Extortion, Pure and Simple

Extortion, Pure and Simple

So the Black Lives Matter Marxists have thrown away the mask of helping the Black Community.  The following list of DEMANDS was presented to businesses in the “gentrifying” area known as NuLu, in Louisville, Kentucky recently.  Please be aware that only Leftist groups present lists of Demands to organizations like schools, businesses, and governments.  This list sounds like Revolution to me.

    • Businesses will adequately represent the black population of Louisville by having a minimum of 23% black staff (including management) in front of house positions, and maintain commitment and accountability to increasing that number (accountability roundtable information below).
    • Retail locations will include a minimum of 23% inventory of black retailers OR make a recurring monthly donation of 1.5% of net sales to black local organizations.
    • Business owners will require diversity, equity, & inclusion training for their staffs, to be conducted by any one of the black women leaders on the attached list. Training will be conducted thereafter on a bi-annual basis.
    • Customize your own OR display one of the attached written statements in a viable location within your business to increase awareness and show support for the reparations movement.
    • Non-profits in NuLu district will submit to a voluntary, external audit of their board of trustees and take necessary steps towards 23% representation on those boards.
    • Business owners & non-profit leaders will participate in quarterly roundtable discussions to be held accountable for their communities to these demands, and work together towards increased equity.
    • Maintain adequate black representation in any entertainment and performances booked at your business.
    • Dress code policies inherently discriminate against black folks, women, and the transgender community. You must eliminate dress code policies that promote profiling towards patrons and employees, including their hair requirements or stipulations, which can disproportionately target black folks
    • 23% representation on the board of NuLu Business Association

Now, the Black Lives Matter Marxists have given those businesses a list of the Consequences of Non-Compliance with the above list of Demands.

This is Extortion–Marxists acting like a Protection Racket, right in plain sight.

    • Reduction in Racial Index Score/bias report to the Better Business Bureau.
    • Social Media Blast: Notification, via all social media platforms, of non-compliance.
    • Boycott: Public boycott, coordinated through social media and mail announcements, of your NuLu establishment AND any other business ventures owned by you.
    • Protest: Visible, media-covered demonstration/sit-in outside your establishment.
    • Invasive Reclamation: Placement of booths/tables outside your establishment where competing Black proprietors will offer items comparable to those offered by you.This is absolitely disgusting.  What right do the BLM Marxists have to issue any such “demands” of the free people who own and run the businesses in Louisville?  Who made them The All-Powerful who Must Be Obeyed?  I fervently hope that the owners of those businesses band together and sue the daylights out of BLM.

    This is absolutely disgusting!  Who gave these Marxists the right to present “demands” to the free people who own and run these small businesses?  Who made them the “All-Powerful” who can dictate to business owners how they shall behave?  I fervently hope that those business proprietors band together and sue the daylights out of the sleazy extortionists!

This will be the Most Important Story of 2020. More important than the Wuhan Coronavirus.

On July 23, over at The Federalist, Mollie Hemingway published a story entitled:

FBI Notes Refute NY Times Story, Highlight Media Collusion in Russia Hoax

I am copying that post in its entirety here, so readers who can’t or won’t visit the original story can get the Real Facts.  What used to pass for the Press in the United States has turned into a corrupt band of Leftist Activists. Anyone who actually reads their drivel should stop immediately, cancel any subscriptions, and make this story go viral.  Unless you prefer being lied to.  Here is the story.  Please read every word.  Pass it on.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The FBI official who ran the investigation into whether the Donald Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election privately admitted in newly released notes that a major New York Times article was riddled with lies, falsehoods, and “misleading and inaccurate” information. The February 2017 story was penned by three reporters who would win Pulitzers for their reporting on Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia.

The FBI’s public posture and leaks at the time supported the now-discredited conspiracy theory that led to the formation of a special counsel probe to investigate the Trump campaign and undermine his administration.

“We have not seen evidence of any individuals affiliated with the Trump team in contact with [Russian Intelligence Officials]. . . . We are unaware of ANY Trump advisors engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials,” former FBI counterespionage official Peter Strzok wrote of the Feb. 14, 2017 New York Times story “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.” That story, which was based on the unsubstantiated claims of four anonymous intelligence officials, was echoed by a similarly sourced CNN story published a day later and headlined “Trump aides were in constant touch with senior Russian officials during campaign.”

