Dave Stancliff AS IT STANDS blogarama.com

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Another Attempt To Replace and Repeal Obamacare is Slithering Around Congress

Good Day World!

It's a chilly morning outside today in Medford, and my coffee fix is more enjoyable than usual. 

Are you ready for another round of repeal and replace Obamacare?

I know. I thought that horse had died too.

A new bill, The Graham-Cassidy Bill, is slithering around the halls of Congress  looking for support right now.  

Incredible as it may seem, there are still stuck-in-the-mud ideologues in the Republican Party who want to take another run at overturning our health care system.

Despite Mitch McConnell's admission last month that the bill was dead, and Obamacare was the law of the land, these pinheads can't let it go.

Interestingly enough, Trump is not even the one that came up with this new assault on American healthcare.

The sponsors are trying to shove it through the House and Senate before September 30th, the deadline.

 This Senate bill, if passed by the House, would gut core protections of Obamacare – including "essential health benefits" and cost protections for those with pre-existing conditions – and blow up Medicaid as currently structured.

Once again it's going to be a close vote. McCain will probably  vote no - so Republicans need every single vote they can get. They figure their ace-in-hole is Vice-President Pence's tie-breaking vote.

But history is poised to repeat itself thanks to dissent within the party.

If Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska vote against the bill, which is very likely because a majority of their constituents will be adversely affected, the bill will die on the floor...again.

Meanwhile, what about that big Tax Reform bill Trump has been pushing? Two other little items are also hanging out there on the GOP agenda - DACA, and a new Budget for the country.

So far the GOP is zero on passing any major legislation. At the rate their going now it's conceivable this Congress is going to make history for the wrong reason; it's inability to pass a law.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Reflections While Drinking Coffee - The Best Time in the Morning

Good Day World!

Between sips of scalding coffee each morning, I try to solve the world's problems for an hour, sometimes two hours, and then it's on to other pursuits.

I scan at least 10 newspapers from across the nation and compare how they each handle the telling of the same story. If you want to catch subtle bias you need not go any further than headlines.

Hi! My name is Dave, and I'm a coffee addict. I'll bet you are too, or you wouldn't be reading this. I do make exceptions for hot tea, however.

Our Liar-In-Chief address the United Nations today. How surreal is that? I keep snapping my fingers just in case it was a bad dream, hoping to suddenly wake up.

To see someone with less morals than a tomcat (with little paws) talking to the leaders of nations from around the world is truly a Twilight Zone moment.

Tell me you don't cringe when you hear about Trump's latest tweets?

Beyond Trump...

Are you located in one of those areas where fires are burning?

It's been terrible here in Medford, Oregon. Our air quality reminds me of the smog I use to live with back in the 60's, in Southern California.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but if you were planning a trip anywhere in the Caribbean next year you might want to think about another vacation location.

This hurricane season has been epic. And, it's not over yet, as hurricanes Jose and Maria hit the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. Florida and other Southern states have also suffered tremendous damage from hurricane Irma's high winds and rains.

Texas will be picking up the pieces from hurricane Harvey for the next decade. FEMA is stretched thin and Congress will need to give the agency more funds when they do the budget.

That is, if Congress can even pass a budget. They're talking about a passing a major tax bill, repealing Obamacare (I know, again), and if they should let Donny build his wall.

It's best to do, like I do. Count to ten slowly.Then breath. Now, might be a good time for a Krispy Kreme donut. 

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, September 18, 2017

What Happened to the 'Woodstock of American Rallies'?

Good Day World!

Did you happen to see the "Mother of all Rallies (MOAR)" in Washington DC's National Mall Saturday?

It wasn't exactly inspiring, to put it mildly. Trump supporters have been planning for a huge rally to support the Liar-In-Chief for months. 

At first, they boasted there would be a million supporters of Donny's polices attending MOAR.

A week before the supposed  "Woodstock of American Rallies" the organizers downsized the projected attendance to 10,000.

When the big day came...there were less than a thousand people walking around with Trump "Make America Great Again" hats, and signs. They were a colorful group to be sure.

Many were dressed in red-white-and blue costumes that could have been raided from an old performance of Yankee Doodle Dandy starring James Cagney.

The organizers said they were sending a message to the world that mainstream Americans must be heard. That statement obviously came from a warped cult that sees themselves as 'Average Americans."

