Saturday, March 18, 2017

Weekend Open Thread

This incident, which just about sums up how many people are feeling this week, occurred not too far away from where I live. So on the off-chance you missed this viral vid (more than a million views and counting) here it is again.

The first part of the clip is the Republican plan for our mass extinction. The second, in slo-mo, is the Democratic version of the same process.


annenigma said...

Infographic: The 100 Websites That Rule the Internet

This is interesting. Click on the image at the link below to get a larger view of which companies are actually owned by the same entity (gray bar links them). Alphabet, Inc. controls four sites in the Top 100 (Google, Youtube, Blogger, and Google User Content) while Verizon controls the Huffington Post and and soon Yahoo and Tumblr when those deals close. The data is also color coded to sort by industry.

annenigma said...

Since we're on a graphics theme, here's the YouTube channel for the recently declassified films of nuclear tests from the Lawrence Livermore National Lab:

The backstory - 'The US government just declassified dozens of nuclear weapons explosion movies and put them on YouTube'

Patrice Ayme' said...

Fake news, fake history, fake interpretation of history, FAKE LEFT. All to serve all too real plutocracy. Trump: an insult those who injure with their maleficient power, did not want to see, lest the game, their game, become too obvious!

voice-in-wilderness said...

Perfect analogy between the train video and the two parties!

Jay–Ottawa said...

Most of the people waiting at the station in the 2nd clip appear to be Democrats. How do I know? Well, look how they just stand there and take the white-coated ordure because it's coming from the Obama Superchief himself; and when they finally do decide to duck, notice how zombie like they turn from the assault. Something like slow motion for a party full of zombies. They sustain their hope to the last moment, either because they don't realize what's happening or they trust that the Obama Superchief will somehow suck back his snow job before reality hits them full force. Besides, it was Senator Mitch McConnell's fault.

However, in the 1st clip, things move along much faster, just like Trump's first hundred days. We see the same Democrats waiting for the train, but this time they duck much more quickly and are able to say a few nasty things as the Trump Superchief roars by. Then the guy at the end, definitely not the Good Samaritan, with his color commentary, which is nothing more than chuckling at the victims.

Marquis de Sade was mentioned in the previous post: some get it fast (Reps); some get it slow (Dems). Either way, it's still rape. Sade.

Meredith NYC said...

karen...more horror and sadism?....oooh, oy, yuck, feh.

Here's some reality therapy....Must reading NYT op ed page:

So, What Is He Hiding?
By HEDRICK SMITH MARCH 18, 2017, past Washington Bureau Chief, plus author of Who Stole the American Dream, and The Russians etc.


The Fake Freedom of American Health Care
By Anu Partanen, March 18, author of “The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life.”

(finally some info on other countries h/c)

Neil said...

caveat emptor

President Trump Leads a Listening Session on Healthcare

Fix It Healthcare Watch The Movie

Neil said...

I’m watching "Someone you love could be a sex worker"
by Valerie Scott | TEDxToronto

I’m watching "5 Florida Police Officers Mercilessly Beat Man On Video"
Tim Black - [Stop Resisting - Stop Resisting]

I’m watching "What do sex workers want?"
by Juno Mac | TEDxEastEnd

I’m watching Candace Roberts "Hello Ed Lee (Official Video)"
[San Francisco and the Google Bus]

I’m watching Avicii - "Wake Me Up (Official Video)"
1,258,884,707 views (over a billion views)

The power of music and images to convey a video message in less than 5 minutes; some with over a billion views; the future of politics; the end of political parties as we know them today...

Political parties in the United States
History and early political parties

"The United States Constitution has never formally addressed the issue of political parties. The Founding Fathers did not originally intend for American politics to be partisan. In Federalist Papers No. 9 and No. 10, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, respectively, wrote specifically about the dangers of domestic political factions. In addition, the first President of the United States, George Washington, was not a member of any political party at the time of his election or throughout his tenure as president. Furthermore, he hoped that political parties would not be formed, fearing conflict and stagnation, as outlined in his Farewell Address.[6]..."

Jay–Ottawa said...

Truthdig's "Hero of the Week" is Angela Davis. Cornel West has described her as "one of the few great long-distance intellectual freedom fighters in the world." Now in her seventies, Davis is still active. I draw your attention to the fine report (with video) of her rousing speech in London for the Women of the World festival.