Strzok’s notes are the latest factual debunking of these stories, which were previously shown to be false with the release of Robert Mueller’s special counsel report finding no evidence whatsoever in support of the Hillary Clinton campaign assertion that Trump affiliates colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. A report from the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General on just one aspect of the investigation into Russia collusion — FBI spying on Trump campaign affiliates — also debunked these news reports.

Former FBI Director James Comey admitted under oath in June 2017 that the reporting was “false,” something his deputy director Andrew McCabe privately acknowledged to the White House earlier that year but refused to admit publicly. Efforts by the White House to get the FBI to say publicly what they were admitting privately were leaked to the media in order to suggest the White House was obstructing their investigation. “Obstruction” of the Russia investigation would form a major part of the special counsel probe, and media and Democrat efforts to oust the president.

As for the merits of the explosive New York Times story alleging repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials before the election, Strzok said it was “misleading and inaccurate… no evidence.” Of the unsubstantiated claim that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was on the phone calls with Russian intelligence officials, Strzok said, “We are unaware of any calls with any Russian govt official in which Manafort was a party.” And of the New York Times claim that Roger Stone was part of the FBI’s inquiry into Russian ties, Strzok said, “We have not investigated Roger Stone.”

The Times report, which came hours after National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was ousted due to criminal leaks against him, was one of the most important articles published by major media as part of their campaign to paint Trump as a Russian operative. Widely accepted by the media and political establishment, it did as much to cement the false and damaging Russia conspiracy theory as CNN’s story legitimizing the now-discredited Christopher Steele dossier or the Washington Post’s now-discredited suggestion that Flynn was a secret Russian operative who was guilty of violating an obscure 1799 law called the Logan Act.

The New York Times declined to retract or correct the article three years ago, even after Comey testified it was false, on the grounds that the anonymous sources who fed the false information remained pleased with the initial story.

The damage this false story caused the Trump administration can not be overstated. It’s a story worth recounting here.

Leaks Real, News Fake

The leaks are real, the news is fake,” President Donald Trump said on February 16, 2017, when ABC News’ Jonathan Karl asked him at a press conference to respond to The New York Times’ explosive report. As other reporters asked more questions related to the New York Times story, he went on to deride the media for writing negative and false stories based on anonymous sources.

The response was roundly mocked by a media class that asserted it was unimaginable that intelligence officials might be leaking anything but the most accurate information. CNN’s Jake Tapper, echoing other Democrat activists, called the press conference “unhinged.”

“I guess I don’t understand,” said CNN’s Jim Acosta, asking, “How can the stories be fake?” Numerous other reporters, presumably all college-educated, publicly claimed to wonder the same thing. The few reporters who were skeptical of the anonymously sourced reports on Russia were also mocked.

If someone associated with an intelligence agency had been granted anonymity to claim without evidence that Donald Trump — Donald Trump — had been a secret Russian agent for decades, or had for some reason paid prostitutes to urinate on a Moscow hotel bed President Obama once slept in, or had arranged clandestine meetings in Prague with top-level Kremlin operatives in a grand dirt-and-dollars-and-election-support scheme, it simply had to be true! Who was to say otherwise? Who was to demand evidence for the absurd conspiracy theory that had, it turned out, been manufactured as part of a Clinton campaign operation?

The response to Trump’s claim that the leaks from anonymous intelligence officials were producing fake news was one of many indicators that U.S. political media would be in no position to think critically or skeptically about whether they were being used by a politically motivated cabal of intelligence officials. The smarter ones might have known they were being used but simply determined they would be more than happy to play an important role in the operation.

Trump was right that the leaks were real but the news was false. Trump campaign aides did not have repeated contacts with Russian intelligence, contrary to what Michael S. Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti, and Matt Apuzzo breathlessly reported. Flynn was not a secret Russian agent. Neither was former Sen. Jeff Sessions.

Published At The Right Moment

The New York Times story was completely false, but the damage it caused the Trump administration was very real.

The false story was published mere hours after intelligence officials had successfully ousted Trump’s National Security Advisor Flynn following weeks of criminal and selectively edited leaks about his benign communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States. CNN “confirmed” the New York Times’ false reporting hours later.

