Thursday Reads: Afternoon Tea and Politics

Monique_Liam_Wedding2_7eeb4be0-58e6-4dff-b1e4-27035b6ef157

Good Afternoon!!

Has Hillary Clinton finally been caught doing something criminal? It’s highly unlikely, but here is the latest attempt to tarnish her reputation.

Washington Post: Staffer who worked on Clinton’s private e-mail server faces subpoena.

A former State Department staffer who worked on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail server tried this week to fend off a subpoena to testify before Congress, saying he would assert his constitutional right not to answer questions to avoid incriminating himself.

The move by Bryan Pagliano, who had worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009, came in a Monday letter from his lawyer to the House panel investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The letter cited the ongoing FBI inquiry into the security of Clinton’s e-mail system, and it quoted a Supreme Court ruling in which justices described the Fifth Amendment as protecting “innocent men . . . ‘who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.’ ” ….

“While we understand that Mr. Pagliano’s response to this subpoena may be controversial in the current political environment, we hope that the members of the Select Committee will respect our client’s right to invoke the protections of the Constitution,” his attorney, Mark MacDougall, wrote.

Two other Senate committees have contacted Pagliano in the past week, according to a copy of the letter, which was obtained by The Washington Post. The requests came from the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security Committee, according to people familiar with the requests.

OK, that doesn’t sound like a big deal to me.

ladies society tea

More from Talking Points Memo: Clinton Campaign: We Wanted Staffer Who Set Up Email Server To Testify.

Attorneys for Bryan Pagliano on Monday notified the committee that their client would invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify at a hearing next week.

An anonymous Clinton campaign aide told The New York Times that Pagliano’s decision was “both understandable and disappointing.”

“We had hoped Bryan would also agree to answer any questions from the committee and had recently encouraged him to grant the committee’s request for an interview,” the aide told the Times, adding that the campaign believes Pagliano “has every reason to be transparent about his I.T. assistance.”

The unidentified aide told the newspaper it makes sense that Pagliano, as a private individual, doesn’t want to participate in a “political spectacle.”

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Completely understandable, IMHO. What normal person would want to sit and listen to ignorant, irrelevant questions from the likes of Trey Gowdy and the rest of the Benghazi Committee? Still the Republicans will make hay from this, says Taylor Marsh.

As an antidote to that nonsense, here’s an insightful piece by Larry Sabato: The Populist Revolt Against Brain-Dead Politics.

Take a deep breath. It won’t help you understand what’s happening in the contest for the presidency, but it won’t hurt either.

By contrast, many media analyses of the state of the race have reached the breathless level. Supposedly, there’s never been anyone like Donald Trump on the political scene. In fact, there’s a long tradition of anti-establishment outsiders making a splash. Conventional wisdom says Hillary Clinton is close to throwing away her second chance at the White House. Actually, while she’s been very unimpressive as a candidate in this cycle, Clinton’s many advantages still make her a strong favorite to be the Democratic standard-bearer (absent an indictment).

Yet observers are right when they insist “there’s something going on out there.” And in our view, what’s going on is a populist revolt against the utterly predictable, locked-in, hyperpartisan politics of the two major parties.

Two young women drinking tea --- Image by © SuperStock/Corbis

The most important word is “predictable.” While there are 22 presidential candidates — 23 if Biden runs — most of them are human tape recorders. On the top 25 or 30 issues, each has memorized a paragraph or two; mention the issue and the candidates push the “play” button in their heads. Almost word-for-word each time, they recite the pollster-researched, consultant-approved soundbites designed to produce a Pavlovian response in partisans.

Problem is, Americans would generally prefer to elect a human being, not an automaton. It’s at least possible that a few more intractable problems would get solved if potential presidents were less inflexible — or so it appears to many voters.

Whatever else you think of him, Trump is no automaton. He isn’t rehearsed, at least compared to the others: We can’t take our eyes off him because we’re not at all sure what he’s going to say next.

Read the rest at the link.

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Next, check out this post at #HillaryMen: Who Needs Fox? NY Times and Morning Joe Battle for Title of Chief Hillary Basher.

One of the most egregious aspects of the 2016 presidential campaign is the vitriolic, gender-biased attacks against Hillary Clinton by major media outlets.

The New York Times has taken the lead, but they are not alone.

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski use their Morning Joe platform on MSNBC to malign Hillary and mangle her public image. The show has become a cesspool of Hillary-bashing rivaling the fetid swamps of fringe rightwing Clinton haters.

The Washington Post angles their headlines for maximum damage to Hillary’s character. CNN ponders criminal penalties against her when no criminality is alleged.

It goes on and on. The institutional forces that have barred American women from the presidency are manifested in the media’s obsession to take down the first woman with a viable path to the White House.

Soak up more wisdom from Peter Daou and Tom Watson at #HillaryMen.

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Now for some of that “brain-dead politics” that Larry Sabato referred to.

From TPM, Rand Paul: Kentucky Clerk ‘Shouldn’t Be Forced’ To Sign Off On Gay Marriages.

“I do support the notion that she shouldn’t be forced to sign something she finds religiously objectionable,” Paul said during an interview on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”

On Tuesday, Paul said people like Davis who are “making a stand” for their beliefs are a “part of the American way.”

Paul did not say whether he had spoken to Davis, but said she “just doesn’t want to sign it because it indicates her approval of this.”

And here’s the second half of today’s “dumb and dumber”:

Washington Post, Mike Huckabee offers support to Kentucky clerk who refuses to issue gay marriage licenses.

Mike Huckabee called a Kentucky clerk who is refusing to issue gay marriage licenses Wednesday to offer his prayers and support for “not abandoning her religious convictions.”

The Supreme Court turned away a request by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to be excused from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but the clerk continues to refuse to issue those licenses, calling the requirement a violation of her religious liberties.

“I spoke with Kim Davis this morning to offer my prayers and support.  I let her know how proud I am of her for not abandoning her religious convictions and standing strong for religious liberty. She is showing more courage and humility than just about any federal office holder in Washington,” Huckabee said in a statement.

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In fact, almost all of the GOP “human tape recorders,” as Sabato called them, think Kim Davis has a right to refuse to do her job, according to Think Progress, Only 2 Republican Candidates Think Kim Davis Needs To Quit Or Follow The Law.

In a section of its 2012 party platform, the Republican Party made its views clear: “In this country, the rule of law guarantees equal treatment to every individual.” But at least six Republican presidential hopefuls have now come to the defense of anti-gay Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis, who will face contempt charges on Thursday for violating a court order by refusing to issue marriage licenses. A smaller number of Republican presidential candidates have said that as a public official, Davis should have to do her job or resign….

Though many of the same Republican presidential candidates have been outspoken critics of lawlessness by government officials, several have rushed to defend Davis and suggested that religious beliefs should be legal grounds for public officials to opt-out of certain parts of their jobs.

Go over to Think Progress to read the reactions from “human tape recorders” Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, and Marco Rubio.

So these morons think they can disregard both the Constitution and the Supreme Court–not a good look for a presidential candidate.

That’s all I have for you today–sorry I got such a late start. What else is happening? Please share your links in the comment thread and enjoy the rest of your Thursday.


Wednesday Reads: “You joking me?”

efeb9a274e8ff271454f06533bddd6dbGood Morning

It is frustrating enough to try and get an appointment with a therapist when you are suffering from debilitating depression, only to find out your insurance is not accepted.

Then you get a name of another Dr, sure she is in one of your accepted care providers…but damn if she didn’t have the balls to come out and say…nope I don’t want to see you. So another two weeks go by waiting to hear back from this coward Dr who has referred me to someone else…ugh. Now on to another name and another wait.

A month of this shit. Imagine if this was a dire situation….and I was like, suicidal. Fucking hell.

So, with that said, I don’t feel like much of anything right now…the links will pretty much speak for themselves.

Here you go:

IRIN Asia | Will UN report bring justice for Sri Lanka war victims? | Sri Lanka | Conflict

a9dd29c775b25c8d891d3dcb52760eddThavarasa Utharai says she isn’t exactly sure where Geneva is, but she is anxiously awaiting a report soon to be made public in the Swiss city that is expected to expose war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war.

After acceding to the Sri Lankan government’s request to delay the report by six months, the Geneva-based United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is scheduled to finally release the results of its investigation within the next two weeks.

