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Archive for the ‘BY THE WAY’ Category

WHO SHOULD WE FEAR??

“We must keep our country safe”, says Donald Trump at a campaign-style rally in Florida yesterday.  BUT HOW??? That’s really the question we all need to ponder. It’s best to look at the facts, the statistics and then make a rational decision as to who or what you really need to fear.  Here are the FACTS:

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Falling Off A Ladder Is Not Fun

  1. MEXICAN DRUG DEALERS, MURDERERS AND RAPISTS:  That sounds quite ominous, however, that statement wasn’t backed up with any facts or statistics.  I have a cottage on the Jersey Shore in an area heavily populated with Mexicans.  I see them carrying vacuum cleaners and buckets into homes they are cleaning. I see them bussing tables at all of the restaurants all over the shore.  And at 5:00pm when they are finished working and the beach is free, I see whole families walking to the beach past my porch.  So I for one, am not going to put Mexicans, illegal or otherwise, on my fear list.  NO FEAR
  2. TERRORISM:  Isis is a heinous organization.  Are most of their members Muslim? Yes!    Do all Muslims belong to Isis? No! I am very concerned about our national security and especially my own since I live in New York City which is, a) the Financial Capital of the world, b) a coastal city, and c) densely populated. BUT here are some interesting points;  
  3. Between 1975-2015, terrorists born in the 7 countries designated by the Trump Ban have killed ZERO people. Yes, ZERO according the to Cato Institute.*  NO FEAR
  4. GUNS: In the same period, GUNS killed 1,340,000 people including murders, suicides and accidents.*  1.34M that’s a lot of people!  A whole lot of people! FEAR
  5. It’s TRUE that MUSLIM AMERICANS  both born in the U.S. and immigrants from countries other than those subject to the Trump travel ban, have carried out deadly terrorism in America.  There has been 123 such murders since the 9/11 attack and 230,000 other murders.* NO FEAR
  6. Last year Americans were less likely to be killed by Muslim terrorists than being one. That risk is approximately one in a million! * NO FEAR
  7. LADDERS, STAIRS, BATHTUBS AND LIGHTNING kill more Americans than Muslim terrorists. FEAR
  8. HUSBANDS:  are scary because in America, they can have guns.  In other countries, brutal husbands put wives in the hospital.  In America, they put them in the grave.*  FEAR
  9. “I will get rid of  GUN-FREE ZONES ON SCHOOLS”, Trump said last year.  “My first day, it gets signed, OK, my first day.”*  He hasn’t yet…. FEAR
  10. The House of Representatives voted last month to end the restriction on people with severe psychiatric disorders buying guns.*  FEAR
  11. SILENCERS:  “It’s about hearing protection,” Donald Jr. (Trump) explained in a video made for SilencerCo. , A Utah company that makes silencers. “It’s a health issue, frankly.”*… FEAR
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In this case Silence is NOT Golden

**Information derived and quoted from the New York Times article by Nicholas Kristof.

The only fear we have to fear is fear itself.

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I’m perversely glad that Donald Trump is president (not mine of course), because he has brought enlightenment and commitment to our household.  My husband is pleased and happy that I am now reading more than the Wednesday Food Section and Sunday Styles in the daily delivery of the New York Times to our apartment.  Maureen Dowd, Nicholas Kristof (well I became a fan of his way back to Darfur), Charles Blow and the letters to the Editor are now part of my morning routine.  And as the day wanes I’m often drawn to my blog so I can spout, pout, complain about Mr. Trump.  I had virtually abandoned my blog over a year ago but this seemingly endless supply of content and the deeply disturbing emotion Trump stirs in me, have breathed new life into Pbenjay’s Blog.

Maureen Dowd wrote about the silver – NO make that the  gold lining one can find in the daily chaos in the Oval Office.  She mentioned how “he has breathed new zest into a wide range of things: feminism, liberalism, student activism, newspapers, cable news, protesters, bartenders, shrinks, Twitter, the A.C.L.U., “S.N.L.”, town halls, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Hannah Arendt, Stephen Colbert, Nordstrom, the Federalist Papers, separation of church and state, athletes and coaches taking political stands and Frederick Douglass.”

Every time DT mentions “the “failing” New York Times, the digital subscriptions and the stock price jumps.  Americans are eager for help negotiating the disorienting Trumpeana Oceana Upside Down dimension rife with gas lighting, trolling, leaking lying and conflicts”.

