I spent most of the day and night yesterday following the shocking events in Ferguson, Missouri. As I read articles and tweets and studied violent images of police dressed as soldiers and riding in military vehicles, I had repeated flashbacks to the Civil Rights era. Except in those days, police weren’t outfitted with surplus military equipment provided by the Federal government. Back then, the cops had to resort to fire hoses to force people off the streets; but in Ferguson, St. Louis police are equipped with MRAPs (mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles) and LRADs (long-range acoustic devices).
Ferguson isn’t a large city, and reporters on the ground estimated the size of the “crowd” at somewhere between 150 and 250 people, who were largely protesting peacefully by holding their hands in the air and chanting “Hands up. Don’t shoot.” It’s long past time for Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (a Democrat) to step in and tell the cops to calm down and put away their military toys. If he won’t take action, then President Obama should instruct Attorney General Holder to do it.
The protests follow the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a still-unnamed Ferguson policeman last Saturday afternoon. Brown “had no criminal background,” according to KDSK.com. Police claim that Brown struggled with the officer and tried to grab his gun. But that makes no sense. Why did the officer choose to stop Brown as he peacefully walked down the street with a friend? That friend, Dorian Johnson tells a different version of events.
From USA Today: Witness to Michael Brown shooting comes forward.
Dorian Johnson said he was standing inches from Brown when the shooting occurred around 1:40 p.m. Saturday. He gave his account of the shooting to KSDK-TV.
“The officer is approaching us and as he pulled up on the side of us, he didn’t say freeze, halt or anything like we were committing a crime. He said, ‘Get the F on the sidewalk.’
After Johnson said the officer thrust open the door of his patrol car, hitting the pair, Johnson said the officer grabbed Brown around the neck and tried to pull him through the window. He said Brown never tried to reach for the officer’s weapon.
“The second time he says, ‘I’ll shoot,’ a second later the gun went off and he let go,” Johnson said. “That’s how we were able to run at the same time. The first car I see, I ducked behind for because I fear for my life. I’m scared. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t understand why this officer is shooting his weapon at us.”
According to Johnson, the officer pursued Brown and fired another shot. which struck Brown in the back. He said Brown turned and faced the officer with his hands raised.
“My friend started to tell the officer that he was unarmed and that he could stop shooting (him),” Johnson said. “Before he could get his second sentence out, the officer fired several more shots into his head and chest area. He fell dramatically into the fatal position. I did not hear once he yell freeze, stop or halt. it was just horrible to watch.”
Unfortunately for the officer who killed Brown, two more witnesses have now come forward. From CNN:
While Michael Brown appeared to tussle with an officer before he was shot dead, he didn’t enter the police cruiser as authorities claim he did, two witnesses told CNN.
The women’s accounts corroborate that of a previous witness, all three of whom said the officer fatally shot the unarmed teen.
Police have said the black 18-year-old died in a dangerous struggle after trying to grab the officer’s weapon. Not so, say the witnesses.
“It looked as if Michael was pushing off and the cop was trying to pull him in,” Tiffany Mitchell told CNN on Wednesday night.
Mitchell had driven to Ferguson to pick up another woman Piaget Crenshaw. The two women witnessed the shooting from two different angles–Mitchell from her car and Crenshaw from a building nearby.
Neither woman, who gave their statements to St. Louis County police, say they saw Brown enter the vehicle.
Instead, a shot went off, then the teen broke free, and the officer got out of the vehicle in pursuit, the women said.
“I saw the police chase him … down the street and shoot him down,” Crenshaw said. Brown ran about 20 feet.
“Michael jerks his body, as if he’s been hit,” Mitchell said.
Then he faced the officer and put his hands in the air, but the officer kept firing, both women said. He sank to the pavement.
The protests in Ferguson, a town in which the population is 2/3 black but the political leadership and police force are overwhelmingly white, are largely driven by the fact that police will not name the shooter or released the results of Brown’s autopsy, despite Missouri’s sunshine law.
From The New York Times: Anonymity in Missouri Police Shooting Fuels Frustration.
FERGUSON, Mo. — In the five days since an unarmed young black man was fatally shot by a police officer here, the selective release of information about the shooting, and especially the anonymity granted to the officer, has stoked frustrations in this largely African-American community north of St. Louis, where residents describe increasingly tense relations with the police.
The police chief, Thomas Jackson, has repeatedly declined to identify the officer, who has been put on administrative leave. But on Wednesday, the chief did offer a new detail about the shooting, which has kindled nights of racial unrest and an unyielding police response with tear gas, rubber bullets and arrests.
Jackson claims there have been threats against the police officer and he needs protection. So why not simply arrest him for murder and send his family to a safer location? Instead, Wilson called in law enforcement support from St. Louis and enabled an incredible overreaction to largely peaceful protests. From the Times article:
On Wednesday night, scores of police officers in riot gear and in armored trucks showed up to disperse protesters who had gathered on the streets near the scene of the shooting. Some officers perched atop the vehicles with their guns trained on the crowds while protesters chanted, “Hands up, don’t shoot.” A police spokesman said that some demonstrators had thrown Molotov cocktails at officers and that some had tried to set fires. The police used tear gas on demonstrators, and some protesters said rubber bullets had been fired at them. Police said one officer appeared to have suffered a broken ankle after being hit by a brick.
The police made more than 10 arrests. Among those arrested was Antonio French, a St. Louis alderman, who had been documenting the protests on social media, his wife said on Twitter.
Two reporters covering the protests also said they had been arrested inside a McDonald’s for trespassing and later released without charges or an explanation. The reporters, Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan J. Reilly of The Huffington Post, both said they had been handled roughly by the police.
If you don’t read anything else on the events in Ferguson, read this article and look at the photos.
More recommended stories:
As America scaled back its presence in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2012, military gear — amphibious tanks, weapons, uniforms and drones — spilled into local police arsenals. In June, an ACLU report warned of the “excessive militarization” of local law enforcement. “This has the effect of terrifying people, destroying communities and actually undermining public safety,” Kara Dansky, ACLU senior counsel, told Mashable in June.
The photos below show the heavily armed Ferguson police officers, dressed in camouflaged uniforms. They are set side-by-side with images of U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
One of the photo comparisons below. Which was taken in Ferguson and which in Iraq?
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said he would visit the St. Louis suburbs Thursday after police fired tear gas to break up crowds in a fourth night of civil unrest over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager.
Sixteen people were arrested, including two reporters, on Wednesday night in the suburb of Ferguson, and police said that two officers were injured, one hit by a brick, NBC affiliate KSDK reported….
Nixon said in a statement that the worsening situation in Ferguson was “deeply troubling.” He canceled a planned visit to the state fair. “While we all respect the solemn responsibility of our law enforcement officers to protect the public, we must also safeguard the rights of Missourians to peaceably assemble and the rights of the press to report on matters of public concern,” he said.
Too little, too late, IMHO.
The Baltimore Sun: Riots in Ferguson and what they mean, by Leonard Pitts.
To believe that this carnage — the windows smashed, the buildings torched, the tear gas wafting — is all about the killing of Michael Brown is to miss the point….
