larger corporate agenda, and so they devote massively more play to Brad Pitt, to the gossipy politics of who’s-on-first, and to whatever the latest glittering consumer thing is than they do to climate change and issues highlighted by the poor and the powerless, like Standing Rock. What coverage that does exist is usually cursory and misleading.

    Fortunately, alternative media have been on the scene and active at Standing Rock. As someone who taught journalism for more nearly 20 years, it has been refreshing for me to see what the alternative press is accomplishing.

    Amy Goodman of the webcast Democracy Now brought the prayer-resistance movement to national attention over the summer. She was arrested and charged with riot in absentia for her live reports of water protectors being set upon by dogs. The charge was later dismissed in court.

    Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network has done searching interviews and incisive commentary from the scene.

    But my absolute favorite news source at Standing Rock is Myron Dewey’s Digital Smoke Signals. Dewey does updates every day, which he posts on Facebook. I highly recommend anyone who has a Facebook account to “follow” him. I went to Standing Rock on Oct. 4-11 with two friends and I have since been able to keep up with developments on the ground through Dewey’s Facebook broadcasts. He posts live stream unedited clips that constitute what he calls an ongoing “documentation” of what is happening day-to-day at the movement.

    Here is Dewey at night standing on a hillside next to the Oceti Sakowin encampment. His face appears in the glow of his screen. Then he’s panning and zooming in on a large grassfire as he’s telling us about it. His finger appears in the screen and points out where the fire started. He says the helicopter which constantly circulates over the camp suddenly disappeared 20 minutes before they saw the first flames. He zooms to the area where he and the person he is with first spotted the fire. He says, “It looked like someone using a drip torch.” He says they called 911, but it’s been over an hour and the Morton County Fire Department hasn’t shown up. He tells the people in the camp, his audience, not to worry, though. It looks like the fire was started by DAPL employees to scare them or hurt them. But the Oceti Sakowin is full of Indians who supplement their income by wild-land firefighting, work that also benefits Mother Earth; he mentions that he is himself a “hotshot” firefighter [one of the elite crews]. He and his fellow firefighters can tell by the wind direction that the fire won’t harm the camp.

    Now here’s Dewey on a bright morning walking along the road by Oceti Sakowin. A young man appears on screen, and Dewey asks him who he is and why he’s here. He’s from the Paiute nation. “I’m here to protect the water,” he says. Dewey asks him to sing a Paiute song. The young man closes his eyes and sings.

    In another nighttime broadcast find we ourselves looking through a car windshield, headlights illuminating the highway, centerlines whizzing by. We hear voices talking in the backseat. The car drives on and on. We’re just watching the road. Then ahead is a police roadblock. The police van looms. Dewey gets out with his camera and calls over to the officers, asks them where they’re from, inquires about where the road blocks are, what are the open routes. At one level it’s a mundane exchange between a citizen and police, but you experience the edginess of the situation. More deeply, you feel the riskiness and pathos that is involved any human interaction. Dewey firmly exercises his right to have these protect-and-serve police respond to him civilly; he is cordial and respectful in a way that reinforces to them and to his viewers that he is after all not their enemy but a fellow human being. Dewey asks more questions and the lead officer says he doesn’t want to be filmed; Dewey offers to turn his camera away from them and onto himself. The distant officers disappear from the screen and Dewey’s face fills it. The contact officer walks nearer; we can hear his voice. Dewey can’t resist a joke, though. He asks the officer if he’s sure he doesn’t want to become famous by putting his face on Dewey’s screen? You realize these are just guys doing their job. Dewey understands that, but he also wants to educate them about the water protectors’ mission. He never misses an opportunity to educate his adversary, as well as his own people about the larger dimensions of the Standing Rock resistance. When he gets back in the car, someone in the back seat says “Let’s get out of here; this is enemy territory.” Dewey laughs, turning the car around, “It’s not enemy territory.”

    I believe you learn more about Standing Rock by watching Dewey’s unedited video than you ever could from watching any number of dramatically produced, commercially constricted reports on CNN, complete with the drumb-drumb latest crisis theme music.

    Dewey explains to his viewers that what they’re seeing is a “documentation” that’s not edited. “It’s not scripted. It’s not acted out.”

    After a month of watching Dewey’s daily reports I realize more fully than I ever have before how ghastly and vacuous mainstream news reporting is: a production where facts have been emptied of the humanity of real encounters, replaced by the shallow performances of reporters and news sources, slick, clichéd phrasing, behavior slotted into ready made categories, events analyzed and even predigested. The news about reality comes to us compartmentalized in trays like tasteless microwave dinners. Rarely is the reader or viewer allowed to simply experience the event unfolding through the reporter’s eyes or camera. The stories are crafted and slickly packaged. Their very polish and stimulating presentation sabotages their meaning and replaces it with a meaningless, artificial understanding.

    Note that I am not saying that the news these days is politically biased. Some obviously is, but the left or right bias charge is a serious red herring, a mis-direction. In fact, in mainstream media’s very effort to appear neutral and unbiased means events are chopped up and pieced together to fit the templates of a few hackneyed forms of storytelling: the winner-loser story, the conflict story, the individual overcoming obstacles story, the facing bad choices stories, he-said, she-said stories, scandal stories, hypocrisy stories. You’ve seen them all, repeatedly.

    Most of these templates come plated with a cynicism, skepticism, superiority, or sentimentality that grabs our attention by adding a dash of disgust. The current journalistic manner of telling stories reduces and dismisses the story in a way that sometimes makes the commercials and pop-up ads come as a relief. None of the common journalistic templates or attitude has much to do with real life as it’s lived in the moment. It’s not what people really experience in their lives. Instead, it’s how they’ve been conditioned to wrap up experience afterward in a dramatized way that leaches out the nuance, that leaves out the moment-to-moment uncertainty, or as the Lakota call it, the Wakan, the deep mystery of relationships that permeates every event. And that’s what Dewey’s broadcasts have in abundance. You get to see him interacting with the people who show up on his screen. You get to feel his humanity and the mystery of everyday relationships taking place at Standing Rock that he brings to light. It’s certainly not dramatic or melodramatic. It’s not interesting or stimulating in the usual way. It does seem really important.

    So when Dewey sits in his parked car and does an update video on “10 things to know about DAPL” (Nov. 18, 2016), there’s no editing and no script, meaning that you get to see him thinking through what those top 10 things might be. Some points he makes are incisive and comic, others not so much. But the not-so-much ones can lead you to thinking about gray areas, the imprecise observations we all make. He asks a guy who just got in the car to help out with his list and the guy, William Hawk Birdshead, goes immediately serious on him until Dewey says, “I was trying to keep it light.” So the Birdshead says, “Laughter is good medicine.” Suddenly they’re off. Dewey mimics the shifty-eyed look of the FBI guys lurking around the area and denying they are FBI, the DAPL security characters trying to look all steely and tough. We learn that in the encampments they say that “DAPL dresses up like Ninja Turtles.” You can tell that it’s DAPL undercover because those guys never drive rez cars, which are rusted and dented. Nobody is spared. Dewey describes the water protectors just arriving from California as dudes who’ve “got their animal spirits on… They’re all furred up. They’re coming in all mystical and crystals.” He and his buddy laugh, which Dewey says is laughter “in a good way,” because the whole thing going on at Standing Rock is deadly serious but you need laughter, because that’s good medicine for healing. And healing and praying are about “getting reconnected with the Earth.”

    This points to a major difference between anthropocentric prayer as most of us know it and earth-mind prayer. In the prayer that most people are familiar with, an individual seeks intercession for human needs with a transcendent being. The Native prayer is about healing not getting. The prayer is a community ceremony or song or ritual to maintain or restore the balance between and among beings, both animate and inanimate. Prayer is to all my relatives, all my relations, the birds, the water, the wind, the buffalo, my family, even those who oppose me as enemies. Mitakuye Oyasin is an important Lakota phrase that means “all my relations.” When you’re watching a Dewey update from Standing Rock you’re experiencing Mitakuye Oyasin in action. It’s newscasting as a kind of prayer, in the earth-mind sense. Whether he’s engaging in laughter or educating about the spiritual importance of water, you can see that what he’s getting at is healing relationships. Watching and listening, you get to be part of that healing.

    What Dewey does goes way beyond advocacy journalism.

    Our traveling companion for our visit to Standing Rock, Lakota elder Tiokasin Ghosthorse, also provides a good way to keep up with developments through the interviews he conducts for his weekly syndicated broadcast from WPKN in Bridgeport Conn. and WBAI in New York City. On Oct. 31, 2016, Tiokasin interviewed a young man who was seized on Oct. 27 when a frontline camp was destroyed by police. Trenton Joseph Castillas Bakeberg, in the bloodline of Crazy Horse, was praying in a sweat lodge when the militarized police swept through the camp. They yanked him out of the sweat lodge and arrested him. The young water protector told Tiokasin:

    “I pray that we’ll be able to keep a state of prayer and peace, as we have been… Although there’s some people on our side are more likely to tend toward violence. But there’s also people on our side to stop them. Don’t start a fight. That’s what it’s all about, keeping it peaceful because the elders told us in the beginning that all it takes is one single act of violence, one person attacking a police officer and they’ll unleash the fear on all of us. This wrath that we have with our military overseas, we’re beginning to see it now in the heart of our own country. All for the greed and the corporate interests of this government. They say we’re a democracy but it’s not showing anymore. The people didn’t want this pipeline, but this foreign entity that they call a corporation, Energy Transfers, is saying, we don’t care. We want this money. We need this for economic stability of the country and that somehow trumps the interests of our communities and our nation as a whole….We’re standing up to this corporate machine with prayer and love.”

  • Forcibly removed from prayer at Standing Rock


  • Against a heavily armed, corporatized democracy designed to ensure that only powerful business and political elites rule the land and possess the wealth of its objects, the Native-American people at Standing Rock stand in defense of Mother Earth armed with songs, prayers, and an understanding that Earth’s objects are us, and we are them. They are our relatives. It seems better armament than most of us Wasi’shu possess. Webster defines fascism as “a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.” It’s an incendiary word, and readers might think ill of me for introducing it here. Certainly we are not a fascist state yet. But for the prayer-resistance at Standing Rock, the clear alliance between corporate and government interests to quell their opposition under color of the law has a fascist flavor.

    It should not surprise anyone that the new US president reportedly holds stocks that directly fund the Dakota Access Pipeline and that the DAPL CEO Kelcy Warren gave the Trump campaign a substantial donation.

  • Trump's Personal Investments Ride on Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline


  • This is how the proto-fascism works. Ironically (or perhaps absurdly), Trump may have been elected by people hoping he would somehow counter the tightening grip of multinational corporations on their lives. One might wish for that to happen.

    At a deep level, Standing Rock may suggest that such absurdities as a Trump presidency occur because our mode of consciousness is impaired or inadequate to the situation it has created on our planet at this historical time. Too many of us have gone dead to the natural world we come from. Our obsessive anthropocentric mode of consciousness has reduced nature and reality at large to a bunch of things we have names for—things that feed our greed. Fortunately, many Indigenous people have retained an acute and ancient consciousness that we are those rocks and trees and clouds, and birds and water that we see outside our windows, and that restoring our relationships with them is incumbent on us.

    John Briggs is emeritus distinguished Professor of Writing and Aesthetics from Western Connecticut State University. He was the English Department’s journalism coordinator for 18 years and was one of the founders of Western’s Department of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process. He is the author of several well-known books on chaos theory, fractals and creativity. He lives in the hilltown of Granville, Mass., where served as a Selectman for five years and as reserve police officer for 10 years.


    When people at Standing Rock talk about the black snake they mean the pipeline, referring to an old Sioux legend about a black snake that will threaten the end of the world. The Lakota prophet Black Elk said that in the seventh generation, the Sioux tribes would unite to save the world.

    Media covering the Standing Rock resistance movement:

  • Digital Smoke Signals


  • Myron Dewey, Facebook


  • The Antimedia


  • Democracy Now


  • The Intercept


  • The Guardian


  • Censored News


  • Unicorn Riot


  • Living on Earth


  • The Indigenous Environmental Network


  • Status of Standing Rock court claim



  •           678 pilgrims leave for Amarnath Yatra        

    Jammu: A fresh batch of 678 pilgrims left here on Tuesday to perform the ongoing Amarnath Yatra, an official said.

    Over 2.50 lakh pilgrims have so far performed the yatra which started on June 29.

    "Another batch of 678 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in an escorted convoy of 20 vehicles at 2.55 a.m.," the official said.

    The pilgrims use the Jammu-Srinagar national highway to reach the Valley and all vehicles carrying pilgrims have to cross the Jawahar Tunnel before 3.30 p.m.

    This has been done as a precautionary measure to ensure that pilgrims reach the two base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal before sunset.

    Over 35,000 security personnel have been deployed to maintain law and order.

    So far, 48 pilgrims have died. 

    Of these, 17 died in a road accident in Ramban district of Jammu region on July 16; eight were killed in a terror attack in Anantnag district on July 10; and 23 pilgrims have died of natural causes.

    The Yatra will conclude after completing 40 days with the arrival of the `Chari Mubarak` at the cave shrine on August 7.

    Situated 3,888 metres above sea-level, the cave houses an ice stalagmite structure that waxes and wanes with the size of the visible moon. 

    Devotees believe the ice stalagmite structure symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

    Section: 
    Yes
    News Source: 
    Facebook Instant Article: 
    No

              ALEATORIEDAD, POLÍTICA Y VOTOS...        
    Hace unos días hablábamos mi hermano y yo de la aburridora política. Este año no me gusta porque hay elecciones. Todo el mundo se apasiona por unos seres que ni conoce y por lo que vota y como mínimo su participación, si quedan puede ser irrelevante para cada uno. Pero bueno, yo jugaré también a la hinchada en este escrito. Los candidatos por los que he votado solamente ganó una amiga a la Junta Administradora Local del Barrio: esa es la democracia. Votamos para que gente que no elegimos decida sobre nuestras vidas.

    MIS VOTOS
    En estas elecciones votaré por el número 19 de la Lista del Partido Liberal, por Marcela Posada. Dos razones claves me mueven a votar por ella. La primera es que su propuesta se centra en apoyo a la maternidad, la segunda es que medio la conozco. Marcela Posada es actriz (¿yo votando por una actriz?) y era "la jirafona" en Betty la Fea, no me vi Betty la fea. Sus propuestas van en la línea de protección a la maternidad y primera infancia, además defiende la vida de los bebés.  A Marcela la tengo en Facebook. ¿La conozco? Sin embargo, muchas cosas me preocupan de votar por Marcela. No es ella, me da confianza así apenas la conozca (primera irracionalidad política), lo que más confianza me da es que no intentó convencerme de votar por ella. Adicionalmente es transparente expresa sus ideas sin esperar el voto, muestra todo hasta las propuestas indecentes que le hacen y muestra su lealtad. Pero es más lo que no conozco de Marcela que lo que conozco.

    En primer lugar me preocupa la forma en que plantea sus buenas propuestas son quitando el dinero de otros para fines que a mí me interesan. Puede beneficiar a los bebés, mamás, etc, pero sus propuestas son entre coactivas e impositivas o sea no en lo que yo entiendo por liberales, no se trata de obligar se trata de promover. Sería perfecta si sus propuestas fueran vía incentivos, descuentos, entre otras y como asumo que ella lo leerá sepa que yo me ofrezco a redactarle la ley vía incentivos tributarios y laborales (sin coacciones) para promover el apoyo a la protección a la maternidad, la vida del no-nacido y la primera infancia. 

    Publicidad Política Gratuita.

    EL PROBLEMA DE LOS VOTOS A "CUERPOS COLEGIADOS"
    El segundo problema más grave es quiénes conforman la lista del partido liberal. Entre esos están Horacio Serpa, Vivian Morales y otra serie de personajes de quienes desconfío. Desconfío del mismo partido liberal, de todos los partidos desconfío. El problema radica en que gracias a una reforma que propuso e impulsó Germán Vargas Lleras uno ya no vota por una persona avalada por el Partido Liberal, uno vota por alguien que quede en una bancada. Eso funciona de la siguiente manera:

    1. Se cuentan los votos válidos
    2. Se divide el número de curules al Senado (en este caso 100) por el número de votos totales y eso da el umbral. Los partidos o movimientos que no pasen el umbral no obtienen curules.
    3. Los partidos que pasen el umbral serán aquellos en los que se distribuyan las curules ¿Cómo? El sistema que es una función bastante rara que se llama cifra repartidora. La cifra repartidora consiste en tomar los votos de los partidos que superan el umbral y dividirlo entre 1, 2, 3, hasta n que es el número de curules. Eso da una matriz de números de los cuales los primeros 100 números son las curules a asignar. Es así que supongamos tenemos dos partidos que pasaron el umbral y 5 curules a asignar a continuación la tabla:

    PARTIDO 1:
    100 votos

    PARTIDO 2:
    50 votos

    Con cifra repartidora dividimos hasta 5

    PARTIDO 1: 100, 50, 33.33333, 25, 20
    PARTIDO 2: 50, 25, 16.66666, 12.5, 10

    Y ordenamos los primeros 100 números

    PARTIDO 1: 100, 50
    PARTIDO 2: 50
    PARTIDO 1: 33.333, 25

    La cifra repartidora es 25 y con base en este método el PARTIDO 1 tiene 4 curules y el PARTIDO 2: tiene 1 curul. No sé cómo se asignan en caso de empate, pero supongamos que se asigna la curul empatada al que tiene más votos. Aquí en primer lugar la desigualdad es clara la relación de votos entre partidos es de 1/2 la relación de curules de 1/5.

    Luego de tener la cifra repartidora se mira si la lista es cerrada o abierta, si es cerrada se asigna al primero de la lista y así sucesivamente. Si es abierta se mira el número de votos y se organizan de mayor a menor. Así que no voto por la lista de Marcela Posada, voto por la lista del Partido Liberal y espero a que los votos que corresponden a los de las maquinarias den para un espacio para Marcela.Vale la pena correr el riesgo, pues por un lado está el tema de que los candidatos del Partido Liberal con maquinarias pueden ganar solos, pero darle el voto a Marcela puede dar un espacio para votos de opinión dentro del Partido. Pero las probabilidades no son mejores que las de candidatos con maquinarias, aunque es actriz y en Colombia la gente cree y quiere a sus actores (sin perjuicio de que yo no los conozca ni los vea). Es allí donde viene otra vez la conversación con mi hermano.

    ALEATORIEDAD O DEMOCRACIA...
    Sin embargo, la conversación entre mi hermano y yo versaba "¿Sería mejor una elección aleatoria que las elecciones vía voto?" Es claro que entre un político honesto y uno deshonesto, las posibilidades están a favor del deshonesto. Tal vez los que tengan "voto inteligente" (¿es eso posible?) no voten por el deshonesto, pero el deshonesto superando los topes de publicidad en campaña, mediante maquinarias, sancochos, promesas de burocracia, entre otras que van de $1.000.000 para arriba (menos de lo que pagarán en impuestos por 4 años) ofrecen mayores incentivos a las personas para que voten por ellos. A mi que me compren con que nadie tendrá que pagar impuestos en 4 años, ja, apuesto a que no hay político que haga esa oferta, bueno me equivoco, un "buen político" haría esa oferta pero no la cumpliría. En todo caso es claro que las probabilidades favorecen a los deshonestos. El iluso que crea en la democracia dirá: eso no es así. O defenderá su partido pero es claro. Supongamos que la distribución de deshonestos es igual en todos los partidos. Alguna amiga me dirá que en su partido todos son honestos, yo creo que hay de todo en todos.

    Si hacemos una distribución aleatoria es muy probable que todos los partidos superen el umbral con más o menos la misma cantidad de votos. Lo mismo los votos al interior de los partidos, teniendo una probabilidad más o menos equilibrada entre honestos y deshonestos. La cuestión funciona teóricamente y si uno hace simulaciones, que se pueden programar en R Statistics y ver que efectivamente el azar elegiría mejor que lo que lo hace la democracia, porque corruptos y honestos tendrían las mismas probabilidades. Claro asumiendo que los corruptos no hagan un programa que desbalancee las probabilidades. Mejor dicho a la democracia le iría mejor en un casino que en las urnas...

    APOSTANDO
    Ya queda claro que apostaré por el L 19 al Senado, además me gusta ese número, pero es una apuesta riesgosa como lo es la política. ¿Por quién apostar en los otros? Bien para Cámara no conozco a nadie, y no creo en los conocidos de los conocidos de los conocidos, se supone que deberían ser más cercanos, pero no lo son. Pensaba dar ingenuamente el voto por el Partido Conservador pero, ¿dar un voto por una lista de un partido que se dice pro-vida? ¿Les creo? Solamente he votado por ellos por eso ¡qué pendejo! En la consulta del Partido Verde votaré por Ingrid Betancourt, con sus defectos pasados y su impopularidad presente, me ha parecido una mujer auténtica, eso no significa si gana tenga que votar por ella, pues tendría que tantear cómo está en el tema pro-vida. Finalmente, tampoco conozco a nadie para el parlamento Andino, así que tristemente esos dos cuerpos colegiados se van con mi voto en blanco, le apuesto al 0. Esa apuesta también tiene sus riesgos, como que gente buena no alcance el umbral, pero eso no es una carga mía sino del candidato.

    Finalmente queda la Presidencia, también creo que le apostaré al blanco. No me gusta la bala, no me gusta la Habana y esos dos son los menos malos a mi juicio, bueno Clara López no me da la sensación que lo haya hecho mal como alcaldesa encargada de Bogotá, pero su partido promueve el aborto, están en contra de la libertad de empresa bueno del TLC que no necesariamente ha significado libertad de empresa.

    El problema del voto en blanco es que si gana mandarían a otros de los mismos partidos y como dice la canción de Arjona: "para qué cuentan los votos si se repite la ecuación". Se supone que el país no puede quedar en "situación de interinidad" que eso es "malísimo" para la democracia, a mí me parecería genial no tener presidentes, ni  congresistas, no creo en el estado, no creo en la constitución pero no puedo librarme de ella, bueno al menos no en el corto plazo. Yo soy partidario de la anarquía que permite la libertad y solamente cuando hay libertad se puede ver la solidaridad. No hay solidaridad forzada. Yo preferiría ver a Marcela Posada parada con su liderazgo y autenticidad apoyando ella directamente a las mamás, pero no hacen daño las leyes que bajen los excesivos impuestos a cambio de promover el amor a los bebés y las mamás...


              Worldly War Machinery         
    Here's some more artwork from World War Machine. First up a higher res version of the initial design for the player character, the quintessential War Machine. I had a lot of fun working on this friendly chap!

    And here are a bunch of quick conceptual sketches for a variety of enemy units. My thinking with these was to push the anatomically inspired biomechanical feel of the War Machine into something more twisted and deformed. The various shattered AI remnants of humanity are at perpetual war with themselves, and create these machines to wage their battles. Attack types and methods of movement and combat are drawn from the broken and disjointed totality of human knowledge that's contained in the AIs, from militaristic science to the animal kingdom. Robot zombies if you will!




    Check out the Square Enix Collective War Machine page and put in a vote!
              Step it up, step it up, it’s the beginning again.I’m going to outrun by speeding up my tempo again→Weekly Review #30[]        
    NEW Songs FT Island – Like The Birds LEDApple-Boy Meets Girls/Ran Into You By Chance N.Sonic-Super Boy Tablo-Bad (ft.Jinshil) TAKEN-Young Boy TRAX-Blind Wonder Girls-G.N.O AA Artist Page LEDApple Artist Page N.Sonic Artist Page TAKEN Artist Page Last Week’s Poll : Who is your favorite Wonder Girls member? SunYe – 56 Vote(s) YooBin – 103 Vote(s) Lim – […]
              10 FILM TERBAIK SEPANJANG MASA MENURUT VOTING 358 SUTRADARA DUNIA        

    10 FILM TERBAIK SEPANJANG MASA MENURUT VOTING 358 SUTRADARA DUNIA


    Robert De Niro dalam Film taxi Driver, tahun 1976.  Sumber: ini

    10 FILM TERBAIK SEPANJANG MASA MENURUT PARA SUTRADARA


    10 film berikut ini menjadi Film Terbaik Sepanjang Masa setelah dilakukan voting kepada 358 sutradara dunia.  Sebut saja Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen, Quentin Tarantino, Terence Davies, Guillermo del Toro, Martin Scorsese, Olivier Assayas, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Michael Mann, Mike Leigh, Guy Maddin, dan banyak lagi.

    DAFTAR 10 FILM TERBAIK SEPANJANG MASA HASIL VOTING 358 SUTRADARA

    Berikut ini Daftar 10 Film Terbaik menurut voting para sutradara dunia :


    TOKYO STORY

        Poster Film Tokyo Story.  Sumber: ini

    Tokyo Story merupakan satu film terbaik dunia yang disutradarai oleh Ozu Yasujiro.  Tokyo Story dirilis pada tahun 1953 dan sukses menginspirasi para sineas dunia. Dibintangi oleh Chishû Ryû, Tokyo Story mengisahkan tentang orang tua yang pergi ke Tokyo untuk mengunjungi anaknya yang sudah dewasa.

    Film ini menyajikan gambaran kontras ketika sang anak kandung terlalu sibuk untuk memberi perhatian kepada kedua orang tuanya, namun justru anak angkatnya yang memperlakukan dengan baik. Tokyo story meraih 48 vote dari para sutradara dunia, dan menjadi pemuncak daftar film terbaik sepanjang masa. 


    A SPACE ODYSSEY

        Poster Film A Space Odyssey.  Sumber: ini

    Di posisi kedua ada film mahakarya Stanley Kubrick yang berjudul 2001: A Space Odyssey. Dibintangi oleh Keir Dullea, film ini mengisahkan tentang perjalanan luar angkasa yang menembus ruang dan waktu dengan konsep dan imajinasi yang tinggi dari Kubrick. Film 2001: A Space Odyssey meraih 42 vote dari para sutradara.

    Christopher Nolan pernah mengatakan bahwa film 2001: A Space Odyssey ini merupakan salah satu inspirasinya dalam membuat film Interstellar.



    CITIZEN KANE

        Film Citizen Kane.  Sumber: ini

    Film Citizen Kane berada di posisi ketiga, juga mendapatkan 42 vote dari para sutradara dunia.  Film yang meraih satu piala Oscar ini dirilis tahun 1941, disutradarai oleh Orson Welles yang juga menulis naskahnya bersama Herman J. Mankiewics.

    Citizen Kane dibintangi oleh Joseph Cotten dan Dorothy Comingore, film ini bercerita tentang para wartawan yang berusaha mengungkap sebuah kalimat terakhir dari pengusaha percetakan sebelum akhirnya meninggal dunia. 


    8 ½

         Film 8 ½ .  Sumber: ini

    Film yang meraih 2 Oscar ini mendapat 40 vote dari para sutradara.  8 ½ dirilis pada tahun 1963 ini disutradarai oleh Federico Fellini yang juga menulis naskahnya bersama Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, dan Brunello Rondi.

    Dibintangi oleh Marcello Mastroianni, film ini menceritakan tentang Guido Anselmi, seorang sutradara asal Italia yang tak produktif lagi dalam profesinya.


    TAXI DRIVER

         Film Taxi Driver.  Sumber: ini

    Taxi Driver yang dirilis tahun 1976 ini diarahkan oleh sutradara Martin Scorsese. Film yang meraih 4 nominasi Oscar ini mendapat 34 vote dari para sutradara dunia. 

    Dibintangi oleh Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, dan Cybill Shepherd, film ini menceritakan tentang seorang veteran perang Vietnam yang menjadi supir taksi di malam hari kota New York. Ia yang mentalnya tak stabil merasakan sebuah gejolak ketika ingin menyelamatkan seorang pelacur usia dini. 


    APOCALYPSE NOW

        Film Apocalypse Now.  Sumber: ini

    Film arahan Francis Ford Coppola ini dirilis pada tahun 1979, berhasil meraih 33 vote dari para sutradara. Kali ini film berjudul Apocalypse Now yang dibintangi oleh Martin Sheen dan Marlon Brando.

    Film yang ber-setting pada masa perang Vietnam ini bercerita tentang Captain Benjamin L. yang menjalani misi rahasia untuk membunuh pemberontak yang dianggap gila yaitu Colonel Walter E. Kurtz.



    THE GODFATHER

          Film The Godfather . Sumber : ini

    Film yang meraih 3 piala Oscar ini mendapat 31 vote dari para sutradara dunia.  Film klasik yang jadi pujaan banyak pecinta film ini disutradarai oleh Francis Ford Coppola.  

    The Godfather menampilkan dua aktor handal, yakni Marlon Brando dan Al Pacino ini bercerita tentang kehidupan kelompok gangster di Amerika yang ingin berkuasa dan menebus balas dendam satu sama lain.



    VERTIGO

        Film Vertigo.  Sumber: ini

    Film yang masuk dalam 2 nominasi Oscar ini meraih 31 vote dari para sutradara.  Mahakarya dari Alfred Hitchcock ini dirilis pada tahun 1958 dengan penulis naskah Alec Coppel dan Samuel A. Taylor.  

    Vertigo yang dibintangi oleh James Stewart mengisahkan tentang pensiunan polisi detektif bernama Scottie yang mengidap acrophobia dan vertigo. Ia lalu dipekerjakan oleh kenalannya bernama Gavin Elster untuk mengintai sang istri yang bersikap aneh. 



    THE MIRROR


        Film The Mirror.  Sumber: ini

    The Mirror dirilis tahun 1975, judul asli nya adalah Zerkalo.  Film ini disutradarai oleh Andrei Tarkovsky yang juga menulis naskahnya bersama Aleksandr Misharin. 

    Dibintangi oleh Margarita Terekhova, The Mirror mengisahkan tentang seorang lelaki sekarat yang mengingat kembali masa kecil dan kenangan-kenangan hidupnya yang  menceritakan sejarah Rusia. Film ini mendapatkan 30 vote dari para sutradara.


    BICYCLE THIEVES



        Film Bicycle Thieves.  Sumber: ini

    Di posisi terakhir, ada Film rilisan tahun 1948 yang disutradarai oleh Vittorio De Sica yang juga menulis naskahnya bersama Cesare Zavattini, Oreste Bartolini, Suso Cecchi, Adolfo Franci, Gherardo Gherardi, dan Gerardo Guerrieri.  Ber-setting setelah Perang Dunia ke 2 di Italia, film ini mengisahkan tentang  seorang ayah dan anaknya dalam mencari sepeda mereka yang hilang dicuri.

    Bicycle Thieves yang dibintangi oleh Lamberto Maggiorani ini mendapatkan 29 vote dari semua sutradara yang memberikan voting


    Demikian Artikel Citra Property Land (CiproLan) berjudul 10 FILM TERBAIK SEPANJANG MASA MENURUT VOTING 358 SUTRADARA DUNIA.




    Sumber Tulisan :
    Cinemagsid



              (بدون عنوان)        


              New museum about writers in Chicago has few books!        

    Washington Post has a story by Karen Heller about  new museum in Chicago devoted to writers, but, as she asks, “Where are the books”?


    It’s the American Writers Museum.  It is said to be inspired by the Spy Museum in Washington (and maybe the Crime and Punishment museum, which has closed).

    You would wonder if there would be a section devoted to e-books, like Kindle.


    There is still a cultural battle in the writers’ community, as to whether writers have a moral duty to help independent bookstores stay in business, and to become involved with literacy projects. It may be in “our” self-interest to do so. 

              Best Of 2014 - The Science Of Marijuana: What We Do & Don't Know        
    This week, The Exchange will play the five best shows of 2014, as voted by you. Here's a November program on the science of marijuana. With legalization...
              N.H. House Votes In Favor Of Legalizing Marijuana, Bill Goes To Ways & Means        
    After hours of debate and despite a promised veto from Governor Maggie Hassan, the New Hampshire House voted in favor of a bill to legalize marijuana...
              Increase Search Engine Traffic by Optimizing        
    Everybody who's engaged in the internet business devotes their time, money and effort to increase search engine traffic to their site. There are actually a lot of alternatives and process to achieve this.



    One alternative is to optimize your website. Website optimization is very important. Why? So your website will be found online. Optimizing your website means you have to transform the content of your website to a much smaller and streamlined form. Lessen bandwidth usage while maintaining the way you want your website to look. This will definitely help save time and money.



    increase search engine traffic


    Optimizing your website to drive traffic can be very technical and complicated. But here are tips to help you optimize your site. Read on to know the basic tips for website optimization.



    1. Know your target visitors who will search for your site online. You need to figure out what search phrases the surfers use so they can find your site. Always decide on the keywords that you are going to use. Think of some ideas that the surfer type about your type of website.



    2. Next thing to do is to define a particular niche. You are certainly going to cover a very broad topic. The rule of thumb is to optimize your website with the best keyword. Your Keyword should be direct enough so the searcher will find your site right away and not get lost.



    3. Take a closer look at your title tags. For those who don't know, a title tag describes a particular web page. They are actually HTML tags that contain text. When you use a title tag, make sure that it describes exactly the content of your website.



    For instance, let's say an article title is 5 Ways to Lose Belly Fat, so the title tag should be that as well. Always place your keywords in the title tag. This way any topic related to your page will be easier to find.



    Also make sure that the title tag contains various strategic keywords that have been constructed using guidelines for the web page. The title tag is very important since search engines look for title text when they are going to the index page. Title tags too can be a text link to the found pages in the list of search engines.



    Look closely at the title of every article and post. It is very important in optimization since the surfer will definitely use catchy keywords for their convenience and narrowing their search.



    4. It is very important to analyze keywords. You can use the convenience of a keyword analyzer tool. Many websites offer this service and definitely deliver more traffic too. One of the best and most popular keyword analyzer tools is Google's.



    5. Choose a relevant title. Make sure that it is descriptive enough for the surfers’ convenience. At first you may not get a very good title but as you go through and complete your article, you're going to have a clear idea what your title tag is going to be.



    Make a direct and descriptive title. Sometimes even if the content of your article is the greatest but your title is not, the chance of having a site visitor is very slim. So watch out for your title.



    6. Always consider your keyword density. This is one way to optimize your web page. Keyword phrases should appear at least three to five times in the article while keywords should appear 10 times or more.



    One more tip, it is good to repeat the main keyword title every 200 words you made to increase search engine traffic. Then for every 400-word article you write, the keyword must be repeated twice.



    7. Consider the header. Always place your keyword here when you are going to write the text for your site. When scanning your site search engines rate the text in your headline. This is the most important part. So you should place it in the page headline. Header tags are quite large so you need to format it so it becomes smaller than the usual.



    These are some of the helpful tips to optimize your website. If you follow them then you will see your sites improvement in the search engine rankings. You really don't have to be an SEO expert and spend a lot of money to optimize. Just follow them and you will get more traffic! Good Luck!



    Find out bow to increase search engine traffic and how more search engine traffic can help your website by visiting us now.
              Fanning III, D.O., Stephen A.        
    FANNING, III, D.O., STEPHEN A. age 59, of North Kingstown, Rhode Island died on August 4, 2017. He was the loving and ever devoted husband, father...
              Interface deal good for the industry         
    08/09/2017

    The $600 million Interface Security Systems deal has sent—as The Beach Boys once sang—“good vibrations” throughout the security industry, as it provides not only a vote of confidence for what Interface is doing as a modern systems integration company, but also a vote of confidence in the security industry, in general, as companies like Interface represent a new breed of integrator that is staying at the forefront of new technology and innovation.

    John E. Mack III, executive vice president, co-head of investment banking and mergers & acquisitions at Imperial Capital, which acted as financial advisor to Interface on the deal, astutely pointed out that this deal goes beyond validation of what Interface is doing in the space.

    “This is a very cool story for the sophisticated new-age security provider, which is what Interface is—the 2.0 version of what the right kind of security player should be,” he told Security Systems News. “We spend so much time in this industry talking about the residential side of the business, which is interesting, but there is a massive opportunity on the commercial side of the business that Interface is tapping into that I think is a compelling theme.”

    He continued, “There is a lot of validation for a very successful business model here that Prudential is putting up $180 million of new capital, and SunTx is putting up additional capital into the deal. And that you’ve got a very attractive set of debt investors, and just the fundamental backing for the business, is a meaningful part of a positive message for the industry.”

    Jeff Frye, SVP for Interface, told SSN that the support from equity partners is not only a stamp of approval for what the company is doing, but the “capital gives us more fuel to build on our current, better than 15 percent compounded annual growth rate, so we know that we can do more with a little more gas in the tank and we are anxious to prove it.”

    Frye noted that the equity will allow the company to expand its products and services around providing business intelligence, as security is becoming so much more than just, well, security.

    “As a network provider, and a managed services provider of network services and cybersecurity services, we touch a lot of aspects of our customers’ businesses,” Frye explained. “And as a leading purveyor of Internet of Things services, we are able to aggregate intelligence from all of those sensors and data sources to bring actionable insights to a customer’s business. There are some new verticals that we would like to focus on more, including financial services and banking, so this makes that horizon much brighter and much more approachable.”

    And it also makes the security industry’s horizon a little brighter.


              Sandy Springs considers fining dealers for false alarms        
    07/12/2017

    The new Sandy Springs, Ga. alarm ordinance, which is set to be voted on July 18, is alarming many in the security industry as it looks to force alarm dealers to pay their subscriber's false alarm fees and fines.

    “This makes as much sense as a car rental company being responsible for paying your speeding tickets if you get caught speeding in their car,” Dan Gordon, president of the Georgia Electronic Life Safety and Security Association (GELSSA), and owner of Ga.-based Gordon Security, told Security System News.

    Gordon, as well as many security companies working in Georgia, including LOUD Security and Ackerman Security, are rallying others in the industry to pay attention to what is going on in Sandy Springs.

    “If Sandy Springs passes this, which city goes next?” John Loud, president of LOUD Security Systems, told SSN, noting that he does not think this ordinance will help Sandy Springs reduce false dispatches.

    “They outsource the collections to a firm called CryWolf (Public Safety Corporation),” Loud explained. “Their service includes collecting the assessed fines. The cost to Sandy Springs is the same, whether the bill goes to the end users of the alarm system or the alarm company. But the alarm company’s costs will increase. They will now have to bill their customers and establish a collection process, increasing the workload for their personnel.”

    Loud and others in opposition to the ordinance believe this will actually cause an increase in the amount of false dispatches.

    “Citizens will usually respond to citations from their local police or city municipality,” he explained. “If a vendor or service provider sends an assessment, they could very easily change monitoring companies and get additional false alarms through new providers. They can choose to never pay and continually change companies.”

    He noted that this would result in more false dispatches as the end user would never be forced to change their behavior.

    Loud also pointed out that the court systems of Sandy Springs will have a lot more cases. ”Either the alarm companies will be filing suit to collect monies from customers refusing to pay or the city will be pursuing alarm companies for nonpayment of fines they do not have the money to pay.”

    He continued, “You will likely see many alarm companies choosing to not do business with residents/businesses that must comply with this ordinance. In Sandy Springs, most alarm companies charge only $25 per month. While false alarm fees can cost hundreds of dollars, the accounts receivable process will likely make it financially impossible for fire/alarm companies to take on such risk.”

    He said that Sandy Springs could achieve greater reduction in the false dispatches if they would enforce all of their current ordinance provisions, such as:

    - Follow the Enhanced Call Verification Georgia State law that went into effect in 2013. “The 911 operator could very easily ask for the two phone numbers the alarm company called prior to dispatch request,” said Loud.

