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      Joni with an introspective late-night tune from Court and Spark:
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    • The Fall of the USSR
      The best book on both successes and failures of the Soviet Union is Mancur Olson’s “Power and Prosperity.”  If you haven’t read it, you should.  The second best is Randall Collins essay in Macrosociology. The great problem with most critiques of the  USSR is that they do not explain its successes.  In the 20s and […]
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BiFF: POTUS Travel Ban… on POTUS

The US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals today, in a 10-3 decision, rejected the Trump administration’s plea to reverse the hold on its travel ban orders, thus narrowly avoiding the scenario that the president and his entourage, who are travelling now in the Middle East, would be refused entry back into the country.

Thus, in spite of arguments that the president’s return “stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across the nation”, the Richmond-based court upheld the ban, allowing travellers from the Middle East to enter the country. The weak vetting implemented by the Obama administration is deemed unlikely to prevent Trump’s return, a career employee at the Department of Homeland Security confirmed.

A Trump administration spokesman confirmed their intention of appealing to the Supreme Court. Democratic party leadership indicated the Supreme Court would be unlikely to rule before Trump had returned, making an appeal on their part also unlikely. 

Escape from cruelty and mob rule

The new Trump budget is heartless, an audacious theft from the 99% of taxpayers to the 1%. It suffers from a math error that will pile debt on the country in addition to causing misery for poorer families with children. If I had voted for him, I don’t know how I could sleep at night without nightmares and guilt. It shows a remarkable lack of empathy.

On top of that, Liberal seems to have taken on the title of the country’s dirtiest word.

Call me obscene then.

BiFF and I went hiking in Black Monshannon State Park in Pennsylvania on Beltane this year. I picked flowers for my hair and took a lot of pictures with my iPhone. Now I realize that what I really want to do is take a photography class and get a better camera.

That last item is on hold due to a recent setback. Some of us will never recover from the financial crash of 2008, especially those of us whose industry has largely disappeared. It’s about to get worse for R&D if the proposed cuts to the NIH budget go through. This is a very hard time to be a scientist in America.

But the weather was mild and spring was just emerging. So, we took it in with wonder and delight. Take a break from all of the pointless cruelty and enjoy the walk. Here’s my slideshow. The music is Chanterai por mon Corage or Singing for my courage from the album Estampie: