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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Was Epstein murdered?

- Trump and Epstein

In the news: Jeffrey Epstein’s injuries look more like murder than suicide, noted pathologist says

Given the dubious circumstances under which Epstein died .... his being taken off suicide watch, his cellmate being removed, the guards neglecting to check on him for hours, the broken bones in his neck ... it is not surprising that murder conspiracy theories flourish.

I've got to say, I find his death really suspicious and if I had to choose a conspiracy theory to explain everything, I'd look first to Barr/Trump.

Trump was buddies with Epstein for many years and it's possible Epstein could have had incriminating knowledge about Trump. Barr has shown himself eager to protect Trump and as AG, he was in control of the federal prison in which Epstein was housed. And Barr has his own connection to Epstein: his father once hired Epstein to teach teens at a private high school under odd circumstances.

I wonder if we will ever find out the extent of Epstein's crimes and the identities of the famous people who took part in them, and it we will ever find out why/how he died.

Twyla Tharp

Tonight on the PBS NewsHour there was a segment on Twyla Tharp ...

an American dancer, choreographer, and author who lives and works in New York City. In 1966 she formed Twyla Tharp Dance. Her work often uses classical music, jazz, and contemporary pop music.

When I was in college I was really interested in exercise: weight training, jogging, yoga, ballet, tai chi ...

I had my exercise heroes, like Tharp. And, of course, I also liked a dancer Tharp did choreography work for: Mikhail Baryshnikov. He was in a lot of movies back then, like White Nights with dancer Gregory Hines, in which they show their warm-up routines ...

Boo hoo - I miss being healthy and fit! ;)

But anyway, here is the PBS NewsHour segment on Tharp ...

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

National Cat Day

It's National Cat Day :) Here's Yoda from this morning, curled up on top of her Amazon cat bed ...

Monday, October 28, 2019

The victory rant

A person's character is revealed in hard times, but also in victory, and never more has Trump's character been revealed than after the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. As opposed to President Obama's somber 9 minute comment on the killing of Osama bin Laden, Trump ranted for 40 minutes with all the emotional maturity of a five year old bully, demeaning Kurdish help while praising Russia, bragging that al-Baghdadi "died like a dog", and gleefully dwelling on stealing Syria's oil. What a piece of poop.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Internment camps

George Takei of Star Trek (Sulu) has written a graphic novel about his family's time in the Japanese internment camps of WWII. Interesting to me, as my Japanese ex-in-laws were children in those same camps.

Today ...

Today Republicans, with the encouragement of Trump, staged a sit-in to stop House impeachment hearings/interviews. These Republican lawmakers, none of whom are members of the committees which are running the hearings, have claimed the hearings are flawed because there's no transparency for them and the public. Their talking points are disingenuous, though. There are Republicans in the hearings - Republican members of those committees - and ...

This part of the impeachment inquiry is akin to a grand jury investigation in which witness testimony is not open to the public. When the impeachment process gets to the point that it is sent over to the Senate, then it will be like a court case in which the public can watch as the accused interrogates witnesses and defends himself.

Republican lawmakers know all this, of course .... just reference the endless non-public Benghazi hearings run by Trey Gowdy, meant to doom Hillary. Republicans are just trying to delay the inevitable flood of information showing Trump eyeball-deep in abuse of power. When Trump is finally brought down, they worry they will fall with him.

Friday, October 18, 2019

What to write?

With all of the recent news, it's hard to know what to write about.

Maybe Mulvaney stepping in the "quid pro quo" pile of poop? ...

Or maybe Trump's egregiously self-serving plan to have the G7 meeting at his failing bedbug infested golf club ...

Or maybe, most disturbing of all, Trump letting it all hang out at his recent rally, with his dead-head cult followers howling around him ...

The Republican party will never be able to atone for having supported this nightmare of a president.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Third Dem debate

I haven't watched the whole thing yet but did see many bits of it. Pundits have been saying that the debates don't actually make a difference in voters' decisions of who to choose, but this one did help me decide who I would and wouldn't vote for.

Up to this point, I've been trying to decide between Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg - now I'm sure I do *not* want to vote for Mayor Pete. During the debate he attacked Beto on gun policy and Warren on everything from her health plan to her donors. I didn't like that.

