29 Sept 2017 Unicorn hunter (chalk drawing) and humor about battling fireants

29 Sept 2017 – It was cool, I was armed with a spray bottle….mosquitos and ants be damned I’m doin a drawing today! LOL!

So last post for the next couple of days.  As  I say in the caption, I wanted to drawn on our patio and said fuck it, I’m drawing on the patio ants, mosquitos, crazy looking bees…whatever!!!  I’m calling this “unicorn hunter.”  I know weird, just what came to me after drawing it.   Kyle said at first glance it reminded him of an abstract version of a Final Fantasy 10 summon named Anima.  Wow!  I looked up Anima and pretty scary!  Not my intention when I drew this lol!

(http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Anima_(summon):

Anima also made several cameo appearances in other spin-off Final Fantasy titles

To give you a laugh before I close. 

So today we, in our desperation in the heat of our battle with fire ants who want to invade our house, I mixed cinnamon and Splenda together as a aw fuck it maneuver.  What did they do?  Well at first they were really pissed and swarmed the mixture and then, again acting so much like humans do in similar circumstances, just started making a new path around the obstruction!  Acting like human beings encountering a wreck on the interstate LOL!  Just get pissed and find a way around.  It’s kind of scary how damn smart I’m finding out these bugs are while we are going through this!

Interesting info about this kind of warfare between humans and fire ants:

http://www.fireant.net/Control/ – excerpt from site, good info here for those who might be fighting similar battle!

The War on Fire Ants

Fireant control can be time consuming and costly. But, hey, this is war!

There are several methods to kill fire ants, some take a few hours, others a few weeks or months. The most important thing to remember when dealing with fireants is to be patient. And make sure you treat or remove all the mounds because if you miss even one young mound, they’ll win. Re-infestation will occur in less than a year.

If you have one mound, chances are good that there are others in the area. They have tunneled underground and popped up where you see them. This makes it difficult to get rid of them because you must kill the queen. Getting to the queen can be hard.

Although we want to kill the fire ants as quickly as possible, it is better to be patient and use a product without a lot of poison in it. Remember, you must kill the queen. Fire ants pass along bits of chewed up food to each other until it reaches the queen. If they detect anything unusual in the food, they will not pass it along and it will never get to the queen. If you try to poison them quickly, it will look like you’ve been successful, but you’ve only put a temporary dent in the population unless the queen is gone.

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29 Sept 2017 The Echo Chamber Society has become and the human need to be “right”

Hello again. This morning I made a comment on a blog I just started reading, Light Circle, a two-time immigrant’s blog about her living as such a person in modern Germany (http://alightcircle.com/2017/09/29/of-blood-and-air-homelands-lost-and-made/).  It’s turning out to be what it’s like for many immigrants trying to make a life in America! Not easy by any stretch! I expressed in my comment that while I agreed with what she had written, the message was most likely going fall into, like much of what I write or share, what I call an echo chamber.  I feel like the internet and most everything people engage in conversation on has become an echo chamber….an abyss.   Many of us talking, few of us actually paying attention to what anyone says that doesn’t match our own view of about anything these days.

What is the official definition of an echo chamber?

ech·o cham·ber

ˈekō ˌCHāmbər/

noun

noun: echo chamber; plural noun: echo chambers

an enclosed space for producing reverberation of sound.

Source Internet: very good, if you can make it out, diagram of what is going on with the echo chamber concept.

I explained that what I meant by that is people like to read what solidifies and or validates their current position on most everything and seldom, if ever, deviate from it. Kind of like most social media and chat rooms of old. A lot of people trying to be heard but few if anybody actually listening!

So what happens is people who have a certain position on something will write a blog or some other form of media and the people who will most likely view and or read it already agree with the sharer’s position and or intent….they agree. The people who don’t will, like I’m guilty of doing, look at the title and briefly skim the subject matter and if it doesn’t validate or solidify my existing position, will get pissed and dismiss it altogether! I try to force myself to look at and or read opposite positions on things, but more times than not I get so mad I can’t get beyond my anger to objectively reason with what I’m reading or looking at!

For example, lately I will see a picture of our President’s face and or a member of his supporting cabinet or just our Government in general, and before I even start reading get so mad I don’t even finish the rest of the article! Sometimes I wonder if this isn’t a useful technique being employed for just such a reaction!

So what am I missing by doing that?! Did I miss something positive and good being so blinded by my feelings and preconceived notions about him? From my past experiences of not doing this, most times the answer is no. Still, I am being a hypocrite doing this and behaving this way.

For example, this morning I forced myself to get beyond my feelings about him and was rewarded! I found out he did something positive for a change! He actually decided to help the people struggling in Puerto Rico by waiving the Jones Act so supplies can flow more freely to the territory now.

From everything I’ve read about this behavior, condition, activity….it’s part of the human condition to find strength in numbers. It’s natural for us to congregate together with like-minded people so we feel better about ourselves….get to be “right” about something.

Yes, being “right” is so important to so many people. I’ve struggled with this sometimes crippling condition for most of my life….having the last word….the final say about some argument, position or debate. Like a dog with a bone not willing to just let the other dog take the fucking bone and get on with my life. I see this all around me…it’s not just me that suffers from this inability to just drop the fucking bone and walk away.

No! That would mean failure, defeat, surrender, becoming irrelevant or worthless, admission of being wrong…..being weak…giving up even. God forbid we should do that!

This is what I see going on in the older generations and mine right now. People with money and fear to burn ruling the day, like they have always done, and dragging the newer generations kicking and screaming back to the “good old days” that never were. The only saving grace about what’s happening? We have technology and the internet so at least what they are doing is broadcast and can be recorded everywhere!

Looking back through time, good old days are a great fiction written by the same people who are responsible for the text books of sanitized history our school kids are reading. History is written by the “winners” not the survivors. I’m a survivor of current history and in a couple of generations, after I’m dead and Kyle is gone, my mostly cursive written journals, my art and most everything I’ve created in this lifetime will most likely end up in the local landfill or burning barrel somewhere…like I was never here.

I encouraged this blogger to continue writing, even if she ends up being the only person who reads what she writes. May be someday the internet God we are collectively creating (A sort of Omnibus like in the Dune series: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune:_The_Machine_Crusade)  will use her words, mine and those of the countless other canaries singing in the coal mines around the world to fix this mess we’ve made!

After all the internet hears everything….even if it’s in 7 billion plus echo chambers!

 

 

 

29 Sept 2017 Maria (heroine in Puerto Rico nursing home), Bugs scent tracking me in my dreams and Painted Rocks of Kindness

Hello there….how are you doing in your time and place as you visit me here? I hope you are well. I honestly don’t know how I’m doing these days but trying to get back to a hostility-free heart center! It’s hard for me these days! I am comforted to see some of my recent, very loud, prayers kind of being answered. For example, I mean kind of answered by seeing reports that our government is actually more aggressively trying to help Puerto Rico.  Unfortunately,  the stuff is just sitting on the tarmac in containers and not getting to those in need now! Hopefully the General our President has sent to deal with it can get some stuff moving.  This story from ABC News was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes.  It was of nursing home worker Maria doing everything she can to take care of people in her care after the storm, ironically bearing her name:

Nursing home worker not giving up on her patients :

So apparently my recent and on-going battle with the ants trying to take over our house has seeped into my sub-conscious…dreams.  Yeah, the diametrious earth project didn’t work as well as we hoped after all!  Doesn’t seem to work on ants as well as other insects it seems.  I’m about to give up chalking on the patio because of ants and mosquitos biting me! I have to wonder, is this God’s answer to my prayer about what to do with my art?! May be the God of my understanding has a fucked up sense of humor too!

Yesterday we had the blessing of rain.  I had to wait for the patio to dry out before I could go out and draw. Well when I did, the ants just started coming for the house again. I saw a bunch of them even start gathering behind me when I wasn’t looking! When they attacked the laundry basket, they primarily went after my clothes. Am I being scent tracked by these bastards lol?! Is it the Lithium or something else? Do we have an ant version of the movie Mimic in the process ?! ZOMG! I don’t wanna be an ant queen lol!

Mimic: The Director’s Cut – Trailer

Anyhew….I had a couple pretty vivid and creepy dreams about this!

The first dream started out pleasant. I was in some beautiful nature spot with my Mom Dianne. From what I remember we were on a beach with white sand. All the sudden we heard explosion sounds and saw white plumes of smoke in the sky. The second time, when we looked in the clear blue sky, the smoke was in the shape of the fruit of life and then there was dust blowing in our eyes.  (the other day I broke apart the fruit of life I had made with dirt balls and kicked it into the yard in anger….hmmmm…almost forgot I did that but apparently my subconscious didn’t!)

