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And Now For Something Completely Different...

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      And Now For Something

      Completely Different...

      In need of a Zen moment.

      By Ray Cunneff

      August 9, 2018

      The term "Zen" is shortened from mushin or no shin (無心の), an expression meaning the mind-without-mind and is also referred to as the state of "no-mindness".

      For me, when I'm pissed off and frustrated, as I've been for last hour or so over losing over half of the piece I wrote this morning on Laura Ingraham's white nationalist tweet, something that took me nearly two hours to stitch together, I have to let it go.

      It is lost and can't be re-created easily - if at all.

      So my Zen moments tend toward the silly. And while trying to recover what was lost, I stumbled on something I posted a couple of years ago (and have added to today) before the world got so mean-spirited...


      Lost in translation

      "My hovercraft is full of eels".

      Let's begin with some "Questions To Ponder":


      Why do they put Braille on drive-thru ATM's?

      Why do they use sterilized needles for lethal injections?

      Is there another word for "synonym"?

      Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

      Do cannibals refuse to eat clowns because they taste funny?

      Doesn't it seem scary that doctors call what they do a "practice"?

      If a mime is arrested, do they tell him he has the right to talk?

      Would a wingless fly be called a "walk"?

      What was the best thing before sliced bread?

      What should you do if you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

      If a man stands in the middle of a forest speaking when there is no woman around, is he still wrong?

      And now, "Deep Thoughts":

      Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

      A Tibetan monk enters a pizza parlor and says "please make me one with everything".

      If you go into a bookstore and ask for the "self-help" section, you'll be told you're defeating the purpose.

      "I am" is the shortest sentence in the English language and "I do" is the longest.

      Do Roman paramedics refer to IV's as "4's"?

      It is impossible to lick your elbow.

      The man who invests your money should not be called a "broker".

      One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.

      ...and now, "Military Quotes:

      U.S. Army preventive maintenance magazine:

      "A slipping gear could let your M-203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it, making you quite unpopular with what's left of your unit."

      U.S. Army rocket launcher instructions:

      "Aim towards the enemy".

      U.S. Marine Corps manual:

      "When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend".

      "Don't draw fire, it irritates the people around you".

      "If you see a bomb technician running, follow him".

      U.S. Air Force manual:

      "Cluster bombing from B-52's are very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground".

      "It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over an area you just bombed".

      "Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in your flight bag for the purpose of storing dead batteries."

      U.S. Army Infantry Journal:

      "If the enemy is in range, so are you".

      "If your attack is going too well, you're walking into an ambush."

      "The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire."

      Old Navy truisms:

      "There are more planes in the ocean than submarines in the sky."

      "Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."

      "The Navy has a perfect record in aviation, we never left one up there."

      We're not done yet, my lad...


      Yes, They Really Said This: Redefining stupid one sentence at a time





      And finally...

      Social Darwinism - "The Survival of the Richest":


      You would have to work for decades to earn

      what some CEO's make in an hour



      "To get rich, you have to be making money

      while you're asleep" - David Bailey



      "If you can't afford it, you don't deserve it" - GOP mantra



      "There are those who serve, and those who are served"


      "If you're not rich, it's your fault" - Herman Cain



      “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor,

      it cannot save the few who are rich".


      [Inaugural Address, January 20 1961]
      John F. Kennedy

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      Pundit Post
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          .

          Devastating Fires are burning homes, killing residents, and destroying huge acres of Land in California. The fires have engulfed portions of Northern California, and the Carr fires have been uncontrolled since they started July 23, this year. Drought, heat and wind have created a raging fire considered one the worst in 10 years.

          Flames have destroyed more than 1,000 homes in and around the Redding area, which is a town 200 miles north of San Francisco that has 90,000 residents.

          Northern California air is overcast with fumes and ash, and at least 40,000 people have been displaced as a result of the three: Carr, Ranch, and River Fires.

          There are 14,000 firefighters from California and other states fighting the blazes that have burned 450,000 acres. At least six people are known to have been killed as a result of the fires.

          So far, the Carr fire is only 35 percent contained, and fire fighting costs have already reached $24 million.

          As a result of these disastrous fires that have been raging for so long, Australia and New Zealand are sending in 146 Fire Fighters to help those in California battle the blazes.

          .

          Image result for picturesf fire fighters fighting firs

          .

          (CNN) Fire crews from Australia and New Zealand are heading to California to aid in the massive battle against wildfires, according to Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott.

          There are 14,000 firefighters from California and other states fighting the blazes.in Northern California.

          The FRNSW contingent are among the 100 personnel from across Australia deployed to the region.

          The international fire teams from Australia and New Zealand will arrive in Redding on Monday, [tomorrow.]

          https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/04/us/california-fires-international-help/index.html

          A video can be seen by clicking the above link.

          The U.S. and Australia have cooperated in firefighting efforts in years past, but this is the first time firefighters from the state of South Australia are joining the effort, according to Dan Hamilton, a spokesman for the South Australia Country Fire Service.

          Hamilton said the three people that South Australia is sending to join the fight are experts who are well-versed in containing fires across various types of terrain.

          https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/fires/article215880020.html

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          Pundit Post

          Is Something Different With Yabberz?

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              Usually when I post a topic for discussion it ends up on the homepage within minutes. Now I notice when I posted my topic for discussion it no longer appears on the homepage but you can find it if you click the new tab. This has never happened to me before. Has something changed? Just curious.

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              New Baby Black Rhino Born In Chester Zoo

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                  A good news story for wildlife conservation, and a nice video :)

                  With only 650 eastern black rhinos left on the planet, the new calf plays an important part in the zoo’s breeding programme.

                  A one-week-old rhino calf, who was born in front of onlookers at Chester Zoo, has ventured outside to play for the first time under the watchful eye of mum Malindi.

                  The zoo posted adorable footage of the baby rolling in the sand and playing around, before heading off for a nap, on social media.

                  Posting the video on Facebook, the zoo said: “A baby rhino playing in the sand… watch this and be happy.”

                  https://www.irishexaminer.com/examviral/this-cute-baby-rhino-playing-in-the-sand-will-make-your-day-861444.html

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                  Swinging Sheep

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                      [Humor]


                      Make up your own headline for this:

                      Swinging sheep has an audience.

                      Sheep takes a gander on a Goodyear swing.

                      When sheep swing!!!

                      Encore, Encore!


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                          Opinion. Relates to experience here too.

                          When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently remarked, "I don’t think [Holocaust deniers] are intentionally getting it wrong," adding that only "if a post crossed the line into advocating violence or hate against a specific group" would it be removed, he was playing directly into deniers’ hands.

                          As historians and moderators of the largest public online history forum, the subreddit AskHistorians, we confront Holocaust deniers every day. Experience has led us to only one possible conclusion: Giving them a voice is playing a game where they make the rules.

                          It is no coincidence that deniers have been welcomed with open arms in the "post-truth" alt-right community. Deniers depend on the distortion of historical evidence and outright lies. They cry out "Free speech!" and "Open discussion!" when it is caught.

                          But about this historical period, there is no "if," no "but": Holocaust denial is a malicious movement to stoke hatred and violence. For Internet communities to fight them means denying them the first word, the last word, and any word at all.

                          https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/facebook-is-feeding-the-holocaust-deniers-it-should-shut-them-down-1.6294410

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                          Milissa And Peter

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                              Melissa Hodgman, Peter Strzok’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

                              melissa hodgmanSEC

                              Melissa Hodgman works for the SEC.

                              Peter Strzok, the top FBI agent under fire for allegedly sending anti-Donald Trump texts, is married to Melissa Hodgman, an official at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

                              An obituary confirms that Strzok is married to Hodgman, 49, who was named to her position with the SEC in October 2016. Peter Strzok, a top counter-terrorism agent in the FBI, was quietly removed from Robert Mueller’s probe into President Donald Trump and his associates when Mueller learned that Strzok had allegedly sent the texts. “Bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged politically charged texts disparaging President Trump and supporting Hillary Clinton,” The Washington Post reported.

