NO, it does not.

h/t GP

“We come in and we take this land and we always take it for less than it is worth.” (Park Service Employee at Mary Martin’s retirement from the Mojave Preserve.) The dinner was a public event . In this clip, the woman brags about how they wrestled a $40 million mine located in the park for $2.5 million dollars from two “little guys that had been in the 2nd World War” (their words, not mine). She continues, “which I stole the money from Washington to acquire it. ” FYI – The 111,000+ acres referred to on the white board do not include the land that was taken away from the ranchers.

Just for laughs (because the previous video sickens me).

I have been watching the stock markets and things are getting gnarly.  I know that I can live off very little because I always have.  I wonder about the many that are already affected by the low oil prices.  I’m already receiving CVs from people who were making a significant amount of money in the fracking oil business.  Some have already lost their homes.  Saving money wasn’t a priority.  There is nothing more salient that looking back at photos of the people who lived through the Great Depression.

August 1936. “Part of an impoverished family of nine on a New Mexico highway. Depression refugees from Iowa. Left Iowa in 1932 because of father’s ill health. Father an auto mechanic laborer, painter by trade, tubercular. Family has been on relief in Arizona but refused entry on relief rolls in Iowa to which state they wish to return. Nine children including a sick four-month-old baby. No money at all. About to sell their belongings and trailer for money to buy food. ‘We don’t want to go where we’ll be a nuisance to anybody.'”

A stroll through Shorpy‘s place on the internet is more than sufficient to understand how difficult times were.  Look at their faces.

December 1935. “Resettled farm child. From Taos Junction to Bosque Farms project, New Mexico.” Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration.

Washington tenements, Nov. 1935. Photo by Carl Mydans.

On the road with her family one month from South Dakota. Tulelake, Siskiyou County, Calif. September 1939

March 1936. “Mother and baby of family of nine living in field on U.S. Route 70 near the Tennessee River.” 35mm nitrate negative by Carl Mydans for the Farm Security Administration.

December 1936: “Christmas dinner in home of Earl Pauley near Smithfield, Iowa. Dinner consisted of potatoes, cabbage and pie.” Photograph by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration.

“Children of Oklahoma drought refugee in migratory camp in California.” November 1936

August 1936. “Example of self-resettlement in California. Oklahoma farm family on highway between Blythe and Indio. Forced by the drought of 1936 to abandon their farm, they set out with their children to drive to California. Picking cotton in Arizona for a day or two at a time gave them enough for food and gas to continue. On this day they were within a day’s travel of their destination, Bakersfield. Their car had broken down en route and was abandoned.” Medium-format negative by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration.

June 1937. “Child of Earl Taylor in kitchen of their home near Black River Falls, Wisconsin.” Photo by Russell Lee, Resettlement Administration.

A one-room hut houses a family of nine in an open field between Camden and Bruceton, Tennessee, near the Tennessee River. The hut was built over the chassis of an abandoned Ford. Photograph by Carl Mydans, 1936.

To think that these people’s parents had lived through the pandemic only to have their children go through this rough chapter in life one generation later.

April 1936. “Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust storm. Cimarron County, Oklahoma.” Perhaps Arthur Rothstein’s best known Dust Bowl image, and overall one of most memorable photographs to come out of the entire FSA/OWI program. Gelatin silver print by Arthur Rothstein.

Some people fared better than others.

May 1938. “Farm family, Scioto Farms, Ohio.” 35mm nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. UPDATE: This is Earl Armentrout and his family, government rehabilitation clients who were relocated by the Resettlement Administration to a new house in a cooperative farming project, a story repeated thousands of times for families who were forced off the land by crop failures during the Dust Bowl era.

No one was exempt from difficulties.

June 1938. Outskirts of El Paso, Texas. “Young Negro wife cooking breakfast. ‘Do you suppose I’d be out on the highway cooking my steak if I had it good at home?’ Occupations: hotel maid, cook, laundress.” Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.

There was happiness.
August 1939. Three of the four Arnold children outside their farmhouse at Michigan Hill. The oldest boy earned the money to buy his bicycle. Thurston County, western Washington. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.

