Dave Stancliff AS IT STANDS blogarama.com

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lawsuit against Obama: Ruminations on Republicians & Democrats

Good Day World!

Opening Act:

A cry comes down the corridors of Congress;

“The sky is falling…the sky is falling!

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: “Boehner is planning to impeach the president.”

The GOP base meanwhile is loving all the impeachment talk (via Sarah Palin, Allen West, Drudge, and the rhetoric from some sitting House members).

Another example of pathetic politics. Both parties engage in lies and rhetoric.

House Speaker, John Boehner, has used the threat of impeachment to galvanize conservative enthusiasm for the midterm elections and get them to open their wallets and donate to the cause.

Pelosi’s tactic was to motivate the liberal base by parroting “The president is going to be impeached. Help him out! Contribute money” 

The cynical game took on new legs Wednesday when the House voted to sue Obama for supposedly exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority - 225 to 201.

Republicans said the legal action, focusing on Obama's implementation of his prized health care overhaul, was designed to prevent a further presidential power grab and his deciding unilaterally how to enforce laws.

Democrats say the lawsuit will go nowhere. It was, they claim, designed only to encourage conservatives to vote in this November's congressional elections.

In an AP article, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y. said: "The lawsuit is a drumbeat pushing members of the Republican Party to impeachment."

Because the Democrats are already using that argument to mine campaign contributions, the game goes on. "The GOP is chomping at the bit to impeach the president," Democratic staffers wrote. A common email theme: "We've got to get the president's back."

Meanwhile, this latest demonstration of pathetic politics continues to rankle the American public. It means another partisan battle when they should be serving the nation by passing laws and getting important things done.

Researchers know why more Americans are choosing not to vote.

But it doesn’t take a degree in political science to know why. People are fed up with politicians and their lies. They’re electing not to participate in a corrupt and partisan system because they know it isn’t working.

Broken.

Time for me to walk on down the road….

 

 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

‘Mysterious Woman in Black’ is a U.S. Army veteran

Woman in black passes through Hillsboro

Good Day World!

PTSD manifests itself in many, often disturbing, ways.

People who suffer from PTSD are often angry and they lash out at the world.

But not always.

Sometimes, like in the case of the “Mysterious Woman in Black” they suffer silently and find themselves on “missions” others don’t understand. Like the character Forrest Gump, she’s walking through states and picking up followers.

She has been dubbed the "Woman in Black," by TV stations, police and followers on the Web, including those on a Facebook page where she has been tracked on a nearly 500-mile journey with a black bag and walking stick in hand that has taken her from Ranger, Georgia, to Athens, Ohio, since July 18.

Raymond Poles told Reuters he is the woman's brother, identifying her as Elizabeth Poles, 56, a U.S. Army veteran, mother of two children and a widow from Motts, Alabama. Elizabeth Poles had been receiving treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals to deal with the deaths of her husband in 2008 and her father in 2009, he said.

Her brother said she was doing better, but suddenly took a turn for the worst in early July, and began disappearing for days at a time. Then one day she was gone.

Her pilgrimage was soon noticed by curious passer-byes, who would stop and ask if she needed help. She politely turned them down according to reports. At other times, she wouldn’t speak at all. She just kept walking.

While there are no people walking behind her, like in the Forrest Gump movie, she is being followed by thousands of people across the country. Most don’t know her story.

As someone who suffers from PTSD (combat Vietnam veteran), my heart goes out to her. I hope she finds what she’s looking for…which no doubt would be peace.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Tribute to Drive-in Movies: most are gone, but not forgotten

Good Day World!

I’m feeling pretty nostalgic today.

Growing up, one of my favorite sources of entertainment was going to the drive-In movies. In the 50s when I was a kid my whole family would go to the drive-in every Friday night – which was payday for my Dad. My brother, sisters, and I would watch the movie from the playground most of the time.

When high school rolled around, the drive-ins took on an even more entertaining aspect, necking with your girlfriend and steaming up the car windows. I knew some guys who had vans, the ultimate make-out vehicle. They’d back up to the screen and open the rear doors.

