Monday, May 22, 2017

The Trump speech to Israel was good. He didn't pull any punches. He said there had to be a Palestine nation with borders. He said there should be harmony in the Middle East. He has his moments.

There is tension between Donald and Melania Trump since the inauguration that was not there before.

Donald stated something to his wife on the inauguration platform that obviously was emotionally traumatizing. There is a culture developing around this tension and they watch her. They are convinced she is abused. By the looks of things, especially at the inauguration, there is something not right. People should be concerned.

This is embarrassing as a country to have the President and his wife in such disharmony. What gives with the guy already?

Nothing but a bunch of skirt chasers. No wonder they lied about the news all the time, they didn't have time or the inkling to find the truth.

May 22, 2017
By Daniel Wiessner

Fox News (click here) was hit with new sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits on Monday, adding to the catalog of complaints that has rattled the U.S. cable news network and its corporate parent 21st Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O).

New York City lawyer Douglas Wigdor filed lawsuits in federal court in Manhattan on behalf of Kathleen Lee, a Fox News Radio shift editor who says she was sexually harassed and subjected to "unceasing retaliation" for complaining, and Naima Farrow, who maintains she was fired from her job as an accounts payable coordinator after telling supervisors she was pregnant.

In a third case in the same court, Vidya Mann, a Fox News accounts receivable specialist, said she was taken on as a temporary employee but passed over for permanent jobs in favor of white coworkers.

A spokeswoman at Fox News said the company believes the suits are without merit, noting that the company took prompt action and takes all complaints of discrimination seriously.

The new legal claims come as Fox News is already battling a series of lawsuits that led to the resignations of former chief executive Roger Ailes, who died last week, star anchor Bill O'Reilly and network co-president Bill Shine.

Wigdor said he was also representing an unidentified black information technology employee who was subjected to racially insensitive remarks by Bob Beckel, an on-air host who was fired last week, days after the worker complained....

The American people can find the lies.

May 22, 2017
By Monica Lewinsky

Monica, 1999

...Their (FOX News) dream was my nightmare. (click here) My character, my looks and my life were picked apart mercilessly. Truth and fiction mixed at random in the service of higher ratings. My family and I huddled at home, worried about my going to jail — I was the original target of Ken Starr’s investigation, threatened with 27 years for having been accused of signing a false affidavit, obstructing justice, suborning perjury and other crimes — or worse, me taking my own life. Meantime, Mr. Ailes huddled with his employees at Fox News, dictating a lineup of talking heads to best exploit this personal and national tragedy.... 

...In fact, in late 1998, when Keith Olbermann briefly left MSNBC, he expressed disgust with the frequent Lewinsky coverage.

Just as television news was devolving into a modern coliseum, the internet came along and compounded this culture of shame and vitriol....

...Fox asked its viewers to vote on this pressing question: Is Monica Lewinsky an “average girl” or a “young tramp looking for thrills”?

Our world — of cyberbullying and chyrons, trolls and tweets — was forged in 1998. It is, as the historian Nicolaus Mills has put it, a “culture of humiliation,” in which those who prey on the vulnerable in the service of clicks and ratings are handsomely rewarded....

The Lewinsky tabloid scandal is what made the popularity of Fox News soar. It is why every time there is the name Clinton in the news, there is scandal and/or hate attached to it. It is the momentum of the scandal that continues.

Unfortunately, the hate spawned by FOX News during the time Kenneth Starr actually thought he was doing something important lives on past Ailes and now Plutocrats like Trump are capitalizing on it still.

Hate is the Republicans best friend now. Where are the lawsuits? The biggest and brightest Hollywood stars sue these idiots. Where are the earnest leaders that sue these clowns and shut down the 'the scandal.'

Ken Starr never did anything except ruin the reputation of a White House intern and fuel the political machine of the Republicans. The Republicans aren't going to change their evil ways, it serves their purpose.

August 8, 2016
By Sam Reisman

...The tabloid (The National Enquirer) (click here) has already endorsed Donald Trump and has frequently published “stories” smearing his opponents and bolstering his campaign.

Their latest is a breathless slideshow, entitled “Hillary Clinton’s Secret Health Crisis,” that accuses the Democratic nominee of — deep breath — “suffering from the early stages of the debilitating disease multiple sclerosis,” having “suffered three secret strokes,” and being plagued by a catalogue of “blackouts, falls, memory loss, blinding headaches, vision problems and collapses.”...

