Saturday, June 24, 2017

What else is "New"?

Well, Ryan said it!

Back at the beginning of May, I noted that a number of American Military men and women had lost their lives serving their country, and the President had not once had the American Flag lowered in their honor.  Since that time several more American Military men and women have lost their lives serving their country, and STILL the President has not seen fit to honor their dedication, nor their memories, by lowering the American Flag!  WHAT A DISGRACE HE IS!

And Paul Ryan you are a disgrace to, to give him such a stupid excuse to ignore our Military men and women, and their families.

You both need to fixate on the REAL things that are important NOT YOUR inflated EGOS!!!!!!!!!

GROW UP and be a concerned HUMAN BEING!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Finally some "good" news we can all SMILE about



Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Mayim Bialik, Jim Parsons, Melissa Rauch and Simon Helberg star in “The Big Bang Theory.”

Stephen Hawking is clearly a fan of “Big Bang Theory.”
The famed physicist tapped the long-running CBS sitcom as a recipient of this year’s Stephen Hawking Science Medal for science communication

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Greatest "What"?

Does he really think he is the Greatest, doing the Greatest, making the country the Greatest?

What about compassion, understanding, kindness, wisdom consideration of others, being sympathetic to those less fortunate?

Proverbs 4: 5-7  King James Version
Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.

Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.


Well, I can only hope and pray that someone will give him some direction, that he will actually listen to, because from this writer's point of view, he is doing nothing except creating a greater divide in our country. Which he doesn't seem to understand, nor does he listen to the overwhelming majority of Americans telling him just that. 

Quit TWEETING, and listen for a change!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Piano in a Factory ---- Chinese movie

The Piano in a Factory - a Chinese movie.

We watched this film over 2 evenings.
Very interesting. 
Premise - couple in the beginnings of a divorce with a young daughter (who plays piano) caught in the middle.
Father believes if he can obtain a piano his daughter will choose to stay with him - mother is only marginally in the film, she has a "wealthy" boy-friend.
Father is a member of a musical troupe that performs at various events (funerals, weddings, etc.) he enlists his fellow musicians and friends to assist him in obtaining a piano - when that "fails", he devises a plan to build a piano.
There were many scenes that reminded us of a Charlie Chaplin film, the music is always interesting and the ending will have you applauding.
Hope you will try it - yes, it does have subtitles, but many scenes don't really require conversation to convey what's occurring.
The main male actor won Best Actor award at the Tokyo Int'l Film Festival.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Quote of the Day ------ Goodreads




Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.


W.B. Yeats


William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet and dramatist who became one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature, was born on this day in 1865. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Quote of the Day----Goodreads





We're all in this game together.


William Styron



Novelist William Styron (born June 11, 1925) was both admired and controversial. Black activists called for boycotts of The Confessions of Nat Turner, written from the POV of the leader of a slave revolt. The sexually explicit Sophie's Choice, which won the National Book Award, was often banned in schools. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Eugene Robinson's editorial 6-6-17



Robinson: Trump’s tweets a gift to lawyers fighting travel ban

By Eugene Robinson

The statements President Trump issued on Twitter in recent days lead to a chilling conclusion: The man is out of control.

I know that is a radical thing to say about the elected leader of the United States, the most powerful individual in the world. And I know his unorthodox use of social media is thought by some, including the president himself, to be brilliant. But I don’t see political genius in the invective coming from Trump these days. I see an angry man lashing out at enemies real and imagined — a man dangerously overwhelmed.

On Monday, he started at 6:25 a.m. to comprehensively undermine his own legal team in its quest to win Supreme Court approval for a travel ban targeting Muslims. I can call it that, without legalistic hemming and hawing, because the president did so. Emphatically.
“People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN,” Trump wrote.

Maybe he thinks that tweets, somehow, don’t count. But of course they do. These are written statements typed by the president himself, and as such should carry more weight than a processed release from the White House press office, not less. Trump’s lawyers — arguing in support of the blocked measure, which would bar visitors from six majority-Muslim countries — contend it is not a “travel ban” as such. Attorneys on the other side will surely use Trump’s own words against him.

And he had plenty more to say:
“The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C. [Supreme Court]”
“The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court — & seek much tougher version!”
“In any event we are EXTREME VETTING people coming into the U.S. in order to help keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political!”

