Putin, Trump, Sanders, and the futile search for national intelligence – Reblog

Well, let’s see. We have plague. War is ever with us along with brother famine and of course, death. If this isn’t them running amok, what ARE they doing? Warming up for the Big one?



 

THE SHINBONE STAR

Is anyone beginning to wonder if the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse are running amok? Have they always been more than a metaphor?

China, Asia and the rest of the known world are threatened by plague. War and famine is consuming the Middle East. Kenya is tormented by spreading hordes of locusts. And intemperate Donald Trump still comfortably occupies the White House.

For a time it seemed the Democrats would come out fighting when the election season kicked off, dukes up ready to sock Trump in the eye when the campaign officially began. Instead, they turned their considerable energies on each other while the Trumpian menace romped across the landscape.

Examples of Trump’s heavy-handed rule abound. The most egregious of late is that Trump has repeatedly neutered the 17-member United States Intelligence Community by firing Directors Of National Intelligence (DNI), who apparently keep wanting to tell the truth about Russian…

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THE BIRDS THEY ARE A’CHANGING – Marilyn Armstrong

I used to know “spring” by the flowers. Up come the crocus and then the daffodils. Suddenly there are dozens of Solomon’s Seal and a few lilacs get enough sunlight to flower. It must be spring!

Two bluebirds

The trees get a covering of pink buds, especially the maples. The oak trees are slower. We have a couple of struggling azaleas that never get enough sun to do more than casually bloom a little bit.

Still, all this greenery says “spring” to me.

Not this year. This time around, it’s the color of the feathers of the birds. This is the time of year when birds go into their breeding seasons. Birds don’t just breed once per season.

Getting more yellow every day
Square Goldfinches
And two more

Many of them, especially the little guys like Chickadees and all the Finches will breed many times between now and November. They are not only the most daring flyers, but they have sex in the air. Whoopee! Now that’s the way to go!

A very red Finch
Chickadee and one of the red finches

I want to mention that Garry and I saw a really huge Red-Bellied Woodpecker on a feeder — briefly — this morning. He was easily twice the size of the usual Red-Bellies we see around here. Good food? Trees with excellent bugs? Both?

Eating well! And what a beak!

 

WILL WORK FOR PIZZA – Marilyn Armstrong

There is a rumor, perpetuated by television shows, that bloggers earn a living. By blogging. Someone in Hollywood seriously thinks people like me make money doing this. I am depressed to admit it, but not one cent have I ever made from this site — not counting the occasional free book for review.


I don’t advertise on this site. In fact, I pay WordPress to not put their advertisements here. My dream is not to monetize my site, but be such an incredible writer that the world will shower me with money — just because I’m me. I won’t have to ask, and I will owe nothing to anybody. And I could pay the bills! Yes!

Money for nothing. It brings tears to my eyes.


Somewhere, a blogger must be making money on his or her site, but I don’t know them. I’ve been around the world, blog-wise. I have yet to see a single blogger bringing in the big bucks. A few people have tried to at least keep even by putting advertisements on their sites, but the amount of money this earns them wouldn’t add up to a good meal in a fast-food joint.

Anyway, advertising annoys readers. Sites with spammy ads and weird pop-ups make me want to go somewhere else. Since the Internet remains one of the last, free places on earth, that’s what I do. I go elsewhere. I don’t do this for money. I don’t even do it in the hopes that someday it might make money.


I don’t run advertisements, have no connections to any organizations with money. I get offers for free applications for an “honest review,” but between the lines, I read “positive, glowing review.” I turn them down. But no one has offered me a Mercedes yet.

I turn them down. “Money for nothing” is a delightful dream and that is all it is.

If for some obscure reason, you want to buy me off although to be fair, I can’t for the life of me imagine what anyone would get by buying me off — unless you want my bills. I’ve got a lot of them. Regardless, you’ll have to do a lot better than any offer I’ve gotten to date. I’m sure everyone has a price, so I probably have one too, but no one has come close to meeting it. And on top of that, I’m not sure what I have to offer that anyone would pay for.


Meanwhile, if all else fails, I will work for a really good New York (preferably Brooklyn) style pizza. With extra cheese, extra sauce, onions, peppers, and maybe meatballs. Or high-quality pepperoni.


DEEP DARK THOUGHTS: WORLD SHARING FOR THE GLOOMY – Marilyn Armstrong

DEEP DARK THOUGHTS?


Questions:

What do you think of best friends of the opposite sex?  Or to put it another way “Can men and women ever be platonic friends?  Doesn’t sex always get in the way?”  

Not only can they be, but frequently are. I have never understood this question. I have always had friends of both sexes and a variety of tastes. Gay ones, straight ones, old and young ones — all friends. Is everyone that horny that they can’t talk about anything without jumping the other ones’ bones? Really?


Even in my hormonal youth, I was not physically attracted to everyone, male or female. And if I was, but they were “taken” or not into me, I had enough self-control to not jump them.


What is the greatest struggle you’ve overcome?

A brutal, molesting father … and being a woman in a man’s economy.

What is the darkest thought you’ve ever had? What about the darkest thing you’ve done that you’ve never told anybody about? (obviously, you’ll be telling now if you choose to.  Telling might unburden you a little though.)   

No, thank you. Telling the immediate nation my deepest darkest thoughts will not unburden me. What it would do is humiliate me and I’d just as soon skip that.

Now I want to talk briefly on “unburdening oneself” on social media. I think it’s a TERRIBLE idea. Once you publish something, you can never take it back. It’s out there. Forever. If you need a job or have to fill out forms for the government or to pass a security check? All someone has to do is look you up on social media and there you are, with your underwear hanging out.

I have warned my granddaughter how dangerous this is. Long-term dangerous too. It doesn’t affect you alone. If your kid or grandchild needs to get into college or some other program, your words are hovering over them. If you feel burdened by something, find a shrink. Find a stranger on a train or bus. Don’t write them up and publish them for everybody and their cousins to read. I guarantee it will haunt you for the rest of your days.

What is your least favorite food?

Snails. It’s a texture thing.