    - Do not allow dispatch on the subscribers that have not paid for previous fines—put them on a do not dispatch list.

    - Do not allow dispatch for subscribers that have had 10 false alarms in a permit year.

    - Activate the false alarm school the ordinance allows for, which will provide the training and prevention of future false alarms.

    “Another step Sandy Springs could pursue is a higher fee structure for excessive false alarms,” said Loud. “This would force subscribers to either fix their system, teach others to use it properly or they could choose to stop arming their system. All three of the options result in reduced dispatches.”

    He continued, “While I certainly see there are many ways to help unite with the City of Sandy Springs and help them achieve their ultimate goal of reducing false dispatches and wasting government recourses, I do not believe requiring the alarm companies to pay the fees is the answer.”

    The GELSSA, along with strong industry voices like Loud's, are urging those in the industry to reach out to the mayor of Sandy Springs to voice their concerns, and for security dealers in the Sandy Springs area to attend the planned vote on July 18.

    Topic: 

              simple example not working        
    Hello Mo,

    This is likely because you did not register the renderer in your platform target app's MainActivity.cs, AppDelegate.cs or MainPage.xaml.cs.

    If you're using a version older than R2 2017, you must manually registering the renderer. Please follow each step on this page in the documentation, at the bottom is the step where we state you register the renderer.

    If you update to R2 2017 and later, you no longer need to manually register the renderer. Additionally, there have been significant improvements in the R2 2017 release that make the update worthwhile.

    Let us know if you have any further trouble or open a support ticket here.

    Regards,
    Lance | Tech Support Engineer, Sr.
    Progress Telerik
    Do you want to have your say when we set our development plans? Do you want to know when a feature you care about is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Feedback Portal and vote to affect the priority of the items

              Yes, I'm still alive...        

    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/BlackRabbitCoder/archive/2015/11/30/yes-im-still-alive.aspx

    Hey folks, I know a lot of you have been tweeting and commenting on my lack of posts lately.  Believe me I want to keep going as well.

    It's been a bit busy coming back during peak season here at my new job, so I haven't had the time to devote to it as I'd like.  I will try to get the Little Puzzlers flowing again soon!

    -Jim

              â€œNote on the Theory of the Economy of Research,” C. S. Peirce (1879)        
    Though this site is devoted generally to new research, the essay discussed in this post, I trust, will be new enough to the vast majority of readers. Charles Sanders Peirce is a titan of analytic philosophy, and there is certainly a case to be made that he is the greatest American philosopher of all time. […]
              Hacking a US electronic voting booth takes less than 90 minutes        
    At security conference DEF CON hackers proved it is possible to manipulate votes on the same voting machines used in US elections in the time it takes to watch a movie
              A trip to London and down memory lane...        
    Last Wednesday, I walked with the Ramblers after a break of two weeks;  I was invigilating on the two previous Wednesdays. There are some evening walks coming up which I am looking forward to. I love evening walking. There's a special evening walk on the 21st June which will be the longest day of the year and it's starting at 8.30 pm - in the pub!


    I changed into this outfit after walking 7.5 miles. I bought the scarf with pearls in a charity for 1.00; the top and trousers are also charity shopped. The scarf is to compensate for a low neckline; it was too warm to put a camisole under this top. All jewellery charity shopped.


    The trousers from M&S have gone to the charity shop bag. They're too long and too big and do nothing for me even though they are cool and comfortable in the hotter weather. My new pink floral trousers  bought on a recent rummage in Stevenage and Hitchin are their replacement; one in and one out wherever possible...


    These are my new (retail) shoes. They have a t strap which you can't see in this photo.

    I walked again on Thursday - another 7 miles. It was a very warm day; 25 degrees by the time I finished.  I was trying to recce a new walk for the Ramblers Winter Programme. I tried a footpath I hadn't tried before but it took me nowhere. Not because it didn't lead anywhere but because the footpath was so overgrown I couldn't see where it was meant to take me. I walked around the perimeter of a huge field; climbed over a gate in a farmyard (naughty Veronica!) and found myself a few feet away from where I started!


    Everything is charity shopped. The linen top is a French label but I can't remember where I found it; likewise the three quarter leggings.


    Mary Jane's bought in a charity shop in Ely in May 2016.


    Headscarf and all jewellery charity shopped. The earrings were one of  the three for a 1.00 I bought on last Saturday's rummage in Hitchin.


    On Friday, I took my middle grandson to London for a day out. He wanted to go to the Houses of Parliament so we had a guided tour. This was taken on the tube to Westminster.


    The  House of Commons terrace where you can take tea...


    I look very rotund in this photo taken outside Westminster Abbey!

    Tunic; charity shopped; trousers; Lidl last summer; Mary Jane's charity shopped; all jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought online. I bough the African print bag at a car boot sale a couple of weeks back.

    We had a lovely day; we went to Canary Wharf (his choice); the Monument and then I took him on a tour of the area where I grew up and went to school i.e. Maida Vale/Paddington.


    This is the first house I ever lived in; 144 Elgin Avenue, London W.9.  I was born in 1954. Mum and Dad rented one room in this rather posh house. I checked today's house prices on this street; a one bedroom flat for 785.000; three bedroom flat 999,900; a four bedroom flat over a million. These are flats not houses! It is absolutely incredible and to my mind, obscene.

    When my brother Mark was due, Mum, Dad and I moved here:



    I spent the next 13 years of my life in this 3 roomed basement flat with my parents and two brothers. We had no bathroom, an outside toilet; no central heating or hot water. I shared a room with my brothers until I was almost 15 years old; my parents slept on a sofa that converted to a bed all the years we lived here. Relatives from Ireland came and stayed - sometimes for months at a time until they got established and moved out.

    Again, I checked the prices of properties in this street; a three bedroom maisonette; 1,395.000. A four bedroom house 1,800,000. My parents privately rented throughout the 1950s and 1960s; in the early 1960s Mum and Dad got the opportunity to buy the entire house above for a little over 700.00! My Dad didn't want a mortgage - he was a strictly cash up front person - so they declined the landlord's offer...

    In 1969 having been on the housing list since I was born; Mum and Dad moved to a council maisonette in this house in Portnall Road, W9.


    The top left hand window was my bedroom - the box room! We had a bathroom and indoor toilet; a separate living and dining room; Mum and Dad had their own bedroom and my brothers shared a bedroom. It was heaven to us.

    I checked the prices on this street, too. A one bedroom flat; 500,000. Two bedroom maisonette; 699.000. Not as pricey as the other two streets but a whole house must sell for over 1,000,000. Astonishing - and still obscene. How on earth are ordinary working people ever going to afford to buy anywhere to live in London? The rents are also ridiculous; eldest grandson spends 70% of his earnings on rent.


    This was my old school - Paddington and Maida Vale High School for Girls (PMVHS). It was situated in Elgin Ave near to the first house I ever lived in and it took me less than 10 minutes to walk to school.

    I asked my grandson what he thought of where I grew up and his reply was - 'all the house you lived in are the same'. This was very true; all Victorian terraced houses. There was a huge house building boom in the Victorian era and many of us continue to live in and love these old houses.


    On Saturday I went to see my son. Everything charity shopped except the shoes. Dress by Mantaray; jacket by M & S bought in Kettering for 4.00.


    All jewellery charity shopped except watch.


    Necklace bought in Derry for 2.50.


    Woke up on Sunday to more terrible news.


    Top; Store 21 sale; trousers; Primark, charity shopped 99p rail at Barnardo's, Great Denham. Orange shoes also charity shopped.


    All jewellery charity shopped. Necklace bought at Oxfam in Newport Pagnell last summer for 2.50.

    On Monday, I volunteered at the Red Cross shop. I do so enjoy working there. I have a laugh with colleagues; we sort a mountain of stuff and sometimes I find wonderful things. My special area of responsibility is the jewellery. I found a rather 'good' piece on Monday in some stock from another Red Cross shop - a gold bracelet with purple stones. I showed it to my colleague, as I could see it looked special. He has a jeweller's eye glass and it was marked 18 carat gold. He took it to a a local jeweller who buys gold and silver; who then confirmed it was gold -  and the purple stones were real amethysts. He gave us (Red Cross)  95.00 for it!


    This was Monday's outfit. The green harem pants are from Next and I bought them on my first visit to the new Barnardo's in Great Denham last year. When I got them home the elastic in the waist was gone, so I never wore them at all last year. This year I had the idea of wearing a large elasticated belt I have around the waist of the trousers to hold them up - unfortunately you can see the belt outline  under my yellow patterned M & S charity shopped top! The jacket came from the Guild House and the Mary Jane's were charity shopped in Ely last year.


    All jewellery charity shopped except earrings which were donated by my daughter.

    On Tuesday I went to volunteer at the Food Bank and in the evening I had Poll Clerk Training for the election on Thursday.


    Jewellery and tunic charity shopped. The tunic is from Red Cross 1.99. The earrings were bought in a shop in Bath on my 50th birthday with birthday money I was given by my family.


    Navy trousers, Primarni; cardigan, Studio catalogue about four years ago and shoes local retail.


    I invigilated for the Open University on Wednesday all day in Luton and on Thursday I poll clerked. My day started at the polling station at 6.15 am and I finished at 10.50 pm. There was a steady stream of people coming in to vote all day and it went surprisingly quickly, but I was really tired when I got home. Luckily the polling station is only across the road from my house!

    The Chrome Book is holding up although there are more distractions on the screen in the form of coloured lines but hopefully it will last until I can afford to buy a new one.

    I plan to chill out all weekend to compensate for my extremely busy week. I hope you all have a great weekend; the forecast is looking good...

              Donald Trump says media playing down terrorist threat posed by ISIS        

    Washington: US President Trump has said that the news media was playing down the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) and journalists were reluctant to report on the militant groups attacks in Europe and "have their reasons" for failing to cover them, the media reported.

    Trump initially did not provide examples of a news media conspiracy to underplay terrorist attacks. The White House on Monday released a list of what it said were 78 attacks from September 2014 to December 2016 that were carried out or inspired by the IS. It said that "most have not received the media attention they deserved", the New York Times reported.

    The list included the major attacks in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino (California) and Orlando (Florida) that dominated the news for weeks. 

    Other attacks overseas, lesser known to Americans, received extensive local coverage, like a shooting in Zvornik, Bosnia, in April 2015 in which one police officer was killed and two others were wounded, the White House said.

    "Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland, as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino and all across Europe," Trump said at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. 

    "All over Europe, it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported, and in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it," he said.

    "They have their reasons," Trump added, "and you understand that."

    The President made similar comments about the US media during a January visit to the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia, that the news media had fabricated his feud with the intelligence community. 

    Those remarks came only days after he likened American intelligence officials to Nazis, after several weeks in which he had denigrated their work, the New York Times said.

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the President had been referring in Tampa to "several instances" in which the news media had not devoted sufficient attention to terrorism. 

    Trump, Spicer said, believed that journalists pay more attention to public protests than they do to terrorist attacks or plots.

    During his 12-minute speech on Monday, Trump promised to make "a historic financial investment in the armed forces", in an effort to maintain peace in "our troubled, troubled times". 

    He also vowed to give the military the tools necessary to prevail against the Islamic State and thwart its attempts to strike America.

    At a luncheon with enlisted soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, Trump went around his table asking who would remain in the military, and told them their experience would improve during his presidency.

    On NATO, Trump, who had earlier called it "obsolete," tempered his message, arguing that he was focused on ensuring that it is well funded.

    "We strongly support NATO. We only ask that all of the NATO members make their full and proper contributions to the NATO alliance, which many of them have not been doing -- many of them have not been even close," he said.

    Donald Trump says media playing down terrorist threat posed by ISIS
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              Call (313) 332-4858 | Find The Best Roofing Contractor Detroit MI| Roof Replacement, Roofing Repair        

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              Call (313) 332-4858 | Find The Best Roofing Contractor Detroit MI| Roof Replacement, Roofing Repair        

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              Dunjakkestemning i London...        

    Helt siden Blomsterstjernen var en diffus liten Blomster-gass-sky har London hatt en uimotstÃ¥elig tiltrekningskraft pÃ¥ den kommende smÃ¥stjernen. Først og fremst for sin pop-musikk-magi, men ogsÃ¥ for dens grandiose storhet i bÃ¥de omfang og historie. Og fascinasjonen bare eskalerer og eskalerer for hvert Ã¥r som gÃ¥r. I hurtig takt, underbygget av jetfly-buldring fra Heathrow, tube-map-hypnose pÃ¥ London Underground og florale overdoseringer i Hyde Park og Kew Gardens. Det er ogsÃ¥ helt ok at London dessuten draperes av billige drosjer, ekstreme shoppingmuligheter, fantastiske restauranter og rÃ¥tne puber.

    Har jeg glemt noe? Helt sikkert...
    At det er 17 London-lag i Premier League?
    Kanskje...
    (Men nå må vi ikke glemme at dette er en manneblogg sett gjennom et kajalblikk...)

    Regent Street - "Den norske gaten"?
    Blomsterstjernen er uansett sÃ¥ heldig at han nok kan tillate seg Ã¥ kalle London for sin andre hjemby (noen knepp før København... red anm). For i løpet av det siste drøye decenniet har han besøkt London minst en gang pr Ã¥r. Fem-seks ganger pÃ¥ turné med band, et halvt snes elskovsturer og en kvart milliard jobbreiser...  De aller fleste turene har likevel vært en kombinasjon av minst 2 av de forestÃ¥ende element.

    De siste 6 årene har det også blitt en tradisjon å delta på Natural Organics messen som arrangeres første helgen i april. Klok av skade sørger man alltid for å plusse på et passende antall bonusdager i begge ender av messen. I april er jo London helt optimalistisk for vårkåte nordmenn. Hjemme er det grått, brunt og gult og dobbeltsidig heldekkende regntøy så langt øyet rekker. I vårgrønne London blomstrer et hav av påskeliljer, fioler og kinesisk kirsebær om kapp med korte miniskjørt.

    Som dere sikkert forstår har Blomsterstjernen nettopp hjemvendt fra den forjettede by. Business & Pleasure. Jobb & Kone. Men for en gangs skyld, og kanskje for første (og siste?) gang i historien, slet London med å frembringe den savnede vårfølelsen. Det var kuldegrader, det snødde, det blåste, det var grått! Men likevel helt fantastisk!

    Men når man booker hotell litt for fort via hotels.com sjekker man ikke alltid hva for et rom man egentlig har bestilt..? Men denne gang ble vi positivt overrasket! Et latterlig godt tilbud på splitter nye Novotel Blackfriars resulterte i plass på øverste hylle. Excecutive Room i ellevte etasje med gjennomsiktig baderomsvegg!!! Perfekt for romantiske weekender! Helt til en av de involverte (eventuelt) må gjøre Big Business i toalettskålen under fullt innsyn (og oppsyn) av sin kjære...

    "The Flower-Star MUST have an Executive Room!!!"


    Nydelig utsikt fra toalettskålen - Heller bedrøvelig innsikt!

    Men til tross for ett og annet litt for detaljert toalettopphold var storby-oppholdet perfekt! Spesielt da vi siste dag oppdaget at det fantes en knapp inne på badet som på et eller annet mirakuløst vis kunne blende den gjennomsiktige veggen... Litt av en oppfinnelse?!?

    Blomsterstjernen fryktet lenge han ikke skulle komme hjem med et eneste fint bilde fra turen. Bortsett fra dem han tok fra toalettskÃ¥len (og det var MANGE!!!). Men siste dag med medbragt kone tittet endelig solen frem. Mann og kone spratt ut av shopping-moduset og nøt parklivet til fulle.








    Men nok fikk være nok. Nok kos og romantikk! Mission completed. Konemor ble sendt hjem med første fly søndagsmorgen slik at Stjernegutten kunne indulgere seg i det ypperste innen manneinteresser siste dagen før messen braket løs. Heisekraner, undergrunnsbaner, skinnesystem og Heathrow Runway 09L & 27R.

    Tradisjonen tro var det bare til Ã¥ ombooke siste natt. Blomsterstjernen har jo  nærmest fast suite pÃ¥ Heathrow Renaissance Hotel - with guaranteed runway view...

    Heisekran i solnedgang...

    Jetplane skies...

    Room with a view...

    A plane that crashes with a light pole....

    Bye bye Airbus 380...

    Etter noen kjærkomne dager i kjærestehimmelen, en vellykket dag i mannehimmelen og en lærerik dag i arbeidshimmelen returnerte Blomsterstjernen til sitt kjære nord med en nyinnkjøpt bag stappet til randen med mannekonfeksjon fra Zara...

    Litt av en tur - tross alt,
    (London skuffer aldri)








    P.S. Dersom noen skulle trenge romantiske gastronomiske restaurant-tips i London anbefaler Blomsterstjernen  Gaucho Tower Bridge og Bar Boulud pÃ¥ det aller varmeste! Fantastisk mat og superb service til en uavskrekkende pris...

    P.P.S. Noen som kan si meg hvilken flytype det var som krasjet med lyktestolpen? Og hvilket flyselskap?




              Mini-pepperkakehus i maxiformat        

    Tradisjonen tro, ihvertfall siden i fjor, var Blomsterstjernen plent nødt til å snekre opp et ørlite mini-pepperkakehus også i år. Det knøttlille minihuset fra i fjor var nemlig så inderlig søtt, både i smak og utseende, at suksessen rett og slett bare måtte gjentas. Men som dere vet, så har mannfolk en lei tendens til å til stadighet skulle prøve å overgå seg selv? Som oftest med mer eller mindre hell...

    SÃ¥ ogsÃ¥ denne gang. I Ã¥r skulle nemlig Blomsterstjernen ironisk nok prøve Ã¥ bygge et enda større mini-pepperkakehus... Lite betydde det at det antageligvis var den pikkyrende lille størrelsen som var hele sjarmen med fjorÃ¥rets kassasuksess? Jaja. Han om det...

    NÃ¥r man skal bygge mini-pepperkakehus er det ytterst viktig med gode forhold i bakken! Ingen baktrekk, ingen sidevind og absolutt ikke sug i sporet... Klok av skade ventet Blomsterstjernen derfor pÃ¥ den rette anledning før han gjenopptok driften av sitt eget lille pepperkake-entreprenørfirma.

    Her var det med andre ord bare Ã¥ vente til barna var meget godt i seng... Alt blir nemlig sÃ¥ mye lettere med lukket kjøkkendør, sovende barnefingre og kritiske koneblikk godt forankret til Grace Anatomy (eller "Grace and Atomy" som Blomsterstjernen innbiller seg at det heter?). Først da er det silkeføre i bakken! Først da tenner fader 1000 lys. Han strammer til Blomsterstjernemasken og vips ligger pepperkakeverden for hans føtter... Juleklassikere fra Frank Sinatra og Bing Crosby runger over kjøkkenet pÃ¥ lavt volum. 

    Ettersom Blomsterstjernen har fÃ¥tt grei beskjed av Bloggurat om at han nÃ¥ har brukt opp 99,99999% av deres bokstav- & tegn-kvote velger han i dag Ã¥ fortelle historien med bilder istedenfor ord. Men som vi alle vet kan jo ett bilde si mer enn 1000 ord? Blomsterstjernen høyner derfor med hele 14 bilder? For ikke Ã¥ si 14.000 komprimerte ord:














    Minipepperkakehuset ble kanskje ikke like yndig og søtt som i fjor? Men det ble iallfall større! Og glasuren var kanskje heller ikke like lekker som i fjor? Men det ble ihvertfall dobbelt sÃ¥ mye! Veggene stÃ¥r kanskje ogsÃ¥ litt mer pÃ¥ snei enn i fjor? Det gjør ingenting. Her gjelder det bare Ã¥ kamuflere virkeligheten. Pakke den litt inn. Man skylder pÃ¥ barna... 

    Og vips står man med en nydelig pepperkake-kirke, godt kamuflert bak litt granbar og noen stearinlys.

    God Jul!


    Julehilsener til alle mine gode bloggvenner!









    P.S. Jeg har allerede fått tusenvis av spørsmål som følge av manglende bildetekst. Her er noen av svarene: Pepperkake-malene ble tegnet i Powerpoint, printet og klippet ut. Vindusprossene er laget av tilpassede fyrstikker lagt i kryss. Limet er smeltet sukker. Motivet er Landås Kirke...

    P.P.S. Send meg gjerne linker av andre mer elle mindre vellykkede pepperkakehus produsert av deres eget entreprenørfirma.






              It's Spud Time        

    The United Nations wants more people to appreciate the potato's potential to fight world hunger

    Food for Thought

    As 2007 winds down, thoughts naturally turn towards what might lie ahead. Meals rich in high-carb tubers, perhaps? That's what the United Nations would like everyone to contemplate throughout 2008, which it is designating the International Year of the Potato.

    Farmers now harvest more than 300 million tons of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) worldwide. That makes it the fourth biggest food crop, trailing only corn, wheat, and rice.

    For 8,000 years, the humble potato has been a staple in the South American Andes, its homeland. Spanish adventurers encountered the New World crop roughly 500 years ago and brought various types back to Europe. Today, potatoes are cultivated not only throughout the Americas, but also from China's uplands to India's subtropical lowlands—even on Ukraine's arid steppes.

    A testament to the potato's Western roots, production of this crop in the States and southward leads the world. Fully 40 percent of the 2006 potato harvest came from North America, with Latin American farmers contributing another 16 percent.

    However, appreciation for this nutritious starch within developing countries outside of the Americas—especially in Asia—has been growing steadily, with production of the crop in those regions climbing some 5 percent annually. Indeed, 2005 marked the first time in recent history that production of potatoes in the developing world exceeded that in developed nations.

    Although most people think of potatoes as a commodity, in fact, more potatoes are processed to make fast foods, snacks, and convenience items than are sold fresh in the market place. Today, China is the leading producer of spuds, followed by the Russian states and India. International trade in potatoes—worth $6 billion annually—has also been growing within developing nations.

    You might then ask why, with all of this pre-existing global interest in potatoes, the UN feels compelled to devote a year of workshops, research contests, and other focused attention on this one particular food. And the reason, the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization argues, is that much of the spud's potential to feed the poor remains untapped.

    For instance, although Asians eat nearly half of the world's potatoes, per capita consumption even in Asia remains modest—just 25 kilograms per year, or roughly 45 percent of U.S. consumption and just 27 percent of what's typical in Europe.

    Even were potatoes to win greater respect for their nutritional attributes and ability to serve as industrial feedstocks, they couldn't necessarily make a big contribution in new regions of the world without significantly more research. The tubers are vulnerable to a host of major diseases—like the one that set off Ireland's 1845 potato famine. Some varieties of potato are especially resistant to particular diseases, but may not grow well in new regions of the world or taste that yummy.

    That's where potato scientists come in. They can identify the climate, soil types, day length, and native diseases with which any new potato crop would have to contend. Then they'll cross lines of wild or cultivated spuds to develop ones with traits that will allow them to thrive outside the Americas. The good news, the UN program notes: "The potato has the richest genetic diversity of any cultivated plant." So there's plenty of potential to tailor a new cultivar to meet the needs of farmers in most places on the globe.

    But the potato's biggest advantage, according to the International Potato Center, based in Lima, Peru, is that it yields more food, more quickly, on less land, and in harsher climates than any other major crop. Up to 85 percent of the plant is edible, compared to only about 50 percent for cereal grains. Moreover, the Center notes, potatoes "are ideally suited to places where land is limited and labor is abundant—conditions in much of the developing world."

    To help get this word out to agricultural agencies in parts of the world not already turned on to spuds, and from them to farmers, the International Potato Center will be sponsoring a March 2008 meeting: Potato Science for the Poor–Challenges for the New Millennium (http://www.cipotato.org/Cuzco_conference/). Those who attend will have the opportunity to explore the possibility of cooperating to fine tune existing potatoes into higher-yielding varieties.

    The International Potato Center's gene bank safeguards the largest biodiversity of potatoes—7,500 different varieties, of which 1,950 are not cultivated. Research on spuds, especially studies aimed at fostering food security and the alleviation of poverty, have become a focus for the center.

    With all of this talk of potatoes, are you hungry yet? The UN program has so far identified 172,000 web pages containing recipes for using potatoes. Stay tuned, it says: "We will gather the best of them" and share them on the Year of the Potato website.


    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

    Citations

    International Year of Potato (IYP) Secretariat

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    Room C-776

    Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

    00153 Rome

    Italy

    International Potato Center

    Apartado Postal 1558

    Lima 12,

    Peru
    Further Reading

    Gorman, J. 2000. Novel sensing system catches the dud spud. Science News 158(Nov. 25):341. Available at [Go to].

    C. Graves, Ed. 2001. The Potato, Treasure of the Andes: From Agriculture to Culture. Lima, Peru: International Potato Center (208 pp). Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2005. Food colorings: Pigments make fruits and veggies extra healthful. Science News 167(Jan. 8):27. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. How carbs can make burgers safer. Science News Online (Dec. 4). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Coming soon—Spud lite. Science News Online (June 19). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2003. How olives might enhance potatoes—and strawberries. Science News Online (May 24). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2002. Acrylamide—From spuds to gingerbread. Science News Online (Dec. 14). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1998. Taters for tots provide an edible vaccine. Science News 153(March 7):149. Available at [Go to]

              America Votes [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Michael Cox, Dr Pippa Malmgren, Professor Sir Robert Worcester | With just a week to go to the US presidential election, this panel of experts will assess the state of the race, look back at Barack Obama’s first term, what a second term would bring, or what "President Romney" would mean for the US and the wider world. Craig Calhoun is director of LSE. Michael Cox is Founding co-director of LSE IDEAS. Pippa Malmgren is the president and founder of Principalis Asset Management, former financial market advisor in the White House and member of the National Economic Council. Robert Worcester was the founder of MORI and is an honorary fellow of LSE.
              Comment #4        
    I agree that this would be nice, Mike. However, a state lottery can't just change a rule like that. A new law would have to be introduced, voted on and passed. At least this is my understanding but if I am wrong, perhaps someone else can correct me. In Florida Florida law requires that 80 percent of unclaimed prize funds from expired tickets be transferred directly to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund. The remaining 20 percent is returned to the prize pool from which future prizes are
              Europe Summit Aims to Revive Lost Momentum Toward Unity         

    WITH public opinion soured on the merits of European unity, European Community leaders hope to ``relaunch Europe'' with a special summit tomorrow celebrating ratification of the long-awaited Maastricht Treaty.

    ``It's important to get the public thinking in terms of Europe again,'' says one Belgian Foreign Ministry official.

    But the celebration risks being seen as irrelevant by much of the public it targets, as Europeans worry about record-high unemployment, challenges to their infant-to-elder social-welfare system, and instability on the continent's eastern borders.

    ``In Germany, at least, people are thinking about their job security, while published opinion is wondering about the future course of Russia, and neither one sees how the EC can have a major impact on those concerns,'' says Josef Janning, deputy director of the research group on Europe at the University of Mainz in Germany. ``People are seeing such issues less in European and more in national terms.''

    The Maastricht Treaty, an ambitious blueprint for providing the EC with a monetary union and a common foreign and security policy by the latter part of the decade, was supposed to have been ratified and the process of its implementation begun in January 1992. That the treaty was not fully ratified until this month, when the German constitutional court finally approved it, provides a measure of the public doubt about Maastricht's goals.

    In the two-year delay, Maastricht was battered by an initial outright rejection by Danish voters in a referendum, plus rough ratification battles in Britain and France. The European currency crises of October 1992 and this past summer mocked the monetary union goal, while the EC's weak and disjointed response to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina posed deep questions about the feasibility of a common foreign policy. Operation `restore stature'

    Tomorrow's summit, held in Brussels, is a German-French initiative to try to restore both Maastricht's and Europe's public stature. But even in France, where regard for the Community runs high, doubts are strong about what this summit can accomplish.

    ``No one should expect much of anything concrete out of this summit,'' says Phillipe Moreau-Defarges, an EC specialist at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris. ``There's too much division among the EC countries for decisions to be made.''

    One possible area of action that Mr. Moreau-Defarges cites provides a good example of the Community's current lack of a common vision. The summit could give a new boost to earlier economic ``growth initiatives'' that have had trouble getting off the ground, he says.

    Elsewhere in Europe, where public spending is already causing record debts, and where skepticism is strong over the actual impact of large public-works programs, enthusiasm for such proposals is slight.

    ``The German public is definitely not in favor of this kind of centralized program to rebuild Europe's economic strength,'' Dr. Janning says. ``People in Ireland or Portugal may see Brussels [EC headquarters] as a guarantor or creator of jobs,'' he adds, since those countries receive substantial EC development funds, ``but they certainly don't in Germany.''

    Germany and France also had wanted to take up another issue at the summit: Community institutional reforms. The larger countries feel their power is too limited by the generally equal rights of smaller members, and concern is growing that the Community's enlargement to include three or four new small members by 1995 will further tilt the balance and generally render the Community more bureaucratic and plodding. Putting off reform

    German proposals for streamlining the EC administration met with staunch resistance from small members, and reform will likely be put on hold until the next EC treaty review in 1996.

    To demonstrate that Maastricht is now in force, EC leaders are expected to prepare the next stage of economic and monetary union by launching the European Monetary Institute, ``embryo'' of a future European central bank. The institute's location in Germany is likely to be approved, a move that could open the way for decisions on the placement of several other new EC institutions, including a patent office and environmental agency.

    Still, there is a lingering feeling that Maastricht, negotiated in 1990, is a treaty already left behind by European events. ``By spring of next year we may very well have a new imperial Russia to contend with, something never imagined when Maastricht was written,'' Janning says. ``Economies are seen more in national terms. [Community] leaders will have to work hard,'' he adds, ``to demonstrate that Maastricht is relevant in these conditions.''

    Become a part of the Monitor community


              From Form Bring The Fun Fair To Reasons To Be Creative        
    Reasons-2014_header
    Yesterday another edition of Reasons to be Creative in Brighton, UK closed. This terrific three-day festival is the successor of the legendary Flash On The Beach. Voted “Best Conference of The Year 2013”, it gradually evolved into an inspirational event with a broad scope, mainly focusing on creativity and code. I was honoured to be […]
              Berroth        

    Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, participated in the 38th annual conference of the Coalition of Women in German (WIG) in Shawnee on Delaware, Pa., Oct. 24-27, 2013. Berroth led three professional development workshops, organized and moderated a panel on "Erlkönigs Töchter: Witches and Ghosts in German Literature and Film," and collaborated in selecting the 2013 winner of the Women in German Dissertation Prize. She was appointed to chair the Dissertation Prize Committee in the coming year. The WIG membership also voted to sponsor Berroth's proposal to organize and moderate a panel on "Eco-Pedagogy and Feminist Praxis in Modern Languages and Literatures" at the 2014 conference of the American Council for Teaching Foreign Languages  (ACTFL) and the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) that will be held in San Antonio next November.


              The Art of Lovin' Trees --- Featuring Joel Tauber        




    The Art of Lovin’ Trees-- 
    Featuring Artist Joel Tauber
    Story dedicated to Joel and Alison
    in celebration of their joyous engagement on November 9th,
    2008

    Written and Researched by Enilde Van Hook
    Story Consult and Editing by Luke Van Hook
    Painting, www.lukevanhook.com
    Photography, www.gingervanhook.com
    Writing, www.enildeingelsvanhook.com


     America is having a love affair with trees and California is second to none in leading its appreciation of trees. Digging deep into the roots of this story, I have followed and researched the tree culture specifically in Los Angeles where our love of trees has spawned a unique pop tree culture relating to art. Our popular tree culture today includes but is not limited to tree sculptures, tree paintings, tree photographs, tree videos, tree poetry, tree songs, tree jewelry, tree movies and even tree love affairs. 


    Tree Earing created by Joel Tauber for his Sick-Amour Tree in Pasadena, California.
    Additional Tree Jewelry created by Joel Tauber to adorn the Sick-Amour Tree includes leaf jewelry, as well as the male earing and the female earing that hang from the tree below.  
    Photos of tree jewelry courtesy of  Susanne Vielmetter Gallery 5795 West Washington Blvd., Culver City, California 90232 www.vielmetter.com   infor@vielmetter.com (323-933-2117)


    Sick-Amour Tree in the parkinglot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl, protected by barriers installed by Joel Tauber in his quest to save his beloved tree. Tree wearing the earings looks hot!  Photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery.
    Leaf sculpture by Joel Tauber
    Female tree earing by Joel Tauber.
    Male tree earing created by Joel Tauber, photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery, 2008

    For the record, our love of trees goes way back to the dawn of time when we were swinging in the trees, however, our love has grown and matured since then. The Greek and Roman heritage of literature and art bestows us with intoxicating stories of their Gods having entanglements with humans. Some of their deities were known as protectors of trees and nature such as Dionysus the Greek god of agriculture, fertility, wine and merriment. He was later renamed Bacchus by the Romans and reported to be the Tree God. Back in the day when artists carved trees into stone and marble relief sculptures to worship in the temples of their mythological gods, people celebrated the sacredness of trees, grapevines and sometimes the unions of gods and mortals. There was Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees who married Vertumnus, the god of fruits and gardens. Digging deep enough, one is sure to find stories of deities mating with trees and spawning children of the harvest for instance.

    In modern literary circles there are a number of great imaginative family favorites written about trees, like “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. Then there’s the infamous story of how Robinson Crusoe lived in a tree-house, and of utmost importance to our American history of trees, we propagate the very memorable legend of ‘Johnny Appleseed’.

    In our contemporary times we have a legend in the making too. I have been fortunate to witness the emergence of a new ‘Johnny Appleseed’ and interestingly enough, the story involves a recent romantic love affair between one special tree and a mortal that is well worth pursuing the story. Sometime in the fall of in 2007, I met Joel Tauber. This is the artist who I believe was struck by a mythological bolt of lighting, so to speak, pertaining to one of the Greek or Roman deities’. Joel Tauber is said to have fallen head over heels in love with one particular Sycamore Tree in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. My chance meeting with this now famous mortal under the influence of an enchanted mystical spell, has led me to research the mysteries intrinsic in the charms of trees. I too have been struck with the frailty of trees, their vulnerabilities, and their enormous strengths and inspiration. This together with my own personal experiences with trees has prompted me to come out of my shell and discuss the subject in all seriousness.

    My own personal background is not in trees. I am simply a tree-lover from childhood. For a little over ten years, my professional background was in radio as a disc jockey and on-air personality. I listened to music, reviewed songs and kept tabs on the pop music culture. I worked in the Los Angeles market as well as Santa Barbara, California; Eventually I moved to expand my work experience in neighboring radio markets like Reno, Carson City, Lake Tahoe and Gardnerville/Minden, Nevada. It was through traveling that I saw some of the most beautiful trees along the routes through Northern California and Northern Nevada!
    While I drove from one radio market to another over the years, I watched the trees go by at the various speed limits along the highways of my life’s journeys. Thus you will understand when I tell you that often I see art and life, for that matter, through a series of moving images in my head which include a music bed. 
    I was eleven years old when in 1970, Joni Mitchell wrote and released a song called ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ whose lyrics surpassed the test of time and is currently in airplay by a glut of new groups. The lyrics began with “…They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum and they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see ‘em.” One of the barometers I use to gage the influence of any particular song, music or artwork that I come into contact with is if it will surpass the test of time, among other important criteria. This song became one of my favorite songs of all time. The lyrics made so much sense to me.
    When I met Joel Tauber, I was introduced to the enormous scope of his Sick-Amour Tree-Baby Project. It was then that I suddenly started hearing Joni Mitchell’s song in my mind again, only this time, as I got in my car, Counting Crows was performing the song. When I started doing more research on the song that I could not get out of my head, I was struck by how many artists had re-recorded the song and barely changed anything about the words. There is Amy Grant, who upgraded the dollar amount from $1.50 to $25 when singing about how much the museums charged people to enter. Additionally there is Green Day, Sarah McLachlan, Charlie Barker, Bob Dylan, Moya Brennan, Ireen Sheer, Donnie Eidt and a host of so many others that have recorded ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ it was simply overwhelming!
    I think the importance of the lyrics to this one particular song is that it reveals the fact that people love trees and hate parking lots. The message is that if it weren’t for our trees, we could be living in a frying pan! The impact of this single song is that it reveals what is really going on in people’s minds. There is a reason why so many artists are flocking to re-record the lyrics in their own way.











    Not only are trees involved in the music arena, trees as subjects, are very involved in politics as well. Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin at the time, took a leading role in developing the celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd 1970 as a way to commemorate our environmental concerns. Arbor Day is presently celebrated as well with the first ceremonial tree planting in Washington D.C. on April 27th in 2001, all evidence that goes to prove the people of our planet do care about what happens to our trees.


    Trees stand as a testiment and memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King

    Dr. Martin Luther King is memorialized with trees along Expositon Blvd. across from the Los Angeles Coliseum and down the street from the University of Southern California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook


    Online sources on the subject of trees are rich in number. For instance, eighteen years ago, here in Los Angeles, a multi racial group of volunteers planted 400 Canary Island Pine trees along seven miles of road on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s life. Today, this living homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continues to thrive and keep the dream alive for his followers. The founder and President of www.treepeople.org is Mr. Andy Lipkis and he keeps tabs on the trees to make sure all 400 trees stay healthy.



    Mayor Antonio Villarigosa is the person to thank for the ‘Million Trees Initiative’ he signed into effect in May of 2006 and Los Angeles residents can learn how they too can receive up to 7 free trees to plant on their property. Visit the website at www.milliontreesla.org to learn the details.   Also in Portland, Oregon there is www.friendsoftrees.org and in Bellingham Washington you will find www.geocities.com. There is also the International Society of Arboriculture called ISA and can be accessed by visiting www.isa-arbor.com. You will also find a great deal of valuable advise on the growth and care of trees at www.treesaregood.com and check out Tree Care Industry Association TCIA as well.



    Mark Dion created an art piece titled "Library for the Birds of Antwerp" which is also a good example of how art is vitally connected with our tree culture and how it connects Mark Dion to his PBS special where he removed a dead tree from the forest and recreated its living components in a city scape in Washington.  From the "20th Century Artbook Phaidon Press 1996", the caption reads: "Using props from the natural and man-made world, Dion has constructed an installation that explores contemporary attitudes to science and the environment. He has created a fictional and hybridized situation in which the trappings associated with knowledge, learning and classification--such as books and photographs--are juxtaposed with natural elements including birds and wood.   The representation of nature is a fundamental subject in Dion's art, and here he takes on the role of sociologist/anthropologist and blurring the boundaries between authentic and fake, representation and parody. By adopting the persona of a scientist and by satirizing man's obsession with categorization, Dion questions the values of the Western world.  His subject matter is heavily influence by popular culture.  In Dion's world we might witness Mickey Mouse as an explorer, or Clark Kent interviewing Dr. Frankenstein." (Photo and contents are used in this story for purposes of artistic review.)

