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Beware of Black Friday’s Deceptive Offers and throughout the holidays (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-11-24 13:49
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Black Friday has a very dark side that has deceived many. And many organizations have reported it to help consumers. Since on this date some stores, see an opportunity to scam people, raising their prices weeks before, so on the day of the sale, the products have almost no discount. And those who shop online aren't safe either because there are fake websites with credit card shopping options to steal the user's identity. And even if you thought that by having the product, you're safe, you can be wrong since some companies sell low-quality products disguised as great offers. So before buying something because it's on sale, you must be a bit careful.

The Federal Trade Commission published some simple tips one should follow to protect themselves.

  • Make a list and a budget. Include incidentals, like cards, wrapping paper and eating out.
  • Check out websites that compare prices for items sold online, and at stores in your area.
  • Look for rebates. Some can be redeemed at checkout, but most require you to send documentation to the manufacturer to get your rebate.
  • Make sure the scanned price is right. Overcharges cost you money and time, especially if you don’t notice them right away.
  • Consider customer reviews carefully. The law says reviewers should disclose their connection to a company, but not all of them do. Before you buy anything based on a review, search online for information from sources you trust. Compare reviews from a variety of websites.
  • Giving jewelry? Take some time to learn the terms used in the industry so you can get the best quality and value.
  • If you use a mobile device or computer to shop for deals, be aware that some unexpected emails, texts or posts may lead to fraudulent sites claiming bargains on brand name products.
  • Save receipts. When you’re shopping online, keep copies of your order number, the refund and return policies, shipping costs, and warranties.
  • Billed for merchandise that wasn’t received? Here’s what to do.
  • If money’s tight, consider layaway. You typically make a deposit and pay over time; the retailer holds the merchandise until you’ve paid for the item in full.

Enjoy your shopping but follow the sensible tips. Ensure that your Holiday Season is not marred by the unscrupulous business lurking around both the internet and the malls of America.

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Patriotism, Taxes, and Trump – Robert Reich exposes the fallacy

Fri, 2017-11-24 12:33

Donald Trump has embraced the Right Wing mantra, like no other, talk patriotically, as you screw those who support you. It is a modus operandi that fits perfectly with Trump's life-long behavior. In other words, practice fake patriotism.

It is surprising that the faux patriotism has fooled so many for so long. Trump and the Right Wing's misinformation complex practice remains very effective.

Recently Robert Reich wrote a piece titled "Patriotism, Taxes, and Trump" that lays it out. He said the following.

Selling the Trump-Republican tax plan should be awkward for an administration that has made patriotism its central theme. That’s because patriotism isn’t mostly about saluting the flag and standing during the national anthem. It’s about taking a fair share of the burden of keeping America going.

But the tax plan gives American corporations a $2 trillion tax break, at a time when they’re enjoying record profits and stashing unprecedented amounts of cash in offshore tax shelters. And it gives America’s wealthiest citizens trillions more, when the richest 1 percent now hold a record 38.6 percent of the nation’s total wealth, up from 33.7 percent a decade ago.

Reich points out an unfortunate truth. Republicans are reinstituting trickle-down economics on steroids not out of duty to improve the economy of each American citizen, the patriotic thing to do, but because donations will dry up from wealthy donors who want the mechanism to pilfer Americans, an unpatriotic act.

The reason Republicans give for enacting the plan is “supply-side” trickle-down nonsense. The real reason is payback to the GOP’s mega-donors. A few Republicans are starting to admit this. Last week, Gary Cohn, Trump’s lead economic advisor, conceded in an interviewthat “the most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan.”

Republican Rep. Chris Collins admitted that “my donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham warned that if Republicans failed to pass tax reform, “the financial contributions will stop.”

Reich concluded his article with an indictment of the Republican tax cut scam and admonished the lack of patriotism of those pushing Republicans to hurt the working class for the benefit of a few.

Robert Reich's book, "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few" is a must-read. For those who believe in and want to give capitalism a last chance to succeed, it is a great read.

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Republican insider Bruce Bartlett: “The Republican Party needs to die”

Thu, 2017-11-23 14:04

Bruce Bartlett was Reagan's White House aide who has recently soured on his party as it has completely lost it way. Like Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, he has been out there criticizing the party and urging it to reform.

Salon's Chauncey Devega interviewed Bruce Bartlett about the state of our politics and received some fascinating answers that should make Republicans cringe. The article is well worth the read. Here are some noteworthy snippets.

