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03/11/19 05:01 PM #1061    

Stewart Myrent

​Larry, I Iiked your story of going back to Niles West, to see coach Burkel.  I remember him, although I was not on the gymnastics team (presumably, you were).  I remember him as being marginally older than we students.  At the time, I would have guessed that he was 7-8 yrs. older than we (around mid-20's).  So, when you mentioned that you, "still had the same relationship...", I thought it was a little odd, as coach Burkel, if not in his 80's already, has got to be knocking on the door.  I am guessing,  though, that he's probably in really great shape (for an 80-yr. old man).  Janis, I loved the Dr. Seuss song (newly discovered).  That Dr. Seuss really hits it on the head every time.  I'm so happy to find the good doctor is still teaching us valuable lessons & in such a rhymy way.  I love that guy!  (I'm pretty sure he started me on my road to discovery, through reading.) 

03/12/19 09:12 PM #1062    

Stewart Myrent

​I wanted to add that my favorite Dr. Seuss book was "Horton Hatches the Egg", which was the first of the Dr. Seuss books that we've come to know & love, and was published in 1940 - way before any of us were born.  It preceded "Horton Hears a Who!", and the Whos & Whoville & later the Grinch, by fourteen years.  Horton, who famously said, "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant.  An elephant's faithful, one hundred percent!", taught us all an important lesson, about the value of keeping one's word, even to the unscrupulous & lazy bird, Mayzie.  Love that guy!  Even compared to the Cat in the Hat & Yertle the Turtle & others, Horton was the tops!

03/13/19 12:33 PM #1063    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

I too agree with Nancy Pelosi about continuing rigorous oversight and waiting for irrefutable evidence and bipartisan support before moving on to impeachment.

Democrats have serious legislative work to focus on.

Paul Ryan was done in by Trump and Mitch McConnell could be on his way out too.

Of utmost importance is to restore our government to a fact based democracy and rid ourselves of Trump’s authoritarian regime. 


03/13/19 01:11 PM #1064    


Alan A. Alop

Samuel L. Jackson has sent a scathing message to people who aren’t speaking out against President Donald Trump.

In a new interview with Esquire magazine, the “Captain Marvel” star said it was “not fucking okay” that “this motherfucker is like ruining the planet and all kinds of other crazy shit.”

“And if you’re not saying anything, then you’re complicit,” he added.

03/13/19 02:52 PM #1065    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

An abdication of leadership in air safety -

that’s why Ethiopian Airlines will send the black boxes to European air-safety experts for data analysis -

U.S. authorities aren’t trusted to determine the cause of the disaster after ruling that the model is safe to fly.

Are we leading from behind?

America last (not first) to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8s and MAX 9s.

Not until the planes were allowed only within and over American airspace did the FAA (forget Boeing) ground the planes...

How much did Boeing contribute to Trump’s Inaugural?

Flight attendants asked, "Where's our integrity?  our concern for life?"

346 lives lost in crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia of two brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8s;

correcting new control software delayed because of the 5 week government shutdown.


03/14/19 06:44 PM #1066    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Like the first shoots of grass in the spring twelve Republican Senators emerged and blocked Trump’s emergency declaration (they read Article I and affirmed the separation of powers).  

The resolution will now go to Trump who is expected to use his first veto against it.


Why is there product liability for every product but guns?

The Connecticut Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling today - the Court ruled Sandy Hook parents can sue gun maker Remington for the way they marketed the AR-15 that killed their children.  


If you read Breitbart’s Trump interview you too are no doubt missing Horton (Dr. Seuss’ one hundred percent faithful Elephant).


03/15/19 12:20 PM #1067    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

“All human evil comes from people’s inability to sit still in a room.”    Blaise Pascal