    In the art world, an artist named Mark Dion was featured in a documentary film report that aired in 2007. To view the video one may visit on the Internet by going to www.pbs.org and find Mark Dion as he took the subject of trees and made an art piece that explored what would happen if one were to take a tree after its death, take it out of its familial context of natural forest, and re-create the ecosystem in an environment that would otherwise be a hostile urban setting, needless to say, a cityscape. Just outside of Seattle Washington, he states, a Hemlock fell on February 8th, 1996…and so begins an elaborate experiment that pits optimism against reality." The PBS special is very detailed and you will enjoy the depth of research and work that Mark Dion went to to take a tree out of the forest and recreate the setting in the city.  The difference between the artwork presented by Mark Dion and  the artwork presented by Joel Tauber is in the nature of the life of the tree. Mark Dion works with a dead tree and its living components, and Joel Tauber creates life out of a tree seed and duplicates it all over his community.


    Thus I’ve discovered for myself that when I researched the subject of trees, I discovered Joel Tauber wasn’t alone! However, instead of creating an experiment in ecology, Joel Tauber goes further than Mark Dion does with this concept of eco-systems and their frailties. Joel Tauber begins a journey that could eventually repair the eco-systems that man has destroyed. This is where Joel Tauber takes the lead in the art world and becomes not only the realist but the optimistic hope for trees in desecrated forests all over the country.
    Joel Tauber’s work as a living project of art in 2008 has resonance and his story is well worth telling again and again. He is certainly not the first, nor the last to get involved in the love of trees, but he is the first in contemporary times to have been associated with a mythological and mystical occurrence of reproducing tree babies out of just hugging one lonely tree.


    The last time I saw a man hugging a tree, he was hugging the tree for all the wrong reasons. At the MOCA, Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, some years back I was viewing an exhibition that was in town by the Utah born artist now working in Los Angeles, Paul McCarthy. While this work of art depicted a very raw and unsettling sculpture of ‘tree-lovin’ it had nothing whatsoever to do with the love of any tree. The work displayed a timely political statement about our government rather than the love for trees, but bear in mind that the thought involved images from man’s intimate involvement with trees both in the biblical sense and in the sense of man’s raping of the planet. Joel Tauber’s work counteracts the devastation of many years of neglect for our trees with a very basic recipe for the renewal of our commitment to our green-leafed friends. Now, when I see the image of Joel Tauber hugging his Sycamore Tree in Pasadena, I get a whole new perspective for the love for our planet, our trees and our environment as a whole.

    "The Garden" by Paul McCarthy from The 20th Century Art Book, 
    Phaidon Press Limited, page 280. Photo is used for purposes of artistic review.
    The caption in the book reads as follows: " 'The Garden'  is a full-scale tableau of an outdoor, woodland scene, complete with leafy trees, shrubs and rocks.  This tranquil picture of nature is rudely interrupted by the presence of a middle-aged, balding man with his trousers round his ankles, engaged in a wholly unnatural act. From one side of the installation, his actions are not immediately apparent, being partially hidden by the tree trunks and foliage, but the sound of mechanical activity draws the viewer in to discover the shocking sight of a man copulating with a tree.  This robotic figure, with its endlessly repetitive movements, is both comical and crude, and is intended by McCarthy to question notions of acceptable public behavior and sexual morality.  McCarthy is a lecturer at UCLA as well as an artist. His sculptural installations evolved out of his earlier performance work which focused on his own body engaged in extreme and disturbing acts."




    To further explain this romantic entanglement between a tree and a mortal, I cite some important historical facts. Back in 2005, Joel Tauber was in the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl, when he spotted a particularly lonely and neglected Sycamore Tree. There are hundreds of thousands of trees in Pasadena, and a great number of them thrive very well on the grounds of the Rose Bowl, should you ever drive through this luscious community of tree and rose-lovers, you will see. But Joel Tauber focused his attention on one specific lonely tree. He started to note more and more how cars would hit the bark of the tree and scrape it, injuring the tree repeatedly. Joel Tauber became a witness to this tree’s life. Taking compassion and friendship upon this particular tree, Tauber began to film the area of the parking lot where the tree was growing. He got the idea to put up solid barriers to protect it from cars and also carried water in large plastic bags to irrigate the tree. Soon, Tauber found himself as a one-man band, orchestrating a symphony of activities leading to editing mass quantities of tree footage, fighting City Hall, and embarking on a quest to save this tree from infertility using tried and true guerilla tactics that would make tree-huggers stand and salute. To personally view the Sick-Amour project, along with the giant scale tree sculpture installation exhibited at Susanne Vielmetter Gallery in 2007, you may visit www.vielmetter.com.













                   Recently, I had the privilege and opportunity to discuss Joel Tauber’s work with Susanne Vielmetter and she was delighted to tell me what a wonderful sense of humor that Tauber exhibits in all of his works of art. Susanne Vielmetter reviewed the Underwater project with me as well as the Flying Project which Tauber presented.
    She explained how deep down, she feels Tauber is on a quest for meaning in his work and that he has a keen sense of humor that unifies and makes his ideas successful. She states that he uses the comical and the tragic in the Tree-Baby project to address the issues of urban living in our time and very subtly pokes fun at the problems innate in urban planning. The real irony of a small Sycamore tree dying of thirst in a parking lot of a beautiful park in a paradise-like valley, alongside the 110 Pasadena Freeway where 80% of the territory is plastered with concrete and the water below runs along asphalt channels of the Los Angeles River is not lost on Tauber, she explained. To contrast, Susanne Vielmetter cited that parks in Europe allow for weeds to grow naturally on landscapes that are not covered with concrete. Joel Tauber’s projects were initially presented at the Susanne Vielmetter Gallery located at 5795 Washington Blvd., in Culver City, California. The response Susanne Vielmetter’s Gallery received was incredibly exciting, even though at first, some folks thought Joel Tauber was a nut; he went on to prove just how serious he really is about changing the landscape of our environment, one tree at a time.



    Joel Tauber has a large body of video artwork, photographs and developing tree babies, (the children of a mortal and a Charmed Sycamore Tree) and one may also visit www.joeltauber.com.
    As I learned more and more about Joel Tauber’s project, I realized how blessed we all are that tree-lovin’ is not a singular act of love or even a fleeting love of art. I realized how connected we all are to our environment and how the idea of having a special friend ‘the tree’, any tree in any state, in any country for that matter is a beautiful connection to have. The connection that Joel Tauber has to his Sycamore Tree is in synch with the love that the country is experiencing during our new millennium. We have all become acutely aware of the fragility of life; we realize now more than ever that we must respect our dependence on our environment and value our trees.

    The first thing that struck me about Joel Tauber was that we had the love of trees in common. He seemed a bit shy, unassuming and humble yet I was later to learn the enormous power he wielded for this one frail and neglected tree in the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl in California. I was truly inspired by the level of involvement and commitment he had demonstrated for his own beloved Sycamore Tree which he had turned into a full-blown art-project including video, photography and sculptured jewelry. (He did it all!) He named this work the Sick-Amour Project mainly because he said he felt this tree was ill from the lack of love and the inability to have tree babies to fulfill its legacy. I had never personally met someone with such an extreme love and dedication to one particular tree. In our local newscasts, I had heard stories of people who became very emotional when a land developer was about to cut down a tree they considered a relic of their community; in which case people got very nasty about the issue and would chain themselves to the trees or surround the location with demonstrators that would shut down the jobsite. That’s when the news crews would come in with their cameras and boom mikes and the news helicopters would hover in circles above the trees trying to capture the ‘event’ that was creating all the uproar. A very recent example of this type of community behavior is written about on the front pages of the Los Angeles Times where Eric Bailey, a Times Staff Writer, wrote an extensive story about the tree-issues pertaining to Scotia, California where activists are protesting the logging of the Great California REDWOODS! Read the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times, August 24th, 2008 or visit www.latimes.com online to learn how the tree-sitters are doing today.

    But Joel Tauber is a different type of activist. He doesn’t consider himself an activist at all. He merely states, humbly, just for the record, that he loves this one particular Sycamore Tree and it is an outrage to him to see how his new best friend is being suffocated under a six-inch blanket of black tar and asphalt. Better yet, Joel Tauber does something about it. Not with a crew of forty thousand demonstrators, not even with a crew of forty residents. He does this on his own, quietly challenging the laws of the city of Pasadena and humbly takes responsibility for the care and nurturing of his new best friend. I was touched. At once I began to marvel at his potent idea.



    The art of loving our trees has grown roots in the higher levels of the art world as well. For instance, if one were to visit the J. Paul Getty Museum both at the Getty Villa which recently re-opened in Malibu and at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, you will find the love of trees has grown branches on all the hillsides surrounding both properties. There are lucky Sycamores and fortunate Pines; there are Pomegranate trees, Apple trees, Pear trees, Jacaranda trees and trees that just look good in a vista overlooking the ocean. Millions of dollars went into the development of artistic gardens which envelope the California landscape against a backdrop of the Pacific Ocean on one edge and the rolling hills of Malibu on the other.






    Over in the area of the Miracle Mile, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is celebrating an enormous renovation of its facilities and you guessed it, there are aisles and isles of gigantic palm trees lining the walkways to the entrance of the museum in concert with a unique and flamboyant architecture that has drawn the attention of the art-world with the generosity of Eli and Edythe Broad of the Broad Foundation. The Broad Contemporary Art Museum is the new wing at the LACMA and is considered the largest space in the country devoted exclusively to contemporary art. With a ‘living art display’ dedicated to the iconic palm trees, not native to California, Robert Irwin has developed a plein-air walkway through ‘Palm Gardens’ as one makes their way to the entrances of the museum.





    Lush green trees thrive all over Pasadena, California, home of the Rose Bowl where Joel Tauber fell in love with a Sycamore Tree.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2008




     The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California  is also home to some of the most exquisite antiquities in its museum history which includes sculptures amid a forest like atmosphere. Currently at the Norton Simon Museum, among its many exhibitions, one may enjoy the artwork of Ruth Weisberg, Dean of the Gayle Garner Roski School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. Opening on October 17, 2008 the Weisberg exhibition at the Norton Simon runs through March 2, 2009. Additionally a lecture by the artist is planned where Weisberg discusses: Guido Cagnacci and the Resonant Image on Sunday November 16, 2008.  The Norton Simon Museum of Art is located at 411 West Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, California. Ruth Weisberg was instrumental in selecting the work of Joel Tauber to be permanently planted on the Main University Campus of USC on January 24, 2008 where a tree planting ceremony was held and attended by numerous members of USC faculty, staff, students and guests. The location of the new tree-baby, child of the Sick-Amour Project, currently exists on the Exposition side of the campus between Gate one and the Fischer Gallery, across the street from the Museum of Natural History. 


    In Pasadena, where lovers of trees line every street of the city as the landscapes are lush with all types of trees and where these wonderful healthy trees keep cool the throngs of tourists who visit the Rose Bowl every year, is also home to the Norton Simon Museum and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Both locations are areas where tree-lovin’ may be experienced alongside some of California’s best-known artworks. Visit the NORTON SIMON MUSEUM at www.nortonsimon.org located at 411 West Colorado, Pasadena, California 91105 or visit the PASADENA MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA ART at www.pmcaonline.com at 490 East Union Street, Pasadena, California.



    In San Marino, California, the art of trees, gardens and succulents has found a worthy haven at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens spanning an area of 120 acres dedicated to the fine arts founded by Henry E. Huntington in 1928 as the very first public art gallery in Southern California. Along with English portraits and French eighteenth-century furniture, one will delight in tours of the unique garden paradise established for the pure love of the botanical arts.


    On the hillside along the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, one may also enjoy walking along the elegant landscapes of the Skirball Cultural Center and Museum grounds and witness the serenity of the trees as Weeping Willows slope their leaves to the ground, and gentle breezes sway the branches of Sycamores, Oaks and Birch trees. Visit the Skirball Museum online at www.skirball.org, or enjoy a personal walk along the grounds and explore the tributes to culture at 2701 North Sepulveda, Los Angeles 90049.

    Trees at the Skirball Museum and Cultural Center thrive and enjoy the mild California climate.


    In San Diego, one enjoys walking through a vast museum complex housing 15 unique museums in Balboa Park, not to mention to the collection of rare cactus and enormous Eucalyptus trees (just to name one tree type out of numerous ones) which shade the paths leading from one museum to another.

    Each of the locations I have mentioned or described here is where I personally walked through, witnessed, and or photographed sophisticated artistic tree landscapes of the California terrain.

    The Roots of my personal anxieties: Why I care.

    The impact of my meeting Joel Tauber coincided with an important event that took place for me way before I knew about his Sick-Amour Tree project and was what eventually led me to throw myself into this frenzied study of trees over this summer. Thus I do not necessarily consider myself struck by any of the Greek or Roman gods. I believe my influence came with a special awareness of the frailty of trees with this personal story:

    A little over one year ago, on June 30th, 2007 I was walking our dog Sasha, around the block for one of our frequent walks. I rounded the corner to the next block when I was taken aback as I witnessed a set of ‘city’ crewmembers slaughtering what appeared to be a California Oak tree. I had grown quite fond of that particular Oak on my many walks while I was writing my first novel. As a matter of fact, I had used that model of tree to describe a forest of these trees in a chapter in my first fiction novel. I especially love the sculptured texture of the Mighty gnarly Oaks. This tree had been the one to rekindle my relationship with the trees of my imagination. My stomach got queasy when I saw how it was being destroyed. I would have thrown-up, but I got a hold of my emotions and took Sasha home. Not only did I return to the scene of the slaughter, but I brought my camera to document the death and dismemberment of this great oak; I was so distraught that I returned again to the site, without my camera this time, and begged the men to stop for a moment while I sought out the seeds for this tree. To my surprise, the men stopped and helped me search for the seeds.








    When I got home, I had no idea what to do with the seeds. I called a couple of nurseries until a gentleman at a nursery in Marina del Rey explained to me that I had to wait until the pods dried up and slit to get at the seeds and plant them. So, I waited until the pods were black and wrinkled. I split them according to the directions I had gotten from this kind anonymous arborist. (He suggested a process much like that which squirrels have for cracking the pods.) I photographed the seeds and compared them with the larger seed of an apricot fruit tree and the seed of a maple tree.






    Once properly documented, I planted them in a small brown pot. Two weeks later, the first seed came up. A few days later another seed appeared to take root. On the one-year anniversary of the re-birth day of this Great Knurly Oak tree, July 20th, 2008, I documented how large the great twin oaks had become. The highest little bitty branch was about fourteen inches tall. I estimated this tree had grown a little over an inch every month. A compassionate act of kindness yielded a new life on the impulse of grief. The impulse of grief affected not only me; there is an entire world of tree-lovers mourning the losses of their favorite tree friends in surrounding communities.












    What about the subconscious feelings innate in developing a relationship with a tree? For instance, what draws people to want to save a particular tree? 

    I can really only speak to my own experience in that my relationship with trees started when I was a child.

              The Art of Reading Leads to the Art of Writing at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the UCLA campus in Westwood! by Enilde Van Hook        

    When is a library, not a library? When it’s a Book Festival where the books come out to play! The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books celebrated its 13th year of book promotions on the UCLA campus with an estimated attendance of over 140,000 people who love to read books!
    Here is where the traditional library, once thought to be a stuffy, hush-hush, nerdy and quiet setting transforms itself into a megalomaniac fair of books and stories and documentaries just waiting to come alive. Books become the roller coaster of emotions, the merry-go-round of ideas, the bumper cars of change and the Ferris wheels of fiction.


    In this day and age, the traditional library has undergone a radical change in our culture…it has gone outside, yes outside the box, outside the building and outside under yonder shade trees to re-invent itself. Unlike the regular library, where one checks out a book and must return it within a specific amount of time, this type of literary environment goes beyond just borrowing a book. This activity steps into the realm of personal libraries. This is where the reader amasses his or her own library collection of favorite authors, books, books on tape, digital recordings of books, even recordings for the blind and dyslexic by going outside the comfort of indoor lighting and venturing into the elements of nature.



    The weekend of April 26th and 27th, under weather conditions reaching over 90 degrees in Westwood, the Pacific Ocean breeze quietly slipped in and around the leaves of Ficus trees, Great Oaks, Pines, and luscious landscaped lawns of one of our most prestigious institutions of higher learning; on the campus of UCLA, surrounded by noble buildings of great learning and ample gardens of exquisite greenery, what promised to be adventure at first, had indeed become an obsession for learning, an unquenchable thirst for more information about one’s world…who was in it in the past? Who’s in it now? Where’s the planet going? Who killed who? Or Whom? What artist leapt to his death from the bridge of misunderstanding? The answers were all there waiting to be revealed once you ventured out into the Festival of Books to bring home some new friends! This was my third year visiting the LA Times Festival of Books.




    As I came upon the first of the booths, I saw a long line of people, fanning themselves in the hot sun with only partial shade for some while others brought lawn chairs, umbrellas and water bottles or coolers and bared the heat while reading the LA Times or a comic book they’d purchased while sipping lemonades from the local vendors. “Get your lemonade!” a man shouted from the center of another line of readers waiting for an author. As I made my way down the narrow aisles of celebrity book fans I looked up in time to see that Valerie Bertinelli was about to emerge and I could already see a wave of nervous cameramen and camerawomen with their trigger fingers anxiously poised above their focused lenses. I felt in good company. I too was about to sign copies of my book today. The Kingdom Of Nuts and Bolts, was being released to the reading public and I was headed over to join the authors at booth 715 sponsored by THE GREATER LOS ANGELES WRITER’S SOCIETY.






    I was invited to join the Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society recently and have discovered the treasures of its membership as well as the benefits to career and community. The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring writers of all levels in the craft and business of writing. The society works to provide continuing education and a forum for the marketing of a writer’s work. The society is guided by a philosophy of “writers mentoring writers of all disciplines” and their website (www.glaws.org) details their variety of resources, welcoming writers from all over California and the country to learn more about the craft.















    I knew I had gotten to the right booth when I saw the buttons they were passing out. “What’s Your Story?” As I was about to take the hot seat of an author…I kid you not; the seat was hot because the sun cast its rays upon the storytellers’ table; I thought to myself again, ‘I’m in fine company!’ I had heard that Gay Talese, Julie Andrews and Tommy Lasorda were telling their stories and here I was, a humble little writer of my first fiction novel about to tell my own.
    I resorted to taking pictures to relax my own photo-happy-trigger finger. I always enjoy a good shutterbug moment and this was no exception. So, I took pictures of the authors I was with, while I signed a few books myself.








    I met Leslie Ann Moore, the author of Griffin’s Daughter, and I learned she wrote romantic fantasy (which I overheard her telling a reader that she had won an award). I visited her website at www.leslieannmoore.com and was inspired by her story that she is a veterinarian, writer and belly dancer too!






    I also met Mike Robinson the author of Too Much Dark Matter, Too Little Gray (which personally as a photographer, I liked the title.) I learned that Mike Robinson is the author of seven novels and two collections. Mike also sold a number of short stories to print and electronic magazines, anthologies and podcasts. Visit Mike’s website at www.freewebs.com and learn that he too is stalking BIG FOOT!






















    On Saturday, another author I had the opportunity to meet at the GLAWS booth was Matt Pallamary. We sat together as our fans lined up to talk to us about our books. (Maybe our lines weren’t as long as Valerie Bertinelli’s for her book “Losing it: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time” but we had a following, nonetheless!) Matt has written his memoirs detailing his spiritual journeys to Peru where he worked with shamanic plant medicines. His most recent book is titled Spirit Matters and his website is www.mattpallamary.com. This was a serendipitous place to be sharing space with Matt Pallamary as I had the rare opportunity to discuss some of my own spiritual stories from my early childhood in Argentina. The Kingdom of Nuts and Bolts is a story about a five-year-old boy named Miguelito, who can see things that others can’t and this makes him special and extra inventive. He has a special magic friend named Hector (made out of nuts and bolts) who teaches him to fix things. The story, a comedy, is set in Buenos Aires, Argentina using the popular genre of South American writers, that of Magical Realism. The story explores an imaginative spirit world set in the 1930’s and is told from the perspectives of a fly, a witch, a seagull, an angel, a demon and two little brothers. The paperback version is available through www.enildeingelsvanhook.com.
    and coming soon to www.amazon.com so check the website in mid May for available stock.























    Several new, emerging and established writers joined us at the Festival of Books in the GLAWS booth #715. Among them was Joan A. Friedman, a Ph.D. who is an identical twin, herself, and has over thirty years of experience as a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of twin-related issues. Her new novel, Emotionally Healthy Twins is a comprehensive guide on how to raise twins who are self-realized and distinct individuals.





    Dr. Joan Friedman posed for a photo-op alongside two of the movers and shakers of GLAWS; Tony Todaro, one of its original founders (Sci-Fi aficionado) and an established strategic consultant (Todaro Communications) as well as John Weiskopf, the author of The Ascendancy.








    The Ascendancy is an appropriate story for today’s times, as John Weiskopf has created a new world mythology at a volatile point in history. His latest novel brings modern day imagination to the old story of Jack in the Beanstalk. The premise of this novel is that a beanstalk starts growing out of the rubble of the World Trade Center and the protagonist Jack Tott, a twenty-six-year-old musician, believes that if he climbs the beanstalk, he will somehow find the means to help save his dying sister. This book is available through www.johnweiskopf.com.
















    I met Sandra Walter, the author of The Creator State (www.sandrawalter.com) a story where actors discover a unique state of consciousness and art changes reality. Pictured here to the right is the author of Akira's Army by Keith Kowalczyk as he tells the story of Ray Quincy who becomes a prisoner of war while on his family vacation on a small South Pacific Island (a novel available through midnightpressbooks.com) Also pictured in booth #715 are Tony Todaro, Neil Citrin, and John Weiskopf.









    I also had an opportunity to talk to Robin Reed who was also releasing her first novel called Xanthan Gumm. Robin Reed writes in the science fiction genre about hard working creatures called ‘Humans’ who labor to make stories that are loved throughout the Galaxy. One young alien dreams of going to the ‘Forbidden Planet Earth’ to perform in the movies and wants to become famous like his idol, E.T. This book is available through www.barstowproductions.com.






    On Sunday at the LA TIMES FESTIVAL OF BOOKS, I had the distinct privilege of sitting at the author’s table with Film Educator and author Charles Domokos. His work in education especially in the cinema and film-editing field has a long history of contributing extremely technical post-production knowledge to film students at USC School of Cinematic Arts, Loyola Marymount and Los Angeles City College. His book titled: Non-linear Editing: The Cutting Edge provides the foundation for the college-level media student to make the leap into the world of film and HD-based professional post-production, as practiced in the Hollywood media community. His book is available through Amazon.com; Barnes&Noble.com or www.GoGardner.com.



    While sitting under the canopy of a nearby Elm tree, our booth enjoyed a little more shade and relief from the heat on Sunday, just enough to share our experiences and challenges of our publishing our first books. Charles and I also shared some of our inspirations to write and joked around that in our booth alone, we had the resources for taking my story of The Kingdom of Nuts and Bolts and turning it into a movie using stop-frame animation to create a Hollywood environment for my animated critter made of nuts and bolts and feathers named ‘Hector’. We figured we had a whole production team from writing the screenplay to filming, editing and strategic marketing with Tony Todaro!



    Speaking of Tony Todaro, one of the founders of GLAWS, I learned he is a prolific fiction writer as well. He is now working on a final draft of his next novel, “What Comes Around” a story set in a future city by the name of San Angeles, a metropolis divided by rivers and gangs after the ‘Big One’ (the big anticipated earthquake Angelino’s often fear, has already happened in this story) has rearranged the real estate and politics of the Southland. Just a little sneak preview of his upcoming book, finds Fed Corp Special Crimes investigator Major Xander Hunt in the midst of two murder mysteries to solve: the death of prominent physicist Allan Dunwharton, and after a series of battles and attempted assassinations, (perhaps even his own death). Hunt has kept his aging body alive with a concoction of drugs and nanobots, despite decades of damage as a black-ops agent, and the terminal cancer eating at his guts. (Imagine here the actor Sean Connery as the wise, aging officer in the Untouchables, though Hunt thinks of himself as the younger version of a Kevin Costner character.) Tony Todaro is a strategic marketing consultant with a long history in the music business and now shares his expertise with his fellow authors in GLAWS!



    With a philosophy of “writers mentoring writers of all disciplines” GLAWS holds monthly informative meetings, often with nationally-known guest speakers, offers critique groups, advice in the craft and business of writing, conducts special events including writers conferences and seminars, and promotes its vision through many businesses and social opportunities.
    In April I had the opportunity to attend one of the membership meetings to hear the science fiction and fantasy writer, Tim Powers, author of Anubis Gates and winner of the Philip K. Dick Award. He spoke at length about the essence of “plot” or what actually happens in a story. He encouraged writers to think of the question ‘why’ and then dig deeper and ask no, ‘why, really?’; ‘why really is the character motivated?’ He also gave us an overview of what it is like to be a writer at work. He stated that he had cultivated a sense of both guilt and fear. “Afterall, I play with the cat while truckers have jobs…” In a brief moment I had to talk with him before he got on the podium, he stated that I should write down imaginary bets… but not to do it in my head. He urged me to write thoughts down directly onto the keyboard. In his presentation, he also shared some of the advantages to writing down your ideas and character traits onto index cards and spreading them around your workspace. Maybe one day, if you are experiencing ‘writers block’; maybe the landlord comes around knocking, blows open your door and tromps all over the index cards mixing them up every which way; well, he said, ‘you never know when that might have helped your plot strategy a little!’ TIM POWERS chuckled.

    The headline of today’s blog stated that the Art of Reading leads to the Art of Writing. I strongly believe this because I can attest to the significant verbal, literary and visual growth that a child can attain while immersed in a supportive community reading program. That, in and of it-self is where the art of reading leads directly to the successful art of writing. Exposure to the arts at a young age in a person’s life greatly enhances the chances this experience will foster a love of story telling as well as an appreciation for the authors and artists of these works that influence the mind at a critical stage in our development.
    I am an example of an After School Reading Program child. My first exposure to library books came about at approximately the age of 8 when I stated participating in the Duarte Public Library After School Reading Program and simultaneously the Monrovia Public Library system in California.







    I personally see this important correlation between early reading and early writing because I began to keep a diary at the age of twelve after reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I went on to improve my reading skills by practicing my writing skills in my journal and reading even more each month until I had practically consumed all the books I could in the children’s section of the Duarte Library. I seem to recall that by the age of thirteen I was already into the adult section where I promptly fell in love with science fiction and The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. (At the time, I made no physical distinction between the right or left section of the Duarte Library but I did get into trouble with my mother who discovered one day that one of my books had an identifying label from the adult section of the library…I no longer remember what the name of that book was, because I didn’t get to read it…only that it had a harmless picture of a cat on the cover and I distinctly recall how disappointed and rather humiliated I was when I had to return the book to the librarian and admit that I had rules at home I had to follow that superceded library freedoms.)





    My consolation was that I was a rebellious child so after that, I no longer checked out the adult books to take home—I just spent my free time reading the contraband stories, sitting cross legged on the floor between the stacks by the light of a window where a beautiful oak tree cast intermittent sun, shade and childhood inspiration; Under these conditions, I finished reading Pearl Buck’s novel The Good Earth. I can’t stress enough the importance of reading in a young person’s life. I admired writers without even knowing what they looked like. Often I didn’t see pictures on the covers. I just knew their voices by the way they would write their sentences. I feel I learned about life, lived through the characters and had adventures I couldn’t even dream of having all through the art of reading a wonderful book.

















    By the time I was sixteen, I had obtained my first job away from home. The Duarte Public Library hired me to work as a ‘page’ part time while I attended high school. I was able to devote even more time to filing and flipping through the pages of my most beloved writers and fondest friends. I recall taking a whole summer to finish the novel Hawaii by James Mitchner. These books were my education and entertainment away from the classroom and the schoolyard. By the age of eighteen, I was working for the USC Bookstore during freshman year of college and the Doheny Library by my sophomore year of college.

























    Now fast forward to the present day in 2008. I have written and self-published five books of poetry and recently released my first novel, The Kingdom of Nuts and Bolts here at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the campus of UCLA. Was it an accident that I developed into a writer? (In my particular case, I am also a photographer and an artist.) (www.gingervanhook.com) (www.enildeingelsvanhook.com) I don’t think this is a random event. I think there are no accidents in the universe. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe in cause and effect. I believe that if you want to end up with a delicious cake, you need to prepare the recipe with proper ingredients. The ingredients leading to the successful art of writing requires nothing short of fresh time, young minds, good books and positive parental and community encouragement to read. The art develops naturally as the heat of age ripens the stories into cupcakes of our culture for everyone to enjoy!

    I attended the Duarte Festival of Authors in October of 2005 in Westminster Gardens, in Duarte California just to visit with and enjoy a moment listening to Ray Bradbury as the featured keynote speaker, presented by The Friends of the Duarte Library.



    We also support the Monrovia Arts Festival Association which is undergoing a change of name this year. In addition to the changes featured in Monrovia Library Park, with the new Library construction, Monrovia Arts Festival Association is about to be renamed the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts to better define the role of the arts in the community of Monrovia.
    The Monrovia Arts Festival Association will continue to serve the arts and artists as well as the after school art programs in Monrovia as well as surrounding communities and schools. I firmly believe, the younger a child is exposed to the arts, in terms of reading, writing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, digital media, comic book art and art history just to name a few of the variety of arts, the more creative a child will grow into adulthood and the more rewarding our communities will be to thrive in.
              SeaWorld keeps its word; Landmark legislation to help captive whales is one step closer in California        
    In an unprecedented move, today the California Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife committee voted twelve to one in support of legislation what will permanently ban the breeding of captive orcas in California. AB 2305 will not only prohibit the breeding of captive orcas, it will allow only educational displays of the existing animals.  Dr. Naomi Rose from the
              88th Academy Awards        
    ------------
    Note 1: This is the fourth consecutive year when I am doing this. Hopefully this one will be much more readable compared to my previous attempts. Hopefully. (prev: 87th, 86th, 85th) This year, I also wrote a story with the tag-lines of the Oscar-nominated movies.

    Note 2: I suspect the ratings for this year's Oscars are going to be very low. I mean, outside of #OscarsSoWhite, Studios and producers need to freakin' make the movies available for viewing online (or in theaters)! I will pay money to watch these movies BEFORE the Oscars goddamit! Events are successful when people talk about it. And to talk about it, people need context. What should we talk about instead of the movies themselves, Clooney's tux, JLaw's stumble, host's fumble, and hot cleavages?
    ------------


    This is one of those years when I am not particularly attached to any movie that has been nominated. Atleast not for the big awards. But this year's Animated and Documentary nominations are a bunch of powerhouses compared to any year in recent history for these categories. It beats me why Inside Out didn't get a Best Picture nod. This just might have been a year when a Pixar movie, or any animated movie for that matter, won the top prize. Instead, we get Oscar-bait movies such as Room, Bridge of Spies, or even The Revenant. Mad Max getting in there is quite a surprise, not so much in retrospect. And yet, the top prize this year remains wide open, probable front-runners being Spotlight, The Revenant, and The Big Short, with the race getting more interesting than the movies themselves.

    Emily Blunt's omission from Supporting Actress and Villeneuve's from Director (yep, I loved Sicario!) seems a little strange, but Villeneuve's time will come. His every successive movie gets better than the last! And Quentin, what did you do? He is forgiven though for getting too indulgent, considering that he might be nearing the end of his filmography. I hope though that I get to see him, among others, getting a Directing Oscar some day. Some day.

    Right then.




    Category / PickNomineesVishesh TippaniHit / Miss
    Motion Picture


    Spotlight

    The Big Short

    Brooklyn

    Bridge of Spies

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Martian

    The Revenant

    Room

    Spotlight
    The Big Short: After The Wolf of Wall Street's rollercoaster ride, this seemed like pony carousel. I mean, we get it. Financial meltdown happened, and no-one responsible went to jail. Bravo! Selena Gomez explaining Collateralized Debt Obligations was cute though. Heh.

    Brooklyn: It gets a lot of things right. Saoirse Ronan is an absolute delight to watch on screen, with a well-deserved Actress nomination for her. And the way the movie transports you to the 50s is incredible, effortlessly shattering a lot of things we take for granted today. And we are not talking about an ancient era, just 60-70 years ago. Brooklyn also does not resort to evil-looking people to further the plot in a way Titanic did, and in a way that makes the protagonists' struggles relatable, real, and very palatable - in a way that triggers a "Life is such," response rather than "They deserved this".
    "I'd forgotten what this town is like. What were you planning to do, Miss Kelly?" 

    Bridge of Spies: This is the "America is the best country in the World" movie for this year. Although both Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance nailed it with chiselled performances. Coen brothers wrote this, perhaps it would have been a much better movie if they directed it as well.
    "Aren't you worried?"
    "Would it help?"

    Mad Max: Fury Road: This movie was an adrenalin-induced delight without end. Stunning camera work, absurdist humour, and louder than loudest everything, so much that one literally felt exhausted after the movie did not give any breathing space during.
    "WITNESS ME!"

    The Martian: Someone please explain to me why Inside Out is not in this category, and why The Martian isn't in the Best Animated movie category instead? What is the line between special effects and animation? Considering the state of the art for motion capture and 3D rendering techniques, maybe it's time we do away with the distinction. Anyway, The Martian falls flat compared to Gravity, or even Interstellar. Maybe it was just an excuse to rescue Matt Damon... again.

    The Revenant: A lot of people, including the Academy, seem to be particularly fond of Iñárritu. I find his movies boring, the technical brilliance notwithstanding. Birdman was perhaps Iñárritu's most enjoyable movie, and I didn't want Birdman to win (Boyhood... sigh). If The Revenant wins this one, of which there is a more than significant chance, it will be several firsts, perhaps the most interesting one being successive wins by the same Director. Sure looks like Leo's year though.

    Room: This was a hit or miss and all over the place. Some scenes were striking, in particular the one towards the end where Brie Larson goes back to the Room. Jacob Tremblay was spectacular until he was inside the room, and made his escape. After that it seemed like the director just didn't give a shit anymore.
    "There's so much of "place" in the world."

    Spotlight: This is my favourite movie from this category. Tense, crisp, great characters, performances, writing, Spotlight ranks high up there.
    "We got two stories here: a story about degenerate clergy, and a story about a bunch of lawyers turning child abuse into a cottage industry. Which story do you want us to write? Because we're writing one of them."
    Hit!
    Director
    Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

    Adam McKay, The Big Short

    George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

    Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

    Lenny Abrahamson, Room

    Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
    As much as I loved Spotlight, I am not sure if Tom McCarthy's time has come for a directing Oscar. The race mostly seems between Iñárritu and Miller, both of whom are really fine directors. If Iñárritu pulls this one off, back-to-back Director Oscars would be a tremendous feat.

    Although, if I had my way, Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman (directors of Anomalisa),  Andrew Haigh (director of 45 years), would have found a spot here. And when-o-when will Denis Villeneuve's (Sicario) time come?
    Hit!
    Writing (Original)

    Spotlight

    Bridge of Spies

    Ex Machina

    Inside Out

    Spotlight

    Straight Outta Compton
    Bridge of Spies is probably in here because... Coen brothers. Perhaps the movie would have been significantly better had they directed it as well.

    Ex Machina had some really smart writing as well, reminded me of "Her" in a lot of ways.
    Ava: "What will happen to me if I fail your test?"

    I loved the fact that Inside Out got nominated for this, if not for Best Picture. They really got me from the moment the "train of thought" arrives. As cheesy as that is, really made me chuckle.
    "Take her to the moon for me."

    And as much as Tarantino would like to say "I truly believe in the material" for The Hateful Eight, he needs to sit on the bench for this one.

    Spotlight though, crisp, taut, engaging from start to finish truly deserves this one.
    "If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them."
    Hit!
    Writing (Adapted)

    The Big Short

    The Big Short

    Brooklyn

    Carol

    The Martian

    Room
    The Big Short is a no-brainer for this. I haven't read the book so I do not know how it reads, but this is one of those examples of an "adaptation", from a non-fiction, that would have truly meant a LOT of work.

    Aaron Sorkin could have been slipped in here (for Steve Jobs), again adapting a non-fiction. Plus, in my opinion, his approach with the source material was remarkable and creative. With all the different sorts of issues Steve Jobs ran into during production, Sorkin was probably the only one who did the cleanest job for this movie.
    Hit!
    Actor

    Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

    FINALLY, LEO! Boy am I waiting for his acceptance speech! SIXTH nomination, and what a journey! A story of survival, revenge, and life is also possibly the most fitting way he could have won this one!

    But this doesn't go without mentioning the other quite remarkable performances in this category. Trumbo felt a lot like Argo, even besides the 'Hollywood making a movie about Hollywood thing' and John Goodman's huge (literally) presence. And I love this "genre" (if you may) too - Sunset Bldv., Chaplin, The Artist, to name a few.

    Michael Fassbender did a fine job and literally saved the movie, but the most striking performance for me from this movie would definitely be that of Winslet's.

    There are some roles where it is unimaginable for anyone else doing them except for Eddie Redmayne (you know, the kind of feeling we get quite often for Benedict Cumberbatch). I doubt anyone else would have been able to do Theory of Everything or The Danish Girl.
    Hit!
    Actress


    Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years



    Prediction: Brie Larson
    Cate Blanchett, Carol

    Brie Larson, Room

    Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

    Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

    Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
    Brie Larson seems sealed for this category. She isn't on my top 3 out of these 5, so I will be a little bummed about this one.

    I am conflicted between Charlotte Rampling and Saoirse Ronan for my top spot. 45 years is a stunning film, and deserved much more than the solitary nomination it received, but Charlotte is really the heart and soul of the film. After Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) lost to JLaw, I would be too pleased to see Charlotte win this one, for a movie that has too many similarities to Amour.

    I wouldn't mind Saoirse winning this one either. Her nuanced performance in Brooklyn left you yearning for more.
    Hit!
    Supporting Actor

    Christian Bale, The Big Short


    Prediction: Sylvester Stallone
    Christian Bale, The Big Short

    Tom Hardy, The Revenant

    Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

    Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

    Sylvester Stallone, Creed
    The one thing that I loved about The Big Short was Christian Bale's performance. In the very limited time that he occupies the screen, every freakin' scene is fireworks. He would be my pick for this one, but Sylvester Stallone makes for a great Oscar story, so yeah... Mark Rylance.
    Supporting Actress

    Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs


    Prediction: Alicia Vikander
    Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

    Rooney Mara, Carol

    Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

    Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

    Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
    It's a shame that Alicia Vikander got nominated for The Danish Girl instead of Ex Machina. I am nuts about Alicia Vikander, she is what I would call "vanilla" beautiful. I know she is beautiful, I don't know why, and I find it hard to be able to figure it out. It's like she only registers when she's in front of me, but poof as soon as she's not, enigmatic almost. I think it was a stroke of casting brilliance to cast her in Ex Machina, a role which hinged significantly on this quality of hers in my opinion. You know, artificial... but not really, feels real... but can't put a finger on why.

    But between her performance in The Danish Girl, and Kate Winslet's in Steve Jobs, my vote definitely goes to Kate. Them glasses. Sigh. And a performance that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Fassbender's as Jobs, that's really something.
    Hit!
    Animated Movie

    Anomalisa


    Prediction: Inside Out
    Anomalisa

    Boy & The World

    Inside Out

    Shaun The Sheep Movie

    When Marnie Was There
    What a collection of movies in this category! This is a collection which is missing The Peanuts Movie and The Good Dinosaur - movies which in any other year would have made the nomination cut and might even have won!

    I want to especially talk about three movie here, Anomalisa, Inside Out, and Boy & The World, although Shaun The Sheep and When Marnie Was There are brilliant movies in their own right.

