Posted by: coastcontact | February 12, 2017

The High Cost of Disneyland and California Adventure Theme Parks

The price to visit Disneyland and California Adventure is going up.


Disneyland and Disney California Adventure price increases are shown in this graphic from between 2000 and 2017.

ANAHEIM >> The price to visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventure – for either a day or with a year’s pass – is going up again.

Effective today, Sunday, it will cost $97 to go to one of the parks on Value days, the lowest-priced days of the year, up $2.

A visit on a Regular day will be $110, while a Peak day will cost $124, both up $5. Tickets are more on days when demand would be higher.

Parking is going to $20 from $18.

The price to visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventure – for either a day or with a year’s pass – is going up again. Effective this Sunday, it will cost $97 to go to one of the parks on Value days, the lowest-priced days of the year, up $2.

Since 2000, a single-day admission price to Disneyland has tripled on Peak days, with ticket prices going up at least once a year since 2002.

“Our pricing provides guests a range of options that allow us to better manage demand to maximize the guest experience and is reflective of the distinctly Disney offerings at all of our parks,” said Suzi Brown, a Disneyland spokeswoman.

Reaction to the announcement was swift on Saturday.

“Four hundred dollars for a family of 3 to get into the gate (on peak days),” said Tony Diamante, 57, of Temecula. “I can afford it, but this is a week’s pay for someone making $15 to $18 an hour, depending of course on taxes.”

James H. Carter II, 40 from Huntington Beach, who runs a podcast called Creepy Kingdom, said tourists will continue to pay.

“As a traveler, it doesn’t matter how much it cost. You booked the hotel, you flew down or drove down, an extra $10 is not really going to deter you,” he said. “It’s unfortunate for the consumer but Disney raising tickets a few dollars is not going to stop people from coming.”

Jay Valles, 31, of Whittier said he was a former annual pass holder but discontinued and stopped visiting the park last year because of price increases and overcrowding.

He said while Disneyland is still a better value compared to other live entertainment options, Disney needs to get rid of the monthly payment options for annual pass holders to really lessen the crowds at the park.
Disney officials said the monthly payment option that makes their annual passes more financially bearable will continue.

“If they really wanted to control demand, they would do away with monthly payments,” Valles said. “Also, a one day, one park ticket is still a good price compared to a concert ticket or a show on Broadway…[But] If the pricing was high and the crowds were moderate I would return to visit.”

Last year, in an effort to spread out the crowds, Disney introduced its three-level pricing. Some observers say the tiered pricing structure has worked, with less people flocking to the park, for example, on the highest-demand two-week period including Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Prices for some annual passes will go up, too.

The Southern California Select and Southern California passes will be $339 and $469, respectively, $10 increases. Both passes have blackout days. The monthly payment option remains.

The Deluxe pass, with some Saturday and peak-holiday-period blackout days, is getting boosted by $20 to $619. The prices for the higher-end passes will remain the same.

In 2015, Disneyland posted an all-time record with 18.2 million visitors, an increase of 1.5 million from the previous year, according to the Themed Entertainment Association, an industry group that tracks theme park attendance.

Meanwhile, neighboring Disney California Adventure also reached record attendance with 9.3 million visitors.
However, according to Walt Disney Co.’s latest fiscal report, overall recent attendance is down 5 percent but revenue is up at Disney’s domestic theme parks. The company does not publicly break that number down for individual parks, though.

But with the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction opening this summer at Disney California Adventure, and a “Star Wars” land at Disneyland expected to land in 2019, demand should continue to be high for the Anaheim theme parks.

Here’s what it cost to enter Disneyland between 2000 and now:
• 2000: $41 and $43 (price went up twice)
• 2002: $45
• 2003: $47
• 2004: $49.75
• 2005: $53 and $56 (price went up twice)
• 2006: $59 and $63 (price went up twice)
• 2007: $66
• 2008: $69
• 2009: $72
• 2010: $76
• 2011: $80
• 2012: $87
• 2013: $92
• 2014: $96
• 2015: $99
• 2016: $95, $105, $119 (depending on the day)
• 2017: $97, $110, $124 (depending on the day)

Source: Orange County Register archives; Los Angeles Daily News

Posted by: coastcontact | February 11, 2017

Wake up and smell the fascism

I want to thank 503me’s Blog for bringing the description below of fascism to my attention.

All this talk about Donald Trump being a fascist has no real basis.  It’s just Democratic Party clap trap. Right?

If that is so then explain this on blog with postings in the year 2005 on a site named MetaFilter.

February 9, 2005 7:47 AM   Subscribe

“Wake up and smell the fascism” ??? Me-Fites seem to be concerned with fascism in America recently. We’ve secretly replaced their regular government with new Folger’s Crystals! Let’s see if they notice the difference! posted by spock (74 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Well, hell. Hitler was voted in, too. But that can’t happen here….right? posted by cows of industry at 7:53 AM on February 9, 2005

I googled the name of Dr. Lawrence Britt, in hopes of finding where he teaches political science. I came up with nothing. No one mentions in any article I came across exactly where he’s based. Even if he is a real political scientist, and doesn’t play one in the papers, it would be a good idea for journalists and online people to provide readers with the man’s basic credentials. posted by raysmj at 7:59 AM on February 9, 2005

My question to everyone is: Do you see any similarities in the behavior of President Donald J. Trump.  I admit having a hard time typing the title president in front of his name.

