Thursday Reads: No Ambiguity Please! We’re conservatives!!!

Good Morning!

downloadFor those of us that wonder wtf is wrong with people that call themselves “conservative”, there are more studies that show that the people that self-identify as such are more “threat oriented”.   Conservatives tend to have a bias towards negativity and respond to things they perceive as threats.  They also appear to hate ambiguity and gray areas.  So, something in their brains causes them to be intimidated by all kinds of things.

The occasion of this revelation is a paper by John Hibbing of the University of Nebraska and his colleagues, arguing that political conservatives have a “negativity bias,” meaning that they are physiologically more attuned to negative (threatening, disgusting) stimuli in their environments. (The paper can be read for free here.) In the process, Hibbing et al. marshal a large body of evidence, including their own experiments using eye trackers and other devices to measure the involuntary responses of political partisans to different types of images. One finding? That conservatives respond much more rapidly to threatening and aversive stimuli (for instance, images of “a very large spider on the face of a frightened person, a dazed individual with a bloody face, and an open wound with maggots in it,” as one of their papers put it).

In other words, the conservative ideology, and especially one of its major facets—centered on a strong military, tough law enforcement, resistance to immigration, widespread availability of guns—would seem well tailored for an underlying, threat-oriented biology.

Hibbing’s Research supports earlier research.  (Yes BB!  Here’s the link! ) Jost and earlier researchers have found similar patterns in the brains andnon-traditional-families-heart-shaped-buttons-13339954 actions of self-identified conservatives. Researcher’s have found that “conservatives are characterized by traits such as a need for certainty and an intolerance of ambiguity” . Jost’s work in 2003 brought heaps of criticism by the usual suspects.  That would be icky George Will, the revolting Ann Coulter, and writers from the National Review. It almost seemed like they were trying to prove the researchers correct.  Jost examines the current Hibbing et al study.

There is by now evidence from a variety of laboratories around the world using a variety of methodological techniques leading to the virtually inescapable conclusion that the cognitive-motivational styles of leftists and rightists are quite different. This research consistently finds that conservatism is positively associated with heightened epistemic concerns for order, structure, closure, certainty, consistency, simplicity, and familiarity, as well as existential concerns such as perceptions of danger, sensitivity to threat, and death anxiety. [Italics added]

imagesSenate Democrats have been trying to fight back some of the most outrageous findings of SCOTUS that force the white male, Opus Dei Catholic’s idea of religion on women.  As expected, the Senate Republicans blocked the move.

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation that would require companies to provide birth control coverage in their employee healthcare plans.

The bill failed to advance in a 56-43 vote, with Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine) and Mark Kirk (Ill.) voting with Democrats.

“Today, Senate Republicans blocked legislation that would have made it illegal for any company to deny their employees and dependents specific health benefits required by federal law, like birth control,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said after the vote. “Senate Republicans continue to demonstrate that they are out of touch with women across America.”

Reid switched his vote to “no” on the bill before the vote was closed, giving him the option of bringing it up again.

Democrats put forward the bill to reverse the effects of last month’s Supreme Court ruling, which found that the government could not mandate that certain employers provide birth-control coverage if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.

Republicans have cheered the ruling as a victory for the First Amendment, and say the protections that the high court afforded the Hobby Lobby chain under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act should remain in place.

On the left, the backlash to the ruling has been intense. Democrats want to harness that anger as they try to turn out their voters in the midterm elections.

“Women across the country are watching,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). “Who should be in charge of a woman’s healthcare decisions? Should it be a woman — making those decisions with her partner, her doctor and her faith? Or should it be her boss — making those decisions for her based on his own religious beliefs?”

Patty is right.  The anger of women and the ever-widening gender gap may help Senate Democrats maintain majority control.  News outlets following goldfishfall races are noting how the gender gap plays out in many races.  Here is an NBC report showing recent polls.

