Thursday, September 29, 2016
Perhaps it's time to move from the free Blogger software (now owned by Google) and go to a service that requires some payment. One would presume that a paid service wouldn't just yank pieces of the software off with no notice like Blogger has done a few times over the last year or two.
"We are working to restore functionality. Thank you for your patience," I have seen more than a couple of times since using this software.
In the rare case where you are in the same boat I am and you are looking for maybe a new blogging host, check out this recent Best Blogging Sites Comparison Guide 2016.
|Blogger trying to keep me down!!|
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Woah! the Arizona Republic newspaper is endorsing Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump. Hillary will be the first Democrat to EVER be endorsed by this very conservative newspaper. That should tell the Trump supporters something, if they have the capacity to hear anything except for Donald's dickish dictates.
Endorsement: Hillary Clinton is the only choice to move the country ahead
Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles.
This year is different.
The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified.
That’s why, for the first time in our history, The Arizona Republic will support a Democrat for president.
What Clinton has (and Trump doesn't)
The challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head and the ability to think carefully before acting.
Hillary Clinton understands this. Donald Trump does not.
Clinton has the temperament and experience to be president. Donald Trump does not.
Clinton knows how to compromise and to lead with intelligence, decorum and perspective. She has a record of public service as First Lady, senator and secretary of state.
She has withstood decades of scrutiny so intense it would wither most politicians. The vehemence of some of the anti-Clinton attacks strains credulity.
Trump hasn’t even let the American people scrutinize his tax returns, which could help the nation judge his claims of business acumen.
Her flaws pale in comparison
Make no mistake: Hillary Clinton has flaws. She has made serious missteps.
Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State was a mistake, as she has acknowledged. Donations to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of State raise concerns that donors were hoping to buy access. Though there is no evidence of wrongdoing, she should have put up a firewall.
Yet despite her flaws, Clinton is the superior choice.
She does not casually say things that embolden our adversaries and frighten our allies. Her approach to governance is mature, confident and rational.
That cannot be said of her opponent.
Clinton retains her composure under pressure. She’s tough. She doesn’t back down.
Trump responds to criticism with the petulance of verbal spit wads.
That’s beneath our national dignity.
When the president of the United States speaks, the world expects substance. Not a blistering tweet.
Whose hand do you want on the nuclear button?
Clinton has argued America’s case before friendly and unfriendly foreign leaders with tenacity, diplomacy and skill. She earned respect by knowing the issues, the history and the facts.
She is intimately familiar with the challenges we face in our relations with Russia, China, the Middle East, North Korea and elsewhere. She’ll stand by our friends and she’s not afraid to confront our enemies.
Contrast Clinton’s tenacity and professionalism with Trump, who began his campaign with gross generalities about Mexico and Mexicans as criminals and rapists. These were careless slaps at a valued trading partner and Arizona’s neighbor. They were thoughtless insults about people whose labor and energy enrich our country.
Trump demonstrated his clumsiness on the world stage by making nice with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto only a few hours before appearing in Phoenix to deliver yet another rant about Mexican immigrants and border walls.
Arizona's been there on immigration (it doesn't work)
What’s more, Arizona went down the hardline immigration road Trump travels. It led our state to SB 1070, the 2010 “show me your papers” law that earned Arizona international condemnation and did nothing to resolve real problems with undocumented immigration.
Arizona understands that we don’t need a repeat of that divisive, unproductive fiasco on the national level. A recent poll shows Arizonans oppose both more walls and the mass deportations Trump endorses.
We need a president who can broker solutions.
Clinton calls for comprehensive immigration reform, a goal that business, faith and law enforcement leaders have sought for years. Her support for a pathway to citizenship and her call for compassion for families torn apart by deportation are consistent with her longtime support for human rights.
Clinton's equality vs. Trump's lack of respect
As secretary of state, Clinton made gender equality a priority for U.S. foreign policy. This is an extension of Clinton’s bold “women’s rights are human rights” speech in 1995.
It reflects an understanding that America’s commitment to human rights is a critically needed beacon in today’s troubled world.
Trump’s long history of objectifying women and his demeaning comments about women during the campaign are not just good-old-boy gaffes.
They are evidence of deep character flaws. They are part of a pattern.
Trump mocked a reporter’s physical handicap. Picked a fight with a Gold Star family.Insulted POWs. Suggested a Latino judge can’t be fair because of his heritage. Proposed banning Muslim immigration.
Each of those comments show a stunning lack of human decency, empathy and respect. Taken together they reveal a candidate who doesn’t grasp our national ideals.
