Volcanic activity from the Malama Ki and Leilani Estates neighborhoods glows in the distance from Hwy 137, Thursday, May 17, 2018, near Pahoa, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Volcanic activity from the Malama Ki and Leilani Estates neighborhoods glows in the distance from Hwy 137, Thursday, May 17, 2018, near Pahoa, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)


Spectators on the side of Hwy 137 to watch the volcanic activity from the Malama Ki and Lelani Estates neighborhoods, Thursday, May 17, 2018, near Pahoa, HI. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)


Lindsey Magnani and her son Kahele Rodrigues, 2, listen as an official shows them how to use a respirator that was given to them to help protect against ash from Kilauea volcano, Thursday, May 17, 2018, in Volcano, Hawaii. Free respirators were being handed out to communities around the volcano after it erupted early Thursday, sending a plume of ash about 30,000 feet into the air. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)


Light coats of gritty ash fall near erupting Hawaii volcano

By CALEB JONES and SOPHIA YAN

Associated Press May 18

VOLCANO, Hawaii (AP) — Authorities handed out around 2,000 masks for protection as people living near Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano braced for pulverized rock, glass and crystal to rain down after an explosive eruption at the peak’s summit.

Lindsey Magnani, her fiance Elroy Rodrigues and their two children picked up masks for their family Thursday afternoon at Cooper Center in Volcano, Hawaii.

Magnani said both of her children — Kahele Rodrigues, 2, and Kayden Rodrigues, 3 months old — were doing OK, but her and her fiance had both been sneezing all day.

“This morning it smelled like sulfur so we had to close all the windows,” Magnani said.

Most residents found only thin coatings of ash, if they saw any at all, as winds blew much of the 30,000-foot (9,100-meter) plume away from people.

“It was a grit, like a sand at the beach,” said Joe Laceby, who lives in the town of Volcano a few miles to the northeast of Kilauea’s summit. The ash was a bit of an irritant, he said, but “not too bad.”

Laceby sealed windows and cracks in his home with cellophane wrap to keep out ash and volcanic gases. He has gas masks to protect himself from the toxic fumes and ash.

The explosion at Kilauea’s summit came shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday following two weeks of volcanic activity that sent lava flows into neighborhoods and destroyed at least 26 homes. Scientists said the eruption was the most powerful in recent days, though it probably lasted only a few minutes.

Geologists have warned that the volcano could become even more violent, with increasing ash production and the potential that future blasts could hurl boulders the size of cows from the summit.

Winds kept the ash away from the Volcano Winery, tasting room manager Lani Delapenia said. A thin coating of white soot had blanketed tables and vines the day before, on Wednesday, but none wafted over the day of the 30,000-foot plume. The strength and direction of the wind makes all the difference, she said.

“The Volcano Village, and us at the winery, are doing well and we hope people still come and visit us and order wine because we are still pumping wine out,” Delapenia said.

The vineyard also has a great view of the plume, she said.

Julia Neal, operator of Pahala Plantation Cottages about 28 miles (45 kilometers) southwest of the summit crater, said people have been picking up ash masks from county civil defense workers at the local community center. Some people working outside were wearing them. People with asthma were staying inside, she said.

The eruption reminded her of 2008, when Kilauea also had large summit eruptions and sent ash and gas over her community.

A light dusting fell Thursday, but the town had more ash a couple of days ago when people had to wash it off their cars, she said.

“People are renovating one of the historic buildings across the street. The school kids just stopped by. They’re getting ready to graduate. Life is going on quite vibrantly here with people taking these precautions,” she said.

The National Weather Service issued an ash advisory and then extended it through early evening, and county officials distributed ash masks to area residents. Several schools closed because of the risk of elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, a volcanic gas.

Dr. Josh Green, a state senator who represents part of the Big Island, said the immediate risk health risk comes from ash particles in the air. Anyone with respiratory difficulties, such as asthma or emphysema, should limit exposure to the ash, he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration extended a restriction on aircraft from entering the airspace up to 30,000 feet above sea level. The earlier limit was up to 10,000 feet (3,000 meters). The prohibition applies to a 5-mile (8-kilometer) radius around the crater.

Thursday’s eruption did not affect the Big Island’s two largest airports in Hilo and in Kailua-Kona.

