Celebrating Independence

(Originally published 2016.)Liberty4th-of-july

John Adams declared that July 2, the date the Second Continental Congress voted to declare the thirteen colonies independent from Great Britain, would be celebrated “…with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” The written Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4. Continue reading Celebrating Independence

Stupid Old White People

Here’s something else to blame on Obama:

An African-American president urged action on climate change and signed the U.S. onto the 2015 international Paris climate agreement. The result? “A significant number of white Americans deciding that they were done believing in climate change.”

That’s according to Salil Benegal, a political-science professor at DePauw University. Benegal did a study that found American climate-change deniers tend to be older and white, have racist attitudes and – surprise – identify as Republican.

Before you get carried away about a political-science professor postulating on climate change… he’s not. He’s simply looking at correlations. He also found that these same people only believe what Republicans tell them about climate. Professor Benegal recently summarized his findings in the Washington Post.

Okay, so concurrence is not causation. This is just an interesting factoid.

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson

“Lock ’em Up!”

The current occupant of the White House has an infatuation with presidential pardons. Sheriff Joe, Scooter, and possibly any number of other felons connected to his campaign. Concurrently, he relishes frothing up crowds with the chant, “Lock her up!” referencing the woman who received three million more votes than he in the last election.
Which brings us to former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and Karl Rove and the depths to which Republicans will sink to gain power and subvert the electoral process.

Continue reading “Lock ’em Up!”

Weekend in Portlandia

 

Good in the Hood

26th annual Good in the Neighborhood Multi-Cultural Music & Food Festival, celebrating (non-gentrified) inner north and northeast Portland.

 

World Naked Bike Ride

“a protest against driving and fossil fuel abuse, a rolling party, and a demonstration of the unifying power of bicycles”

And illustrating that some people should not be naked in public.

 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protest

8:00 am Sunday – protesters still asleep.

 

Milk Carton Boat Races

A half-gallon milk carton will float four pounds.

Boat building and navigating skills vary.

 

And non-milk-carton boat traffic on the river…

What To Do with All Those Separated Children

When… or if… the “zero tolerance” border enforcement situation is resolved, there will inevitably be hundreds, maybe thousands, of children unable to reconnect with their parents. What to do? If we look back to the previous century, we’ll see there is a simple solution: put the kids on trains and ship them off to the heartland to work on farms.

In the mid-1800s, slums in New York and other eastern cities were bursting with immigrants who had come to the U.S. seeking relief from poor harvests, famines, political unrest and revolutions in their homelands. Advertising by railroad and steamship companies extolled America as “Land of the second chance” and where “free land” was available. The reality for most was quite different. Packed into slums where lack of sanitation resulted in rampant disease and working at low-wage jobs where safety was not a consideration during an era of no worker protection, neither against injury or death, nor resultant financial loss. The streets of New York became infested with 30,000 permanently separated children.

Continue reading What To Do with All Those Separated Children

Alexa, Can You Hear Me?

Do you have a gnawing feeling that Amazon does not have enough of your personal information? That you are sometimes in a dead zone where Amazon – or Google or Facebook – is not tracking you? Not to worry: the on-line behemoth is moving toward their goal of recording everything you say or do. The latest step: “Alexa for Hospitality.” Now they can monitor you not only in your home, but also while you’re in a hotel room with the door locked and bolted.

Of course, Amazon’s monitoring device is asleep until you awaken it with “Alexa.” The cynical among us ask how Alexa knows you want it if it’s not listening. Amazon assures us that it is not keeping any information that you don’t want it to have. And if you can’t trust Amazon…

Oops-

Amazon’s Echo device recorded a Portland family’s private conversation and then sent the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.