Characteristics Of Fascism

By Dr. Lawrence Britt Source Free 5-28-03

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos,slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media.  Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

From Liberty Forum


Posted by: coastcontact | February 7, 2017

Theodore Roosevelt on Immigration

Update of Dec 26, 2015 posting

This is surprisingly similar to Donald Trump’s opinion.  Shouldn’t we support Theodore Roosevelt‘s recommendations?

Theodore Roosevelt‘In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.

But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.’ Theodore Roosevelt 1919

He advocated the compulsory learning of English by every naturalized citizen. “Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or to leave the country,” he said in a statement to the Kansas City Star in 1918. “English should be the only language taught or used in the public schools.”

He also insisted, on more than one occasion, that America has no room for what he called “fifty-fifty allegiance.” In a speech made in 1917 he said, “It is our boast that we admit the immigrant to full fellowship and equality with the native-born. In return we demand that he shall share our undivided allegiance to the one flag which floats over all of us.”

Posted by: coastcontact | February 4, 2017

33 false things Donald Trump has said as president so far



U.S. President Donald Trump has a history of saying false things, big and small. Canada’s Toronto Star newspaper’s Washington Bureau reporter Daniel Dale has been tracking them all.

This is Mr. Dale’s current running tally of the bald-faced lies, exaggerations and deceptions the president of the United States of America has said, so far.

33. Feb. 3, 2017 — Twitter
The claim: “Thank you to Prime Minister of Australia for telling the truth about our very civil conversation that FAKE NEWS media lied about.”
In fact: The media did not lie about their phone call, which was not civil. A senior Trump official acknowledged to the Washington Post that it had been “hostile and charged,” and prominent news outlets in both countries reported that Trump had berated Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull denied that Trump had “hung up” on him, but he did not deny that the call had ended abruptly after 25 minutes, as the Post reported. “Was it cut short?” an Australian radio host pressed Turnbull. “The call ended courteously. That’s all I want to say about that,” Turnbull responded.

32. Feb. 2, 2017 — White House meeting with Harley-Davidson
The claim: “I love Australia as a country, but we had a problem where for whatever reason, President Obama said that they were going to take probably well over 1,000 illegal immigrants who were in prisons, and they were going to bring them and take them into this country. And I just said, ‘Why?’…1,250. It could be 2,000, it could be more than that.”
In fact: The people in question are refugees, not illegal immigrants, who are living in island detention centres off of Australia. As Australia’s prime minister repeatedly told Trump, and as Trump’s own press secretary concurred, the agreement covers 1,250 people, not 2,000.

31. Feb 2, 2017 — Twitter
The repeated claim: “Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia.”
In fact: The people in question are refugees, not illegal immigrants; the agreement covers 1,250 people, not “thousands.”

30. Feb. 2, 2017 — Twitter
The claim: “Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the U.S. came along and gave it a lifeline in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion.”
In fact: Iran was nowhere near collapse before it signed the 2015 nuclear deal with the U.S. and five other major countries. Iran did not get $150 billion in the deal. Rather, a smaller amount of Iranian assets were unfrozen. The Treasury Department told Congress in 2015 that total Iranian assets were estimated at $100 billion to $125 billion; it put the “usable liquid assets” at around $50 billion. John Kerry, then the secretary of state, said Iran would get about $55 billion.

29. Jan. 30, 2017 —Remarks at the White House
The claim: “But we cut approximately $600 million off the F-35 fighter, and that only amounts to 90 planes out of close to 3,000 planes. And when you think about $600 million, it was announced by Marillyn (Hewson), who’s very talented, the head of Lockheed Martin. I got involved in that about a month ago. A lot was put out, and when they say a lot, a lot meant about 90 planes. They were having a lot of difficulty. There was no movement and I was able to get $600 million approximately off those planes.”
In fact: Whether or not Trump secured additional discounts from Lockheed, he is wrong that there had been “no movement” until he got involved: the company had been moving to cut the price well before Trump was elected, multiple aviation and defence experts say. Just a week after Trump’s election, the head of the F-35 program announced a reduction of 6 to 7 per cent — in the $600 million to $700 million range.
“Trump’s claimed $600 million cut is right in the ballpark of what the price reduction was going to be all along,” wrote Popular Mechanics. “Bottom line: Trump appears to be taking credit for years of work by the Pentagon and Lockheed,” Aviation Week reported, per the Washington Post.

28. Jan. 30, 2017 — Twitter
The claim: “Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage, protesters and the tears of Senator Schumer.”
In fact: This is false and misleading in multiple ways. The Delta computer outage happened a full day and a half after the chaos over Trump’s ban on all new refugees and on travel by nationals from seven mostly Muslim countries. The peaceful protesters at airports did not cause “big problems.” Nor, of course, did Schumer’s emotional speech.
In reality, the poorly explained order caused confusion around the word, resulting in hassles at airports and beyond for tens of thousands of people — far more than were detained upon entry. And while it is not clear if Trump was correct that “only” 109 people had been detained at the time, Homeland Security officials said a day later that 721 people had been denied boarding.