Because, again, this is not just about Brown. It’s about Eric Garner, choked to death in a confrontation with New York City Police. It’s about Jordan Davis, shot to death in Jacksonville, Florida, because he played his music too loud. It’s about Trayvon Martin, shot to death in Sanford, Florida, because a self-appointed neighborhood guardian judged him a thug. It’s about Oscar Grant, shot by a police officer in an Oakland, California, subway station as cellphone cameras watched. It’s about Amadou Diallo, executed in that vestibule and Abner Louima, sodomized with that broomstick. It’s about Rodney King.
And it is about the bitter sense of siege that lives in African-American men, a sense that it is perpetually open season on us.
And that too few people outside of African America really notice, much less care. People who look like you are every day deprived of health, wealth, freedom, opportunity, education, the benefit of the doubt, the presumption of innocence, life itself — and when you try to say this, even when you document it with academic studies and buttress it with witness testimony, people don’t want to hear it, people dismiss you, deny you, lecture you about white victimhood, chastise you for playing a so-called “race card.”
They choke off avenues of protest, prizing silence over justice, mistaking silence for peace. And never mind that sometimes, silence simmers like water in a closed pot on a high flame….the anger we see in Ferguson did not spring from nowhere, nor arrive, fully-formed, when Michael Brown was shot. It is the anger of people who are, as Fannie Lou Hamer famously said, sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Silence imposed on pain cannot indefinitely endure. People who are hurting will always, eventually, make themselves heard.
The only problem with Pitts’ column is that there haven’t been any actual “riots” in Ferguson yet–unless you count what the police are doing as rioting.
Riverfront Times: Watch Police in Ferguson Arrest, Tear Gas Journalists [VIDEO]
Police actions against press seem to be part of the reason Governor Jay Nixon finally decided to cut his Missouri State Fair trip short. The governor says he’ll arrive in St. Louis County Thursday morning to manage what’s increasingly becoming a volatile, violent and devastating time in St. Louis history.
SWAT officers arrested Wesley Lowery, a political reporter at TheWashington Post, and Ryan Reilly, a Huffington Post justice reporter, shortly before 7 p.m. while clearing out a McDonalds near the protests where they were working. The reporters say police asked for their identification and eventually arrested them when they weren’t leaving quickly enough.
The journalists say they were arrested without being read their Miranda writes and eventually released with nothing — no charges, no police report, no names of arresting officers. The Los Angeles Times says police only released them after their reporter alerted the chief of Ferguson Police (His response: “Oh, god,”), who then called St. Louis County Police.
Late last night, police in Ferguson also tried to order the media to shut off their cameras, and they attacked journalists from Al Jazeera and confiscated their equipment.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill decided last night that it was time for her to take some action, since Governor Nixon wasn’t doing it. She will meet with Eric Holder today to discuss the Ferguson situation.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says she has a phone call planned with Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday to discuss the situation in Ferguson, Mo., where an apparently unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by a police officer last weekend.
Amid clashes in the St. Louis suburb Wednesday night, the senator tweeted that she’s been working the phones to try to deescalate the “tense and unacceptable situation.” ….
Holder and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett briefed President Obama Wednesday and the president will receive another briefing Thursday.
I’ll have to end there, because this post is getting way too long. I’ll post more important links in the comments. I’ll leave it to you Sky Dancers to update me on the rest of the news. I’ve been too focuses on Ferguson to pay attention to anything else. See you in the comment thread.
Summer is definitely here. Hot and lazy, with just a hint of a Dairy Queen old fashioned soft vanilla ice cream chocolate dipped cone. Do they even still make those?
Whatever, things are spinning out of control. Everywhere.
And that means that today’s links are just going to be quick flashed below…like an exhibitionist giving you a thrill for only a second. (And like that flash of skin, you are appalled, but at the same time intrigued. It’s an awful sight, but still you are curious for more.)
Isn’t that what the news is like really? They don’t call those bloody things “teasers” for nothing.
There has been an outcry from critics of the prisoner swap, who worry that these men with blood on their hands are getting off far too easily. Qatar’s citizens are the richest in the world, per capita, but only a minority of residents here are actually citizens and the Taliban five are not among them.
We do know their families are coming here to live with the former prisoners in some sort of residential compound.
Sources here say they are likely to live in “5 star villas” along with more than a few of their compatriots who are already living in the Qatari capital at the expense of this gas-rich Emirate.
Fox also has been quick with the wordfest on the air, look at this teaser via Mediaite: Fox’s Guilfoyle: Bergdahl ‘Lucky’ U.S. Forces Didn’t Bring Him Home in a Body Bag
Things got heated between Geraldo Rivera and Kimberly Guilfoyle Friday afternoon on Fox News’ Outnumbered as the debate over U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release by the Taliban raged on. While Rivera maintained that as a U.S. solider, Bergdahl deserved to be brought home alive by any means necessary, Guilfoyle said he was “lucky” that U.S. forces didn’t kill him and bring him home in a body bag.
Speaking about soldiers in the field, Rivera said that “one of the things they take great security in is a absolute maxim that if anything happens to them, they’re going to be brought home, that we will not leave them behind.” He added, “I don’t care who Bergdahl is, we don’t leave him behind.” If the Army starts trying to decide which soldiers are worth saving, then he said “our armed forces will be stripped of what is absolutely the thing that makes them most secure.”
“It seems to me he’s pretty lucky that he was brought home the way he was,” Guilfoyle said, disagreeing with Rivera. “Because if those special forces had found him and encountered him — and they were looking for him — he would have come home either in a body bag or come home and gone straight to jail.” But now instead, Bergdahl is being “celebrated as a hero.”
But there was another teaser headline at Mediaite I just had to click because, well you will see:
Wow. Little people get very upset. But do they call each other “midget?”
Going back to the Bergdahl shit pile for a minute more. This was an interesting link to read at Little Green Footballs: Former CENTCOM Commander Gen. Mattis: No Evidence of Bergdahl Collusion With Taliban
In an interview with the Tampa Tribune, former head of US Central Command Marine Gen. James Mattis says he has “never seen one bit of verified or confirmed evidence” that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl collaborated with the Taliban — but he did see information that “specifically discounted” this allegation.
“I have never seen one bit of verified or confirmed evidence of that,” Mattis said in a phone interview with The Tampa Tribune. “Not one bit. You hear things and it was second- and third-hand.”
Other information “specifically discounted” reports that Bergdahl, captured by the Taliban in June 2009 after leaving his outpost in Afghanistan, was working with his captors, he said. Mattis declined to comment on what that information was because it remains classified.
Another interesting bit of data from this story: the shady right wing group that supplied Fox News with this BREAKING BOMBSHELL SCOOP did not even verify that their source was trustworthy.
Go and read more about the untrustworthy source.
Still no update on the condition of Tracy Morgan, however there have been charges filed. Man charged in traffic accident that leaves comedian Tracy Morgan in critical condition
Kevin Roper, a 35-year-old Georgia resident who was driving the Wal-Mart truck that struck comedian Tracy Morgan’s limousine early Saturday morning, was charged Saturday with death by auto and assault by auto in connection with the crash, acting Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement.
