Marc Dion: "Apartment for Rent: Will Consider Islamic Refugee" (Creators Syndicate)
I own a 100-year-old three-decker house in a Massachusetts mill town. Each floor is its own apartment. We live in one of the apartments and rent the other two. If you do this right, the rent coming in from two units will nearly cover your mortgage.
Ted Rall: Bernie Sanders Is a Socialist and So Are You (Creators Syndicate)
When it comes to politics, Americans are idiots.
Ted Rall: "No One Should Be Sad When George H.W. Bush Dies (Probably Soon)" (Creators Syndicate)
The curtain is about to fall on George Herbert Walker Bush, known colloquially as Bush 41. The patriarch is, if not exactly dying, no longer doing well enough to want to be seen much in public. The final taxi, as Wreckless Eric sang memorably though not famously, awaits.
Lenore Skenazy: The Lost Shall Be Found (Creators Syndicate)
It's about as trite a story as you can get: Last week, I lost my phone on the bus here in my burg, New York City. Before I even realized it was missing, I sat down at my computer and found emails from my family: "Call a lady named Grace. She has your phone."
Froma Harrop: Are You Happy, and How Would You Know? (Creators Syndicate)
Like many others, I can't resist academic studies on happiness. They often come up with persuasive reasons some seem to be happier than others. I'm always on the lookout for pointers.
HENRY ROLLINS: ISIS PICKED THE RIGHT TIME AND PLACE TO ATTACK (LA Weekly)
It is pathetic that there is a dune buggy on Mars sending back really cool pictures, yet here on Earth a battle is being waged with one side stuck in the Stone Age.
Charlie Jones: 5 Things Nobody Tells You About Living in Japan (Cracked)
Two years ago, I achieved alpha-geek status among my friends by moving to Japan. Since then, all I've been hearing from them is how lucky I am and how they would murder any endangered species still clinging tenaciously to existence in exchange for permission to live in my closet. And I totally get it, because come on, it's Japan -- the wackiest, most interesting place on the planet. Who wouldn't want to live here?
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Michelle in AZ
Spud Goodman « My POV
I don't know much about the law of gravity that dude Isaac Newton came up with but basically it's what's goes up must come down I think and until this anti-immigration thing really took off I just assumed that Donald Trump's fantasy of becoming the Prez would fall to earth like a fast leaking Goodyear blimp. From reading the polls this morning I guess not. Yes monkeys may fly out of my butt soon as there is a reasonable chance The Donald could be sitting in the White House come January 2017. Really all he needs is for some well timed strife and violence around the world for that old "Not In My Backyard" fever to once again take hold and he is our next commander in chief. Said fever has caused all sorts of ugly mayhem in this country previously (see Japanese internment camps) and it seems these days it could come with a steroid booster shot. As the campaign template has been drawn up all President Trump in waiting has to do now is sit and wait for tragedy to be delivered to his door.
I understand that some reading this bunch of words would be nothing but happy if this scenario does in fact occur but if you would do me a favor, go to that ancestry.com website and take a peek at your own family tree. It won't take long to see that though you probably knew someone in your family came from a country overseas way back, you would not be alive right now if previous Americans had locked the door on your family. Sad thing is I'm pretty sure not even being alive right now is reason enough to change the minds of those opposed to taking in Syrian refugees. Nope, not many will move off of their position of "hell no" because they love their country as it is and see no reason to add to the already excessive number of foreigners already walking around our streets. Hey, for the record I have not even brought up the subject of "that path to citizenship" for those darn Hispanics so just chill out ok? I will leave that topic for another day but just remember if the wet dream of the GOP base ever does become reality and 11 million people are rounded up and transported out of this country by an army of Uber drivers the bill not counting the tip will be humongous. Just putting it out there should anyone care about that fiscal thingy.
You know something about the GOP became clear to me a while back, if it doesn't affect them on a direct and personal level then it isn't real. It's a liberal fantasy. Re gay people, if they don't have a close relative or a best friend who just came out then it's out of sight, out of mind. Ditto with the homeless, bad schools, racism, etc. Either those issues get directly inserted into the lives of those who exist within their self-imposed bubble or they will continue to oppose everything and everyone that does not benefit them or theirs. So this is the challenge we face if we wish to see a slightly less "Thunderdome Ayn Randesque" culture in this country. How do we bring reality to these citizens? It won't be delivered via cable TV news that's for sure. Duh. Probably not by heart to heart discussions with moderate relatives or even psychiatric care as this is too big a lift for conventional means. Really the only way I see these individuals opening up to the needs of those outside their immediate circle is to sweep them all up via black helicopters and drop them somewhere in that sandy part of the world with best wishes. Now of course we would go back and pick them up after a few weeks as we don't want to see them harmed but you can be assured they will not come back with the same world view. Ok maybe we let them bring a maximum of 6 firearms from their personal collection so they can finally fire them at something other than pop cans and a stray deer. That could be one of those win-win's depending who they shoot at.