  • The New York Times bend over much too far backward. I don’t know why they bother. Conservatives don’t read the New York Times; they’re not going to lose any subscribers by telling the truth.
  • Trump is clearly the most incompetent president we’ve ever had in our lives. Richard Nixon may well have been the smartest. Nixon was cursed by paranoia, and I think Trump is as well. The question then becomes: Is this incompetence a good thing or a bad thing? Is it more dangerous to have a paranoid incompetent than it was to have a highly intelligent paranoid person as president? I don’t think we can tell. When I hear Trump talk, I sometimes have this feeling that he literally had no idea what was going on in his own campaign. He can deny these allegations and be perfectly truthful in his own mind because nobody told him.
  • [Trump's a useful idiot] That’s one way of describing him. It may be that he is the person who will be the most shocked when the truth finally comes out. He may say, “Oh my God, I had no idea my son-in-law was doing such stupid things.”
  • I had this naïve idea that Trump had been a successful businessman because he had competent staff. I just assumed that Trump's company had an army of lawyers and vice presidents with MBAs from Harvard Business School who went around like the guy behind the elephant in the parade with a broom and a shovel cleaning up his messes and fixing the contracts and getting the deals done properly that their boss was too incompetent to do himself. I just assumed that once he got into the White House we’d find these people would just come in and run things. I was shocked that that wasn’t the case. There was nobody.
  • The Republican Party needs to die. It’s already a zombie. It’s brain dead.

I think most would agree with Mr. Bartlett. Now it is time to mobilize and make it a reality.

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Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) paid woman’s travel to Texas & Washington for sex

Wed, 2017-11-22 23:48

Congressman Joe Barton's scandal gets even deeper. Earlier on Wednesday, the Congressman apologized after his lewd photos and text to a woman was revealed. By Wednesday night the Washington post had the full story including a recording of the Congressman admitting to various indiscretions as well as threatening the woman he slept with twice. This fiasco is only an issue because this sect of Republicans purports to be the moral police yet like Roy Moore, they are hypocrites.

Congressman Joe Barton, Republican of Texas, threatened to report the woman he was sleeping with to the Capitol police with the expectation his secret would remain. The Washington Post reports the following.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), who apologized Wednesday for a lewd photo of him that circulated on the Internet, told a woman to whom he had sent sexually explicit photos, videos and messages that he would report her to the Capitol Police because she could expose his behavior, according to a recording reviewed by The Washington Post.

The woman spoke to The Post after the lewd photo was published Tuesday by an anonymous Twitter account. She shared a secretly recorded phone conversation she had with Barton in 2015 in which he warned her against using the explicit materials “in a way that would negatively affect my career.” ...

In the 2015 phone call, Barton confronted the woman over her communications with the other women, including her decision to share explicit materials he had sent. In that context, he mentioned the Capitol Police, a comment the woman interpreted as an attempt to intimidate her.

“I want your word that this ends,” he said, according to the recording, adding: “I will be completely straight with you. I am ready if I have to, I don’t want to, but I should take all this crap to the Capitol Hill Police and have them launch an investigation. And if I do that, that hurts me potentially big time.”

“Why would you even say that to me?” the woman responded. “The Capitol Hill police? And what would you tell them, sir?”

Said Barton: “I would tell them that I had a three-year undercover relationship with you over the Internet that was heavily sexual and that I had met you twice while married and had sex with you on two different occasions and that I exchanged inappropriate photographs and videos with you that I wouldn’t like to be seen made public, that you still apparently had all of those and were in position to use them in a way that would negatively affect my career. That’s the truth.”

But there is more to our family values politician.

Besides the recording of the phone call, the woman shared text and social media messages she exchanged with Barton, as well as a 53-second cellphone video Barton recorded of himself while masturbating.

Joe Barton is a member of the Freedom Caucus. He is one of the staunchest faux family values politicians in Washington. These guys continue to show they are full of it and are nothing but hypocrites. One would think given their lifestyles and the realities that their states are worse off both socially and economically than those run by Progressive policies, they would change their Puritanical tenets. We expect more shoes to drop.

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Joe Barton (R-TX) – Another family values Republican caught with pants down (PHOTO)

Wed, 2017-11-22 17:30

If Republican constituencies cannot see that they are getting played by now, then the country is in a gullibility zone never experienced before. The tenet of Progressive Democrats is to live and let live while imposing no subjective moral code. Conservative Republicans who insist on some Puritanical moral code they cannot live up to should pay the price for their failure.

Texas Congressman & vice-chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee was caught in a very compromising situation revealed by a photo and a graphic text message.

The Texas Tribune reported the following.

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, released a statement on Wednesday apologizing for a graphic nude photo of him that circulated on social media earlier this week.

"While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women," he said. "Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down."

It is still unclear how the photo got onto social media, who put it there, or whether its posting would constitute revenge porn, which is illegal under Texas law.

Barton, who announced his re-election bid earlier this month, is navigating in a political environment charged with emerging stories of sexual misbehavior in politics, in business and in the media. The photo, which appeared on an anonymous Twitter account, set off speculation within Texas GOP circles about his political future.

