white house on a cloudy day

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The Station Agent

Dir: Tom McCarthy DoP: Oliver Bokelberg Year: 2003 Purchase U.S. Purchase U.K.
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The Station Agent

Dir: Tom McCarthy DoP: Oliver Bokelberg Year: 2003 Purchase U.S. Purchase U.K.
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The Octopus’s Garden


Krista poses the question this week: “If given the choice, what would you rather be doing, right now?”   Imagine a place – a “Stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off” kind of a place where you can escape the hurley-burley and be amazed and awed by a completely different world.  False Bay here in the southern peninsula of Cape Town is a wondrous place, where the influence of two ocean currents – the warm Agulhas and the cold Benguela mingle and create a flourishing ecosystem.

It’s been a while since i dipped below the waters, but recently my interest is inspired through the marvellous Blue Planet II series where the episode the ” Green Seas” features the extraordinary creatures living in the kelp forest including the cunning behaviour of a smart octopus.

WPC: Rather


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Between heaven and the lake~

The haunting floating villages of Cambodia, unforgettable, enchanting and beautifully colorful.

Day 77 of 365~

Image taken in Enchanting Cambodia, April, 2010

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Artstor at the 2018 VRA Conference

The Bear Dance by William Holbrook Beard.

William Holbrook Beard. The Bear Dance. c. 1870. Image and original data courtesy New York Historical Society Museum & Library.

Artstor will be attending the 2018 Visual Resources Association conference in Philadelphia, where we will be holding Artstor and JSTOR Forum user group meetings. Plus, our legal counsel will be joining a panel discussion about recent rights questions in museums and higher education. And finally, don’t forget to come by our table at Wednesday night’s happy hour for a chat over drinks!

Where you can find us:
The Brave New Media of Visual Resources: Managing Intellectual Property Rights on the Frontier
As part of a panel on current rights questions arising for museums, universities, and image providers, ITHAKA’s legal counsel Marcie Kaufman will discuss the intellectual property and legal issues involved in the integration of Artstor’s image content with JSTOR’s textual content.
Tuesday, March 27 3:15 – 4:45 pm
Location: Washington C

Happy hour, posters, sponsors, and raffle
Join us for a drink and a chat—and pick up some stylish swag!
Wednesday, March 28 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Location: TBA (Please refer to the Sched for updated room information.)

Artstor Digital Library user group meeting
We will provide updates and news about Artstor’s collections, new platform, and future developments. Learn what new tools we’ve made available this year, and what to expect in the coming months. Also find out how we are improving image-based teaching with new online presentation and study tools.
Thursday, March 29 8:30 – 10:00 am
Location: Washington C

JSTOR Forum user group meeting
Our annual gathering is an opportunity to find out how our media management and sharing software—formerly known as Shared Shelf—fits into the digital collection landscape.

This is a chance to discuss how the software can evolve to meet the community’s changing needs and for peer users to connect. The Forum leadership and development team will provide an overview of recent and upcoming releases before opening up the meeting to attendees for questions and discussion.
Thursday, March 29 10:15 – 11:45 am
Location: Washington C

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Forget me not~

miscalculated twist of fate~ Yunnan

As I go through my archives, I relive moments from my past travels and like a magical time travel machine, I find myself there again in the moment, looking into the eyes of other humans, feeling what I felt then and simply connecting.

This is one of the many reasons I love photography, the real connections that are made, human to human, where all the differences melt away.

Day 76 of 365~
Image taken in the remote village of Dayangjie, Yunnan, China

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18march18. Los Angeles, CA.

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Week 70: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

March 17, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-70-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-84a521ec35c6

In another frenzied week in America, Trump fired his secretary of state through a tweet, and continued to stoke fears of imminent additional departures, in what was described as a White House verging on mania. Trump is reportedly joyful, feeling liberated to act on his impulses and authoritarian instincts. Even as the Mueller probe and allegations of paying to silence Stephanie Clifford close in, Trump is cocky and irreverent — as if signaling he has matters in hand.

