How about that eclipse, huh?

It gave those of us who live in Hawai’i very little, about 10% coverage of the sun by the moon and most of that behind clouds at 6:45 AM. But watching it as it streamed live and on television on the Mainland was an amazing experience. Hey, the next one’s only seven years off and runs from Texas northeast to Maine and on to the Canadian Maritimes. Plan now!

Here’s video from Madras in Oregon.

Voter suppression is the civil rights issue of this era – The Washington Post

From today’s Washington Post:

The events in Charlottesville and the president’s apologia for the right-wing extremists there should mobilize anyone passionate about civil rights. There would be no better target for their energies than the clear and present danger to the most fundamental right in any democracy: the vote.

Absolutely correct. We need to start by fighting back against Trump and his “Voter Fraud Commission,” which is really an attempt to suppress more and more votes from people who lean Democratic — minorities and younger voters.

The other thing we need to do is focus on state races and win back control or at least enough blocking power in as many state legislatures as we can between now and 2020. There are two reasons: one is to stop as much of this legislation as possible; the other is to control the district line-drawing after the 2020 Census. A big reason for the Democratic losses in US House elections over the past eight years has been the gerrymandering done as a result of Republican control of state houses after 2010.

Aux armes, citoyens!

Bannon’s out, who’s next?

I think that Trump couldn’t stand the attention Bannon was getting and terminated him for that reason. We’ve seen that Trump doesn’t think anyone working for him should get any praise or even acknowledgment, sort of like the 1st Commandment on those stone tablets Moses got from the burning bush: “I am the President, thou shalt have no other before me.”

In other words, the man is a dog in the manger.

God knows I’m not sorry for Bannon. I’ve felt since the day he was brought into the Trump campaign and then when he was hired to work in the White House that it was a mistake to do so, based on what we’ve been told about his agenda of government destruction. I’m sure he’s got more than enough money to live on as an ex-investment banker and movie mogul. I rather doubt he’s going to sit quietly though; I suspect he’ll spend some time maligning his enemies from his perch at Breitbart “News.”

Now if Trump and Kelly could see fit to rid the White House of that ludicrous fool Sebastian Gorka we’d just have Trump to worry about, which is more than enough.

Here’s an idea

In all the discussion about removing statues of Confederate generals, politicians and soldiers the question comes up: “It’s history. You can’t just eliminate it.” I don’t disagree, but we don’t have to leave the statues in places of honor in our cities like Monument Avenue in Richmond. Why can’t we remove them and put them all in one place for those who want to see them in all their copper verdigris?

This is a bas-relief carved into a huge dome of quartz monzonite (like granite) named Stone Mountain. It’s in north Georgia. It shows Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on horseback.

I suggest we hollow this sucker out and create a Museum of Treason inside. We place all the now-removed Confederate statues inside, and we let the state of Georgia charge admission, since it’s located in a state park. We require the state to use a portion of the revenue for public education, from elementary schools to the historically black colleges and universities in the state.

It’s a win-win! State gets money, schools get money, other municipalities get rid of their divisive statues!

Charlottesville — VICE Documentary

On Saturday hundreds of white nationalists, alt-righters, and neo-Nazis traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia to participate in the “Unite the Right” rally. By Saturday evening three people were dead – one protester, and two police officers – and many more injured.

“VICE News Tonight” correspondent Elle Reeve went behind the scenes with white nationalist leaders, including Christopher Cantwell, Robert Ray, David Duke, and Matthew Heimbach — as well as counter-protesters. VICE News Tonight also spoke with residents of Charlottesville, members of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Charlottesville Police.

This episode of VICE News Tonight aired August 14, 2017 on HBO.

It’s 22 minutes long and it’s awful. What kind of country have we become?

A song for the unmasked alt-right

I suspect the Chad Mitchell Trio would be stunned to know this song of theirs would be newly applicable in 2017 in the United States of America.

This one’s for all those whiners who showed up unhooded and unmasked in Charlottesville this weekend only to discover their employers and college classmates didn’t share their enthusiasm for their cause.

Contest everything

After Saturday’s events in Charlottesville, VA, where a mob of white supremacists and Klansmen felt so enabled by the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency and the elevation of Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions to the highest levels of power in the Trump Administration that they could march unmasked and shamelessly through the streets of that city to protest the removal of a statue of a traitor, there are still members of the Republican Party who will say “they didn’t do that in my name.”

That’s true enough, but what is also true is that Trump’s flaws and his reliance on the likes of Bannon were very apparent throughout the campaign of 2016. Trump’s behavior was evident from his announcement of his candidacy when he said “Mexicans are rapists” to his final screeches of “lock her up.” Republican voters knew who and what they were voting for and were good with it.

Trump and his followers’ behavior must be hung around the necks of every Republican candidate for office from now through 2018. Daily. His executive orders should be contested in court, his agencies’ rules must be fought, and the people in Federal Government who are resisting must be supported.

Unite the Right LIVE UPDATES – Daily Stormer

The Daily Stormer is a neo-Nazi website which calls itself part of the alt-right.

Here’s its slogan: Preparing for the race war since 2013.

Here’s what one of its publishers wrote on its website at 3:46pm EDT today:

3:46 PM:Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us.

He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate… on both sides!

So he implied the antifa are haters.

There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all.

He said he loves us all.

Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him.

No condemnation at all.When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good.

God bless him.

Source: #UniteTheRight: Charlottesville LIVE UPDATES – Daily Stormer

When Congress serves industry

Table saw users, take note. There’s a way to keep your fingers from sudden amputation. It was invented 14 years ago.

There was a big need for this invention. Every year more than 4,000 Americans suffer amputations — get their hands mangled using table saws. Upwards of 30,000 people wind up in emergency rooms with lesser injuries. And Gass had figured out a safety brake that could prevent those accidents.

So why hasn’t industry bought it? Why hasn’t the Federal Government instituted a rule requiring it?

Because it adds a couple of hundred bucks to the cost of a table saw, and according to one industry spokesman, “Safety doesn’t sell.”

The inventor started his own saw company and proved it worked. He’s about to introduce a new saw that costs $400, about double that of the ones industry sells now. Somehow the Consumer Product Safety Commission is still uncertain about issuing a rule, worrying about the inventor getting a monopoly, which is not in its purview, and listening to the industry trade association whining that the proposed rule “needs more study.” Proponents point out that the financial cost and the pain and harm from those 30,000 injuries and 4,000 amputations (estimated at $4 billion) is a helluva lot more than the cost of the new system.

Now comes Congress, some one or more of which has been bought and paid for by the industry.

“None of the funds appropriated by this Act may be used to finalize any rule by the Consumer Product Safety Commission relating to blade-contact injuries on table saws,” the rider on the budget bill reads.

Republican Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia, who chairs the Financial Services and General Government subcommittee where the rider originated, was unavailable for an interview.”

Of course.

Next paragraph: “The Power Tool Institute has already invested tens of thousands of dollars this year to lobby Congress against the CPSC rule.”

You clowns. Have you done a cost-benefit analysis to see whether the money you spent lobbying might have been better spent saving the hands and fingers of your customers? You know, the ones who might remain your customers if they’re not disabled by your product?

This is why people are susceptible to the con men like Trump when they say the swamp needs to be drained.