You Be the Judge

Americans will elect our next President in just 43 days. Be sure you know who you believe will be the best choice. Or the worst. And vote accordingly.

The only real choices now are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Clinton is a former Senator, Secretary of State, and First Lady who is disliked and distrusted by many potential voters for a variety of reasons. Trump is a a narcissistic, arrogant, racist, billionaire bully who brags he’s going to build a “yuge, beautiful wall” and make Mexico pay for it. He thinks Russian President Putin is his friend and the Chinese people love him. Including those running the country. (Personally, it appears to me that Putin is nobody’s friend and the people running China only care about themselves.)

If you feel the way many voters feel about  the only two viable candidates remaining, this may be a time when you can’t vote for the best candidate. Because there is no “best” candidate this time. Many of us don’t want either one of them in the White House.

You may have to pick the worst candidate and vote AGAINST him. Ask yourself which of these two candidates is more likely to get the United States into a serious war with China or Russia. A war that NOBODY can win. In my opinion, that’s the arrogant, racist bully. Vote for the other candidate.  Strongly consider voting for Hillary Clinton.

Clinton was not my first choice, but now she’s the only choice.


About to make a serious mistake?

Two men were adrift in an open boat, and it looked bad for them. Finally one of them, frightened, began to pray.
“O Lord,” he prayed, “I’ve broken most of thy commandments. I’ve been a hard drinker, I cheated on my wife, I gambled, but if my life is spared now I’ll promise to never again…”
“Wait a minute, Jack,” said his friend. “Before you promise anything, I think I see a sail.”
  • From the Internet

Laboratories of Democracy

CRUDE LANGUAGE WARNING: Something else to think about from Bill Maher. I wish he’d clean up his language, but what he has to say is often too good to let how he says it (for those few of us who care) get in the way.

In this editorial New Rule, he makes the case that, if Republicans are going to call states the “laboratories of democracy,” they have to start looking at the results from the lab.” Original air date: July 1, 2016.

Comedian Bill Maher
Comedian Bill Maher

Remember a couple of years ago when California was virtually bankrupt? An “economic basket case,” we were told. “Unmanageable.” “A failed state.” They raised taxes on the wealthy. A lot, he says. “And our economy is booming.” He adds that “we just passed France and India to become … the world’s sixth largest economy.”

“A $26 billion deficit became an $11 billion surplus. For a rainy day,” he jokes, “whatever that is.” Well, evidently it takes more than a regime change to break a drought.

“The results from the lab are in,” he says. “Our mice are thriving. Yours are dead!”

Maher is tough on conservatives, but he’s tough on everybody when it’s called for. Maybe it’s time to pay attention.


Sam Harris Explains how Dangerous a Trump Presidency Could Be

It’s 30 minutes long, but it’s well worth watching. Or listening to, rather, because it’s really a podcast with a still picture of the speaker.

Sam Harris is unabashedly liberal in most ways, so it’s no surprise he probably prefers Hillary for President. But he is also a highly intelligent and informed thinker, trained as a neurosurgeon before he dedicated himself to informing the public. He explains the differences between the presumptive candidates of the two major American political parties far better than anybody else I’ve heard.

Get yourself a drink, sit back, and relax. Then listen carefully. You’ll find more information and clear thinking here in half-an-hour than you’ll ever get from your T.V. And really think about what you’ve heard.

Then remember in November when you go out to vote for the next President of the United States. I’ll remind you.


Does this woman belong in a public men’s restroom?

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant recently signed a bill requiring transgender people in that state to use the restroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates. That means this woman and others like her, who were born male, will not be allowed to use a public women’s restroom. Will you men be comfortable with them in the men’s restroom?

Maybe more to the point, how will women feel when a man enters and uses the ladies’ room because he happened to have been born female?

Fortunately, the State of Mississippi has not attached penalties to the new law. And since people are not required to have their birth certificates on their person every time they go out, nobody knows how to enforce it anyway.

Unfortunately, Mississippi is not the only state to consider passing such ridiculous and unenforceable new laws recently. Several other states are following suite.

As far as I know, we’ve been getting along just fine for the past 240 years without interfering with people’s very private lives in this way.


Just Another Brick in the Wall?

cigar illusion
Cigar Illusion

I love optical illusions because they tell us things about ourselves. And besides that, they’re just plain fun!

I saw this two or three times on FaceBook and that many more times on other people’s blogs and all I could see was a brick wall. Yes, I saw the little gray rock wedged between the bricks. I even learned that was supposed to be the key. It was supposed to be the ash on the end of a cigar. What cigar?