Victims like Utharai hope the report will provide information about family members who disappeared during Sri Lanka’s decades-long war, which pitted government forces against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (or Tamil Tigers). Both sides committed abuses.

ed770d902c588b5a781026d8e7fcdbe5“Is this a joke?”: Reporters laugh in the face of conservative provocateur James O’Keefe at his own press conference – Salon.com

Professional troll James O’Keefe has been teasing journalists for weeks about an undercover operation that could take down Hillary Clinton — I’ve received four “email blasts” from O’Keefe’s Project Veritas about these videos in the past 48 hours alone — so I was suprised to learn that the “trickle-down corruption” he’d come to expose amounted to a Project Veritas operative buying a few Hillary-themed t-shirts for a Canadian.

756c3a6824659abe29c04842e40068f0You read that right — O’Keefe’s own operative captured herself, on camera, illegally purchasing the shirts on behalf of a Canadian and this, O’Keefe claimed, demonstrates the criminal mendacity of the Clinton campaign.
Moreover, Compliance Manager Erin Tibe is actually shown on the video refusing to allow the Canadian woman — who O’Keefe insisted at the press conference that he didn’t know, and whose identity is still a mystery to him — to make the purchase. It’s the Project Veritas operative who says, “but she traveled all the way from Canada to support Hillary, you could give her, she’s paying cash.”

Tibe reiterates that she can’t accept money from the Canadian woman, but eventually Director of Marketing Molly Barker allows the Project Veritas operative to make the donation on the woman’s behalf. “Barker broke the law by allowing our journalist to become the middleman,” the video states, not acknowledging that the “journalist” also broke the law, a fact which O’Keefe acknowledged at today’s press conference, but blew off, saying “I’m not running for president.”

5de179122ff57e0726cbc4de3b158874As for that press conference, the Daily Beast’s Olivia Nuzzi was in attendance, and needless to say, neither she nor any of the other reporters were impressed by O’Keefe’s “revelations”:

Twitter reactions at that link. Go and look at them.

The Story Behind Hillary Clinton’s Mysterious Gefilte Fish Email

A mysterious email popped up in the latest tranche of State Department documents released in relation to Hillary Clinton’s time at Foggy Bottom.

Titled “Gefilte fish,” the email was authored by the then-secretary of state and addressed to two top aides. It reads simply: “Where are we on this?”bf42985d5757b0100e922694f24a2b73

Of course there is way more to it than that….

In February 2010,U.S. officials were upset that Israel had put a 120 percent import duty on American-caught fish that were supposed to be sent to the Holy Land for Seder dinners.

Clinton pledged during a congressional hearing to tackle the problem, admitting (the obvious) that it sounded “like one of those issues that should rise to the highest levels of our government.”

d59a654a556f3870d625361d46dc687fThe email, written in March, shows she actually did follow up — and, apparently, effectively. Later that month, Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.), whose district had already shipped two containers of carp to Israel, told a local Chicago paper that a deal had been reached with respect to the tariff on those containers. As for seven additional containers, the paper reported that they “would likely need to go through Canadian middlemen as our neighbors to the north have a free trade agreement with the Holy Land.”

It really is disgusting, the amount of shit they give Hillary.

The rest of today’s links are here without commentary, just not up to it.

5c301da3221c604857b8fb2ee7e7b24dObama nearing deal with Congress over Iran – Al Jazeera English

President Obama has almost enough support from senators to block Republican attempts to derail nuclear deal.


Low Levels of Exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup May Cause Kidney and Liver Damage | Alternet


Real-life ‘Jurassic Park’? Siberian lab set to clone extinct mammals — RT News

Russian scientists have begun their quest to clone pre-historic animals, including but not limited to a woolly mammoth, hoping that Siberian permafrost will give them a competitive advantage and the good possibly of finding undamaged DNA samples to resurrect the ancient species.

Japanese suggest new Tokyo Olympics logo as official emblem scrapped – BBC Newsd15447955738bf38a8eb8207b907b1aa

Texas man walks free after alleged rape leaves 2-year-old girl in pool of blood

U.S. court to weigh release of last ‘Angola 3’ inmate in Louisiana | Reuters

Q&A: Dating When You’re Fat? | Feministe

Can you imagine a society where 75 per cent of folks are gay, yet society is still as homophobic as the Duggar clan? That’s pretty much what fat people deal with every day…

8d3cfd7a7304b55504a2a4728fd2bc35Sony Altered ‘Concussion’ Film to Prevent N.F.L. Protests, Emails Show – The New York Times

When Sony Pictures Entertainment decided to make a movie focusing on the death and dementia professional football players have endured from repeated hits to the head — and the N.F.L.’s efforts toward a cover-up — it signed Will Smith to star as one of the first scientists to disclose the problem. It named the film bluntly, “Concussion.”

In the end even Sony, which unlike most other major studios in Hollywood has no significant business ties to the N.F.L., found itself softening some points it might have made against the multibillion-dollar sports enterprise that controls the nation’s most-watched game.

b888b97227f9b4ea89e920f7eccf0d1aIn dozens of studio emails unearthed by hackers, Sony executives; the director, Peter Landesman; and representatives of Mr. Smith discussed how to avoid antagonizing the N.F.L. by altering the script and marketing the film more as a whistle-blower story, rather than a condemnation of football or the league.

Auschwitz ‘Shower’ Outrage is the Latest in Politically Correct Madness – The Daily Banter

When I heard that the management at the Auschwitz Memorial installed sprinklers outside the notorious Nazi concentration camp so that visitors could handle the searing heat wave that hit Poland this summer, I laughed. I laughed f7d06d79241d60ad9f8e22ccdce8a959because it reminded me of my parents – two Cohens in an Austrian camp, not eating much and doing regular steam rooms. In Poland, visitors would be taking voluntary showers in a camp where Jews were killed in showers. Again, as long as you don’t genuinely believe Jews should really be gassed in concentration camps, you can laugh at the rather twisted irony of it all.

It was undoubtedly unfortunate that there wasn’t another way to keep guests cool, but to any rational person, this is a cheap, effective way of relieving visitor’s discomfort in extreme heat. There isn’t gas coming out of the showers, there is cool water. The management at the Auschwitz Memorial are not attempting to mock Jews who died in the Holocaust. Again, they are trying to keep people cool.

[…]

When you have multiple refugee crises around the world, war in the Middle East, mass poverty, wealth inequality, environmental destruction and rapid global warming, mist spray at Auschwitz should be the last thing to get outraged about.

83dc9715a0c3639629bc3a52621d4efdThe Holocaust saw 6 million people die. The showers installed at the Auschwitz memorial are keeping people cool in sweltering heat.

Let’s have a bit of perspective please.

10,000 Icelanders ready to welcome Syrians after government offers to house only 50 refugees

Militarism Run Amok: Russians and Americans Get Their Kids Ready for War | Lawrence Wittner

Help for dying RAF cadet delayed by 30 minutes, inquest hears | UK news | The Guardian

8e47e470e5b630c386bea377f22f1833Addicting Info – Huge Gerrymandering Fail Leaves College Student As Sole Voter In Missouri District

Businesses in Columbia, Missouri attempted to use their political pull to throw taxes at consumers instead of themselves, but a massive failure in their gerrymandering effort left them with one major roadblock: a 23-year-old college student who, on February 28, became the only registered voter in the district.

Object of Intrigue: 19th-Century Greenlandic Seal Fur G-String | Atlas Obscura


Photo: National Museum of Denmark/Roberto Fortuna

The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen has a formidablecollection of animal-skin garments once worn by the indigenous people of Greenland, North America, North Scandinavia, and Siberia.

Among the usual furry boots, mittens, capes, and leggings made for these perilously cold climates is a garment worthy of particularly close inspection: Item Ld.132.4, a 19th-century beaded seal-fur g-string.

