Thursday, August 16, 2018

Motivational Speech By Navy Seal Admiral William H. McRaven ...and a letter expressing great disappointment

 


Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President

William H. McRaven, a retired Navy admiral, was commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014. He oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
He writes to his president with great disappointment and loyalty to a great American.
 
Dear Mr. President:
Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.
Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.
Like most Americans, I had hoped that when you became president, you would rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs.
A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization. A good leader sets the example for others to follow. A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.  
Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.
If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.

 Perhaps he could have added, "Or until a better leader takes your place."






Wednesday, August 15, 2018

This will be my parting song when the time comes

 


110 million-year-old dinosaur fossil so well preserved it looks like a STATUE

 

 
The fossil was found in a mine in northern Alberta, Canada in 2011, and will now go on display in Ottawa
Paleontologists believe the dinosaur lived in Canada 110 million-years-ago
It featured two 20-inch spikes which protruded from its shoulders and used scaly armour to defend itself
The armoured plant-eater is the best preserved fossil of its kind ever found


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Omarosa has sent Trump into Bat Shit Crazy Full on Twitter Mode


 

U.S. President Donald Trump’s former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman ( who is just releasing a tell-all book about her former boss )  said she’s willing to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and is prepared to handover audio recordings of her time at the White House.  Manigault Newman has released recordings of her time in the Trump administration in the lead up to her tell-all book Unhinged, sparking a public feud between the former The Apprentice contestant and the president.
 In a series of interviews on NBC, Manigault Newman also revealed two audio recordings from her time at the White House, including portions of a recording of her firing by chief of staff John Kelly, which she says occurred in the high-security Situation Room, and a phone call with Trump after she was fired.
 Manigault Newman says she has more recordings. On Monday, asked on MSNBC’s “Hardball” if Mueller — investigating possible coordination between Trump’s 2016 election campaign and Russia — would be interested in any of them, she said,
“If his office calls again, anything they want, I’ll share.”
The recording reveals Trump’s confusion on Omarosa’s firing On Tuesday, CBS News released another recording it said was unverified but appeared to be Manigault Newman and several Trump campaign aides in October 2016 discussing the potential fallout from a tape of Trump using a racial epithet during the taping of The Apprentice.
Trump on Monday denied the existence of any such tape, citing the show’s former producer, Mark Burnett. Some of the aides on the latest tape also denied the conversation.


Donald J. Trump ✔
@realDonaldTrump .

@MarkBurnettTV called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa. I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up. Look at her MANY recent quotes saying  such wonderful and powerful things about me – a true Champion of Civil Rights – until she got fired. Omarosa had Zero credibility with the Media (they didn’t want interviews) when she worked in the White House. Now that she says bad about me, they will talk to her. Fake News!”
 9:50 PM - Aug 13, 2018

In an interview with CBS This Morning, Manigault Newman said what she claims in her book can be verified by audio or a paper trail. Omarosa: Trump ‘certainly’ hated Obama for his race.

 
 
“If you see it in quotes, it can be verified, corroborated and is well documented,” Manigault Newman said.
The president fired back at his former The Apprentice contestant on Tuesday, calling her a “crazed, crying lowlife” and “that dog.”

 Donald J. Trump        
When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!

Watching a TV show being filmed in St. Marys Stratford

  
ST. MARYS – It was certainly no mystery that a CBC drama was being filmed here this week.
But instead of pestering the cast and crew of Murdoch Mysteries while they shot at various locations throughout the town, local residents offered baked goods and accommodations.
“The townspeople actually offered crew rooms in their home,” executive producer Christina Jennings said as filming wrapped up Friday. “There’s a bakery in St. Marys… which is only open on Fridays, and they opened up for us and brought to set these beautiful cinnamon buns, enough for all the crew, all the actors, everybody.
“That was their little gesture for us; it was really quite special.”
Filmmakers shot there about four or five years ago for an episode and “had a really, really terrific experience,” Jennings said. So when they were looking for a location that felt “quite different” than Toronto, the Stone Town was on the shortlist. (All the oldest buildings are made from grey stone quarried in the area. Hence the nickname Stone Town)
“It really has a distinct look,” Jennings said.

 
Cameras began rolling Tuesday and continued for four straight days. Another unique aspect is the town will be referred to by its real name when the season 12 episode airs in December or January.
“We’re calling St. Marys ‘St. Marys’ in our show, which never happens,” she said.
Previous shooting locations such as Dundas, Port Hope or Cobourg have been changed to Toronto in the script. But there’s a reason for the different approach this time – the story centres around Insp. Thomas Brackenreid, who travels to St. Marys looking for someone.
“It’s quite a surprise,” said, Jennings, who also pointed out Murdoch Mysteries is Canada’s top-rated drama.