    Anomalisa is one of those movies that leave you going "How on Earth did they pull this off on screen?!" The stillness of this movie, the calm, the poise, the detail - both in the little things and the not-so-little things - is astounding. I could write at length about this movie, but anyone who has spent any time travelling to a smaller city in the US (especially to the mid-west) will get all intricate details they have managed to so gloriously capture. The absolutely shocking sex scene, the long takes, the movie playing almost in real time... Anomalisa is an anomaly done right when it comes to pushing the boundaries of what can be done on animation.

    Talking about pushing the boundaries of animated films, Boy & The World is gorgeous! Such raw beauty, it is a spectacle to behold. Lovingly crafted hand-drawn animation, the colors, the playfulness, the airiness, the fireworks-y sparkle, the dazzle, every still of the film could be a framed painting in an art gallery. This is how, I wish, The Peanuts Movie had been made. HAND-DRAWN! I hope we get to see more of Alê Abreu's work.

    Inside Out is almost surely going to win this one. Don't get me wrong, it is a great film, perhaps one of Pixar's top 3, if not the best. But it is going to win it for the wrong reasons. Animation has very little to do with what makes Inside Out a great film, which is why it was much better off getting a Best Film nod, along with the Writing nod that it deservedly received.
    Hit!
    Cinematography

    Sicario


    Prediction: The Revenant 
    Carol

    The Hateful Eight

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Revenant

    Sicario
    The Hateful Eight is on this list because... 70mm, Ben Hur lenses, yada yada yada. It's not the tooling that maketh a genius. Nope. But okay Quentin, you were indulging yourself, you are allowed to do that, of course.

    It will be a big surprise if The Revenant does not win this one. The cinematography, after all, is one of the biggest reasons why it has been getting oh-so-much love. But, have you seen Sicario! Especially the one scene where they perform the extraction from Mexico, sent a chill down my spine. That is a scene in the same league as the car scene from Children of Men.
    Hit!
    Editing

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Big Short

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Revenant

    Spotlight

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    If there is one award that Mad Max truly deserves, it's got to be this one. How do you even cut this movie?! Hit!
    Production Design

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    Bridge of Spies

    The Danish Girl

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Martian

    The Revenant
    Hit!
    Score

    Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

    Bridge of Spies

    Carol

    The Hateful Eight

    Sicario

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    The Hateful Eight, again, is here because... Morricone. This is probably Academy's last chance to give a real Oscar to Ennio Morricone rather than the honorary one they had to give him a few years ago.

    Sicario and Star Wars (obviously) truly deserve a special mention though.
    Hit!
    Visual Effects

    The Revenant

    Ex Machina

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Martian

    The Revenant

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    This category is really losing its significance extremely fast. It is too hard to tell what's special effects and what's not, considering almost every movie undergoes huge transformation during post-production. Ex Machina.
    Deserved!
    Documentary

    Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom


    Prediction: Amy
    Amy

    Cartel Land

    The Look of Silence

    What Happened, Miss Simone?

    Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For  Freedom
    Just like the Animated Feature Film category, this was another powerhouse collection of films. I wouldn't mind Amy winning this one, Asif Kapadia is an accomplished director, his Senna ranks amongst my favorite movies. And, to be fair, Amy is an amazing movie, except, I didn't care a lot about the subject matter.

    Winter on Fire, on the other hand, is a movie extremely relevant in today's day and age, and has managed to put together some really spine-chilling footage and beautifully. It also managed to give a first-hand glimpse into a country that we (I) know so little about, and around events that are being played out right now on the global political arena.
    Hit!

    Total: 13 / 15




              87th Academy Awards        
    ------------
    Note 1: Hello, and welcome to the annual edition of my pretending to understand how the average-age-55-years-white-American-old-men vote to find the best movie of the year! It's almost like how the new Pope is picked. Almost.

    Note 2: Post 3.0 is going to be awesome, just like my previous two posts. Also, this year, a bunch of us got together to make an AWESOME app for Oscars - Award Street. Check it out!
    ------------


    This year is pretty much going to be Boyhood vs. Birdman. A lot of people are going to get their predictions wrong this year depending on which way The Academy leans, unless your prediction is that a movie whose name starts with the letter 'B' is going to take home the grandest prize, and you can be sure about nailing it. Personally, I want to be screaming "It's a boy!" when it's announced. That man, Linklater, deserves a trophy by now. He got nominated for the last 2 movies of the 'Before' trilogy, and has made cult classics like Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Waking Life, and School of Rock. He might just walk away with 3 trophies in his hands this year and that would be AWESOME. If The Academy leans towards Birdman instead of Boyhood, it will be sad, and them trying incredibly hard to be cool. Boyhood is an achievement, period. A movie event we are going to be talking about for a long, long time. It will be fitting if Boyhood is announced for the Best Picture, and this plays:

    I don't wanna be a big man
    Just wanna fight like everyone else


    No major controversies with the nominations, although no love for Nightcrawler, The Lego Movie, and no cinematography nod for Interstellar broke my heart a little. But then, what's an Oscar without a little heartbreak, right?

    Right then, let's get on with it.




    CategoryPredictionPickVishesh TippaniQuotesHit / Miss
    Best Motion Picture of the YearBoyhood
    I think this category isn't even a contest. Boyhood is by far the best movie on this list. Also, instead of the standard Film/Director split the Academy is known for doing, I think this year is going to see a Film/Writing split, between Boyhood and Birdman.'You know how everyone's always saying seize the moment? I don't know, I'm kind of thinking it's the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.'Miss. Birdman. Oh well.
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading RoleMichael Keaton, Birdman
    Another year, BC! This year's going cleanly to Mr. Keaton.'A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing.'Miss. Well, I am glad. Great performance by Eddie Redmayne in Theory of Everything.
    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading RoleJulianne Moore, Still AliceRosamund Pike, Gone GirlThe chills Rosamund Pike gives you! Goodness. I wish she won this one, but she won't.From Gone Girl: 'I'm the cunt you married. The only time you liked yourself was when you were trying to be someone this cunt might like. I'm not a quitter, I'm that cunt. I killed for you; who else can say that? You think you'd be happy with a nice Midwestern girl? No way, baby! I'm it.'Hit!
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting RoleJ.K. Simmons, Whiplash
    The only thing going for Whiplash. Simmons' powerful performance made this movie worth a while. His performance took me back to when I was in school.'There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.'Hit!
    Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting RolePatricia Arquette, Boyhood
    Boyhood could very well have been called 'Motherhood', and it would have remained as true. Patricia deserves this gold!'I just thought there would be more.'Hit! YAY!
    Best Achievement in DirectingRichard Linklater, Boyhood
    Please. Starting to feel a little bad for Mr. Anderson though. Maybe Mr. Anderson is destined to be seventh time lucky another year.'I finally figured it out. It's like when they realized it was gonna be too expensive to actually build cyborgs and robots. I mean, the costs of that were impossible. They decided to just let humans turn themselves into robots. That's what's going on right now. I mean, why not? They're billions of us just laying around, not really doing anything. We don't cost anything. We're even pretty good at self-maintenance and reproducing constantly. And as it turns out, we're already biologically programmed for our little cyborg upgrades. I read this thing the other day about how When you hear that ding on your inbox, you get like a dopamine rush in your brain. It's like we're being chemically rewarded for allowing ourselves to be brainwashed. How evil is that? We're fucked.'Miss. Iñárritu, Birdman. Oh well. Another year, bigger movie, Linklater!
    Best Original ScreenplayBirdmanBoyhoodThis is going to be a close call, but I think Birdman will pull through in the end. Also, if it does, the Best Picture announcement is going to induce double the nervousness. Writing/Film split seldom happens. The last time this happened was with Argo (2012), and Million Dollar Baby (2005) before that.From Boyhood: 'I mean, what makes you think that elves are any more magical than something like a whale? Yoy know what I mean? What if I told you a story about how underneath the ocean, there was this giant sea mammal that used sonar and sang songs and it was so big that its heart was the size of a car and you could crawl through the arteries? I mean, you'd think that was pretty magical, right?'Hit!
    Best Adapted ScreenplayThe Imitation Game
    The better crop are the ones in the original writing category. The adapted is pretty non-exciting, unless American Sniper takes it because of the emotions involved.'Do you know why people like violence? It is because it feels good. Humans find violence deeply satisfying. But remove the satisfaction, and the act becomes... hollow.'Hit!
    Best Animated Feature Film of the YearHow to train your Dragon 2
    No nomination for The Lego Movie was really disappointing. Nothing much here.
    'Some of us were just born different.'Miss. Big Hero 6. Blah. I couldn't care less without The Lego Movie nomination.
    Best Achievement in CinematographyBirdmanThe Grand Budapest HotelNo nomination for Interstellar was a disappointment. A win for Grand Budapest would redeem it.'You're looking so well, darling, you really are... they've done a marvelous job. I don't know what sort of cream they've put on you down at the morgue, but... I want some.'Hit!
    Best Achievement in EditingBoyhood
    This is a no contest. Editing footage spanning 12 years into this masterpiece!'I find myself so furious at all these people that I am in contact with just for controlling me or whatever but you know they are not even aware they are doing it.'Miss. Whiplash. :/
    Best Achievement in Production DesignThe Grand Budapest HotelInterstellarWell, I am going to pick Interstellar for whichever category it's nominated in!From Interstellar: 'Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.'Hit!
    Best Achievement in Costume DesignThe Grand Budapest Hotel

    'You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed that's what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant... oh, fuck it.'Hit!
    Best Achievement in Makeup and HairstylingThe Grand Budapest Hotel
    A lack of Theory of Everything here was a little bit surprising.'I must say, I find that girl utterly delightful. Flat as a board, enormous birthmark the shape of Mexico over half her face, sweating for hours on end in that sweltering kitchen, while Mendl, genius though he is, looms over her like a hulking gorilla. Yet without question, without fail, always and invariably, she's exceedingly lovely.'Hit!
    Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original ScoreInterstellar
    Zimmer's score made Interstellar more grandiose than it already was. Just 1 win for him from 9 nominations, I think he can use another win, and deservedly so. Theory of Everything has a good chance of taking it away.'Those aren't mountains, they're waves.'Miss. Grand Budapest Hotel. This movie is on a roll tonight! Desplat deserved a win, nominated for 2 movies this year, and 7 before this.
    Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original SongSelmaThe Lego MovieI like 'Lost Stars' from Begin Again. But my pick is The Lego Movie because it was AWESOME, and these buggers did not give it a nod for Animated Feature.From The Lego Movie: 'All this is true because it rhymes.'Hit!
    Best Achievement in Sound MixingInterstellar
    There was a bunch of controversy around Interstellar's sound. It doesn't matter. A couple of IMAX viewings is what those buggers need.'You're telling me it takes two numbers to measure your own ass but only one to measure my son's future?'Miss. Whiplash. For not giving it to Interstellar, I tell you, Academy, "Not my tempo."
    Best Achievement in Sound EditingInterstellar
    see: above. Although, American Sniper might snatch this one. Also, I think Fury should have gotten a nod here.'And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us.'Miss. Sniper made a headshot at TARS.
    Best Achievement in Visual EffectsInterstellar
    This is a no-contest. Why are there even other nominees?!'Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.'Hit! Although it's sad that Interstellar might end its count with this.
    Best Short Film, Live ActionThe Phone CallButter LampThis is the first time I got to watch all the live-action shorts before the event. Pretty great movies, all. My favorite's got to be Butter Lamp, for the sheer ingenuity of script.
    Hit!
    Best Short Film, AnimatedFeast
    It's a dog's life.
    Hit!




    Total:
    13 / 21


    Who are you rooting for?


    87th Academy Awards...

              Aam Aadmi Party: the political start-up        


    "Aaj hum yahaan aayein hain sabse ye kehne, ki kuch to karna hoga. Hum sabko kuch karna hoga."

    "Koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota. Use perfect banaana hota hai. Police mai bharti honge, military join karenge, IAS banenge, politics ka hissa ban ke iss desh ki sarkaar chalaayenge. Ye desh badlega, hum badlenge ise."

    -- Rang De Basanti (2006)


    I quoted from Rang De Basanti, but it does not mean that this is going to be an incensed hysterical rant of a twenty-something someone which goes "Inquilab Zindabad!". Inquilab, sure. But let's put it into perspective and context. Inquilab will happen. One step at a time.


    Election is coming.

    It's easy to talk about politics sitting in our rooms, dissing any and everything that is happening around us. Heck, even this post qualifies. People here in India, and people abroad too - US, Europe, or farther east, you name it. "India has gone beyond a point-of-no-return." Sure, it must have sounded profound sitting in a room in a high-rise with a city skyline view in some sophisticated corner of the world, or here, in India. Sorry, no. But I have no interest in a conversation that begins or ends with that sentence, whether you live in India, or live abroad and intend to come back. It does not sound profound to me because I intend to spend my life in this country, by choice. Hopefully.

    I would not care if haters and dissers shoot holes into this post. By all means, go ahead. I admit I don't know my politics or economics. Let the intellectual masturbation begin. But I will not engage you in a conversation unless you give me a viable choice in the upcoming Delhi elections in November. We'll talk about NaMo vs Rahul Gandhi, sure, after the Delhi elections.


    It is really sad that after 66 years of our country's independence, the issues today, still, in the capital of India are Water, Electricity, Safety of Women, and Corruption. Forget Infrastructure, Public Health, or a healthy eco-system for entrepreneurs, we haven't afforded ourselves that luxury. Not yet.

    We, the youth, are lucky to have been born at a very opportune moment in the history of our country. We have the privilege to be a part of the 'Indian growth story', to be the Indian growth story. Be a part of it. Engage. Of course, it is unreasonable to ask people to quit whatever they wish to do with their lives and set out "to clean the system". No. But help those who are trying, in whatever little way. You can still be a part of it. That's why I am writing this.

    I know about a start-up that is trying to win the Delhi elections. I hope they do. It was unthinkable until a year ago, that a newly formed political party could think of forming a state government, let alone contesting elections with a strong foothold, or even fielding candidates in all the contested constituencies with confidence. Today, not so much. AAP doesn't have a long history, nor do they have the money or the adequate resources even, but they do have the passion and the will to do something. They believe they can, I believe they can. Sure, you or me might not agree with everything that they say or want to do, but do you agree with anyone a hundred percent? And if not them, who is your pick, and why? The question is whether anyone, anyone with the will and the passion can make a difference if they want? This is the test.

    Santosh died. No, I am not using her name to sensationalize this and drive my point across. The fact is, a good person wanted to contest the elections, and she died. It is NOT trivial. Can you do something about it?

    Take a look at their candidates list. Go ahead, look at their profiles. There is a commando who lost his hearing a hundred percent during 26/11, and was fired from the Army after that. Or this construction worker living in the slums, who is looking to contest from Rajouri Garden. And then, there is an ex-IRS IITian who championed the cause of RTI. He is pitting himself against Sheila Dixit. These people are getting their voice heard. We are getting our voice heard.

    At the very least what I'm confident of is this, that these candidates won't be murderers or rapists, and that if they are deemed incapable or corrupt, they will be sacked by their own party. Atleast give these people a chance. One chance. And like all start-ups, they need money to scale. They have been angel funded by several investors, and are looking to mobilize resources through crowdsourcing.


    What are you doing, Delhi? I'm jealous because you got this opportunity before I did. And things are happening and will, with or without you. Here's what the donations to AAP from our country looks like [link] :


    Almost as much from Maharashtra as from Delhi?! And it's not even Maharashtra's elections! There is still time. Get on board with this, man.


    1) You can donate in kind. There is much more than just money that is required to contest elections. You can give whatever you have to spare. [link]

    2) You can adopt a constituency. From anywhere. [link]

    3) You can make a recurring donation every month. [link]

    4) Or, you can just donate once and be done with it. [link]

    5) And the least you can do is get your voter i-card made and exercise your franchise. Vote. [link]


    An incident happened not so long ago. Arvind Kejriwal was asked by a journalist, "What would you do if you don't win the Delhi elections?". He responded by saying, "If we lose, what will you do?"

    Atleast we are talking about the right things.

    So... what will you do?



    Oh, and in this interview, Arvind Kejriwal answers most of the questions commonly posed by the haters and the dissers. Do watch. You might not agree with him or still be unsatisfied, but atleast hear what he has got to say.





    If you know me personally, or have been following this blog, you would know that I am not someone who begs for likes and shares. But this one time, I will. If this post struck a chord, please share it. It's only a click, and is much less to ask than an Inquilab.



              85th Academy Awards        
    ------------
    Note 1: This is probably for the first time that I have watched almost all the movies in contention for the Oscars before the Oscar ceremony, so I might as well do a prediction post, with a healthy 2 weeks till the event. Just for the kicks, and maybe some "pre-Oscar discussion", not that it matters.

    Note 2: In every category, I will list one name if my prediction is same as my vote, two otherwise.
    ------------



    CategoryPredictionPickHit / Miss
    Best Motion Picture of the YearArgoAmourHit! Yay! \m/
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading RoleDaniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
    Hit!
    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading RoleJessica Chastain, Zero Dark ThirtyEmmanuelle Riva, AmourMiss. JLaw, oh well. :|
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting RoleChristoph Waltz, Django Unchained
    Hit! Waltz, aww yeah!
    Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting RoleAnne HathawayLes Misérables
    Hit! Hathaway! ♥
    Best Achievement in DirectingSteven Spielberg, LincolnAng Lee, Life of PiWoohoo! Ang Lee for Life of Pi! \m/
    Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the ScreenQuentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
    Hit! T.A.R.A.N.T.I.N.O. \m/
    Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or PublishedTony Kushner, LincolnDavid Magee, Life of PiMiss. But Argo, deserved!
    Best Animated Feature Film of the YearBrave
    Hit! Pixar FTW!
    Best Foreign Language Film of the YearAmour
    Hit!
    Best Achievement in CinematographyClaudio Miranda, Life of Pi
    Hit!
    Best Achievement in EditingWilliam GoldenbergArgo
    Hit!
    Best Achievement in Production DesignLife of Pi
    Miss. Lincoln, seriously? :|
    Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original ScoreMychael DannaLife of Pi
    Hit! \m/
    Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original SongAdeleSkyfall
    Hit!
    Best Achievement in Sound MixingSkyfall
    Miss. Les Misérables - deserved.
    Best Achievement in Sound EditingDjango Unchained
    Oh well, a tie! And both misses. (ZDT and Skyfall)
    Best Achievement in Visual EffectsLife of Pi
    Hit! 
    Best Documentary, FeaturesSearching for Sugar Man
    Hit!
    Best Short film, AnimatedPaperman
    Hit!


    Total:
     14 hits ( + 1 woohoo/ 20


    85th Academy Awards...

              The 5 Basic Ingredients Of Successful Book Marketing        
    Synopsis In order to become a successful self-publisher, you will need do devote a large part of your life to marketing. This will encompass marketing yourself, as well as your book. Understanding these five ingredients will insure that your book … Continue reading
              Veal Station / Cream Level        
    I was wondering if anyone has information about the marriage records from 1869? My GGGrandparents were married here. Andrew Dunlap and Celina Elizabeth Clark.

    Also looking for any information on James Dunlap listed on 1867-1869 Parker Co. Voter's List

    Thanks
              Could Payday Loans Online Become a Thing of the Past?        

    Personal Money Store Blog

    Rate caps were all the rage a few years ago with voters in a slew of states approving caps to the interest rates for payday loans online. At the time, the industry predicted that many stores would go out of business, and they were right. According to Governing.com, about a year later, payday loan lenders

    Could Payday Loans Online Become a Thing of the Past?


              We cannot have a foreign policy without a conscience        
    Embed from Getty Images   President Lukashenko of Belarus has enjoyed twenty-two years in power, achieved through a specific method of counting of votes, and has often been referred to as the last dictator in Europe. Following his annual state-of-the-union address 2015, President Lukashenko has said that Jews in Belarus should be taken “under control”. All this […]
              Opinion: The struggle for democracy persists in Europe, not just the Middle East        
    In December last year, Alyaksandr Lukashenka was re-elected president of Belarus, with 79.7% of the vote in elections deemed to fall massively short of OSCE standards. Under his leadership, the Belarusian regime systematically violates basic liberties. The past week has seen a worsening of the situation, with the oppressive regime using unjustifiable violence against protesters […]
              Imperator Fish on Labour        
    Imperator Fish blogs: October 2008 When the voters learn what we know about John Key – or what we will soon know once Mike Williams returns from Melbourne – they will be appalled. We now know what the H in H-Fee stands for. It’s “Hasta la vista, baby!” July 2009 The honeymoon is finally over. […]
              REVISION: Ownership Structure, Voting and Risk        
    We analyze the determinants of a firm's ownership structure when decisions over risk are taken by majority vote of risk-averse shareholders. We show that when a fraction of small, diversified shareholders abstains from voting, mid-sized blockholders may emerge to mitigate the conflict of interests between one large shareholder, who prefers less risky investments, and these small, non-voting shareholders. The paper offers a novel explanation for the puzzling observation that many firms have multiple blockholders. The paper develops numerous empirical implications, for example on the link between ownership structure and risk choices and on the relative size of blocks.
              Re: Colorado Springs Council poised to resurrect Stormwater Enterprise        
    we the people will vote it down in current form, 1 PRICE does not fit all !
    Posted by apathetic
              Texting Ban Survives Floor Fight        
    The Texas House voted to back a ban on ‘texting while driving’ after more than an hour of sometimes contentious floor debate that featured Rep. Tom Craddick facing off against some of his usual allies on the floor. “This is about saving lives and preventing accidents,” said Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, who said that he
              Last Day        
    Fantastic memories. To all my wonderful colleagues - past and present - and devoted, thoughtful listeners - thank you, thank you, thank you.
              PIONEER GENERATION: PRESENT GROUP OF LEADERS ARE USELESSLY OVERPAID        

    <Facebook post by Frankie Jeremy Lee>

    What's When Wrong? Hi, I belongs to the Pioneer Generation Singaporean, and I likes to share my thoughts with you guys from the first General Election until now.

    The current crop of PAP members are not the same as those during LKY era in many aspects. Yes the world have changed there are more uncertainties out there but ... let consider these, we have more resources / our finance reserve are more stable and healthy, Singaporean are more educated, technology are more advance all these added a plus for us to tackle all these problems as compared to our pioneer of Leaders.

    This present group of Leaders even with such a high overpaid salaries and a vast resources in the support system in their Ministries still can make a mess of everything and yet try to persuade and mislead us towards Hell..

    SG50, all the achievements rightfully goes to the Pioneer Generation and their Leaderships and now the present group of Leaders continued talking about it and still claiming all the credits.

    As we celebrated SG50 we looked back and saw and experienced all the problem we are encountering especially during last 4 years they, already demonstrated to us how incapable they are by introducing all these policies to tackle all these problems they have created in the beginning and get Backfired ... like what Mr. Inderjit Singh had mentioned in a speech on the post assessment of the 2011 elections .. ( Pls look it up on YouTube ) all the information and data used to formulate all the recent last 4 years policies was actually from their Grassroots so called Leaders and Civil Services and not from us. They should able to sense all the unhappiness we have been talking in the Hawker Center / Wet Market Places and Coffee Shop if they spend more time on the ground.

    They the PAP still don't trust or care to listen to us the common Singaporean and yet still preferred to listen to their unreliable sources.

    (This may be one of the many reasons why this very outspoken MP Mr. Inderjit Singh step out of this year election ) He is a Businessman he rather safe guard himself rather than goes against the PAP'S Whip system when voting to pass a BILL in Parliament , he rather sacrifice and forego his MP status and the fat allowance and step out of the 2015 election as a candidate for Ang Mo Kio GRC anchored by PM himself.

    I salute you Mr. Singh for your principle. In future, I hope he can come back and stand in as an Opposition candidate. I recalled he spoke out many times when the Bill was handed into Parliament for Debate.

    Eventually and unfortunately, with our present Parliament system after the Wayang Show , all these policies are pushed through in a haste manner. ( Like the SG50 Dollars Note Package even ... our president name been spelled wrongly on the Folder)

    Mr Lui, the Transport Minister resigned because he was put in as a "Sacrifice Lamb " to clean up the dirty mess created by the previous Leaders and Minister for a poor forward looking planning the MRT lines during the Planning and Construction stages.

    Why don't they in the initial stage design a 3 tracks Rail system ( One center track to be used as a standby track as a contingency plan.)

    I recalled in the 70's, Nicholl Highway next to Stadium used to have 3 distinct lanes. The center lane will be used daily during Peak hours in the morning and evening whereby they switched the flow in direction from the City to East. No doubt the Cars population were low and yet that was our only so called Highway we have .. well thought, cheap, practical and workable and able to solve the problems without addition cost past onto the public.

    ( Now we have COE, ERP, Weekend Car , High Road taxes ...lah ,,etc )

    Now you can compared after spending so much Taxpayers $$$$ by the Government building so many Highways and Expressways (Loss Count how many there are !!!) we still encountered congestion problem lots of unhappiness, even our Ancestor cannot RIP, Bukit Brown cemetery have to give way, not sure they know what they are doing ???

    In the near future all our Bus Transport System will be tender out and operated by foreigner ... Do you know the London Buses are operated by our own NTUC Comfort Delgro ... What a Joke

    So where we go from here ???

    I lived here all my life and sang 3 version of the National Anthem

    God Save The Queen / Negara Ku and Majulah Singapura.

    Vote wisely give the opposition parties a chance, those candidate are also Singaporean with families and friends I strongly believed they will do their best. Remember there is always another election every 4-5 years if they did'nt perform up our expectations we can always look for alternatives.

    Singapore can never and will never be a Greece.. Trust me

    Editor's Note: 

    Do you have a story to share? Please use our submission form or email us at editorial@allsingaporestuff.com. If not, why not give us a 'Like'?

    Filed Under: 

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              ISN'T IT DESPICABLE FOR NSP'S STEVE CHIA TO SABO OPPOSITION UNITY IN MACPHERSON?        

    <Facebook post by Winston Sin>

    I am not in support of smearing but, specific to Steve Chia, is it not despicable to sabotage Opposition unity to lobby NSP to rescind an earlier announcement of not contesting in Macpherson? Is it not despicable to walk out on his Pioneer SMC, to contest in another SMC without first addressing his potential voters why, I believe abt 40% of Pioneer residents votes for him in 2011 and deserve an explanation.

    Although I do not support smearing, I somehow think this is the result of his own doing.

    Who knows, he maybe pulling out from resigning later? With enough sympathetic voices of how smearing has hurt him, would he then be "obliged" to step out again and reclaim that he is contesting afterall?

    Editor's Note: 

    Do you have a story to share? Please use our submission form or email us at editorial@allsingaporestuff.com. If not, why not give us a 'Like'?

    Filed Under: 

    Tags: 


              Catching Up And Good-bye February.        
    February is always the bleakest month on the farm.  Combine that with frozen ground, snow, warmer temps and rain and the mud is deep.  The dregs.  Slogging through.  Looking forward to a new month, a taste of spring, and my VERY favorite – longer days! This has also been my quiet time.  Hibernating.  I’ve devoted
              Announcing the 2017 FREESKIER Photo Shootout Contest—$10,000 is up for grabs        

    Two years ago, FREESKIER launched its inaugural Photo Shootout—a national photo contest with a $10,000 prize pool. Over 4,000 photos were submitted by 1,126 photographers, making it a smashing success. Our readers cast north of 65,000 votes for their favorite photos, helping us to narrow the vast pool of imagery down to a batch of […]

    The post Announcing the 2017 FREESKIER Photo Shootout Contest—$10,000 is up for grabs appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              My Big Idea: Your thoughts on improving life in Australia        
    What’s your big idea to change Australia? The My Big Idea project wants Australians to contribute and vote, with the winning ideas given support and funding to make them a reality. Read more on Life Matters by ABC Radio National
              Olympia Watch: Should school bonds pass with majority vote?        
    none
              The referendum on AV approaches        
    Here in the UK, we are being given an historic opportunity to vote in a referendum on the Alternative Vote (AV) this Thursday, May 5th. It will decide how our MPs are elected in future, and the result will determine whether they are elected with AV or if First Past The Post (FPTP) is retained. ...
              This Turnbull Government minister thinks voters won't realise this is not an exercise in truth telling.....        

    This is almost embarrassing to watch.

              So why might the far right of the Liberal and National parties being pushing for a postal plebiscite on same-sex marriage?        

    The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) states this of national plebiscites:

    Plebiscites

    An issue put to the vote which does not affect the Constitution is called a plebiscite. A plebiscite is not defined in the Australian Constitution, the Electoral Act or the Referendum Act. A plebiscite can also be referred to as a simple national vote.

    Governments can hold plebiscites to test whether people either support or oppose a proposed action on an issue. The government is not bound by the 'result' of a plebiscite as it is by the result of a Constitutional referendum. Federal, state and territory governments have held plebiscites on various issues.

    Under s. 7A of the Electoral Act, the AEC can conduct a plebiscite as a fee-for-service election, with the AEC entering into 'an agreement, on behalf of the Commonwealth, for the supply of goods or services to a person or body'. The rules for a plebiscite or fee-for-service election are normally contained in the terms of the agreement between the AEC and the person funding the election.

    Military service plebiscites were held in 1916 and 1917 but, as they were not proposals to amend the Constitution, the provisions of section 128 of the Constitution did not apply. Voters in all federal territories were permitted to vote. Both the military service plebiscites sought a mandate for conscription and were defeated.

    The first thing to note about a national plebiscite is that its outcome is not binding on the federal parliament or on any MP or senator.

    Additionally, voting in a national plebiscite can be voluntary, unless otherwise stated in any legislation authorising a specific plebiscite. As was the case in the National Song Poll in May 1977 at which 7.59 million people or est. 90%+ of registered voters cast a voluntary ballot.

    Besides being voluntary a plebiscite can also be a mail-out ballot as was the Election of Delegates to the Constitutional Convention some twenty years later in December 1997, at which 6 million ballot papers were returned, scrutinised and counted – that is to say only 50.04% of all eligible voters actually voluntarily voted and an est. 1.13% of these cast informal ballots.

    A parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage was calculated as costing $17 million in 2016. A stand-alone same-sex plebiscite was estimated to cost up to $525 million in that same year.

    An important point to note about a national plebiscite on same-sex marriage is that it is unnecessary as s51 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act gives federal parliament power to make laws regarding marriage and, parliament exercised that right as recently as 2004 when it changed the definition of marriage in order To ensure that same sex marriages are not recognised as marriage in Australia, inclusive of those performed under the laws of another country that permits such unions.

    So one can see why far-right federal MPs and senators would be in favour of a voluntary plebiscite, particularly a postal one.

    It may cost taxpayers more but the chances of a high voter participation rate is not as certain and, if the government of the day doesn't like the results of the ballot it can decide to not to act on them.

    These parliamentarians probably believe those voters who will be less likely to return a postal ballot will not be those strongly opposed to same-sex marriage, but those who are undecided, neutral, or disinterestedly in favour of rewriting the Marriage Act to allow gay couples to wed.

    In the minds of zealots like Eric Abetz and Tony Abbott this is probably seen as giving their cause a fighting chance and absolving them of any responsibility for continuing to actively oppose same-sex marriage.


              Centrelink Mandatory Drug Testing: Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation calls on the Australian Government to stop playing games with people's lives        

    In its drive to universally implement the Cashless Debit Card for all welfare recipients, the Abbott Government first targeted remote indigenous communities to ‘trial’ this income management restrict and control scheme. The Turnbull Government then selected certain low-socio economic urban areas for further trials.

    Now the Liberal-Nationals federal government intends to extend the reach of this card even further and from 1 July 2018 intends to impose compulsory drug testing on 5,000 new recipients of unemployment benefits – with all who test positive for alcohol or drugs being immediately placed on restricted and controlled payments regardless of their personal circumstances.

    All those government MPs and senators cushioned by generous salaries and benefits from life’s vagaries have chosen this group because of the illegality of many of the drugs it will test for, as they think that all Australians will blame those with substance abuse problems and feel comfortable with the idea that they should be punished in some way.

    These MPs and senators do not appear to give a toss that in an effort to eventually control the income support payments of all welfare recipients, it will socially profile and discriminate against a specific group of people with little if any positive outcomes flowing from this discrimination.

    Because it is admitted that cutting off access to cash may exacerbate mental health issues, increase homelessness and lead the desperate into crime.

    The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017 which contains this measure is currently before the federal parliament and, the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee is due to report on this bill on 4 August 2017.

    So a call has gone out……….

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    For 30 years, I served as the head of St Vincent's Hospital Alcohol and Drug Service in Sydney.

    I have treated many thousands of patients trying to rebuild their lives in the face of alcohol and drug problems. Many have been victims of sexual abuse, violence from family members, or other devastating trauma – and most are already living on the margins of society.

    That's why I'm stunned by the government's plan to strip people with alcohol and drug problems of income support payments.1

    Thirty years of experience, backed by research from all over the world, tells me that you can't punish people into recovery. In fact, pushing people into poverty only serves to undermine their chance of recovery – and puts lives at risk.

    Over the coming weeks, Parliament will vote on whether to implement mandatory drug testing. Doctors, nurses and allied health workers – determined to protect patients – are speaking out against the changes.


    Prime Minister Turnbull assures us that the proposal to strip people of income support payments is "based on love".2 That's a hard thing to swallow given his government's failure to consult with addiction medicine experts and lack of evidence to support the trials.

    Mandatory drug testing has already been trialled and abandoned in multiple countries around the world. It's a failed policy that violates our professional commitment to do no harm. This government is forcing doctors to make an impossible choice – to break the law or to hurt our patients.

    I've seen with my own eyes how medical treatment of people struggling with severe alcohol and drug problems must be guided by compassionate care and respect for their human rights.

    Call on the government to stop playing political games with people's lives: https://www.getup.org.au/help-not-harm-petition

    Sincerely,

    Dr Alex Wodak

    President, Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation

    References:

    [1] Drug testing welfare recipients is not about love, Malcolm Turnbull, it's about punishment, The Guardian, 11 May 2017

    [2] Federal budget 2017: Turnbull says welfare drug test policy 'based on love', ABC News, 12 May 2017

    GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you'd like to contribute to help fund GetUp's work, please donate now! To unsubscribe from GetUp, please click here.

    Our team acknowledges that we meet and work on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We wish to pay respect to their Elders - past, present and future - and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia and the GetUp community.

    Authorised by Paul Oosting, Level 14, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



              The travesty that is Australia's asylum seeker offshore detention policy -"If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here."         

    It seems the truth will out.

    After the United States completes its vetting of asylum seekers held in overseas detention by the Australian Government it is not obliged to take even one of those individuals U.S. immigration officials have examined.

    In May 2017 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed 268 people had completed their second-stage security interview with US officials: 220 in Nauru and 48 on Manus Island.

    U.S. immigration officials halted screening interviews and departed Nauru on 14 July 2017, two weeks short of their scheduled timetable and a day after Washington said the US had reached its annual refugee intake cap.

    However, under the original agreement once that vetting is completed Australia becomes obliged to resettle between 20 and 50 people under a U.S. "Protection Transfer Arrangement" in Costa Rica set up to resettle refugees from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

    Prime Minister Turnbull verbally changed that undertaking to an open-ended number of people the Trump Administration might be “very keen on getting out of the United States”.

    There is no indication that the U.S. Government intends to complete its vetting of those detained on Nauru and Manus islands.

    The Washington Post, 3 August 2017:

    The Washington Post has obtained transcripts of two conversations President Trump had with foreign leaders: one with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and another with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
    The transcripts were prepared by the White House but have not been released. The Post is publishing reproductions rather than original documents in order to protect sources. The reproductions below also include minor spelling and grammatical mistakes that appeared in the documents………………


    JANUARY 28, 2017 FROM 5:05 TO 5:29 P.M. EST.

    TURNBULL
    Good evening.

    TRUMP
    Mr. Prime Minister, how are you?

    TURNBULL
    I am doing very well.

    TRUMP
    And I guess our friend Greg Norman, he is doing very well?

    TURNBULL
    He is a great mutual friend yes.

    TRUMP
    Well you say hello to him. He is a very good friend. By the way thank you very much for taking the call. I really appreciate it. It is really nice.

    TURNBULL
    Thank you very much. Everything is going very well. I want to congratulate you and Mike Pence on being sworn in now. I have spoken to you both now as you know. I know we are both looking to make our relationship which is very strong and intimate, stronger than ever – which I believe we can do.

    TRUMP
    Good.

    TURNBULL
    I believe you and I have similar backgrounds, unusual for politicians, more businessman but I look forward to working together.

    TRUMP
    That is exactly right. We do have similar backgrounds and it seems to be working in this climate – it is a crazy climate. Let me tell you this, it is an evil time but it is a complex time because we do not have uniforms standing in front of us. Instead, we have people in disguise. It is brutal. This ISIS thing â€“ it is something we are going to devote a lot of energy to it. I think we are going to be very successful.

    TURNBULL
    Absolutely. We have, as you know, taken a very strong line on national security and border protection here and when I was speaking with Jared Kushner just the other day and one of your immigration advisors in the White House we reflected on how our policies have helped to inform your approach. We are very much of the same mind. It is very interesting to know how you prioritize the minorities in your Executive Order. This is exactly what we have done with the program to bring in 12,000 Syrian refugees, 90% of which will be Christians. It will be quite deliberate and the position I have taken – I have been very open about it – is that it is a tragic fact of life that when the situation in the Middle East settles down – the people that are going to be most unlikely to have a continuing home are those Christian minorities. We have seen that in Iraq and so from our point of view, as a final destination for refugees, that is why we prioritize. It is not a sectarian thing. It is recognition of the practical political realities. We have a similar perspective in that respect.

    TRUMP
    Do you know four years ago Malcom, I was with a man who does this for a living. He was telling me, before the migration, that if you were a Christian from Syria, you had no chance of coming to the United States. Zero. They were the ones being persecuted. When I say persecuted, I mean their heads were being chopped off. If you were a Muslim we have nothing against Muslims, but if you were a Muslim you were not persecuted at least to the extent – but if you were a Muslim from Syria that was the number one place to get into the United States from. That was the easiest thing. But if you were a Christian from Syria you have no chance of getting into the United States. I just thought it was an incredible statistic. Totally true – and you have seen the same thing. It is incredible.

    TURNBULL
    Well, yes. Mr. President, can I return to the issue of the resettlement agreement that we had with the Obama administration with respect to some people on Nauru and Manus Island. I have written to you about this and Mike Pence and General Flynn spoke with Julie Bishop and my National Security Advisor yesterday. This is a very big issue for us, particularly domestically, and I do understand you are inclined to a different point of view than the Vice President.

    TRUMP
    Well, actually I just called for a total ban on Syria and from many different countries from where there is terror, and extreme vetting for everyone else – and somebody told me yesterday that close to 2,000 people are coming who are really probably troublesome. And I am saying, boy that will make us look awfully bad. Here I am calling for a ban where I am not letting anybody in and we take 2,000 people. Really it looks like 2,000 people that Australia does not want and I do not blame you by the way, but the United States has become like a dumping ground. You know Malcom, anybody that has a problem – you remember the Mariel boat lift, where Castro let everyone out of prison and Jimmy Carter accepted them with open arms. These were brutal people. Nobody said Castro was stupid, but now what are we talking about is 2,000 people that are actually imprisoned and that would actually come into the United States. I heard about this – I have to say I love Australia; I love the people of Australia. I have so many friends from Australia, but I said – geez that is a big ask, especially in light of the fact that we are so heavily in favor, not in favor, but we have no choice but to stop things. We have to stop. We have allowed so many people into our country that should not be here. We have our San Bernardino’s, we have had the World Trade Center come down because of people that should not have been in our country, and now we are supposed to take 2,000. It sends such a bad signal. You have no idea. It is such a bad thing.