When my wife and I were dating we went to a drive-in theatre every weekend. Those were great times in the early 70s.

Now most of the drive-ins are gone.

The lights haven’t completely gone out on all our open-air theaters: there are 357 still-operating drive-ins in America (from a peak of 4,063 in 1958).

But they are last remnants of an industry whose decline — like Ernest Hemingway's famous description of a bankruptcy — came gradually, then suddenly. Many more sit abandoned and neglected.

Here’s one example:

REDLAND DRIVE-IN
Lufkin, Texas
Opened: unknown
Closed: unknown
Drive-ins represent a carefree time straight out of American Graffiti. Now, many of them just attract American graffiti. The long-defunct Redland, which ran adult movies in its final days, is a handsome reminder of a once-thriving business, with its remaining neon tubing seemingly just a flick of a switch away from beautifying the night sky again.

A salvage yard now sits behind the so-called “screen tower” (on which the screen was mounted). And, yes, that’s a home, also abandoned, built onto the bottom of the tower. Note too, the extensions added on both sides of the tower to accommodate the various widescreen formats (like Cinemascope) that were popular in the 1950s. Go to source for more examples.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, July 28, 2014

Controversial tweet, tortoise springs alligator from zoo, and smelling healthy farts

Good Day World!

I hope your Monday is going well. I have a few articles that may tweak your interest. Enjoy!

The tweet wasn’t sweet so airline tells man to delete

A Minnesota man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

Watson told TV broadcaster KARE in Minneapolis on Wednesday that after he boarded, an announcement came over the plane asking his family to exit the aircraft. Once at the gate, the agent said that unless the tweet was deleted, police would be called and the family would not be allowed back onboard.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Alligator escapes from zoo with help from a tortoise

An owner of a zoo in Michigan's Upper Peninsula says a 12-inch alligator has escaped, possibly with some help from a tortoise.

TV stations WWTV-WWUP and WPBN-WTOM and MLive.com report the alligator named Carlos got out of an enclosure over the weekend at the GarLyn Zoo near Naubinway. He was spotted by people nearby, who called police, but he wasn't caught.

Gary Moore, who runs the zoo in Mackinac County with his wife, says he suspects the alligator slipped under a fence. Moore says a large tortoise that walks in the area, wearing away dirt, likely was an inadvertent accomplice in Carlos' getaway.

Study 'Says' Sniffing Farts Is Good For You, But Something Doesn't Smell Right

Forget "silent but deadly." How about "rank but restorative"?Fart

Media sites recently reported news that delighted flatulence lovers: Scientists had published a study that said smelling farts is good for you. The only problem was, reports on the study kinda ... stunk.

Here's what happened.

Researchers at the University of Exeter said the hydrogen sulfide that we emit when we cut the cheese protects mitochondria, which are the cell's "power producers." Dr. Mark Wood, a researcher at Exeter, explained that hydrogen sulfide is the stinky component of passing gas "and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases."

Somehow that was taken to mean that smelling farts could ward off harmful diseases.

But read the following before you start pounding down dried apricots and baked beans: The Guardian pointed out that the study never mentions that smelling your farts is healthy. And NBC News reinforced the skepticism.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wonder Woman gets a new costume in upcoming film

Good Day World!

Wonder Woman is getting another do-over.

Remember when she looked like the illustration on the right? (1941 DC Comics). Over the decades there’s been various modifications to her costume.

DC's super heroine will be starring in the upcoming film "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."

Wonder Woman will be portrayed by the talented actress Gal Gadot. Her costume (photo left) is a far cry from the original one. It’s certainly isn’t as colorful, but that’s because she’s more of a bad-ass than ever!

View image on TwitterWonder Woman was created by the American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston.

The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941, and first cover-dated on Sensation Comics #1, January 1942.

She’s been a hit ever since.