October 1939. “Mr. and Mrs. Wardlaw at entrance to their dugout basement home. Dead Ox Flat, Malheur County, Oregon.” Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration.

I love Shorpy’s place.  It’s not all sad like many of these photographs.  It is history that you can purchase and keep as a reminder on the wall of then and now.   These photographs give me hope that we are still a nation that is resilient and can overcome anything.

I’m crying for United Healthcare, NOT.  Bastards.  They helped that asshat in the White House and his minions like Ezequiel Rahm write the tripe.  Did they believe that the taxpayer would keep bending over to ensure that their stockholders would not lose?   When you give to subsidize, someone is bleeding out.  When you stop subsidizing, business makes cuts.  That’s how they stay in business.  This has nothing to do with healthcare, because the bottom line is profit.  And then there is this…

…Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said at an investor’s conference that it was too early to give up on Obamacare, though he noted his company lost “in the mid-single digits” on the exchanges in 2015. It expects to do better in 2016.

It expects to do better by denying benefits to others.   I know because this is what I do daily.

He wants to be POTUS.

h/t Dora

Mr. Rubio’s entire public image—the child of poor Cuban immigrants fleeing the repression of Castro’s Cuba who pulled himself up by his bootstraps and even now is a simple José Sixpack and family man—is less tethered to reality than The Wizard of Oz. For example, in his autobiography, An American Son: A Memoir, Mr. Rubio describes how he allegedly grew up poor and mowed the grass and walked dogs to make a bit of spare change. Technically this may be correct, but most poor kids don’t get paid by relatives heavily involved in narcotics trafficking and whose pets double as guard dogs for a drug cartel, as was the case with young Marco, a federal indictment shows. (See thesearticles for more on young Marco’s upbringing.)

But it was only after getting into politics that Mr. Rubio really started making big money—and he made it very quickly, with the help of a few intimate companions—especially after taking over as Florida House majority leader and whip in early 2003. In fact, his income nearly tripled during the two years—from $122,000 to $330,000, based on financial disclosure forms—and spiked again in 2008, which may be tied to the fact that he became Florida House speaker in November 2006. 

Mr. Rubio was able to cash in in spectacular fashion because Florida’s preposterously flaccid political rules allow politicians to simultaneously hold public office and work as “consultants” to major law and lobbying firms—much like the arrangement that recently landed Sheldon Silver in prison in New York. That means that they technically can’t “lobby” but do it anyway and call it “consulting.” So, for example, when Mr. Rubio became House majority leader in 2003 he went to work for the powerhouse lobbying firm of Broad and Cassell, which is precisely the point where disclosure forms reveal a giant spike in his income.

Then, when Mr. Rubio stepped down from the House in 2008 (two years before he ran and won a U.S. Senate seat) he became partner in another law/lobbying firm—Florida Strategic Consultants—with the wife of a notoriouslycorrupt Florida politician and lobbyist named Esteban Bovo, sometimes known as “El Bobo.” (El Bobo’s wife, Vivian Bovo, had been Mr. Rubio’s top aide in the House.) While working at the firm, Mr. Rubio scored fat contracts from Miami Children’s Hospital and Jackson Memorial Hospital. Meanwhile, El Bobo was in position to appropriate money for the hospitals as chairman of a subcommittee of the Florida House Budget Committee. It was a win-win for Mr. Rubio and the Bovo clan.

Sounds like Barry’s twin when it comes to being sleazy.

 

And so much love to give.

As a hospice nurse, Cori Salchert began to notice a heartbreaking practice. Some terminally ill babies were being abandoned by their families and left to die alone.

The Wisconsin mother of eight told the Sheboygan Press that she often would cradle terminally ill infants and children so “no one had to die alone.”

“There was no judgment on my part that the parents should just be able to deal with the circumstances,” Cori said. “But I thought, ‘Wow, I would really like to take those kiddos and care for them.’”

And that’s exactly what the Salchert family is doing. Cori and her husband, Mark, have taken in three terminally ill infants since they decided to pursue foster care ;less than five years ago, according to the report.