In a phone interview with The Texas Tribune on Tuesday, Barton said he was deliberating that.

"You're as aware of what was posted as I am," he said. "I am talking to a number of people, all of whom I have faith in and am deciding how to respond, quite frankly."

A spokeswoman for Barton said Wednesday that he had no plans to resign and had filed for re-election.

Let's wait to see what Biblical passages Evangelical Christians formulate to defend another one of their Puritanical women rights attacking heroes. To be clear, I personally have no judgment on Joe Barton through my eyes on his sexual activities. The judgment is on his hypocrisy and that of his party.

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GOP Tax Cut Scam: Don’t you think these two kids deserve a break?

Wed, 2017-11-22 15:49

This morning I wrote a blog post featuring a Facebook post from a friend, and an everyday American who explained why he is completely against the Republican tax cut scam. I asked readers to submit their real-life stories about why the bill must not pass at how it will affect them. The following response is touching and merits immediate publication. This is the real American story for too many.

Lia's Republican Tax Cut Scam Project story

Won't affect me much--I'm a real-low-income senior. I'm 70 & get a whopping $317/month from Social Security.

However, my son is 34, & I hate to see him (& his girlfriend, 30) get hit by more of this "series of unfortunate circumstances" for Millennials. I lost my IRA & everything else during the recession. I wasn't able to help him go to college. He took some courses at the local community college, as well as online while having to work 40-50 hours/week.

He taught himself every computer program, HTML, Java, etc, & started making websites for businesses, while working graveyard shift at a hotel. He didn't know if he was coming or going. Sometimes, when he worked other hours as well, I would pick him up after class (11:15 am) Because he only had 30 minutes to get to work. (This is a kid with a congenital heart deformity who had two operations by age 23!)

I came prepared with a sandwich for him to eat in the car, drove him to his flat so he could shower & change into his suit, & then drove him to the hotel to stand for 8 hours behind the front desk, for $11/hr. When he worked the 2-11 shift, I would stay up till 11pm to drive him home, as he couldn't afford a car and there were no busses running at night. (I drive a '94 Toyota Corolla for the last 15 years.)

Then he learned all about IT & video-conferencing, as well as coding. Finally, 11 years later, he is living in the Bay Area & is IT manager for a boutique hotel in San Francisco, pulling down about $70,000/year. He has a 401(k) for the first time in his life. (I never had one.) He'll get no tax break as he's making under $75,000. (If he had $60,000 to get a Computer Science degree, at nearby Berkeley, he could almost double his salary!)

He pays $1300 for a ROOM in a shared household. Even if he could manage to save enough for a down-payment for a home in the Bay area (over $$700,000) and the average home price in CA is $550,000, it's still over the $500,000 limit they're proposing for the mortgage-interest-deduction.

His girlfriend took care of severely disabled people in their homes for over 10 years, and now she's been promoted to Supervisor of Customer Care, a big promotion & larger salary (NOT $75,000) + 401(k) as well. But together, they still can't buy a home anywhere near work. They have no children so don't get any other deductions. They make do with one car, & will probably pay rent for the rest of their lives, as I did.

Don't you think these 2 kids deserve a break????!!!!!

I am putting together a sub-site with real letters from everyday Americans, you, detailing how the Republican tax cut scam will affect you, your family, or your friends. Include your first name, your city, and your state. Please send to info@egbertowillies.com. We will post and share creating an ever-growing people involvement project. Please remember to share so we can spread widely.

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Golden Turmeric Hummus – A treat that is very easy to make

Wed, 2017-11-22 15:02
.embed-vidweb { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%;height: 0; overflow: hidden;max-width: 100%; }.embed-vidweb iframe, .embed-vidweb object, .embed-vidweb embed { position: absolute; top: 0;left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Golden Turmeric Hummus Ingredients:
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp sea salt •¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • ½ tsp fresh grated turmeric Garnish with pine nuts & pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
Action:
  1. Add drained chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, ginger, fresh and ground turmeric, salt, and cayenne (optional) to a blender or food processor and blend on high until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides needed.
  2. To create a creamier texture, add a bit of oil and/or (if avoiding oil) water. (I used 1 Tbsp oil and 2 Tbsp water).
  3. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more garlic or ginger for spice/zing, lemon juice for acidity, salt for saltiness, grated turmeric for earthiness, or cayenne for spice. I added a bit more ground turmeric, lemon juice, and salt.
  4. Serve as is or garnish with pine nuts, sesame seeds, or more spices. Parsley would also be a nice addition. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days.

You simply cannot go wrong with this very simple recipe. And your family, friends, and guests will think you spent a ton of time getting it together. And most importantly, it is a very healthy treat everyone can consume guilt free. And the magic ingredient has many healthy properties that will likely help with many of your inflammation related ailments.

