Tuesday, January 31, 2017

These Muslim countries are not on Trump's banned list ... Why??

Trump is imposing a travel ban on multiple Muslim countries. For some reason Saudi Arabia didn’t make the list. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.
President Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries is being rightly challenged in the courts for, among other things, its unconstitutional interference with free exercise of religion and denial of due process. Overlooked in the furor is another troubling aspect of the situation: President Trump omitted from his ban a number of other predominantly Muslim nations where his company has done business. This adds further illegitimacy to one of the most arbitrary executive actions in our recent history, and raises significant constitutional questions.

The seven countries whose citizens are subject to the ban are relatively poor. Some, such as Syria, are torn by civil war; others are only now emerging from war. One thing these countries have in common is that they are places where the Trump organization does little to no business.

By contrast, other neighboring Muslim countries are not on the list, even though some of their citizens pose just as great a risk — if not greater — of exporting terrorism to the United States. Among them are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. A vast majority of people living in these countries, like the people living in the seven subject to the immigration ban, are peaceful and law abiding. But these three countries have exported terror to the United States in the past. They accounted for 18 of the 19 terrorists who perpetrated the Sept. 11 attack on American soil (an attack which was directed by another Saudi, Osama Bin Laden, with the assistance of an Egyptian, Ayman al-Zawahri).

These countries, unlike those subject to the ban, are ones where Donald Trump has done business. In Saudi Arabia, his most recent government financial disclosure revealed several limited liability Trump corporations. In Egypt, he had two Trump companies registered. In the United Arab Emirates, he had licensed his name to a Dubai golf resort and a luxury residential development and spa. Some of these entities have since been closed, and others remain active.
So now we know why he was so selective about whom he banned. No conflict of interest here.

It's our old friend Einstein...She's become very famous

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There’s a reason she's called Einstein. This African Grey parrot has an extensive vocabulary and can replicate everything, from  humans to animals, from sirens to microwaves and telephones. There’s a reason why the African grey is often considered the poster bird for parrot intelligence … not only is this bird inclined to amass large vocabularies, African greys have also demonstrated an aptitude for recognizing the meaning of words and phrases, recognizing and identifying objects, colors, and shapes and also understanding the concepts of same and different.  Experiments proved they can also count. Some scientists believe the parrots' intelligence level is somewhere between a 3-4 year old child's.
We have been following Einstein for a few years and understand she now has a large following. I am always interested in how the intelligence of other species is evolving and how self aware they are. We are not the only species evolving and adapting. It's just not so obvious among other mammals or birds.

Mission Accomplished Mr Trump

‘The Daily Show’s’ Muslim Correspondent Hasan Minhaj Tears into Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’
It’s week two of Donald Trump’s presidency and people are “pissed” about his ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Trevor Noah began Monday night’s Daily Show with the chaotic scenes from airports across the country over the weekend. But it wasn’t until he brought on Muslim correspondent Hasan Minhaj that the show’s criticism of the policy truly came alive.
As Minhaj told Noah, he’s “not surprised” that an American president has decided to label Muslims as the enemy of the United States. While previous presidents have implemented similar policies, he said “Trump is taking this thing to a whole new level.”

Thousands of Americans show their support for Muslims in the wake of President Trump's controversial travel ban. Link in bio.

Noah is known for relentlessly slamming Mr Trump, his policies and antics. GoTrevor!

Minhaj went on to give a “shout-out” to all his “Republican friends” who promised Trump would never actually enact the “Muslim ban” he promised on the campaign trail. “What the fuck?” he asked. “So we are getting banned?”
Reminded by Noah that “as a citizen” of the U.S. he will not be banned himself, Minhaj shot back, “Yet! We’re on day 11, man. That’s it! Where do you think this is going to go?” He compared it to watching the first episode of Breaking Bad and thinking, “Oh, this is just a science teacher cooking meth, it can’t get any
crazier. But it does!”
There was one bright spot to Trump’s executive order, though. As Minhaj explained, usually being a Muslim at the airport “sucks,” but “this weekend it was like I was The Weeknd.”
“How can I hate Trump right now?” he asked. “Just look at what he’s done at the airport. White women were turning their scarves into hijabs. Muslims were publicly praying and people were cheering them on!”
“Think about how crazy this is,” Minhaj continued. “Because of Donald Trump, people were being nice at the airport.” The “beautiful irony,” he said, is that for years Trump has been “terrified” about the spread of Islam in America. “Well congratulations, Mr. President, mission accomplished,” he said, as a protest sign that read “We are all Muslims now” appeared on the screen.

