Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Saturday, April 30, 2016

Saturday Night UPTOWN FUNK


Liberalism, Conservatism and Education

There's a reason many on the far right call colleges and universities breeding grounds for liberalism -- the reason is it's true.  The more highly educated a person is, the more likely that person embraces liberalism.

And the inverse is also true:  The less education one has, the more likely one embraces far right ideology.

Pew: Growing shares of postgrads, college grads are consistently liberal

It's a well-worn (if not-entirely-agreed-upon) idea that college makes people more liberal. But a new report adds a twist to this: the most educated Americans have grown increasingly liberal over the last couple of decades.

 A report from the Pew Research Center finds a wide partisan gap between highly educated and non-highly-educated americans. Not only that, but the share of college grads and post-graduates who are "consistently liberal" (based on their answers to a series of policy questions) has grown sharply in the last 20 years.


"We've known for a while that people with more education tend to be more ideologically consistent than people with less education," he said. "In some sense it's not surprising to see that polarization and party sorting is happening most among people who are super highly educated." 

Another possibility, Gross says, might be the growing numbers of women getting college and advanced degrees. Women also in general tend to vote for Democrats more than men. So as the population of highly educated people grew more female, that may have swung it left. 

Insularity At work here is the Big Sort: the idea (popularized in the 2008 book by Bill Bishop) that Americans are increasingly living alongside like-minded people — essentially, that the walls of our respective ideological bubbles are getting thicker. Gross proposes that this may be happening especially among the post-grad set. 

 "Americans are increasingly clustering into cities and neighborhoods with people who are like them politically," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if part of what's going on has to be people with graduate degrees being drawn toward cities where lots of highly educated people work." In other words, as the highly educated Americans in particular seek out jobs that use their highly educated skill sets, it ends up sorting them into more homogeneous communities.

The Big Questions 
Conservatism Linked to Lack of Education 
by Nathan Hetflick Ph.D.
(I send you to college and now you support queers!)


In terms of demographics, Trump’s supporters are a bit older, less educated and earn less than the average Republican. Slightly over half are women. About half are between 45 and 64 years of age, with another 34 percent over 65 years old and less than 2 percent younger than 30. One half of his voters have a high school education or less, compared to 19 percent with a college or post-graduate degree. Slightly over a third of his supporters earn less than $50,000 per year, while 11 percent earn over $100,000 per year. Definitely not country club Republicans, but not terribly unusual either.

Who Are Donald Trump's Supporters, Really?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Woman Card

Have you played yours today? 

Thursday, April 28, 2016


*Which Bathroom Would Julie Annie Use?

It's just another manic Thursday in TeaServative Land

Hey you bathroom monitors looking for the Correctly Crotched Transgenders, this one's for you:

Lisa Biron, Anti-Gay Christian Lawyer, Arrested On Child Pornography Charges

The reviews on The Trumper's foreign policy speech are in...

and they're bad.

Trump excels at judging beauty contestants and building casinos and golf courses, abilities that are useless for a world leader.  Trump showed us all how poorly prepared he is to be the leader of the free world. His speech was naive, incoherent, and self-contradictory.

Trump talked about regaining the trust of our allies, then threatened to pull out of NATO.

Trump says he'd be unpredictable, then expects America to trust him with nuclear codes.

Trump praised Western values then questioned supporting democracy around the world.

Trump's ideas on torture are completely out of sync with military leaders, international and American law.

And here's a little advice for the beauty contest impresario:   When you're going to give a speech to impress America and the world and you use a teleprompter, it's a good idea to go over the speech so that you can avoid embarrassing yourself by mispronouncing country names.  It's Tan-zan-NIA, not Tan-ZANE-ia. Apparently The Trumper is lazy, and didn't bother to read the speech someone wrote for him, and it showed in his halting, stumbling presentation -- and in the mispronunciation of a well-known African country.

Here are some of the reviews:

The Conservative Review:

Ouch! Scathing Reviews for Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech

A Mess of Contradictions by Fred Kaplan:

 Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech was even worse than his usual incoherent rambling. I didn’t think it possible, but Donald Trump’s “major foreign policy address” on Wednesday—a written speech, which he read off a teleprompter—was even more incoherent than his impromptu ramblings of the past several months. In fact, it may stand as the most senseless, self-contradicting foreign policy speech by any major party’s presidential nominee in modern history.

