Category Archives: Potpourri

A Huge Thank You, Changes, Embedding Videos From Youtube, and Open Discussion

Thanks to all followers new and old, and to visitors.

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident is approaching its fifth anniversary.  I’m working on changing the top menu to make it more convenient to find posts based on topic.  Since we’ve reported on so many trials, I might change themes so the top menu will have a pull-down section to see the names of defendants and/or victims.  The same is true for the border, particularly for documents.   I do hesitate changing the theme because we’ve had the same theme since this blog opened in 2012.  Let me know what you think.

We are following the bench trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley who killed Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. Stockley was charged last year.  The judge has ordered no electronic communication devices, nor cameras in the courtroom. Read the rest of this entry

A Science Fiction Love Story Movie That Isn’t

Science fiction movies, especially those that involve space travel, generally allow human logic in their characters.  At least, it is logic that goes with the plot. Most of them that involve hyper-sleep while traveling to other planets, are with a purpose of conducting something scientific or capitalistic.

In the second movie in the Alien franchise, the movie tells us that they sent a group of settlers to a planet that is inhabited by alien creatures whose sole purpose is to use human bodies as hosts to give birth to reproduce more aliens.

In the movie Avatar, we see scientists and mercenaries travel to a moon for a company that is stripping it of natural resources. In Avatar, the people on the ship were in hyper-sleep for 5 years.

What about a movie where Earthlings pay money to be put on a space ship to travel so far away, that they will be in hyper sleep for 120 years?  The only reason that the movie gives to us is that the people want to start over.

The movie I’m talking about is Passengers.  Since first seeing Chris Pratt in the movie Jurassic World, I became a fan.  In fact, I became so much of a fan that I looked up other movies he appeared in before Jurassic World and watched them, such as Guardians of the Galaxy.  I also like science fiction movies, so you might say that with Chris Pratt being in Passengers, I had to see the movie. Read the rest of this entry

I’ve Been Cited In Two Professional Publications And Other Stuff About Blogging

Thanks so much to all followers new and old.  There has been such an increase in subscribed followers lately that I’ve not had time to keep up visiting their blogs.  Please forgive me.  Rather than clicking like and moving on,  I prefer reading posts and if there is something I would like to say, to leave comments.  Time does not always allow me to leave comments.  I’m hoping to set aside at least one hour on the weekends to visit and catch-up on the blogs I follow.  Here’s hoping that it works.

Now for a couple of things ….

It’s a humbling experience to discover that things you have written have been cited in professional publications.

In October 2016, blogger Supabutterfly wrote a post honoring me.  I was already humbled and honored by his handle.  For those who might not know, in July 2014, I made a decision to use the option that a Word Press account would be needed to submit comments to this blog.    It was because since mid-2013, I was bombarded with harassing comments submitted through proxy IP addresses.  For over 6 months, I blacklisted the IP addresses, but one proxy IP address service might have hundreds of proxy IP addresses.  It was a never-ending battle.

There were people who had participated on this blog since it opened in August 2012.  They opened Word Press accounts and many of them incorporated the word “butterfly” into their new handles.   One did not consider himself a butterfly so chose a handle that includes “moth.”  What they did was honorable and a blessing to me. None of them had to go through opening a Word Press account to continue posting comments here, but they did and I am forever grateful. Read the rest of this entry

As We Approach The Weekend – Open Discussion

There is so much happening.

We have gotten through the Betty Shelby trial.   Again, a jury looked at video but decided the verdict in favor of Shelby.

There’s daily news and new revelations regarding the White House.

I wanted to write something different today.  Then I remembered that Word Press made some changes to its Reader.  So, here’s a question for Word Press bloggers.  Did you know that if you publish more than one blog post the same day in succession, that the posts no longer appear separately in the Reader?  The titles are listed in a box and there is no summary.  Read the rest of this entry

Taking a Break – Open Discussion

Dear friends and visitors,

The time has arrived for me to take a break.  There’s Spring cleaning, and that includes the yards. There are also some doctor appointments coming up and a pending surgery.  I probably won’t write any new posts for the next two weeks.