Actual Mainstream Americans weren't tuned into the MOAR fiasco Saturday. Nielson ratings show they were watching college football.  

If the organizers were dismayed by the dismal attendance you'll never know about it. Leaders from alt-right groups were the featured speakers.

As of press time, I haven't been able to get any attendance statistics for any of the 30 other rallies that day - including one staged by Juggalos who say they need to be taken off the FBI's terrorist watch list.

Was it a coincidence that side-by-side rallies were sponsored by clowns?

There was some concerns there would be trouble. Everything went fine, however.

Mere blocks away, there was a counter protest opposing white supremacy.

Near the White House, there was a protest against Russia’s election interference.

Just another Sunday in America...

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Here's One Bad-Assed Pirate I Bet You Never Heard Of'

Good Day World!

Ahoy Matey! It’s Pirate Appreciation Day at my blog.

I’m going to introduce you to a pirate that you didn’t read about in school. For that matter, anywhere.

Now, you’ve probably heard of at least one of the following pirates:
 Blackbeard (Edward Teach), Bartholomew Roberts (Black Bart), and Samuel Bellamy (Black Sam).

But how about Fire Fart the Pirate?

No, really. I’m not making this up. This dreaded 17th century pirate’s name was Antonio "Botafoc." The word botafoc means "fire blast" or "fire fart" — his real last name is lost to history.


FIRE FART’s HISTORY

With a name like Fire Fart, Antonio must have been a real bad ass. (Pun intended)

His story ties in with the Vatican, and now thanks to a new book “The Spoils of the Pope and the Pirates, 1357: The Complete Legal Dossier from the Vatican Archives,” by The Ames Foundation, his story can be told.

Here’s the condensed version:

The Vatican was once involved in piracy and bribery (tsk tsk), according to new documents from its archives. The newly published documents detail a medieval story about a dead bishop's treasure, the pope, and a pirate named 'Fire Fart.'

Fire Fart was always prepared for battle. His ship was heavily. Records indicate that his crew carried cutlasses (swords with curved blades used by sailors and pirates) and war pikes, and his galley had at least seven ballistae, which were large, crossbow-like devices capable of launching 9-inch (23 centimeters) stone bullets at high speeds.

Despite Fire Fart’s powerful ship the day came when a Dutch fleet put an end to his pirating career.

Fire Fart’s crew was hanged, but he, and his officers were let off with a fine, according to the Vatican records.

Back then, just like today, money paved the way to freedom.

History hasn’t left any clues on whatever happened to Fire Fart, but I suspect he changed his name and led a quite life somewhere far from the sea.

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

'Good Old' Trump Pulls The Football Away From Republicans At The Last Moment!

Good Day World!

Anyone familiar with the Peanuts cartoons knows that Lucy likes to hold a football for good old Charlie Brown to kick.

Just as Charlie is in the kicking motion midair - Lucy pulls the ball away!

Anyone following Trump knows he's capable of multiple "take backs" daily.

Politic pundits are cackling with delight at the butt-hurt Republican party right now, because Donny pulled the football away from them...again.

By sitting down and talking nice with Democrats Chuck and Nancy about DACA, he's pulled the rug out from beneath McConnell's and Ryan's feet as slickly as Lucy would.

The next day, after dining with the enemy, Trump tweeted no deal had been made. Meanwhile, Chuck and Nancy were doing a victory dance on another thread.

Trump can't stay focused on one subject long enough to make a responsible decision about anything. I have to admit that his new cat-and-mouse game with Congressional Republicans is fun to watch.

 I doubt that this new shaky alliance will produce a bipartisan deal on DACA, or on any other issues. But if it does, that would be good for the country.

As much as I loath our Liar-In-Chief, I love my country more. I want to see political compromises that actually represent the majority of Americans and not just one far-right ideology.

If Trump is (as I suspect) really Lucy in drag, there's going to be a lot of Charlie Browns falling on their asses real soon!

Time for me to walk on down the road... 

Friday, September 15, 2017

What Kind of Impact Will The New Vietnam Documentary Have?


Good Day World!

I wonder what value a new documentary on Vietnam will have?

Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick teamed up on the project:

(Photo by Henri Huet, AP)

The Vietnam War, premiering Sept. 17 on PBS.

The timing of the release is interesting.

The documentary is about one of the most divisive periods of American history - the 60's and the 70s. Revisiting it in the equally divisive society we live in now is part of the message.