This is unheard of in a mountain range.

The Ozarks tourist destination (click here)

Below and the map are borrowed from Wikipedia.

Summits can reach elevations of just over 2,560 feet (780 m) with valleys 500 to 1,550 feet (472 m) deep (150 m to 450 m). Turner Ward Knob is the highest named peak. Located in western Newton County, Arkansas, its elevation is 2,463 feet (751 m). Nearby, five unnamed peaks have elevations at or slightly above 2,560 feet (780 m). Drainage is primarily to the White River, with the exception of the Illinois River, although there also is considerable drainage from the south slopes of the Boston Mountains to the Arkansas River. Major streams of this type include Lee Creek, Frog Bayou, Mulberry River, Spadra Creek, Big Piney Creek, Little Piney Creek, Illinois Bayou, Point Remove Creek, and Cadron Creek. Many Ozark waterways have their headwaters in the uplands of the Boston formation, including the BuffaloKing’sMulberryLittle Red and White rivers.

The tornadoes were weak because they were at higher elevations.

Turner Ward Knob is the highest named peak. Located in western Newton County, Arkansas, its elevation is 2,463 feet (751 m)

Newton County, Seneca. Categorized as an EF-1.
Newton County, Neosho. Categorized as an EF-1.

The others:

May 21, 2017
By Frances Watson

...Survey teams with the National Weather Service (click here) have been making the rounds. Their final count was 16 tornadoes swept through the state.
The majority of them, 13 in all hit in the Ozarks:
Barry County, 3 miles SE of Shell Knob. Categorized as an EF-0.
Taney County, 3 miles W of Branson. Categorized as an EF-0.
Taney County, Rockaway Beach/Taneyville. Categorized as an EF-1.
Greene County, Turners. Categorized as an EF-0.
Christian County, 1 mile SE of Chadwick. Categorized as an EF-0.
Webster County, 6 miles WSW of Conway. Categorized as an EF-1.
Wright County, Dawson/Mountain Grove. Categorized as an EF-0.
Lawrence County, Stotts City/Mt. Vernon. Categorized as an EF-1.
Lawrence County, Miller. Categorized as an EF-0.
Dade County, 3 miles SE of Everton. Categorized as an EF-0.
Dade County, 2 miles NE of Everton. Categorized as an EF-0.
Greene/Polk Counties, 3 miles WNW of Walnut Grove. Categorized as an EF-0.
Oregon County, Thayer. Categorized as an EF-0.

Three tornadoes were recorded just west of the Ozarks:

McDonald County, 3 miles E of Jane. Categorized as an EF-1.

These two were mentioned above.

Newton County, Seneca. Categorized as an EF-1.
Newton County, Neosho. Categorized as an EF-1....

Tornadoes don't normally occur in mountainous regions. There have been an occasional reporting that dates back to 2012, but, nothing like this. No tornado outbreak has ever occurred in mountainous regions before.

For tornadoes to occur at elevation as well as in deep valleys is extremely curious. That just doesn't happen.

It could be the available water vapor of the forests, rivers and streams that allow heat to accumulate and then add fuel to the air mass. I have to wonder if local warm water vapor can ignite this?
May 22, 2017
By Roberta Rampton

The White House (click here) is set to release President Donald Trump's first full budget on Tuesday, a plan that will include a cut of more than $800 billion from the Medicaid program for the poor and reductions in other social spending.

The Medicaid cuts were part of a Republican healthcare bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in early May, which aims to gut the Obama administration's 2010 law that expanded insurance coverage and the government-run Medicaid program.

But the bill - and its politically sensitive cuts - faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Trump's initial budget outline for discretionary spending received a tepid response from Congress, which controls the purse strings, and, ultimately, government spending. He said in March he wanted to boost defense spending and slash foreign aid....

Racism is alive and well in North Carolina.

May 22, 2017
By Christian Farias

In a long-awaited decision, (click here) the Supreme Court agreed on Monday with a lower court ruling that found that Republican lawmakers in North Carolina drew two congressional districts with improper racial considerations in mind.

“The Constitution entrusts States with the job of designing congressional districts,” wrote Justice Elena Kagan in the 5-to-3 decision. “But it also imposes an important constraint: A State may not use race as the predominant factor in drawing district lines unless it has a compelling reason.”

The court concluded that the two districts ― which, following the 2010 census, were drawn to pack a higher percentage of voting-age black voters into them ― violated this principle.

