What We Have Become.

People, it is not about politics, or policies. It is about families, mothers, fathers, children. It is about love. It is about compassion. It is about us being who we are – people. Because if we allow this to happen, we lose our humanity, our souls. We become Trump.

What we have become.

Separation.
The bond.

I still remember Mom going away.

Much later I understood she was going to Siberia to visit my father in a labor camp.

I was 5 or 6 at the time.

I was crying, I didn’t want her to go.

She was dressed, already leaving the house and I kept crying for a long time.

She really did not have a choice.

Much later when she told me about it, she said she cried all the way to the camp.

It was a 7-day ride on the train.

More than 60 years passed.

I still remember.

I am thinking of these kids.

I am thinking of their parents.

Is it for real? A nightmare maybe.

I am trying to imagine terrified kids, little kids.

They do not understand.

Where are they, where are mama and papa?

Some big, mean people took them.

Why are they being punished?

These kids. They are looking at this scary place.

The world looks distorted through their tears.

I know how hard it is not to cry.

All these kids feel is they are all alone.

Alone in this new and scary world.

Have they done something wrong?

All mothers, fathers, kids form a special bond.

They need each other, love binds them together.

Not just humans. Any creature on this planet.

Little ones die if forcibly separated from parents.

Apes and elephants, wolves and tigers. cats and dogs.

And yes, humans.

I cannot say that to break up families is inhumane.

Animals do not posses such cruelty, only some humans do.

I am this little one, thrown into the cage.

It is me crying!

I am the mother, the father.

These mean people took us away from each other.

They broke our hearts.

I, we cannot be silent, we cannot be indifferent

It is just not natural. For any living creature.

I want to scream: please stop this!

People, it is not about politics, or policies.

It is about families, mothers, fathers, children.

It is about love. It is about compassion.

It is about us being who we are – people.

Because if we allow this to happen, we lose our humanity, our souls.

We become Trump.

Immigrants
Alone and scared

N.C. – “Women Protection Laws” Supercedes Sharia Law

In total solidarity with the N.C. women, N.C. legislature decided to beat Muslims to it and establish their own Sharia law which they call “Freedom From Federal Organized Oppression Law” or FFFOOL. And true conservative women of the great state of North Carolina fully agree with the following statement:

North Carolina and women rights
Daily Wisdom

Amendment 1 –  which adds an amendment to the state’s constitution banning all marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership for same-sex couples, passed today. State law already prohibits the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. http://www.freedomtomarry.org/blog/entry/anti-gay-constitutional-amendment-passes-in-north-carolina

In North Carolina, two state legislators have filed a bill to make it a crime, punishable by up to six months in jail, for women to expose their nipples in public, but their only stated justification for the idea is to put an end to topless rallies in the Smoky Mountain city of Asheville – of which there have been exactly two. http://www.allgov.com/news/unusual-news/the-battle-over-nipple-exposure-in-north-carolina-130217?news=847086 Rayne Brown, a Republican, introduced House Bill 34 to making it a Class H felony to expose “the nipple, or any portion of the areola, of the human female breast.” http://now.msn.com/rayne-brown-gop-lawmaker-in-north-carolina-wants-to-make-exposing-a-nipple-a-felony

N.C. law
6 month in jail!

 

Nipples exposed
Good girl!

 All couples staying overnight in a hotel must have a room with double beds that are at least two feet apart.  Making love in the space between the beds is strictly forbidden. http://www.stupidlaws.com/all-couples-staying-overnight-in-a-hotel-must-have-a-room-with-double-beds-that-are-at-least-two-feet-apart/

“A bill proposed by two of them (Congressmen} that says North Carolina and its counties and towns have the right to establish an official religion.”
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/04/04/3960702/bills-are-laughable-so-nc-is-butt.html#storylink=cpy

HB518 makes it a state crime for any N.C. public servant – that includes police and judges – or any agent of the U.S. government “or dealer selling any firearm” in the state to enforce or try to enforce any federal law regarding such firearms and ammunition made in the state and that stays within its borders. To do so would be a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Read more here:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/04/04/3960702/bills-are-laughable-so-nc-is-butt.html#storylink=cpy

Women must have their bodies covered by at least 16 yards of cloth at all times. http://www.harford.edu/faculty/dvolkart/handouts/odd_state_laws.htm

Concerned Women for America of North Carolina, a conservative women’s group, will be at the legislative building Wednesday to talk about shielding American courts from Sharia law.

