<——– Isn’t she beautiful?
Doesn’t she look happy and fancy free?
Enjoying a Sunday drive in a damn cool convertible on a fabulous sunny day.
Something that we all deserve, yes?
Well, that pin-up by artist Bill Medcalf is the closest thing I could get for you this morning.
Okay, here are a few news stories and then the cartoons, since we did not have any on Friday night.
The quake has left 203 dead or missing and has injured some 11,500.
The latest figures were given by China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs, quoted by Xinhua. It said 960 of the injured were in serious condition.
You read those figures right.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) says that he is prepared to make “all available resources” available from the federal government to assist in the recovery after an explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas — but the senator voted against aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy earlier because he said it was “pork.”
The Dallas Morning News reported on Thursday that Cruz had reacted to the fertilizer plant explosion that killed dozens in West, Texas earlier this week.
“We are in very close touch with officials on the ground and we’re monitoring the tragic accident closely,” Cruz said in Washington. “It’s truly horrific and we are working to ensure that all available resources are marshaled to deal with the horrific loss of life and suffering that we’ve seen.”
In a statement on his website, Cruz added that “[w]e remain in communication with Gov. Perry’s office and emergency management officials, and stand to offer whatever support we can.”
But following the super storm that devastated much of the East Coast last year, Cruz was not as willing to part with taxpayer money.
According to The New York Times, the junior Texas senator voted against Sandy aid three times.
I just won’t make a comment about this, but my guess is you know what I would say about it if I did.
Two more links for you…
Yesterday Boston Boomer put this Greenwald link in the comments, it is good and I think it deserves a front page notice: What rights should Dzhokhar Tsarnaev get and why does it matter?
First, the Obama administration has already rolled back Miranda rights for terrorism suspects captured on US soil. It did so two years ago with almost no controversy or even notice, including from many of those who so vocally condemned Graham’s Miranda tweets yesterday. In May, 2010, the New York Times’ Charlie Savage – under the headline “Holder Backs a Miranda Limit for Terror Suspects” – reported that “the Obama administration said Sunday it would seek a law allowing investigators to interrogate terrorism suspects without informing them of their rights.” Instead of going to Congress, the Obama DOJ, in March 2011, simply adopted their own rules that vested themselves with this power, as reported back then by Salon’s Justin Elliott (“Obama rolls back Miranda rights”), the Wall Street Journal (“Rights Are Curtailed for Terror Suspects”), the New York Times (“Delayed Miranda Warning Ordered for Terror Suspects”), and myself (“Miranda is Obama’s latest victim”).
In a great analysis last night denouncing the DOJ’s decision to delay reading Tsarnaev his rights, Slate’s Emily Bazelon details exactly what roll-back of Miranda was achieved by Obama. Specifically, the Obama DOJ exploited and radically expanded the very narrow “public safety” exception to Miranda, which was first created in 1984 by the more conservative Supreme Court justices in New York v. Quarles, over the vehement dissent of its liberal members (Brennan, Marshall and Stevens, along with O’Connor). The Quarles court held that where police officers took a very brief period to ask focused questions necessary to stop an imminent threat to public safety without first Mirandizing the suspect, the answers under those circumstances would be admissible (in Quarles, the police apprehended a rape suspect and simply asked where his gun was before reading him his rights, and the court held that the defendant’s pre-Miranda answer – “over there” – was admissible).
The Court’s liberals, led by Justice Thurgood Marshall, warned that this exception would dilute Miranda and ensure abuse. This exception, wrote Marshall, “condemns the American judiciary to a new era of post hoc inquiry into the propriety of custodial interrogations” and “endorse[s] the introduction of coerced self-incriminating statements in criminal prosecutions”. Moreover, he wrote, the “public-safety exception destroys forever the clarity of Miranda for both law enforcement officers and members of the judiciary” and said the court’s decision “cannot mask what a serious loss the administration of justice has incurred”.
As Marshall noted, the police have always had the power to question a suspect about imminent threats without Mirandizing him; indeed, they are free to question suspects about anything without first reading them their Miranda rights. But pre-Miranda statements were not admissible, could not be used to prosecute the person. This new 1984 “public safety” exception to that long-standing rule, Marshall said, guts the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that one will not be compelled to incriminate oneself. As he put it: “were constitutional adjudication always conducted in such an ad hoc manner, the Bill of Rights would be a most unreliable protector of individual liberties.”
As controversial as this exception was from the start (and as hated as it was among traditional, actual liberals), it was at least narrowly confined. But the Obama DOJ in 2011 wildly expanded this exception for terrorism suspects. The Obama DOJ’s Memorandum (issued in secret, of course, but then leaked) cited what it called “the magnitude and complexity of the threat often posed by terrorist organizations” in order to claim “a significantly more extensive public safety interrogation without Miranda warnings than would be permissible in an ordinary criminal case”. It expressly went beyond the “public safety” exception established by the Supreme Court to arrogate unto itself the power to question suspects about other matters without reading them their rights (emphasis added):
“There may be exceptional cases in which, although all relevant public safety questions have been asked, agents nonetheless conclude that continued unwarned interrogation is necessary to collect valuable and timely intelligence not related to any immediate threat, and that the government’s interest in obtaining this intelligence outweighs the disadvantages of proceeding with unwarned interrogation.”
That is what Graham advocated regarding Miranda: that Tsarnaev be interrogated about intelligence matters without Mirandizing him, and that’s exactly what Obama DOJ policy – two years ago – already approved. Worse, as Bazelon noted: “Who gets to make this determination? The FBI, in consultation with DoJ, if possible. In other words, the police and the prosecutors, with no one to check their power.” At the time, the ACLU made clear how menacing was the Obama DOJ’s attempted roll-back of Miranda rights for terror suspects.