The crater spewing ash sits within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has been closed since May 11 as a safety precaution over risks of a violent eruption.

Scientists warned May 9 that a drop in the lava lake at the summit might create conditions for a large explosion. Geologists predicted such a blast would mostly release trapped steam from flash-heated groundwater.

Kilauea has also been erupting lava into neighborhoods 25 miles (40 kilometers) to the east of the summit crater since May 3. It opened a new lava vent in the area — the 21st such fissure — on Thursday.

Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has been erupting continuously since 1983. It’s among the five volcanoes that form the Big Island, and it’s the only one actively erupting. In 1924, an eruption killed one person and sent rocks, ash and dust into the air for 17 days.

Associated Press journalists Jennifer Kelleher and Audrey McAvoy in Honolulu, Becky Bohrer in Juneau, Alaska, and Seth Borenstein in Washington, D.C., and Alina Hartounian in Phoenix contributed to this report.

From Twitter

John McCain @SenJohnMcCain

Today we honor the Americans who sacrificed everything to secure the blessings of liberty. Family and friends to some, heroes to all – who lived, fought and died for the safety and future of a great and good nation. God bless them and grant them perpetual peace. #MemorialDay

“The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion” ~ Thomas Paine

Ex-doorman makes unverified claim that housekeeper had child with Trump

Carl Bernstein questions whether Trump is leading US toward authoritarianism

Former intel chief Hayden: Trump ‘willing to throw almost anything against the wall’ to ‘de-legitimize’ Mueller probe

By Luis Sanchez – 05/27/18

The Hill

General Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA and NSA during the George W. Bush administration, said on Sunday that President Trump will attempt anything in an effort to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling.

“I think he’s simply trying to delegitimize the Mueller investigation, the FBI, the Department of Justice and he’s willing to throw almost anything against the wall,” Hayden told ABC’s “This Week.”

“Remember, wiretapping Trump Tower, unmasking U.S. identities, FISA applications that were abused and now we have — now we have this,” Hayden added, referring to recent allegations from Trump that a spy was placed in his presidential campaign.

In recent days it was reported that the FBI had an informant who spoke to members of Trump’s presidential campaign. The FBI has worked to assess if there were links between the campaign and Russia.

Shortly after the reports broke, Trump and several Republicans labeled the informant a “spy.”

Hayden noted that while the president’s comments lack evidence, they have made an impact on many Americans.

“All of those are incorrect. All of those are stunningly normal in the development of intelligence and law enforcement,” Hayden said. “But…for a lot of people in the country, one or another or many of those things have already stuck.”

Hayden noted that, based on what he knows of the ongoing investigation, “everyone has handled this just about the way it should have been handled.”

Inspired by Gaza Killings, Ann Coulter Proposes Shooting Immigrants Trying to Cross U.S. Border Illegally

By Gillian Edevane On 5/15/18

Newsweek

Following reports that Israeli forces killed 57 Palestinians and injured thousands more during Monday protests along the Gaza border, right-wing commentator Ann Coulter seemingly endorsed the efforts and suggested the U.S. take a similarly violent approach toward migrants attempting to cross into the U.S.

“Can we do that?” Coulter wrote on Twitter, linking to a New York Times article titled, “Israel responded with rifle fire to a mass attempt by Palestinians to cross a border fence, killing at least 28, Palestinian officials said.”

Britain, France and Germany called for the Israeli government to exercise restraint in dealing with protesters, while the White House blamed militant group Hamas for the violence. The protests broke out as the U.S. embassy was officially moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and also coincided with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding.

Coulter, who has made a seven-figure fortune railing against progressive causes, has been one of the most public—and harshest—critics of illegal immigration. It’s not the first time the conservative firebrand has proposed shooting migrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally. In an interview with radio program Right Wing Watch, Coulter suggested that using gunfire would send a warning.

“If you shoot one to encourage the others, maybe they’ll learn, but otherwise, we’ll see, we’ll see,” she said, noting that President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall was a more preferable option.

Although she was a staunch advocate for Trump during the 2016 election, Coulter has seemingly become disillusioned with the blustery business mogul—in large part due to her disappointment with the president’s treatment of DACA and illegal immigration. In January, she opined that the president’s meeting with Democrats on the issue was the nadir of Trump’s presidency.