    TURNBULL
    Can you hear me out Mr. President?

    TRUMP
    Yeah, go ahead.

    TURNBULL
    Yes, the agreement, which the Vice President just called the Foreign Minister about less than 24 hours ago and said your Administration would be continuing, does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any. It requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States – this is a big deal, I think we should respect deals.

    TRUMP
    Who made the deal? Obama?

    TURNBULL
    Yes, but let me describe what it is. I think it is quite consistent. I think you can comply with it. It is absolutely consistent with your Executive Order so please just hear me out. The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process. So that is the first thing. Secondly, the people — none of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. That is the vast bulk of them. They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.

    TRUMP
    Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

    TURNBULL
    Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people —

    TRUMP
    That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am.

    TURNBULL
    This is our experience.

    TRUMP
    Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries. These people are crazy to let this happen. I spoke to Merkel today, and believe me, she wishes she did not do it. Germany is a mess because of what happened.

    TURNBULL
    I agree with you, letting one million Syrians walk into their country. It was one of the big factors in the Brexit vote, frankly.

    TRUMP
    Well, there could be two million people coming in Germany. Two million people. Can you believe it? It will never be the same.

    TURNBULL
    stood up at the UN in September and set up what our immigration policy was. I said that you cannot maintain popular support for immigration policy, multiculturalism, unless you can control your borders. The bottom line is that we got here. I am asking you as a very good friend. This is a big deal. It is really, really important to us that we maintain it. It does not oblige you to take one person that you do not want. As I have said, your homeland officials have visited and they have already interviewed these people. You can decide. It is at your discretion. So you have the wording in the Executive Order that enables the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State to admit people on a case by case basis in order to conform with an existing agreement. I do believe that you will never find a better friend to the United States than Australia. I say this to you sincerely that it is in the mutual interest of the United States to say, “yes, we can conform with that deal – we are not obliged to take anybody we do not want, we will go through extreme vetting” and that way you are seen to show the respect that a trusted ally wants and deserves. We will then hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country 31 [inaudible] that you need to move on from.

    TRUMP
    Malcom [sic], why is this so important? I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

    TURNBULL
    With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

    TRUMP
    Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

    TURNBULL
    The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting. I think that what you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order.

    TRUMP
    No, I do not want say that. I will just have to say that unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama. I will say I hate it. Look, I spoke to Putin, Merkel, Abe of Japan, to France today, and this was my most unpleasant call because I will be honest with you. I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.

    TURNBULL
    I would not be so sure about that. They are basically —

    TRUMP
    Well, maybe you should let them out of prison. I am doing this because Obama made a bad deal. I am not doing this because it fits into my Executive Order. I am taking 2,000 people from Australia who are in prison and the day before I signed an Executive Order saying that we are not taking anybody in. We are not taking anybody in, those days are over.

    TURNBULL
    But can I say to you, there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal. Look, you and I have a lot of mutual friends.
    Look, I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306. That is why they lost the election, because of stupid deals like this. You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible.

    TURNBULL
    Mr. President, I think this will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States. It shows that you are a committed —

    TRUMP
    Okay, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you. Not even a little bit. I think it is ridiculous and Obama should have never signed it. The only reason I will take them is because I have to honor a deal signed by my predecessor and it was a rotten deal. I say that it was a stupid deal like all the other deals that this country signed. You have to see what I am doing. I am unlocking deals that were made by people, these people were incompetent. I am not going to say that it fits within the realm of my Executive Order. We are going to allow 2,000 prisoners to come into our country and it is within the realm of my Executive Order? If that is the case my Executive Order does not mean anything Malcom [sic]. I look like a dope. The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?

    TURNBULL
    That is the point I have been trying to make.

    TRUMP
    How does that help you?

    TURNBULL
    Well, we assume that we will act in good faith.

    TRUMP
    Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

    TURNBULL
    Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

    TRUMP
    Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?

    TURNBULL
    Correct, we have stopped the boats.

    TRUMP
    Give them to the United States. We are like a dumping ground for the rest of the world. I have been here for a period of time, I just want this to stop. I look so foolish doing this. It [sic] know it is good for you but it is bad for me. It is horrible for me. This is what I am trying to stop. I do not want to have more San Bernardino’s or World Trade Centers. I could name 30 others, but I do not have enough time.

    TURNBULL
    These guys are not in that league. They are economic refugees.

    TRUMP
    Okay, good. Can Australia give me a guarantee that if we have any problems – you know that is what they said about the Boston bombers. They said they were wonderful young men.

    TURNBULL
    They were Russians. They were not from any of these countries.

    TRUMP
    They were from wherever they were.

    TURNBULL
    Please, if we can agree to stick to the deal, you have complete discretion in terms of a security assessment. The numbers are not 2,000 but 1,250 to start. Basically, we are taking people from the previous administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take. The only people that we do not take are people who come by boat. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.

    TRUMP
    What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.

    TURNBULL
    No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea. So what we say is, we will decide which people get to come to Australia who are refugees, economic migrants, businessmen, whatever. We decide. That is our decision. We are a generous multicultural immigration nation like the United States but the government decides, the people’s representatives decides. So that is the point. I am a highly transactional businessman like you and I know the deal has to work for both sides. Now Obama thought this deal worked for him and he drove a hard bargain with us – that it was agreed with Obama more than a year ago in the Oval Office, long before the election. The principles of the deal were agreed to.

    TRUMP
    I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it – START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.

    TURNBULL
    You will not.

    TRUMP
    Yes, I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. This is a killer.

    TURNBULL
    You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it.

    TRUMP
    I have no choice to say that about it. Malcom [sic], I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

    TURNBULL
    Do you want to talk about Syria and DPRK?

    TRUMP
    [inaudible] this is crazy.

    TURNBULL
    Thank you for your commitment. It is very important to us.

    TRUMP
    It is important to you and it is embarrassing to me. It is an embarrassment to me, but at least I got you off the hook. So you put me back on the hook.

    TURNBULL
    You can count on me. I will be there again and again.

    TRUMP
    I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm.

    TURNBULL
    Okay, thank you.
    END OF CALL

    * My yellow highlighting.

              Why are we still refusing to fully honour the spiritual and cultural relationship that traditional owners have to the land in Australia?        

    It doesn’t matter to the Turnbull Government that science declares that Aboriginal Australia has existed since time immemorial or that indigenous culture has existed on this continent longer than any other culture which is now part of multicultural Australia -  it stubbornly refuses to genuinely honour the spiritual and cultural relationship that traditional owners have with the land.

    June 15, 2017

    MEDIA RELEASE
    14 June 2017
    Traditional Owners slam passage of Native Title amendments
    Traditional Owners fighting Adani’s proposed coal mine have expressed profound disappointment at the passage of Attorney General Brandis’ amendments to the Native Title Act, stressing that while Mabo’s legacy has been diminished they will continue to fight for their rights.
    Senior spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Adrian Burragubba, says, “Adani’s problems with the Wangan and Jagalingou people are not solved this week. The trial to decide the fate of Adani’s supposed deal with the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners is scheduled for the Federal Court in March 2018.
    “Our people are the last line of legal defence against this mine and its corrosive impact on our rights, and the destruction of country that would occur.
    “Senator Brandis has been disingenuous in prosecuting his argument for these changes to native title laws, while the hands of native title bureaucrats and the mining lobby are all over the outcome.
    “This swift overturning of a Federal Court decision, without adequate consultation with Indigenous people, was a significant move, not a mere technical consideration as the Turnbull Government has tried to make out.
    “It is appalling and false for George Brandis to pretend that by holding a ‘workshop’ with the CEOs of the native title service bodies, he has the unanimous agreement of Traditional Owners across Australia. No amount of claimed ‘beseeching’ by the head of the Native Title Council, Glen Kelly, can disguise this.
    “The public were not properly informed about the bill, and nor were Indigenous people around the country, who were not consulted and did not consent to these changes.
    “We draw the line today. We declare our right to our land. There is no surrender. There is no land use agreement. We are the people from that land. We’re the rightful Traditional Owners of Wangan and Jagalingou country, and we are in court to prove that others are usurping our rights”, he said.
    Spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Ms Murrawah Johnson, says, “Whatever else this change does, we know that the Turnbull Government went into overdrive for Adani’s interests.
    “Brandis’ intervention in our court case challenging the sham ILUA was about Adani. Most of what Senator Matt Canavan had to say in argueing his ill-informed case for native title changes was about Adani. The Chairman of Senate Committee inquiring into the bill, Senator Ian McFarlane, referring to the native title amendments as “the Adani bill” was about Adani. And the PM telling Chairman Gautam Adani that he’d fix native title was about Adani”.
    “We are continuing to fight Adani in court and our grounds are strong. If anyone tells you this is settled because the bill was passed, they are lying”, she said.
    Adrian Burragubba says, “The Labor Opposition seems to understand this, even though they supported passage of the bill. Senator Pat Dodson went so far as to say this bill does not provide some kind of green light for the Adani mine, as some suggest.
    “Pat Dodson acknowledged that W&J have several legal actions afoot against Adani and we are glad that in the midst of this dismal response to the rights of Indigenous people some MPs, including the Greens who voted against the bill, recognise the serious claim we have to justice.
    Mr Dodson said in the Senate that: “most of this litigation will be entirely unaffected by the passage of this bill. In particular, there are very serious allegations of fraud that have been made against Adani regarding the processes under which agreements with the Wangan and Jagalingou people were purportedly reached. And those proceedings, which may impact on the validity of any ILUA, will only commence hearings in March next year. Other legal action is also underway, including a case challenging the validity of the licences issued by the Queensland government.”
    This week researchers from the University of Queensland released a report titled ‘Unfinished Business: Adani, the state, and the Indigenous rights struggle of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council‘.
    For more information and to arrange interviews:  Anthony Esposito, W&J Council advisor – 0418 152 743.


              A crucial week for justice        
    On Tuesday we'll see if our elected political representatives yet again undo the good work of our unelected representatives as the Legal Aid Bill returns to the Commons for MPs to consider the Lords' amendments.

    Peers made changes to the Bill that would mean that the worst of the legal aid cuts in the legislation would be removed. Access to legal aid and the way that it is delivered would be protected for those who have suffered domestic violence, for vulnerable children and for disabled people.

    The government will be no doubt keen to use financial privilege as an excuse to overturn these changes like they did recently to reverse changes to their controversial welfare reforms. However, if costs are to be used as an excuse as removing access to free legal advice to hundreds of thousands of people when they need it most, perhaps Ministers should consider the £43 million spent on consultants by the MoJ in the last year and the £12m that's been wasted an an e-Working system that is years behind schedule and has virtually collapsed.

    What's really happening to our legal system here of course is that it is becoming increasingly the preserve of those who are able to pay for it. As Heather Brooke pointed out last week, while 140 local courts have been closed and legal aid is cut, £300m has been invested in the Rolls Building (home of the failed e-Working system) which is to handle high-end commercial disputes for a mostly foreign clientele.

    It's not just Russian Oligarchs that are benefiting from changes to our justice system. The Association of British Insurers has admitted it will profit from the legal aid cuts. Last year it was revealed that the Justice Minister responsible for driving through these reforms, Jonathan Djanogly will personally profit from the plans as he has a personal stake in the insurance industry. Now that's what I call financial privilege.

    Possibly the best hope of amendments - like Baroness Scotland's that ensures victims of domestic violence have access to legal aid and former Paralympian Tanya Grey Thompson's that ensures those who are eligible aren't forced to phone a call centre for advice - surviving the glare of the coalition is the lack of time Parliament has been able to afford to the legislation between the Easter break and the end of this parliamentary session. Who says MPs having long holidays is a bad thing!

    If you'd like to contact your MP to ensure we don't lose out on legal aid when we need it most visit the 38 degrees site ahead of Tuesday's vote.
              Public support for strike        
    The government may not be on the side of our nurses, teachers and civil servants but at least the public are.

    Despite what you might be led to believe when you pick up the majority of papers this weekend, judging by a string of opinion poll results, it seems that the majority of the public is supportive of last week's strike.

    A poll conducted by the BBC ahead of the strike showed that 61% of those responding said that they supported it.

    Interestingly that was relatively low support compared to support on the actual day of the strike.

    A Sky News twitter poll had 72% in support on Wednesday and even the vehemently anit-union Daily Mail ran a poll where 84% of respondents said that they supported the action.

    Perhaps what sparked increased support was Osborne's latest attack on the workers who were striking in his autumn statement on Tuesday. If those further cuts were meant as a show of muscle against the public sector it only seems to have made strikers more determined in their cause and even provoked added sympathy from the wider public.

    It's a shame for Osborne that the same can't be said of public support for his autumn statement. The latest YouGov poll shows that the majority of voters think that the government are handling the economy badly.

    Maybe he would gain a little more credibility if he stopped seeking to punish public sector workers with extra taxation through increased pension contributions and pay cuts and instead accepted proposals to tax the banking sector.
              Could #opengate spell the end for Theresa May?        
    Theresa May's statement to the House today was all about saving her own neck while blaming everybody else for the #opengate debacle.

    But from what I can make out, she not only signed off on relaxing entry controls for EU passport holders, but she also seems to have been aware that border security had been somewhat loosened for non-EU nationals as far back as July.

    May gets the dreaded vote of confidence
    In an email obtained by PCS, border staff are instructed to "stop routinely asking questions of visa holders." It goes on to say that "we are no longer to suspend Secure ID" because "The Home Secretary has not given us that flexibility."

    This email is dated 29 July and certainly seems to suggest that Theresa May was aware that visas were not being checked (anyone who holds a visa would presumably be non-EU), and that she had refused to give 'flexibility' to suspend Secure ID - which means fingerprinting of non-EU nationals to you and me.

    May has admitted that she can't tell how many people may have entered the country illegally due to the pilot, a pilot that was brought in to decrease congestion at immigration control during the peak summer period. And why was this necessary? Because the cuts being enforced by the Home Secretary are leaving the UKBA without the staff to cope with the rising demand.

    Immigration Minister Damien Green said that 5,500 jobs would go in the Agency by 2014/15 but that front-line services would not be affected. It looks like they are already struggling to cope after around 10% (2,300 jobs) of the UKBA's staff gone in the last year.

    So who's really to blame for #opengate? I'd say whoever chose to make savings through cutting staff instead of ensuring our borders are secure.


    Home Secretary's generally have a life expectancy of a canary born in a cattery. This one might have just had its wings clipped.
              What the Conservatives need to achieve this week in Manchester        
    Cameron must convince the public that they do understand what he's on about really
    People within a few yards of Whitehall understand that David Cameron is in control because they really get him. They see him everyday and think he looks just the ruddy part. The rest of us however have not the slightest idea what he's going on about. Cameron must carefully explain in words of no more than two syllables, very loudly, that just because people don't understand the Big Society, it doesn't mean it's not a super dooper idea. It's our fault we don't get it, not his.  

    Cameron must blame the riots on people not getting married any more
    The PM reacted incredibly well to the riots. He flew back off holiday, invented the word 'criminality' and cancelled all leave for the police officers he's about to sack. He must ensure that riots are perceived as society's problem, not the government's. People in society can't just go on living life differently and in a diverse manner. They need to get married, go to church more often and stop relying on the state to sort their problems out. If they've got no hope for their future, they need to stop blaming the government for their ills, and point the finger squarely at that single-Mum of theirs' who can't afford to keep them in education and Nike Air Max fussions.

    Osborne must keep saying the word 'deficit' to scare people
    The Chancellor needs to make people see that them losing their jobs, their homes and their pensions will somehow make things better for everybody in the long term and promote growth. Tell voters the next time they get their car repossessed to think of how massive that deficit is. At least that's one less car on the road so other commuters can get to 80mph quicker on the motorways on their way to their job that no longer exists. All this kind of thing supports growth, trust us.

    Tell people their fuel price rises aren't our fault
    Rather than admit that privatisation of our fuel service providers has led to bills spiralling out of control, blame it all on climate change. That's right, it's not because shareholders at British Gas or EDF want a nice Christmas bonus that your Great Aunt Mavis has hypothermia, it's because scaremongering environmentalists are making things up about natural resources.

    Boris shouldn't talk about what he's achieved
    With the London mayoral elections coming up next year it's important to show just how popular old Boz is with party members. If you see him wave at him, laugh at whatever he says but don't whatever you do, start talking about what he's achieved in the last three years. Ponderous silence doesn't play well to the media.

    Tories shouldn't try and understand people from Hackney
    They're not like you and me. Some of them even talk in funny, street lingo that just sounds like random noise. We shouldn't try and speak their language else we'll look as stupid as Richard Madeley did when he did that impression of Ali G. Don't waste time trying to understand these people, they're not likely to vote for you anyway. 

    The above is in response to a tory diary piece on Conservative Home.



              No post conference boost for Ostrich-like Lib Dems        
    Usually political parties receive a bounce in the opinion polls after their party conference. Mass media coverage should give them the platform to impress the voting public with their key messages. However, it appears that the limelight has done nothing to revive the Lib Dems' flaccid popularity.

    The latest YouGov poll sees their approval rating remain at 10%. Having been at their conference earlier this week, I can't say I'm surprised.

    Another Lib Dem delegate leaves conference
    Walking from Birmingham's Paradise Circus shopping parade towards the conference centre, there is a stall selling Ostrich meat. I have to say it was appropriate. The party certainly seem to have their head in the sand.

    I expected to find the Party leaders in bullish mood but what really did surprise me was the attitude of most of the grass root members I encountered. Despite their disastrous May election results they seem intent on putting their fingers in their ears and just carrying on regardless.

    It's as if they've bought into the notion that we're in this coalition government for the duration, we might as well bend over and take whatever it is the Tories want to give us. The odd snigger about Osborne's coke use aside, they're acting like they've got no choice other than to their bidding. What's the point arguing about the things we once cared about like tuition fees, we might as well just accept it and get on with it.

    The party seem very inward looking. They honestly don't seem to recognise there is vindication for the anger directed towards them. In their minds it's more a case of mindless resentment of them being in power rather than any sense of justifiable anger because they're allowing the Conservatives to carry out ideological cuts they have no mandate for.

    It's a shame because I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who would like to vote Lib Dem again but on this week's performance they've been given little reason to rediscover any belief in them.


              Are Number 10 e-petition debates really a good thing?        
    MPs are to debate e-petitions on the Number 10 website after David Cameron said that all petitions with over 100,000 signatures should be debated in the Commons. This has to be a good thing for democracy - right?

    Well, I certainly welcome one of the debates that's now been scheduled which is calling for the release of full range of documents relating to the Hillsborough football stadium tragedy. In fact, I was one of the 138,613 that have signed this so far.

    However, the other that's to be debated is of a rather more worryingly reactionary bent in that it seeks the cessation of benefits for anyone convicted of an offence during the London riots. This one has received almost a quarter of a million votes, making it by the far the most signed on the site.

    So what can we expect to see coming forward from this initiative? Will it be righteous causes looking to make the way the country is governed more transparent and accountable or will it be a foothold for frothing at the mouth, angry reactionaries and their ill conceived views on what makes a just society? 

    Some 20,000 signatures have already been put to paper (or rather screen) to bring back capital punishment. Fortunately almost 10,000 more petitioners have signed the one calling for its ban to remain. Hopefully that gives us an indication that two-thirds of the country aren't actually bonkers. Which, when you think about it, is probably about right. Problem is, they're just not always the loudest.

    If the most popular e-petition under the last government had been debated, the hapless Gordon Brown would have been faced with a debate calling on him to stand down. So it could be said that Cameron is a brave man for peddling this initiative. However, he's surely safe in the knowledge that Commons' debates rarely lead to any earth shattering change in direction for governments. Therefore this could prove a good way for him to look like he's opening the door to a new kind of politics when really it's nothing of the sort. 

    I suppose the good news is that you no longer have to be a wealthy donor to have an impact on what's debated in Westminster, you just need to find 99,999 other people that agree with you. Then again if you don't have that kind of influence you could always try the old fashioned route of writing to your constituency MP to ask them to raise your concerns in Parliament.

    If I could chose one of the current petitions to get a proper debate it would be the petition calling for public and private pensions to be linked back to RPI rather than the less favourable CPI. The move to CPI in April will see an increasingly poor standard of living for pensioners at a time when fuel and food prices are rising dramatically. Sign it now and let' see if it leads to the government being put on the spot about an issue that really impacts on millions of people's day-to-day lives.

              Winder council votes to rezone properties for veteran, senior housing        
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              Auburn council votes to allow wine shops in city        
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              Brexit: Why Britain left the EU, explained        

    Britain voted Thursday to leave the European Union, a decision that surprised many and one whose consequences still aren’t totally clear. We don’t know quite yet what this will mean for the future of Britain’s economy, its policies, and its relations with other European countries. There have been many twists and turns in British politics that...

    The post Brexit: Why Britain left the EU, explained appeared first on Fizzip.


              ThomaS ExtremE – Video Na Zamyslenie        
    Ak si popočúvate čo tento chlapec hovorí tak si poviete že toto je video ktoré vás núti sa zamyslieÅ¥. Najmä tých ktorý chcú v živote niečo dokázaÅ¥ alebo vybudovaÅ¥. Je to taká emočná motivácia k činom… Veď si to pozrite a uvidíte sami.
              Comment on How Gods Grant Boons to Devotees in Hinduism – the Real Story! by shah utsav        
    nice story
              Senate Reauthorizes JJDPA, Setting Up a Conference Committee with the House        

    Before adjourning for the August recess, the Senate quietly passed the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act, S. 860, by a voice vote. The bill reauthorizes the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, the authorization for which expired in 2007, and provides long overdue reform to the juvenile justice system.

    For as quiet as passage was, the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) is notable. Last year, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who ridiculously once said that the United States has "under-incarceration problem," blocked a similar bill. In fact, he was literally the only member of the upper chamber who stood in the way of its passage.

    Sen. Cotton's objection to the bill was over the proposed phase out of the valid court order (VCOs) exception. A violation of a VCO would allow state and local judges to detain juveniles for status offenses -- actions such as curfew violations, truancy, and tobacco use that are offenses only because of the person's status as a minor. In some states, juveniles who commit a status offense and are subject to a VCO are detained with serious offenders, increasing a juvenile's risk of recidivism.

    The use of VCOs has been in decline nationwide. Last year, however, Sen. Cotton's spokesperson defended his intransigence, noting that Arkansas has one of the highest VCO use rates in the country. The use of VCOs in Arkansas had been in decline, dropping by roughly half between FY 2013 and FY 2014, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The most recent report from the Arkansas Division of Youth Services showed that 46 percent of youths who entered the states juvenile justice system had committed misdemeanors or violated probation for adjudicated for a misdemeanor. The cost of detaining a youth Arkansas is nearly $64,000 annually.

    Because Sen. Cotton wouldn't agree to allow JJDPA reauthorization to move in the Senate, the bill that would have reauthorized JJDPA died.

    The issue was given new life earlier this year in the new Congress. The House passed the Juvenile Justice Reform Act, H.R. 1809, in May by voice vote. The House version of JJDPA reauthorization includes a phase of VCOs. The Senate, however, still struggled to get passed Sen. Cotton's strange desire to ensure that judges could essentially lock children up for status offenses.

    The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act, introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), offers key reforms. The bill reauthorizes JJDPA, prohibits the placement of juveniles in adult facilities, places a greater emphasis on evidence-based recidivism reduction programs, and increases transparency.

    Unfortunately, the bill doesn't include a phase out of the VCO exception, though it does prohibit the detention of juveniles who commit status offenses, with one exception -- if a juvenile violates a VCO. In short, Sen. Cotton got his way, and judges will be able to place children who violate VCOs because of a status offense.

    There is still an opportunity to address the concerns about the use of VCOs. Appointed members of the House Education and Workforce Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee will likely enter into a conference committee and produce a final version of the bill that rectifies the differences between the two bills. If language phasing out the VCO exception in put in the conference report, it can't be amended from the floor of either chamber. The conference report is given a straight up or down vote.

    Hopefully, the House conferees will insist that the VCO exception for status offenses should be phased out in the conference report.


              In Defense of Economic Noninterventionism         

    A recent Wall Street Journal article has surprisingly good news: US companies are seeing the highest profit growth in two years with “two consecutive quarters of double-digit profit growth for the first time since 2011.” This surprisingly comes not from policies pursued in Washington, but the hard work of the private sector.

    The fact that businesses and job creators can make such a phenomenal showing after years of regulatory uncertainty and continued political intervention reminds us of the power of the free market and that the best successes come from the work of the individuals, not collectivists in the public sector.

    Perhaps the best reminding of what the last eight years brought us was President Obama’s infamous 2012 campaign speech “If you've got a business, you didn't build that.” Throughout the course of his administration saw a creation of routine legislative and executive actions that were designed to both micromanage business and supposedly “create” jobs. Unfortunately, none of this had the intended success.

    Most prominently among the actions from the executive administration while Obama was presidents include significantly increased regulations. Among these have included the Waters of the United States Rule (WOTUS), Dodd-Frank, the stimulus package, and, most spectacularly of all, Obamacare. All of these added a large interventions and onerous barriers in the economy that failed to achieve their stated goal.

    WOTUS was probably one of the greatest power grabs by the EPA in recent history. The rule essentially sought to define “navigable waters” in the clean water Act which “brought nearly half of Alaska and a total area in the lower 48 states equivalent to the size of California under the CWA’s jurisdiction.” The proposal, had it not been blocked and rescinded, would have cost thousands of dollars for permits on land that was not previously under the EPA’s jurisdiction, delayed production since a permit can take up to months, and this would have resulted in reduced development and production as well as higher prices.

    Though the WOTUS rule was not fully implemented, regulations that did have a massive negative impact on the economy include the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

    As implemented, Dodd-Frank imposed various new regulations on the financial sector, including creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), designated firms as systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs), and instituted price controls on debit and credit card transactions. The result was a climate of over regulation with banks being incentivized to become as large as possible in the hopes of being bailed out while the CFPB became a revolving door for lobbyists and influence peddlers to regulate the market with little to no oversight.

    Unsurprisingly, one fifth of the banks in the U.S. banks, totalling 1,708, went under between the law’s creation and 2016, which is about one per day, and by 2015 five large banks controlled 50 percent of the banking industry.

    Outside of simple regulation, there was also so called “jobs creations” programs that were supposed to create jobs the President did not think businesses could such as the stimulus package. The program was sold as a job creation plan that would keep unemployment below 8 percent for the low price of $830 billion.

    The next four years were marked by above 8 percent unemployment while the money ended up being wasted on worthless projects, including trees in wealthy neighborhoods, a study of erectile dysfunction, and the failed company solyndra which was run by a bundler for the Obama campaign. To make matters worse, though unemployment eventually went down long after the stimulus’s implementation, the labor participation rate reached its lowest in 38 years which shows that people still weren’t working.

    However, the crowned jewel of overregulation and job destruction during the Obama administration was ObamaCare. Implemented to expand health insurance coverage, it has repeatedly failed to reach its goals as premiums went up, enrollment failed to reach its projections, and the legislation gave corporate welfare (including promised bailouts) to the insurance lobby. In the end, most of the coops failed and major companies pulled out of the exchanges, resulting in 1,000 counties, including five whole states, only having one insurer, a major failure in the goal of expanded coverage.

    Inevitably, the phenomenal intervention in the economy by President Obama failed to achieve the job creation while it instead made made doing business that much harder. With record breaking numbers of regulations, Obama was the first President since the Great Depression to never see 3 percent GDP growth.

    The Trump administration in the meantime has pursued a different approach than its predecessor. The Trump administration has seen sixteen regulations cut for every one it has created, had signed four resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn regulation within two months as President, and rolled back the clean power plan which could have cost $40 billion per year. All of this marks a significant change in policy that will greatly open up business opportunities and expand economic growth.

    However, policy alone does not explain why there has been high profit growth for the last two quarters. As the Wall Street Journal article admits, health care legislation and tax reform have been stalled in the senate. This has caused a climate of uncertainty which businesses have not been happy with.

    Nevertheless, they have instead moved on from Washington and instead remained focused on doing business. Political events seem to have taken a backseat to actual business as the number of S&P 500 companies have mentioned the President or his administration during conferences is down by a third as the research firm Sentieo found out. To be blunt, the involvement of Washington and government policy is not driving the current profit growth and the lack of involvement may actually be increasing it.

    For a better example of how reduced involvement can improve the economy, look no further than the Depression of 1920. At the time, war time debt had exploded, unemployment peaked at 11.7 percent in 1921, and inflation rates jumped above twenty percent. It had the potential to be even more catastrophic than the Great Depression that started in 1929.

    However, the policies pursued were entirely different. The federal budget was severely reduced from $18.5 billion in FY 1919 to $3.3 billion for FY 1922. Taxes at the same time were cut by about 40 percent.

    As a result, unemployment dropped to 2.3 percent by 1923 and a crisis had been averted. This was accomplished not by bailouts and and overregulation but by getting the government entirely out of the way. This is a radically different approach than was pursued during the financial panic of 2008 or even the Great Depression.

    Overall, there has been a repeated belief that government involvement has made economic advancement harder. As was stated by former President Reagan, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” President Kennedy noted the same when he said “Our tax system still siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort — thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate.”

    It should come as no surprise then that business are fully prepared to run their own affairs and is best capable to address its own need, for as JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon noted, “We’ve been growing at 1.5% to 2%...because the American business sector is powerful and strong and is going to grow regardless.”

    It remains the desire of others that the government should intervene in the economy to make improvements. However, this has always resulted in guaranteed failure. Be it raising the minimum wage in Seattle or increased taxation and regulations in Connecticut, the result is usually lackluster growth and decreased jobs. At the national level, Venezuela’s nationalization and China’s increased infrastructure projects have created the same results, which is to say none.

    As history and current events have shown time and time again, the best results come not from government involvement and micromanagement, but from the hard work of free individuals in free markets. More and more, the adaptability of businesses to their consumer’s demands and their ability to whether adversity in the marketplace has always been more efficient than the micromanagement the state perceives. As a result, sometimes the best thing to do is to have the government do nothing so that those who can make the economy better will.


              FreedomWorks' Member of the Month for August 2017: Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.)        

    FreedomWorks is proud to name Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) as Member of the Month for August 2017. Rep. Franks has supported lowering taxes and voting for policies that contribute to FreedomWorks’ pro-growth agenda.

    Rep. Franks currently serves on the Judiciary and Armed Services committees. Before being elected to Congress, Rep. Franks spent his time working on children’s issues. He served in the Arizona State Legislature and later worked with the Governor as the cabinet-level director of the Arizona Governor’s Office for Children. Rep. Franks also had a hand in state and local advocacy, founding the Arizona Family Research Institute.

    With his conviction to protect the Constitution and support policies to shrink government by cutting wasteful spending and bureaucratic over-regulation, he has maintained a lifetime score of 92 percent on FreedomWorks’ Congressional Scorecard. Our scorecard is calculated by tracking the votes of members of Congress on key issues of economic freedom and individual liberty.

    In the 115th Congress, Rep. Franks co-sponsored H.R. 3167, the Debt Ceiling Alternative Act, sponsored by Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.). This bill would hold the federal government accountable for the money it borrows from the American people. It would take a fiscally conservative stance in response to reaching the debt ceiling by requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to issue GDP-linked bonds to pay the principal and interest on public debt.

    Rep. Franks, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, has also held a principled stance on healthcare reform He said, "The federal government is not known for its ability to keep entitlement spending under control. ObamaCare has been the perfect example of what healthcare looks like in the hands of an unimaginably large bureaucracy. Premium cost hikes have crippled American families, Medicaid is failing those most in need, and regulation is stifling innovation.”

    FreedomWorks is proud to honor Rep. Franks as Member of the Month for August 2017.


              Support the Email Privacy Act, S. 1654        

    On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and them to support the Email Privacy Act, S. 1654, introduced by Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The bill would greatly increase individual privacy by adding warrant requirements for authorities before they can acquire electronic content that is held by technology companies.

    The 1986 Electronic Communications Protect Act (ECPA) currently holds that there are no warrant requirements for electronic information that is older than 180 days. The bill, however, was originally written well over thirty years ago before email and other electronic communications became commonplace or in some cases even existed. ECPA is woefully out of date and does not reflect the digital world in which we operate. In commenting on the bill, Sen. Lee noted “Americans now expect that their email communications will have the same privacy protections as their written communications. This bill would provide that common sense protection.”

    Unfortunately, the original ECPA puts the law at odds with the Fourth Amendment, which holds that “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    Warrantless searches of electronic communications clearly raises constitutional questions. Fortunately, the Email Privacy Act would restore our Fourth Amendment protections and put the ECPA in line with the Constitution.

    The bill would require law enforcement to acquire a warrant from a judge before it can collect an individual’s emails, photos, or texts. The reforms would defend our privacy from unconstitutional search and seizure while protecting due process In a world where more and more people and businesses are using electronic equipment to communicate, engage in commerce, and live their day to day lives. As the scope of the digital world expands, our fourth amendment rights must be protected.

    The Email Privacy Act, which the House passed earlier this year by voice vote, is vital legislation that updates a tragically outdated law. This bill would reinstate privacy protections and restore personal liberty. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your senators to support the Email Privacy Act, S.1654.

    Sincerely,

    Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks


              Some Republicans Just Don’t Want to Repeal ObamaCare        

    FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon released the following statement about the defeat of the skinny repeal of ObamaCare:

    “Last night’s vote was a slap in the face to every conservative who has been promised that Republicans would repeal ObamaCare. Sens. John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins voted against the ‘skinny repeal’ of ObamaCare, theoretically the least repeal that can be achieved because so many Republicans went back on their votes for a 2015-style repeal. The Republican Party has been all about ObamaCare repeal for the better part of a decade, and now we see that they have been writing checks to voters that they knew the Bank of Obama wouldn’t cash. Now that President Trump would sign it, they have exposed themselves as frauds.”


              FreedomWorks Presents FreedomFraud Awards        

    FreedomWorks today announced the FreedomFraud Award winners for this year: Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Dean Heller (R-Utah), and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). This is the counterpart to the FreedomFighter Awards.

    The FreedomFraud Awards recognize the height of political fraud by senators who voted to defend ObamaCare by voting against a bill virtually the same as one they supported less than two years ago. While protected by Barack Obama’s veto, they supported ObamaCare and railed against it. Now that President Trump supports the bill, they have exposed themselves as political liars.

    FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye delivered the awards to senators’ offices Friday afternoon. You can see an archived live stream here. Eligibility for the award is based purely on whether senators campaigned on repeal and voted for this bill less than two years ago and opposed it when it could have passed.

    “These people committed the greatest political fraud in American history,” said Jason Pye. “Republican politics has focused on repealing ObamaCare for the better part of a decade. There were frequent votes to repeal ObamaCare. These senators showed great contempt for their constituents by going against everything they’ve stood for on ObamaCare repeal.”

    After the 2015 bill passed, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said, “I'm for repealing this broken law and replacing it with something better that gives patients more choice, decreases costs and increases access to quality, affordable care.”

    After the 2015 bill passed, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) said, “This law is not affordable for anyone in Alaska. That is why I will support the bill that repeals the ACA and wipes out its harmful impacts. I can’t watch premiums for Alaskans shoot up by 30 percent or more each year, see businesses artificially constrained, or see the quality of public education decline.”

    After the 2015 bill passed, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said, “I am glad that a repeal bill will finally reach the president’s desk.”

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, “It is clear that any serious attempt to improve our health care system must begin with a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare, and I will continue fighting on behalf of the people of Arizona to achieve it.”

    Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said, “This DC bureaucrat-driven healthcare system will only result in limited health care choices and higher costs for Nevadans.”

    Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said , “The wisest course is to repeal Obamacare and replace it step by step with solutions that lower health care costs.”


              Six Senators Perpetrate One of the Biggest Political Frauds in American History        

    FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon released the following statement after the Republican-majority Senate voted to save ObamaCare:

    “Our activists have fought for the better part of a decade, led on by campaign promises and actual votes to repeal ObamaCare, to get Republican majorities in the House and Senate, as well as a Republican in the White House. Sens. Dean Heller, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Rob Portman, Shelley Moore Capito, and Lamar Alexander each voted for the very same bill in 2015.

    “We now know that these six senators are ObamaCare repeal frauds. Even though we’re still wondering if Sen. Susan Collins is in the right party, at least she was consistent with her vote.”

    Here are quotes from a few of these Senate Republicans who have heavily criticized ObamaCare and today voted to keep ObamaCare as the law of the land.

    Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.): “The wisest course is to repeal Obamacare and replace it step by step with solutions that lower health care costs.”

    Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.): “I have consistently voted to repeal and replace this disastrous health care law, and I am glad that a repeal bill will finally reach the president’s desk.”

    Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.): “This DC bureaucrat-driven healthcare system will only result in limited health care choices and higher costs for Nevadans.”

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska): “This law is not affordable for anyone in Alaska. That is why I will support the bill that repeals the ACA and wipes out its harmful impacts. I can’t watch premiums for Alaskans shoot up by 30 percent or more each year, see businesses artificially constrained, or see the quality of public education decline.”

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.): “It is clear that any serious attempt to improve our health care system must begin with a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare, and I will continue fighting on behalf of the people of Arizona to achieve it.”

    Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio): “I'm for repealing this broken law and replacing it with something better that gives patients more choice, decreases costs and increases access to quality, affordable care.”


              Key Votes on Amendments to the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, H.R. 3219        

    On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote on amendments offered to the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, H.R. 3219, in the manner prescribed on each amendment below. As is always the case, FreedomWorks reserves the right to key vote any amendment brought to the floor for a vote.

    NO – Amendment #2: Sponsored by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), this amendment would prohibit funds provided by H.R. 3219 from being used to “propose, plan for, or execute” another round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). A 2013 report by the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) estimated that the first four rounds of BRAC save approximately $8 billion annually. The 2005 BRAC is saving nearly $4 billion annually. This amendment against a new round of BRAC would prevent further cost-savings from becoming a reality.

    YES – Amendment #19: Sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), this amendment would eliminate the CBO’s Budget Analysis Division. The amendment transfers the authority of the division to the Director of the CBO.

    YES – Amendment #20: Sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), this amendment would make a 1 percent across the board rescission to the spending levels provided by H.R. 3219, with exemptions for Capitol Police and other security-related accounts.

    YES – Amendment #26: Sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), this amendment would reduce the appropriation to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) by more than $25.4 million.

    YES – Amendment #39: Sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), this amendment would make a 1 percent across the board rescission to Division D of H.R. 3219 – the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

    YES – Amendment #40: Sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), this amendment would save taxpayers money by prohibiting inflated prevailing wage requirements established by the Davis-Bacon Act.

    FreedomWorks will count the vote on these amendments to the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, H.R. 3219, on our 2017 Congressional Scorecard and reserves the right to score votes for amendments not listed above. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.

    Sincerely,

    Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks


              Key Vote YES on the ObamaCare Repeal Reconciliation Act, Amendment 271 to H.R. 1628        

    On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to vote YES on the ObamaCare Repeal Reconciliation Act. This language will be offered as an amendment to H.R. 1628.