Russia seems increasingly aggressive and emboldened, in sharp contrast to, and perhaps with the silent complicity of Trump. Alarming reports surfaced not only of Russia’s use of chemical weapons and possibly murdering another Russian exiles in the UK, but also attacking US and European nuclear and energy infrastructure. In response, our Treasury Department took the first baby steps in imposing sanctions, while Nikki Haley and the White House issued a stark warning on Russia’s use of nerve gas. Amid an almost completely decimated leadership structure at our State Department, Trump, Kushner and Ivanka — although under clouds for self-dealing and security clearance issues — consolidated worldwide diplomacy in their hands.

Wynwood, Miami, FL December 2017
  1. On Saturday night, Trump gave a 73-minute campaign-style dystopian and unhinged speech in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, ahead of Tuesday’s special election, campaigning for Republican candidate Rick Saccone.
  2. Trump occasionally mentioned Saccone and insulted his opponent (“Lamb the sham”), but mostly it was a campaign speech about Trump. Trump announced his new slogan for the 2020 campaign: Keep America Great.
  3. Trump called MSNBC’s Chuck Todd “a sleeping son of a bitch,” and mocked Rep. Maxine Waters for calling for his impeachment, referring to her as “a low-IQ individual.”
  4. Trump again called for the death penalty for drug dealers, saying “toughness” is the solution, adding drug dealers “who kill thousands” of people, “do you think they care who’s on a blue-ribbon committee?”
  5. Toronto Star calculated that Trump made 30 false claims during the speech, including “We put an infrastructure bill in for $1.7 billion,” “they want to stop DACA,” and “we have a big deficit with Canada too.”
  6. On Saturday, in a speech to the France National Front while touring Europe, Steve Bannon said “Let them call you racists. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor.”
  7. On Saturday, in an interview with NBC News, Putin said the Russian government was not behind interference in the US election, saying, “Maybe they’re Ukrainian, Tatars, Jews — just with Russian citizenship.”
  8. Jewish groups and US lawmakers condemned Putin’s statement, including the Anti-Defamation League, saying “It is deeply disturbing to see the Russian president giving new life to classic anti-Semitic stereotypes.” Trump did not respond.
  9. On Saturday, NYT reported Trump is in discussions with Emmet Flood, who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment process, about joining the legal team and helping him navigate his DOJ communication.
  10. Trump is also considering a shake-up of his legal team. Some allies say Ty Cobb’s approach of being cooperative with Robert Mueller is not working. In the summer of 2017, Flood turned down an offer to work for Trump.
  11. On Sunday, Trump denied the NYT’s report of a shake-up, tweeting, “The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case….Wrong.”
  12. The Boston Globe reported a rider added to the Homeland Security reauthorization bill would allow Trump to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling places nationwide during federal elections, a vast expansion of executive authority.
  13. AP reported that Trump’s effort to discredit the news media by continually using the term “fake news” is being mimicked by officials at all levels of government as a weapon against unflattering stories.
  14. Experts on the media and democracy warned the continual use of “fake news” could do long-term damage by sowing confusion and contempt for journalists, and by undermining the media’s role as a watchdog.
  15. AP reported, based on their analysis of data, the Trump regime censored, withheld or said it couldn’t find records sought by citizens, journalists, or others more than any other administration in the past decade.
  16. Of the 823,222 FOIA requests received by the regime, 78% received censored files or nothing. The number of times the regime said it would be illegal under US law to turn over information doubled from last year.
  17. On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that FEMA has removed all mention of anything climate change related from the documents meant to guide the agency’s strategic plan for 2018–2022.
  18. The new document for FEMA, an agency responsible for dealing with the effects of disasters, have removed references to climate, global warming, sea-level rise, extreme weather, and other scientific predictions.
  19. WAPO reported audio of a fundraising speech Trump made on Wednesday revealing he bragged about making up information — saying the US runs a trade deficit with Canada — in a meeting with Canadian PM Trudeau.
  20. Trump mimicked Trudeau in the audio, “Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in — ‘Donald, we have no trade deficit,’” then Trump bragged, “I didn’t even know. … I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong.’”
  21. On Thursday, Trump doubled down, tweeting, “We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada.” This statement is false: the Office of the United States Trade Representative says the US has a trade surplus with Canada.