The Wall Street Journal’s Shane Harris and Carol E. Lee reported based on anonymous sources two days later that the CIA was withholding important national information from Trump because of supposedly legitimate concerns over his ties to Russia. Then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo debunked that reporting immediately. The Washington Post openly talked about the “cloud of Russia” hanging over the Trump administration.

Still, the combination of stories and resulting hysteria was enough to lead Trump to hold a press conference in the East Room to address the growing Russia collusion narrative. It was there he described the “real” leak, “fake” news phenomenon he was dealing with.

As a reminder, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee had secretly bought and paid for the conspiracy theory to be manufactured, disseminated in the press, and seeded to the U.S. government. It failed to take off as much as they hoped before the election — and yes, contrary to popular reporting, Clinton’s Russia operation was absolutely deployed before the election, and resurrected by the Clinton campaign in the hours after her stunning defeat.

Then corporate media, humiliated by their failure to accurately report on the 2016 campaign, latched onto the conspiracy theory as a way to explain away their failure. Obama intelligence officials worked to give credence to the theory by leaking about Russia’s long-standing efforts to meddle in U.S. elections and attempting to insinuate Trump’s collusion with same.

At the time the New York Times story ran, it was received credulously by nearly the entire political and media class and received no meaningful pushback from them. “BREAKING: Minutes ago, NY Times bombshell– Trump campaign officials in contact w/Russian intelligence for full year,” tweeted Michael Moore. “Flynn was the appetizer. This is the meal,” tweeted Washington Post columnist Brian Klaas.

“Yes, this is as bad as it looks,” the Democratic National Committee stated. “If not a smoking gun, this is a very hot pistol,” opined Paul Begala. “The trail linking Trump to Russian interference in the election is getting closer and closer,” wrote Robert Reich. “Way beyond Flynn!” wrote an excited Sen. Amy Klobuchar, asking for support for a bill investigating Trump.

“Big NYT scoop,” bragged New York Times editor Cliff Levy. Slate’s Ashley Feinbergsaid, “it is [expletive deleted] insane that trump is not being impeached.” Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith said, “This story is a mother[expletive deleted]. We have crossed the Rubicon, folks.” “Whoa,” said Twitter enthusiast Bill Kristol.

“It’s all starting to unravel. This won’t be over soon and we must be relentlessly disciplined in how we discuss it,” said Russia hoaxer Susan Hennessey. “There are some important caveats in NYT story on Russia and Trump. But harder to see how Republicans resist probe,” lobbied Los Angeles Times White House reporter Chris Megerian.

“Holy moly,” said the Los Angeles Times’ Matt Pearce. “Oh wow,” wrote the Washington Post’s Abigail Hauslohner. “Boom,” wrote Der Spiegel’s Matthieu von Rohr. “Words just fail me,” said NPR’s Neela Banerjee. “Blockbuster story has been out 24 hrs & Trump has provided no explanation or refutation. Instead attacks leakers,” said Washington Post-enabled Max Boot. “Siren,” wrote Politico’s Blake Hounshell. “Can’t overstate the importance of a diligent, independent press that protects sources,” wrote Mallory Busch about the anonymously — and erroneously — sourced account.

“This is one of the biggest scandals in American history. Where will it end?” asked American Federation of Teachers union president Randi Weingarten. “Are there any constitutional redresses if the President of the US proves to be the Muscovian Candidate?” asked Foreign Policy senior correspondent Michael Hirsh.

The story was tweeted by Rachel Maddow, lead reporter Michael Schmidt, the New York Times’ Nate Cohn, Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, CNN’s Jake Tapper, Times reporter Jeremy Peters, AP bureau chief Michael Tackett, and rabid Democratic activist and CNN White House correspondent John Harwood,

Democrats pounced. “The need for an independent commission to investigate grows more urgent by the hour. Where is the GOP?,” lobbied Sen. Dick Durbin. “When is enough going to be enough for my GOP colleagues to allow a vote on independent investigation of White House?” asked Rep. Susan Davis. “It’s time for a full, in-depth, bipartisan investigation into the Trump administrations ties to #Russia,” wrote Colorado Democrats. “We need full investigation into connection between
@realDonaldTrump campaign & Russia. Too many unanswered questions,” was a popular refrain from House Democrats such as Ann McLane Kuster.