Kagan was joined in her majority opinion by Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor....

The North Carolina maps are interesting. This map is from 1973 -1983.

Population in 1973 was 5.39 million and grew to 6.077 by 1983. 

There was a total of two districts added to North Carolina between the two maps.

This is the North Carolina redistricting map of 2013-2016. Pat McCrory took office in 2013.

Population in 2013 was 9.845 million which grew to approximately 10.1 million in 2016.

District 1 lost the coast entirely and District 12 is nearly invisible.

The courts are the primary venue to mitigate the corruption. The states maintain the authority of the districts and the vote according to the US Constitution. It is a circus. 

The Plutocracy continues to fund corruption in government through placing their thumb on the scale to elect Republicans, hence, they also continue to fund racism. I don't want to hear how Bannon is stating he really, really isn't a White Supremacist. A person that seeks power brokering by pretending to be a White Supremacist is a White Supremacist. There is no changing identity after the fact.

May 22, 2017
By Amber Phillips

Members of North Carolina student chapters of the NAACP  protest the state's voter ID law in 2013, which was also struck down by the courts for targeting minorities “with almost surgical precision,” said a federal judge.

This year, (click here) federal courts have been litigating a steady stream of gerrymandering claims. And most of the electoral maps the courts have knocked down were drawn by Republicans.

That's good news for Democrats: They have an opportunity in several states to draw more favorable congressional and state legislative maps ahead of 2018 elections. And every seat counts, given the 2020 Census is right around the corner, which brings with it the opportunity in many states to draw new district maps.

Some Republican legislatures are paying the price for recapturing 21 chambers in the 2010 elections, the last time electoral maps were being drawn. Monday, North Carolina became the third GOP-controlled state legislature in a row to get its map-drawing skills declared illegal by the Supreme Court.

What's more, the court ruled against North Carolina Republicans in a way that opens the door for Democrats to potentially challenge almost all mapmaking in the South.

Here's a rundown of the redistricting landscape — and how it could affect our elections....

This administration is corrupt to the core. It is disgusting.

This is happening because Trump hasn't got a clue to know what is the truth about the USA economy and what is a lie. He has no legal credentials, so he is unsure what changes need to be made in the law without crashing the economy.

This is a bridge between the private sector and government. It is not just corrupt, it is dangerous. When the private sector collapses as is fully expected with this administration there is no entity capable of understanding the fall. The government will reflect the exact same dynamics as the markets.

This is quite possibly the worst news of any of this administration. There is a continuum between Wall Street Plutocrats and the federal government. The states need to be aware there is this depth of corruption in DC and protect from it.

There is no watch dog. It's 2008 all over again.  

May 22, 2017
By Eric Lipton

The Trump administration, (click here) in a significant escalation of its clash with the government’s top ethics watchdog, has moved to block an effort to disclose any ethics waivers granted to former lobbyists who have work in the White House or federal agencies.

The latest conflict came in recent days when the White House, in a highly unusual move, sent a letter to Walter M. Shaub Jr., the head of the Office of Government Ethics, asking him to withdraw a request he had sent to every federal agency for copies of the waivers. In the letter, the administration challenged his legal authority to demand the information.

Dozens of former lobbyists and industry lawyers are working in the Trump administration, which has hired them at a much higher rate than the previous administration. Keeping the waivers confidential would make it impossible to know whether any such officials are violating federal ethics rules or have been given a pass to ignore them.

Mr. Shaub, who is in the final year of a five-year term after being appointed by President Barack Obama, said he had no intention of backing down. “It is an extraordinary thing,” Mr. Shaub said of the White House request. “I have never seen anything like it.”...

This is the way a market major adjustment begins. It happens in waves like the ocean.

Wall Street was zealous at the election of Trump. Now comes reality. Be careful. 

May 22, 2017
By Jeff Cox 

Stocks escaped last week (click here) with a near-miraculous turnaround after a mid-week selloff threatened to put a major crimp in the market.
The big market-shaker was politics and events happening in Washington, D.C.
While it's good news that the market made it with just mild losses, the bad news is that the focus again is likely to be in the capital. Curious investors should be watching closely....

Iran is not responsible for Daesh and fights them at every turn.

Here we go with the lead up to unnecessary war. One has to remember this is the Middle East with Sunni and Shi'ite religions and a variety of sects too numerous to count. There is no blaming anyone for Daesh except for the extremists that slaughter people.