30 Aug 2017 Jackie Wygant Fruit of Life from grass mud and water Alvarado TX

There was a brief dream about worm and or larvae type creatures with mouths a lot like creatures you might see in an Aliens movie chasing me! Gross! (this is from me going to empty our bio waste bucket and finding two small larval worms in it!)

The one I remember the most, just before waking, was of going into a Veterinary type clinic. There was an aquarium with two cats floating in it, alive, getting some sort of wierd treatment. Then I was talking to a man at this place and for some reason I had brought one of my pillowcases with me and it was laying on the counter. All the sudden these bugs started going into the pillowcase and when I tried to shake them out, it got swarmed by a bunch more! I threw the pillowcase on the floor in fear and when I did, a bunch of all sorts of insects started to attack the pillowcase. I took off running outside. I was able to put my flying/floating dream skills to work and floated off of the ground….afraid to touch anything for fear of more attacks like with the pillowcase. People in cars were looking at me in shock as I floated above the ground past them.  (This is obviously from the laundry basket invasion experience!  I’ve had other waking experience with insects swarming the house since we’ve been here and when I was growing up in South Dakota.  One day we had an invasion of army caterpillars that took over the yard and started climbing all over our house!)

12 Sept 2017 – to include the side of the house and the ants found the small gap where we missed with the baking soda

1 Oct 2016 – this is a walnut caterpillar and the reason I have black poop pellets all over, a stripped and very sick pecan tree

Changing gears……Sorry about that, but blogging is part of my therapy, remember that! Read with caution lol! 

My friend and pen pal Lesley wrote to us yesterday….thank you so much! Her letters and those I get from my Mom are so precious to me for many reasons. A reason that occurred to me most recently is the knowing that after Les and my Mom are no longer here on this earth, I probably won’t get “real” letters anymore! Sad but true in our current times!

So in this letter, Les included a newspaper story about a new craze that is going on that I didn’t know about. As an act of random kindness, people painting rocks and hiding them in plain sight for others to find – kind of like the letters only more resilient of course.

The ironic thing about this suggestion? Is other people have also suggested I do this sort of thing through the years! They have encouraged me to put my art on rocks but I haven’t done it for several reasons. Financial reasons, my intimidation of paints and not having the rocks and supplies. I’m going to have to give this some more thought….there are few coincidences in such things!

Source: Internet – this is definitely what I want to see every morning when I wake up. We have a long way to go, but I can at least try to work on peace in myself and in my own home…the places I walk in my little circle of this world.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/northeast/article/Painted-rocks-fad-meant-to-bring-happiness-12207358.php

In the mid-’70s, Americans bought into the pet rock fad, which disappeared about as quickly as it arrived.

A different kind of rock is creating a buzz, and hundreds of Metrocom residents are part of a new rock craze: painting rocks and leaving them in various public places.

Nearly 700 members of the Rocks-Cibolo, Schertz, UC, Marion, LO Texas Facebook group paint designs on the rocks and then place them out in public for others to find. The painted rocks range in designs from a simple red circle to sports team logos and popular movie themes. Rainbows, flowers and more intricate designs have also been used.

Leslie White and her son Toby, 6, were at the Schertz Public Library late last month, hiding a handful of rocks she had recently painted. While placing their rocks in various spots in the library courtyard, Toby found one that someone else had left, making the day a special outing for them.

White said she’s relatively new to the art form, having painted about a dozen since getting involved this summer.

“I paint anything that looks beautiful. I love color, so whatever makes me smile is what I think someone else would like,” said White, who started painting rocks after joining a community Rock page on Facebook.

“It’s a stress reliever,” she said. “It gives families something to do. It’s getting people moving, spending time painting rocks with their families.

“There’s so much negativity and hate going on right now, and it may seem like just a ‘stupid rock’ to some people. But maybe someone had a bad day and they go pick up this rock and … it brightens their day. It puts a smile on someone’s face.”

White and her son have designed and hidden almost a dozen rocks, which she said take anywhere from an hour to two hours to design and paint.

“On the rock group (Facebook page), we actually give hints to where we post,” she said. “We put clues. I usually take a close-up of where it’s at, and Toby likes to pose next to the rock. It’s a lot of fun for the kids.”

White said they share the excitement when someone posts a photo on the page of a rock they painted and hid, although most rocks are placed in plain sight, so they can be found and hidden again.

“Yes, we do get excited when someone finds a rock we painted. And I will post, ‘Hey, that was one I painted,’” White said, laughing.

jflinn@express-news.net

http://thekindnessrocksproject.com/home

What is The Kindness Rocks Project….

Goal #1: Inspire others through randomly placed rocks along the way…

Goal #2: Recruit every person who stumbles upon it to join in the pursuit of inspiring others through random acts of kindness

28 Sept 2017 It is about race or Russian trolls?! (the NFL kneeler debate continues)

Hello to you today.  It’s 8:32 am as I write to you.  I hope you will bear with me on my subject choice again today.  After seeing Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died (RIP Hugh!),  I saw the headline about Russian hacker trolls behind the NFL Kneeler debate and felt myself get so frustrated!  What you have here as a final product is definitely not what I started off with…far fewer expletives in my narrative here lol!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/lawmaker-russian-trolls-trying-to-sow-discord-in-nfl-kneeling-debate/2017/09/27/5f46dce0-a3b0-11e7-ade1-76d061d56efa_story.html?utm_term=.72996fda22d6

Lawmaker: Russian trolls trying to sow discord in NFL kneeling debate

“Russian Internet trolls are trying to gin up even more controversy over NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, a senator said Wednesday — warning that the United States should expect such divisive efforts to escalate in the next election.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) made the assertion in a hearing with the heads of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center.”

This new headline feels like an attempt  to try and bury more of the embarrassing things going on in this country.  All of what is so eagerly being dismissed to Russian hacker trolls was here well before we even had the first computer!  Many Americans, who aren’t out burning football jersey’s on You tube, are really embarrassed about the direction this country is being steered into….back to.

 

Newspaper clipping about Grandpa Harold Becker and voter registration in Mississippi

 

As a prior Air Force Veteran of 16 years, someone who had a Grandfather who risked his life to help minorities register to vote and someone who has always cared about all people, I realize this whole thing goes way deeper than about a flag or a song.  Yes it’s not just about race and probably a lot about how unhappy many people are with President Trump and our government, but it is still about race and so much more shitty stuff going on in this country!

My SrA Below the Zone picture, United States Air Force

A segment of this debate, many of them living Veterans like myself,  want to say that these players kneeling during the National Anthem is offensive and disrespectful to our flag, our fellow Veterans and our country.  I would like to remind these offended folks that many of the people buried in Arlington National Cemetery and so many other graveyards like it all over the world are filled with people who died in combat believing at some point we wouldn’t even be having these sort of debates!  They died hoping we would finally have peace on this earth!  For the love of God, WHY CAN’T WE GET PAST THIS SHIT?!    Can we please evolve?!

*Does a Capt Jean Luc Picard Manuever and adjusts shirt……..

I saw this mentioned in a video recently – Capt Picard was always adjusting his shirt just before some shit was about to go down lol!

I am reminded, and it is easy to forget, that my fellow Veterans did not die to free anyone from the sting of condemnation or ridicule for exercising all the rights we have today…seem to have…hope we still have?  Anyhew….I digress.  It’s important to acknowledge to yourself that if you make the choice to kneel in protest, don’t be surprised or too hurt if your jersey goes up in flames on You tube.  If you fly a Confederate flag in your front yard or in the cab of your pickup truck, go right ahead!  Just don’t get butt hurt when your neighbor, who may be black, doesn’t want have coffee with you anymore afterwards.

All of this is cause and effect…..an action causes and opposite reaction – especially in polarizing debates like this one!  When you make a choice in one direction, chances are someone or something will come at you with one from the opposite direction.

Source Internet: Arlington National Cemetery

You can only offend people who choose to be offended.   

Being offended is a choice you  make anytime you interact with people who are different than you are….that you don’t agree with.  Being the kind of person I am with the kind of upbringing I had and living where I do now….not easy being me (or Kyle who shares a lot of my views on things).   I am originally from Sioux Falls South Dakota,  my family is comprised of conservative, Roman Catholic and or Christian white people who fall also into the Trump demographic.  My Dad, who is about the same age as our President, served in the Navy and is a Trump supporter.  This is hard for me but I have had to learn to accept it.  It’s his right to do and think whatever the hell he wants as long as he doesn’t try and impose it on me and he doesn’t.   We just don’t talk about it!

