Does the ‘U.S.’ question the worth of the U.N. because Donald Trump says something stupid? Donald Trump is not my spokesperson. What Trump says does not equate with what America thinks.

Pope Francis spoke to children dressed as Magi during a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Sunday.
Pope Francis spoke to children dressed as Magi during a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Sunday. Tiziana Fabitiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

Antonio Guterres took the reins of the United Nations on New Year’s Day, making it clear that his top priority will be preventing crises and promoting peace, Edith M. Lederer of The Associated Press reports.

“As Guterres begins his five-year term facing conflicts from Syria and Yemen to South Sudan and Libya and global crises from terrorism to climate change, U.S. support for the United Nations remains a question mark.”

This is something that enrages me more than anything else. When The AP equates what Donald Trump says with what America thinks!!! No, the U.S. does NOT think the U.N. is a place where people get together and talk. Continue reading “Does the ‘U.S.’ question the worth of the U.N. because Donald Trump says something stupid? Donald Trump is not my spokesperson. What Trump says does not equate with what America thinks.”

Here’s an option for American refugees fleeing a Trump presidency | WaPo

[Looks beautiful to me and is not at all out of the question]

A website put up by a Canadian radio host from the maritime province of Nova Scotia invites Americans worried about life under a President Donald Trump to relocate north.

The tongue-in-cheek stunt, put together by local DJ Rob Calabrese, opens with the following guidance urging Americans to move to Cape Breton Island, in the northeast of the province:

Hi Americans! Donald Trump may become the President of your country! If that happens, and you decide to get the hell out of there, might I suggest moving to Cape Breton Island!

Don’t wait until Donald Trump is elected president to find somewhere else to live! Start now, that way, on election day, you just hop on a bus to start your new life in Cape Breton, where women can get abortions, Muslim people can roam freely, and the only “walls” are holding up the roofs of our extremely affordable houses.

Source: Here’s an option for American refugees fleeing a Trump presidency – The Washington Post

Who is on President Obama’s Shortlist to Replace Antonin Scalia? | Democracy Now!

Nearly 30 years ago, Antonin Scalia was approved by the Senate in a unanimous vote. Analysts are projecting a much tougher road for the next nominee. We look at four potential nominees: California Attorney General Kamala Harris, D.C. Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan, Ninth Circuit Judge Paul Watford and Eighth Circuit Judge Jane Kelly.

Source: Who is on President Obama’s Shortlist to Replace Antonin Scalia? | Democracy Now!

A 94-year-old former Nazi guard stands accused of helping to murder 170,000 people — still hope that more war criminals will be brought to justice

ed:This shows there is still hope that many more war criminals, from Africa, Latin America, China, the U.S., will one day be brought to justice and, perhaps people in this world will change their ways and not order others to go out and kill people.

Trials of former Nazi concentration camp guards in Germany have become rare in recent decades: As more and more of the perpetrators have died, prosecutors find it increasingly hard to charge those responsible for the horrendous crimes.

The current trial of 94-year-old Reinhold Hanning, a former SS guard at Auschwitz, may be one of the last of its kind. Hanning is accused of participating in mass shootings and selecting inmates for the executions. The trial started Thursday.

Source: A 94-year-old former Nazi guard stands accused of helping to murder 170,000 people – The Washington Post

Tesla to unveil its $35,000 ‘Model 3’ on March 31 | engadget

Tesla has long promised a $35,000 electric car is on the way, and in today’s earnings release (PDF) it announced that we’ll get to see the Model 3 on March 31st, ahead of it going on sale in “late 2017.” That’s in addition to the currently shipping Model S sedan (shown above) and Model X SUV, and the company recently confirmed it still expects to hit that $35k price target before applying electric vehicle incentives. Also, its battery building gigafactory — key to achieving that mass market price for the Model 3 — is up and running in Nevada, with Powerwall units produced there already in use by customers.

Source: Tesla will unveil its $35,000 Model 3 on March 31st

Bits from today’s Washington Post feed

Donald Trump mocked at German Carnival: “Make fascism great again”

This (remarkable — of course it’s remarkable, you have it in your news feed) chart shows how U.S. defense spending dwarfs the rest of the world

This Indian soldier survived five miraculous days trapped beneath a 25-foot avalanche

Chinese mall becomes ‘prison’ for bears, belugas, wolves

And, from Harper’s Weekly Review, Phoenix City Council members voted to ban prayer at meetings rather than allow a representative of the Satanic Temple to perform the opening invocation. “It leaves a bad taste,” said a lawyer for the Temple, “in the Satanist’s mouth.” 

New York: Radiation Spikes 65,000% at Indian Point Nuclear Plant After Leak | Democracy Now!

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced “alarming levels” of radiation after water contaminated with radioactive tritium leaked from the Indian Point nuclear power plant. At one monitoring well, the radiation had spiked 65,000 percent.

The plant’s owner, Entergy Corporation, has said the groundwater contamination at the plant does not pose a threat to the public.

[editor’s note] REALLY?!? NO THREAT TO THE PUBLIC. I THINK WE SHOULD GET THE OWNERS OF ENTERGY DOWN THERE TO THE PLANT TO DRINK SOME OF THE WATER AND HANG OUT, MAYBE HAVE A SLEEPOVER FOR A WEEK OR SO AND SEE HOW MANY OF THEM ARE DIAGNOSED AND DIE OF CANCER BEFORE THEY DIE OF NATURAL CAUSES.