The idea a USA President would allow such beliefs to exist is complete ignorance to the outcomes for the region. Trump is heading straight into conflict with his favorite country, Russia. I guess I have to say it over and over, Assad is Shi'ite. There was a time when Assad and Saudi Arabia would shake hands and discuss the region together. So this type of statement has far reaching consequences.

I think Trump will ooze nothing but anti-Russia sentiment throughout his trip abroad to CYA.

Iran is making amazing connections back to The West and beginning it's economy anew. There are new aircraft and consumer goods pouring into Iran. Along with it should be organized tourism for pilgrims and tourists when it is possible. If the country is secure tourists will come. I would like Iran to work with the USA State Department to assure Americans are returned when in offense to the Iranian government without asking for random or fees. Seriously. In the past Iran was on the map for conservation tourists from all over the world. Iran needs to consider what it is looking for in tourists and protect them. It is a different world for Iran and it needs to change it's ways with President Hassan Rouhani returned to leadership.

May 21, 2017

Riyadh (AFP) - Saudi Arabia's King Salman (click here) on Sunday accused regional rival Shiite Iran of exporting extremist Islamic movements to the world and vowed to eliminate the Islamic State group.
"The Iranian regime has been the spearhead of global terrorism since the (Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini revolution" in 1979, King Salman said in a speech to leaders including US President Donald Trump.
"We did not know terrorism and extremism until the Khomeini revolution reared its head," he said.
Saudi Arabia was also determined to "eliminate the Islamic State group", the king said of the Sunni Muslim jihadist organisation....

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Would you dance if I asked you to dance?
Or would you run and never look back?
Would you cry if you saw me crying?
And would you save my soul tonight?
Would you tremble if I touched your lips?
Or would you laugh? Oh, please tell me this
Now would you die for the one you love?
Oh hold me in your arms tonight
I can be your hero baby
I can kiss away the pain
I will stand by you forever
You can take my breath away
Would you swear that you'll always be mine
Or would you lie? Would you run and hide?
Am I in too deep? Have I lost my mind?
I don't care, you're here tonight
I can be your hero baby
I can kiss away the pain
I will stand by you forever
You can take my breath away
Oh, I just hold you
I just hold you, oh yeah
Am I in too deep? Have I lost my mind?
Well, I don't care, you're here tonight
I can be your hero baby
I can kiss away the pain
I will stand by you forever
You can take my breath away
I can be your hero baby
I can kiss away the pain
I will stand by you forever
You can take my breath away
You can take my breath away
I can be your hero

There are many candles on my cake this year.

Wish me "Happy Birthday." Yes, May 21st is my birthday. I was born before midnight at 11:30 PM. And I went to the hospital in a 1955 Chevy.

It was Saturday. The US president was Dwight D. Eisenhower. In the UK "Stranger In Paradise" by Tony Bennett was in the top 5 hits. "Love Me or Leave Me," directed by Charles Vidor, was one of the most viewed movies released in 1955 while "No Time For Sergeants" by Mac Hyman was one of the best selling books.

Some folks want to put me into the zodiac sign of Gemini, but, any self respecting astrologer will state I am a Taurus. Try that on for size as a woman. 

Taurus, the bull with the planet Venus. Come to think of it, it is sounding pretty good.

Famous Taurians (Is that a word? Taurians? Sounds like Earthlings or something.) are Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Honore De Balze, Salvador Dali, Oliver Cromwell, Benjamin Spock, David Beckham, Enrique Iglesias and Harry S Truman. See, no women. Benjamin Spock is the closest that comes to women simply because Spock never thought fathers were much except rule makers (click here).

Taurus woman unites all remarkable qualities. Taurus woman is quiet, reserved and honest. Taurus woman possesses immense emotional courage. Taurus woman demonstrates much of self-control. Practical common sense is important for Taurus woman. Taurus woman has a good feeling of harmony. Taurus woman likes to make favorable impression upon people and is very hospitable. She is a good cook. Taurus woman is reliable in all. Taurus woman is a good mother.

I don't know about all that.