Let that last one settle in for a moment. Has a president ever publicly dismissed the entire judicial branch of our government as “slow and political,” even in a moment of pique? Does Trump grasp the concept of separation of powers? Has he even read the Constitution he swore to preserve, protect and defend?

Whether Trump’s statements during the campaign — calling for a surely unconstitutional blanket ban on Muslim visitors from anywhere — should be taken into account by courts considering the current “watered down” version is debatable. His written statements as president, however, are clearly germane. Opponents of the ban might want to send him flowers.

Trump first let the cat out of the bag Saturday night, following the terrorist attack in London, when he wrote, “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”

He went on to express compassion and support for “London and the U.K.” But by Sunday he was off the rails: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’”

What rational head of state attacks the mayor of a city that has just been hit by terrorists? Why would Trump do such a thing, in the process taking Mayor Sadiq Khan’s words out of context in a way that totally changed their meaning? Because last year Khan, perhaps the highest-profile Muslim public official in a non-Muslim country, criticized then-candidate Trump, saying that his “ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe.”

What Khan actually said Sunday was that the public had “no reason to be alarmed” about an increased police presence on the streets — not, as Trump suggests, that they should be nonchalant about terrorism. Khan’s stoic and defiant response is in the tradition of Churchill’s during the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, or Thatcher’s during the Irish Republican Army’s terror campaign. Londoners have rallied around him. Trump, by contrast, sounds like a ridiculous Chicken Little squawking about the coop.

Words have consequences. Trump’s may hurt British Prime Minister Theresa May in Thursday’s election. Assuming she survives, she will have learned a lesson about getting too close to a volcanic president who might at any minute erupt.

We already knew that Trump had a narrow mind and a small heart. Now we must wonder about his emotional stability, his grasp of reality, or both.

Eugene Robinson’s email address is eugenerobinson@washpost.com. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

This Ain't No Mouse Music - a documentary




Chris Strachwitz has been "detecting" American music since the 1960's. He has been recording music for 50 years - plus he has his own "indy" record label Arhoolie Records. He loves ethnic music of the American south, Cajun from Louisiana, Tex-Mex of Texas.
Blues, jazz, country - you name it he loves it.
Some of his "finds" or those who have been put to the forefront of our musical heritage are the following  











Ry Cooder






Michael Doucet


Garrison Keillor's editorial 6-4-17



Last paragraph of Garrison's editorial from 6-4-17


Other countries have lived with leaders who are ignorant, poorly tutored, self-obsessed and corrupt, and why can't we? Let Congress hash things out, with the courts as safeguard, and Him of the Golden Hair and Mighty Eyebrows, go bear his Torch of Greatness to Benighted Peoples in Distant Lands and don't hurry back.




Thank you Garrison!!!!!!




Saturday, May 27, 2017

Allied, a movie


Allied, a WWII film, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard.

Max and Marianne meet in French Morocco during WWII - their mission is to assassinate the German "ambassador" to Morocco.  Things get "steamy" really quickly and the two take things farther then expected.

Jump into a short future, and they marry in England after their assignment is complete.

Further along, Max is summoned to the ultra-high security office, where he is informed that Marianne is a German spy------ or is she?

Sort of light and fluffy, and sort of not.  If you have nothing better to do, and nothing worth watching on a rainy evening, it is an ok film.


$51,000 coat for Mrs. Trump



This is possibly the worst looking piece of Fashion that Mrs. Trump has worn to date - and to think it cost $51,000!  I know they are rolling in "dough", but this is just shameful!  Have they no sense of decency? 

Texas governor



Texas governor jokes about shooting reporters




Two days after a GOP House candidate from Montana was charged with assaulting a journalist, Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, joked about shooting reporters, according to the Texas Tribune.
The comment followed Abbott's Friday signing of a bill that reduces the licensing fee to carry a handgun in the state of Texas from $70 to $40.

The governor then made his way upstairs to the shooting range for some target practice, and once he was finished, he held up his target sheet to show off his marksmanship, joking to the reporters and photographers present that, "I'm gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters."

His remark comes mere days after Greg Gianforte, who is now the Congressional representative for Montana's at-large district, allegedly slammed Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, to the ground.

Though he initially contradicted the reporter's version of the altercation -- backed up by an audio recording and a Fox News producer who witnessed the altercation -- Gianforte later admitted to his "mistake" in an apology delivered after securing Montana's only congressional seat. 
Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault, and is scheduled to appear in court between now and June 7th
.
Jokes about threatening the press have become more common recently. At the United States Coast Guard commencement ceremony on May 17th, 2017, DHS Secretary John Kelly joked with President Trump after he'd been presented with a ceremonial sword, saying, "Use that on the press, sir."
President Trump chuckled, responding, "Yeah, that's right."