In my family and with some friends we do a lot of agreeing to disagree to keep the peace between us.   There are many subjects so heated we have decided it’s better if we don’t discuss them at all which is frustrating (mainly for me) but that just the way it is.  My parents are Baby Boomers who came from upbringings where you just don’t talk about politics, religion or other controversial things if it means there will be a fight.  Apparently our President didn’t get that generational memo.

A saying my Mom taught me and I have to remind myself often of it when doing this blog, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t fucking say it! Bite your tongue!”  Sometimes, and my Mom knows this about me, I go for the jugular and say what nobody else will say.  She taught me that too!  She is my sensei for the art of  brutal honesty!

During one of my recent visits with my parents that’s what we discovered about ourselves.   When they did part of their winter birding at our place, I had exclaimed, “Well what can we talk about that we actually agree on?!”  Turns out we could agree on was eating meat lol!  We agreed most anything else (media, religion and especially politics) is just off limits!  So we just duke it out playing cribbage lol!

I have thought recently it would be so cool if we could just get Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jon Un  in a video game simulator and duke it out like they did in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.  This way they, and the rest of us, would be so much happier and safer lol!   Imagine what the world could be like if we agreed to settle all our real world differences like that?!  That’s why a lot of gamers  like Player Vs. Player.  You can K.O your opponent over and over but the real person you are fighting with is still left alive to fight another day and no planet is destroyed for it!

6 Jan 2017 – Dad and I playing a hand of cribbage. He beat me but Kyle came back and avenged me lol.

So, yes,  may be we’ll find out it’s true the Russians have exploited yet another weakness in our country (besides knowing we like to elect television celebrities for President) and are using it to their advantage.  That doesn’t change the fact that what these men are kneeling about is still going on in 2017!!!   We still have people donning white hoods and robes for the KKK, we still have people  murdering people who aren’t white and heterosexual and using God’s word to justify it (read about yet another transgender man murdered just yesterday: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/joey-steinfeld-transgender-teen_us_59cbd381e4b05063fe0e7183), we still have people worshipping Adolph Hitler and we still have people segregating themselves because of race, color, creed, gender and sexual orientation….America’s got a long ways to go to be even o.k. again trolls or not! 

These videos have some good points on this debate:

 

 

Even if this Russian hacker trolling is really going on, even if Trump is President,  it doesn’t change what all of this is really about:  

http://www.dictionary.com/e/star-spangled-banner/the 3rd verse of our country’s national anthem which most,  like me probably until recently didn’t even know existed: 

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

and statistics like this – a disproportionate number, based on population, of black people are being killed with lethal force in police involved shootings: 

https://thesocietypages.org/toolbox/police-killing-of-blacks/

 

Updated September 25th, 2017

Data as of September 25th, 2017 according to the Washington Post

So far in 2017 (as of Sept 25th), unarmed blacks make up 31% of those that were unarmed and killed by police. However, according to the latest US Census estimates, blacks make up only 13.3% of the population.

In this case, “unarmed” is defined as no weapon of any kind. The good news is that the use of lethal force by police on those that are unarmed seems to be declining. However, blacks remain a disproportionate number of the victims.

 

Data source for figures above: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2017/

When comparing complete data of 2016 to 2015, those that were unarmed (no weapon of any kind) that were killed by police continued to be disproportionally black, relative to the population size. However, the black/white racial discrepancy in the portion of the population compared to the portion of those that were unarmed when killed by police has decreased.

Below is a look at the percentages by race under all conditions (armed with a gun, knife, unarmed, etc.) when police used lethal force comparing 2015 and 2016.

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-5-02-57-pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While whites makeup the greatest number and largest percentage of victims of lethal force by the police in the US, it remains important to compare the rates to the distribution in the general population. As is evident in the figure above, there was a slight increase in the percentage of victims of police use of lethal force that were white and slight decrease in the percentage that were black. However, relative to the percentage of the general population, blacks are still over-represented as victims of the police use of lethal force under all conditions (see below). Whites and Asian/Pacific Islanders are under-represented relative to their portion of the general population.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-9-34-23-pm

 

 

. . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The police killing of blacks has been splashed across the headlines for over a year and a half now and for much of the time we lacked data to decipher any trends.

Data is a crucial part of constructing sociological theory and empirical research.

Arguably, it should be a greater part of public debate and a greater influence on public policy decisions. In the last year and a half, the media coverage of, public concern about and social movement mobilization around the police killing of blacks has greatly increased. Several cases received particular media attention, in large part because of either the video coverage of the death (Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Laquan McDonald, and others) or the subsequent protests (Freddie Gray in Baltimore and Michael Brown in Ferguson).

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 11.56.20 AM

The police seem to be disproportionally using lethal force on Black citizens. The best data available in 2015 and 2016 on this topic was from the Guardian newspaper out of UK. Due to the lack of any other systematic data collection on how many people police kill, the Guardian started a project they call, “The Counted”. Through police reports, their own investigation and readers tips, they have assembled this data and made it publically available. Click here to access the Guardian’s “The Counted” website. On the site, you can also access more news stories about each death and sort the data by state and other characteristics. The Washington Post continues to track this data in 2017.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 11.55.40 AM

When teaching this topic, any topic really, it is important to demonstrate to students how sociological conclusions come to be through empirical data, not the opinion of the professor or the view of select media outlets. Below I have generated several tables and figures analyzing data from “The Counted”. You can also download an Excel file of the data and use it in class. I use it for introductory Excel exercises in my Quantitative Research Methods course. The tables and figures below would also be good for the race section of any Introduction to Sociology course, a social problems course, a criminology class and/or a race and ethnic relations course. I hope you find it useful.

. . .

When police kill a suspect or innocent bystander, does race matter?

Which racial or ethnic group in the US is the most frequent victim of deadly force from law enforcement officers? On the surface, the answer is clear, whites. You can see in the chart below that in 2015, in the US, 578 whites were killed by police. This is nearly double the number of blacks at 301. However, we need to compare these rates to the rates of each group in the general population. Of course (non-Hispanic) whites are the most frequent victims, they are the largest portion of the population – 62.2% in 2014 according to US Census estimates. If we lived in a society where one’s race had no impact, then we would expect to see the portion of each racial/ethnic group killed by police equal to that of the portion in the general population. That is not what is evident from the 2015 data.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 12.13.21 PM

Whites make up a disproportionally smaller portion of those killed by law enforcement compared to their portion of the general population – 11.3% less. Blacks, on the other hand, make up a disproportionally larger portion of those killed (26.5%) compared to the general population (13.2%) – 13.3% more or double!

Hispanics make up victims of lethal police force at about the same rate as they are in general US population, as do Native Americans. The data distinguish Arab Americans, but the US Census data does not. Asians made up a much lower portion of those killed by police relative to the portion of the general population (2.1% vs. 5.6%).

The same data as the table above is presented in column chart below. Here is visually evident the disproportionally higher percentage of blacks killed by police relative to population.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 12.16.01 PM

Being a law enforcement officer is a dangerous job. There are certainly times when lethal force by an officer is justified. When a suspect has a firearm, the police and any others in the area are at much greater risk and under most of these conditions it is at least understandable why deadly force is used. The table and chart below show the armed status of the victims in 2015. Just under half, 48.6%, of those killed by police were in possession of a known firearm. Meaning, it was visible during the interaction with the police. Almost a third had something other than a firearm. This included knives, vehicles, non-lethal (BB) guns, etc. However, US police still killed 223 people in 2015 alone that were completely unarmed. That is nearly a fifth of all those killed.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 12.17.31 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 12.19.39 PM

Most, 95.2%, of those killed by police in 2015 were men. The pie chart below shows that only 4.8% of the victims identified as anything other than male.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 12.20.18 PM

How were people in the US killed by police in 2015? Mostly by gunshots. The table and pie chart below shows that 89.1% of the people killed were killed by the officer(s) using their gun. Tasers, which are designed to be non-lethal, killed 49 people or 4.3% of the total. Forty-one people, or 3.6%, died in custody and 2.9% were struck by a vehicle (intentionally or on accident).

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 12.21.50 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 12.23.03 PM

In 2014, 12-year old Tamir Rice was shot on site by Cleveland police as he played with a toy gun. While the person who called 911 told the dispatcher that the gun was probably fake, she failed to pass that along to the officers. The officers pulled up within feet of Tamir and killed him within seconds. How many others who were in possession of a nonlethal firearm (toy, BB gun, etc.) were killed by police in 2015? Thirty-seven. In the table below we see that blacks were disproportionate victims under these conditions.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 12.23.42 PM

If we just look at those that were unarmed, does the racialized pattern that disadvantages blacks continue? According to the data and shown in the table and chart below, unarmed whites continue to make up a smaller percentage of victims than their portion of the population, while unarmed blacks make up about two and a half times the portion of the unarmed victims compared to their portion of the general population.