Although we do not yet know how long the Boston bombing suspect will be questioned pre-Miranda or what will be asked, Bazelon – citing the Obama DOJ’s 2011 policy as well as last night’s announcement – writes:
“And so the FBI will surely ask 19-year-old Tsarnaev anything it sees fit. Not just what law enforcement needs to know to prevent a terrorist threat and keep the public safe but anything else it deemed related to ‘valuable and timely intelligence’. Couldn’t that be just about anything about Tsarnaev’s life, or his family, given that his alleged accomplice was his older brother (killed in a shootout with police)? There won’t be a public uproar. Whatever the FBI learns will be secret: We won’t know how far the interrogation went. And besides, no one is crying over the rights of the young man who is accused of killing innocent people. . . .”
So Democrats reacted with horror and outrage to Graham’s suggestion that “the last thing we may want to do is read Boston suspect Miranda Rights telling him to ‘remain silent.’” But that’s already Obama DOJ policy, enacted with little controversy. And last night’s announcement makes clear that the Obama DOJ intends, as Bazelon says, to question him about a wide range of topics far beyond matters of imminent threats to public safety without first Mirandizing him.
Please go and read the rest of that article. Greenwald goes on to say that the liberals have changed their minds on this enemy combatants…he sites MSNBC as a major supporter of it now…I didn’t know that. Honestly, I have avoided the news this weekend…could not stand it any longer. I have not changed my mind, they need to be reading Tsarnaev his Miranda rights.
This whole thing about postponing Miranda, it bothers me. Juan Cole has a post up this morning that makes some valid points. Is LindJohn’s notion of an Enemy Combatant Racist? How about attempted Assassination of the Commander in Chief?
He is referring to Lady Lindsey and John McCain by the way, but look at this:
This attempt to sidestep the US Constitution by creating an alternative jurisdiction, and to try civilians in military courts, is a stride toward dictatorship. It is precisely the tactic used by Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, and the demand that the military stop arresting and trying civilians has been central to the country’s revolutionary reform movement.
Likewise, Bahrain has started trying civilians in military courts, as part of its authoritarian crackdown on its protest movement.
That exemplar of human rights, the Uganda regime, also resorts to this practice. So LindJohn want to put us in some pretty classy company.
That is some scary comparisons don’t you think? Cole continues…
Tsarnaev is an American citizen and a civilian who killed and injured people on American soil. He is a murderer, and should be tried in the courts like a whole host of others who committed or plotted murder as a means to terrorizing the public.
The point seems obvious to anyone to the left of Attila the Hun. Those who point to the Civil War are confusing ordinary times with times of martial law. We’re not having a civil war and there is no martial law.
Peter Bergen sagely writes that an “FBI study reported that between January 1, 2007, and October 31, 2009, white supremacists were involved in 53 acts of violence, 40 of which were assaults directed primarily at African-Americans, seven of which were murders and the rest of which were threats, arson and intimidation. Most of these were treated as racially motivated crimes rather than political acts of violence, i.e. terrorism.”
He points out that in December of 2011, Kevin Harpham was sentenced to 32 years for planting a bomb at the site of a Martin Luther King, Jr., parade in Spokane, Washington. There isn’t any difference between Harpham and Tsarnaev. Both targeted a public event involving moving through the streets. Harpham was allegedly a member of a hate group, the National Alliance, founded by William Price, the author of ?The Turner Diaries. He was also interested in the Aryan Nation..
Then there was Wade Michael Page, who killed six persons, five of them of Sikh heritage and one a policeman. His was certainly an act of terrorism.
I am not aware that Senators McCain and Graham suggested that any of these individuals be tried as enemy combatants.
I’ll just come out with it. I have to ask whether their use of the term “enemy combatant” is racist. Is it only for deployment against people not of northern European heritage?
I don’t know about if it would be fair to ask if this is racist…maybe it is. But it seems to me that this is definitely being used selectively. And that bothers the hell out of me.
You want to read something chilling, take a look at this…
Boston Boomer ended her post on Obama = Bush on Steroids about his change in Miranda Rights with this sentence:
We might as well be living in Libya or Egypt.
And here you have Juan Cole making the same kind of comparison two years later.
Dakinikat wrote this in her post about the withering Miranda Rights under Obama, again this is two years ago:
Just hope you never get classified as a terrorist or you’ll disappear down some rabbit hole.
Let it soak in a moment.
I bet Graham and McCain will be making the Sunday Talk Show rounds this morning, calling for Tsarnaev to be held down at Guantanamo.
Enough of that.
Oh did you all see the latest from CNN? According to Andy Borowitz:
In a sweeping format change that marks the end of an era for the nation’s first cable news outlet, CNN announced today that it would no longer air breaking news and would instead re-run news stories of the past “that we know we got right.”
The rebranded network, to début nationwide on Monday, will be called “CNN Classic.”
“Breaking news is hard,” said the newly installed CNN chief, Jeff Zucker. “You have to talk to sources, make sure their stories check out O.K., and then get on the air and not say anything stupid. I, for one, am thrilled to be getting out of that horrible business.”
CNN Classic will begin its broadcast day on Monday, Mr. Zucker said, “with round-the-clock coverage of Operation Desert Storm.”
Mr. Zucker did not indicate what impact the new format would have on such CNN stars as Wolf Blitzer, saying only, “I can’t promise that Wolf will be a part of CNN’s future, but he will continue to be a big part of our past.”