The comments went on and on and on. Each time the story has been debunked, this received little to no coverage from the same corporate media that trumpeted it.

Fighting the False Story Was Treated As Obstruction

Television news the week The New York Times published its false report was non-stop Russia hysteria. It dominated the Sunday shows. When White House chief of staff Reince Priebus told CBS’ John Dickerson “I think that the media should stop with this unnamed source stuff,” The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman — who would also win a Pulitzer for her perpetuation of the false and dangerous Russia collusion hoax — claimed he was demanding that the media stop using anonymous sources.

When the New York Times story came out, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe asked to speak privately with Priebus, according to reporting in Howard Kurtz’s book “Media Madness.” McCabe told Priebus that “everything” in the story was “bulls–t.” Priebus motioned to the bank of televisions showing that the media was taking it seriously and talking about it non-stop. He asked McCabe if he could say something publicly to push back. McCabe said he’d check with his colleagues and get back to him.

McCabe called back to say he couldn’t do anything. Comey also called Priebus to claim there was nothing they could say publicly. (McCabe admitted in his book “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” that he declined to say publicly that the report was false.)

What the FBI was willing to do, however, was leak to CNN that the “FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories.” That report made it seem like the reporting from The New York Times was legitimate and that the White House was obstructing a legitimate investigation, which, again, became a major theme of the Mueller investigation and attempts to impeach the president.

Comey did offer to brief congressmen and senators that the New York Times report was completely false. When those members said publicly that the New York Times report was false, that too was characterized as something nefarious.

“Trump administration sought to enlist intelligence officials, key lawmakers to counter Russia stories,” was how the Washington Post’s Greg Miller spun that effort. Miller noted that the FBI declined to comment on whether they had told the White House that the New York Times story was completely false. Miller would also win a Pulitzer for his role in perpetuating the Russia collusion hoax.

In his book, McCabe said there was a disinformation campaign in the conservative blogosphere to suggest he had animus toward the president and had gleefully pursued Flynn, both of which he claimed were false. Of the reports, he said, “The stories may be fictional and the information false, but the consequences of this strategy are real.”

Whether or not McCabe’s denials are plausible, how much more powerful is the strategy when it’s not unread blogs but the most powerful media outlets in the world that are willing to spread fictional and false information.

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #108 Sanctuary

A sanctuary is someplace you want to be.  It’s often a quiet place, or a less-quiet place with no one else around.  It’s a place to retreat to, when you have had your fill of the honking horns, boomy bass coming from someone’s hot-rod, or just backups in traffic.

Not far from my home is the Narbeck Wetland, a real sanctuary, designed to preserve a tiny portion of wilderness in the city.  Actually, it’s right across the street from the world’s largest factory building, which is remarkable in itself.  Just last week, I packed up my big camera (well, bigger than my phone), and headed over there for a nice taste of nature.  There are two separate paths around the wetland, one with alternating forest path and boardwalk, and one along the perimeter closer to the street.

This time, I took the inner path.  Just at the edge of the parking lot at the start of the path, there is a pool, with trees overhanging, and I started there.  Boy, was I glad that I had brought my phone, which I have found takes just excellent video.  This particular pool was very pretty, but I felt it really needed video to capture its real beauty.

 

The water was just shimmering so enchantingly, I had to capture that.  But only later when I got home and uploaded this to my computer, did I really hear the background noise.  I guess when you’re across the street from an airplane assembly factory, and just a short distance from the county airport, you can expect to hear overhead aircraft!

On I walked, down the path.

ForestPath

During that entire walk, I met just one other person.  The air was cool, the breeze welcome, and the path inviting.  Just a bit farther on, I reached the boardwalk over the water.

boardwalk

Just down from here, I stopped and spent a few minutes just leaning on the railing over this pool, just listening to the wind in the trees, and the trickling of the water-it was mesmerizing, and hard to come back to reality.

QuietPool

A few yards on down the boardwalk, my eye was caught by something on the railing itself.  I looked a bit closer, and was treated to an almost artistic arrangement.  If you pay attention to the little things, you might see something extraordinary.

Lacework

Lichens, lacework on the half-decomposed leaf, and a dead leaf almost as pretty as the live one must have been.  Ah, the details!