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The average age of those killed by law enforcement officers in the US in 2015 under all conditions was 37. The age distribution is surprisingly broad with a range of 6 to 87 years old. Just over 30% of the victims were between the ages of 18 to 29. Another 28% were between the ages of 30 to 39. Nineteen of those killed were minors under the age of 18. Surprisingly, 214 people who were killed by police in the US in 2015 were 50 years old or older! This accounts for nearly a fifth of the victims. The most prevalent age was 24 with 46 victims.

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Through the analysis of this data a pattern emerges. Compared to their portion of the overall population, blacks are disproportionally the victims of lethal force by law enforcement officers, even when they are unarmed. While most of those killed by police were white, the portion of white victims is lower than the portion of whites in the general population, more than 10% lower. The vast majority of those killed by police were men and most died from gunshots. Only about half of the victims were armed with a gun themselves. The victims in 2015 varied widely in age, but most were between 18 and 39 years old. This data further solidifies the concerns and demands of the Black Lives Matters movement; there is a pattern of police using deadly force disproportionally on blacks that needs to be addressed by policy makers and police departments across the nation.

Here is an attempt at documenting all the unarmed people of color killed by police from 1999-2014

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The Mirror of Hate

I found this today whilst looking for some new paths to trod here on WordPress and wanted to share it. It’s so important in these divisive times to get to know each other and pull closer together.  This is an important read for those trying to understand what it can be like to be an immigrant trying to make a life in America.

A Light Circle

“What are you?”

I get asked this question all the time, wherever I go. “What are you?” I grew so tired of hearing it that I once answered on a whim: “Guess.” The man who had asked me proceeded to list off all the Asian nationalities he knew of: “Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Mongolian…” It was around the tenth guess, that I nodded. Oddly, he was not satisfied with my answer. To be honest, neither was I. He looked at me incredulously and walked away. I could understand his disappointment, perhaps he was hoping to achieve some sort of confirmation for his painstakingly-built system of racial order. At the very least, he made a good effort to pin me down.

In all honesty, I don’t really know what I am. On paper, I am a two-time immigrant, my husband is also an immigrant and my children are even…

View original post 2,219 more words

27 Sept 2017 This town needs an Enema….

Hello to you.  It’s 6:45 am as I write this part of my note to you.  I’ve been on here for awhile compiling headlines etc.  It’s therapeutic and gives me a false sense of having some sort of control I type laughing uneasily to myself lol.  What is a word I use a lot when I am feeling the way I am, the all-purpose one….

Episode #12 – Using Proper English – The Many Uses of the F word

Some headlines that caught my eye and I am not happy about most of them…..just scratching the surface.  Yesterday I found myself so angry and bitter….just 9 months and all of “this.”  I know and love so many people who don’t see anything wrong with what is happening and I wonder almost daily why I am the one with labels, in therapy and taking medication!

This town needs an enema…….take it away Ben and Jimmy…….

Mad Lib Theater with Benedict Cumberbatch

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/in-battered-puerto-rico-governor-warns-of-a-humanitarian-crisis/ar-AAssMWv?OCID=ansmsnnews11

I hope these folks get relief soon.  It sounds like our government is trying to do something but in some ways it seems like they are being treated much differently than Texas or Florida.   

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/interior-secretary-ryan-zinke-fracking-is-proof-gods-got-a-good-sense-of-humor-and-he-loves-us/article/2635573 

It is disturbing to me that our Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke presumes to think evidence of God’s sense of humor is the highly destructive HUMAN activity of fracking….does he even know what fracking is?!  I think his God has a seriously fucked up sense of  humor if fracking is funny.  Ask the people who are losing their drinking water and their homes if fracking is funny!  As a homeowner who in both those categories, fracking is not a joke!  Facepalm! 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/26/politics/health-care-republican-senate-vote/

“In the end, three Republicans had publicly opposed the bill: Sens. John McCain, Susan Collins and Rand Paul. ” — THANK YOU!!!

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/09/26/coffee-sold-in-california-could-carry-cancer-warning-labels.html

https://dailycoffeenews.com/2013/11/15/acrylamide-in-coffee-what-roasters-should-know/

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday released a consumer warning on acrylamide, a naturally a chemical found in cooked foods — including coffee — that is known to cause cancer in animals.”

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/head-of-drug-enforcement-administration-to-leave-alluding-to-dismay-over-trump/ar-AAsvc2E?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Another conscientious objector…….it’s starting to feel very “1984” around here — has anyone else noticed how inundated the headlines are with news and pictures of the President?  I’m surprised someone hasn’t posted a picture of him on the toilet Tweeting some random bullshit yet. 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/saudi-king-issues-decree-allowing-women-to-drive-state-media/ar-AAsuWkC?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Yes, a positive headline that I hope truly manifests.  You go Saudi King Salman!

I am ashamed (something actually worth being ashamed of) as a lifelong American citizen to just have recently found out there are two more verses to my countries national anthem and after learning what they are, can see why NFL players and their owners are taking a knee at games now:

http://www.dictionary.com/e/star-spangled-banner/

The Forgotten Verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Do you know all the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”? Many people have difficulty memorizing the lyrics of the first verse of this song, which is commonly performed at sports events and other public gatherings. But did you know that there are three additional verses that we almost never hear?

In 1814, the poet and lyricist Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” originally known as “Defense of Fort M’Henry.” During the War of 1812, Key witnessed the attacks on Baltimore and wrote the words based on his experiences this night. These lyrics were printed in local newspapers and set to the tune of an existing song called “Anacreon in Heaven,” and then officially arranged by John Philip Sousa. Key’s famous lyrics entered the world as a broadside ballad, or a song written on a topical subject, and printed for wide distribution.

More than a century later, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order designating “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem, and in 1931, the US Congress confirmed the decision. The tune has kicked off ceremonies of national importance and athletic events ever since.

While the first verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is widely known by the American public, the last three verses are generally omitted in performances. Here are all the four verses, as they were written 200 years ago by Key:

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there, O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam, In full glory reflected now shines in the stream, ’Tis the star-spangled banner—O long may it wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion A home and a Country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation! Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,” And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I was curious, following this professional sports line about the statistics regarding getting into the ranks of professional sports and as I suspected….many are drafted but only a few remain.   Young people honestly need to know these odds before putting all their hopes and dreams into such a course:

http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/research/estimated-probability-competing-professional-athletics

Estimated probability of competing in professional athletics

More than 480,000 compete as NCAA athletes, and just a select few within each sport move on to compete at the professional or Olympic level.

The table presents of how many NCAA athletes move on to professional careers in sports like basketball, football, baseball and ice hockey.  Professional opportunities are extremely limited and the likelihood of a high school or even college athlete becoming a professional athlete is very low.

In contrast, the likelihood of an NCAA athlete earning a college degree is significantly greater; graduation success rates are 86% in Division I, 71% in Division II and 87% in Division III.

Download the 2017 Probablility of Competing Beyond High School Figures and Methodology

NCAA Participants Approximate # Draft Eligible # Draft Picks # NCAA Drafted % NCAA to Major Pro* % NCAA to Total Pro^
Baseball 34,554 7,679 1,206 695 9.1%
M Basketball 18,684 4,152 60 44 1.1% 19.1%
W Basketball 16,593 3,687 36 35 0.9% 4.9%
Football 73,660 16,369 253 251 1.5% 1.9%
M Ice Hockey 4,102 912 211 51 5.6%
M Soccer 24,803 5,512 81 75 1.4%

Percent NCAA to Major Pro figures are based on the number of draft picks made in the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, NHL and MLS drafts only.  See methods notes for important details on the definition of NHL draftee in men’s ice hockey.  Column percentages were calculated as (#NCAA Drafted) / (Approximate # Draft Eligible).

Percent NCAA to Total Pro takes the number of pro opportunities from the “% NCAA to Major Pro” calculation and adds in some additional professional opportunities that we were able to quantify.  So, for football, this calculation includes NFL, Canadian Football League and Arena League slots available to first-year professionals.  For men’s basketball we accounted for NBA, NBA D-League and international opportunities.  For women’s basketball, we assessed WNBA and international roster slots.  See methods notes for details on these calculations.  Data on full-time international professional opportunities available in baseball, men’s ice hockey and men’s soccer were not analyzed here.