This is most disturbing to read about - joking or not!  This is the type of speech (I know the First Amendment!) that invites violence against anyone who speaks their opinion!  Shame on this man

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Memorial Day 2017




Remember those who gave their lives so that we might be free.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Quote of the Day-----Goodreads




The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even—if you will—eccentricity.



Joseph Brodsky



Former U.S. Poet Laureate Joseph Brodsky (born May 24, 1940), was persecuted in his native Russia and was forcibly exiled in 1972. With the support of poet W.H. Auden he eventually settled in the U.S. and later won a Nobel Prize. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WOW or "Word of the Week" at the library

Several years ago, our library started WOW, "Word of the Week", which is posted on the front counter, it is very popular with the library patrons.

Recently, I suggested this word:

"Snollygoster:  snoll-ee-gos-ter, a noun.
   Somebody especially a politician , whose actions are motivated by self-interest rather than by high principles."  

Not only does this apply to the person residing in the White House, it also applies to several members of Congress, two in particular, the House Majority leader, and the Senate Majority leader.  How they can look themselves in the mirror in the morning is beyond belief - and how they can continue to parrot what Trashmouth says and not realize how untruthful they have become.
SHAME on them!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Garrison Keillor editorial 5-14-17



Keillor: Can we go one day without Trump on the front page?



By Garrison Keillor

For all the fireworks of the French election, please note that Marine Le Pen gave a simple elegant concession speech, congratulating the winner and thanking her supporters and campaign workers. She did not claim voter fraud or a media conspiracy or accuse the government of tapping her phone. She is, after all, French. Liberty, equality, dignity.

And so our country, the land of the pilgrims’ pride where our fathers died, remains No. 1 in blithering tastelessness, naked self-promotion and delusional hypocrisy, thanks to Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and James Comey. North Korea is a close No. 2, followed by Sudan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, the Ku Klux Klan, the Fall of Man and the Republican health care plan.

That was a remarkable photo, Republicans on the White House lawn celebrating the House passage of a bucket of horsefeathers. It looked like the Kappa Delts gathered at the country club for the Eight-Ball Roll-‘Em and Martini Scramble. Actually it was the D-minus students collecting a pile of partial term papers regurgitated by dogs and sending them to the Senate to be made into something coherent and perhaps defensible. As the man said, nobody knew health care could be so complicated. Good luck, Sen. McConnell! Take your time! Read the whole thing!

Senate approval is an archaic legal requirement — so much easier to simply write an executive order stating that everyone gets the care they need, pre-existing conditions or not, a beautiful deal for less money, and let’s move on to something else. Sign another order that cancer has been cured — that would pay for everything.
This guy is in love with the executive order. It’s his idea of a selfie. He sits at his bare desk, grinning, holding up the two-page large-print document with his big bold signature, in a nice leather binding like an Award for Meritorious Achievement from the Federation of Organizations, his smiley vice-president looking over his shoulder, a select group of happy citizens clapping. Last week, he signed one assuring ministers of freedom of speech in the pulpit. Next week maybe he’ll order ladybugs to fly away home, their house is on fire, their children are gone.

What is so remarkable this spring, as we all wait for the next shoe to drop, is how completely the Republican virtues we grew up admiring — caution, respect for history, attention to the fine print — have been thrown to the winds and the party has united behind an aging New York playboy with no fixed principles except an insatiable urge to be on the front page every single day including weekends and holidays. It would be like the Democratic Party electing Big Bird and applauding whatever comes out of his big beak.

Big Bird is a costume. There is a person inside it. He says what is in the script. But if he says whatever is going through his mind and starts ranting about conspiracies and TV ratings and the Civil War (how come?), you have a Big Turkey for a leader. Some people might think it edgy and cool to have an eight-foot president covered with yellow feathers, but I believe that most Democrats would not go along with this, even those who feel the party has gone elitist and needs to regain the common touch.

The American people do not wish their president to be on the front page every single day, especially not for saying stupid stuff. They would prefer government to be effective, functional, honest, rational — in other words, boring. Think of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. You want it to operate quietly without drawing attention to itself. You don’t want to read in the paper that when you hold a $20 bill up to ultraviolet light now, it says “Invest Kushner” with a blinking 800 number.