03/15/19 03:39 PM #1068    

Stewart Myrent

Just saw this item, a reprint of a Huffington Post article, by David Moye, posted yesterday.  "Although the U.S. House voted unanimouly Thursday for a resolution asking that any final report in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation be made public, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has another priority.  Hillary Clinton's emails.  The House bill passed without a single no vote, but is a nonbinding resolution to make the Mueller report public, according to rhe 'Daily Beast'.  When the House's resolution reached the Senate, Graham blocked it (apparently one sole U.S. Senator can block Senate discussion of a bill sent to them by the House)[Parentheses mine], saying that there first needs to be a special counsel appointed to investigate 'the abuses, potentially, by the Department of Justice & the FBI regarding the Clinton email investigation.'  He then asked on the Senate floor, 'Was there two systems of justice in 2016?  One for the Democratic candidate and one for the Republican candidate?"  I have to ask Graham, or any other other non-defenders of our country & the U.S. Constitution, what does Hillary Clinton (or Bill, for that matter) have to do with ANY of this stuff?  What does Hillary have to do with Mueller's mandate, which is to determine if there was any collusion between Trump's campaign & the Russian government?  My first guess is that she has 0 to do with it, but that 0 involvement does not extend (seemingly) to Trump, or his campaign, or any of his associates.  Secondly, is Hillary the president, or is Trump?  Not only did she lose the election (not really), but she has been pretty much laying low & not getting too involved with politics.  (I expect that to change in the next year.)  So, do you think that Lindsey Graham is getting my vote for "Obstructionist of the Year"?  You bet.  I am beginning to find Republicans, who will do ANYTHING to curry favor with an erratic president, to be exceedingly irksome.  Is Lindsey Graham up for election in 2020?  (If so, I'm pretty sure that it's time for him to go - what an embarassment!) 

03/15/19 06:59 PM #1069    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Stewart, it’s sad to share what I observe of Lindsey Graham.  Let me contrast what I see now to how much I liked and respected him in the past... apparently because he passed himself off as a kindred spirit of John McCain - Lindsey Graham reflected the attributes of his hero.

I have learned Lindsey Graham likes to be where the action is: at the side of John McCain was a good place to be.  Lindsey's not the main character - he's a sidekick...

John McCain died.  Lindsey gravitated to the antithesis of his hero to the chaotic action world of Donald Trump -- voila! like a chameleon -- Lindsey Graham abandoned the honor of John McCain and became a sidekick of Donald Trump.  


03/15/19 11:17 PM #1070    

Stewart Myrent

 ​Just got home from work & saw that Janis had posted a remark about Lindsey Graham.  First, Janis, I wanted to ask you about a week ago, on 03/09, when you wished Don Schwartz a Happy Birthday & then said, "Stewart Myrent did not realize how briefly he would be as old as many of us..."  I am presuming that Don Schwartz turned 73 on 03/09.  If that is correct - you're right - I didn't realize how briefly I would be as old as some of you, apparently only 2 days.  Also, Janis, I understand your sadness, in coming to, I believe, a true understanding of Lindsey Graham.  I think I also had a much different opinion of him, when he was a bosom buddy of John McCain, but now I'm guessing it was all an act, because I believe that John McCain (despite the fact that I didn't agree w/everything he said), was a true patriot, with a very good understanding of the U.S. Constitution & what makes this country special & was willing to work with others of differing views.  I see none of those qualities in Lindsey Graham.  In fact, I have been wondering what McCain's widow, Cindy, and daughter, Meghan, think of Lindsey Graham's performance, lately.  His recent behavior has exposed him for what he truly is, a coward (nothing like John McCain) & a servile toady.  It's not only sad.  It's totally disgusting!  But, thank you for your thoughts on him.  Your analysis of him seems right on the button.

03/16/19 11:18 AM #1071    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

For truly disgusting take a look at Trump’s proposed 2020 budget -

the man is a liar.

Expletives deleted, like Samuel L. Jackson said: “If you're not speaking out against Donald Trump, you’re complicit.”  

Trump won’t even acknowledge white nationalism, say nothing of condemning it

as he directs FOX programming via tweet

and lashes out (via tweet) at John McCain in death.


03/16/19 02:44 PM #1072    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

“While I appreciate the words our leaders have said today ... I have something to ask.  Don’t change your tune now because the terrorism seems to be coming from a white supremacist.  If you’ve been talking about being tough on terrorism for years and the communities that allegedly support it, then show us how tough you are now.”

 -- Waleed Aly (part of the on-air reflection of the Australian news anchor about the New Zealand mosque shootings and the politics of division and fear)


03/17/19 09:32 PM #1073    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

In the face of school shootings,

Republicans want to arm teachers.

Will they call for Muslims to be armed after shootings at mosques?


