Pleasant Valley Winery

Pleasant Valley Winery


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Romneys, Dinosaurs, and Strippers at Funerals

Mitt Romney. (photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty)
Mitt Romney. (photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty)

By Charles Pierce, Esquire
25 April 15
s the mists of time descend around us, we can lose track of what an amazing liar Willard Romney really was during his time as a presidential wannabe. Luckily, though, in the Washington Post blog run by his former bestie 4-Evah Jen Rubin, Willard comes back, talks about the current situation with Hillary Rodham Clinton, and reminds us of that very salient fact.
Mitt Romney put it in everyday terms: "I mean, it looks like bribery. I mean, there is every appearance that Hillary Clinton was bribed to grease the sale of, what, 20% of America's uranium production to Russia, and then it was covered up by lying about a meeting at her home with the principals, and by erasing emails. And you know, I presume we might know for sure whether there was or was not bribery if she hadn't wiped out thousands of emails. But this is a very, very serious series of facts, and it looks like bribery."
If there is a more shameless person in politics than old G.I. Luvmoney, I don't know who it is. This is a guy who refused to release his tax returns , and whose wife made it quite clear on TV to Us People why that was not an option. And this is also the guy who, upon leaving the governor's office here in the Commonwealth (God save it!), did everything but throw the computers in the Executive office out the windows.
As a result, Patrick's office, which has been bombarded with inquiries for records from the Romney era, has no electronic record of any Romney administration e-mails, Reilly said. "The governor's office has found no e-mails from 2002-2006 in our possession,'' Reilly said in a statement. "Before the current administration took office, the computers used during that time period were replaced and the server used during that time period was taken out of service, all files were removed from it, and it was also replaced.'' Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, said the governor's aides did nothing wrong. "In leaving office, the governor's staff complied with the law and longtime executive branch practice,'' she said. "Some employees exercised the option to purchase computer equipment when they left. They did so openly with personal checks.''
I mean, it looks like bribery to me. How about you?

Meanwhile, in China, the government is coping with a terrible example of When Cultural Traditions Go Horribly Wrong.
State media have said burlesque shows at some funerals aim to draw more mourners and show off the family's wealth, in a practice that is infrequent, but gaining in popularity. In a notice on its website Thursday, the ministry called for a "black list" of people and workplaces that engage in such shows. It singled out a group of burlesque dancers, the Red Rose Song and Dance Troupe, who did a striptease after the small-town funeral of an elderly person in the northern province of Hebei in February. The group took off their clothes after performing a traditional song-and-dance routine, the ministry said. One leader of Red Rose, surnamed Li, was punished with 15 days in detention and a fine of 70,000 yuan ($11,300) after law enforcement officials intervened.
And thus do the Irish finally fall into second place as far as funeral rites go. Why are the Chinese so far ahead of us in everything, dammit? Strippers at funerals? Where do they put the pole? No, wait, don't answer that.

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "Call Me Shine" (The Paulin Brothers Jazz Band): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans.

Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Since it's playoff time in the NHL, here's some fancy-dress weird-ass ice hockey from Germany in 1939. The announcer says, "No country is safe." He wasn't kidding. History is so cool.

Happy Birthday to my favorite machine! 

Meanwhile, back on earth, this seems nice.
Underneath the national park's attractions and walking paths is enough hot rock to fill the Grand Canyon nearly 14 times over. Most of it is in a newly discovered magma reservoir, which the scientists featured in a study published on Thursday in the journal Science. It may help scientists better understand why Yellowstone's previous eruptions, in prehistoric times, were some of Earth's largest explosions in the last few million years.
On the bright side, the Hubble will get a helluva picture of what's left.

Is it a good day for dinosaur news? It's always a good day for dinosaur news.
Most of the eggs in the museum's existing collection belong to oviraptorid and duck-billed dinosaurs, which roamed the earth 89 million years ago. Nearly 17,000 dinosaur eggs have been uncovered in the city since the first group of fossils was found in 1996 by children playing at a construction site, the China's official news agency Xinhua reported.
Damn, some museum director is going to have a helluva funeral when he finally dies.