The CNN chief scoffed at reports that other cable news outlets had eclipsed his network once and for all, throwing down this gauntlet: “We are going to win May sweeps with Hurricane Katrina.”
I want to end this post with something spectacular:
Neil Diamond called the switchboard at Fenway Park at about 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon.
“Hey, I’m here,” he said, according to Red Sox officials. “Can I come?”
The 72-year-old, who had flown himself to Boston just for Saturday’s 1:10 p.m. game against the Royals, surprised the 35,152 in attendance after the top of the eighth inning and sung the song that’s made him synonymous with Fenway Park.
“Sweet Caroline” may have never sounded sweeter.
Video at the link.
Enjoy your Sunday, and share your thoughts with us today.
I have so many links for you this morning, let us start with a look at class warfare…I am reminded of the quote wrongly attributed to Marie Antoinette…Let them eat cake. Hamilton Nolan from the Gawker has a point….check it out: It Would Be Great if Millionaires Would Not Lecture Us on ‘Living With Less’
There is something about achieving great financial success that seduces people into believing that they are life coaches. This problem seems particularly endemic to the tech millionaire set. You are not simply Some Fucking Guy Who Sold Your Internet Company For a Lot of Money; you are a lifestyle guru, with many important and penetrating insight about How to Live that must be shared with the common people.
We would humbly request that this stop.
Meet Graham Hill. Graham Hill became a multimillionaire at a very young age when he sold his internet company in 1998. Good for him. We would not be telling you about Graham Hill at all, except for the fact that he wrote a remarkable op-ed in the New York Times Sunday Review yesterday in which he instructs you, the common man, on the virtues of “Living With Less.” He bases this prescription on the wisdom he has learned on his own personal journey, from millionaire with a big house and many material possessions to millionaire with a smaller house and fewer material possessions, but just as many liquid assets.
You can read Hill’s op/ed at that link, but I just want to post the last of this Gawker response, cause it is damn good.
A millionaire does not have the standing to tell regular people that money is overrated. Graham Hill moved into a smaller apartment and sold some of his stuff. But he sure as fuck didn’t empty his bank accounts. It’s easy not to have material things when you can just buy whatever you need, whenever you need it. ” My space is small. My life is big,” writes Hill. Of course it is! You can buy anything and go anywhere at any time, thanks to your vast wealth! The fact that a millionaire’s “life is big” offers little valuable wisdom to the common person. The presumptuousness is akin to a fat food critic walking out of a restaurant after a huge meal and telling a starving beggar on the curb, “Trust me—you don’t want to eat at this place.”
Money doesn’t matter at all, as long as you have too much of it.
Sure got that right, just like all these wealthy ass politicians that are dealing and scheming to do away with programs that are of no concern with them. (That also goes for the current president in the White House.) The White House Is for Sale Under Barack Obama, Too
On Wednesday night, at the swanky St. Regis Hotel three blocks north of the White House, President Barack Obama will schmooze with his biggest donors and most avid grassroots supporters at a “founder’s summit” for Organizing for Action, the controversial pro-Obama nonprofit group. OFA will use the email lists, social networks, and cutting-edge technologies honed during Obama’s reelection campaign to try to galvanize Americans in support of the president’s second-term agenda.
But watchdogs and reformers are up in arms after the New York Times revealed that supporters who raise or donate $500,000 or more will score invites to quarterly meetings with Obama and other exclusive perks unavailable to run-of-the-mill Obama supporters. “Access to the president should never be for sale,” said Common Cause president Bob Edgar.
Obama isn’t the first prez to do this, you can read more at the link, but it should not be surprising.
Oops, I got distracted, back to the issue of class. Well, I thought this was an interesting blog post over at Suburban Guerilla, written by OddManOut » Being white in Philly Mag
Chances are slim that Philadelphia Magazine‘s March cover piece, “Being White in Philly,” by Robert Huber, was meant as anything more than an exercise in cynicism. Huber had to know that his confused personal impressions regarding race relations didn’t add up to an actual story. And his editor surely saw that the piece was ill-conceived and unresolved, more likely to stir up resentment than encourage dialogue between black and white city residents.
Huber affected the “why can’t we all get along” tone of a white Rodney King, but with little bombs of condescension that could only have been meant to provoke:
But like many people, I yearn for much more: that I could feel the freedom to speak to my African-American neighbors about, say, not only my concerns for my son’s safety living around Temple, but how the inner city needs to get its act together.
Substituting “inner city” made Huber’s generalization seem even more insulting than it would have if he’d used “blacks.” His professed yearning to speak to his black neighbors reminds us that he didn’t quote, and perhaps didn’t even speak with, any black Philadelphians while doing his research (if you can call it that).
It seems the article was meant to piss off blacks while appealing to the magazine’s core demographic — reasonably well-off and well-educated whites who respond to ads for luxury cars and liposuction. Huber and Philly Mag were saying it’s OK for these whites to think of themselves as tolerant despite their fear and loathing of blacks; that it’s only natural to feel this way about people who, after all these years, still can’t get their act together.
Huber was writing more about class than race, but acknowledging this fact would have called attention to the superficiality of his analysis. He offered a brief history of white flight from Philly, but mentioned none of the underlying socioeconomic factors that have widened the gulf not only between whites and blacks but also between the well-off and poor of both races.
Hmmmm, I know Huber’s article is not the same as that op/ed from rich man Graham Hill, but it also seems to leave a bad aftertaste in the mouth. OddManOut continues:
There’s an even wider gulf between bad journalism and the truth. I was there, growing up in a Philly neighborhood that was transitioning from white to black in the 1960s-1970s, hanging out with other white kids who were engaged in an ongoing street war with black kids. The shootings and stabbings were manifestations of forces that all of us, black and white, couldn’t control or even understand.
