Last Week Tonight: 18 June 2017 Edition

In this episode, John talks about the decline of the coal industry here in the USA, and how the Drumpf’s empty campaign promise to bring back coal mining and domestic steel production was a colossal whopper of a lie.

Happy Father’s Day…2017!

For all of the real men out there who know what being a father entails, today is your day…so relax and enjoy it! Special shout-outs to the two best fathers I know: my own dad, and my awesome husband – you guys rock!

Here are a few funnies celebrating dads on their special day, along with a song.

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Joy Bishara and Lydia Pogu, Two Escaped Boko Haram Abductees, Graduate From High School in VA, Head to Southeastern University

This is excellent news to read in the midst of the travesty of the unjust verdict handed down in the brutal murder of Philando Castile. These brave young women were abducted, tortured, raped, and held against their will – solely for wanting an education. They have realized their dream; here’s hoping that the girls who remain in captivity will be able to do the same!

#ChibokGirls
#BringBackOurGirls

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GOOD BLACK NEWS

(photo via instagram.com)

by Taryn Finley via huffpost.com

Two of the nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 are telling their story. Joy Bishara, 20, and Lydia Pogu, 19, are among the 57 girls who were able to escape from the terrorist group. The duo gave People Magazine a detailed account of horrors they faced when the gunmen invaded their school in Chibok, Nigeria, and the events that followed.

The girls were sleeping when the invasion occurred. They woke to the sounds of gunshots and bombs. Pogu told People that men in uniforms stormed into their dorm and told them they were officers who were there to protect them. But the girls said they knew they weren’t real officers based on the way they described themselves.

“We were all crying and screaming. They told us to keep quiet or they’re going to kill us. So…

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Five For Friday: Gaming Conventions!!!

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m ready to do some intense gaming today and over the weekend, which made me think back to September of last year. If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you’ll know by now that I’m an absolute geek for video and computer games, but had never attended a gaming convention. That changed when the hubster and I attended PAX West in Seattle, Washington! I had so much fun; far more than I expected, and am looking forward to the next time we can go. Conventions offer the opportunity to mix and mingle with programmers, designers, representatives, and gamers galore: pick up some collectibles, t-shirts, or other sweet swag, or sit and game side-by-side with that noob who regularly pwns you in AvA! Conventions are also great places for people to meet others, face-to-face, who have similar interests and are hardcore geeks about those interests. I’m one of those gamers who’s into role-play, cosplay, and LARP (live-action role-play), so I’ve found that conventions are the best places to meet others who are into it as well. I’d rather talk with someone in person, not worry about some strange head-trip being played, or engage in an unnecessary guessing-game online. Far too many people do that already!

Our travels for this year are done for the most part, as budgeting and financing roof repairs has taken top priority, but we’re frugal and will have the money saved again before we know it. So, today’s “Five for Friday” post lists the five gaming conventions, not including PAX West, that I would like to go to in the near future. I listed them in alphabetical order because some days, it’s just the best and easiest way to do it. With that – on with the show!

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1. Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3): The Electronic Entertainment Expo, referred to by most as “E3,” is one of the premier events for gaming fans around the globe. When the gaming industry began to explode in the mid-90s, the necessity for a trade show for retails became glaringly apparent. The first E3 was held in 1995 and drew more than 40,000 attendees. By 1999, that number had nearly doubled. The most recent E3 was held in Los Angeles and closed its doors yesterday; attendance was over 60,000 people.

2. Emerald City Comicon (ECCC): The Emerald City Comicon, held in my home city of Seattle, just had its 15th event back in March of this year. The legendary Stan Lee was present to mark the occasion, according to the Seattle Times. From the article:

“United in their love of “nerdy things,” nearly 90,000 people are expected to swarm into the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle for the 15th annual Emerald City Comicon, from Thursday through Sunday. They will be coming to breathe the same air as comic-book legend Stan Lee, look at rare, collectibles comics (and perhaps buy some), meet celebrities, hear panelist discussions, cosplay and celebrate among like-minded individuals.

“It’s something I look forward to all year,” said 19-year-old Seattle University student Leah Dooley, who will be wearing three costumes during her fourth consecutive convention. “There’s so many things to look forward to: the costumes, the shopping, the panels, the community of people. Everyone is kind of united over a common love of nerdy things, and it’s a good time.” It’ll be the seventh year in a row for Colleen Mold, of Renton, who first attended in 2010 with her best friend, her best friend’s husband and their newborn son. While not a huge geek herself, attending with her friend’s family has become a tradition she wouldn’t miss.”