  22. After delaying it three times, Trump’s USDA withdrew an Obama-era animal welfare rule which would have set new standards for the treatment of animals if their meat is going to be sold as “certified organic.”
  23. CNN reported six months after Hurricane Maria hit, Puerto Ricans are still dying. 10% of the island is still without electricity, much slower than the recoveries after Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Medical treatment is precarious.
  24. On Friday, AP reported that Trump’s International Wildlife Conservation Council, a newly created advisory board, is stacked with trophy hunters, including ones with ties to Trump and his family.
  25. The 16 member board is appointed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, andwill help rewrite federal rules for importing the heads and hides of African elephants, lions, and rhinos. A $250,000 budget of taxpayer dollars has been set aside for travel expenses, staff time, and other costs.
  26. In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the head of ICE, and the Department of Labor, 18 Republican members of Congress defended private prison company GEO Group’s practice of forced labor for undocumented immigrants.
  27. On Monday, USA Today reported white supremacist leader Richard Spencer tweeted a YouTube video in which he bemoaned that because of violent clashes, his rallies are no longer “fun.”
  28. On Friday, a resolution denouncing white nationalists and neo-Nazis in the Tennessee legislature didn’t make it out of committee. A motion brought by a Democrat to talk about the bill could not find a Republican to second.
  29. Dallas Morning News reported that a local newspaper, the Olton Enterprise,removed reference of a same-sex couple, the son and his partner, from a mother’s obituary, citing “religious and ethical reasons.”
  30. On Thursday, Politico reported on emails which reveal conservatives, including Newt Gingrich, targeted Obama holdovers “burrowed into the government,” including State Department Iran expert Sahar Nowrouzzadeh.
  31. Nowrouzzadeh, born in Connecticut, was attacked by conservative media. Brian Hook, chief of State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, sent an email to himself in April which included a list of names, questioning their loyalties.
  32. On Sunday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave an alarming interview to “60 Minutes” in which she admitted she hasn’t “intentionally” visited underperforming schools, and struggled to answer basic questions about the nation’s schools.
  33. DeVos continued Monday on the “Today” show, when asked about Trump’s proposal for school safety measures, she contradicted the NRA-friendly White House report just out saying, “everything is on the table.”
  34. Peter Navarro, Trump’s trade adviser, told Bloomberg, “My function, really, as an economist is to try to provide the underlying analytics that confirm his intuition. And his intuition is always right in these matters.”
  35. CNN reported at a meeting set up at chief of staff John Kelly’s request, officials from the White House counsel’s office and the Cabinet liaison met with Ryan Zinke, David Shulkin, Ben Carson, and Scott Pruitt last month to provide “a clear message that optics matter.”
  36. On Wednesday, CNN reported emails show Carson and his wife selected the $31,000 dining set for the Department of Housing and Urban Development dining room, in contrast to Carson’s statement in Week 68that he had little or no involvement.
  37. On Thursday, The Guardian reported Naved Jafry, a senior adviser at Carson’s HUD, had multiple allegations of fraud and had exaggerated his military record. Jafry apologized for inflating his biography and resigned.
  38. On Thursday, Zinke said his department cut the cost of replacing six historical doors in his office from $139k to $75k. Zinke said the episode shows the need for “a little more flexibility or common sense” in laws.
  39. Secretary of Defense James Mattis was linked to Theranos, which was involved in a massive corporate fraud uncovered this week. Mattis served on the company’s board, and advocated for use of their technology (which is fake) inside the military.
  40. On Tuesday, Democrat Conor Lamb narrowly won a House special election in Pennsylvania in a district which has traditionally gone Republican. Trump won the district by 20 points in 2016.
  41. Republicans massively outspent Democrats on the race: outside groups had spent more than $14 million on Republican Rick Saccone’s behalf, compared to just $2 million for Lamb. After the election Trump and the GOP said Saccone was a bad candidate, and that Lamb embraced Trump policy, which is false.
  42. Two House Democrats asked the US special counsel to investigate if a trip by Zinke to Pennsylvania weeks before the special election may have violated the Hatch Act.
  43. AP reported that despite promises by Trump to drain the swamp, he hasfilled federal agencies with ex-lobbyists and corporate lawyers who now regulate the industries they previously worked in.