In three days since the shooting in Christchurch:

Swift action in New Zealand focuses on banning the sale of assault weapons,

and Australia has banned Nazis from entering the country

and publicly shamed Islamophobic politicians.

What? no thoughts and prayers?


03/18/19 12:53 PM #1074    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Ironic to see Melania Trump hosting a BE BEST event after a weekend when her husband had a twitter eruption of vile and unhinged messages - count them: 52 tweets - which among the lies and distortions include renewed attacks on John McCain after death.  Why do Republicans remain deafeningly silent, seemingly unconcerned about our Commander-in-Chief?  It is Democrats - and Meghan McCain - who are responding to Trump’s incendiary tweet attacks on John McCain... Republicans, so intimidated by the Bully-in-Chief, shrink from comment supportive of John McCain in death just as they shrink from their legislative responsibility to defend the Constitution and affirm the separation of powers.  Any wonder why?  Ben Sasse, Thom Tillis, Cory Gardner, Joni Ernst, Martha McSally, David Perdue, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mitch McConnell among others are up for (re)election in 2020.

During the same weekend Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, earned worldwide praise for her response to the mosque shootings in Christchurch.


03/19/19 12:19 PM #1075    

Stewart Myrent

Janis, and all, this, once again, is exactly why I just wanted to take a pass on 2019.  It is every bit, as annoying & disgusting, as I had feared; even more so.  It seems so obvious to me (a layman), that our current CIC is totally unhinged, with NO relationship with either exactitude, or reality.  The daily barrage of tweets & ill-considered remarks, has me wondering, who is his audience, exactly?  I just saw yesterday, that 1/2 of registered voters consider the Mueller investigation to be, in fact, a "witchhunt", aimed at the current president.  I fear that his daily barrage of BS is starting to work it's magic on the electorate.  But, I am hoping that a majority of the electorate, is just getting weary of the daily stories, excuses & untruths, coming out of the West Wing, and are just waiting to vote this boob out.  (I know he's wearing me out!)  His latest attacks on now deceased John McCain, are deplorable, reprehensible & irresponsible.  Apparently, it's all about McCain helping to leak the Steele "dossier".  Jeez, Trump, the guy's been dead for 7 months!  Oh, and Hillary's been over 2 years gone!  When is it time to EVER give it a break.  Oh, that's right, NEVER!  The other thing I saw yesterday, is since Nancy Pelosi put the brakes on any impeachment talk, the electorate has cooled their expectations, vis-a-vis impeachment. and apparently seems satisfied to let Trump finish out his one term.  January 1, 2020, cannot get here too soon for me.

03/20/19 05:49 PM #1076    

Stewart Myrent

Welcome to the first day of spring!  Just saw today that Trump once again ripped into (now deceased) John McCain at an army tank factory in Lima, Ohio.  His comments were met with stony silence. (Good for them!)  I am going to stop asking, "When will this all end?", and just wait for next year.  Has anyone taken notice of, if the number of U.S. suicides has gone up appreciably, during the Trump presidency?  Just asking.

03/20/19 10:20 PM #1077    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

I hear you, Stewart.  Hang in there.  I too am discouraged by much of what is and isn’t happening in our country.

The U.N. released rankings for the World Happiness Report: the U.S. ranks 19th, down a notch from last year (already down four places from 2017); Finland (for 2nd year in a row) ranks the world's happiest country; Denmark and Norway rank second and third, respectively. 

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta's documentary "One Nation Under Stress" explores why "every other developed country (except for ours) has increased life expectancy and decreased mortality ... We spend nearly $4 trillion a year on healthcare and we've gone backwards." 

The documentary tackles income inequality, the fraying of social fabric, despair, lack of control, and dashed expectations.


Jim Clyburn (of South Carolina) (who is not hyperbolic) - says "Donald Trump's presidency presents an unprecedented threat to democracy."  In an interview with NBC, he noted that "Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany.  And he went about the business of discrediting institutions to the point that people bought into it.  Nobody would believe it now, but swastikas hung in (state) churches throughout Germany."  Jim Clyburn voiced the concern Jerry Nadler expressed at a town hall in New York - comparing Trump's rhetoric toward immigrants to propaganda in the 1920s and WWI against Jews.