Monday, January 30, 2017

One picture caused a miracle and paid it forward

Quebec Mosque shooter arrested

alexandrebissonette: Alexandre Bissonette
 Facebook Alexandre Bissonette

Witnesses said at least one gunman shouted 'Allahu akbar!' while opening fire at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre Sunday night, killing six men by shooting each one of them in the back. The attack took place in the men's section of the mosque.
Police said they arrested one man outside the mosque -- and another suspect turned himself in, calling 911 less than 20 minutes later and giving officers his location in d'Orleans so they could arrest him.
The gunman in the shooting at the Quebec City mosque is believed to be Alexandre Bissonette, a 27-year-old student at Université Laval, who was studying anthropology before switching to political science.
The Sûreté du Québec will not confirm the identity of the suspect, who is expected to be arraigned at the Quebec City courthouse Monday afternoon. But according to real-estate records, Bissonette’s parents own a home on Tracel St. in the Cap-Rouge district of Quebec City where police conducted a search on Monday. Bissonnette’s father is listed in the sales deed as an investigator.
As for the suspected shooter himself, his Facebook page does not reveal a great deal about his possible motivations. His musical tastes appear to range from Katy Perry to Megadeth. The young man, who dressed up as the Grim Reaper for Halloween, also admired Donald Trump, French Front National leader Marine Le Pen and Mathieu Bock-Cóté, a Quebec City columnist known for his pro-nationalist and anti-multicultural views.
A refugee welcome group in the capital city, however, said Bissonnette’s name and photograph were already familiar to them. In a post on Facebook, Bienvenu aux réfugiés said they learned “with sadness and anger about the identity of the terrorist Alexandre Bissonnette, unfortunately known by several militants in Quebec City for his viewpoints that were pro-LePen and anti-feminist, as expressed in social media and at Université Laval.”
Unstable, young people, filled with unfocused anger and racial - religious or misogynous issues, who are longing to fit in somewhere or belong to something, are open to being radicalized. And it doesn't take much to set them off. Trudeau's recent welcome to immigrants and refugees, regardless of race or religion was probably the trigger that pushed this young man over the edge. Added to the fact that his idol, Donald Trump, has banned immigrants or refugees from most of the Muslim states, the kid was a walking time bomb.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the massacre, calling it a cowardly terrorist attack, specifically aimed at Muslims. That young man just sacrificed seven men if you include what he has done to his own life, and for what? Misguided and misplaced hatred and bigotry. Permanently locked away, with prison life giving him a reality check, he will eventually become filled with remorse and regret for what he has done.... to no avail.

J.Trudeau: quote:
"Canadians will not be broken by this violence. Our spirit & unity will only strengthen – we will mourn, and we will heal, together."  

Sunday, January 29, 2017

# Welcome to Canada

Justin Trudeau tweet reads: To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. Welcome to Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a message for refugees rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump: Canada will welcome you.
This is in reference to the temporary US ban on refugees and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. Mr Trudeau underscored his government's commitment to bringing in "those fleeing persecution, terror & war".
Trudeau reacted to Trump's ban by tweeting Saturday: "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada."
Within hours, Mr Trudeau's tweets had been shared more than 150,000 times.
"Welcome to Canada" also became a trending term in the country.
Mr Trudeau, who gained global attention for granting entry to nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees to Canada over the past 13 months, also sent a pointed tweet that showed him greeting a young refugee at a Canadian airport in 2015.
On Friday, Mr Trump signed an executive order suspending entry to the US from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen for 90 days.
The US's entire refugee admissions program has also been suspended for 120 days. Those fleeing Syria as refugees are banned until further notice.

Tweet reads:

The executive orders created confusion in airports around the world as immigration and customs officials struggled to interpret the new rules.
The Canadian government is also in contact with the US administration "to get more clarity" on how the executive orders will affect Canadians citizens travelling to the US, said federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau.
On Saturday, the US State Department confirmed  that all travellers - including those with dual nationality - from one of the seven designated countries will be barred from entering the US. That includes people with valid immigrant or non-immigrant visas.
The US Department of Homeland Security said the entry ban would also apply to dual nationals of the seven countries.
US President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser Mike Flynn "confirmed that holders of Canadian passports, including dual citizens, will not be affected by the ban." 
Canada's own Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen is a dual national who arrived as a Somali refugee.
Mr Trudeau has refrained from criticizing Mr Trump, despite the fact the two leaders have extremely divergent political views.  In recent media appearances, the prime minister has focused on the long friendship between Canada and the US and the deep economic ties between the two nations. The US is Canada's primary trading partner.  Presidents come and go but the alliance and bond between the two countries has always been solid. Trudeau uses that as his frame of reference instead of the present administration.
Canada plans to allow 300,000 immigrants into the country in 2017, though that figure includes another 40,000 refugees. Diversity truly is our strength. Welcome to Canada.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Refugees, migrants detained at U.S. airports challenge Trump’s executive orders

Image result for image of refugees being detained at US airports

Image result for image of refugees being detained at US airports
Refugees being detained at airport as per Trump's orders