The last two days have been pretty busy on my other blog.   The most recent post there is about living in peace with others who have different views or ideologies.  The discussion is interesting.  Because I moderate all comments for that blog,  I’ll check-in on both blogs for comments in moderation while I’m on a break from writing.

Feel free to post in the comment section anything that’s on your mind or any topic you want to discuss with each other.

Here’s something that will hopefully lift our spirit.

 

10 things you need to know today: March 31, 2017

The Fifth Column

GettyImages-634600128_2.jpg

Mario Tama/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Flynn offers Russia testimony in exchange for immunity
President Trump’s former national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, has told the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence committees he will testify about possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia in exchange for immunity from “unfair prosecution,” his lawyer, Robert Kelner, said Thursday. “General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit,” Kelner said. Flynn served as an adviser during Trump’s campaign and later as his national security adviser, but he resigned in February after it was revealed he communicated with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. before Trump’s inauguration as former President Barack Obama was preparing to announce sanctions against Russia over its meddling in the election.

Source: Reuters, The Wall Street Journal

2. North Carolina lawmakers repeal controversial…

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Open Discussion – March 20, 2017

Dear friends, visitors, caterpillars, butterflies, crusty moths and a certain roach,

I had out-patient surgery this morning, so am not feeling 100 percent.   There is lots going on, so feel free to post whatever you want to discuss or express in the comment section.

 

Wake Up Everybody

The song “Wake Up Everybody” song by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, was released in 1975.   The video below was recorded in 2008 for a PBS Special.  The lyrics still apply today.

“The world won’t get no better if we just let it be.”

 

10 things you need to know today: January 24, 2017

The Fifth Column

Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. The Senate confirms Mike Pompeo as CIA director
The Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo as CIA directoron Monday after Democrats briefly held up the nomination. Pompeo, who was a Tea Party Republican congressman from Kansas before taking on the new job, now takes charge of an agency whose leaders clashed with President Trump before he took office. Trump accused intelligence officials of trying to smear him by reporting that Russia appeared to have hacked and leaked Democrats’ emails to help him win the presidency. In a visit to CIA headquarters on his first full day in office, Trump promised to give the agency his full support.

Source: The Washington Post

2. Trump repeats debunked claim of widespread voter fraud
In his first official meeting with congressional leaders, President Trump on Mondayrepeated a false claim that he would have won the popular vote if…

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Exclusion From Restrooms And The Rockford Air Show

Rockford, Illinois has an airport.

It’s one of those airports where planes fly people for vacations, such as Apple vacations.  In other words, you can’t book a flight to New York or Texas or Atlanta to visit with family, attend funerals — stuff like that.

The airport used to have an air show each year.  The last air show was in 2015.

My son, who served in the United States Air Force, loves jets.  At the age of 6, he sat in a pilot’s seat and fell in love.  He probably loves a bicycle if it could fly.  When he was home in 2010, we attended the Air Show.

folding-camping-chairsThe event is one where you bring your own camping chair.  That is pretty common in Rockford.  Our entire family has folding camping chairs with their own carrying bags that you can sling over your shoulder.  We used to take them to On the Waterfront, a musical, eating event, but that too was cancelled after 2012.

Rockford organizers of events seem to be out of touch with the interests of its citizens.  For example, I remember attending On The Waterfront one year.  The Spinners performed, and a man swaying and clapping next to me, who was dressed in overalls and a plaid shirt said, “Why can’t we hear more music like this around here?”

The next night, The Vanilla Fudge performed, and a woman doing the dance “the jerk” said it was the best $8 concert she ever attended. (I was doing the Boogaloo.)