  44. White House counsel Don McGahn has issued at least 37 ethics waivers to key administration officials at the White House and executive branch agencies. Under Obama, just five ethics waivers went to former lobbyists.
  45. NYT reported the Kushner Companies and the Trump Organization are quietly working together, and have signed a letter of intent on at least one real estate deal, raising concerns from experts in government ethics.
  46. Kansas City Business Journal reported that Sprint will cut 500 jobs at its Oakland Park headquarters. In Week 7, Trump took credit for 5,000 jobs at Sprint which were created under the Obama Administration.
  47. On Monday, AP reported on Donald Jr.’s previously undisclosed business dealings with Texas hedge fund manager Gentry Beach, a longtime hunting buddy who raised millions for the Trump campaign.
  48. Beach has been granted special access, including to top National Security Council officials to push for curbing US sanctions in Venezuela to open business for US companies. NSC lawyers raised red flags about the meeting.
  49. On Monday, McClatchy reported Ivanka, while acting as a White House adviser, hasn’t cut ties with the Trump Organization, and will pull in more than $1 million from family business deals across the globe.
  50. Some Trump-branded developments are hiring state-owned companies, receiving gifts from foreign governments such as eased regulations, and accepting payments from customers who are foreign officials.
  51. On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported two months after Kushner joined the White House, his family sold a stake in a Brooklyn building to Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, whose controlling shareholder is the Japanese government.
  52. At the time of the deal, March 31, Kushner was helping Trump oversee trade policy. The purchase price represented a premium of more than 60% over the basis Kushner Cos. and their partners paid four years earlier.
  53. The deal freed up cash for Kushner Cos. to take ownership stakes in nearby buildings in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, while the building NTT invested in remains vacant.
  54. On Wednesday, CNN reported Department of Defense employees charged almost $140,000 on department-issued Visa cards at Trump branded properties during Trump’s first eight months of being in office.
  55. On Sunday, BuzzFeed reported Trump lawyers are considering a challenge to stop “60 Minutes” from airing an interview of Stephanie Clifford, the performer who uses the stage name Stormy Daniels.
  56. On Monday, Dallas Morning News reported Texas officials are investigating whether a Dallas-area notary properly signed off on Clifford’s agreement. As a notary, she did not sign or date the 2016 agreement.
  57. In a complaint filed with the DOJ and Office of Government Ethics, watchdog group CREW argued Michael Cohen’s payment to Clifford “constituted a loan” to Trump’s campaign, and Trump “seemingly violated a federal law by failing to disclose it” in campaign filings.
  58. On Monday, NYT reported on a letter from Stephanie Clifford’s attorney to Cohen, in which Clifford offered to wire $130,000 into any account of Trump’s choosing to buy her way out the hush agreement.
  59. The offer, which had a deadline of Tuesday at noon, also seeks an agreement that neither Trump or the shell company set up by Cohen, would block the broadcast of Clifford’s “60 Minutes” interview.
  60. On Wednesday, WSJ reported a second lawyer who works for Trump Organization, Jill Martin, is listed as counsel in an arbitration demand for Essential Consultants to pay $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford in 2016 in exchange for her silence.
  61. In a statement, the Trump Organization said Martin filed the document “in her individual capacity” while waiting for a New York-based lawyer to get approval to practice in California.
  62. On Thursday, WAPO reported CBS tentatively plans to air the “60 Minutes” episode on March 25. CBS president David Rhodes said at the Innovative TV conference on Tuesday that the hold up is routine fact checking.
  63. On Thursday, AP reported that lawyers representing Trump’s family hotel business threatened a Panamanian judicial official handling the dispute of the hotel previously known as Trump International Hotel in Panama.
  64. In the complaint, the justice of the peace, Marisol Carrera, said Trump’s lawyers accosted her in her office after she ruled against Trump in Week 69. The abuse continued, she said, after she called for the police to come.
  65. On Friday, Stephanie Clifford’s attorney told MSNBC in a morning interview that Clifford was threatened with physical harm, and suggested she had only signed the hush agreement because of threats against her.
  66. On Friday, in an afternoon interview with CNN, Stephanie Clifford’s attorney said some of the alleged threats continued to take place while Trump was in the office.
