BartCop Entertainment Archives - Sunday, 3 December, 2017


3 December, 2017

(Updated Daily)

[303 days in a row]


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Marc Dion: The Guy's Guide to Sexual Harassment (Creators Syndicate)
When I was a kid, if I belted one of my cousins in the mouth while arguing over a sled, and knocked him face first into a snow bank, my mother used to apply one piece of wisdom. "How would you like it if somebody did that to you?" she'd say, shortly before clipping me sharply over the left ear. She was right-handed, so her shots always landed on my left ear.

Josh Marshall: Republicans Are Building Themselves a Political Trap with 'Tax Reform' (TPM)
Given how this year has unfolded, we should not underestimate Republicans' ability to snatch legislative defeat from the jaws of victory. Still, it looks like Republicans will get their prized 'tax reform'. Yes, the bill is horrendous policy on numerous fronts. But don't ignore the fact that Republicans appear to be building a perilous trap for themselves to fall into. Yes, they're jamming it through before anyone can get a good look at what's in it. Even they don't know what's in it. But remember, they and we will have all 2018 to find out.

Benjamin Lee: The Disaster Artist review - James Franco's ode to bad film-making is a riot(The Guardian)
The story behind cult movie The Room is brought to life with affection and painstaking detail and features a staggering transformation from the lead.

But a review of the economists listed on the letter reveals a number of discrepancies, including economists that are supposedly still academics but are actually retired, and others who have never been employed as economists. One might not even exist.

Lenore Skenazy: The Senses Census (Creators Syndicate)
But perhaps most amazing of all is the fact that this exhibition is in a modern-day science museum, and it actually ends on a high note, celebrating mankind's inventiveness. So many exhibitions (and documentaries and magazine articles and nonprofit donation appeals) end with the exact opposite message: "Nature is great, but man has screwed it up forever. Thanks a lot, manglers."

Froma Harrop: Democrats Need to Drop Identity Politics - Now (Creators Syndicate)
To concede that white working-class Americans have problems needing to be addressed does not preclude acknowledging the justified complaints of various minorities - ethnic, racial and gender-based. But this fixation on identity groups causes two kinds of harm.

Froma Harrop: Little Shelter in the Land of the Scam, Home of the Fleeced (Creators Syndicate)
A circle in hell has been set aside for financiers who fleece ordinary folks. This hot place has long rung with demands of death to the agency that protects working Americans from their pillage. President Trump is on the case as he tries to kill the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by putting its enemies in charge.

Alice Ollstein: How The Senate GOP Got The Votes To Overhaul The Tax Code And Strike A Blow To Obamacare (TPM)
A few hours before the final vote, the Senate's Republican Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told TPM that leadership overrode Corker's concerns and convinced every other member of the caucus-despite ample evidence to the contrary-that the tax cuts will pay for themselves. "There are those of us who simply believe that the economy will grow much faster than the Joint Committee on Taxation projects," he said. "Their modeling is defective.

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Michael Egan


Superman Abandons Earth

Editorial and Political Cartoons


Trivia Question of the Day

The Narcissus is the birth flower for what month?


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

This American writer, editor, and literary critic, is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. What is his name?

       Edgar Allen Poe                                                      Source

Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 - October 7, 1849) was an American writer, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and American literature as a whole, and he was one of the country's earliest practitioners of the short story. Poe is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.        Source

Mark. was first, and correct, with:
   That sure sounds like Edgar Allan Poe.

Randall wrote:
   Edgar Allen Poe

Alan J said:
   Edgar Allan Poe.

David from Moon Valley (temporarily in England)
   i'm gonna take a 'stab in the dark' here and say Edgar Allan Poe...

mj replied:
   Never more will we see his like
  And his death left a mystery. Did Edgar Allen Poe actually die of rabies?

