Wednesday Open Thread: Massive NYC Explosion

building-explosion

There has been a massive explosion in New York City’s East Harlem. Two buildings have collapsed, killing at least two people and injuring 17 others. This story is still breaking. The latest from The New York Daily News:

BREAKING: Two buildings collapse, killing 2 women and injuring 17 after gas explosion in Harlem

A loud explosion inside a five-story building on Park Ave. at E. 116th St. sent “people flying out the window,” killing two women, injuring 17 and leaving two buildings in rubble Wednesday morning, according to the Fire Department and witnesses.
“For weeks we’ve been smelling gas,” said Ashley Rivera, 21, holding back tears. “We saw people flying out of the window. … Those are my neighbors.”

A law enforcement source told the Daily News the cause appeared to be a gas explosion. Mayor de Blasio was on his way to the scene.

Dramatic photos at the link. More photos from around the ‘net:

Explosion Causes Two Buildings To Collapse In Manhattan's East Harlem Neighborhood

APTOPIX NYC Explosion

This is an open thread. What else is happening?


Throwdown Thursday

So, I’ m thinking we need some kind of new thread. The morning one is getting rather full. Thought I’d share a few things I’ve been thinking about today and encourage you to do the same.

LauraFirst, if you are in town, please come to my favorite Rap Star’s debut!  Actually, she’s my neighbor too. This is 91 year old Laura Swinney, the sage of Poland Avenue.  She is doing her thing at Siberia.  One of the things that always amazes me about this city is the interesting people I meet.  This is especially true of the local women.  I have met a mistress of Humprey Bogart and one of the original Rockettes.  Gives me some hope.

So, it’s an open thread with an open mind.

What’s on yours?


Happy Festivus! We shall now Have the Airing of the Grievances!

festivus

So, I gotta lot of grievances … GUN NUTSSSSSSSssss!! This stuff should be UNACCEPTABLE!!! I’m tired of reading that no charges are filed and it’s an “accidental shooting”. You fucking leave an unlocked and loaded gun around the house with children you freaking deserve to be locked up for life!

Arizona: 3 year-old boy fatally shoots himself in the face with parents’ gun

10-Year-Old Girl Dies After Accidental Shooting

Right Wing Religious Extremists! Women are not your property or the state’s property! Hating on GLBT is not a religious statement! It’s Freaking Bigotry!

A lot of poor people work and still don’t have enough to eat or have access to healthcare. Look at the Walmart Heirs! They are the lazy bums!! Poor people and unemployed people are not the ones that scam our country out of money!

Okay, that should get things going … air your grievance!!!


Friday Nite Lite: The Real Santa and “Mrs. Claus”

Good Evening

I think this editorial cartoon by Paul Berge below about sums up the whole Megyn Kelly thing perfectly:

Cartoon by Paul Berge -

Now that is hilarious!

For another example of the perfect execution of the art-form that is political editorial cartoons, h/t Kathy for this link:

Our Problems and Flaws Turned Into Cartoons by Angel Boligan | Bored Panda

Art can be used to express powerful ideas and messages, and Cuban cartoonist Angel Boligan’s political and social cartoons are a perfect example of just how expressive and critical art can be. His extensive collection of comics provide a scathing commentary on contemporary politics and society.

Each comic bears a deep and powerful meaning. Don’t just take our word for it – Boligan has received more than 130 international awards for his work. Perhaps the most impressive thing about his comics is that, no matter how diverse the subject matter, they always seem to hit hard. Although he often takes on on topics like consumerism, corruption and hypocrisy, he has no problem transcending the public political topics traditionally handled by artists and take on social and emotional issues like loneliness, vanity and despair, which are more often handled by the fine arts and literature.

boligan.com (via)

Take a look at those cartoons, but this one is wonderful:

http://www.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/plugins/copyrightWrapper/watermark.php?display=true&image=http://www.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/comic-satire-cartoons-angel-boligan-14.jpg

The rest of tonight’s funnies in no particular order.

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Matt Wuerker, Politico.com – 12/17/2013

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

(and that was from Politico!)

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – 12/16/2013

Cartoon by Randy Bish -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News – 12/16/2013

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

That reminds me…Good Grief and Great Tits by Dan Savage – Seattle Features – The Stranger, Seattle’s Only Newspaper

There’s something I should probably come clean about at the start of this piece. I didn’t read the whole thing—but why should I have to read the whole thing? Lord knows Sarah Palin didn’t write the whole thing.

