Marc Dion: Pickett's Charge (Creators Syndicate)
With their ballots in their hands like guns, the black men and women of Alabama watched coolly as the charge approached, not flinching, waiting. The roar of their ballots stopped the charge only in one place, but they heard the noise of battle in Washington, and they listened hard. […] That ballot, that slender piece of paper, can turn back any charge, can defeat any evil, can save freedom.
Froma Harrop: Alabama Was a Win, and Not Just for Democrats (Creators Syndicate)
The obvious celebrants, of course, are Democrats. For them, it wasn't all dumb luck. The state party had a strong candidate in place even when the race seemed a long shot. (There's a lesson there for Democrats in all 50 states.) Democrats also had the good sense to discourage an invasion by out-of-state liberals 'splaining what's what to the locals.
Froma Harrop: Whom Do We Thank for Today's Strong Economy? (Creators Syndicate)
A president deserves partial credit for a strong economy. The current economic numbers are good, so to the extent that gratitude is due, let us offer it. Thank you, President Obama. The economic gauges have been improving steadily for the eight years of the current recovery. Barack Obama was president for seven of them. As the first year of the Donald Trump presidency draws to a close, the economy's growth has continued - but it has not accelerated in a meaningful way.
Lenore Skenazy: Who's Scarier, the Sex Offender or the Judge? (Creators Syndicate)
It was more than two years ago when Zach Anderson of Elkhart, Indiana, met a girl on the app Hot or Not. He was 19; she said she was 17. They hooked up just over the border in Michigan and then went their separate ways.
Problem was: She turned out to be only 14.
Hadley Freeman: JK Rowling has defended Johnny Depp's casting in Fantastic Beasts. Is it time we moved on? (The Guardian)
The novelist says she is happy to have the actor in her movies, based on her 'understanding' of his divorce. Is that enough?
Andrea Meno: 12 Brilliant Jokes Hiding In Movie Credits (Cracked)
You know that guy who stays in the movie theater until the lights come up, after a movie? Turns out there's a really good reason to do that. Some of the best, cleverest Easter eggs are hidden in the credits.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
That Time Of Year
It's That Time of Year
…to celebrate our favorite Christmas movie classics, no matter how well you could have survived not knowing these facts:
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
The Southern Cow
Janet shared the link below. It shows the photos of 17 African-American women who are the same age as, or older than, the Southern Cow. Just to be deliciously rude, each page shows the photo and leaves the photo of the Southern Cow for easy reference:
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
from that Mad Cat, JD
"THE SMARTEST CHIMP IN THE MONKEY HOUSE."
KEEP FIGHTING! PASS THIS ON.
SINGER HITS THE LOW NOTES.
"THE FESTIVAL OF SLIGHTS."
THE "JEFF" SESSIONS.
HE COULDN'T CARE LESS.
IT'S PRETTY BASIC.
HOW TO BE A NAZI.
"THE THREE STAGES OF REPUBLICAN."
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Long day at work.
Hollywood Task Force
Some of Hollywood's most powerful executives are funding a new commission to fight sexual harassment. They've appointed a well-known figure to run the commission: Anita Hill.
Some of the biggest influencers in the entertainment industry are joining forces to combat sexual misconduct in Hollywood by forming "the commission on sexual harassment and advancing equality in the workplace."
"This was the big unveiling," said Matt Belloni, the editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter. He said the commission grew from a meeting called by "Star Wars" producer Kathleen Kennedy.
"Kathleen Kennedy is a major figure within the Walt Disney Company and I think that was the key to getting some of these big CEOs on board," Belloni said.
The long list of supporters includes top executives at Paramount, CBS, Disney, Netflix and Amazon as well as the leaders of high-powered talent agencies. And it will be chaired by Anita Hill.
Shows Off Hillary Clinton Tattoo
'SNL's' Pete Davidson
Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson posted a photo on Instagram Friday indicating that he got a tattoo of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Accompanying the picture of the ink, Davidson said the "tattoo of [his] hero" was meant to be a Christmas gift for Clinton.
"Thanks for being such a badass and one of the strongest people in the universe," he added. The picture is the only photo on his verified Instagram account.
Clinton herself later commented on the post, in which Davidson tagged the former secretary of state.
"Thanks," she wrote. "This makes it significantly less awkward that I've had a Pete Davidson tattoo for years. But seriously, I'm honored. Merry Christmas, my friend."
'SNL's' Pete Davidson
Pentagon's Secret Investigation Program
For the first time, the Pentagon has admitted that it ran a program that investigated sightings of UFOs, according to a New York Times report.
From 2007 to 2012 the $22 million Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program investigated UFO reports and run under military intelligence official Luis Elizondo inside the Pentagon.
Officials said program was shut down five years ago.
"It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding, and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change," a Pentagon spokesperson told the Times.
However, supporters say the program still exists, although the Defense Department stop funding it. Since 2012, the program has continued to investigate reports and has also carried out other Pentagon duties, the report said.
Grew An Inch
Wouldn't you love to grow an extra inch taller - by sweating? According to NASA scientists, it is possible to grow an inch or more in height just by displacing water weight. The caveat: It only works if you're an actual mountain.
Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, observed that the Sierra Nevada mountain range grew about an inch (2.5 centimeters) in height after a period of prolonged drought between October 2011 and October 2015. The culprit was huge amounts of water draining out of the mountain's rocks and soil, and into the Earth below.
"This suggests that the solid Earth has a greater capacity to store water than previously thought," Donald Argus, a JPL research and lead author of the study, said in a statement. The team's findings were recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.
In the new study, Argus and his colleagues analyzed 11 years of data from 1,300 GPS stations in the mountains of California, Oregon and Washington to map changes in the Sierra Nevada range's elevation to within a few millimeters.