In her recent book In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!, she wrote that immigrants make the U.S. more dishonest.

“In the same way any immigrant to Finland makes it less white, any immigrant to America makes it less honest,” she opines in the book.

Conservative political commentator and author Ann Coulter discusses her “Adios, America! The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole” on June 17, 2015, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C

From Facebook

You know, of course…that the Supreme Court just voted to essentially do away with workers’ ability to sue for sexual harassment or lost wages. By allowing employers to require employees to sign waivers against class actions, not many people will be willing to spend $200,000 to claim $18,000 in wages…nor will they subject themselves to the abuse of standing alone in a sexual harassment suit. Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke out with a dissenting opinion. The vote was 5 to 4.

The Republicans are packing the courts with Right Wing extremists. Combine moves like this with increasing wealth disparity…and this is how liberty is lost! Vote Blue in November!

General Jake Clapper, former director of the National Security Agency has just told Rachel Maddow that the US collective intelligence surveillance of Russian ‘intervention in the 2016 election’….DID MAKE THE FINAL DIFFERENCE IN DONALD TRUMP BEING ELECTED!

People ask me why I am so hard on so-called “Evangelical Christians?” So I will explain.

1. To be a Christian suits me just fine. I am a Christian. I follow Jesus, try to obey Him, try to let the Bible guide my conduct. No kidding. Actually, the reason I am a progressive/ liberal/ Dem is I am a Christian and I am trying to be guided by the Sermon on the Mount, the Golden Rule, the Book of Proverbs, the scoldings and hectorings of the ancient Jewish prophets, and by the Bible, generally. So I am not opposed to being a Christian.

2. Supposedly, “Evangelical” has a simple meaning. It means to go out and attempt to recruit everyone else to believe as you do. If you can do this politely and respectfully then I see no reason why all Christians should not be “Evangelical.”

3. My belief is too many people worry too much about sin and salvation and baptism and heaven and hell and purgatory and angels and demons and the devil. People waste energy worrying about whether to dunk or to sprinkle. People waste their lives talking about whether one is saved or born again or forgiven or not. Jesus covered all this stuff: YOU WILL BE KNOWN BY THE FRUIT YOU BEAR!

4. One person goes to church 4 times weekly. The other person spends the same time helping at the foodbank, collecting donations for Clara White Mission, babysitting free for neighbors, mowing the lawn for a shut-in friend. It is the second one of these two who fits the examples Jesus gave about right conduct. Jesus would spend Sunday morning mowing the lawn for a shut-in.

5. ‘Well, Andy, do people get bonus points for church attendance at all? Andy, you claim to be a Christian yet you ridicule church attendance?” Nope and nope. You get no credits nor points for attending church. Church can be a time of celebration, of praise, of inspiration. I enjoy almost any flavor of Christian church service. But the only points or credits Jesus allows for church attendance is to the extent that it helps us develop habits of right conduct. If church helps you to try harder to be kind, to be nice, to do unto others as you want them to do unto you, then church is a good thing, a very good thing.

6. I have wasted major chunks of my life in trying to be a proper Christian of one flavor or another. But I should have been true to my instincts as a little kid. I believed then as I do now that true religion is right conduct. Right conduct is true religion. OK with me if you do or don’t believe in Jesus or if you believe as a Jew or as a Muslim. You say this is blasphemy? Find a verse which makes that claim. I can match you with other verses where Jesus and the writers of the Epistles told us that you show your religion through your conduct.

7. “Well, OK, but, Andy, why do you ridicule Evangelicals? Why not leave them alone?” I cannot leave them alone. I feel called by God to seek their un-conversion even more surely than they believe God told them to convert the rest of us. If their Evangelicalism results in right conduct, feeding the hungry, seeking world peace, then fine. But I am suspicious. Too often so-called Evangelicals team up to press for hateful public policies which Jesus would reject.

8. If you consider yourself Evangelical, then I call on you to repent…if your religion has led you to support Trump, if your religion has caused you to hate blacks, LGBTQ folks, Hispanics, Muslims, people from other countries, people of other religions or other denominations. Believe as you choose about Jesus and about salvation, but you must repent and become unconverted on the hateful parts of your religion…if you seek Heaven.

