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In the garden: First Black-Eyed Susan

Soon there will be many, many!

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As Thousands Mourn Netanyahu Escalates Ethnic Cleansing

Was there ethnic hatred at the bottom of the deaths of three innocent Israeli teens recently? A good chance of that.

Is that an excuse for ethnic hatred or politically and militarily empowered acts of mass murder or incarceration, the unleashing of even more of a vendetta program to perpetrate “ethnic cleansing” against an entire Palestinian population? Also a most convenient excuse at the same time to destroy the recent efforts for empowerment and social justice for Palestinians under a hyper-oppressive occupying Israeli governance? Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

In the garden: Wildflowers bloom

Perhaps not very thrilllng, but the whole sea of green is wildflowers, so perhaps there will be many more shortly! Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

In the garden: Rose cuttings

OK, so where do I cut this stem so more flowers grow? I've always been confused about that, and the online images all seem to be well-bred roses, not my messy -- and very fragrant -- rosa rugosa.

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Hysterical Democrats

I guess they must be bringing in the bucks. But ... Wowsers.

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Why stay in college? Why go to nightschool?

Look at this chart from Reuters:

Productivity up, wages flat. So why bother to work harder or better? Oh, the title: Read below the fold...

One more thing to worry about: Ebola

A friend of mine has given up following "the Great Game" being played on the Black Sea and around the Mediterranean basin in favor of following an Ebola outbreak on the former Slave Coast of Africa:

Since March, medical professionals in western Africa have been battling a raging Ebola epidemic. Now, it has officially become the most deadly outbreak of the virus ever.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the epidemic has so far killed more than 390 people and afflicted more than 600 in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where the current outbreak originated. That's deadlier than the virus's first outbreak in 1976 near the Ebola River in the current-day Democratic Republic of Congo which killed 280 people.

Resources are also wearing thin. "The epidemic is out of control," Bart Janssens, the director of operations for Médecins Sans Frontières (the French version of Doctors Without Borders) said in a statement. "We have reached our limits. Despite the human resources and equipment deployed by [Doctors Without Borders] in the three affected countries, we are no longer able to send teams to the new outbreak sites."

Here's a map; I've helpfully indicated the international airports: Read below the fold...

Bill & Hillary’s 6-Figure Speeches NOT for Personality!


Zaid Jilani for Al Jazeera America has written a very disturbing article entitled “The Clintons web of wealth/Where did Bill and Hillary get all their money?”

Hillary Clinton has been making noises lately that she knows what it is like to have money stress. That she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House and they were forced to give six figure a piece speeches. Read below the fold...

In the garden: Bring on the hummingbirds!

The bee balm popped today:

So I look forward my garden being put on the hummingbird nectar circuit forthwith. Actually, though, already is -- I saw the yellow honeysuckle across the garden shaking, and then saw the tiny fat jet fighter-like body of a hummingbird zoom away, metaphorical afterburners aflame. If I recall correctly, in past years hummingbirds tended to show up in the cool of the day, which makes sense: Minimal energy expenditure with respect to nectar yield.

And speaking of invasive plants: Read below the fold...

Goofball Roberts Court rules corporations can excercise religious liberty in Hobby Lobby case

How do they do that? Infant baptism? Adult baptism? Prayer groups? Damascene conversion? Reuters:

The justices ruled for the first time that for-profit companies can make claims under a 1993 federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

From the full text of the opinion:

In these cases, the owners of three closely held for-profit corporations have sincere Christian beliefs that life begins at conception and that it would violate their religion to facilitate access to contraceptive drugs or devices that operate after that point. ...

HHS argues that the companies cannot sue because they are for-profit corporations, and that the owners cannot sue because the regulations apply only to the companies, but that would leave merchants with a difficult choice: give up the right to seek judicial protection of their religious liberty or forgo the benefits of operating as corporations. RFRA’s text shows that Congress designed the statute to provide very broad protection for religious liberty and did not intend to put merchants to such a choice. It employed the familiar legal fiction of including corporations within RFRA’s definition of “persons,” but the purpose of extending rights to corporations is to protect the rights of people associated with the corporation, including shareholders, officers, and employees. Protecting the free-exercise rights of closely held corporations thus protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control them.

Leave aside the court's curious theology that the practice of religion should not involve any "difficult choice." Read below the fold...

NY High Court upholds Town of Dryden's fracking ban

This is great news (for New York):

Monday, June 30, New York State’s highest court handed the town of Dryden a victory in its precedent-setting case versus Norse Energy Co., in which the gas and oil industry challenged Dryden’s zoning law banning heavy industry within the borders of the town. The case pitted this upstate town of 6000 residents’ right to zone out certain types of business against the gas exploration companies’ argument that only the Department of Environmental Conservation could issue permits. At stake were what Norse Energy deemed a $4 million investment in gas drilling leases in the town of Dryden.

The Court upheld, as well, a zoning law in Middlefield, NY, deciding that towns can use local zoning laws to ban heavy industry, including oil and gas operations, within municipal borders.

“Today the Court stood with the people of Dryden and the people of New York to protect their right to self determination. It is clear that people, not corporations, have the right to decide how their community develops,” said Dryden Deputy Supervisor Jason Leifer. “This would not have been possible without the hard work of many of my friends and neighbors and our lawyers Deborah Goldberg of Earthjustice and Mahlon Perkins. Today's ruling shows all of America that a committed group of citizens and public officials can stand together against fearful odds and successfully defend their homes, their way of life, and the environment against those who would harm them all in the name of profit. "

“Heavy industry has never been allowed in our small farming town and three years ago, we decided that fracking was no exception. The oil and gas industry tried to bully us into backing down, but we took our fight all the way to New York’s highest court. And today we won,” added Dryden Town Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner. “I hope our victory serves as an inspiration to people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, North Carolina, California and elsewhere who are also trying to do what’s right for their own communities.”

Sometimes, the good guys win! Read below the fold...


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