I will almost certainly vote for Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie would be my second choice.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Trump abandons the Kurds

People ask why not just wait until the next election to remove Trump instead of trying to impeach him. The answer is that every day he is in office gives him another opportunity to cause harm. A recent case in point: his abandonment of our allies, the Kurds ....

Wikipedia has a page on the current Turkish offensive, and here is part of what they have for today, October 13 ...

Turkish-backed members of Islamist militia Ahrar al-Sharqiya killed Hevrin Khalaf, Secretary General of the Kurdish Future Syria Party. She and at least nine other civilians were executed south of Tal Abyad on the side of the road after their vehicles were stopped by the Ahrar al-Sharqiya fighters on the M4 highway. According to the Washington Post the killing "almost certainly constitute(d) a war crime, under international law".

Meanwhile, Trump is sending *more* troops to Saudi Arabia. Wonder how much MBS is paying him personally for that?

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Trump Towers Istanbul

Were you wondering what possessed Trump, after a phone call with Erdogan, to suddenly recall US troops from Syria, leaving our allies, the Kurds, to be attacked by Turkey? One possibility is the Trump Towers Istanbul ...

In December 2015, Trump stated in a radio interview that he had a "conflict of interest" in dealing with Turkey because of his property, saying "I have a little conflict of interest, because I have a major, major building in Istanbul ... It’s called Trump Towers. Two towers, instead of one. Not the usual one, it’s two. And I’ve gotten to know Turkey very well."

But hey, I could be wrong in believing that Trump left our allies to twist slowly in the wind because of his own personal financial interests. After all, it could instead be that Trump screwed the Kurds in order to get Erdogan to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.

More: Trump criticizes the Bidens, but his own family’s business raises questions

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

The phone call

Trump's impeachment-causing phone call explained ...

Monday, October 07, 2019

Avengers: Endgame

This week's movie rental was Avengers: Endgame ...

Avengers: Endgame is a 2019 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics .... It is the sequel to 2012's The Avengers, 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, and 2018's Avengers: Infinity War .... and features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Jon Favreau, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Josh Brolin. In the film, the surviving members of the Avengers and their allies attempt to reverse the damage caused by Thanos in Infinity War.

I'm a big fan of the Marvel movies, having read all the comics on which they are based when I was a kid. This latest film is the culmination of all the films ... those about Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the Avengers, as well as those more peripheral like Black Panther, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and Guardians of the Galaxy.. If it all seems confusing, you could always start at the beginning and go through the list of films in order.

But if you are up to speed and have seen Avengers: Infinity War, then you know that when last we left our heroes, they had been defeated by the evil one, Thanos, who had used the infinity stones to kill half of all living things in the universe.

This film picks up just after that happens, shows how the characters deal with that defeat, and how, five years later, they are given new hope when they realize they can use time travel to undo what Thanos has done. Maybe. I don't want to reveal all that happens along the way, or the ending, but here are a few bits that were notable ...

Thor, whose brother and best friend had both been killed by Thanos, didn't deal well with the Avengers defeat - he spent those following five years eating, drinking, and watching cable tv ...

Tony/Iron Man got married and had a daughter...

And we learned that Captain America is worthy to wield Thor's hammer. Here we see Thanos beating up on Steve and on Thor. When it looks very bad for Thor, Steve Rogers does something surprising ...

Anyway, i's an epic movie and I certainly recommend it! Here's a trailer ...

Friday, October 04, 2019

"Denial, grief, anger ..."

"Can we just get to acceptance? Who killed you?"

My favorite tv series is Once Upon A Time, which I watch regularly. Right now I'm in season 5, and Captain Hook is dead and in the Underworld.

In the storyline, people who die are sent to the Underwirld where they dwell until they have cleared up any unfinished business they might have. Once they've done that, they either go on to a "better place" or to a place much much worse.

In this scene, King Arthur has just been killed by Hades (the ruler of the Underworld) who is roaming in the world above, threatening the inhabitants of Storybrooke.

It takes Arthur a bit of time to realize what's just happened to him and where he now is. Captain Hook tries to enlist him in a quest to find Hades' weakness so that Hook's still-alive true love, Emma in Storybrooke, can defeat him ...

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Snakes and alligators

In the news - Trump wants his border wall to be electrified with "flesh-piercing spikes" on top, and surrounded by an alligator and snake filled moat. Oh, and any migrants who survive that should be shot. Trump is a sociopath, but the people who support him and his policies are just as bad if not worse.