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The benefits of turmeric curcumin are many

Wed, 2017-11-22 14:57

Tumeric is a strong natural anti-inflammatory compound. Inflammation has a devastating effect on the body. It plays a part in asthma, arthritis, stroke, eczema, allergies, heart disease, Alsheimer's disease, and much more. Just adding 200 mg of it (curcumin) to your daily supplement regimen, can mitigate these. I take a 500mg capsule every day and have not looked back.

And this from this from the National Department of Health & Human Services, National Institute of Health.

Background
  • Turmeric, a plant related to ginger, is grown throughout India, other parts of Asia, and Central America. Javanese turmeric (Curcuma xanthorrhiz) is a different plant and not discussed in this fact sheet.
  • Historically, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine, primarily in South Asia, for many conditions, including breathing problems, rheumatism, serious pain, and fatigue.
  • Today, turmeric is used as a dietary supplement for inflammation; arthritis; stomach, skin, liver, and gallbladder problems; cancer; and other conditions.
  • Turmeric is a common spice and a major ingredient in curry powder. Its primary active ingredients, curcuminoids, are yellow and used to color foods and cosmetics.
  • Turmeric’s underground stems (rhizomes) are dried and made into capsules, tablets, teas, or extracts. Turmeric powder is also made into a paste for skin conditions.
How Much Do We Know?
  • We have a lot of research, including studies done in people, on turmeric for a variety of health conditions.
What Have We Learned?
  • Claims that curcuminoids found in turmeric help to reduce inflammation aren’t supported by strong studies.
  • Preliminary studies found that curcuminoids may
    • Reduce the number of heart attacks bypass patients had after surgery
    • Control knee pain from osteoarthritis as well as ibuprofen did
    • Reduce the skin irritation that often occurs after radiation treatments for breast cancer.
  • Other preliminary studies in people have looked at curcumin, a type of curcuminoid, for different cancers, colitis, diabetes, surgical pain, and as an ingredient in mouthwash for reducing plaque.
  • The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has studied curcumin for Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and prostate and colon cancer.
What Do We Know About Safety?
  • Turmeric in amounts tested for health purposes is generally considered safe when taken by mouth or applied to the skin.
  • High doses or long-term use of turmeric may cause gastrointestinal problems.
Keep in Mind
  • Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

While studies are not completely definitive, there is enough nuance in them to suggest turmeric is a supplement worth taking to mitigate several conditions.

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‘Why I oppose the GOP tax cut scam’ from a real person

Wed, 2017-11-22 12:05

The Republican tax cut scam will only fail if everyday Americans speak up in their own words. Politicians must realize that they are not pulling the wool over our heads. Once they know Americans understand they are being screwed they some will think twice about their survival. So, dear readers, I have a task for you.

One of my friends posted the following Facebook post about the Republican tax cut scam.

Why I oppose the Republican Tax Cut Scam

I think we need to simplify the tax code. We shouldn't have to hire someone to help us pay our taxes. That said, I oppose the current tax reform bill for two major reasons.

From the 1930's to the 1970's, the way America kept the economy strong was by investing in education, research, and infrastructure. The belief was that by having the best transportation system, the best schools, and the best science, we could also have the best economy in the world. Furthermore, by spending on these programs, we would create lots of jobs in construction, education, and so forth. This was considered a worthwhile endeavor, even if it meant high taxes on the rich, and during the 1950's, the richest Americans paid up to 94% in taxes because of this.

From the 1980's to the present, we have taken the philosophy that low taxes on the rich is the best way to create jobs. I would argue that we can just look at the results and see that the economic policies of the 1950s worked better than the economic policies today, but its even more basic than that. This philosophy of tax cuts to the rich doesn't work because the rich don't spend money the same way the rest of us do. There is a myth that rich people create jobs, but that is simply not true. Customers create jobs. When more money is in the hands of working people, we go shopping, and when more people go shopping, businesses are forced to create jobs. When we give money to rich people, they invest it in things that give them money without regard to whether it helps the economy or not, and most times it doesn't.

This tax bill gives huge tax cuts to the rich while cutting spending from programs that help the working class. In other words, this tax cut gives us more of the tax policy we have been following, which has failed us, since the 1980s and less of what we did back in the 1950's and 60's that we know actually worked. For the same reasons, this policy will only lead to bad results for everyone except a small group of the richest Americans.

Secondly, I oppose this bill because it will send America trillions of dollars more deeply in debt. Here are two general rules for the debt. 1. When the economy is bad, its okay to spend into debt in order to get the economy back up and running again. Its better to spend deeply into debt temporarily so that people get back to work because that investment pays for itself. 2. When the economy is doing well, we should do everything possible to make sure we are not spending ourselves deeper into debt. If we are spending ourselves into debt when the economy is good, we are saving nothing for when it is bad and we are passing on the bills to our children, which is morally wrong and will ultimately lead to destruction.