  67. On Friday, in papers filed in federal court via Essential Consultants,Michael Cohen accused Stephanie Clifford of violating the hush agreement 20 times, and claimed he had the right to seek $20 million of damages.
  68. Also in the filing, Cohen seeks to move the case out of the public eye, and back into private arbitration. In a separate filing, a lawyer representing Trump said he intends to join the push to return to private arbitration.
  69. On Monday, Bloomberg reported Mueller is considering setting aside the obstruction of justice case against Trump, which is almost complete, while his team finishes work on possible collusion and the hacking of Democrats.
  70. Mueller’s team is concerned that bringing obstruction of justice first, the part that might hit Trump closest personally, may cause witnesses to become less cooperative and lead Trump to move to shut down the probe.
  71. Obstruction of justice includes the James Comey firing, Trump’s input on Donald Jr.’s misleading June 9 meeting statement, and Trump considering firing Mueller. Trump, Ivanka and Donald Jr. have not yet been interviewed.
  72. On Monday, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein offered unqualified support for Mueller despite White House criticism, adding, “I don’t believe there is any justification at this point for terminating the special counsel.”
  73. On Monday, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee brought the committee’s investigation of the 2016 election to an end, over fierce objections by Democrats. Republicans drafted a 150-page report on their findings without consulting with Democrats.
  74. Among the findings in the report, Republicans said that Russia did meddle, that the Obama administration had a “lackluster” response, but there was no preference by Russia for Trump and no collusion.
  75. The Republicans reached the exact opposite finding of US intelligence agencies, which unanimously found that Russia interfered with the intention of helping Trump win.
  76. Trump tweeted after the report was released, in all capitalized letters, the House Intelligence Committee, “FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA.”
  77. On Tuesday, Rep. Trey Gowdy broke from his Republican colleagues, saying evidence gathered by the committee clearly showed Russia did work to undermine Hillary Clinton.
  78. On Tuesday, Rep. K. Michael Conaway, who is technically leading the committee, backed off from the Republican report findings saying “it’s clear [Russian officials] were trying to hurt Hillary [Clinton].”
  79. On Tuesday, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee issued a 21-page “status report” which laid out their case to continue the probe. The report finds Russia’s “active measures” efforts were intended to help Trump win.
  80. The status-report included a long list of key witnesses they have yet to call, including Reince Priebus, Stephen Miller, KT McFarland, Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, Sam Nunberg, and others who met with the regime like Natalia Veselnitskaya, and social media companies.
  81. Democrats also cited a previously unreported item, that Trump’s business had been “actively negotiating a business deal in Moscow with a sanctioned Russian bank” during the 2016 campaign season.
  82. Business Insider reported Joseph Mifsud, the professor who met with George Papadopoulos and told him Russia had “dirt”on Hillary Clinton, has gone missing. His fiancée, with whom he has a baby, has not heard from him.
  83. On Tuesday, WAPO reported that in the spring of 2016, months before the emails were released, Roger Stone had a conversation with Julian Assange, in which Assange said his organization had obtained emails of senior Democrats.
  84. At least two people were informed of the conversation: the source for the WAPO story who chose to remain anonymous due to the ongoing FBI investigation and Nunberg, who testified before a grand jury in Week 69.
  85. BuzzFeed reported, based on testimony given by Felix Sater to the House Intelligence Committee, he has worked as an American spy, both as an asset for the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (or DIA) tracking Osama bin Laden, and then for the FBI for over a decade providing intel.
  86. Some say Sater may still be working with the FBI and knows many agents. Reportedly he did some of this work to avoid jail time for a financial crime.Today he is being questioned on Trump’s business deals and ties to Russia.
  87. BuzzFeed reporters interviewed Sater in Los Angeles, where he is now living. Sater says he is telling his full story to the FBI agents, at least six of whom he allegedly knows from past dealings, as part of the Mueller probe.
  88. On Monday, Daily Mail reported Hamad al Mazroie, the spy chief for the UAE intelligence service, and Mohammed Dahlan, the UAE crown prince’s personal conduit to the Kremlin, were also at the Seychelles meeting.
  89. On Wednesday, Paul Manafort asked a federal judge again to dismiss the criminal case filed against him in Washington, DC, arguing Mueller’s appointment was invalid and that he exceeded the scope of his authority.