Nearly all of the extras were local residents.
“The people of St. Marys have been one of the most helpful, friendly, and generous that I’ve run into,” said locations manager Will Hoddinott.
Jennings also credited town officials for their assistance. Certain roads were closed for filming, white parking lines that wouldn’t have been used in the early 20th century were painted over, and a construction project near the water tower was temporarily taken away.
“These are things that the town did to try and really make that experience for us extremely positive,” Jennings said.
 
Kelly Deeks-Johnson, the town’s economic development manager, said it was a collaborative project.
“They’ve been a great team to work with, flexible, they’ve been really accommodating to the amount of spectators we’ve had watching the filming,” she said.
Hey, guess what? I was one of the Spectators. It was fun. I didn't stay long but everyone was having a very good time. It was like a street party.
Then we went to Tim Horton's for a coffee and donut and we just missed Justin Bieber and his fiancée by a few minutes. It seems like celebrities were all over the place. Actually Justin Bieber lives here and often comes home to visit.

Image result for images of justin bieber in tim hortons in Stratford with his girl friend August 20018
 
 
He's actually a really nice guy when he's home and always talks to anyone who comes up to him.
 
 
 And then guess who I saw crossing the street while I was shopping?
 
See the source image
 
I lied about this last one....HA!!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Two dozen white supremacists march in D.C. for 'Unite The Right' rally, met with thousands of protesters


Participants of the D.C. United Against Hate rally gather at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C.

A year after a deadly gathering of far-right extremists in Charlottesville, less than two dozen white nationalists marched Sunday (Monday NZT) across from the White House, their numbers dwarfed by thousands of counter-protesters, while the mother of a woman killed at last summer's protest said the country continues to face unhealed racial wounds.
The events, largely peaceful though tense at times in Charlottesville and Washington, were part of a day of speeches, vigils and marches marking the anniversary of one of the largest gatherings of white nationalists and other far-right extremists in a decade.
In Washington, dozens of police in bright yellow vests formed a tight cordon around the small group of white nationalists, separating them from shouting counter-protesters within view of the White House.
President Donald Trump wasn't at home - he has been at his golf club in New Jersey for more than a week on a working vacation.
 
Police shielded the small group of white nationalist demonstrators from several thousand enraged counter-protesters.
CRAIG HUDSON/AP
Police shielded the small group of white nationalist demonstrators from several thousand enraged counter-protesters.
 
Jason Kessler, the principal organiser of last year's "Unite the Right" event, led the gathering he called a white civil rights rally in Lafayette Square. Kessler said in a permit application that he expected 100 to 400 people to participate, but the actual number was far lower: only around 20.
Counter-protesters, who assembled before the rally's scheduled start, vastly outnumbered Kessler's crowd. Thousands showed up to jeer and shout insults at the white nationalists.
Makia Green, who represents the Washington branch of Black Lives Matter, told Sunday's crowd: "We know from experience that ignoring white nationalism doesn't work."
 
 
Jason Kessler marches with other white nationalists to Lafayette Square during the "Unite the Right 2" rally in Washington.
CRAIG HUDSON/AP
Jason Kessler marches with other white nationalists to Lafayette Square during the "Unite the Right 2" rally in Washington.
 
By about 5 pm, those in Kessler's group packed into a pair of white vans and left, escorted by police.
Washington Police Chief Peter Newsham said only one person was arrested all day despite several tense moments, with police essentially shielding the white nationalist demonstrators from several thousand enraged counter-protesters.

Newsham called it "a well-executed plan to safeguard people and property while allowing citizens to express their First Amendment rights."
Earlier this month, Facebook stunned and angered counter-protest organizers when it disabled their Washington event's page, saying it and others had been created by "bad actors" misusing the social media platform. The company said at the time that the page may be linked to an account created by Russia's Internet Research Agency - a troll farm that has sown discord in the US - but counter-protesters said it was an authentic event they worked hard to organize.
 
Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer who was killed during last year's Unite the Right rally, placed flowers at the ...
STEVE HELBER/AP
Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer who was killed during last year's Unite the Right rally, placed flowers at the spot her daughter was killed in Charlottesville.

