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17 Oct 2017: Homily (NZ Coalitions) and Daily Tweets

It’s been a couple of days, so I thought it was about time I did a tweets post. I’ve been partly writing a “proper” post, and partly taking time off.

Spoiler Alert: the “proper” post is about the Iran Nuclear deal, which I support. It’s mostly written, and I know what the rest is going to say. However, I’m not up to writing today, so it’s on the back-burner.

New Zealand’s biggest news is that we still don’t have a government, though that might have changed by the time you read this. However, as I write reporters are standing outside the room where the decision is being made.

I think our process of electing a government while not perfect, is one of the best in the world, if not the best. The process of arranging a coalition, though, leaves a lot to be desired. Most of the time, there’s no problem. However, when a small party is in a position to hold the two biggest parties to ransom as in the current situation, our process is no good. In fact, we don’t really have a process.

I think we need to set some formal rules around how coalition talks work in the future. We cannot have a party that 93% of the country did not vote for deciding what government and what policies we get. For most people, no party has all the policies they’d like to see, but we vote for the one that comes closest to what we want. And for 93% of the population, that was not Winston Peters and New Zealand First.

My opinion is that the party that gets the most votes should get the first shot at forming a coalition. That is actually what has happened on most occasions since 1996 when we began using our current electoral system (MMP).

A couple of times one of the smaller parties has been in a position to decide which major party leads the government because the result was such that either could do it with the support of one particular smaller party. On both occasions it’s been NZ First led by Winston Peters. Those who like Peters really like him. The rest of us have no time for him. For most voters Peters and his party would be well down the list of preferable coalition partners.

 

Terrorism Tweets

Al-Shabaab has committed one of the worst terrorist bombings ever in Somalia. #IAmMogadishu.

Political Tweets

The GOP’s hypocrisy regarding Harvey Weinstein vs Donald Trump.

 

This isn’t even really funny. It may be the only way to stop World War III.

 

He’s put his money where his mouth is. Good on him.

 

Donald Trump lied again today. This is what he said.

 

Here’s the response of one Veterans’ group.

This short article is about the response of Gregg Popovich.
(Via Ann German.)

 

FYI – Popovich bio – why he has credibility on this subject.

 

Ordinary people are responding as well, commenting on the humanity shown by previous presidents.

Healthcare Tweets

Another reason the US needs to sort out its healthcare system. It’s much harder to get hold of opioids in New Zealand. You can only get them on prescription, there are tight controls on the way they are prescribed and dispensed, doctors have to answer to the Ministry of Health if they are prescribing more than the statistical norm, and more. There are also good border controls making it hard to get drugs into the country illegally. We have a drug problem in New Zealand, but this isn’t part of it. In fact, heroin is so hard to get hold of here, it was a New Zealander who invented home-bake heroin. (Yes, I know, what a claim to fame!) My point is, this part of the problem could be worked on successfully.
(Via Ann German.)

 

Human Rights Tweets

The Myanmar government is committing genocide against the Rohingya Muslims in my opinion.

 

This is in case some of you don’t already know.

 

From 12 years ago …
(Via Ann German.)

 

And let’s remember this predator. Any person who votes for him is empowering him and excusing his behaviour.

 

Weather Tweets

Just sayin’

 

This is what it’s like in the rest of the world. The GOP is the only major political party in the world that denies climate change.


 

Religion Tweets

Some of you may remember the original of this picture from the 2016 election campaign. I’m pretty sure I used it in a post at the time. Anyway, someone has made it into a gif. Very funny.
(Via Ann German.)

 

Another example of why we’re better of without religion.

 

Art Tweets

“My wife doesn’t work.”
(Via Ann German.)

 

Wow! Just WOW! Look at the effort gone to in creating this model of Freddie Mercury!

Scenic Tweets

Some of the beauty of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Comedy Tweets

You can see it, I know you can!
(Via Ann German.)

 

Entertainment Tweets

On 12 October we in New Zealand commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium. It was the darkest day in our history in terms of the number of people killed and wounded in war. 843 New Zealand soldiers were killed or mortally wounded that day. Hundreds more received other wounds. (At the time our population was only 1.1 million.) Many New Zealand soldiers served in the trenches on the Western front, including my paternal grandfather. The trenches in the Wonder Woman movie, are very realistic.
(Via Ann German.)

 

No comment. Blame Ann German!

 

Now that’s a cool mailbox!
(Via Ann German.)

 

It’s a couple of days late, but I haven’t been on Twitter, and it’s a cool gif!
(Via Ann German.)