Just days after the mass shooting in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters that New Zealand will ban military style semi-automatics and assault rifles and establish a nationwide buyback of the weapons.  The ban takes immediate effect to prevent the stockpiling of weapons while the legislation is being drafted.  In her statement the prime minister said, "I strongly believe that the vast majority of legitimate gun owners in New Zealand will understand that these moves are in the national interest, and will take these changes in their stride."  

Where there’s a will, there is a way.


Thank goodness for spring - for warmer weather and more hours of daylight in the northern hemisphere.  Enjoy!

Preet Bharara challenges me “to do the right thing, for the right reason, in the right way.”



03/21/19 01:37 PM #1078    


Marvin Irving Blusteln

I am absolultely flummoxed how any decent human being and socalled patriot could support 45.

03/21/19 08:46 PM #1079    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

On March 6th Bernie Sanders tweeted that it costs “on average, $12,000” to have a baby in the U.S. - “$60.00 in Finland.”  

March 20th Nikki Haley retweeted Bernie’s post with her critique:

“You’re not the woman having the baby so I wouldn’t be out there talking about skimping on a woman when it comes to childbirth. Trust me! Nice try though.”

followed by: “Health care costs (in US) are too high that is true but comparing us to Finland is ridiculous.  Ask them how their health care is.  You won’t like their answer.”

A few hours later Finland’s representative to the UN, Kai Sauer responded in a series of tweets -

“Here are some facts: Finland has a high performing health system, with remarkable good quality in both primary and hospital care.  The country also achieves good health status at relatively low level (sic) of health spending.”  

“Finland has the world’s third lowest infant mortality rate.  Maternal mortality is the lowest in the world in Finland.”  

“Finland also has the second lowest total mortality from cancer of European Union countries.”  

Kai Sauer ended the series: “Apologies for the delayed reply, we were out celebrating our rank as the happiest country in the world.”  with link to the news article  


*** Despite significantly higher health care spending than Finland, the U.S. has the worst overall child mortality rate compared with 19 other wealthy nations, according to study published last year in the journal Health Affairs.  The U.S. has the highest maternal death rate among the world’s developed nations and it’s been getting worse.  Two women die in childbirth almost every day in the U.S. (about 700 per year).


03/21/19 11:12 PM #1080    

Stewart Myrent

​Janis, imagine (1) Finland, (2) Denmark, and (3) Norway, finishing in the top 3 spots for Happiest Coumtry in the World, while the U.S. finished in 19th place.  I was trying to find the racial breakdown of the populations of those Scandinavian countries, but was stymied by their lack of completeness, compared to the U.S. census.  Finland only showed 93.4% Finns, 5.7% Swedes, Sami (Lapps) 0.1%, Roma 0.2% & Estonian 0.2%.  Denmark listed only Scandinavian, Inuit,  Faroese, German, Turkish, Iranian & Somali.  Norway only showed Norwegians & 20,000 Sami (Lapps).  Interestingly, Sweden has the most diverse makeup in all of Scandinavia, as 24.1% of it's inhabitants come from a foreign background.  So, it's fairly easy to notice that the Scandinavian countries are not the most heterogeneous countries in the world.  Compare those figures to the population makeup of the U.S.  U.S. population is 75.1% white (not as white as the Scandinavian countries, but still overwhelmingly white) totalling 211 million people, almost equal in representation are blacks, with 12.3% and 34 to 35 million people & people of Hispanic origin, at 12.5% of the population  and over 35 million people.  So, it's fairly easy to see why people of a certain mind-set, can deduce that many of our social problems are due to the (relatively) large percentages of black & brown people embedded in our population.  But, we are NOT in the top three of the Happiest Places on Earth - we are all the way down at No. 19.  Also, appreciated the quote from Sanjay Gupta's documentary, "One Nation Under Stress", telling why, "every other developed country (except for ours) has increased life expectancy and decreased mortality...We spend nearly $4 trillion a year on healthcare and we've gone backwards.."  Also appreciated the Jim Clyburn input & mentioning Jacinda Ardern's response to the mosque killings, is instructive & informative, in the least.  Also, I am shocked to hear that two women die every day in the U.S., as the result of childbirth.  I would expect that number to be way closer to 0, than 2 per day.  Also, liked Finland's representative to the U.N., Kai Sauer's, response to Nikki Haley.  