Another confession: I haven’t even started to read the thing.

I’ve been carting Sarah Palin’s new book around with me for weeks. My copy of Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas has accompanied me to work and to the gym and back home again. This book has been to bars in four states, it’s been stuffed in the lockers of three gyms, it’s been stowed under the seat in front of me on six flights—it’s even been to a kink-world-famous dungeon in San Francisco that I recently toured for professional reasons. (You know how Jen Graves visits artists’ studios and Bethany Jean Clement eats in nice restaurants? It was like that, just with hooks in the ceiling.)

About the only place this book hasn’t been is in my hands, open and upright, with my eyes pointed at it. But that’s about to change. Because I’m going to read this book in 20-minute bursts over the next eight hours. Why 20-minute bursts? Because that’s how long it takes for a batch of my mother’s Slog-famous Christmas Snowball cookies to bake. I’m going to put a tray in the oven, read, swap trays out, read some more.

And I think it’s fair to say that by the end of the day today—after all my Christmas cookies are baked—I will have read more of this book than Sarah Palin wrote.

[...]

Here’s a picture of Sarah Palin’s grandson—who for a time was the most famous fetus on the planet (2008, Republican National Convention)—and a quote:

“‘All this for me? And I wasn’t even very good!’

—My grandson, Tripp Easton Mitchell [Johnston], upon seeing the presents beneath the Christmas tree, 2012″

All this for me—and I wasn’t even that good. Translate that into Latin and it could be on the Palin family’s coat of arms.

Ha, okay, but this is the part that connects to the cartoon above:

Page 5: Here I learn something I didn’t know and, if I were Sarah Palin, something I wouldn’t want anyone to know. But Sarah hustles this fact to the front of the book because she sure as hell wants us to know it: Sarah surprised Todd with a “nice, needed, powerful gun” for Christmas in 2012. It was a “small act of civil disobedience,” Palin writes, prompted by “the anti-gun chatter coming from Washington.”

What was inspiring that anti-gun chatter in Washington in December of 2012? Oh, right: Twenty children and six teachers were shot dead in their classrooms by a deranged asshole with a “powerful gun.” And before the grieving mothers and fathers of Newtown, Connecticut, could put their dead children in the ground, Sarah Palin ran out gun shopping. Buying Todd a gun in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was “fun,” Palin writes—and, again, an act of “civil disobedience.” Because gun nuts are a persecuted minority.

This paragraph about gun shopping in December of 2012—one first grader at Sandy Hook was shot 11 times—ends with Palin bragging about her tits. I’m not kidding.

Okay, I have to put the book down. I’m five pages into Good Tidings and Great Joy and… Jesus Fucking Christ… I have got to put down this toxic little shitstain of a book. I’m going to go wash my eyes out with hydrogen peroxide. Be right back.

And what was the brag about her tits? Something about Todd may have the gun, but Sarah has the rack. (Per one of the comments in that link.)

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer – 12/16/2013

Cartoon by Kevin Siers -

A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE – Political Cartoon by Deb Milbrath, Cartoon Movement – 12/17/2013

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE

AAEC – Political Cartoon by John Cole, Scranton Times/Tribune – 12/17/2013

Cartoon by John Cole -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Paul Fell, Artizans Syndicate – 12/17/2013

Cartoon by Paul Fell -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune – 12/17/2013

Cartoon by Pat Bagley -

Blowhard – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 12/17/2013

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Blowhard

Shooting Backwards – Political Cartoon by Jen Sorensen, Self-syndicated – 12/17/2013

Cartoon by Jen Sorensen - Shooting Backwards

Black Santa – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 12/19/2013

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Black Santa

12/20 Luckovich cartoon: Just ducky | Mike Luckovich

122013-toon-luckovich-ed

Pope Frank – Political Cartoon by Steve Artley, Artleytoons – 12/20/2013

Cartoon by Steve Artley - Pope Frank

Ghost of Boehner Past – Political Cartoon by Steve Artley, Artleytoons – 12/19/2013

Cartoon by Steve Artley - Ghost of Boehner Past

Solid Rock Congress – Political Cartoon by Steve Artley, Artleytoons – 12/13/2013

