Photo of the Week – July 25, 2020

This is just one of a large number of photos captured by New York City area residents on July 23 of a lightning bolt striking near the Statue of Liberty.

Just sort of humbles humanity back into its rightful place, doesn’t it?

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Tweet of the Week – July 25, 2020

U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) responding to Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) who claimed he wasn’t aware of a virulent exchange between Ocasio-Cortez and U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL).

In a confrontation overheard by a reporter Monday outside the U.S. Capitol this week, Yoho allegedly called Ocasio-Cortez “disgusting” and told her “you are out of your freaking mind” for describing poverty as a root cause of crime, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.  Moreover, he supposedly denounced Ocasio-Cortez as a “fucking bitch,” out of earshot, according to “The Hill”, which first reported on the exchange.

Adding to the novella-style drama, Williams apparently stood nearby, but declared ignorance.  “I was actually thinking, as I was walking down the stairs, I was thinking about some issues I’ve got in my district that need to get done,” Williams said.  “I don’t know what their topic was.  There’s always a topic, isn’t there?”

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Worst Quote of the Week – July 25, 2020

“I would never ask someone to vote against their conscience, but I would challenge them to reconsider how their conscience is framed.  Remember that by voting for Trump, you’re effectively voting for many more people. Sure, Trump’s name is on the ballot for president, but you’re also voting for Mike Pence.  You’re voting for outspoken Christians like Mark Meadows, Mike Pompeo, and many other committed non-carnal Christ-followers.”

John Reid, in a column for “Christian Post”.

Reid also declared: “If you’re a Christ-follower who’s wrestling with whether to vote for Trump in 2020, I get it.  I understood your plight in 2016 and I understand it now, though less-so now.  I’ll admit that in 2016 I abhorred the man’s behavior and I certainly wasn’t confident that Donald Trump would be the conservative policy-pusher that the Christian-right wanted.  But I have no reservations now, and, my brothers and sisters in Christ, neither should you.”

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Best Quote of the Week – July 25, 2020

“They are acting like an uncontrolled mob on the street with uniforms and badges that they don’t show.  You shouldn’t — police don’t do this.  Watch this!  What kind of bullshit is this?!   This is a shame.”

Lte. Gen. Russel Honoré (U.S. Army, ret.), on the “11th Hour with Brian Williams”, responding to news footage of federal agents using batons, tear gas and other items to combat protesters in Portland, Oregon.

Among those injured was U.S. Navy veteran Chris David who had been trying to talk to police and suffered a broken arm in the chaos.  Honoré led the recovery in New Orleans after the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe, which occurred in the midst of another disastrous Republican presidential administration.

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Stuck

Why can’t I move?  I just can’t move!  It’s like I’m glued to this bed.  With the VCR playing.  VCR?  And a porn video.  Really?  At this time of…what time is it?

I have no idea what’s going on.  Why am can’t I move?  What stupid video is playing?  On a VCR?!  I didn’t know I had a TV in my bedroom.  Why the fuck can’t I move?!

And – oh, what the hell!  There’s a naked man standing over there!  Who the – ?!  Who is he?!  Who are you?!  Standing here in my bedroom!  Butt-ass naked!  What the – ?!

At some other time, that would be a fantasy come to life.  O the start of some cheesy porn film.  Speaking of porn…what the hell is going on here?!

What’s happening?!
I can’t believe this!

I can’t move!

I’m stuck here in my own bed!  What the fuck is that all about?!  Why can’t I move?!

I mean…

That’s utterly terrifying.

Imagine that.

You’re in your own bed – and you can’t fucking move!

What else could go wrong?

I have enough shit in my life.

Now this!

I can’t move!

In my own bed!

I’m thirsty.

Great.  I’m thirsty, while laying down, and I can’t get up.  What else can go wrong?

It’s hot in here.

Thirsty and warm.

And stuck in my own bed.

A porn movie playing – on a VCR.

Naked man standing against the wall.

He’s not even looking at me.  Come on, dude!  You’re in my bedroom – sans clothes – and you don’t have the decency to look at me?!

How rude!
I can’t move!

Why can’t I move?

What is going on here?

I’m struggling…squirming…practically bouncing up and down in my own bed.

Trying to get up.

To move.

What’s going on?

Why do I feel paralyzed?

In my own bed.

What an awful feeling.

How is there a TV in my bedroom?

I didn’t move a TV in my bedroom.

With a VCR player.

A VCR!

Aha!

Okay…finally.  I can move.

What the – ?

Okay, I can move.

Wow.

What was that all about?

Okay…fully awake now.