655da7c4fd911bdf17619c00278e4296Angry Feminist Angry Angry Feminist Isn’t Angry Feminist Enough – Wonkette

Okay, we are going to say DISCLAIMER ALERT and TRIGGER WARNING, because we are about to write about how a thing written by a person who has ALWAYS been personally very nice to us is Wrong About A Thing.* We trust that she and we are both grown-up enough to have an intellectual discussion without it degenerating into FISTICUFFS. So, without further ado:

 

Dear Amanda Marcotte U R WRONG,

You wrote the other day about how Taylor Swift, PBUH, was doing a concert in Los Angeles and, as she’s been doing every show of this tour, she brought out one of her funtime pals to sing a song with her. This time it was Alanis Morissette! Now most of the Olds who brought their kids to the show were probably sexcited to see her, but some of the Kids These Days did that thing where they reveal how they don’t know anything about anything that 412e2313f1f92f5ed3301fdf5e014e6dhappened before the introduction of Snapchat, because they are dumb:

Yes, I totally agree with the Wonkette on this one…go and read the rest of this thread at the link and see if you agree with us too.

50 Famous Misquotations (and What Was Really Said) | Mental Floss

Don’t believe everything you read online (or see posted in a cheesy mockup on Instagram, for that matter). Below are 50 examples of popular sayings that are actually misquotes or misattributions. Study up, because regardless of what that girl who went to your high school posted on Facebook, Marilyn Monroe probably didn’t say it.

e33710147469b19e329f014531a10f73 (1)Be sure you read the fifty, but this one is interesting:

3. “BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD.”

Gandhi never said this. What he actually said, according to The New York Times: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

This is an open thread.


Tuesday Reads: GOP Wackos, Oliver Sacks, and Other News

Woman at the beach reading

Good Morning!!

Today is September 1, and Summer is almost over. How did it go by so quickly? Pretty soon the 2016 campaign will begin to heat up; but for now we are still in the silly season and Donald Trump is still grabbing all the headlines.

The Hill: Trump pledges to reverse Obama’s mountain renaming

Donald Trump promised Monday that he would return the name of North America’s largest mountain to Mount McKinley, undoing President Obama’s decision to call it Denali.

Calling Obama’s act a “great insult to Ohio,” Trump, who is running for president next year,tweeted late Monday that Obama reversed the name the peak had for more than 100 years, in honor of President William McKinley, an Ohio native.

Does Donald Trump even know anything about William McKinley? I doubt it. Why won’t this disgusting creep go away and leave us alone? John Kasich is upset too.

“You just don’t go and do something like that,” Kasich said, according to the Associated Press. “In Ohio, we felt it was appropriate. A guy saw that mountain when he was one of the first up there … named it after the president. No reason to change it.”

Um . . . no.

The mountain, in fact, got McKinley’s name before he was elected, and he never set foot inside Alaska.

Why Ohioans should have any say in the naming of a mountain in Alaska is a mystery. But the GOP candidates latch onto anything Obama does in order to get some media attention.

GOP Wackos

These days, when you see a crazy headline, you can be at least 99% sure that it involves a Republican politician.

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This headline from Local CBS5 in Arizona, for example: Matt Salmon facing parents’ anger over civics presentation to young kids.

GILBERT, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) – Several parents are demanding answers from Congressman Matt Salmon, saying they cannot believe what the lawmaker said to young school children during a visit to a Gilbert school.

“It should have probably just been a good civics lesson for kids who initially were excited to meet their congressman,” parent Scott Campbell said.

That excitement, however, turned into fear.

That fear, according to Campbell, was spawned by something Salmon said during a presentation he made Thursday about how bills become laws. The audience? Second- and third-graders at San Tan Charter School.

Campbell said the lesson took a dark turn when it came time to talk about vetoes.

“The congressman chose to give an example of the current situation in Iran, and made some inappropriate comments about ‘Do you know what a nuclear weapon is? Do you know that there are schools that train children your age to be suicide bombers?'” Campbell said.

He and other parents were shocked. He said he had to console his young daughter.

“After school my daughter was very concerned and said to me she actually didn’t even know what suicide was and was very afraid,” he explained.

WTF?!! Where do the Republicans dig these people up?

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Meanwhile most Americans want their Congresspeople to approve the Obama administration’s Iran deal, according to The Hill:

According to the survey from the University of Maryland, 55 percent of respondents said that Congress should get behind the agreement, despite some concerns.

Twenty-three percent, meanwhile, said that lawmakers should instead ratchet up sanctions, and 14 percent wanted U.S. officials to go back to the negotiating table.

In a key stat for Democratic backers of the agreement, 61 percent of independents recommended that Congress approve the deal, along with 72 percent of Democrats.

Just 33 percent of Republicans expressed support, highlighting the partisan divide that has erupted over the agreement, which sets limits on Iran’s nuclear ability in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

The poll was conducted online, and the participants went through an in-depth process of listening to arguments from both sides. People were subjected to a detailed list of critiques of the agreement, followed by rebuttals to those arguments with reasons to get behind the deal.

Even the fact that 33 percent of GOP voters support the agreement is significant, considering their likely exposure to Fox News and talk radio.

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Speaking of wacko Republicans, even after the Supreme Court told weirdo Kim Davis she can’t refuse to issue marriage license to gay couples, she’s still doing it. NBC News reports:

Defying the Supreme Court and invoking “God’s authority,” a Kentucky county clerk on Tuesday turned away two same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses — touching off dueling protests until sheriff’s deputies cleared the room.

The clerk, Kim Davis of Rowan County, outside Lexington, has said that her personal religious objections preclude her from issuing the licenses.

The standoff came one day after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene in the case. That left in place a lower court ruling ordering Davis to issue marriage licenses.

Davis declined marriage licenses to two same-sex couples — two men and two women — who sought them at her office, in the small city of Morehead.

When is Kentucky going to get rid of this nutcase? She’s an embarrassment to her state and to all rational Americans.

RIP Oliver Sacks

Following the death of Oliver Sacks last week, I found myself browsing around looking for some of his writings on line. Sacks was a wonderful writer, and I’ve always enjoyed reading him. I haven’t read his book on hallucinations yet, and I think I’m going to get a copy and check it out. I have always been fascinated by altered states. Here are some links to essays by Sacks that you might want to check out if you haven’t read (or listened to) them already.

reading beach

In July, I wrote about my reaction to an NPR interview about face blindness, which Sacks suffered from. It was fascinating and led to my experiencing a very positive altered state–one of those “peak experiences” that Abraham Maslow wrote about. Check if out if you haven’t already.

Yesterday I read this piece on mystical experiences at the Atlantic: Seeing God in the Third Millennium. Sacks writes that when people have near death experiences, out of body experiences, and other altered states such as the auras that preceded epileptic seizures and migraines, the brain reflects the perceptions as if they are real. These often life-changing experiences have natural–not supernatural–causes, but they can have profound effects.

In 2012, Sacks wrote in The New Yorker about the history of mind altering drugs and his own experiments with them: Altered States: Self-experiments in chemistry.

From 1987, here’s an interview with Sacks on NPR’s Fresh Air: ‘Fresh Air’ at 20: Neurologist Oliver Sacks.

From Science of Us, a summary of a fascinating case study from The Lancet on which Sacks was one of the authors: The Strange Case of the Woman Haunted by Dragons. It’s about a woman who had altered perceptions of people’s faces–they looked “dragon-like.”

Reading-on-the-beach

Two recent NYT articles by Sacks:

From February 2015, My Own Life: Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer.

From August 2015: Oliver Sacks: Sabbath.

One of my favorite Sacks stories appeared in the book The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat. It was reprinted in the New York Review of Books in 1985: The President’s Speech. It’s about a group of aphasia patients and their reaction to seeing a Ronald Reagan speech on TV. Here’s the introduction:

What was going on? A roar of laughter from the aphasia ward, just as the President’s speech was starting, and the patients had all been so eager to hear the President speak.

There he was, the old charmer, the actor with his practiced rhetoric, his histrionics, his emotional appeal—and all the patients were convulsed with laughter. Well, not all: some looked bewildered, some looked outraged, one or two looked apprehensive, but most looked amused. The President is generally thought to be a moving speaker—but he was moving them, apparently, mainly to laughter. What could they be thinking? Were they failing to understand him? Or did they, perhaps, understand him all too well?

Read the rest at the link.

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Finally, from today’s Washington Post: The tragic story of Oliver Sacks’s celibacy.

When Oliver Sacks was 18, he faced a prospect most young people dread: a belated talk about the birds and the bees with his dad.