When it comes to the Republican Party’s path to a Senate majority, so much of the focus has been on the red states. But the difference between the GOP pursuing a lasting majority and one that is temporary — or even elusive — is how it performs in purple and blue states like Colorado and Michigan. And our brand-new NBC/Marist polls of Colorado and Michigan show Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) leading Cory Gardner (R) by seven points among registered voters, 48%-41%, in Colorado’s key Senate race. They find Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) ahead of GOP challenger Bob Beauprez by six points, 49%-43%. They have Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) up over Republican Terri Lynn Land by six, 43%-37%, in Michigan’s Senate contest. And they show Gov. Rick Snyder (R) leading Democratic challenger Mark Schauer by two points, 46%-44%. So why are Udall, Peters, and Snyder all ahead in their contests? Here’s an explanation: mind the gaps — the gender gap, the Latino gap, and the independent gap. In Colorado, Udall is up by 12 points among female voters (50%-38%), as Democratic groups like Senate Majority PAC are up with TV ads (like this one) on abortion and contraception. Indeed, 70% of Colorado voters in the NBC/Marist poll said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who supports restrictions on the use of contraception. And in Michigan, Peters is ahead by 13 points with women (46%-33%).

bothsexismanImportant races will most likely be determined by the level of anger in the black community over voter suppression legislation, hispanic anger over the refugee crisis on the border, and the anger of women who have had it with all the attacks on their reproductive rights and statements to the effect that there is no such thing as work place discrimination.  Senate Minority Leader McConnell just announced that workplace sexism is over and things like equal pay laws just are giving women preferential treatment.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)—challenging the notion that Republicans are waging a war on women—recently told a group of Kentuckians that gender discrimination in the workplace is a thing of the past. “I could be wrong, but most of the barriers have been lowered,” McConnell said while visiting a small business in Buckner, Kentucky. “Women voters will look at the same issues as men are.” His remarks wererecorded and reported by a local newspaper, the Oldham Era.

Speaking last Thursday at Fastline Publications, which produces farm equipment catalogs, McConnell, who’s in a tough reelection fight against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, cited the prevalence of female CEOs as evidence that women are thriving within corporate America. “We’ve come a long way in pay equity, and there are a ton of women CEOs now running major companies,” McConnell said.

“I don’t grant the assumption that we need to sort of give preferential treatment to the majority of our population, which is, in my view, leading and performing,” McConnell said, referring to women in the workplace. He added, “Maybe I’m missing something here.” Noting that Grimes was claiming that McConnell has promoted “policies that are harmful to women,” he criticized her for pursuing an agenda of “exploitation for political purposes.” He asserted that Grimes was trying “to convince people that women should vote for her because she’s a woman.” He noted that the last time he ran for reelection, he won 50 percent of women.

McConnell’s facts are off. Women have had greater success in recent years in reaching the top-tier of corporate America, with a record number of women leading Fortune 500 companies this year. But that number is still small. Of the top 500 corporate CEOs, just 24—4.8 percent—are women. That’s hardly representative of the American public given that, as McConnell noted, women make up more than half of the population. Moreover, in 2013, women held just 16.9 percent of board slots at Fortune 500 companies, according to a study by Catalyst, a nonprofit that tracks gender trends in employment. That same study found that 10 percent of Fortune 500 companies didn’t have any female board members.

As for pay equity, Catalyst’s research shows that women represent only 8.1 percent of the top earner slots at major companies. The specific numbers are often debated, but the data shows that men tend to make more than women throughout the economy. Democrats contend that women earn 77 cents for every dollar pocketed by men, a figure calculated by comparing all full-time female workers to their male counterparts without taking into account differences in occupation. But when men and women in the same career field are compared, the men still come out on top …

The entire Republican party–this includes old cranky white men and the women that cling to them like victims of Stockholm Syndrome–run on sexism000platforms of running scared from science, modernity and racial and religious minorities, women and GLBT  humans that won’t stay in their assigned, oppressed roles. This so fits with the research noted above.

In their eagerness to label busloads of children dangerous, a group of Arizona xenophobes chased down a bus of local school children headed for YMCA summer camp.

Protesters waved “Return to Sender” signs, shoved a group of mariachi musicians and waited for a bus of immigrant children that the local sheriff told them would arrive. At one point, they briefly halted a bus before realizing it was carrying children from a YMCA.