Same with the National Park Service. We don’t need to sell ad space on the foreheads at Mount Rushmore. The U.S. Coast Guard is a fine operation, if you ask me. Ditto the FAA, and so is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — imagine the complexity of it, administering the oceans and the atmosphere — and yet it goes about its mission without fuss. The White House could write up an executive order — “Let the waves be still, let the tides not encroach upon Mar-a-Lago” — but NOAA would simply build an ark for the president and life would go on as before. And that is the whole point.

Garrison Keillor is an author and radio performer.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

ACLU post



Here's 's full statement on the arrest of a reporter for asking HHS Secretary Price about the health care bill.


Quinnipiac poll



Quinnipiac asked respondents, what is the first word that comes to mind regarding the President

Answers 

  • "Idiot"  39 times
  • "Incompetent" 31 times
  • "Liar" 30 times
  • "Unqualified" / "Leader" 25 times each
  • "President" 22 times
  • "Strong" 21 times
  • "Businessman" 18 times
  • "Ignorant" 16 times
  • "Egotistical"  15 times

Interesting 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Statue of Liberty and American Flags at Half Staff




Since January 20th, many American Service Men and Women have lost their lives in service to their country.

Our "illustrious" President, who claims to "love" the military, has YET to have the American Flag flown at Half Staff in honor of their service and their deaths.

How do I know this?  I work at a library that in the past received Presidential (from President Obama) notifications that the Flag was to be lowered in honor of (Name provided) of the fallen.

To date (May 9th 2017) NOT once have we received notification to that effect from this President! 
In April 4 service men/woman lost their lives for our country.
SHAME ON HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To all those who have lost family members in service related deaths, please accept my sympathy for your loses. 

Arrival, a movie




We watched this film the other evening.

Interesting concept, and the time sequences worked well.

Amy Adams gave a very "quiet" powerful performance filled with much angst.

The question asked "Why are the here?"  well, the answer is probably something different to each viewer.

Worth watching.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Jack Gunter, Camano Island artist brings his work home


This documentary about Camano Island's own artist, Jack Gunter, is very well done.  Knowing Jack personally, and having commissioned a work of art by him, we enjoyed this film very much.

Jack's "lost" paintings (in Siberia) were retrieved, after much negotiation with various officials in Russia.  The scenery, the people, the music were well incorporated together.

One of the highlights of the film, is watching paint a picture, when one sees the final work of art it is amazing!  I would LOVE to see it.

If you have the opportunity to see this in Stanwood, WA May 28th 2017 at the Stanwood Cinemas do it.  We are fortunate that we have a signed DVD that will be part of our movie collection, so that we can watch it from time to time.

We would never have thought that Jack was a HUGE Seattle Seahawk fan, however, he apparently is....

GO Jack, Go Hawks!

Hidden Figures, a movie

Hidden Figures --------- we just watched this delightful film.

I am old enough to remember Alan, Gus and John's "flights" into space - we lived in North Africa at the time.  So I enjoyed that part of the historical portion of this film.

What I did not enjoy, was the blatant discrimination of all these women, let alone all African Americans!

What fortitude these ladies had to stand up to those who would "put them in their place".

Well worth watching.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Cartoon

You happy with his first 100 days?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

DCI Banks, BBC TV series





Well, we just finished watching Season 5 ----- "didn't see that coming!"

Although in the series each episode is usually a "Stand Alone", the episodes in Season 5 do have a common thread. I certainly will not give anything away regarding that.

Once again Stephen Tompkinson gives a top notch performance as DCI Banks.

One thing for sure, you must watch this series from the very beginning, and the first one is titled Aftermath, begins the series.

DCI Banks, Shetland and Death in Paradise are our 3 favorite BBC mystery series.

Hope you will give one of these three series a try.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lion, a movie

Lion, a movie based on a true story.

We watched this over the weekend.

My husband really enjoyed this movie, more than any of the other Academy Award nominated movies we have watched so far, as did I.
  
At the end of the film there are are several "credits" about the story itself, as well as the fact that approximately "80,000 Indian children go missing every year, and are never found." This had a profound effect on both of us.

Sunny Pawar gives a powerful performance as the young Saroo - his eyes are incredible.
Dev Patel (one of my favorite actors) portrays Saroo as first a carefree college student, then a tormented young man trying to find his past.