 

Space Tweets

Very cool indeed!

 

Marine Tweets

Cool case of mimicry!

 

Crab eating a cherry! Who knew?

 

This turtle is loving its shower!

Other Animals Tweets

Bramble is a hedgehog the good people at SWCC have nursed back to health. He’s well enough to go back to the wild now so his box has been put on the edge of a suitable woodland. He seems to like his much cozy box better!

 

Another hedgehog rescue. It’s wonderful to see then going back to the wild.

 

Encouragement from Ann German! Not sure whether I should be flattered or not! However, in Chinese Astrology I was born in the Year of the Rabbit so perhaps I’m going to stay a loser!

 

Those little black bits tell me that rabbit plays in there regularly!

 

Now that’s a photo!

Bird Tweets

Dancing to ‘La Bamba’!

 

Dog Tweets

Another animal evolving into a two-legged creature! They will take over the world one day! (Well, not dogs probably. They’ll serve their cat masters who will rule the world. The dogs will work while the cats sleep.)

 

Life’s that little bit tougher when you’re short.

Cat Tweets

Another one to add to my favourites collection!

Gorgeous snow leopard.
(Via Ann German.)

 

This is hilarious!
(Via Ann German.)

 

What has this cat spotted?


 

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37 Responses to “17 Oct 2017: Homily (NZ Coalitions) and Daily Tweets”

  1. j.a.m. says:

    Actually, we know what life was like without religion, when everyone was an illiterate atheist: nasty, brutish and short.

    • Ken says:

      non sequitur

      • j.a.m. says:

        In reply to: “Another example of why we’re better of without religion.”

        P.S. Missed you frightfully.

        • Ken says:

          As though it matters what it was in reply to.

          • j.a.m. says:

            It doesn’t matter what an alleged “non sequitur” is in reply to? Oy. (Anyway, you could have said you missed me too.)

          • Ken says:

            It’s sad, but some non sequiturs are that obvious.

            You are a troll, supposedly a sophisticated troll, though there’s no evidence of that here. So just a troll. There isn’t anything to miss.

    • jimbo says:

      “When everyone was an illiterate atheist”: there never was such a time, even if the invention of theism hadn’t preceded that of written language, which I’m pretty sure it did.

      • j.a.m. says:

        If man invented God, then before that there were only atheists (who were illiterate).

        • You can’t be an atheist until there is a concept of god. That’s like saying cavemen were against golf, or cars, or Santa. Animals are not atheists because they have no concept of gods.

          And the capital letter God who you believe in is not the only god that atheists don’t believe in. We don’t believe in any of them. Before your God there were many other gods, and there are still many other gods that other people believe in. When all people were illiterate, their was belief in gods. There are, and have always been, people who believe in your God who are illiterate.

          • j.a.m. says:

            “You can’t be an atheist until there is a concept of god.”

            Well, that was my position until you assured me that atheism is simply the absence of belief, the default or neutral position, i.e., indifference. So which is it? You want to have your cake and eat it.

            If you are rejecting a concept, then you have to be able to give an account of the concept that you say you reject. That puts the burden on you to actually understand the concept — for one thing, to understand that God is not “a god”.

            On the other hand, it’s useful to realize that atheism is the default condition in the dark, uncivilized state of brute nature.

          • j.a.m. says:

            In other words, come to think of it, atheism is the most primitive ideology. There’s nothing new under the sun.

          • jimbo says:

            Anyway, life is still nasty, brutish and short today (if perhaps a bit less of all three) whether one is an atheist or religious. Yup, nothing new under the sun.

        • nicky says:

          Nope, not ‘atheists’ , but animists.

  2. Ken says:

    “My opinion is that the party that gets the most votes should get the first shot at forming a coalition.”

    Heather, I dislike the Winston First Party as much as anyone, but this would cause more problems than it would fix. Firstly, it would be pointless if Winston had, like Labour and the Greens, campaigned to change the govt and there was no way National could form a majority. Secondly, unless you are also proposing to outlaw Winston talking to Labour while National has a go, it is simply unenforceable and would create a farce. Thirdly, it’s only been a week since the final election result was declared. Yes, the nine weeks Winston took in 1996 was too long, but two weeks is not. The media hate that they are kept on the door step waiting, so loudly squeal at their discomfort, but we should just keep cool and not buy into their hype.

    • I’m not buying into any media hype. It was Winston who said Thursday. Everyone said that wasn’t possible, but he insisted it was. He created the problem by creating a false expectation. If he’d given himself more time, most would have accepted it.