Earlier in the day in Charlottesville, the mother of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal who was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters during last year's rally, said there's still much healing to be done.
Susan Bro laid flowers at a makeshift memorial at the site of the attack in downtown Charlottesville. With a crowd gathered around her, she thanked them for coming to remember her daughter but also acknowledged the dozens of others injured and the two state troopers killed when a helicopter crashed that day.
"There's so much healing to do," Bro said. "We have a huge racial problem in our city and in our country. We have got to fix this, or we'll be right back here in no time."
Hundreds of neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members and other white nationalists descended on Charlottesville last August 12, in part to protest over the city's decision to remove a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park.
Violent fighting broke out between attendees and counter-protesters. Authorities eventually forced the crowd to disperse, but chaos erupted again when the car barrelled into the crowd.
 
 
The vehicle plowed into a crowd protesting a gathering of white supremacists in 2017.
RYAN KELLEY/AP
The vehicle plowed into a crowd protesting a gathering of white supremacists in 2017.

James Fields Jr., 21, of Maumee, Ohio, is charged in state court with murder in Heyer's killing and faces separate hate crime charges in federal court. He pleaded not guilty last month to the federal charges.
The day's death toll rose to three when a state police helicopter crashed, killing Lt. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates.
Among the other anniversary events was a Sunday morning community gathering at a park that drew more than 200 people. The group sang and listened to speakers, among them Courtney Commander, a friend of Heyer's who was with her when she was killed.
"She is with me today, too," Commander said.
Law enforcement officials faced blistering criticism after last year's rally for what was perceived as a passive response to the violence that unfolded. A review by a former U.S. attorney found a lack of coordination between state and city police and an operational plan that elevated officer safety over public safety.
The anniversary weekend was marked by a much heavier police presence, which also drew criticism from some activists.
Demonstrators on Sunday marched through Charlottesville chanting, "Cops and Klan go hand in hand," and "Will you protect us?"
The city of Charlottesville said four people were arrested in the downtown area. Two arrests stemmed from a confrontation near the Lee statue where a Spotsylvania, Virginia, man stopped to salute, a Charlottesville woman confronted him and a physical altercation took place, officials said.

The world wonders what has gone wrong. Where did all this hate spring from? Was it always there under a thin veneer of civilized behavior....seething;  just waiting for a split in the moral fabric of America, so it could spew forth and set history back a couple of centuries? Did Donald Trump open that seam with a few well timed, lethal words of approval ?
If that is so, he released a monster that may never be forced back into it's cage. Did you know that in 2017 Anti-Semitic and Islamophobic hate crimes in the US increased nearly 60 per cent  – the largest increase of any year on record.  This trend has continued into 2018 . Please explain how this makes white people superior.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Annual Kitchener Blues Festival

 
 
Did you spot me in the crowd??

'Mother Earth is Angry'.... Ontario Burns

See the source image

Crews from across the country and from Mexico, America and Australia continued to cut down dozens of raging fires in northeastern Ontario on Sunday, after evacuation orders left property owners uncertain of whether their homes and businesses would survive the flames for them to come back to. The number of fires has been upped to seventy.
Provincial police issued a statement Sunday saying the largest fire in the area -- known as "Parry Sound 33" -- had grown to more than 5,000 hectares in size and was "not yet under control."
The blaze prompted mandatory evacuation orders for many homes that are only accessible by boat on Saturday, several days after it was discovered people could be stranded on the hundreds of islands in Northern Ontario.
Police said those who could access their properties by road were subject to a "12-hour notice of evacuation order" as of Sunday evening.

See the source image


James Palmer, whose family has owned the Hartley Bay Marina for 65 years, said he was among those pushed out of the area Saturday, but he hopes to return soon to check up on the property.
"Our business is still standing, but that could change at a moment's notice," he said. "It's extremely stressful because not only is it my home, it's my place of business."
He noted that the marina is one of the only access points to the mainland from campgrounds.
Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources said the orders and alerts apply to properties between the western and northern borders of French River Provincial Park, east to Highway 69, and as far south as the Key River's south shore, including people on both shores of the French and Pickerel rivers and Hartley Bay.

See the source image

Parry Sound 33 is one of about 70 fires burning in the region, with 20 of them completely out of control.
Firefighters and equipment have poured in from across Canada, the United States, Mexico and other countries to help Ontario-based crews. Five waterbombers were aiding hard-pressed ground crews in their struggle to contain the flames. The fire grew exponentially out of control.
Most evacuees are seasonal cottage-goers or campers who have fled to hotels in Sudbury, or have gone home, said Palmer, who is also seeking refuge in the nearby city.

See the source image
  Areas of fires in Ontario... They are gradually heading south to Toronto. I think I'll pack a few things.

