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Member since: Fri May 12, 2017, 09:00 PM
Number of posts: 5,210

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A few words about the British monarchy

I've never been much of a Royals watcher, but Diana's death hit me hard for some reason.

A friend I used to have had been a fan and follower and anglophile for many years. I said to her once, about 20 years ago, that I didn't see why Elizabeth didn't just retire and let Charles have the throne. She said, "Oh, no!! She would never do that." She went on to explain that the abdication of King Edward VIII, which left her father on the throne, had deeply affected the country and Elizabeth would never step down. Never. She saw it as her duty to stay on the throne.

I found that very odd, but accepted her explanation. I still find it a bit odd, but have learned a little more in the meantime.

Downton Abbey was one source for that learning. As most of you probably know, it was a fictional series about an aristocratic family in the early 20th Century. There too I learned a little about the sense of "duty" that these aristocrats felt toward the town that relied on them. It was economic duty, but more than that. They were looked upon as leaders and had to live up to that and fulfill those obligations. For example, they had periodic events at the Abbey where they invited the townspeople and surrounding area folks to join them.

Yes, yes, yes, I know all about wealth and class inequality and how shameful that all is, and so on and so forth. This isn't an argument against that. MY POINT is that there's yet another dimension to this whole royalty and aristocracy thing than a lot of people understand, certainly than I understood.

The final part of the lesson for me was from Elizabeth herself. I saw a film clip of her at age 21 giving an address to the people of the U.K. (by radio) pledging that whether her life would be long or short, she would devote all of it to serving them. Again, I thought it odd that she or any royal felt she was serving them, but -- that's the way it is, and was, and it wasn't just something they made up, or lip service. I think we need to honor that (even if I can't quite understand it!).

She also served in the military, btw -- learned to drive and repair jeeps!

She became queen suddenly at age 25 when her father died unexpectedly in his sleep, and frankly has done a masterful job of reigning for these 60 odd years -- the longest reigning monarch in British history.

The people of the United Kingdom love their monarchy. They have the ability to end if if and when they please. They so far have chosen not to. I think their choice should be honored. They're doing just fine with their monarchy, and based on this past weekend's events, even have a beautiful lesson or two or ten to share with the rest of the world.

We all need to speak up: NO ONE is holding Trump accountable in any way

Well, TBH the courts are and the 4th estate is doing - eh, okay, but the BIG piece of the checks-and-balances puzzle falling down on the job is Congress.

PLEASE. Let's all start holding our Congresspeople accountable for not fulfilling their jobs, for not honoring their oaths of office. Trump is ruining the country, the government, our foreign relations, everything, and breaking the laws daily to boot. WE HAVE TO SPEAK UP AND TELL THEM TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER and do their jobs.

(And if you have Dems in Congress, they ALL could be doing better too -- are they pressuring their GOP colleagues enough? Or they introducing enough bills? Are they COUNTERING THE LIES at the top of their lungs? Are they doing what they can to get in front of cameras -- and not just C-Span cameras -- to help COUNTER THE LIES so that Sarah's lies and Trump's lies about 6 gazillion things don't go unchallenged, as they mostly have been. Lots more they can and should do. Lots.)

Here are the easiest, quickest ways I know of to do this:

Call 24/7: 202-224-3121
Free Faxes (can incl up to 3 pages attached) to Senators: https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php
Free Faxes (ditto) to Congress: https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php
TEXT your faxes: Text RESIST to 50409
Write your MoC - DEMOCRACY.IO https://democracy.io/#/

Thank you.

People on Mars by 2024 ??

IMO that's way too soon. But I'll be honest: I'm totally biased against the whole thing. Not that I disapprove, just that I'm totally creeped out by the whole idea. And this article does nothing to assuage that at all (but it's a fascinating article, nonetheless). I'm just creeped out by the idea of taking a one-way trip to someplace like that. That's it -- one way only, with NO prospect of EVER getting to come back "home."

I mentioned that once before and someone responded that that's what people were facing when they came to the New World but it's categorically different by an order of magnitude in my book. In the New World instance, it might have been improbable, maybe even nearly impossible, but definitely not totally, completely, no way in hell impossible.

In any case --

Astronauts may one day use this tube to eat, drink, breathe, and recycle poop on the moon or Mars — here’s how it works

In recent years, Elon Musk has said his rocket company, SpaceX, is working toward colonizing Mars with 1 million people. His "aspirational" timeline is to launch an uncrewed Big Falcon Rocket in 2022, followed by the first human landing in 2024.

. . .

Mars is a far more difficult challenge to survive. The red planet is an average of 158 million miles away from Earth, with a small window — just once every 26 months— to launch a relatively quick multi-month mission. Any hiccup in an infrequent supply chain of fresh air, food, and water, such as a launchpad explosion, might doom unprepared explorers.

"If you are stranded there, you need a lot of redundancy so you don't starve to death,'" Phil Sadler, a botanist-turned-machinist in Arizona, told Business Insider. "That's the worst-case scenario you can have, is a crew of six people on Mars calling back saying, 'We're starving to death, we're dying, we just ate Bob.'"


Needless to say, I'm not a risk-taker to start with, but I can't even IMAGINE the degree of risk-takingness this would require. IMO you'd have to have a death wish to be among the first.