Look what he has done for “Saturday Night Live”!  I haven’t watched that show in years and now the show’s ratings are at 20-year high.  The power of the Tweet is proving to be a boon to “S.N.L..”

Personally I’ve found new words to integrate into my vocabulary and bring new life and meaning to some old ones.  During the very long campaign, I found myself wondering about the stamina of some friends and the temperament of my spouse and co-workers. Up until one of the debates I hadn’t thought of the people I might not be friendly with or didn’t care to associate with as a basket of deplorables.  And how clever to refer to some of those same people as skittles.

I thought the spike in my blog readership was all about me but then I realized how braggadocious I sounded and so let me give credit where credit is due and say “thank you Mr. President” for injecting new life and humor into my writing.  I’ve also become acutely aware of the dangers of cyberwarfare,  wondering just when my blog will be hacked by some  fat 400 lb. guy sitting on his bed somewhere.  Some days I never leave my apartment because you never know when you’re going to be the subject of stop and frisk.  These are dangerous times, you know!

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Well they’re not really here, in fact they were Ukrainians.  Yesterday afternoon, we went to The Lehman Arts Center and watched the most amazing performance of Russian classical music expertly performed by The National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine.

The land of the Czars and Tzars has given us some of the greatest composers in the 19th and 20th Centuries.  To name a few and some of their more well known concertos and symphonies: Pyotr Iliyich Tchaikovsky – Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, 1812 Overture.  Igor Stravinsky – Rite of Spring, The Firebird, Petrushka.  Dmitri Shostokovich – Suite on Finnish Themes,  Sergei Rachmaninoff -Rhapsody on a Theme of Pagagnini, Monna Vanna, Piano Concerto I and II, Sergei Prokofiev – Peter and the Wolf, Romeo and Juliet, The Love of Three Oranges, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsokov-Capriccio Espagnol, and my favorite Scherherazade.  So much talent!

The first piece was Rachmoninoff’s Symphony No.3 and it was an elaborate production with full orchestra and three movements.  From where we were seated, I had a full-on view of the whole orchestra. Besides the usual violins, violas, cellos, oboes, French horns, clarinets and bass fiddle, Rachmoninoff included a harp, a triangle, symbals, a tambourine, and percussion.  Most of Sergei Rachmoninoff’s work is complex, especially his piano concertos, and in this Symphony it was quite evident.

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Dima Tkachenko – Violin Virtuouso

The real highlight of the concert was Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with soloist Dima Tkachenko.  He was a child prodigy playing the piano and the violin before he was six!!  He has won numerous competitions and was awarded the Guildhall School Concert Recital Diploma (Premier Prix).  I was overwhelmed and swept away by his mastery of his instrument.  Like most virtuosos, in his hands the violin becomes an extension of himself.  Pure genius.  Under his expert manipulation, the violin sang, I mean really sang.  In his intensity, he broke at least 8 strings on the bow.  The violin is a wondrous instrument capable of producing an unbelievable number of sounds and notes in rapid succession.  The standing ovation lasted long enough to convince Dima to give us an encore.  And OMG, he played for at least another 10 minutes.  I don’t know what he was performing but it seemed to incorporate every nuance of sound and technique known to man and violin.

The Firebird Suite is one of Stravinsky’s better known compositions.  I have heard it many times however, the technical proficiency and emotional commitment of this orchestra is quite extraordinary.

Lastly, we were treated to a brief and informative talk by the conductor, Theodore Kuchar, who gave us some history of the conflicts his country has undergone for 100 years.  He explained that pure Ukranian music existed outside of better known Russian composers and proceeded to introduce a famous Ukranian piece.  We also were treated to a beautiful excerpt from a movie soundtrack created by Ukranian born Myroslav Skoryk.

All in all, I can’t think of a better way to have spent this gray, rainy and chilly Sunday afternoon.  It was a peaceful and joyful break from the daily stress of the political shenanigans going on.

 

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One of my favorite columnists in the New York Times is Nicholas Kristof; the title of this blog was the heading of his column published on Thursday, February 9th.  Apparently he challenged his readers to write a poem about Mr. Trump, some of which he published this week.

There was one in particular that caught my eye and I’m sort of borrowing it with credit given to its author, Dan Letwin, a history professor at Penn State.  His piece is titled “Ode to Alternative Facts”.

