Almost 70% of Republicans believe we should take out ISIS asap.

Here’s what Zbig thinks:

“The worst thing we can do is to become the sole combatant against the forces of evil that are operating in that region. We have to avoid any direct collision with the world of Islam, we mustn’t label the enemy as Islamist, but we must work with those governments in the region that are prepared to defend themselves. … The key point I have in mind is that strategically we are not the chief protagonist in the region, because if we are, we become the inheritor of the colonial era, and we even become more hated in the region than is the case today.” ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski

I agree with Zbig.

I used to be able to use the Simple Tags plugin without a problem. But that’s no longer the case. It’s not yet upgraded to WordPress version 4.1.1, the version I have which is the latest. So, I think I’ll skip doing tags for posts until Simple Tags gets upgraded.

Yesterday I ran into an awful problem trying to log in to wp-admin. What happened was….. nothing, just a white screen, no completion. This panicked me at first but then I decided to go to wordpress support and leave a message about my problem. By the afternoon I noticed my query had moved way down on the list, almost 100 were ahead of me! But then around supper time I actually got a reply. And it was a good one. The person suggested I test the plugins, one by one, to see if one of them was the culprit. This meant I had to login to the host site where all the code exists. Fortunately I had saved the password so I was able to login and do what he suggested. By trial and error I found the offending plugin, WP-SpamFree, so I deactivated it. Turns out this plugin so far only works for previous versions of wordpress.

Another night of single numbers, but 27F is predicted for today. We got a dusting of snow last night, far less that the 3 to 6 inches predicted. So maybe the grip of winter is weakening?

Yesterday I took the Subaru over to Profile Subaru for a Recall fix and of course they found more stuff to do. But today in a few minutes I’ll be taking the car down to Rusty’s for an inspection sticker (way out of date on that!). I want to show Rusty what Profile Suub came up with for needed repairs, two of them each running about $880. Maybe Rusty can do them for less? Or maybe not, we’ll see.

Lots to do in the next couple months: sell house, go to Costa Rica, buy apartment at Thornton Oaks or OceanView. The only certain thing is I’ll be going to Costa Rica (to the Osa peninsula) with Phyllis and her sister Jennifer from March 16 to 23rd.

Another blast of cold arctic air is hitting us tonight. My thermometer read -5.3F just now (9:30pm). I heard on my car radio this afternoon that the rapid warming of the arctic is having an effect on the Gulf Stream causing it to change its usual warming pattern. This behavior is of course very complicated as I found out when I spent a little time researching online. But clearly big changes are beginning to occur in the ocean currents. So, will spring ever come? Certainly this year, one hopes, but are there mightier changes in store for us in the not too distant future?

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No snow either and quite a bit of sun early on. I felt a little tired at church today and had some trouble singing but I came through well enough, even if with a slightly scratchy throat. Charles Howes did the service and had an excellent program about the importance of love, “standing on the side of love” as the UU’s say.

Charles reminded us of the nastiness and evil prevalent because of lack of love. For example, in Boston people stealing parking spaces and breaking windows because of frustration with the snow, and three young people in North Carolina senselessly murdered by a frustrated person who felt they took his parking space and that they deserved to die because they were Muslims. Very very sad and very tragic. Lives at basically their beginnings, early twenties, wiped out. Whole futures that now never will come to be.

How incredibly precious is life. To waste it is the ultimate tragedy.

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As a result of seeing “Selma” recently I was reminded of Henry Hampton’s “Eyes on the Prize”. Available in Netflix I added it to my queue, received it, and now have watched the first of three discs. The first disc covers the 1950’s period up through 1962. I had forgotten the circumstances of Emmet Till’s murder and the great difficulty of James Meredith enrolling in Old Miss. The mob rule in the south and the deep prejudice was pretty profound back then, maybe some improvements since then in minds and hearts but not an awful lot. Of course, I’ve got no way to know for sure.

At any rate, thinking of Henry Hampton reminded me of Bob Hohler who worked with Henry and who I had known, along with his wife Barbara who I had a special crush on, at the Arlington Street Church back in the 1950’s and 60’s. He had quite an effect on me. He was a powerful intellect, a dead end kid who was strongly self educated. He left Barbara back in the 1960’s, remarried, and died while on vacation in England with his new wife in June 2011, just a month after Cynthia died, and Barbara died in the same month as Bob, June 2011. Strange coincidences and that year 2011 one could maybe say was a right of passage for me.

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This has been the coldest winter I’ve experienced in a very long time. In fact I can’t remember a colder one. There may have been such winters and I just don’t remember them. The 1930’s? Could be. It’s useless to speculate. In any case it’s been colder than Hell here in Denmark, Maine. Also, a lot of snow! There was a year during the 2000’s where we got even more snow I think. I’ve got some photos. But this year takes the cake for cold combined with great amounts of snow.

Is this evidence against global warming? Far from it. In fact it’s evidence for global warming because this term really implies extremes in weather. For example in California they’re having drought like conditions in winter, very little or no snow or rain. And didn’t I just hear yesterday that this January was the warmest on record averaged over the entire globe? So there you have it climate deniers.

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Here’s a comment predicting the political future given the Republicans’ take over of both branches of congress:

Mary Ann & Ken Bergman Ashland, OR 3 hours ago
Now that Republicans fully control both houses of Congress, the chances increase that they’ll overreach in their zealous fervor to do everything they can to make President Obama a failure. There will be bills passed that they know the President will veto. There will be further blockage of his executive and judiciary appointments. And there will be a raft of Congressional hearings on the “scandals,” real or imagined, of the Obama administration. They may play their game of bluff over the federal budget, even though they’ll likely get the blame if the government is shut down. If certain Republicans have their way, there will be impeachment proceedings, even though Republicans don’t have the necessary two-thirds of the Senate in their pocket. It’s going to be a time of high theater, although little if any legislation is likely to be enacted.

So the President is wise to act, to the extent that he can, to carry out needed actions by executive orders. Unfortunately, they’re likely to be challenged in the courts, effectively tying them up for months or years in the legal process. The Republicans will use every means at their disposal to prevent the Obama administration from moving forward on important issues.

The level of mean-spiritedness of today’s Republicans is likely to become even more apparent to the public and turn them off. But Democrats are not faultless; they need to push progressive programs that help all of us, and stop being “Republican-Lite.”

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It will be interesting to look at this a year from now and see how things turned out.

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Does this summarize his column today?
Those who pull themselves up by their own bootstraps are the good guys and deserve their rewards, while the rest are just the takers like Romney’s 47%. Brooks didn’t say this but this is essentially the interpretation given by many of the commenters, and I agree.

Racism won. Obstructionism won. But we’ll see how they do now! Watch for the backlash, GOP! Here’s a good comment by Brian of NYC in the NYT:

“This is the absolute best thing that could have happened. This is the end of the GOP as we know it.

The next two years will see Repubs having to do what they are institutionally against: making government work. Watch. The dog has been chasing the car for so long it no longer has any idea what to do besides bark. This places Democrats in perfect position for 2016. The next two years will be a circus as the extremist GOP agenda will be forced into broad daylight for all to see. Obama’s power of veto will ensure that their social and economic goals won’t take us back to the middle ages, so I’m not worried about them doing any lasting damage.

This isn’t a win for them. This is a short term set-back against progress that will arouse the disgust of the American public. In the meantime, it will be good fun watching them try to throw a ball they’ve spent the past four years trying to deflate.”

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