Now this suggestion on how to get some of our conservative friends and family to care more about their fellow man might cause some friction in the short term but I guarantee future holiday dinners will be so much more pleasant, quite possibly devoid of most vulgar epithets currently being tossed about at the table. Yes, this might be a pipe dream for some families even if my proposal is put into practice. I get it. There are some people who are beyond reason and were probably put on this earth to fill the role of being an asshole. Maybe there is a need for them that I am not aware of. It's possible. All I know is I'm just trying to help out here. If you can come up with a better idea on how to entice selfish individuals to maybe lighten up a bit then by all means let me know. You know how to get ahold of me. Later.
No Vacancy « My POV
The Flooded Apartment
We are still homeless in the motel.
We now have another ap'pt with a lawyer to discuss our flooding situation.
It's next Tuesday. More costly waiting in the Motel. Prayers welcome.
All to happy to post your gofundme request.
Hope some good things come your way!
Please keep us updated.
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
THE KOCH WHORES CONTINUE TO SUCK!
FLY THE FRIENDLY SKIES!
SO YOU WANT TO FIGHT A WAR.
TAKE OUT THE SAUDIS!
TAKE OUT THE SAUDIS! PART TWO.
HERE WE GO!
HERE WE GO AGAIN!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Sunny but colder than seasonal.
Warns Japan Against Resuming Whaling
Environmental activist group Sea Shepherd warned Japan on Sunday against resuming "research" whaling in the Antarctic and called on the Australian government to intervene.
After a decade of harassment by Sea Shepherd, Japan was forced to abandon its 2014-15 Southern Ocean hunt after the International Court of Justice said the annual expedition was a commercial activity masquerading as research.
But on Saturday Japanese media reported that it would start again next year, despite a call by global regulators for more evidence that the expeditions have a scientific purpose.
During the suspension of Japan's whale hunt, Sea Shepherd has been targeting the catching of rare Antarctic and Patagonian toothfish in the Southern Ocean.
When Dogs Heal
Rob Garofalo was devastated. He'd built his medical and research career on helping young AIDS patients. Then he learned that he, too, was HIV-positive. The news came after he'd already survived kidney cancer and a breakup with his longtime partner.
Try as he might, the doctor could not heal himself, at least not emotionally.
He got a dog.
His journey back to life started with simple things. He had to leave the apartment where he'd isolated himself to buy food for Fred. He had to talk to the many people who wanted to stop and pet the little dog. Garofalo also found comfort when he'd awaken with one of his frequent night terrors and have Fred to snuggle.
He began a project called "When Dogs Heal," with the help of a dog photographer named Jesse Freidin and a Chicago-based writer named Zach Stafford. It tells the stories of HIV-positive people and their dogs in an exhibit launching in Chicago on Tuesday, Dec. 1, which is World AIDS Day, and also in New York City two days later.
When Dogs Heal
Threatened With Extinction
About a third of the world's cactus species are threatened with extinction, the International Union for Conservation of Nature warns in a new report.
The study evaluated 1,478 species and determined that 31 percent are endangered due to factors such as the conversion of wilderness areas to farming and ranching, urban development and the harvest of cactus seeds and plants for trade and private collection.
"We show that cacti are among the most threatened taxonomic groups assessed to date ... demonstrating the high anthropogenic pressures on biodiversity in arid lands," said the report, which was published in the journal Nature Plants.
It identified hotspots of endangered cactuses across the Americas, from the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul and parts of neighboring Uruguay north to the Mexican states of Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, Oaxaca and Puebla.
Preventing Deadly Overdoses
The pale, zombie-like addicts staggering through concrete underpasses make an unlikely scene in wealthy Norway's picturesque second city. As a gateway to the fjords which zigzag the oil-rich nation's long coastline, Bergen is the last stop on a global drug route that gives it one of the worst heroin problems in Europe.
Now with a change in local government here and in the capital, Oslo, there is an appetite to use radical policies to curb the alarming number of Norwegians who die from heroin overdoses each year. Alongside traditional replacement therapies, such as methadone, the new left-wing local leaders want to use a medical form of injectable heroin to treat the most at-risk users.
The official goal is to wean them off the drug entirely, but even the most ardent supporters admit the most achievable target is to bring them within a safer environment, while helping to tackle the crime associated with heavy drug use.
Norway has the worst heroin mortality rate in Western Europe with 70 drug deaths per million inhabitants in 2013, according to the EU's drugs watchdog, the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drugs Addiction. In the continent as a whole, Norway trails only Estonia, with 127 deaths per million. The average is 16.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R-Pendejo) insisted on Sunday he was "100 percent right" when he said he saw thousands of Muslims in Jersey City, New Jersey, cheering the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, even though fact-checkers have debunked his assertion.