The fires have been helped along by hot, dry conditions combined with lightning strikes and blustery winds fuelling -- and often igniting -- the flames. Unrelenting heat and a marked lack of rain have dried the forests into tinder just waiting for combustion.
People in the French River and Britt, in the Parry Sound district, are looking to evacuate their animals due to the smoke, Palmer said.
"You never know, you may not have any smoke right now, but in an hour from now, you could get smoked out," he said.
"We're hoping that we can help other farms, or other homes, save a few animals," he said. "If we can help other people who are impacted, I really hope that people out here follow suit."

See the source image
             Fire explosions maybe caused by fires coming together from several direction

 Firefighters hope people get their animals out early before a possible evacuation order.
"Everything is very, very dry. We haven't had much rain at all," one fireman said. " This leads to new fires starting every single day."

See the source image
 
 An hour  earlier, someone's home stood on this spot.
Proof that these fires can spread very quickly.
 Please take no chances. Don't linger.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Court orders EPA to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide linked to brain damage in kids

 HuffPost US       CHRIS D'ANGELO     Aug 9th 2018 
A federal judge on Thursday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban a widely used pesticide that’s been linked to learning disabilities in children and that former agency chief Scott Pruitt refused to take off the market.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in a 2-to-1 decision that the EPA offered “no defense” of its decision to delay a ban on chlorpyrifos ― a move the court said violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The law governs pesticides and requires the EPA to ban chemicals from being used on food if they are proven to cause harm.
NY AG Underwood

@NewYorkStateAG
 #BREAKING: We just won a major court victory banning the Trump EPA from allowing the extremely toxic pesticide #chlorpyrifos to be used on food.

Studies have shown that kids are so harmed by exposure to chlorpyrifos that their brain structure changes and their IQ is impacted.

The decision is a major blow to Pruitt, who signed an order in March of last year to allow chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate insecticide that has been used on crops such as broccoli to cranberries since the 1960s, to remain on the market for agricultural use. His decision defied the recommendation of EPA scientists.

Under the Obama administration in November 2015, the EPA proposed permanently banning the chemical on food crops, citing potential risks to human health.

But in March 2017, Pruitt reversed plans to ban the chemical in one of his first and most widely criticized moves as EPA administrator. The agency offered little explanation for the decision ― Pruitt claimed the Obama administration relied largely on studies “whose application is novel and uncertain, to reach its conclusions” ― but said it planned to keep studying the health effects.
In a letter to Pruitt in June, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit advocacy group, said they were “deeply alarmed” by his decision. 

“EPA has no basis to allow continued use of chlorpyrifos, and its insistence in doing so puts all children at risk,” they wrote. 

Chlorpyrifos, produced by Dow Chemical Co. and commonly known by its trade name Lorsban, is used in nearly 100 countries on more than 50 different crops. It was largely banned in 2000 for at-home use in the U.S. but continues to be widely used on thousands of American farms. 

Pruitt spent much of his short tenure, which ended last month amid a mountain of personal and ethical scandals, deflecting questions about his refusal to ban the chemical. In contentious congressional hearings, he repeatedly downplayed the decision and said the research was continuing. At times, he even suggested the agency could instate the ban but gave no clear timeline for when that would happen.

The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

In a statement Thursday, Earthjustice attorney Marisa Ordonia applauded the court for ending “EPA’s shameful actions that have exposed children and farmworkers to this poison for decades.” 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
More from HuffPost US: 

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Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Sign . Putin appoints Steven Seagal "Special envoy to improve ties with the United States."

durrati        community  August 7 , 2018
This will absolutely work, right?
BBC
“Russia has appointed the US actor Steven Seagal as a special envoy to improve ties with the United States.

Seagal was granted Russian citizenship in 2016 and has praised President Putin as a great world leader. (snip)

He is also one of the Hollywood stars accused by several women of sexual misconduct in the wake of the #MeToo campaign, which he has denied.

The Russian foreign ministry made the announcement on its official Facebook page, saying the unpaid position was similar to that of a United Nations' goodwill ambassador and Seagal would promote US-Russia relations "in the humanitarian sphere".