27. Jan. 29, 2017 — Facebook statement on travel ban affecting seven predominantly Muslim countries
The claim: “My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.”
In fact: Trump is wrong that Obama “banned” Iraqi refugees. After two Iraqi refugees were arrested on terrorism charges, Obama increased scrutiny of new refugee applicants, slowing down the process significantly, but did not ban Iraqis entirely or ban all new refugees. Iraqi refugees were admitted to the U.S. in every month of 2011, government figures show, and 9,388 were admitted in total in 2011.

26. Jan. 28, 2017 — Twitter
The claim: “Thr (sic) coverage about me in the @nytimes and the @washingtonpost gas (sic) been so false and angry that the times actually apologized to its dwindling subscribers and readers.”
In fact: This claim is false in two ways. First, the Times’ subscriber base is growing, not dwindling: the company says it added more than 300,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2016. Second, the Times never apologized for its Trump coverage; Trump was referring to a post-election letter, a kind of sales pitch, in which Times leaders thanked readers and said they planned to “rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism.”

25. Jan. 27, 2017 — Interview with Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody
The claim: “Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, very very, at least very very tough to get into the United States? If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible.”
In fact: There is no basis for the claim that U.S. authorities are treating Christian applicants from Syria worse than they treated Muslims. While a very small percentage of the Syrian refugees accepted by the U.S. in 2016 were Christian — 0.5 per cent, according to — Christians make up a similarly tiny percentage of the Syrian refugees in nearby countries: 1.5 per cent in Lebanon, 0.2 per cent in Jordan.

24. Jan. 27, 2017 — Interview with Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody
The claim: “The Cuban-Americans — I got 84 per cent of that vote, and they voted in big numbers.”
In fact: Trump got nowhere near that percentage of the Cuban-American vote. Writes NBC: “According to exit polls, Trump won 54 per cent of the Cuban American vote in Florida, where two-thirds of people of Cuban descent live. Latino Decisions’ election eve poll showed he got about 48 per cent of the Cuban American vote nationally and 52 per cent in Florida.”

23. Jan. 27, 2017 — Press conference with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May
The claim: “I happened to be in Scotland at Turnberry cutting a ribbon when Brexit happened and we had a vast amount of press there. And I said Brexit — this was the day before, you probably remember, I said Brexit is going to happen and I was scorned in the press for making that prediction. I was scorned.”
In fact: Trump was not in Scotland the day before the Brexit vote. He was there the day after. When he was asked about Brexit the day before the vote, he told Fox Business, “I don’t think anybody should listen to me because I haven’t really focused on it very much.” He did not venture a prediction that day.

22. Jan. 26, 2017 —Interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity
The claim (on companies creating jobs): “Here’s another thing with the media. ‘Oh, they would’ve done it anyway. They weren’t going to do it.’ You see, Jack Ma. He had no intention of doing it until I got elected. And he went down and he said, ‘I’m only going to do this because of Donald Trump.’ And nobody put that in the papers, which is OK.”
In fact: It is not exactly clear whether Ma made his proposal to “create one million” U.S. jobs as a direct result of Trump’s election, but Trump’s claim about media bias is false regardless: upon coming down the elevator at Trump Tower, Ma, the executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, did not actually tell reporters that he had made the proposal “because of Donald Trump.” He said nothing of that sort at all.

21. Jan. 26, 2017 — Interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity
The claim: “And a wall protects. All you have to do is ask Israel. They were having a total disaster coming across and they had a wall. It’s 99.9 per cent stoppage.”
In fact: Exact numbers do not exist, but Israel’s barrier with the West Bank stops far fewer than “99.9 per cent” of people who seek to cross. The New York Times reported at length last year on “a thriving smuggling industry that allows untold numbers of people to pass over, under, through or around what Israelis call the security barrier.” A police spokesman said “hundreds” of illegal crossers were detained every week.

20. Jan. 26, 2017 — Interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity
The claim (on refugees): “We’ve taken in tens of thousands of people. We know nothing about them. They can say they vet them. They didn’t vet them. They have no papers. How can you vet somebody when you don’t know anything about them and you have no papers?”
In fact: Refugees to the U.S. are rigorously vetted. The process includes multiple kinds of background and security checks and at least two interviews with U.S. representatives. Regardless of their paperwork situation, and regardless of one’s opinion on how good the vetting is, the U.S. knows far more than “nothing” about the refugees it approves.

19. Jan. 26, 2017 —Speech to Republican legislators at retreat in Philadelphia
The claim: “Here in Philadelphia, the murder rate has been steady — I mean, just terribly increasing.”
In fact: The number of Philadelphia homicides in 2016, 277, was actually down from the 280 in 2015. While both years represented an increase from 2013 (246 homicides) and 2014 (248 homicides), the overall trend has been downward: Philadelphia had 391 homicides in 2007 and 331 in 2008. The number of homicides as of Jan. 31, 30, was higher than the 19 at the same time in 2016 but about the same as the 27 in 2015. Regardless, the murder rate is never calculated on a month of data.