At first, the researchers thought the biggest factors in the range's remarkable growth between 2011 and 2015 were tectonic uplift and extensive groundwater pumping in the nearby California Central Valley. When two tectonic plates collide, the smash-up can drive magma to the surface, which then cools and hardens, leading to uplift. However, calculations revealed that of the inch of observed uplift in the Sierras, only 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) could be attributed to groundwater pumping, and less than half of that came from tectonic shifts. The remaining two-thirds of an inch (1.7 cm) in increased elevation came from Earth's elastic response to water loss in the mountains, the study said.
Becoming 'World Champion Of Extreme Inequality'
The United States under Donald Trump (R-Corrupt) is fast becoming "the champion of inequality", according to a scathing report by the United Nation's expert on poverty.
While the US is one of the richest nations, entrenched poverty already experienced by many will be made worse by policies promoted by Mr Trump and the Republicans, in particular a planned tax overhaul that critics say gives huge cuts to the wealthy, it added.
"The American dream is rapidly becoming the American illusion, as the United States now has the lowest rate of social mobility of any of the rich countries," said Philip Alston the UN Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
In Alabama, he saw conditions he said he had never previously witnessed in the developed world. Taken to Butler and then Lowndes counties he was shown families whose homes had no proper sewage system and who create their own unhygienic systems using PVC piping.
While E. coli is common in both communities, which are largely made up of African Americans, academics recently discovered that hookworm, a disease associated with extreme poverty and which was thought to have been eradicated in the US more than 100 years ago, still persists in pockets of Lowndes County, located just 20 miles from the state capital, Montgomery.
Temporarily Blocks Rolling Back Birth Control Coverage
A federal judge in Pennsylvania has temporarily blocked enforcement nationwide of Trump administration rule changes that would make it easier for employers to deny birth control coverage in their health benefits.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration required companies that provide employee health insurance to cover birth control at no additional cost, assuring access to contraception for 62 million women. Only certain religious organizations, such as churches and some private companies, could be exempted. Trump vastly expanded the exemptions to nearly any employer who cites a religious or moral objection. Even publicly traded companies could opt out for religious reasons.
U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued an injunction blocking the changes in a stinging ruling Friday supporting a lawsuit brought by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Shapiro, a Democrat, argued that the Trump administration ignored proper procedure when it changed the rules.
The suit also said the rules violate the right to equal protection, because they pertain only to women, and the First Amendment, by putting employers' religious beliefs above the rights of women.
The new rules "conjured up a world where a government entity is empowered to impose its own version of morality on each one of us. That cannot be right," she wrote in her opinion.
California's state firefighting agency is within days of spending more to fight fires in a single year than ever before, and the fiscal year still has six months to go.
As of Friday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire, had spent just over $600 million battling a spate of wildfires across the state, including nearly $89 million to fight the ongoing Thomas fire in Southern California's Ventura County. That's far more than the $426.8 million budgeted for the 2017-2018 fiscal year and just approaching the previous record set in fiscal 2015 of $608 million.
"It's very much a big deal, and keep in mind that we're only halfway through the fiscal year," Chief Scott McLean, a spokesman for Cal Fire, told HuffPost.
Those statistics, while bleak, represent what wildfire and state government officials have been warning about for years: Record-breaking wildfires are the new normal, and they're an expensive hellhound to tame.
"The fires we're having, years ago our captains would talk about these happening once in a career," Janet Upton, the deputy director of Cal Fire and a 31-year veteran of the agency, said in a phone call. "We've all had a dozen once-in-a-career fires."
Sells For Nearly 550,000 Euros
The nearly intact skeleton of a woolly mammoth that lived at least 10,000 years ago was sold at auction for more than a half million euros Saturday in the southeastern French city of Lyon.
The giant skeleton -- mounted in a forward walking position with its enormous curved tusks with tones of caramel and ivory facing slightly downward -- was bought by the chief executive of a French waterproofing company whose logo is of the prehistoric mammal.
"We are going to display it in the lobby of our firm," said Pierre-Etienne Bindschedler, the CEO of Soprema. "I think we have enough room".
Bindschedler bought the piece for 548,250 euros ($645,000) at the Aguttes auction house.
One of the largest specimens ever found, the mammoth skeleton measures a little over three metres (10 feet) in height and was estimated to sell for at least 450,000 euros because of its "fine condition", remarkable because it retained 80 percent of its original bones.
Global Concert Tours
The Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows Worldwide. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
1. The Rolling Stones ; $9,996,473; $158.81.
2. U2; $8,355,366; $117.39.
3. Coldplay; $4,373,643; $108.05.
4. Lady Gaga; $2,838,540; $117.65.
5. Bruno Mars; $2,674,096; $111.65.
6. Guns N' Roses; $2,575,272; $118.75.
7. Roger Waters; $2,298,860; $117.98.
8. Dead & Company; $1,667,123; $111.11.
9. Ed Sheeran; $1,441,881; $85.05.
10. Ariana Grande; $1,401,503; $90.29.
11. Depeche Mode; $1,372,431; $87.90.
12. Neil Diamond; $1,370,818; $113.35.
13. Marc Anthony; $1,224,459; $100.77.
14. The Weeknd; $1,098,035; $85.18.
15. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; $1,084,704; $89.82.
16. Tim McGraw / Faith Hill; $1,050,287; $83.27.
17. Florida Georgia Line; $1,005,776; $51.75.
18. Foo Fighters; $1,001,748; $92.06.
19. Luke Bryan; $964,321; $50.71.
20. Kendrick Lamar; $960,444; $80.70.
Global Concert Tours