The Breakfast Club (Fool For A Master)

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

President Ronald Reagan demands the tearing down of the Berlin Wall; Civil rights activist Medgar Evers killed; O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole and Ronald Goldman murdered; Baseball Hall of Fame opens.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.

Ben Jonson

Continue reading

Definitional Failure

What attentive readers know that the complicit corporatist media morons continually lie about is that we’re already in a “Constitutional Crisis” and have been for years.

In their deliberately limited characterization it consists merely of open and active Impeachment, which of course we should have, but the real crisis is the Institutional abandonment by both parties of Congressional power in favor of “it’s not my fault I’m passive and paralyzed, vote for me anyway because I’m the ‘lesser’ evil.”

Oh, but I’m still evil.

This has been going on for decades but became profoundly apparent after the attack on the World Trade Center which I’ll remind you didn’t kill quite so many people as Hurricane Maria did in Puerto Rico (part of the United States folks, just like Texas) through sheer government neglect.

But they weren’t bond traders and first responders who lived in Westchester, North New Jersey, the Connecticut Gold Coast, and Long Island that died suddenly and unexpectedly. No, they were ordinary shop keepers, farmers, and workers who died long lingering deaths because they had darker complexions and spoke Spanish. Call it racism? I live in Connecticut and I know it when I see it.

The United States dropped any pretense of civilization when the Congressional response was to hand the White House unfettered authority to wage aggressive war against countries that were not hostile (at least not especially or existentially so) and close their eyes while we brutally tortured and murdered their civilian populations.

Yeah, that was US, not the Nazis. Stars and Stripes not Swastikas.

THAT is the “Constitutional Crisis” that confronts the nation.

Robert Reich is not much better but he shows some glimmers of the truth.

The Constitutional Crisis is Now
Robert Reich
Sunday, June 10, 2018

I keep hearing that if Trump fires Mueller we’ll face a constitutional crisis.

Or if Mueller subpoenas Trump to testify and Trump defies the subpoena, it’s a constitutional crisis.

Or if Mueller comes up with substantial evidence that Trump is guilty of colluding with Russia or of obstructing justice but the House doesn’t move to impeach him, we’ll have a constitutional crisis.

I have news for you. We’re already in a constitutional crisis. For a year and a half the president of the United States has been carrying out a systemic attack on the institutions of our democracy.

A constitutional crisis does not occur suddenly like a coup that causes a government to collapse. It occurs gradually, as a system of government is slowly weakened.

The current crisis has been unfolding since the waning days of the 2016 campaign when Trump refused to say whether he’d be bound by the election results if Hillary won.

It continued through March 4, 2017 when Trump claimed, without evidence, that Obama had wiretapped his phones in the Trump Tower during the campaign.

It deepened in May 2017 when, by his own admission, Trump was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he decided to fire FBI Director James Comey, who had been leading the bureau’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, andthen admitted to Russian officials that firing Comey had relieved “great pressure” on him “because of Russia,” according to a document summarizing the meeting.

The crux of America’s current constitutional crisis is this: Our system of government was designed to constrain power, but Trump doesn’t want to be constrained.

Our system was conceived as a means of promoting the public interest, but Trump wants to promote only his own interest.

Our system was organized to bind presidents to the Constitution, but Trump doesn’t want to be bound by anything.

The crisis will therefore worsen as long as Trump can get away with it. An unconstrained megalomaniac becomes only more maniacal. He will fill whatever political void exists with his unbridled ego.

The only legal way to constrain Trump is to vote for a Congress, this November, that will stand up to him. And then, in November 2020, vote him and his regime out of office.

If he refuses to accept the results of that election, as he threatened to do if he lost the 2016 election, he will have to be forcefully removed from office.

Friends, we are no longer trying to avert a constitutional crisis. We are living one. The question is how to stop it from destroying what’s left of our democracy.

Cartnoon

Some News

No, I swear this is really happening now and not just some fake stuff from Alex Jones or Pravduh or The Onion.

‘A great item to have’: flamethrowers sell like hot cakes at Elon Musk sale
by Rory Carroll, The Guardian
Sat 9 Jun 2018

The tech billionaire initially proposed selling flamethrowers as a joke, yet here they were, in rectangular white boxes, priced at $500, with a queue of buyers snaking around SpaceX’s headquarters pondering things to burn.