These forces are still at work, and articles such as Huber’s do nothing to shed light on why they persist. But they do boost print sales and online traffic, and that’s the bottom line.
I guess this last sentence is in line with the Journalism post I wrote a few days ago. How the son of Fred Friendly stated, “making more money doing its worst…than it did doing its best.”
Alright, I am going to move on to the Vatican now. Here’s a few links on the Vatican’s selection of the new pope. According to Tommy Christopher over at Mediaite: MSNBC Contributor Compares The Vatican To The Soviet Union
But she meant it in the best way possible. On Tuesday morning, all three cable news networks devoted hours of airtime to complete coverage of Cardinals signing in for the latest conclave to elect a new pope, which made for television with all the electricity of a watch battery. On MSNBC, The Nation‘s Katrina vanden Heuvel broke up the monotony somewhat by telling fellow panelists that she was reminded of Soviet Russia, specifically “of the Communist Party. There is something about the need to have Kremlinology to understand who might be the next pope.”
Vanden Heuvel went on to explain that the next pope will need to be a reformer, along the lines of a Mikhail Gorbachev, to bring transparency to the Vatican. She also confessed to being a lapsed Catholic who agrees with E.J. Dionne that the next pope should be a nun…
Ditto on making the next pope a nun…but Tommy continues:
Although I only half-watched the coverage of what appeared to be the waiting room for the world’s slowest, yet busiest, doctor’s office, I am fairly confident that this was the most interesting thing said during the cumulative hours of cable news this morning. On CNN, without a trace of irony, they were talking about the betting line on who the next pope will be. On Fox News, Shep Smith was also talking about transparency, which is becoming one of the most overrated concepts in the media. It seems as though it’s more important to let people see the horrible things you’re doing than to do anything about it.
To be fair, I’m a much more lapsed Catholic than Katrina vanden Heuvel, so my level of investment in the new pope is lower than most, and while I begrudge no one their faith, the Vatican, as an institution, seems fatally flawed. Covering up and enabling child rape is something you shouldn’t even get one shot at, let alone several thousand. But even those who are considerably more forgiving than I am would be hard-pressed to find much of value in this saturation coverage of the papal conclave kickoff.
I agree with Christopher about the Vatican cover-ups, which goes without saying…but the Vatican is also filled with hypocrites. Check this out: As cardinals gather to elect Pope, Catholic officials break into a sweat over news that priests share €23m building with huge gay sauna
A day ahead of the papal conclave, faces at the scandal-struck Vatican were even redder than usual after it emerged that the Holy See had purchased a €23 million (£21 million) share of a Rome apartment block that houses Europe’s biggest gay sauna.
The senior Vatican figure sweating the most due to the unlikely proximity of the gay Europa Multiclub is probably Cardinal Ivan Dias, the head of the Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples, who is due to participate in tomorrow’s election at the Sistine Chapel.
This 76-year-old “prince of the church” enjoys a 12-room apartment on the first-floor of the imposing palazzo, at 2 Via Carducci, just yards from the ground floor entrance to the steamy flesh pot. There are 18 other Vatican apartments in the block, many of which house priests.
The Holy See is still reeling from allegations that the previous pontiff, Benedict XVI, had quit in reaction to the presence of a gay cabal in the curia.
And with disgraced Scottish cardinal Keith O’Brien lending new weight to charges of hypocrisy against the Church’s stance on homosexuality, La Repubblica newspaper noted that the presence of “Italy’s best known gay sauna in the premises is an embarrassment”.
And if you really want to experience an early morning yuk factor, take a look at this link which features a real commercial for that gay sauna: Vatican Building Houses Gay Sauna
One more pope story, actually it is an interactive… from the Guardian: Choose your own pope – with our interactive Pontifficator
I’m going to go ahead and give you the rest of today’s news reads via a Link Dump:
This little nugget about the latest Bush candidate, from LG&M: The Little Brown One
Looks like there is some talk about men in a powerful positions who sexually assault women, via the Independent: Petronella, paedophilia, and the wrong lesson to draw from Olivier’s pass
Over at the Guardian, a story about the Generation self: what do young people really care about?
Salon discusses the paleo-diet: “Paleofantasy”: Stone Age delusions
Susie Madrak has this to say over at C&L… Sources: Koch Brothers May Buy The L.A. Times. Stay Tuned
And we will end with a little history: Aelfthryth, Queen of England
What are you all reading and blogging about today?
Sitting here watching Road to Morocco with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour…and enjoying it thoroughly. Edith Head did the dresses and they are beautiful.
Anyway, just a few things for you tonight, and since I am still suffering from serious political affected disorder…the links will be sparse.
Actually, I should call it political aversion disorder. After seeing some of the crap the right-wing talking heads have said about Hillary Clinton, this evening of laughs is a welcomed treat.
John McCain was on Fox News this morning, opening his mouth and spewing ridiculous comments…according to the Maddow Blog: The pot accuses the kettle of having an ‘adoring media’
…this was the key quote:
“[Clinton] obviously has an adoring media. She really didn’t answer any questions. Her response to Senator Johnson about whether it was a spontaneous demonstration or not, saying it ‘didn’t matter.’ It ‘didn’t matter’ how these people died? That was stunning. That was really stunning. Of course it matters. It matters for a whole lot of reasons, including to the families and Americans, because the American people deserve to be told the truth and they were not told the truth.”