According to USA Today, Arizona Rep. Adam Kwasman was among those who thought that the bus of YMCA campers was full of migrant children, tweeting: “Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law.”

He later deleted the tweet and apologized for the mistake.

A GOP congressman decries the refugee children as diseased and unvaccinated. Ironically, this congressman has opposed mandatory vaccinations.   He also feared they would bring Ebola to the US.  Ebola is a disease that has been found in Africa and Asia.

Last week, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with a dire warning: Some of the child refugeesstreaming across the southern border into the United States might carry deadly diseases. “Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning,” Gingrey wrote. “Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles.”

Gingrey’s analysis carried an aura of credibility among conservatives, because, as Judicial Watch noted, the congressman is “also [a] medical doctor.” But his two-page letter is filled with false charges—there’s no evidence that migrants carry Ebola or that they’re less likely to be vaccinated—from an inconvenient messenger: The congressman has himself pushed legislation to discourage some kinds of mandatory vaccinations in the United States.

According to the World Health Organization, Ebola virus has only ever affected humans in sub-Saharan Africa. (It has been found in China and the Philippines, but has never caused an illness, let alone a fatality.) Central America is far away from sub-Saharan Africa:

racism1Another GOP congressman has announced that all these children are the gang members who will export a “culture of rape”.

A Florida Republican congressman called undocumented immigrant children at the border not children at all but gang-affiliated persons from a culture of thievery, murder, and violence.

“A lot of these children … quote-unquote … ya know, the first caller mentioned it, ya know, they’re gang members. They’re gang affiliated,” Florida Republican Rep. Rich Nugent said on WOCA radio Monday.

Nugent added that the culture the children were coming from was one of violence and there would be a complications in bringing the children into American culture.

“Listen, if you’re 14, 15, 16, 17 years old, and you’re coming from a country that’s gang-infested — particularly with MS-13 types, that is the most aggressive of all the street gangs — when you have those types coming across the border, they’re not children at that point. These kids have been brought up in a culture of thievery. A culture of murder, of rape. And now we are going to infuse them into the American culture. It’s just ludicrous.”

Thousands of children, many under the age of 8, have crossed the border in recent months from Central America.

So, again, small children are made into some kind of perceived threat.  They obviously aren’t here for jobs.  So, they must fall into some other kind of threat.  These examples show how low some minds can go.

Anyway, that’s my contribution for today.  Next time you read something one of these nutters says, you can assure yourself it’s all in their minds.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

Tuesday WTF Reads

Good Morning!

Ambrosius_Holbein_-_The_Island_of_Utopia_-_WGA11475I’m going to continue my focus on the Central American children seeking safety in the US but today’s post will also include some other gems.  The first interesting thing I would like to share and discuss comes from Michael Lind’s essay on the end of social conservatism.  This is something that I’ve been sending out prayers to the greater ethos about for literally decades. Here’s a bit on that from The New Geography.

Michael Lind has released a new essay titled “The Coming Realignment” in The Breakthrough Journal, one of the most innovative magazines around today. He predicts that social conservatism as we know it will fade away, but that does not mean we will have political consensus; only that the terms of engagement may change.

Lind suggests will be two camps, one he calls “liberaltarian” based in the denser urban areas that he calls “Densitaria”; the other, “populiberalism,” will flourish in more  loosely settled suburban areas he calls “Posturbia.” He contends that Densitaria will be primarily occupied by wealthy urbanites and their poor, often immigrant servants, while Posturbia, being dominated by the single family home, will occupy the middle ground. It may not be accessible to the poorest, and not very desirable to the richest; but it will be, however, racially diverse. In many regions  already, suburbs are now more diverse than core cities.

Neither of these cultures will be hostile to the welfare state, but they will have different preferences about what to expect from it. Densitaria will support the means tested welfare programs that have been called “welfare” in American political discourse, but it will want to control their costs, and will want to put restrictions on things that damage the health of potential welfare clients, like smoking and getting fat.  The Posturbians will favor the type of welfare that comes out of the New Deal, which in American political discourse has not been called “welfare”; non-means tested programs like Social Security and Medicare and other forms of social insurance, public libraries and schools, and other government programs available to all and not just the “poor.” The Republican Party could actually become representative of either camp, depending on how things go.

