A local election worth following

You may remember Kim Davis, the clerk of a rural county in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples even after the US Supreme Court said that same-sex marriage bans were unconstitutional. She said that having her name on the licenses violated her religious freedom because her faith did not allow for same-sex marriages. She then defied a local judge who explicitly ordered her to issue the licenses and she went to jail for five days for contempt of court while her subordinates issued licenses. Naturally Davis became a hero to the most odious religious bigots and groups such as the Family Research Council, and people like the Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz went to greet her at a rally when she was released from jail.
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Cricket match interrupted due to pollution

Cricket is a game that is highly weather sensitive. Matches can be halted by even very light rain or poor light due to overcast skies, and fans are used to this. International games called Test matches between rival national sides last for five days, six hours per day, so there is plenty of time for weather to intervene. But this past week, a Test match between India and Sri Lanka was interrupted several times due to the heavy pollution that has blanketed New Delhi over the past month.
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Do other cultures also do this?

My absence from blogging these last few days was because I went to Toronto to attend the funeral of my cousin who died suddenly. I am of the age when the big gatherings I go to are the weddings of children of friends and relatives, and funerals. Since I have been living in the US for over three decades, on these occasions, I meet a large number of Sri Lankans with whom I have not been in contact with for many, many years. This is especially the case in Toronto which has a massive expatriate Sri Lankan population.
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Republicans don’t even bother to hide their contempt for the poor anymore

The Republicans have the votes to pass the big tax giveaways to the rich that they have long been salivating over. It has always been thus but at least in the past, they tried to create a façade of how these moves would also help the poor and middle class, though they could not maintain that pretense as well as some Democrats, especially Bill Clinton who was a master at the game of catering to the oligarchy while acting like he was a champion of the poor.
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Live by social media, die by social media

A few days ago, I posted about a social media celebrity named Alissa Violet who claimed that she and her boyfriend, supposedly another online celebrity named Ricky “FaZe” Banks, were assaulted and ejected by the security personnel at a Cleveland bar called Barley House over the Thanksgiving weekend. They both posted their accounts, she showing a bleeding lip and a bruise over her eye, and their fans around the nation were up in arms and vowed to take revenge on Barley House, its security personnel, and any other bar patrons whom they felt had wronged their idols. These fans even threatened to come to Cleveland to carry out their threats but it seemed like they limited their attacks to bad Yelp reviews for Barley House and harassing and threatening online and by phone any person whom they could identify.
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Brilliant one-minute film about a prepper

‘Prepper’ is the name given to those people who take extensive precautions to survive in the case of a major calamity such as nuclear war breaking out or the US being invaded and taken over by (say) Costa Rica or electing a socialist lesbian of color as president. These precautions take the form of heavily arming themselves, creating well-stocked bunkers, and learning skills that will enable them to survive in the wild and live off the land.
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Is Donald Trump really going crazy?

Seth Meyers reveals the revolting things that Matt Lauer did and also discusses the possibility that Trump is nuts.

It is incredible that Lauer got away with that behavior so long. Like others, Meyers has noted the detail that Lauer had a secret button installed under his desk that would lock the door remotely. Observers seem to think that this was to prevent his target from escaping by running from the room. That may be true but I think it is more likely that it was to prevent others from accidentally entering and seeing him while he was making his gross moves on the women. This detail also raises broader culpability questions for NBC. I doubt that Lauer did the secret wiring himself. It had to be something that was requested through management and directed to the building manager to implement. How come no one raised any questions about the reasons for this strange request?
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