Wow.

My head is hurting.

Okay…what was that all about?

Why did I have that…dream?

I guess.

That’s what it was…right?

A dream.

I don’t know.

I can’t tell.

So weird.

What was that all about?

Why couldn’t I move?

A porn film!

On a VCR!

I don’t have a TV in my bedroom!

What was that?!

Why did that happen?

Why couldn’t I even move?

In my own bed!

What was that all about?

Who was that man?

And why is he still here in my bedroom?

Lying on the floor!

Dead.

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History versus Heritage

This is a great piece from writer, journalist, U.S. Army veteran and fellow blogger Charles Ray.

Asnycnow Radio

The United States is currently in a full-blown crisis; actually, two full-blown crises.

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has yet to run its course, we face the crisis of a rising awareness among a significant number of Americans that we need to take a long, hard look at how we treat our nation’s history, especially the history of race relations. The latter is playing out in an often-rancorous public debate about the status of symbols of the short-lived Confederate States of America, its flag, statues of its leaders, and the names of Confederate generals currently designating 10 army posts in the American south.

Those opposed to removing these symbols from public display, including the President, argue that they are symbols of our American heritage, and removing them erases our history. Such arguments show a lack of understanding of the difference between heritage and history.

Dictionaries define ‘history’ as…

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The New World Order According to Pat Robertson: Drugs Are Vegetables

With age often comes wisdom; sometimes strangeness.  With the indefatigable Pat Robertson… well, who knows what the hell the old bastard is going to say!  In a recent radio interview with conservative commentator Sean Hannity, Robertson declared that marijuana and cocaine are essentially – vegetables!  Yes, the verbose curmudgeon who once said America was going to Hell because of feminists and queers stated:

“All this drug addiction, can you imagine somebody made in the image of God is a slave to a bunch of weeds? I mean, you know, they’re plants and vegetables.  Cocaine, marijuana, all these things are vegetables, and we’re supposed to be in charge.  He said I’m going to give you dominion over the whole Earth, and yet we’re slaves to vegetables.  I mean, this is so humiliating.”

If one contemplates – before using any intoxicants – marijuana and cocaine are, indeed, the products of plants.  Humans have been using them for thousands of years.  Long before monolithic pharmaceutical companies hijacked health care, old people in huts would dispense Earth’s natural remedies with love and prayer.  No child-resistant caps!  No tamper-proof packaging!  And no warnings about addiction!

I keep thinking this is akin to the time Ronald Reagan allegedly wanted to declare ketchup a vegetable because it’s tomato-based.  That’s what happens when you let right-wing conservatives manage education AND economics at the same time.

But I also cogitate that, if ketchup, marijuana and cocaine are technically vegetables because they’re plant-based, then so are vodka and wine.  They’re grain- and grape-based, respectably, so my reasoning is valid.  Damn!  I’ve been a vegetarian since age 14 and never knew it until now!

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The Historical Goes Digital

Digitalization isn’t all bad.  It’s helping to preserve a variety of aging documents.  And since the late 1970s, digitalization has created an almost entirely new form of art.  Dutch photographer Bas Uterwijk certainly realized this when he used a generative adversarial network (GAN) to create realistic portraits of some of the world’s most renowned personalities.  He’s taken some incredibly detailed portraits and transformed them into equally incredible images of what these people may have looked if photographed.  The results are stunning.

Vincent van Gogh

Queen Elizabeth I

Michelangelo’s David

Statue of Liberty

Napoleon Bonaparte

Rembrandt

Jesus Christ

George Washington

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Retro Quote – John Lewis

“Yes, I was beaten, left bloody and unconscious.  But I never became bitter or hostile, never gave up.  I believe that somehow and some way if it becomes necessary to use our bodies to help redeem the soul of the nation, then we must do it.”

John Lewis

In Memoriam: John Lewis, 1940 – 2020

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Video of the Week – July 18, 2020

A school principal shared some thoughts with Betsy Devos, U.S. Secretary of Education, in a video shared by Bored Teachers.  The 2-minute video synopsizes the heroic efforts that teachers took on when the pandemic hit and how Devos needs to “sit down somewhere” and just listen.  In fact, that’s the best advice we can give to any political figure – especially those like Devos and others in the Trump Administration who sit in their gilded cages in the ivory towers of wealth and privilege; far removed from the chaos and drama of REAL lives.

Teachers like this gentleman stand at the front lines in the brutal world of education and are now faced with the very real threat of illness and death, as the Trump gang threatens to pull education funding from states that don’t open their schools next month for the start of the new academic year.

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