CHECK YOUR SOURCES! 

There’s them that make news,

Them that make fake news,

Then there’s fake fake news,

But that’s called satire,

Sometimes it’s hard to tell,

Till it comes down to the wire,

It’s no longer true that

where there’s smoke there’s fire,

Before you share or shout,

You better hold your horses, 

Time to teach our children, 

In their classes and courses,

Check your sources!

Check your sources!

Idag i Sverige…

…a newspaper (or many) works at a frenzied pace.

What an absolutely bizarre day.  Newspapers in Sweden, Aftonbladet and Dagens Nyheter, have been publishing articles in English in order to clarify things for impressionable Americans who blindly accept everything McCheetodick and Alex Jones bark and tweet.

Another digital news outlet, The Local, has been working diligently to provide the English speaking world with articles debunking the false allegations made by our president and other conspiracy peddlers (Fox News, Info Wars, etc…).  The Local caters specifically to English speakers in nine different countries, focusing entirely on the respective country’s domestic news.  The Swedish version was the first, having started in 2004.  Yours truly stumbled upon it in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina of all things.

As of right now, there are four compelling articles which Americans should read.  These articles will clarify any issues regarding Sweden, immigration, crime and fake news.

Swedish embassy offers to ‘inform’ Trump after ‘last night in Sweden’ explanation
TT/The Local

Sweden has offered to “inform the US administration” about the country’s immigration policy after Donald Trump explained his comments about a non-existent incident in the country were provoked by something he saw while watching the news.

The US President took to Twitter to explain why he had insinuated to a crowd in Florida last Saturday that a serious incident had taken place the night before in Sweden – comments which left Swedes baffled over what he may have been referring to, following a peaceful evening in the Nordic nation.

continued***

Swedish Fox News cops hit out at filmmaker: ‘He is a madman’
The Local

Two Swedish police officers interviewed in a news report referenced by US president Donald Trump about crime and immigration say their quotes were taken out of context.

The controversial segment from a film by filmmaker Ami Horowitz, which was shown on Fox News on Friday and claimed immigration had led to a rise in crime in Sweden, made headlines after Trump (much to the surprise of Swedes) used the Nordic country as a cautionary tale in a speech on Saturday.

But two Stockholm-based police officers featured in the clip, talking about crime and the accessibility of weapons, have sharply criticized how they were portrayed and how their quotes were used in the interview.

continued***

Analysis: Why Trump’s false claims are bad news for Sweden
Emma Löfgren

Donald Trump targeted Sweden and then things got even weirder. The Local Sweden’s editor takes a closer look at the story dominating the news in Sweden.

“We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?” US president Donald Trump asked on Saturday, targeting the country while listing a number of places in Europe hit by terror attacks.

Well, who would believe this? Least of all the Swedes, it soon turned out.

Trump later clarified his comments, but not before causing major confusion after a fairly quiet Friday in the Nordic country, where some of the biggest stories had included a man setting himself on fire for unknown reasons in Stockholm, talk about Eurovision try-outs, and a picture of an elk humping a wooden elk.

continued***

Six claims and facts about Sweden: a closer look at Ami Horowitz’ report
TT/The Local

When US president Donald Trump this past weekend mentioned events in Sweden, he was referring to a TV broadcast about Swedish migration policy. Several claims in the broadcast are questionable, and some downright wrong. Swedish news agency TT has looked at the facts.

Claim: In the introduction to the Fox News segment, the presenter says: ”In 2016 alone the country accepted more than 160,000 asylum seekers”.

Fact: In 2016, nearly 29,000 people sought asylum in Sweden, a very sharp decline compared to 2015, when nearly 163,000 sought asylum, according to the Migration Board. In 2016 there were nearly 112,000 asylum decisions taken, some 67,000 were approved.

continued

Read, share, inform.

Sverige…

…the horror, the terror, the recovery.

This escaped me and I do not understand how.  As a reader of several Swedish news sources, I do not understand the delay in reporting such a catastrophe in the era of the 24-hour news cycle.  I suppose, with things on a scale as grand as this, the media was simply performing its due diligence and not alerting the general public until it had thoroughly researched every fact before going to press.  Maybe this is the media’s correcting its behavior as it relates to all of the fake news stories it has been printing since The Angry Yam descended the escalator in Dump Towers and declared his intent to drive the world into the ground.  Or, perhaps, an agreement has been reached?  No news regarding the safety of human beings shall be dispersed to citizens until Our Dear Leader, Orange Foolius, informs us directly, preferably at a rally at an airport with only his most devout followers in attendance.