Methodology and Notes

General

  • College participation numbers are from the NCAA’s 2015-16 Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report.  These college numbers account for participation in college athletics at NCAA-member schools only.
  • To estimate the number of NCAA student-athletes in a sport eligible for a particular year’s professional draft, the total number of NCAA student-athlete participants in the sport was divided by 4.5.  This figure was used to provide a general estimate of the number of student-athletes in a draft cohort (single draft class) in a given year, accounting for redshirting, degree completion delays due to transfer, etc. that extend the average time to graduation to just beyond four year in all sports.  In other words, we observe a year-to-year departure rate (whether due to graduation, dropout or departure for a professional sports opportunity) of just below one-quarter of the total number of student-athletes in each sport.  Because the sports examined (M/W basketball, football, baseball, men’s ice hockey and men’s soccer) have dramatically different rules for draft eligibility, these calculations should be treated as estimates only.
  • Data on available professional opportunities are described below for each sport.

Baseball

  • MLB draft data from 2016.  There were 1,206 draft picks in that year; 695 of those picked were from NCAA schools (source: MLB Draft Tracker 2016).  Of the 695, Division I student-athletes comprised 595 of those chosen, Division II provided 80 and Division III had 20.
  • Percent NCAA to Pro calculated as number of NCAA student-athletes taken in the draft (n=695) divided by the approximate number draft eligible.  Not all of the student-athletes drafted go on to play professional baseball and many draftees fail to reach the Major League.

Men’s Basketball

  • NBA draft data from 2016.  There were 60 draft slots in that year, but only 44 went to NCAA players (others chosen were international players not attending U.S. colleges).  Percentage NCAA to Major Pro calculated using the 44 NCAA selections. Since 2006, 12 international players have been drafted on average each year.
  • On 2016-17 opening day NBA rosters, former NCAA players filled 80% of roster spots (all were from Division I schools).  (Source: Jim Sukup, College Basketball News).
  • Data on other professional opportunities in men’s basketball were collected by NCAA staff with the assistance of Marek Wojtera from eurobasket.com.  Tracking 2016-17 international opportunities for the 2016 draft cohort, it was determined that an additional 751 former NCAA student-athletes played internationally, in the NBA D-League, or in the NBA as undrafted players (535 from Division I, 181 from Division II and 35 from Division III) after leaving college; this includes international players who attended NCAA institutions (previous versions of this document did not include these players).  These numbers were combined with the NBA draftees to calculate an approximate NCAA to Total Professional opportunities figure (calculated as [44 + 751] / 4,152 = 19%).
  • We estimate that 3.6% of draft-eligible Division I players were chosen in the 2016 NBA draft (44 / 1,216).  However, in total, 48% of draft-eligible Division I players competed professionally (NBA, D-League, or internationally) in their first year after leaving college (calculated as [44 + 535] / 1,216). Approximately 14% of draft-eligible players from the five Division I conferences with autonomous governance (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC) were drafted by the NBA in 2016 (32 / 225), while 74% played professionally somewhere in their first year post-college (calculated as [32 + 134] / 225).

Women’s Basketball

  • WNBA draft data from 2016. There were 36 draft slots in that year’s draft, 35 of which went to NCAA players (other selection was an international player not attending a U.S. college).  All 35 NCAA selections came from Division I colleges. Percentage NCAA to Major Pro calculated using the 35 NCAA selections.
  • Data on international professional opportunities in women’s basketball were collected by NCAA staff with the assistance of Marek Wojtera from eurobasket.com, and are limited to the 2016 draft cohort.  It was determined that an additional 146 former NCAA student-athletes from the cohort played internationally in 2016-17 (131 from Division I, 14 from Division II and 1 from Division III).  These numbers were combined with the WNBA draftees to calculate an approximate NCAA to Total Professional opportunities figure (calculated as [35 + 146] / 3,687 = 4.9%).
  • We estimate that 3.2% of draft-eligible Division I players were chosen in the 2016 WNBA draft (35 / 1,110).  However, in total, 15% of draft-eligible Division I players competed professionally (WNBA or internationally) in their first year after leaving college (calculated as [35 + 131] / 1,110). Approximately 12% of draft-eligible players from the five Division I conferences with autonomous governance (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC) were drafted by the WNBA in 2015 (24 / 203), while 28% played professionally somewhere in their first year post-college (calculated as [24 + 33] / 203).

Football

  • NFL draft data from 2016.  There were 253 draft picks in that year’s draft, 251 of whom were former NCAA players.  NCAA to Major Pro figure calculated using these data.
  • NCAA divisional breakdown of the 251 NCAA players selected in the 2016 NFL draft: Division I FBS (228), Division I FCS (20), Division II (3).  The five football conferences with autonomous governance accounted for 189 of the 251 NCAA draft picks (SEC=51, Big Ten=47, ACC=33 [includes Notre Dame], Pac-12=32, Big 12=26).
  • Data on Arena League and Canadian Football League opportunities were collected by NCAA staff via rosters on each organization’s website (sources: cfl.ca and arenafootball.com) in March 2017.  Due to the timing of each league’s season, the 2015 draft cohort was used to estimate unique playing opportunities in the Arena League, while the 2016 draft cohort was used to track CFL rookies. It was determined that an additional 57 former NCAA student-athletes from those draft cohorts were listed on a roster (28 in the CFL, 29 in the Arena League).  Across these two leagues, there were 29 former Division I FBS players, 14 from Division I FCS, 13 from Division II and 1 from Division III.  These numbers were combined with the NFL draftees to calculate an NCAA to Total Professional opportunities proportion (calculated as [251 + 57] /16,369).
  • We estimate that 3.9% of draft-eligible Division I players were chosen in the 2016 NFL draft (248 / 6,307).  Limiting this calculation to subdivision, 6.7% of FBS players were estimated to be drafted (228 / 3,404), as compared to 0.7% of FCS players (20 / 2,902).  Narrowing further to the five Division I conferences with autonomous governance (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC), we estimate that 11% were drafted (189 / 1,747).  Accounting for Arena League and CFL opportunities, the NCAA to Total Professional figures are estimated as 4.6% for Division I ([248 + 43] / 6,307), 7.4% for FBS ([222 + 29] / 3,404) and 12% for the five autonomous conferences ([189+ 19] / 1,747).

Men’s ice hockey

  • NHL draft data from 2015 (source: hockeydb.com).  There were 211 draft picks in that year.  Only 7 players from NCAA rosters were selected in that draft (all from Division I teams).  However, this is not indicative of the likelihood of going from a college team to a professional team due to the nature of the NHL draft, where players are typically selected prior to turning college-aged.
  • In examining the subsequent hockey pathways of 2015 draftees (hockeydb.com), it was determined that 51 of the 211 (source: collegehockeyinc.com) attended an NCAA college for any period of time through February 2017. These numbers, although not fully comparable to those used in the other sports examined, were used to calculate an approximate NCAA to Major Pro percentage.  Note that only a small subset of players drafted ever play in an NHL game.  Undrafted college players may go on to sign contracts with NHL teams after completing college (those numbers are not part of the current NCAA to Major Pro calculation).
  • In 2016, 30% of players on active NHL rosters played college hockey (all in Division I), up from about 20% in the year 2000 (source: collegehockeyinc.com).  71% of former college players in the NHL played at least three college seasons, and 36% played all four. Thanks to Nate Ewell at College Hockey, Inc. for providing these data.

Men’s soccer

  • MLS SuperDraft data from 2016.  There were 81 draft slots in that year, but only 75 players were selected (all from NCAA schools).  Of the 75 picks, 72 were NCAA Division I student-athletes, two were from Division II and one was from Division III.  Percentage NCAA to Major Pro calculated using the 75 NCAA selections. (Source: mlssoccer.com).
  • These calculations do not account for other domestic (e.g., NASL, USL) or international professional soccer opportunities.

Last Updated: March 10, 2017

and finally, this was sobering.  We only have 4 major airline carriers to choose from now?!  So basically we are back to fewer choices but not for a good reason.  It was very disheartening to find out a product brand Tom’s of Maine I bought, thinking it was a small company, is actually owned by Colgate-Palmolive!  You really have to pay attention anymore to not end up buying products and supporting companies you are trying to boycott! 

Tom’s of Maine was founded by Tom and Kate Chappell in 1970 with US$5,000. The company is based in Kennebunk, Maine, USA and is currently a division of multinational conglomerate Colgate-Palmolive. Tom’s of Maine has approximately 150 employees.

Tom’s of Maine – Wikipedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom’s_of_Maine

Corporate Consolidation: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

26 Sept 2017 The Child in Time (Benedict Cumberbatch) and What does it the word Brabble Mean? (24 Old English Terms You Should Start Using Again – Vanessa-Jane Chapman Lifehack.org)

Hello to you.  It’s 5:48 am on this Tuesday morning as I write to you.  How are you?  I’m feeling a lot better.  Sleep helps and dreaming about Benedict Cumberbatch and I comparing our bare feet, living in the same town and solving crime doesn’t hurt either lol.  I hope to get to see this latest offering he’s in at some point.  It looks really good although it will probably wreck me with the subject matter!  I’ve never had a human child but I think losing our dog Sam was a lot like this for Kyle and I.  His passing almost broke us!  It must have been very hard for Ben to do this having small children of his own!