Jim from CA, retired to ID, responded:
   Edgar Allan Poe

Adam answered:
   Edgar Allen Poe

Kenn B wrote:
   Edgar Allen Poe...never more

Daniel in The City said:
   Edgar Allan Poe

Harry M. replied:

Deborah responded:
   Going with a WAG: Edgar Allen Poe.
  WTF is going on with this tax bill? I don't get that our electeds (not ours in CA, but everyone else) are more concerned with pleasing their donors than doing the right thing for their constituents. Spineless bastards they are.

Billy in Cypress answered:
   Edgar Allan Poe

zorch said:
   Edgar Allan Poe, the Poe-et

Dale of Diamond Springs, Norcali wrote:
   Funny that you axt dis question…Saw a show on PBS a few weeks ago on Edgar Allen Poe…go Mueller go!

BttbBob   replied:

  Which is how T-rump succeeds with his weak-minded minions. He promises them the Dark Side... and they want to wield it because they can't resist.


  Meanwhile, this at present is our reality...

  Havin' fun yet?

  December 3 Birthdays - Celebrities Born December 3 | Famous Birthdays

Kevin K. in Washington, DC took the day off.

Rosemary in Columbus took the day off.

Joe S     took the day off.

Stephen F took the day off.

Gene took the day off.

George M. took the day off.

Dave in Tucson took the day off.

John I from Hawai`i took the day off.

DJ Useo took the day off.

Michelle took the day off.

Gary E.K. took the day off.

Sandra in Maine took the day off.

Gary K. took the day off.

Sally has retired.

MAM     In memory.




Middle Class Political Economist

Now a Blogger-Columnist at US News and World Reports "Economic Intelligence"



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

A Historic Tax Heist - The New York Times

Trump Is Vandalizing Our Wild Heritage - The New York Times

The Men Who Cost Clinton the Election - The New York Times

Storm Waves With the Power to Heave Massive Boulders Over Cliffs - The New York Times

Geena Davis meets Paul Feig: 'I had an audition cancelled when I wouldn't have dinner with the producer' | Life and style | The Guardian

Did Dickens invent Christmas? No, but he did reinvent the novel | Books | The Guardian

Has Hollywood changed? Mel Gibson's bulletproof career would suggest not | Hadley Freeman | World news | The Guardian

Civics 101-Republicons applauded like they did something, but this is NOT OVER: NEXT STEPS HERE

The republican party Just Signed Its Own Death Warrant

F*ck 'em: The Republican tax cut scheme is a Trojan horse to throw cancer patients out of treatment

Senate GOP passes massive cuts to Medicare, Farmers, Veterans, Border Security, and Law Enforcement

BBC - Culture - Why the lion is art's most powerful symbol

Inside the scandal-hit world of Japan's sumo wrestlers - BBC News

U.N. Report: The Catastrophic Toll From The Collapse Of Mining Waste Dams : Goats and Soda : NPR

The Treasures of Chaco Canyon Are Threatened by Drilling - The New York Times

How Ireland Moved to the Left: 'The Demise of the Church' - The New York Times

Living in cars, working for Amazon: meet America's new nomads | Jessica Bruder | Opinion | The Guardian

Fake news and botnets: how Russia weaponised the web | Technology | The Guardian

The real danger of religious lies - CNN

Thanks, Michelle!



Reader Comment

Current Events

I sold short-sales and foreclosed properties exclusively between 2007 and 2013. When I had my first equity sale (where the seller came out with money) in 2013 I literally had to ask my broker how to proceed; I'd forgotten after 6 years in the trenches with people who were beset with the worst woes a homeowner can have.

How the Great Recession Continues to Shape America - The Atlantic

Interesting Words & Emotions

Most of these I've never heard of, and will try to use in daily conversation so as to not be boring.


Thanks, Deborah!



Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp

Senate Passes Sweeping Tax Bill That Overwhelmingly Benefits the Wealthiest Americans - Mother Jones

GOP sneaks provision into tax bill to benefit one college favored by Republican billionaires - ThinkProgress

Nobody Wants to See your Dick - A Guide to Handling your Newfound Wealth and Influence |

Former ethics director: Trump's tweet on Flynn could end presidency | TheHill

Ex-Obama DOJ official: Trump 'just admitted to obstruction of justice' | TheHill

GOP defeats Schumer bid to delay tax vote | TheHill

Republicans still have a lot of differences between the House and Senate tax bills to hash out - Vox

Analysis: More than 6,000 lobbyists have worked on taxes in 2017 | TheHill

Michael Flynn Knew the FBI Had Heard His Calls with Russians. So Why Did He Lie About Them? | The Daily Beast

Interrogators Blast Trump's 'Clueless' CIA Pick Tom Cotton | The Daily Beast

Geraldo Rivera's 1991 Memoir Is a Horndog's Bible of Workplace Harassment | The Daily Beast

Is it too late for Robert Mueller to save us? | Slate

Donald Trump Suspected for Weeks That Mike Flynn Would Flip | The Daily Beast

What will have to be sorted out on taxes - Axios

Public Radio Icon John Hockenberry Accused of Harassment | The Cut

Comcast deleted net neutrality pledge the same day FCC announced repeal - Ars Technica

Trump Isn't Playing at Bigotry, Hypocrisy, and Dishonesty - The Atlantic

Is Donald Trump Gaslighting Himself? | Vanity Fair

Major conservation group blasts GOP tax bill for allowing Arctic drilling: 'Simply shameful' | TheHill

The GOP Plan Is the Biggest Tax Increase in American History, By Far | The Intercept

Paul Krugman: The Entire Republican Party Is Rotten to the Core | Alternet



from Marc Perkel

Marc's Guide to Curing Cancer

So far so good on beating cancer for now. I'm doing fine. At the end of the month I'll be 16 months into an 8 month mean lifespan. And yesterday I went on a 7 mile hike and managed to keep up with the hiking group I was with. So, doing something right.

Still waiting for future test results and should see things headed in the right direction. I can say that it's not likely that anything dire happens in the short term so that means that I should have time to make several more attempts at this. So even if it doesn't work the first time there are a lot of variations to try. So if there's bad news it will help me pick the next radiation target.

I have written a "how to" guide for oncologists to perform the treatment that I got. I'm convinced that I'm definitely onto something and whether it works for me or not isn't the definitive test. I know if other people tried this that it would work for some of them, and if they improve it that it will work for a lot of them.

The guide is quite detailed and any doctor reading this can understand the procedure at every level. I also go into detail as to how it works, how I figured it out, and variations and improvements that could be tried to enhance it. I also introduce new ways to look at the problem. There is a lot of room for improvement and I think that doctors reading it will see what I'm talking about and want to build on it. And it's written so that if you're not a doctor you can still follow it. It also has a personal story revealing that I'm the class clown of cancer support group. I give great interviews and I look pretty hot in a lab coat.

So, feel free to read this and see what I'm talking about. But if any of you want to help then pass this around to both doctors and cancer patients. I need some media coverage. I'm looking for as many eyeballs as possible to read these ideas. Even if this isn't the solution, it's definitely on the right track. After all, I did hike 7 miles yesterday. And this hiking group wasn't moving slow. So if this isn't working then, why am I still here?

I also see curing cancer as more of an engineering problem that a medical problem. So if you are good at solving problems and most of what you know about medicine was watching the Dr. House MD TV show, then you're at the level I was at when I started. So anyone can jump in and be part of the solution.

Here is a link to my guide: Oncologists Guide to Curing Cancer using Abscopal Effect

Oncologists Guide to Curing Cancer using Abscopal Effect





Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD









Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Visited the local mall - it was no busier than any other Saturday.

Tonight, Sunday:

CBS starts the night with '60 Minutes', followed by the FRESH 'The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special', then a RERUN 'NCIS: The Expendable One'.

NBC fills the night with LIVE 'Sunday Night Football', then pads the left coast with local crap and maybe an old 'Dateline'.