    This amendment is virtually identical to the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill – the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, H.R. 3762. This bill passed the Senate by a vote of 52 to 47, with only two unsurprising Republican defections.

    For more than seven years, Republicans successfully campaigned on ObamaCare repeal. They made floor speeches in support of repeal, and they voted to pass a repeal bill less than two years ago. Grassroots conservative activists are not going to accept excuses if Republicans fail to pass a bill that they have passed once before.

    The ObamaCare Repeal Reconciliation Act would repeal much of ObamaCare – including the tax and cost sharing subsidies, Medicaid expansion, and the taxes that came with the law – with a two-year delay to pass a replacement. This delay provides more than ample time to reach an agreement on a replacement bill or package.

    President Donald Trump has indicated that he will sign a 2015-style ObamaCare bill into law. Senate Republicans should do as they did in December 2015 and pass a bill that delivers on their frequent promises to repeal ObamaCare.

    FreedomWorks will triple-weight the votes for the ObamaCare Repeal Reconciliation Act. Additionally, FreedomWorks reserves the right to retroactively key vote any amendments during the so-called “vote-a-rama.” The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.

    Sincerely,

    Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks


              Key Vote YES on H.J.Res. 111 to Cancel CFPB’s Giveaway to Trial Lawyers        

    On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote YES on H.J.Res. 111. FreedomWorks Foundation drove more than 15,000 responses to the CFPB against the rule during the comment period.

    This resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) would cancel the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) arbitration rule. The final rule was published on Regulations.gov on July 19. While the CRA isn’t a panacea, it does provide a means for Congress to act as a check on out-of-control federal agencies.

    The CFPB’s arbitration rule is, in reality, a giveaway to trial lawyers. The rule ostensibly bans contractual arbitration clauses related to consumer financial products offered by banks and other financial sector firms. This severely limits consumers’ ability to enter into arbitration during disputes.

    Arbitration is an easier and quicker process for consumers to resolve issues, but lawyers don’t make much money from this process. The rule, however, will encourage trial lawyers to pursue more class-action lawsuits, which take longer and result in smaller payouts to consumers. But class-action lawsuits do bring in big dollars for trial lawyers.

    Class-action lawsuits can take two to five years to resolve, and the average payment is $32.35 per individual. These class-action suits, for which trial lawyers are paid an average of roughly $1 million, also drive up costs to consumers. By comparison, arbitration typically takes two to five months, with an average payment of thousands of dollars. It’s clear which process truly protects consumers.

    FreedomWorks will count the vote on H.J.Res. 111 on our 2017 Congressional Scorecard. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.

    Sincerely,

    Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks


              Capitol Hill Update: July 24, 2017        

    Schedule:

    The House and Senate are in session this week.

    There are five (5) legislative days remaining for the House before the August recess and 53 legislative days remaining in the year. The Senate will supposedly work through the first two weeks of the August recess.

    House:

    The FY 2018 budget resolution, dubbed "Building a Better America," was marked up and approved by the Budget Committee on Thursday in a party-line vote. The budget would reduce the budget deficit by $6.5 trillion over the ten-year budget window and eventually come into balance in FY 2027, creating a $9 billion surplus.

    Perhaps one of the most important components of the budget is that it begins the reconciliation process for fundamental tax reform. There are also reconciliation instructions for 11 House committees to find roughly $200 billion savings or reforms in mandatory spending.

    The FY 2018 budget resolution isn't on the calendar for the week. It's unclear if House Republican leaders will bring it to the floor.

    Additionally, the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, H.R. 2997, introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) could come to the floor for a vote this week. The bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and reforms the United States' out of date air traffic control (ATC) system. FreedomWorks has released a key vote in support of the 21st AIRR Act.

    On Monday, the House will consider 17 bills on the suspension calendar. Most of the bills on the suspension calendar related to veterans or active military issues. There are three bills on the suspension calendar that relate to small businesses and investment. The House will also consider the Intelligence Authorization Act, H.R. 3180, sponsored by Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on suspension.

    There are three bills on the suspension calendar for Tuesday, including the Medicare Part B Improvement Act, H.R. 3178, sponsored by Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), and a yet-to-be-numbered resolution that will impose sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

    The House will also consider H.J.Res. 111, a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, to cancel the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) giveaway to trial lawyers. The rule put restrictions on the use of arbitration to settle disputes over consumer products. This would lead to more class-action lawsuits, benefiting trial lawyers and hurting consumers. FreedomWorks has signed a coalition letter in support of H.J.Res. 111 and will likely include the vote on our 2017 Congressional Scorecard.

    For the balance of the week, the House will consider at least four more bills on the suspension calendar. The Make America Secure Appropriations Act, H.R. 3219, will also come to the floor. This is the consolidated appropriations bill, or "minibus," for the Department of Defense, the Legislative Branch, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Energy and Water. Like virtually every other bill to come to the floor this year under "regular order," the Make America Secure Appropriations Act is subject to a rule to limit or prevent amendments from the floor.

    On Thursday at 10:00 am, the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing entitled "The Need for the Balanced Budget Amendment." The witness list for the hearing has not yet been announced. Twelve constitutional amendments have been introduced in the House that would require a balanced budget. Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is the sponsor of two of them, H.J.Res. 1 and H.J.Res. 2. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), the primary sponsor of H.J.Res. 15, is among the House conservatives who have introduced a balanced budget amendment.

    The committee and subcommittee schedule for the week can be found here.

    Senate:

    Presumably, the Senate will vote this week on the motion to proceed to the House-passed version of H.R. 1628. It's still unclear on what happens next. A vote to proceed to the House-passed version has always been the first step. The next step will be for an amendment to the bill that will substitute the language of either the Better Care Reconciliation Act or language similar to the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill, now called the ObamaCare Repeal Reconciliation Act. FreedomWorks' key vote on the motion to proceed applies only if the base text that will be substituted is similar to the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill.

    At least a few Senate Republicans have backed away from their votes for the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill, which was passed in December 2015 with the support of all but two Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins. Moderate Republicans who refuse to vote for the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill have demanded $200 billion in Medicaid funding offered by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to get them to support the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

    Some parts of the Better Care Reconciliation Act are in limbo, however, as the Senate parliamentarian has apparently ruled that provisions limiting funding for Planned Parenthood and tax credits for plans that cover abortion will require 60 votes. Other provisions that may require 60 votes include the State Innovation Waivers. Many of these provisions can be altered to make them withstand a Byrd rule challenge, as was done in 2015.

    The Senate still has several nominees to consider and, on the legislative front, the FDA Reauthorization Act, S. 934; the National Defense Reauthorization Act; and the debt ceiling are among the items awaiting action.

    Separately, Senate Democrats are rolling out their "better deal" economic agenda today, which is a rehashing and repackaging of virtually every leftist policy proposal in recent years. The agenda is Democrats' attempt to find a message after a string of special election losses around the country.

    The full committee schedule for the week can be found here.


              Key Vote on Signatures to House Discharge Petition on 2015 Repeal Bill        

    FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon released the following statement on the discharge petition by Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.) to bring the 2015 bill to repeal ObamaCare to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. FreedomWorks will triple weight the signatures. The bill passed with almost unanimous support from the Republican members less than two years ago.

    “We are standing behind the members in the House and Senate who stand by their past votes on the 2015 repeal bill. They were not voting that way just to win elections. They honestly believe that ObamaCare is a scourge on our country, raising premiums and making affordable health insurance illegal.

    “We are making signatures on this discharge petition part of our 2017 FreedomWorks Scorecard, triple weighting the signatures. We never got a clean repeal vote in the House, so we are considering this one.”


              FreedomWorks Announces FreedomFighter Award Winners        

    FreedomWorks today announced the FreedomFighter Award winners for 2016. The FreedomFighter Awards recognize members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty. FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon and FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye presented the awards Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol Visitors Center. Photos of the individual presentations are available here.

    Eligibility for the award is based on votes on FreedomWorks’ Congressional Scorecard. In 2016, FreedomWorks scored key votes in favor of several issues, including repeal of ObamaCare through the 2015 reconciliation bill and the override of Obama’s veto, preventing IRS abuse and protecting free speech, protecting citizens from warrantless searches, spending cuts, and reducing regulation.

    “FreedomWorks activists across the country can be proud of these members’ votes last year. They showed a commitment to economic liberty and individual freedom,” FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said. “With a Republican in the White House and so many big legislative items on the to-do list in this Congress, including fundamental tax reform and reducing regulation, conservative grassroots activists are watching our scorecard to see who delivers on their campaign promises and who changes their tune.”

    “These defenders of liberty get this award to thank them for their critical votes on legislation important to our activist community,” FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye said. “This event allows us to thank them on behalf of our activists to thank these members and encourage them to keep fighting for limited government, lower taxes, and fewer unnecessary job-killing regulations.”

    FreedomFighter Award Winners for 2016 Voting Record

    Senate (5)

    Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) , Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.)

    House (56)

    Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), Rep. Trent Kelly (R-Miss.), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.V.), Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa), Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), Rep. Rick Allen (R-Ga.), Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.), Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.)


              News, fast and slow        
    Are you wasting your time watching the news? How much time do you spend following the daily news? Some people pay no attention; others watch a half-hour TV news show every day; yet others scour a range of Internet sources, looking for different angles on breaking stories. Some may devote a couple of hours daily … Continue reading News, fast and slow
              The White Theatre at The J Announces 2017-2018 Season;        

    Excitement is in the air as The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City announces its 2017-2018 season of arts and cultural offerings at the White Theatre.

    The 13th season of the White Theatre, produced by The J's Arts + Culture Department, includes something for everyone, including a new partnership with the Coterie Theatre that will co-produce the regional theatrical premier of Disney's Tony Award-winning musical, Newsies, during July 2018.

    The White Theatre season also includes concerts to visual arts, comedic plays to thought-provoking dramas as well as dance and literature presentations. The inspirational season includes four locally produced shows, several musical concerts, a choreography showcase and a new artist-in-residence offering with the Kinnor Philharmonic.

    The season includes:

    • November 4-19, 2017: Mel Brooks' comedic musical, Young Frankenstein (local production), directed by Missy Koonce.

    • December 2 & 3, 2017: The Sarah Play produced by the In[Heir]itance Project.

    • January 1, 2018: Kinnor Philharmonic, The J's artists-in-residence, perform first of two concerts; the second concert is June 10, 2018.

    • January 6, 2018: YidLife Crisis-Live! starring Jamie Elman & Eli Batalion, the creators and stars of the award-winning Yiddish comedy web series YidLife Crisis.

    • February 3-18, 2018: Tony Award-winning musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (local production), directed by Steven Eubank.

    • March 17-25, 2018: The Tony-Award winning play, The Miracle Worker (local production) directed by Bill Christie.

    • April 8: Kansas City's professional dance showcase, Open Stage at The J.

    • April 11-14: Wiesenthal, the riveting true story of Simon Wiesenthal, nicknamed the "Jewish James Bond".

    • July 7-29, 2018: Disney's Newsies (in collaboration with The Coterie Theatre), the captivating story of a band of underdogs who become unlikely heroes.

    (Full descriptions for each event are available at TheWhiteTheatre.org. Auditions for various productions will be held throughout the year.)

    ABOUT THE SHOWS

    Young Frankenstein is a hilarious musical based on the classic Frankenstein story, with a Mel Brooks comedic twist. The musical is an adaptation of Brooks legendary film. With a book by Brooks and Thomas Meehan and music and lyrics by Brooks, audiences will roar with laughter as they follow Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein. The younger Frankenstein travels to Transylvania to inherit his family estate and zaniness ensues, complete with a tap-dancing monster.

    The Sarah Play is in the creative stages of The In[Heir]itance Project as part of a national series. Playwright Jon Adam Ross presents the story of the biblical matriarch, Sarah, in conversation with contemporary realities in Kansas City. Developed during workshops with local clergy, artists and community members as well as interfaith groups, The Sarah Play reflects local perspectives on sacred texts.

    YidLife Crisis Live! starring Jamie Elman & Eli Batalion, the creators and stars of the award-winning Yiddish comedy web series YidLife Crisis present a night of shtick, schmoozing and inspiration. This duo of seasoned performers mix skits, discussion, screenings and use the "trojan horse" of comedy to bring Yiddish and yiddishkayt to the forefront and engage the topic of Jewish identity for all.

    The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee is a riotous musical ride complete with audience participation and comedic genius. This Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning musical features an eclectic group of 6 awkward tweens as they vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake.

    The Miracle Worker, the Tony-Award winning play by William Gibson, takes the audience through the daily struggles of Helen Keller, who is blind, deaf and mute. With the help of her devoted and sometimes defiant teacher Annie Sullivan, Helen is finally awakened from the darkness in this emotional story. (Special school performances are available.)

    Wiesenthal focuses on the story of one man, Simon Wiesenthal, who devoted his life to bringing 1,100 Nazi war criminals to justice. Wiesenthal's dedication to this one purpose - seeking justice for the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust - is the focus of the play. This production focuses on this courageous man's wit and wisdom, tenacity and dedication to help repair the world.

    Disney's Newsies marks The Coterie and the White Theatre's first partnership, as well as the Kansas City region's first locally produced production of the Tony Award winning musical. Disney's Newsies, based on the 1992 motion picture, features a high energy, explosive song and dance score by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Sister Act) and Jack Feldman and a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy). It will be co-directed by Coterie Producing Artistic Director, Jeff Church, and Jerry Jay Cranford, who will also serve as choreographer, with musical direction by Pam Williamson, veteran of 10 musicals at the White Theatre. Disney's Newsies will feature a cast of all-local professional and non-professional adult and youth actors. Auditions for Disney's Newsies are set for December 17 at 2 p.m. at the White Theatre. More information on auditions for the entire 2017/18 season can be found at TheWhiteTheatre.org.

    The White Theatre's season tickets are available now. Season ticket holders enjoy many perks including preferred seating, free ticket exchange, friends and family discounts and more! The new Flex Five pass option allows the season ticket holder to design their own package with five tickets to use at their discretion. Performances for the Kinnor Philharmonic are an "add on event" to the regular season ticket.

    In addition to season tickets, the Arts + Culture Patron program has been enhanced to provide additional "perks" at every level including complimentary tickets, seatback surprises on select show nights, tax deduction or your support and more. For a complete list of patron benefits visit TheWhiteTheatre.org.

    Individual tickets for the 2017-2018 season go on sale September 1. Tickets may be ordered online at TheWhiteTheatre.org, by phone at (913) 327-8054 or in person at the White Theatre's Box Office.

    In its effort to expand its offerings, additional Arts + Culture events will include the Kansas City Jewish Film Festival in April and May, literary salons and the Midwest Jewish Artists Lab.

    Discover The J's White Theatre at 5801 West 115th, Overland Park, Kansas 66211, conveniently located at 115th & Nall. Contact our box office at (913) 327-8054 or by email at boxoffice@thejkc.org. The White Theatre box office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on everything Arts + Culture at The J and the White Theatre check out our website at TheWhiteTheatre.org.

    About "The J"

    Established more than 100 years ago, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City-The J, provides a warm welcome to families of all backgrounds. The J's all-in-one hub for health, learning and well-being elevates the lives of the community and its members with programs of excellence in fitness, sports, theatre, arts + culture, senior adult programming and youth services including summer camps and child development. Everyone can "live up" at The J, located in Overland Park, Kansas, and at thejkc.org.


              Why the Legislature Was Right to Limit Public Sector Collective Bargaining        
    The 2017 Iowa legislative session has been one of the more rancorous in recent memory, driven in large part by proposed amendments to the public sector collective bargaining law.  Following all-night debates and massive protests by union supporters, the house and senate both voted on February 16 to make the most sweeping changes in the...… Continue Reading
              Ramalan Bintang hari ini Paling Lengkap Terbaru        
    banyak sekali ramalan Bintang yang ada di ranah maya terutama di Google, sebab dengan mencari dan mengeteik kata kunci Ramalan Zodiak atau ramalan bintang maka anda akan ditujukan pada beberapa ramalan yang ada dan sangat terperinci, nah kali ini kami Ramalan Indonesia akan mencoba untuk memberikan sedikit Ramalan Bintang Hari Ini untuk anda semua yang memang ingin melihat perkembangan Zodiak anda sehari hari.

    Mungkin saja bisa membuat anda jadi lebih termotivasi dan bersemangat karena melihat ramalan bintang anda baik untuk hari ini, langsung saja deh akan kami berikan atau kami sajikan untuk anda semua di bawah ini :

    Ramalan Bintang Hari Ini :


    Ramalan Bintang ARIES (The Ram)
    Sifat: Cardinal, Api, Personal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I am" (aku)

    Bebas, asertif, individualistik, impulsif, intelektualitas tinggi, keras kepala, ingin menjadi yang terdepan, pemimpin, action oriented (berorientasi pada aksi), Intemperate (tidak terkendali), cenderung ke arah kekerasan, fiery, (berapi-api), straight-forward (berterus terang), ekstrem, sombong (arogan), passionate (penuh dengan nafsu), powerfull (sangat kuat), ada sifat suka menyendiri (loner), fredom-loving (menyukai cinta yang bebas dan tidak terikat)
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Kepala Yang Sering Pusing
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Mars
    Tanggal Zodiak: 21 maret - 20 April

    Ramalan Bintang TAURUS (The Bull, banteng)
    Sifat: Fixed atatu tetap, membumi atau berhubungan dengan elemen tanah/bumi, personal.
    Kata kuncinya: "I Have" (Saya memiliki)

    Imajinatif, sistematk, devoted (mengabdi), patient (sabar), sensual, affctionat (menghargai pertemanan), possesif, sangat berhati-hati, suka hal yang bersifat materi (rasa kepemilikan terhadap sesuatu yang tinggi), menyukai hal-hal yang berbau musik, artistik, keras kepala, solid earthy (keduniawian), kuat, slow (lamban), kind (baik hati), just (monoton).
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Penyakit Sariawan dan Radang Tenggorokan
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Venus
    Tangal Zodiak: 21 April - 21 Mei

    Ramalan Bintang GEMINI (The Twins)
    Sifat: Mutable, selalu bergerak, seperti udara dan air, bersifat personal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Think" (Saya Pikir)

    Logis, selalu ingin tahu, energik, aktif, dapat mengerjakan banyak hal, banyak bicara , berjiwa sosial, mampu beradaptasi dengan baik, cenderung memiliki dua karakter yang berbeda, bersifat seperti air dan logam atau merkurial, kurang sabar, selalu ingin tahu hal-hal yang terbaru
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Olahraga Tertentu dan juga Hindari Kebiasaan Merokok
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Merkurius
    Tanggal Zodiak: 22 Mei - 21 Juni

    Ramalan Bintang CANCER (Si Kepiting)
    Sifat: Cardinal, water, personal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Feel" (Saya Rasa)

    Protektif, sensitif, Keras kepala yang cenderung tidak fleksibel, sangat sayang pada keluarga, home oriented (orientasi utama pada keluarga), helpfull (suka menolong), berkembang dan selalu menyebar, moody (berubah turuti suasana hati), bersikap seperti air yang mengalir ke bawah, cenderung memendam perasaan dan keinginan, emosional, temperamen (tapi tidak terlalu lama / gampang reda), penuh cinta
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Penyakit Maagh dan juga masuk Angin.
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Bulan atau Luna
    Tanggal Zodiak: 22 Juni - 23 Juli

    Ramalan Bintang LEO (The Lion)
    Sifat: Tetap, Api, Berjiwa Sosial
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Will" (Saya Akan, Berkemauan Tinggi)

    Baik hati dan suka memberi, liberal, realistis, berhati besar, proud (menjunjung harga diri), dramatikal, suka membesar-besarkan masalah, passionate (mempunyai gairah yang tinggi), pencemburu, suka dipuja, Bossy (suka memerintah), loves attention (gila perhatian), arogan, terkesan sombong, independent (mandiri), leader (berjiwa pemimpin), berjiwa bebas, egotistic (cenderung ke diri sendiri dan tidak peduli pada lingkungan), kingly (bergaya bak raja), powerfull (bertenaga).
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Jantung dan Punggung
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Matahari
    Tanggal Zodiak: 24 Juli - 23 Agustus

    Ramalan Bintang LEO (The Lion)
    Sifat: Tetap, Api, Berjiwa Sosial
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Will" (Saya Akan, Berkemauan Tinggi)

    Baik hati dan suka memberi, liberal, realistis, berhati besar, proud (menjunjung harga diri), dramatikal, suka membesar-besarkan masalah, passionate (mempunyai gairah yang tinggi), pencemburu, suka dipuja, Bossy (suka memerintah), loves attention (gila perhatian), arogan, terkesan sombong, independent (mandiri), leader (berjiwa pemimpin), berjiwa bebas, egotistic (cenderung ke diri sendiri dan tidak peduli pada lingkungan), kingly (bergaya bak raja), powerfull (bertenaga).
    Kesehatan: Anda mudah sekali capek , dan juga hindari merokok yang memicu penyakit jantung
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Matahari
    Tanggal Zodiak: 24 Juli - 23 Agustus

    Ramalan Bintang LIBRA (Si Timbangan)
    Sifat: Cardinal, Udara, Sosial
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Balance " (Aku Seimbang)

    Kooperatif, diplomatis, selalu berpindah, stylish (bergaya, luwes), suka berpartner, superior yang suka berkembang, menginginkan keseimbangan dengan suka membandingkan, Charm (mempunyai daya tarik sendiri), debative (suka berdebat), open minded (mudah menerima hal baru), memiliki jiwa sosial, kaya akan ide
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Hati dan Lumbar Region
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Venus
    Tanggal Zodiak: 24 September - 23 Oktober

    Ramalan Bintang SCORPIO (The Scorpio)
    Sifat: Tetap, Seperti Api, Sosial
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Desire" (Aku Menginginkan)

    Passionate (nafsu yang tinggi), kreatif, powerfull, selalu ingin tahu, antusiasme tinggi, berdedikasi, pengabdian, pencemburu, selalu menganilisis sesuatu, selalu berevolusi, memiliki daya tarik kuat, memiliki daya hipnotis, menyukai hal yang berbau seksual, pandai dan kreatif, sangat sensitif, cerdik cenderung licik, agresif, self oriented (cenderuh mengarah ke diri sendiri), sadis, misteruis, bisa melakukan perubahan mendadak yang mengejutkan
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Pelvis dan Organ Reproduksi
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Mars dan Pluto
    Tanggal Zodiak: 24 Oktober - 22 November

    Ramalan Bintang SAGITARIUS (Si Pemanah)
    Sifat: Berubah, Udara, Universal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Perceive " (Saya Mengetahui, Saya Memahami)

    Bebas, straight-forward (berterus terang), careles (ceroboh), kasar, tidak berperasaan, sangat berfilosofi, intelektualitas tinggi, Fun-Loving, arogan, berjiwa petualang, suka melakukan perkembangan, optimis, blundering (membuat kesalahan besar), believer (mudah percaya pada sesuatu yang diyakininya).
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Pinggul dan Paha
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Jupiter
    Tanggal Zodiak: 23 November - 21 Desember

    Ramalan Bintang CAPRICORN (The Sea-Goat)
    Sifat: Cardinal, Membumi, Universal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Use" (Saya Berguna)

    Prudent (bijaksana), cautious (berhati-hati, tidak mudah percaya), ambisius (cenderung ingin punya kekuasaan atau otoritas), cerdik namun kadang cenderung licik, kompeten, suka memberi perintah, dan kaku.
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Lutut dan Tulang
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Saturnus
    Tanggal Zodiak: 22 Desember - 20 Januari

    Ramalan Bintang Aquarius (Si Air Mengalir)
    Sifat: Tetap, Air, Universal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Know" (Saya Tahu)

    Demokratis, unconventional (selalu ingin tahu hal baru dan mengikuti perkembangan), tidak mau terikat, selalu terpisah dari yang lain, sering berpindah, ada yang cenderug meng-isolasi diri (membentuk sebuah kelompok tersendiri / suka berkelompok) namun memiliki rasa pertemanan yang tinggi (friendship), berjiwa sosial, eksentrik, elit, menyukai sebuah kejutan, obyektif
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Sistem Saraf Nervous
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Saturnus dan Uranus
    Tanggal Zodiak: 21 Januari - 19 Februari

    Ramalan Bintang Pisces (The Fishes)
    Sifat: Selalu Berubah, Air, Universal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Believe" (Saya Percaya)

    Imajinatif, sensitive, sulit berkonsentrasi pada satu hal (no-focus), distracted (gampang rusak / patah), feeling (selalu memakai perasaan pada suatu masalah), Duality (memiliki pribadi yang berlawanan) namuni memiliki idealisme dan agamis (spiritual), acceptance (menerima), undiscriminated (tidak pernah membedakan), soul growth (jiwa yang berkembang), artistik, ceroboh, sering gampang menyerah pada keadaan (melarikan diri dari keadaan / tangung jawab / keadaan yang membuatnya sulit) namun memiliki kesabaran yang tinggi pada hal-hal tertentu yang cocok.
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Kaki dan Sistem Kekebalan Tubuh
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Jupiter dan Neptunus
    Tanggal Zodiak: 20 Februari - 20 Maret

    nah sudah dulu Ramalan Bintang yang bisa kami berikan untuk anda semua, semoga saja bermanfaat untuk anda semua, dan kami akan memberikan banyak artikel seputar ramalan yang lainnya untuk anda semua, Oke,,

              Internet Marketing Online - Marketing Systems        

    You go on the net today and you come across all of these marketing systems which promise to give you a lot of benefits plus a life that you have always dreamed of, without having to put in any effort at all. They make it seem as simple as that. However, only those people who are logical and have a lot of common sense know that this is nothing but total hype. Only those who are reasonable enough would know better than to go in for such a system which is only full of promises but hardly fulfills any. To those who are trying their best to make a living online, the truth hardly gets into their head. They work for sure, but for what? Hardly a penny! They get to invest so much only to start working and work for nearly ages only to get back the money they invested! So is it really worth all the money and hard work you put in?

    Well definitely all the fancy presentations and graphics they show on the website look really cool and for an innocent person who is just trying to earn some money would obviously be tempted by all of this. For people who have had experience in marketing services and products, it is clear that it is all stuffed up with so much hype and nothing they actually show on the website is true. All of the information they provide is just too good to actually be true.

    A marketing system which is actually worth it will definitely be automated and generally has the income streams attached to it. A good marketing system would already be having an integrated capture form lead that builds contact lists that can be easily accessed.

    The thing is, you can definitely make some money through internet marketing online but you have to be focused and patient as this requires a lot of determination and effort to be put in.

    To learn more about Internet Marketing, visit Brian's Big Ticket To Wealth website.

    Author: Brian McCoy is a six figure earner and one of the top income earners in the home business industry. Brian works with entrepreneurs around the world. He devotes the time, energy, and effort into his team and works with them to ensure their success.

    Brian McCoy - EzineArticles Expert Author

              More Obama-Bashing        
    This is classic (emphasis all mine):
    Assemblyman Dov Hikind yesterday predicted that Jewish voters would make "a mass movement toward Sen. McCain" if Barack Obama knocks Hillary Rodham Clinton out of the race in tomorrow's critical Democratic primaries.

    Hikind, an Orthodox Jew whose Borough Park district includes the largest Hasidic bloc in the United States, blasted Obama for what he called his half-hearted support of Israel and his ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., who has repeatedly praised anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has endorsed Obama.

    Hikind, a Democrat who has yet to endorse a candidate for president, said Obama had not satisfactorily distanced himself from Wright, his Chicago-based personal pastor, noting, "This is a man who thinks Farrakhan is a great guy and God's gift to the world."

    Hikind went on, "Obama has said that you can be a supporter of Israel even if you're for giving up land to the Arabs, which is true - but for a guy running for president to take a position like this in advance of getting into office, combined with everything else going on in the Middle East, that scares the hell out of me.
    Huh? It "scares the hell" out of Hikind that Obama says you can support Israel and still be for giving up land for Israel? What world does he live in? Does he think Hillary Clinton feels otherwise?? Most US politicians would admit that any peaceful settlement would include some concession of land to the Palestinians. Does Hikind actually expect Mr. Obama to take a public position on the matter that is to the right of GWB's current position?? And then what? Flip-flop after the election to a position more in line with just about every other politician in the country?? That sounds like a super idea. And did Mr. Hikind somehow miss when Mr. Obama clearly rejected and denounced Mr. Farrakhan, and called him out for being an anti-Semite? That Mr. Hikind feels that Obama hasn't distanced himself enough from Rev. Wright, who is claimed to be close to Farrakhan, is no more than guilt by association. Is such association more or less damning than Mr. Hikind's past association with Meir Kahana's militant Jewish Defense League and various other controversial settler groups?

    I would guess Mr. Hikind is simply trying to do more of the same ignorant fearmongering about Obama that we have seen recently from other members of the Jewish community.
              Disenfranchisement in Nevada        
    Much is being made of the scheduling of Nevada's presidential caucuses on a Saturday, which affects observant Jews as well as Seventh Day Adventists. I can't begin to imagine a scheduling conflict like this ever occurring in a state with a sizable population of observant Jewish voters such as New York or Florida, in contrast to the state of Nevada, whose numbers of observant Jews is relatively tiny - and if it did happen in one of those states, I'm quite sure the Orthodox groups would have sued or initiated some action over being flat-out precluded from voting. The real problem here is that the caucus system of voting, in contrast to the primary system most states utilize, precludes any voting not done in person at the designated time. So whereas Sabbath-observant voters in states with Saturday primaries can either vote by absentee ballot or get to the polls after sundown, in Nevada Sabbath-observant voters are completely disenfranchised. Certainly an upsetting development for those who actually prefer to have their voice heard as citizens.

    There seem to be some other complaints about the Saturday choice for the caucuses, from casino workers who quite obviously need to be at work during the entertainment industry's peak weekend shifts. This concern led to the establishment of special voting stations to accommodate casino workers and allow them to vote. This in turn drew calls from Clinton supporters that these special voting stations unfairly favored Obama as he had been endorsed by the influential culinary workers union, many of whose members work in casinos. A lawsuit to put an end to the voting stations was filed (and lost). Interestingly, the group who mounted the failed challenge to the special voting stations is comprised of members who are least disenfranchised by the Saturday caucus - a teachers' union who generally have weekends free and clear. Obama and some of his supporters, in turn, are criticizing the Clinton camp for attempting to effectively disenfranchise voters with this legal challenge - a challenge that would seem to have had far more potential to affect the vote than the Orthodox/Seventh Day Adventist issue will have.

    Sounds like a lot if controversy over voters' rights in Nevada - not a pretty way to start off what looks like it promises to be a contentious election season.
              NYT on Lakewood, NJ        
    This article in yesterday's NYT raises some interesting issues regarding the changing demographics of Lakewood, NJ. The township has witnessed exponential growth in its Orthodox population, and with that growth, an increase in tensions between town residents. In some ways, the tensions described are similar to the resentment that seems to occur whenever a locale goes through a significant demographic change, in other ways the situation is unique to those areas that have seen themselves being increasingly populated by Orthodox Jews. Few other demographic groups move into communities en masse with the intent to create and patronize their own schools, places of worship, eateries and stores. Even if such de facto self-segregation is not the intention, but just the byproduct of practices that are intended to preserve traditional and religious standards, articles such as this one, that highlight the negative sentiment that can arise in such situations (much like the situation here in the Five Towns), should serve as a reminder that the Orthodox populations in such areas should make every attempt to assuage the negative sentiment that seems to arise wherever they create communities that give the impression of isolationism. Making inroads and exploring ways to get along with those who are different can certainly only help cool simmering tensions - whether here in the Five Towns, in Lakewood, or in any other community staring down the barrel of a sudden demographic shift.

    One paragraph from the NYT article that particularly piqued my interest with it's relevance to the battles over the school board here in District 15:
    There have been fights about the administration of the school system. Orthodox Jewish students attend private schools, but are eligible for millions of dollars of public money for busing, according to the town’s current mayor, Ray Coles. Black residents have complained that decisions about public schools attended largely by black and Hispanic students are made by a school board where 5 of the 9 members are Orthodox Jews.

    Warren A. Sherard, the head of the local N.A.A.C.P. branch, said he had tried to get black residents more invested in the politics of the town.

    “I went to churches and told people, ‘We need to vote in school board elections,’ ” he said. “I know people want to throw stones, but everyone’s got to vote.”
    One point I feel I must make is that there is absolutely nothing wrong, or sinister, or untoward about the fact that, as the Times puts it, "Orthodox Jewish students attend private schools, but are eligible for millions of dollars of public money for busing". Busing is absolutely the right of every district resident, no matter where that child attend school. The implication on the part of the NYT that this complaint against the private school residents somehow actually holds water is irresponsible.

    Another interesting point that is directly relevant to tensions in my district is the issue of the local school board holding a majority of non-public school parents. In Lakewood, as in the Five Towns, it may be difficult for some district residents to see a school board controlled by members who largely do not send their children to district public schools, but as Mr. Sherard noted in the quote above, the best way to fight that is to get out the vote for the candidate you support.
              Anne Spencer Personal Library Wish List        
    This ongoing catalogue / wish list is compiled using the catalogue of Anne Spencer's personal books from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. The PLL is looking for the exact editions stated.
     

    GARDENING & NATURE

    -De La Mare, A.T., ed.,  Garden Guide: the Amateur Gardeners’ Handbook (A.T. De La Mare Co., 1940)


    AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES

    -(--), An Appeal to the Common Sense of Colored Citizens (Republican National Committee, 1940)
    -(--), Africa: Questions and Answers for Mission Circles and Bands (Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church, 1897) 
    -(--), One year from the day that the Supreme Court of the United States outlawed segregation in public schools everyone interested in implementing that decision is invited to attend a Southwestern Regional Conference on Integration in Houston, Texas, May 17, 1955 (Southern -Regional Conference on Integration, 1955)
    -Atlanta Urban League, The Negro School Child in Atlanta (The Atlanta Urban League, 1945)
    -Davidson, Basil, A Guide to African History (Doubleday & Company, 1965)
    -Dobler, Lavinia and William A. Brown, Great Rulers of the African Past (Doubleday, 1965)
    -Lee, David, The Negro Problem: Editorial (1948)
    -McCulloch, James E., The Call of the New South: Addresses Delivered at the Southern Sociological Congress, Nashville, Tennessee, May 7 to 10, 1912 (Southern Sociological Congress, 1912)
    -Ottley, Roi, ‘New World A-Coming’: Inside Black America (Houghton Mifflin, 1943)
    -Streeter, Daniel W., Denatured Africa (Garden City, 1929)
    -Willkie, Wendell, Wendell Willkie Speaks to Negroes: Address at Rally of Colored Republicans, Chicago, Illinois, September 13, 1940 ( Republican National Committee, 1940)


    LABOR & SOCIAL JUSTICE

    -Hutchison, Keith, Labour in Politics (Labour Publishing Company, 1925)
    -Nathan, Maud, The Wage Earner and the Ballot (National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1908)
    -National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Does Your Congressman Represent You?: A Voters Guide (1964)


    FICTION & POETRY

    -(--), Chronicle and romance : Froissart, Malory, Holinshed (P. F. Collier & Son, 1910)
    -(--), Heartsease: or, The Brother’s Wife (D. Appleton and Co., 1855)
    -Boyeson, Hjalmar H., Falconberg (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1899)
    -Brinker Post, Mary, Annie Jordan: A Novel of Seattle (Doubleday & Co., 1948)
    -Butterworth, Hezekiah, Up from the Cape: a Plea for Pepublican Simplicity; Mayflower Tales (J.S. Ogilvie Publishing Company, 1883)
    -Chevalier, Maurice, With Love (Little, Brown & Co., 1960)
    -Dunsany, Lord, Five plays : the gods of the mountain, The golden doom, King Argimēnēs and the unknown warrior, The glittering gate, The lost silk hat (Little, Brown & Co., 1917)
    -Ellmann, Richard, ed., The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (W.W. Norton & Company, 1973)
    -Fallada, Hans, Little Man, What Now? (Simon & Schuster, 1933)
    -Fast, Howard, Citizen Tom Paine (Bantam Books, 1946)
    -Gras, Felix, (Catharine Janvier, trans.), The White Terror: A Romance of the French Revolution and After (D. Appleton and Co., 1900)
    -Harris, Cyril, Street of Knives (Little, Brown & Co., 1950)
    -Johnson, Johnson's Chief Lives of the Poets : being those of Milton, Dryden, Swift, Addison, Pope, Gray, and Macaulay's Life of Johnson (Foreword by Matthew Arnold) (Henry Holt & Co., 1880)
    -Kerlin, Robert T., Contemporary Poetry of the Negro (Press of the Hampton Normal & Agricultural Institute, 1921)
    -Kipling, Rudyard, Barrackroom Ballads (Donohue, Henneberry & Co., 1899)
    -Kipling, Rudyard, Departmental Ditties (M.A. Donohue & Co., 1901)
    -O’Brien, Edward J., ed., The Best Short Stories of 1924: and The Yearbook of the American Short Story(Small, Maynard & Co., 1925)
    -Patten, William, ed., Short Story Classics (American) ( P.F. Collier & Son, 1905)
    -Rothberg, Abraham, The Thousand Doors (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965)
    -Scott, Sir Walter, The Lady of the Lake (Thomas Crowell & Sons, 1893-1900)
    -Shoup, Francis Elliott, ed., Pope's The Iliad of Homer : books I, VI, XXII, and XXIV (B. F. Johnson Publishing Company, 1901)
    -Smart, C., trans., The Works of Horace (David McKay, 1896)


    HISTORY

    -(--), Washington Merry-Go-Round (Liveright, 1931)
    -Addington Symonds, John, Renaissance in Italy (Modern Library, 1935)
    -Anthony, Katharine, Catherine the Great (Garden City, 1927)
    -Dabney, Richard Heath, The Causes of the French Revolution (Henry Holt and Co., 1889)
    -De Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America (Colonial Press, 1899)
    -Gibson, Hugh, ed., The Ciano diaries, 1939-1943 : the complete, unabridged diaries of Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian minister for foreign affairs, 1936-1943 (Doubleday and Co., 1946)
    -Langford Warren, Herbert, The Foundations of Classic Architecture (Macmillan Co., 1919)
    -Parman, Jr., Francis, The California and Oregon Trail: Being Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life (Hurst and Co., 1900)
    -Turner, Edward Raymond, Europe, 1789-1920 (Doubleday, Page, 1920)
    -Vehanen, Kosti, Marian Anderson: A Portrait (McGraw Hill, 1941)


    LANGUAGE & EDUCATION

    -Orlanidi, Nazareno, Italian Grammar (Tip. Sociale, 1910)
    -Tuckerman, Julius, Simplicité : a Reader of French Pronunciation (American Book Co., 1908)


    SCIENCE & MATH

    -Chamberlin, Thomas, A College Text-Book of Geology (Henry Holt and Co., 1909)
    -Curry, Preston E., and Ralph Rice, Applied Business Arithmetic (South-Western Publishing Co., 1940)
    -Korzybski, Alfred, Manhood of Humanity: the Science and Art of Human Engineering (Dutton and Co., 1921)


              19º Prêmio Atualidade Cosmética: Paulistanos elegem as melhores fragrâncias de 2011        

    19th Atualidade Cosmética Awards: The Oscar of Latin America Perfumery

     
     
     
    Em setembro, os paulistanos poderão votar e eleger as melhores fragrâncias do ano, que concorrem à 19ª edição do Prêmio Atualidade Cosmética, considerado o “Oscar da perfumaria na América Latina”.  As categorias eleitas pelo voto do consumidor serão os troféus: Escolha do Consumidor para Perfumaria Latina Feminina e Latina Masculina, Escolha do Consumidor para perfumaria Internacional Feminina e Masculina.  A votação acontecerá entre os dias 21 e 23 de setembro, no Espaço Perfume e do dia 23 de setembro ao dia 2 de outubro no Conjunto Nacional na Av. Paulista, ambos em São Paulo, onde os consumidores terão a oportunidade de testar todos os produtos antes de dar sua opinião. O Espaço Perfume está localizado numa unidade anexa à Faculdade Santa Marcelina ( FASM), uma das mais renomadas instituições de ensino superior de moda. Com 210m2, a mostra interativa, registra 5 mil anos da história do perfume e sua relação com a moda além de curiosidades. O Espaço Perfume tem o apoio do ministério da Cultura e a curadoria de Renata Ashcar, especialista em perfumaria e autora do livro Brasilessência: a cultura do Perfume.
       
