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Two-year-old Violet Pietrok was born with an extremely rare condition called Tessier facial cleft, leaving the bones in her face so spread apart that her nose lacked cartilage and her eyes didn’t have normal vision. Because the defect is so rare, not many doctors have experience with repairing it — but one plastic surgeon located in… Continue Reading »

Panhandle Slim… Art for Folk…


Panhandle Slim…

46 years ago today

The Beatles – Rooftop Concert (Full Version) by palanisito

Will Dems hold the line on TPP?

U.S. Senator Harry Reid was keynote speaker at Lake Mead's 50th Annversary Celebration on October 11th

Christ, I hope so:

PHILADELPHIA, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Senior Democrats in the House of Representatives said on Thursday they would insist President Barack Obama provide hard evidence that proposed free trade deals will boost median U.S. incomes, laying out tough terms to support his trade agenda.

The demands, hours before Obama’s address to a House Democratic retreat, are part of a renewed focus by the party on middle-class economic issues.

Republicans have made free trade a top priority and have called on Obama to bring Democrats into line.

Obama last week proposed shifting tax breaks from the wealthy to the middle class. He also asked Congress to give him “fast-track” authority to negotiate trade agreements, something many Democrats oppose, fearing American workers would lose more ground.

Thought for the day

“Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All of these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill… I can neither be harmed by any of them, for no man will involve me in wrong, nor can I be angry with my kinsman or hate him; for we have come into the world to work together.”

— “The Meditations,” Marcus Aurelius

Still attacking Indians


One of my close friends is an American Indian, and she’s always telling me how naive I am about how prevalent anti-Indian bigotry is. Guess she’s right, this really shocks me:

RAPID CITY— “Some 57 charges of child abuse and assault reportedly will be filed against the drunken hockey fans who subjected 57 American Indian students to racially-charged taunts the included spraying the students with beer and lacing them with racial slurs, according to unnamed sources.

This news comes on the heels of a meeting held this afternoon, Wednesday, January 28, 2015, in Rapid City, South Dakota with a group of parents of the students, school officials, Oglala Sioux Tribal officials, law enforcement, the general manager of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and city officials from Rapid City.

A busload of parents took the one hour and half bus ride and arrived to meet with the Rapid City officials to discuss the incident and to seek justice for their children. Some are calling on the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring hate crime charges against the perpetrators.”

Engine 4 & Rescue 1

Swamp Rabbit and I were arguing again. The primary goal of mainstream news organizations is to scare people, he said. Fear sells. Just look at the huge response to news coverage in PA, NJ and NY of the “monster snowstorm” that never hit those states.

“You’re wrong,” I said, showing him the front-page story in Wednesday’s Philadelphia Daily News:

A fiery sex scandal threatens to burn up multiple firefighters’ careers, including some top brass, according to former Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

Ayers told the Daily News today that the investigation into a young paramedic’s claims of sexual misconduct began shortly before he retired in June.

The paramedic filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging misconduct against another paramedic. Soon after, rumors surfaced that she had sexual encounters with numerous firefighters, paramedics and supervisors in firehouses while on- and off-duty all around the city.

“The goal is to is titillate,” I said, using one of my favorite words. “The story can be a monster storm, a sex scandal, a murder on Main Street. It doesn’t matter, so long as it titillates.”

“Use whatever fancy word you want, Odd Man. News stories is to scare people. Will I git snowed in? Is my husband screwin’ around? Will I get murdered on my way home from the SuperFridge?”

I told him we were both saying the same thing. News venues — tabloids, so-called broadsheets, TV news shows, whatever — exist to dish out infotainment, not news, especially now that they’re fighting Internet sites for people’s attention.

“The snow stories scared me,” I said. “But it’s fun to read about firefighters having sex. What would you do with all that down time, hold Bible classes?”

The rabbit sniffed at my wood stove and said, “Wait till this here shack catches fire and all them firemen are off gettin’ laid. Have fun with that.”

I unlocked the cabinet near the stove and handed him a bottle of Wild Turkey. “Here,” I said. “You’re a real drag when you’re sober.”


Well pads in middle of Lybrook, NM badlands

So our new progressive governor announced a moratoriun on oil and gas leases in state lands, but leaves forests available for drilling. I can understand the problem — Tom Corbett left a huge deficit, and Wolf’s going to have to come up with revenue somehow. But still!

Thursday’s order does not stop the Department of Environmental Protection from permitting wells, pipelines, or compressor stations on existing leases, where there is room for as many as 6,000 wells, according to PA DCNR. If all of those wells are drilled and developed, approximately 25,000 forested acres would be converted for roads, pipeline right of ways, and well pads. As of October, PA DCNR had approved more than 1,000 Marcellus wells on state forests and nearly 600 of them — clustered on about 230 well pads — had been drilled.

According to the PA DEP online permit report, the Wolf administration permitted 22 shale gas wells for five counties in just three days from January 21-23. One of those well permits, Chief Oil’s Teel 4H, is within a mile of a cluster of 19 water wells in Dimock, PA that were spoiled by gas drilling in 2008.

Ray Kemble, a Dimock resident with contaminated water said, “Keeping 700,000 acres of our public lands on the table for the drillers is like letting quarterback Tom Brady keep his deflated footballs for the Super Bowl. This is the Big Game and Tom Wolf is blowing it. I have a front row seat.”

energy-justice-networkThe 22 new well permits last week were granted to operators including Chevron, Rex Energy, Cabot Oil & Gas, Chesapeake Energy, Chief Oil, and EQT. Combined, the six drilling companies have been cited for 118 well casing failures by PA DEP, according to a report by Energy Justice Network. Steel and cement well casing failures endanger water supplies across the state.

In his inaugural speech, Wolf addressed anti-fracking demonstrators saying, “To the protesters here today, I say: help me develop these opportunities in a way that is clean, safe and sustainable.”

Allison Petryk, a Susquehanna County resident who was arrested while chanting “Ban fracking now!” during his speech, said, “The compendium of scientific studies that convinced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban fracking shows that it cannot be done safely. Without further action to reclaim already damaged lands, transition to clean energy, and ban shale development across Pennsylvania, Wolf’s words lack substance.”

It always amazes me

Boston post Blizzard
That when weather forecasters get one big story wrong out of the hundreds they do every year, people stop believing anything they say.

Forecasters said all along that it was hard to tell just where the blizzard line would be this week, yet people act as if they simply made the whole storm up — for “ratings.” We’re supposed to get snow today and Sunday night, but people now refuse to believe it. Because freedom!

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