In a phone interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Trump said he has heard from "hundreds of people that agree" that there were televised Muslim celebrations of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which he used as evidence to show his remarks were true.
"I saw it. So many people saw it," said Trump, who, in the race for the November 2016 election, has been among the most vocal of the Republican candidates in expressing skepticism about Muslims in the United States. "So, why would I take it back? I'm not going to take it back."
When NBC anchor Chuck Todd (R-Corporate Spokesmodel) suggested the people Trump heard from are supporters and might want to agree with him, Trump interrupted to note the "huge Muslim population" New Jersey has.
"Why wouldn't it have taken place?" he said of a celebration there. "I've had hundreds of people call in and tweet in on Twitter, saying that they saw it and I was 100 percent right."
Wilder, Warmer Place
This time, it's a hotter, waterier, wilder Earth that world leaders are trying to save.
The last time that the nations of the world struck a binding agreement to fight global warming was 1997, in Kyoto, Japan. As leaders gather for a conference in Paris on Monday to try to do more, it's clear things have changed dramatically over the past 18 years.
Some differences can be measured: degrees on a thermometer, trillions of tons of melting ice, a rise in sea level of a couple of inches. Epic weather disasters, including punishing droughts, killer heat waves and monster storms, have plagued Earth.
As a result, climate change is seen as a more urgent and concrete problem than it was last time.
"At the time of Kyoto, if someone talked about climate change, they were talking about something that was abstract in the future," said Marcia McNutt, the former U.S. Geological Survey director who was picked to run the National Academies of Sciences. "Now, we're talking about changing climate, something that's happening now. You can point to event after event that is happening in the here and now that is a direct result of changing climate."
Public Housing Homes Flipped
District of Columbia
In the rapidly gentrifying nation's capital, real estate investors aren't the only ones flipping houses for profit. The city's public housing authority is getting in on the action - moving aging tenants out of homes where they've lived for decades, renovating them and selling them to wealthy buyers.
The renovations, at a cost of more than $300,000 per home, are outfitting the houses with luxury amenities, and some of the houses have sold for nearly $900,000. Others, however, have sat vacant for a year or longer after tenants were forced out.
The housing authority plans to use the profits to renovate existing subsidized rental units and build new ones. But most of that work hasn't started, and none of the money has gone to new construction yet, according to the agency. Meanwhile, sales have been slow-moving and haphazard.
Some elderly tenants and their children have asked for an opportunity to purchase the homes, only to be rebuffed, even after spending thousands of dollars maintaining the rental properties.
One home, on a well-kept block in Capitol Hill, has been vacant since late 2013, when the longtime tenants - Lula Brooks, 81, and her husband, Sonny, 82 - were abruptly moved out. Brooks and her son said the housing authority threw away many of her belongings - including a washing machine, furniture, clothing and personal documents. The authority disputes this account, but Brooks' next-door neighbor, Jon Wadsworth, told The Associated Press he watched as employees threw the belongings away.
District of Columbia
Dolphins At Risk
As Hong Kong seeks to expand its international airport and with a major new bridge project under way, campaigners warn that the dwindling number of much-loved pink dolphins in surrounding waters may disappear altogether.
Conservationists say their repeated concerns have fallen on deaf ears, with what they describe as a "rapid" decline of the mammal in the past few decades.
The Chinese white dolphin -- popularly known as the pink dolphin due to its pale pink colouring -- draws scores of tourists daily to the waters north of Hong Kong's Lantau island.
But despite the affection felt towards the dolphin, campaigners say there may soon be none left.
Weekend Box Office
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2"
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" held on to its first-place spot in its second weekend in theaters, earning $51.6 million to top "The Good Dinosaur" and "Creed," which both debuted Wednesday, according to Rentrak estimates on Sunday.
Audiences had their pick of genres over the crowded Thanksgiving weekend. Disney and Pixar's animated dinosaur movie took second place, bringing in $39.2 million Friday through Sunday, while "Creed," a new entry into the Rocky Balboa canon, came in third with $30.1 million.
James Bond film "Spectre," with $12.8 million, and "The Peanuts Movie," with $9.7 million, rounded out the top five.
"Victor Frankenstein" was not so lucky. The $40 million revival of Mary Shelley's monster classic, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, proved lifeless in theaters, earning just $2.35 million from Friday to Sunday.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1."The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2," $51.6 million ($62 million international).
2."The Good Dinosaur," $39.2 million ($28.7 million international).
3."Creed," $30.1 million ($2.3 million international).
4."Spectre," $12.8 million ($30.4 million international).
5."The Peanuts Movie," $9.7 million.
6."The Night Before," $8.2 million.
7."The Secret In Their Eyes," $4.5 million.
8."Spotlight," $4.5 million.
9."Brooklyn," $3.8 million.
10."The Martian," $3.3 million ($51.4 million international).
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2"