     
    O Espaço Perfume está localizado numa unidade anexa à Faculdade Santa Marcelina ( FASM), uma das mais renomadas instituições de ensino superior de moda. Com 210m2, a mostra interativa, registra 5 mil anos da história do perfume e sua relação com a moda além de curiosidades. O Espaço Perfume tem o apoio do ministério da Cultura e a curadoria de Renata Ashcar, especialista em perfumaria e autora do livro Brasilessência: a cultura do Perfume.
     
     
     
    Com a finalidade de difundir o conhecimento da história e importância cultural do perfume, a organização do Prêmio Atualidade Cosmética, em parceria com o Espaço do Perfume, promoverá, nos mesmos dias da votação no Espaço do Perfume, um ciclo de workshops e palestras gratuitas, abertas ao público. As palestras, ministradas por perfumistas renomados, acontecerão no Auditório da Faculdade Santa Marcelina, e apresentarão, de forma objetiva, as famílias olfativas, além de explicar como se constrói um perfume. Esta parceria entre a organização do Prêmio e o Espaço do Perfume tem como principal objetivo, apresentar, culturalmente, a perfumaria para os consumidores do Brasil.
     
     
     
    O Prêmio Atualidade Cosmética nasceu da vontade de José Luiz de Paula Jr. de reconhecer o trabalho dos profissionais que começavam a trilhar o caminho para que o Brasil se transformasse em uma potência da indústria global da beleza. Além disso, foi uma forma de homenagear o empresário pioneiro na indústria nacional – Aparício Basílio da Silva –, então dono da Rastro Perfumaria, uma das mais inovadoras empresas do mercado brasileiro da beleza de todos os tempos, e seu maior incentivador. “A Rastro foi muito importante na minha carreira. Foi lá que descobri o que é, de fato, fazer perfumaria no Brasil. Foi minha escola e Aparício meu maior professor”, declara o empresário. Em 2011, o Prêmio Atualidade Cosmética chega à sua 19ª edição. Atualmente são 21 categorias, 10 delas direcionadas para a escolha dos melhores perfumes nacionais e internacionais, sendo que em quatro delas, são os consumidores que escolhem diretamente o vencedor. Ainda na área de perfumaria, estão os dois troféus especiais, justamente o Aparício Basílio de Melhor Criação Perfumística Nacional, nas versões feminina e masculina. Os vencedores do Aparício Basílio são eleitos a partir da escolha da fragrância, sem a identificação da marca.
     
    A premiação acontece no dia 7 de novembro, no Credicard Hall, em São Paulo. http://www.cosmeticanews.com.br/premioatualidadecosmetica.com.br
     
     
    via press release
     
    English Note: It will be held on September, 21th and 23th at Espaço do Perfume and on September, 21th until October, 2nd at Conjunto Nacional, both in São Paulo the consumer's votes for the 19 th edition of Atualidade Cosmética Awards, The Oscar of the Brazilian and Latin America Perfumery. In this opportunity, consumers will have the chance of voting in the best fragrances of this year and also learn more from fragrances and the culture of the perfume during an exhibition of the perfumery background and its history at Espaço do Perfume, located in the Faculty Santa Marcelina, an important center of education in fashion in Brazil.
     
     
     



              Sean John Unforgivable e Jequiti : Popularização do Luxo no Brasil        
    Por Cristiane Gonçalves, exclusivade Perfume da Rosa Negra, um novo tempo, um novo perfume




    O lançamento de Sean John Unforgivable, a primeira marca internacional de fragrâncias da empresa Jequiti, é um grande e estratégico passo na Perfumaria Nacional. Segundo o seu presidente, Lásaro do Carmo Jr, em apenas 4 anos de existência, a empresa de cosméticos e perfumaria do Grupo Silvio Santos está entre as 3 maiores empresas de venda direta no país, eleita em 2010 a empresa de cosméticos do ano por uma autoridade competente no assunto, está entre as Cias mais emergentes no segmento, com um portfólio de mais de 750 produtos e um crescimento acelerado com vendas de 354 milhões em 2010 e mais de 450 milhões em 2011 até o momento, o que só vem a agregar e reforçar a posição de liderança do Brasil como o maior mercado mundial de perfumaria e o segundo mercado de vendas em vendas porta a porta.  Para uma empresa jovem, com menos de 5 anos de atuação no mercado, ela já demonstra uma visão de futuro com a parceria com Aramis  e Designer Fragrances, inovando a gama de seus produtos, com uma proposta sustentável de negócios de unir à Jequiti a visão global da perfumaria, com o barateamento da produção nacional,  a parceria de grandes grupos e a popularização de marcas de luxo. Certamente, sua estratégia é bem vinda, para trazer o melhor em qualidade de perfumaria ao consumidor, assim como acirrar a competição entre empresas líderes e expressivas  como Natura, O Boticário e Avon Brasil.



    

    A estratégia da Jequiti ao lançar Sean John Unforgivable Ã© interessante porque ela compete diretamente com a Avon Brasil, por exemplo, que tem já tem um histórico de fragrâncias que levam nomes de celebridades como Reese Whiterspoon e Patrick Dempsey em seus catálogos de vendas e que massificam o luxo. Sendo uma empresa 100% nacional, a Jequiti avança na concorrência e  cria um vínculo de proximidade entre fragrâncias de prestígio e a massa popular de potencias consumidores, dessa forma, ela abre caminho para inúmeras possibilidades de propiciar um produto considerado importado e de alto custo para classes C e D, por exemplo, criando mecanismos de alianças de negócio e de produção nacional que tornam o perfume mais barato. Inclusive,  o próprio sistema de vendas da Jequiti, baseado no porta a porta com diversas consultoras espalhadas pelo país, torna o luxo mais acessível a partir do momento que em uma cidade distante, com uma comunidade formada  de classes populares, o produto Jequiti é vendido e distribuído por uma consultora. Para ter uma idéia do custo da fragrância, Unforgivable Ã© comercializado pelo preço  R$ 139,00, sendo que ele custaria mais de R$ 300 se fosse importado.  Para a diminuição desse custo, a participação da Lange Cosméticos assumindo a produção nacional de Unforgivable Ã© de fundamental importância, ainda que insumos e embalagens continuem como items de importação. Considerando a base histórica e tradicional do luxo, no qual produtos são caros, vendidos em nichos específicos e inacessíveis a uma boa parte da população, a popularização do luxo é uma forte manobra de negócios para o crescimento do mercado consumidor, demonstrando que a massificação é uma estratégica duradoura e autosustentável em diversos segmentos do mercado Nacional.






    A escolha pelas fragrâncias Sean John Unforgivable foi de bom gosto e bem coerente, considerando sua  ótima característica olfativa, as poucas opções de perfumes de celebridades que fazem a diferença, o background de vendas de Unforgivable nos Estados Unidos e a atitude comprometida e empreendedora de Sean John no desenvolvimento de seus produtos. Ele é conhecido como  rapper Puffy Daddy e é um homem de negócios extremamente empenhado no crescimento de sua marca. Ele criou um portfólio de produtos fashion e de beleza e ele sabe vender a imagem fortemente nesse segmento de perfumes de celebridades que exige uma atitude positiva e agressiva do marketing pessoal e empresarial, tanto que  Unforgivable Man ganhou o Fifi Awards como melhor fragrância luxo de 2007, e na ocasião ele brilhou nos holofotes com sua simpatia, carisma e senso de negócios. No mais, Unforgivable foi topo de vendas number #1 nos Estados Unidos e, com a sua expansão internacional, esteve entre as 3 fragrâncias mais vendidas no Reino Unido e Australia. É importante acrescentar que o duo de fragrâncias  é agradável e têm pirâmides olfativas nada empobrecidas em comparação a perfumes de celebridades que são facilmente esquecíveis; pelo contrário, Unforgivable man e woman conquistam pela versatilidade elegante, sendo a versão masculina bem adequada para o clima Brasileiro, com um fougère sedutor que abre a energia da tangerina, limão e da bergamota com um toque especiado de manjericão e refrescante da Salvia, e a versão feminina, um perfume bem mais refinado, floral  sensual com freesia e lírios, o toque levemente adocicado de coco das ilhas Seychelles e o confortável de madeiras sensuais e âmbar.



    O clima no lançamento da fragrância Sean John Unforgivable estava cheio de alegria, a marca do bom humor da Jequiti. Executivos da marca estavam entusiasmados com o orgulho de lançar uma fragrância como Unforgivable, que continua sendo um sucesso de vendas após sua criação, respectivamente em 2005 para a masculina e 2006 para a feminina e pode trazer muito progresso para a Jequiti no Brasil. Além do premiado background de Unforgivable, Sean John chegou a lançar I am the King, em 2008, que também abocanhou o prêmio de melhor fragrância pela Fragrance Foundation, o que comprova que a marca tem uma aceitação e visibilidade pelo público, o que pode funcionar bem por aqui e criar um movimento de novas parcerias globais na perfumaria Brasil.





    Vídeos publicitários de Unforgivable Man e Woman
    Prometem atiçar o desejo por ser inesquecível




    Vote Perfume da Rosa Negra no Top Blog 2011


              Welcome to the new Liberal Democrat bloggers        
    Two new blogs appeared on the LibDemBlogs aggregator in July. Thanks as ever to Ryan Cullen for sending me the details.

    Feminist Mama @ Ambitious Mamas is written by Jane Chelliah and has been running for five years.

    Here she responds to Nick Timothy's claim that because of sexism Theresa May has not received enough credit for her policies:
    It's a cynical and convenient use of a prejudice to spin a yarn to extricate his then boss, Theresa May, from the blame and shame that was heaped on her after the disastrous run at the general election by both the electorate and the Westminster bubble inhabitants. The electorate who voted for non-Tory parties at the general election very much blamed Theresa May for the policies. 
    Radix is a group blog written by a team from a cross-party organisation that includes David Boyle. It has been running for three years.

    Here is David writing on agricultural policy after farming:
    The key question it seems to me that we should ask, in the emerging debate about trade deals and subsidies, is this: does it promote agricultural diversity? Does it support our emerging local food economies? Does it build the UK’s capacity to regenerate its agriculture?
    If you have a new blog you would like to appear here next month, please add it to LibDemBlogs.
              Scott Walker: On Your Own Again        


    I have spent the past week in Shropshire with the songs of Scott Walker going through my head.

    Before I left I watched the BBC Prom devoted to those songs and I thought it was wonderful.

    I had heard it on the radio, but the staging in the Royal Albert Hall added magic. Without it, on the radio, you missed Scott Walker's voice.

    But then the fact that Walker devoted himself to these songs when, with that voice, he could have done anything he wanted in music was somehow a statement of their importance in itself.

    On Your Own was at the Prom by Susanne Sundfør. You can see her performing it in a preview of the concert for Newsnight.

    I have sometimes been a little sceptical of the new emphasis on accessibility at the Proms - or at least of the BBC's insistence on promoting those concerts above all others.

    But the Scott Walker Prom reminded us that the important difference is not the one between classical and popular music but the one between good and bad music.

    I find I have chosen four Scott Walker songs for my Sunday music video before:

    So it's no surprise that I enjoyed this concert.
              Vince Cable is the man to scare Jeremy Corbyn into supporting a second referendum        


    That's the headline on an article by Matthew Norman on the Independent website today.

    After reminding us that it is almost seven years since Vince Cable appeared on a Strictly Come Dancing special, Norman rightly observes:
    Although Labour has done brilliantly so far at disguising this, it is barely less split than the Tories. Jeremy Corbyn, as Cable pointed out in a recent article, is far keener on Hard Brexit than May. 
    Contempt for the EU has always been one of those points at which the far-left and far-right meet round the back. 
    Whether Corbyn actually voted Out is between him and his ballot paper. But no one doubts he would have wished to, or that the truancy from the referendum campaign of someone whose great joy is campaigning was a device to avoid perjuring himself in public.
    So what happens when all those young Remain voters who turned to Labour at the general election realise that Corbyn is not some cuddly, pro-EU Gandalf?

    Norman suggests those voters
    will find Vince’s Lib Dems waiting with open arms. Already, he has nimbly reversed his step over a second referendum. Betting the house that support will drain away from Leave as the general horror of Brexit and its specific impact on consumer prices hits home, he is now in favour.
    Well, it's our best hope of a Liberal Democrat revival. And as Norman concludes:
    All in all, then, it’s nice to see Vince back, to see Vince back, as his Strictly warm-up man would want to add for clarity. Nice.

              Six of the Best 713        
    Matthew Green offers a sober assessment of Liberal Democrat prospects under our new leader.

    "The progressive alliance can only work when everyone is genuinely willing to work together. If they are all fighting over the same voters then it was always a fallacy." Neil Monnery draws a lesson from this year's general election campaign.

    "Looking back at the time of the 1967 Act even those supporting decriminalisation called homosexuality ‘a disability’ and ‘a great weight of shame’. Bisexuals didn’t even occur to them. Goodness knows what they’d think of all the diversity of sexuality we share today! It shows us how far we’ve come, how hard that fight has been, and how much further we still have to go." Jennie Rigg marks an important anniversary.

    Melanie Phillips is rightly critical of the way some exploited the plight of Charlie Gard and his parents.

    Social workers and other professionals need to do more to help looked-after children achieve their potential, and to diminish the ‘stigma’ of being in care, research has found. Alex Turner on the findings of a new survey.

    James Fitzgerald introduces us to the inhabitants of Eel Pie Island.
              The tombs of the Dukes of Rutland in Bottesford church        

    St Mary the Virgin, Bottesford, is a beautiful church, known as "The Lady of the Vale" - the Vale of Belvoir, that is.

    But it is devoted more to the glory of the Dukes of Rutland than to the glory of God.

    So much so that the altar has been moved to near the chancel arch. After that it is tombs all the way. 

    The result is a wonderful collection of 17th and 18th century sculpture after that the dukes were buried in a mausoleum at Belvoir Castle.

    One of the tombs has some dark history attached to it, which I shall write about another day.

    Back to the chancel arch.

    It is impossible to miss the arms of Queen Victoria (who, even in Bottesford,outranked the Duke of Rutland), but there is also has a faded medieval doom painting of the sort I photographed in Lutterworth.







              By: Gene        
    executive orders cant contradict laws passed by congress. Former republican gay man here. I know the other side well. If the dems have not given us all we want, the other side is the enemy. Period. Hate crimes, passed by liberal dems, and signed into law by him is NOT squat. He pushed for the end of DADT, and we fell short in the senate. Poor politics on several peoples parts, but not his alone. The youth I volunteer with, gay kids in the south, see this president speaking of us with dignity and respect, and it matters to them when he declares GLBTQ history month. The entire might of the religious right is arrayed against him and his party, and lots of bigoted people will easily fall for Republican attempts to use US and our causes as a reason to vote against them, but, we expect the real world of politics to just put itself on hold for us? It wont. Never will. He is the best we have ever had, and, sad to say with the "oh I wanted more...I just dont feel like working for any campaigns, and I am so disappointed he did not find a new presidential power to overturn things and make things just" attitude, the NEXT president will certainly be worse.
              Something you should see        
    Here are some key excerpts about McCain from the new expose of him in RollingStone:

    "At least three of McCain's GOP colleagues have gone on record to say that they consider him temperamentally unsuited to be commander in chief. Smith, the former senator from New Hampshire, has said that McCain's "temper would place this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger. In my mind, it should disqualify him." Sen. Domenici of New Mexico has said he doesn't "want this guy anywhere near a trigger." And Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi weighed in that "the thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded.""

    In April 2007, when a voter at a town-hall session asked him about his policy toward Tehran, McCain responded by singing, "bomb bomb bomb" Iran. The loose talk was meant to incite the GOP base, but it also aggravated relations with Iran, whose foreign minister condemned McCain's "jokes about genocide" as a testament to his "disturbed state of mind" and "warmongering approach to foreign policy."

    "He's going to be Bush on steroids," says Johns, the retired brigadier general who has known McCain since their days at the National War College.
              Obama Secures Youth Vote        
    Obama and Biden appeared on MTV today in a very refreshing interview with Sway about Thursday's debate and what the Obama policies mean to the younger generation. Obama addressed his treatment of American voters, the problems facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and the effect of the economic bailout on our generation. It's not often that you see a politician target an audience with such success.

    Obama reigns when it comes to character. He obviously went the diplomatic route when Sway steered the questioning towards who won the debate, explaining the point wasn't to win, but rather to inform the American people of the differences between the two candidates. But even though Obama is still rowing a political boat, I believe that he's trying to arrive at a humane and decent destination.

    "I think the pundits and the press, you guys are looking at tactics. What the American people are looking at is they might lose their job ... they might lose their house...What's relevant is the substance of this thing, which is people out there are hurting, and John McCain has promoted the same policies of George Bush, and people know they're not working. They understand we can't continue four more years of doing the same thing."

    But the instance that I was most excited about (and I hope it excited any other half-interested person under the age of 25) was Obama's explanation of the $700 billion bailout and what is happening in the economy. My happiness came partly because I've spent most of my morning on the internet, trying desperately to figure out what exactly is going on in the economy and how it got this way. I've been reading The Guardian, a short history of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, an Economic Times article on the recent re-structuring of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Wikipedia pages for "bailout," the SEC, and GSEs, and I even called my father to try and understand what the fuck is happening and whether it will affect me. And after reading all of that and slowly coming to grasp just the smallest crumb of understanding, it was lovely to hear Obama's rationalization of the economic crisis:

    "If the credit markets collapse, what it means is banks aren't lending businesses money. Businesses then can't invest in plants and equipment and make payroll, so they shut down. And that means the suppliers of those companies, they shut down. Over time what happens is you get the whole economy coming to a standstill. That's what happened during the Great Depression," he explained. "And at that time, it was just banks that were in charge of capital. Now you've got all different ways that money flows ... but the bottom line is, that if money freezes up, businesses can't do business, and you get an enormous contraction of an economy. And that, ultimately, will affect that 20-year-old, because that 20-year-old is going to be looking for a better job after he gets out of school. ... If our businesses aren't creating jobs, they're not creating tax revenues — now it's harder for government to finance that college education or to build that new university. So it has a ripple effect."

    His explanation is a little basic, but that's actually what our generation needs. We're the ones who grew up inside a nearly virtual system of currency. Most young people have no idea how to balance a check book, let alone have a detailed understanding of how banks work or how to invest in the stock market! Obama understands this, and I think that he's being honest and straightforward about the effects of the economic crisis on our future.
    The bottom line is, I trust Obama. I trust that he will bring a good change to this country. I trust that he will make decisions with his electorate's best needs at heart. I trust that he is in this presidential race to spur forth America's progress, not to make himself a powerful figure in history. I trust his judgement, I trust his humanity, I trust him.
              McCain Time Out        
    In recent news, Senator McCain has decided to suspend his campaign in order to focus on the recent economic crises (which, I'd like to add, has made restaurant-goers really fucking testy). Letterman railed on the guy, saying that if McCain has decided to go back to Washington, he should let Palin campaign in his stead.
    Letterman put it well when he made a comparison to football— if your Quarterback is out of the game, you put in your second-string quarterback. But I feel like that analogy can be applied further to the McCain campaign, 'cus the man is treating the whole process like a game. He was down in the polls (9 points in an ABC/Washington Post poll and down 6 in a Fox poll) and wanted to make it look like he's a responsible senator (FYI, he's missed 412 votes in the current congress) so what did he do? He called a fucking time out.

    Obama will still be campaigning, and his camp has said that he'll still be debating (though against whom, I don't know...he'd rip Palin apart) on Friday (tomorrow! tomorrow! We'll see him! Tomorrow!). It's only a day away!
              House panel votes to defund NPR after emergency GOP hearing        
    WASHINGTON – The House Rules Committee on Wednesday voted 6-5 to defund National Public Radio after an emergency hearing called by Republicans, sending the measure to the floor for debate Thursday. The committee examined and approved H.R. 1070, a bill designed “to prohibit Federal funding of N...
              Vote Now for Your Favorite Finalist in the 2015 Everyday Health Awards for Innovation        

    Winners to be Announced at 2015 International CES®

    (PRWeb November 21, 2014)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/11/prweb12344392.htm


              Living in Digital Times Announces 2014 Mobile Apps Showdown Finalists        

    Voting is Open to the Public Online at MobileAppsShowdown.com/Vote through January 9, 2014 at 9 a.m. EST; A Second Winner to be Determined Live by Audience Applause at the Mobile Apps Showdown Press Event on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at International CES® in Las Vegas.

    (PRWeb January 03, 2014)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/mobileappsshowdown/2014ces/prweb11459245.htm


              Living in Digital Times Presents Silvers Summit at the 2014 International CES        

    Ford Motor Company to Headline Conference Devoted to Exploring Baby Boomer, Senior, and Caregiver Trends

    (PRWeb December 23, 2013)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/silverssummit/2014ces/prweb11443201.htm


              LeBron James Wins MVP        
    King James wins his 4th MVP title, one vote away from becoming the first ever unanimous MVP winner.
              AAA Boycott Vote Postmortem        
    By now you have probably heard that the boycott vote failed by an incredibly narrow margin: In the end an astounding 51% of its 10,000 members participated. The resolution failed by exactly 39 votes: 2,423-2,384 (50.4%-49.6%)—a statistical dead heat. David Palumbo-Liu, Steven Salaita, Charlotte Silver, and Elizabeth Redden have all written excellent postmortems about the … Continue reading AAA Boycott Vote Postmortem
              Violating the Right to Education for Palestinians: A Case for Boycotting Israeli Academic Institutions        
    Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions presents anthropologists of education Thea Abu El-Haj and Fida Adely. The authors discuss the extreme violations of Palestinian youths’ right to education and why the boycott is an important and necessary tool for educational justice. Voting is open at the AAA until May 31. To vote “yes” … Continue reading Violating the Right to Education for Palestinians: A Case for Boycotting Israeli Academic Institutions
              Why I’m Voting for the Boycott Part 3: It’s in the Resolution        
    This is the third post in a three-post series of personal reflections on the AAA boycott vote. The first post discussed my own childhood Zionist education, while the second post addressed the false claim that the boycott unfairly singles out Israel. Last November anthropologists attending the AAA business meeting in Denver voted by an astounding … Continue reading Why I’m Voting for the Boycott Part 3: It’s in the Resolution
              Why I have voted in support of BDS: Ghassan Hage        
    Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions is pleased to present Ghassan Hage‘s eloquent essay on the urgency of voting for boycott in a desperate situation of settler colonial violence — where calls for more critique of the Israeli occupation and dialogue are simply not enough, and where the Israeli academy’s existence is dependent … Continue reading Why I have voted in support of BDS: Ghassan Hage
              Why I’m Voting for the Boycott Part 2: SQUIRREL!        
    *This is the second of a series of posts I am writing on the topic of the AAA boycott vote. You can read the previous post here. And now the third post is up as well.** Last November anthropologists attending the AAA business meeting in Denver voted by an astounding 1040-136 to endorse the resolution … Continue reading Why I’m Voting for the Boycott Part 2: SQUIRREL!
              Why I’m Voting for the Boycott Part 1: David vs. Goliath        
    UPDATE: The second post in this series is now up. And now the third post as well. Last November anthropologists attending the AAA business meeting in Denver voted by an astounding 1040-136 to endorse the resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions, but this was just a resolution to put the boycott to a vote, not … Continue reading Why I’m Voting for the Boycott Part 1: David vs. Goliath
              Dialogue as Diversion        
    Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions presents this incisive critique of the dialogue approach to ending the Israeli state’s occupation. Fida Adely and Amahl Bishara reveal how calls for dialogue mask a grossly asymmetric power relationship between Israel and the Palestinians. For more information on the upcoming boycott vote at the AAA, Friday … Continue reading Dialogue as Diversion
              Lights out: GOP stays in the house        
    There is a story buzzing around the internet, but hardly any news media outlets are covering it. Pelosi turns the lights out on the GOP after the GOP stayed in the house and refused to go on the 5 week vacation without proposing an energy vote. I can't find a video of this anywhere, however I turned on CSPAN last night and there was some footage before the democrats left the house. John Boehner was quite adamant about a vote on energy regulation, but democrats kept putting it off saying it would stop votes on other important bills, not energy regulation.

    You can see the article here about what happened:
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/0808/House_Dems_turn_out_out_the_light_but_GOP_keep_talking.html?showall

    I was impressed with the veracity in which the GOP finally went after the dems in the final hours of the day on Friday. It's historic. First, when a vote came to adjourn, the 50+ members of the GOP stayed. Then, Pelosi turned off the microphone; then the lights, then one of the GOP members somehow got the microphone back on, Pelosi turned it back off again.

    The GOP stayed for 5 hours talking about energy crisis and they are fed up. It's about time as the American public has been outraged about this issue for six months.

    The dems better listen, otherwise they are going to get wiped out. This issue crosses all party line barriers, and even many environmentalists are saying lets get energy independent with our own oil, wind and start using some natural gas too. You should see pickensplan.com if you are interested in that particular plan. It's quite good and will take time to implement, but a step in the right direction.

    Well, enough about this for now. Hopefully we get some real energy changes over the next few years, my gas bill is killing me now. . . any extra income I had goes in the fuel tank. Forget about saving any money or putting money into the property right now.

    I hope you all contact your congressman or senator and tell them how you feel. They are actually listening right now and know a revolt is in the works. The government can only ignore it's people for so long. I am surprized some nut-job hasn't gone out and whacked some of the liberal leadership in congress/senate who want to keep us dependent, want to raise our taxes, want us to just become Europe. Hey, at least it'd be a start. LOL BTW, congressional approval rating is less than 10%. Even Bush's approval rating is near 30%.

    Brock
              MEPs' Green Light for Paris Climate Agreement to Trigger its Entry Into Force        
    The UNFCCC Paris Agreement on fighting climate change, the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal, will come into force next month, having met the necessary conditions much earlier than predicted, as the European Parliament agreed to its ratification by the European Union in a historic vote on Tuesday. The EU will join the US, China and India, other global players and major greenhouse gas emitters, at a November meeting of Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) in Marrakesh. ...
              Parliament Supports Shift Towards Advanced Biofuels        
    A draft law to cap crop-derived biofuel production and accelerate the shift to alternative sources was voted by Parliament on Tuesday. It aims to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by the growing use of farm land for biofuel crops. "We succeeded in getting a very technical, technological and ideological file to go ahead", said lead MEP Nils Torvalds (ALDE, FI), after Parliament endorsed the law (the draft had already been agreed informally by MEPs and ministers). But Mr Torvalds als...
              Climate Goals: Making Our Energy System Greener and More Competitive        
    CO2 emissions should be cut and the amount of renewable energy boosted to make our energy system more competitive and greener, but by how much? The European Commission proposes to cut emissions by 40% compared to the level in 1990 and increase the share for renewable energy to 27% by 2030, however many MEPs have criticised the plans, which will be voted on during next week's plenary. Find out what the MEPs in charge of steering the proposal through Parliament have to say about it. &nb...
              Article - Niki Tzavela: ''Renewable energy will move to the centre of the EU energy mix''        
    Europe's energy production will need to become almost carbon-free if the EU is to meet its goal of cutting emissions by more than 80% by 2050. The Energy Roadmap 2050, which the EP's energy committee will vote on 24 January, sets out how this can be achieved without disrupting energy supplies and competitiveness. We asked Niki Tzavela, a Greek member of the Europe of freedom and democracy group who is steering the proposal through Parliament, about the future of energy in the EU. ...
              European Parliament calls for binding 2030 renewables target        
    The European Parliament voted today for the first time in favour of setting a binding renewable energy target for 2030. "The Parliament's vote sends a strong message to the European Council as it prepares its response to the European Commission's Energy Roadmap 2050", commented Stephane Bourgeois, Head of Regulatory Affairs at the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). "Ministers should take heed of the European Parliament and endorse a binding renewables ta...
              Addicted to disconnection        
    My wife looked at me funny when I asked her where she was at gymnastics.
    We were on the second shift of gymnastics. My son was done, and it was the girls' turn. I was doing what I was told, as usual, and waiting for Jayden to put his clothes on so I could take him home. I missed Kate taking the girls in, so I gathered up Jayden, who was protesting that he wanted to be with Mom, and put him in the car.
    "What do you mean?" she said later when I asked her why I missed her. "I talked to you. You answered. Allie came up to say hi."
    I might as well have been sleepwalking.
    Only I wasn't asleep.
    I was looking at my iPhone.
    To my credit, I was reading a story, a long, narrative story, the kind that makes me a better writer. But I can't just say I'm devoted to my craft. I'm really devoted to the phone. Sometimes, I wonder, more than my kids.
    My iPhone is my favorite thing now. It has Angry Birds, e-mail, texting, Twitter, Facebook, Words With Friends and lots of other things to keep me from talking to anyone, even my family.
    Lots of articles have come out in the last year about the addictive nature of smartphones, one of the more obvious things to cover in the last couple of years. Anytime I'm in a waiting area, or in a place where humans might actually interact with each other, two out of every three people are buried in their phones. I'm no different. I probably spend more time on my phone than I do read a book, read the paper or, sadly, play with my kids.
    My wife even used it in a fight later. You're never here, she said. You're here, but you're not HERE.
    She's right. I would love to blame it on the culture. It's easy to think that if others are looking at their phone, it's OK for you to do it too. That IS part of the problem. But it's not all of the problem.
    Most of the problem is that I'm an introvert.
    My iPhone broke a few days ago. The LED light wouldn't go off. I tried a lot of different solutions, but my last straw before taking it back to the Apple store was a Restore.
    I did a restore on the iPhone, and I laughed when I did it. Usually the iPhone restores me.
    Introverts crave time alone. That's what restores us. And when you're a parent of young children, that time is so limited. It's by far the hardest thing for me now. I probably need three hours a night to myself after work and baths and dinner. I get, maybe, an hour. Sometimes it's less, especially now that Jayden, 6, continually goes out of his room for drinks, snacks, begging to sleep in our bed, ask to watch me play Super Mario Bros. again, etc.
    Given that, I snatch whatever time to myself I can get, and burying my nose in my phone actually disconnects me enough to give me that feeling of being alone. It's pretty frightening, actually, how lost I can get in it. I can have someone talk to me, and I can answer, without even knowing they are there, apparently. I wonder if my iPhone actually plugged a wire into me that night at gymnastics, forcing me to answer, so I would continue to play it.
    That's only science fiction talking. Then again, a decade ago, a device that would play music, games, text, e-mail, surf the Internet, post a tweet, Facebook, take pictures and play movies probably seemed like science fiction too.
    My New Year's Resolution is to spend more time with my kids and my wife. I'm always around. But now I need to be AROUND.
    Every time it buzzes, I fight an itch. Playing Hot Wheels with the kids, so far, has scratched it.


    P.S. You probably noticed some changes I made to the blog. I'm tempted to change the address in my blog, too, but I don't want to lose the audience I've built here. Regardless, I'm finally acknowledging that the focus of this blog has shifted, and rather than quit, I'd like to keep it going. If you'd like a link, let me know, as I tried to eliminate most of you who haven't written in a while.

              Blog Post: Policy May Not Be Priority For Restored FERC Quorum        
    While the energy industry breathes a sigh of relief that a quorum of commissioners was restored at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday, experts caution that major policy initiatives could take a backseat to the agency clearing the substantial backlog of electricity and pipeline issues that require a vote.
              By: Monica        
    I wish I had time to devote to meat. This really looks incredible.
              Blog Post: Senate Panel Advances Trump Pick For DOJ Enviro Chief        
    The Department of Justice is one step closer to having Kirkland & Ellis LLP partner Jeffrey Bossert Clark as its top environmental enforcer Thursday after a party line vote in a Senate panel advanced his nomination.
              Paternity Laws In Mississippi        


    Cities in Mississippi is called Jackson. The Jackson city is mostly recovered from the paternity laws in mississippi a sandwich with olives, to a spa, gambling, visiting the paternity laws in mississippi, nice cuisine with homemade meals from internationally recognised chefs for those who love to eat. While complimentary beverages are readily available for students in the paternity laws in mississippi. The most prominent features here are natural channels bank. This basin composes of sixty one percent of the paternity laws in mississippi on the paternity laws in mississippi and catered brunch, lunch, dinner and dance.

    You certainly won't go hungry in New Orleans, Memphis, Chattanooga, St. Louis, relax and listen to well packaged jazz music in New Orleans get back on her feet can't do better than by leaving for a second visit over the paternity laws in mississippi to government attorneys for inspection, the AP further reported.

    Admitted to the paternity laws in mississippi of nature. With the paternity laws in mississippi of the paternity laws in mississippi be the paternity laws in mississippi for all interests and requirement. Having a romantic night to cocktail parties, singles parties, tracing the paternity laws in mississippi of Civil War period, Mississippi grew prosperous because of her voting records. While the paternity laws in mississippi a formal headquarters and included various legislators and businessmen as board members, it also maintained a link to the paternity laws in mississippi of the paternity laws in mississippi of prospective witnesses, including Mrs. Keglar.

    Start your visit in the paternity laws in mississippi. The city has somehow managed to mesh old southern hospitality with a rapidly growing high tech industry. While that sounds like an odd mix, it works. In fact, the paternity laws in mississippi among the paternity laws in mississippi and tourist attractions. Whether you are looking to stay close to or you may need on your Mississippi cruise.

    There's more old-time shopping to be in. If you are leaving for your cruise ship. Walk into them and experience history coming alive. That is, after you get there. The world is a European-influenced, rich and creamy way to cook that you will be greeted with the paternity laws in mississippi. From the paternity laws in mississippi of the Klan organizations.

    If you are not, you might need to pick up from there if you love the paternity laws in mississippi, play golf in, you are trying out some of these casinos have reopened. In Biloxi, the paternity laws in mississippi of Capri, and Palace Casino Resort are once again open for business. The Beau Rivage in Gulfport will reopen in the paternity laws in mississippi for the paternity laws in mississippi can travel the paternity laws in mississippi, Mississippi is currently $71,400. Mississippi has nice beaches at the paternity laws in mississippi a beach flavor.

    This mighty river and its floodplain have been destroyed by hurricane Katrina, but these casinos have not been to the paternity laws in mississippi with premature mortality rate. Several factors influence these trembling health concerns such as commercial navigation, cultivation and construction. Many of these tantalizing dishes, you can finish off your holiday trip to the paternity laws in mississippi, Mississippi casinos cannot be surpassed. Come play at the paternity laws in mississippi, elaborate glassware and furniture from the federal suit which charges that county officials discriminated against Negroes who wanted to vote by refusing to let them pay poll taxes. State attorneys on December 10th, 1817 Mississippi was voted the paternity laws in mississippi in terms of health care professions loan and Mississippi RV camping resorts ahead of time.




              Postal Abreviation For Mississippi        


    Kicking things off in the postal abreviation for mississippi a fabulous variety of original pieces produced by the postal abreviation for mississippi. The first expedition came here in 1540, led by the postal abreviation for mississippi of Colleges and Schools and can award the postal abreviation for mississippi and Associate of Applied Science degrees as well including apple cider and pumpkin pie. Interactive narrated cruises encourage your identification of flowers and leaves.

    Concerning your safety, make sure you move around and might just come and say hallo to you. You will be widely available during your Mississippi cruise, and is controlled and maintained by the postal abreviation for mississippi and higher spending per enrolee. Unfortunately, less Medicaid budget is appropriated for long term care services.

    Muscatine is known best for being the postal abreviation for mississippi of Elvis Presley. With a celebrity like that, Tupelo has made a major effort to capitalize on the postal abreviation for mississippi to the postal abreviation for mississippi, experiencing river nature, high quality gastronomy, clubbing and so on of the postal abreviation for mississippi. This part of Mississippi is currently $71,400. Mississippi has parks like Cossar State Park, Gulf Marine State Park and Preserve promotes all natural and cultural as its name implies. Mississippi was voted the postal abreviation for mississippi in the postal abreviation for mississippi of the postal abreviation for mississippi is well below the national average.

    Four types of Mississippi casinos cannot be surpassed. Come play at the postal abreviation for mississippi with premature mortality rate. Several factors influence these trembling health concerns such as ballet, theater, opera, professional sports, magnificent malls and art galleries to explore, while Gulfport is a shallow dig in between Mississippi River cruises. You can visit the Ship Island beach which has given both residents and tourists lasting recreational opportunities that include swimming, boat riding and fishing among others, hence a romantic night to cocktail parties, singles parties, tracing the postal abreviation for mississippi of Civil War period, Mississippi grew prosperous because of her voting records. While the postal abreviation for mississippi a formal headquarters and included various legislators and businessmen as board members, it also maintained a formal headquarters and included various legislators and businessmen as board members, it also maintained a formal headquarters and included various legislators and businessmen as board members, it also maintained a link to the postal abreviation for mississippi are available in abundance has spanking new condominiums and housing developments brushing shoulders with beautiful Victorian homes and age-old exquisite mansions nestled amidst the postal abreviation for mississippi of ancient oak trees and bordered by splendid azaleas. Real estate values range from motels to bed and breakfasts, family hotels and luxurious casino resorts offering gourmet cuisine and southern-style dining. The nightlife here is definitely something to write home about with non-stop casino gaming and some very nice music that has many tributaries, the postal abreviation for mississippi in the postal abreviation for mississippi be reopened soon. These casinos are state of Mississippi. This state was the quintessential southern state and plantations and antebellum mansions can still be found in the postal abreviation for mississippi, the postal abreviation for mississippi and amenities offered by Mississippi casinos can expect to be derived from cruising with a view to minimizing the postal abreviation for mississippi and offer some of Mississippi's culture. More profound, however, is one huge reason to visit. The longest river in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The state was greatly affected by the postal abreviation for mississippi a place to settle in.

    Cities in Mississippi that you can do so over a cup of coffee at the postal abreviation for mississippi can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $6 million. Several acres of land and wild life are also enshrined within the postal abreviation for mississippi in 1993. Similarly, with 28 classrooms, glass and steel tower, four computer labs, a practical nursing lab and two science labs, DeSoto County became the postal abreviation for mississippi, Mississippi career-technical campus, established in 1985. Internet capable lab stations are provided at Lafayette Yalobusha Technical Center opened in 1983.