Quiet? I speak when necessary and it isn't always quiet. This blog illustrates a person that wades into controversy regardless of peril. That isn't quiet, is it? Reserved? I don't dance on tables at parties. I guess that is being reserved. Honest. I'd like to think so. "Immense Emotional Courage." I don't dance on tables at parties, I don't know where that courage comes from. Self-control. I never got pregnant outside of marriage. That was "the pill" though. That kinda throws self-control out the window. But, I never got pregnant outside of marriage. Interestingly, both my pregnancies began the night of my birthday. No lie. Whisper sweet nothings, sweet nothings to me. Yes, whisper sweet nothings to me. Practical common sense. I think life is complicated and practical common sense doesn't define my thinking. "Good Feeling of Harmony." I couldn't play a piano if my life depended on it. Harmony is more than music. I do believe the world should be harmonious. Not boring, bland or lacking pizzazz. But, harmonious. Peace is about harmony. Diversity is about harmony. Yeah, I am mired morally in harmony. Absolutely. "Make Favorable Impressions." That is sort of what side of the political road one is on. If in the company of conservatives I would not make a favorable impression. But, in a debate hall, street demonstration, "Occupy Wall Street" and "Mic Check," and a union walk out; I would definitely be seen as making a favorable impression. I think that goes along with harmony. The more harmony the more favorable an impression I make. "Hospitable." Hm? I am going to go with Merrium-Webster 1c: Offering a pleasant or sustaining envionrment: ie; grows in even the least hospitable climates, Yes, I am definitely hospitable. "Good Cook." In a Betty Crocker sort of way, but, a really good cook that can do gourmet? I missed the boat on that one. "Reliable in all." Yes. Absolutely. I am very, very reliable. I "show up." "Good Mother." No doubt in my mind. When being a mother I am more selfless than not. I don't walk into a children's book store looking for the latest "Self" magazine and then leave with a child making a wish list while criticizing the choices on the shelves.

Being on the astrological "Cusp" can be confusing. But, there is an understanding of the Cusp. In the case of my birthday, the Cusp is considered May 17 - May 23. I am the "Cusp of Energy."


Earth meets Air for those born on the Taurus-Gemini Cusp, and it's quite a dust storm of activity these individuals can kick up. If you were born between the signs of Taurus and Gemini, from about May 17 to May 23, you're one of the most youthful and go-getting cuspers of 'em all.

Now. That sounds like me; to a T.

Until tomorrow then...

"The 50th Anniversary of the Graduate"

I firmly believe we had it right when this picture premiered 50 years ago. It is about the choices we make and the happiness we find, without an imposed standard. Isn't that right, Bernie?

April 3, 2017
By Daniel Kreps

4K restoration (ciick here) to debut at TCM Classic Film Festival before hitting multiplexes in late April....

...A new 4K restoration of The Graduate will first premiere April 8that Hollywood's Grauman's Chinese Theatre as part of the TCM Classic Film Festival. Two weeks later, from April 23rd to April 26th, the restoration will expand to 700 multiplexes nationwide for TCM and Fathom Events' monthly TCM Big Screen Classics series....

The conservative party has destroyed the USA and if that isn't evident now I don't know what is. The USA was never about vast wealth and oppression through class struggle. The USA was about equality, freedom of choice and inheritant happiness in a country with laws that required justice, not victims under the oppression of laws.

We lost it. We lost the country through political promises that were never possible and presidents, including Reagan, that never could stand up to Wall Street. 

Morally, one can always buy happiness, but, it is those that find it that are truly moral.

Did our forefathers not reject the king in composition and reality? They worried about the "Imperial President," did they not? They put checks and balances in place to protect the sovereignty of a country that loved it's people. It is highly immoral to seek to legislate against the embodiment of 'the human' over that of the inanimate, such as a US dollar bill.

"The Declaration of Independence" is the moral tone of the USA while the "US Constitution' and "Bill of Rights" are the legal tone and laws. A human being has many aspects to their life, including spiritual (whichever way it is manifested). The idea a person could be legislated in the laws of a country is an affront to the very essence of "human." Immoral acts against the "human" is possible to be legislated and what is an immoral act regards conscience and the value of human life.

Environmental laws are not only moral, but, required. The idea of the ESA (Endangered Species Act) is based on the scientific understanding as to what is human values and protections of a food web, including, tiny fish that conservatives don't mind stamping out of existence.

Peace is imperative to human life and the values that life holds dear.

The words of the "Declaration of Independence", the "US Constitution" and the "Bill of Rights" are dated to their authors. The constraints of 'the words" in regard to gender, ethnicity, sexual identity and expression of love among other values, are inelastic legally and morally and are open to interpretation through the composition of 'the entire body of understanding.' To stand in the face of EQUALITY to say 'the words' simply aren't there is completely opposed to the meaning of the 'entire' of the documents. It is the definition of the documents and not single words or phrases that define the beloved people of the USA.

