Dave Stancliff AS IT STANDS blogarama.com

Friday, June 24, 2016

Are You A 'Rise and Shine' Person? Or, a Morning Grump?

Good Day World!

Before I retired, I hated getting up in the morning for work.

It was my worst time of the day.

(In Australia, a woman woke up to find a giant python in her house stretching 16 feet and weighing almost 70 pounds. Via Today)


Thankfully, I never woke up eye-to-eye with a giant python (pictured above). Now that would have really ruined my day. I doubt if I would have ever slept in that room again!

So what are some of the reasons people wake up grumpy? 

For starters, some of us are terminally grouchy. That's a fact. I fell into that category for a long time.

Some people just wake up slowly. Being groggy for anywhere from five minutes to 20 minutes is pretty common. Not everyone likes that experience.

Experts tell us that morning grumpiness is simply a symptom of our over-scheduled life, with too little sleep and not enough things that bring us joy on a day-to-day basis.

Perhaps that's why I'm a happy morning riser now. Not having to go to work does wonders for some of us. When I wake up these days, I know that I can do pretty much anything I want to.

Let's not forget having a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.

It really helps, according to Allison G. Harvey, Ph.D, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the Golden Bear Sleep and Mood Research Clinic.

"Coffee is a very effective way to counteract sleep inertia," Harvey said in a recent interview with the Huffington Post.

Related: Why You're Not A Morning Person (And How To become One

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

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Trump Gives Deposition on Lawsuit Today: New Lawsuit Accuses Him Of Rape

Good Day World!

Donald Trump found out that he has to go to court AGAIN today.

Despite seeking exceptions because he...

(Yahoo illustration (Photo by AP, Getty) 

"...may have a busy schedule as a result of seeking public office" according to his lawyers, the judge ordered him to appear for a deposition on the case.


Trump filed a lawsuit against celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian who refused to open up a restaurant in The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Zakarian and another celebrity chef, Jose Andres, withdrew from separate deals, claiming that Trump's disparaging comments about Mexicans would hurt their own reputations and business brands.

Now, despite strenous objections from Trump, he's going to have to personally get involved (his lawyers were trying to get his son and daughter to testify instead, but they failed).

Another headline today says someone filed a rape lawsuit against the Donald!

How Trump can turn the presidency into a 'litagation circus'

This latest action comes on the heels of accusations of fraud with his Trump University scam. He's already been secretly deposed twice now. His lawyers are fighting to keep the transcripts/videos from becoming public knowledge.

Trump has been sued, and sued others, numerous times in the past. If, by some horrible turn of events he somehow gets elected, we'll have to call him "Litagator-In-Chief!"

Fun fact: How many other party nominees for the presidency in America's political history have been sued for fraud, before Trump?

Answer: None.

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Buzz On Mosquitos: How To Deal With The Little Blood Suckers

Good Day World!

The buzz today is about mosquitos.

For starters I'd like to introduce the very latest in mosquito control:

The Mosquito Away line of TVs being produced and marketed in India by electronic giant LG, has an ultrasonic component designed to repel mosquitos in it.

Mosquitos are considered a major health hazard in india, where more than 10,500 cases of dengue fever were reported last year in New Delhi alone.

You might want to look into getting one of those TVs, especially if you're a couch potato!

Other ways of getting rid, or coping with mosquitos, is to wear clothes that are designed with biting insects in mind. Bite-proof clothing is generally sold in sporting goods stores.

Just keep in mind these bite-proof clothes are often treated with repellents (DEET) or poisons (permethin).

Another way to combat certain species of the little blood suckers is to not wear dark colors such as black, blue, and red, which can make mosquito season tough for gang members!

Another trick: avoid mosquito prime time. Dusk, dawn, and during darkness - these are the times when most mosquitos feed.

This may come as a rude shock, but did you know that Citronella candles are no more effective at keeping mosquitos away than regular candles, which also produce heat, moisture, and carbon dioxide that draws mosquitos to people?

I'm all for natural responses to mosquito attacks. Here's a good article about 13 natural ways to keep mosquitos away.

One more helpful article: What Attracts Mosquitos and How To Repel Them.

Meanwhile, I'll be trying to figure out how to order one of those Mosquito Away TVs!

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

'Death of the Belief in Fact' is Fracturing Democracies

Good Day World!

RIP era of facts.

Did you know that Donald Trump has a counterpart in England?