                              It has since come to light that, according to CNN, Strzok, 47, was the person who switched language in former FBI Director James Comey’s draft statement on Hillary Clinton and her emails, weakening the language in a way that worked in Clinton’s favor.

                              Here’s what you need to know:


                              1. Hodgman Has Worked for the SEC Since 2008 & Pledged ‘Tough But Fair’ Enforcement

                              Hodgman started working in the enforcement division at the SEC in 2008 as a staff attorney and was promoted to assistant director in 2012. She investigated numerous cases of fraud and earned a $229,968 salary in 2016, FederalPay.org reported.

                              “I am honored by this appointment and look forward to continuing our tradition of pursuing tough but fair enforcement actions in complex and cutting-edge cases, especially matters involving cross-border issues and efforts to hold gatekeepers accountable for breaches of their professional standards,” Hodgman said in a news release.

                              According to an SEC press release, “Before joining the SEC staff, Ms. Hodgman worked as an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in Washington. Ms. Hodgman earned her masters of law with distinction in securities and financial regulation in 2007 from Georgetown University Law Center, her law degree with high honors from Georgetown University Law Center in 1994, and her bachelor of science degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1990. Ms. Hodgman received the Ellen B. Ross Award as well as an SEC Chairman’s Award in 2010.”


                              2. Hodgman & Strzok Both Graduated From Georgetown University

                              Georgetown UniversityA Georgetown University donation page showing Strzok and his wife donated.

                              Both Hodgman and Strzok graduated from Georgetown University, a list of donors to the university showed. Strzok earned his master’s degree from the school in 2013, the list indicated. In 2012, the couple donated between $2,500-4,999 to their alma mater.

                              Hodgman and Strzok also donated between $250-499 to the Shakespeare Theatre Company, a 2007-08 annual report said. The couple live in the Fairfax, Virginia area and purchased a home for $520,000 in June 2003, according to public real estate records.

                              An obituary for Hodgman’s mother showed the mother lived in New York and is from Pennsylvania and reads, “A beautiful woman, loving mother, grandmother, writer and humanist passed away November 15, 2010 at age 67.” It says that Melissa Hodgman is one of three children.

                              Peter Strzok has had a hand in many of the FBI’s most recent controversies. Fox News reported that “Strzok, a former deputy to the assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, oversaw the bureau’s interviews with ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, changed former FBI Director James Comey’s early draft language about Hillary Clinton’s actions regarding her private email server from ‘grossly negligent’ to ‘extremely careless’ and reportedly helped push the largely unverified dossier on Trump that was initially prepared by Fusion GPS for the Clinton campaign’s opposition research.”


                              3. Peter Strzok Is Accused of Having an Affair With an FBI Lawyer, Reports Say

                              According to The Washington Post, during the Clinton investigation, “Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.” McCabe himself has been criticized because his wife received money from groups with alliances to Clinton. According to Newsweek, “It’s true that for her campaign, Jill McCabe received a total of $675,288 from two entities associated with McAuliffe: a political action committee and the Virginia Democratic Party.” She was running for Virginia’s senate at the time. “McAuliffe is a longtime friend of Hillary and Bill Clinton,” reported Newsweek.

                              Strzok exchanged messages with Page that helped lead to his ouster from the Mueller team, the Post reported. “Of greater concern among senior law enforcement officials were text messages the two exchanged during the Clinton investigation and campaign season in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton,” according to the newspaper.

                              According to The Daily Caller, “Strzok’s text messages with Page, his mistress, were first discovered by the Justice Department’s inspector general as part of an investigation that has been conducting into the FBI and DOJ’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.”

                              The site adds, “Strzok, a former Army officer, was the lead FBI investigator on that inquiry, too. He conducted the July 2, 2016, interview with Clinton herself. He was attended by David Laufman, a Justice Department lawyer and Obama donor.”