Imagine my emotional state when I discovered that my second country, the place that occupies my heart, the home to many of my dearest friends was attacked.  Attacked in a manner so violent, the newly sensible media thought about the general public for once and chose to withhold all reporting and publishing of photographs to keep us snowflakes from being triggered.

My friends, shaken to the core and traumatized so significantly, were unable to utilize Facebook’s safety check feature.  From what I have been able to ascertain, neither Kitten nor Blitz were able to access a cellphone signal on Friday night.  Their social media platforms were silent from early Friday evening until midday Saturday.  I can only deduce that PM Löfven is working in concert with the Tang Tyrant’s administration – withholding details until Our Dear Leader addresses his public first.  After all, we’re living in an America First era.

A friend of mine is an editor of a fairly large news outlet which provides news for expats in English in multiple countries in the EU.  It was only this morning that I managed to obtain two pictures of the damage to Sweden on Friday night.  I may be at risk of breaching trust but I understand the source of the photos has been thoroughly vetted and I fundamentally believe they must be shared with the general public.  I do not understand how and why the Short-Fingered Vulgarian is not allowing the New York Times or the Washington Post to print them. From a different source, I managed to obtain a copy of Kim Jong-un’s media management strategy guide which is circulating through the upper echelon of Our Dear Leader’s administration.  This will be shared at a later date, when my request for asylum has been granted.

I hasten to add, the images you are about to see are not appropriate for children.  If you find yourself easily agitated, you may want to stop reading at this point.  And, as I said on one of my social media platforms, when the Red Cross begins its text message drive for donations, please, please donate.  Sweden is a country of 10 million.  It has resources and a very strong social welfare system.  But, it will still need assistance from generous donors in order to appropriately distribute tools for clean up, medical services, water, etc…

snökuken Göteborg

snökuken Göteborg

snökuken Göteborg, recovery & clean up

snökuken Göteborg, recovery & clean up

Jag är Sverige för alltid.

MORE THAN THAT 

Go on, emasculate me,
Remove my masculinity, 
If that’s all that you see,
Because I’m more than that,

My nationality? Just where I come from,
A part of me, not the sum,
Shouldn’t be a distraction, 
Because I’m more than that, 

The colour of my skin?
This package I’m in?
Doesn’t show what’s within,
Because I’m more than that,

Many parts to my whole,
Not a one has control,
But love in my heart and soul,
Is where I’m really at.

The Statue of Bigotry

Picture it now, the colossal statue that Trump is going to erect of himself, with an arm outstretched and a palm facing east, his other arm clutching an executive order that reads:

Get back, wretched refuse,
To your teeming shore.
You are not wanted anymore.
Go back, wretched refuse,
To your lives of fear.
You are no longer welcome here.
You wanted refuge, I suppose.
But now the Golden Door is closed.
I lift no lamp to guide you to my land.
I lift only my tiny little hand.

Countless

From the crumbling, bullet-ridden houses,
Full of countless childhood pictures,
They fled.
From the smoldering cities,
Heavy with the smoke of countless fires,
They fled.
From the dust of countless broken buildings,
They fled.
Into the dust of the desert,
With countless broken people,
They fled.
Their countless dead,
And all their possessions,
Left behind.
In the fire.
In the dust.
Across the world, across the sea,
They fled,
For countless weeks,
They waited and hoped and prayed,
Their struggles, countless.
The horrors they’d witnessed, countless.
And then…
When they finally got there,
They were told,
That no one would help them.
That they were not wanted.
That they, the countless,
Did not count.

Extreme Vetting…

…discrimination by executive order.

Omran Daqneesh

There is a pantload of pictures throughout history that make people stop dead in their tracks. For some, it’s Quang Duc’s self-immolation. It could be the photo of Nguyen Van Lem’s being shot in the head in Saigon. Or – it could be Tank Man from Tiananmen Square.

The picture that has haunted me since I first saw it is of Omran Daqneesh aka “Syrian Ambulance Boy.” All of five years-old. As a parent, it is heartbreaking and soul crushing. As a human being, it makes you wonder what constitutes humane.

Today, an executive order was signed suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. All immigration from “countries with terrorism concerns” has also been suspended for 90 days. This includes Syria, where Omran lives.

Some will say it’s not the United States’ responsibility to fix the world’s problems. As many have pointed out, today is also Holocaust Remembrance Day. With that in mind, I’d like to remind those who feel that way that there was a boat full of Jews who were seeking safety in the United States. Our country turned that boat away.

