Feb 19

Bigots, Racists, and Nazis

White as white gets here. I mention this because I’m going to call people out and if I use the word Nazi it’s because I’m allowed to.

It is a source of unending amazement to me that fast on the heels of Trump it’s not only ok to be bigoted against Hispanics (How is Puerto Rico doing? Very badly, thanks for asking. THEY ARE UNITED STATES CITIZENS!), and racist against Blacks (All, y’all- Slavery is BAD! Justifying it by equating skin color to virtue and intelligence is worse.), but also, once again, open anti-Semitism is tolerated.

Now historically anti-Semitism is not an exclusively Germanic fault. Let’s take democratic (sometimes), enlightened, and tolerant France as an example.

In 1894 Captain Alfred Dreyfus was sentenced to life imprisonment for Treason because he supposedly transferred French military secrets to Germany. In fact it was Major Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy who did it and when conclusive proof was offered in 1896 that this was the case-

(H)igh-ranking military officials suppressed the new evidence, a military court unanimously acquitted Esterhazy after a trial lasting only two days. The Army then accused Dreyfus with additional charges based on falsified documents.

Dreyfus languished on Devil’s Island until 1899 when he was given a new trial where he was convicted and sentenced again (this time for 10 years)!

How could this happen? Esterhazy was a conventional Catholic and Dreyfus was Jewish.

Anti-Semitism was rampant all over Europe and Jews had been persecuted for centuries. When the Nazis adopted systemic anti-Semitism as part of their public program (damn Mexicans stealing our jobs) and acted to murder Jews on an industrial scale (6 Million people is actually the low end of respectable Historians’ estimates) they got a lot of support from people in France (only 25% but still 73,000) and also places like Poland and the Ukraine where the death toll was much, much higher.

Ukraine is now governed by United States supported fascists (thanks Obama and the CIA) and Poland’s new regime of unreconstructed Authoritarians has now made it illegal to openly discuss Polish complicity in the Holocaust.

Polish foreign minister indicates ‘Poles of Jewish ethnicity’ share blame for Holocaust
by E.A. Crunden, Think Progress
Feb 19, 2018

Saturday, (Polish Prime Minister Mateusz) Morawiecki told a conference of world leaders in Munich that Jews had a role in the Holocaust akin to those of other groups, including Nazis themselves.

“You’re not going to be seen as criminal [if you] say that there were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators as well as Ukrainian perpetrators — not only German perpetrators,” Morawiecki said.

Beata Mazurek, a spokesperson for Poland’s ruling far-right Law and Justice Party (PiS), said the prime minister’s initial comments “told the truth that is difficult for the Israeli side to accept” and asserted that Morawiecki had nothing to apologize for, a sentiment Foreign Minister Czaputowicz echoed a day later.

The back-and-forth over Jewish accountability in the Holocaust is only the latest in an ongoing dispute over Poland’s own role in the genocide. Last month, the country’s PiS-led government approved legislation banning any implication that the Holocaust was led by Poles or that Nazi concentration camps were in any way Polish. Those found in violation face stiff fines and up to three years in prison.

During the Nazi occupation, six death camps were established in Poland. More than 90 percent of the country’s Jewish population — once the largest in Europe — died during the genocide and the population has never fully recovered. While Poland’s government actively resisted the Nazi regime, Jewish Poles experienced persecution and discrimination both before and after the occupation at the hands of their neighbors.

(A)s the target of a genocidal campaign, many Jews were forced to police and report on their neighbors and families. While some went so far as to commit suicide rather than help, others complied. Those who assisted were ultimately sent to their deaths regardless.

“First, the scope of the phenomenon was marginal in the Jewish case – important but marginal – whereas the hostile reaction of many Poles to the persecuted Jews was a norm in most parts of Poland. Poles hated and feared Nazi Germany, but many of them saw the murder of the Jews as a ‘positive’ outcome of the war. Second, there is the question of motives,” Dreifuss said. “While most Jews collaborated hoping to save themselves, their family or part of their community – Poles helped Nazi Germany hunt Jews due to various reasons, among them hatred and financial benefits.”