Right at the end of the boardwalk, I found a pool that looked like a piece of abstract art.

LeavesOnWater

And so ended my walk in the wilderness, only a short drive from home.

Speaking of home, my little sanctuary at home is my bedroom.  I do spend an inordinate amount of time sitting on my bed reading.  Today, as many days, I was joined by my cat, Kikyo.  She just loves to sit on me.

Me-n-kitty

I think I am her sanctuary.  That is one relaxed, happy kitty.

Link to Xenia’s Original Post

 

Shall we try “canceling” the California teen…

…who tried, in a Twitter post (sorry, I will not link to anything on Twitter), to humiliate Trader Joe’s Grocery into changing all their generic/ethnic product names?  She did her best to bring down the wrath of the “Twitter Mob” on the grocery chain, who names some of its products after the countries in which they originated.  Say they want to sell soy sauce, they call their brand “Trader Ming’s”, or Italian Olive Oil, “Trader Giotto’s”.  We all know that TJ’s is being funny!  Those brands make their customers smile!

So, Little Miss Scold, @BrionesBedell, attempts to bring down the grocery chain.  Well, funny thing, she did not succeed!  The management at Trader Joe’s received so many notes of support from their customers, that they refused to bend to the winds of Political Correctness, and Cancel Culture!  We who shop at Trader Joe’s regularly, love those product names, and we love Trader Joe’s stores and their products.

So, Miss Briones Bedell, go crawl back under your rock, and be offended in private.  We don’t want to hear your scolding your elders and betters.

I’m very happy to support any of my readers and followers who are on Twitter in calling out this teenager, who needs a taste of her own medicine.

Debunking the latest conspiracy theories

Many people out there think that the ongoing story about the big tech/social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google-owned YouTube) and others (Vimeo) censoring information they deem “Not True” is basically a conspiracy theory promulgated by conservatives who feel left out by the “in crowd”.  Videos below are removed by platforms almost as soon as they are posted, by the Almighty Arbiters of Truth on the Internet.  Do you want Facebook and Twitter and Google determining what of your posts are true?

Well, just this week, a group of Doctors, going by “Frontline Doctors”, put out a video press conference, where they describe their findings on the efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine in treating cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the Wuhan Coronavirus (which WAS spread around the world from Communist China).

Let’s make this Video go Viral Today!

 

https://www.bitchute.com/video/HeC0tHZDX7dk/

 

Oh, and by the way, this doctors’ group’s own website was taken down!  No Freedom of Speech in today’s United States.

New video posted today:

 

Today’s new video.

Followers, get out there and link to both these videos.  Defy Social Media Tyranny!

 

Decoding the Leftist Buzzwords-Updated for the Cancel-culture world

All of the following words and phrases are commonly used by liberals Leftists and their publications and media to describe various societal conditions. Herewith, find the real meaning behind the liberal Leftist buzzwords:

Black Lives Matter:

Black Lives Matter is a group of Marxists who work, not for equality and respect for black people, but to destroy the capitalist United States and instigate a Marxist, Communist state, making them the dictators over all.  For this group, these Black Lives don’t matter:

GosnellHorror
Found at Butcher Gosnell’s “Clinic”.

Activist:

An activist is anyone who works for social justice or to mitigate climate change or racial inequality.  Activists these days are no longer just SJWs, but rioters, destroyers of private and public property, and thugs who target police, business-owners, and homeowners who choose to protect their livelihoods and property.  Activists work in mobs, take over downtown streets, and walk onto busy freeways during rush hour.

Mass Incarceration:

Used to describe the number of black people who are in prison.  Leftists use this term to disguise the fact that the reason there are so many black people in prison is that they commit so many more crimes than other groups.  The term connotes black people rounded up by (white) police and thrown in prison for no reason.

Marginalized, as in “Marginalized Groups”:

A marginalized group is any group of people that can be defined as “oppressed” at any time in the past, recent or ancient.  Seeing someone as a member of a marginalized group ignores anything that person has done or been, and immediately marks them as unequal to today’s elites.  Most activities of Social Justice Warriors are said to be to the benefit of marginalized groups.  However, whatever is actually done on their behalf never seems to get them out of the “marginalized” category.