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An Enlightened Child

” Well now, Kellyanne Conway has lately conceived of a new understanding   of what to believe.    When the truth gives you heartburn, don’t worry, relax.    You can always resort to alternative facts.   Oh it works for the Donald and all of his hacks    As they go  ’bout promoting their retrograde acts.    Don’t fret if your documentation is lax.   You can always get by with alternative facts.    Don’t fear all those women with signs on their backs    The straight and the queer, the whites and blacks.   You can trivialize them with snide little cracks    And wash them away with alternative facts.   Just as loggers might swing an alternative ax    And fell a giant tree  with alternative whacks.   When the truth won’t cooperate, try some new tacks.    We live in an age of alternative facts!”

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Fake America Out Again

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I know I’m a day late and a dollar short but I just can’t pass up an opportunity to tell it like it is!  Thursdays are great for my Top Ten List and for Throwback Thursdays.  This Thursday is all about mendacity, as Big Daddy would say in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.  The subtitle of this blog could easily be named Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!

You can call a rose by any other name and it’s still a rose and that goes for lies also.  Lately lies have been called untruths, alternative facts, and misspoken words.  A lie is a lie is a lie!

 LIE: Feb. 7, 2017: Lied that the murder rate was the highest in 45 years 

FACT: The US murder rate is at close to an all-time low, and law enforcement experts say Trump’s claim is so far away from the facts that it’s ludicrous. Based on FBI statistics, the murder rate was 5.0 homicides per 100,000 people in 2015, down from a peak in 1980 of 10.2 per 100,000 people. The highest number of total homicides was in 1991, when 24,703 were killed. Though several US cities have seen the number of murders rise from 2015 to 2016, the overall number is still dramatically lower than what it was in the 1980s and 1990s.

LIE: Feb. 6, 2017: Claimed that terrorist attacks across Europe are “not even being reported”. Trump says, “the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report” on terrorism: “They have their reasons, and you understand that.”

FACT: The Paris and Nice attacks that Trump mentioned in his speech were extensively covered by every major US media organization. Other attacks that have also received extensive media attention include an attack in Brussels in March 2016, as well as an incident in February 2017 at the Louvre museum in Paris in which a man attempted to use a machete and was shot by a soldier.

LIE:  (Tweet 1+2) Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump
Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage,…..
7:16 AM – 30 Jan 2017

Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump
protesters and the tears of Senator Schumer. Secretary Kelly said that all is going well with very few problems. MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN!
7:20 AM – 30 Jan 2017

FACT: The mass outrage and confusion at airports from Friday through Sunday was caused by Trump’s executive order itself, which travelers, immigration attorneys, airlines, judges, and custom officials struggled to interpret. Delta’s outage didn’t happen until Sunday night, and no protesters interrupted the arrivals process at airports. 

LIE: Jan. 26, 2017: Lied about Mexico’s president “agreeing to cancel” a meeting

FACT: Hours earlier, Peña Nieto tweeted that he called the White House to cancel the meeting, adding, “I lament and reject the decision of the United States to continue building a wall that for years does not unite us, but divides us.”

LIE: “Look, when President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, a very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech,” Trump told ABC News’ David Muir. “They weren’t shot at the speech. But they were shot in the city of Chicago during his speech.”

FACT:  Chicago Police told BuzzFeed News there were no people killed by gun violence on Jan. 10. A log of shootings in the city also showed there were five non-fatal shootings in the city that day, but none occurred while Obama gave his speech.

LIE: “You have people who are registered who are dead, who are illegals, who are in two states,” Trump told ABC’s David Muir. “You have people registered in two states. You have people registered in New York and New Jersey. They vote twice.” He also cited a Pew report as evidence, saying, “Take a look at the Pew reports.”

FACT: There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. The National Association of Secretaries of State — which has a majority of Republicans — said it is “not aware of any evidence that supports the voter fraud claims made by President Trump.” And in a Michigan legal filing by Trump’s lawyers after the election, they wrote, “All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake.”

LIE:  Trump finished his ABC News interview by pointing to framed photographs hung on a wall. “Here’s a picture of the crowd,” he said. “The audience was the biggest ever. This audience was massive, look how far back it goes.” He then pointed to another panoramic photo, saying the crowd — which he described as “a sea of love” — goes “all the way down.”

FACT: The audience wasn’t “the biggest ever.” As mentioned above, photographs from the inauguration show the crowd did not extend as far back as Trump claims it did.

LIE: The inaugural crowd “looked honestly like a million and a half people” adding that “it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.”