03/22/19 02:46 PM #1081    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"... inalienable rights enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.  It is humbling to confront the reality that "every other developed country (except for ours) has increased life expectancy and decreased mortality - that we who spend nearly $4 trillion a year on healthcare have gone backwards"... that the UN's World Happiness Report ranks the U.S. 19th, down five notches in the past two years.

Now we learn Republicans are resigned to Trump losing the popular vote again in 2020, but confident he will be re elected by the Electoral College.  Believing the "popular vote is irrelevant" the Electoral College will be central to Trump's re election campaign. 

(If Trump wins a second term without winning the popular vote, it would be the first time in American history that a candidate won consecutive presidential elections without the popular vote.


Perhaps we aren't as "exceptional" as we tout ourselves to be.  Shame on Nikki Haley. 

"Interestingly, the health of rich folks in countries with increasing inequality is worse than where there's more equity."  Sanjay Gupta says, "The greater the inequality, the lower the levels of trust and social cohesion - and the higher the levels of social isolation."  He also recognizes that "Americans are very provincial about our healthcare."

Why do we expect our founding fathers could envision life in the 21st century? - in their wisdom they provided the process to amend the Constitution.

Millenniels are handicapped by the reality of our broken system - We are paralyzed by our unwillingness to listen and learn from one another - to respectfully struggle through our disagreement to find solutions to the challenges we face in the 21st century.

Meanwhile the flood season threatens two hundred million Americans.


03/22/19 06:12 PM #1082    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Robert Mueller has completed his work. Now is the time for us to do ours.  


A Parkland HS shooting survivor took her own life last weekend.  She struggled with “survivor’s guilt” and had been diagnosed with PTSD.

Parkland students have done an incredible job being out there and advocating for gun safety, but the sadness and distress are still there.  Many of the Parkland survivors are still struggling with PTSD.


03/23/19 10:27 AM #1083    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

I do not understand why Mueller did not interview Trump who now has the easy quip: "No one asked me."

We wait to see Mueller's report - Mueller may have to come before Congress to justify his report.

Trump may not be charged with a crime; Congress may decide not to impeach.

Though Trump's visible behavior is not criminal within the confines of the word, what we do know about Donald Trump disqualifies him for the Office of President -

he lies countless times a day; he has disdain for the work of the Presidency; he attacks the institutions of our democracy and is dismantling the protections and benefits that government offers us; he abuses our allies and sycophantly consorts with our enemies and most tyrannical leaders in the world; he’s a cowardly bully - everything’s about him and what benefits him.

Right, none of this is criminal within the confines of that word, but all of it disqualifies him for the Office of President.  

Trump may not be charged with a crime; Congress may decide not to impeach.

Trump is surrounded by his allies, which includes Lindsey Graham, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who delivered laughs and loyalty at Mar-a-Lago dinner just hours after Mueller completed his investigation and submitted the report to the Justice Department.

Jim Clyburn's warning that "Trump's presidency presents an unprecedented threat to democracy" rings in my ears.

Now is the time for public hearings and serious legislative work.

2020 is soon enough for the presidentail campaign.

It is up to us as voters to expect Congress to stay on task.


03/24/19 12:33 PM #1084    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community is mourning another loss.  A second Parkland HS shooting survivor has taken his own life.  

The effects of tragedies like Parkland continue long after the news fades from the headlines.  

“When you look at Columbine, almost as many students took their own lives after the fact than were killed in the actual shooting.”

As citizens, we face the huge problem of gun safety and post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by survivors.  We have a responsibility for the safety and well-being - for the General Welfare - of our children, our veterans,  our communities, and our nation as a whole.


03/24/19 05:00 PM #1085    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

It was not a witch hunt.

The good news for America: Special Counsel Mueller found no chargeable collusion.

As for obstruction of justice: Mueller did not exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice - it remains an open question.

Congress requires Mueller's full report to make a determination on obstruction of justice. 

Mueller was not granted and did not demand an interview with Trump.

Somehow in a 4 page letter spinning Mueller's report, AG Barr

- without quoting one sentence in its entirety -

reached into Congress’ domain and took a swing with a press release.  

Trump is spinning the results... there is plenty of wrongdoing.

More of the Mueller report will be forthcoming - we must respect the evidence.


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