Washington Post:
Refugees and migrants holding valid visas who were en route to the United States on Friday evening have been detained at U.S. airports and restricted from the country as a result of President Trump’s executive order banning their entry.
Lawyers for two Iraqi men detained at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, one of whom served the U.S. military mission in Iraq, filed a middle-of-the-night lawsuit in federal court challenging Trump’s executive order as unconstitutional and seeking the release of their clients.
Lawyers also are seeking class certification so they may represent all refugees and visa-holders who are being held at U.S. ports of entry.
One of the men, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, was released Saturday afternoon without explanation from federal officials, according to his lawyer, Mark Doss. “We are very grateful that Mr. Darweesh has been released,” Doss told reporters outside JFK Airport in an interview broadcast on CNN. But he said 11 others are still being detained at JFK, and “people will stay here until they are released.”
Immigration advocates say at least one refu­gee family is detained at San Francisco International Airport, but it is not clear how many refugees are currently held at airports nationwide. Advocates said that people have not only been held at the border, but that ticketed passengers have been barred from boarding U.S.-bound aircraft overseas, and that lawful permanent residents — or green-card holders — who left the U.S. before Trump signed the order are now unable to return.
Trump’s executive order has caused “complete chaos” and torn apart families, said Abed Ayoub, legal and policy director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. “It’s causing a negative and destructive impact on the Arab-American community,” Ayoub said.
The order suspends admission of all refugees for 120 days and bars for 90 days the entry of any citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iraq, even if they have valid visas. Trump said that the goal is to screen out “radical Islamic terrorists” and that priority for admission would be given to Christians.
It drew immediate condemnation from advocates for refugees and from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which announced plans to file a lawsuit next week challenging Trump’s order as unconstitutional.
“There is no evidence that refugees — the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation — are a threat to national security,” Lena F. Masri, CAIR’s national litigation director, said in a statement. “This is an order that is based on bigotry, not reality.”
Both Iraqi men now detained at JFK held valid U.S. visas and had been receiving pro-bono legal assistance for several months from the New York-based International Refugee Assistance Project. Betsy Fisher, the organization’s policy director, said the men were in the air on separate flights when Trump signed the temporary ban on refugees Friday. She called their detention “our worst-case scenario.”
“In the coming weeks we will be advocating to show why this policy is bad for U.S. national security, why it goes against our humanitarian responsibilities, and why it is fundamentally un-American,” Fisher said. “If there is one fundamentally American value then it is welcoming those who are fleeing persecution. At our best, this is what we can do.”
The International Refugee Assistance Project was among several prominent immigration-rights organizations that filed the lawsuit in New York, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center.
One of the Iraqi men detained at JFK is Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, 33, who holds a visa that allowed him to join his wife and young child in Texas. His wife had worked for a U.S. government contractor and came to the United States as a refu­gee in 2014.
The other plaintiff in the case is Darweesh, 53, who was released Saturday afternoon. He had worked as a contractor for the U.S. government in Iraq for about a decade, including as an interpreter for the Army. He and his wife and three children had spent more than two years securing a special immigrant visa, granted to Iraqis who assisted U.S. military forces.
The Darweesh family landed in New York at approximately 6 p.m. Friday evening, and Hameed Darweesh was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He was not allowed to speak with his attorneys for hours and was at risk of being returned to a country where he faces enormous risks to his personal security due to his aid to the U.S. government, the complaint says.
Darweesh told reporters outside the airport on Saturday that he was thankful so many people came to his aid, leaving their families to help secure his release.
“This is the humanity, this is the soul of America. This is what pushed me to move, to leave my country and come here,” Darweesh said. “America is the land of freedom, the land of freedom, the land of the right. ... America is the greatest nation, the greatest people in the world.”
Brandon Friedman worked with Darweesh in 2003, when he was an infantry officer with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. He said Darweesh, who was among the first Iraqis to sign up to serve the U.S. military, was “fearless” and saved countless U.S. lives.
“This is a guy who has done a lot more for this country than most people who were born here,” Friedman said. He said he hopes Trump’s executive order is rescinded quickly: “This is putting U.S. troops in danger because it is withdrawing the incentive that folks like Hameed have to work with us. And we depend on them to a great extent.”
The detention of a man who served the U.S. military is also abhorrent to Matt Zeller, founder of No One Left Behind, which aims to help Iraqi and Afghan people who worked for the U.S. military secure special immigrant visas.
He said America is breaking its promise to men and women who served the U.S. military at great personal risk to themselves — which is not only wrong, he said, but also undermines trust in the United States and endangers the lives of any future service member sent overseas.
“This is going to get future Americans killed in future wars. It comes down to that,” he said. “We’re never going to live down this shame if we let this go on.”
An Army veteran of the war in Afghanistan, Zeller said his life was saved by his Afghan interpreter, who served the U.S. military there for nine years. During the past 24 hours, he said he has fielded requests for help from nearly 1,000 clients in Afghanistan and Iraq, most of whom have been waiting years to be processed through what Zeller called “the most extreme vetting process our country can muster.”
Two of his clients are in the air now and are scheduled to land at Virginia’s Dulles International Airport tonight, he said.
Cairo airport officials say seven U.S.-bound migrants — six from Iraq and one from Yemen — have been prevented from boarding an EgyptAir flight to JFK airport in New York, according to the Associated Press. The officials said the action Saturday by the airport was the first since Trump imposed a ban on refugees.
Marielena Hincapie, executive director for the National Immigration Law Center, said immigration advocates first learned of immigrants being detained Friday evening after a report from a family detained in San Francisco. The advocates attempted to reach U.S. Customs and Border Protection but were unsuccessful.
“We were trying to find out if it was lack of communication or what was the plan?” she said in an interview Saturday morning.
Then they learned of the two immigrants from Iraq who had been detained at JFK Airport.
“We don’t have any guidance” from U.S. officials, Hincapie said. “That’s when we decided to file.”
Lawyers for the two Iraqis held in New York have been unable to speak to their clients. When the lawyers asked to speak with them, Customs and Border Protection agents at JFK said that they were not the ones to field such a request.
“Who is the person to talk to?” the attorneys asked, according to the complaint. The CBP agents responded: “Mr. President. Call Mr. Trump.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Trump declares himself an environmentalist ...while he declares media black-out on Environmental Protection Agency

A paranoid, delusional psycho is destroying your country and you just sit on your asses and shrug. All I can do is protest, and believe me, I have. You can take action against someone, who potentially, could destroy the world and has made a very good start in just four days. So what are you doing? I am so pissed off with all the bullshit, I am leaving this site for a while. The Genie
EPA staff banned from releasing press statements, blog updates and social media posts, Associated Press reports.

Trump has declared himself an environmentalist [EPA]

Donald Trump's administration has instituted a media blackout at the country's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Emails sent to EPA staff since Trump's inauguration on Friday and reviewed by The Associated Press detailed the specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency's social media accounts, the news agency reported on Tuesday.
The Trump administration also ordered a "temporary suspension" on all new business activities at the department, including issuing task orders or work assignments to EPA contractors, it said.
The orders are expected to have a significant and immediate impact on EPA activities nationwide. The EPA did not respond to phone calls and emails requesting comment on Monday or Tuesday. In a test of what the new administration will tolerate, the official Twitter account of the Badlands National Park published a series of posts Tuesday accurately quoting climate science data that included the current record-setting high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The tweets were soon deleted.
Environmentalists said the orders were having a chilling effect on EPA staff, many of whom were suffering from low morale. Trump and Pruitt have both been frequent critics of the agency and have questioned the validity of climate science showing that the Earth is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame.
Liz Perera, climate policy director for the Sierra Club, said Trump's move to freeze all EPA communications and contracts should be "a major red flag for all Americans."
"EPA was created to ensure that all Americans can enjoy clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and have their health protected from environmental and climate threats," Perera said. Some staff at the Agriculture Department also received orders not to release any documents to the public.
"This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds and social media content," read an email to staff at the agency's Agricultural Research Service, which was obtained by the AP.
ARS spokesman Christopher Bentley said the ban would not include scientific publications released through peer-reviewed professional journals.
"As the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency, ARS values and is committed to maintaining the free flow of information between our scientists and the American public as we strive to find solutions to agricultural problems affecting America," Bentley said, according to a statement.