  90. On Thursday, NYT reported that in recent weeks, Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization to hand over all documents related to Russia and other topics he is investigating. It is unclear why Mueller used a subpoena.
  91. This marks the first Mueller subpoena of Trump’s business. In Week 36, Trump said Mueller would be crossing a “red line” if he looked into Trump’s family business.
  92. CNN reported the FBI contacted Thailand’s immigration bureau last week to set up a meeting with Anastasia Vashukevich and Alexander Kirillov, escorts held in Thai jail. In Week 69, Vashukevich said she has 16 hours of tapes of conversations with Russians on US election interference.
  93. On Tuesday, US District Judge T.S. Ellis, III, in Alexandria, Virginia said given the nature of the charges and weight of the evidence against him,Manafort “faces the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.”
  94. The judge placed Manafort on a 24-hour-a-day lockdown,” citing “The defendant is a person of great wealth who has the financial means and international connections to flee…and every incentive to do so.”
  95. On Thursday, four GOP Senators — Chuck Grassley, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Thom Tillis — called on the DOJ to appoint a second special prosecutor to investigate the FBI’s mishandling of the Russia probe prior to Mueller’s appointment.
  96. On Monday, James Schwab, the San Francisco spokesperson for ICE resigned, citing “false” and “misleading” statements made by top-ranking officials, including Sessions and ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan.
  97. On Monday, Robert Lightfoot Jr., who has served as acting director of NASA for more than a year awaiting a qualified Trump nominee to replace him, will retire without a clear successor.
  98. On Tuesday, Trump opened the door to establishing a new “space force” inside the Pentagon to oversee all space activities, even though the Pentagon brass and his own Air Force secretary have opposed the idea.
  99. On Monday, John McEntee, Trump’s personal assistant, was fired and escorted out of the White House. A White House official said the cause for the firing was an unspecified security issue.
  100. On Thursday, WAPO reported McEntee was fired over a gambling habit: betting tens of thousands of dollars at a time, leaving him vulnerable to outside influence. Formerly, he was a production assistant at Fox News.
  101. Rex Tillerson cut his trip to Africa short, returning on Monday, explaining to reporters on the plane home, “I felt like, look, I just need to get back.” Tillerson was in Africa for an apology tour after Trump’s “shithole countries” comment in Week 61.
  102. On his way back, Tillerson said of the UK spy poisoning “a really egregious act” that appears to have “clearly” come from Russia, adding once the facts are in, “we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be.”
  103. On Tuesday, Trump fired Tillerson as Secretary of State, and replaced him with CIA director Pompeo. Tillerson learned he was fired, hours after returning from his Africa trip, through a staffer who saw Trump’s tweet.
  104. Trump met reporters shortly after, on Tuesday morning, and told them he had made the decision to fire Tillerson “by myself. Trump claimed he had called Tillerson from Air Force One around noon.
  105. On Tuesday, Under SoS Steve Goldstein disputed that claim, saying Tillerson learned of his firing through Twitter and “did not speak to the president” and is unaware of why he was fired. Goldstein was then fired.
  106. On Friday, in an off-the-record meeting with Kelly and a small group of reporters, Kelly said he informed Tillerson Sunday that Trump would likely fire him soon. Kelly added Tillerson was suffering from a stomach bug, so the conversation took place while Tillerson was on the toilet.
  107. On Wednesday, Vanity Fair reported H.R. McMaster could be next, and that Trump is considering firing Sessions and replacing him with Pruitt, who would not be recused from overseeing the Russia probe.
  108. With Tillerson and Goldstein out, eight of the top 10 positions in the State Department are vacant. Only deputy secretary John Sullivan, who will now be the acting SoS, and spokesperson Heather Nauert, a former co-host of “Fox & Friends,” remain.
  109. On Wednesday, Trump picked Larry Kudlow to replace Gary Cohn as director of the National Economic Council. Kudlow is best known for his CNBC television show, and for making grand prognostications and provocative statements.
  110. Trump is considering replacing VA Secretary Shulkin with Pete Hegseth, a co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend.” Trump reportedly frequently calls Hegseth to discuss veterans’ policy.
  111. On Thursday, at a discussion at the Holocaust Memorial Museum,McMaster called for further US action against Russia as punishment for crimes in Syria, saying “Russia is also complicit in Assad’s atrocities.”
  112. On Thursday night, WAPO reported Trump plans to fire McMaster, his second national security adviser. Trump is comfortable removing McMaster, with whom he never gelled, but says he doesn’t want to humiliate him (as he did with Tillerson).