Roper was expected to surrender to authorities, and he will be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Morgan and two others remain in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., after a vehicle the actor was traveling in was involved in a five-car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. The accident killed James McNair, 63, a comedian better known by his stage name, Jimmy Mack, who often performed with Morgan.
The other day, while I was taking “Little Shitty” to the vet, there was a live shooting going on at the Forsyth County Courthouse, south of Banjoville in Cumming, Georgia. Turns out the man who went bang, bang, bang was a right wing gun nut. Go figure. /snark.
That didn’t take long. The Georgia GOP rushed into law an ‘open carry’ provision in April allowing people to tote around guns in bars and churches (apparently these are felt to be complementary institutions in Georgia) and schools (these are apparently felt to be full of expendable if short people in Georgia).
Then the national GOP and Fox Cable News (the “Josef Goebbels Commemorative Propaganda Division of the American Right Wing”) backed Cliven Bundy in his “sovereign citizen” claims that he doesn’t have to pay Federal grazing fees.
So on Saturday a sovereign citizen and former Transportation Department employee (who made his money from the Federal government he hates) showed up outside a Georgia courthouse armed to the teeth with automatic weapons and other munitions and with the clear intent of taking hostages inside the courthouse. He was open carrying, you see, and standing up against big government. Or rather standing overtop it with a gun to its head.
This was a clear act of terrorism, but since it was committed by a white person, no one brought the word up.
Thank you Juan Cole for for saying the “T” word there. Granted…no one at FoxNews will be giving it up. But hey, a father who does not shave as a form of support while his son is held as a prisoner of war…that guy is a Muslim…code word terrorist. (via Bill O’Reilly.)
I really want you to go and read the rest of that Cole post. As someone mentioned in the comments on that link, the “shooter” had several explosives at his home too. Imagine what could have happened.
More on this shooting here:
The man who police say staged an assault on the Forsyth County Courthouse carefully planned the weapons and supplies he would need to enter the building and harm people inside, authorities said Saturday as they sought to explain why Dennis Marx opened fire outside the building, wounding one deputy before dying in a shootout.
Police said they found a checklist at Marx’s home in Cumming that matched the items inside the rented silver Nissan SUV used in Friday’s mid-morning attack. Marx had a number of bags and buckets holding homemade and commercial explosive devices that could be clipped to hostages; a gas mask; two handguns; zip ties and two bulletproof vests, police said. They said Marx, 48, wore one of the vests and clipped a hand grenade and wire to himself as a booby trap.
“All the items were checked off,” Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Doug Rainwater said. “So this was a very deliberate planned assault on the Forsyth County courthouse.”
Next up, another terrorist, at least in my opinion…can you believe it has been a year: ORLANDO, Fla.: One year later, where are players in George Zimmerman trial?
See, you want to click it. And yet…you don’t want to click it. Am I right?
Did y’all see the CIA is officially in the tweet business.
The spooks’ first tweet, issued yesterday, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day (I can neither confirm nor deny that the timing means anything), made news for its self-aware sense of humor:
We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.—
(@CIA) June 06, 2014
Funny, we think they are funny….funny how like they amuse us?
Amnesty International is less amused. “The CIA’s first Tweet would be funny if it weren’t for the agency’s use of torture and extrajudicial executions,” says program director Zeke Johnson. “They should put as least as much effort into following the law as they do into social media. The full truth about the CIA torture and drone strikes should be made made public immediately and those responsible for crimes held accountable.” The agency is supposed to be close to declassifying a report on its “enhanced interrogation” program, with a release planned on or around July 4th.
Here we go again. Another blatant case of Affluenza: Billionaire Sexually Assaults Stepdaughter, Gets Four Months in Jail
Affluenza strikes yet again.
Samuel Curtis Johnson III is the heir to the SC Johnson & Son company (a family company), you know the people that bring you brands like Ziploc, Windex, Saran, Pledge, and other standard household cleaning products, so he’s doing pretty well for himself. Well not really. At all.
In 2011, Johnson faced felony charges for sexual assault of a child, for inappropriately touching his stepdaughter, starting from when she was age 12 to when she was 15 years old. The charges arose from statements Johnson made to his therapist in Arizona, who was required by law to report child abuse. While the charge could have sent him to prison for 40 years, he was sentenced to four months and will only be serving at least 60 days and paying a fine of $6,000. See, despite confessing to his assault, the girl, could not testify against him because she and her mother refused to have her medical records released to confirm the girl reporting the abuse to the her therapist to corroborate her testimony, something that was highly disputed, ruled on, reversed, and then ruled upon again.
As Aviva Shen at Think Progress points out, sexual assault victims’ “refusal to cooperate” keeps their attackers off the hook, but circumstances are hardly cut and dry. In this situation, prosecutors pointed out that neither the girl nor the mother wanted to press charges against the billionaire tycoon (the girl, who wanted the case to be dismissed, had moved to North Carolina and fought legal efforts to make her come to Wisconsin to testify), as they could be socially and financially dependent on him. I can’t fully blame the now 17-year-old girl for simply wanting to put this behind her.
Johnson ended up pleading guilty to two misdemeanors (fourth-degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct) instead of the felony charge.
Silence. Nothing else I can say.
Digby has a little preview of an interview Hillary is giving soon with Diane Sawyer: Hullabaloo
Via John Amato:
Diane Sawyer: And what would you say to Karl Rove about your brain?
Clinton: (laughs) That I know he was called “Bush’s Brain” in one of the books written about him, and I wish him well.
Damn. I love that woman. (Clinton.)
Now a couple last links dealing with Women and Film.
For anyone who has spent any time in and around Hollywood, it is impossible to ignore the male-dominated industry and its sexist standards. I recently saw a great Swedish documentary on the life of actress Ann Margret, in which she says how hard Hollywood on women. Her face betrayed the reality of what are both expected and what many women must do to survive and thrive within the difficult world of female objectification. And this from an actress who is considered to be a “success,” but whom also suffered from her time in Hollywood.
Many of us know women who have encountered extreme difficulties even shamefully horrific realities of what it means to try to get one’s foot in the door based on talent alone. And when it comes to women directors, the doors have not only remain closed for the most part, they have been cruelly pushing aside even those women who should be given the chance to direct large budget features as they have proven themselves time and again that they can draw in audiences with their work.
And here, a portrait of Cathy O’Donnell by Martha Holme (original and colorized) « Kinoimages.com
Actress Cathy O’Donnell working on her poetry, 1945, photo by Martha Holme. You know her from “They Live by Night”, “Side Street” and “The Best Years of Our Lives”. Original and colorized.