Although Rockford is located in Northwestern Illinois, the music that overwhelms the airways, in bars, and even for karaoke, is Country-Western. On The Waterfront brought in some big names for Country and Rock artists, but soon abandoned R&B and artists of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

The Air Show was different.  There was food and souvenirs, but the best part were the jets – unless you had to use the restroom. Read the rest of this entry

10 things you need to know today: January 14, 2017

The Fifth Column

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Trump may lift Russia sanctions ‘if we get along’
President-elect Donald Trump may lift U.S. sanctions against Russia if relations between the two countries improve during his time in office, he indicated in an interview published by The Wall Street JournalFriday. “If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?” Trump asked, though he noted he will not make any major changes “at least for a period of time.” He also suggested possible diplomatic shakeup with China, announcing that “Everything is under negotiation including ‘One China,'” the long-time U.S. policy of formally accepting Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is not a separate nation. Still, the president-elect made a point to highlight the holiday greeting he received from Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying, “I have a beautiful card from…

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In Memoriam: Remembering Those Who Transitioned In 2016

Oh how I wish I had the gift and power of resurrection.

Thought Provoking Perspectives

thLooking back at the year that was and remembering the long list of people that were famous, known nationally, and recognized; 2016 saw the deaths of an unusually long list of political titans and sports icons, famous musicians and Hollywood greats. There was the boxer nicknamed The Greatest, the musician known as Prince, the revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

– Muhammad Ali, the heavyweight boxing champion who transformed himself into a global hero, died June 3 at 74. Ali, who fought a high-profile battle with Parkinson’s disease, died of septic shock.

– George Michael musician, front man for the group Wham.

– Natalie Cole, musician, daughter of the great Nat King Cole.

– Maurice White, songwriter, producer and founder of Earth, Wind, and Fire.

– The death of Fidel Castro, the cigar-chomping despot who ruled Communist Cuba for nearly half a century, sent shock waves around the world. Castro died Nov…

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REST IN PEACE CARRIE FISHER

The Fifth Column

carrie-fisher

I’ve always liked Ms. Fisher.  However, I recently discovered her gift of tweeting and I was blown away by her sharp wit.  She will be missed. (ks)

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Winter Storms Cause Accidents and Deaths Across the U.S.

The snow might look pretty, but with the cold and ice, it’s nothing to play with. Please people, stay calm, safe, and warm.

The Fifth Column

Cold Front Brings Snow To New York Area

VIDEO: http://time.com/4605773/winter-storms-accidents-deaths/?xid=homepage

TIME

A winter storm of snow, freezing rain and bone-chilling temperatures socked the nation’s mid-section and East Coast on Saturday, causing hundreds of accidents on icy roads and putting a crimp on Christmas shopping.

At least five deaths were blamed on the slick roads and authorities were investigating a few other traffic fatalities as possibly weather-related. Perhaps the biggest accident happened in Baltimore, when a tanker carrying gasoline skidded off a highway and exploded, authorities said.

Two people died and at least 15 were injured in the 55-vehicle pileup on Interstate 95, Baltimore City Fire Chief Roman Clark said. He said it was too early to determine the cause of the crash.

“We have nothing but sheets of ice throughout the city, sidewalks,” Clark said.

It was unclear whether the pileup started before the tanker crash or was caused by it. The northbound lanes of I-95 were closed…

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Music – Bringing People of Different Races Together

muscle-shoalsRich Hall brought black and white together during the height of the Civil Rights movement, and he did it by creating music that we still hear today. He did it in Sheffield, AL, in Muscle Shoals Studio along the Tennessee River.

According to history passed down through the generations, when a Native American named Te-lah-nay was born, her grandmother placed her umbilical cord in the Tennessee River, making the river her sister.  Te-lah-nay was displaced during the Trail of Tears which forced the relocation of Native Americans from the Southeast to Oklahoma following the Indian Removal Act of 1830.   Te-lah-nay spent 5 years walking back to Tennessee River.  There is now a wall in that area, recorded in the Library of Congress to commemorate Te-lah-nay’s walk.   It’s called the Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall.