His name is Boris Johnson. Both men like to play the immigrant card in politics. 

Both men are dangerous demogogues. Both men are liars and bigots who know how to ovecome facts with a flood of falsehoods.

Toxic politics have gone global.

Trump and Johnson are both beating the devisive immigrant drum like rock stars. Both have outsized egos. So how did these two demogogues get to where they are now?

Simply by inventing the own versions of truth. 

These two troublemakers are cooking up their own facts with fantastic fabrications to lure angry supporters into their camps. They are unscrupulous with a real contempt for the electorate that they are exploiting in this post-truth era.

So far, medias in both country's have failed to sufficiently hold them to account.
Trump and Johnson are products of a new system, pushing bigger and bigger lies and always finding there are zero repercussions for deceiving the electorate.

What's happened is there has been a "death of the belief in fact" for a number of reasons.

1) We increasingly self-sort ourselves into like-minded communities (whether physically or online, or both).

2) Despite all of the choices we have, people insist on visiting sites and watching shows that affirm views they already hold.

Chris Cillizza at The Independent, summerized the situation best:
"We are facing an "alternate reality," a virtual reality, where lies are accepted as truth and where conspiracy theories take root in the fertile soil of falsehoods."

With no accountability, we have spawned a new and dangerous form of politician. They can get away with saying anything they want, no matter how false it is.

I can't offer a solution, because I'm not sure there is one. All I can really hope for is there are enough people in the general population still sane enough to believe in facts.

America and England are being put to the test. Will Democracies win out? Stay tuned.

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

Monday, June 20, 2016

'How Low Can We Go?' Competition Is Open To Suggestions

Good Day World!

Thanks for stopping by today. 

It's my pleasure to introduce the 1st Annual "How Low Can You Go" competition.

For obvious reasons, Donald Trump, who already has a lock on being a low-down clown, can't be entered into this contest because he's too easy of a target.

Everyone else is fair game however. We're not talking about going under a limbo bar either.

One of the early front-runners in the competition is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who went from attacking Trump to kissing his ass in one blinding moment after withdrawing his bid for the presidency.

Christie was last seen defending the Donald and claiming "...he's not a racist."

TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE


Breanna Koski and Joanna Duka, owners of the Phoenix-based stationary and calligraphy studio, Brush & Nib, filed a so-called pre-enforcement challenge” arguing they could face months of jail time for violating a Phoenix ordinance that prohibits businesses from discriminating on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability.” 
The ordinance, they argue, forces them to violate their duty as artists who serve God.
Wow! How low can they go?
Jail time for Phoenix artists who disagree with government? I don't think so. 
So, you might wonder, did the women refuse to serve a gay couple? Were they found to have violated the ordinance? Have they been locked up? No, no, and, no.
Koski and Duka were scared they "might" be asked to design cards for a same-sex wedding. Oh, the horror! Saints protect them!
What came next is a great example of how low someone can go (beside these two women); The Christian Broadcasting Network headlined its story of the duo: “Artists Fighting Back to Avoid Jail Time For Refusing Gay Wedding.
That's enough for now. There's lots of competition out there on a daily basis. 

Feel free to enter your favorite examples (under comments) to this blog. I'll be glad to share them!
Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Donald Trump Self-Funding? Not By A Long Shot!

Good Day World!

If you've been paying attention to what Donald Trump says, and what he actually does, it's clearly evident he's a liar and hypocrite.

The best example I can give you goes back to when the Donald began his campaign for the presidency:


Trump on self-funding his presidential campaign:
“Part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich. So, if I need $600 million, I can put up $600 million myself. It’s a huge advantage.” — interview with ABC News in March 2011 ahead of aborted 2012 presidential run
“I don’t need anybody’s money. It’s nice. I don’t need anybody’s money. I’m using my own money … I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich.” — announcement speech on June 16, 2015
“You know the nice part about me? I don’t need anybody’s money.” — from an interviewin August 2015 in Iowa
“I’m self-funding my own campaign. It’s my money.” — during a speech in Iowa on Feb. 1, 2016
“I don’t believe I have been given any credit by the voters for self-funding my campaign, the only one. I will keep doing, but not worth it!” — from a tweet Feb. 2, 2016 
The Reality
Trump is not exclusively self-funding his campaign.
Almost immediately after announcing his presidential bid, Trump began passively accepting contributions from his growing legion of supporters. 
The dollars began adding up, and as May arrived, federal records indicate Trump’s supporters had together given his campaign about $14 million.
"I’ll be asking money for the party,” Trump said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on May 4."
In a interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said that he’d personally “be putting up money, but won’t be completely self-funding” as the campaign moved forward.
Trump has become the bootlicking presidential candidate he’s insisted — over and again — that he wasn’t, isn’t and wouldn’t become.
Question
What do those Trump followers think about this big reversal?
Many are only voting for him because they believe he is self-funding and not taking money from the establishment.
That's reality. Let's see if it factures that fantasy for some Trump fans.
Time for me to walk on down the road...