For a little background on Cathy O’Donnell:
She was in Alabama until age 12, Ann Steely attended high school and college in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, then worked as a stenographer to finance a trip to Hollywood, where fortune favored her with a contract at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer under Samuel Goldwyn. Recognizing her talent and appeal through a thick Southern accent, Goldwyn arranged rigorous voice & theatrical training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and elsewhere, gave her an Irish-sounding stage name & cast her in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). This film’s success boded well for Cathy’s career, and soon she was starred in the now-classic They Live by Night (1948). However, her rise in films was checked when, on Sunday, April 11th, 1948, at age 23, she married 48-year-old Robert Wyler, older brother of famous M-G-M director, William Wyler, with whom Goldwyn was feuding. The irate Goldwyn abruptly canceled her contract; thereafter she had no lasting association with any studio or producer.
Talk about a career being killed because she got married to the wrong man. TCM will be having a couple of her films latter this month, be sure to check out the schedule here.
That is all for today. Enjoy your summer Sunday, and please share your thoughts below in the comments section.
It is another year…for me at least…44 of them! I don’t have any plans today, except sit and worry about my Bebe who is off in Chicago. She has a performance today and then the competition tomorrow afternoon before she heads back to Banjoville.
A long ass bus ride back to Banjoville.
Anyway, before I get to the links just a quick note about the pictures for today’s post. They are all centered around the Apollo 13 mission that took off exactly 44 years ago today. Links to photo galleries at the end of this thread.
On to the newsy stories.
The latest on that horrific bus crash in California is confusing. Bus crash: Witness says FedEx truck lost control while changing lanes
A witness to Thursday’s deadly tour bus crash said the driver of the FedEx truck appeared to lose control while changing lanes before barreling across the center median of Interstate 5 and colliding head-on with a tour bus filled with high school students.
Ryan Householder told The Times on Saturday that he was mowing his lawn, which faces the southbound lanes of the highway, when he heard screeching tires Thursday. He looked up and watched the crash occur. The drivers of both vehicles were killed as were eight people on board the tour bus.
Householder, 31, said the FedEx truck, hauling two trailers, was in the slower of two southbound lanes behind a red van, he said. The truck tried to merge into the faster lane, he said, but there were two cars there.
At that point, the truck driver seemed to lose control of his vehicle, Householder said. The truck shot across the grassy median, shearing the tops off bushes that separate the northbound and southbound lanes.
The truck began straightening out, Householder said, but by that time it was already on the northbound lane and it collided with the bus carrying high school students on their way to Humboldt State University.
“When they collided, it was boom!” he said. Both vehicles erupted into fire.
The truck, Householder said, was not on fire before the crash.
However this is differs from another eyewitness earlier story: ORLAND, Calif: Conflicting accounts emerge about deadly California bus crash |
Bonnie and Joe Duran told TV reporters in Northern California late Friday that their Nissan Altima was sideswiped by the truck before it collided head-on with the bus. They said flames were visible from the big rig as it crossed the median and hit their car.
“It was on fire already,” Bonnie Duran said.
Investigators have not publicly responded to the Durans’ account.
Cameron Birk, the couple’s son-in-law, told The Times Saturday that he has talked to Joe Duran several times since the accident. He said Duran told him the couple were driving northbound on the interstate in the left lane, with Bonnie at the wheel, when they first saw the FedEx truck. Bonnie jerked the wheel to the right to avoid a head-on collision.
“The truck was already on fire when it had crossed the median,” Birk recalled Joe Duran telling him. “They were the first car it hit, so they just jerked the wheel hard and got side-wiped.” They spun out and got thrown into a ditch, Birk said.
World news is buzzing:
Tens of thousands of people took part in protests in central Paris and Rome, organized by hard-left parties opposed to government economic reform plans and austerity measures.
Police in Rome armed with batons charged members of a large splinter group — many wearing masks and helmets — and also used tear gas to push back the crowd, with protesters fighting back with rocks and firecrackers. One man lost a hand when a firecracker exploded before he could throw it.
There were dozens of lighter injuries among police and protesters, and at least six arrests, police said.
The protest was organized as a challenge to high housing costs and joblessness as a result of Italy’s long economic slowdown. The procession made its way peacefully through central Rome until the more violent element wearing helmets started throwing objects at police near the Labor Ministry.
And in a West Virginia water chemical crap spill of epic proportions: China: Water ban for millions after oil spill hits refinery town | Al Jazeera America
A crude oil leak from a pipeline owned by a unit of China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) is to blame for water contamination that has affected more than 2.4 million people in the Chinese city of Lanzhou, in the the landlocked northwest part of the country, according to Chinese media reports Saturday.
The leak poisoned the water source for a water plant, introducing hazardous levels of benzene into the city’s water, according to China’s official news agency Xinhua.
Residents scrambled to buy bottled water after authorities warned against using taps, in scenes reminiscent of a municipal water ban in the United States, following a coal-processing chemical spill that affected 300,000 West Virginians in January.
Xinhau cited Yan Zijiang, Lanzhou’s environmental protection chief, as saying that a leak in a pipeline owned by Lanzhou Petrochemical Co., a unit of CNPC, was to blame for the water contamination.
Read more on the pollution regulations they are trying to reign in over there in China.
<——– Girls. Yes, their cause and cure?
My internet is really slow tonight, so much that I am just going to put up a few of the links that I had saved up for this morning. Hopefully the net will be working faster for me here in Banjoville, and another longer post will be up later in the afternoon.
(It is frustrating as hell.)
The PLUB dimwits in my state went and kicked out one of the main pro-life groups evah…because=rape and incest. National organization boots Georgia Right to Life | Political Insider blog
This just in: National Right to Life has named Georgia Life Alliance as its new state affiliate. That means Georgia Right to Life is out.
The challenge came as a result of GRTL’s fierce opposition to allowing abortion exceptions for rape and incest.
You can read the full press release at the link. I mean…WTF?
Then there are the Jesus freaks, freaking out about the movie Noah. Click the link to see the tweets. I don’t want any crazy’s making their way here. ‘Noah’: Twitter conservatives outraged that film deviates from Bible’s original English | The Raw Story
Devout Christians are up in arms this morning about Darren Aronofsky’s film Noah, despite the fact that the majority of them haven’t seen it.
Aronofsky’s script deviates from the biblical account, and many on Twitter are happy to point the curious to the “real” story:
Many churches have encouraged their congregants to retweet the following, line breaks be damned!
Kevin McCarthy informs Brian Kilmeade of Fox News viewers’ worst nightmare: “the movie is not a documentary,” meaning the fact checkers will be out in full-force:
Conservative film critic Debbie Schlussel — who has actually seen the film — wrote that the film should be called “‘Game of Thrones Noah,’ ‘The Noah-dashians,’ ‘Dysfunctional Family Noah.’ Or just plain, ‘NOT Noah.’”
Erick Erickson at Red State surveyed all of the deviations from scripture, declared “boy howdy!” and then proceeded to remind his readers that he “is not kidding” eleven times.
We are not kidding.
But don’t get me wrong, there are those who take their beliefs to another level. A higher level…Fmr. Adult Film Star Kicked Out of Neo-Nazi Political Party for Doing Mixed-Race Porno | Mediaite
It’s an odd leap, going from porn to the Neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany, but German actress Ina Groll managed to do it. And the Neo-Nazis very much embraced her and welcomed her into the movement, knowing full well she used to do porn. But it’s who she did porn with that landed her in warmwasser.