We can repeat our mistakes or we can learn from them. A five year-old boy is not a threat to our national security. Neither is a majority of Muslims seeking asylum from their war torn nations.

We have to be better than this.

MIGHT NEED THAT LATER

MIGHT NEED THAT LATER

He’d say ”see ya in the funnies”,
And then he’d try to make one,
He could never resist,
Even the worst pun,
Kept all the rubber bands,
From his Globe & Mail,
And drawers full of clothes,
That he bought on sale,

He had so many kids,
Didn’t always know their names,
He’d call’em all George and Henry,
When they’d all play games,
He was always kinda short,
Even shorter in the end,
No one ever doubted,
Shirley was his best friend,

Yeah Pappa’s gone on
To gates so pearly,
No doubt St.Peter said
you’re a little bit early”
To which Pappa woulda said,
I’m here to see my Shirley”,

Knew his way around his tools,
And a welding torch,
In the old days he’d sit,
With a guitar on a porch,
Always a kind word,
To the cashier and waiter,
And kept every little thing,
Cuz he might need it later,

Sometimes he’d disappear,
In his room or on a ship,
He even disappeared
On a Las Vegas trip,
But we’d never ever worry,
Cuz we’d always know,
We could find him somewhere,
In the casino,

His emotions were never hung out on his sleeve,
Wasn’t quick to say what he didn’t believe,
He liked to joke and tease, could be an instigator,
He kept his love on a shelf,
Cuz he might need that later……

 

The Repeal of The Affordable Care Act…

…theory does not practicality make.

Why can’t people extend logic just a smidge?  An iota?  A scintilla?  If you have the creative capacity to dream up scenarios to defend your shitty, weak hypotheses, what is the harm in thinking an additional minute or two to ensure your idea isn’t completely off-base or entirely wrong?  Wouldn’t it make it easier to sell?  Wouldn’t it make it believable?  Because, when you don’t take that extra five minutes or so, you’re left with being challenged by some nitwit, healthcare consultant in the South who doesn’t care much for people and certainly isn’t agreeable when she identifies significant gaps which she, in her distorted sense of ethics, deems immoral.

Alas, no.  Logic is not a consideration in Conservative decision making. Neither is decency.  Nor humanity.  If it was, these assholes wouldn’t be hijacking government via “special sessions” (imma lookin atchu, NC General Assembly) and the Senate wouldn’t be voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act when they should otherwise be in bed, fucking their rent-boys.

A few things to note:

  1. The costliest demographic to providers and insurers in healthcare is the chronically ill, age regardless.
  2. The general public will never escape the burden of funding care for those who cannot pay the bill.

In a society that relies on employer subsidized healthcare as the model, eliminating the consumer’s protection with respect to preexisting conditions is reckless, irresponsible and immoral. There is absolutely no guarantee any person can maintain constant employment. Costs for non-subsidized health insurance are unrealistic for middle and lower class citizens without opting for a deductible that is unreasonable.

With Ryan’s plan, the state and federal governments are still involved. The insurance providers are still involved. They’re still subsidizing the cost. Your tax dollars are still paying for this albeit less efficiently because you have diluted the market, as a whole. Your insurance premiums will still be offsetting the cost for the providers.

 “For sick patients who cannot continue coverage, Ryan’s plan calls for a return to state-run high-risk pools. These pools allow sick people to buy insurance separately, while states, insurers and the federal government help subsidize the cost. The president-elect’s website says he supports risk pools.

Risk pools have a long and controversial past. Before the ACA was passed, 35 states ran risk pools for people with preexisting conditions ranging from cancer and diabetes to more minor afflictions such as arthritis or eczema. Premiums for risk pool coverage were as much as 250 percent more than a healthy person would pay for individual insurance, and some states, overwhelmed with sick patients, had wait lists for coverage or imposed other restrictions, said Fish-Parcham.”

Additionally, as we see in other business models, when there is shrinkage or loss, the cost of business is passed along to the consumer. Do you honestly believe providers (practices or hospitals) are not going to inflate their charges to the consumer to make up for the bad debt of others?  Do you think you’re not going to be stuck assuming that burden?  YOU WILL BE.

And so forth.  Further reading here.

POTUS

​So much hate for Obama

That it made his face red

His need for drama

Meant he’d defile their bed

So he sourced it out

That’s his way I guess

And now I’ve no doubt 

POTUS stands for Pissing On The US.