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Beware of those 'Good Old Days!'

Good Day World!          

  There are people who pine for the years following WW II, from 1945 to 1965, when “everything was better.” 
   Why not? America had emerged as a superpower and a manufacturing force second to none in the world. We were number one.
   Historians quickly called the generation that won the war the “Greatest Generation.” Their children were given the best of everything in life. The American Dream was within every man’s or woman’s grasp.
   But something happened. When those children became teenagers, the world shifted slightly and societal changes came hard and fast. Vietnam, Hippies, Drugs, Free Love, and college students leading  protests against an unjust war.
   Let’s hold it right there. I want to discuss the Good Old Days (as defined above) a little further. Do you think African Americans and other people of color thought those were the Good Old Days? Frankly, I doubt it.
   If you were an African American living in the deep south from 1945 to1965, you lived in another America. One that had no dreams. No hope. You survived at the whim of the white man. You couldn’t eat in the same building or shop in the same store because of your color.
   Let’s not linger on this aspect of the supposed Good Old Days too long, but it does have to be examined. Instead, let’s look at a whole new view of the Good Old Days.
   The reason they were considered the Good Old Days was simple; people didn’t know what was happening everywhere in the country and the world. They were uninformed for the most part, especially in rural America.
   Most people didn’t know all the terrible things that happened in a 24 hour news cycle worldwide. There was no internet.
   Sure, people heard news stories on the radio, but music dominated the airwaves and the movies from 1945 thru 1965. 
   I wouldn’t say ignorance is bliss, but in some cases it seems preferable to knowing too much and being stressed out about things you can’t do anything about.
   Some people have selective memories, which can make those days of yore so special. Which leads me to a warning about politicians who use our faulty memories of a golden age that never existed to political advantage.
     You know who I’m talking about. Donald Trump. He says he’s going to “Make America Great Again.” A classic example of demogogue rhetoric. 
    The next time you hear someone calling for those Good Old Days, take a moment and ask them what Good Old Days are they actually referring to? 

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

Friday, June 17, 2016

Surprise! AR-15 Style Rifles Weren't Made for Civilians

Good Day World!

Today's news may surprise some people. 

That's why I'm going to spell out the reasons why AR-15 style weapons weren't meant for civilians to hunt with, or even for target practice. 
And certainly not for home protection. 
Their only purpose was to kill as many people as possible in war using semiautomatic bursts of .223 shells capable of piercing an enemy's helmet at 500 yards.

Question: why would you need night vision and a powerful scope unless you use them for hunting - or, have plans for sneaking up on someone you want to eliminate? These are just two of the popular add-ons you can put on these weapons.

Want to increase your ARs ammo capacity? No problem. Get the Ares Shrike 5.56 Conversion kit (photo above) and you can throw that lead out like the big boys all day!

The man who created the AR-15 style weapon (later re-named the M-16 by the American military) expressly made them for war to counter the communist AK-47.

Ronald Reagan spoke out against AR-15 style weapons being used by civilians back in the day. 

FACT

AR-15 style rifles now form a nearly $1 billion industry supported by gun owners who spend thousands of dollars collecting these firearms and upgrading them.

SMOKE SCREENS

The NRA and other gun-rights lobbyists keep invoking the right of "self defense" to defend Americans' right to buy these guns (whatever happened to shotguns and pistols?), but home protection is low on the list of reasons why gun enthusiasts keep buying military-style weapons.

The biggest reason given? They're fun. That's right. They're fun.

How did warfare enter the civilian market?

AR-15 rifles were sold to the public as early as the 1960s. Their popularity really took off in the 80s after Chinese manufacturers began exporting the AR's Russian counterpart - the AK-47 - to the U.S. 