Donald Trump’s big foreign policy speech, explained by Daniel W. Drezner

I suffered through all of Donald Trump's foreign policy speech. This is my story. Trump doesn’t really have any useful ideas or strategies to offer for how to improve American foreign policy. What he does have, however, is a really stinging indictment of the existing foreign policy establishment. 

This certainly resonates with a lot of Americans, even people who wouldn’t otherwise sympathize with Trump. The challenge for Hillary Clinton will be to point out that whatever qualms one has about the foreign policy status quo, Trump’s alternative would be worse.

The Wall Street Journal:

"For prepared remarks, or for that matter even an after-dinner talk, Mr. Trump’s speech was especially rife with contradictions. He said the conduct of foreign policy must be “more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything.” He also said the conduct of foreign policy must be “disciplined, deliberate and consistent.” 


"Mr. Trump isn’t known for close readings of his briefing books, if such documents exist, and deep policy knowledge is obviously not the source of his political appeal. But Americans typically prefer Presidents who are conversant about the world’s biggest problems beyond a sound bite or two, and Hillary Clinton will aggressively litigate the businessman’s Commander in Chief credentials, to put it mildly."

The National Review:

Trump’s ‘Foreign Policy’: Incoherent and Shallow

The guy who stood in front of an audience yesterday and lit into past and present administrations for their foreign policy mistakes showed America and the world that he has little to no understanding of the subject and given any power would be a national and international disaster.

Shallowness is a "deep experience" for this clown:

trump quote 2

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


From Pm Carpenter's blog:

ThinkProgress watched CNN’s "New Day" this morning, on which presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump said,
he actually said this:

"When I came out, I was competing against 17 very capable people … and a woman."

That honest statement from Trump explains why 77% of women can't stand him.

Keep it up Donnie. It's good to know what you really think about women. We've always known you see them a sex objects and the people who take care of your spawn. 

Hillary has garnered more votes this primary cycle than has The Trumper.

Democrat Hillary Clinton has gotten more votes of any single candidate, including Donald Trump, though Trump has faced a much wider field.

Wednesday is Trump Hump Day

Meet the new "presidential" Trump, same as the Loud-Mouth Buffoon Trump:

I'm gonna be great! You'll be so tired of seeing me be great! I'm telling you, you've never seen anyone as great as I am. And I'm rich. Did I tell you how rich I am? But the poors like me! I like the poors too. And the undereducated?  I love them the most!

The Trumper is done with trying to act "presidential" because he knows his supporters want him to be himself -- rude and crude -- that's what his supporters want for a POTUS, not someone who's diplomatic and tactful or decent. That's for wusses. The Trumper will be his small-handed vulgarian self and win the presidency. Just watch him!

The Trumper on John Kasich:

“He has the news conference all the time when he’s eating. I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion,” Trump said. “I’m always telling my young son, Barron, always with my kids, all of them, I’d say ‘children, small little bites.’” This guy takes a pancake and he’s shoving it in his mouth, it’s disgusting." 

"Do you want that for your president?" Trump asked the crowd. "I don’t think so” 

"Right. We want an orange psychopath who has no control over what he says. Got it." -- Digby

When his speeches are slowed down, The Trumper sounds like your drunk uncle at the Thanksgiving table after having downed several beers:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

‘I think I look real good. I mean, I think I look like a president. You mean, you mean Kasich looks better than Trump? I think a lot of people would disagree with that. Cruz? Cruz? You think lyin’ Ted is better?’ -- Donald Trump

donald trump drag

And It's Only Tuesday

h/t Democratic Underground

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Funnies

25 Things You Didn't Know About Ted Cruz:

Saturday, April 23, 2016


(This is for you, Ducky.)