It's obvious the lesson of a made-up war never sunk in. It just took a few decades before Americans were once again involved in an overseas war of aggression against Iraq on false pretenses.

So what is the purpose of bringing up an illegal war that has been written about extensively, had documentaries devoted to it, and even mainstream movies?

If the filmmakers think that a new generation will be morally affected by the Vietnam War, I wouldn't bet on it. We're currently in another war in Afghanistan that's been going on for a decade.

How many protest marches have you seen about getting out of Afghanistan? Political pundits play with the idea, but no one seriously sees an end to that bloody debacle.

Trump quietly sent 3,500 more troops over there last week. If that isn't proof of generational stupidity, I don't know what is. America has cast a blind eye to imperialism. 

This new documentary has complied what was already out there, and is presenting it in 10 episodes and 18 hours.

There are 80 interviews with Vietnam Veterans, but for the most part it's a collection of prior works and films.

Some viewers may come away pitying the men and women who fought in Vietnam. Some will also revile the soldiers who fought there.

In what I see as an ironic twist, the narrative has changed, and some people feel guilty about how they reacted to returning veterans.

That guilt has morphed to a new narrative, "Welcome Home." As a Vietnam Veteran (1970), I'm conflicted about the greeting.

On one hand, it's really nice to have strangers come up to you and say "Welcome Home."

On the other hand, you feel guilty for what you did in Vietnam, and getting a blanket pardon doesn't change that fact. 

Another fact, two-thirds of the Americans who fought in Vietnam are dead. A good portion of that remaining one-third has PTSD like me.

Ken Burns told PBS, "This film is for everybody and will hopefully remind us all to have the kind of civil discourse that we’ve forgotten how to have.”

This new documentary is professionally done. Now, let's see how many people watch it. 

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I’ve Got Some Motorcycle Porn For All You Avid Motorheads!



                                 Good Day World!
Rev your engines...

Brough Superior motorcycles were made in Nottingham, England from 1919 until 1940 and were known as ‘The Rolls Royce of Motorcycles.’ (Photos above) They were very expensive at the time, and only available to the wealthy.
The model (below) dates from 1931.   

(image credit: Kevin Hulsey, via)

T. E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, owned several of these machines and died from his injuries after crashing on one in 1935.

Another beautiful bike (below) is this Imme (Germany), with a single side suspension


(image credit: Robert Kimberly)

The Megola motorcycle was produced in Munich in the 1920’s. Some 2000 were built, but only 10 fully working examples are still in existence.
One of which is in the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

(images credit: Robert Kimberly)

Some sources point out that "in 1940, when the Indian's skirted fenders appeared, several questioned the manhood of Spingfield's designers."

It seems that aerodynamic shape of Killinger and Freund bikes (below) influenced the Indian designers. (image via)










This streamlined torpedo (top left) is the French-made Majestic,1929.

Speaking about Custom War Bikes, the one above right was fashioned after the World War II era style. (modern concept by Kogisama).

Time for me to walk on down the road..

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Latest Hypocrite for the Era: Man of God, Ted Cruz, Caught 'Liking' Porn

Good Day World!

Have you ever noticed the biggest hypocrites are the ones who claim to be the most holy?

Remember, Jim and Tammy Bakker?

A sex scandal led to his resignation from the ministry. Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud brought about his imprisonment and divorce

How about Jimmy Swaggart? Talk about major hypocrite. His sexual affairs and being busted with porn magazines in his car in the Palm Springs area, shook up his followers.

But he got on TV and tearfully repented. He even offered to climb up into a tower and stay there until he was forgiven (he didn't by the way) and a certain amount of donations were achieved.

The guy has balls, you gotta hand it to him. He's still preaching the good old gospel on TV and radio to millions of dupes.

The most recent high profile candidate for hypocrite of the era is none other than "Lying Ted Cruz!" You remember him don't you?

He was busted "liking" some porn site on twitter a couple of days ago. Before it was taken down, the Internet world was on it.

Cruz was turned into a meme...again. From Lying Ted to Nasty Teddy, he'll be red meat for laughs forever now.

The next day Cruz told reporters that "...it was a staffing issue and it was inadvertent. It was a mistake. It was not a deliberate action."

Yeah right, Teddy!

Next year, when Dirty Teddy runs for re-election he can count on the pervert vote, but the Evangelicals might be a bit hesitate. Just saying...