Pop culture helped the market along. Shows like Miami Vice made military-style firearms look sexy.

However, those sexy AR's are the mass murderer's choice of weapon. Look at what happened in Orlando. San Bernadino. Sandy Hook. On and on...

Something has to be done. There are an estimated 20-30 million "lawfull owned" AR-style weapons (AK's, HK's,SKS's, and other types of modern sporting rifles) in America.

Imagine how many illegal ones are out there? 

We need to stem the tide by banning sales of AR-style weapons. Rather than recalling the ones that have already been sold; just grandfather them in, and then start fresh with a ban on new ARs.

It's a start. We'll still have to deal with what's already out there, but cutting the flow off at the source will reduce the numbers eventually.

Meanwhile it goes without saying, Congress needs to get their collective heads out of their asses and start serving the people - not the weapon and ammo industries!

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

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Home Remodel Shows vs Our Remodel Experience

Good Day World!

My wife really enjoys watching those shows on the Home & Garden channel that deal with remodeling homes. 

You know, "Fixer Upper," "Extreme Makeover," "Hidden Potential, Property Brothers," etc. 

That's how she started prepping me for our remodel, by asking me to watch some of them with her. She would ask pointed questions like "Do you like those white kitchen cabinets?"

Being a guy, my first impulse was to answer truthfully, but after 41 years of martial bliss, I knew better. Without saying yes, or no, I asked what she thought of them?

That works, sometimes. But, after viewing numerous shows peppered with questions, my wife knew exactly where I really stood on the remodeling questions she asked about.

It was time to take the wall down between the kitchen and the living room. 
It was time to tear out all the kitchen cabinets and re-do them (sand and prime) a semi-gloss white.
It was time to put new flooring in throughout the house. One continuous pattern.
It was time to move gas lines and electrical outlets around to accommodate a new island and counter tops.
It was time for new lighting - can lights - in the kitchen and livingroom and matching ceiling lights.
It was time to repaint a couple of walls.
It was time to pull out the old water heater and to put in a tankless one on the exterior of the house.

My humble observations part of the way through our remodel:

* It's been like camping, but not so pretty. We've had to clear out the entire kitchen, dining room, and livingroom and cram all that stuff into three bedrooms, and the patio.

* No stove to cook on. Only fast food, frozen food (we do have a microwave set up with the coffee maker in one of the rooms) and food that doesn't need preparation.

* The entire house looks like a bomb went off. Still looking at another week of work. It's already been two weeks of bedlam.

The dog and the cats will probably need counseling after the parade of strangers in the house and the noise they made!

* Already over $2,000 on our budget. 

* Next time (if there is one) we do a remodel we're staying at a motel, or staying with whatever friends or family that will have us! 

Unlike the shows where the owners leave the house and return to see the happy results, we made our mistake by living in the middle of the remodel. Lesson learned.

I'm keeping my eye on the prize. When it's all done our living space will be improved, and I won't have to watch any more shows about remodeling!

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Just Another Moment of Silence With No Solutions

Good Day World!

Another moment of silence. This time for 49 people massacred in Orlando, Florida.

Sadly, that's all there will be thanks to the ammo and weapon industries, and their lapdog the National Rifle Association (NRA). 

With the help of Republicans who toady up to those industries and their lobbyists, no federal gun control laws have been passed in over a decade.

Instead, we get moments of silence. 

Fight In House of Representatives After Moment of Silence

A moment of silence was held on June 13th outside the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando. Moments of silence were held worldwide for the 49 victims.

Moments of silence were held in churches, sporting events, and community organizations nationwide.

Lady Gaga speaks at vigil for victims in Los Angeles. They hold a moment of silence.

Yet, for every moment of silence being held an AR-15 style weapon is sold. Gun store owners see huge increase in business selling AR-15 style assault rifles. 

Stock prices go up after massacre.


U.S. security chief urges gun control steps after Orlando attack

These gun sales illustrate the great divide in America today. On one hand, people want more control over the sales of weapons; and on the other hand, people don't want any controls on the sale of weapons.

For example, the Orlando shooter (I won't say his name) could have been stopped if we had a law about people on watch lists not being able to purchase weapons. He was on a watch list.

We are no longer the United States of America. This country is so polarized over issues like gun control that any hopes of compromise are dead upon arrival.

Like the victims of these mass shootings that we can't do anything about. The only national response has been prayers and moments of silence...with no hope for a solution.

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