  113. Also on Thursday, Trump indicated there will be more firings, telling reporters, “There will always be change. And I think you want to see change. I want to also see different ideas.”
  114. The mood in the White House this week has “verged on mania.” White House aides are anxious and nervous, and on edge not knowing if they will be next. “Everybody fears the perp walk,” one White House official said.
  115. Remaining staff are clashing with each other, vying for vacated positions. Trump reportedly said last week, “I like conflict,” while wrapping his fists toward one another to simulate a clash. “I like watching it.”
  116. On Thursday, CBS News reported that a shake-up, which some in the White House are calling a purge, could result in the firings of Kelly, McMaster, and three cabinet members, depending on Trump’s volatile moods.
  117. On Friday, WSJ reported after making cryptic comments by Kelly indicating he may step down, he and Trump reached temporary “truce” in their tumultuous relationship. Kushner and Ivanka continue to undercut Kelly.
  118. Trump told advisers afterward that Mr. Kelly was “100% safe.” Kelly told his worried staffers, at least for the moment, he and Trump had patched things up. “I’m in.”
  119. Also on Friday, when an ABC News reporter caught McMaster giving a tour in the West Wing and asked his status, McMaster said, “Everybody has got to leave the White House at some point. I’m doing my job.”
  120. KBS World Radio, a South Korean public international broadcaster, reported Ivanka will, in Tillerson’s stead, meet with South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha on her visit to the US. Ivanka has interim security clearance.
  121. On Wednesday, dubbed National School Walkout Day one month after the Parkland shooting, students at high schools around the country walked out at 10 a.m. and for 17 minutes recognized the 17 murdered.
  122. On Monday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered “fullest condemnation” of the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, but declined to blame Russia as Prime Minister Theresa May did earlier that day.
  123. On Wednesday, the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats over the attempted assassination attempt. PM May also announced increased checks on private flights, customs and freight from Russia, and other measures.
  124. On Wednesday, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the UN, “Russia is responsible…using a military-grade nerve agent,” adding “the credibility of this council will not survive if we fail to hold Russia accountable.”
  125. On Wednesday, the White House changed its position. Sanders issued a statement blaming Russia, and adding the attack, “fits into a pattern of behavior in which Russia disregards the international rules-based order, undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide.”
  126. On Thursday, the US, France, and Germany joined Britain in a joint statement saying Russia was likely responsible for attack, and calling it the “first offensive use of a nerve agent” in Europe since World War II.
  127. On Thursday, Trump’s Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Russia, including five entities and 19 individuals for election interference. This marks the first steps to impose sanctions, well past the deadline of a law passed by Congress.
  128. The entities sanctioned include those listed on Mueller’s indictment. The move was seen as largely symbolic as many on the list were already under sanction.
  129. The Trump regime also accused Russia of a series of cyberattacks on American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, allowing Russia to sabotage infrastructure at will.
  130. Computer screenshots released by the Department of Homeland Security show Russian state hackers were in a position to manipulate or shut down power plants. Most US power plants are privately owned, many with older versions of software.
  131. Three separate Russian cyber-operations were underway simultaneouslyconducted by separate Russian groups for energy attacks, those who hacked DNC emails, and those who used social media to sow discord.
  132. Russian cyberattacks surged last year, starting three months after Trump took office. Trump has said little to nothing about Russia’s cyberattacks, and has yet to acknowledge they interfered in our election.
  133. On Tuesday, the Guardian reported Russian exile Nikolai Glushkov was found dead in his London home. The cause of death is unknown, and there is not yet an established link to the nerve gas attack in Salisbury.
  134. On Friday, a post-mortem of Glushkov revealed he died of “compression to the neck.” Glushkov’s death is now being investigated as a murder inquiry.
  135. Miami Herald reported the Russian spy ship Viktor Leonov, which the Pentagon has been monitoring because it has sailed too close to US waters on several occasions, docked at the port of Havana on Friday.
  136. On Thursday, Vanessa Trump took legal steps to formally end her 12-year marriage to Donald Jr. The couple have five children together.