Poland’s ongoing efforts to distance the country from its dark history are in line with a broader PiS-driven push to revive Polish nationalism. A surge in anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment has spread across the country in recent years, targeting minority communities — including Polish Jews and Muslims — in the process.

During a Polish Independence Day march last year, upwards of 60,000 people marched in a demonstration widely decried as a display of white supremacy and nationalism. Marchers carried signs declaring “Europe will be white” and a number of other slogans, including “Poland Catholic, not secular.” Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak later called the march “a beautiful sight.”

Folks, when I say we are living in 1938 Germany I am not kidding.

Feb 19

“We Call BS”

Emma Gonzalez, a student at the Parkland, Florida high school where 17 people were left dead after a mass shooting, calls out President Trump and the NRA by name at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

I cannot tell you how proud I am of these young men and women. They are our future.

Feb 19


Hey, sometimes things come back…

from the grave.

Feb 19

The Breakfast Club (Presidents’ Day)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

A pivotal battle in the American Revolution; President James Garfield dies; Bruno Hauptmann arrested in the Lindbergh baby case; Unabomber’s manifesto published; ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ premieres.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Abraham Lincoln

Continue reading

Feb 18

Rant of the Week: Bill Maher – Traitor Trump’s Toxic Trysts

Bill recaps the top stories of the week, including the latest Mueller indictment and another alleged Trump affair.

Feb 18

Among other things I have done.

If you’ve been a careful reader you’ll remember my original intention was not to be capo di tutti myself but instead my buddy’s consigliere. Though it was a job I later held myself one of his posts was Chief Training Officer (of course I held a lieutenancy while he served). This included running motivational seminars and while they were pieces of work (we’re both very good trainers and public speakers) reading self help books to get material made me at vomit in my mouth a little because they’re all the same and there’s only so much Anthony Mahavoric (Tony Robbins) I can take.

Anyway he and I also did the DJ thing together and one day he picked up this compilation of songs from Island Records and we were previewing it for stuff we could use when we came across Adventures In Success by an artist going by the obviously fake name of Will Powers.

Well, it was a big hit, mostly because it was short I imagine, but also different. What puts me in mind of it is this Super Bowl commercial with Keanu Reeves-

That’s been popping up all over the Olympics coverage too and eventually got so obnoxious (to me, I’ve only heard it 18 Million times) that I felt compelled to look it up and now I’m sharing it with you. This is the full official video with lyrics.

It’s you, only you
It’s you, only you
It’s you, only you

You are an important person, a rare individual
A unique creature
There has never been anyone just like you
And never will be
You have talents and abilities no one else has
In some ways, you’re superior to any other living person
The power to do anything you can imagine is within you
When you discover your real self
By practicing a few simple laws of success

First law of success
Take inventory of your assets
Don’t be modest or critical
Be open and objective
Get a pencil and paper
Write down every good thing about yourself you can think of

It’s you
Make it habit, make it happen
Only you
Make it habit, make it happen
It’s you
Make it habit, make it happen
Only you
Make it habit, make it happen
It’s you
Make it habit, make it happen
Only you
Make it habit, make it happen

Second law of success
Write a description of the person you’d like to be
Describe your personal dress, your home, your automobile
Your desired occupation and income, be honest
Now, go even deeper
Describe the inner person you’d like to be
Let your mind run wild
Assume you can be anything that you desire
The fact is, you will become the person you honestly describe
You can’t avoid it


Third law of success
Concentrate on a mental image of the person you’d like to be
Paint a picture in your imagination of who you want to become
Constantly hold this visual in your mind’s eye
See yourself performing and responding like a champion
Feel the confidence and courage that radiate from this type of person

It’s you, only you
It’s you, only you
It’s you, only you

These three laws are powerful and effective in changing lives
They’ll work for you without fail if you’re persistent in applying them

Make it habit, make it happen
Make it habit, make it happen
Make it habit, make it happen
Make it habit, make it happen


It’s you
Make it habit, make it happen
Only you
Make it habit, make it happen
It’s you
Make it habit, make it happen
Only you

Lynn Goldsmith is Will Powers and her day gig is as a Rock Band photographer which explains why Todd Rundgren, Sting, Nile Rodgers and Carly Simon appear on the cut.