Affordable:
Means a thing or service that you want and either don’t have the money to buy, or choose not to save up for. Affordable, to a liberal, means someone else pays for what you want. Someone else pays for your health care, your cell phone, your mortgage, your education, and your medications.

Income Inequality:

Means that someone makes more money than you do, and that is because they are taking money from you instead of really earning it.  Every dollar the other person earns that is more than you or someone else earns, was pulled from your account.  The cure for income inequality is not to help the low-earners make more by improving their education or skills, but taxing higher-earners to redistribute to lower-earners. [that sounds like a lose-lose proposition]

Environmental Impact Study/Statement:
This is where the radical environmentalists tie up all new infrastructure projects (especially roads and oil pipelines) in enough red tape to double or triple the costs, and sometimes stop them altogether. This is why there have been no new oil refineries built since the 1970’s, and the ones that exist are constantly down for maintenance, increasing the price of gasoline accordingly. This is why farmers cannot get enough water for their crops, but tiny fish are “saved” from extinction. The fish are more important than the farmers.

Diversity:
This is the concept that says that the color of the skin of the people in any school classroom or business office is more important than their skills or the content of their character. Diversity is held up as the highest value when admitting students to college (but does NOT include variety of viewpoint). Increasing diversity is why Barack Obama made it all the way through Punahou School, college, and Harvard Law School without having to demonstrate any real knowledge or publish any academic papers, and why he was elected to the highest office in our land twice with absolutely NO relevant experience. And, also, why he was a near-total failure.  Diversity also includes every newly-recognized “gender” category, except Male and Female.

Awareness:
This is where interest groups like Feminists and Liberal Leftist Activists constantly bombard Americans with subjects like Breast Cancer, Battered Women, Gay Rights, Discrimination in the workplace, Women in Combat, Sexual Abuse by Catholic Priests, etc., etc. As if we are not totally aware of all these issues and simply wish to be left alone.

Organic:
This simply means MORE EXPENSIVE, due to old-fashioned, labor-intensive methods of cultivation, which leads to higher rates of spoilage, and increased incidences of food poisoning from harmful bacteria.  It has never been proven that organic food is any healthier than food cultivated in the normal manner.

Green (applied to any material):
This also means MORE EXPENSIVE, due to antiquated methods of production, and use of more-expensive types of labor and energy (plows pulled by horses, solar panels that cost twice what your oil or gas furnace costs, and only work when the sun shines; roof gardens that leak into the rooms below); utensils made of plant material instead of plastic; light bulbs containing mercury and other toxic chemicals.

Social Justice (the real biggie for Liberals) Leftists:

This, for Liberals, means Payback, and Take Back.  Payback to all the successful people in the nation who, to them, became successful “on the backs” of the “99%”.  In their minds, the world is a zero-sum game, with gains by some causing losses by others.  Social Justice for them means taking away supposed ill-gotten gains from those who they deem to be illegitimately wealthy (Wall Street bigwigs, successful entrepreneurs like the Koch brothers, and media moguls such as Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch).  It means giving those ill-gotten gains to their preferred “victim” groups, such as those on welfare, minorities,and illegal immigrants.  It means heavily taxing high-earners to bestow benefits on the “low-income”.  It means punishing success and rewarding failure.

Gentrification:

Means “the rich” moving in and making improvements to your rundown neighborhood, and kicking you out of your house.  It means remodeling old houses or apartments and increasing their value, thus by comparison decreasing the value of your property.  You, of course, have no recourse but to leave, since you are kept down by others and have no way of improving your own life and earning power.

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #107 Winter

Lens-Artists Challenge #107 Winter

I like Winter.  I went to Minnesota to grad school in the early 1970s, and I quickly decided I much preferred winter to summer (98 degrees, 98% humidity-ugh!).  In Minnesota, winter is bitter cold, with temperatures as low as -45 at night, but the sun is shining most days.  There’s no more beautiful sight than the sun making the snowy scene sparkle like diamonds.  I regret that I have no photos from that time, but the memories linger.

In the Pacific Northwest, where I was born and raised, and live now, winters can be predictable-gray clouds, rain, and gloom most of the time.  But, as I heard somewhere, no one ever died shoveling two feet of “partly cloudy” off their doorstep!  In Minneapolis, we would hear regularly about people coming home, drunk, at 2AM, and falling asleep on their porch and freezing to death.