A nugget from the report:

"Davis spoke at length about issues facing the United States under President Trump (and said she doesn’t believe that 'had Hillary Clinton been elected, we would have been in a substantially different situation'). Heartened by the “amazing” reactions she has observed since Trump’s election, Davis said, 'I’ve never experienced, even during the height of radical movements during the late 1960s and the early 1970s, the kind of mandate for resistance that people are producing these days.' ”

Jay–Ottawa said...

Hi Neil,

Thanks for the detailed response to my post in a previous commentary. Sorry you (and perhaps others) had trouble with the link I had posted. Here's the link again to Doug Henwood's site for his interview with the PNHP representative.

Yes, the speaker who followed on that program (16 March 2017) was indeed off the PNHP topic. Henwood's hour-long radio shows are often divided among two or three guests on different subjects. Ms Arruzza had been invited to speak about the women's strike, not PNHP.

Karen Garcia said...


As an antidote to my disgusting blog posts, why not soothe your mind with the following "arts" piece in the very prim and proper New York Times?

Zee said...

Being somewhat “sight-challenged” at the moment, I started out yesterday listening to the Dr. Steffi Woolhandler piece suggested by Jay. Very good critiques of the ACA and the Republi-clowns proposed “replacement,” but not much of either substance or cause for hope regarding getting an American single-payer system at the tail-end of the segment. Mostly, I seem to recall a brief remark that the best we can hope for is to build upon the ACA, which I see as no hope at all.

Later yesterday and into today I started working my way through the PNHP’s website. (I can read for short periods at a time by looking at my tablet through the hole in our massage table while still lying face-down per doctor’s orders.)

Lots of substance there, but not, IMHO, very well organized.
Still, from the FAQ page I was able to glean their estimate of the additional national cost, a 7% payroll tax and a 2% hike in federal income tax. Both cost increases sound “do-able” to me, if accurate.

The summary of HR 676 is somewhat vaguer at explaining how Medicare for All would be paid for: apart from an unspecified income tax increase on the top 5% of income earners, there will be “modest” increases in some existing taxes, and imposition of some “modest,” new taxes on other things. Plenty of vagueness for opponents of single-payer to shoot at there.

Moreover, there is sufficient vagueness in the PNHP proposal—at least as far as I have been able to read—that will probably forestall implementation of single-payer for the foreseeable future.

Words like

“A single-payer NHP would cover every American for all medically necessary services, including mental health, rehabilitation and dental care, without copayments or deductibles. Covered services would be determined by boards of experts and patient advocates; ineffective services would be excluded from coverage. “ (My bold emphasis.)

will have the Sarah Palins of the world shrieking “Death panels! Death panels!"

And without a comprehensive, detailed LIST of covered treatments and services, the American public will listen to this Palinesque charge, just as it did in 2009. Surely, the Canadians already have such a list, which could be used as a starting point to show to the American public?

Reflecting on all this, I think that I have expressed the opinion that significant social change only occurs when a society is on the brink of—or has already suffered—some calamitous catastrophe. Regarding health care, we are just not there yet here in America. Enough people are sufficiently happy—or, at least content—with their health care/health-care insurance that they will be fearful of a change to single-payer.

This from an article concerning why Vermont’s effort at single-payer failed:

“McGuire, president of California OneCare, said he wasn’t surprised that Vermont backed away. “There ultimately has to be so much pressure that it’s like a volcano goes off…and that pressure has to be deep and wide in the voting public…”

I just don’t think that we’re that close to the lid blowing off,,,yet.

annenigma said...

This is good: 'Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In America'

"White socialism is nice if you can get it. All you need is a good corporate or government job."

"Like most of my neighbors I have a good job in the private sector. Ask my neighbors about the cost of the welfare programs they enjoy and you will be greeted by baffled stares. All that we have is “earned” and we perceive no need for government support. Nevertheless, taxpayers fund our retirement saving, health insurance, primary, secondary, and advanced education, daycare, commuter costs, and even our mortgages at a staggering public cost. Socialism for white people is all-enveloping, benevolent, invisible, and insulated by the nasty, deceptive notion that we have earned our benefits by our own hand."

"Companies can deduct the cost of their employees’ health insurance while employees are not required to report that benefit as income. That results in roughly a $400 billion annual transfer of funds from state and federal treasuries to insurers to provide coverage for the Americans least in need of assistance. This is one of the defining features of white socialism, the most generous benefits go to those who are best suited to provide for themselves. Those benefits are not limited to health care."