18. Jan. 25 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir
The claim (about Chicago): “So, look, when President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech. You can’t have that.”
In fact: There were not only no homicides during Obama’s speech but no shootings at all, the Chicago Tribune reported based on police data.

17. Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir
The claim: “Look, Barack Obama — if you look back, eight years ago when he first ran — he was running for office in Chicago … and he was laughing at the system because he knew all of those votes were going to him … he was smiling and laughing about the vote in Chicago.”
In fact: This is a gross mischaracterization of Obama’s remarks and behaviour during the 2008 campaign. He did not laugh or smile about the voting system in Chicago, and he did not suggest in any way that he was going to be receiving fraudulent votes. He acknowledged that his party had sometimes “monkeyed” with Chicago elections “in the past.”

16. Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir
The claim: Regarding voting fraud: “You look at Philadelphia, you look at what’s going on in Philadelphia.”
In fact: There is no evidence of a significant voter fraud problem in Philadelphia.

15.Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir
The claim: Regarding voting fraud: “Chicago, look what’s going on in Chicago. It’s only gotten worse.”
In fact: There is no evidence of a significant voter fraud problem in Chicago, and there is no evidence that its voting system has become increasingly plagued by fraud.

14.Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir
The claim: Regarding his false claim of “millions” of possible illegal voters: “Those were Hillary votes. And if you look at it they all voted for Hillary. They all voted for Hillary. They didn’t vote for me. I don’t believe I got one. OK, these are people that voted for Hillary Clinton.”
In fact: These large numbers of illegal voters did not “all” vote for Clinton because they do not exist. Even if they did, it would be impossible for Trump to know that not a single one voted for him, since the ballot is secret. This claim is simply absurd.

13.Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir
The claim: “Now you’re telling me Pew report has all of a sudden changed.”
In fact: Trump was trying to use a 2012 Pew report as supposed evidence of widespread voter fraud. Muir told him he was wrong — not because the report changed but because it never showed what Trump falsely claims it showed. “The Pew study I directed doesn’t address voter fraud at all,” report leader David Becker told the Washington Post this weekend. Rather, the study addresses non-fraud voter registration issues, such as people remaining on one state’s rolls after they move to another.

12.Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir
The claim: Muir: “I called the author of the Pew report last night. And he told me that they found no evidence of voter fraud.” Trump: “Really? Then why did he write the report?” Muir: “He said no evidence of voter fraud.” Trump: “Excuse me, then why did he write the report? According to Pew report, then he’s — then he’s grovelling again.”
In fact: Grovelling means “to draw back or crouch down in fearful submission.” Becker is doing the opposite: publicly explaining his work, and explaining why the president is wrong.

11. Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir
The claim: Regarding “Remember the $5 billion website?”
In fact: did not cost $5 billion. The Obama administration offered a figure of less than $1 billion, while an analysis by Bloomberg found that it cost just over $2 billion.

10.Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir
The claim: With regard to his speech to the Central Intelligence Agency earlier in the week: “They showed the people applauding and screaming and they were all CIA. There was — somebody was asking (press secretary) Sean (Spicer) – ‘Well, were they Trump people that were put’ — we don’t have Trump people. They were CIA people.”
In fact: Most of the audience was indeed made up of CIA personnel, but Trump is wrong that there were no “Trump people.” Spicer told the press that “maybe 10” people in attendance were part of Trump’s entourage; CBS News reported that an official familiar with the event said Spicer was inaccurate, as Trump and his allies brought about 40 people.

9.Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir
The claim: “I think you’re demeaning by talking the way you’re talking. I think you’re demeaning. And that’s why I think a lot of people turned on you and turned on a lot of other people. And that’s why you have a 17 per cent approval rating, which is pretty bad.”
In fact: Saying “you” here, Trump wrongly conveys the impression that Muir himself has 17 per cent approval. In fact, there is no polling on Muir. Trump appears to have actually been referring to a 2016 poll about Americans’ views on the media. In that poll, the media’s approval rating was 19 per cent.

8. Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir
The claim: “No, no, you have to understand, I had a tremendous victory, one of the great victories ever. In terms of counties I think the most ever, or just about the most ever.”
In fact: Trump’s victory was not close to one of the biggest of all time. He lost the popular vote, and his Electoral College margin ranks 46th out of 58 elections. Trump did far better in terms of counties, winning more than any candidate since Ronald Reagan, but he was well short of setting the record or even “just about” tying it: Richard Nixon won more than 2,950 counties in 1972, far exceeding Trump’s 2,623.

7.Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir
The claim: “In terms of a total audience including television and everything else that you have we had supposedly the biggest crowd in history. The audience watching the show. And I think you would even agree to that. They say I had the biggest crowd in the history of inaugural speeches.”
In fact: “They” can mean anyone, but no expert is declaring that Trump had the biggest inauguration crowd in history. Obama’s 2009 inauguration drew far more people in person and far more television viewers. Trump’s claim relies on the people who watched the inauguration on online streams. It is possible that these people gave him a record, but it is impossible to know for sure.