The character is a warriorprincess of the Amazons (based on the Amazons of Greek mythology) and is known in her homeland as Princess Diana of Themyscira.

She possesses an arsenal of weapons, including the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in some stories, an invisible airplane.

Remember the 1975–1979 Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter? There was also two animated series, the Super Friends and Justice League. Since Carter's television series, studios struggled to introduce a new live-action Wonder Woman to audiences.

I think they found a winner in Israeli actress Gal Godot. The film is slated to come out in 2016, so we’ll have to wait for awhile to judge just how cool her costume is, and how effectively she portrays DC’s most famous heroine.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Understanding the deep hatred between the Palestinians & Jews

Good Day World!

The world does not understand what it’s like to be a Jew in an Arab world. Israel stands alone in the midst of it’s traditional enemies.

Civilized countries are appalled at the terrible civilian toll this latest war is taking. The Palestinian people are caught between a defiant terrorist organization – Hamas – and Israel.

When Hamas decided to lob hundreds of rockets into Israel the response was automatic; the Jews struck back harder.

The rockets continue to come despite the Israeli Defense Forces retaliatory invasion of the Gaza strip. The battle has settled into urban guerilla warfare – something that Hamas has been planning for a long time.

The battleground has shifted below the earth’s surface into tunnels where Hamas soldiers slink in the dark looking for targets behind their enemies lines. There is no end in sight.

Peace between the two adversaries seems impossible. The deep-seated hatreds on both sides will take generations to heal if a peace process ever takes root.

To illustrate this deeply ingrained hatred here’s a short story:

Arieh Eldad is a medical doctor specializing in plastic surgery and a member of Israel's Knesset. He served as the Director of Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem's Department of Plastic Surgery from 2000 to 2003 and is the Founder and Chairman of the Israeli Burn Association.

Eldad wrote about a burn patient who became a suicide bomber:

On 20 June 2005, twenty-one-year-old Wafa Samir Ibrahim al-Biss was detained at a crossing into Israel when something about her gait struck the guards on duty at that post as somewhat amiss.

This Palestinian woman was arrested after a search revealed she had been carrying 22 lbs. of explosives strapped to her body.

While al-Biss had ostensibly been attempting to enter Israel to attend a follow-up appointment at the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva, questioning revealed that it had been her intent to detonate the payload she'd been carrying at that institution.

The would-be bomber had been treated there five months previous for severe burns received after a gas canister exploded on a fire while she was cooking at her refugee camp home in the Gaza Strip.” (source/Snopes)

This story is shocking because it assails our Western way of thinking. We think, How could someone repay such kindness with such hate?” We’re appalled that someone would commit suicide in order to kill others. 

The answer lies in generations of fear and hatred. Without being a Palestinian, or an Israeli Jew, there’s no way anyone else can understand. All the world can do is watch innocent people die over an ideological battleground.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, July 25, 2014

A basketball legend in my own mind – and that’s fine

20140723_113100

 Good Day World!

 The older we get the more daring we perceive our past deeds to have been.

Memories, blurred by the passage of time, take on heroic proportions when recalling our younger days. People, like myself in their mid 60s and older, like to recall past glories sometimes.

I always loved basketball. I spent countless hours playing pickup games throughout high school.

I passed on playing for the high school team because I knew my grades weren’t good enough – and besides…I learned more on those outdoor courts than the scholars did playing their organized ball games in gyms with wooden floors.

Over the years I played pickup games across the country, stopping at schoolyards with my buddy, and challenging the locals to two-on-two. Sometimes it was full court and we made sure to be on the same team.

I played for the 101st MPs when I was in the Army and stationed at Ft. McArthur. I didn’t start because the other two guys playing guard were better than I was. At 6’2, I was small, even for a guard.

Later, I played in a city league while working for Ford Motor Company in Cleveland, Ohio. I was the only white guy on the team and the shortest. I earned the right to start, and played point guard. We won the city league title that year. It was probably the high point of my basketball glory days.

