And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Linkee-poo, shine on Harvest Moon up in the sky

Sorry, yesterday kinda exploded.

Today's (yesterday's) poem at Writer's Alamanac, Some Advice for Clearing Brush by Jeff Coomer is excellent, and something I try to keep in mind (but often fail).

"When the Norths were removed from their home, they joined nearly nine thousand adult wards in the Las Vegas Valley. In the past twenty years, the city has promoted itself as a retirement paradise. Attracted by the state’s low taxes and a dry, sunny climate, elderly people leave their families behind to resettle in newly constructed senior communities." How the elderly lose their rights, their property, and their liberty. (Grokked from Michele)

"The deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history has renewed conversations about America's gun laws, after one man strafed a country music festival from a high-rise hotel in Las Vegas on Sunday. The attack prompted a musician who played at the festival to say he's changed his mind — and that the U.S. needs new gun control." It's all abstract until the lead is flying your way.

"When Stephen Craig Paddock - a white American - was identified as the gunman who rained bullets on multitudes at a Las Vegas concert, he was quickly characterized as a 'lone wolf.æ… Had he been of another race or ethnicity, would he have been branded a terrorist instead, or would aspersions have been cast on his minority group?"

"British Prime Minister Theresa May gave one of the most important speeches of her political career Wednesday morning. It could not have gone much worse." Okay, handing her a P-45/Pink Slip while on stage was a dick move, but the letters falling off their sign is just funny.

"'The rich will not be gaining at all with this plan,' Trump told reporters during a meeting with lawmakers in mid-September… But analysts at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center who studied the proposal reached a very different conclusion. They predict that nearly three-quarters of the savings from the tax overhaul would go to the top 20 percent of earners — those making more than $149,000. More than half the savings would go to the top 1 percent — people who earn more than $732,800." Yeah, there's my shocked face again. Time to roll out the "well, they pay most of the taxes so it stands to reason they'll see most of the benefit" line. "So how do the tax plan's supporters claim that it's focused on the middle class? By highlighting speculative, indirect gains that are supposed to result from economic growth." Or basically concrete cuts for those at the top, the rest of us suckers have to pray this tax cut does increase economic growth, which no tax cut since the Kennedy Administration has had that effect.

"'I think one of the things we don't want to do is try to create laws that won't stop these types of things from happening,' Sanders said Monday. 'I think if you look to Chicago where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn't helped there.'" Yeah, nice talking point you have there. Be ashamed if something happened to it. Like a little dose of the truth.

"The partisan split in America is the highest it's been in two decades, with Republicans and Democrats holding vastly disparate views on race, immigration and the role of government, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center." When I was kid, you had liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats. While there's still the later (but there are fewer), the most liberal a Republican is now is "moderate" (which places then in what used to the the Center Right position). We've self-segregated to a very large extent. And while it's not in this article it also divides down the degree of authoritarianism (with those who have authoritarian tendencies to move to the right, again this was not the case in the 70s and 80s). And there is also a shift in social conservatives to the political right.

"President Trump suggested Thursday that the Senate Intelligence Committee investigate media companies that he believes are reporting information that is 'just made up.'" Because that doesn't sound despotic in the least.

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