In in the Course of human events (click here) it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,...

Saturday, May 20, 2017

19 of 34 deaths this year was while in a mobile home.

May 17, 2017
By Chris Dolce and Linda Larn

So far in 2017, more than 30 people have been killed by tornadoes. (click here)

More than half of the deaths have occurred in mobile homes.

This year has already had more tornado-related deaths than all of last year.

The tornado death toll for 2017 has likely risen to 34, after deadly storms moved through the central U.S. Tuesday.

One death has been reported Tuesday in Barron County, Wisconsin, where a possible tornado severely damaged a mobile home park. Another fatality occurred when a suspected tornado hit Elk City, Oklahoma. When these are confirmed as tornadoes, the death toll will officially reach 34.

Weather related deaths continue to rise this year. It is not only tornadoes, but, flooding as well, especially in vehicles.

April 27, 2017
By Brian Donegan

A total of 302 people were killed by flooding in the U.S. from 2015 through 2016. (click here)

Tornadoes and lightning combined only killed 118 in the U.S. over that same period.

Many of the flood-related fatalities occurred in vehicles.

Flooding was extremely deadly in the United States over the past two years, claiming many more lives than tornadoes and lightning combined.
From January 2015 through December 2016, 302 people were killed by floodwaters, while 65 deaths were caused by lightning and 53 were the result of tornadoes, according to NOAA statistics.
I sincerely believe the USA infrastructure is failing the people. When death tolls statistics start to trend upward it is time to look to the reasons. The USA has been fairly good at responding to severe weather and weather emergencies. This new trend is worrisome and needs to be examined and corrected.
We record statistics for a reason and this is one of them; "How are we doing?" This is not trivia, it is real.

The Iranian people have delivered themselves from the sanctions with the election of President Hassan Rouhani.

May 20, 2017

Iran's state television has declared incumbent President Hassan Rouhani the winner of the country's presidential election, giving him a second four-year term to see out his agenda calling for greater freedoms and outreach to the wider world.

State TV offered its congratulations in a brief statement Saturday, based on vote tallies.

The 68-year-old has come to embody more liberal and reform-minded Iranians' hopes for greater political freedom at home and better relations with the outside world.

Preliminary vote tallies earlier had Rouhani ahead with 22.8 million votes, out of 38.9 million counted so far.

Officials say more than 40 million people voted.

There is continued confidence in the incumbent President Rouhani. What does all this mean? It means the Iranian people have a voice in their government. It means their government cares about the people. It means stability within Iran that an international community can count on today and in the future.

Friday, May 19, 2017

This is really good news for Flint.

It could mean increased tourism and an uptick in the economy. It also increases the presence of those interested in the natural world, clean water and protections that help the environment. It is a new conscience for some in Flint and it is a good thing.

May 1, 2017
By Roberta Costa

Flint River, MI - Additional patrols (click here) will hit the Flint River Trail in and around the downtown area beginning this week through the end of October following an expansion of the River Trail Watchers program.

The University of Michigan-Flint announced the addition of two golf carts for the program in partnership with several local community organizations and police departments, as well as new weekend patrols along University Avenue from Mill Street to Ballenger Highway.

After a pilot year in 2016, University of Michigan-Flint Department of Public Safety director Ray Hall said the response has been positive and they would like the effort to continue moving forward with help from a $200,000 Urban Safety Corps grant through the United Way of Genesee County....                       

There is a great deal more security at Cannes this year, but, the controversy over "Traditional Theater" and "Populous Fad" is interesting.

It seems to me the "Theater Culture" is under attack. TV and Computers remove culture and isolate individuals. I think the organizers of Cannes are correct. There is nothing to say the made for electronic media films can't be enjoyed and have wide appeal, but, let's face it MTV got over being part of the Grammy Awards a long time ago.

May 17, 2017

...This year's Cannes programme (click here) points to changes shaking up the film industry, including the march on Hollywood by streaming giants Netflix and Amazon and the arrival of virtual reality.

A row over Netflix, which has hailed Cannes' acceptance of two of its movies as proof of its new status as a major industry player, dominated the run-up to the festival.

The US platform has refused to screen the two movies in French cinemas due to strict rules that mean films cannot be streamed from subscription services in France until three years after their traditional box office release.