Groll has been very vocal about her disdain for the Islamization of Europe, immigrants, and gypsies, and so she was embraced by a group that mostly consists of burly, bald white dudes.
The fact that she starred in porn movies didn’t seem to bother NPD members very much; what upset them was the fact that in one of those movies, she had sex with a black man…
“Someone who sleeps with a foreign race in front of the camera can’t advance the nationalist ideology,” one activist wrote on a far-right Facebook page. Others, naturally, used blunter language.
As a result, Groll was essentially kicked out of the party and barred from attending any group events.
When I saw this it made me laugh like hell…oh, if only the black man she had sex with was also Jewish. Hmmm…What do you think the ratfucks would have thought about that?
In other news, tacky but not Hitleresque: Self Magazine Shames Cancer Survivor For Running Marathon In A ‘Lame’ Tutu
When Monika Allen, a brain cancer survivor, got an email from Self magazine asking if it could feature a photo of her running a marathon, she couldn’t have been more excited. That was until she learned the magazine mocked her frilly costume.
While undergoing chemotherapy last year, Allen decided to run the Los Angeles Marathon and to wear a particularly motivating outfit, NBC 7 reported. The avid exerciser donned a Wonder Woman costume and paired it with a tutu, a product she makes and sells. Her company, Glam Runner, also raises funds for a charity that empowers young girls.
So when Allen got the message that Self magazine was interested in printing a photo of her from the race, she enthusiastically agreed.
But when that photo landed in the magazine’s April issue, Allen was “shocked,” according to her company’s Facebook page.
The photo of Allen was featured in the issue’s “BS Meter,” which denigrated the trend of runners racing in tutus, and placed the fad in the “lame” column.
“A racing tutu epidemic has struck NYC’s Central Park, and it’s all because people think these froufrou skirts make you run faster,” the column reads. “Now, if you told us they made people run from you faster, maybe we would believe it.”
Allen told NBC that she had no idea that she was going to be made fun of and never would’ve agreed to releasing the photo if she had known how it was going to be used.
That particular race was personal on a couple of levels: It was her first marathon since getting diagnosed, and it was a way for her to celebrate her charitable efforts.
Since starting Glam Runner in 2011, Allen has produced about 2,000 tutus and has donated $5,600 to Girls on the Run — a nonprofit that has a 12-week training program for girls ages 8-13 to prepare for a 5K race.
When Self learned of the snafu, it expressed regret.
“I am personally mortified,” Lucy Danziger, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, told USA Today. “I had no idea that Monika had been through cancer. It was an error. It was a stupid mistake. We shouldn’t have run the item.”
She also told the outlet that she is personally reaching out to Allen and plans to support her charity.
I don’t know if supporters of Allen are going to forgive Self so easily…this has caused a bit of nastiness all over the webs. But maybe Lucy Danziger needs to pull a politician move. You know the ones that are usually used by the idiots who make idiot remarks, tweets, facebook post, statements, ugh…etc.
Another person who needs to shut the fuck up…and stop writing shit on her GOOP blog, is Gwynyth Paltrow. Honestly, the woman needs to go away…into hiding. Now. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Post-Split Plans: Actress Reveals She’s Taking a Break From Acting to Focus on Her Kids | E! Online
That latest crapola from Gwyneth was soooo bad that it warranted a response from someone whose letter was published in the New York Post…you need to read in full.
I really enjoyed your recent comments to E! about how easy an office job is for parents, compared to the grueling circumstances of being on a movie set. “I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening,” you said. “When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,’ and then you work 14 hours a day, and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”
As a mother of a toddler, I couldn’t agree more!
“Thank God I don’t make millions filming one movie per year” is what I say to myself pretty much every morning as I wait on a windy Metro-North platform, about to begin my 45-minute commute into the city. Whenever things get rough, all I have to do is keep reminding myself of that fact. It is my mantra.
And I know all my fellow working-mom friends feel the same. Am I right, ladies?
We’re always gabbing about how easy it is to balance work and home life. Whenever I meet with them at one of our weekly get-togethers — a breeze to schedule, because reliable baby sitters often roam my neighborhood in packs, holding up signs peddling their services — we have a competition to see who has it easier. Is it the female breadwinners who work around the clock to make sure their mortgages get paid, lying awake at night, wracked with anxiety over the idea of losing their jobs? Or is it the mothers who get mommy-tracked and denied promotions? What about the moms with “regular” 9-to-5 jobs, who are penalized when their kids are sick and they don’t have backup child care?
Those women are living the dream, I tell you!
The letter gets better, so go read the damn thing…perfect is what it is, and puts Paltrow in her place.
Finally, did y’all see the picture of Ratzilla, the 16-Inch “Rat From Hell,” Finally Captured in Sweden
Ratzilla, the big ass rat that terrorized a Swedish family for weeks, is finally dead.
Erik Korsas and his family first realized they had a problem when their pet cat refused to enter their kitchen. “We thought it could be a little mouse, but after a while we figured it couldn’t be because it was making too much noise,” Korsas’ wife, Signe Bengtsson, told The Local.
Several days later she spotted a giant rat eating from her garbage can.
“It was right there in our rubbish bin, a mighty monster. I was petrified. I couldn’t believe such a big rat could exist,” she said. “I couldn’t help but do the old classic and jump on the kitchen table and scream.”
She called her husband, who was away on a business trip. “When my wife called I said ‘Yeah, sure, take it easy, I’ll be home on Sunday. But by then it had jumped into the waste bin and had a Swedish smörgåsbord with all the leftovers,” he said.
For days, the family lived in horror, stomping loudly when they entered the kitchen to scare the hell rodent away.
“By the time I got home, the rat was so domesticated that it just sat under the kitchen table,” Korsas said.
How big was Ratzilla?
Korsas measured its body at 39 cm, or nearly 16 inches, not including the tail. He believes it reached the kitchen by gnawing through the wood and cement floor.
“It was quite a shocking experience,” Bengtsson said in summary. “No one wanted to go into the kitchen after, and the cat was terrified for a week. The pest controllers said they’d never seen such a big rat before.”
Damn….that is one huge mutthafukkin rat….
(Oh, I had another link that connected to ratzilla vis-à-vis Godzilla…I will post it here guess this post is not finished after all.)
And now, our last “reads” of the day, from the TCM blog moviemorlocks.com – Shinichi Sekizawa: the guy behind the man in the suit
One of the things about being known as “the guy that wrote that book about Godzilla,” is that when something like this new Godzilla movie comes along, everyone assumes that’s what you want to talk about. The fact is, I’ve written more words and spoken on more total audio commentary tracks regarding silent and early talkie comedy, but Godzilla made my name. And with TCM’s screening of the 1954 original today, and the Bryan Cranston version on its way, I guess I have to live up to that name.
Well, the new film certainly looks well-made and serious, and I expect it will be as dramatic and intense as the trailer suggests. It certainly strains no one’s credulity to claim that the original 1954 Godzilla movie is also serious and intense, an allegory about Japan’s experience with nuclear horror. It is not subtext, it is plainly text, with nothing sub- about it. Thinly disguised images of and openly direct references to the firebombings of Tokyo, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Lucky Dragon incident are spread liberally throughout the film.