“You don’t seem to have many girlfriends,” Sacks wrote his father said in his memoir, “On the Move,” released earlier this year. “Don’t you like girls? … Perhaps you prefer boys?”

Sacks didn’t try to hide.

“Yes I do – but it’s just a feeling – I have never ‘done’ anything,” Sacks told his father.

He pleaded with his father not to tell his mother – but his father did. The news did not go over well — to say the least.

“You are an abomination,” she said. “I wish you had never been born.”

america-6

How heartbreaking. Read more at the WaPo.

In The News, Links Only

The Guardian: Barack Obama in Alaska: global fight against climate change starts here.

Talking Points Memo: Trump’s Latino Bashing Risks GOP Senate Hopes In 3 Key States.

Pope Francis says priests can give absolution for “the sin of abortion.” From Time: What Pope Francis’ Abortion Announcement Really Means.

Jeb Bush tells the Pope how to do his job: Jeb Bush tells pope to focus on ‘mercy for the unborn’: Women should be ‘repentant’ for choosing abortion (Raw Story)

Jonathan Chait: Jeb Bush Responds to Insanely Racist Trump Ad by Calling Trump Liberal

Men on beach

The Nation: The Trailer for ‘Concussion’ Should Give Roger Goodell Night Sweats.

The National Memo: Hillary Clinton Supports Ban On ‘Revolving Door’ Corporate Bonuses

US News: Clinton, aides stressed need to protect sensitive State Department information in email.

AP via Seacoast online: NH Sen Jeanne Shaheen will endorse Hillary Clinton.

Raw Story: Texas man walks free after alleged rape leaves 2-year-old girl in pool of blood.

AP via ABC News: Investigators: Georgia Officer Likely Shot by Other Officers.

What stories are you following today? Please share in the comment thread.


Monday Reads

downloadGood Afternoon!

In the latest binge of white privilege hissy fits, Republicans and Fox News are up in arms about changing the official name of the tallest mountain in the country back to the name that it was known by historically. It’s also the preferred name of the mountain for the folks that live in Alaska. Denali National Park has been in existence for some time.  Denali mountain was renamed Mt McKinley in 1896 in a commonly done thing to do when privileged white men discover or climb natural wonders and regions that the folks living there have done, known, and named for thousands of years.  I never knew the backstory on this event. It’s a typical story of appropriation.

Here’s the history of the name Denali and what caused it to be renamed.

Numerous native peoples of the area had their own names for this prominent peak. The local Koyukon Athabaskan name for the mountain, the name used by the Native Americans with access to the flanks of the mountain (living in the Yukon, Tanana and Kuskokwim basins), is Dinale or Denali /dɨˈnæli/or /dɨˈnɑːli/).[2] To the South the Dena’ina people in the Susitna River valley used the name Dghelay Ka’a (anglicized as Doleika or Traleika in Traleika Glacier), meaning “the big mountain”.[3][4]

The historical first European sighting of Denali took place on May 6, 1794, when George Vancouver was surveying the Knik Arm of the Cook Inlet and mentioned “distant stupendous mountains” in his journal. However, he uncharacteristically left the mountain unnamed. The mountain is first named on a map by Ferdinand von Wrangel in 1839; the names Tschigmit and Tenada correspond to the locations of Mount Foraker and Denali, respectively. Von Wrangell had been chief administrator of the Russian settlements in North America from 1829–1835.[4]

During the Russian ownership of Alaska, the common name for the mountain was Bolshaya Gora (Большая Гора, “big mountain” in Russian), which is the Russian translation of Denali.[5] The first English name applied to the peak was Densmore’s Mountain or Densmore’s Peak, for the gold prospector Frank Densmore who in 1889 had fervently praised the mountain’s majesty; however, the name persevered only locally and informally.[2]

The name Mount McKinley was chosen by William Dickey, a New Hampshire-born Seattleite who led four gold prospectors digging the sands of the Susitna River in June 1896. An account written on his return to the lower 48 appeared in The New York Sun on January 24, 1897, under the title Discoveries in Alaska (1896).[6][7] Dickey wrote, “We named our great peak Mount McKinley, after William McKinley of Ohio, who had been nominated for the Presidency, and that fact was the first news we received on our way out of that wonderful wilderness.”[7][6] By most accounts, the naming was politically driven; Dickey had met many silver miners who zealously promoted Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan‘s ideal of a silver standard, inspiring him to retaliate by naming the mountain after a strong proponent of the gold standard.[7]

In the 1900 report of the US Geological Survey (USGS), Josiah Edward Spurr refers to “the giant mountain variously known to Americans as Mount Allen, Mount McKinley, or Bulshaia, the latter being a corruption of the Russian adjective meaning big”.[8] The 1900 report otherwise calls it Mount McKinley,[8] as does the 1911 USGS report The Mount McKinley Region, Alaska.[9]

McKinley was assassinated early in his second term, shot by Leon Czolgosz on September 6, 1901, and dying of his wounds on September 14. This led to sentiment favoring commemoration of his memory. The Federal government officially adopted the name Mount McKinley in 1917 when Congress passed and President Woodrow Wilson signed into law “An Act to establish the Mount McKinley National Park in the territory of Alaska”, which singled out the area in the Mount McKinley region.[10]

So, originally, some crazy gold bug from Seattle via New Hampshire decided to make a political statement by renaming the big mountain and it stuck. I guess it’s the Ohio delegation that’s stopped the Alaskan’s delegation’s annual attempt to put the name of the mountain back to the one given it by its indigenous peoples. So, of course, Boehner’s orange face has gone a slight shade of red with the announcement. Well, it’s just another excuse for a Republican and Fox News hate and anger fest.  How dare the President do something that so many folks–mostly Alaskans–have asked him to do for so long?

It’s official: Denali is now the mountain formerly known as Mount McKinley.

With the approval of President Barack Obama, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has signed a “secretarial order” to officially change the name, the White House and Interior Department announced Sunday. The announcement comes roughly 24 hours before Obama touches down in Anchorage for a whirlwind tour of Alaska.

Talk of the name change has swirled in Alaska this year since the National Park Service officially registered no objection in a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C.

The tallest mountain in North America has long been known to Alaskans as Denali, its Koyukon Athabascan name, but its official name was not changed with the creation of Denali National Park and Preserve in 1980, 6 million acres carved out for federal protection under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The state changed the name of the park’s tallest mountain to Denali at that time, but the federal government did not.

Jewell’s authority stems from a 1947 federal law that allows her to make changes to geographic names through the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, according to the department.

“I think for people like myself that have known the mountain as Denali for years and certainly for Alaskans, it’s something that’s been a long time coming,” Jewell told Alaska Dispatch News Sunday.

Every year, the same story plays out in Washington, D.C.: Alaska legislators sometimes file bills to change the name from Mount McKinley to Denali, and every year, someone in the Ohio congressional delegation — the home state of the 25th President William McKinley — files legislation to block a name change.

Members of Alaska’s congressional delegation said they were happy with the action.

“I’d like to thank the president for working with us to achieve this significant change to show honor, respect, and gratitude to the Athabascan people of Alaska,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said in a video statement recorded on the Ruth Glacier below the mountain.

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said in an email that “Denali belongs to Alaska and its citizens. The naming rights already went to ancestors of the Alaska Native people, like those of my wife’s family. For decades, Alaskans and members of our congressional delegation have been fighting for Denali to be recognized by the federal government by its true name. I’m gratified that the president respected this.”

Alaska. The George Parks highway looking south to Mt McKinley (20,320 ft) in autumn.

Alaska. The George Parks highway looking south to Mt McKinley (20,320 ft) in autumn.

It seems McKinley never even visited Alaska or showed any interest in the place.  Most of the National Parks and historic sites that have Presidential names actually have some relationship to that president.  Like I said, I never even knew any of this before but I know it now and it’s amazing to me it’s taken this long.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said on Monday morning he was “deeply disappointed” by President Barack Obama’s decision to rename North America’s tallest peak.

Here’s his statement in full:

There is a reason President McKinley’s name has served atop the highest peak in North America for more than 100 years, and that is because it is a testament to his great legacy. McKinley served our country with distinction during the Civil War as a member of the Army. He made a difference for his constituents and his state as a member of the House of Representatives and as Governor of the great state of Ohio. And he led this nation to prosperity and victory in the Spanish-American War as the 25th President of the United States. I’m deeply disappointed in this decision.