I'll be back on Monday with what I am sure will be more HRC-roogie-roogie gobshitery. Be well and place nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snakeline, or we won't respect you and there won't be anything at your wake except whiskey and soda bread.


+52 # CAMUS1111 2015-04-25 16:27
Romney--one of the most massive hypocrites of all time and he's too clueless to know it. He's a total neo-fascist twit--he remains "Mitt the Twit," as my 2012 bumper sticker said.

+10 # ericlipps 2015-04-25 20:08
Quoting CAMUS1111:
Romney--one of the most massive hypocrites of all time and he's too clueless to know it. He's a total neo-fascist twit--he remains "Mitt the Twit," as my 2012 bumper sticker said.
I always think of him as "Mutt" Romney on account of that notorious dog-strapping incident.

Neo-fascist? No, just plain old corporate Republican with trainloads of cash and a thimbleful of sense.
+9 # Merlin 2015-04-25 20:51
ericlipps 2015-04-25 20:08

"Neo-fascist? No, just plain old corporate Republican with trainloads of cash and a thimbleful of sense."

What is the difference? I can't see any!
0 # cymricmorty 2015-04-25 21:05
wrong spot-deleted

-28 # 2015-04-25 18:35
Hey, Charles,
When are you going to point out the "lies" of PUTZUS ?!

+6 # cymricmorty 2015-04-25 19:55
Are those supposed to be scare quotes surrounding the word "lies"? Lies are lies, no matter who tells them.
+2 # Merlin 2015-04-25 20:54
cymricmorty 2015-04-25 19:55
Are those supposed to be scare quotes surrounding the word "lies"? Lies are lies, no matter who tells them.

Lies are what other people say. The Pastor always tells the truth.
+4 # cymricmorty 2015-04-25 21:07
I'll be damned. Those were "hell's fire" quotes.
+7 # jimallyn 2015-04-25 20:05
Hey, Charles,
When are you going to point out the "lies" of PUTZUS ?!
The current one, or the one before that?

-30 # MidwestTom 2015-04-25 18:39
Romney said that Russia would be our biggest problem, and he was laugh at by the media.

+10 # Merlin 2015-04-25 19:24
MidwestTom 2015-04-25 18:39

Are you laughing at mittens here for saying that, or do you believe mittens was right, that Russia is our biggest problem?
+11 # ericlipps 2015-04-25 20:16
Quoting MidwestTom:
Romney said that Russia would be our biggest problem, and he was laugh at by the media.
Mr. 47 Percent was laughed at by the media for lots of things, but not for that. It just looked that way (look up the term "halo effect"). And plenty of people joined in the mockery, including more than a few Republicans.

And, um, Russia ISN'T our biggest problem. How about global warming? Or if you don't think that's real, how about terrorism? Or the trillion-plus dollars in U.S. debt held by Beijing? Or the decay of our national infrastructure? Or--but you get my drift. Russia's a problem, but these days, hardly our biggest one. Romney, however, was (and likely still is) stuck in the past.
+18 # Texas Aggie 2015-04-25 20:27
And with good reason. He was wrong then and he's still wrong. Russia isn't half the threat to the US that the 1% are, as is obvious to everyone who has been following the news about Wall St, TPP, and the way the elections are being paid for.

+18 # CragJensen 2015-04-25 19:05
Alfred E. Neuman has more integrity than Mittens could ever dream of having. Funny when I hear people complain about and defame Obama I can only imagine what the alternative would have been. Mitt Romney????? He's like the proverbial scary clown - the kind that John Wayne Gacy might have painted. And if that's an endorsement of Obama then it's a really crappy one. But I suppose it's better to be thankful that the devil you have is better than the one you might have had.

+15 # turtleislander 2015-04-25 19:30
Mittens was pretty bad news. BTW Yellowstone explodes every 600,000 years. We're a bit overdue. They're fracking an hours drive from Yellowstone but science has just discovered this 11,500 cubic miles of magma chamber that was not known before? That's the filling the Grand Canyon part.Anyone tell the crackers to hold off?