  137. On Thursday, Politico reported the Trump regime is finalizing its plan to solve the opioid crisis, which will include allowing harsher law enforcement measures, including the death penalty, for drug dealers.
  138. The parents of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich sued Fox News, reporter Malia Zimmerman and Fox News commenter Ed Butowsky over their coverage which contained “false and fabricated facts,” and was later retracted.
  139. In Week 38, ABC News reported then press secretary Sean Spicer met with Zimmerman and Butowsky about the Seth Rich story at the White House, and asked to be “kept abreast of developments.”
  140. On Friday, Facebook banned the Trump campaign’s data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, and its parent company SCL Group, as well as University of Cambridge psychologist Aleksandr Kogan, and Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies.
  141. Kogan had gained access to the personal information of 270,000 Facebook members after they chose to download his app, “thisisyourdigitallife.”Kogan passed the information on to Cambridge Analytica and Wylie.
  142. Facebook learned of Kogan’s actions in 2015, and demanded the information be destroyed. Cambridge Analytica, Kogan and Wylie certified to Facebook that they had done so. Facebook learned this was not true.
  143. On Saturday, NYT reported a joint examination with The Observer of London found Cambridge Analytica had harvested private information from Facebook of more than 50 million users without their permission.
  144. Wylie, who worked at Cambridge Analytica until 2014 said, “Rules don’t matter for them. For them, this is a war, and it’s all fair,” adding “They want to fight a culture war in America,” and analytics were the arsenal.
  145. Cambridge Analytica was also involved in the 2014 election when the firm secured a $15 million investment from Robert Mercer and wooed Bannon. At that time, the company did not have the data to make its products work.
  146. Facebook downplayed the scope of the leak, and questioned whether any of the data was still out of their control. Of the 50 million hacked, 30 million contained enough information to build psychographic profiles.
  147. Also of note is Cambridge Analytica’s use of non-US employees in US elections, which would be illegal. Mueller has demanded emails of Cambridge Analytica employees who worked for the Trump team.
  148. On Friday, Sessions fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, about 24 hours before he could retire and collect his full pension. His firing stems from an Inspector General investigation which found he leaked information to the media about the Clinton-related case.
  149. McCabe, who had more than two decades of service in the FBI, could lose a portion of his anticipated pension. A spokesperson for McCabe said he learned of his firing from Sessions’ press release.
  150. Sessions fired McCabe just before 10 p.m. Hours earlier, Fox News posted a story that McCabe had been fired. The story was up for 45 minutes before Fox News took it down, claiming the draft was posted by mistake.
  151. Just after midnight, Trump tweeted his support for Sessions’ move, “Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI — A great day for Democracy.”
  152. Trump also bashed Comey, tweeting, “Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!”
  153. On Saturday, former CIA director John Brennan responded to Trump, tweeting, “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history.”
  154. On Saturday, CNN reported McCabe wrote memos documenting his conversations with Trump. Those memos have now been turned over to Mueller’s team.
  155. On Friday, Sen. Jeff Flake told CNN the Republican Party “might not deserve to lead” due to its support of Trump. Thursday Flake said, “Never has a party abandoned, fled its principles and deeply held beliefs so quickly.”
  156. Michael Flynn make his first appearance since pleading guilty in the Mueller probe, campaigning for Republican congressional candidate Omar Navarro who is running against Maxine Waters in November.
  157. On Saturday, in a morning interview with the Daily Beast, Trump attorney John Dowd said he hopes Deputy AG Rosenstein will shut down Mueller’s probe into Russia’s election interference.
  158. When asked if he was speaking on behalf of Trump, Dowd answered, “Yes as his counsel.” In a subsequent statement Saturday morning, Dowd backtracked saying he had been “speaking for myself, not the president.”
On a street sign in New York City, November 2017
New York City, 2018
New York City, 2018
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The Bitter Scream of Winter~

I wonder how much influence the elements have on people’s emotions and how deep it goes. If long winters make you tense and moderate sunny weather makes a whole population merrier? On days like today I want to move to Italy.

Day 75 of 365~

Image taken in Duesseldorf when March declared the return of winter in full force.

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