6. Jan. 23, 2017 — Private meeting with Congressional leaders
The claim: Trump told Congressional leaders that “he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in last November’s election because between three million and five million ‘illegals’ cast ballots, multiple sources told Fox News.”
In fact: This claim, also reported by numerous other major media outlets, simply has no basis in reality. Trump’s own lawyers said in a legal filing that “all available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud.” The National Association of Secretaries of State — the state officials who run elections — said they “are not aware of any evidence that supports the voter fraud claims made by President Trump.”

5. Jan. 21, 2017 — Speech at Central Intelligence Agency headquarters
The claim: “So a reporter for Time magazine — and I have been on their cover, like, 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time Magazine. Like, if Tom Brady is on the cover, it’s one time, because he won the Super Bowl or something, right? I’ve been on for 15 times this year. I don’t think that’s a record, Mike, that can ever be broken. Do you agree with that?”
In fact: Trump’s numbers are well off. He has been on the cover 11 times, Time told Politico, which is not even close to a record: Richard Nixon was on 55 covers. Even if we generously give Trump a pass here — he said he was on covers “like” 14 or 15 times, and he wasn’t sure if he had a record — he his claim about this year is flat wrong. Trump was on eight covers in 2016 and another one on the 2017 week he was speaking here — so either eight or nine total, depending on how you count, not 15.

4. Jan. 21, 2017 — Speech at Central Intelligence Agency headquarters
The repeated claim: “It was almost raining, the rain should have scared em away, but God looked down and He said, we’re not going to let it rain on your speech. In fact, when I first started, I said oh no. First line, I got hit by a couple of drops, and I said this is too bad … but the truth is that, it stopped immediately, it was amazing, and then it became really sunny.”
In fact: Neither of these claims is true. The rain did not stop immediately, and the sky then remained cloudy.

3. Jan. 21, 2017 — Speech at Central Intelligence Agency headquarters
The repeated claim: “Honestly, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was it was, but it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.” Later: “…all the way back to the Washington Monument, was packed.”
In fact: The crowd, which may not have even been half a million people strong, did not come close to reaching the Washington Monument.

2. Jan. 20, 2017 — Post-inauguration Salute To Our Armed Services Ball
The claim: “Even the media said the crowd was massive … that was all the way back down to the Washington Monument.”
In fact: The major media reported that the crowd was much smaller than Barack Obama’s two inauguration crowds, though in line with the inaugurations of other Republicans. The crowd did not come close to reaching the Washington Monument.

1. Jan. 20, 2017 — Post-inauguration Liberty Ball
The claim: “I looked at the rain, which just never came. We finished the speech, went inside, it poured … it’s like God was looking down on us.”
In fact: The rain began right at the beginning of Trump’s speech. During the inauguration itself, Rev. Franklin Graham told Trump, “Mr. President, in the bible, rain is a sign of God’s blessing. And it started to rain, Mr. President, when you came to the platform.”

This was reported in the Los Angeles Times.  $250-$450 for marquee events such as the gymnastics final and basketball gold-medal game.  Less popular Olympic events, including preliminaries for rugby and shooting, would average about $34 a ticket.  Golf preliminaries would be the cheapest event at an average of $13.12. Diving finals would cost $270 and beach volleyball finals would be $166.  The overall average would be about $137 a ticket.

Clearly the Olympic games are for rich people. The rich want the city to underwrite the cost. With a 83% current occupancy rate at local hotels without any Olympics why do we need this? Of course NBC will benefit from the games and that is business. I hope Budapest or Paris wins the competition. We DO NOT need the Olympics in Los Angeles.

Posted by: coastcontact | February 2, 2017

History Repeats Itself – 900 Jewish Refugees Died



On May 13, 1939, a cruise liner, the MS St. Louis, carrying over 900 Jewish refugees desperate to escape the Nazis set off from Hamburg, Germany. Among their numbers were the two teenage girls pictured here, Sibyll and Ruthild Grünthal, who were traveling with their parents, Margarete and Walter. The St. Louis’ original destination was Havana, Cuba where the passengers hoped to seek refuge. But, anti-Semitic protests and editorials were cropping up all over the country and, by the time the ship arrived two weeks later, only a handful of passengers were allowed to disembark; the rest of the asylum seekers were told to take their pleas to the American government. This effort too would be in vain when the ship was blocked from docking at the port of Miami, their pleas for refuge going unanswered from all levels of the government. The ship’s captain, Gustav Schröder, even considered running the ship aground to allow the refugees to escape but U.S. Coast Guard vessels shadowed it to prevent it from approaching the shore. After also being denied refuge in Canada, the ship was eventually forced to return to Europe and many of the refugees it carried later died in the Holocaust, including both Sibyll and Ruthild, who were murdered at Auschwitz and Theresienstadt respectively.