9. If you are going to be a public Christian, then please take some time and read and re-read what the Bible said about right conduct. You will be known by the fruit you bear. So-called Christians, especially Evangelical Christians, are stumbling blocks for other prospective Christians if they spend time in church but not any time doing Christian things to others.

10. Lastly, no amount of church attendance and Bible-reading and Bible-thumping can compensate for the failure of most “Evangelical Christians” to press for political policies of which Jesus would approve. Jesus would not approve of our huge military budget. Jesus would not approve of food stamp cutbacks. Jesus would not approve of national policies which result in speeding up the transfer of wealth to the one percent. Jesus would not approve of a society in which wealth determines public policy. He said this. Similarly the ancient prophets also said plainly that the wealthy cannot must not use government to step on the necks of the poor.

11. You say I should be nice to Evangelicals. I respond that Evangelicals need to prove they believe in the right conduct advocated and preached by the Bible.Too often is it obvious and public that they do not.

I have come to the conclusion that the teachings of Jesus should not be included with the Old Testament as if they are one and the same, the “word of God.” I do not believe that god has much of anything to do with the OT. I do believe that we humans, being very flawed as we are, would be walking a more godly path if we followed the teachings of Jesus. That’s all I have to say on the subject.

I’m an atheist, but I support your right to believe whatever you want as long as you are not hurting anyone or forcing those beliefs on anyone.

In my view, it’s better to try to act like a Christian and not claim to be one, than to claim to be one and not act like one. I can accept most of the teachings attributed to “Jesus” as allegories.

Related: Republican Senate Candidate Praises Hitler and Sparks Condemnation from California GOP

Republican Who Claims Holocaust Was Orchestrated by Gay Nazis Wins Enough Support for Massachusetts Governor Primary

By Jason Le Miere On 5/9/18

Newsweek

The author of a book claiming that the Holocaust was orchestrated by gay men who ran the Nazi party will appear on a Massachusetts gubernatorial primary ballot later this year after garnering enough support at the Republican party’s state convention last week. Scott Lively will now face off with incumbent governor Charlie Baker in September’s primary.

Lively wrote a 1995 book, titled The Pink Swastika, in which he asserted that the Nazi party that took power in Germany in the 1930s was controlled by “militaristic” homosexuals who inspired the murder of about 6 million European Jews. The Holocaust also saw the persecution of a number of other groups, including homosexuals. Lively’s claims have been roundly debunked by historians.

But the controversy surrounding Lively does not end there. He is the founder of an anti-LGBT group, Abiding Truth Ministries, which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He is also staunchly anti-abortion. On his campaign website, Lively stated that “abortion is the intentional killing of a living human being and should be criminalized.”

He added that he “would work to ensure that it carried a serious penalty for anyone who deliberately and with premeditation kills an unborn child.”

Despite this, he received support from 626 of the more than 2,000 delegates at the Massachusetts Republican Party Convention—almost double the 15 percent required to get on the ballot.

“When you’ve got the nation’s most popular governor at the top of the ballot, certainly it’s strange that Scott Lively would be able to get from the Republican convention goers that kind of support, and that kind of a vote,” Massachusetts political consultant Anthony Cignoli told Mass Live. “Did these convention goers, these delegates, go there specifically for him; was this an effort that was orchestrated and to the credit of his campaign? Or is this indicative of what the base of the Republican party regulars are?”

Despite his surprise success, few expect Lively’s campaign to go much further. Baker, who has regularly been voted the country’s most popular governor, still garnered 70 percent of delegates’ support at the convention.

One-Third of Americans Don’t Believe 6 Million Jews Were Murdered During the Holocaust

By David Brennan On 4/12/18

Newsweek

One-third of Americans think “substantially less” than 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, according to a new survey that highlights a worrying lack of basic knowledge about the World War II-era genocide.

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, or Claims Conference, released the findings of its survey to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day. They show a notable lack of understanding among Americans, especially millennials, the group said.

The Claims Conference said there are “critical gaps both in awareness of basic facts as well as detailed knowledge of the Holocaust” in American society, stressing that U.S. schools must provide more comprehensive education on the crimes.

The survey shows that 70 percent of Americans believe people care less about the Holocaust than they used to. A majority, 58 percent, said they believe something like the Holocaust could happen again.

31 percent of the Americans surveyed, and 41 percent of millennials within that group, do not believe that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust and think the real death toll is at least 2 million lower.