We do, however, get snow sometimes, and when we do, it turns our neighborhood, and our city, into a winter wonderland (and a driving nightmare).  I tend to go outside with my camera, starting with my own backyard.  2019 was actually a good year for snow.

IMG_0097

This avian visitor is a Varied Thrush, and he has an insect in his beak.  We have two pairs who visit the yard pretty much year-round, as they live in the mini-forest to the west of our house.

IMG_0090

Our Song Sparrows are also frequent visitors.  I end up refilling our bird feeder often in winter.

We can tell how much snow we get by checking out the stationary objects in the yard, and measuring the snowcaps.  We got the concrete pagoda for a wedding present, and it does hold quite a bit of snow.

IMG_0087

That’s a bird-bath in front, and our Japanese Maple on the right.  And out the front door:

Icicles

Those icicles are pretty, but an indication of trouble with the gutters.  We got that fixed earlier this year.  You can see that when it snows here, the sky stays normal, Pacific Northwest gray.  We natives are used to it, but our local university was a pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or Seattle Depression.

At least once a year, we try to get up to Leavenworth, just on the East side of the Cascades, for their weekend Tree Lighting ceremony.  Now Leavenworth, a “tourist trap” that made itself into Washington’s Bavarian Village, does things up proud in the winter, with all the buildings, and trees downtown, strung with colorful lights.  To get there, you head east on US Highway 2.

img_1494

And when you get there…

SunsetLeavenworth12-16

img_0825
Leavenworth Tree Lighting-Before

 

I also have my little camera in my work bag, just to capture unexpected beauty in mundane things.  On my way to work, I drive around the perimeter of Paine Field, the county airport.  Who would have thought that a simple concrete-block wall would look this interesting?

Patterns-snow-fence2019

And when I got to work, it was still snowing.  When I went out for lunch…

ParkingLot-work-2019

In October of 2013, we drove to Las Vegas and back for a Ricochet meetup.  On the way back, we drove by the Grand Canyon, and Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.  It was just gorgeous at Bryce.  Those red-rock features look majestic with their snow caps.

Rainbow Point, Bryce Canyon NP
View from Rainbow Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.
Natural Bridge, Bryce
“Natural Bridge”, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Mother Nature likes winter, too, and makes such beautiful landscapes for us to see and appreciate.

 

 

Link

Not a Happy Place. The Wuhan Coronavirus did not make this. The Government did.

Layoffs.  Early retirements.  Empty workstations.  Surplus furniture.

This is not a happy place.

MTCube-1

Chairs

Cabinets

These represent peoples’ lives disrupted and thrown into chaos.  These are the result of the State shutting down the Economy, at the behest of unelected “scientists”, computer modelers (whose models were shown to be spectacularly wrong), and public health “experts”, who knew not what they were doing.  Their jobs were and are not at risk.  Their cubicles and offices, still fully occupied, their paychecks, and generous government pensions (which most employees in the productive sector no longer have), are undiminished.  This is evil.  And destructive.

No New Ideas in the DemocRat Agenda, Biden?

This really made me laugh out loud.  Presumptive 2020 DemocRat presidential nominee Joe Biden laid out his plans to “target racial inequality”, and roll back President Trump’s policies.  Groan…

Check out this “multi pronged plan” to address long-standing racial inequality in the United States.  If he is elected, Joe Biden will:

Spend hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on:

A substantial boost in money for colleges with mainly black enrollment.

A new agency that would compete with private credit-ratings firms.

New Rules aimed at ensuring “fairness” in lending, along with “vows of tougher enforcement of anti discrimination regulations.”

….

Then, there are:

Four Trillion Dollars in Tax Increases to help cover his proposals, including raising rates on corporations [who do not pay taxes, but pass along their expenses to customers in higher prices]; investments [targeting YOU, who have investments in your college-savings and retirement accounts]; and high-earners [helping destroy incentives for lower-earners to earn more].  {with thanks to the Wall Street Journal for the list above}

Why would you, as a voter, vote in favor of all these old, hackneyed, proven-ineffective programs?  Why would you consciously vote into office someone who has stated very plainly that he is in favor of increasing the cost of living for everyone?  Leftists simply can’t think of anything new to do with their power, other than More New Government Programs and Agencies, and Higher Taxes.