FACT: Aerial photos of the crowd at 11a.m. and 12 p.m. — around the time Trump took the oath of office — show that the crowd witnessing the inauguration did not extend back to the Washington Monument. 

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Inauguration Day January 20th 2017

LIE: Trump said God favored him during his inaugural address by stopping rain from falling when he spoke. “And then it became really sunny,” he said. 

FACT: In fact, It rained throughout his speech.

LIE:   Feb. 7, 2017  Twitter – The claim: “It is a disgrace that my full Cabinet is still not in place, the longest such delay in the history of our country.”

FACT: Trump does not even come close to the record for the longest delay before having a full cabinet in place. We only have to go back one presidency for proof: Barack Obama didn’t have his final cabinet member confirmed until April 28, 2009, 99 days into his presidency. Trump wasn’t even a full 19 days into his presidency when he posted this tweet.

Unfortunately there are more, many more alternative facts, faleshoods – perhaps another Thursday…

 

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When Mr. Trump lashed out at businesses such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin it was in the interest of the country to bring back jobs and to cut prices on government contracts.  Of course he has also been berating various news organizations and that’s hardly in the country’s best interests.  

But now it’s Nordstrom who is getting a tongue lashing from our even-tempered, thoughtful and thick-skinned public figure inhabiting the White House.  LOL, LOL.

Here is an excerpt from the New York Times article pertaining to the President tweeting (how surprising!) his dismay about Nordstrom dropping Ivanka Trump’s line of products. 

President Trump lashed out on Wednesday at the Nordstrom department store chain for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s clothing and accessories line, once again raising ethical questions about the relationship between his presidency and his family’s sprawling business interests….

….Six days after Nordstrom announced that, based on sales, it would no longer carry Ms. Trump’s products — a decision that prompted some Trump supporters to call for a boycott of the stores — the president took to Twitter to complain that “Ivanka has been treated so unfairly” by the company. He first posted the message from his personal account, and then re-sent it from his official White House account….

…Mr. Trump’s complaint also raised questions about how he might handle the moves of numerous other companies as their relationships with Trump brands change. The large national discount retailers T. J. Maxx and Marshalls, and Neiman Marcus, the luxury department store, for example, have recently moved away from their ties to Ms. Trump’s products…..

Here is the TWEET:

Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!
10:51 AM – 8 Feb 2017

So is this a really big deal?  Or is it just a father reacting to criticism of his daughter?  Or is this just one more instance where Mr. Trump didn’t take a minute or two before rushing to his phone to TWEET to stop and think and remind himself “wait a minute, I’m the President of the United States, I probably should put the phone down”.

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Ivanka Trump Eau de Parfum

 

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Vote For Trump because…

The following post was COPIED. Unfortunately I copied it from someone who also copied it and did not know the author.  Sorry I can’t give credit where it is due.

You voted for Trump because Clinton was going to be in Wall Street’s pocket. Trump wants to repeal Dodd-Frank and eliminate the Fiduciary Rule, letting Wall Street return to its pre-2008 ways. You voted for Trump because of Clinton’s emails. The Trump administration is running its own private email server.
You voted for Trump because you thought the Clinton Foundation was “pay for play.” Trump has refused to wall off his businesses from his administration, and personally profits from payments from foreign governments.
You voted for Trump because of Clinton’s role in Benghazi. Trump ordered the Yemen raid without adequate intel, and tweeted about “FAKE NEWS” while Americans died as a result of his carelessness.
You voted for Trump because Clinton didn’t care about “the little guy.” Trump’s cabinet is full of billionaires, and he took away your health insurance so he could give them a multi-million-dollar tax break.
You voted for Trump because he was going to build a wall and Mexico was going to pay for it. American consumers will pay for the wall with taxes AND via import tariffs. Twice.
You voted for Trump because Clinton was going to get us into a war. Trump has provoked our enemies, alienated our allies, and given ISIS a decade’s worth of recruiting material.
You voted for Trump because Clinton didn’t have the stamina to do the job. Trump hung up on the Australian Prime Minister during a 5pm phone call because “it was at the end of a long day and he was tired and fatigue was setting in.”
You voted for Trump because foreign leaders wouldn’t “respect” Clinton. Foreign leaders, both friendly and hostile, are openly mocking Trump.
You voted for Trump because Clinton lies and “he tells it like it is.” Trump and his administration lie with a regularity and brazenness that can only be described as shocking.
Let’s be honest about what really happened.
The reality is that you voted for Trump because you got conned. Trump is a grifter and the American people were the mark. Now that you know the score, quit insisting the con-man is on your side.