A centrist or a wild card?
Many Republicans understand this. But they shudder at the thought of Hillary Clinton naming Supreme Court justices. So they stick with Trump. We get that. But we ask them to see Trump for what he is — and what he is not.
Trump’s conversion to conservatism is recent and unconvincing. There is no guarantee he will name solid conservatives to the Supreme Court.
Hillary Clinton has long been a centrist. Despite her tack left to woo Bernie Sanders supporters, Clinton retains her centrist roots. Her justices might not be in the mold of Antonin Scalia, but they will be accomplished individuals with the experience, education and intelligence to handle the job.
They will be competent. Just as she is competent.
If a candidate cannot control his words
Trump’s inability to control himself or be controlled by others represents a real threat to our national security. His recent efforts to stay on script are not reassuring. They are phony.
The president commands our nuclear arsenal. Trump can’t command his own rhetoric.
Were he to become president, his casual remarks — such as saying he wouldn’t defend NATO partners from invasion — could have devastating consequences.
Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, a thug who has made it clear he wants to expand Russia’s international footprint.
Trump suggested Russia engage in espionage against Hillary Clinton — an outrageous statement that he later insisted was meant in jest.
Trump said President Obama and Hillary Clinton were “co-founders” of ISIS, then walked that back by saying it was sarcasm.
It was reckless.
Being the leader of the free world requires a sense of propriety that Trump lacks.
Clinton's opportunity to heal this nation
We understand that Trump’s candidacy tapped a deep discontent among those who feel left behind by a changed economy and shifting demographics.
Their concerns deserve to be discussed with respect.
Ironically, Trump hasn’t done that. He has merely pandered. Instead of offering solutions, he hangs scapegoats like piñatas and invites people to take a swing.
In a nation with an increasingly diverse population, Trump offers a recipe for permanent civil discord.
In a global economy, he offers protectionism and a false promise to bring back jobs that no longer exist.
America needs to look ahead and build a new era of prosperity for the working class.
This is Hillary Clinton’s opportunity. She can reach out to those who feel left behind. She can make it clear that America sees them and will address their concerns.
She can move us beyond rancor and incivility.
The Arizona Republic endorses Hillary Clinton for president.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Bill Moyers may have ended his excellent television show, but he is far from sitting quietly waiting for the end to come. He's been quite active in the political world, and we are all the richer for it.
Bill and his bud Michael Winship have a few things to say about our current system of Presidential "debates", which I think we all realize as a farce and just about the farthest thing from an actual "debate."
There’s No Debate
The candidates and the media have thoroughly corrupted the presidential debates. Our democracy deserves better. There's still time for a change.
Let’s call the whole thing off.
Not the election, although if we only had a magic reset button we could pretend this sorry spectacle never happened and start all over.
No, we mean the presidential debates — which, if the present format and moderators remain as they are, threaten an effect on democracy more like Leopold and Loeb than Lincoln and Douglas.
We had a humiliating sneak preview Sept. 7, when NBC’s celebrity interviewer Matt Lauer hosted a one-hour “Commander-in-Chief Forum” in which Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump spoke with Lauer from the same stage but in separate interviews. The event was supposed to be about defense and veterans issues, yet to everyone’s bewilderment (except the Trump camp, which must have been cheering out of camera range that Lauer was playing their song), Lauer seemed to think Clinton’s emails were worthy of more questions than, say, nuclear war, global warming or the fate of Syrian refugees.
Of course, that wasn’t a debate per se but neither are the sideshows that we call the official debates, even though the rules put in place by the nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates are meant to insure a certain amount of fairness and decorum — unlike the trainwreck of “debates” during the primary season, which were run solely by the parties and media sponsors with no adult supervision.
But despite the efforts of the commission, the official presidential debates coming up also are dominated by the candidates and the media, and therein lurk both the problems and the reasons to scrap this fraudulent nonsense for something sane and serious.
A little history: From 1976, when President Gerald Ford faced off against Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, the three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate were administered by the League of Women Voters, which did an admirable job under trying circumstances. But then, as historian Jill Lepore writes in an excellent New Yorker article on the history of presidential debates, the Reagan White House wanted to wrest control from the League and give it to the networks. According to Lepore:
“During Senate hearings, Dorothy Ridings, the president of the League of Women Voters, warned against that move: ‘Broadcasters are profit-making corporations operating in an extremely competitive setting, in which ratings assume utmost importance.’ They would make a travesty of the debates, she predicted, not least because they’d agree to whatever terms the campaigns demanded. Also: ‘We firmly believe that those who report the news should not make the news.’”