Of course those killjoy wags at Twitter had to go and dump on this good news…

 Actor Steven Seagal made special US-Russia envoy 
Samantha Czosnek
@samantha_cz
I just, I mean, can I be the ambassador for lucky charms? Because that’s how much sense this makes.
BBC News (World)
Actor Steven Seagal made special US-Russia envoy 
Tom O'hawk
@Tomo_Ohawk
So who do you think will be special envoy to Iran, Roseanne Barr ?
BBC News (World)
✔Actor Steven Seagal made special US-Russia envoy 
Linda DelGaudio
@linneydel
Hahahahaha!  You can’t make this stuff up.
BBC News (World)
✔@BBCWorld
 · 5 Aug
 Actor Steven Seagal made special US-Russia envoy 
FattyMagic
Just when you thought the U.S couldn't look more ridiculous.
BBC News (World)
✔@BBCWorld
 Actor Steven Seagal made special US-Russia envoy 
Julian Evans
@julianevans11
Is this a delayed report from April 01?? 😂😂
2BBC News (World)

@BBCWorld
 · 5 Aug
 Actor Steven Seagal made special US-Russia envoy
******************************************************
Witchy sez :
Someone hopefully lets tRUMP  know Putin likes Steven better than he likes  Cheeto.  This is going to be quite the blow for our little Cheeto.
What make people think  tRUMP  is not already a Russian citizen? The Republicans are on supportive of Trump and Russia. Rand Paul is now embracing Russia.  People want to think Putin just want sanctions lifted. We  need to question  Putin real goals.  He is seizing small countries and when he takes over the USA the rest of the world is his. How you believe Americans will be affected under Russian control?
 I don’t think it would wake up Congress.  The only way to wake them up is to replace about 100 or more of the Repub’s in Nov with Democratic Women that have the guts to call the bastards out and do the job the way it should be done.
Breaking News: Trump's star on the walk of fame in LA is being REMOVED.

What  scares the shit out of me.  How anyone could allow themselves to be swayed by Putin to be the detriment of the United States is beyond me. That is what is scary. If Putin can get to Seagal and Trump, will he be able to do the same with others who have mental illnesses (ordinary people as well as celebrities) to do Putin’s bidding. That scares the shit out of me.
Stay tune "As The Stomach Turns"  HeHe

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Trumpets

 
See the source image
 
 
AND FURTHERMORE
See the source image


A Bipartisan Concern: National Security and Climate Change

Dan Farber

UC Berkeley School of Law
Sho Sato Professor of Law
Co-Director, Center for Law, Energy & the Environment
 
Even within the Trump Administration and the House GOP, climate change is seen as a threat.
In written testimony to Congress about threat to national security, the Trump Administration’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI) discussed climate change.  His discussion didn’t equivocate about the reality or dangers of climate change.  Rather, he took the science, and the threat, seriously:
“The past 115 years have been the warmest period in the history of modern civilization, and the past few years have been the warmest years on record. Extreme weather events in a warmer world have the potential for greater impacts and can compound with other drivers to raise the risk of humanitarian disasters, conflict, water and food shortages, population migration, labor shortfalls, price shocks, and power outages. Research has not identified indicators of tipping points in climate-linked earth systems, suggesting a possibility of abrupt climate change.”
The DNI is Dan Coates, who was previously a Senator from Indiana.  In the Senate, he had a lifetime score of 22% from the League of Conservation Voters, but he went down to a 0% rating for his 2016 votes. So he’s no secret environmentalist.  But he does know enough to face the facts.

This is not an isolated example of Republican endorsement of the idea that climate change threatens national security. One significant sign was the passage of the Defense Authorization Act of 2017, HR 1810. The Act is a funding statute for the Pentagon. 
Section 335 of the Act states that “climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States and is impacting stability in areas of the world both where the United States Armed Forces are operating today, and where strategic implications for future conflict exist.”

In a crucial House vote, 46 Republicans crossed the aisle to vote against the amendment and in favor of the climate provision. Among the votes against the Perry amendment were 22 Republican members of the House Climate Solutions Caucus. It currently has 70 members, equally split between Democrats and Republicans.
The national security context of the bill is a plausible explanation for why Republican representatives felt safe in supporting it. The military has long taken a proactive stance on climate change. Secretary Mattis has been clear about the impact of climate change on national security: “Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today. . . It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning.”

The current Defense Authorization Act, which went to the President for signature yesterday, refers to climate change.   Section 2805(c) provides:
“That in order to anticipate changing environmental conditions during the design life of existing or planned new facilities and infrastructure, projections from reliable and authorized sources such as the Census Bureau (for population projections), the National Academies of Sciences (for land use change projections and climate projections), the U.S. Geological Survey (for land use change projections), and the U.S. Global Change Research Office and National Climate Assessment (for climate projections) shall be considered and incorporated into military construction designs and modifications.”
Of course, Trump is trying to appropriate national security concerns himself as an excuse for propping up coal-fired power plants. But it’s hard to believe anyone is taking him seriously, given that he only latched onto this idea after the previous effort to prop up the coal industry failed.
The link between national security and climate change has been clear for some time.  In 2011, Andrew Guzman (now Dean at USC) and Jody Freeman (Harvard) summarized the support for this idea among serious students of national security:
“In 2008, the National Intelligence Council produced the most comprehensive analysis to date of the implications of climate change for U.S. national security over the next twenty years. According to news reports, the classified assessment concluded that climate change could destabilize fragile political regimes, exacerbate conflicts over scarce resources, increase the threat of terrorism, disrupt trade, and produce millions of refugees—all of which would seriously affect U .S . national security interests”
As Guzman and Freeman explained, “[t]he consistent message of these studies is that while climate change . . . is certain to be a “threat multiplier,” exacerbating political instability around the world as weak or poor governments struggle to cope with its impacts.” The evidence has only gotten stronger since then.
What is new is not this insight. Rather, what is new is that significant Republican figures are beginning to talk about it and support action.  Perhaps there is hope that we will yet be able to get beyond the partisan divide on climate change.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Rick Gates rolls over to expose ex-boss Paul Manafort