Obama announced Sunday ahead of a historic visit to Alaska that the mountain’s name will revert back to Denali, its traditional Alaska Native name.

article-alaska-glaciers_001Frankly, McKinley isn’t one of the Presidents whose name routinely comes up with “great legacy”.  He also has nothing to do with Alaska and Alaskans basically wanted the name returned to Denali.  

It is the latest bid by the president to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to improve relations between the federal government and the nation’s Native American tribes, an important political constituency that has a long history of grievances against the government.

Denali’s name has long been seen as one such slight, regarded as an example of cultural imperialism in which a Native American name with historical roots was replaced by an American one having little to do with the place.

The central Alaska mountain has officially been called Mount McKinley for almost a century. In announcing that Sally Jewell, the secretary of the interior, had used her power to rename it, Mr. Obama was paying tribute to the state’s Native population, which has referred to the site for generations as Denali, meaning “the high one” or “the great one.”

The peak, at more than 20,000 feet, plays a central role in the creation story of the Koyukon Athabascans, a group that has lived in Alaska for thousands of years.

Mr. Obama, freed from the political constraints of an impending election in the latter half of his second term, was also moving to put to rest a years long fight over the name of the mountain that has pit Alaska against electorally powerful Ohio, the birthplace of President William McKinley, for whom it was christened in 1896.

The government formally recognized the name in 1917, and efforts to reverse the move began in Alaska in 1975. In an awkward compromise struck in 1980, the national park surrounding it was named Denali National Park and Preserve, but the mountain continued to be called Mount McKinley.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, introduced legislation in January to rename the peak, but Ohio lawmakers sought to block the move. In June, an Interior Department official said in testimony before Congress that the administration had “no objection” to Ms. Murkowski’s proposed change.

There’s more interesting, record breaking news that’s undoubtedly associated with climate change.  That’s something the President will speak about

Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) mother and cubs. Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) mother and cubs. Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

in Alaska on his visit.  There are 4 category 4 hurricanes in the Pacific.

NASA’s Terra satellite just released this August 29 image of Hurricanes Kilo, Ignacio, and Jimena, all Category Four Hurricanes. According to the Weather Channel:

This is the first recorded occurrence of three Category 4 hurricanes in the central and eastern Pacific basins at the same time. In addition, it’s also the first time with three major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger) in those basins simultaneously, according to hurricane specialist Eric Blake of the National Hurricane Center.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) in Honolulu Hawaii is issuing advisories on all of the hurricanes. On Sunday, August 30, from west to east, Hurricane Kilo was located 1,210 miles west-southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, Hurricane Ignacio was located 515 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, and Hurricane Jimena was located 1,815 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.

Obama will be visiting many folks in Alaska just shortly after visiting folks here in New Orleans.  His focus will be on how much lives have been changed by climate change.  His trip to Lousiana focused on the amount of wetlands and Louisiana itself, lost to the Gulf and how that played into the destruction around the Gulf.  Loss of Glaciers is one noticeable climate change in Alaska.  I’m really confused, however, why Shell gets to drill in the Arctic when the President has visited two states whose oil and gas industry has ruined the environment while enriching oil interests.  Here’s another thing I never knew.  President Obama will be the first sitting president to visit Alaska.

The trip to the Alaskan Arctic — the first by a sitting president — is the culmination of an increasingly forceful climate change policy push over the past two years by the Obama administration.

The White House has honed in on climate change as a core policy priority with a domestic and international approach that has met with mixed response among both liberals and conservatives. This week alone he invoked the perils of climate change during visits to the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas and New Orleans’ storm ravaged Lower Ninth Ward to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

“No challenge poses a greater threat to our future than climate change,” the president told a crowd in Las Vegas.

With these trips, along with his trek to Alaska where he will speak at a State Department-sponsored conference on the Arctic, Obama is attempting to set the stage for a major international climate change agreement he hopes will come from a summit in Paris in December.

That agreement could help secure his legacy as the first sitting president to address global climate change in a substantive way, environmental policy experts said.

“The president has from the beginning recognized that climate change is an existential challenge to the country and the world. It may be the issue that is the most important long-term issue of his presidency,” said Paul Bledsoe, a former adviser to the Clinton White House on climate policy. “Future generations will look back at him as the first global leader to take decisive action on climate change.”

The Obama administration’s work of lifting the issue of climate change from the periphery to the fore began in a series of fits and starts.

There will be a Climate Change Conference in Paris this coming November.  The President hopes to move the United States more into line with other countries seeking to reverse the damage caused by overuse of fossil fuels.  Obama has announced his desire to reduce US carbon emissions. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are committed to the cause.

Obama’s announcement of a final rule to reduce carbon emissions on Monday (03.08.2015) drew international attention to the United States. The administration appears to have responded to a growing desire for politicians to take the fight against climate change more seriously. The American public has been demanding more government action as severe droughts and forest fires ravage the western US.

The 21st Conference of Parties in Paris this December will be the real test for this seemingly renewed American environmental consciousness. World leaders will be hoping to sign a new, legally binding international agreement on reducing emissions.

Although momentum toward taking action on climate change does appear to be building in the US, whether the US can truly lead in these negotiations remains uncertain.

On the one side, Obama’s new legislation is only one sign of mounting political will on tackling climate change. Environmental discussions are taking center stage in the Democrat nominee race.

Candidate Hillary Clinton has promised that 33 percent of the country’s electricity will come from renewables by 2027. Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s opponent with a strong environmental record, has called climate change “the single biggest threat to our planet.”

For Philip Wallach, a policy analyst at the Brookings Institute, this green surge is a strategy to appease public opinion ahead of elections in November 2016.

“[Democrats] think [climate] puts Republican candidates in an awkward position, where in order to satisfy some of their voter base, they’re pressured to reject [climate] science,” Wallach told DW.

Candidates for the Republican nomination were quick to criticize Obama’s new regulations – but remained mum about plans to tackle climate change during recent debates.

Hopefully, this will start a conversation on what seems like more years of excessive heat, land loss, extreme weather, drought, and fires ahead.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

 

 

 


Sunday Reads: “That’s All!”

38b54cfdad0b997f771d5740f23d7444Good Afternoon

Today’s post is brought to you by Annette Hanshaw.…”The Personality Girl” who’s famous sign off was, “That’s all!”

Her singing style was relaxed and suited to the new jazz-influenced pop music of the late 1920s. Although she had a low opinion of her own singing, she continued to have fans because she combined the voice of an ingenue with the spirit of a flapper. Hanshaw was known as “The Personality Girl,” and her trademark was saying “That’s all” in a cheery voice at the end of many of her records.[1]

 

You can listen to 50 of Annette’s songs here on YouTube:

And I found this interesting tidbit, take a look at a larger image here Bixography Forum:

bdf31751809533875ddd323ce63c57bf

 

8691d30e64b0523acc3c97facf2fc82cPictures are from Pinterest and the website, The Jazz Age: Annette Hanshaw. That particular site has a plethora of information, pictures and links to a ton of 1920’s Jazz Music…give it a few hours of your time.

Also, a list of films and recordings can be found here at Red Hot Jazz: Annette Hanshaw

Since this post is so very late, I am going to share the links via dump style.

Egypt sets Oct election date, after three years without parliament | Reuters

Egypt will hold a long-awaited parliamentary election, starting on Oct. 18-19, the election commission said on Sunday, the final step in a process to bring back democracy that critics say has been tainted by widespread repression.

Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the democratically elected main chamber, dominated by the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, reversing a major accomplishment of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

[…]

The government says the election is proof of Egypt’s commitment to democracy.

2154a700598a4bcde500d234f179ea1cIn the absence of parliament, Sisi has wielded legislative authority to curtail political freedoms but also introduced economic reforms.

“The question will remain: will this parliament be an effective check and balance against the executive? There are some signs it may, due to the likely prevalence of big-business interests within it, be argumentative on issues pertaining to economic policy,” said H.A. Hellyer, nonresident fellow at the Brookings Center for Middle East Policy in Washington.

“But on issues of political reform, legislative reform, or security sector reform, there probably won’t be much appetite to affect much change from within this forthcoming parliament.”

The Migrant Crisis is building in Europe….

