Sunday Reads Number Two: Rain go away!

Vintage advertisement for umbrellas.

Vintage advertisement for umbrellas.

Good Afternoon

The weather here in Banjoville is gloomy, making my fingers ache. In other words, typing is bothersome so this will be a short post. The gloom is also making me moody, giving me even less enthusiasm for typing today. Anyway, these are the rest of your Sunday reads.

BB sent me this link last night, GOP looks for ways to stop the rape comments.  I don’t think they can “stop” any kind of comments that discriminate or degrade women period.

Rep. Phil Gingrey’s attempts to explain Todd Akin’s rape remarks are leaving many Republicans beyond frustrated that a few in their party can’t help but insert rape into the already contentious abortion debate.

“This is actually pretty simple. If you’re about to talk about rape as anything other than a brutal and horrible crime, stop,” said Republican strategist Kevin Madden, who was a senior adviser in Mitt Romney’s campaign.

And who is coming to the Republicans aid by teaching the GOP how to control their archaic beliefs from spewing from their mouths? The Susan B. Anthony PLUB group.
…a training program that’s already being launched by an anti-abortion group — the Susan B. Anthony list — to keep candidates and lawmakers from continually making the same kind of comments that may have helped ruin Republicans’ chances of winning the Senate.
[…]

Marina Ein, whose public relations firm does crisis communications, said the party needs some kind of “sensitivity training” for its candidates if it wants to do better in the next elections.

“It all boils down to whether or not the Republican Party thinks this is a problem,” she said. “If they want to make inroads with women, then they need to subject every one of their candidates to sensitivity training — not to mention reality training.”

The training would have to “educate politicians on subjects that are absolutely taboo, except to say, ‘I sympathize with the pain of anyone who goes through fill-in-the-blank,’” she said.

Madden’s advice is simply to stop talking.

Yeah, don’t change the way these assholes think…just keep them from saying it.
Texas is really becoming one place to avoid (sorry Ralph)…if you are anything other than a wealthy white man: The Rich Male Whiteness, It Burns – Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
A bunch of conservative Texas groups are taking history departments at the University of Texas and Texas A&M to task because they supposedly talk too much about race, class, and gender instead of rich white guys and awesome wars and America Rocks and Let’s Invade Iran! and other such things. Texas has a public school requirement that each college student must take 2 U.S. history classes. So these groups decided to look at syllabi to see what they could see. The answer, too much teaching topics that might make students question the current tenets of the Republican Party.
Read the rest of Erik Loomis post at the link.
I’ve got another legal blog post to share with you, this time from The Volokh Conspiracy » May Plaintiff Cut off a Poor Defendant’s Appeal, by Having the Sheriff Sell off Defendant’s Right to Appeal?
That is the question I’m facing with the latest twist in Obsidian Finance Group, LLC v. Cox, a pro bono First Amendment case that I’m litigating before the Ninth Circuit. For more on the substantive First Amendment issue, see the materials collected here. But this twist is all about procedure (as so many legal questions are).
It is wonderful to see that Eugene Volokh is helping this woman pro bono…take a look at his quick review of the case at the link.
You may have heard about the latest news from the land of the Happy Rat: Disney World to Issue MagicBand ID Bracelets This Spring
Don’t give us that look, you knew as well as we did that the Walt Disney Company would eventually cut its fang-like teeth on insidious global takeover. This spring, Disney World will feel more like an internment camp than a destination for exorbitant family entertainment when the park initiates the MyMagic+ vacation management system and MagicBand identification bracelets. These bracelets, if participating visitors are so inclined, will be encoded with a wealth of information including the individual’s name, credit card information, and other tidbits such as birthdays. Disney believes that this new system will mean faster purchase transactions and less time spent waiting in line to get on rides, but it’s natural if some people would rather not have corporate goons sifting through private information for their own ends. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the police state as envisioned by Mickey Mouse!
As usual, it is a guise for aggressive advertising.