      In 1996 the farce of red and blue phones etc was what caused the problem. It didn’t help that Winston went fishing for five days before he even started work back then either.

      I don’t think we need to make laws making it illegal to talk to others, just develop a process that the parties agree to.

      Winston is being more professional this time. But I don’t like the idea that we’re going to get a whole lot of NZ First policies rather than National or Labour ones. Remember, that’s how we got Charter Schools via the ACT tail wagging the National dog. This time I worry in particular about NZ First influence on monetary policy despite the fact National and Labour policies are pretty much the same.

      • Ken says:

        Gosh, new monetary policy is one of the few things from Winston I’m looking forward to 🙂

        I know you’re not driven by what the media say, but media are influential for many, most of the outrage is certainly coming from there and it’s getting hysterical. Today we have that idiot Hoskings saying we should get rid of MMP because Winston missed his deadline! Winston was certainly stupid to give a date, which he seems to have learned, as he refused to so again today. But so what? That of all things makes almost no difference to anything, except to a media that have nothing else to say. As much as I don’t like him, I can’t blame Winston for trying to get the best deal and get it right from the point of view of him and his supporters; for using their leverage, which is at it’s maximum only before govt is formed. It’s ironic but many of the same pundits saying the Greens should negotiate with the Nats would also then slam them for trying to get the best deal they could.

        The real point is that this process is a fundamental part of MMP and it’s not realistic to think you can curtail what is politics at it’s most pure. The main parties could agree to new rules on their own at any time, but don’t because they’re afraid to give the other side an advantage for which no one will thank them. You would have to force them and you can’t do that either. As for ACT’s influence on National, they are a bad example as they exist in Parliament entirely due to National. No one wagged the dog to give us charter schools, the Nats were very happy with the arrangement. Even so, that’s just what you get with coalitions. A party that oversteps risks paying a big price at the next election, like Winston did in 1999. In the meantime, you just have to take the bad with the good.

        • Well, as you say, Mike Hosking is an idiot. Getting rid of MMP because Winston didn’t meet his self-imposed deadline is one if the stupidest of all the stupid reasons for getting rid of MMP. I think you’re right about why there’s no agreement re rules too. Neither National nor Labour wants to be the one giving way to the other.

          And of course I don’t blame Winston for trying to get the best deal for his party, just like I wouldn’t blame any other party in their position. That doesn’t make it right.

          I thought you might like Winston’s monetary policy. We’re going to have to agree to disagree on that one. To me the idea that NZ can have any effect on world markets is a joke. I remember Russell Norman advocating for us to print money as if it would make a difference. Even if it’s a good idea, which I don’t think it is in our case, it wouldn’t work for us. Our economy is too small.

          As it is, we came out of the GFC stronger than most economies. National did stuff for the poorest NZers they never have before and discovered that those of us who advocate policies like increasing benefits and the minimum wage are right about the positive effect they have on the economy. Bill English of all people is converted and likely to continue in the same vein.

          • Ken says:

            I have never seen where National has admitted that increasing benefits and the minimum wage have a positive effect on the economy. Certainly at the time they did it, it was to inoculate them against issues Labour planned to campaign on, i.e. entirely cynical. If English subsequently saw the light, great and perhaps you could show me where that was.

            The purpose of Norman’s QE was to lower the exchange rate that was astronomical at the time and hurting exports. The only real criticism of it, besides the Nats screaming again about becoming North Korea, was that the proposal to refill the empty earthquake fund would not be enough to make a big enough exchange rate difference. QE isn’t a radical idea and certainly made more sense than the Nats borrowing $1b per year for tax cuts, which we are still doing.

            I actually don’t know the details of Winston’s monetary policy. He says he wants to follow the Singapore model and I’m unsure what would be terrible about that. He also doesn’t want to be a slave to the current inflation target, which doesn’t seem so radical either. Labour’s approach is not the same as the Nats and they want monetary policy changes too. And as Winston has just chosen them to lead the next govt, we’ll be finding out soon enough now what the plan is.

          • It’s just your opinion that everything good that National does is for cynical reasons, and Labour does good things for the right reason.

            I’ll bet anything you like that the NZ dollar has gone down significantly overnight on the news of Winston going with Labour.

            We’re never going to agree on QE by NZ, so I’m not sure there’s much point arguing about it.

            I do remember English saying something about the benefits of increasing low incomes, but I don’t remember when or where and it would be almost impossible to find because it’s not something he trumpeted obviously.