Right now our economy is strong. It crashed in 2007 and has built up ever since. We needed to spend into debt back around 2007-2010. We do not need to spend ourselves into debt today. Right now, we need to be figuring out how to get ourselves out of debt.

For these two reasons, I strongly oppose the current tax bill that is being debated in Congress.

I want to put together a sub-site with real letters from everyday Americans, you, detailing how the Republican tax cut scam will affect you, your family, or your friends. Include your first name, your city, and your state. Please send to info@egbertowillies.com. We will post and share creating an ever-growing people involvement project. Please remember to share so we can spread widely.

...

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GOP Strategist on Moore defense: Profound moral rot in the Republican Party exposed (VIDEO)

Wed, 2017-11-22 02:49

Donald Trump all but endorsed Alabama Senatorial Candidate Roy Moore. It is a move that will have a profound effect on the Republican Party whether Moore wins or not. A Republican strategist appeared on MSNBC's All-In with Chris Hayes, and he was not kind to the party.

GOP strategist Steve Schmidt excoriated the Republican Party and Alabama pastors for the moral rot they have allowed to metastasize in the Party.

GOP strategist Steve Schmidt exposes GOP moral rot

GOP Strategist on Moore defense: Profound moral rot in the Republican Party exposed (VIDEO) https://t.co/HHqAggkfqG…republican-party/ pic.twitter.com/PRhOsrOoco

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) November 22, 2017

Chris Hayes asked Steve Schmidt for his reaction to Trump virtually endorsing Roy Moore.

"Tragic day for the Republican Party," Steve Schmidt said. "I wonder if this is the moment where for Republicans the party left the airplane on the way to a devastating landing in 2018. And I just think the line is drawn, the die is cast, the forces of decency are against the forces of indecency. This is an accused child molester credibly accused by multiple women. What we're talking about here is a fourteen-year-old little girl. You saw the pain in the eyes and on the face of that middle-aged woman. This has been a defining event. He's unfit to serve in the United States Senate. This exposes a profound moral rot in the country, in the Republican Party, a great test for the citizens of the state of Alabama."

But he was not done there.

"We've reached the hour that George Washington warned us about, a political tribalism that so corrosive so corrupting that could take otherwise normal decent people that you'd encounter on any day and make them defend the indefensible and the profoundly indecent. And it's a sad moment," Schmidt said. "Look, I think that should Roy Moore be elected, the Republicans in the Senate have a difficult decision that is going to hurt them either way, to seat him or to expel him. And certainly, in my view, he should be expelled. But if one more receded as a Republican in the United States Senate, he will be hung around the neck of every Republican running in every suburban district everywhere in this country. And it will be a legitimate attack. It'll be the right attack for Democrats to make.

He then slammed the men who should be the moral barometers, the pastors of Alabama.

"And I think that a large portion of this country looking at the absurdity of these self-proclaimed men of God," Schmidt said. "These pastors in Alabama, with these indescribably despicable defenses of this. I think that there will be a profound political punishment inflicted."

Enough said.

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David Cassidy, heartthrob of ’70s’ teens, dies at 67

Wed, 2017-11-22 00:37

David Cassidy, a member of The Partridge Family TV show died at the age of 67.

CNN reports the following.

(CNN)David Cassidy, who came to fame as a '70s teen heartthrob and lead singer on "The Partridge Family," has died, according to his publicist Jo-Ann Geffen. He was 67.

The singer-actor had recently been admitted to the intensive care unit of a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area hospital. Cassidy was in critical condition and suffering from organ failure before his death Tuesday, Geffen said

"David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long. Thank you for the abundance and support you have shown him these many years," she said.

Cassidy's nephew, Jack Cassidy, tweeted about his uncle's death, saying "I can't help but thank God for the joy that he brought to countless millions of people."

In 2017, Cassidy revealed that he was in the early stages of dementia, the same disease his mother and grandfather suffered from.

"To watch someone who raised you lose their mind and disappear is arguably the most painful thing I have ever experienced," Cassidy told CNN in a 2012 interview.

Rest in peace David Cassidy.

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The real Internet may die on Dec 14th, 2017 unless you act now

Tue, 2017-11-21 16:09

The Trump administration is trying to kill the only media that have consistently held him to account, independent media. Now they are about to ensure that in order to report broadly, you may need big bucks to do so, this unless you act now.

The head of the FCC, Ajit Pai, will unveil plans to reverse the landmark 2015 net neutrality order which forbids carriers from blocking or slowing web content. We are about to enter the pay to play era even for news distribution which means monied interest will ultimately control all news.

So what is net neutrality?

The tenets of net neutrality are vital. All data packets are treated equally throughout the Internet. Specific services like streaming, file transfers, etc. cannot be restricted. Websites cannot be blocked by ISPs.

