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CaliforniaPeggy

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Name: Peggy
Gender: Female
Hometown: Manhattan Beach, CA
Home country: USA
Current location: Right here!
Member since: Thu Feb 3, 2005, 02:41 PM
Number of posts: 126,308

Journal Archives

Tonight's Salad




Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Sun Oct 14, 2018, 10:19 PM (16 replies)

In the October 25th issue of The New York Review of Books

I read a long, detailed historical perspective essay by Christopher R. Browning where he compares certain aspects of Hitler to Trump. If you really want to get into the differences and the similarities between these two, then this is your article. It is truly worth your time.

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/10/25/suffocation-of-democracy/

As a historian specializing in the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, and Europe in the era of the world wars, I have been repeatedly asked about the degree to which the current situation in the United States resembles the interwar period and the rise of fascism in Europe. I would note several troubling similarities and one important but equally troubling difference.

In the 1920s, the US pursued isolationism in foreign policy and rejected participation in international organizations like the League of Nations. America First was America alone, except for financial agreements like the Dawes and Young Plans aimed at ensuring that our “free-loading” former allies could pay back their war loans. At the same time, high tariffs crippled international trade, making the repayment of those loans especially difficult. The country witnessed an increase in income disparity and a concentration of wealth at the top, and both Congress and the courts eschewed regulations to protect against the self-inflicted calamities of free enterprise run amok. The government also adopted a highly restrictionist immigration policy aimed at preserving the hegemony of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants against an influx of Catholic and Jewish immigrants. (Various measures barring Asian immigration had already been implemented between 1882 and 1917.) These policies left the country unable to respond constructively to either the Great Depression or the rise of fascism, the growing threat to peace, and the refugee crisis of the 1930s.

Today, President Trump seems intent on withdrawing the US from the entire post–World War II structure of interlocking diplomatic, military, and economic agreements and organizations that have preserved peace, stability, and prosperity since 1945. His preference for bilateral relations, conceived as zero-sum rivalries in which he is the dominant player and “wins,” overlaps with the ideological preference of Steve Bannon and the so-called alt-right for the unfettered self-assertion of autonomous, xenophobic nation-states—in short, the pre-1914 international system. That “international anarchy” produced World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Great Depression, the fascist dictatorships, World War II, and the Holocaust, precisely the sort of disasters that the post–World War II international system has for seven decades remarkably avoided.

In threatening trade wars with allies and adversaries alike, Trump justifies increased tariffs on our allies on the specious pretext that countries like Canada are a threat to our national security. He combines his constant disparagement of our democratic allies with open admiration of authoritarians. His naive and narcissistic confidence in his own powers of personal diplomacy and his faith in a handshake with the likes of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un recall the hapless Neville Chamberlain (a man in every other regard different from Trump). Fortunately the US is so embedded in the international order it created after 1945, and the Republican Party and its business supporters are sufficiently alarmed over the threat to free trade, that Trump has not yet completed his agenda of withdrawal, though he has made astounding progress in a very short time.


Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Fri Oct 12, 2018, 10:58 PM (4 replies)

The New Moon, October 11, 2018.

Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Thu Oct 11, 2018, 11:55 PM (2 replies)

The sun's out and I felt like taking photos! Hope you enjoy!







Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Mon Oct 8, 2018, 04:49 PM (12 replies)

For what it's worth...

Maybe I'm the only one who felt this way, but somehow, I felt that the Kav nomination would pass. I guess I saw it as inevitable. I feel very calm and I'm thinking of what we can do next.

The Republicans want us to be depressed and inactive. That won't happen with me. I have a quiet determination to do whatever I can to fight them. Right now that means contributing to several folks who are running hard for the House. I don't know what form my quiet determination will take as we move forward, but I'm sure I will figure it out and carry on.

We must not lose heart!

Forward, my dear friends!
Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Fri Oct 5, 2018, 10:15 PM (82 replies)

Norfolk Pine



Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Fri Oct 5, 2018, 10:00 PM (8 replies)

Flowers on the Kangaroo Paws...



Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Mon Oct 1, 2018, 01:03 AM (7 replies)

I found this post on Facebook. It quotes something David Brock wrote about Kavanaugh.

I think what David Brock has to say is very important and that's why I'm posting the whole thing.

David Brock on NBC: “I used to know Brett Kavanaugh pretty well. And, when I think of Brett now, in the midst of his hearings for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, all I can think of is the old "Aesop's Fables" adage: "A man is known by the company he keeps." And that's why I want to tell any senator who cares about our democracy: Vote no. Twenty years ago, when I was a conservative movement stalwart, I got to know Brett Kavanaugh both professionally and personally. Brett actually makes a cameo appearance in my memoir of my time in the GOP, "Blinded By The Right." I describe him at a party full of zealous young conservatives gathered to watch President Bill Clinton's 1998 State of the Union address — just weeks after the story of his affair with a White House intern had broken. When the TV camera panned to Hillary Clinton, I saw Brett — at the time a key lieutenant of Ken Starr, the independent counsel investigating various Clinton scandals — mouth the word "bitch."