Meanwhile, during a meeting with executives from the auto industry, Trump described himself as an environmentalist. He did not elaborate on why he views himself as an environmentalist, but the comments came after urging companies from the auto industry and beyond to bring jobs back to the US.
On Monday he made similar comments at a business breakfast, stating again without elaborating, "I'm a very big person when it comes to the environment. I have received awards on the environment".
On Tuesday, Trump signed two executive orders to advance the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines, drawing outrage from activists who have serious concerns over the potential damages to land and water sites that the oil-carrying pipelines could cause.
Erich Pica, the president of Friends of the Earth, a network of environmental organizations, condemned Trump's move in a statement on Tuesday. She accused the president of pledging "his allegiance to the oil companies and Wall Street banks that stand to profit from the destruction of public health and the environment"

Trump admin tells National Park Service to halt tweets

The AP reported over the weekend that staff at the Interior Department were temporarily ordered to stop making posts to its Twitter account. The prohibition came after the official account of the National Park Service, a bureau of the department, retweeted a pair of posts that negatively compared the crowd sizes at Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration to Donald Trump's inauguration Friday. Representatives from the new administration asked the Interior Department's digital team to temporarily stop using Twitter -- a decision the agency now claims was out of a concern the account was hacked.
 Whatever happened to freedom of speech and standing up for the truth?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The ladies' messages for Trump

Maxi pads stuck to a wall with protests slogans. Women's march in Washington, DC., Jan. 21, 2017

Some of my favorite Signs

View image on Twitter

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Sydney Australia

A sign at the Women's march in NYC. Artwork where Trump is grabbing lady liberty by the pussy

All out favorite
Protesters standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate

All from Harlem, NYC, social workers and activists, they're here, says Nikki "to support the younger girls, we have to be sure that they know their rights and that they matter."



 These signs are selected from all over the world and this one is from Barcelona.
 I think it says it all

View image on Twitter

I wish I could have marched with you. I was with you in my heart. I am so proud of all the women who stood up for what they believed in.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Summer Zervos lawsuit against Trump ... three days before inauguration

Attorney Gloria Allred and accuser Summer Zervos file a lawsuit against  Donald Trump  Jan17/2017.

Climate change explained ...Best and worst case scenario

Data shows 2016 to be warmest year yet ... Are we going to make 2017 another record setter??


Record warm temperatures were seen all over the world in 2016, including the Arctic
Temperature data for 2016 shows it has edged ahead of 2015 as the world's warmest year. Data from Nasa and the UK Met Office shows temperatures were about 0.07 degrees Celsius above the 2015 mark. Nasa says that 2016 was the third year in a row to break the record.  The El Niño weather phenomenon played a role, say scientists, but the main factor was human emissions of CO2.
 So warm was the early part of 2016 - influenced by a powerful El Niño - that some leading climate scientists were predicting as early as May that a new record was likely.
During an El Niño, a band of unusually warm ocean water develops in parts of the Pacific. The phenomenon affects the climate globally, disrupting weather patterns.
 According to Nasa figures, 2016 is now the warmest year in a record that dates back to 1880.

Many parts of the world had their warmest recorded year in 2016
temp map

Another factor that has affected temperatures in 2016 is the unusual warmth in the Arctic. The sea-ice covering the Arctic reached its second lowest level (in terms of extent) in September 2016. The sea-ice grows in autumn and winter and shrinks each spring and summer. The smaller amount of ice now present in the region is at unprecedented low levels for the time of year.
"We understand the contribution El Niño makes fairly well and we've seen it many times," said Prof Ellie Highwood from the University of Reading.
"But even if you take that contribution away, we would expect 2015 and 2016 to still be the warmest years we've seen, so a majority of it is coming from global warming and the greenhouse effect."
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which pulls together temperature data from sources all over the world, agrees that 2016 broke the record by 0.07C.

Century dominated by records

When the new data on 2016 is included, 15 of the warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001.
This prolonged period of warming was having significant impacts around the world.

The Arctic region exceeded the long term average by up to 6C through most of 2016

"We have also broken sea ice minimum records in the Arctic and Antarctic," said Petteri Taalas from the WMO.
"The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average. The persistent loss of sea-ice is driving weather, climate and ocean circulation patterns in other parts of the world. We also have to pay attention to the potential release of methane from melting permafrost," he said.
Of great concern to scientists and politicians is the fact that the newly published temperature data shows the Earth is once again more than one degree warmer than pre-industrial times, and edging closer to the threshold of 1.5C set under the Paris climate pact. With the Trump administration about to take office in the US, there are concerns that political support for climate action might fade. This would be a big mistake according to scientists.
"Climate change is one of the great challenges of the 21st Century and shows no signs of slowing down," said Prof Mark Maslin, from University College London.
"The decarbonization of the global economy is the ultimate goal to prevent the worst effects of climate change. The hottest year on record is such a clear warning siren that even President-elect Trump cannot ignore it."
Researchers say that 2017 is unlikely to break the warming record but will be in the top five hottest years.
Take a visit to the desert, the hottest places on earth, and see how much vegetation grows there. Nothing. Get the picture?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Trump's Presidency is doomed

President-elect Donald Trump.
© Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