                              4. Melissa Hodgman Has Handled Cases Into Alleged Financial Fraud But One Big Case Crumbled

                              The press release on Hodgman’s SEC promotion lists some of the cases she’s been involved in, and all involve variations of financial fraud. However, one prominent prosecution crumbled. The press release lists these cases as noteworthy:

                              “The SEC’s first case against a brokerage firm for failing to file SARs when appropriate.

                              Fraud charges against a Wall Street CEO and his company, family members, and business associates accused of secretly obtaining control and manipulating the stock of Chinese companies they were purportedly guiding through the process of raising capital and becoming publicly-traded in the United States

                              Fraud and other related charges against China North East Petroleum Holdings, its CEO, President and former Chairman of the Board of Directors, and others arising from their alleged diversion of offering proceeds to the personal accounts of corporate insiders and their immediate family members and fraudulent conduct in connection with at least 176 undisclosed related-party transactions.

                              Charges against Charles Schwab Investment Management, Charles Schwab & Co., and two executives for making misleading statements regarding the Schwab YieldPlus Fund and failing to establish, maintain and enforce policies and procedures to prevent the misuse of material, nonpublic information.”

                              Hodgman “has led the Enforcement Division’s Cross-Border Working Group, which provides expertise and assistance of matters with international actors and implications,” the press release adds. “Ms. Hodgman also co-founded and served as the enforcement representative on the Chair’s Attorney Honors Program, and is a member of the Enforcement Division’s hiring committee at its Washington D.C. headquarters.”

                              “Melissa has supervised and investigated a broad range of noteworthy and first-of-their-kind cases across the spectrum of the securities industry and involving misconduct located around the world,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in the news release. “She has distinguished herself with her excellent judgment and creativity, and I am pleased to have her join the senior ranks of the Enforcement Division.”

                              One case in particular has caused controversy, however. In 2015, she supervised the investigation that led to “fraud charges against a Wall Street CEO and his company, family members, and business associates accused of secretly obtaining control and manipulating the stock of Chinese companies they were purportedly guiding through the process of raising capital and becoming publicly-traded in the United States,” an SEC press release says. In that case, the SEC alleged that “Benjamin Wey and New York Global Group (NYGG) typically structured reverse mergers between clients and publicly-traded shell companies in such a way that he and other family members secretly obtained ownership interests of more than five percent of the newly listed companies,” the release said.

                              Also charged: Wey’s “two attorneys Robert Newman and William Uchimoto.” The involvement of Uchimoto in the case has led to controversy online. According to the New York Law Journal, “A federal judge in Manhattan on Monday threw out civil securities fraud claims against William Uchimoto.” The case against Wey also fell completely apart.

                              “U.S. securities regulators…moved to drop their fraud case against Wall Street financier Benjamin Wey, about a month after prosecutors dropped a related criminal case after a judge threw out some evidence,” Reuters reported. According to Reuters, “The criminal case against Wey collapsed in June, when U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan ruled that a huge cache of materials seized from Wey’s home and offices could not be used because they were obtained with overly broad search warrants that violated Wey’s constitutional rights.”

                              The article continued, “Nathan said the seizure of items such as children’s school records, family photos and X-rays at minimum reflected ‘grossly negligent or reckless disregard’ of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.”


                              5. Peter Strzok Changed the Comey Language from ‘Grossly Negligent’

                              Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton NRA, Hillary Clinton Las Vegas

                              GettyHillary Clinton.

                              Speaking of the words “grossly negligent,” that term has also featured in criticism lodged against Peter Strzok. According to CNN, Peter Strzok “changed a key phrase in former FBI Director James Comey’s description of how former secretary of state Hillary Clinton handled classified information.”

                              The network further alleged that “electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey’s earlier draft language describing Clinton’s actions as ‘grossly negligent’ to ‘extremely careless.’” That has legal significance because gross negligence is language needed for a criminal charge.

                              In addition, nine members of Robert Mueller’s team previously donated to Hillary Clinton or Democrats, records show.

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