Clinton never said it “didn’t matter” how the four Americans were killed. She said the opposite.
As was obvious to anyone paying attention, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) was preoccupied with preliminary intelligence reports about a possible protest in Benghazi and Clinton said that was irrelevant as compared to the death of four Americans — and she was correct.
If McCain found this too confusing to understand, perhaps the Senate Foreign Relations Committee isn’t the best place for him to serve.
What’s more, Clinton has “an adoring media”? This from a man who spends so much time on the Sunday shows that he has his mail forwarded to green rooms? This from a senator who’s so adored by the D.C. political establishment that he’s considered reporters his base?
You want another WTF reaction to Clinton…of course it is a Fox and Friend giving it up…Brian Kilmeade: Hillary Clinton used ‘Lance Armstrong principle’ by yelling in Senate hearing
“This is the Lance Armstrong principle of when you’re in trouble, yell at the person asking you a question,” Kilmeade declared. “That’s the way that he kept everybody off of him for 15 years. And believe me, that’s what I thought of right away because when she gets angry, you do not want to be in her crosshairs.”
“But the fact is that everyone is looking at the fact that she got angry and thinking, wow, she looks good,” the Fox News host continued to rant. “But her words absolutely defy the logic behind the whole reason for the hearing.”
Spain’s unemployment rate jumped to the highest in 36 years with the rate expected to continue escalating [AFP]
Spain’s unemployment rate has surged to a modern-day record of 26.02 percent in the final quarter of 2012 as nearly six
million people searched in vain for work in a biting recession, official data shows.
The jobless rate data released on Thursday climbed from 25.02 percent the previous quarter, reaching the highest level since Spain returned to democracy after the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975.
The story for young people was even grimmer: the unemployment rate for those aged 16 to 24 soared to 55.13 percent, up from 52.34 percent the previous quarter.
The result shattered even the modest expectations of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government, which had been forecasting an unemployment rate of 24.6 percent by the end of 2012.
According to ad creator Dan Ilic, Dick Smith foods had planned to run over $100,000 in advertising on Saturday’s Australia Day, but it was given a PG rating because of a scene showing refugees escaping from a burning boat to enjoy Dick Smith’s OzEmite, an alternative to the Vegemite product marketed by American-owned Kraft Foods.
But for many, it will be the barrage of penis innuendos like “I love Dick” that raise eyebrows.
“This is as wrong as a dead dingo’s donger,” Smith says in the advertisement, referring to “false patriotism” in competing food commercials.
“There’s a quick and easy solution to this,” the blog dlisted explained on Thursday. “They should just edit the commercial all the way down and only show the true star, the Barbara Bush-looking memaw who says, ‘There’s only one Dick I’ll be eating on Australia Day.’ She’s at the 0:20 mark and she delivers her line like a memaw who knows her Dicks.”
Got another cool link for you, take a look at these pictures of a frozen building: In pictures: Ice covers Chicago warehouse after fire
I will end this post with a clip from the movie, Road to Morocco.
The scene where the camel spits in Turkey’s (Bob Hope‘s) face wasn’t planned. The camel did it of its own accord while the cameras were rolling, and Hope’s recoil and Bing Crosby‘s reaction were so funny that it was left in the final cut of the film.
This is an open thread!
My daughter is still sick with the flu, but she is getting better…unfortunately I think she has passed it on to me. I am just hoping that my flu shot kicks in and the symptoms don’t get any worse.
Here’s the latest news out of Newtown. (And there is really nothing “new” in the way of information…and Philo Vance, I mean Paul Vance has been conspicuously absent, is his microphone packed away for good?)
From the Hartford Courant, we have our only bit of new information on the investigation. Sandy Hook Shooter’s Pause May Have Aided Students’ Escape
As many as a half-dozen first graders may have survived Adam Lanza‘s deadly shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School because he stopped firing briefly, perhaps either to reload his rifle or because it jammed, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the events.
A source said that the Bushmaster rifle that Lanza used in the shootings is at the state police forensic laboratory undergoing several tests, including tests to determine whether it was jammed.
The children escaped from the first-grade classroom of teacher Victoria Soto, one of the six educators Lanza killed in Newtown after shooting his way through a glass door with the .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle on the morning of Dec. 14.
On Friday, detectives obtained and began examining records related to psychiatric care Lanza had received in an attempt to determine a motive. Several friends of his mother have said that he suffered from Asperger’s syndrome but authorities have not confirmed that or indicated it had anything to do with the shootings.
Finally, some sort of words about Lanza and medical records. Damn, it has been like Adam Lanza just dropped out of nowhere, no records or “social networking” footprints have been found. (I still think it is all too strange, the silence…and the attitude of the various “authorities.” Something still feels fishy to me!)
Anyway, you can watch the Newtown police chief interview here, it is a quick few minutes at the start of the CBS Evening News: 12/22: Newtown police chief shares his story- CBS News Video
The chief also shares his opinion on armed patrol officers guarding schools. That should be enough of a tease for you to watch it.
Another thing to give a few minutes to is this report from All Things Considered: Near-Replica Of Sandy Hook Made Nearby For Students : NPR
I’d love to hear from Dr. Boomer about the new school being made into a “near-replica” of a place so many of these children survivors associate with unbelievable violence and horrible death.
On the subject of this carnage in the classroom, Roland Martin has this op/ed on CNN America should see the Newtown carnage
“One of these mothers from Connecticut should do an Emmett Till moment; show the picture of their child dead in the classroom.”
That’s a text I received earlier this week from my TV One show producer. When I got it, a chill immediately went through my body just thinking about the possibility of seeing the carnage in such a photo.