Whether he knows it or not, the specter of Lyndon Baines Johnson haunts Donald John Trump. There are some jarring similarities — two big, fleshy men given to vulgarities and gauche behavior, boastful, thin-skinned, politically amoral, vengeful, unforgiving and, most important, considered illegitimate presidents. For Johnson, that took some time to sink in; Trump is already there.
Johnson ascended to the presidency upon the death of John F. Kennedy and then won election in a landslide over Barry Goldwater. Nevertheless, an air of illegitimacy clung to him like an odor. It thickened as opposition to the Vietnam War became more and more furious and it peaked, in my estimation, with a hoax in 1967 by Paul Krassner in the counterculture magazine the Realist. Tongue in cheek, it reported that Johnson had climbed into Kennedy’s casket and there done unspeakable things. The story was abominable, tasteless and deserved any other insult you could throw at it, but some people believed it. I know. I heard it.
Jump now a half-century to the recent stories relating to Trump and alleged shenanigans in Russia at a time not all that distant. The accounts, unverified and as revolting as any concocted about Johnson, had a currency that can be explained only by Trump’s own behavior — a persona that seems so self-indulgent, so juvenile, that almost any sort of behavior seems credible. Trump called the report fake news and, as always, blamed the messenger (the media, the intelligence community, etc.), but he ought to have looked in the mirror and wondered why he looks so ugly to so many people.
Krassner is an obscure 1960s figure; Rep. John Lewis is not. The Georgia Democrat said the other day that Trump’s presidency was illegitimate and he would not, as an invited member of Congress, attend the inauguration. Trump, of course, tweeted a disparagement. As he did when he belittled John McCain’s heroism under torture, Trump said Lewis was “all talk” and “no action.”
Lewis is one of the last of the great civil rights-era heroes. He marched. He protested. He had his head cracked at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. It was 1965 and the Alabama police nearly beat him to death. He is a man of immense courage and morality, so much greater than Trump in those respects.
Yes, Trump won in the electoral college, and that, alas, is all that matters. But on the larger point, Lewis is right. Trump conducted a dirty, dishonest campaign that sullied the very presidency he won. He questioned Barack Obama’s legitimacy, trafficked in racism and demagoguery, and seems to have had poll workers in far-off Moscow. Still, he’ll be the president.
But Trump ought to pay attention to Lewis and what he represents. The president-elect will take the oath with a minority of the popular vote — a substantial deficit of almost 3 million votes. He enters the Oval Office with historically dismal poll numbers, lower now than right after he won the election. He has done nothing to woo the majority of Americans who rejected his candidacy and has, instead, adhered to his schoolyard habit of tweeting his every grievance, denigrating his every critic, making cameos with vaccine and global-warming doubters and, as if to show some versatility, rascals such as Don King and Kanye West. It is a “Gong Show” with no gong in sight.
Lyndon Johnson would no doubt warn Trump that he is already on thin ice and he will plunge through it the moment Congress takes the measure of his unpopularity. Johnson was a man of huge political abilities and experience, and his achievements in civil rights entitled him to greatness. Yet, when Vietnam went sour, so did the public, and it seemed, after a while, that his personal characteristics, scathingly caricatured by artists such as David Levine and Jules Feiffer, oozed out of him so that they obscured both him and his accomplishments. He was deemed capable of anything — of lying and perversion of all kinds. This is where Trump stands now.
By the end of the week, Trump will be the president. I wish him the best; I wish him the worst. The dilemma is how to separate loathing for him from love of country. I am leaving it to time to work that out. Meanwhile, Trump will have his moment, that’s for sure, but when things go wrong he will be chased from office — just like Johnson once was. The ancient Greeks knew why: A man’s character is his fate. In that case, Trump’s presidency is doomed.
I post a lot of Richard Cohen's articles. He is not only a gifted journalist and writer but  is deep thinking and analytical. He steps back and looks at the whole picture. He has controversial opinions and, many times, we don't agree with what he says but we have to respect the work.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Slow- mo pileup on Montreal's icy streets

Put some sand down guys. Those expensive snow tires are no good on an icy street with a layer of snow on top. I am pretty sure a major portion of Canadian drivers have been in one of those sideways slides where you helplessly watch yourself slowly smoosh into someone's brand new Prius and hear it crumple like a beer can. The part I liked the most was when the cops came to help and they slid backwards into the pileup.
Willem Shepherd filmed the pileup from his office window on a snowy Quebec morning.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

It's Official :

Report confirms what people around the world is saying ... fasten your seat belts folks it  looks like we are in for a rough ride . 

First time ever seen ...Live Ruby Sea Dragon

In 2015, scientists at Scripps Oceanography stunned the oceanography community by announcing a new species of sea dragon, colloquially known as the ruby sea dragon. It had washed up on a beach. Although they searched, they never found another, alive or dead.
Then, in 2016, they spotted a live ruby sea dragon in the wild for the first time. Now, the team has released that rare footage, which reveals something peculiar: the ruby sea dragon is missing those iconic leafy appendages found on the only other two species of sea dragon known to exist. 
The ruby sea dragon is so rare it is being put on the seriously endangered list.
According to the UN Environment Program, the Earth is in the midst of a mass extinction of life. Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago. What are we doing about it?? Nothing. No one will notice when the ruby sea dragon disappears and so very few will care. But extinctions gradually climb up the food chain until the species we rely upon for food will disappear. And guess who is at the top of the food chain?