A morning press conference will be followed by a two-hour legislative briefing in the afternoon. Last month, the House passed a bill sponsored by Transylvania Republican Chris Whitmire that prohibits use of Sharia law in state courts. Read more here: http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/concerned_women_and_sharia_law#storylink=cpy

In total solidarity with the N.C. women, N.C. legislature decided to beat Muslims to it and establish their own Sharia law which they call “Freedom From Federal Organized Oppression Law” or FFFOOL.  And true conservative women of the great state of North Carolina fully agree with the following statement:

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to respect the other, and because they spend from their means.  Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard.”  Although the Quran does say this, the superiority of men is interpreted in terms of strength by the context – men maintain women.[6]

This of course is the statement from the Quran but in their blessed ignorance the free FFFOOLs of the N.C. Legislature are very proud of themselves as being on the forefront of all the FFFOOLs in our great country.

Bottom line
Bottom line

Justice Soviet Style.

The Supreme Court, by a 5-4, has now given its blessing to strip searches of people who are charged with minor crimes — even if the government has no specific reason to believe they are concealing anything.

Scary thought.
Olympus
The Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, has just  given its blessing the practice of  strip searching  people who are charged with minor crimes — even if the government has no  reason to believe they are concealing anything.
The majority focused on how hard jailers have it.  “The difficulties of operating a detention center must not be underestimated by the courts,” the majority opinion said.  Strip searches can help keep weapons out of prisons — and disease — and lice.
I was born and raised in the Soviet Union.
Oh, the good old days…!  When you could be arrested, put in detention and strip searched for any reason, or,  for  no reason.
My fellow Americans!
I have a deep suspicion that these 5 “Justices” are Soviet spies who have infiltrated our judicial system and are trying to transform the USSR defeat into victory.
Justice for all
May be armed and dangerous.
So, people, stop scratching your heads trying to comprehend the infinite wisdom of the Supreme Court.  Just be ready to drop your pants!  And if you are a nun, just drop whatever it is that you are wearing.  Wait!  If you are a nun, how are they going to search your vagina???  Oops…The Conservatives, True believers!
Last question:  Justices don’t mind  invading our butts’ privacy  by the government funded jailers, but they consider health care for all as unconstitutional?
Definitely Soviet spies!  Communists!

We Know it’s Wrong

We know it is wrong when the “Supreme” Court declared that money is free speech, and corporations are “people”
Our basic, human sense of fairness tells us when something is just plain wrong.

Ivory tower
High Priests

We all know in our hearts when something is unfair;  something is just wrong.

Our gut tells us it’s wrong

A teenage black boy was followed and shot by a vigilante in a gated community.  The killer has yet to be arrested and interrogated.

We just know that mix of money and politics is bad.

We know it is wrong when the “Supreme” Court declared that money is free speech and corporations are “people”.

Our basic, human sense of fairness tells us when something is just plain wrong.

NRA at work
It is wrong!

And neither the local governments, the NRA nor the high priests in their ivory tower (we call them “justices’) can convince us otherwise.

We know it is wrong when money influences our elections.

We know it’s wrong when the top 1% controls over 50% of the wealth in this country.

We know it’s wrong when those big banks that nearly destroyed this country for profit are declared “too big to fail”, and none of the thieves who stole billions from our citizens’ pockets went to jail.

We know it is wrong that access to health care is a privilege and not a basic right.

We know it is wrong when religious zealots are trying to deny women basic health care.

It is a long list.

We The People will decide
We decide

But my fellow Americans.

If what is going on in our country feels wrong to the majority of people,  it is probably wrong.

Don’t allow the lawyers, the lobbyists and the bankers to get away with “murder”.

It’s just wrong.

A Bike Club Plea: Back in the Saddle, No Sex, Reach Right

I’m sure that, like the rest of us, you’ve been besieged this February by emails bearing news of the tinkering to transportation funding in House Bill 7.
Tinkering, as in absolute cut. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing and more nothing in federal transportation funds for improvements for bicycling and walking.

I want to introduce an article by Bill Lazarus.  I Just want to add that bicycling and walking is a much better alternative to driving and watching TV.  It improves health, reduces our dependency on fossil fuels, reduces air pollution.  In short it will reduce the budget deficit and will fix Medicare and Medicaid insolvency.  Way to go Bill! 