+12 # turtleislander 2015-04-25 19:31
That's frackers but crackers applies anyway.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

GOP Chairman Warns Against Hatred for Hillary Peaking Too Soon

Hillary Clinton. (photo: Andrew Burton/Getty)
Hillary Clinton. (photo: Andrew Burton/Getty)

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker
24 April 15

n an urgent memo to the field of G.O.P. Presidential candidates, the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, praised them for their relentless personal attacks on Hillary Clinton, but warned that their hatred for the former Secretary of State might be “peaking too early.”

Priebus called the candidates’ ongoing evisceration of Clinton “magnificent,” but expressed his concern that “no human beings, even an impressive group like yourselves, could possibly sustain such a high intensity of throbbing hatred for an entire year and a half.”

“Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint,” he wrote. “You need to leave some hate in the tank.”

In the conclusion of his memo, Priebus advised the candidates to take an occasional day off from hating Clinton so that they could “return to despising her with renewed freshness and vigor.”

Responding to the R.N.C. directive, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said that he understood Priebus’s concerns, but assured him that, at the end of the day, they were groundless. “Anyone who doesn’t think I’m capable of spewing an infinite stream of vitriol and bile doesn’t know what I’m made of,” he said, pointing with pride to his long record of hating President Obama.


+64 # ER444 2015-04-24 14:53
+29 # PeacefulGarden 2015-04-24 16:04
And they get paid a lot of money to spew hate about the next president from their bottomless hate tanks. Priebus might be correct, they need to hold back on spending money on hate just to ensure that they have enough money to pay for all of the hate. But, I think they have enough money -- or hate or money... Rich people hating other rich people. It is kinda fun to watch.
+53 # pappajohn15 2015-04-24 16:43
I love this guy.
+50 # Gaz 2015-04-24 22:39
Rush Limbaugh spent eight years attacking Bill Clinton daily. He's spent another six attacking Barack Obama daily. Fox News has followed suit. Where has it got them? Two double-term Democratic presidents.

Mitch McConnell promised his constituents and the country that President Obama would be a one-term president. How'd that work out? Even with a completely hostile Republican Congress, President Obama continues to get things done.

It's clear that he drives them crazy: they even resort to sending letters to Iran's Supreme Leader, their sworn enemy.
How much more desperate can they get?

If we keep following Andy, we'll be right on top of the inevitable crack up.

+31 # Rockster 2015-04-24 23:56
The thing about vitriol and hate is that it's ravenous and inevitably eats it's own babies. But Andy's way of showing this truth is much more fun!
+15 # John Puma 2015-04-25 03:06
Hatred for HRC from the GOP will not peak until Jan 20, 2021 or Jan 20, 2025.
+18 # ericlipps 2015-04-25 05:40
A year and a half? So far they've kept it up for 23 years, ever since Bill Clinton emerged as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination waaaay back in 1992.
+3 # reiverpacific 2015-04-25 09:12
Well, it worked for the Nazis------!!!!
+3 # bmiluski 2015-04-25 09:50
And it worked during the dark ages when the church vilified ALL women and preached that only the rich were allowed an education.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Jindal opposes gay marriage without saying "gay"

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal reasserted his opposition to gay marriage in a 'New York Times' editorial. (photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty)
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal reasserted his opposition to gay marriage in a 'New York Times' editorial. (photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty)

Are Republicans at War With Their Own Future?

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
23 April 15
ouisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was a guest contributor to the New York Times editorial page this morning. He figured this was a good place to reassert his opposition to gay marriage. Apparently non-Louisianans urgently needed the reminder.

As has become the fashion (and this is almost certainly a strategy cooked up by some high-priced, focus-group-humping consultancy inside the Beltway), Jindal carefully avoided the word "gay" when explaining his opposition to gay marriage.