Environmentalists have long called for the closure of Indian Point, citing aging infrastructure and a history of operational issues.

BUT LET’S NOT LISTEN TO THEM BECAUSE THEY’RE ENVIRONMENTALISTS! THEY PROBABLY HAVE NO PROOF, SCIENTIFIC OR OTHERWISE, THAT RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINATION IS BAD FOR HUMAN HEALTH OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

Source: New York: Radiation Spikes 65,000% at Indian Point Nuclear Plant After Leak | Democracy Now!

I discovered Clowns Without Borders when I was looking online for evidence of laughter in South Sudan

I heard in a news story today on the radio, probably, NPR, that there are 15,000 people living in tents in South Sudan and 1,500 children have been abducted as child soldiers and many have died from starvation and disease. I couldn’t help but ask myself, is there any hope here? Is there any hope in the story of the 1-year-old boy whose name translates into “wholeness,” because, as his mother states, ‘while they’re fighting out there, we’re whole family in here.’

clowns-without-bordersThen I found this ::: Clowns Without Borders was founded in Barcelona in July 1993. The idea began when Tortell Poltrona, a professional clown in Spain, was invited to perform in a refugee camp in Croatia. This performance unexpectedly attracted audiences of more than 700 children, proving to Poltrona that there is a great need for clowns and entertainment in crisis situations.  He founded Clowns Without Borders to offer humor as a means of psychological support to communities that have suffered trauma. Read the UNHCR interview with Tortell Poltrona.

You might think that clowns are scary or silly, but check out Clowns Sans Frontiers’ Code of Ethics:

Code of Ethics

The objective of this code is to provide a series of written guidelines of ethics for all clowns and artists who collaborate with Clowns Without Borders.

  • The clown or collaborating artist will hold as fundamental objectives to better the situation of children who live in crisis situations of whatever type (conflict, natural disaster, social inequalities, etc.) in whatever part of the world.
  • The main beneficiaries of CWB projects are children living in situations of crisis and the clown or collaborating artist will make no distinction between them for reasons of race, age, religion, culture, social situation or any other categorization when offering his/her work.
  • For clowns and collaborating artists participating in CWB projects, volunteerism is the general rule.
  • In respect to the clown/artist’s public image, he/she will not use the participation in humanitarian activities as a means to promote their professional career, separating clearly at all times such activities and not using his humanitarian work for publicity purposes or to promote his/her professional career.
  • The clown or collaborating artist will not use their humanitarian activities to impart personal ‘points of view’ to the destination populations of the projects and will limit themselves to sharing their artistic activities. The artist will not attempt to “educate” the population, refraining from any “evangelical” activities.
  • The clown or collaborating artist, when choosing the contents of his/her performances and workshops, will consider the sensibilities of the destination population, taking into account their culture as well as the delicate situation in which they are living.
  • The clown or collaborating artist when working with CWB projects sees and shares difficult situations. Their work does not end when they return home. They should testify in the measure possible all situations of injustice that they have witnessed.
  • When participating in a project, during our performances and in our contact with the public, we remain clowns and artists, and this is the sole method with which we express and experience the validity of our actions.
  • We remain vigilant and attentive that the name, logo, and identity of Clowns Without Borders will not be will not be used as a vehicle for remuneration.
  • In the matter of seeking financial support, we remain attentive to the ethical values and the respect of human rights of our sponsors and partners.

Learn more about this amazing group here: About Us ⋆ Clowns Without Borders

Maya Angelou Stamp Quote Actually Came From Connecticut Children’s Book Author Joan Walsh Anglund

A picture of part of one of the new Maya Angelou stamp sheets that were issues Tuesday, April 7, 2015. (photo: cjzurcher)
A picture of part of one of the new Maya Angelou stamp sheets that were issues Tuesday, April 7, 2015. (photo: cjzurcher)

The news that the U.S. Postal Service was honoring Maya Angelou, poet, author and civil rights advocate, with her own forever stamp was welcomed by her fans. Angelou, who died last year, was a cultural icon and mother figure to a generation of writers.

Jabari Asim, associate professor of writing, literature and publishing at Emerson College in Boston, was excited. Until he read the quote on the Angelou stamp:

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

Funny thing, he had always thought the quote came from Joan Walsh Anglund, the prolific children’s book author from Connecticut.

via Maya Angelou Stamp Quote Actually Came From Connecticut Children’s Book Author – Hartford Courant.

Carbon monoxide ‘blamed’ after father and his 7 children die in their sleep | The Washington Post

Ed: First of all, can you really blame the carbon monoxide for deaths? 

Left to right, Tykira Todd, 12, Tybria Todd, 6, Tyania Todd, 9, Tybree Todd, 10 and in front, Zycheim Todd, 7 and two other older siblings and father, Rodney Todd were found dead from asphysiated in their home in Princess Anne, Md. (Photo courtesy Sarah Hardy)

Just six weeks before his death, he implored his friends to cherish the time they have: “life is never promise[d] no matter how you look at it.”

via Carbon monoxide blamed after father and his 7 children die in their sleep – The Washington Post.