Bill Lazarus

Folks on Spokes Club conservatives – though I don’t count myself among you, I personally ask for an alliance.

I’m sure that, like the rest of us, you’ve been besieged this February by emails bearing news of the tinkering to transportation funding in House Bill 7.
Tinkering, as in absolute cut.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Nothing and more nothing in federal transportation funds for improvements for bicycling and walking.

Budget for bicycles and walkers cut
Got the idea?

To be fair, House Bill 7 provides the same treatment for all mass transit programs, which would be eliminated from the $260 billion federal transport funds up for renewal in March.
I can only say thank God that Congress is looking after the best interests of the oil industry.
Hmmm.  Maybe that’s not the argument we wish to make.  But I suppose we could bring God into the picture.  After all, it’s a known fact that when you are on your bicycle, it’s impossible to engage in sex.  In fact, after a long ride, you’re likely not to have energy left for such activities.  Natural birth control!
As it stands, biking and other forms of active transportation get a whooping 1.5 percent of federal transit dollars.
In contrast, bicyclists and pedestrians make up 14 percent of all travel fatalities.  Maybe there’s another argument lurking here:  dead folks don’t have sex either:  eliminate life and you also eliminate the need for birth control!
Maybe that’s what the House was thinking when it also decided to fully gut the Safe Routes to School funding that now is a piece of the federal transportation pie.

Big oil interests.
Shortsightedness

Why this fierce attack?  It’s not just happening in that august body known as the House of Representatives.  Bike and pedestrian programs are also under attack in the Senate, albeit in a slightly less savage fashion:  cutbacks, not elimination, are being pushed in that body politic. The pro-cyclists and pedestrian forces are pushing for an amendment that would give some choice to local governments to dedicate funds for sidewalks, crosswalks and bike-ways.
Perhaps a compromise makes sense.  Sidewalks, after all, might be used for sex, but that’s highly unlikely to happen in the middle of crosswalks and on bike-ways.
A different paradigm may be in order.  Remember culture wars?  As I recall, conservatives like harking back to classical white and European (and yes – even Greek – have a, ahem, cup of wine, Socrates) culture.
Remember to write your congressman (or that Republican Floridian or Texan representative for those GOP snowbirds among us) and tell him, or her, all about Al Sturges’ talk at Folks on Spokes’ monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. on February 23 at the Flossmoor Village Hall:  Biking from Prague to Vienna.  Now, you can’t get more classical than that!
When you compose those letters, remember to renew your membership in Folks on Spokes.  Warmer days will be around the corner, and we’re going to want to go on some bike trips together.  Meanwhile, we can dream about them.  And when you receive your zillionth email urging you to protest bike funding cuts, consider putting in your missive, and maybe even coming up with a new insight.  We need to get these folks’ attention.

William Lazarus    wjlazarus@gmail.com  www.lazaruslegal.com

How Chris Christie Learned to Duck

Governor Christie chooses to be on the wrong side of history. He chooses to empower bigotry. He chooses to ignore the plight of every fat kid who has been taunted

Matt Cole

Fictional Flashback:  Livingston, New Jersey –  it’s a sunny morning in 1974, the 8th grade boys are attending their regular gym class at Squirestown Elementary School.  On the east wall of the gym hangs a blue and gold banner proclaiming, “Respect is the Name of the Game.”

Bulling in school
Dodgeball

The boys are preparing for an exciting, but often vicious, game of dodgeball, when in waddles a tardy, rotund twelve year old, named Chris Christie (His parents are alliteration devotees). Immediately, one kid yells, “Hey Christie, how come youse late, didda ya stop by youse locker and eat a fudgeba?.”  Then another shouts, “Christie, you look like one of dem balloons in the Macy’s Parade. Hey guys, let’s pop that balloon.”

Get im' good

With that, coupled with taunts and laughter, a maelstrom of dodgeballs pummels the young Christie.  Chris cannot escape; he tries to run, but he’s not too fleet a foot, and is soon trapped between the immovable back wall of the gym and a herd of screaming twelve year olds relentlessly launching pain-inducing projectiles at his soft body.  He crumples to the floor, a whimpering helpless mass.

Mesomorph Coach Nagel intervenes, bellowing, “Cut it out; stop it now; you will all be in a hell of a lot of trouble.” Note: Coaches are the only educators allowed to use mild profanity –  it adds to their image.  The attackers cease their bombardment, and Nagel soothes Christie.