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I did NOT vote for Trump, did you?

 

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Filipino activists hold banner and placards while marching towards the U.S. embassy during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration policies, in metro Manila

Fillipino protestors in Manila today

Protesters rally in Paris against US President Donald Trump's immigration order

And in Paris they protest!

Every day is a holiday of OMG with Donald Trump.  He actually tweeted that slur about  FEDERAL JUDGE James Robart! Who is this person? He’s not my president – yes I said it! I have a pin that says it too.  How can he be my so-called president when almost 3 MILLION people voted against him and defeated him in the popular vote.   That must be a real blow to the egomaniac sleeping in the White House, considering he considered himself the populace candidate.  And hasn’t he proven that to be true – lol, lol, his cabinet nominees are mostly Goldman Sachs present and past employees.  Seriously don’t you agree that Goldman Sachs is a company completely aligned and committed to the populace?  Ironic isn’t it that he had so many people believing that it was Hillary who was in bed with Goldman Sachs.  I have to laugh because I said so very often during the campaign that most of which he accused and implied and inferred about Hillary were merely projections of his own thoughts and behavior.  I suppose I shouldn’t complain because I live in Manhattan where Wall Street rules and keeps our City economy robust especially in real estate.  I feel sorry for all those people who live in the middle of the country and somehow really thought he was the candidate for the real people.  History should have informed you better, no Republican president has ever advocated for the blue collar worker, the middle class and the union worker.  

Somebody really has to cancel his Twitter account.  Because every time he tweets, he makes an ass out of himself.  Then again, on the other hand, the pundits, the comedians, the late night talk show hosts and the bloggers (like me) are pretty happy with the constant supply and flow of content.

I’ve spent the day watching protests around the country protesting his ill-thought-out and thinly-veiled Muslim ban.  He can call it whatever he wants, Rudy eagerly took credit for the idea, the plan on how to put such a ban in place and yet make believe it is something else.  Unfortunately for them, we don’t all live in an alternate universe where alternate facts exist.  There are signs  that state NO BAN NO WALL as well as placards protesting practically every one of his so-called Executive Orders.

Demonstrators hold placards during a march against U.S. President Donald Trump in London

Today in London, a city with a large Muslim population.

I have been watching The Crown  lately so I think I’ll close this blog with “GOD SAVE THE UNITED STATES”.

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San Fransisco speaks out today!

 

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Well, now Donald Trump has been in the White House for less than two weeks and already the process of destroying democracy and establishing a new form of Fascism has begun.  The hallmarks of an autocracy are evident.  

Proclamations in the form of Executive Orders have been issued like autographs and held up to the camera so he can be the one in the room doing show and tell today.  Some are more show than tell. Here is a list of EOs so far:

Look - Show and Tell

Look – Show and Tell

1.An order instructing agencies that whenever they introduce a regulation, they must first abolish two others.  Sounds logical but the premise is based on reducing restrictions on companies and institutions that impede its ability and freedom to do whatever they want in the pursuit of profit. Yeah that’s true

2. A memorandum to restructure the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.  This allows Trump to put Steve Bannona known racist and alt-right supporter on the Council and God only knows to what flagrant measures General Flynn will stoop after he tweeted insane nonsense during the election.

3. A memorandum directing the Secretary of Defense to draw up a plan within 30 days to defeat ISIS. I thought he already had one! He said so during the election but was keeping it a secret from our enemies.

4. An order to lengthen the ban on administration officials working as lobbyists. There is now a 5 year-ban on officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government, and a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government. So now instead of a 2 year on lobbyists joining the administration, it’s been revoked to just one year! On the face, the order sounds good but read deeper and you will see that in fact we have less insulation from scandal than before.

5.  An executive order imposing a 120-day suspension of the refugee program and a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from citizens of seven terror hot spots: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.  This is ONE BIG HOT MESS.  And this one is not sitting well with lots and lots of people. The protests have begun and will continue.  This is not well thought out and for some bizzaro reason doesn’t include those Muslim countries where Trump has business interests. NO conflict of interests huh?