I would remark that polls of Millennials seem to indicate that opposition to abortion and euthanasia continue to resonate, even as other forms of social conservatism, such as opposition to gay marriage fade; the effect of social liberalism will primarily mean that sexual abstinence will not be considered by future pro-lifers the ideal solution to unwanted pregnancy, and they will not be opposed to contraception. Hopefully, pro-lifers will not automatically link up with one of the two camps but will operate in both; but the Densitarian concern with controlling the costs of welfare may make them reluctant to accept restrictions on abortion and euthanasia.

On the other hand, if Posturbians develop an obsession with “overpopulation,” which is a very dated concern but still heard among some secular conservatives (perhaps because what growth we have is increasingly non-white), and are obsessed with keeping their neighborhoods from becoming Densitarian when it comes to school vouchers and tax credits, which I consider a matter of social justice. However, these reforms may actually have more appeal to Densitarians, depending on how the quality of government schools in Posturbia is perceived.

Meanwhile, more children from Central America head to our borders seeking a better and safer life.  What do child migrants from Guatemala leave 1939, THE WIZARD OF OZbehind them?

In Guatemala, that revolution was stillborn. A democratizing movement in the 1940s tried to institute land reform and rein in the oligarchy and U.S. corporations like United Fruituntil after ten years it was crushed by a CIA-backed counter-revolution. The outrage at the counterrevolution drove a Marxist rebellion, and for the next 30 years the Guatemalan Army rampaged throughout the highlands under the auspices of fighting guerrillas.

But often the guerrillas were only the excuse for old-school wars of conquest. That was what happened in the early 1980s in Rio Negro, where the army attacked a village that had refused to make way for a new hydroelectric project, raping and murdering all but one of the inhabitants. Around the same time, in the Ixil Triangle in the western highlands, the (mostly mestizo) army ran a war of genocide against the indigenous Maya. Most estimates say that around 200,000 people were murdered or disappeared during the war.

These people were murdered, by the Guatemalan state, often with medieval savagery. In the highlands, communities were often forced by the Army to hunt for “subversives,” sometimes to hack their own neighbors to death.

This was a war that happened in living memory; the peace accords were signed in only 1996. After the war, Guatemala put on the trappings of a democratic government. The army returned to the barracks. But there was no accounting, and none of the structural things that had driven the conflict changed. Few soldiers were punished for what they had done in the war, and many were decoratedlike the current president, Otto Perez Molina, who in the 1980s participated in the scorched earth campaigns against the Ixil Maya. In his 2012 campaign for president, he was supported by most of the feudal families, who still had a stranglehold of most of the land, wealth, and power in the country.

The only model of power that exists in Guatemala is, in other words, terroristic, extra-legal, and dominated by violence. So is it any surprise that after the war, on the streetswhere people grasped for the scraps that weft, where children grew up with no chance at wealth and less at respectpirate organizations like the MS-13 grew?

What we’re seeing in Guatemala is not quite, in other words, a crime wave. It’s simply the way things have been there for a long time, pushed to the next level. If you are a civilian there, beneath the labelssoldier; gangster; policeman; army; cartelis but one underlying reality: men with guns who do what they want and take what they want. Your options are to buy your own security and gunmen; to join a gang yourself; or to leave.

imagesSouth African novelist and Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer has died.  She sought a more perfect union–absent of apartheid–for her country and was an inspiration to many.  She was said to inspire Mandala among others.

Ms. Gordimer did not originally choose apartheid as her subject as a young writer, she said, but she found it impossible to dig deeply into South African life without striking repression. And once the Afrikaner nationalists came to power in 1948, the scaffolds of the apartheid system began to rise around her and could not be ignored.

“I am not a political person by nature,” Ms. Gordimer said years later. “I don’t suppose, if I had lived elsewhere, my writing would have reflected politics much, if at all.”