I’d say that the attendance of ECCC rivaled that of PAX West 2016!

3. San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC): The San Diego Comic-Con is possibly the oldest of the conventions. It started out as the Golden State Comic Book Convention in 1970, then later became the San Diego Comic Book Convention. Originally it primarily showcased comic books and science fiction/fantasy related film and television, but has since expanded to include a larger range of pop culture and entertainment elements from virtually all genres, including horror, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, and video games, to name a few. It has been listed by Forbes magazine as the largest convention of its kind in the world, drawing crowds of 100,000+ over a four-day period. In 2015, the attendance was listed at approximately 167,000.

4. Sakura-Con: This convention is another that isn’t solely about video games, but is centered around another one of my passions – the world of anime and manga. I’ve been into these for about as long as I’ve been into gaming, but am pretty selective about the anime and manga that I consume. It typically offers, amongst other things, anime game shows, anime music video contests, art shows, dances/raves, collectible card gaming, cosplay contests, and Japanese cultural arts presentations including aikido demonstrations, kabuki performances, kendo swordsmanship, and taiko drumming. Sakura-Con also hosts charity events, raising monies for programs like the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Bloodworks Northwest. Definitely an event worth supporting!

5. Twitchcon: I know very little about this convention, other than the fact that you get an awesome, personalized hoodie if you attend! I have my own humble little Twitch channel, which is mostly active on the weekends when I’ve gotten tired of the leveling grind and want to take my frustrations out on others in some nice, competitive AvA action. I’m slowly getting more viewers; each time I get involved in the salty chat on the bi-weekly Bethesda / Zenimax Online TESO broadcasts, I gain at least one new ‘friend’ and one new follower. Progress is slow and steady, which is fine with me! Taking the time to learn about and getting to know people is always best.

Capitol Police Heroes Crystal Griner and David Bailey Saved the Day, Preventing Congressional Massacre

These two brave, courageous individuals are heroes in every sense of the word. I wish them speedy recoveries!

GOOD BLACK NEWS

Officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner (photos via facebook.com)

via thegrio.com

Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey are the heroes who kept the shooting on Wednesday from being the “massacre” Congress members say it could have been. Both of the officers are on Rep. Steve Scalise’s security detail and put their lives on the line to respond when shots rang out at a congressional baseball practice.

Scalise was standing near second base and was shot by James Hodgkinson before both Griner and Bailey rushed into action, taking down the shooter despite both being injured. Both have since been taken to the hospital and are recovering from their injuries.

“Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre,” Senator Rand Paul said to MSNBC. Majority Leader Eric Cantor praised both agents, who had served on his protection detail before. “[Griner’s] an incredibly able and professional individual who…

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Full Frontal Thursday: Session’s Snooze-Fest, Child Brides, & The Rikers Debaters

In this edition, Sam talks about the evasive non-testimony of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, child brides, and a Rikers debate. Enjoy!

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Midweek Music: 14 June 2017

Just a few tunes to get you all “over the hump” and sliding into the weekend…enjoy!

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Midweek Memes: ROFLMAO!!!

This random mish-mash of memes covers everything that I’ve noticed happening since the beginning of the month: from gaming, to politics, to racist pseudo-science and the surging hatred against Muslims and those who identify with the religion of Islam. The psychotic word-salad the pseudo-scientists use is beyond laughable – it’s one of the obvious symptoms and identifiers of the ‘reasonable racist.’ They’ve been coming out of the woodwork more and more…they’re like cockroaches!

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Tuesday Tunes & Soothing Scenery…13 June 2017

To counter the ugliness that is rampant here in the USA, around the world, and everywhere on the Interwebs, I offer up some soothing scenery of beautiful people and beautiful places, along with some relaxing music. Enjoy…

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Excerpt: Emergence – Part II

*** Author’s Note: The story that this excerpt is from is completed. Now comes the fun of submissions, endless calls and emails to editors, agents, and others in the publishing industry; and the all-too-common rejection that all new writers face! It don’t come easy…

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The bloated behemoth shambles towards her, gnashing rotted, crooked stumps in a lipless, triangular mouth set in a scarred, twisted face. Three cloned miniatures weave dazedly at its feet as they crash to the ground, then stand and lurch forward in unison. Sepultur’a darts to the side of the titan, clutching at the air again and bringing forth the dragon-talons. The smaller golems are immobilized by her grasp and she somersaults through them, knocking them flat. One vanishes in a shriek of blue flame, which blazes off towards a black diamond hovering in the air in the northern quadrant of the dolmen. The blue sphere explodes in the diamond, which shatters into a purple ball of lightning. She feels stored energy and life radiating from the sparking globe – it could be of use to her. Three other diamonds hover at the other compass-points in the other quadrants of the anchor-base, waiting to be filled and unlocked.