But… that isn’t Godzilla, not my Godzilla. Godzilla may have originated in austere political metaphor, but he was popularized as a rubber-suited superhero. He dances happy jigs, imitates rock stars, acts like a wrestler, talks with his pals, sometimes even flies—all while saving the Earth from such menaces as a monster made of living pollution, a ginormous bionic cockroach, or even a giant killer rose.
To pretend that Godzilla movies did not veer into absurdity and rampant silliness is futile. The filmmakers admitted it themselves—with screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa a chief architect of this change in direction.
Please enjoy that little history lesson on Godzilla, and hopefully I can get another post up later this afternoon. Doesn’t Godzilla look like he is smelling his finger ala Beavis?
Otherwise, have a wonderful day and please share your thoughts and links in the comments below.
My mind is not working properly today, after hearing the debate last night…the fear of America’s future in science and technology scares the bejeezus outta me.
Here in Banjoville, the county school system has been changed to a Charter School. The process will not be complete for a few years, which is fortunate because my kids are out of there in 2017…but I know that there are changes coming…and it is going to look like a Ham version of science when all is said and done.
Thousands of schools in states across the country can use taxpayer money to cast doubt on basic science.
A large, publicly funded charter school system in Texas is teaching creationism to its students, Zack Kopplin recently reported in Slate. Creationist teachers don’t even need to be sneaky about it—the Texas state science education standards, as well as recent laws in Louisiana and Tennessee, permit public school teachers to teach “alternatives” to evolution. Meanwhile, in Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Arizona, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, taxpayer money is funding creationist private schools through state tuition voucher or scholarship programs. As the map below illustrates, creationism in schools isn’t restricted to schoolhouses in remote villages where the separation of church and state is considered less sacred. If you live in any of these states, there’s a good chance your tax money is helping to convince some hapless students that evolution (the basis of all modern biological science, supported by everything we know about geology, genetics, paleontology, and other fields) is some sort of highly contested scientific hypothesis as credible as “God did it.”
Go and see the map, it is frightening how many dots there are all over the country. And it makes the pleas from Bill Nye all the more important, that
…this article through the reddit/r/everythingscience discussion thread on tonight’s debate, and thought I might find some interested fellows here.
At some point in the debate, Ham dragged up some anecdotal evidence about a 45,000 year-old piece of wood (maybe 450,000?) encased in what I think I remember as 4.5 billion year-old basalt. Nye sort of handwaved this away, saying perhaps the basalt “slid over” the younger material and never addressed it again, even after Ham brought it back up.
I’m pretty up on my creationism (sorry, ID) vs. evolution debate topics as I am an elementary school teacher and a former christian, but as this topic was novel to me I thought it deserved a bit of research. It seems to be similar to that classic creationist bit about polystrate trees.
Anyway, the article pretty much goes on to say that the person who made the original claim on the fossil essentially tucked it away in a drawer somewhere and won’t let anyone else look at it, hence why I designated it anecdotal above.
Check out that last link…some funny stuff there.
I think the whole thing can be summed up here:
So in consideration of the ridiculous exhibition of last night, by that I mean Ham and his followers…I have a shitload of science links this morning.
Archaeologists working near the ancient settlement of Edfu, in southern Egypt, have uncovered a step pyramid that dates back about 4,600 years, predating the Great Pyramid of Giza by at least a few decades.
The step pyramid, which once stood as high as 43 feet (13 meters), is one of seven so-called “provincial” pyramids built by either the pharaoh Huni (reign ca. 2635-2610 B.C.) or Snefru (reign ca. 2610-2590 B.C.). Over time, the step pyramid’s stone blocks were pillaged, and the monument was exposed to weathering, so today, it’s only about 16 feet (5 m) tall.
Scattered throughout central and southern Egypt, the provincial pyramids are located near major settlements, have no internal chambers and were not intended for burial. Six of the seven pyramids have almost identical dimensions, including the newly uncovered one at Edfu, which is about 60 x 61 feet (18.4 x 18.6 m). [See Photos of the Newly Uncovered Step Pyramid]
The purpose of these seven pyramids is a mystery. They may have been used as symbolic monuments dedicated to the royal cult that affirmed the power of the king in the southern provinces.
“The similarities from one pyramid to the other are really amazing, and there is definitely a common plan,” said Gregory Marouard, a research associate at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute who led the work at the Edfu pyramid. On the east side of the newly uncovered pyramid, his team found the remains of an installation where food offerings appear to have been made — a discovery that is important for understanding this kind of pyramid since it provides clues as to what they were used for.
Hmmm, that puts this pyramid outside the 4,000 year old Earth age right? But wait…it still can be explained by one thing….Gawwwwwd.
Researchers have revealed one of the best preserved fossil sites ever discovered.
The fossil site in Jehol biota in the north-eastern region of China has revealed scorched tissue, and ‘re-crystallized’ sections of bone on fossil.
Experts say the site is similar to the effect of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 buried Pompeii, Herculaneum and other cities, entombing people and animals in suspended death poses.
The team studied 14 fossils along with the chemistry and mineralogy of the volcanic rock and sediment that formed the animals final resting place.
‘What we’re talking about in this case is literal charring, like somebody got put in the grill,” said George Harlow, a mineralogist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, one of the researchers of the study.
Okay, that is in a language I think many of those at the creation museum would understand, I mean….Sunday bar-b-que is a big deal around the bible belt.
An ancient ecosystem known as the Jehol Biota existed in north eastern China about 120 million to 130 million years ago.
It consisted of dinosaurs, mammals, early birds, fish, lizards and other creatures, with the red areas highlighted below having thrown up fossils.
The animals lived among coniferous forests and lakes, in the shadow of volcanoes.
Fossils of these animals are found in the Yixian and Jiufotang rock formations, embedded in layers of volcanic material.
Hold up, 120 to 130 million years? Now that is for sure, most definitely outside the 6,000 year old Earth aka the Ham Young Earth belief system. I’ll point you to that iO9 link up top.
The scientists studied the DNA sequences of killer whale communities across the world.
They found a severe decline in whale numbers leading to a bottleneck and consequent loss of genetic diversity approximately 40,000 years ago when large parts of the Earth were covered in ice.
The only exception to this was found in a killer whale population off the coast of South Africa that retained high variations in genetic diversity.
As greater genetic diversity indicates larger population size, the researchers believe the South African community of killer whales escaped the bottleneck faced by other communities.
You can call them the contrarians of the bat world.
While nearly all bats roost upside down from tree limbs or cave ceilings, two species of tiny “sucker-footed” bats currently found only in Madagascar roost head-up, typically in the furled leaves of a tree known as the traveler’s palm.
But these oddballs of the bat world once were much more common than they are today. Scientists reported on Tuesday the discovery in a desert in Egypt of the fossilized remains of two earlier extinct species of these bats – one that lived 37 million years ago and the other 30 million years ago.