            National has moved significantly to the centre following the disaster of having a leader like Don Brash. They’ve also been doing a lot in the background that are more what you’d expect from Labour, but not touting those things. They’ve been effective though. English would have carried on Whanau Ora, which was good, but Winston hates it.

            Whether Winston went with Labour or National I would have been worried. Just having him in government is a problem imo. It was a master stroke by Helen Clark to make him foreign minister as it kept him busy and out of the way and suited his talents. He won’t want the job now. He could barely breathe through last night’s speech. I would be less worried about him if he went with National simply because they’re in a stronger position electorally and therefore could control him better. I think that was actually a major reason for him choosing Labour – it’s about power.

            I bet he also thinks that as the “elder statesman” he can dominate the “little woman”.

            It’s very concerning that he starts with a speech that things are going to get worse in the next three years but not to blame him! That’s great for confidence! It’s also completely irresponsible as it will make the fall in the dollar even bigger.

            I could go on of course, but I won’t. Good on Jacinda, but she’s got a tough road ahead.

          • Ken says:

            Heather, I’m not sure what I said that got under your skin, but that wasn’t my intention at all, so I’m sorry. I have to say that the things you accuse me of are not true, neither regarding National and Labour’s motivations always being all bad and all good (what did I ever say to make you think I’m a fan of Labour?), nor about any glee at the current drop in the exchange rate (it’s a different story when we’re at 85 US cents and rising). But I know in several cases, and the increase in the benefit is one, that National were acting cynically, because they said so themselves. Specifically that the inoculation didn’t cost them much and they were surprised at how cheaply they were able to buy Maori Party support. That’s how they talked about it; it’s how they talk in private about many things. Labour would never be so open and I’ve often wondered why the Nats are. The best I’ve come up with is that the born-to-rule arrogance the Nats are said to have may be real, and so they are more confident and therefore more free with their opinions, in private at least. The worst thing I ever heard was regarding the asset sales, which polls had just shown a majority of their own supporters were against. When Waikato Maori then also threatened to sue the govt over the sale of Mighty River Power, I had the temerity to tease that things weren’t going so well. The response was that they hoped Maori did sue, and the govt would make sure it went to court rather than negotiate, because it would help shore up their base; that National supporters may hate asset sales, but they hated Maori even more. This is a near quote and I can’t think of anything much more cynical. So when you claim that National do something that you and I support for the same reasons that motivate us, I can’t help but think back to the lessons in realpolitik I’ve received from them, and worry that you’re unknowingly wearing blueberry coloured glasses. Maybe English really did see the light and just hid it well. It’s true he wasn’t PM for very long, but there wasn’t another benefit increase planned that I’m aware of and the minimum wage increase this year was no greater than it’s been since he became Finance Minister in 2008, which of course amounts to a decreasing percentage each year. This despite that it was election year when you might think he would have wanted to make a point about any change of heart.

            As for QE, of course drop it if you insist, but I genuinely would like to understand why you think it would work differently in NZ than in other countries. So far as I know, QE is meant to do two things, lower one’s exchange rate and as an alternative to new debt as a way to increase the money supply in economic downturns. The main potential downside is inflation, which certainly wasn’t an issue after the GFC. Like it or not as a tool, I don’t know why it should work differently in different countries (that have their own currency, of course).

            I agree with almost everything you say about Winston, but if he went with Labour and the Greens because he thinks he’ll be able to control them, he’s a bigger fool than I thought. If that really was his plan, he should have sought to have the Greens in coalition, so that they were bound by Cabinet collective responsibility. Winston depends on the Greens (or the Nats) to pass every single piece of legislation he sponsors in the next Parliament regardless of what Labour agree to, yet he has agreed to give them the ability to easily remain independent from any Cabinet decision they wish. I think we may need to consider whether old Winston is actually worried about his legacy after all, and feels that while he won’t achieve his more radical goals (e.g. he admitted that removal of the Maori seats is simply off the agenda), he will still achieve more policy with Labour and the Greens than he could with the Nats. Of course, I’m not claiming the next three years will run smoothly; it’s Winston after all and that means unpredictability.

          • I’m sorry about how I’m coming across Ken. It’s not personal. I’ve been getting progressively grumpier for a several weeks due to a change in medication by a locum, and in the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed it’s coming out in my writing. It’s not just with you. A couple of days ago I decided f*** the doctor, I’m going back to how it was before, and I’m starting to feel better. Hopefully my mood will improve. I think it is improving.