When taping this week’s edition of my show, “Washington Watch,” Sirius/XM Radio host Joe Madison somberly said the same thing. Joe remarked that Emmett’s mother, Mamie, insisted on an open casket for her son so the world could see what was done to him by racists in Mississippi.
Many Americans may not even remember Emmett Till, a precocious 14-year-old black teenager from Chicago who went to visit his family in Mississippi. He allegedly flirted with a white woman in a store, and the woman’s husband and his brother later went to the home where Till was staying, pulled him out of his bed, took him somewhere and beat him to a pulp, gouged out his eye, blew the back of his head away with a gun, attached a cotton gin with barbed wire around his neck and dumped his body in the Tallahatchie River.
I think Martin may have a point. Look at the images from the Civil War, and how they shaped the mindset of the population. It brought the bloody war home to the people in a way that stories in the newspapers could not.
When Jet magazine and the Chicago Defender newspaper published his battered face on their covers, it sent shock waves throughout America, and especially in the black community. The brutality of lynchings were talked about and covered, yet for the world to witness with its own eyes the end result of vicious bigotry, it forced the nation to examine its conscience.
“There was just no way I could describe what was in that box,” Mamie said. “No way. And I just wanted the world to see.”
In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, mass shooting, we have seen numerous photos of the beautiful, smiling faces of the 20 children and six adults slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The images we have become accustomed to include them singing at a piano, sporting the gear of a favorite sports team and others. When we think of them being memorialized it’s in the context of teddy bears, candles and flowers.
Americans want to remember them as vibrant and fun-loving children, but will that actually shake the conscience of America to do something about how they were gunned down in the classroom?
Please go read the rest, and let me know what you think about viewing the crime scene photos, and if that can make the horror more real to those people who seem bent on keeping gun control/legislation as is…and actually put more guns and assault weapons in the hands of the regular public, who don’t need these kind of semi-automatic military rifles to shoot a deer.
Speaking of those pro-gun lobbyist, take a look at this: Newtown’s firearms tradition clashes with gun control push
When the wind blows a certain way across the tree-topped hills, Gary Bennett can stand in his yard and hear echoes of gunfire from his hunting club five miles away. The sound comforts him.
“It’s a huge tradition here,” said Bennett, a retired electrician and former president of the club, which helped defeat a proposal to tighten Newtown, Conn.’s gun ordinances in September. “I’d rather see more gun clubs come to town, training people with the use of firearms so that everyone’s doing it safely.”
Anguished families are still burying the 20 children and six women who were shot to death by a lone gunman Dec. 14 just after the morning Pledge of Allegiance at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But a surprising local undercurrent has emerged: Many gun owners here say the slaughter has sharpened their view that guns alone aren’t the problem.
The article interviews folks who feel that there should be armed people at these schools. “Somebody…” to take out the shooter. But all I can say is go back and watch that interview with the Newtown Police Chief, who does not think that armed patrol is the answer.
I’ve got one story here about Walmart, funny in a way: Walmart Sells Assault Weapons But Bans Music With Swear Words
Yup, no sale of music that contains the words, “fuck you” but they will gladly sell assault weapons that are only good for “fucking someone up…” killing them and making the surviving family’s life a living hell.
The rest of the links are slightly connected…I mentioned photographs of the disfigured and bloated dead Civil War soldiers above, well this past week was the anniversary of one of the most deadliest series of battles fought. From the New York Times: ‘The Day the Stars Wept’
The majority of fighting at Fredericksburg had ground to a halt as the sun slipped below the horizon on Dec. 13, 1862. Ghastly piles of dead men and horses were scattered in the fields, and the woods were littered with abandoned equipment and debris. Sporadic gunfire continued as exhausted survivors on both sides ventured out into the war-blasted landscape to rescue wounded comrades.
In one sector of the battlefield, the men of the Fourth Vermont Infantry had endured a day of intense enemy artillery and infantry fire. The regiment suffered more than 50 casualties, including 18 killed and wounded when a spray of lead balls from single Confederate canister shot tore into one company.
Whether it is images of this American Civil War or photos of the other civil war, the war for civil rights, fought one hundred years later…or the war in Europe…being able to look at images of the dead, or smell the shoes of thousands of holocaust victims, can we learn from the violence. It is the only way to stay connected with the past, and make sure we do not forget it.
Library of Congress
The Vermonters occupied a skirmish line in the twilight. George Washington Quimby, the 27-year-old acting major of the regiment, stood conspicuously among the men. A peacetime high school principal, he cautioned his boys to “keep low to avoid danger” while random shots whizzed through the air. They obeyed the command and sat or lay down.
On the Confederate side, a soldier leveled his musket and squeezed the trigger. Hammer struck percussion cap and caused a spark that ignited gunpowder and propelled a conical shaped Minié bullet down the muzzle.
Quimby never saw it coming.
Read the rest of that NYT story at the link up top, and you can see images of the dead and read more about the battle here:
Photo via the Library of congress.
In other news, the White House has changed its “opinion” of those frankenfish… I mean, genetically engineered fish. White House Reverses Itself, Lifts Political Block on FDA Approval of GM Salmon
The Food and Drug Administration today released an electronic version of its Environmental Assessment for a genetically modified (GM) salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies of Massachusetts—effectively giving its preliminary seal of approval on the first transgenic animal to be considered for federal approval.
According to sources within FDA, the EA had been approved by the all the relevant agencies on April 19, 2012, but had been blocked for release on orders from inside the executive branch—which has raised both legal and ethical issues of political interference with science and the independent work of federal agencies.