A German documentary photographer, Mario Gerth, captures Africa's vanishing nomadic tribes.  The photograph below is just one of his many gorgeous portraits:

A Samburu girl from Kenya

Credit: Mario Gerth



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

"Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life." --Prince

Prince was of my children's generation, but I enjoyed his music as much as they did. Remember the Sony Walkman? When I was a runner, I'd put a Prince tape into the Walkman, tie my running shoes, and hit the road listening and running to his songs.

Prince was a creative trailblazer and magnetic pop star. You couldn't stand still to his music. He left this world way too young. R.I.P.

"Prince sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. 

Rolling Stone has ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time." --Wikipedia

Here are some of my favorites that I ran and danced to during the '80s:

 One of the best Super Bowl half time shows. 

 (Because of copyright issues, I can't embed it. In fact, there's very little available on YouTube that can be embedded because of copyright issues.)

We here in Massachusetts have a very cool governor:

Charlie Baker to honor Prince by lighting Zakim Bridge purple Thursday night

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday is Trump Hump Day...

but this SNL spoof is funnier than Trump Hump Day:

but loses his home district -- I guess they know him best.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

See that grumpy old man scowling in the banner above this post?

Well here's the sort of thing that makes him grumpy and p.o.'d all the time:  


As a country of enlightened, progressive people, we Americans have come to understand that labeling certain groups of people who deal with handicaps, hardships, or who have made mistakes in their lives, or who, like a baby, have no control over the circumstances of its birth -- labeling these groups with cruel names, setting them up for mockery, shaming, and isolating them is inhumane. But see that G.O.G. [Grumpy Old Guy] in the photo above? He's angry that we've matured now and have stopped labeling people and calling them names because of their life circumstances. Instead Americans decided to show some compassion and understanding toward our fellow citizens -- our fellow humans -- instead of making their lives more difficult than they already are.

For example, the typical Conservative GOG. is nostalgic for the times when we called the children of unwed mothers "bastards."  What better way to isolate and shame a child than to remind that child that he or she was born out of wedlock? We progressives decided it was a good idea to stop calling the child a vile name. But the C-GOG is upset that he can no longer be cruel to that child. He wants to be able to do what he did in the good old days -- call the child born out of wedlock a BASTARD! To not do so is being PC, says the C-GOG, and part of the reason the country has lost its way.

Another thing that the C-GOG is nostalgic for  is when a mentally challenged child, with say mental retardation or Down's Syndrome, is called "retarded" and mocked by his classmates and others.  Enlightened compassionate people understood that singling out children and making them feel inadequate because of a medical condition sets those children up for all sorts of psychological problems their whole lives. But our C-GOGer is angry that his right to mock a mentally retarded child by calling him "RETARDED" is seen as another indication of how low this country has fallen because "libtards" slavishly follow political correctness.

The C-GOGer is nostalgic for the times when we were comfortable calling homeless people "bums." Many homeless people, as we know, are veterans who've fallen on hard times, but the C-GOGs of this world are angry because they now have to refer to them as "homeless" or the "unsheltered." The C-GOGs want to be able to call these unfortunate Americans who served their country BUMS! See, the C-GOGs want to "call a spade a spade," and tell it like it is! This rejection of cruel labels for our fellow Americans is what's "dumbing down" America.

We Progressives/Liberals were appalled when Donald Trump made fun of a handicapped man, but the C-GOGers saw nothing particularly wrong with it -- why would they when they long for the good old days of calling homeless veterans 'BUMS,' children born out of wedlock "BASTARDS,' and mentally handicapped children 'RETARDS.'

They'll tell you that since we PC "Libruls" made it shameful to mock the mentally handicapped with the label "retard;" made it shameful to label  children "bastards;" and stopped calling homeless people "bums," our country has gone to the dogs. America was so much better, they say, when we felt free to insult, belittle, shame, and denigrate those whose lives are not like ours. Just ask any C-GOG, he'll tell you how great the good old days were.  Here's one of them talking about it on a far right blog:

"It's all part of the larger dumbing down of Americans, and defining deviancy down, as Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-Ny) coined this effort. An effort of the left. Remember when bums were bums? And as a bum, a stigma was attached. Now, these bona fide bums are called 'homeless,' or the 'unsheltered.' No stigma, see...? 