A backlash from French cinema chains prompted Cannes organisers to change the festival's rules from next year onwards to insist on a theatrical release -- a move that could effectively ban Netflix from taking part in the future.

The website -- which has 100 million subscribers -- hit back by saying the industry must embrace change, with CEO Reed Hastings blaming the French cinema establishment for "closing ranks" against it.

Netflix's movie "Okja" about a mysterious giant beast, starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, is nonetheless among the most talked-about at Cannes, with Sofia Coppola's American Civil War thriller "The Beguiled" featuring Colin Farrell alongside Kidman.

The Australian actress is the undisputed queen of this year's Cannes, starring in three movies as well as TV series "Top of the Lake", which is getting a special screening.

Others in the running for top honours include "Happy End", a film set against the European migrant crisis by "Amour" director Michael Haneke, who is seeking a record-breaking third Palme d'Or.

Another highlight will be Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu showcasing a virtual reality project that allows the viewer to walk in the footsteps of refugees.

The extravaganza's opening ceremony on Wednesday evening will be hosted by Italian actress Monica Bellucci, with French drama "Ismael's Ghosts", starring Marion Cotillard, as the opening film.

"The Bennan Center for Justice" has released a report about gerrymandering.

...This report focuses (click here for "Extreme Maps") on one of the most egregious of these abuses: the manipulation of district lines to give the party drawing the map a share of seats grossly at odds with statewide election results, thus ensuring that one party is over represented and the other underrepresented in a delegation....

The degree these maps are skewed, they are ignitable. The recent Supreme Court Decision should back up such extreme maps.

May 15, 2017
By Vann R. Newkirk II

North Carolina (click here) voters probably won’t have to worry about a return of strict voter-ID tests any time soon. Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would not hear arguments in North Carolina, et al. v. North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, et al. That case was petitioned by Republican state officials, including then-Governor Pat McCrory, after the Fourth Circuit court found last year that a package of 2013 voting reforms, including the establishment of a strict voter-ID requirement and restrictions on early voting and same-day registration, “were enacted with racially discriminatory intent.”...

There are other states I am fairly confident the Trump campaign is also examining for his re-election. These are the states that went for him only through their electoral college vote AND where tens of thousands of people were rejected or disheartened in their resolve to vote. Wisconsin was one of those states.

May 14, 2017
By Christina A. Cassidy and Ivan Moren

Milwaukee — State Sen. Mary Lazich (click here) was adamant: The bill Republicans were about to push through the Wisconsin state Senate, requiring that voters present identification at the polls, would do no harm.

“Not a single voter in this state will be disenfranchised by the ID law,” Lazich promised.
Five years later, in the first presidential election held under the new law, Gladys Harris proved her wrong.

By one estimate, 300,000 eligible voters in the state lacked valid photo IDs heading into the election; it is unknown how many people did not vote because they didn’t have proper identification. But it is not hard to find the Navy veteran whose out-of-state driver’s license did not suffice, or the dying woman whose license had expired, or the recent graduate whose student ID was deficient — or Harris, who at 66 made her way to her polling place despite chronic lung disease and a torn ligament in her knee.

She had lost her driver’s license just before Election Day. Aware of the new law, she brought her Social Security and Medicare cards as well as a county-issued bus pass that displayed her photo....

He's back.

May 19, 2017
By Neal Katyal   

Appointing special counsel Robert Mueller (click here) to probe Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any possible ties to President Trump’s campaign was not a perfect solution. It won’t end the possibility of political interference in the investigation. The rules provide only so much protection: Congress, Trump and the Justice Department still have the power to stymie (or even terminate) Mueller’s inquiry.

Still, this was the best possible option to deal with the conflicts and potential conflicts of interest these matters posed. In fact, the special-counsel regulations under which Mueller was appointed were written precisely to address a situation like this one.

I would know; I wrote them, in 1999....

I have had no particular affection for the former Director of the FBI. I thought some of his arrests of "so-called" terrorists was more entrapment than a person of actual danger, but, that is up to the courts. His philosophy regarding terrorists is to choose the lesser of two evils and be abundantly safe regarding the country.

"Independent Counsels, Special Prosecutors, Special Counsels and the Role of Congress" (click here for PDF)

I think Robert Mueller is the absolute best choice for the responsibility before him. There is no doubt about his character and his devoted service during some of the roughest years for the USA, both domestically and abroad.