The Yuchi tribe called the river “nunnuhsaw” which means the singing river.  They believed a woman resided in the waters, guiding them with her melodies.

mezzanine_158-1-480x270Musicians recording in Muscle Shoals have long proclaimed the mystical inspiration from the Tennessee River.  Even if one does not believe in mystical inspiration, one cannot deny the musical impact created along the shores of the Tennessee River.  Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Percy Sledge, Gregg Allman, Clarence Carter, Etta James, Cher,  Wilson Pickett, and Alabama all recorded in the Muscle Shoals studio, sometimes with nothing more than a verse of song.  When the musicians started to play, the song came together.   Read the rest of this entry

Help Needed For A Special Family

navydadI first became acquainted with NavyDad in 2012.   His twitter handle is (@ILoveMyWife0007)

I became acquainted with his wife in 2013 after I opened an account on Twitter.

They are wonderful people, dedicated to advocating equal justice.  I’ve known them to also help others.  You might have seen his comments on this blog.   They are appreciated supporters.

Through the years, a known cyber-harasser has doxed and mocked them.  The harasser has posted their names, photo, address and telephone number on the internet.

The couple has 5 children, the youngest being 2 years old.  The wife homeschools and NavyDad works full-time.  They have a disabled son.

For months, they have looked for an affordable residence that will accommodate their family, including their disabled son.  They finally found an apartment that will accomplish that, but need financial help to make the move.  They are $3,000 short. and their move-in date is December 1st.  (Writer’s error) It’s a one-time financial need.

They have opened a GoFundMe account which you can access by clicking here.  If you can help by donating, please do.  No donation is too small.

10 things you need to know today: November 18, 2016

The Fifth Column

Kevin Hagen/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Trump offers Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions top positions
Donald Trump has reportedly asked retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to be his national security adviser, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general. Flynn is retired from the U.S. Army and resigned as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2014, forced out over his leadership style and, he said, his hardline views on Islamist extremism. Sessions, for his part, has long been tough on free trade and immigration, and has historically opposed prison sentencing reform, legalizing marijuana, same-sex marriage, and curbing the war on drugs.

Source: CBS, Bloomberg

2. Trump to discuss possible Cabinet post with Romney
President-elect Donald Trump plans to meet with Mitt Romney to discuss a possible Cabinet post for the former Massachusetts governor. Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee, criticized Trump harshly during this year’s…

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Open Discussion

Caterpillars, butterflies, moths, a certain roach, and all creatures great and small,

Good morning! 

Respect_butterfly_largeHere’s a heartfelt welcome and thanks to all subscribers and visitors.  Your support and interest is greatly appreciated.  I do try to get around to visiting new subscribers who have blogs as soon as possible, but have fallen behind.  In the last month, we have picked up 50 new subscribers in which the majority are bloggers.  I’ll be around to visit as soon as I can.

I’m not on Twitter much, but when I am I tweet links to other blogs of posts that my Twitter followers might find interesting.   If you have a Twitter account, please consider following me on Twitter @XenaBb7.  I will follow back.

I was humbly blessed by blogger supabutterfly who honored me with a post of accomplishments.  He dug out things I did not know, such as having this blog cited in a footnote in a book published by the University of New Mexico Press.   Here’s a huge thanks to supabutterfly for his encouragement and support. Read the rest of this entry

“A Shameful Moment for This Country”: Militarized Police Injure Peaceful Protesters In North Dakota

“A Shameful Moment for This Country”: Report Back on Militarized Police Raid of DAPL Resistance Camp”

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10 things you need to know today: October 21, 2016

The Fifth Column

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Clinton and Trump tease one another at charity dinner
Fresh off a tense debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met againThursday night for the Al Smith charity dinner in New York, which raised $6 million for Catholic children’s charities. Trump spoke first, ribbing Clinton by saying the event was her first time speaking to corporate leaders “and not getting paid.” He later drew boos for saying Clinton was corrupt, and “pretending not to hate Catholics” at the event. Clinton stuck closer to the dinner’s traditional lightheartedness, poking fun at herself: “I took a break from my rigorous nap schedule to be here.” She later tweaked Trump for claiming the election was “rigged” and refusing to promise to accept the result, saying she was surprised he agreed for her to speak after him because she “didn’t think he’d be O.K. with a peaceful…

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