It’s all kind of a joke-

Released on Island Records, it was the manifesto of Goldsmith’s alter ego Will Powers, a pseudo self-help guru, who exposed the nation’s obsession with its own psyche across eight tracks that trod an ambiguous line between parody and sincerity.

So yeah, Motivational Speaker. Me and Heinz Doofenshmirtz.

Feb 18

The Breakfast Club (Butts)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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AP’s Today in History for February 18th

‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ is first published; Jefferson Davis is sworn in as President of the Confederate States of America; ‘Chicago Seven’ defendants in court; Dale Earnhardt, Senior dies.


Breakfast Tune The Banjo Lounge 4 – Jump Around / Rapper’s Delight / Baby Got Back


Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

Russia Isn’t the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too.
Scott Shane, New York Times

Bags of cash delivered to a Rome hotel for favored Italian candidates. Scandalous stories leaked to foreign newspapers to swing an election in Nicaragua. Millions of pamphlets, posters and stickers printed to defeat an incumbent in Serbia.

The long arm of Vladimir Putin? No, just a small sample of the United States’ history of intervention in foreign elections.

On Tuesday, American intelligence chiefs warned the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia appears to be preparing to repeat in the 2018 midterm elections the same full-on chicanery it unleashed in 2016: hacking, leaking, social media manipulation and possibly more. Then on Friday, Robert Mueller, the special counsel, announced the indictments of 13 Russians and three companies, run by a businessman with close Kremlin ties, laying out in astonishing detail a three-year scheme to use social media to attack Hillary Clinton, boost Donald Trump and sow discord. …

Candidate Thrown Out of West Virginia Legislature for Reading Off Fossil Fuel Donors Raises Historic Sum of Campaign Money
Zaid Jilani, The Intercept

Lissa Lucas, a first-time Democratic candidate for the statehouse in West Virginia’s District 7, was outraged that the legislature was considering expanding the rights of gas drillers at the expense of property owners.

So she drove 100 miles to the state capitol and read off the list of fossil fuel donors to lawmakers at a public hearing. The presiding official, Republican Delegate John Shott, equated this recitation of public information as a personal attack and promptly expelled her from the chamber.

In an interview with The Intercept two days after being thrown out of the legislature, Lucas wondered if Shott had overplayed his hand by having her expelled. “He brought so much more attention to it by having me thrown out,” she noted.

It has certainly helped her fundraising. …












Something to think about over coffee prozac

California’s ‘Butt Lady’ picks up millionth cigarette butt

Feb. 16 (UPI) — An anti-littering activist in California is celebrating an unusual milestone — picking up her one millionth discarded cigarette butt.

Sally Dawly, who branded herself “the Butt Lady of Auburn” after beginning her quest to clean the streets in October 2014, was accompanied by an entourage of friends, family and fans Wednesday when she swept up her one millionth cigarette butt in the parking lot of Mel’s Diner in Auburn.

“I got tired of going on my walks and seeing cigarette butts everywhere,” Dawly told KTXL-TV.

Dawly said she uses a clicker to keep track of the butts she’s cleaned up around Auburn.

“I’m just overwhelmed and shocked that I had to pick up this many,” she told KOVR-TV. “I keep track on a daily basis of how many I pick up and I just keep going.”

Dawly said she wants to inspire people to be more responsible.

“I’ve had days where I’ve picked up 3,000 butts, in one day, and it’s like, come on people,” she said.

The Butt Lady offered some advice to local smokers.

“Don’t throw your butts,” she said. “Better yet, stop smoking.”

Feb 17

The World’s Fakest News Team

On The South Side

A Good Walk Spoiled

How Come Blacks Get The Shortest Month?

Feb 17

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

What To Cook This Weekend


Roasted Chicken Thighs with White Beans, Lemon, and Capers

A perfect Sunday (or, in the case of this weekend, Monday) night dinner: fast, easy, and just nourishing enough to give you the energy to go to work in the morning.

3-Ingredient Brown-Butter Shortbread

An easy cookie with a lot of crunch. It begs to be eaten alongside your leftover Valentine’s Day stash.