The decision by the White House to rescind its order to block the FDA from releasing the EA came Wednesday within hours after the publication of an investigative report by the Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) last Wednesday documenting that the executive branch had been hold the EA for political reasons.
Well fuuuuuuuck…..that! And of course, this change of heart comes during a media filled frenzy of Fiscal Cliffs, dead children, Santa and Gun Control. Humph!
I’ve got another fish story for you, Megapiranha put T. rex’s bite to shame, says study
You ready for this?
Tyrannosaurus rex and megalodon, a gigantic shark that preceded the great white, have nothing on the black piranha and the extinct megapiranha when it comes to chomping power. Researchers at George Washington University report that, relative to its size, the megapiranha bite was more powerful than T. Rex and history’s largest shark. According to the study published in Scientific Reports, the black piranha was determined to have a biting force behind its powerful teeth of up to 320 Newtons.
“Comparisons of body size-scaled bite forces to other apex predators reveal S. rhombeus and M. paranensis have among the most powerful bites estimated in carnivorous vertebrates. Our results functionally demonstrate the extraordinary bite of serrasalmid piranhas and provide a mechanistic rationale for their predatory dominance among past and present Amazonian ichthyofaunas,” the authors write in their study.
Holy Ceviche! That is some powerful jaws…
…the piranhas’ aggressive nature, small body size and easy-to-access populations make them a great group of predatory vertebrates in which to examine the evolution of powerful chomping capabilities. Researchers believe that piranhas will attack and rip chunks of fins and flesh from prey regardless of size. Prior to this study, however, no data on the piranhas biting powers was available for researchers to use.
Researchers gathered the first bite-force measurements from wild specimens of the black piranha. Using these measurements, they were able to better understand the fundamental functional morphology of the jaws that gives the black piranha the ability to chomp down on its prey with a force that is more than 30 times greater than its weight. Researchers contend that this powerful biting force comes from the large muscle mass of the black piranha’s jaw and the deft transmission of its big contractile force through a modified jaw-closing lever.
Researchers believe that the ancient megapiranha shared a common trait with black piranhas: An extremely powerful bite. They reconstructed the bite force of the megapiranha and found that, despite its small body size, the chomping power of this extinct piranha was more powerful than that of megalodon.
Lots more at the link.
And finally, let’s end this post with a pretty picture, cold…sharp and clean: Frost Flowers…Suddenly There’s A Meadow In The Ocean With ‘Flowers’ Everywhere
…little protrusions of ice, delicate, like snowflakes. They began growing in the dry, cold air “like a meadow spreading off in all directions. Every available surface was covered with them.” What are they?
“Frost flowers,” he was told. “I’d never heard of them,” Jeff says, “but they were everywhere.”
Stay warm and enjoy the last Sunday before Christmas…see you later in the comment section!
I am using a new blog editor for this post, so hopefully it formats properly…
Ooooo, do I have some interesting links for you this morning. And since there are so many, let’s start and finish with animal stories.
First we turn to the Bears…and the title of today”s post is a hint:
On Sunday, the owners of the Chicago Bears hosted a meeting at the team’s practice facility where religious leaders and politicians (bad combo) pounced all over the “Obamacare” requirement that contraception be covered by employer insurance plans.
According to the Chicago Tribune, speakers lamented the “eroding freedom to speak in the language of faith in the public square.” How denying women contraception the same women pay for through their own insurance premiums equals “freedom of speech” is anyone’s guess.
“Some speakers cited evidence of religious persecution in abortion laws, gay marriage, and efforts to characterize opponents of the contraception mandate as anti-women.”
So let me get this straight: If a woman makes the extraordinarily personal decision to end a pregnancy, everyone who disagrees with that decision is being religiously persecuted? How do my reproductive decisions affect your religious faith or freedom in the slightest?
Trick question! They don’t.
Apparently, the team’s senior director of special projects serenaded the crowd with a “religious liberty-themed rendition of ‘Bear Down, Chicago Bears,’” which sounds absolutely hideous and should qualify as “religious persecution” itself, if we’re going by the Bears’ event speakers’ standards.
Sounds like torture to me.
I don’t understand it…and I know, you know, that it pisses me off, so what else can I say.
I have a few more women’s issue links for you:
This first one is no surprise, Abortion may be legal, but very difficult in many states; in past 2 years, 41 set new limits – The Washington Post
We have been talking about the measures the GOP is taking to stick it to women. War on Women? You bet your ass there is a war on women!
From the Topeka Capital Journal: GOP: Women’s Rights and Equal Pay are “Small Things”
This is another review of articles and memes but it is good to see it getting some attention in these newspapers, at least.
Add the Miami Archdiocese to the list of plaintiffs against the ACA mandatory birth control coverage: Miami Archdiocese sues over birth control mandate
One thing we have not mentioned here is the release of names from the Boy Scout files. There is a database here: Database: Search the Boy Scout ‘Perversion’ Files where you can search these files, and seeing all the names of pedophiles is very disturbing. Pages and pages of names!
Damn, I gotta lighten the mood, all these stories are depressing me. How about a birth control story that is funny? Giants rookie David Wilson compares himself to birth control, thinks he’ll be a Hall of Famer
In his first NFL game, New York Giants rookie running back David Wilson found himself in Tom Coughlin’s doghouse after fumbling on just his second rushing attempt of his career, a costly fumble that derailed a possible scoring drive. That fumble may have contributed to Wilson receiving just four rushing attempts over the following three weeks, but it hasn’t affected his confidence.
According to Bob Glauber of Newsday, Wilson just thinks the team needs to believe in him and he’ll get the job done when called upon.