What? Species? That doesn’t fit in with the Ham “kinds” graphic at all.
You really want to be scared: Study Guides – Answers in Genesis
Or how about this shit: | Answers in Genesis-Shop topic “Design”
I found myself looking through these titles of books, videos and shit…realizing my mouth was wide open…in disbelief? I don’t know, and Ham has the gall to say evolution in school is “indoctrination”?
Scientists on Tuesday said they could fill a blank in the history of Central Africa’s pygmies, whose past is one of the most elusive of any community in the world.
At a key period in the human odyssey, these hunter-gatherer tribes shunned interbreeding with Bantu-speaking communities who were early farmers, according to a gene analysis.
The two groups first met when the Bantu groups, having acquired farming technology some 5,000 years ago, started moving out of the region of Nigeria and Cameroon into eastern, central and southern Africa.
Again with that whole greater than 4,000 years ago theme?
Well, as I was writing this post last night, my computer froze up and I just abandoned the post to finish this morning. So I guess like a Beatles song, this thread will play like two different blog post in one?
The big stink this morning?
The Congressional Budget Office issued a new report Tuesday on the federal budget deficit, Obamacare and jobs — and Official Washington exploded.
It all centered on one line about how the health care reform law would affect employment. CBO actually said that Americans would choose to work less, for various reasons, and that if you translated the fewer hours worked into full-time jobs, it would equal 2.5 million by 2024 (2.3 million by 2021). It didn’t say that Obamacare would cost the country 2.5 million jobs, but Republicans said so anyway.
But it wasn’t just the GOP, which had a political incentive to take advantage of economic jargon. It was the political press as well. They either misrepresented what the report said — or shrugged off the actual facts, opting instead to speculate on what the political spin would mean for the horse race.
The mememorandum page is so taken up with this CBO/Obamacare shit, I had to put a link up.
While I was there, this next article popped out at me…Justice Scalia: “You Are Kidding Yourself If You Think” SCOTUS Won’t Vote in Favor of Internment Again – Hit & Run : Reason.com
Enjoy that latest nugget of crap from Scalia’s mouth.
My state of Georgia was in the news recently displaying the horrible leadership skills of Governor Deal and Mayor Reed, well…here is yet another area that Georgia is failing in. (And I don’t think this is going to fix it) Bill filed to privatize Ga. child welfare services | AccessNorthGa
A bill has been filed in the state Senate that would have Georgia move toward privatizing some state child welfare services.
The bill sponsored by Republican Sens. Renee Unterman of Buford and Fran Millar of Atlanta would allow faith-based and community-based organizations to apply for “fixed-price” contracts to handle services including adoption, foster care and case management. The law would be contingent on the state receiving a federal waiver.
While on the subject of faith-based PLUB control…Women’s rights country by country – interactive | Global development | theguardian.com
But take a gander…La Course Will Include Women In Le Tour de France For The First Time
Also check out the latest candidate news:
There is a look back at: How 10 years of Facebook design tweaks have shaped the way we behave on the Web | PandoDaily
And here is a graphic look at: The toll of the anti-vaccination movement, in one devastating graphic – latimes.com
Let’s end this post with a little humor: Walmart to Pay $25 Billion to Move the State Capitol of Arkansas to Bentonville | Rock City Times
BENTONVILLE – Gov. Mike Beebe and officials with Bentonville-based Walmart Stores Inc. have confirmed an agreement that, if approved by the Arkansas Legislature, would see the retailer pay the state $25 billion over five years in return for moving the State Capitol to Bentonville.
The $25 billion would essentially fund all state government operations for the next five years – which is the timetable for moving state operations to Bentonville.
“It certainly is an unusual move, but from a practical standpoint it makes sense. As we continue to increase our influence over state government officials, it becomes an issue of efficiency,” said Walton Richman, a spokesman for Walmart.
So….what you all reading about today?
Ah…tis the season for “expert” climatologist analysis on the circle box, of course I am speaking of Fox News and the other right-wing idiots. Here is a montage of clips and commentary via Jon Stewart, it is the first show of 2014, what a load of shit these folks are peddling. Jon Stewart to Fox News’ Varney: ‘Your f*cking opinion is not as valid as scientific fact’
Jon Stewart’s wish to start 2014 without “left vs. right ideological bullsh*t” was quickly dashed on The Daily Show Monday night, as he confronted conservatives’ continued spewing of hot air regarding global warming.
“There you have it: ‘War on Christmas’ is over; ‘war on carbon’ begins,” Stewart said. “Global warming: Just one more liberal conspiracy. Because even though there is a great deal of scientific data establishing climate change trends. Even though many of the models of global warming predict more extremes of weather — not just warming — apparently decades of peer-reviewed scientific study can be, like a ficus plant, destroyed in one cold weekend.”
Stewart got particularly incensed at Fox News host Stuart Varney’s argument that a Russian research ship’s getting trapped in ice in Antartica proved the world was getting colder, which he punctuated with a blithe, “That’s just my opinion.”
“That’s just your opinion — your opinion,” Stewart raged. “It means nothing.”
There is video at the link here, but I love what Stewart said about Fox News turning to Donald Trump for “expert” analysis on the weather:
“So global warming must be a hoax,” Stewart said sarcastically. “Because, I mean, Mr. Trump would never conceal bald-faced truth or go through any effort to hide when something’s clearly receding over the years.”
More on the weather:
The authors say locals in Mosul told them that the last time the river froze was 1750. That freezing became more rare after that date is significant, since 1750 marks the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and increased coal burning for energy. The period 1250-1850 or the medieval cooling period (often incorrectly called the ‘little ice age’) saw cool temperatures in many parts of the world.
The central and eastern U.S. is now in the midst of a major cold wave, with large regions dropping below zero F and wind chills reaching below -30F. That is fact.
The problem is that the media, some non-governmental organizations, and plenty of individuals are making claims that this event has some kind of implication regarding anthropogenic global warming.
On one hand, some global warming skeptics suggest that such cold is clear evidence that global warming is nonsense.
On the other, global warming “advocates” explain the cold wave as another example of extreme weather forced by increased greenhouse gases.
The truth? Both are wrong.
Real interesting read there.
So…if you are slowly warming up after the big chill, you may have missed a few new stories on politicians running for office in 2014.
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) said on Tuesday that Democrats will never be able to regain a majority in Georgia without enlisting the votes of “illegal aliens.” According to Georgia Public Broadcasting, the arch conservative ex-physician believes that the Republicans will reign uncontested over Georgia for decades to come.
“The only way Georgia is going to change is if we have all these illegal aliens in here in Georgia, and give them the right to vote. It would be morally wrong, it would be illegal to do so, under our current law,” Broun said.
“Actually, all these illegal aliens are getting federal largesse and taking taxpayer’s dollars. That’s the only way this state is going to become Democratic again, in the next number of decades,” he went on.
“It only helps the Democrats if we legalize all these illegal aliens in this country who the Democrats want to put on federal welfare programs — and actually, they are on federal welfare programs today,” he explained.
“The Democrats want to make them all basically dependent on the federal government so they can continue their radical, big government agenda.”