ABC begins the night with a RERUN 'America's So-Called Funniest Home Videos', followed by a FRESH 'America's So-Called Funniest Home Videos', then a FRESH 'Shark Tank', followed by a RERUN 'Shark Tank'.

The CW offers an old '2½ Men', followed by another old '2½ Men', then an old 'The Goldbergs', followed by another old 'The Goldbergs', then 2½ hours of what passes for local news and other fluffery.

Faux has a FRESH 'The Simpsons', followed by a FRESH 'Ghosted', then a FRESH 'Family Guy', followed by a FRESH 'The Last Man On Earth'.

MY has an old 'Anger Management', followed by another old 'Anger Management', then an old 'Big Bang Theory', followed by another old 'Big Bang Theory', then still another old 'Big Bang Theory', followed by yet another old 'Big Bang Theory'.

A&E has the movie 'Walking Tall', followed by the movie '300'.

AMC offers 'The Walking Dead', another 'The Walking Dead', followed by a FRESH 'The Walking Dead', then a FRESH 'Talking Dead'.

BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]    HIDDEN HABITATS - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 5-Canada's Coastal Forests
 [6:30AM]    PLANET EARTH: THE HUNT - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 1-The Hardest Challenge
 [7:30AM]    PLANET EARTH: THE HUNT - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 2-In The Grip of Seasons - Arctic
 [8:30AM]    PLANET EARTH: THE HUNT - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 3-Hide And Seek - Jungles
 [9:30AM]    PLANET EARTH: THE HUNT - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 4-Hunger At Sea - Oceans
 [10:30AM]    PLANET EARTH: THE HUNT - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 5-Nowhere To Hide - Plains
 [11:30AM]    PLANET EARTH: THE HUNT - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 6-Race Against Time - Coasts
 [12:30PM]    VALKYRIE (2008)
 [3:00PM]    TITANIC (1997)
 [7:30PM]    TITANIC (1997)
 [12:00AM]    VALKYRIE (2008)
 [2:30AM]    HIDDEN HABITATS - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 6-Great Barrier Reef
 [3:00AM]    PLANET EARTH: THE HUNT - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 1-The Hardest Challenge
 [4:00AM]    PLANET EARTH: THE HUNT - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 2-In The Grip of Seasons - Arctic
 [5:00AM]    PLANET EARTH: THE HUNT - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 3-Hide And Seek - Jungles     (ALL TIMES EST)

Bravo has a FRESH 'Atlanta Social', followed by a FRESH 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', 'Married To Medicine', 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', then a FRESH 'Watch What Happens Live'.

Comedy Central has the movie 'Meet The Fockers', followed by the movie 'Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story'.

FX has the movie 'Christmas With The Kranks', followed by the movie 'The Santa Clause 2'.

History has a FRESH 'Forged In Fire: Cutting Deeper', followed by the FRESH 'Manson Speaks: Inside The Mind Of A Madman'.

IFC  -   
 [6:00AM]    DREDD
 [12:45PM]    DREDD
 [5:15PM]    X-MEN 2
 [8:00PM]    X-MEN 2
 [5:15AM]    BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW-Taco and a Hair Flip

Sundance  -   
 [6:00AM]    Ruthless People
 [8:00AM]    The Toy
 [10:15AM]    Real Genius
 [12:45PM]    Ghostbusters
 [3:15PM]    Ghostbusters II
 [5:45PM]    Back to School
 [7:45PM]    Turner & Hooch
 [10:15PM]    Ghostbusters
 [12:45AM]    Ghostbusters II
 [3:15AM]    The Toy
 [5:30AM]    M*A*S*H     (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has the movie 'Shooter', followed by the movie 'Mad Max: Fury Road', then the movie 'The Book Of Eli'.