I kept playing pickup games after getting married and having three children – all boys. I made sure to teach them the game and other sports. We would play 3 on 1 at an outside basketball court located at the nearby high school.

The decades slipped by, and the stories I told my boys about my basketball power’s were often embellished. In short, I became a legend in my own mind (see top left photo).

I wonder how often that happens to people? 

These days my back and knees are shot. I walk slowly. Running and jumping are becoming memories. But you should hear some of the great stories I have about playing hoops and lessons in life learned on the basketball court.

Perhaps someday, I’ll write about them.

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The year was 1989 & I was the publisher of ‘The Arcata Union’

20140723_112829

Good Day World!

My contribution to Throwback Thursday goes back 25 years when I was in the newspaper business.

The Arcata Union was a weekly newspaper that published from 1886 to 1995 in and for the city of Arcata, California.

I was the publisher of this historical newspaper from 1988-90, when I moved on to manage a group of newspapers in the Palm Springs area.

In the photo on the left, I’m showing elementary school children from Arcata how a newspaper is made at the old Arcata Union building.

I was sharing how a page was created by pasting up images and text that would go on to be shot by a camera in the net step of the production process.

Note: this method is a dead technology now thanks to computers.

20140723_112849

The photo on the right shows my editorial staff -

Left to right front row: Joan, Tony, Karen

Left to right: Yep! that’s me, and Paul DeMark the editor.

I really enjoyed being associated with a newspaper that had such great history. It was the second time I had the honor of running a historical newspaper.

Prior to my arrival at The Union, I was the manager/editor of The Desert Trail, in 29 Palms California. It was another 100 year-plus publication.

I went from the desert to the Redwoods, getting to experience totally different climates.Today, I’m happily retired in Medford, Oregon.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Surviving in a down economy is more important than tackling pollution – or is it?

            

“Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.”
- Cree Indian Prophecy
                                                 
   Americans are dying every day from polluted air, land, rivers, and oceans. Our food chain is polluted with pesticides, steroids, and hormones. Study after study warns us we can’t keep going on like this.

   In a twist of irony, Americans' concerns about environmental problems have decreased with the drop in support for various environmental policies and the higher priority currently assigned to economic growth, according to an April 13th Gallup Study (“Worry about U.S. Water, Air Pollution at Historical lows”).

The economic downturn has forced Americans to focus more on bread-and-butter economic issues than quality-of-life issues, the study concluded. The future is uncertain.

  Over 29 percent of America’s bees (located in California and Florida) have vanished and scientists are concerned. It’s been predicted that if we lose our bees, we will only have a few years of food left.

“One in every three bites of food you eat comes from a plant, or depends on a plant, that was pollinated by an insect, most likely a bee," said Dennis vanEngelsdorp of Penn State University's College of Agricultural Sciences, during a Associated Press interview.

  They found a wide variety of pesticides and other chemicals in the hives, but didn’t think any one chemical was strong enough to be lethal. However, they did feel it was possible that some of the chemicals could combine in harmful ways not yet understood.

  "The 98 pesticides and metabolites detected in mixtures up to 214 ppm parts per million in bee pollen alone represent a remarkably high level for toxicants in the brood and adult food of this primary pollinator," Mullin and his colleagues wrote in the journal Public Library of Science-One.

  The run off from factories and air fallout into the oceans have increased the contaminates in our fish so much that the fish oils we purchase for our omega 3 healthy oils, contain traces of mercury, PCBs and dioxins.

  Our soil is getting heavily polluted by toxic materials and dangerous microorganisms, which enter through air, water and the food chain. These soil pollutants come from;
Agricultural waste, Industrial waste, Urban waste, and Hazardous waste.

  The biggest offender by far is industrial waste discharged from paper and pulp industries, conventional and atomic power plants, mining and smelting operations, etc.

  A recent pollution concern is that components could fail at the nation’s largest radioactive cleanup site, a first-of-its-kind $12 Billion waste treatment plant in at Hanford in Washington State. It’s designed to last 30 years, another shortsighted solution to a huge problem.