On Dec. 18, the family adopted a little boy named Charlie who has severe neurological impairments that force him to depend on a tracheostomy, ventilator and feeding tube, according to the report.

“He will die; there’s no changing that,” Cori said, brushing away a tear. “But, we can make a difference in how he lives, and the difference for Charlie is that he will be loved before he dies.”

“God is love, and He loves this little boy, and He loves us to love him,” Mark added. “Charlie is truly an amazing individual; he’s made us richer — more alive, in a sense.”

The Salcherts decided to begin fostering these vulnerable, sick infants after they experienced a tragedy of their own. Five years ago, Cori was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that caused gastrointestinal distress. Faced with multiple surgeries and constant illness, Cori left her job as a perinatal hospice nurse, according to the report.

“My prayer at that time was asking how God could possibly use this for good,” Cori said.

The news report continues:

As fate would have it, Cori’s circumstances opened up the time for her to pursue the Salcherts’ dream of becoming foster parents to hospice infants. They connected with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s treatment foster care program, which matches families with children who have significant to severe behavioral or medical challenges.

The Salcherts brought home Emmalynn in August 2012. She did not have the left or right hemispheres of her brain, only the brain stem. She lived 50 days. Emmalynn passed away tucked into Cori’s fuzzy green robe “like a kangaroo” while foster mother and daughter sat alone at the kitchen table one night.

The Salcherts’ next foster child was Jayden, who was able to overcome his medical challenges to become a thriving toddler. He was ultimately adopted by a cousin of his biological parents.

With Emmalynn’s passing and Jayden leaving the home, the Salcherts were heartbroken. Cori recalls turning to Mark and saying she was done with treatment foster care, but her husband encouraged her that “this is what she was meant to do.”

With their biological children in full-support, Cori and Mark persevered. That’s when they received Charlie, who now is officially a member of their family.

The family said they enjoy cuddling, watching movies and taking walks with Charlie. Their local fire department also made Charlie an honorary fireman, the report states. Charlie’s life is making an impact on people in their community. His father said Charlie “really brings out the nobler parts of a community.”

This amazing family humbly told the newspaper that they are far from perfect. Cori refused to accept the label “supermom,” the report states. But the Salcherts truly are extraordinary people in a culture that often devalues terminally ill people by suggesting that their lives be destroyed by abortion or doctor-prescribed suicide.

“These children need nurses, but the overarching thing is, they need moms,” Cori said. “Too many people never do anything because they can’t do everything and can’t save everyone. For me, even though I can’t help every child, I’m happy to make a difference in the lives of a few.”

It saddens me greatly to know that these children are left to live out whatever life they have left on this Earth alone and without love.  It makes me happy to know that atleast these children will be loved until they meet their maker.

North Korea is “likely” to have conducted a nuclear test that caused an earthquake near a known testing site in the isolated country, South Korea’s meteorological agency said on Wednesday.

The United States Geological Survey reported a 5.1 magnitude quake that South Korea said was 49 km (30 miles) from the Punggye-ri site where the North has conducted nuclear tests in the past.

“We suspect a man-made earthquake and are analyzing the scale and epicenter of the quake,” a Korea Meteorological Administration official told Reuters by phone.

While the USGS put the depth of the earthquake at 10 km, the South Korean agency said it was near the surface. The earthquake was detected just after 10 a.m. Seoul time (2000 ET).

Gee, the Middle East is ready to go full throttle on fire and stuppy mini Kim is playing with fire.  Sounds like it is going to be another fantastic year.

Massive floods in Illinois, gas leaks that have yet to be fixed, shades of history repeating itself, will we ever learn?  There seems to be no limit to the sadness that fills the world daily.

I wake to the sounds of birds speaking softly, kittehs rustling and waiting to be fed, as well as dogs awaiting with great anticipation their breakfast.  I never miss a moment to be grateful for that which I am able to enjoy.  I know that many are not graced with a household filled with peace and shared joy.  It is that time when I quiet my mind and meditate on the simple tasks at hand.  I am blessed.  I regret that many in this world are not, but I can honestly tell you that I never forget their suffering. It is with that thought that I hope to make another day a better one.  I pray that this year is a better one for all.

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