Still Speechless…

Tuesday Tidbits

 

Sailing around the world via the Interwebs, looking at the goings-on. I’ll start at home and meander outwards…

The wildfires here in Washington state are the worst in recorded history. The fire near Twisp amazed even seasoned veterans in its fury – one minute, the brush was ablaze…just a couple of hours later, three young men were dead and a fourth is fighting for his life with burns over 60% of his body. I believe that he has been upgraded from “critical” to “stable,” at last report – he has a long road of painful healing ahead. Burns are among the worst trauma the body can suffer, because the largest organ, the skin, is compromised. I found a website that has regular updates of the fires, the smoke path, air quality conditions, and other details. The link is below:

Wildfire Today | News & opinions about wildland fire

On the economy: it is no surprise that, mere days after the stock market in China collapsed, global markets tumbled as well. From Al-Jazeera:

Global markets rebounded Tuesday after China’s central bank cut its key interest rate to support growth in the world’s second-largest economy. Earlier, China’s main stock index closed sharply lower for a fourth day.

European markets recovered almost all their losses from Monday, with most rising at least 4 percent, while U.S. stocks were expected to open higher and oil prices rebounded.

Hours after China’s Shanghai stock index slumped to close 7.6 percent lower — adding to Monday’s 8.5 percent loss and taking the benchmark to its lowest level since Dec. 15 — the central bank swung into action.

China cut its interest rates for fifth time in nine months in a renewed effort to shore up economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy. The central bank said the benchmark rate for a one-year loan will be cut by 0.25 percentage points to 4.6 percent and the one-year rate for deposits will fall by a similar margin to 1.75 percent.

The bank also increased the amount of money available for lending by reducing the minimum reserves banks are required to hold by 0.5 percentage points.

The move came as Beijing appeared to be abandoning a strategy of having a state-owned company buy shares to stem the market slide. There have been no signs of large-scale purchases by the China Securities Finance Corp. during the past week.

“The fear is that the Chinese economy is slowing at an alarming pace and that the domestic policy makers have fallen well behind the curve,” said an analyst at Credit Agricole CIB in a report.

I have a modest 401k which rode out the last big drop a few years back – I keep an eye on my finances, believe it or not – so the only thing to do is sit back and let it ride…regardless of what that bogus hack Jim Cramer says!

I’m very glad that I don’t live in North or South Carolina – I guess I’m used to the subtle, insidious racism of the Pacific Northwest, not the blatant hatred on the East Coast and in the Deep South. It exists in every state, but some are clearly worse than others! Someone on another blog opined that things in the U.S. are better now, since “strange fruit” isn’t swinging from trees anymore. I beg to differ, as would Lennon Lacy’s family, but hey – I’m not going to burst anyone’s bubble. People are free to believe what they wish…

Besides, who needs lynch mobs when so-called “peace officers” can shoot unarmed Black people with impunity?

The young ladies abducted from the school in Chibok, Nigeria, have been away from their families and loved ones for 498 days, now – that is 54 days longer than the American hostages were held in Iran…very sad. Gut-wrenching. Maddening. Tomorrow marks “Women’s Equality Day,” but to most men (and a lot of women), that simply means that females should have the right to walk topless in Times Square.

Indigenous Canadians face the same voting issues that Black people here in the U.S. do – the gutting of voting rights.

The NRA is royally pissed off at the City of Seattle over a ‘gun violence’ tax.

People who thought that being a cheating douchebag is a good thing, found out the hard way that it really isn’t…in their case, life really WAS “too short!” It’s hard for me not to laugh over that whole thing – yes, schadenfreude is something that I feel from time to time. I must be human, after all…contrary to popular belief!

Seriously, though, if marriage isn’t for you – then don’t get married! It seems so simple…

I’ll close with something positive – AfroPunk Festival 2015! I wanted to be there, but I attended in spirit. It has to be refreshing! Just once, to go someplace and just be myself without feeling scrutinized, degraded, and under a microscope simply for having dreadlocks. To be able to walk around in Levi’s, a leather vest, a big-ass hat and my motorcycle boots…and nobody would bat an eyelash. To thrash around wildly and fling my dreads in head-banging glee, and not stand out like a sore thumb. I would love to just feel free.

I’ve been wanting to attend it since 2010, and the closest I got was in 2012…but the motorcycle had other ideas, and the timing just wasn’t right. I’ll get there one of these days…sooner than later, for sure!

Closing with a song…enjoy.

 

Springtime Sunshine!

Ah, yes…Spring has sprung! Yesterday was the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It entered the Pacific Northwest at 9:57 a.m. PDT (16:57 UTC) and the day was beautiful – mostly soft sunshine with a few light showers passing through. Other parts of the country aren’t as fortunate, as the snow on the ground reflects any sunlight, preventing it from melting. Since there is so much of it, it could be another two weeks (at least!) before people in Chicago or New York will see any bare ground. More sunshine today with intermittent showers, and a light, warm zephyr wafting gently – it’s positively idyllic.

Spotted towhee

It’s been fun identifying the various small birds that flutter around the house. Besides the hummingbirds, we have chickadees, spotted towhees, and dark-eyed juncos. I’ve been able to get some of them to respond when I whistle, and a few will stand by the porch when I scatter seed for them. Sometimes they forage on the porches if they don’t see me moving by the window – they’re so cute! I refuse to have birds in cages…it’s such a cruel thing to do. I like watching my little feathered buddies doing their birdy things in their own environment! The deer mosey through the yard regularly now that the shrubs are leafing out, and Mr. Fluffy-pants paid us a visit a couple of nights past.