            However, I’ve been pissed off since the election that we’re going to have Winston playing a major part in our government. I’m also really worried about it. And I think no matter how well Jacinda does, she could be out at the next election because of Winston. If Bill was PM again, there’s no way the Nats would win a fifth term anyway – that doesn’t happen in NZ, and Jacinda could have a proper run at the job. At the moment I think there’s going to be a policy disaster over the next three years.

            I acknowledge that you know the players and I don’t. None of the MPs I know personally are currently in government and I never had an inside track anyway. Your experience is, of course, very different. I won’t say any more about that because I don’t what to say the wrong thing that might expose who you are or anything.

            I can only judge by what the government actually does, and while I certainly don’t agree with everything they do, the National government we’ve seen since 2008 has been a vast improvement on any we’ve seen before. I think they’ve mostly done a good job. I also think they would have controlled Winston better than Labour will be able to. That’s not due to any lack on Jacinda’s part, because I think she’s incredibly capable. It’s just that the Nats are politically in a stronger position.

            I don’t know whether the Nats think they should have power no matter what – you could well be right on that one. I do think they currently have the habit of being in power and for any government that’s hard to give up. Labour acted like that in their third term. The Nats played it up with their “nanny state” rhetoric, and there was enough truth there for it to work. I actually also think they had a right to think they should be leading the next government because more people voted for them than any other party.

            I think the Greens aren’t in cabinet because Winston refused to have them there, whatever is said about that publicly. I think NZ First has too much power in the next government. I don’t blame Winston for getting the best deal he could, and I don’t blame Jacinda for compromising to get to be government, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

            I think Winston is worried about his legacy, whatever he pretends, and he will get more with Labour than National. But who he goes with shouldn’t be about his legacy. Winston’s legacy is a big part of why I’m worried and have been since I saw the election results.

            I don’t think QE would have worked because we’re not big enough to influence international markets, which is why it worked for the US. Also their debt was at lower rates because at the time they had a better international credit rating. We were in a different position.

            Unlike most countries, NZ was already in debt when the GFC hit, and we were paying high interest on that debt. QE for us would have meant that servicing that debt cost us more. However, we could borrow at extremely low interest rates. Also the amount we would need to create with QE was too much, especially once we had to pay for the recovery following the Christchurch earthquake and some smaller natural disasters. However, the Chch rebuild was such a big part of our economy that it was going to create significant economic growth. We also got popular and immigration was creating a lot of economic growth as well. That gave us slightly higher inflation than most in the OECD (though still low of course) and QE on top of that would have been a problem. The economic growth meant an increased tax take enabling us to pay off the debt. Dairy prices were also doing really well at the time and QE would have reduced what the country got from that. As we all know, a small $age decrease in dairy income can make a big hole in the economy.

            I apologize again for how I’m coming across at the moment. It’s not you, it’s me! 🙂

          • Ken says:

            Thanks for that. I hope things come right soon. It reminds me of some conversation or other about free will (quite possibly on WEIT) where someone commented that we’re just the sum of our chemicals at any given time 🙂

            I actually agree this National govt was the best in a while, I just think that’s more a comment on how bad the others were. As Jacinda said today “There is no point gloating about the economic growth of a nation if you have some of the highest rates of homelessness in the developed world.” I also worry about Winston, but I’m so glad to have change that I’ll give even him the benefit of the doubt until he proves otherwise. You seem to suggest that him thinking about his legacy will be a bad thing, but I think (and hope) it will be a positive factor.

            Thanks for the additional comments on QE. I take your point about existing debt in 2008, though I’ve no idea how large the effect would have been. I’ve never heard that used as an argument for keeping the exchange rate high though. There used to be much more consensus about the best exchange rate range for the NZD, about 55-70 I think, but this doesn’t seem to be the case any longer and I don’t know why. And re dairy income, I don’t see why it would go down with the exchange rate. As Fonterra is probably doing most of it’s business in USD, it should go up.

          • We used to want the exchange rate low because most of our exports were primary products and most of the inputs that went into making them were from here. Now our economy is much more diverse, and it needs to be even more diverse. So a lot of the inputs needed to make our exports come from overseas and obviously a low NZ $ makes them more expensive. Most are still primary products, so we don’t want it too high, but we need it higher than before.