6. Two multi-pronged orders on border security and immigration enforcement including: the authorization of a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the stripping of federal grant money to sanctuary cities; hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents; ending “catch-and-release” policies for illegal immigrants; and reinstating local and state immigration enforcement partnerships.  OMG, seriously him and that stupid wall.  One day it’s described to have golden arches and a gate, the next day it may be a figure of speech, the next day it got higher and higher.  Talk about a taxpayer revolt – don’t tax me so you can build a monument to your own ignorance!  AND he’s taking federal funds away from the sanctuary cities.  Since they number well over 200 and many are densely populated, doubt this will go over without major resistance and think of the Senate and Congressional votes lost in 2018.

7. A memorandum calling for a 30-day review of military readiness.   Really? Why not just call upon your heads of the military and tell them to do so.

8. Two orders reviving the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipelines. He also signed three other related orders that would: expedite the environmental permitting process for infrastructure projects related to the pipelines; direct the Commerce Department to streamline the manufacturing permitting process; and give the Commerce Department 180 days to maximize the use of U.S. steel in the pipeline. Taking backward steps to protect the environment is one thing. I think the best  line in this order is the use of US made steel – this from a man who had his ties made in China and his Make America Great Again hats in Vietnam, Bangladesh and China.

9. An order to reinstate the so-called “Mexico City Policy” – a ban on federal funds to international groups that perform abortions or lobby to legalize or promote abortion. The policy was instituted in 1984 by President Reagan, but has gone into and out of effect depending on the party in power in the White House.  This one is just great – after all the party who most definitely wants to keep the government out of our private lives holds the most unusual thought process that allows us (USA) to say we will help you out BUT not if you allow abortion.  Whatever happened to “Don’t tread on me”?

10. A notice that the U.S. will begin withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Trump called the order “a great thing for the American worker.” We shall see now won’t we?

11. An order imposing a hiring freeze for some federal government workers as a way to shrink the size of government. This excludes the military, as Trump noted at the signing. I guess the plan for hiring 5000 border patrol guards does not fall under this mandate.

12. An order that directs federal agencies to ease the “regulatory burdens” of ObamaCare. It orders agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement” of ObamaCare that imposes a “fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.” Again, the uproar continues as more and more people sign up for the affordable health care act before it is repealed and replaced with ??????


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Laughing Gulls

I really like Sea Gulls;  They are raucous, clever, beautiful and so varied.  I used to think the only kind of Sea Gull was the one that looked like Jonathan Livingston Sea Gull.  But now, I spend time at the Jersey Shore I’ve come to know several varieties.  My favorite is the Laughing Gull.

Here's Laughing At You!

Here’s Laughing At You!

These sleek black-headed birds are seen in great numbers during the summer along the beaches and coasts of the Northeast.  Year-round they can be found around the Gulf of Mexico and the coasts of the Southeast.  They have long legs and fairly long wings.  Laughing Gulls eat almost anything, including food they catch or steal, handouts, garbage, and discards from fishing boats. They often congregate in parking lots, sandy beaches, and mud bars. Listen for their nasal, strident calls in flight, while feeding, and at rest.

Look for Laughing Gulls at the beach, especially during summer when their crisp black hoods and red bills make them easy to pick out from other gull species. You may also notice that their back and wings (the mantle) are considerably darker than common medium-sized gulls such as Ring-billed Gulls; this can also help you to pick them out from a crowd.

Soaring

Soaring

I like to feed the gulls any leftover stale bread I may have or those fried greasy crinkly things you get from the Chinese restaurant, they love them.  Anyway, my favorite gull to feed is the Laughing Gull.  They seem smarter than the others and they know it.   While hoards of gulls will gather on the sand below the dock where I am tossing the bread, each one trying to steal the piece that their neighbor has instead of going after a fresh one, the Laughing Gull disdains to join the crowd on the sand and circles me coming closer and closer.   He is quite happy to receive his bread in the air, swooping under it to catch it in his mouth or darting sideways to snatch it mid-air.  They will hover over my head like a helicopter waiting for me to toss a piece up in the air.

Murray Head has captured  fabulous photos of  these delightful creatures and I’m happy to share them with you.

Zeroing In For The Catch!

Zeroing In For The Catch!

Was It Something I Said?

Was It Something I Said?

Long Legs and Red Bills

Long Legs and Red Bills

OHHhhh My Dear!

OHHhhh My Dear!

Aerodynamically Perfect

Aerodynamically Perfect

So Much To Do So Little Time

So Much To Do So Little Time

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