Christie tearfully moans, “Kids shouldn’t be allowed to make fun of another kid’s weight.”  Nagel responds, “I make the rules in this gym; however, let’s refer this to the Student Council Advisory committee and see what they have to say.”

Continue reading “How Chris Christie Learned to Duck”

The way SOPA is written effectively promotes censorship and is rife with the potential for unintended consequences.

Daily wisdom
Daily wisdom

Keep Internet free!

“No cause is left but the most ancient of all, the one, in fact, that from the beginning of our history has determined the very existence of politics, the cause of freedom versus tyranny.” Quote from Hannah Arendt

Sooner or later you’ve got to stand your ground whether anybody else does or not. That is what liberty is all about.

The way SOPA is written effectively promotes censorship and is rife with the potential for unintended consequences.

Caveman Mentality

The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.

Military over science.
Wrong Priorities

“I tell you there’s a monster, like all that is darkening and heavy and obstructive in life.  It is matter and darkness, it is the anti-soul, it is the ruling power of this land: stupidity.”
H.G.Wells, writer, 1866-1946.

Back to the caves and the advance of arrogant stupidity in America

Symptoms:

Cuts in science

Cuts in space programs

Cuts in education

Deteriorating infrastructure

Politicians bragging  of  their ignorance

Unsustainable military spending

Military invasions

Rising hate, bigotry and ignorance

Wealth redistribution to the top 1% and the disappearance of the middle class

Rising anti-immigrant sentiment and legislation

Unsupported claims of exceptionalism

Examples of our priorities:

James Webb telescope
Space telescope

NASA’s James Webb telescope, the successor to the Hubble, is on the chopping block. The U.S. Congress is  arguing over fiscal matters, and one of the project that may get cut is NASA’s budget, potentionally resulting in the expensive James Webb telescope getting the ax.  A major budget reduction for NASA would almost certainly be the death knoll for the Webb telescope. To date, NASA has invested  $3 billion in this project  but whose final price is expected to hit the $6.8 billion mark. If that happens, a generation of scientific discoveries about the nature of the universe may be put on hold.  .

The Webb is expected to have the ability to peer into the universe’s earliest moments, even before stars existed;  providing human civilization with clues and  insight on  how the cosmos came to be . The Webb’s capabilties would far supercede its predecessor, the  Hubble, the first scientific instrument allowing humans to observe a planet orbiting another star.  Prior to the Hubble , no one had even thought dark energy existed. The Webb could likely open a window to similiar phenomena we cannot now even imagine.

“It is entirely possible that behind the perception of our senses, worlds are hidden of which we are unaware.”
Albert Einstein.

Wrong priorities

We do not hesitate to spend massive amount of  time and money on wars that harm our country and the World.   Each  B-2 stealth bomber costs our taxpayers $2.4 billion ; our government spent $50 billion building  21 of these planes.

Defense Spending:

Total defense spending requested for  2012 is $881 billion.

Another example of wrong prioritizing and stunning short sightedness:

The Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) is rarely discussed anymore, but its ghost has haunted high energy physics for the last 16 years.  Slated to begin operations in 1999 in Waxahachie, Texas, the SSC would have been nearly three times as powerful as CERN’s  Large Hadron Collider in Europe.  Had it been completed, science would likely not now be waiting with baited breath for the hints of the Higgs Boson. Instead, questions would be answered,  the world’s knowledge would be greater and experimental physicists would be celebrating  successes from Waxahachie.

A little history of the SSC:

Unevolution of the GOP
GOP no more

During its intial design and  construction stages, a heated debate insued regarding the high cost of the project (the last estimate was $8.25 billion- still less than four  B-2 bombers).  Oft-repeated was the argument that  NASA’s contribution to the International Space Station was of similar amount and that the  US could simply not afford both projects.  (Over a trillion dollars spent on the Iraq war was fine!)

In 1993 The project was canceled by Congress after 22.5km (14 mi) of tunnel were already dug and 2 billion dollars already spent, yielding a useless tunnel and no scientific knowledge.

U.S. SPENDING IN IRAQ Over $1 Trillion and Counting

U.S. Spending in Afghanistan over $500 Billion and Counting

Bob Herbert’s farewell column for the New York Times:

Tea Party approach
Exceptional!

“The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities.  When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.”http://peterdaou.com/2011/08/on-american-exceptionalism/

 The way we are going, there will not be much to defend but our caves.