Calls for Action on Refugees After Austria Tragedy | Al Jazeera America

In a bid to forge a more unified stance across the 28-member union, it was agreed Sunday that a special meeting of EU interior and justice ministers would take place on Sept. 14. It is likely that more deaths would have occurred by then. On Sunday, seven more people were added to the tally of those killed trying to make it to mainland Europe after a boat carrying refugees sank off Libya’s coast.

c6b199247f56eda97b1d7745d94fe1c8The latest diplomatic push for a solution came as Hungarian police announced that a fifth suspected human trafficker had been arrested over Thursday’s gruesome discovery of 71 decomposing corpses in an abandoned vehicle on an Austrian motorway. Meanwhile, three children saved from another vehicle left the hospital presumably, authorities said, to join their parents as they attempt to travel on to Germany — a popular destination for refugees.

The truck tragedy, plus yet another shipwreck off the Libyan coast that claimed at least 111 lives, have served as chilling reminders of Europe’s failure to cope with the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict at home.

Europe trades blame as migrants’ bodies pulled from Mediterranean | Reuters

4d3d3ca59e025aa9189ed28ef4d74b26The Balkans are now the centre of Europe’s people smuggling web | World news | The Guardian

Only a day after 71 people suffocated in a chicken lorry, three children were rescued from a crammed truck in Austria. All had been on a perilous road route controlled by criminal gangs

Migrant crisis: Syrian children disappear from Austrian hospital – BBC News

Police in Austria say three Syrian children and their families who were rescued from a minivan containing 26 migrants have disappeared from the hospital where they were being treated.

The children were taken to hospital in the town of Braunau am Inn on Friday suffering from severe dehydration.

Their discovery came a day after 71 bodies, thought to be migrants, were found on a dumped lorry in Austria.

Several European countries have called for urgent talks on the migrant crisis.

23cd93e11d5420e06a5f91bf85aa315aIn other foreign news: News agency criticised for describing Amal Clooney as ‘actor’s wife’ in coverage of human rights trial – People – News – The Independent

A respected news organisation has come under fire after referring to human rights lawyer Amal Clooney as an “actor’s wife” in their coverage of a court case.

The Associated Press tweeted an article about three Al Jazeera journalists convicted of “spreading false news” and sentenced to prison in Egypt. They wrote: “Amal Clooney, actor’s wife, representing Al-Jazeera journalist accused in Egypt of ties to extremists.”

Ms Clooney is a barrister with Doughty Street Chambers, specialising in human rights law. She read law at the University of Oxford, before obtaining a postgraduate degree from the New York University School of Law.

She has worked for the UN, contributed to books on international criminal law and lectured at a number of prestigious law schools, a point many people on social media were quick to point out.

48ab9d3eb6e8f4b304f22d42c323638bVatican’s No. 1 Pervert Priest Dies Suddenly in Vatican City – The Daily Beast

That headline should be enough for you…

After raping boys and keeping child porn at the Vatican, Josef Wesolowski was set to stand trial for his sins. Now his fate will be left to a higher power.
VATICAN CITY — Josef Wesolowski died too soon. The 67-year-old former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, whose undeniable crimes of child-sex abuse ran the gamut from victimizing shoeshine boys in Santo Domingo to hoarding more than 100,000 files with child pornography inside Vatican City, died in his private room in a Vatican City palazzo overnight.An autopsy was ordered to confirm his cause of death, which was said to be from natural causes.  No foul play is suspected, according to a Vatican statement no doubt meant to stifle conspiracy theorists. It read simply: “Vatican authorities quickly carried out the first investigation and have established that the death was caused by natural causes.”

3ead08e88198d806f2f2fb2c8befa236Next up, stories here in the USA:

When Calling The Police On An Abusive Partner Leads To A Victim Losing Her Home | ThinkProgress

The Best And Worst States For Women’s Equality In America, Because This Country Still Has A Long Way To Go | Bustle

Kyle Jean-Baptiste, Actor in ‘Les Misérables,’ Dies at 21 – NYTimes.com

Addicting Info – Josh Duggar’s ‘Rehab’ Is Run By A Pastor Who Protected A Predator From Prosecution

Robert Reich (How the Right Wing is Killing Women)

According to a report released last week in the widely-respected health research journal, The Lancet, the United States now ranks 60th out of 180 countries on maternal deaths occurring during pregnancy and childbirth.

To put it bluntly, for every 100,000 births in America last year, 18.5 women died. That’s compared to 8.2 women who died during pregnancy and birth in Canada, 6.1 in Britain, and only 2.4 in Iceland.

67caa780d57420e372562782afa414a5A woman giving birth in America is more than twice as likely to die as a woman in Saudi Arabia or China.

 

These Two Cases Reveal America’s Deeply Racist Justice System

Earlier this month, Jared Fogle, the now former Subway pitchman, reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to multiple counts of commercial sex acts with a minor (see: child rape) and obtaining child pornography of twelve other children as young as 6 years old.

For victimizing fourteen children since 2007, he will serve as little as five years in prison and is currently at his home in rural Indiana wearing a monitoring anklet while awaiting sentencing.

dc253dd6c7432846b16afd7244b7d9d2Meanwhile, in downtown Baltimore, Allen Bullock is set to go to trial tomorrow for smashing a traffic cone through the windshield of a police car during the protests that occurred after the death of Freddie Gray. He is being charged with malicious destruction of property and rioting, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Bullock is currently free on $500,000 bail, which is more than the six police officers charged with the murder of Freddie Gray. The state is making no effort to hide it’s desire to make an example of Bullock to dissuade other citizens from engaging in acts of civil disobedience.

“I think the $500,000 he’s released on is an example of the arbitrary and capricious nature of our bail system,” said Maryland state delegate Jill P. Carter. “It’s an example of the grave disparities in our justice system.”

e544dfd5aacc47ad1b08ddbf12357c38The comparison of how the two cases are dealt with is disturbing, take this situation too:

Young Black Man Dies In Jail After Allegedly Stealing $5 Worth Of Candy And Soda | ThinkProgress

Another young black man has died in jail, the Guardian reports, after spending four months in jail without bail for allegedly stealing $5 worth of snacks: a Mountain Dew, a Snickers bar and a Zebra Cake.

Jamycheal Mitchell, 24, had bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, according to his aunt, and was deemed unfit to stand trial after being arrested in Portsmouth, Virginia on April 22. That should have meant he would be transferred to a mental health facility, but the hospital had no beds available. Instead, he ended up in jail.

His family told the Guardian they believed Mitchell starved to death because he was refusing food and medication in the jail. He was found dead in his cell on August 19.

bc4560b748284411be56a907c6e78e81“He was just deteriorating so fast,” Mitchell’s aunt told the Guardian. “I kept calling the jail, but they said they couldn’t transfer him because there were no available beds. So I called Eastern State, too, and people there said they didn’t know anything about the request or not having bed availability.”

Disgusting.

Why Do You Weep? Blingee Lives! Your Saturday Nerdout – Wonkette

We wasted several minutes being annoyed at the sort of zero-tolerance bureaucratic thinking that resulted in a little girl’s parents being sent a warning that her Wonder Woman lunchbox was banned by her school’s policy against violent images. Supposedly, the girl’s parents received this note regarding the lunch box:

image: http://img.wonkette.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/wonder-woman-lunchbox-letter.jpg

wonder woman lunchbox letter

Seriously?

92e1805c85da2282eface2d94c9868beWTF. Now, Wonkette says that they have yet to be able to verify whether the lunchbox note is real or a hoax….so take it for what it is worth.

Addicting Info – Josh Duggar’s ‘Rehab’ Is Run By A Pastor Who Protected A Predator From Prosecution

It’s about time young women get credit for their feminism | Jessica Valenti | Comment is free | The Guardian

6 Signs You Were Raised By A Feminist | Bustle

bb30251fb58568f66b1cc96fa7b4bb4cBillionaire Republican Who Mocked Hillary Clinton’s Marriage Had an Ashley Madison Account

Long-held theory on human gestation refuted: Mother’s metabolism, not birth canal size, limits gestation — ScienceDaily

I loved what Hillary said here: Shakesville: YES

Hillary Clinton went all in on the Republicans and their institutional misogyny yesterday during a speech in Cleveland:

Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States. Yet they espouse out-of-date, out-of-touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st century America. We are going forward; we are not going back.

sm-A Sweet Beginning Like ThisI would like these Republican candidates to look the mom in the eye who caught her breast cancer early because she was able to get a screening for cancer or the teenager who didn’t get pregnant because she has access to contraception. Or anyone who has ever been protected by an HIV test.