Remember when there was such a thing as an unmarried mother? With a bastard child? Both held stigmas. Not anymore. No such thing as an unmarried mother. And no stigma involved in bearing illegitimate children, either. And the word illegitimate as it relates to children disappeared as well. And the word bastard? That's now a curse word, when it used to mean something. 

And how about retarded? Remember when these kids who had extremely low IQ's for whatever reason were called retarded? And we called them retards, and thought nothing of it. And these retards were sent to special schools, or kept at home?

Not anymore, no siree Bob. They are lumped in with the general public school population, and are called 'special needs' children, or some such other crap. No more retards... And no more stigma associated with being a retard. 

All of that has gone away.

See how this is all working?" 

And here is the reinforcement from the commenter's fellow conservatives, agreeing with the good old days of stigmatizing mentally handicapped children:

Z April 16, 2016 at 10:54 AM 
"AMEN to all you said..."

Kid: "Exactly Fredd. Thank you for adding to my point in such a way. May I add that the retards are destroying public education because 'no child left behind' ? Some kids need to be left behind in favor of providing a robust education experience for the smart kids."

This is how the far right actually thinks. They believe our country's problems would be solved if only we could STIGMATIZE Americans they disapprove of. They long to go back to the days when making people feel awful was a healthy way to make them change. Make them ashamed of what has happened to them. I mean look at a "RETARD" for example. 

Look at how that person caused his own mental condition! Mock that "RETARD!" And make America GREAT AGAIN!

See how this is all working?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Patriots Day -- Marathon Day -- Boston -- April 18, 2016

Out for the day.  Be excellent to each other.


PAUL REVERE'S RIDE Reenactment from 2008, starting in Boston's North End:


Sunday, April 17, 2016

We Thank You, Charlie, For Your Service

My late sister's husband went on an Honor Flight today.

He served with the U.S. Navy in Italy in World War II.

Here he is below, visiting one of the many war memorials that the veterans get to see during this one-day trip.

He'll be back here in Boston later this evening after a memorable day spent with other WWII vets.

Here is my dear brother-in-law, Charlie Gray:

Sunday Science Blog

By Amy MaxmenMar. 23, 2016  

No buts about it, the butthole is one of the finest innovations in the past 
540 million years of animal evolution. The first animals that arose seem to have literally had potty mouths: Their modern-day descendants, such as sea sponges, sea anemones, and jellyfish, all lack an anus and must eat and excrete through the same hole. 

Once an independent exit evolved, however, animals diversified into the majority of species alive today, ranging from earthworms
 to humans. 

 One apparent advantage of a second hole is that animals can eat while digesting a meal, whereas creatures with one hole must finish and defecate before eating again. Other possible benefits, say evolutionary biologists, include not polluting an animal’s dining area and allowing an animal to evolve a longer body because it does not have to pump waste back up toward the head. However, several unprecedented videos of gelatinous sea creatures called comb jellies, or ctenophores, now threaten to upend the standard view of the evolution of the so-called through-gut. 

On 15 March, at the Ctenopolooza meeting in St. Augustine, Florida, evolutionary biologist William Browne of the University of Miami in Florida debuted films of comb jellies pooping—and it wasn’t through their mouths. Browne’s videos elicited gasps from the audience because comb jellies, whose lineage evolved long before other animals with through-guts, had been thought to eat and excrete through a single hole leading to a saclike gut. In 1880, the German zoologist Carl Chun suggested a pair of tiny pores opposite the comb jelly mouth might secrete some substance, but he also confirmed that the animals defecate through their mouths. In 1997, biologists again observed indigestible matter exiting the comb jelly mouth—not the mysterious pores.

Browne, however, used a sophisticated video setup to continuously monitor two species that he keeps in captivity, 
Mnemiopsis leidyi and Pleurobrachia bachei. The movies he played at Ctenopolooza capture the creatures as they ingest tiny crustaceans and zebrafish genetically engineered to glow red with fluorescent protein. Because comb jellies are translucent, the prey can be seen as it circulates through a network of canals lacing the jellies’ bodies. Fast-forward, and 2 to 3 hours later, indigestible particles exit through the pores on the rear end. Browne also presented a close-up image of the pores, highlighting a ring of muscles surrounding each one. “This is a sphincterlike hole,” he told 
the audience.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

That's Amore!