Chile-Marinated Pork with Brussels Sprouts

Give pork tenderloin a kick with a chile-ginger marinade and toss roasted Brussels sprouts in a savory fish-sauce vinaigrette for an easy dinner with tons of flavor.

Wild Mushroom and Parsnip Ragout with Cheesy Polenta

This hearty vegetarian ragout—served on a bed of creamy polenta—gets a boost of rich flavor from umami-packed tomato and miso pastes.

Mango-Chutney Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

The whole family gets what they want with this easy, customizable sheet-pan dinner.

Our Favorite Cinnamon Rolls

Assemble these cinnamon rolls the night before for a breakfast that’s ready in minutes and smells like heaven.

Health and Fitness News

Flu Season Shows First Signs of Slowing

Pets Good Medicine for Those Battling Mental Ills

Kids With Sickle Cell Are Missing Out On Meds

FDA Warning: Euthanasia Drug Found in Wet Dog Food

Obesity May Give Men With Melanoma a Survival Advantage

Drug Might Be Safer For Dementia Psychosis

Routine Ovarian Cancer Screenings Aren’t Helping

Widely Used COPD Meds Tied to Higher Fracture Risk

Kidney Stones on the Rise Among Women

Unsafe Water Found in Faucets Across the U.S.

Baby Suffocation Deaths From Co-Sleeping Rise

The Purrfect Diet for Your Fat Cat

Feb 17

The Breakfast Club (Colorless)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer gets life in prison; House lawmakers pick a president; Garry Kasparov beats IBM’s Deep Blue at chess; NBA star Michael Jordan born; The Eagles release their greatest hits.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

When I sing, I don’t want them to see that my face is black. I don’t want them to see that my face is white. I want them to see my soul. And that is colorless.

Marian Anderson

Continue reading

Feb 17

The XXIII Winter Olympics: Day 9

Hooray Beer!

Just as we have a Tongan competing in Cross Country (he didn’t finish last, he finished third from last which means there are at least 2 skiers from traditional Winter Olympic countries that are worse than he is) we have, periodically, sightings of the Jamaican Bobsled Team. This year’s edition is 2 Women, Carrie Russell and Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian, who are more or less from Jamaica (Fenlator-Victorian grew up in New Jersey but these things are a little flexible) who decided to compete as representatives of the Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (it’s a thing). Since Bob Sledding is really more dependent on getting a good push at the start than driving (which anyone can pick up the basics of in a few minutes) it’s not like you need a lot of snow.

Not that snow does you much good anyway. To practice you need to rent time on a specially designed track (there are only like 3 or 4 in the U.S.) and get a coach who knows what they’re doing more or less and a sled.

Well, about that coach and sled- the Jamaicans hired a gal by the name of Sandra Kiriasis and she rented a sled for them to use but the team and the coach had “artistic differences” and since the sled was in her name she took it with her when they parted.

Enter Red Stripe (it’s beer). They read about this situation and the head of their marketing department thought it might be amusing to help out so he twitted an offer and the team accepted. He didn’t quite realize that he was committing to $50,000 but hey, that’s why you have an expense account. It’s kind of a heartwarming story and you can read about the team here but I’ll warn you it has one of those infernal auto start videos.

Once again NBC allowed (ugh) figure skating to bump Curling (Nathan Chen somewhat redeemed himself by landing 6 Quads, 4 of them cleanly, to rise from 17th to 5th. Yuzuru Hanyu, Shoma Uno, and Javier Fernandez took Gold, Silver, and Bronze), so I’m getting my results from the papers again. A little over halfway through the Men’s Round Robin Sweden is crushing it without a single defeat. Canada has a defeat and Switzerland 2. USA is tied with Japan for 4th at 2 – 2.

On the Women’s side Sweden is once again unbeaten, Britain and Japan are tied for 2nd, and South Korea, China, and the USA are tied for 4th.

In Hockey Canada and the USA Ladies are in the Medal round and who cares about anything else, eh? On the Men’s side the Czechs, Canada, USA, Finland, and Sweden are likely to advance with a bunch of teams including Russia on the bubble.