17-feb-2011-my-puppy-sammy-and-his-tennis-ball (Sammy crossed the rainbow bridge 27 April 2011)

Benedict Cumberbatch interview – The Child in Time: Extra – BBC One

I found myself craving words this morning, old words, and found this fun article to share with you from Vanessa-Jane Chapman of Lifehack.org:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/24-old-english-terms-you-should-start-using-again.html

24 Old English Terms You Should Start Using Again

Vanessa-Jane Chapman

Language changes over time; words and phrases come and go. In many cases, there is a good reason for words leaving our vocabulary. I am certainly grateful that modern sewer systems mean there is no longer a need for the term Gardyloo – a warning call before chamber pots were poured out of windows onto the streets below.

Other old English terms, however, still have perfectly valid meanings in our modern world and really need to be brought back, if only for the pleasure of saying them. Here are 24 words and slang terms from old and middle English (or thereabouts) that are fun to say, still useful, and should never have left us in the first place.

1. Bedward

Exactly as it sounds, bedward means heading for bed. Who doesn’t like heading bedward after a hard day?

2. Billingsgate

This one is a sneaky word; it sounds so very proper and yet it refers to abusive language and curse words.

3. Brabble

Do you ever brabble?  To brabble is to argue loudly about matters of no importance.  (yes, yes I do this too often)

4. Crapulous

A most appropriate sounding word for the condition of feeling ill as a result of too much eating/drinking.

5. Elflock

Such a sweet word to describe hair that is tangled, as if it has been matted by elves.

6. Erstwhile

This very British sounding word refers to things that are not current, that belong to a former time, rather like the word itself.

7. Expergefactor

Something that wakes you up is an expergefactor. For most of us it’s our alarm clocks, but it could be anything from a chirping bird to a noisy neighbor.

8. Fudgel

Fudgel is the act of giving the impression you are working, when really you are doing nothing.  (LOL!)

9. Groke

This means to stare intently at someone who is eating, in the hope that they will give you some. Watch any dog for a demonstration.

10. Grubble

Grubble might sound like the name of a character from a fantasy novel but it does in fact mean to feel or grope around for something that you can’t see.

11. Hugger-mugger

What a fun way to describe secretive, or covert behavior.

12. Hum durgeon

An imaginary illness. Sounds more like an imaginary word. Have you ever suffered from hum durgeon?

13. Jargogle

This is a perfect word that should never have left our vocabulary, it means to confuse or jumble.

14. Lanspresado

It sounds like the name of a sparkling wine, but no, it means a person who arrives somewhere, having conveniently forgotten their wallet, or having some other complicated story to explain why they don’t have money with them.

15. Mumpsimus

Mumpsimums is an incorrect view on something that a person refuses to let go of.

16. Quagswag

To shake something backwards and forwards is to quagswag, who knew?

17. Rawgabbit

We all know a few rawgabbits. A rawgabbit is a person who likes to gossip confidentially about matters that they know nothing about.

18. Snollygoster

I think we can all agree this is a fantastic sounding word. It means a person who has intelligence but no principles; a dangerous combination. Watch out for the snollygosters, they live amongst us.

19. Snottor

This old english term has the unlikely meaning of “wise.” Really?

20. Trumpery

Things that look good but are basically worthless. I said THINGS, not people.

21. Uhtceare

This means lying awake worrying before dawn. We all do this, we just didn’t know there was a word for it. Say it now, like this: oot-key-are-a.

22. Ultracrepidarian

Similar to the rawgabbit, this person takes every opportunity to share their opinion about things they know nothing about. Social media is the perfect outlet for these people.

23. Zwodder

Being in a drowsy, fuzzy state, after a big night out perhaps?

And finally, I broke the alphabetical listing to save my favorite till last…

24. Cockalorum

A small man with a big opinion of himself.

Why not see how many of these you can work into a conversation today?


I hope wherever and whenever this finds you that you are well – Love and Be Loved!

25 Sept 2017 History behind how to address the U.S Flag and For the NFL Kneelers (poem)

24 Sept 2017 – did this drawing last night and after I was done realized there was a bit of a Dr. Who theme here. The traveler I intended was a man but the outcome kind of looks like the new Dr. Who Jodie Whittaker lol.

Hello to you.  It’s 8:25 am on this Monday morning.  I see our President is at it again with a new travel ban (http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/new-order-bars-almost-all-travel-from-seven-countries/ar-AAspSJo?OCID=ansmsnnews11) and fresh attacks on the National Football League players who chose to kneel during the American National Anthem.

What I feel has been left out of this conversation, and I had it recently with a young man who’s family doesn’t allow him to pledge allegiance to our flag for religious reasons, is a lot of people died so we have the right to choose whether or not we pay homage to the American flag and the national anthem!  I am a 16 year Air Force Veteran and when I hear the national anthem, I choose to put my hand over my heart.  I’ll be honest, it’s not been easy to feel proud about doing it these days.  When I think of all the veterans in graves all over this country and overseas I have to wonder what they would think if they saw what is going on in the headlines these days.  Was it all for nothing?!  Some times it seems that way to me.

 When I see these “kneelers” I think of them showing to the world who they truly serve and it’s nobody or nothing here on this earth!  I could be wrong, but that’s what I see in their actions:     

For the NFL Kneelers

The song plays but there is no pride in me for it anymore

I’m supposed to place my hand over my heart and sing

Like I’ve done so many times before

I fall down to my knees and bow my head

I will show respect to my God

Instead…….

Will you condemn me

As I kneel down with my brothers and sisters

Showing the world a different kind of bravery?

Is there truly such a thing in this country as freedom?!  Free speech?!  Am I truly free?!

Or even in my hearts servitude to powers well beyond yours

Will you just find another way to make a commodity of me?!

 

Anyhew….in deciding to broach this topic, I learned a little Star-Spangled-Banner history!

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/rules-about-how-to-address-us-flag-came-about-because-no-one-wanted-to-look-like-a-nazi-180960100/

SmartNews Keeping you current

The Rules About How to Address the U.S. Flag Came About Because No One Wanted to Look Like a Nazi

During the National Anthem, Americans are asked to put their right hands over their hearts. But why?

 

Source: Smithsonian -The Bellamy salute to the American Flag 1915

 

Children salute the American flag in 1915. (Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons)

By  Erin Blakemore

smithsonian.com
August 12, 2016

While many American Olympians who win gold in Rio place their right hands over their hearts when listening to “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the podium, others do their own thing. Take Michael Phelps, who after winning the 200-meter butterfly earlier this week stood on the podium with his arms by his side, almost overcome with emotion (and then laughter) as he accepted his 20th career Olympic gold medal.

 

What the Olympians probably don’t realize, however, is that the U.S. Flag Code calls for anyone addressing the flag, either during the Pledge of Allegiance or the national anthem, to put their right hands over their hearts. But there’s no orientation lesson from the U.S. Olympic Committe that mandates how athletes should appear, which shouldn’t be surprising, as Mark Dyreson, Penn State professor and Olympic scholar, tells Bill Plaschke for The Los Angeles Times. This omission is thanks to the rich tradition of freedom of expression in this country. Or, as Dyreson puts it, “In the United States, free speech trumps all.”

But where did the idea to regulate the way Americans choose to respect the flag come from, anyway? As it turns out, the U.S. Flag Code dates back to the not-too-distant year of 1942. The decision to enact began with the Pledge of Allegiance—a ritual that used to involve a salute that required you to raise your right hand, flip your palm down, point it toward the flag in a salute and recite the words. These instructions might seem unthinkable today for obvious reasons—they’re reminiscent of rows of Nazis saluting their Fuhrer. But believe it or not, they date from the beginning of the Pledge itself.

As Bob Greene writes for CNN, the right-handed salute is part of the Pledge’s strange history. Originally known as the Bellamy Salute, the gesture came to be in the 1890s, when the Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis J. Bellamy. The Christian socialist minister was recruited to write a patriotic pledge to the American flag as part of magazine mogul Daniel Sharp Ford’s quest to get the flag into public schools.

At the time, as Jeffrey Owen Jones reported for Smithsonian magazine in 2003, Bellamy and his boss both agreed that the Civil War had divided American loyalties and that the flag might be able to bridge those gaps. His campaign centered around the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the new world. He published his new Pledge as part of a unified Columbus Day ceremony program in September 1892 in the pages of the Youth’s Companion, a popular children’s magazine with a circulation of 500,000.