But there's a lot more to know about Kavanaugh than just his Pavlovian response to Hillary's image. Brett and I were part of a close circle of cold, cynical and ambitious hard-right operatives being groomed by GOP elders for much bigger roles in politics, government and media. And it’s those controversial associations that should give members of the Senate and the American public serious pause.

Call it Kavanaugh's cabal: There was his colleague on the Starr investigation, Alex Azar, now the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Mark Paoletta is now chief counsel to Vice President Mike Pence; House anti-Clinton gumshoe Barbara Comstock is now a Republican member of Congress. Future Fox News personalities Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson were there with Ann Coulter, now a best-selling author, and internet provocateur Matt Drudge.

At one time or another, each of them partied at my Georgetown townhouse amid much booze and a thick air of cigar smoke. In a rough division of labor, Kavanaugh played the role of lawyer — one of the sharp young minds recruited by the Federalist Society to infiltrate the federal judiciary with true believers. Through that network, Kavanaugh was mentored by D.C. Appeals Court Judge Laurence Silberman, known among his colleagues for planting leaks in the press for partisan advantage.
When, as I came to know, Kavanaugh took on the role of designated leaker to the press of sensitive information from Starr's operation, we all laughed that Larry had taught him well. (Of course, that sort of political opportunism by a prosecutor is at best unethical, if not illegal.)

Another compatriot was George Conway (now Kellyanne's husband), who led a secretive group of right-wing lawyers — we called them "the elves" — who worked behind the scenes directing the litigation team of Paula Jones, who had sued Clinton for sexual harassment. I knew then that information was flowing quietly from the Jones team via Conway to Starr's office — and also that Conway's go-to man was none other than Brett Kavanaugh.

That critical flow of inside information allowed Starr, in effect, to set a perjury trap for Clinton, laying the foundation for a crazed national political crisis and an unjust impeachment over a consensual affair.

But the cabal's godfather was Ted Olson, the then-future solicitor general for George W. Bush and now a sainted figure of the GOP establishment (and of some liberals for his role in legalizing same-sex marriage). Olson had a largely hidden role as a consigliere to the "Arkansas Project" — a multi-million dollar dirt-digging operation on the Clintons, funded by the eccentric right-wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife and run through The American Spectator magazine, where I worked at the time.
Both Ted and Brett had what one could only be called an unhealthy obsession with the Clintons — especially Hillary. While Ted was pushing through the Arkansas Project conspiracy theories claiming that Clinton White House lawyer and Hillary friend Vincent Foster was murdered (he committed suicide), Brett was costing taxpayers millions by peddling the same garbage at Starr's office.

A detailed analysis of Kavanaugh's own notes from the Starr Investigation reveals he was cherry-picking random bits of information from the Starr investigation — as well as the multiple previous investigations — attempting vainly to legitimize wild right-wing conspiracies. For years he chased down each one of them without regard to the emotional cost to Foster’s family and friends, or even common decency.

Kavanaugh was not a dispassionate finder of fact but rather an engineer of a political smear campaign. And after decades of that, he expects people to believe he's changed his stripes.
Like millions of Americans this week, I tuned into Kavanaugh's hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee with great interest. In his opening statement and subsequent testimony, Kavanaugh presented himself as a "neutral and impartial arbiter" of the law. Judges, he said, were not players but akin to umpires — objectively calling balls and strikes. Again and again, he stressed his "independence" from partisan political influences.

But I don't need to see any documents to tell you who Kavanaugh is — because I've known him for years. And I'll leave it to all the lawyers to parse Kavanaugh's views on everything from privacy rights to gun rights.

But I can promise you that any pretense of simply being a fair arbiter of the constitutionality of any policy regardless of politics is simply a pretense. He made up his mind nearly a generation ago — and, if he's confirmed, he'll have nearly two generations to impose it upon the rest of us."



Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Sun Sep 30, 2018, 12:34 AM (7 replies)

Help needed to email a video.

I don't know where to ask this.

I have a 2 minute video that I want to email to a friend. My computer came up with this message: This video exceeds the global size limit of the server, which is 41697280 bytes.

I have to reduce the size in order to send it. No idea how to do that.

It's a Windows 7 desktop computer.

241 MG is the size of the video.

Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Sun Sep 23, 2018, 04:08 PM (10 replies)

Purple Onion



Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Tue Sep 18, 2018, 10:59 PM (8 replies)
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