The MagicBand bracelets will work in conjunction with a website and app called My Disney Experience. Here, users will be able to select three FastPasses for rides of their choosing in addition to VIP seating for special events like fireworks shows or those obnoxious meet-and-greets. What they probably won’t know during this entire process is that they’ve unknowingly put themselves on the grid and will be under the constant monitoring of Disney goons from some undisclosed location — likely a cramped concrete bunker underneath the churro cart.

And as if Disney couldn’t possibly cram anymore features into a dinky rubber bracelet certain to give one’s wrist sweat-induced rashes under the hot Florida sun, the MagicBands will also serve as room keys and tickets for attractions or parking.

The bracelets are convenient to say the least, but it’s difficult not to shake that overwhelming feeling of having one’s privacy invaded. Disney stresses that the bracelets are entirely optional and will be used solely to gather vital information — such as items purchased and which characters you embraced or ran away from in sheer terror — to better improve visitor experience. So, really, how can you hate on a bracelet that gives park employees the ability to address your family by their first names? It’s not like the reason for a long distance vacation is to physically get away from people who know you.

Ha…good point. I don’t know about you, but the thought of all that personal information being collected is just way too creepy for my sensibilities.
So, in a world where the technology is such that you can have your entire vacation plan controlled by a 10 cent rubber bracelet, there is this report out of Haiti: Three years on from earthquake housing situation catastrophic | Amnesty International
Three years on from the Haiti earthquake the housing situation in the country is nothing short of catastrophic with hundreds of thousands of people still living in fragile shelters, Amnesty International said as it urged the authorities and the international community to make housing a priority.The 12 January 2010 earthquake left more than 200,000 people dead and some 2.3 million homeless.It is estimated that more than 350,000 people currently live in 496 camps across the country.According to testimonies gathered by Amnesty International in Haiti, living conditions in the makeshift camps are worsening – with severe lack of access to water, sanitation and waste disposal – all of which have contributed to the spread of infectious diseases such as cholera.
Women and girls are vulnerable to sexual assault and rape.“As if being exposed to insecurity, diseases and hurricanes were not enough, many people living in makeshifts camps are also living under the constant fear of being forcibly evicted,” said Javier Zúñiga, Special Advisor at Amnesty International.
More misery at the link.
I can’t end on a sour note, so the next few links are up-beat special interest stories.
If you all missed Pat Johnson’s “Book List” post over at Widdershin’s, go read it now.  AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT…. « The Widdershins
Wow Pat, that is a huge amount of reading you did this past year. I’m impressed!
Over in England, they have been inundated with rain this season and it is beginning to cause landslides. One in particular will peak Dak’s interest.  Whitby landslip exposes human bones at ‘Dracula graveyard’

Human bones have been exposed at a church graveyard in Whitby after a landslide took away part of the cliff.

The large landslip, at the cliff on which St Mary’s Church stands, has exposed ancient graves when rock started to crumble.

The church, founded around AD1110, includes the graveyard that provided the inspiration for a scene in Bram Stoker’s horror novel Dracula.

The human bones have been collected and will be reinterred, officials said.

The landslide has been blamed on a broken drainage pipe which has become damaged and fallen away.

‘Only bones’This meant that after heavy rainfall the soil became saturated, leading to more of the cliff falling away.

A stream of water can now be seen flowing out of the rock face where the bones are believed to have been recovered.

St Mary’s rector, Canon David Smith said: “The cemetery has been closed for over a century, so if any graves are exposed it’s only bones.

Another old decrepit site is the focus of this next link:  ” The Thread That Connects Us All “ « mikepillowsphoto

"To Walk a Mile in..."

“To Walk a Mile in…”

I was treated to an early gift this season… it was a dusty, old, dark, and very magical treat to this photographer’s eyes. The present I am referring to, was my visit to the last intact silk mill left in the US. Built in  1907, and known as Klotz Throwing Company, it is located in Lonaconing, MD which is about a five and a half hour drive from where I live.