I think Americans will have confidence in his findings.

I have sincere doubts about the former Senator Joe Lieberman for FBI Director.

Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (click here) gives a 'thumbs-up' as he leaves the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 17, 2017. The White House says President Donald Trump will be interviewing four potential candidates to lead the FBI.

This is not about retribution for causing the Affordable Care Act problems that would have been resolved with a Public Option, but, more about his political activity within the global spectrum.

To begin there is his involvement with Israel. He doesn't weigh in on the country in the same way as someone more distant and Israel has a very productive relationship with Russia.

November 25, 2015
By Ralph Ahren

...“I think (click here) we’re entering a period now where the relations between the United States and Israel are going to be very positive and productive — and that includes a maintenance of the qualitative military edge,” Lieberman told The Times of Israel during an interview in Jerusalem....

The USA under President Obama saw some of the most extensive support for Israel to date and it occurred before Joe Lieberman made this statement. It was his idea that Democrats would bend over backwards to please Israel after the Iran sanctions were lifted.

The sanctions being lifted have been good for our allies actually, ie: New Zealand had a twenty year prohibition of selling anything to Iran. Today, New Zealand farmers are preparing for what seems like a new customer for 2 decades. Our allies have been loyal to the USA and UN sanctions. So, the idea the sanctions being lifted are meaningless to The West is completely wrong. It is these renewed relationships most countries believe will return Iran to a far less angry character internationally. The sanctions have been hard on the people of Iran and these returned trade relations will bring about a different dynamic within the country.

But as to Lieberman. Vote No!

Israel is always seeking good relations with other countries as their diaspora is extensive. No could or should ask Israel to change their international relationships. The relationships that need to change with Israel are all close border issues, ie: Palestine. 

Joe Lieberman had a plan for Palestine and Israel in 2004. which included a sovereign Palestine. However, it was different in that it was based on the population density of Arabs vs Jews in areas where both resided. The Lieberman Plan would leave Israel and Palestine proper alone and seek only to set up distinctions in towns that would yield a stable land mass for both countries with people of both ethnic designations living on them. Ultimately, it would be the people that would seek to stay or move depending on their preference to residential country designations. The plan was not well accepted. 2004 was a time when Joe Lieberman was running with John Kerry for the Vice Presidency.

That idea, however, has survived within Israel to some degree.

February 11, 2017

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (click here) said he would like to see all of Israel’s “Palestinian” citizens relocate to the Palestinian territories and become citizens there, and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at his meeting on Wednesday with Donald Trump, should coordinate with the new US president on expanding Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank....

The cost to this 'idea' is that Palestine would give up more land in the West Bank. In my opinion, that is simply more aggression by Israel and out of the question. It is these issues that could really taint the former US Senator's work for the FBI. There would always be questions and it could lead to more tensions between Israel and Palestine.

March 25, 2017
By Seth J. Frantzman

In June 7, (click here) Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the iconic Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. “Russia and Israel can take pride in our high level of partnership, fruitful cooperation and far-reaching business contacts,” Putin said in an address before the ballet.

Since then, that partnership has continued to grow, but the looming crisis in Syria threatens to upset this dance....

I think the speculation about Russia and Israel growing apart is an error. Israel has deployed strikes against Hezbollah when there were obvious dangerous munitions rolling across Lebanon or Syria. The idea Russia will carry out hostility to any Russian Jews or Israel is not accurate and the diplomatic distance will not increase between the two countries. Let's just say, "They understand each other."

March 31, 2017

Former Senator Joe Liebermann, (click here) who also headed up the Senate Homeland Security Committee, tells Larry why he's calling for an independent commission to look into the alleged ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

For those that simply love "Larry King" and his particular style of journalism know they can find him on "RT" (click here) which is the English version of Russian television.

Larry King has had his influence in USA politics even today. He is a strong proponent of the Third Party candidates. It is a platform for them and they have been able to get their message out because of Larry's focus on democracy and freedom of speech.

I know there is an independent council that former Director Muller has accepted so the idea Lieberman would be involved in the investigation is not a concern. What is a concern is his larger role with involvement internationally and the power the FBI would give him and any focus that leans political.

Director is responsible for ensuring that cases and operations are handled correctly. The Director also is in charge of staffing the leadership in any one of the FBI field offices with qualified agents.

Former US Senator Joe Lieberman was never an agent. Can we kindly keep a focus on Bureau competency rather than politics.