Sessions' new border policy - legalized white nationalism

Exquisite short thread by an immigration lawyer

Thread by @HMAesq: "When a parent and a child arrive at the border to seek asylum (that is, lawfully immigrate), the "new" policy means the parent gets charged […]" #EndFamilySeparation


When a parent and a child arrive at the border to seek asylum (that is, lawfully immigrate), the "new" policy means the parent gets charged criminally with unlawful entry (or re-entry), and the child is sent separately to be processed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

That way, an asylum seeker gets a criminal record while also being separated from their child. Because what they've fled from wasn't quite cruel enough. But "immigrants should get in line and do it legally!"

That is EXACTLY what they're doing.
This morning the @AILANational (the American Immigration Lawyers Association) issued a short statement pushing back on the DOJ/DHS partnership intending to prosecute all ‘illegal border crossers’ and separate families.


AILA - DOJ and DHS Decide to Forcibly Separate Families and Prosecute Asylum Seekers
As DHS and DOJ announced new efforts that will result in the forcible separation of vulnerable families seeking protection in the United States under U.S. law, AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnso…
We are a country that jails children and asylum seekers.

This is what legalized white nationalism looks like. It's been injected into our immigration policy at an alarming rate. It was never about the economy, or jobs. It was about preserving a white America.
We also call out Sessions for claiming that lawyers like me helping asylum seekers understand the system are somehow doing wrong. An Arizona congressman thinks we should lose our licenses for doing what's right, and for doing our jobs.

Bring it, punks.

Frank Figluizzi is downright giddy tonight

I'm lovin' it. Whatisname Ackerman was too. Joyce Vance was much more subdued.

I'll take giddy, myself. Best of all: Avenatti's claim that they're not done yet.

AND, just remember what stormy said on SNL: She told Trump to resign, and promised a storm acomin'. Sorta like she knew something ahead of time.
Posted by RandomAccess | Tue May 8, 2018, 11:17 PM (5 replies)

Hooray -- Nonprofit Sues Georgia for Paper Ballots!!

I am personally convinced that SOME of the massive wins in Virginia were due to the move to paper ballots. Believe it or not, we've been "losing" elections we didn't really lose since 2000, and things really got going starting in 2002 with elecrronic voting machines.

Nonprofit Sues Georgia, Seeking to Prevent Voting on All-Electric Systems in November
The state is one of five that currently rely on an all-electronic voting system with no paper ballot backup to verify the vote, but some of these states are changing their ways.

Georgia’s Secretary of State office is facing a lawsuit over its use of an all-electronic voting system with no paper ballot verification backups, one of five states that currently use such a system.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia is holding proceedings for Donna Curling v. Brian Kemp. Plaintiff attorney David Cross said his clients are asking the judge for a preliminary injunction to stop Secretary of State Brian Kemp from using Georgia’s current all-electronic voting system in the November elections.

The lawsuit stems from the alleged 2016 discovery of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in Georgia’s Direct Recording Equipment (DRE) voting system. The plaintiffs claim that the Secretary of State’s ignored repeated warnings from cybersecurity experts and told them, in essence, to go away, according to a copy of the amended complaint. The complaint asserted that there is an “incompatibility between the functioning of the current electronic voting system and the voters’ right to cast a secret ballot and have that vote accurately counted."

MUCH MORE http://www.govtech.com/public-safety/Nonprofit-Sues-Georgia-Seeking-to-Prevent-Voting-on-All-Electric-Systems-in-November.html
Posted by RandomAccess | Tue May 8, 2018, 02:16 PM (0 replies)

Oh no. Schneiderman is going down -- Chris Hayes NOW

Okay -- it's covered here: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210587526

1967 Walter Cronkite on Life in the 21st Century - AMAZING

See how many predictions came true:

P.S. Oh how I hat to admit I was 19 at the time.
Posted by RandomAccess | Sun May 6, 2018, 01:13 PM (4 replies)

Signs you're in a codependent relationship with the Mueller investigation

Okay, I confess -- count me in. (This is cute -- go read it all)

A healthy relationship is marked by good boundaries and an attachment to a real person you've actually met.

Over the past two years, far too many people have developed a codependent relationship with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Their fixation is eminently understandable. Like him or not, that sullen piece of limestone rock is the only person capable of saving us from President Trump/nuclear holocaust.

What started for many of us as a light crush has since matured into an unhealthy fixation, with no relief in sight — since Trump isn't about to go to jail anytime soon. It's time we all examined ourselves for symptoms of Mueller addiction.

. . .

9. You've told everyone, "I'm not a Republican but I've kind of got a thing for Mueller."

10. You have uttered the phrase "Follow the money" more than twice in the past month.

. . .

12. You scream at MSNBC or CNN when they've got breaking news like it's the Super Bowl, even though they're mostly just droning on about some boring bank.

13. You talk about needing a Mueller "fix."

14. You've spent your hard earned money on some of the worst books of the year: James Comey's self-aggrandizing airport book and Fire and Fury in hard copy.

Posted by RandomAccess | Fri May 4, 2018, 09:47 PM (5 replies)

A Night With Stormy Daniels and a Strip Club Full of Resistance Women

Not sure what to make of this. I'm having a little bit of cognitive dissonance. Or maybe a lot.

A Night With Stormy Daniels and a Strip Club Full of Resistance Women
“I already donated to her legal defense fund. So I’m here to support her.”
Posted by RandomAccess | Fri May 4, 2018, 08:02 PM (3 replies)
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