   The Department of Energy began looking into potentially serious flaws at the Hanford Site facility in January 2013. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board wants more tests and analyses to validate the designs for key components of the plant, which is meant to stabilize and contain 56 million gallons of radioactive waste.

  With all this scary information on hand you’d think people would want to be more proactive and cooperative.  We all live on the same planet. Breath the same air. Drink the same water. Common sense would suggest we work together on our common challenges.

   Unfortunately, common sense has taken a back seat to partisan ideologies more concerned with making money by any means possible, than with the public’s safety. No amount of man-made disasters, like the Deep Water Horizon tragedy, seems to stop the money mongers’ pursuit of oil.

   Lobbyists protect our polluters/corporations with massive amounts of money to corrupt politicians who write the laws. There’s no respect for the land. Environmentalists are belittled by right-wing conservatives who serve their money God.

   I’ve heard people compare the fall of the Roman Empire to America’s rapidly crumbling infrastructure, but our downfall will be even more devastating.

No kingdoms will rise in its place, because America will be a polluted wasteland, unfit for animal or human habitation for eons to come.

  Until that time comes, thousands of Americans will continue to die every day, victims of politics that protect the polluters. Bit players in a slowing dying civilization that lost it’s way a long time ago.

  Forgive me for painting such a bleak future. I know there are people fighting to correct our numerous pollution problems, but when I read the daily news it seems the bad guys are winning. 
Our country’s fate reflects the biblical passage from Galatians 6:7 “… whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

-Dave Stancliff

This column originally appeared on April 22nd, 2013, in the Times-Standard newspaper, Eureka, California

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Selfies Hack: The Good, Bad, & the Ugly

Good Day World!

I’m going to assume you know what a “selfie” is.

If not, then please refer to “selfie” in the Oxford Dictionary.

It was proclaimed the 2013 word of the year by the Oxford Dictionaries and I doubt if you can go a day without hearing the word or witnessing a “selfie.”

“Selfies” are a snapshot of society. A moment of triumph, and of utter defeat. A brief visual insight into someone’s soul. A cry for attention in a world of strangers.

THE GOOD

Taking selfies isn’t hurting anyone.

In fact, looking at images of yourself and your friends and other real life, un-photoshopped people may be good for one’s body image.

What’s wrong with taking a nice picture of yourself to remind yourself that you don’t have to be Kate Moss to look and feel good? Or sharing a silly selfie with your friends to get a laugh? Or even to make a bunch of silly faces when you’re bored and find them in your photo stream a week later?

THE BAD

Photo: Danielle Sexton Facebook/Gawker This “selfie” (left-woman in colored leopard skin dress) got the taker busted. She apparently enjoys five-fingered discounts and got caught.

The 27-year-old Illinois woman was accused of stealing several items from a clothing store and was busted after she posted pictures of herself in a shoplifted dress on Facebook.

Might want to add stupid to this example of a “selfie.”

THE UGLY

Before you snap that “selfie,” check in and ask why you're taking this particular photo, suggests Ellen Kenner, Ph.D., a psychologist in Rhode Island.

"If you love the way you look one day, or are in a playful mood and want to capture it for yourself as a memory, or share it with friends and family, there is fun and self-valuing in that," she says, and your friends and family will enjoy seeing you genuinely happy or excited.

The problem, she explains, occurs when you're waiting for feedback from others. If you spend the next 20 minutes furiously clicking refresh, or wishing specific people commented, then it could be a sign that you're overly dependent on external feedback to determine your inner happiness.

"All the selfies in the world won't replace genuine self-esteem," reminds Kenner.

"A lot of energy goes into a selfie, especially if you're the type of person in the habit of taking them all the time," warns Jaime Kulaga, Ph.D., a psychologist in Tampa. "An occasional selfie is part of being on social media, but more than a few may signify an underlying confidence issue."

Editor’s Note: See more information about “selfies” at top right corner of this page under Visit Dave at Learnist

Time for me to walk on down the road…