I just kept thinking if he would just Google "butterflies, or valley of butterflies", he might have cut down on his search considerably, however, things don't always appear so easily to the person doing the search, or trying to recall memories.......

This movie is just well worth the time spent watching it. Hope you give it a try!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Eagle Huntress, a movie



We recently watched this amazing film.

The starkness of the Mongolian landscape is positively breath-taking!  The winter scenes will literally cause you to shiver while watching ---- it was stated that it was -40 degrees (F)!  One could even see the eagle's breath!  Can't imagine living in that cold!

Aisholpan, a 13 year old girl, has been brought up in a traditional family of Mongolian eagle hunters - all she has ever dreamed of is becoming an eagle huntress, of course, even in these days, Mongolia is a traditionally male dominated society!  However, her father and grandfather, both champion eagle hunters, support her dream of becoming the first female eagle huntress. 
Step by step, from her finding and securing her own eagle, to school days, to training for the world's eagle competition, held annually in Mongolia, we travel with Aisholpan through her journey. 

Determination is the Name of this girl's game, and no man on earth is going to stop her - those that were against her being in the competition are simply left speechless after her victory!

Just shows that We Women are just as strong and determined as those of the opposite sex!   

Great movie!

Quote of the Day-----Goodreads

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

Jalaluddin Rumi


Happy 80th birthday, Coleman Barks! Most English-speaking fans of 13th century mystic poet Rumi are readers of Barks' interpretations. Barks is a poet and literature professor who paraphrases existing translations of the Rumi's work. 



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Miss Sloane, a movie

Well, we watched this one the other night.

Neither of us was familiar with Jessica Chastain's work as an actress, we were pleasantly surprised with her performance.

Miss Sloane is a lobbyist for an anti-gun group, she is highly effective as a lobbyist, however, as a person she is amoral and ruthless.

What is currently going on in our country, this film is certainly timely - corruption in the government.......

Didn't see it coming - a well laid out trap is sprung towards the end, sort of sucks the air out of one.

Great movie - very intense. Worth watching.

Baltimore Sun editorial 4-18-17

Accountability should be regarded as more than a buzz word. Our democracy is built on checks and balances so that those who are given extraordinary power are held accountable. But to do that requires more than an occasional press conference, it depends on public disclosure of useful information — or, to use another buzz word, "transparency" — whenever practicable. How else can a president or member of Congress be judged unless Americans have some independent knowledge of what they are up to in Washington?

That makes the latest decision by the White House to cloak President Donald Trump in greater secrecy all the more alarming. First, it was the tax returns that Mr. Trump has so obstinately refused to disclose, now it is the White House visitor logs — the equivalent of sign-in sheets that the Secret Service maintains. Last Friday, it was revealed that the current White House occupant will not follow the practice of his predecessor and make public those logs. Press secretary Sean Spicer defended that decision Monday saying what President Barack Obama allowed, the disclosure of most visitors but the removal of some names, was not helpful to the president or the public.

Such an argument is, of course, rather silly. The Obama White House disclosed 6 million names through its visitors logs over the course of eight years. The Trump White House is planning to release zero. How is that not a step back for government transparency? During Mr. Obama's two terms, the "scrubbed" names often involved personal visitors or those who came for sensitive meetings involving national security. Is it really better to not know the names of anybody, not a single soul who shows up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? This is a bit like saying the Atkins Diet has too many loopholes involving fruit and vegetables so we're going to stick with cake
 

 


Transparency shouldn't be a partisan issue, and, thankfully, there are signs some Republicans in Congress are concerned about all this secrecy as well, at least as rit egards Mr. Trump's tax forms. Here's a leading reason why they should: How can tax reform possibly make its way through the House or Senate if nobody knows what impact it might have on President Trump personally? It's pretty tough to lead with much moral authority when you don't even have enough conviction to reveal your own personal finances as every president since Richard Nixon has.
The visitor logs may not have the same meaning to voters that tax secrecy carries on Tax Day, but maybe they should. Accountability isn't about Americans having just one tidbit of information, it's about having as much information as possible. Mr. Obama's approach was hardly perfect, but it was better than no disclosure whatsoever. If Mr. Trump is as famously sensitive to ratings as people say, perhaps he ought to note this one: The latest Gallup Poll finds for the first time that most Americans don't think the president keeps his promises (45 percent say he will) and even fewer think him honest and trustworthy (36 percent). You don't restore such a loss of public faith by pulling up the drawbridge.
Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | 

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