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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 85,603

Journal Archives

Russian crew blasts off to film movie in space

Source: The Hill

A Russian actor and film director blasted off to space Tuesday as part of a mission to film portions of a new movie and bolster the nation’s prestige.

Actor Yulia Peresild, director Klim Shipenko and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov took off for their 3-and-a-half hour flight to the International Space Station in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft around 1:55 pm, The Associated Press reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Russians “have been pioneers in space and maintained a confident position.”


Peresild and Shipenko spoke at a pre-flight press conference of the rigorous training process necessary to film a movie in space. The film, “Challenge,” depicts in part a surgeon who is taken to a space station to operate on a crew member, The AP noted.

Read more: https://thehill.com/changing-america/enrichment/arts-culture/575397-russian-crew-blasts-off-to-film-movie-in-space

NYC's COVID Test & Trace Corps just called...

They know we traveled to an at-risk country (Italy), recommended getting a follow-up test 3-5 days after returning and will arrange to have someone do the test at our home.

NYC Teacher's Union members held a disruptive protest against COVID vaccination mandates today...

...and no, it wasn't "they didn't have enough time to get vaccinated after Pfizer was finally approved", it's "my body, my choice" rants you normally hear from conservative anti-vaxxers.


So, you're angry. What are you going to DO about it?

You're angry that Attorney General Garland hasn't prosecuted Trump and his cronies as quickly as you want and isn't telling you what steps are being taken.

You're angry that the Jan 6 Committee isn't holding as many public hearings as you want and the House has gone off on recess.

Well, Attorney General Garland is ultimately responsible to President Biden. And the Committee is ultimately responsible to Speaker Pelosi. So, have you contacted them to demand changes? Or is complaining on a blog they don't read sufficient?

Andrew Cuomo wants you to remember he's still here..... (email)

I’ve been doing much reflecting these past few weeks and wanted to share some thoughts with you. First, I want to thank you for your friendship and support. You have been very kind to me personally and your friendship means much to me. We have been through a lot together. More importantly you have played a key role in an historic reform movement in our state. Our crusade as Governor was based on a powerful set of principles that we vindicated over years of service.

When we began, state government in Albany was dysfunctional and a laughingstock nationwide. Even worse, it had failed the people of the state that it was supposed to serve. We pledged to restore competence and effectiveness to state government and to make New York the progressive capital once again. That is exactly what we did. We passed state budgets on time and set historic records for government achievement. We didn’t shy away from challenges, we embraced them: our new LaGuardia Airport, JFK Airport, Moynihan Station, the Buffalo renaissance, LIRR improvements, the new Green Grid and renewable projects are not just dreams, but now reality. We restored New York as the progressive capital with such precedents as marriage equality, free college tuition, $15 minimum wage, new rights for union workers, gun safety, and the most aggressive environmental program in the country. We improved lives for millions of New Yorkers. Government performed and rose to the challenge to an unprecedented level.

We also managed new and pressing crises. Together, we beat back COVID. We professionalized emergency management, responding to Mother Nature’s wrath in storms and floods and saved the lives of New Yorkers. As we have seen in the most recent storms, lives are lost when government fails to rise to the occasion. We rejected the extreme politics du jour and the political flavor of the day. We governed with sound policies that provided good results rather than political policies that sound good. It is important to remember our accomplishments because we can not allow the state to go backwards. We worked too hard, and the consequences are too important.

I want you to know, on a personal level, my decision to resign was very difficult. From the beginning, this was an obvious effort by some to use Albany politics to do what the people of the state would not allow them to do at the ballot box: remove me from office.

On one hand, I did not want to cater to the extremists or false charges. I believe facts and truth win the day and that the legislature would eventually have failed at impeachment. The legislature's effort was based on the Attorney General’s report which was false: its findings purely politically and personally motivated. That would be clear to anyone who read the report and separated rhetoric from reality. Journalists who have reviewed the report with an objective perspective have already pointed out the inconsistencies, omissions and blatant fraud. Despite what the Attorney General led the public to believe, there were not eleven violations -- but rather than having been subjected to an honest review, the report was litigated through the lens of the political theatre of Albany.