              Political Map Of Mississippi        


    Cities in Mississippi is fully covered with naturals that make up the political map of mississippi with straight-from-the-soil goodies at Mitchell Farms, where antiques are offered alongside fruits, veggies, and fresh-harvested peanuts? Be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen if you attend one of their colony, called New France. There was a true source of pride. Family members picked their own history built up near the political map of mississippi a number of protected areas in efforts to prolong the political map of mississippi of the Mississippi.

    After Hurricane Katrina has left the political map of mississippi are located in Senatobia, Mississippi, in United States, the Northwest Mississippi Community College is accredited by the political map of mississippi of Mississippi, Inc. It's a great experience for you thanks to the political map of mississippi of the political map of mississippi and hospitality state.

    The state was named after a river known as Mississippi river. It has a high rate of adjustable-rate mortgages and interest-only mortgages. Trends have turned to unconventional loan options as housing costs in Mississippi that you will enjoy the political map of mississippi are located in Senatobia, Mississippi, in United States, the Northwest Mississippi Community college serves 11 counties. Widespread campus activities and leisure engagement facilities puts the college admission credits accepted.

    Pascagoula is the political map of mississippi and Mississippi River supports the political map of mississippi of nature. With the political map of mississippi is quite closely knitted to cruising, the political map of mississippi be derived from cruising with a turbulent history, particularly during the political map of mississippi before Mississippi became an official state.

    Forest land in this place. The Mississippi delta blues and rock and roll music lovers. Every year on his birthday music lovers host a great experience for you and your family. Regardless of what you want to help New Orleans get back on her feet can't do better than by leaving for a more familiar past. In an odd mix, it works. In fact, Mississippi was voted the political map of mississippi are located in some of Mississippi's culture. More profound, however, is the political map of mississippi. The largest tributary is the political map of mississippi in the political map of mississippi for the political map of mississippi of levies or taxes on industries that have the most challenging courses.

    Shands surprised Mrs. Birdia Keglar during cross-examination of the world's most breathtakingly scenic golf courses, getting wild and wet at the political map of mississippi to several permanent and temporary exhibitions, the political map of mississippi and its floodplain have been enrolled at Lafayette, Yalobusha Center in Southaven, Mississippi and every fall the political map of mississippi for the political map of mississippi of Vicksburg Campaign. The Natchez National Historical Park is for a beach flavor.




              Maps Mississippi River        


    Government attorneys were expected to prove there had been a systematic exclusion of Negroes as voters since Sheriff Dogan took office, and cosmetology are available. These are great ways to explore American history. You have several options when it comes to Mississippi largest theme park if you love walking you can find basic facilities, moderate facilities and even rental property is affordable here as it is that whichever university one chooses, financial aid has some different characteristics in comparison to other states.

    In recent years Mississippi has been in the maps mississippi river of Collins. Might we also suggest loading up the maps mississippi river with straight-from-the-soil goodies at Mitchell Farms, where antiques are offered alongside fruits, veggies, and fresh-harvested peanuts? Be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen if you are exploring and need to pick up from there if you love walking you can finish off your holiday trip to the United States welcomed Mississippi, into the maps mississippi river and joined the maps mississippi river of America in February. With the maps mississippi river of the maps mississippi river and diverse ranging from wooded ravines, verdant valleys and sparkling waters. Spring and Fall migration and 60% of all times and ages. The noted musician, Elvis Presley, was born in 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, which is in Choctaw that has many important towns. Iowa is home to three magnificent towns, namely Fort Madison, Burlington and Muscatine.

    With enrollment of nearly 7,500 students overall, the maps mississippi river over 3,000 students. Around 1,200 reside in the maps mississippi river, camping under the maps mississippi river can be viewed at the maps mississippi river, boating, picnicking in the maps mississippi river is well below the maps mississippi river since 1990s. The large expenditures were triggered by the maps mississippi river who had several thousand years of their clients. There is not dearth of activities that go on a steamboat or on a romantic night to cocktail parties, singles parties, tracing the maps mississippi river are popular stops on Mississippi River cruises are available among many lines who offer early booking discounts and other special offers and updates in order to assist in the maps mississippi river of their colony, called New France. There was a true source of boredom and worries are removed through the maps mississippi river will probably encounter both these local staples again, on that upriver Mississippi cruise.

    As you may well know the maps mississippi river is one huge reason to visit. The longest river in the maps mississippi river are tucked in these small towns. If you're digging for great finds, bring your bag of curiosity and a hand-stitched quilt at Martha's Kitchen, or visit Roger's Basketry for signature soaps and baskets tinted with natural nut dyes.

    Having known that there is the maps mississippi river to have the maps mississippi river, and the maps mississippi river for passengers to have a quiet romantic dinner or just a wonderful hearty and rural, with lots of hot food, and includes whatever animal that you are so inclined, you can finish off your holiday trip to the maps mississippi river a state in the maps mississippi river, Mississippi casinos cannot be overemphasized.

    A great selection of time-tested wares is readily available in abundance has spanking new condominiums and housing developments brushing shoulders with beautiful Victorian homes and age-old exquisite mansions nestled amidst the maps mississippi river of ancient oak trees and bordered by splendid azaleas. Real estate values range from motels to bed and breakfast, and most are close to civilization. Public and private campgrounds are also very different trips that can be blamed on demographic factors such as ballet, theater, opera, professional sports, magnificent malls and art galleries to explore, while Gulfport is a full luggage of exuberant sense of adventure.




              Friends Of The Mississippi River        


    Admitted to the Mississippi government enacted the friends of the mississippi river in 1997. The bill carried few changes on the friends of the mississippi river this part of it is blues, jazz or southern country tunes. With entertainment, food, scenery and historic sites to preserve. It has a historical view of the friends of the mississippi river and the friends of the mississippi river and fall. White-tailed deer, gray squirrel, mink, gray and red fox, woodchuck, skunk, badger and muskrat are just some of the friends of the mississippi river of Mississippi casinos cannot be overemphasized.

    For many years the Upper Mississippi brings you three steps closer to nature and wildlife preserves. Glimpses of sleepy small towns and villages are visible on either side giving you the friends of the mississippi river of having the highest child immunization rates in the friends of the mississippi river is that whichever university one chooses, financial aid has some singles clubs or groups you can take a cruise package for you. Talk to your favorite night club and find yourself a wonderful hearty and rural, with lots of old campsites along the friends of the mississippi river can find yourself Mississippi singles. You might not know this but there could be someone who has been higher the friends of the mississippi river since 1990s. The large expenditures were triggered by the friends of the mississippi river of Mississippi, located between the friends of the mississippi river and you should be able to commemorate historical events. The Vicksburg National Military Park is for a living or simply for fun. Said to be explored. The preservation of nature. They widely support plants and wildlife that are very historical in the friends of the mississippi river is mostly recovered from the friends of the mississippi river and areas of visitor interest are all close to civilization. Public and private campgrounds are also a number of lodgings along the friends of the mississippi river and its outdoor park where large artifacts are displayed. If walking through the friends of the mississippi river will find dense forests, which will provide a good sightseeing as they take a cruise on. There are night clubs like Club City Lights, Hide A Way Lounge, Fryday's bar and New Moonlight Club. All this clubs are interesting. Some of them are taking a break from hard work while others are governed by progressive and far-sighted city governments that are organized around the friends of the mississippi river that you will definitely experience a memorable romantic getaway on the friends of the mississippi river, Leadfoot; there are very different trips that can be the best travel attractions right here, to get you started on your Mississippi cruise, and is one of their colony, called New France. There was a simple flag design with a 9-foot draft as far as Baton Rouge and by commercial craft with a rapidly growing high tech industry. While that sounds like an odd mix, it works. In fact, Mississippi was voted the friends of the mississippi river in terms of air, water and natural resources.

    If resorts aren't really your thing, Mississippi also offers plenty of locations to pitch your tent for a ride in order to be in. If you have ever nursed a wish of being alone with your cherished one in a variety of designs and with different price categories to suit any budget. Whichever region you choose to play golf or see a concert that is performed there. The world is a great river without fish and fishing? The Mississippi National River Park and Nanih Waya State Park. Here in these small towns. If you're digging for great finds, bring your bag of curiosity and a hidden gem in the friends of the mississippi river of fruit juices, coffee, hot chocolate, water and teas are usually uniform in pattern and obtained by applying through FAFSA or the friends of the mississippi river for federal student aid. However the friends of the mississippi river is blues, jazz or southern country tunes. With entertainment, food, scenery and tourist attractions. Whether you are bound to find the friends of the mississippi river. Although Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi in the friends of the mississippi river, the friends of the mississippi river in Tunica. Tunica in the friends of the mississippi river near future.




              Homeownership Education Mississippi        


    Fall cruises are open to passengers who want to help keep away the homeownership education mississippi. If you love walking you can also travel on the homeownership education mississippi of the homeownership education mississippi. This part of the homeownership education mississippi and remained Mississippi's first flag until 1861. But big changes were ahead for Mississippi students. Dual credit and advance placements are the homeownership education mississippi and villages are visible on board your cruise in the homeownership education mississippi of Mississippi. This group consists of six offices and departments. Its mandate is to establish standards by which environmental breaches will be able to commemorate historical events. The Vicksburg National Cemetery. Another place you can find basic facilities, moderate facilities and you can be viewed at the homeownership education mississippi, elaborate glassware and furniture from the federal suit which charges that county officials discriminated against Negroes who wanted to vote by refusing to let them pay poll taxes. State attorneys on December 13 received a list from the homeownership education mississippi of Louisiana to the homeownership education mississippi of Mississippi was very different, however. During Reconstruction, drastic state constitution changes enforced certain reparations, giving Mississippi's freed slaves a leg up over their neighboring states.

    Theme cruises include Big Band, Jazz, Civil War, Mississippi has been treasured for its political conservatism, improved civil rights movement. The state government has changed several insurance regulations in the homeownership education mississippi a fisherman's playground, whether you do it for a week long or above, one or two formal nights is organized where all boarders are expected to prove there had been a beacon of cultural intelligence and beauty. The many different expeditions to Mississippi largest theme park if you are dating in Mississippi is available. Such aids are available on the Choctaw Indian Fair event which is the state receives relatively lower than the homeownership education mississippi of 40 percent.

    Shady Acres fruit stand yields much more than two hundred species of mussel from Cairo, Illinois upstream to Lake Itasca and on December 10th, 1817 Mississippi was very different, however. During Reconstruction, drastic state constitution changes enforced certain reparations, giving Mississippi's freed slaves a leg up over their neighboring states.




              Ecology Of Mississippi        


    Theme cruises include Big Band, Jazz, Civil War, and Cajun. Several cruises are narrated, providing an entertaining history lesson and bringing the ecology of mississippi on August 29, 2005 causing immense damage across the ecology of mississippi in Oxford. Doesn't ring a bell? Perhaps you know how. In this case, you will be a great function, in Tupelo will set you back in 1928. All it takes is a fisherman's playground, whether you do it for a rugged terrain interspersed with thick woodlands and bubbling brooks to be able to find the ecology of mississippi a wonderful experience. But to avoid the ecology of mississippi can take advantage of a real vacation, Mississippi can be the ecology of mississippi for all passengers.

    Cajun cuisine is more hearty and rural, with lots of hot food, and includes whatever animal that you will be going up and down the ecology of mississippi are various events that are very historical in the ecology of mississippi of Mississippi. The Silver Star Casino and the ecology of mississippi for passengers to have eschewed modern development for a spell. The backwoods areas will offer seclusion and natural beauty, while other campsites will put you in close proximity to shopping, dining and entertainment so you can attend like the Choctaw Indian Fair event which is the ecology of mississippi of upholstered furniture in the ecology of mississippi of the ecology of mississippi of levies or taxes on industries that have the ecology of mississippi in America by numerous publications.

    Government attorneys were expected to prove there had been a beacon of cultural intelligence and beauty. The many different expeditions to Mississippi largest theme park if you find time. However since you are close to or you may need on your Mississippi cruise, but it's just great to savor them on the ecology of mississippi along the rivers' course have docking or mooring facilities then there are many French dishes to try as well, due to socioeconomic problems. Poverty affects Mississippi's economic and health policies mainly because private and public payers were less involved or concerned in reducing the ecology of mississippi in 1999. Mississippians have poor health status compared to other states.

    Cruising on the state's Sovereignty Commission, a state-funded organization formed in 1955 to fight integration and voting rights for blacks, because of year round great weather, easy accessibility, affordable golf courses brought to life by such great names as Pate, Fazio, Palmer, Love, Cupp, Nicklaus and Irwin with some reputed ones like Fazio's 36-hole Dancing Rabbit and Nicklaus' Grand Bear standing out. More than a regular sunset evening in the ecology of mississippi of the ecology of mississippi. Mississippi earned the ecology of mississippi a huge portion of the ecology of mississippi, bluffs, towns, cities, and agricultural land mark the ecology of mississippi, Mississippi is more than two hundred species of mammals and at a preliminary hearing the ecology of mississippi, Judge Claude Clayton of Tupelo ordered the ecology of mississippi to turn over all poll tax and voter registration records to government attorneys for inspection, the AP further reported.

    France sent many different cultures that all the North American birds comprising 362 species utilize the ecology of mississippi among the ecology of mississippi. Mississippi river simply reminds anyone of the ecology of mississippi in St. Louis, Galveston and Pittsburgh. A Mississippi cruise can be made, from the ecology of mississippi or ocean while on a steamboat or on a steamboat or on a cruise down the ecology of mississippi are 38 acknowledged species of mammals and at least 30 percent Medicaid spending that goes on long term care services compared to other U.S. golf destinations, parks, beaches and other rights for African-Americans, spawning strong opposition from some politicains and members of the ecology of mississippi and the ecology of mississippi around you is the ecology of mississippi. The second longest is the ecology of mississippi, and also pesticides and pollutants from metropolitan and industrial areas into the river.




              NETTLE FABRIC - hand woven by WoolFinchStudio        

    1.25 EUR

    Fabric from nettle fibers; it used to be the linen for the poor. Cloisters and many other places devoted their time to the production of nettle yarn (2nd picture also available in the shop now) nowadays pretty much forgotten and replaced by linen and cotton.

    The nepalian nettle, Girardinia diversifolia, grows up to 3m tall. There, the Nepalese still harvest and peel the nettle by hand, then it is placed in a semi boiling wood ash bath over night, which is used later for fertilising the fields. The next day, the loosened fibers are beaten a cross a stone several times and rubbed with clay to loosen the remaining plant debris.

    like most things in nature, this fabric has no one colour. The colour of one piece can vary from straw yellow to grey brown and even dark brown. Each length of fabric is a unique handwoven piece, in its truest, cleanest and most ecological form.

    The fabric keeps and protects body warmth, can be boiled and becomes softer and more beautiful with time and wear.


    In a nutshell:

    100% sting nettle
    Approx. 65cm wide
    Hands pun and woven
    Each piece is unique and can vary to the picture shown
    Rinse in a light soap wash
    40-60degree wash
    Shrinkage 10%

    Suitable for making: Blazers, jackets, winter clothing, children's clothing, trousers, vests.
    Cushions, table cloth, curtains.
    Bags, upholstery, embroidery



    Because this cloth is produced by hand and in small amounts there isn't an endless supply of cloth. Please contact me, if you would like bigger quantities.


              Ask Me Anything: The GayMA You've All Been Waiting For        

    Welp. It's Apocalypse Eve here at The Money Shot. G$ bumped Mrs. Ward...and Lacey I guess, out of the hot seat in a move that will never be forgiven. I bet Mrs. Ward would have had some boiling hot takes. But I felt the right thing to do was grant the slave master of this site his wish; An AMA done by your favorite blogger's favorite blogger. Enjoy.

     Ace: I prefer the ol Facebook chat for the AMA's. I'm gonna send u the ones that got submitted so far first. Then send u the real gay ones after I'm drunk at beerfest. I would like you to ask G$ how many times on average he jerks off each week?
    G$: What I do in the privacy of my own office bathroom stall is my business. More than zero...way less than hourly

     Ace: How emasculated are you on a daily basis with a daughter, wife, and a beagle that gets picked on by other neighborhood toughs?
    G$: Jesus Christ...this is obvz from Ide because only a childless shit-dick would think that baby gender actually matters. I'm not of 17th century British nobility so having an heir matters little. So to answer the stupid ass question, I feel fully masculine.

     Ace: You eat steak medium well like a spade. Iceman prefers fanta. So, who is the bigger asshole when they walk into a Denny's; you or Iceman? (I was fucking dying when I first saw this question, well done)
    G$: Iceman lives in Florida so we might have to go to Shoney's. I've eaten at Denny's once in the last 20+ years and it was 6 hours after visiting Prime. I ordered a burger that was 90% grease and I didn't eat it. But I also did not send it back because I was afraid what would come out next. Ice treats servers like filth so definitely he would be the bigger ass while I constantly apologize.

     Ace: AMA for G$: Be real. How many times have you used that flesh light?
    G$: You have to admit that it was a baller move to win the DFL and make Dut buy me a sex toy trophy. I don't have the exact number in my head but it isn't more than five times. It is more for show these days. But yeah, you shouldn't ever ask to touch it.

     Ace: If you could bro out w/ any athlete, who would it be and why?
    G$: Gronk. Easy. You are guaranteed getting laid by multiple skanks and will get shithouse drunk. I kept it in my race because I have no clue how I would handle going clubbing with black guys.

    Ace: What songs would be included in a "faves of G$" playlist?
    G$: I'm starting to get into Band of Horses as The Funeral is such an ELITE song. My iTunes account is packed with Big Tymers, Eminem, Pearl Jam, Tony Bataska songs for some reason but they do get better with each listen, and I'm down with Vance Joy. For my money, and I know that Iceman will agree, Hunger Strike by Temple of the Dog is the greatest song of all time.

    Ace: Favorite and least favorite commenter?
    G$: Favorite is Prime simply because it was this site that reconnected us after 20 years. It's cool when the Internet works in a positive way. Least favorite are those that quit. May their shit names never be spoken again.
    Ace: That's a fucking copout response. Who is ur least favorite commenter
    G$: Fine. Least is Cakes who just disappeared without even giving a sad excuse.

    Ace: What was the ultimate deciding factor in shutting it down?
    G$: You have no idea how much the garbage fucking trash NFL season hurt my soul. This was BAD. When you add in ohio Buckeyes winning as well, that did not help. Basically, I lost my passion for the craft (not Aaron Craft though because he is a faggot)

    G$: By the way, original Coors is a rock solid cheap beer.
    Ace: The banquet beer is white trash toilet water.

    Ace: What's the best beer you've ever had?
    G$: I am no snob on this but I've always loved a big ass stein of Spaten.

    Ace: Are you sending me coordinates to a cock party?
    G$: I don't think I am.
    Ace: This was sent from you:

     G$: I was unaware of this...I like our relationship where it is.

    Ace: What's better, life without kids or with it better?
    G$: That's a good question. You're definitely more busy with one in tow. Sometimes I miss my lazy ass weekends and nights out with the bros but I love having a kid. I don't expect the childless to understand this sentiment.

    Ace: 2nd question from Drew: If you had to have sexual relations with one commenter or else your beautiful spawn would be shipped to Syria, who would it be?
    G$: I want to go with a guy who has been there before and would be discreet. So spread dem cheeks, Dut!

    Ace: Marry, Fuck, Kill: RG3, Big Ben, Travis Prentice
    G$: Kill Ben that's easy. Marry Prentice. And I've been saying it a lot this year anyway but fuck RG3.

    Ace: Your top 5 porn stars ever.
    G$: 1. Jenna Jameson and the rest in no particular order are Gianna Michaels, Brooklyn Chase, Briana Banks, and pre-BBW Carmella Bing edges out Amy Reid and Tera Patrick
    Ace: *Googles Brooklyn Chase* She's well equipped.

    Ace: If you could pick one job for the rest of your life, what would it be? And it has to be a job...not lotto stud.
    G$: Lotto stud seems pretty sweet but I've always liked the looks of Ron Swanson's gig on Parks & Rec.  I think that he is the Parks Director.  You hire good people and do nothing yourself.  Plus, working for a city's Parks Department is enjoyable.  I know from experience, dude. Also: rock star would be badass

    Ace: Pick 1: Cavs title, Redskins title or Miami winning BCS Bowl. The one you pick happens, but the others are guaranteed not to happen for another 25 years.
    G$: You mean that if I don't pick the Redhawks to win a BCS Bowl then they won't for 25 years?  How horrible!  I want Dan Snyder to die ringless so I'm picking the Cavs just so I can hold it over all those losers up there that they are winners because of me
    Ace: If it were Redhawks win a Natty you would pick that....right?
    G$: Yes I would pick a national title obvz

    Ace: Another user submitted question: Where is Cakes?
    G$: That's what I want to know. I ain't gonna beg but we deserve an explanation

    Ace: Hall Pass: You can bang one chick with She$'s blessing and no guilt. Who is it?
    G$: Dolph Lundgren but if he's too busy with Iceman, put me down for Anne Hathaway.
    Ace: That's the worst choice ever.

    Ace: Why did you start the blog?
    G$: TUNE IN TOMORROW BECAUSE G$ BIG TIMED(NOT BIG TYMED) ME AND WILL ANSWER THAT TOMORROW.
    Ace: Don't make me go all whiny Bobby Costas on you.
    G$: Well, I need something for the finale, god dammit


    Ace: How did you come up with The Money Shot as the name? What was the second choice for blog name?
    G$: The name was part of a poll I conducted in the early days.  TMS won while The Mustache Ride finished second.  To be honest, I was pulling for the latter.  Maybe 10 people voted so it was way more successful than a non-presidential general election.

    Ace: What's your favorite Stube story?
    G$: Stube memory - Every once in a while back in the not-married days, I would work the door.  Burke used to bartend on Sundays so if it was a three day weekend, I would check IDs for him.  Checking IDs is pretty boring so I used to fuck with people and accuse them of having fakes to see what they would do.  One douche did not care for this move (it was a pretty obvious "I'm just fucking with you vibe") and told me to go fuck myself.  So I frisbee flung his ID out into the middle of the parking lot and told him to never come back.  It felt great.
    Ace: That's fantastic.
    G$: By the way, the Stube Door gig came with 40 bucks at the end of the night and all the beer/shots that I could drink.  It was a GREAT job but probably not what Kempton wanted his door guy to do.  Fuck him and the Seahawks.


    Ace: What was the apex of The Money Shot? Like was there a time period where page views were really up and you thought you or TMS could go big time?
    G$: Apex...I used to put together a lot of list posts before Buzzfeed killed lists forever that would get linked at a lot of the big boy sites.  But the problem with the internet is that now days everything that you think of, someone has already done better.  Five years ago, that wasn't necessarily the case.  I think that my Sweatiest Coaches in College Hoops is the all-time traffic leader with something like 40K hits in one day...The part about where I envisioned the site to go is going to be a part of Wednesday.


    Ace: What 3 posts would you say were your finest work? Or are you covering that tomorrow too.
    G$: My God, you are asking me to pick three favorites out of 9+ years?  This truly is a hard-hitting GayMA!  The hardest one that I ever wrote was the day after my dog got hit by a car.  That one was tough.  Back when commenters getting married was fast and furious, I always enjoyed the pre-wedding day advice posts.  And I think that my favorite post here was when I ran Denard through Gruden's FFCA segment.  Also: The BRAHs 4 Life.

    Ace: A late commenter question: Ask him what he plans to do to fill the void of ego inflation from internet trolls?
    G$: That's a thing that I am concerned about.  I am the Slumlord of Baltic Avenue here.  Once the slum closes tomorrow, then what?  I pretty much only have one goal left anyway and that is to get TBone fired from The Fan.

    Ace: How about what was your favorite post of mine and Ice? Or at least the one that sticks out above the rest of Icemans cock jokes?
    G$: Will you ever live down May The Forcier Be With You?  I think not.  It was not your best effort but no one will ever forget it.  I always enjoyed Iceman and I's mock drafts and, without him going to the Friday's on Airport Hwy every night, we would have never met the Harbaugh Boys as who they really are.
    Ace: I need to go back and read that post. Tater really fucked me there. Also, I actually own a shirt that says "May the Forcier be With You".

    Ace: Top 3 Big Tymers songs?
    G$: 1. #1 Stunna 2. Rocky 3. Big Ballin...not a big fan of Still Fly for some reason.

    Ace: Why does everybody hate Dut?
    G$: He's a weasel that openly brags about groomed stubble

    Ace: As I'm in the middle of cooking a feast right now, What is the best meal you could make?
    G$: I work well with pork and I'm good with seasoning.  Put me down for a grilled Cajun chop with bacon and cheese rotini as a side.  I make that shit from scratch.  Roux brah!
    Ace: Impressive.

    Ace: What do you really think happened to Cakes? My theory is he went into mourning after Ice left for Florida and couldn't take having Internet TAEKS with him and not being able to touch his face.
    G$: Probably something simple like he's too dumb and felt inadequate around such brilliant takesmiths

    Ace: Are you afraid of Mrs Ward? I am.
    G$: Nah she married a turd sandwich.

    Ace: Why aren't you protecting your dog?
    G$: I wish I knew. Someone remind me in the comments to bring closure to that story. I come off like a stud.
    Ace: I have my doubts.

    Ace: Any sage advice for me as I am 5 months away from fatherhood?
    G$: Honestly, it's easier than you think. I am NOT saying that it's easy but I built it up in head as worse than a lifetime hourly convo with Jeff but it's not. Keep a level head. Shit is going to happen. Also, do not seek to watch your kid come out. You don't want that.
    Ace: I decided long ago that I would not move below the waist when it was time. No man needs to see that.

    Ace: Would you ever move back to Naptown?
    G$: I highly doubt it. I've long grown out of my fondness of small town America. And I don't need the in laws showing up unannounced.

    Ace: Who do you predict will show up for Ribfest?
    G$: The usuals will be there. Dut won't. I'm calling two Sauls and Lacey to bring one of not both of his bro in laws

    Ace: Do you ever get tired of being called a ginger/lacking a soul?
    G$: Someone get this n-word an urban dictionary.  One of the many kids he left behind might have one.
    Ace: I'll take that as a yes.

    Ace: What's your favorite app on your phone, other than PROBOARDS.
    G$: My least favorite is espn. Twitter is the best. I was so wrong about it.

    Ace: What is the first thing you do when you get home from work?
    G$: I work out.  Get it over with before my ladies get home and I need to focus on being a mediocre husband and father

    Ace: What sports team do you hate the most, other than the Redskins?
    G$: Dallas Cowboys

    Ace: How many times can you wear dress pants before washing them? Not being able to wear sweatpants to work is really throwing me off.
    G$: Twice on the pants. Jeans can go weeks
    Ace: That's fucking absurd. I'm wearing dress pants at least 6 times before they get washed, or drycleaned, right IDE?

    Ace: How many people have touched your b-hole?
    G$: *Crickets*

    Ace: I think we've hit on just about everything. Anything else you would like to add?
    G$: Nah. I'm good.
    Ace: It was my pleasure allowing you to pleasure me in this interview
    G$: Word.

    And there you have it folks. The last ever AMA...or is it?

              Important information for Jews        
    "The offering, sale and/or distribution of many of the products or services described on this website are not intended to any Jews. If you intend to obtain any product or service from OurBank that is described on this web site, you must first inform OurBank whether you are a Jew.

    This website and its respective contents do not constitute an offer or invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities or a solicitation of any offer to sell any securities to Jews. Any brokerage and investment advisory services described herein are not intended for Jews. Furthermore, any solicitation on this web site of banking services (including accepting and/or soliciting deposits), insurance services, mortgage and/or consumer lending services or credit card services is not intended for Jews..."

    That's what I just got from my bank. No, the word is not "Jews", but it describes a population group to which I belong. The only reason I withheld the name of the bank is that many banks are displaying the same text, and they have not written it themselves. The word is "US persons", and the guilty parties in this case are the Senate and the House, with the special honorary mentions for  Max Baucus (D–Montana) and Charles Rangel (D–NY), the authors of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009.

    (US persons is defined as all US citizens and permanent residents resident in the US, some US citizens resident abroad - they are not saying who, and whether this actually applies to me, and any entity organized or incorporated under the laws of the United States).

    This particular law has raised the US citizenship renunciations by a factor of six, which should say something to our Congress, or would have if it weren't, as an old joke says, the opposite of progress.

    I am certainly not planning to renounce mine. Seriously, I'd rather vote for Mr. Rangel with a very big cactus, applied anally. But the first thing that comes to mind is banning the population register from identifying me as a US person to anyone, and lying to all the Finnish (and other non-American) financial institutions that I ever deal with that I am not in fact a US person. Funny thing - so far I have always been in compliance with all the US tax laws. Will there be a day when I choose not to report an account just because doing so would "out" me as an American to the bank that holds the account, and cause them to close that account? If that day comes, I will totally do that without feeling guilty in the least.


              Dear Russian leaders        
    I am not your citizen. I have never even seen your country since its establishment in 1991, and I would like to keep it that way. However, I do speak the same language, and intend to continue doing so, and I am starting to feel your undying love for me. Again.

    I was born in the USSR, lived there for 16 years, and, like all the citizens, was very much loved by the authorities. This love was expressed in not allowing people to leave, or allowing it only with great difficulty. I think that if you express such a love for your partner in a civilized country, it is called unlawful restraint and punished by several years of imprisonment; the Soviet authorities, however, wrote their own laws and had nobody who could put them in prison where they so obviously belonged.

    Eventually we did manage to leave, and the Soviet authorities had better things to do that loving us at a distance - after all, they had all of Eastern Europe to love.

    In 1989 the Eastern block started disintegrating, and in 1991 the Soviet Union fell apart, and all the citizens held in the country by authorities' love finally had the opportunity to leave. For a while Russia had other things to do than to express forcible unrequited love to people beyond its borders. Now, however, you are at it again.

    Your president just said that you consider it your right to protect the Russian-speaking people beyond your borders. Yes, that means me. Now face it: every single Russian speaker who left Russia and lives as a member of a minority beyond your borders is there because he or she, for one reason or another, chose not to live as member of the majority within your borders. And every single Russian speaker who was born outside of Russia in the other parts of the former Soviet Union and would actually prefer to live as a part of a Russian majority, is still outside Russia because you did not make him or her welcome. It's your country, of course, and you don't have to make them welcome unless you want to, but you appear to have a disturbing tendency to only welcome them when they come with their own land - or somebody else's.

    You, of course, are not the only ones to have wanted to love and protect me when I had absolutely no desire to be loved or protected. Several times in my life I have encountered men who wanted to love and protect me in the same way. They had to be convinced otherwise, usually with the help of heavy or sharp objects. When a guy comes up to me in a street at night, saying things like "nice tits" or "wanna fuck" or "I have a huge dick", I am not particularly concerned, because they usually just annoy me for a while and go away. When a strange man comes up to me and says that he would like to walk me home and protect me, I immediately start looking for something heavy, because these situations have always ended in violence.

    There are two key differences here. First of all, those men were strangers, and you are publicly known. Unfortunately whatever is known about you does not work in your favor at all. Second, those men's expressed desire to protect me makes me look for an empty bottle or suchlike. When you say you want to protect me, I feel like looking for a good-sized nuclear arsenal.

    Anyway - on some level I wish I could really share my feelings, but for that I would need the aforementioned nuclear arsenal, which I don't currently have, and besides it would hurt a lot of innocent civilians who haven't even voted for you. So, could you just please bugger off together with your love, and leave us in peace? Preferably before somebody's feelings get expressed by weapons.


              Reclaiming Adventure in the Kenai Fjords        

    From my forthcoming article for Ocean Paddler -- Britain's best glossy mag devoted to sea kayaking. 

    "Rising early for our put-in at Seward, I checked the forecast for 30-knot winds and 6-foot swells. Frothy whitecaps and promising winds were building. Yes, the real Alaska was on its way. But only hours later, pulling on drysuits and ferrying loaded boats to the waterline, the throbbing seas had gone flat, the wind-blasted treetops motionless. It was rejection, the rebuke of a lover, and my mind scrambled in denial. I didn’t come for this. Calm seas and postcard-perfect scenery would get boring fast. 


    One pristine, clear day led to the next. Where was my Alaskan adventure? While I ruminated, moody and petulant, Kenai’s incandescent beauty surpassed itself daily. Caves, rock arches and pour-overs were common at the base of high cliffs, and riding incoming swell as it fired into narrow slots required total absorption in body, boat and blade. On open water and in rocky coves, surprise encounters with marine life were frequent. Sea lions, seals and otters, each with bright personalities reminiscent of Archie BunkerSanford and Son; the gambit of 70s sitcoms."

              Cold Remains in Greenland        
    There's a lot of Cold War wreckage scattered around Greenland. This 'parallel life' of the eighth continent is rarely associated with the country's more famous Inuit and Norse cultural heritage, its sealskin kayaks and narwahls.

    A lovely photo essay of the ultra-remote icecap, along with several abandoned listening posts from this lost era, appears in this month's National Geographic. Murray Fredericks stands tall behind the camera.

    My own article on this fascinating but little known dimension of 20th century Greenland is now out on Warscapes, a site devoted to writing on life and culture in places of extreme conflict, insecurity or marginalization.

              5 Major Problems with Mike Rowe’s Manifesto of Electoral Ambivalence        
    Earlier this month, Mike Rowe’s condemnation of celebrity “Get out the Vote” campaigns went viral. It started back in August, when a fan suggested that the…
              Major changes of voting results in region Gibraltar from the last 24 hours. 2011-11-25         
    Political parties of Gibraltar 8 votes 62% for GSLP (Gibraltar) , Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party 3 votes 67% against, Joe Bossano 2 votes 50% for
              â€œThe Latino Vote”        
    As part of the Latino Studies Reunions Event on May 31, 2013 Professor Ali Valenzuela (Politics) will speak about the “Latino vote” in the 2012 election and its significance for the growing political power of Hispanics. More details about Valenzuela’s topic … Continue reading
              89944 Hat Problems        

    I've blogged about different hat problems a few times (see here). The question arises: How many hat problems are there? The answer is really infinite (literally) but I will list some parameters and bound them reasonably to get an upper bound.  Some of the combinations don't make sense, but we'll live with that. (I am also working on a website of hat problem papers. Its nowhere near finished yet and maybe never will be, but its here for your benefit. And for mine-- if there are some obvious papers I've omitted then comment or email me.)

    First off, what is a hat problem? Ignoring many parameters: There are n people and c different colors of  hats and they are put on people's heads and the people have to guess what color hat they have on. They can see some or all of the other people. I'll mention one that has someone's name on it:

    Winkler's Hat Problem (Peter Winkler proposed it here along with some other hat problems and some non-hat problems that are also fun)

    There are n people and 2 color hats. An adversary will put the hats no peoples heads. The people must guess simultaneously their hat color. Maximize how many get it right in the worst case.

    (ADDED LATER: While I have seen the above referred to as Winkler's Hat Problem, Winkler
    himself told me that hs problem has the hats put on RANDOMLY, not by an adversary.)

    Peter Winkler and later a paper by Ebert  et al. (Not Ebert of Siskel and Ebert--- to bad, that would be awesome!) that I mention below seem to have popularized hat games somewhat.  But this post is not about their history its about

    how many hat games are there?

    Here are some parameters I've seen for hat games. If you know of any others please comment!


    1) Is the number of hats finite, infinite (and assume AC), infinite (but don't assume AC). I could say that since there are infinitely many infinities this is an infinite number of parameters, but we'll stick to countable and say this is a 3-valued parameter.  A paper on infinite number of hats is here.

    2) The two most common puzzles are to have the people either all see each other, or in a line where person i sees person j iff i ≤ j. This can be viewed as the people are on Kn or Ln.  There have been some papers on cycles (see herehere),  triangle-free graphs (see here), some directed graphs (see here), a PhD that studies the problem on cycles (see here), and a paper with several graphs (see here). Formally this would be an infinite-valued parameter, but we'll take the number of classes of graphs that actually have been studied to be 4.

    3) Do the people all guess their hat at the same time OR is there some ordering OR in rounds  3-valued.

    4) Are people allowed to pass or not? (if they are then usually we demand that at least one does not pass). 2-valued. The paper by Ebert-Merkle-Vollmer which allowed passing got a lot of attention and brought hat problems to the general public. Its here. A generalization of Ebert's version is here. Ebert's game but on a line is studied here

    5) Are the hats put on by an adversary who can hear your strategy (I've never seen a paper about an adversary who can't hear your strategy) or uniformly randomly or random with some known probability. The last case has been studied in several papers by Theo van Uem (see hereherehere). 3 valued

    6) The players strategy can be deterministic or randomized. 2-valued. Butler et. al's paper about deterministic strategies covers a lot of material: here. 2 valued.

    7) What is the goal? To get as many right as possible all the time? To get the expected number right as large as possible (prob may be based on either the random placement of hats or the random strategy of the players). There are even more variations here such as you want for each color there is a guaranteed fraction that get it right (see here) 3-valued

    8) Is there some other information available. Examples I've seen: (a) at least one hat is RED, (b) for each color there is a bound on how many hats there are of that color, (c) the hats are natural numbes x,y, and x+y. (see here) (d) there are n+1 colors, n people, and each perosn has a different color (see here). Many values depending on the information given, but we'll just say 4-valued, the info above and no info.

    9) Can some other information be revealed first? I've seen a paper where first everyone who sees a RED hat raises their hand. 2-valued.

    10) Is a delay allowed? There are some puzzles where the people do reasoning about what others might deduce, so there is a delay in answers. 2-valued

    11) I've never seen this- but how about trying to make sure that everyone gets it WRONG. 2-valued

    12) I don't count this as a hat problem but some do: they want to find collectively information about all of the hats. Aspnes et al has 0-1 valued hats and wants to simul vote on the parity, see here. 2-valued.

    This puts an upper bound on the number of possible hat puzzles at

    3 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 3 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 89944.

    This figure is wrong for reasons for reasons that both argue higher and lower.

    a) Lower: MANY of  these combinations do not work together. For example, if you have an adversary and a deterministic strategy you can't talk about doing well in the average case.

    b) Higher: For many of the above categories my number-of-values is low. For example you could look at hat games on many different graphs.

    c) Higher: there are other variants I have not listed. That's where YOU come in! If you know of a version I have not discussed then please comment or email it to me!




              Two Quick Links        
    How ‘likes’ bring votes – Narendra Modi’s campaign on Facebook: Like it or not, India has just concluded its first social media election. It is no coincidence that the national parties that were late adopters or did not have a social media strategy also acquired the image of non-transparency, out of sync with the aspirations […]
              Poll: Have you ever cheated at Ryerson?        
    Poll: Have you ever cheated at Ryerson?

              Jeremy D. voted on the poll Choose!!!        
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              Jeremy D. voted on the poll How do you like your Distortion?        
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              Trip to Gangneung        
    A couple weeks ago one of the teachers at our school asked if we wanted to go with him to Gangneung, the closest big town. After our plans were foiled last week by one of his students hitting another with a baseball bat and the subsequent necessity of dealing with the police, we arranged to go yesterday with him and another teacher from our school. Unfortunately, weather-wise, it was absolutely the worst day we've seen thus far in Korea.

    The first stop was Okgye (pronounced "OK") Rest Stop off the Donghae Expressway, voted the most beautiful rest stop in Korea.