Then I saw it again at the Bad Astronomy site. I know Phil Plait isn’t an idiot. He runs a good blog over there, and I recommend it. If Phil says it’s real, it’s real. But what is there to see but a brick wall and a little gray rock in a crack between two of the bricks. There’s no cigar!

I read his instructions and looked back at the picture. Nothing!

I kept looking. Still nothing.

I looked again. Still nothing.

Then it slowly materialized.

No. There wasn’t any smoke.  No mirrors. No visual effects except inside my own head. But the cigar appeared. Now I can’t NOT see it.

Here’s Phil’s explanation:

The illusion is that it’s a cigar stuck in the wall. It’s actually sticking out at a 90° angle, but the shot is taken so that the body of the cigar is aligned with a horizontal gap in the bricks. Together with the cigar being dark, it just looks like the cigar is the gap in the bricks, and the ash at the end is a rock stuck in the gap.

Keep looking. You’ll see it eventually.


Let’s Stop Fixin’ Stuff and Create Some New Systems

It’s Bill Maher, so you know he’s going to be using some crude language. But this is worth watching in spite of it.

I really wish he wouldn’t use the kind of language he uses, because I like him very much otherwise. But we live in a free country. (Well, at least in theory.) So he can say whatever he wants to on his own show.

My problem is that I have to decide whether a particular video is important enough to post it on MY BLOG in spite of the language. Usually it’s not, but I think this one is.

Bill Maher is exactly right when commenting on the state of our country.


Help Bernie Sanders To Help You

Bernie starts off telling it exactly the way it was for my family and me 45 years ago. Then he tells it like it is now. Unfortunately, it’s about the same for many people now as it was then.

Four and a half decades ago, my wife — now my late wife — and I both worked full time; but we could not earn enough money to put nourishing food on the table for our children. We could not provide proper medical and dental care for our 5-yo daughter and our 4-yo son. We couldn’t keep our old car running.

Our children survived and now have grown offspring of their own, but I haven’t forgotten how my four-year-old son suffered with the crumbling teeth he had inherited from his father (Yes, me, of course!).

My son finally got a bionic mouth.

The “6 Million Dollar Man” was popular on TV. After we were eventually able to get my son some help from a charity group of dentists travelling through town in a bus, he joked that he had a “bionic mouth.” Nearly every tooth in his head had some metal in it.

I am well aware that many people were far worse off than we were. That didn’t make our problem any better! And the worst tragedy of all is that many people are still worse off now!

We have to help them. In the greatest country the world has ever known, it’s crazy that anybody should be willing and able to work forty hours a week, and still be poor.

Bernie is the ONLY candidate from either major party with a plan to stop half of every dollar earned in this country from going to the richest one half of one percent of us. That’s just crazy, and Bernie wants you and me to get our fair share of it for the first time in 85 years!

Bernie has a genuine plan to help the poor and the middle class, for a change. But he needs your vote in this election, and he’ll need your letters to Congressmen, Senators, newspaper editors, and others after his election.

Help me elect Bernie Sanders to be the next President of the United States. Only by standing together can we do it. If you qualify to vote in any state that hasn’t already had its primary, then vote for Bernie now. Stand behind him in this primary, again in the general election, and then for the next 4 or 8 years, as he fights for your rights and mine. While he struggles to keep ordinary people like nearly all of us from being constantly ripped off!

Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t consider all rich people to be evil monsters. Neither does Bernie. We need rich people to create jobs for many of the rest of us. Besides that, some of the very richest have given away most of their wealth to help people less fortunate. I have nothing but respect for them.

On the other hand, it is ONLY banks and other exceedingly rich corporations (oil companies, automobile factories, financial institutions, etc.) and individuals usually made rich by them that have the power to pay their CEOs enough money every year to live on for the rest of his or her life and still funnel boatloads of money into offshore, tax-free accounts, while their employees and customers have nothing and cannot pay their bills or buy medicine when they need it. Rich people like those and rich companies like those are monsters gobbling up the economy and leaving far too little for the rest of us. It must stop, and Bernie is the ONLY candidate who will stand up to them.

Your vote won’t be enough. Bernie knows very well that he can’t fight the big banks and oil companies by himself. Not even as President. He’ll need your help and mine all through his term in office.

This is nothing less than  a revolution!

But it’s not a revolution against the United States. It’s a revolution against the big banks, oil companies, automobile factories, and corporations of all kinds that are “too big to fail.” The ones that pay their CEOs many millions of dollars a year, while their employees have to buy groceries with food stamps and do without whatever medicines they need. The corporations and the billionaires that have bought and paid for our legislators for the past 85 years.

We have to take power and money back from them, and Bernie Sanders is the only chance we have.

Feel the Bern!