On the other hand, it would have been months of Democrats fighting Democrats which would have paralyzed government and returned Albany to the days of dysfunction. It would have played into the political extremists’ hands by legitimizing the weaponization of harassment claims and increased New Yorkers’ distrust and cynicism about state government. It would have undermined much of our hard-earned progress over the past decade. That is the last thing that I was willing to do.

I fear the state is in a dangerous moment. We are seeing extremists and political expediency rule the day and “the tail is wagging the dog” in the Democratic Party. Government incompetence, political slogans and pandering are prevailing. Twitter has overtaken political dialogue. This is not New York at her finest and we must never settle for less than the people of the state deserve. Albany insiders underestimate the people of the state. New Yorkers have seen effective government that works for them and they will not return to the old days.

We must all do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen. Thank you, again.

Yours sincerely, in friendship and gratitude,

- Andrew M. Cuomo

Evan McMullin will mount an independent bid to oust Republican Sen. Mike Lee

Source: Salt Lake Tribune

We’re about to witness a very interesting test of Utah’s political status quo.

Evan McMullin, who won more than 21% of the Utahns’ votes for president in 2016, will challenge Sen. Mike Lee as an independent candidate for Utah’s Senate seat next year.

An announcement of his candidacy is likely to come soon — perhaps very soon — a source in the McMullin camp told me over the weekend.

If McMullin is elected — and it’s a big “if” — it could pose the most definitive rebuke to date to Donald Trump’s Republican Party and serve notice to leaders of both parties that there is a wide swath of America voters who care less about cultish partisan allegiances and more about results.

Read more: https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2021/10/04/one-time-presidential/

Question: Should Democrats support McMullen (who got 22% of the Utah vote for President in 2016) as the best anti-Trump choice, or hope that he and Lee will split the Republican vote AND we can find a competitive choice? In the 2018 Election, Jenny Wilson got 30% against Romney. The CURRENT Democratic choices are:

Allen Glines (D) - Freelance Writer
Nicholas Mitchell (D) - Chemical Engineer & BLM Activist
Austin Searle (D) - Call Center Agent

Four years before becoming President, FDR won the NYS Governorship by.....0.6%


Free Central Park Film Festival Features 3 Nail-Biting Documentaries; October 5, 7 & 8

On October 5, 7 & 8, on the landscape between Sheep Meadow and the 72nd Street Cross Drive in Central Park, the Central Park Conservancy will hold its 18th Annual Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, presented by National Geographic. The festival, which is free, will feature three documentaries. Here’s how the Conservancy describes them.

October 5: The Rescue — making its New York premiere — chronicles the enthralling, against-all-odds story that transfixed the world in 2018: the daring rescue of 12 boys and their coach from deep inside a flooded cave in Northern Thailand. Academy Award–winning directors and producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin keep viewers on the edge of their seats with a wealth of never-before-seen material and exclusive interviews that piece together the high stakes mission, highlighting the efforts of the Royal Thai Navy SEALs and US Special Forces and detailing the expert cave divers’ audacious venture to bring the boys to safety.


Free Registration: https://www.centralparknyc.org/activities/guides/central-park-conservancy-film-festival

(Bob Eisenhardt, the Film Editor for THE RESCUE, is a personal friend)

Lars Vilks: Muhammad cartoonist reportedly killed in car accident

Source: BBC

A Swedish cartoonist who depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a dog has died in a traffic accident, local media say.

Lars Vilks was reportedly travelling in a civilian police vehicle which collided with a truck near the town of Markaryd in southern Sweden.

Two police officers were also killed and the truck driver was taken to hospital.

Vilks, 75, lived under police protection after being subjected to death threats over the cartoon.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-58783998

Here's how NOT to convince Senator Sinema to change her mind...

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