 [6:00 AM]      The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
 [8:15 AM]      The Shopworn Angel (1938)
 [10:00 AM]      Pushover (1954)
 [12:00 PM]      The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
 [2:00 PM]      In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
 [4:00 PM]      The Yearling (1946)
 [6:15 PM]      The Mark of Zorro (1940)
 [8:00 PM]      The Loves of Carmen (1948)
 [10:00 PM]      Carmen Jones (1954)
 [12:00 AM]      Feu Mathias Pascal (1925)    [AKA: 'The Living Dead Man']    SILENT 
 [3:00 AM]      Amarcord (1973)
 [5:15 AM]      MGM is on the Move! (1964)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Monday   -  12/04/17

 [6:00 AM]      There Was a Crooked Man (1970)
 [8:15 AM]      I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
 [10:00 AM]      So You Think You're Not Guilty (1950)
 [10:15 AM]      Cool Hand Luke (1967)
 [12:30 PM]      Caged (1950)
 [2:15 PM]      A Man Escaped (1956)
 [4:00 PM]      The Hill (1965)
 [6:15 PM]      Brute Force (1947)
 [8:00 PM]      Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)
 [9:45 PM]      Fat City (1972)
 [11:30 PM]      Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)
 [1:45 AM]      Golden Boy (1939)
 [3:30 AM]      The Harder They Fall (1956)
 [5:30 AM]      MGM Parade Show #4 (1955)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from Dec. 11, 1980) - Actor James Stewart and Hodding Carter.

Bounce TV


Comet TV

Cozi TV

Decades TV Network


Heroes and Icons

Find Justice - Justice Network

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff


MOVIES! TV Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

the works

This TV

Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty

Support the e-page!

(See below for addresses)


Sen. Bernie Sanders joins protesters outside the Capitol as Republicans in the Senate work to pass their sweeping tax bill, a blend of generous tax cuts for businesses and more modest tax cuts for families and individuals, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017.
Photo by J. Scott Applewhite


The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


30+ Hilarious Reactions To Melania Trump's 'Creepy' White House Christmas Decorations | Bored Panda


Republicans Will Cut Social Security And Medicare

Little Marco

Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R-Little Marco) admits that the Republican tax cut plan to aid corporations and the wealthy will require cuts to Social Security and Medicare to pay for it.

Rubio told reporters this week that in order to address the federal deficit, which will grow by at least $1 trillion if the tax plan passes, Congress will need to cut entitlement programs such as Social Security. Advocates for the elderly and the poor have warned that entitlement programs would be on the chopping block, but this is the first time a prominent Republican has backed their claims.

"We have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future," Rubio told a crowd at a Politico conference. Rubio's talk of structural change is vague, but will likely include changing the rate and age of Social Security and Medicare payouts.

So where does that money come from?

The simple answer is Social Security and Medicare, which together comprise 38 percent of the total federal budget, second only to military spending.

Little Marco


Demonstrators take part in a protest against the U.S. government next to the New York Stock Exchange at the Manhattan borough in New York, Dec. 2, 2017.
Photo by Eduardo Munoz


The Potteries of Staffordshire | Amusing Planet


If He Watched Fox News

Barack Obama

Former President Barack Obama on Friday said Fox News's coverage is so "weird" that he wouldn't even have voted for himself if his only source of news was the right-leaning network.

"Those who watch Fox News and those who read the New York Times occupy completely different realities. If I watch Fox News, I wouldn't vote for me," he said at the Hindustan TimesLeadership Summit in India. "Because there's this unrecognizable character ... I would watch it [and say] 'Who is that guy? This character named Barack Obama and he's just portrayed in these weird ways.'"

Obama was bemoaning the fact that technology enables snap judgments and so-called "information silos" in which different groups of people get different news. As far as Fox News goes, he may have a point: After the first year of his presidency, the Center for Media and Public Affairs found that Obama coverage on Special Report with Bret Baier was 79 percent negative.

"There are these selective clips that come out where the sentence isn't finished, and it is all edited and shaped to promote a certain story," Obama said Friday, adding that those "multiple realities" make it hard for democracy to work.