A mariachi band played while customers received instructions in an industrial yard. Then they took turns shooting flames four feet (1.2 metres) long, reducing impaled marshmallows to blackened cinders.

“Mind-blowing. I couldn’t believe I really had one in my arms,” said Tabula. He planned to ignite a beach bonfire.

Jeremy Cross, 31, a film set caterer, said he felt bliss when he pulled the trigger. “I was freaking out. I was like, aaaaaaargh.”

“My friends and family don’t believe I spent my wedding money on this,” said Stephanie Carrillo, 31, a physical therapist, who dipped into cash gifts from her recent nuptials. “I thought it would be a really great item to have in the house.”

Wind blew her hair close to the nozzle during the test firing, she said. “I’ll pull my hair back when I do it in the future.” Her husband, Joe Carillo, 31, an executive recruiter, said he would use the device to toast sandwiches in their yard. “We’ll have to tie the dog up so he doesn’t get in the way.”

A wind-driven brush fire erupted north of Los Angeles, shutting freeways and prompting evacuations in a stark reminder that much of California is tinder-box dry and ripe for another devastating wildfire season.

That didn’t dent the Santa’s grotto atmosphere around SpaceX. Some people had flown in from Canada, others had driven for days from across the US to be part of what many considered libertarian-tinged whimsy.

Musk played that up in a series of tweets which included a Dr Seuss-inspired ditty about terms and conditions: “I will not use this in a house, I will not point this at my spouse, I will not use this in an unsafe way, the best use is creme brulee.”

The 10-page manual had additional tips: “Do not touch the not-a-flamethrower nozzle during or after use, as it could burn you. Wait at least two hours or until the not-a-flamethrower nozzle is cool before touching the nozzle. Do not point the not-a-flamethrower toward face, people, animals, or flammable objects. Always have a fire extinguisher and a bucket of water nearby.”

The Breakfast Club (Cycles)

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

Alabama Gov. George Wallace makes a symbolic stand against racial integration; A Buddhist monk immolates himself in South Vietnam; Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh executed; Actor John Wayne dies.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.

Jacques Yves Cousteau

Continue reading

Rant of the Week: Crass Dismissed

On his HBO show “Real Time,” Bill Maher warns that freedom of speech is under attack from both ends of the political spectrum.

The “C” Word

C’mon, it’s “censorship“. Get your minds out of the gutter folks so you can consider how much more horribly offensive actually stealng children from their parents so you can cage them in strip mall Gulags and Concentration Camps is than any four letter expletive you can use to characterize the hypocrisy, cruelty, and fecklessness of the daughter that Donald Trump brags about wanting to have impotent incestual intercourse with.

Only for deliberate effect. Never in anger or without consideration.

Something splattered the page I was drawing on and, as I moved to wipe it away, I realized too late it was somebody’s vomit. During the worst days of the Weimar Republic, when Hitler was rising faster than a bull on heat, George Grosz, the savage satirical painter, had used human shit as a violent method of colouring his drawings. It is a shade of brown like no other and its use makes an ultimate statement about the subject.

Oh, and I don’t ever apologize either because I’m not at all sorry even for your easily offended feelings let alone characterizing them correctly as heartless, racist, bigoted, and genocidal Nazism.

Republicans are weird about sex. Incest and Pedophilia are OK. Same Gender is not unless it’s two hot lesbians spanking you with your Forbes cover before peeing on your bed.

Concentration Camps?

Just because they’re privatized bail-outs for community destroying big box retailers doesn’t make them any less like Dachau.

The Breakfast Club (Blue Hill)

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.

 photo 807561379_e6771a7c8e_zps7668d00e.jpg

AP’s Today in History for June 10th

The Six-Day War ends in the Mideast; Yugoslav troops leave Kosovo after NATO’s campaign of airstrikes; Alcoholics Anonymous founded; Actress and singer Judy Garland born; Singer Ray Charles dies.

Breakfast Tune Georgia On My Mind” (as by Ray Charles) Eddy Davis Banjo

Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

COLORADO’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY KINGMAKER IS A FRACKING LAWYER. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Walker Bragman

… When he was chosen to head Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated transition team in August 2016, the Colorado Independent observed that Salazar was “about as entrenched in the Colorado Democratic establishment as one can be — a former attorney general and U.S. Senator … whom President Barack Obama appointed as secretary of the Department of Interior.” When he was considering a gubernatorial run in March 2017, the Denver Post described him as having “a fortune’s worth of contacts in Democratic politics.”