"When I buy a house for my family, or a vacation home, the interest I pay on the mortgage is deductible up to a million dollars of debt. That costs the treasury $70 billion a year, about what we spend to fund the food stamp program. My private retirement savings are also tax deductible, diverting another $75 billion from government revenues. Other tax preferences carve out special treatment for child care expenses, college savings, commuter costs (your suburban tax credit), local taxes, and other exemptions."

"No one stated their intention to create a social welfare program for white people, specifically white men, but they didn’t need to. By handing control to employers at a time when virtually every good paying job was reserved for white men the program silently accomplished that goal."

More at:

Valerie said...

Excellent quotes, Anne. Thank you.

We are not allowed to deduct our mortgage payment from our taxes in Australia and that came as a shock to me when we first moved here. It makes me realise how much the Federal government subsidises home ownership in America as well as retirement savings. As you pointed out, these benefits go largely to those with steady middle class jobs or those in the investment class.

Neil said...


Thanks for your feedback. After reading Zee’s comment about Medicare for All, I should read the current bill HR 676. I read HR 676 from a few years ago, but mostly rely on my experience with Medicare. Socialized medicine like used in England might be better.

I have not watched in its entirety "President Trump Leads a Listening Session on Healthcare"

but I heard the part where a man claimed right to life must be part of healthcare. That is an opening to raise questions about laws such as 18 U.S. Code § 1841 - Protection of unborn children,

The USA, especially the military, has harmed unborn children through the use of Agent Orange, and more recently, depleted uranium ammunition, see

"Ten million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed during the Vietnam War. Eighteen different birth defects have been service-connected in children of women veterans who served in Vietnam, according to the Birth Defect Research for Children (BDRC)"

Link to the National Birth Defect Registry website.

Veterans Video, Birth Defect Research for Children

The children of migrant farm workers suffer birth defects from chemicals used in the fields. And children born in the general USA population are increasingly affected by environmental degradation, living near refineries, etc.


Thanks annenigma your posts and links recently, including HRC’s campaign computer algorithm called Ada, Voting is for the birds!, and this prayer, "Dear Lord, deliver us from all the Clintons, now and forever. Amen." to name a few.


And Pearl, for Goodbye Spin, Hello Raw Dishonesty by Paul Krugman, today's NYTimes

although my take is different than Krugman, who claims: "No president, or for that matter major U.S. political figure of any kind, has ever lied as freely and frequently as Donald Trump."

Sorry but has Krugman heard of Thomas Jefferson? The quotation "All men are created equal" first used by Jefferson in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, is the biggest whopper of all time. The Declaration of Independence has little legal significance, but it has been an enormous propaganda tool.

And Jefferson did not have to "grab" women, because he OWNED WOMEN, see Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: A Brief Account Monticello.Org.

A slave like Sally Hemings could not refuse a planter’s demand for sex.

Also see, The Monster of Monticello, New York Times
By Paul Finkelman November 30, 2012

Neil said...

How many of our presidents owned slaves?
See The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies,

Following is the number of slaves each of the 12 slaveholding presidents owned. (CAPS indicate the president owned slaves while serving as the chief executive):[1]

GEORGE WASHINGTON (between 250-350 slaves)
JAMES MADISON (more than 100)
JAMES MONROE (about 75)
ANDREW JACKSON (fewer than 200)
Martin Van Buren (one)
William Henry Harrison (eleven)
JOHN TYLER (about 70)
JAMES POLK (about 25)
ZACHARY TAYLOR (fewer than 150)
Andrew Johnson (probably eight)
Ulysses S. Grant (probably five)

Also see, Which U.S. Presidents Owned Slaves?

When George Washington died, the Mount Vernon estate’s enslaved population consisted of 318 people. See Washington and the enslaved population at Mount Vernon.

Also see, George Washington, Slave Catcher, New York Times
By Erica Armstrong Dunbar, February 16, 2015

And how about Franklin Roosevelt?

1. Sent Japanese-Americans to concentration camps with Executive Order 9066 issued Feb-19-1942, American concentration camps in the western USA.

2. Refused to allow the German transatlantic liner MS St. Louis to dock in May-1939 with 937 passengers, most of them Jewish refugees, also known as the Voyage of the Damned because historians have estimated that approximately a quarter of them died in death camps during World War II.