Why is net neutrality important?

It is evident that absent net neutrality every American citizen will be at the behest of corporate ISPs, either directly or indirectly inculcated with the corporate line. Websites exposing wrongdoing by corporations or the state could be silenced. Livecasting protest could be silenced. Podcasts, videos, and news from alternative news sources could be throttled down or simply made inaccessible.

We all share ownership of the Internet equally and we all have a right to the same access. It was invested by our tax dollars. Just because corporations have made investments in the Internet (which have resulted in huge profits for them) does not mean they have the right to dictate the access to or speed in which we use the Internet we already own.

The death of Democracy will accelerate as net neutrality goes away.

The Internet is the last bridge left between democracy and the people. If the Internet becomes shackled by corporate interests and corporate profits as traditional media has, democracy is not only in peril. It is unattainable.

Now more than ever, Americans are responsible for finding their own sources of fact-based information. These sources are only available via independent websites and blogs. These alternative sources provide non-corporate written news, podcasts, and videocasts. The Internet is their basic transport. The Trump administration along with various corporations see freedom of information as a threat to their continued pilfer of the American people.

People’s movements are dependent on the Internet and social networks, using video and audio communication tools like Skype and Maestro. They transmit live feeds via tools like Ustream. The world was provided video in real time from Occupy Wall Street, the Iranian Green Movement, Black Lives Matter, the Women's March, the Arab Spring, and much more.

I co-wrote the piece titled "Is Net Neutrality Really Necessary? You’re Damn Right!" that was cross-posted to  Common Dreams where I explained the importance of net neutrality. It holds true today especially with Donald Trump in office.

So what can you do? Call your politicians and let them know you understand what is at stake and will hold them accountable. They need to know we are watching.

 

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Morning Joe slams Trump voters ‘Group of extraordinarily weak minded people’ (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-11-21 12:24

Joe Scarborough and his Morning Joe panel have been pushing back on the Trump type voter for some time now. I hope that some of them would listen to this clip and try to see beyond the madness.

Morning Joe slams Trump supporting voters who look the other way

Morning Joe slams Trump voters 'Group of extraordinarily weak minded people' (VIDEO) https://t.co/mIQv2B2o3n pic.twitter.com/sBleMCJ9XH

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) November 21, 2017

Morning Joe's Willie Geist and Joe Scarborough called out Trump supporters as tribal and mentally weak for their reaction to Moore and other scandals.

"If you're willing to protect the tribe at the cost of a fourteen-year-old girl you need to reevaluate yourself and your tribalism," Willie Geist said. "We had an Alabama pastor who was out yesterday, who supports more and more and said something along the lines, I've got the quote. He said, 'They must have had some sweet dreams somewhere down the line,' talking about these young men, 'Why they would be making this up about Roy Moore.' He says 'There are some 14-year olds who could pass for 20.' That's a pastor. That's a man of God while defending the behavior of Roy Moore and basically throwing some of these women all of the women under the bus and saying they must have dreamed this up to get some attention."

Joe Scarborough then chimed in with an excoriation like no other.

"We had somebody in a focus group, Rick, who said Jesus Christ could come down from the cross and tell me that Donald Trump was involved with Russia and I would tell him, hold on a second I need to ask the president if that's true," Scarborough said. "Bizarre, a group of extraordinarily weak minded people, weak pathetic sad people who will blindly follow Donald Trump over their God. This sort of, again this personality cult, this is what you see at the beginning of the rise of any autocracy."

Scarborough then continued.

"This will not happen here," he said. "But it's not for the lack of a lot of really stupid people who actually will choose Trump over their God Trump over their party Trump over their ideology Trump over their moral patterns Trump over everything that their mothers and fathers taught them growing up,"

Later another panelist excoriated the Evangelical pastors supporting Roy Moore. If these talking heads who'have suddenly grown a spine had spoken up earlier, it is likely we would not have had this dangerous infant in the White House.

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The worst thing Charles Manson has ever said

Tue, 2017-11-21 02:20
.embed-vidweb { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%;height: 0; overflow: hidden;max-width: 100%; }.embed-vidweb iframe, .embed-vidweb object, .embed-vidweb embed { position: absolute; top: 0;left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Charles Manson: "I am nobody."

Charles Manson terrorized the United States and the world because not only was he cruel, his words were also full of hate and terror. Many weren't even alive when his bloody massacre began. But just hearing the name Charles Manson would cause terror as his words did.

Innocent?:

  1. "I have killed no one and I have ordered no one to be killed."
  2. "These children that come at you with knives, they are your children."
  3. "I didn't teach them. I just tried to help them stand up."

Human Massacre:

  1. "Maybe I should have killed four-five hundred people. Then I would have felt better."
  2. "Then I would have felt like I really offered society something."