In the United States at the time, the fear of the “other” was being used to stoke Americans’ paranoia and build support for repressive measures justified in the name of “national security.” At the time, government officials argued that refugees posed a security threat, with stories appearing in the media about German spies sneaking in among the refugees. Historians now believe that the concern about refugee spies or their threats to national security were blown far out of proportion but the damage at the time was done. The US shut the door on refugees in need like the ones on the St. Louis, and within two years, the anti-foreigner hysteria would even turn inward as over 100,000 Japanese-Americans were rounded up and sent to live for years in desert detention camps.

The voyage of the St. Louis and the shame such actions cast on American history have new potency today in light of the Administration’s permanent ban on Syrian refugees — of whom, in the United States, 75% are women and children under 14. As University of Michigan law professor James Hathaway observes, the St. Louis is just one example of “what happened when people slam doors shut on refugees.” Syria, he continues, is “probably the easiest example in the world today of people being massacred by a political tyrant. That we would not read the tea leaves of history and understand that the people fleeing are the enemies of our enemy is beyond comprehension to me.” The irrationality of banning refugees for security reasons given the extreme vetting they already undergo was even pointed out by the conservative think tank the Cato Institute which asserted: “[T]errorists who are intent on attacking U.S. soil have myriad other options for doing so that are all cheaper, easier, and more likely to succeed than sneaking in through the heavily guarded refugee gate. The low level of current risk does not justify the government slamming that gate shut.”

Enacting such a ban on last Friday’s Holocaust Remembrance Day has been viewed by many as shamefully symbolic. As Jewish educator Russel Neiss, who launched an education project focused on the St. Louis last week, told the Atlantic: “People always say that if you forget history then you will be doomed to repeat it. This is one of those moments where history gives us an opportunity to think about where we are now. When folks say ‘never again’ or ‘we remember,’ it is important for us to actually do so.” And, he reflects, “There’s something just about remembering the humanity of people that is getting lost in this debate. And when we talk about the importance of refugees being welcomed, we’re not talking about people who are coming here because they want to come here on vacation. We’re talking about people who are coming here because they’re fleeing for their lives. And if we escape that, if we ignore that, if we can’t remember that, then I don’t know what our humanity is really all about.”

Several civil rights groups are already taking legal action against the Administration’s illegal ban. To support these organizations’ legal fight with your donations and advocacy, visit the ACLU Nationwide ( and the National Immigration Law Center ( To learn more about how to take a stand as an individual, visit the Indivisible Guide (

Posted by: coastcontact | January 30, 2017

Discrimination in America

Despite the erection of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor the United States has had a streak of discrimination against minorities that dates back to colonial times.  Those of you non-Americans reading this blog may find this recitation disappointing.  Americans have read all this before but not in this concise summary.

The First Group to face discrimination were Native Americans, who most Americans now call Indians or American Indians.

Europeans believed the original inhabitants of America were heathens and savages who needed to be civilized through Christianity and European culture. This led to genocide, mass murder, stolen land, attempts to wipe out Native American traditions, as well as forced assimilation through institutions like residential schools and the establishment of “Indian reservations”.  To this day the term “redskin” is used to describe Native American.

Historians call the Bear River Massacre of 1863 the deadliest reported attack on Native Americans by the U.S. military—worse than Sand Creek in 1864, the Marias in 1870 and Wounded Knee in 1890.  This link to a Wikipedia List of Indian Massacres will make most people sick.

Searching for cheap labor, early American colonists brought slavery to this continent by kidnapping Africans and bringing them to North America to work in their fields.

Many of the Africans brought to America starting in the 17th century arrived as slaves, kidnapped from their homelands in various parts of Africa. A number of them were known to be royalty and literate. African men, women, and children were stripped of their names and identities, forced to “Christianize”, whipped, beaten, tortured, and in many cases, lynched or hanged at the whims of their white masters, for whom slavery was key to maintaining their vast properties and land. Families were separated through the process of buying and selling slaves. While not all Africans in America were slaves, a large number were, particularly in the southern states. For those Africans in America who were free, discriminatory laws that barred them from owning property and voting, for example, as well as the belief in the intrinsic inferiority of dark-skinned peoples by the dominant white majority, held them back from full equality in the United States.

The Union victory in the Civil War may have freed African Americans but their lives were no picnic. Southern state legislatures passed restrictive “black codes” to control the labor and behavior of former slaves and other African Americans. Outrage in the North over these codes eroded support for the approach known as Presidential Reconstruction and led to the triumph of the more radical wing of the Republican Party. During Radical Reconstruction, which began in 1867, newly enfranchised blacks gained a voice in government for the first time in American history, winning election to southern state legislatures and even to the U.S. Congress. In less than a decade, however, reactionary forces–including the Ku Klux Klan–would reverse the changes wrought by Radical Reconstruction in a violent backlash that restored white supremacy in the South.

Disenfranchisement after the Reconstruction Era in the United States of America was based on a series of laws, new state constitutions, and practices in the South that were deliberately used to prevent black citizens from registering to vote and voting. These measures were enacted by former Confederate states at the turn of the 20th century. Their actions defied the intent of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1870, which was intended to protect the suffrage of freedmen after the American Civil War.