3. Failed to implement the Slattery Report, denied asylum in Alaska to Jewish refugees during WWII.

Trump may be whatever people say, but he is not in the same deplorable league as the foregoing presidents. (not yet anyway)

There were many other good comments recently too, thanks to those folks.

Thanks Karen for the blog. I don't know how you do it all these years:)

Zee said...

A couple of quick thoughts during a brief break from lying face-down:


Like you—or so I infer from your comments—I am quite happy with Medicare, as are most of the people that I know who are currently on it. That’s the reason that I can reaffirm my support for a single-payer system, because that’s essentially what Medicare is.

However, I would strenuously resist any attempt to truly “socialize” our health care system a la the United Kingdom. Their NHS has struggled for decades to adequately meet the needs of its citizens, per these three articles:

Note that the last two articles are quire recent, and from the Guardian, to boot.

Yes, I know: any health care “system”will ultimately “ration” health care at some point, whether Canada, the U.S., Australia or the U.K. But it just seems that the British system is always in the news for doing so, and doing it badly.

My other objection to an “NHS-style” system is that one’s choice of GP is rather limited, and these GPs are pretty much the absolute “gatekeepers” for access to specialists up the line. If your GP—who may or may not be any good—says “no,” you’re pretty much SOL.

If anyone out there has different observations to make about the NHS, I’ll certainly listen.

But right now, under Medicare—plus my add-on Medigap insurance—I can see a specialist pretty quickly. And as I understand the Canadian system, one can at least choose one’s own doctor; I’m not sure about direct access to specialists. And I would be curious to hear more from Valerie or other Aussies regarding Australia.


Thank you for the highly interesting article from Forbes.

After thinking about it, I agree with much of what Chris Ladd has to say. Fixing “white socialism” will be difficult, however, at best an incremental process. And lest you think that Chris Ladd has transmogrified from a dedicated Republican to a flaming socialist, here’s an interview with him:

If I had to “pigeon-hole” him, I guess I would call him a “mixed-marketer,” kinda like me.

Zee said...

Wow! Oh joy unbounded! Don't know how I missed this wonderful news!

Time for me to go hide out IN the woods, I guess.

Neil said...

If only Republicans cared as much about actual children, and actual people, as they do about a fetus...

Remarks by President Trump in a Listening Session on Healthcare (transcript)

MR. BROWN: My name is Louis Brown. I work for the Christ Medicus Foundation. I'm an attorney by trade. In 2009, when the Affordable Care Act was going through Congress -- what became the Affordable Care Act -- I was working for the Democratic National Committee at the time. I resigned my position because I could tell that the Democratic bill that was going through Congress wanted to publicly fund abortion, and that’s not something that I could go along with. So I resigned my position, later worked for Congressman Dan Lungren in Congress, and went on to eventually work for the Christ Medicus Foundation. And we’re focused on building a culture of life, protecting religious liberty in healthcare, protecting the right of conscience, prohibiting the public funding of abortion, and also prohibiting non-discrimination against pro-life medical providers.

Especially as an African American, I'm a graduate of Howard University School of Law.

THE PRESIDENT: Good school.

MR. BROWN: Yeah. Thank you, Mr. President. And I know from Saint John Paul II -- he said that all of our human and civil rights that we believe in as Americans, that we share as Americans -- the right to healthcare, the right to medical care, to housing, to all of these different things -- are illusory if the right to life isn’t defended with maximum determination.

Seventeen million African Americans, it’s shown, that probably have been aborted since Roe v. Wade. And I supported you in the presidential election, gave several speeches in Michigan telling folks to vote pro-life in the general election, and I’m really happy that you’re here to continue the bipartisan belief that there should be no taxpayer-funding of abortion, and also really to support your effort to show that the patient, the human person, should be at the center of our American healthcare system, not the government. The government has its place, but the patient should be the center. So I’m happy to support you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. That’s so nice. Thank you, I appreciate it. Great job.


United States confirms that it has fired depleted uranium in Syria

Depleted uranium

The Dark Shadow of Agent Orange
Retro Report | The New York Times

Zee said...

This will cheer all of you. Chelsea Clinton has been awarded "The Power of Women" award!

Just part of her ongoing "grooming" process for elective office, I'm sure.

Zee said...

This will cheer all of you. Chelsea Clinton has been awarded "The Power of Women" award!

Just part of her ongoing "grooming" process for elective office, I'm sure.