He has always been dead:

  1. "I have done my best to get along in your world and now you want to kill me,"
  2. "And I look at you, and then I say to myself, You want to kill me? Ha! I'm already dead, have been all my life.

And although his face caused panic, he will always be seen as a controversial crime figure.

"Nobody," the killer once said. "I am nobody."

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The Dangers of Running is real but can be done responsibly

Tue, 2017-11-21 00:45
.embed-vidweb { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%;height: 0; overflow: hidden;max-width: 100%; }.embed-vidweb iframe, .embed-vidweb object, .embed-vidweb embed { position: absolute; top: 0;left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }  Running has its Pros and Cons

Running isn't very dangerous if you take these precautions to protect yourself.

  • Beware of your age: Heart diseases could erupt after the age of 30 requiring medical attention.
  • Done run too much: Covering thirty or more miles per week may increase plaque buildup in the arteries.
  • Injured knees and ankles: Running on asphalt or concrete has an impact on the joints that can put you out of commission for a while.
  • Outdoor is really better: Letting the wind hit you in the face can be refreshing and in some instances offer resistance. But remember not to run at very high temperatures as it can contribute to heat stroke.
  • Don't let it stress you out: If you are very competitive, remember that even competing against your previous times can contribute to your stress level. And stress chemicals in the body are damaging and defeats the purpose of the exercise.

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Another failure of leadership in the Harris County Clerk’s Office…..

Mon, 2017-11-20 22:47

One cannot know what an employee would do negatively if there is no such bad record. However, there is no excuse if an employee subsequently establishes one. In that light, the continued absence of leadership in the Harris County Clerk's Office could have been fatal.

Last week, an employee of the Harris County Clerk’s office who works in the IT department was arrested for driving under the influence.

This employee was driving a county vehicle the wrong way down a downtown street during work hours, and when stopped by the Constable’s office, he was obviously drunk and belligerent. On the front seat of his car were four empty wine bottles. This individual also had a prior history of DUI tickets.

"This is yet another failure of leadership by Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart," said a Houston citizen close to the office. "To think of what could have happened to that employee or innocent drivers and bystanders while he was driving the wrong way down the street. A good leader has procedures and processes for how and to who they check out company vehicles.  A good leader understands the importance of placing the right personnel in the right position and helping that employee to be successful. And a good leader knows how to set personnel policies, like background checks, and enforce them."

It seems like this is not an isolated incident with this employee.

 

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Let’s Talk About Sexual Assault

Mon, 2017-11-20 21:31

It was as normal a morning as you get in the Department of Corrections. The caffeinated buzz inside the chow hall was interrupted by the sound of trays hitting the floor and shouts too, “kill that baby raping b*tch”. Less than fifteen feet from me, an older white man was getting stomped out as he curled in a fetal position wedged between two stools at the rectangular table he was eating at. It took close to a minute before correctional officers intervened on his behalf.

I didn’t personally know the man who was attacked. Once it was alleged he was a child molester; I avoided him: which was easy to do in prison’s self-segregating culture. The stigma associated with child abuse and domestic violence is so powerful in prison that the majority of people avoided those who wore their scarlet letters. I don’t advocate replacing due process with beatdowns, but we should make it much more socially unacceptable for people to commit sexual assault, defend sexual predators and slut-shame their victims.

On October 5th, Jodi Kantor and Meagan Twohey exposed the open secret that was Harvey Weinstein’s sexually aggressive behavior. This was supposed to be another example of a man abusing his power to get what he wanted. Men were supposed to point our fingers in judgment and chalk it up to the “Hollywood scene”. We were supposed to scapegoat him. He would be the newest face of patriarchal violence. We were going to publicly sacrifice him to redeem ourselves from any of our past transgressions. This story didn’t get the memo.

Almost seven weeks after their New York Times article was published it’s obvious that something has changed. This wasn’t just another pebble in the ocean. This was the earthquake that led to a tsunami of sexual assault allegations and admissions. In the wake of their article remains the reputations of politicians, comedians, media figures and actors who thought their criminal behavior was safely stowed away in their past. Every accusation isn’t proof of guilt, but the old ways of discrediting these women have become unacceptable. This shift isn’t just another sign of “P.C.” culture. Something has changed, and we need to look honestly at ourselves to make sure we aren’t hindering progress. As I type, Charlie Rose and Glenn Thrush have joined the growing list of men accused of sexual misconduct. There is a reckoning happening.

As men, we have to admit that this is a problem we can't fully understand. No one is responsible for the patriarchy we inherited, but we have to acknowledge its existence. There are power dynamics that continue to keep women in subordinate positions. We need to confront these dynamics and change them. This isn’t the time for us to ignore what the status quo has done to women, nor should we try to absolve ourselves of any responsibility to destroy it. Not groping or raping someone is too low a threshold to cross. Not sexually assaulting someone is literally the least we can do. We don’t deserve a reward for being decent. We shouldn’t congratulate ourselves or seek applause for not engaging in the overtly problematic behavior.