These guys -- singing in my neighborhood.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Ted "No Dildoes!" Cruz

People! What are our priorities in the year 2016? Jobs? Climate Change? Health Care? Crumbling Infrastructure? Wall Street Banksters? Obesity? Common Core? ISIS?

If you nominate and elect Rafael Eduardo Cruz, you can be sure he'll grab hold of hard issues that  stimulate our deepest --- fears!

From Mother Jones and Wonkette:

Ted Cruz tried to be [a] dildo-yanker. 

When he was solicitor general in Texas, his team defended a Texas ban on the sale of dildos, how fked up is that? And worse, they didn’t care whether you got them from one of those Amway-style dildo parties or from the dildo counter at Cracker Barrel, ALL DILDOS ARE BAD: The filing noted: 

“The Texas Penal Code prohibits the advertisement and sale of dildos, artificial vaginas, and other obscene devices” but does not “forbid the private use of such devices.” 

The plaintiffs had argued that this case was similar to Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark 2003 Supreme Court decision that struck down Texas’ law against sodomy. But Cruz’s office countered that Lawrence “focused on interpersonal relationships and the privacy of the home” and that the law being challenged did not block the “private use of obscene devices.” 

Cruz’s legal team asserted that “obscene devices do not implicate any liberty interest.” And its brief added that “any alleged right associated with obscene devices” is not “deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions.” 

In other words, Texans were free to use sex toys at home, but they did not have the right to buy them. 

The brief insisted that Texas, in order to protect “public morals,” had “police-power interests” in “discouraging prurient interests in sexual gratification, combating the commercial sale of sex, and protecting minors.” 

There was a “government” interest, it maintained, in “discouraging … autonomous sex.” […] 

In perhaps the most noticeable line of the brief, Cruz’s office declared, “There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.” 

Yes, Nation!  There is NO RIGHT in the Constatooshun to stimulate one's genitals! Ted The One-Time Texas Solicitor General stuck his nose in your...personal private behaviors, and determined that the government has an interest in discouraging people from having Sexy Time with themselves.

Tell us this isn't the sort of crusader we want in a preznit! He will very closely examine our "personal" habits to see if somewhere, somehow, someone is having a good time, AND HE'LL STOP IT!

I'm coming for your dildoes!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Yay Portland, Oregon!

The battle for equal rights has always been a matter of going forward two steps and dropping back one.  Last June the SCOTUS ruled on marriage equality, and those who believe in the Constitution and its equal protection clause celebrated. That counted for a huge leap forward for the LGBT community and its goal of full participation as citizens in America. 


Certain states and their bureaucrats immediately started formulating plans to obstruct and make it difficult for the LGBT community to access that equality by defying a U.S. federal court order that required the issuing of marriage licenses. 

Now we have individual southern states passing laws that allow discrimination against the LGBT community under the guise of  "religious freedom." But a majority of fair-minded Americans knows what's really behind this new attempt at circumventing federal law. The reaction to the recently passed discriminatory laws in  Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi was swift and powerful,

Portland, Oregon's mayor now joins other Americans in rejecting states' efforts to place minorities back into second-class citizen status. They are on the wrong side of history as were those who fought against the repeal of Jim Crow laws, anti-miscegenation laws, and any other law that kept minorities "in their place."

Please go to Infide753 and read his excellent essay, "Transformation and victory" to see how far we've advanced, even if we have had to deal with bigoted laws that are and were created to obstruct anti-discrimination federal laws.

Congratulations to Portland Mayor Hales and everyone who opposes discriminatory laws against American minorities:

Mayor Hales refuses to travel to Mississippi because of his opposition to that state’s anti-LGBT laws, which permit businesses, churches, and religious charities to discriminate and deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

 Hales made himself very clear about his refusal. He will not allow a ship in his city’s name to be commissioned in a state that permits such blatant discrimination against the LGBT community. He stated: ‘These kinds of laws are wrong, they’re fundamentally wrong.