Ridings’ prescience proved correct and then some. In 1988, the League pulled out of the Bush-Dukakis debates, declaring in a press release, “It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”
Walter Cronkite agreed. That same year, he wrote, “The debates are part of the unconscionable fraud that our political campaigns have become. Here is a means to present to the American people a rational exposition of the major issues that face the nation, and the alternate approaches to their solution. Yet the candidates participate only with the guarantee of a format that defies meaningful discourse. They should be charged with sabotaging the electoral process.”
But as Ridings said, it’s not just the candidates involved in this criminal hijacking of discourse. The giant media conglomerates — NBCUniversal (Comcast), Disney, CBS Corp., 21 Century Fox, Time Warner — have turned the campaign and the upcoming debates into profit centers that reap a huge return from political trivia and titillation. A game show, if you will — a farcical theater of make-believe rigged by the two parties and the networks to maintain their cartel of money and power.
“Debating,” Jill Lepore writes, “like voting, is a way for people to disagree without hitting one another or going to war: it’s the key to every institution that makes civic life possible, from courts to legislatures. Without debate, there can be no self-government.” But the media monoliths have taken the democratic purpose of a televised debate — to inform the public on the issues and the candidates’ positions on them — and reduced it to a mock duel between the journalists who serve as moderators — too often surrendering their allegedly inquiring minds — and candidates who know they can simply blow past the questions with lies that go unchallenged, evasions that fear no rebuke and demagoguery that fears no rebuttal.
Remember that it was CBS CEO Leslie Moonves who whooped about the cash to be made from the campaign, telling an investors conference in February, “The money’s rolling in and this is fun. I’ve never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us… Bring it on, Donald. Keep going. Donald’s place in this election is a good thing.” Oh, yes, good for Moonves’ annual bonus, but good for democracy? Don’t make us laugh. Elaine Quijano of CBS News will be moderating the vice presidential candidates’ debate on Oct. 4, with Moonves looking over her shoulder.
Remember, too, that both Lauer and Trump are NBCUniversal celebrities who have earned millions from and for the networks. (Vanity Fair magazine even reported that NBCUniversal boss Steve Burke had spoken hypothetically with Trump about continuingThe Apprentice from the White House.) Moderating the first presidential debate on Sept. 26 is NBC anchorman Lester Holt, a nice and competent fellow, but facing the same pressure as his fellow teammate Matt Lauer to not offend their once-and-possibly-future NBC star Donald Trump.
And remember that Anderson Cooper of Time-Warner’s CNN, the all-Trump-all-the-time network, and Martha Raddatz of Disney’s ABC News will anchor the second presidential debate (to her credit, Raddatz did a good job during the 2012 vice presidential debate) — and that the final, crucial close encounter between Trump and Clinton will be moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox, the very “news organization” that joined with Donald Trump to gleefully spread the Big Lie of Birtherism that served Trump so well with free publicity (and Fox so well with ratings) and that Trump now conveniently and hypocritically repents.
We wait breathlessly to see if during that debate Wallace inquires of Trump: “Did you really believe that lying about Barack Obama’s birth was good for the country?” And: “What is your source for saying Hillary Clinton started the rumor that Obama was not born in America?” And: “How do we know you won’t change your mind again and raise further doubts about whether the president is an American?” And — to pick up on a suggestion from The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold, who has been reporting on Trump’s charitable giving — or lack thereof: “Mr. Trump, will you now follow through on your promise to donate $5 million to charity once you were given proof that President Obama was born in the United States? What charity do you have in mind? One of your own, perhaps?”
Wallace has already admitted he is in no position to hold Trump accountable for the lies he tells in the “debate” — that “it’s not my job” to fact check either Trump or Clinton during the course of their appearance with him. That should be pleasing to Roger Ailes, who was fired as head of the Fox News empire for scandalous sexist behavior but who is now giving Trump debate tips. Wallace is on record saying how much he admired and loved Ailes, to whom he owes his stardom at Fox — “The best boss I’ve had in almost a half a century in journalism,” Wallace said.
Such conflicts of interest at the core of the debates reminds us of what Woody Allen said back in one of his earlier, funnier films — that the whole thing is a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham. And why are we so complacent about the hijacking of our political process — that it has descended to this level where the two parties and the media giants pick as the only surrogates of the American people the minions of an oligarchic media riddled with cronyism and conflicts of interest?
So yes, scrap the debates as they are and rebuild. Even with a few days left until the first one there’s time to call everyone together, announce that our democracy deserves better and change the rules.