This is happening all over the country, even here in Ohio. Programs and services women use to take care of themselves are being cut down.

I take it a little personal when they go after women.

Hell fucking yes.

100 homeless people were given disposable cameras, this is what they shot – News – Art – The Independent

SM-I'm Sure Of Everything But YouPat Bagley is starting a serial cartoon, check it out: Bagley Cartoon: Joe Hill, His Story (Part 1) | The Salt Lake Tribune

Medieval Jokes

Did medieval people tell jokes? While it might seem that the Middle Ages was a time of being devout and serious, there was also laughter and mirth. We can find many works that were meant to be funny more than anything else, and even in chronicles you can find stories of kings and bishops who would be laughing at some foolish joke.

What did medieval people find funny? Much of the humour can be described as rude and crude: jokes about sex or bodily functions seem to be very popular. The targets of the jokes might be foolish husbands or bad wives, the local priest, a king, or even historical figures.

One of the best known joke books of the Middle Ages is the Facetiae by Poggio Bracciolini (1380-1459). Poggio was an Italian scholar who spent most of his career working for the Papacy, but he also wrote about a wide number of topics and was seen as one of the brightest minds of his time. He explains that he wrote the Facetiae because “it is proper, and almost a matter of necessity commended by philosophers, that our mind, weighed down by a variety of cares and anxieties, should now and then enjoy relaxation from its constant labour, and be incited to cheerfulness and mirth by some humorous recreation.”

A few jokes can be found at the link.

Must-see: Stunning supermoon shines in the night sky | www.wsbtv.com

Supermoon

More pictures at the link.

Sorry again this is so late, I over slept and then…it just took me longer to get my shit together.

Post what you like of course…..


Lazy Saturday Reads

Harriet Tubman memorial in Boston's South End

Harriet Tubman memorial in Boston’s South End

Happy Saturday!!

Once again, I’ve spent my early morning hours looking at pictures–this time I have a collection of Boston statues to share–there are gazillions of them here! I’ve got news too, of course.

Last week I wrote a post about a rape trial in Concord, New Hampshire. The case highlighted a culture of misogyny and sexual assault at St. Paul’s, an exclusive private boarding school. Well, the verdict is in.

The jury found Owen Labrie not guilty of aggravated rape, but they convicted him of several other charges, which could still result in jail time. NYT:

…after about seven hours of deliberations over two days, the jury appeared to dismiss Mr. Labrie’s insistence that he had not penetrated the girl in any way, but found that the state had not proved that what happened was against the girl’s expressed wishes.

The nine men and three women rejected the more serious accusations of aggravated sexual assault, as well as a misdemeanor assault charge of biting the girl’s chest, but convicted Mr. Labrie of three misdemeanors related to the girl’s age and involving penetration with his penis, mouth and finger. He was also convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, and a felony charge involving use of a computer to lure a minor.

It seemed, one expert said, to be a compromise among the jurors.

The conviction on using a computer to abuse a child means Labrie will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Edgar Allen Poe statue near Boston Common

Edgar Allen Poe statue near Boston Common

Boston Globe: As victim in prep-school case feared, the jury didn’t think she did enough.

In the end, the jury believed her. Owen Labrie had sex with her when she was just 15.

But just like she feared, they didn’t think she did enough to stop him.

Over three days of testimony, the now 16-year-old girl described her encounter with one of the more popular seniors on the campus of her elite New Hampshire prep school last year. She described how Labrie, then 18, invited her to a rendezvous in a secluded St. Paul’s School building. She told of kissing him, of taking off her sweatshirt and then her shorts. And then feeling everything go way too far.

His fingers were inside her, then his tongue, then his penis. He wasn’t getting the message when she pulled her bra strap back on, held onto her underpants, pulled his head away from between her legs as she said no repeatedly, she said. She said she winced and stiffened as he penetrated her.

She should have never left her room that night, she thought, as she stared up at the ceiling and waited for it to end.

“If I had just been able to kick or yell at him,” she testified. “If I just had been able to get the point across. To push or do something. I could have stopped it.”

Statue of Bill Russell at City Hall Plaza

Statue of Bill Russell at City Hall Plaza

So they believed Labrie penetrated her when she was under the age of consent, but they still thought it was consensual? I don’t understand that.

At Slate, Mark Joseph Stern explains: The Odd Sexual-Consent Law That Explains the Bizarre Owen Labrie Verdict.

Like many states, New Hampshire has a “Romeo and Juliet” exception to statutory rape. Such exceptions allows individuals to have sex with minors if they are close in age. These laws are designed to allow teens to engage in consensual sex without fear of prosecution. Florida provides a good example: There, the Romeo and Juliet law creates a four-year bubble, so that an 18-year-old can legally have sex with a 14-year-old, but a 19-year-old cannot.

New Hampshire’s law follows this model—with a twist. It sets a hard age of consent at 13: Before then, all sex is illegal. After 13, the rules change. It isn’t illegal to engage in consensual non-penetrative sexual contact with an individual between ages 13 and 16 unless you are at least five years older than the younger person. (Think necking and fondling.) It is always illegal, however, to engage in penetrative sexual contact with any individual between ages 13 and 16. (16 is the universal age of consent in the state.)

Here, the Romeo and Juliet law only affects the severity of the punishment. If you have penetrative consensual sex with an individual between ages 13 and 16 but are within four years of age, you are guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault. If the age difference is more than four years, you’re guilty of felony sexual assault.

Labrie was 18 when he allegedly put his penis, tongue, and finger in a 15-year-old’s vagina. The jury did not find that the girl resisted, so he isn’t guilty of felony rape. But he still had penetrative sex with a girl under 16, the jury believed. Thus, Labrie is guilty on three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault, one for each form of penetration.

A couple more links:

Boston Globe: Owen Labrie and the ‘nerd defense’

Boston Globe: Prep-school rape trial: Read statements from the victim’s family, St. Paul’s School, and Harvard College.

The Boston Women's Memorial celebrates three important contributors to Boston's rich history - Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone, and Phillis Wheatley. Each of these women had progressive ideas that were ahead of her time, was committed to social change, and left a legacy through her writings that had a significant impact on history.

The Boston Women’s Memorial celebrates three important contributors to Boston’s rich history – Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone, and Phillis Wheatley. Each of these women had progressive ideas that were ahead of her time, was committed to social change, and left a legacy through her writings that had a significant impact on history.

 

I thought I’d share a heartwarming story with you for a change. My mom passed this one on to me.

IndyStar: Indianapolis radio contest sparks neighborhood feud in Muncie.

It wasn’t really a feud, just one nasty neighbor with no sense of humor.

High school student Hannah Brewer, with her mother’s permission, painted the garage door of their residence in an attempt to prove she is the biggest fan of the pop/punk band 5 Seconds of Summer, aka 5SOS.

“Get creative and prove you’re the biggest 5SOS fan on your garage door so the whole neighborhood can see it!” the radio station said in announcing the competition. “Color, paint, decorate … whatever you can think of! Just make sure we can see RadioNOW 100.9 … somewhere” on the door.

The winner will receive tickets to the band’s Aug. 22 concert and get to meet the four members backstage at Klipsch Music Center.

Statue of Col. William Prescott at the Bunker Hill Monument. Famous quote: "Don't shoot till you see the whites of their eyes!"

Statue of Col. William Prescott at the Bunker Hill Monument. Famous quote: “Don’t shoot till you see the whites of their eyes!”

Hannah and her friend Morgan Whitmer worked on the garage door mural together “painting images of the band members, a message reading, “5SOS is kinda hot!” a skull, an astronaut and other things on the door.” An anonymous neighbor was so scandalized that she wrote the ridiculous letter:

Soon after that, an anonymous letter titled “A NOTE FROM YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD” was left in Brewer’s front door at 3305 W. Oaklyn Ave.

It said, “At first we all thought you had been a victim of vandalism on your garage, seeing how NOTHING like that has ever happened around here before … In case you haven’t noticed this isn’t LA or Chicago or Mexico and it certainly isn’t south Muncie.