They’re probably unconstitutional, but until they’re overturned in the courts or repealed by the legislature that wakes up the next day and says that was really a bad idea, we are not going to go there, literally.’

The US Navy will now reschedule the commissioning in light of Hales’ refusal. Instead of holding it as they originally scheduled in Pascagoula, Mississippi next month, the Navy will commission the ship in Portland, Oregon sometime in late 2017.

Makes sense, considering the ship literally has the name of the city attached to it. Footage of the future USS Portland during its launch in Pascagoula can be viewed in the video below. The launch took place in February this year at the Huntington Ingalls Industry shipyard.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi SHAME!

Republican led states Tennessee, North Carolina, and Mississippi are set to pass or have passed hateful anti-LGBT legislation that legalizes making the LGBT community second-class citizens. Tennessee's repulsive bill, which awaits the governor's signature, even allows mental health counselors to turn away anyone from the LGBT community for reasons of "sincerely held  beliefs."

Gay rights and mental health advocacy groups have protested the bill and urge Tennessee Governor Haslam to veto it because it could permit mental health professionals to discriminate against LGBT patients without legal liability.

The bill passed by the legislature is a more discriminatory version of legislation approved earlier this year. That measure stated that therapists and counselors could turn away patients based on “sincerely held beliefs.” The state House last week passed a version that expanded grounds for shunning patients to “principles,” which the Senate approved on Monday.

 Some opponents of the bill said they worried the wording could allow discrimination against other groups, including people of color. “There’s no litigation on what those ‘principles’ are,” state Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D) said on Monday.


Tennessee would become the only state with such a law, according to the American Counseling Association. The measure would violate the group’s code of ethics, which affirms that mental health professionals cannot refuse treatment based on “personally held values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.” 

Tennessee lawmakers also are considering a proposal that would require transgender individuals to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender at birth, part of a wave of anti-LGBT legislation proposed in the South.

Last summer the SCOTUS ruled that marriage equality was legal and, therefore, states that did not allow same-sex marriage were in violation of federal law. Not happy with the ruling, several states, mostly in the Bible Belt, began formulating laws that would bypass the SCOTUS ruling and keep the LGBT community in second-class citizen status. 

It is interesting to note that many of the people who support these discriminatory laws against the LGBT community are the same people who soil their undies worrying about Sharia Law coming to the U.S.  Fundamental Muslims in theocratic countries in the Middle East would certainly be sympathetic to the southern states that believe in punishing people for who they are.

But not all of America agrees with those bigoted states:

States Turn Their Back On Mississippi Over Its New Discriminatory Law

Another business refuses to invest in North Carolina: 

Deutsche Bank announced Tuesday that it would suspend its plans to add 250 jobs in its Cary, North Carolina office, citing the state's sweeping law that overrode local measures protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination and limited employees' ability to sue over workplace discrimination. 

"We take our commitment to building inclusive work environments seriously. We’re proud of our operations and employees in Cary and regret that as a result of this legislation we are unwilling to include North Carolina in our US expansion plans for now. 

We very much hope that we can re-visit our plans to grow this location in the near future," Deutsche Bank Co-CEO John Cryan

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Boston Globe Publishes Front Page Based On What A Trump Presidency Would Be Like

I'm placing this above today's Sunday Science Blog because it is unusual and timely.

The Boston Globe published a front page today based on Donald Trump's own words and promises on what he would do if he were elected president.

The editorial page then urges the Republican Party to do the honorable thing and stop Trump from getting the GOP nomination, suggesting the GOP support either Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan as its nominee.

Unusual -- I've never seen this done in my lifetime, but I've never seen a candidate as extreme and dangerous as Donald J. Trump in my lifetime either.

Whether you agree with the Boston Globe or not, it gets your attention and and it certainly should get you thinking about what a colossal  disaster Trump would be for our country and the planet.