Through Ms. Gordimer’s work, international readers learned the human effects of the “color bar” and the punishing laws that systematically sealed off each avenue of contact among races. Her books are rich with terror: The fear of the security forces pounding on the door in the middle of the night is real, and freedom is impossible. Even the political prisoner released from jail is immediately rearrested after experiencing the briefest illusion of returning to the world.

Critics have described the whole of her work as constituting a social history as told through finely drawn portraits of the characters who peopled it.

I admit to having had a subscription to Betty and Veronica and to really following the Riverdale Gang when I was a kid. I’ve know learned that the gangimages (1) may have not aged, but the subjects of the comics have changed.  Archie will die soon saving his gay friend from a bullet.  

The famous freckle-faced comic book icon is meeting his demise in Wednesday’s installment of “Life with Archie” when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on Kevin Keller, Archie Comics’ first openly gay character. Andrews’ death, which was first announced in April, will mark the conclusion of the series that focuses on grown-up renditions of Andrews and his Riverdale pals.

“The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie,” said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO. “He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It’s what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years.”

Keller’s character first joined Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle in the Archie Comics spin-off “Veronica” in 2010. He later appeared in his own solo title. In “Life with Archie,” Keller is a married military veteran and newly elected senator who’s pushing for more gun control in Riverdale after his husband was involved in a shooting.

“We wanted to do something that was impactful that would really resonate with the world and bring home just how important Archie is to everyone,” said Goldwater. “That’s how we came up with the storyline of saving Kevin. He could have saved Betty. He could have saved Veronica. We get that, but metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born.”

Here’s hoping there’s still some ability to evolve left in the ol’ human DNA.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

Friday Nite Lite: 4th of Something

Good Evening

Here you go:

FIRE POWER – Political Cartoon by Deb Milbrath, Cartoon Movement – 07/04/2014


Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - FIRE POWER

Dud Fireworks – Truthdig


Conservatives’ Women Troubles by Tina Dupuy

In the wake of the truly misguided Hobby Lobby decision, which endowed a legal entity with the right to discriminate against working women of child-bearing age via a newly discovered corporate religious freedom, I was reminded that puritanical America is alive and on Twitter. What I found on my mentions feed were a lot of people (some women, mostly men) who felt like they wanted to offer the following advice: an aspirin between your knees is a great birth control…and affordable.

Translation: These Hobby Lobby women shouldn’t need birth control because they shouldn’t be having sex.

Some tried to sound more fiscally conservative and say, “I don’t care what they do as long as I don’t have to pay for it.”

Translation: They shouldn’t be having sex.

Women and their liberal brethren are upset because a billionaire employer gets to dictate which medications their female workers have to pay for out of pocket. But to the Right, it’s a rarely missed opportunity to re-litigate the 20th Century’s gradual acceptance of women first as voters, then as unregulated private citizens (Roe v. Wade), and then as equal participants in recreational sex. Not just being sexy; not as sexual objects; an not just as whore or virginal mother constructs, but as actual women being free to partake in their natural ability to desire and enjoy intercourse (and not be an outcast).

Some have pointed out (myself included) that if you are truly against abortion, you should be FOR what counters the need for abortion—reliable, cheap and widely available birth control. This assumes (wrongly) the pro-life movement is really about “life.” When it comes to children, their concern stops at birth and when it comes to women, their finger wagging starts at sex.

AAEC – Political Cartoon by John R. Rose, Byrd Newspapers of Virginia – 07/04/2014

Cartoon by John R. Rose -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Charlie Daniel, Knoxville News Sentinel – 07/04/2014

Cartoon by Charlie Daniel -

Nick Anderson: Fireworks – Nick Anderson – Truthdig


This is an open thread.

Wednesday Reads: Donut Queen, the GOP’s Ideal Woman

da14402c5309e3fa904d7838d714719fGood Morning

I won’t lie to you, I have not read any of these articles. It is a wonder this post is up at all…

Wednesday round-up : SCOTUSblog

A look at the various news and blogging takes on the shitty decision.