Adolf Hitler’s fascist Nazi regime killed approximately 6 million Jews before and during World War II. The Nazis also murdered millions of Eastern European civilians, Soviet prisoners of war, disabled people, homosexuals and political prisoners. Estimates of the total death toll reach as high at 15 million to 20 million people.

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Almost half (45 percent) of Americans were unable to name a single concentration camp, and the number was even worse for millennials (49 percent). Two-thirds (66 percent) of millennials were unable to explain what Auschwitz was. The death camp is one of the most infamous that existed in Nazi-ruled Europe, and its name has become synonymous with the genocide.

15 percent thought people should be allowed to display Nazi slogans or symbols today, while 11 percent said it is acceptable to hold neo-Nazi views.

These figures are especially concerning given the reported rise in hate group numbers, activity and confidence in recent years. A February report from the Southern Poverty Law Center claimed that the number of hate groups in the U.S. has increased by 20 percent over the past three years. The number of neo-Nazi groups increased from 99 in 2016 to 121 in 2017, the center said.

According to the Claims Conference survey, around two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans believe there is anti-Semitism in the U.S. today. “A combined majority (51%) of Americans believe there are a great deal (17%) or many (34%) Neo-Nazis in the United States today,” the survey reported.

Neo-Nazis Charlottesville White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and members of the “alt-right” march in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017. Most Americans believe that significant numbers of neo-Nazis are in the country, a new survey says. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Despite the worrying figures, 93 percent of those asked think the Holocaust should be taught in schools, while 96 percent believe that the genocide happened.

Claims Conference President Julius Berman said it is “vital to open a dialogue on the state of Holocaust awareness so that the lessons learned inform the next generation. We are alarmed that today’s generation lacks some of the basic knowledge about these atrocities.”

Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference, said, “There remain troubling gaps in Holocaust awareness while survivors are still with us; imagine when there are no longer survivors here to tell their stories. We must be committed to ensuring the horrors of the Holocaust and the memory of those who suffered so greatly are remembered, told and taught by future generations.”

The Claims Conference said its results are based on a representative sample of 1,350 American adults interviewed by phone and online. Respondents were selected randomly and reflected the demographics of the American adult population, it said.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), told Newsweek that the ADL’s research shows Americans “overwhelmingly—almost universally,” know the Holocaust happened. That said, the ADL has long had concerns about the level of knowledge of the Holocaust, “particularly among young people.”

“The farther we move away from the terrible events of the Nazi era, the more creative we have to be in connecting young people, for whom it is all ancient history, to the horrors that took place and how it is relevant to today’s society,” Greenblatt explained.

Volcanic activity from the Malama Ki and Leilani Estates neighborhoods glows in the distance from Hwy 137, Thursday, May 17, 2018, near Pahoa, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/06/web1_120558501-6ecfd59445e642fa94fb6a3c3096dc83.jpgVolcanic activity from the Malama Ki and Leilani Estates neighborhoods glows in the distance from Hwy 137, Thursday, May 17, 2018, near Pahoa, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Spectators on the side of Hwy 137 to watch the volcanic activity from the Malama Ki and Lelani Estates neighborhoods, Thursday, May 17, 2018, near Pahoa, HI. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/06/web1_120558501-00b24ebb129e46f2994825c9cd6ceb9a.jpgSpectators on the side of Hwy 137 to watch the volcanic activity from the Malama Ki and Lelani Estates neighborhoods, Thursday, May 17, 2018, near Pahoa, HI. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Lindsey Magnani and her son Kahele Rodrigues, 2, listen as an official shows them how to use a respirator that was given to them to help protect against ash from Kilauea volcano, Thursday, May 17, 2018, in Volcano, Hawaii. Free respirators were being handed out to communities around the volcano after it erupted early Thursday, sending a plume of ash about 30,000 feet into the air. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/06/web1_120558501-89c3c6d1f47e40dfa79c00eac8b2e8ee.jpgLindsey Magnani and her son Kahele Rodrigues, 2, listen as an official shows them how to use a respirator that was given to them to help protect against ash from Kilauea volcano, Thursday, May 17, 2018, in Volcano, Hawaii. Free respirators were being handed out to communities around the volcano after it erupted early Thursday, sending a plume of ash about 30,000 feet into the air. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)