Excepting the Beavis and Butthead-worthy headline, "I'm Holding Firm Against Gay Marriage" (which by custom would likely be written by someone at the Times), Jindal only used the word "gay" once in a column entirely about. . .gay marriage. For example, there was this passage about the fate of recent antigay measures in Indiana and Arkansas: 

In Indiana and Arkansas, large corporations recently joined left-wing activists to bully elected officials into backing away from strong protections for religious liberty. It was disappointing to see conservative leaders so hastily retreat on legislation that would simply allow for an individual or business to claim a right to free exercise of religion in a court of law. 

The emphasis here is mine. Jindal describes the popular objection to efforts to curb same-sex marriage as coming from "left-wing activists." Apparently, this is the new term for "young Republicans," who support same-sex marriage nearly as much as Democrats as a whole.

Depending upon whose polls you believe, support for same-sex marriage among Republicans in the millennial age category hovers somewhere around 60 percent, lagging just 15-20 percent behind their counterparts in the Democratic Party. That makes for a significant schism within the Republican Party on the same-sex marriage issue, the key predictor clearly being age. Here's how it breaks down, according to Pew:

Ages 70 and older: Only 20 percent favor same-sex marriage.
Ages 56 to 69: 30 percent in favor
Ages 35-50: 42 percent in favor
Under 35: 58 percent in favor

The data on this issue is hilarious and tracks with the varying support levels among Republicans on a lot of other social issues, like marijuana legalization (support levels there are around 60 percent among young Republicans).

Reading between the lines, the children of older Republicans no longer agree with their nutbar parents on these key social issues. These young Republicans will probably change the party platform to reflect that split sometime in the near future.

In other words, what Jindal describes as "left-wing radicalism" is actually the future consensus belief system of his own Republican party. As Ambrose Bierce once put it, radicalism is just "the conservatism of tomorrow injected into the affairs of today."

The Republican Party is a paradox. It has enjoyed tremendous success at the local level in recent years, but that success has come at a time of historically low voter turnout. With the demographic picture changing so fast in this country and the party's own youth rapidly changing their minds on key social issues, the Republicans seemingly have a choice to make.

The first choice would be to embrace a different future right now, and start a long-term rebuild based around the changing consensus on these social issues.

The other plan would be to forestall the passage of time for a few more election cycles, and try to squeeze a few more White House runs out of the party's aging, Fox-devouring, ideologically anachronistic base.

Neither strategy offers too much long-term excitement politically. And the latter path, sticking with the increasingly off-putting views of its aging base, threatens to undercut the Republican party's financial standing, as corporate America shows reluctance to be tied to politically unpopular causes.

Jindal's column today cleverly proposes a third path, an elaborate "grand bargain" that could save the party from this confounding political dilemma.

First, he wipes away the whole problem of the party's unpopular bigotry against gays through that simple semantic trick of calling it a religious liberty issue.

Then he ties "religious liberty" to economic freedom, and essentially argues that the American business world should campaign against gay rights out of – get this – self-interest: 

The left-wing ideologues who oppose religious freedom are the same ones who seek to tax and regulate businesses out of existence. The same people who think that profit making is vulgar believe that religiosity is folly. The fight against this misguided, government-dictating ideology is one fight, not two. 

This is a classic use of Woody Allen's "All men are Socrates" syllogism. All left-wing ideologues want to tax and regulate business out of existence; all left wing ideologues also want to make gay marriage legal; therefore, legalizing gay marriage will result in the end of free enterprise.

Are you confused yet? Jindal is basically saying that corporate America should oppose gay marriage because the people who support it are the same people who favor regulation and other allegedly antibusiness policies.

Forget that gay marriage is mostly uncontroversial for anyone born after disco, and that young Republicans also support it in massive numbers: the seemingly separate issues of gay rights and financial deregulation, Jindal says, are actually "one fight" that will require the business world to enter into a "grand bargain": 

Those who believe in freedom must stick together: If it's not freedom for all, it's not freedom at all. This strategy requires populist social conservatives to ally with the business community on economic matters and corporate titans to side with social conservatives on cultural matters. This is the grand bargain that makes freedom's defense possible. 

In other words, business leaders, if you don't want to be regulated out of existence by our opponents, you must stick with us batty conservatives on social issues, and indulge our total unwillingness to grow the hell up and move into the 21st century. Instead of change, that's Bobby Jindal's solution to the problem of his party's unpopular social stances.