With attention now focused on the party establishment’s role in tilting the outcome of competitive primaries this cycle, debate has centered on what the party’s ultimate motivation may be. Is it looking out for the interests of Democratic voters? Supporting the most electable candidate? Or is something else is at play — perhaps a mix of ideological and commercial interests operating under the veil of political pragmatism?

A closer look at former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s record of involvement in Colorado is instructive.

Something to think about over coffee prozac

Wandering caterpillars make for slippery road in Maine

BLUE HILL, Maine (AP) — Drivers: Better watch out for caterpillars in one Maine town.

The Maine Department of Transportation posted an alert for two days that the insects were making things slippery along Route 15, or Mines Road, in Blue Hill. As of Thursday, the department said the incident “has been cleared.”

WMTW-TV reports the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said the caterpillars are wandering as they eat oak tree leaves. Officials said the main culprit is the forest tent caterpillar. They should finish feeding toward the end of June.

Until then, people should expect to see them wandering.

The department says other caterpillar culprits are the Browntail moth and gypsy moth.

The Jewel Of The Triple Crown

Today marks the 45th anniversary, to the day, of Secretariat’s 1973 Triple Crown Victory, by 31 lengths no less. His 2:24 is the fastest 1 and a Half miles on dirt ever (well, among Thoroughbred Horses with a rider, in which the modern era stretches back 150 years to the first Belmont Stakes in 1868).

It is why he’s considered by some to be the fastest that lived (Secretariat died in 1989 at 19 years of age, 15 spent at Stud which is not a bad gig if you can get it).

It is also the last of the Horse Races and I can safely ignore them until next year.

This year we have again a chance at a Triple Crown in Justify with which I’m happy since I can erase my old and inferior DVR recordings of American Pharoh and replace them with the new and improved YouTube captures.

They may suck, but you miss all the racist songs.

The Belmont Stakes are perhaps the most democratic of the Triple Crown Races, held in Elmont right next to Queens (yes, you read that correctly. It’s an unincorporated Census designated place with no ‘B’ in it at all). Indications of that are they can’t settle on a song or a drink. The song has ranged from Sidewalks of New York, a charming Tin Pan Alley tune better known as East Side, West Side, to the Theme from New York, New York (as performed by Frank Sinatra and appropriated as the Yankees anthem and not the original Liza Minelli rendition), to 2010’s Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z.

Likewise the drink has changed from the absolutely un-potable White Carnation to the refined trashcan punch that is the Belmont Breeze.

I suggest instead the classic Cosmopolitan.

Ingredients-

  • Ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces lemon vodka
  • 1 fluid ounce Cointreau
  • 1 fluid ounce cranberry juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 Long thin piece of orange zest

Directions

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, Cointreau, and cranberry and lime juices. Cover and shake vigorously to combine and chill. Strain the cosmopolitan into a chilled martini glass. Twist the orange zest over the drink and serve.

Note: The drink can also be stirred in a pitcher.

This year is the 150th running as opposed to 144 for the Derby and 143 for the Preakness. At 1 1/2 miles the Belmont is the longest of the Triple Crown races. The Belmont track surface is looser, sandier, and harder to run on than most tracks in the country, also the NYRA is much stricter about “performance enhancement” than most racing associations, my stash of Furosemide will get me arrested and ejected.

Winning a Triple Crown is deliberately difficult. The Kentucky Derby at a One and a Quarter could be considered the “standard” distance while the Preakness at 1 and an Eight could be called a “sprinter’s” track. In Hyper-Modern practice any horse that finished out of the money (1st, 2nd, 3rd) at the Derby skips the Preakness for rest and relaxation and specialized “speed” horses are fielded instead to knock out the tired and weary Derby winner.

Should he win the first two legs they bring back their “tanned and ready” distance colts to crush him in the Belmont.

Didn’t work this year. Of course the tracks were as muddy as I’ve ever seen them which is saying a lot (what about 120+ don’t you get?). Today is a beach day in New York and environs.