And one more: The Supreme Court’s One-Two Punch Against Women’s Health: McCullen and Hobby Lobby | Next New Deal

5dcdedeab9690a5aa998d9699a423dd0Full Ginsburg Dissent here.

Rumble on the Oklahoma prairie | Al Jazeera America

Earthquakes due to fracking…no surprise.

Baghdadi is like “the KKK Wizard who declares himself Holy Roman Emperor” | Informed Comment

The title intrigue me, with the KKK and medieval references.

Not War on Poverty but War on the Poor: Washington’s Real Foreign Policy Aims | Informed Comment

d6834576d312548cc32f0da7f6796719It is a post written by Noam Chomsky via Tomdispatch.

Plagued by sea-level rise, Kiribati buys land in Fiji | Al Jazeera America

Yeah, that is taking a pro active stance.

d89a027b679b7598ac7d2fa9d7c38f36There is an article here on Facebook’s latest fuckup move: US Political, Financial & Business News | if you have a subscription.

Creationist Neurosurgeon Ben Carson: Legal Abortions Are Exactly Like Human Sacrifice – Little Green Footballs


7b60553f1309be4645b71c0623eeaea65 states trying to make their kids scientifically illiterate –

Double ugh…

Jake left his insulin in the car yesterday during soccer practice. It is cooked now and worthless. The refills, which insurance will not cover are over $600. My computer is still broken, and trying to type this on my daughter’s is frustrating. But it could be I am so tired. Sorry for the bitch fest, I probably need major catch up sleep.

This is an open thread…



Sunday Reads: Quick Round of Links

Costumes during WW1

Costumes of Medical personnel during WW1

Good morning

We are still trying to adjust to this new life, the T1D life. So as you can imagine, today will only be a short list of links…please feel free to think of it  as an open thread.

How horrible, this is disgusting: Warrant: Cobb toddler’s dad researched child deaths inside… |

After his toddler son died after being left inside an SUV for seven hours, a Cobb County man told police he had researched children dying in hot vehicles, court documents released Saturday morning state.

Justin “Ross” Harris told police he feared his 22-month-old could be left inside a vehicle, according to search warrant affidavits obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. No information about the timing of Harris’ online searches was released. And the questions that many across the country have been asking — how did this happen and why — remain unanswered.

“During an interview with Justin, He stated that he recently researched, through the internet, child deaths inside vehicles and what temperature it needs to be for that to occur,” search warrants state. “Justin stated that he was fearful that this could happen.”

The search warrant affidavits released Saturday offered the first new facts released in the death of the toddler, Cooper Mills Harris, since Wednesday. However, the documents shed no details on what prompted police to arrest and charge Ross Harris with felonies so swiftly within hours of the boy’s death.

I guess this is a depressing post at that: Tweets from Hillary Clinton: Sad News | Still4Hill

Heartbreaking news: a vital voice for justice is silenced.

Prominent Rights Activist Assassinated

June 26, 2014
(Tripoli) – Human Rights Watch today issued the following tribute to Salwa Bughaighis, a prominent human rights and women’s rights activist who was assassinated in Libya on June 25, 2014.

On Wednesday, following countless threats against her and her family, Salwa was assassinated, shortly after she voted in Libya’s parliamentary election. With Salwa’s death, the original idealism of the 2011 uprising that overthrew Gaddafi’s tyranny has received another crushing blow, and many Libyan women have lost a role model.

More at the link.


There was also a suicide in the news: Tea party leader Mark Mayfield suicide: A sign of politics ‘beyond the pale’? (+video) –

Mark Mayfield, a respected lawyer and tea party operative in Mississippi, has died after being accused of taking part in an unseemly, Watergate-like conspiracy to undermine long-time Sen. Thad Cochran’s campaign.

No foul play is suspected around the self-inflicted gunshot wound, local police said. Mr. Mayfield left a note behind, but authorities have not released it.

A tea party group board member, Mayfield had worked to get Sen. Cochran’s challenger Chris McDaniel elected. On Tuesday, Cochran narrowly won the primary. Mr. McDaniel has denied involvement, and has not been implicated in the scheme to photograph Cochran’s wife at a nursing home.