Time for me to walk on down the road... 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Some Enlightning Things About Lightning Strikes

Good Day World!

May lightning strike you if you don’t tell the truth!

That old phrase/threat went through my mind when I watched this video of a guy that was struck by lightning during Hurricane Harvey. 

Oddly, I also recall when the Pope resigned Feb. 2013, and lightning struck the Vatican on the same day!

The key to not getting hit by lightning is to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Before you hand me a cookie and tell me to go away with that seemingly stupid observation, let me explain: 
   
It doesn’t matter where you stand, what you wear or carry, the best thing to do is to avoid the locations where lightning can strike.


That sound better?

For example, anywhere outdoors or in unprotected structures. Let’s say you’re somewhere outside where there are no buildings to hide in.

A car (with a hard top of course) will protect you. A direct strike to your car will flow through the frame of the vehicle and usually jump over or through the tires to reach ground.

Note, I said usually. If you happen to be unlucky enough to touch the metal frame with your arm (or other body part) it could ruin your day.

Especially if you don’t get out of the vehicle and check it out. Fuel can be ignited by a strike and cause a fire or explosion.

Did you know it’s relatively rare for people to die from a lightning strike? Mary Ann Cooper, a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, estimates that nine out of 10 people survive!

As a matter of fact there are so many survivors they’ve formed an organization: The Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors.

It’s even international. If you want to read some startling stories, look that group up. Many of them have been zapped more than once.

Make no mistake however, the small percent who do die adds up. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an estimated 24,000 people are killed worldwide each year.

Over the last 21 years, the United States averaged 51 lightning strike fatalities, according to NOAA, placing them second behind floods for weather killings. That should be eye-opening news for us all. Don’t underestimate them.

I’ve got a couple of medical terms dealing with lightning I bet you never heard of:

Keraunomedicine (study of lightning casualties and associated treatments), and Keraunopathy (the study of effects of lightning on the human body).

Illuminating as all of this information may be, being struck by lightning is not something most people worry about. That is unless you’re a statistic and this information comes too late for you!

For those of you who don’t think about being struck by lighting…bravo. There are lots of other

things to be more concerned about, I’m sure. Like where your next meal is coming from or if you can find a babysitter so you and your spouse can go out for a romantic dinner.

Forgive me for being so flippant about a subject that strikes terror into some people. Sometimes I can’t help myself.

I’ve never been struck by lightning (knock on wood!) nor have I ever met anyone who was. Like most of you, I’ve heard and read a lot of lightning strike stories, however.

One of my favorites is Frankenstein. Who can forget that tense moment when Dr. Frankenstein opened up the ceiling of his lab to allow a bolt of lightning to bring his monster to life?

Zap!He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive!”

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, September 11, 2017

I know you may think so, but it's not the Apocalypse - Just Tough Times and Trump

Good Day World!

Hurricanes, earthquakes, major flooding, rumors of war with North Korea...

Hey! Wait a minute!

This all sounds a lot like the Apocalypse.

When I hear that MegaChurch Pastor/Televangelist, Paula White, say Trump is a man of repentance, I can't help flashing on all the end time talk lately.

FYI: Predictions about the end of the world have been going on since ancient times, so I'm not too concerned over our latest run of tough times.

In the news...

The White House is holding up to it's new tradition of a lie-a- day in grand style. This time, social media director, Dan Scavino informed the nation that Miami International Airport was flooded.

The truth is, the video Scavino shared with the world (and his boss Donny) was not a video of Miami - or even Hurricane Irma.

The White House had no comment. Are you surprised?

I'm also betting the video he shared of Trump and Pence sitting near a TV, ready to respond to any emergency 24/7, was as false as Trump's claim President Obama bugged Trump Tower.

I have to admit it's amusing watching Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly, drain the swamp in the West Wing. Watching Steve Bannon slither out the back door hissing at Kelly was perfect. 

His latest action, a wonderful "no-fly list" is a savvy move.

It's a list for his aides who previously wandered into meetings unannounced, and uninvited. The chief offender was aide Omarosa-Manigault.

Watching an adult walking around in the West Wing is a novel thing to witness in the Trump administration.

I can't help wondering when Donny gets tired of too much reality around him, what he'll do.

He can't just "duck walk" Gen. Kelly out of the Oval Office. The resulting backlash would be catastrophic for his already besieged administration.

It's time for me to walk on down the road...