“I’m like birth control. You have to believe in me. Like birth control, 99.9 percent of the time I’m going to come through for you,” Wilson said.
“I never know when that opportunity is coming, and that’s why you have to stay prepared. But when I do get that opportunity, I’m going to get lost in the moment and keep it going. Once I get my chance to go out there and play football and do what I do, I’m not going to want to let go of that.”
I’m like birth control…. I’m gonna come through for you, 99.9 percent of the time. Sounds like a Obama t-shirt to me!
I guess you all may have seen the move Murdoch is making here in the US, rumor has it he is looking to buy Chicago Tribune and the LA Times.
Here is a quick read for you on the GOP agenda: An Excerpt From “How to Rig an Election: The G.O.P. aims to paint the country red”—By Victoria Collier (Harper’s Magazine)
I saved this next article from last week, it was very interesting to read and watch these videos. Check it out: ReConstitution 2012: Visualizing of the Language of the Debates in Real Time
“We wanted to offer a tool for people to objectively look at the debates, as opposed to deal with pundits, who come on immediately after and with no data tell you who won or lost the debate,” John Rothenberg explains in this short video from the Creators Project. His emphasis — “with no data!” — is indignant. Rothenberg and the rest of the team at Sosolimited, an art and technology studio founded by a group of MIT grads, decided to build an interactive web app to provide a radically different perspective on the debates.
ReConstitution 2012 is a dizzying display of animated typography, color-coded words splashing across a web page as the debate progresses. You can follow the first debate in real time, fast forward (x2) or super fast forward (x10). The program runs a statistical analysis of Obama and Romney’s words to highlight those associated with positive and negative emotions, or even lying. Click on “stats” to compare the candidates on “positivity” or “shit they repeat” — words like “tax” and “small business,” of course. The candidates are also placed on a sliding scale from “truthy” to “deceptive,” based on how much their language patterns match those statistically associated with lying or telling the truth. Using “we” instead of “I,” for example, is supposedly a sign of deception.
Bloomberg has some bones to pick with Obama and Romney: Bloomberg Has Tough Criticism for Obama and Romney
For Mr. Romney: “I do think that Romney’s business experience would be valuable, but I don’t know that running Bain Capital gives you the experience to run the country.”
For Mr. Obama: “This business of ‘Well, they can afford it; they should pay their fair share?’ Who are you to say ‘Somebody else’s fair share?’ ”
For both: “Their economic plans are not real. I think that’s clear.”
Asshole! But…if that comment about fair share is all he is critical of, sounds a bit like sour grapes from a man who is going to be hit with Obama’s kind of fair share.
The latest on the poll watch, well as of midnight, via Nate Silver: Oct. 20: Calm Day in Forecast, but Volatility Ahead
Ohio’s largest newspaper endorses Obama. Ohio newspaper again backs Obama, though with ‘less enthusiasm or optimism’
Less enthusiasm? That is an understatement.
Drudge has tweeted some surprise crap about Gloria Allred, and Joe Cannon takes a look at it here: Cannonfire…The new October surprise (update) Supposedly, Gloria Allred has a game-changing October Surprise ready to go.
Joseph thinks it has something to do with a Democrat, but Radar thinks the dirt is on it is Mitt himself.
Emptywheel thinks the “October Surprise” has to do with Iran, and that Hillary is involved…Hint: If Hillary’s Involved with Negotiations, They’ve Started Already
Have you noticed how items at the grocery store seem to have the same size packaging but less product? Supermarkets Find that Less Inventory Means More Money (and Less Waste): Scientific American
We think we want more. We actually want less: less variety, less confusion, less options. This counterintuitive Paradox of Choice (watch the TED talk by Swarthmore College psychologist Barry Schwartz to understand how this works) is driving a new movement by supermarkets, restaurants, and others to slash some of the billions of dollars in food waste every year, and save hundreds of millions of dollars, by doing something simple: offering less.
Ugh….Yeah, but keep the price the same, we love paying more for stuff and get less for our money!
Hey, this next link I found funny, now I know for sure I could never get a job as a Met Police Officer…not because my ass is so big! But because I have too many tattoos! Tattoo ban for Metropolitan Police officers
The head of the Metropolitan Police has banned officers and staff from getting visible tattoos because they “damage the professional image” of the force.
Whoa there! That ain’t right!
The memo sent to officers and civilian staff on Monday made clear they must not get any more visible tattoos and declare all those they currently have within a month, or face a disciplinary hearing.
The Met’s official statement said: “The standard of appearance required from serving police officers and staff has recently been reviewed to promote consistency.”
It also said applicants wanting to join the police service were already to declare tattoos.
Mr Tully said it seemed rather a harsh policy and questioned the need to use misconduct procedures over tattoos.
“Clearly anything that is overtly offensive shouldn’t be allowed but I think using the sledgehammer, which the commissioner seems to want to use for gross misconduct under our discipline procedures, for anyone who has these or doesn’t declare them is a bit heavy handed.”
Damn, taking it too far in my opinion.
I know I started this post about animal stories, well…take a look at these images from a 15th century manuscript…beasties and hunting drawings:
Traps for squirrels:
And some kind of Quado horror creature, this dude has a face in his gut:
Personally, I like the image with the midget in a basket…but you can go look for it yourself at the link.
This video is amazing: Kind of Incredible | TPM Editors Blog
And finally one more animal story I am sure you will like: A Gorilla Is Born at Lincoln Park Zoo
They have not yet determined the sex of baby but it looks like everyone is doing fine.
Hope you all enjoy your Sunday, and we will see you around the blog later!