Every now and then, political parties fall into traps of their own devising. It happened in 2004 to the Democrats, who in fear of looking weak to undecideds purged their antiwar candidates in the primaries, and then watched as a deflated party base served up the uninspiring John Kerry to be slaughtered in the general election.

In this cycle, the Republicans are caught between their future and their past on issues like gay marriage. They've been relying on religious conservatives to get numbers for so long that they won't know how to cut the cord when the time comes, and the numbers say that time will have to come fairly soon, if the party wants to stay viable nationally with young people. Who knows, maybe they'll figure it out by 2016. But it doesn't look like it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Those who want Iran war wouldn't be drafted


By George Templeton
Gazette Blog Columnist
The Hero
James had to prove he could win at the casino.   The house knew that the coin toss would come up heads or tails.  It paid twenty dollars out for a ten dollar bet on either pick.  James knew he could always win by putting ten dollars on heads and ten on tails, because those were the only two possibilities.  Will our Middle East policy be similar? 

War Drums
According to an authoritative survey, more than 2/3 of the American people want military intervention in Iran.  The survey participants would not be drafted to fight.  They never experienced the sacrifices of the Greatest Generation.  They had not heard about civic duty and World War II war ration books limiting the availability of meat, sugar, butter, gas, and tires.  The victory speed limit was 35 miles per hour, a value incomprehensible to HB2662, the recent “authoritative” speeding fine dismissal bill.

Peace is our objective.  We don’t pick fights.  We promote democracy instead of building empires, but our freedom depends on liberty in faraway lands.  To be safe, we have the largest military force in the world, but its use can escalate conflict instead of increasing security.  Our actions have always been defending and spreading freedom, but this can be mistaken as aggression.  Terrorism is not national.  We require the support of those whom we would bomb. 

Genuine authority helps us.  An authoritarian makes everybody’s rules.  He preaches less government, but it does not apply to him.  He hides behind closed doors claiming that transparency inhibits his free speech.  To retain unjustified and unwarranted control he tears down accomplishments, generates ill will, distrusts, and denigrates others instead of building them up.  Real authorities have a statesman-like character putting people and enduring principle ahead of self-interest.  Authoritarians believe that leadership is the exercise of power given by wealth.

Bullies risk our security by extending their authority into areas they know little about.  To force their way on others they repress disagreeing speech.  They restrict voting, limit choice, and make false claims when they can get away with it.  Their belief simplifies and removes ambiguity.  It makes cooperation, moderation, and humility into vices that demonstrate weakness of character.  Certainty is necessary to believe that democracy can be introduced by military force and that we have the license to remake the world in our image. 

God Said
Pat Robertson summed it up when he said that we should crush ISIS like we did Hitler.  He accused our President as not believing in America and as lacking “fundamental values” because he was taught by elite leftists who don’t really love this country.  If one is not a religious fundamentalist does it follow that he is an atheist?  Does love of country require intolerance of constructive critique?  Are the values of the poor and obscure more patriotically moral than those of the rich and famous?  Is “anticipatory self-defense” needed to prevent war? 

In 1950 many people argued that man would never go to the moon, but they believed in invaders from Mars and flying saucers.  I was fascinated by those pictures on the covers of the science fiction magazines.  I was not allowed to read them or to attend movies concerned with the threat of nuclear war, like Rocketship X-M and The Day the Earth Stood Still, but they could not keep me from reading the science fiction in the Saturday Evening Post magazine.  It was the same way with the book of Revelation that captured my attention more than the preacher’s sermon.

Revelation is often viewed as warning of world ending events that are starting to happen, but this could be a consequence of constructing a pattern to fit with what we are familiar with.  It seems a big reach to give John, the writer of Revelation, knowledge of tanks, airplanes, and nuclear bombs when he lived within the technology of the ancient Roman Empire.  If the end is predestined there is not much hope for most of the world and little point in geopolitics.  John may have used his fantastic dreams as a literary tool.  If so, John calls us to do something different, not to remain on the sidelines, because we have hope for the future and responsibility to it.