The two other flesh golems have regained their footing and are lunging at her again. Their mighty cousin sweeps his spiked arm around and down, attempting to smash her into a broken, bloody mess on the ground. She rolls to the side, just barely avoiding the blow. The spiked arm slams straight down, and the massive body heaves as the arm pulses, driving noxious poison into the earth below. Sepultur’a is able to sense the direction the toxins are being driven and runs around the center anchor towards the gigantic golem from behind, grabbing a discarded staff that had been dropped by one of the doomed cultists. It tingles in her hands with healing properties, a soft golden aura glowing at its tip. She waves it and golden motes shower down like dandelion fluff, healing her small wounds and cauterizing the large ones. Residual toxins in her lungs are removed and she takes a deep breath, siphoning the remaining life-energy of the weakened midgets. Her explosive exhale finishes them off; two of the diamonds shatter into purple spheres of lightning. Three now hover at the northern, western, and southern quadrants. The power and energy they contain is palpable.

The massive, twisted mutant has freed its appendage from the ground and turns, emitting a low groan of rage as it focuses its malevolent gaze on its target. Sepultur’a bares her teeth in response, hurling another obsidian ball at it. The projectile shatters on its patchwork hide; she quickly gathers the fragments, again shrouding herself in stone. Turning, she grasps the sphere of lightning that is now behind her and absorbs the latent power, gasping at the intensity of the energizing, healing shock. She screams an ancient battle-cry and stamps the ground, drawing upon the foundations of the bedrock to become an immobile pillar of iron will. The massive arm swings down at her again – and rebounds, rocking the giant mass of flesh back on its thick, stumpy legs. She points the staff at her foe, drawing upon the life-energy imbued in the wood. A beam shoots forth, hitting the golem and siphoning power from it, restoring her nearly-depleted resources. Rejuvenated, she rolls between its legs and behind it, feeling her new powers surging. She gives in to the battle-roar surging inside and transforms, the now-familiar sensation of twisting bone and knotting muscle wracking her slender frame. What was painful on the first try is now exquisite pleasure and she bays to the sky, howling a command. The titan staggers, turns halfway, and rams its arm into the ground for another subterranean attack.

From the darkness, two wolves rush into the fray, harassing and worrying the golem, tearing at the barrel-like legs as they dart between them, drawing the attention of the enemy. Sepultur’a rushes around the anchor’s base and attacks the golem from behind, leaping to the shoulders and slashing at the neck and throat. The golem waves its arms helplessly, unable to reach the fury on its back and losing focus on the wolves at its feet. With a mournful moan, the titanic golem falls face-first to the ground, vanishing with a horrendous scream of pain and rage. The residual energy pours into the final diamond, shattering it with a deafening crack and roar. Sepultur’a, still in beast-form, lopes to the remaining spheres and absorbs the power within them. New health pours into her and her lupine companions, even as a taunting voice rumbles from the whirling blue-white light above.

“Filth! You dare defy me? Let’s see how you fare against one of my generals. Face the Ever-Open Eye, my greatest spy!” The ground rocks with impact. A shape explodes and slowly coalesces into an ancient, yet familiar, form. Sepultur’a has seen creatures like this in the books in the family library, as well as dusty tomes in the various academies dotting the land. Her people refer to them as ‘Beholders;’ others call them ‘Watchers,’ and archaic etchings named them ‘Gazers.’ Whatever the name, the shape and powers remain the same: a spherical being with a great, glaring eye in the center of its round, tentacle body. The appendages could be short and squirming, or long, thick vines with spatulate, suckered ends for grabbing its victims. The eye would intermittently blast out hypnotizing rays which would stun one into immobility if struck. Another attack favored was the wrapping itself with its own tentacles, then whirling like a cyclone, whipping the appendages out with violent force, blasting a spell of stunning which depleted the stamina of those caught in the radius of the arcane aura. This monster will most likely have abilities greater than its lesser, distant cousins of the desert, and she is on guard. Her wolf allies launch themselves at the hovering entity, howling to their pack to join the fray. The battle is on…

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