Dark-eyed junco

Springtime means that baseball’s Spring Training is going on, and the Seattle Mariners home opener is 8 April – I’m looking forward to it! Their lineup has changed slightly since some trades were made, including the addition of Robinson Cano. Hisashi Iwakuma has been rehabbing a sprained tendon in his finger, Taijuan Walker was recently diagnosed with bursitis, and Stephen Pryor is recovering from a torn lat. Hopefully they have swift recoveries and return soon; their presences on the team are solid and their contributions are necessary!

There are many interesting happenings in the world, lately. Vladimir Putin missed the Cold War so much that he’s decided to throw the U.S. right back in the middle of it, what with his figurative buttocks-baring towards NATO, the EU, and President Obama. Not sure what can be done if Putin brings back the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, remodeled in the image that he grew up under as the son of a KGB agent. It’s fascinating that the FauxNews fucktard crowd seem to want a fascist like Putin for POTUS – they positively drool over Putin’s shirtless horseback-riding. Xenophobic racists have their new poster-boy for the 21st Century! Meanwhile, their juvenile name-calling of President Obama finds new lows on a daily basis. When the next white is elected POTUS, you can bet that they will get treated with kid gloves…especially if they are a darling of the RethugliKKKans or the nazis who are toolin’ for a warm tea-bag!

The Malaysian airliner is still missing and unaccounted for, even as the focal point of the search is now somewhere off of the southwestern coast of Australia…halfway to Antarctica. My husband and I had talked about what might have occurred and came up with an interesting probability, but I don’t want to speculate here – especially when there are so many grieving families. I will say, though, that the lack of a debris field immediately following the disappearance indicates that the plane didn’t crash after takeoff, as initial reports suggested. If and when the plane is found, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, the black box and the data recorders reveal.

Speaking of tragedies, Seattle residents were horrified as a KOMO-TV News helicopter plunged from the station’s helipad as it was taking off in the early hours of Tuesday, 18 March. Both men aboard the chopper were killed on impact, while a third man is receiving excellent care and treatment in the burn unit of Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. The man was in a car stopped at a traffic light when the chopper landed on the vehicle; he managed to extricate himself approximately 2 minutes afterwards, with his clothing alight, and a security guard at the KOMO studios helped snuff out the flames. That footage of the burning fuel from the chopper, running swiftly down Broad Street, was unbelievable…

What else…oh, it seems that some troll, who is overtly obsessed with Seth McFarlane, simply can’t stand that fact that I had the audacity to criticize the Family Guy creator in a post I wrote quite some time ago. They keep begging for my attention in a manner that befits a desperate, pathetic creature who needs the firm ministrations of a mistress. Backhanding them in the mouth with the butt of a whip would be a fun start! Anyway, I might get around to giving them the attention they’re crying for – when I get really fucking BORED, that is!

Back to important shit – yes, I’m still gaming…why wouldn’t I be? As long as computer games that appeal to me keep getting made, I’ll keep on enjoying them. It beats being a sad, little Internet troll with no life, LMAO! I’ve been sorting out some new and recent screenshots from HalfLife and Skyrim, and having a lot of fun exploring  Morrowind…that old game still has plenty of appeal! I noticed that there’s an expansion pack for Starcraft II coming out soon; I will definitely scoop that up and see if it’s any good…and, we’re seriously considering checking out TESO. Our curiosity got the better of us and we enrolled in a couple of Beta tests, so now we got sucked into another MMORPG. Oh well!

Belated Ostara blessings, dear readers…have a fantastic weekend!

1st Friday February Music

As I read about the shocking, senseless death of Hadiya Pendleton, I came across this story. Shirley Chambers of Chicago, Illinois, lost her fourth (and last) child to gun violence on Saturday, January 27th. I can’t imagine losing one child – that would be hard to handle – but all four? Ye gawds…horrendous. My thoughts are with her this morning, as they are with Hadiya’s mother. No parent should have to bury a child…that’s not the way the cycle is supposed to be. As expected, anyone who wants to have an intelligent debate or discussion about guns is met with fierce resistance – people pretty much stick their heads in the sand or fingers in their ears, screeching “Lalalalalalalalalalala!!!! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!”

As a scan the Interwebs, I see people angry with President Obama for not doing enough to stem the tide of violence. They urge him to attend the funerals of Hadiya and Ms. Chamber’s son Ronnie, which I can understand – Hadiya was in a group that performed at his inauguration, after all – so it seems that he should make a personal showing. The fact that he was the Illinois senator for a time pretty much demands that he address what is going on in Chicago. He attended a prayer vigil for the victims in Newtown, Connecticut; I feel that it obliges him to do so now. For that matter, the Newtown victims garnered a moment of silence at a football playoff game – why not a moment of silence at the Super Bowl? I think that’s a petition that should be started. I don’t have enough followers to get any quick support, unfortunately! I think that bloggers who have at least 25 followers and/or have gotten at least 25,000 views are the ones who should create petitions when petitions are needed…makes sense, no?

Well, it’s Friday…February 1st and it’s supposed to be a nice day, once the fog clears. I think it’s time to disconnect from the computer, shut off the news, and get our faces in the wind – cleanse the mind, body, and soul! Here are two songs which express how I’ve been feeling about all of these seemingly endless tragedies. Have a good weekend…

White Zombie: “Blood, Milk & Sky” (short version)

Pink Floyd: “On the Turning Away

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away”
It’s a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it’s shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud
On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerised as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night
No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?

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