“There is discussion of getting up a petition, calling the newspaper and retaining a lawyer in case you don’t do the right thing over the ghetto painting … We are all sorry we have had to do this but nobody has ever treated this neighborhood in a trashy manner!”

The author of the letter left another copy of it in the front door on another day.

Hannah’s mother Carrie Mote Craig, a teacher, called the police and learned there was nothing illegal about the painting. One police officer even came to their house and posed for a picture in front of the garage door. Craig then sent an explanatory letter to all of the neighbors and the girls ended up getting tons of support and lots of people stopping by to look at the painting.

Statue of Mary Dyer, who "challenged traditional Puritanism with her progressive beliefs," and was put to death for it.

Statue of Mary Dyer, who “challenged traditional Puritanism with her progressive beliefs,” and was put to death for it.

Well, it turned out that Hannah wasn’t eligible for the radio station contest, because she doesn’t live in Indianapolis. But when the station heard the story, the girls still got tickets and a chance to meet their favorite band.  Indy Star:

RadioNOW 100.9’s afternoon drive host Mike Klein and midday host Hunter personally delivered the good news to Brewer, a high school senior, at her place of work (Wendy’s) on Wednesday night.

“She didn’t actually win the contest,” Max Williams, marketing director at Indianapolis-based RadioNOW, said. “The reason why is she lives in Muncie, which is technically not part of our market. She was not even eligible to win according to the contest rules.”

However, “because of everything that happened and the extra exposure she got for us it is definitely worth her getting to meet the band,” Williams said. “The record label thought it was great extra attention to their band. They loved it, so we were able to secure the extra meet and greet and tickets. They won some pretty decent seats and will get to go backstage prior to the show and meet the band.”

It’s just a small story, but it gave me a good feeling, so I thought I’d share it.

How about some politics? I know, ugh. But there is some political news about Democrats today that isn’t about Emailghazi.

National Journal: At DNC Meeting, Hillary Clinton’s Quiet Moves Are the Ones that Matter.

MINNEAPOLIS—Hillary Clinton publicly bashed her Republican presidential rivals in the cavernous hotel ballroom here Friday, but her bigger accomplishment at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting was what her campaign was doing privately.

At a meet-and-greet at a nearby office tower, in small group sessions, and in one-on-ones behind closed doors at the meeting hotel, Clinton and her top staff worked the 700 or so “superdelegates” who will help choose the next Democratic nominee for firm commitments.

“They’re working really hard to solidify their count going in,” said Florida DNC member Alma Gonzalez. “It is a continual and consistent push.”

“This is really about how you put the numbers together to secure the nomination,” Clinton said at a brief news conference. She said the effort springs from one of the lessons learned from her failed run in 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign took advantage of party rules to win more delegates even when failing to win the primary vote in a particular state.

“I got lot of votes, but I didn’t get enough delegates, and so I think it’s understandable that my focus is going to be on delegates as well as votes this time,” she said. “I’m very encouraged by the kind of response that I’m getting.”

Statue of immortal pitcher Cy Young near the campus of Northeastern University

Statue of immortal pitcher Cy Young near the campus of Northeastern University

Two more links on this:

Bloomberg: Clinton Camp Says One-Fifth of Delegates Secured for Nomination.

Politico: Democratic elite rally around Hillary Clinton.

Naturally, other candidates were not happy.

Washington Post: Democratic challengers launch attacks against Clinton, party leadership.

What began as a routine forum of candidate speeches evolved into a surprisingly dramatic day at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting, as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley issued thinly veiled attacks on Clinton and the party leadership.

Speaking from the dais, with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz sitting a few feet away, O’Malley blasted the party’s limited number of sanctioned debates as a process “rigged” in favor of the front-runner. The DNC is holding six debates, only four before February’s first caucuses in Iowa, which O’Malley argued is a disadvantage for all the candidates and a disservice to Democrats generally.

“This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before,” said O’Malley, who has struggled to gain traction in the polls. He added: “We are the Democratic Party, not the undemocratic party.”

Sanders — who later told reporters he agreed with O’Malley — lamented low Democratic turnout in last year’s midterm elections and said the party must grow beyond “politics as usual” if it hopes to produce the level of voter enthusiasm required to retain the White House in 2016.

“We need a movement which takes on the economic and political establishment, not one which is part of that establishment,” said Sanders, who is an independent but caucuses with Democrats in the Senate.

Asked later whether he was speaking specifically about Clinton, he told reporters, “I’ll let you use your imagination on that.”

Tough shit. Obama was completely ruthless in 2008, and it worked. I’m glad Hillary is following his lead.

Statue of Paul Revere with the Old North Church in the background.

Statue of Paul Revere with the Old North Church in the background.

More news, links only:

Did you see Peggy Noonan’s latest word salad? Wall Street Journal: America is So in Play, and commentary from Gawker: Peggy Noonan’s Dominican Friend, Cesar, Works at the Deli Counter. Good for a laugh.

CNN: Church says Donald Trump is not an ‘active member’.

Meteor Blades at DailyKos: Clinton’s support for 50-state strategy the right move for any Democratic candidate.

Washington Post: Texas sheriff’s deputy ambushed in ‘execution-style killing’ at gas station.

LA Times: Manson family member Bruce Davis found eligible for parole.

LA Times: Bison attack: Man ‘played dead’ to escape after being gored.

From Vox, a very good long read: Tech nerds are smart. But they can’t seem to get their heads around politics.

The Independent: Study reveals that a lot of psychology research really is just ‘psycho-babble’ (um . . . not quite what the study says)

Washington Post: No, science’s reproducibility problem is not limited to psychology.

So . . . what stories are you following today? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a terrific weekend!

Make Way for Ducklings statue in Boston Public Garden

Make Way for Ducklings statue in Boston Public Garden

 

 


Friday Nite Lite: Falling asleep at the keyboard.

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Good Evening

No not asleep at the wheel…we are talking asleep at the keys, keyboard that is.

Or, as I read the NewsBlur RSS feeder on my iphone, which sucks because my finger is on the screen, so consequently whatever article I am touching will open up in the browser….then if my finger happens to be on another link within the feed’s article, that will open up in Safari…and the cycle continues until I snap out of my doze or my finger lands on a non-linking touchscreen area.

Here are your cartoons for this Friday night. The last Friday in August….hell, fucking, yeah!

NRA Terror – Truthdig

Cagle Cartoons:

EU and refugees by Political Cartoonist Luojie

The Great Wall of Trump by Political Cartoonist Taylor Jones

Trump by Political Cartoonist David Fitzsimmons

08/27/2015 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

China Sneezes: 08/27/2015 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - China Sneezes

08/27/2015 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

08/27/2015 Cartoon by Ed Wilson

Cartoon by Ed Wilson -

08/28/2015 Cartoon by Bob Englehart

Cartoon by Bob Englehart -

08/28/2015 Cartoon by Kevin Siers

Cartoon by Kevin Siers -

Emperor Trump’s Clothes: 08/28/2015 Cartoon by Paul Fell

Cartoon by Paul Fell - Emperor Trump's Clothes

Katrina Anniversary: 08/28/2015 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Katrina Anniversary

08/28/2015 Cartoon by Chan Lowe

Cartoon by Chan Lowe -

08/26/2015 Cartoon by Chan Lowe

Cartoon by Chan Lowe -

08/25/2015 Cartoon by Chan Lowe

Cartoon by Chan Lowe -

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Jeb Bush and Anchor Babies: 08/28/2015 Cartoon by Bruce Plante

Cartoon by Bruce Plante - Bruce Plante Cartoon: Jeb Bush and Anchor Babies

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon: 08/28/2015 Cartoon by Clay Bennett

Cartoon by Clay Bennett - Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

08/28/2015 Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies

Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies -

US Gun Deaths: 08/28/2015 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - US Gun Deaths

08/28/2015 Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez

Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez -

08/27/2015 Cartoon by John Cole

Cartoon by John Cole -

08/28/2015 Cartoon by Randy Bish

Cartoon by Randy Bish -

08/28/2015 Cartoon by Ross Gosse

Cartoon by Ross Gosse -

08/27/2015 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

This is an open thread….