Rick Gates, seen in this 2017 photo, worked for Paul Manafort for years. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to two felony charges.
Rick Gates, a longtime business associate of U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, on Monday testified that he helped Manafort file false tax returns and hide his foreign bank accounts.
Gates is the government's star witness in its case against Manafort, who is accused of bank and tax fraud.
Gates, who also served on Trump's campaign, pleaded guilty in February and agreed to co-operate with prosecutors under a deal that could lead to a reduced sentence. Taking the stand on the trial's fifth day, Gates admitted to helping Manafort doctor financial statements, hide foreign income and cheat on his taxes.
He said he was aware Manafort was acting as an unregistered foreign agent in lobbying for Ukraine. He said he engaged in the wrongdoing at Manafort's direction.
"At Mr. Manafort's request we did not disclose foreign bank accounts," Gates told the jury in federal court in Alexandria, Va.

Gates admits embezzling money

Manafort's defence hinges on pinning the blame on Gates, who they accuse of embezzling millions of dollars from Manafort. Gates, who first met Manafort working for him as an intern fresh out of college, has been described by witnesses as Manafort's right-hand man in his multimillion-dollar political consulting business.
Throughout his testimony, Gates largely avoided making eye contact with Manafort, who appeared to be watching him.
In addition to assisting in Manafort's alleged crimes, Gates told the jury he had failed to report income he routed through his bank accounts in the United Kingdom and said he stole several hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort by filing false and inflated expense reports.
Those admissions are likely to become a focal point for Manafort's defence team when he is cross examined on Tuesday.


Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. The charges largely predate his five months on the Trump campaign. His case is the first to go to trial arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
The jury has heard how Manafort made tens of millions of dollars for work with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. Mueller is also investigating possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Russian officials in the election campaign, but the charges against Manafort do not address that.

Cyprus accounts

Gates also testified about how wealthy Ukrainian businessmen paid Manafort millions of dollars for his political services through wire transfers to Cyprus-based accounts that were set up for Manafort by a lawyer and local politician known as "Dr. K."
"He indicated that the Ukrainian businessmen … had directed him to set up Cyprus accounts because the payments would be coming from Cyprus," Gates said when asked to explain the payment structure. Gates also testified that both he and Manafort had control over the foreign accounts, as well as Manafort's business associate Konstantin Kilimnik.

Kilimnik is a Russian-Ukrainian political consultant who was indicted in June on charges stemming from the Mueller probe. In court filings, Mueller has accused Kilimnik of having ties to Russian intelligence services, an allegation he has denied.
Gates testified that Manafort told him to report overseas income as loans to lower Manafort's taxable income, supporting the testimony of his accountant.
"When income came into the company, Mr. Manafort directed whether it would be treated as income … or loans," Gates said.
The jury heard testimony on Friday and Monday from accountant Cynthia Laporta, who described how Manafort and Gates doctored financial statements and backdated loans.
Gates admitted in testimony on Friday that he had lied to Laporta, as well as other accountants, and to Manafort's bookkeeper. In questioning Laporta on Monday, a prosecutor asked her about a $10 million loan purportedly received by Manafort from Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska in 2006.
Laporta said she had no indication that the loan from Deripaska had been paid off.