Alec Mocks Trump Pee Pee Party

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Canada’s Trudeau Defends Muslims ... Welcomes Immigration ... Canadian Priorities Different from US ... Trade Concerns ... Border tax

Image result for image of trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will speak up in defense of Muslims, immigration and feminism in talks with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
Trudeau avoids direct critiques of Trump (although he strongly disagreed with the fear tactics and slander Trump used during his campaign ) instead pledging to work with any occupant of the White House. He confirmed early Thursday his officials have met with Trump’s team in a bid to boost trade ties.
Later that evening, however, Trudeau went further than usual in speaking about Trump during a town hall session in Belleville, Ont., as he sets out on a campaign-style national tour.
"Canada is a separate country from the United States and there are things we hold dear that the Americans haven’t prioritized," Trudeau said to cheers from a packed theater in the community about two hours east of Toronto.
"And I’m never going to shy away from standing up for what I believe in, whether it’s proclaiming loudly to the world that I am a feminist, whether it’s understanding that immigration is a source of strength for us and Muslim Canadians are an essential part of the success of our country today and into the future."
Trudeau said he purposefully had avoided commenting on the U.S. election because he did not know which candidate would win.
"And now that they’ve elected President-elect Trump, we will work with him in a constructive way," he said. "Every step of the way, our focus is on making sure that Canadian businesses, Canadians and their families have good jobs, have economic growth, have opportunities. And that is the lens from which I dealt with the possibility of this American election throughout."

Trade Concerns

During an event earlier in the day, Trudeau confirmed senior aides and Canada’s ambassador to Washington had held talks with Trump aides in their effort to preserve economic ties. He would not say if the Trump officials indicated their administration planned to proceed with a pledge to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"Obviously Canadians expect us to have a constructive working relationship with the incoming administration and that is exactly what we are focused on doing," he said. He later added "there have been a broad range of discussions on the level of integration of our economies and how to move forward in ways that benefit the middle class that we both got elected to serve."

Earlier this week, Trudeau named a new foreign minister, promoting Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, who had led his cabinet committee on ties with the U.S., in a move seen as motivated by Trump’s looming inauguration.

Trump Team Signals Auto Border Tax Could Also Hit Canada

The Trump administration is signaling Canada could face the same retaliatory trade measures as Mexico, in what would be an even bigger disruption to automakers such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
Asked whether an auto border tax could impact Canada, President-elect Donald Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, told reporters their policy isn’t specific to any one country. “When a company that’s in the U.S. moves to a place, whether it’s Canada or Mexico, or any other country seeking to put U.S. workers at a disadvantage,” Spicer said on a conference call Friday, then Trump “is going to do everything he can to deter that.”
Any move to thwart imports from Canada would be a more severe impediment to the North American auto sector than sanctions against Mexico, since the industry’s links with the U.S.’s northern neighbor run deeper. Assembly in Canada, which along with the U.S. is a higher-cost producer than Mexico, is also focused on the more profitable and faster growing light-truck and sports vehicle segment of the market.
“Canada is building a lot of vehicles that are in demand,” said Kevin Tynan, a senior auto analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.
Back and Forth
Through October, the U.S. imported $37 billion worth of passenger cars from Canada last year, a 12 percent increase, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. That compares with $19 billion in imports from Mexico, which have been on the decline.
Michigan-based automakers such as Ford Motor Co. often ship parts back and forth across the border to factories in Ontario, and made commitments to invest in Canada earlier this year while finishing union contract negotiations.

Border taxes would hurt both nations, according to Linda Hasenfratz, chief executive officer of Guelph, Ontario-based auto-parts maker Linamar Corp. “We are trying to be globally competitive” in North America against overseas rivals, she said Wednesday on Bloomberg TV Canada. The industry is “intertwined” with “parts going back across the border multiple times.”

The auto industry is global in nature and all vehicles contain a percentage of non-domestic content, Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman Aaron Fowles said in an emailed statement. This type of tax will have an impact on every part and product that is imported to the U.S., which means that prices for all vehicle makes will increase, according to the statement.

Trudeau Reaction

While Canadian policy makers have already begun worrying how Trump policies will factor into their economic forecasts, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has sought to get ahead of any potential trade disputes, pledging to work with the new administration and even renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. This week, he confirmed his officials have met with Trump’s team to boost trade ties. The Canadian government also doesn’t lose any opportunities to highlight that its trade with the U.S. is near balance.

The U.S. rang up a $9.1 billion merchandise trade deficit with Canada through November of last year, lagging the Mexican shortfall of $58.8 billion. Mexico has also moved ahead of Canada as a supplier of products to the U.S. in recent years on the strength of growing investments in auto factories there.
Up to now it’s worked, with the president-elect focusing most of his calls for fair trade on Mexico and China. Spicer’s comments represent the first major broadside from Trump’s office against Canada, which generates $541 billion worth of annual trade with the U.S.
“It’s not so much a target at one particular country or one particular industry,” Spicer said.
Earlier this week, Montreal-based National Bank Financial estimated a 10 percent tax on goods crossing the American border would knock 9 percent off the value of Canada’s exports there.

“We need to represent Canada, represent Canadians, represent our interests in all of our discussions around the world and that is exactly what we’ll look to do with the incoming administration,” Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau told reporters before Spicer spoke, when asked about the threat of a border tax

Friday, January 13, 2017

Trump Dossier ... A Golden opportunity for jokes ... Pun Inteneded

Mr Trump has provided comedians with material for the next century.
 There is  a humorous side to just about everything in life. If that wasn't so,
 then right about now we would all be weeping copiously and taking anti-depressants.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Top intelligence sources vouch for author's credibility - Donald Trump dossier:

Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele, named as writer of the Donald Trump memo, is a very ‘highly regarded professional’ by European and American Intelligence agencies.

The MI6 building in central London.