Globe editorial:

The GOP must stop Trump
DONALD J. TRUMP’S VISION for the future of our nation is as deeply disturbing as it is profoundly un-American.
It is easy to find historical antecedents. The rise of demagogic strongmen is an all too common phenomenon on our small planet. And what marks each of those dark episodes is a failure to fathom where a leader’s vision leads, to carry rhetoric to its logical conclusion. The satirical front page of this section attempts to do just that, to envision what America looks like with Trump in the White House.
It is an exercise in taking a man at his word. And his vision of America promises to be as appalling in real life as it is in black and white on the page. It is a vision that demands an active and engaged opposition. It requires an opposition as focused on denying Trump the White House as the candidate is flippant and reckless about securing it.
After Wisconsin, the odds have shrunk that Trump will arrive in Cleveland with the requisite 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination outright. Yet if he’s denied that nomination for falling short of the required delegates, Trump has warned, “You’d have riots. I think you’d have riots.” Indeed, who knows what Trump’s fervent backers are capable of if emboldened by the defeat of their strongman at the hands of the hated party elite.
But the rules are the rules — and if no candidate reaches that magic number, the job of choosing a nominee falls to those on the convention floor.
That’s not a pretty picture. But then nothing about the billionaire real estate developer’s quest for the nation’s highest office has been pretty. He winks and nods at political violence at his rallies. He says he wants to “open up” libel laws to punish critics in the news media and calls them “scum.” He promised to shut out an entire class of immigrants and visitors to the United States on the sole basis of their religion.
The toxic mix of violent intimidation, hostility to criticism, and explicit scapegoating of minorities shows a political movement is taking hold in America. If Trump were a politician running such a campaign in a foreign country right now, the US State Department would probably be condemning him.
Realizing that the party faces a double bind, a few conservatives have been clear-eyed enough to see the need for a plausible, honorable alternative that could emerge from the likely contested convention. Names like Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney have come up. If no candidate gets a majority on the convention’s first ballot, such a nomination might be theoretically possible.
This would have no modern precedent: Ordinarily, parties put aside their differences after primaries and rally to the front-runner because they share basic common goals and values. In any other election cycle, anti-Trump Republicans would just look like sore losers. But Trump lacks those common values — not just the values of Republicans but, it becomes clearer every day, those of Democrats.
House Speaker Ryan spoke to the possible long-term damage with which the party is flirting. “Leaders with different visions and ideas have come and gone; parties have risen and fallen; majorities and White Houses won and lost,” he said. “But the way we govern endures: through debate, not disorder.” The problem is that Trump has already crossed lines that a politician with a sincere commitment to democratic norms must never cross.
At some point, after the election, Republicans will also need to ask themselves some tough questions about how their actions and inactions made the party vulnerable to Trump. After all, a candidate spewing anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, authoritarian rhetoric didn’t come out of nowhere; the Tea Party has been strong enough long enough that someone like him shouldn’t be a surprise. Chasing short-term political gains, the GOP missed a lot of chances to fight the hateful currents that now threaten to overwhelm it.
For now, Republicans ought to focus on doing the right thing: putting up every legitimate roadblock to Trump that they can. Unexpectedly, a key moment in American democracy has snuck up on the GOP. When he denounced Trump, Romney said he wanted to be able to say he’d fought the good fight against a demagogue. That’s the test other Republicans may want to consider.
Action doesn’t mean political chicanery or subterfuge. It doesn’t mean settling for an equally extreme — and perhaps more dangerous — nominee in Ted Cruz. If the party can muster the courage to reject its first-place finisher, rejecting the runner-up should be even easier.

The Republican Party’s standard deserves to be hoisted by an honorable and decent man, like Romney or Ryan, elected on the convention floor. It is better to lose with principle than to accept a dangerous deal from a demagogue.

Sunday Science Blog

Half Lava and Half Rock, 5 Cancri E Might Be The Weirdest Exoplanet Ever Discovered 

Strange world is just 40 light years away.

Why might you want to visit super-earth Cancri 55 e? Its extremely hot climate would be a deterrent, and fresh lava flows might be common. 

Discovered in 2004, the planet Cancri 55 e has twice the diameter of our Earth and about 10 times Earth's mass. The planet orbits its 40 light-year distant Sun-like star well inside the orbit of Mercury, so close that it is tidally locked, meaning that it always keeps the same face toward the object it orbits -- like our Moon does as it orbits the Earth. 