John Donvan of ABC News, moderator of public broadcasting’s excellent Intelligence Squared US debates, has been making the media rounds urging that the debate format be changed to Oxford rules — to formally argue resolutions like “Resolved: The United States Should Withdraw from NATO,” in which the candidates would make brief opening and closing statements and in the time remaining question one another about the issue at hand, under strict time guidelines At Change.org, 60,000 have signed a petition urging this be done. You have to wonder what would happen if those 60,000 and more turned up outside the first debate at Hofstra University on Sept. 26, exercising their constitutional right of assembly and demanding, not just urging, this better way.
Or why not put the League of Women Voters back in charge, with just the two candidates and a ruthless timekeeper on the stage insisting that they keep to stringent time limits and behave like human beings? If they don’t, on their heads be it. The timekeeper could even pull the plug early if things got out of hand.
Which brings us to the #1 Question: How can anyone keep Trump in bounds? He makes up the rules as he goes along. He is a pathological liar and overweening narcissist who, as Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo reminds us in a chilling take on the man, has more than once hinted at the murder of Hillary Clinton. Says the astute Marshall:
“The salient fact about Trump isn’t his cruelty or penchant for aggression and violence. It’s his inability to control urges and drives most people gain control over very early in life. There are plenty of sadists and sociopaths in the world. They’re not remarkable. The scariest have a high degree of impulse control (iciness) which allows them to inflict pain on others when no one is looking or when they will pay no price for doing so. What is true with Trump is what every critic has been saying for a year: the most obvious and contrived provocation can goad this thin-skinned charlatan into a wild outburst. He’s a 70-year-old man with children and grandchildren and he has no self-control.”
Does anyone really believe a candidate so unstable can or will engage in serious debate? And if our first line of defense against his volcanic lies — journalists supposedly committed to truth — crumbles, how will we ever clean up the contamination?
Something’s got to give. We can’t go on like this. We can no longer leave the electoral process to the two parties or the media conglomerates with whom they’re in cahoots. The stakes are too high.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Friday, September 23, 2016
A shout out to Toyota for 31 years of funding the Toyota ShareLunker program. I wonder if I will ever join that elite group of anglers?
How to Enter a Lunker
If your fish meets the requirements listed below, call (903) 681-0550.
- The program is limited to largemouth bass weighing 13 pounds or more.
- Entries are accepted October 1 through April 30.
- The fish must be legally caught in Texas waters.
- Fish must be weighed on certified or legal-for-trade scales. Click here for assistance in finding scales, or visit our list of ShareLunker Weigh and Holding Stations. Certified scales are scales that have been certified as accurate by the Texas Department of Agriculture, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) or a commercial scales calibration company.
- Call TPWD as soon as possible with your name, where the fish is located, a telephone number where you can be reached and when and where you caught the fish. Be sure to include your area code when leaving a message on the pager. A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department representative will respond within 12 hours.
- TPWD staff will be solely responsible for accepting a fish into the program based on the expectation that the fish will be able to survive and spawn. Fish held at Weigh and Holding Stations are not officially entered into the ShareLunker program until accepted by a TPWD representative.
- The angler must sign a release absolving all sponsors, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employees of any liability resulting from the loss or death of the fish.
Benefits of Participation
The ShareLunker will be returned to the angler for live release, or the angler may donate it permanently to the program. Either way, the angler receives a fiberglass replica of the catch made by Lake Fork Taxidermy, ShareLunker clothing, and recognition at an annual awards banquet held at TFFC. In addition, the Texas resident catching the largest entry of the season is awarded a lifetime fishing license.
Visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife website for more.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Flashback to 2008 and a talk by James Duane, a former defense attorney and professor at Regent Law School, who tells us you should NEVER agree to be interviewed by the police.
"I want a lawyer" over and over until they shut up and you get a lawyer. I'm not sure how relevant this is in today's climate of police seemingly shooting first and asking questions later, but it's good advice to anyone who comes in contact with the police, without bullets.
I'm pretty sure it's ok though, to say "Good Morning" or something innocuous like that if you happen to see a policeman somewhere. Just no interviews!
and here's the piece I saw on Facebook lately that prompted this: a piece on Vice titled "A Law Professor Explains Why You Should Never Talk to Police."
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
I've been wondering if this was going to happen: if journalists and others would get so fed up with Trump and his no-nothing supporters that they would just start going OFF on the guy and his minions.
It's starting. I expect to see a whole lot more like this in the near-future. Not that it will change anyone's mind....
It's starting. I expect to see a whole lot more like this in the near-future. Not that it will change anyone's mind....