MI6  Headquarters

Over a career that spanned more than 20 years, Steele performed a series of roles, but always appeared to be drawn back to Russia; he was, sources say, head of MI6’s Russia desk. When the agency was plunged into panic over the poisoning of its agent Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, the then chief, Sir John Scarlett, needed a trusted senior officer to plot a way through the minefield ahead – so he turned to Steele. It was Steele, sources say, who correctly and quickly realized that Litvinenko’s death was a Russian state “hit”.
As good as he was in the field he decided to quit the service in 2009. As the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, exerted influence in all kinds of spheres, so Steele’s background made him hot property. Though he could no longer travel to Russia, he appears to have maintained his contacts and made new ones there.
With his partner, Chris Burrows, he set up the London-based company Orbis Business Intelligence, which was busy and expanding. Their operation was a good choice for anyone trying to gather intelligence about Russia and Trump.
It is unlikely that Steele would have had direct contact with the unnamed Kremlin officials who allegedly gave sensitive information on the president-elect. Rather, Steele would have tapped up his network of sources deep inside the country. In turn, these individuals will have had sources of their own. Steele would likely have subcontracted some of his Trump investigation to trusted intermediaries in Moscow, who will have reported back to him via secure channels.
 It was Steele’s job to collate, evaluate and verify the material before passing it to his American client Fusion GPS, a Washington-based political research firm. The company had been hired originally by some of Trump’s early Republican opponents before the contract was then taken up by senior Democrats.
The strongest reason for giving this report credence is that intelligence professionals in the US take it seriously. They were sufficiently persuaded by the author’s track record to find the contents worth passing to the president and president-elect.”
The CIA and FBI will have taken various factors into consideration before deciding on its credibility. They could include Trump’s public comments during the campaign, when he urged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. The agencies may also have classified, intercepted material provided by the National Security Agency and Britain’s GCHQ.
They must, equally, have considered whether some of the claims in the report might have been part of an elaborate Russian disinformation exercise. “This is unlikely. The dossier is multi-dimensional, involving many different people, and many moving parts,” a British Foreign Office official suggested.
Steele’s personal views on Russia are unlikely to be very different from those of his former employers – or from those of the former UK ambassador to Moscow who is understood to have passed the dossier to the Republican senator John McCain, who in turn passed it to the FBI.
MI6 has been privately warning that Putin, unchallenged by the west, has grown in confidence and, of course, that the Kremlin has targeted Trump. It would be odd if it hadn’t. The consensus among British securocrats is that “Putin is a wolf … and he preys on the weakest sheep.”
But intelligence is not evidence, and Steele would have known in the smoke-and-mirrors world of counterespionage, there are few certainties.
Those caveats do not appear on the documents – but they are given by Steele as a warning to prospective new clients.

Whether he could have imagined that a summary of his work would be used in this way is a moot point; Steele did not go to ground in the weeks before Christmas as US media outlets reported some of the claims against Trump. He was in London, thinking about where to take Orbis next and pottering around Victoria, the home of his newly refurbished office. At that point he did not know his name would be revealed by American news agencies or that his life may be in danger. Putin has long arms.

Putin was former KGB spy

From Moscow’s perspective, the report’s publication can hardly be counted as a success. As a former KGB agent, Putin understands the first rule of intelligence: that special operations should remain secret. “In the world in which Putin operates, if people can see the strings, you’ve failed,” the Foreign Office official said. “The Russians will be asking: ‘How the hell did it get out?’”
The spotlight is certainly not something Steele was looking for. He is mainly distrustful of the media . After a career in MI6, anonymity is something he prizes. He once asked a journalist if he had ever heard of him.The reporter’s reply was a decisive 'no'. Steele was relieved: “That’s the way I like it.” Now that his cover has been blown, his next steps are uncertain. He has sent his family away to parts unknown and has left his home.
“This will eventually blow over,” a friend of Steele’s said. “What you are left with is an effective marketing campaign. He’s a very sober guy, but he also has a sense of humor.”

The big question is, what will American intelligence agencies do with this dossier?? Try to confirm it, tell the senate committee they believe the information, or simply sweep it back under the rug where James Comey left it ?? And why did he withhold it? He was very transparent with all the information, confirmed or otherwise, he had about Hillary Clinton.

Image result for image of James Comey

James Comey
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

BBC correspondent Paul Wood has since come forward to reveal that there are multiple intelligence sources alleging Russia is in possession of potentially embarrassing or compromising material regarding President-elect Donald Trump. Formerly, only a single source was known to have been aware of the alleged material.
"I saw the report, compiled by the former British intelligence officer, back in October," Wood said. "He is not, and this is the crucial thing, the only source for this.”
The Wall Street Journal alleged the British source is Christopher Steele, a director of the London-based Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd.
A member of the U.S. intelligence community also told Wood that "at least one East European intelligence service was aware 'that the Russians had kompromat or compromising material on Mr. Trump.' Wood said that he "got a message back" from the U.S. intelligence community member and that there is reportedly "more than one tape, not just video, but audio as well, on more than one date, in more than one place, in both Moscow and St. Petersburg."
Wow!! What another fine mess this is becoming. And the guy is still going to be

Obama Awards Emotional Joe Biden Medal of Freedom

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Trump Dossier - real or not??

What we know – and what's true – about the Trump-Russia dossier
 The dossier includes lurid details from Trump’s 2013 visit to Moscow and claims an ‘extensive conspiracy’ between his team and the Kremlin – is it true?

Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York on 9 January 2017.  

The big picture

What does the dossier which John McCain passed to FBI chief James Comey say?
It says Vladimir Putin’s Russia has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years”. Moscow’s aim is “to encourage splits and divisions in the western alliance” and to upend the “ideals-based international order” set up after the second world war. Putin’s preference, according to the report, is for a return to the “Great Power” politics of the 19th century, where big states pursue their own interests.

The dossier says that Trump was offered “various sweetener business deals” by the Kremlin, but turned them down. The Kremlin also supplied Trump with “a regular flow of intelligence”, including on the Democrats and other political rivals.
Russian spies put together compromising dossiers on both Clinton and Trump, the dossier says. The Clinton one was innocuous and mostly included bugged conversations.