Network Time Events
USA 2:30-5 am Women’s hockey, quarterfinal (LIVE)
NBCSN 2:40-5 am Men’s hockey, Switzerland-South Korea (LIVE)
NBCSN 5-7:10 am Men’s curling, Canada-Sweden
USA 5-7:10 am Men’s curling, Switzerland-Norway
NBCSN 7:10-10:30 am Men’s hockey, U.S.-OAR (LIVE); men’s freestyle skiing, aerials
USA 7:10-9:30 am Men’s hockey, Slovakia vs. Slovenia (LIVE)
NBCSN 10:30 am-1:30 pm Women’s cross-country, 4x5km relay gold; women’s biathlon, 12.5km mass start gold; women’s short-track speedskating, 1,500-meter gold
NBCSN 1:30-5:30 pm Women’s skeleton gold; men’s ski jumping, large hill gold
NBC 3-6 pm Men’s freestyle skiing, aerials; women’s biathlon, 12.5km mass start gold; women’s cross-country, 4x5km relay gold
CNBC 5-8 pm Women’s curling, U.S.-Canada
NBCSN 7-10:10 pm Men’s freestyle skiing, slopestyle (LIVE)
NBC 8-11 pm Men’s skiing, giant slalom first run (LIVE); short-track speedskating, men’s 1,000-meter gold and women’s 1,500-meter gold; women’s skeleton gold; men’s ski jumping, large hill gold
NBCSN 10:10 pm-12:30 am Men’s hockey, Germany-Norway (LIVE)
NBC 11:30 pm-1:30 am Men’s skiing, giant slalom gold (LIVE); men’s freestyle skiing, slopestyle gold
NBCSN 12:30-2:40 am Men’s curling, U.S.-Japan

Feb 16

Weak Tea?

It’s a little hard to get a grip on the new indictments Robert Mueller has delivered. The 13 individuals named are all Russian nationals. The 3 companies are Russian companies. I think it highly unlikely that any of them will be arrested or face a trial unless they do something incredibly stupid like fly to D.C. and turn themselves in.

More than that Mueller goes out of his way to say that any participation by any United States citizen named (and there aren’t many) was “unwitting”, so if you’re just reading the headlines and saying “this is it”, you are no doubt a little disappointed.

On the other hand, what does this do?

Well, it’s pretty much a manual for trolling (wrote one of those myself) so it’s technically interesting but there are other features that could or could not mean a great deal going forward.

It makes allegations of criminal activity under U.S. law, so you can no longer say there is no underlying crime. Related to that it establishes Conspiracy, which is illegal co-ordination to commit or cover up a crime, so it’s not neutral and nebulous “collusion” anymore (I can collude with you to blow off a meeting and sneek out and get ice cream).

There are also the things it does not mention.

It doesn’t discuss the money laundering. It doesn’t discuss the Trump campaign (except as a target they wanted to benefit) or name any campaign official. It doesn’t discuss the obtaining and release of Podesta’s and the DNC’s emails, instead it focuses on the “social media” (what a stupid name) campaign and contends that was sufficient interference in the 2016 election to constitute criminal violation of U.S. election law. It doesn’t address Obstruction of Justice.

We know because of reporting and admissions that in fact there is a whole lot more going on here so I strongly suspect this is the tip of a very big iceberg. In other developments we have Gates and Bannon poised to roll on the Trump conspiracy and even the infamous “Pee Tape” gets more credible though I don’t really think it was thrown in as a “good customer” bonus when the NSA cut a deal to recover its hacking tools (I don’t even think they want to “recover” them because that’s pretty impossible, they just want to know the extent of the damage which is also pretty impossible because how would you verify that?).

A far more interesting line of speculation is- why now? Why this? Mueller could fear that the Brand resignation does indeed mean Trump is plotting a Saturday Night Massacre. I don’t think so because it would be a dumb ass move, not that Republicans would do anything about it mind you but it might move the needle in 2018. Still, it would make sense in the same way that Trump’s lawyers lying that this will be resolved soon does. By focusing on Russians it may convince Trump that he’s not really threatened and stay his hand.

What I mostly think is this, as Mao Tse Tung said when asked whether the invention of fire had been a good thing for the Chinese people- “Too soon to tell.”

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