Stakes raised for Manafort

Since the trial started before U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis last Tuesday, Manafort's lawyers have kept their cross-examinations brief and at times refrained from attempting to rebut damaging testimony in detail.
But Laporta's testimony raised the stakes for Manafort.
Testifying under immunity, she was the first witness to admit she knew accounting manoeuvres Manafort and Gates requested of her were wrong and could be crimes.
One accounting trick saved Manafort $500,000 in taxes, she said. Under cross examination on Monday, defence attorney Kevin Downing attempted to show that Gates was the point person in dealing with the accountants.
But while Laporta acknowledged that she regularly communicated with Gates, she said she believed Manafort was in the know.
"In most instances it was clear Mr. Manafort knew what was going on," Laporta said.
On redirect, prosecutor Uzo Asonye used a spreadsheet to show that Manafort's firm had earned $31 million in gross receipts between 2010 and 2014 — half the amount prosecutors say he netted during the same time frame in Ukraine.
All in all, things are looking mighty bad for Manafort and all who travelled in his posse. It's amazing how quickly they turn, pour sauver leurs ânes ( to save their asses....sorry for the French Nee -  hahahaha)

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Spending a holiday in a very interesting place

 
 I am presently staying about a kilometer away from the charming village of St Mary's Ontario.
It has many beautiful old stone buildings from the last century. The stone was quarried locally and when the stone ran out, the quarries were filled with water and became a popular swimming and picnic spot. There are many pleasant places to choose from for a stroll or a day out with your camera. Parks alongside the river, bridges, carefully preserved and cared for, old mansions and pretty houses. The residents of St Mary's are very proud of their homes and their village.  It is surrounded by prosperous farms and close to a beautiful provincial park with a series of three connected lakes. The people here are kind of laid back and friendly and used to visitors.
 
It is also a popular spot for film makers to use as a backdrop and set for period movies or movies set in the country or a small town. At the moment, Stephen King's new movie, In the Tall Grass, is being shot  here and it's quite exciting.Image result for images of St Mary's ontario
City Hall 

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The Old Opera House.
 

In the Tall Grass

Part of the set being built for the movie is a falling down old church. It's just a façade : Photos taken by my daughter Jaye
 
Looks like a lonely desolate place
 
Now here is the real reason for shooting the movie here. This strange tall grass grows only in this area. It is not native to anywhere else. Perfect for a spooky plot to develop
 

 
Synopsis:
In the Tall Grass begins with a sister and brother who pull off to the side of the road after hearing a young boy crying for help from beyond the tall grass. Within minutes they are disoriented, in deeper than seems possible, and they’ve lost one another. The boy’s cries are more and more desperate. What follows is, of course, terrifying . Joe Hall, By the way, is Stephen  King's son.
Stephen has made many movies in our area, even the recent updated version of 'It', which is spine chilling.
 
We were also told a TV series was shooting in town. Since we have to do our shopping in St Mary's we were able to join in the fun and spied on the cast and crew from a handy bridge. The series is called Murdoch Mysteries.
  
Image result for images from Murdoch mysteries
In the 1890s, William Murdoch uses radical forensic techniques for the time, including fingerprinting and trace evidence, to solve some of the city's most gruesome murders.
 
See the source image
 
See the source image
TV Shooting holding up traffic on Main street of St Mary's 
See the source image
 
The beautiful old Victorian town is a perfect backdrop for the period series Murdoch Mysteries. The show is faithful to the fashions and styles of the Victorian period and that includes the architecture and store fronts of the buildings. It was fun to watch people who knew their craft work so efficiently. This episode centered around the old train station.
 