The Trump material, by contrast, was explosive. It includes lurid details from Trump’s visit in 2013 Moscow for the Miss Universe beauty pageant. According to the dossier, Trump stayed in the Ritz Carlton hotel, in the same suite used by Barack Obama. It says Russia’s FSB spy agency obtained compromising sexual material – kompromat – from the hotel suite. “FSB has compromised TRUMP through his activities in Moscow sufficiently to be able to blackmail him,” it says. Allegedly, Mr Trump had two unspecified women ( prostitutes, pageant contestants?) in his hotel suite and had them perform sex acts with each other, including urinating on each other.

Is it true?
No one could quibble with the report’s section on geopolitics. It’s undoubtedly true that Putin has sought to weaken western institutions and the transatlantic alliance, plus the EU. Over the past 16 years he has sought to re-establish Russia as an indispensable global player, and to challenge what Moscow sees as unfair US hegemony.
The sex claims about Trump are ultimately unknowable and what happened inside the Ritz Carlton is a matter of speculation. Trump dismissed the report in its entirety at his press conference on Wednesday as “fake news”.
“It’s phoney stuff. It didn’t happen,” he said. He also suggested that he was well aware that spying can go on in hotels, including in Russia. “I’m extremely careful. I’m surrounded by bodyguards. In those rooms you have cameras in the strangest places. You can’t see them and you won’t know,” he said. However the dossier does mention  a video tape.
The FSB, does specialize in covertly recording high-profile targets, and it would certainly have been interested in Trump. But this doesn’t necessarily mean it has a tape. Until Putin leaves office – or falls out with Trump – we are unlikely to find out either way, if ever.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov,
denied on Wednesday that Russia collects compromising material. This is untrue. In 1999, Russian TV showed footage of Russia’s prosecutor general, Yuri Skuratov, in bed with two young women. Skuratov had fallen out with Russian’s then president, Boris Yeltsin. The head of the FSB at the time told a press conference that the recording of the orgy was genuine. His name?Vladimir Putin.

The sources
What does the dossier say?
The dossier quotes from a large number of anonymous sources. It cites “a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin”, “a senior Russian foreign ministry figure” and “a senior Russian financial official”. The report claims to have sources from inside the president-elect’s inner circle. What began as opposition research during the Republican primary slowly grew from a covert investigation into an extraordinary global story.

The secret meetings

What does the dossier say

It claims Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was the point-man for surreptitious meetings with the Russian leadership. It alleges that in late August or early September 2016 Cohen flew to Prague, where he met Russian officials at the offices of Rossotrudinichestvo, a Russian government cultural organization.

Additionally, the dossier alleges that Trump’s foreign policy aide Carter Page visited Moscow in July 2016, where on the 7th or 8th of July he held a secret meeting with Igor Sechin, head of the Russian state oil company Rosneft and Putin’s de facto deputy. The report says that Sechin said that future energy deals depended on a Trump administration’s willingness to lift sanctions, imposed by the Obama administration in 2014 after Putin annexed Crimea.
The dossier claims that Page also met Igor Devyekin, a senior official from the presidential administration, who indicated that the Russians had kompromat on Clinton and Trump, and allegedly added that Trump “should bear this in mind”.
Is it true?
Cohen says he has never been to the Czech Republic. He says that he and his son were watching a baseball game in the US on 29 August, a date suggested for the secret rendezvous. Reporters from the New York Times and Washington Post have been to Prague. Thus far, they haven’t been able to verify the story. Czech intelligence officials probably won’t confirm it – if it ever happened – and will be reluctant to antagonize the new US administration.
However, Page’s visit to Moscow did take place. Who precisely he met there is unclear, though Page has denied seeing Sechin, and has described allegations that he met Russian officials as “complete garbage”. An American oil industry consultant, Page has trenchantly opposed US sanctions on Russia. Trump was asked at his press conference if his team had had any contacts with Russian officials. He didn’t give an answer.

The hacking
What  else does the dossier say?
It claims there is an “extensive conspiracy” between Trump’s campaign team and the Kremlin. The plot was sanctioned at the “highest level” and involved Russian diplomatic staff based in the US. It adds that Russia was behind the hack of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to WikiLeaks for reasons of “plausible deniability”. The dossier says information went in both directions: Trump’s team used moles within the DNC as well as hackers in the US and Russia. The report claims that the Trump campaign fed back to Moscow details on Russian oligarchs living in the US and their families.
Is it true?
Some of the detail is questionable. But the report’s broad conclusion – that Russia was behind the hack of Democratic emails – corresponds with what US intelligence agencies believe. The CIA and FBI have both said publicly that the Kremlin covertly interfered in the US election in order to damage Clinton and help Trump. Obama agrees, and late last month expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the US, all of them intelligence officers. The move was taken in response to what Obama said was a cyber-attack by Moscow. He promised further steps, and sanctioned Russia’s military and civilian spy agencies, the GRU and FSB. On Wednesday Trump said Putin was guilty of hacking. Trump said: “He shouldn’t be doing it.” But he suggested the hacking would stop once he became president.

The deal on Ukraine

What does the dossier say?
It says that in return for hacking the Democrats, Trump agreed not to mention Russia’s covert invasion of Ukraine. The issued would be “sidelined”. Instead, Trump would focus on US/Nato defence commitments in the Baltics and eastern Europe. The aim: “to deflect attention away from Ukraine,
a priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterize the subject”.

Is it true?
Trump said his administration might recognize Russian ownership of Crimea. He suggested that the US should not automatically honour its Nato commitment to defend the alliance’s members, including the Baltic states. He also urged the Kremlin to hack Clinton’s emails. In August, Republican party officials deleted a draft platform calling on the US to give weapons to the Ukraine’s government, which is fighting Kremlin-backed rebels.
Is the FBI going to come out with a definitive decision on the dossier before the inauguration?? I really doubt it . Somehow, shockingly, Trump seems to get away with anything.