The sharp and sweeping rise of racial segregation in 20th century America is now subsiding but is still a reality for African Americans in many communities throughout the United States.  Police stopping and harassing Black car operators has been well documented in recent years.  The most obvious segregation were separate but equal schools (they weren’t equal), separate drinking fountains and toilet facilities, and housing segregation.  Black Americans were denied employment and housing just because they were dark skinned.

The first significant Chinese immigration to North America began with the California Gold Rush of 1848–1855 and it continued with subsequent large labor projects, such as the building of the First Transcontinental Railroad. During the early stages of the gold rush, when surface gold was plentiful, the Chinese were tolerated, if not well received.  As gold became harder to find and competition increased, animosity toward the Chinese and other foreigners increased. After being forcibly driven from the mines, most Chinese settled in enclaves in cities, mainly San Francisco, and took up low-wage labor, such as restaurant and laundry work. With the post-Civil War economy in decline by the 1870s, anti-Chinese animosity became politicized by labor leader Denis Kearney and his Workingman’s Party as well as by California Governor John Bigler, both of whom blamed Chinese “coolies” for depressed wage levels.

The Chinese Exclusion Act was a United States federal law signed by President Chester A. Arthur on May 6, 1882, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers. The act followed the Angell Treaty of 1880, a set of revisions to the US–China Burlingame Treaty of 1868 that allowed the US to suspend Chinese immigration. The act was initially intended to last for 10 years, but was renewed in 1892 with the Geary Act and made permanent in 1902. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first law implemented to prevent a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States. It was repealed by the Magnuson Act on December 17, 1943.

The Irish people faced much prejudice, racism and discrimination after their immigration to the United States because they were poor, uneducated, less skilled, considered disruptive and were Catholics in a land of Protestant dominance.  The common perception was that the Irish were drunkards. From 1820 to 1860, 1,956,557 Irish arrived, 75% of these after the Great Irish Famine of 1845–1852 struck.

With Japan’s December 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, racism against Japanese-Americans intensified. Like Muslims after the 9/11 attacks, Japanese-Americans were targets of harassment, discrimination, and government surveillance. Members of the community lost homes, jobs, and businesses. But the worst blow was the February 1942 Executive Order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt that authorized the internment of Japanese-Americans. They were now deemed enemies of the state. Over half of the 120,000 Japanese-Americans sent to the camps were born and raised in the U.S. and had never set foot in Japan. Half of those sent to the camps were children.

Although Jews first arrived in America over 300 years ago and enjoyed a certain level of religious freedom, anti-Semitism was acceptable and common socially, as well as legally in some cases. For example, some states in the late 18th century barred those who were not Christian from voting or holding public office.

Job and housing discrimination were common throughout the 20th century.  Examples are Father Charles Coughlin’s anti-Semitic radio rants in the 1930’s and Charles Lindbergh’s isolationist speeches accusing the Jews of pushing America into World War II. Henry Ford’s “The International Jew,” was published in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, which excerpted the infamous anti-Semitic forgery, “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.”

Henry Ford asserted that there was a Jewish conspiracy to control the world. He blamed Jewish financiers for fomenting World War I so that they could profit from supplying both sides. He accused Jewish automobile dealers of conspiring to undermine Ford Company sales policies. In 1919, he purchased a newspaper, the Dearborn Independent. He installed Charles Pipp as editor and hired a journalist, William J. Cameron, to listen to his ideas and write a weekly column, “Mr. Ford’s Page,” to expound his views. For a year, editor Pipp resisted running anti-Jewish articles, and resigned rather than publish them. Ford closed the Independent in December 1927.  Ford died in 1947, apparently unrepentant.

Islamophobia is the term that has been coined to describe the current hostility toward Islam and Muslims in the United States, manifested in prejudice, harassment and discrimination.  There is an anti-Muslim hate crime epidemic. Attacks on Muslim Americans have come in four waves since 9/11, said Corey Saylor, director of CAIR’s department to monitor and combat Islamophobia. According to the FBI, in 2001 anti-Islamic hate crimes spiked by 1,600 percent with 481 incidents.  At least six mosque projects across the U.S., not just in New York, have faced bitter opposition in 2010.  Now President Trump has stopped the entry of anyone from seven predominately Muslim nations.  The president denies that his focus is on Muslims.  He says it is an effort to deny terrorists entry into the United States.  No terrorists have been identified from those seven nations.

Posted by: coastcontact | January 27, 2017

Chinese New Year Of The Rooster 2017

Happy New Year!


I am alert
Ready to take action
The first on the scene
The last to leave
I take chances
But I am precise
I know where things belong
I am orderly and fastidious
Nothing escapes me
I am always prepared
I never give up or in

Welcome to the Chinese Horoscope 2017! The Chinese New Year 2017 of the Fire Rooster will start on January 28, 2017 – the second New Moon after the Solstice.

I don’t know about you, but this Chinese astrologer is exhausted from the shenanigans of this past Monkey year! Surprise after surprise (both fabulous and panic-laden) swung most of our ways. Following 12 months of the wit and hyperactive Monkey, the New Year of the Fire Rooster  is going to bring fresh challenges requiring quick wit and practical solutions!

