Margaret Bourke-White photo – 1937
– and Now
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by any of this. Living in a nation that prides itself on blather about democracy – and continues with an “electoral college” that validates a president who received 3 million votes fewer than his opponent.
The lieutenant governor of Texas argued in an interview on Fox News Monday night that the United States should go back to work, saying grandparents like him don’t want to sacrifice the country’s economy during the coronavirus crisis.
Patrick claimed after speaking to over a hundred people over the phone that there’s a consensus that they don’t want to “lose our whole country” over the current public health crisis and face an economic collapse…
Health experts have made clear the coronavirus poses a particular danger for older patients – 60 years old and older – who face the highest risk of serious illness or death from the rapid spread of COVID-19.
This rightwing asshat calls 100 “experts” who agree that sending folks back to work rather than sheltering in place – halting quarantine from a highly-infectious disease – makes economic sense in his distorted understanding of what the result could be.
Aside from his obvious failing at essential humanity, Patrick’s ignorance of cause-and-effect in the firestorm of a plague is downright criminal. First, he thinks the death of thousands [or millions] is OK if it returns our economy to profitability. Second, the man is a fool if he thinks this coronavirus plague will not infect a critical mass of people of all ages if turning your back on public health standards of conduct and sanity is allowed to prevail. Crushing the US economy.
No doubt his “experts” qualify as such because they donate to political campaigns for cretins – candidate and voters alike.
Border wall started by Bush – additions by Trump
❝ When David Acevedo attended a meeting with officials from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in Webb County last month, he thought he would come away with more information about the Trump administration’s border security plans…
The only thing he knew for sure was the administration wanted access to his land to conduct surveys and site samples for border security purposes. And in a letter dated Oct. 15, the government asked him to grant access for 18 months.
❝ It’s a familiar fight for people in the Rio Grande Valley, said Ricky Garza, an attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project who is urging his clients not to allow the government access to their land. He represents five Valley landowners and is in talks with another, he said last week.
“A landowner is under no obligation to sign that right of entry to allow them free access to the property, but it’s in the government’s interest [to have them sign],” he said. “They don’t want the landowners to ever see the inside of a courtroom.”
❝ …the Trump administration is likely to seize the land it wants, said David Bier, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
“I think he’s not going to mess around trying to negotiate beforehand,” Bier said. “He doesn’t have to, according to the courts and according to the statute. He can get away with just taking the land and putting a $100 price tag on everything. He can do that and leave it to the courts to figure out what’s just compensation somewhere down the line.”
This crap legalism relies on law enacted 80 years ago in the Great Depression. Primarily to put folks to work on Public Works projects, provide income and mostly useful civil projects. This is what conservative bureaucrats have turned the concept into.
Had to repost this after Ursa found this lovely photo of the actual display at the Paris Zoo
❝ It is bright yellow, can creep along at a speed of up to 4 centimeters (1.6 inches) per hour, can solve problems even though it doesn’t have a brain and can heal itself if it is cut in two.
Meet the “blob,” an unusual organism which will go on display Saturday at the Paris Zoological Park, as part of a first-of-its-kind exhibition intended to showcase its rare abilities.
❝ The slime mold, which is known officially as physarum polycephalum (or “the many headed slime”) is neither a plant, an animal or a fungus. It doesn’t have two sexes — male and female — it has 720. And it can also split into different organisms and then fuse back together, according to a press release from the Zoological Park.
The unicellular being is believed to be around a billion years old, but it first came to the public’s attention in May 1973, after a Texas woman discovered a rapidly-expanding yellow blob growing in her backyard.
Where’s the spirit of Steve McQueen when you need him?
❝ At the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, 19 maps, nearly 440 years old, are on display — and they look spectacular. “Works on paper are delicate so we’re only allowed to put them on display for nine months out of 10 years,” says Blanton Museum communications director Carlotta Stankiewicz.
❝ The Mapping Memory exhibition contains work by indigenous mapmakers from the late 1500s. The maps demonstrate a very different sense of space than maps drawn by Europeans. They’re not drawn to scale; instead, they’re deeply utilitarian.