Train station in the 1800's
 
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Train Station today
 
So this is where I am spending my summer. The lake where we have our rv is very pretty and I am sad that I have missed some of my time here by being ill. But it's just a minor inconvenience that will not spoil the month of August. Happy summer.

~~~~~~~~~~
 
Note: 
Just to clarify something for friends and readers; a few years ago, this blog was  hacked  through the comments and the virus damaged the blog and took some time to clear out. At that time we decided not to publish and display any comments except for those from Witchy's and my computers.
The comments were sent, instead, to a section of our program where we could examine them and decide if they were harmful or not and whether we wanted to publish them. Unfortunately, my memory, being what it is at my age, I never remember to go there and check for comments. So, if I have insulted anyone by not answering your comment, it is only due to the fact that my brain cells are rapidly dying and I was unaware that you commented. Many apologies.
 I also feel that while I was ill I have missed something here but have no flippin idea what it is. However, I will keep plodding along, writing the truth as I know it and try to make it interesting. We have been at this for about ten years now and it is becoming more difficult for me due to increasing health issues. So please forgive sudden absences. My partner Witchy does a splendid job filling in the gaps and covering for me. Many kudos to her, and my eternal gratitude.
 
 Your friendly neighborhood Shadow

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Annual Caribbean Carnival in Toronto

 

Torontonians love nothing better than a parade or a reason to celebrate in the streets.  This summer is no exception. In spite of the heat, The Caribbean population  of TO and friends proudly display homemade costumes and strut their stuff, dancing their way through the streets.


Thursday, August 02, 2018

Cartoon : A rookie ICE agent's first day on the job

 RubenBolling  Community         Thursday August 02, 2018 
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From   the desk of Witchy :
This did not start with tRump.  He is just particularly cruel and stupid about it.  I don't recall any administration that ever seriously went after employers.  
Whoever we go after does not solve the problem.  There surely are solutions that are pragmatic and address matching immigrants with employer needs, but politics doesn't seem to be about the rational.  This goes back well over a century. Who has been employing all those Europeans overstaying their visas, or working under tourist and student visas without penalty?

I like the cartoon, but Kris (another K) Kobach promoted the “self deportation” regime, where they indeed went after the employers. . . and the teachers, hospitals, renters, and merchants. Alabama put such a law in force. It was illegal to rent to an “illegal,” illegal to teach an undocumented child, illegal to care for an undocumented patient even in an emergency room (where the laws requiring care were still in force), etc.the farmers vote Republican even as they acknowledge that they would go out of business without undocumented workers. They also, incidentally, love their undocumented workers and have mouths filled with praise for their character.
Republicans don’t want to actually get rid of undocumented workers. Why should they? Undocumented workers are a twofer for them. Cheap labor and a handy scapegoat to rile up their base.

It’s the same story that’s as old as humanity itself. If you are going to exploit a group of people it is a much easier thing to do if you vilify and slander them first. It reduces their self-worth making them more tractable, it helps you feel like your exploitation is necessary for their own well-being  and it allows you to retain the respect of your own family as well as esteem in your own community. No one ever says, “these are really good, hard working people, I am going to enslave them”. Much better to talk about “white man’s burden” and all.

Thanks for this cartoon.  The idea of going after the US employers is not  the only way to use the written law to gain a solution.  We need to take the pressure off the boarder and create a way for the employers to hire the immigrants at the US embassy in the countries from which they come.

 Then the ambassador could develop a formula about how much family to bring and create an agreement with the employer about what to pay, how to house, provide healthcare etc so there would not be competition that lowers the wages for Americans for the jobs in question.  There could also be an agreement with the employer to return none citizens to their country of origin when their jobs here are done.  Seasonal workers who move from farm to farm could be hired through farm-co-ops that already exist across our farmlands.  The paperwork would be held by the employer so he would have materials to show ICE when they show up at his door.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

NYT responds to Trump tweet about 'fake news' meeting with publisher A.G. Sulzberger

HuffPost US          HAYLEY MILLER      July  29th 2018 
The New York Times hit back at President Donald Trump’s tweet Sunday that described his recent meeting with the newspaper’s publisher A.G. Sulzberger.

Trump had tweeted that he had “a very good and interesting” meeting with Sulzberger, the sixth member of his family to serve as publisher since they purchased the Times in 1896.

“Spent much time talking about the vast amount of Fake News being put out by the media,” tweeted Trump, who has frequently ― and falsely ― accused the legacy paper of publishing what he calls “fake news.”
Donald J. Trump
 
      ✔
@realDonaldTrump
 Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, “Enemy of the People.” Sad!

Soon after, the Times weighed in with additional context about the exchange.
The White House asked Sulzberger to meet with Trump earlier this month, Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times, told HuffPost in an email Sunday. 

“This was not unusual; there has been a long tradition of New York Times publishers holding such meetings with presidents and other public figures who have concerns about coverage,” Murphy wrote.

On July 20, Sulzberger and James Bennet, the editor of the Times’ editorial page, met with Trump at the White House, according to Murphy. Though Trump’s aides requested the meeting be off the record, Trump’s tweet Sunday put the meeting “on the record,” allowing for Sulzberger to respond, she said.

“My main purpose for accepting the meeting was to raise concerns about the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric,” Sulzberger said in a statement to HuffPost. “I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.”

“I made clear repeatedly that I was not asking for him to soften his attacks on The Times if he he felt our coverage was unfair,” he added. “Instead, I implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country.”

Read the full statement below :            

My main purpose for accepting the meeting was to raise concerns about the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric.

I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.

I told him that although the phrase “fake news” is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists “the enemy of the people.” I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.

I repeatedly stressed that this is particularly true abroad, where the president’s rhetoric is being used by some regimes to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists. I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our country’s greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press.

Throughout the conversation I emphasized that if President Trump, like previous presidents, was upset with coverage of his administration he was of course free to tell the world. I made clear repeatedly that I was not asking for him to soften his attacks on The Times if he felt our coverage was unfair. Instead, I implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country.

This is a developing story. 'AS The Stomach Turns'