Cartoon by Steve Artley - Solid Rock Congress

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun – 12/20/2013

Cartoon by Mike Smith -

Duck Doctrine by Political Cartoonist Pat Bagley

142059 600 Duck Doctrine cartoons

Political Supplements by Political Cartoonist Adam Zyglis

142062 600 Political Supplements cartoons

White Santa by Political Cartoonist Joe Heller

142065 600 White Santa cartoons

Ian Bayne, GOP Congressional Candidate: ‘Duck Dynasty Star Is Rosa Parks Of Our Generation’

Embattled “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson has been suspended from his show by A&E for his remarks about gays and African-Americans, and now some high-profile conservatives are rallying to his side and defending him. On Friday, GOP congressional candidate Ian Bayne went all in, comparing Robertson to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

“In December 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand against an unjust societal persecution of black people, and in December 2013, Robertson took a stand against persecution of Christians,” Bayne said in an email to supporters.

“What Parks did was courageous,” he added. “What Mr. Robertson did was courageous too.”

Robertson’s anti-gay remarks in an interview with GQ comparing homosexuality to bestiality have received quite a bit of attention. But he also commented on the state of African-Americans during the Jim Crow era, claiming that they were all carefree and totally happy with their (unequal) status:

I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. … They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.

These people are real assholes!

Duck Nasty by Political Cartoonist Nate Beeler

142058 600 Duck Nasty cartoons

Duck Nasty is right!

This is an open thread…


Now, Where’s that Guillotine?

marie_antoinette_after_elisWhere are those confounded guillotines?

How Wal-Mart’s Chairman Burned Through Millions Of Dollars In A Matter Of Seconds From Business Insider

It took Wal-Mart Chairman Rob Walton a matter of seconds to burn through millions of dollars on a race track last year.

He was reportedly tearing around a corner in his rare Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe, one of five ever made, when he ran it off the track and wrecked it.

The car has been estimated to be worth as much as $15 million, according to The Los Angeles Times, and it likely cost him a couple million dollars to fix it.

The Waltons are without question one of the wealthiest families in the world. Forbes estimates that the net worth of just six of the family members is more than $144 billion, which is greater than the combined net worth of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

Rob Walton’s father, Samuel Walton, founded Wal-Mart in 1962. The family now owns a 50.9% stake in the company that’s worth $131 billion and paid out $2.5 billion in dividends last year. The dividends alone would be enough to pay every one of Wal-Mart’s 1.3 million U.S. employees nearly $2,000 in cash.

As Business Insider reported last week, the Waltons have mostly kept their multi-billion-dollar lifestyles out of the public view.

Consider Rob Walton, for example: Besides houses in Aspen, Colo., and Paradise Valley, Ariz., at least a half dozen vintage cars, and the recent purchase of 1,500 acres of land in Hawaii for a planned resort, you would be hard-pressed to find many signs of his outrageous wealth.

and let’s not forget:

While the average wage of Wal-Mart associates is the subject of some dispute (OUR Walmart claims that most make less than $9 per hour, an estimate based on data from IBISWorld and Glassdoor.com, while Wal-Mart pegs the figure at $11.83), there’s little doubt that many of the store’s workers are stuck below the poverty line, currently $23,550 for a family of four.

study by congressional Democrats suggested that low wages at a single Wal-Mart could be costing taxpayers as much as $900,000 per year, due to employees using programs like food stamps and Medicaid.

No, BB, it isn’t just you.  There are just a lot of people in the world that need a lesson.  Speaking of which …

Rush Limbaugh is going after Pope Francis just in time for the Christmas season.

The outspoken conservative pundit blasted the Pope this week after the pontiff released a new 50,000 word document, titled “Evangelli Gaudium” (The Joy of Gospel), calling for church reforms and criticizing certain ideas of capitalism.

Limbaugh, whose nationally syndicated radio show is no stranger to controversial rhetoric, called Francis’ latest statement “pure Marxism.”

Limbaugh’s own statement, titled “It’s Sad How Wrong Pope Francis Is (Unless It’s A Deliberate Mistranslation By Leftists)“ goes on to question whether the pontiff was actually the author of the document.

“It’s sad because this pope makes it very clear he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth,” Limbaugh wrote.

Would you like to discuss who is waging the war on christian “values” now or should we just read Snowflake Snookie’s selling really badly kid’s book?  Or perhaps watch Rick Santorum’s movie?  Shop for gifts at Walmart?

Yes, there is a classwar, and 99.9% of us are losing it!!