On rare occasions, you can feel a presence of history in a place. I felt it instantly, when I set foot inside this mill. What also set the mood was the ambient light I had to work in.  The smell and feel of a past life lets your thoughts drift back to when it was a booming factory. Seeing the thousands of spools, and their links to the machinery, led you to actually imagine the sounds and visualize the people who had worked on the factory floor.

Some interesting photos at that link, and I must admit…being a weaver and fiber nut I found the location of the photo shoot fascinating.
Another year is starting, and aside from Django Unchained, I have no desire to sit in a movie theater and watch the new movies coming out of Hollywood. As so many of you know, my days and evenings are spent watching old movies on TCM, so it should come as no surprise that I will end this post with a link to the TCM Blog MovieMorlocks.com – It’s a Mini-Team Effort written by Greg Ferrera
I recently did a post on great dual performance movies, that is, movies where two actors go head to head, both in the movie and as actors.  I brought up Bette Davis and Anne Baxter in All About Eve, Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier in Sleuth as well as many others.  Readers followed up with a lot of great match-ups themselves and I recommend giving them all a read.  But as Al Capone, played by Robert De Niro, famously said in The Untouchables, “I’m goin’ out there for myself. But… I get nowhere unless the team wins.” (psst, after he says that he whimsically crushes some poor sap’s skull in with a baseball bat)  And so this post isn’t about head to head, it’s about elbow to elbow and hand in hand.  It’s all about working together but not in the way you’d think.   Forget Nick and Nora, Oscar and Felix, Dorothy Gale and those three lugs.  This all about my favorite little teams, the ones that no one ever celebrates… until now.
Have a great day and enjoy your evening…think of this as an open thread so share whatever you like in the comments below.
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9 Comments on “Sunday Reads Number Two: Rain go away!”

  1. Beata says:

    I’m enjoying the new season of “Downton Abbey”. Here’s a preview ( spoiler alert!!! ).

    • RalphB says:

      The same idiots are still after the schools to make sure they only teach right wing approved material. Here’s hoping they keep on failing in their goals. TX is a big enough mess as it is without more fools running loose.

    • purplefinn says:

      I saw some of the interview. He called out Republicans on racism and more. Except for his defense of Bush and the “intelligence pointing to weapons of mass destruction”, I was with him all the way.

      • RalphB says:

        It’s a shame that Powell went along with that. Now I guess he feels trapped by it. That doesn’t make it any better though.

  2. RalphB says:

    Salon: 4 gadgets that defined Vegas electronics show

    Beyond being thin, power-thrifty and capable of extremely high color saturation, OLEDs are interesting for another reason: they can bend. LCDs have to be laid down on flat glass substrates, but OLEDs can be laid down on flexible glass or plastic. The major obstacle here is that flexible substrates tend to let through air, which destroys OLEDs, but manufacturers seem to have tackled the problem. Samsung showed off a phone that can bend into a tube. It consisted of a rigid plastic box with electronics and an attached display that is as thin as a piece of paper. The company suggested that in the future, it could make displays that fold up like maps — big screens that fit in a pocket.

    OLED Ultra-HD TVs should hit the US by summer. The technology should kick off a revolution in design of all kinds of products for a long time to come.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for the link to Pat’s reading list. Wow! I know what she means about having a Kindle though. It is much easier for me to read with my Kindle than when holding a book. I have so much arthritis in my hands now, that holding a book open is painful. I’ve been shopping around for a gadget to hold them open for me, but I would still have to open the gadget to turn each page. With the Kindle, I can read for a long time without my hands and arms getting tired and I can adjust the type to the size I want. I’m really glad I bought it.

    • I finally got my mom to use my Kindle and it is easier for her to read too.

      BB, I saw that they are expecting a verdict in the murder trial of the boy who killed his new-Nazi father. I know you wrote an extensive post on it last year…

    • Fannie says:

      That was a quite the reading list…………good for her, and BB I can relate to holding the book, and pain in the wrist.