Astronomers have recently measured temperature changes on this exoplanet using infrared observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope. Given these observations, an artist created the featured video with educated guesses about what one revolution of Cancri 55 e might look like. 

Depicted are full phase, when the planet is fully illuminated, and new (dark) phase when it passes near the line of sight to Earth. The illustrated red bands on the Cancri 55 e indicate bands of lava that might flow on the planet. 

A recent density determination for 55 Cancri e show that this exoplanet is not made primarily of oxygen, as are the inner planets in our Solar System, but rather of carbon. Therefore, one reason to visit Cancri 55 e might be to study its core, because this planet's great internal pressure might be sufficient to make the carbon found there into one huge diamond.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Really Mississippi?

Mississippi Governor Signs Sweeping Anti-LGBT Bill Into Law 

 "This is probably the worst religious freedom bill to date,” Ben Needham, director of Project One America, an LGBT advocacy project in the Deep South run by the Human Rights Campaign, told BuzzFeed News. Needham and other critics have argued the legislation explicitly allows the denial of services, goods, wedding products, medical treatment, housing, and employment to LGBT people."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wednesday is Trump Hump Day

Bernie wins Wisconsin!

The Trumper loses to Cruz in Wisconsin:

POLITICUSUSA:  "Sarah Palin’s horrible appearance as a surrogate for Trump at a Milwaukee Republican event made it clear to one and all that Wisconsin was not going to be Trump country. 

Donald Trump’s campaign has always had a by the seat of the pants ad-libbed feel, but Trump’s winging it mentality came back to bite him in Wisconsin, where the state’s educated electorate showed no patience for Trump’s antics. Make no mistake about it, 

Ted Cruz’s victory in Wisconsin was really a vote against Trump. The Never Trump Republican movement got a much-needed shot in the arm. Donald Trump is not unbeatable, nor is his nomination inevitable."

In other amazing, really greatTrumpian news, he explains to the Washington Post's Bob Woodward why Abraham Lincoln succeeded:  It's because he did something IMPORTANT!

The Trumper gave an answer to Bob Woodward's question on why President Lincoln succeeded just like a beauty pageant participant would have given an answer. 

It's an answer that's full of words and phrases but does not address the question at all, because it's very likely that the only thing The Trumper knows about Abraham Lincoln is that his image is on the U.S. one cent coin.

Behold The Trumper's Word Salad of Nothingness:


Peter Wehner: 

Mr. Trump is so negatively viewed, polls suggest, that: …he could turn otherwise safe Republican states, usually political afterthoughts because of their strong conservative tilt, into tight contests… without an extraordinary reversal — or the total collapse of whoever becomes his general-election opponent — 

Mr. Trump could be hard-pressed to win more than 200 of the 270 electoral votes required to win. Here’s more ominous news for Republicans to be gleaned from the story: 

Among women, nonwhites, Hispanics, voters under 30 and those with college degrees – those who represent the country’s demographic future – Trump is wildly unpopular. He’s viewed unfavorably by a 2-to-1 margin by each of those group. 

Among independents, a group that Mitt Romney carried even as he lost to President Obama in 2012, Trump’s favorability rating is 19 percent while 57 percent view him unfavorably. 

Among white women, a bloc Governor Romney easily won even in defeat, Trump is viewed by less than a quarter of them (23 percent) favorably while well over half (54 percent) have an unfavorable opinion of him. 

Half of all voters said they would be scared if he were elected president, according to the Times/CBS poll. 

Trump is viewed unfavorably by a majority of whites without college degrees, a group that has been his strongest demographic. 

According to several polls, Mr. Trump trails Mrs. Clinton by 20 or more points among women. 

The largest gender gap in the last 36 years was Bob Dole’s was an 11-point loss among women against Bill Clinton in 1996. 

“There is no precedent for this,” said Neil Newhouse, a veteran Republican pollster. 

“In the modern polling era, since around World War II, there hasn’t been a more unpopular potential presidential nominee than Donald Trump.”