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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Beyond Burger---Best vegan burger now at Wegmans-

Beyond Meat, The Beyond Burger, 0.5 lb
   Like a lot of people these days I have tried a variety of vegan alternative food choices.  Meat substitute products are a mixed bag.  The vegan hot dogs are OK when you put a lot of condiment choices on top.  I have one new vegan product that you should really try.  The Beyond Burger is the one vegan product that tasted almost like a regular burger.  It is not going to replace a regular burger for most meat eaters but for a vegetarian it comes close.  At a little over $5 for two burgers it is an affordable alternative to those of us trying to eat less meat.  It is now available at Wegman's in the vegetarian frozen section.  Here is the health report on the burgers.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sanity test

    If child hits another child with a stick do you:

1) Give all the kids sticks
2) Give sticks to some kids who are skilled and trained with sticks to defend the other kids
3) Take away the stick

    Everyone who thinks that mass shootings are resolvable by mental health intervention should read this article.

P.S. 1
    The brutal truth about being shot with a bullet from an AR15 automatic weapon.

P.S. 2

     Picture of Trump signing the Executive Order that repealed the Obama Era gun checks for people with mental illnesses and making it easy for them to buy weapons of mass destruction.  Is this what he meant when he said mass killings are a "mental health" issue?

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

    I know I have gotten away from posting on local topics recently.  The craziness of the news lately has been too much to ignore and I have needed to vent.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Mueller's chess game


     I can't help but think of chess strategy when we see the progression of the Robert Mueller investigation of Russian collusion.  Our "Baffoon in Chief" might be protesting about no collusion but you can see the developing Mueller strategy aimed in this direction.
    I maybe a novice chess player but I can see the same chess strategies playing out with the Mueller investigation.  In chess the game starts out with trying to capture a few pawns to get an advantage to get to your opponents rooks and bishops.  Once you have captured a rook or bishop your strategy is to try to get your opponent's queen.  When you get their queen the game is certainly headed to you getting checkmate on your opponent's king.
     So who are the chess pieces in the Mueller investigation?  George Papadopoulos and Carter Page are pawns.  Rick Gates and Michael Flynn are bishops and rooks.  Paul Manafort is the queen and of course Trump is the king.  Mueller has captured the pawns, bishops and rooks.  He is  now focused on getting the queen (i.e. Manafort) to go to checkmate on the king (Trump).  Only a matter of time before checkmate.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Blackmailing 101: Why security clearance is important

     Suddenly the issue of over 100 Trump officials having only interim security clearances for their jobs is an important security concern.   One of the main reasons for security clearances is to identify areas that officials might be susceptible to blackmail in their jobs. White House Chief of Staff  John Kelly has issued an order that starting this Friday White House staff without regular security clearances will no longer have access to highly classified information.  For many, like Jared Kushner Trump's son in law, this will prevent them from doing their job and may require that they resign.  This Friday should be another interesting news day.
     If you want to see how officials could be subject to blackmail you only have to look at our "Baffoon in Chief."  It is only too apparent that Russia has damaging material that they are holding on Trump.  Whether it is money laundering or his sexual escapades they have been successful in blackmailing him to cover their election tampering in our last election.  One example is that he has not implemented the Congress authorized sanctions against Russia.  He blames Obama, the FBI and CIA for not stopping the Russian interference.  The only one he seems to have a problem blaming is Russia.  While speaking admirably about Russian and Putin he denigrates our free press, his political opponents, our courts, the FBI and CIA.   If Trump wasn't President he would never get a security clearance.  Ever day with Trump we see the danger of having people with access to top secret information and how someone can use blackmail to control that person.

    It is not too early to begin to rank Trump as a President.  Apparently political scientists from all political perspectives have agreed that Trump has already earned his place at the bottom of the list.  Not bad for someone who has only been in office for a little over a year.  He won't like it that Obama is ranked near the top.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A sad reality

 Image result

A country that loves its guns more than its children has lost its moral compass.  Is it too much to ask that we ask for a reasonable restrictions on some weapons so that children have the right to not fear for their safety at school?


    Is it still too soon to talk about Sandy Hook?

Image result for sandy hook children

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sending Republicans our "thoughts and prayers" today

   The chart above is the reason that when these legislators are asked about yesterday's gun slaughter the will dodge they obvious solution to the problem which is banning assault weapons. They will say that they are sending their thoughts and prayers to the victims families, talk about the evil of the shooter, about it being a mental health problem and finally that it is too early to talk about legislative action while families are still grieving.  As long as their legislative career is tied to NRA money they are willing to turn a blind eye to the slaughter of innocent people.  I call that blood money.