Obama has railed against Fox News before. In 2010, he told Rolling Stone that while he supported the right to a free press, he saw the outlet as "part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view." He went on to say that he thought that perspective was "ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world."

Barack Obama


Newhead News


ABC Suspends For 4 Weeks Without Pay

Brian Ross

ABC News has announced that Brian Ross would be suspended for four weeks without pay "effective immediately."

Ross came under considerable fire on Friday after he erroneously reported on live television that then-candidate Donald Trump (R-Crooked) had instructed Michael Flynn to make contact with the Russians. In a correction seven hours later, the channel admitted that it was "President-elect" Trump who had made the request of Flynn - a pretty significant difference.

ABC issued a correction on Twitter and also updated their original article.

"We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday," the network continued in its latest statement. "The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process.

"As a result of our continued reporting over the next several hours ultimately we determined the information was wrong and we corrected the mistake on air and online," it concluded.

Brian Ross


A Democratic aide carries a chart past the Senate chamber to be used by the minority to argue against the Republican tax bill, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday night, Dec. 1, 2017.
Photo by J. Scott Applewhite


The Woman who staged a Private Revolution from her Photo Studio


New Anchor

CBS Evening News

The "CBS Evening News" gets a new face and an additional run time starting Monday.

Jeff Glor takes over as the broadcast's anchor replacing Scott Pelley, who was shown the door - or, rather, sent back across the street to "60 Minutes" - after six years this past spring. The network also announced Friday that the evening news will be replayed each night at 10 on the CBSN streaming service, an additional viewing opportunity for people who aren't around a television set at dinnertime.

The shift to a 42-year-old anchor and effort to make the evening news more accessible to more screens represents a generational change.

Glor's ascendance is evidence of another shift in perception in television news. The evening newscasts had long been the flagships for news divisions, home to leaders like Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather. Morning shows are where the money is for broadcasters. Cable news networks, where the light never goes out, suck away attention - even though more than 20 million people sit down to watch the ABC, CBS or NBC newscasts each weekday evening.

When ABC hired David Muir to anchor "World News Tonight," it turned to a young (he's 44), lesser-known newsman instead of a glittery, expensive star. The network has been rewarded as ABC eclipsed Lester Holt on NBC's "Nightly News" in the ratings.

CBS Evening News


Digby's Hullabaloo


Guilty Plea Pulls Pence Closer To Russia Spotlight


With Michael Flynn's guilty plea bringing fresh attention to what Vice President Mike Pence (R-Right-Wind Radio Hack) knew about possible Russian collusion and when he knew it, Pence's office has a ready answer: Not much and really late.

So far Pence has remained at the periphery of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

He's repeatedly toed the Trumpian line that any suggestion of collusion between the campaign and the Russians was nonsense. But he's also pointed out that he wasn't chosen as Donald Trump's (R-Corrupt) running mate until after the campaign started making contact with Russian officials. And he's been careful to couch his own remarks about Russia with phrases like "I'm not aware" and "the president has made it very clear."

Now, Flynn's guilty plea to a single count of lying to the FBI regarding his contacts with Russian officials moves Pence closer to the spotlight.

When Flynn, Trump's original national security adviser and longtime campaign aide, was fired just three weeks after the president took office, the purported reason was that Flynn had lied to Pence about his contacts with Russia during the transition - a transition led by Pence himself.



In this Nov. 30, 2017 photo, a worker displays various "Kumade" or "good luck rake" to sell during Torinoichi festival at a shrine in Tokyo. At the festival, many street stalls sell kumades decorated with lucky charms, shape of rakes that bring in prosperous business and good fortune.
Photo by Eugene Hoshiko


Secret Spaces: 12 Architectural Easter Eggs Hidden Under Our Noses | Urbanist


Hails 'Traditional Values'


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday participated in a congress of top clerics in Moscow, a first for a Russian leader, in a drive for ever tighter relations between the Kremlin and the Orthodox Church.

The symbolic gesture, hailed by Patriarch Kirill as a "historic event," shows Putin's eagerness to fortify already strong ties with the church ahead of March presidential polls, despite a constitutional separation between church and state in the country.

Putin is the first Russian president to visit the meeting of Orthodox bishops, the Russian church's top decision-making body that meets at least every four years and which, among other things, elects the patriarch.

Since Putin first came to power in 2000, the Russian church has enjoyed vastly increased influence and finances, with the government supporting restitution of cathedrals and monasteries that served non-religious purposes in Soviet times.

The church is also increasing its impact on traditionally secular institutions such as schools, with the educational system establishing lessons in religion and clerics lobbying for conservative textbooks.



Rarely Seen Photos of World War I Taken by an American Doctor ~ vintage everyday


A Has-Been Actor & A Fascist

Steven Seagal

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte brought in a special guest on Friday to rally troops battling Islamic State followers in the south -- US action "hero" Steven Seagal.

The star of 80s and 90s hits like "Hard to Kill" and "Under Siege" joined Duterte in a visit to an army camp on the island of Jolo.

He was there to impart martial wisdom to soldiers fighting the feared Abu Sayyaf, a band of Muslim extremists, some of whose members have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Although his military background outside Hollywood is questionable, Seagal lectured the troops on how they would have to steel themselves for a lengthy war of attrition.

A beaming Duterte praised Seagal, telling the troops "he is a soldier so he is on the same wavelength with you when he talks".

Steven Seagal


In this Nov. 30, 2017 photo, clouds of ash from Mount Agung volcano are lit with warm sunset light in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia. Authorities have told tens of thousands of people to leave an area extending 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the volcano as it belches volcanic materials into the air. Mount Agung's last major eruption in 1963 killed about 1,100 people.
Photo by Firdia Lisnawati


Renaissance paintings come to life as animated GIFs - The Verge


Postal Regulators Move

Stamp Prices

Seeking to bolster the ailing U.S. Postal Service, federal regulators moved on Friday to allow bigger jumps to stamp prices beyond the rate of inflation, a move that could eventually add millions more dollars to companies' shipping rates from prescription drugs to magazine subscriptions.

The Postal Regulatory Commission announced the decision as part of a much-anticipated, 10-year review of the Postal Service's stamp rates. It concluded that the post office's mounting red ink from declining mail volume and costs from its pension and health care obligations hamper the ability to provide reliable mail and package service in the digital age.

The commission's plan would give the Postal Service freedom to raise the price of its first-class stamp, now at 49 cents, by an additional 2 percent above the rate of inflation to help avoid bankruptcy and make needed multi-billion dollar investments, such as upgraded information technology and new delivery trucks.

The post office could also tack on another 1 percent to the stamp price if it met certain standards for "operational efficiency" and quality service.

In all, that could translate to an increase of up to a few cents each year, depending on rates of inflation, compared with roughly 1 cent per year previously. The new pricing system would be in place for at least the next five years.

Stamp Prices


James Kerr aka Scorpion Dagger - Gif Art


More Waivers

US Army

As more states lessen or eliminate marijuana penalties, the Army is granting hundreds of waivers to enlist people who used the drug in their youth - as long as they realize they can't do so again in the military.

The number of waivers granted by the active-duty Army for marijuana use jumped to more than 500 this year from 191 in 2016. Three years ago, no such waivers were granted. The big increase is just one way officials are dealing with orders to expand the Army's size.

"Provided they understand that they cannot do that when they serve in the military, I will waive that all day long," said Maj. Gen. Jeff Snow, head of the Army's recruiting command.

The marijuana use exclusions represent about one-quarter of the total misconduct waivers the Army granted in the budget year that ended Sept. 30. They accounted for much of the 50 percent increase overall in recruits who needed a waiver for some type of misconduct.

Army data show more than 8,000 recruits received waivers in 2017, compared with about 6,700 last year. Most waivers concerned physical or mental health.

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