Friday, July 25, 2014

Why Am I Moving Left?

Why Am I Moving Left?
I used to be right down the middle. But America’s changed, and so have I.

In my late 50's, at a time of life when most people are supposed to be drifting into a cautious conservatism, I am surprised to find myself moving steadily leftward.

This is unexpected. It comes even as I am financially comfortable and enjoying my work. (I’m writing this from my summer home in Maine.) I’m not a natural progressive—I spent the last quarter century covering the U.S. military, first for the Wall Street Journal and then for the Washington Post, and now for Foreign Policy magazine. I have written five books about the Marines, the Army and our wars.

I am puzzled by this late-middle-age politicization. During the time I was a newspaper reporter, I didn’t participate in elections, because I didn’t want to vote for, or against, the people I covered. Mentally, I was a detached centrist. Today I remain oriented to the free market and in favor of a strong national defense, so I have hardly become a radical socialist.

But since leaving newspapers, I have again and again found myself shifting to the left in major areas such as foreign policy and domestic economic policy. I wonder whether others of my generation are similarly pausing, poking up their heads from their workplaces and wondering just what happened to this country over the last 15 years, and what do to about it.

The things that are pushed me leftward began with the experience of closely watching our national security establishment for decades. But they don’t end there. They are, in roughly chronological order:(Click on Link, it's worth it)

Read more:

Morgan Freeman Chats with Jimmy While Sucking Helium

Caltrans to move forward with toll lanes on 405 in O.C.

Los Angeles Times | July 25, 2014 | 12:30 PM

The California Department of Transportation announced today that it is moving forward with a controversial plan to add toll lanes to a busy stretch of the 405 Freeway in Orange County.

The move comes despite strong opposition from nearby cities argue the so-called "Lexus lanes" will hurt average commuters.

In December, Orange County Transportation Authority board members opted not to support the toll lanes in favor of a plan that would add one free lane in each direction. They were warned at the time that state officials may override the decision anyway.

For the latest information go to

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Joseph Wood: Arizona murderer dies almost two hours after execution begins

The controversy engulfing the death penalty in the United States escalated on Wednesday when the state of Arizona took almost two hours to kill a prisoner using an experimental concoction of drugs whose provenance it had insisted on keeping secret.

Joseph Wood took an hour and 58 minutes to die after he was injected with a relatively untested combination of the sedative midazolam and painkiller hydromorphone. The procedure took so long that his lawyers had time to file an emergency court motion in an attempt to have it stopped. For more than an hour, he was seen to be “gasping and snorting”, according to the court filing.

The attempt to execute Wood had begun at 1.52pm, with sedation of the prisoner confirmed five minutes later. The office of the Arizona attorney general, Tom Horne, announced at 3.49pm local time that Wood was dead.

According to the emergency motion, Wood was seen to be still breathing at 2.02pm, and the next minute his mouth moved. “He has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour,” his lawyers said. When the officials in charge of the execution checked the prisoner at 3.02pm – an hour and 10 minutes after the procedure began – he was confirmed still to be alive.

One eyewitness, Michael Kiefer of Arizona Republic, counted the prisoner gasping 660 times. Another witness, reporter Troy Hayden, told the same paper that it had been "very disturbing to watch ... like a fish on shore gulping for air."
The Guardian

Fifty Shades Of Grey - Official Trailer (Universal Pictures) HD

Obamajam: Avoid These Streets This Week

Here are the streets to avoid on Thursday July 24, 2014:

The area around Beverly Boulevard and North Doheny Drive from 4:00 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m.
The area around Sunset Boulevard and Mandeville Canyon Road from 9:00
a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
The area around Sunset Boulevard and Barrington Avenue from 10:00 a.m.
and 12:00 p.m.
The area around Grand Avenue and West Washington Boulevard from 4:00
a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The area around Figueroa Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
There will be hard street closures along West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Hoover Street and South Figueroa Street, Figueroa Street between Exposition Park Drive and West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and West Washington Boulevard between South Flower and Grand Avenue. South Flower Street between West Washington Boulevard and West 23rd Street, South Grand Avenue between West Washington Boulevard and West 23rd Street will also be affected by hard closures.

The following bus routes will be affected:

Bus Stop: Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard; Routes: MTA 40 - 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Bus Stop: Figueroa Street; Routes: MTA 81 - 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Bus Stop: Washington Boulevard; Routes: MTA 35, 910 - 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Bus Stop: Flower Street; Routes: Montebello 50 - 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Bus Stop: Grand Avenue; Routes: Montebello 50 - 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Irish café bans 'loud' Americans

An Irish pub in Waterville, Ireland is being criticized for a sign on its door reading, "No Bus/Coach tours or loud American's (sic). Thank you."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On our dime !

Dogs in wheelcart playing with a stick

Yikes !

Los Angeles Times
6:06 PM (16 hours ago)

Los Angeles Times
Breaking news
Mandatory restrictions on outdoor watering approved

Los Angeles Times | July 15, 2014 | 6:05 PM
Cities throughout California will have to impose mandatory restrictions on outdoor watering under an emergency state rule approved Tuesday.

Saying that it was time to increase conservation efforts in the midst of one of the worst droughts in decades, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted drought regulations that give local agencies the authority to fine those who waste water up to $500 a day.

For the latest information go to

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Why Are We Still Fighting Over Birth Control in the 21st Century?

Walking home from the Capitol recently, I saw the words engraved above the portico of the Supreme Court: "Equal justice under law." These four words are at the heart of the promise of our country -- that every American should be treated equally.

That is why millions of Americans, especially women, were so outraged at the court's recent Hobby Lobby ruling, in which five Republican-appointed men decided that a corporation -- your employer -- has the power to deny you coverage for critical health care for you and your family.

Those words etched in stone at our nation's highest court don't say "equal justice under law except for women." They don't say "equal justice as long as it's OK with your boss." And yet that is exactly what the court majority said in its ruling.

Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito seized on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 to justify giving for-profit companies the sweeping power to deny their employees access to affordable birth control and other health care benefits required under federal law.

Conservative Groups Protest Central American Children By Marching With Guns

Conservative groups protested the possible housing of Central American children in Vassar, Michigan, on Monday by marching through town, some with AR-15 rifles and handguns, according to The Detroit News.

About 50 protesters led by the group Michiganders for Immigration Control and Enforcement carried American and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags as they marched from city hall to a social services facility that may house the children. The protest follows a similar but larger gathering that took place last week.

(there's hope for this world....I was pleasantly surprised)

Troy Brown · Top Commenter
"An Armed Gang" marching on kids.

Thomas Bowers · Top Commenter · Herndon High School
So they escaped Central America because of armed gangs threatening them only to be threatened again by armed gangs here in North America. When are Americans going to stop treating each other like this ?

Jim Buchanan · Top Commenter
My God! I always knew this gun crowd were terrible cowards but to huddle together grasping onto their AR-15s in fear of 8 year olds is too much information for me.

Bradley Kirkland · Follow · Top Commenter · Web/IT Director at Marine Corps Association & Foundation
And the guns are being carried for ... WHAT?!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Picture truly is worth 1000 words