      While listening to Sen. Marco Rubio say this morning that this type of incident can happen anywhere he should have qualified that statement to say "anywhere in the United States."  Our country is much more vulnerable to mass shootings than anywhere else in the World because we have a Second Amendment that arms the people who do our mass shootings. 

P.S. 1 
     While we see the destruction caused in our Country by the power of the NRA we should not forget that right now there is NRA sponsored legislation in Congress to allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to have that right even in states, like Maryland, that have tougher gun control rules

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

East Columbia Library reopens: Here is what you will see

    The ribbon was cut on the newly renovated East Columbia Library last Saturday.  We sometimes forget how fortunate we are to have a world class library in our County.  The new renovations are amazing.  Here is what you will see.

   If you want to know why Howard County gets recognized so often as a good place to live you only have to look at our library system.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Does a huge military budget buy us happiness?


    With the large increase in military spending in our  "Baffoon in Chief's" budget it is important to remember that this is money that could be spent for the "general welfare" mentioned in the preamble to the Constitution.  The money in our out sized military budget is money that not available to provide universal health care or universal college that is provided by many other western developed countries.  The US spends almost 5 times what China spends on the military and over 6 times what Russia spends on its military.  And this is the "depleted military" that Trump talks about?
     Is our out sized military been good for our country?  There are many ways to look at this but I wanted to look at it from the perspective of general happiness of our population.  According to the World Happiness Report we rank 14th in the World in happiness as a country.  Not surprisingly socialist Scandinavian countries rank very well in this report.  Norway ranks number 1.  While the US spends 4.7% of our GDP on defense the Nordic countries spend anywhere from 1.2 to 1.5 of their GDP on defense.   The US spends twice the world GDP average on defense and the Nordic countries spend half the world GDP average.  While I know that correlation doesn't always mean causation I do think that how a country spends its financial resources may reflect in the happiness of its population.  Tanks apparently don't buy happiness as well as secure access to  health care.

     Norway has a message for Trump with his desire for more immigrants from Norway.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Ned Tillman talks tonight on "The Earth Beneath My Feet"


    Tonight at 7 pm at the Howard County Conservancy at 10520 Old Frederick Road in Woodstock Ned Tillman will be talking about what is under our feet from the ground we stand on to the core of the Earth.  Should be a fascinating geological talk.  To register go to the Conservancy website.


Dangers for pedestrians on Dobbin Road


     Last night a pedestrian was killed crossing Dobbin Road in Columbia.   I have blogged before on the dangers along Dobbin Road because of the lack of sidewalks and cross walks.   What happened last night almost happened to me a few years ago.   The reality is that many workers in businesses along Dobbin Road walk to work--probably because they don't have a car.  Some attention has been given to the needs of pedestrians along Route 1 and the same need for improvements for pedestrians along Dobbin Road needs to also be examined.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Today's wildest pictures

     Who would have realized back in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik that someday we would have pictures of the battery powered car of a billionaire on its way to the Sun?

Image result for musk car in space

     Having seen one Space Shuttle launch I have to say that when they do another launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket I plan on seeing that launch in person.  It is an incredible thing to see.  You feel it and smell it in person.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Howard County overdose report update

OVERDOSE: responded to a non-fatal overdose yesterday. The 2018 YTD total of fatal and non-fatal overdoses is 19.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

East Columbia Library to re-open February 10th

Howard County Library System's Board of Trustees and Interim President & CEO Ann Gilligan cordially invite you to the Grand Re-Opening of the renovated East Columbia Branch on Saturday, February 10.
East Columbia Branch
Saturday, February 10
9:45 am          
Remarks and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
11 am1 and 3 pm
All Together Now classes
10 am - 4 pm
VR cave demos for all ages in teen area
Crafternoon for children (while supplies last) 
HiTech classes and activities for ages 11–18 
Activities for teens in teen area
Friends & Foundation of HCLS membership table
One-on-one eReader classes
100K Book Challenge
Passport center
Self-guided tours
10 am - 6 pm
Branch open

The East Columbia Branch renovations double the space for quiet study areas and triple the meeting room capacity. The new teen center features classrooms for Teen Time, HiTech, and Homework Club, as well as a science lab and VR Cave. A new Student Design Center includes dedicated space, complete with work counters and readily available project supplies where students can create and collaborate on assignments and projects.