There are some things we need to start doing right now.

  1. Keep your hands off women who don't give you permission to touch them. This is not debatable.
  2. Leave young girls alone. It doesn’t matter how mature she looks.
  3. Watch the reckless eyeballing. The line between looking and staring is thinner than we will ever know.
  4. Keep your hands above your waist. She won’t think it’s cute or funny. STOP!
  5. Don't use your size to intimidate women. This is assault.
  6. Stop defending sexual predators because they look like you, worship like you or hold your political beliefs. Just stop. You look ridiculous.

We don't have to terrorize women. We don't have to deny the existence of sexism. This will take work. If anyone reading this has violated someone, apologize now. Find a way to reach out to them and admit your transgressions. We need to stop violating our women. I can assure you there are worse punishments for this type of behavior than public humiliation. We all have to do better.

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Things You NeedTo Know About Cryptocurrencies

Mon, 2017-11-20 17:13
.embed-vidweb { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%;height: 0; overflow: hidden;max-width: 100%; }.embed-vidweb iframe, .embed-vidweb object, .embed-vidweb embed { position: absolute; top: 0;left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Cryptocurrencies, the money of the future

Did you know that BitCoin was not the only cryptocurrency? The digital exchange market is growing and growing very fast.  While BitCoin was the first, there are many others like LiteCoin, NameCoin, Ethereum, and many more.

It is imperative that before you invest in any of them, you do your diligent research. Since the security of your money is what is at stake, you must consider that the Cryptocurrencies market is very volatile. You can earn a profit just as fast as you can lose your shirt in a bad transaction. So do not fall for the fast-talking salespeople trying to get you in on a call's notice. Time is your friend and it is a decision that need not be hurried for any reason.

The legal framework of these currencies is not yet very well defined. Even though the internet exists throughout the world, these currencies are illegal in many countries.

Many think these currencies are on the path to failure, just another fad. That is not likely to be the case. The blockchain technology is solid and democratic. And yes there is movie/documentary, on it, Banking on BitCoin,

It is clear Cryptocurrencies are the money we will be using in the future.

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Trump administration officials use Sunday news shows to lie about GOP tax bills

Mon, 2017-11-20 15:42

Watching the Sunday Morning News Shows was disappointing not because I did not expect to watch the Trump administration lie about the tax cut scam, but because of the weak counters from the hosts. Yesterday I wrote a blog post suggesting how we stop this media dereliction of duty. This morning I blogged about Stan Collender's article where he wrote that the GOP tax bill is the end of all economic sanity in Washington. The Republican tax cut scam is yet another clear and present danger to our country presented by Trump and his cabal.

As reported by MediaMatters, Trump officials went on air to lie about the bill with little consequence from a mostly willfully incompetent media.

On Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, Mnuchin mischaracterized the bill by claiming that “middle-income people are getting cuts, and rich people are getting very little cuts or in very certain cases increases.” In fact, under the Senate version of the bill, families earning less than $75,000 will see a tax increase while the wealthiest Americans and corporations will see rates go down and enjoy special carve outs, including a tax exemption for private jet management. Host Chris Wallace also pointed out that the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the bill that just passed the House of Representatives would give “80 percent of its cuts to corporations, businesses, and wealthy families.” From the November 19 edition of Fox News Sunday:

Similarly, on CNN’s State of the Union, Mulvaney falsely claimed that the Senate bill “absolutely [would] not” cost at least $1.5 trillion, in direct contradiction a number of studies that estimate the cost of the bill would be as high as $1.8 trillion. From the November 19 edition of State of the Union:

Spread the word and get engaged folks.

(h/t MediaMatters)

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The dangers of running – But you can do it responsibly

Mon, 2017-11-20 14:44
.embed-vidweb { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%;height: 0; overflow: hidden;max-width: 100%; }.embed-vidweb iframe, .embed-vidweb object, .embed-vidweb embed { position: absolute; top: 0;left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Running has its Pros and Cons

Running isn't very dangerous if you rake these precautions.

  1. Beware of your age: Heart diseases could erupt after the age of 30.
  2. Done run too much: Covering thirty or more miles per week may increase plaque buildup in the arteries.
  3. Injured knees and ankles: Running on asphalt or concrete has an impact on the joints that can put you out of commission for a while.
  4. Outdoor is really better: Letting the wind hit you in the face can be refreshing and in some instances offer resistance. But remember not to run at very high temperatures as it can contribute to heat stroke.
  5. Don't let it stress you out: If you are very competitive, remember that even competing against your previous times can contribute to your stress level. And stress chemicals in the body are damaging and defeats the purpose of the exercise.

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