Controversy comes from history and the writings of the great thinkers including the Bible and the Constitution.  But the fact remains that we cannot agree on what they say, even if they are a belief instead of a book or document, and even if they are claimed literally true, original in meaning, and never ambiguous or contradictory.  We learn as much about ourselves in the present as we learn from investigating the past. 

The “news” host impugned his university student “children” when he claimed that they could not honestly answer their atheistic, “America hating”, liberal professors.  Was he confusing what to think with how to reason?  We wonder if his children actually believed, “Daddy knows best”.   Was he referring to the old “consensus school” history that Texas school boards want taught?  Today’s social history recognizes recent controversy and that women and minorities have a history of their own.
History does not repeat itself, but we can contemplate human patterns and gain perspective from them.  Why, when, and how do we wage war?  Is it true that all American wars have been defensive?  Does America always win the war and lose the peace? 

World War II
Diplomacy is as important as winning battles, but the “unfair” World War I Paris peace conference unintentionally sowed the seeds of German resentment and Hitler’s rise.  Appeasement was not a new political strategy in the 1930’s.  The problem was that Hitler could not be appeased.

World War II began in the years 1931 to 1941 as a series of unconnected wars in Asia and Europe that began to coalesce in late 1941.  Today, the tension among national and religious interests in the Shias, Sunnis, Sufis, Alawites, Houthis, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Al-Shaabab, Boca Haram, and ISIS prove that religion does not belong in the public square.

It’s not true that the Axis dictators grabbed power contrary to the will of their people.  Realizing a threat, America provided military aid to the nations fighting the Axis.  We provide arms and sanction economically, but we cannot command others to do our bidding.  We can change their minds but not their hearts.  Similar policies led to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Even though there were 15 million Americans in uniform deployed around the world, they amounted to only 25 percent of the allied forces.  We did not single handedly crush Hitler.   However, America was becoming a super industrialized nation.  We supplied more than 50 percent of the war material used to defeat the Axis.  By the end of the war, America owned nearly 2/3 of the world’s gold and more than 1/2 of its manufacturing capacity.  Our exports more than doubled our imports and we were a net creditor.  We were the world’s leading producer of oil, steel, airplanes, automobiles, and electronics.

Opposite to Patrick M. Wood’s conspiracy theories and the Payson Tea Party’s anti-science paranoia, technology is what won the war, created the middle class, cured disease, fed, clothed, and entertained us.  Our people’s sovereignty and their cherished principles, not military might or wealth, made us into the greatest nation. 

The Cold War
The defeat of the Axis eliminated the common enemy of the U.S. and Russia, but it did not lead to peace.  It left a power vacuum accentuating the opposed ideologies of Communism and Capitalism.   The resulting Cold War would come to threaten the destruction of the earth in the 1980’s.  The policy of Mutual Assured Destruction gave us the false security of invincible power.  It lasted until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990.  The Korean and Vietnam wars were fought within the blanket of that ideological conflict.  The current conflict is between Islamic and Christian anti-intellectualism and Western Values. 

Korean War
In Korea, the surrender of the Japanese left the country occupied by American and Russian forces, each having installed rival governments.  In 1950, with Stalin’s consent and Truman’s condemnation, the North invaded the South.  Because Russia had boycotted the UN, we were able to get UN sanction for military intervention, but that threatened to turn into another world war when the Chinese came to the aid of the North Koreans.  Sixty years later, Korea remains divided and we still have a costly military presence there.  Sanctions did not prevent North Korea from developing a nuclear weapon. 

Vietnam War
The Vietnam War began with the failure of French colonial rule that deprived the Vietnamese people their right of self-determination.  The Gulf of Tonkin belief denied all Johnson Administration responsibility for an attack by the North and ignored contrary evidence that a second attack may not have occurred.  By 1968 we had more than 500,000 forces in Vietnam and we had stopped but not defeated the Communists.  The war was a failure because the South Vietnamese government was never stable, we did not adequately consider Vietnamese cultural history, the difficulty of creating a government like ours, and that the war was not just a domino game.  This longest war showed that we underestimated the resolve of the Vietnamese people and overestimated the commitment of America.  We won every battle but lost the war. 