Get ready for the Year of the Rooster! Embrace opportunities and navigate challenges with our 2017 Chinese Forecast & Feng Shui 2017 Forecast. We hope you have a healthy, prosperous year.

Best Wishes, The Astrology Club Team.

Posted by: coastcontact | January 25, 2017

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore dead at 80. Since I was a fan you know that I too am old. First it was Debbie Reynolds and now Mary. I am just a little younger than both of them but not by much.  I loved them both.

By Chris Barton, Contact Reporter for the Los Angeles Times

The news of the death of beloved actress Mary Tyler Moore sparked her fans and the entertainment industry to look back on her distinguished career, which spanned both TV and film.

She first made an unforgettable impression as Laura Petrie, the supportive wife of Rob Petrie, the comedy writer played by Dick Van Dyke in “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” which premiered in 1961 and ran for five seasons. But it was her portrayal of Mary Richards, the single career woman at the center of the iconic workplace comedy “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” that put a defining stamp on TV comedy in the 1970s.

The series was so adored and Moore played Richards with such precise comedic flair and charisma that she and her character almost seemed inseparable, an element that may have affected her subsequent follow-up CBS vehicles, the short-lived variety show “Mary” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Hour,” an awkward hybrid of variety show and sitcom.

Following those shows, she departed her genial TV comedy roots with 1980’s “Ordinary People.” A harrowing look at a wealthy family in tatters after the death of its oldest son, Moore shocked her fans and Hollywood with her revelatory performance as matriarch Beth Jarrett, a wife and mother disconnected from those closest to her. Richards’ icy portrayal was worlds away from her lovable TV personas.

Moore scored an Oscar nomination for best actress for “Ordinary People,” which marked the directorial debut of Robert Redford, and the film won several Oscars, including best picture. In a statement released on Wednesday, Redford recalled Moore’s “courage” in taking on the dark role, calling her performance “enormously powerful.”

Her dramatic triumphs continued that same year when she appeared on Broadway in the right-to-die drama “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” In a gender reversal from the original play, Moore portrayed a sculptor paralyzed after a car crash who argued to end her life. The play, which also starred James Naughton, earned Moore a special honor at that year’s Tony Awards, which she also co-hosted.

Moore returned to television for much of the ‘80s and ‘90s, mostly in a string of generally unheralded TV movies. But she again scored a career highlight with her scene-stealing turn in David O. Russell’s 1996 family comedy “Flirting With Disaster.”

In a movie loaded with absurdist turns by Alan Alda, Lily Tomlin and Josh Brolin, Moore was a standout as the domineering adoptive mother of Ben Stiller’s Mel Coplin, who is attempting to learn his roots. In a role that found Moore memorably flashing her daughter-in-law (Patricia Arquette) to testify as to the importance of a good bra.

The 2000s found Moore appearing in guest roles on a number of comedies, including “The Ellen Show,” “King of the Hill” and “That 70s Show,” where she appeared in a multi-episode arc as a tightly wound TV host. Most recently, she reunited with her “Mary Tyler Moore Show” costar Betty White on the TV Land series “Hot in Cleveland” appearing in the premiere of the show’s second season in 2011 and again in 2013.

Posted by: coastcontact | January 24, 2017

The Big Lie

A big lie (German: große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels, launched a massive campaign to convince the German people that the Jews were their enemies. Having taken over the press, they spread lies blaming Jews for all of Germany’s problems, including the loss of World War I. One outrageous lie dating back to the Middle Ages claimed that Jews engaged in the ritual killings of Christian children and used their blood in the unleavened bread eaten at Passover [source: Landau].

Donald Trump is proving himself to be a fabricator of colossal untruths and an expert liar. Here’s a partial list of false statements he has made: The United States is about to take in 250,000 Syrian refugees; African-Americans are responsible for most white homicides; and during the 9/11 attacks, “thousands and thousands” of people in an unnamed “Arab” community in New Jersey “were cheering as that building was coming down.”

Despite photographs taken at the same time from the same location, Donald Trump’s press secretary insisted that the crowd at the Trump inauguration was at least as big as the crowd at the 2008 inauguration of Barack Obama.

2009 inauguration left   2017 inauguration right

President Donald Trump believes millions of votes were cast illegally in last year’s election. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that on Tuesday, but he wouldn’t provide any concrete evidence for the claim, which has long been debunked. “The President does believe that, I think he’s stated that before, and stated his concern of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have brought to him,” Spicer said.

“Alternative facts” are the words used by Kellyann Conway when confronted by many Sunday morning news shows are all part of the big lie strategy.

Donald Trump’s win of the presidency is not in doubt. No Democrats challenged the election results. Why is he besmirching his win? Will he continue to offer his own reality on other situations?


Perhaps Trump’s focus on his election results is simply Vanity. Merriam Webster definition: the quality of people who have too much pride in their own appearance, abilities, achievements, etc. : the quality of being vain. : something (such as a belief or a way of behaving) which shows that you have too much pride in yourself, your social status, etc.

What will happen when President Donald Trump is confronted with a foreign leader who challenges his position or ideas? I fear the consequences for the United States.

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