“At a signal from the Principal,” Bellamy wrote, “the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the flag the military salute—right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly, ‘I pledge allegiance to my Flag…’” (The words of the Pledge itself have a long and contentious history of their own, as Amy Crawford wrote for Smithsonian magazine last year.)

The Pledge slowly picked up steam, especially as educators concerned about the gigantic influx of immigrants in the 19th century looked for ways to instill patriotic values and a sense of national, assimilative identity. With their right hands raised, children all over the country recited the Pledge in school and at public events.

Then came fascism, and the rise of a salute used by supporters of a charismatic politician named Adolf Hitler. The dictator seems to have made a Nazi “Heil Hitler” with raised arm the official gesture of his party after witnessing Italian Fascists performing the salute. As Jessie Guy-Ryan reports for Atlas Obscura, both the Italians and the Germans claimed that the salute was based in Roman and medieval Germany history, respectively, though they both had purely modern origins—and Smithsonian.com reporter Rose Eveleth notes that confusion over the fascist salute and a similar salute to the Olympic flag made the 1936 Olympics even more hairy politically.

Now that the one-armed salute smacked more of totalitarianism than of American patriotism, Americans abandoned the gesture that had been a symbol of national unity for 50 years. The 1942 U.S. Flag Code attempted to distance the Pledge of Allegiance from the country’s avowed enemies, instructing saluters to put their right hand over their heart while reciting the Pledge, and also included instructions for people to salute the flag with their right hand over their heart while listening to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” (Though the song was written back in 1814, it had only been the United States’ official anthem since 1931.)

The relatively new tradition of placing the right hand over the heart didn’t end controversy over the Pledge, which has withstood multiple legal tests about whether students can be forced to recite it (they can’t) or whether the words “under God” violate the First Amendment (they don’t.) And despite requirements to do both within U.S. code, neither gesture can be enforced.

Now, 239 years after the United States’ flag first flew, it still stirs up strong emotions. So even if you’re not about to medal in Rio, the next time you hear the national anthem or the Pledge, just remember that even the most innocuous-seeming national traditions have a complicated past.


There are many, many feel good stories about how playing sports has helped many a troubled youth but I have to ask it truly helping them?  

https://www.wired.com/2011/02/the-nfl-is-our-modern-day-gladiator-sport-a-good-thing/

 

The NFL: Is Our Modern-Day Gladiator Sport a Good Thing?

Author: Corrina Lawson

02.23.11
08:00 am

The NFL: Is Our Modern-Day Gladiator Sport a Good Thing?

Watching Spartacus: Gods of the Arena on Friday nights for the past month has led me to the inevitable comparison of gladiators and football players, a comparison that the producers of the show say is no accident.

Gladiators and NFL players both perform in stadiums to cheering or jeering crowds, both are risking serious physical injury, and both, if they’re successful because a hero or “god” to those who love watching. If they’re unsuccessful, they often become a goat for life.

The major difference is, of course, that professional football players are paid athletes, not slaves, and they certainly are not forced to fight to the death. They can walk away at any time. For players who have dedicated their entire lives to reaching the pinnacle of their profession, that’s a tough choice. But it is a choice.

A less obvious parallel between the gladiators shown in Spartacus and NFL players is that both sets of men have bought into the myths surrounding them as much as their fans.

In Spartacus, both the original and the prequel, a major theme is how this myth of glory serves to keep the slaves willingly in line.. The gladiators buy into the very system that takes their lives. They’re taught to cherish the glory of combat. They’re taught that they will achieve immortality by appealing to the roaring crowds. They’re taught, quite literally, that by doing so, they become gods. If the price of this is eventually their lives, so be it. They buy into the myth that they matter and aren’t just toys for others’ amusement.

The gladiators completely and utterly drink this kool-aid, perhaps because to accept this reality would lead to despair that their lives have no meaning, that all they’ve worked for, bled for, and seen their comrades die for is in vain.

The stakes are not nearly as high in the NFL–players aren’t spitted on swords–but we, the roaring crowds of today, certainly demand to be entertained and sometimes we demand blood to be spilled if it’s necessary to win.Witness the furor over Jay Cutler, the quarterback for the Chicago Bears. Cutler injured his knee in a playoff game. He couldn’t put weight on it properly to throw. He could walk but the ability to plant and deliver the football accurately was gone.

He came out of the game.

And his sin was that he didn’t look like he was really hurt on the sidelines or that he didn’t try to play the game crippled.

Football fans and fellow players demanded proof of his injury. They questioned his manhood. His jersey was burned in effigy as in the youtube video above. It’s very likely that Cutler’s stature with the Bears fans would have gone up if he limped out there “like a man” and tried to play, even if it meant that he played horribly and cost the Bears the game. And even if it meant that he further injured and endangered not only his career but his ability to walk without pain for the rest of his life.

I’m not going to defend Cutler as a person. In public, he seems sullen and unhappy, not a fun guy. But I think the reaction to what happened when he left the game says more about *us *than it does about Jay Cutler.

The game means so much to us that some fans would rather see Cutler rip up his knee for the rest of his life than stop playing. It means that much to his fellow players as well. Most of them would rather win a playoff game and have an injury for the rest of their lives than leave a game. Like the gladiators on Spartacus, they are the most insistent enforcers of the code of the arena.

I’ve watched the NFL since I was five. I’m a passionate fan of the New England Patriots. But lately, I’ve become a bit queasy about my chosen spectator sport.

The players might not be worried about their long-term health and the consequences of their job.

But I am.

First, there’s the new information about the connections between concussions and dementia, and even between repeat concussions and Lou Gehrig’s disease. According to a report on HBO’s Real Sports, Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games streak–one of the most venerated sports records ever–may be exactly the thing that killed him so young.

There is growing evidence that, like ancient gladiators, not only are NFL players risking injuries by playing the game, they severely shortening their lives. Studies are continuing but the evidence is enough to make me horrified when there’s a big hit during a game. The worry before was whether he’d cracked a rib. Now my worry is that his brain is scrambled or worse. This is only compounded by the knowledge that the average lifespan of aformer NFL player is far less than society’s average, from 53-59 depending on position. compared to the 77.9 years of the general U.S. population.

The average career of an NFL player is 3.52 years. And they’re often left with lingering injuries. And their lifespan, on average, is cut short.

Just last week, former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson–member of perhaps the best defense ever in the NFL–committed suicide and asked that his brain be donated to the same study linked above.

I don’t believe I like the human cost of entertaining me.

It’s making me question my love of the game.

And my concern is not just for the professional players. It’s also for those in high school and college. After watching several*30 by 30*documentaries on NCAA football in the last year, it seems to me that the only people not making huge amounts of money are the unpaid players.

The schools make millions. The coaches make millions. The NCAA makes millions. The players, the people most at risk, are perhaps getting a college education. A good one, I hope. But I after educating myself about where all the money goes in college football, I think that if my son were Cam Newton, I might start demanding some cash up front for him in order to play for your school too, just as Newton’s father seemingly did. The player is the one at risk for lifetime injury. Newton can, at least, buy insurance against the possibility of injury that scuttles his pro career but it galls me that he’s the guy doing most of the work, the most at risk, and he’s getting very little, comparatively, in return.

It does ease my mind that college players do have a 69 percent graduation rate but that same study quoted in the linked article also points out that 70 percent of last year’s top ten NCAA Division I football teams fell below that average. And who is picking up the check when a knee wrecked during a college career needs surgery ten years later? Worse, what if repeated concussions are leading to mental health problems down the road? Who pays for that care?

ESPN columnist Greg Easterbrook examined the issue of whether kids should play football in his Tuesday Morning Quarterback column after this year’s Superbowl. It’s a nice assessment of the risks and the rewards, especially to the non-professional players and ultimately comes down on the side of football being a beneficial team sport.

At least at the high school level, especially if the team has a good coach, football can teach boys how to work together and it can teach them discipline and respect.

But at the highest level, the NFL, I don’t think the people who benefit the most are the players with the multi-million dollar contracts or those that earn a spot, however brief, on a team.

No, the ones who benefit the most are those of us who sit on our couches and watch other people play. It distracts us. It’s fun to watch. It fills our minds and connects generations together.

And that makes me more like the ancient Romans watching gladiators than I would like.

But just when I had decided that the NFL might not be worth it, I watched an interview with former Green Bay Packer Bill Curry, who played on the Vince Lombardi-coached team that won the first Superbowl.

Curry grew up in the deep South at the time of segregation. He said he didn’t even know how to behave around black players. Until late one night, Hall of Famer Willie Davis came up to him and told him that he had potential and that he (Davis) would help help him. NFL network helpfully has the video of this interview.