Neither Joe Drape or Melissa Hoppert have any romance in their hearts. Melissa picks Hofburg, Justify, and Vino Rosso for the exacta while Joe goes with Vino Rosso, Free Drop Billy, and Justify. If Justify is in fact “all that and a bag of chips” you’ll know in about 3 minutes.

Post time on NBC is around 6:30 ET.

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

With the recent deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and CNN’s traveling gourmand Anthony Boudain the country is once again talking about suicide and their deaths have sparked an increase to suicide hot lines across the country. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the suicide rate has risen in the US by 25% since 1999.

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the US. Suicide rates increased in nearly every state from 1999 through 2016. Mental health conditions are often seen as the cause of suicide, but suicide is rarely caused by any single factor. In fact, many people who die by suicide are not known to have a diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death. Other problems often contribute to suicide, such as those related to relationships, substance use, physical health, and job, money, legal, or housing stress. Making sure government, public health, healthcare, employers, education, the media and community organizations are working together is important for preventing suicide. Public health departments can bring together these partners to focus on comprehensive state and community efforts with the greatest likelihood of preventing suicide.

What is most important to know is that suicide is preventable. Here are some of the things that each of us can do to help a friend or family member who may be at risk:

Know the risk factors. The CDC has a list of the most common factors

  • Family history of suicide
  • Family history of child maltreatment
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression
  • History of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Cultural and religious beliefs (e.g., belief that suicide is noble resolution of a personal dilemma)
  • Local epidemics of suicide
  • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people
  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
  • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
  • Physical illness
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or to suicidal thoughts

This is what you can do to help:

Ask someone you are worried about if they’re thinking about suicide. Don’t be afraid to ask. Be there for them and listen to their needs. Sometimes just knowing that there is a person they can turn to is enough but don’t stop there. Encourage them to get help and keep checking on them to see how they are doing. Also, it in important to keep them safe by reducing access to lethal means for those at risk.

Help them connect with ongoing support like the Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), even if you’re the one to make the initial call. Encourage them to talk to the counselor.

The Breakfast Club (Breakfast)

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

Sen. Joseph McCarthy confronted over his anti-communist tactics; Author Charles Dickens dies; Comedian Richard Pryor suffers burns; Secretariat wins Triple Crown; Electric guitar pioneer Les Paul born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?

Anthony Bourdain (June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018)

Continue reading

Back Online And As Obnoxious As Ever

So here’s how it goes.

I head off on a nice little trip that may or may not allow (depending on the demands of business and family) some extended time period to test new equipment, or new configurations of the same old stuff, that is successful (rarely) or fraught with tension, expletives, and great expense until compromise exists between aspirations and reality, at least to the extent that I can impose enough basic functionality to accomplish my tasks.

That time my hard drive would not boot, at all, and you kept badgering me about why I wasn’t happy and cheerful? I was mourning the loss of 6 months of work. Do you feel better now, because I feel about the same.

But normally it fails in much subtler ways and the worst of all is that everything works under regulated and controlled conditions because as Akbar says- it’s a trap.

Generally speaking returning from such an expedition is a good time to implement change. You have huge holes where you ripped out your dual purpose stuff to put your improvements in and when you have a big, old, and mostly fixed system like mine it may be the only time you can adjust the fundamentals of your wiring harness.

Of course the one that fails is the one at the back of the closet, buried under piles of cable representing the years and years of faithful service it has uncomplainingly rendered, the first one in and the last one you test because it was working perfectly fine when you left.

And there is an explosion of chaos and entrophy. Not just the same garbage you left behind with another ring of dust to mark the occasion, but also all the new garbage you unpacked and on top of that successive layers of garbage memorializing each and every failed fix, stirred around to find that piece that you had in your hand not 5 stinking minutes ago.

If you are persistent, and organized, and knowledgeable ,eventually you achieve a state from which to contemplate the devastation you have caused in pursuit of incremental and minuscule advancement and no longer have an excuse to eschew responsibility because of unmitigated calamity and this, alas, is mine.

Did you miss me?

The Breakfast Club (Be Courageous)

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

Islam’s Prophet Mohammed dies; James Earl Ray caught, wanted for killing civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.; Architect Frank Lloyd Wright born; The N.Y. Yankees retire Mickey Mantle’s number.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.

Gabrielle Giffords

Continue reading

Load more