A map of Culhuacán, for example, shows rivers running straight, with tiny arrows in the middle, indicating which way they flow. The pathways curve like snakes, with footprints or hoofprints indicating whether the paths can be walked or ridden.
❝ Throughout the colonial period and particularly in the late 1500s, “the indigenous ways were very much alive,” says Rosario Granados who curated this exhibition. She believes it’s important to stress that “the conquest didn’t mean a complete destruction of that splendor.”
Not that Imperial Spain didn’t try.
❝ A vote to pass a $19 billion disaster aid package stalled in the House, after Republican Congressman Chip Roy of Texas objected Friday morning. House leadership was trying to pass the bill by unanimous consent. The Senate passed the same measure Thursday with a vote of 85 to 8.
The bill, which would include much-needed assistance to states struck by floods, storms and fire, and aid for Puerto Rico, which suffered substantial damage in 2017 from Hurricane Maria, the most powerful storm to hit Puerto Rico in almost 90 year, will now be held up until early June, when lawmakers return to Washington…
He offered a few reasons why he shut down the vote. IMHO, the only one that counts in the dim political world he inhabits is “insufficient funding” to be used against migrants crossing the border into America.
❝ The failure to pass the bill comes as most members have already left Washington for Memorial Day weekend and the president was about to depart for his overseas trip to Japan.
Our fake president even said he’d sign the bill if it didn’t contain the extra dollar$ requested by Republicans to halt undocumentados from entering the United States.
“What if men had to undergo the same intrusive procedures as women?”
❝ A Texas lawmaker has proposed a bill that would fine a man $100 each time he masturbates.
The bill also imposes a 24-hour waiting period if a guy wants a colonoscopy or a vasectomy, or if he’s in the market for some Viagra.
Rep. Jessica Farrar, a Democrat, knows her bill isn’t going to get very far. But she proposed it last week to make a point and give male lawmakers a taste of their own medicine…
❝ Farrar has long been an advocate of women’s health in a state that has made it extremely difficult for women to get abortions. And the bill, by pointing out a sexist double standard, is meant to shine a light on the obstacles women deal with when it comes to their health care.
Say, “amen” sisters and brothers!
❝ For nine harrowing days, one Grafenwöhr, Germany-based Army unit was barred from engaging in a laundry list of sexual acts and forms of physical contact, all in the name of vehicle and equipment upkeep…
❝ “Effective immediately, personnel are prohibited from engaging in sexual intercourse, acts that are sexual in nature, or acts that are done with the intent to sexually gratify any person in the Grafenwoehr Training Area,” according to the memo, which specified “agricultural cleaning and preparing our vehicles, equipment, and personnel to return to Fort Hood, Texas” as the reason for the coitus crackdown…
❝ It remains unclear whether this was a problem before. Could this battalion — the identity of which was redacted in the memo — have so severely neglected basic duties in favor of sexual escapades that a 17th century Quaker abstinence policy was warranted?
And why are other sex-having service members around the world perfectly capable of performing these bare essentials?
No doubt, having sex with anything from mules to motor vehicles would have been acceptable once they returned to Texas.
❝ Texas police have seized a political lawn sign that showed a GOP elephant with its trunk up a girl’s dress and the message: “Your Vote Matters.”…
❝ Homeowner Marion Stanford, who made the sign, said she was stunned at the involvement of police in her town of Hamilton, 100 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
“Here we have a political party that is using women,” Stanford told The Dallas Morning News last week. “I thought the sign represented what is going on now, and we can’t just stand quiet. I wanted to tell people we could stop it with voting.”…
Legal experts told the Dallas newspaper that police likely violated Stanford’s First Amendment rights.
“I stand with those women. I stand with the women who want change, who have a voice and are making their voice heard,” Stanford told The Washington Post…
Apparently, one of Texas’ creepier Republican politicians called the coppers. He was offended. Hey, how would you expect your local coppers to respond? Who do you think they would listen to? Do they know there are more than gun rights in the US Constitution