            It’s also about keeping people happy. When we were kids, most people only had one car. Only really rich people had two TVs. My first microwave cost me $1200, and my first video player was even more. Home appliances were really expensive. Poor people missed out on lots of things, including phones. The higher dollar makes all those imports more affordable. The first place a lower dollar will get noticed is Noel Leeming and Harvey Norman. When people stop spending, even on things some elitists may consider unnecessary, it gums up the rest of the economy. There’s a flow on effect in multiple ways. There are, for example, demands for higher wages to pay the new prices that employers genuinely can’t afford because there’s less money flowing around the economy, and it’s flowing more slowly. Quite apart from anything else, it makes people dissatisfied. If the All Blacks lose at the same time, National will be back in charge in 3 years.

          • A high $NZ means the dairy farmers get less, but as prices were high at the time, they didn’t need the $NZ to go down to get a very good income. However, some other sectors needed support if they were to export to depressed markets and a high $NZ meant they could sell overseas at lower prices. I explained that part of the argument very badly above. Dairy incomes have a big effect on the wealth of many parts of rural NZ and big fluctuations are dangerous too. A big rise in dairy incomes when prices were already on an upswing could lead to people making bad business decisions based on expectations of future high incomes that are unrealistic. too. A lot of people came close to, or did, go under because they had borrowed too much in good times.

  3. Ken says:

    I have some nice pics of Notre Dame I could share, but don’t know how to post them in a comment!

  4. Diane G. says:

    LOVE the dancing birds! Also the tangled hedgehog (I did not know they got that big!) and the husky with the kitten. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. Stuartg says:

    I am good at scale models (>40 years of practice) but have to bow to the skills of the modeller of Freddy Mercury.

    I could never approach that degree of skill.

    What a fantastic model!

    • Mark R. says:

      Hello fellow scale modeler. I like to build dioramas…most fm WWII .
      http://www.mark-armor.com

      I definitely don’t have the scratch building / sculpture skills of the Mercury modeler- that was stunning.

      • Mark, I hadn’t realized that was you! I adore your dioramas! They are one of the favourite things I’ve ever seen on WEIT!

        I used to build 1/12 scale models, but not now. I’d like to get back into it again, but I find it really hard on my back. I mainly built furniture for 1/12 scale dolls houses. I also made Persian carpets to scale for them using tiny cross stitch embroidery.

        • Mark R. says:

          Hey, thanks Heather for your kind words! Yeah, that be me 🙂 I love building in 1/12 scale. I just finished a diorama set in ancient Rome that is 1/12. It should be published soon…a friend of mine does the website, but he has a full-time job too, so it takes a while.

          Knowing about your back problem, I understand…I have a good back, but staying hunched over for the amount of time it takes to build a model has me stretching and adjusting too. I bet those Persian carpets were cool…what a great idea using cross-stitch.

  6. Steven in Tokyo says:

    Someone’s walked mud through the house again. Not even polite enough to wipe its feet.

  7. Jenny Haniver says:

    Don’t think this Steve Anderson was on my radar, but now he is. What a dangerous nut case he is. Searching for info on him, I came across this BBC video: “America’s Hate Preachers”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aLMawBjXfQ. Perhaps you or PCC(E) have previously cited this video; if so, I think it’s worth taking another gander at it.

  8. Lee Knuth says:

    The opiate problem is dreadful. Too many legislators are pawns to,the drug industry because these are their donors. In the US the revolving door of legislative staff going to private industry makes it even more difficult to combat abuse. Today there was an announcement that a bill is being introduced to repeal the law that hampered DEA agents. Hope Congress finally woke up.

  9. Mark R. says:

    Michelangelo Signorile has a show on Sirius xm. He’s very entertaining, and often goes into the belly of the beast to interview the religious right-wing whack jobs. He was just at the “Values Voters” summit which has been taken over this year by white supremacists (yes, the epitome of people with values). Trump is the first sitting potus to speak at the summit and pander to the dullards. That’s all he has left, the unenlightened ones aka the deplorables; he’s in good company. The white nationalists are teaming up with the evangelical fanatics to create a truly horrific alliance. I will never understand why religious people doing horrible things and believing horrible lies think they are some chosen group of god-children. Warped all the way down.

    The Freddie Mercury figure was beautifully rendered…stupefying, really.

    I wonder if Mueller is going to take Flint up on his $10 million prize… Now that would be something. NBC could release the Apprentice tapes where Trump is known to have shown his true disgusting self. What is worse for those who can release these tapes, WWIII or a Trump lawsuit?

    I’m glad Hillary brought up Trump’s sexual abuses during a recent BBC interview; the story should be retold as often as possible. I’m sure trump supporters hate being reminded of their sexual assaulter in chief. Weinstein and Trump are two peas in a pod.

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