Video at the link.

In other news: Funding approved for Golden Gate Bridge anti-suicide net | Al Jazeera America

California state officials approved a funding plan on Friday to install a mesh barrier beneath San Francisco’s historic Golden Gate Bridge to help prevent suicides.

“It has been an uphill fight,” said state assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who has fought for over a decade to secure funding for the barrier. “But here we are, almost shovel ready.”

The project will cost $76 million to complete. Of that amount, $7 million will come from a state tax enacted by voters on those who make more than $1 million a year, and is earmarked for mental-health services. The rest will be paid for with federal funds that recently became available and local money from the bridge district.

The plan to create suicide barriers on the bridge, where 1,600 people have leapt to their deaths since the span opened in 1937, was a subject of controversy for decades, with opponents arguing the mesh would mar the structure’s beauty.

In 2008, the bridge’s board voted to install a stainless steel net, rejecting other options, including raising the 4-foot-high railings and leaving the world-renown span unchanged.

Two years later, they certified the final environmental impact report for the net, which would stretch about 20 feet wide on each side of the span. Officials said it would not mar the landmark bridge’s appearance.

But funding for the project remained a major obstacle until two years ago when President Barack Obama signed into law a bill making safety barriers and nets eligible for federal funds.

Some of the money still requires additional approval, but the bridge’s board has now taken its final step in adopting the net.

“The tragedy of today is that we can’t go back in time, we can’t save … the people who jumped off the bridge. But the good thing, with this vote today, we can vote in their memory,” board member Janet Reilly said.

“We will save many lives who have followed in their footsteps – and that’s what’s so extraordinary about today.”

Family members of suicide victims were present for the vote. Seconds after the decision, tears of many people in the standing-room-only crowd were followed by shouts of joy.

And we are coming up on the 100 year anniversary of the First World War. World War I – Scientific American

The political crisis in Europe that followed the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, on June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo received no notice in the pages of Scientific American. When Germany declared war on Russia and France and then invaded Belgium on August 4, the magazine weighed in: “It is very difficult for the American to realize that the great European war, which has been dreaded for a generation, is actually taking place. The calamity is so appalling that it seems to stretch beyond the reach of the imagination” [August 15, 1914].

Thereafter, the then weekly Scientific American covered the First World War as a vast, world-changing event in which science, technology and massive industrial output played key roles. The American Civil War (1861–1865) saw the first successful use of the machine gun and the submarine, but both sides manufactured fewer than 100 machine guns (including about 20 Gatlings) and 20 submarines. In World War I more than one million machine guns were churned out. Artillery became the king of the battlefield, with up to a billion artillery shells fired during the war. The countermove from the science of defense was to dig deeper into the dirt. One modern calculation says it took 329 shells to wound an opponent sheltering in a trench, four times that to kill him.

Go to the link and look at some of the images, also take a look at the pictures and original article here at this pdf doc. from November 21st, 1914: The Care of the Wounded A Vast and Complicated System of Which Little is Heard SA-Archives-the-care-of-wounded.pdf


Lets end with this: New Macroscelides micus species is more closely related to an elephant than a shrew | Mail Online

It may seem hard to believe that such an unusual looking animal has remained hidden for so long.

But scientists have only just discovered a new species of elephant shrew – or round-eared sengi – in the remote deserts of south western Africa.

While it is the smallest known member of the 19 sengis in the order Macroscelidea, the small creature is in fact genetically more closely related to an elephant than a true shrew.

Cute: Scientists have discovered a new species of elephant shrew - or round-eared sengi (pictured) - in the remote deserts of south western Africa

Cute: Scientists have discovered a new species of elephant shrew – or round-eared sengi (pictured) – in the remote deserts of south western Africa

The Etendeka round-eared sengi, or Macroscelides micus, was discovered by scientists from the California Academy of Sciences. It is the third new species of elephant shrew to be found in the wild in the past decade.

More pictures in info at the link.

Enjoy your day. This is an open thread.