Permanent War
America has a responsibility to promote common humanitarian interests by setting clear examples.  The rise of home grown Islamic terrorists reveals a weakness spawned by the compromise of principles and united by Islamic fundamentalism that will not be resolved by military might. 

The Winner
Everybody wins in a fair negotiation, but American politics negates that.  The possibilities between having and not having a bomb cannot be managed by divided government and showmen.  Experts know that the game will be different fifteen years from now, but simplification speaks louder and clearer than science.  Our risk is that we will become like the hero described in my introduction, James, who always wins but accomplishes nothing.

GCC Offers General Ed Classes this summer

Register now for English and Math classes this summer at GCC and get a head start on your Fall Semester schedule.

Written Communications I (ENG101) emphasizes clear and effective writing and critical reading.  Written Communications II (ENG102) continues development of skills and concepts taught in ENG 101.  Emphasizes research and critical reading and writing.  ENG 101 and ENG 102 are both on-line courses. 

Elementary Algebra class is an introduction to Algebra.  Topics include signed numbers, expressions, linear equations and inequalities, exponents, polynomials, factoring, and systems of equations.  MAT 077, Elementary Algebra, meets Monday through Thursday from 1-2:50 p.m. 

Intermediate Algebra is a continuation of Elementary Algebra.  Topics include functions, quadratics, inequalities, radicals, conic sections, exponentials, and logarithms.  MAT 120, Intermediate Algebra, meets Monday through Thursday from 3-4:50 p.m. 

Summer semester dates are May 26 – July 20, 2015.   Registration is ongoing now.  For students 55 and older, tuition is waived.  The campus is located at 201 N. Mud Springs Rd.  For more information call 928-468-8039.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

AZ wary as Avian Influenza strikes 5 states

Arizona Taking Steps to Protect Poultry
The Arizona Department of Agriculture is working with large and small poultry farmers in the state concerning the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).  Since the first discovery in North America in December, the department has published information on the State Veterinarian’s blog as well as the website.

With this week’s announcement of the USDA confirming Highly Pathogenic subtype H5N2 in several different types of poultry flocks in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa, the state is increasing its surveillance.

“There are currently no cases of HPAI in Arizona,” said Arizona’s State Veterinarian, Dr. Perry Durham.   “However, as long as the HPAI virus continues to spread in the U.S., the risk of infection remains.  Arizona has a robust surveillance program actively looking for the disease in domestic poultry and wild birds.”

Avian Influenza is a highly contagious viral disease of chickens, turkeys, pheasants, ducks, quail, geese and many wild birds.  HPAI can be carried by wild waterfowl without symptoms.  Direct contact with infected birds, contaminated objects/equipment, and droplets in air (short distances) can spread the virus which is found in feces, saliva and respiratory secretions.

Signs of HPAI infection include; lack of energy or appetite, birds huddling together, swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks, coughing, sneezing or sudden death without any clinical signs.

Vaccination is not currently available for this HPAI strain, so disease prevention is important.

Follow these steps:

•           People should avoid contact with sick or dead poultry or wild birds

•           If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change into clean clothes before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds

•           Keep tools and equipment clean

•           If you own poultry, do not have contact with other flocks or flock premises

•           If you have any questions about the health of your birds, contact your local veterinarian

•           Additional information on how to keep your flock healthy can be found at 

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, can do their part to protect Arizona poultry by immediately reporting sick birds or unusual bird deaths to the Arizona State Veterinarian’s Office at (602)-542-4293 or the USDA sick bird hotline at 1-866-536-7593.

Although HPAI is a deadly disease of domestic poultry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the risk for infection of people to be low.  To date, this H5N2 strain has not caused any human illness.  It is also safe to eat properly handled and cooked poultry products, including meat and eggs.

For human health questions about Avian Influenza, refer to the Arizona Department of Health Services web site,