“He changed my life,” Curry said. “It was an unexpected, undeserved, unrewarded act of kindness by a great man.”

And that brought me back to the power of football as a means to bind together communities, as a means of communication that crosses gender and racial boundaries.

But I still don’t know what I would say if my youngest son, who watches the Patriots games with me on Sundays, came to me and said he wanted to play.



Final thoughts……

 

http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/index.ssf/2017/09/nfl_2017_a_weekend_of_protests.html

Bill Livingston: Plain Dealer Sports Columnist

NFL 2017: A weekend of protests and solidarity in the league — Bill Livingston (photos)

Comment
Posted on September 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM

By Bill Livingston, The Plain Dealer,
blivingston@plaind.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio — A weekend of protests in the aftermath of another crude, race-baiting speech by President Donald Trump ended with NFL players receiving support from each other, the league and team owners.

The latter group of billionaires was something of a surprise, since almost all of them backed Trump’s bid for the Presidency. Perhaps they realized that football has enough problems with head trauma, declining television ratings, and boring early season games to add attacks on the personal integrity of players.

They will not win over the public

The players who knelt during the national anthem at games, including several Cleveland Browns at their game in Indianapolis, will never win their case in the court of public opinion. I have argued this before, while supporting their right to protest.

The American flag has been too charged with emotion for that, too identified with struggle and sacrifice even before the shelling of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812, which spurred Francis Scott Key to write the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The real point of the protests

The distinction that is overlooked and that Trump willingly obscures is that the protests are not against American service men and women, nor against police,  first responders, and other aspects of American life most people value highly.

The protests refer to a specific issue, discrimination against racial minorities. Trump’s willful misrepresentation of the protests recall Samuel Johnson’s observation, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

Whatever form the protests took — whether kneeling during the playing of the anthem in Constitutionally guaranteed peaceful protest, or by locking arms as a show of solidarity, or by remaining in their locker rooms during the anthem’s playing — the players were making sober, symbolic gestures.

It is always a mistake to underestimate the pride and resolve of professional athletes. The protests, therefore, were also an act of defiance to Trump.

Kaepernick

In a speech in Alabama on Friday night, Trump pilloried Colin Kapernick, the unemployed former San Francisco quarterback who began the protests in public, thus trying to turn a matter of personal conscience into one of perceived contempt.

Kaepernick has been effectively blackballed by NFL owners. Trump’s call to “get that son of a bitch off the field” amounted only to posturing and pandering to haters.

LeBron and the NBA

The rancor from the White House spilled over on the NBA.

Trump announced he had rescinded an invitation he had never made to Steph Curry of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Curry had already said he would not attend the White House ceremony to salute the team.

Kevin Durant, the Most Valuable Player of the Warriors Finals victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, had previously announced his intention to boycott the Presidential meeting.

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James sprang to the defense of Curry, addressing Trump on the President’s favorite social medium, Twitter, as “U bum” and saying, “Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!”

Here’s some disrespect, too

If the subject is disrespect of American values, examples of it that are crueler than taking a knee include:
•Feuding with a Gold Star family whose Muslim son died in combat;
•belittling Senator John McCain, who was tortured as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam and confined there for five and a half years;
•suggesting the father of Senator Ted Cruz was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy;
•defending Neo Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members as “fine people” and berating protestors after a deadly Charlottesville, Va., rally;
•charging with no documented proof that Muslims in Jersey City cheered on 9/11 when the World Trade Center Towers crumbled;
•denying the legitimacy of Barack Obama, his predecessor in the Oval Office, on spurious “birtherism” claims;
•and, knowingly or unknowingly, benefiting from espionage by a hostile foreign power in the election of 2015.

Run that up the flagpole and see how many salute.

23 Sept 2017 Happiness (chalk drawing), Once Upon a Star (poem) and I Am The Highway (Audioslave)

Hello there, how are you doing?  It’s Saturday afternoon, 4:48 pm and Kyle and I are getting that “Monday” feeling – you know the one!  We’ve had a good day and with Kyle’s suggestion as Happiness as a chalk drawing theme, this is what I came up with. My idea of Happiness always has something to do with being with Kyle!    This is the two of us and how we connect to each other – Soul, mind and heart.  It hasn’t always been easy and our relationship isn’t without flaws but the one thing we always come back to when we get lost is our love for each other.

23 Sept 2017 – chalk drawing I did this afternoon with Kyle’s suggestion of Happiness as a theme.

Once Upon a Star – 3 May 2006 poem by Jackie

Weary eyes and weary soul my light embers dim

I look into the heavens for Pleiades and sing a faraway song

A forgotten hymn

The sisters dance forever make haste to Venus

A veil of silk and dreamwork

Cast a spell between us

Sitting in my plane of invisible air I fly

Through space and time

To your gleaming spires my voice will cry

Once upon a star

Neither light nor shadow

The distance far……….

 

One of our first songs by Audioslave, I Am the Highway.  Kyle used to sing this to me when we talked on the phone:

I Am the Highway

Pearls and swine bereft of me
Long and weary my road has been
I was lost in the cities
Alone in the hills
No sorrow or pity for leaving I feel

I am not your rolling wheels
I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride
I am the sky

Friends and liars don’t wait for me
I’ll get on all by myself
I put millions of miles
Under my heels
And still too close to you
I feel

I am not your rolling wheels
I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride
I am the sky

I am not your blowing wind
I am the lightning
I am not your autumn moon
I am the night
The night

I am not your rolling wheels
I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride
I am the sky

I am not your blowing wind
I am the lightning
I am not your autumn moon
I am the night
The night

Songwriters: BRAD WILK, CHRIS CORNELL, TIMOTHY COMMERFORD, TOM MORELLO
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

23 Sept 2017 Word Challenge to myself today – Snail

Hello to you today…..if your reading this then we have averted the latest predicted apocalypse for now….(http://www.foxnews.com/science/2017/09/22/doomsday-writer-david-meade-who-is.html) lol. Yay for us!

13 Oct 2016 – The game begins….but I have made this particular game appear more like the one we are all playing together….the pieces and their respective colors on both sides of the board…

So this morning I was lead to the word snail as my personal Word Challenge for today. I was looking at my feed on Facebook and saw a picture of Ben and Sophie Cumberbatch together at a Sigur Ros concert and had never heard of Sigur and was curious. In my search to find out about the artist on You Tube, I was lead to this video.  I caution you, it is not easy to watch for many reasons but it is symbolic, beautiful and the underlying messages brought tears to my eyes:

https://sigur-ros.co.uk/ – you can see picture of Ben and Sophie I’m talking about at Sigur’s official UK website

Sigur Rós – Ekki múkk [Official Music Video]

(Icelandic for “Quiet Here” and Snail is Snigill)

I love the snails we have here in North Texas. Most of the people I know don’t and try to do anything to remove them from their property. I see them as living reminders for me to slow down.  I see them as part of Mother Nature’s clean up crew and think the trails they leave are beautiful in the morning sunshine. After it rains, they come out and clean up after the dogs in the yard and all the other messes natural and not that need cleaning up. Kind of like fish you put in your aquarium that clean up after the other fish. During the dry times, like now, they find a solid structure and seal themselves in until wet times return. I love their shells….spiral shapes! A most sacred design!

23 Sept 2017 – A few snails that have been on the side of our house for quite some time now. I don’t know if they are alive and won’t until the next time it rains! If the shells are gone, that means they were alive and sleeping in there!

So anyhew…..here is my silly Word Challenge poem about snails – like my cartoons, I’ll get better if I keep practicing lol:

The Snail

Wound up tight

Without a tail

A slow forever of little time to travel

Then sealed on the wall until water returns

Waiting….years to unravel.

——————

I hope however, wherever and whenever this silly post finds you that you are in a good space of mind, body and spirit. I hope that there is happiness, joy, laughter….good things for you! Find and try to genuinely exercise those smile muscles today! I will be!

PS – thank you Sen McCain (and all the rest who are standing up for the American people) for your latest act of courage!  It’s not easy doing what is right but it is necessary. 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/republican-sen-john-mccain-announces-opposition-to-health-care-bill-dashing-hopes-for-gop-leaders/ar-AAsmlvo?OCID=ansmsnnews11excerpt, use link for complete article

WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain declared his opposition Friday to the GOP’s last-ditch effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” dealing a likely death blow to the legislation and, perhaps, to the Republican Party’s years of vows to kill the program.

 “I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain said in a statement, referring to the bill by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. His opposition likely leaves the bill at least one vote short of the support needed for passage.

“I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried,” McCain said. “Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.”

An undated official U.S. Navy portrait of John S. McCain III. (Courtesy Naval Historical Center)

 

 

 

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