But that may be nothing compared to Erick Bennett, Sen. Susan Collins Challenger Says His Wife-Beating Conviction Proves ‘Guts and Integrity’ – Little Green Footballs
Erick Bennett, a conservative challenger to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) who was convicted of assaulting his wife in 2003, argued that his continued denial of the charge shows his political integrity.
“The fact that I have been jailed repeatedly for not agreeing to admit to something I didn’t do should speak to the fact of how much guts and integrity I have,” Bennett, whose wife divorced him after the attack, said during a news conference Monday, captured by Bangor Daily News. “If I go to D.C., I’m going to have that same integrity in doing what I say, and saying what I do, when it comes to protecting people’s rights, as well as their pocketbooks.”
Bennett’s legal efforts to fight the wife-beating charge ran out when the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld his conviction in 2004. But during the news conference to discuss his primary challenge to Collins, Bennett maintained the justice system is designed to “railroad” alleged domestic abusers.
The rest of the links are in a dump this morning, because I have to admit that I’m writing this post Tuesday night, and my fingers are freezing as I type on the keyboard.
It’s a little known fact that the great director made a film about the Nazi death camps – but, horrified by the footage he saw, the documentary was never shown. Now it is to be released. Geoffrey Macnab reports
The British Army Film Unit cameramen who shot the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 used to joke about the reaction of Alfred Hithcock to the horrific footage they filmed. When Hitchcock first saw the footage, the legendary British director was reportedly so traumatised that he stayed away from Pinewood Studios for a week. Hitchcock may have been the king of horror movies but he was utterly appalled by “the real thing”.
In 1945, Hithcock had been enlisted by his friend and patron Sidney Bernstein to help with a documentary on German wartime atrocities, based on the footage of the camps shot by British and Soviet film units. In the event, that documentary was never seen.
Women are currently underrepresented among speakers at scientific meetings, both in absolute terms and relative to their representation among attendees, but a new study suggests one way to address this deficit. An analysis of 460 scientific symposia to be published in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology reveals that the inclusion of at least one woman on a convening committee increases the proportion of female speakers by as much as 86% and significantly reduces the likelihood the session would have an all-male list of speakers.
A northern California sheriff’s deputy shot a 13-year-old just three seconds after ordering him to drop a plastic replica of an assault rifle, the boy’s parents claimed in an amended civil rights lawsuit filed Tuesday.
Erick Gelhaus, a veteran deputy and firearms instructor, killed Andy Lopez as the eighth grader was walking near his home in the wine-country town of Santa Rosa in October carrying an imitation gun he planned to return to a friend, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
At least two people at the scene moments before the shooting said the 5-foot, 3-inch teen looked like a child carrying a toy gun, the complaint says.
“From the time that the deputies called out to Andy Lopez until the time that Gelhaus fired his first shot, only three seconds elapsed,” the suit says. In an interview, Casillas said the information came from two witnesses to the incident.
The suit also says that deputies knew the boy would respond to the order to drop the gun by turning to face them. The suit does not say how they knew that, but Casillas said that it would be typical for someone who is not a criminal to turn toward the sound of a police officer shouting.
Now a few articles on Newspapers, Libraries and the MLA:
The Modern Language Association (not a group with which I normally sympathize much) apparently denied the Daily Caller press credentials for this year’s MLA conference. The response of Eric Owens, “Education Editor” of the Daily Caller? Calling the MLA “douchebags” six times, plus once in the headline of the column, a headline that right now appears on the Daily Caller front page. (I assume that, at the Daily Caller, like at many online sites but not like at most newspapers, a columnist — and especially an “editor” — gets to choose the post title.) Oh, and there are six “fascist”s in there, too; that at least is not a vulgarity, but it shows a certain lack of creativity, no?
The pro-Israel campus groups Hillel International and the Israel on Campus Coalition were denied the right to present a discussion at the January 9-12 Modern Language Association convention in Chicago, an event that is seen as a possible precursor to an MLA academic boycott of Israel that would mirror recent boycotts by the American Studies Association and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.
MLA’s convention includes a roundtable discussion titled “Academic Boycotts: A Conversation about Israel and Palestine,” which will feature supporters but no opponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
I don’t know about delightful, but it written better than some of the crap we saw in those CPAC Craigslist ads.
One of the country’s oldest remaining big city newspapers, the San Francisco Chronicle, is set to announce a radical plan to arrest circulation decline and remain relevant in the digital age, Mashable has learned.
Audrey Cooper, the first female managing editor in the paper’s 148-year history, will require all staff to enter what is being described as a startup-style incubator. In a plush off-site office procured from the paper’s Food and Wine section, journalists will undergo two months of rigorous training — in effect, a digital and social media boot camp.
Ugh…that social media stuff is really getting ridiculous. I realize it is becoming the communication of the future, but if we completely surrender to this shitty way of “talking” to each other…what will really become of one to one interactions…or reading books with paper pages. This is the first public library without any books | Grist
The end is near! Page-sniffers, mourn the loss of our dog-eared friends! I MEAN … HURRAH for a library that saves trees! (Sob.)
BiblioTech is an all-digital public library on the south side of San Antonio that offers 10,000 titles on 600 e-readers, 25 iPads, and 25 laptops. The library also includes 50 desktop computers and 100 Nook tablets preloaded with children’s books — just no physical books. (Patrons can read the library’s digital books on their own tablets as well.) Internet access and kids’ storytime are other, more familiar perks.
Sounds pretty green, right? Without the need for vast book storage space, the $2.3 million library can be way smaller than traditional libraries. At fewer than 5,000 square feet, BiblioTech’s smaller space means less heat and light and thus less pollution. As sage Umbra once wrote:
It hurts to say it, but e-books are looking like a good option, even perhaps the better option. Ouch …
There are caveats as usual, but I am forced to report the general conclusion that e-books produce less CO2 emissions and use less water than conventional newspapers and books.
According to Ted Genoways’ oft-cited article “The Price of the Paperless Revolution,” it takes roughly the same amount of energy and materials to make an e-reader as it does 50 books. So for BiblioTech to break even, energy-wise, patrons would need to read 50 books on each tablet. With 10,000 library users registered in its first three months, this probably won’t be an issue.
I have such a hard time getting my thoughts together, if I am trying to write something down or figure something out, without having the book in front of me in paper form.
Give me those dog-eared pages and pencil-lined notated margins any day.
Now for the big news of the morning, there is a melt-down crisis: Terrifying Velveeta Shortage Threatens to Ruin Dip Season
One Velveeta official expressed apologies for the ill-timed shortage, right on the cusp of “dip season” which is a thing that exists, like the Holiday season or deer season or back to school season or breakup season. Dip season.
According to AdAge, in recent weeks, consumers in some grocery stores in New Jersey noticed that their favorite Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product was missing. After inquiring with store officials, they were informed that there would be no more Velveeta until Mid February. Brand officials have said that the shortage is due to a “factory issue,” but my biggest “issue” here is how the fuck is America supposed to completely submerge its head in creamy, warm queso dip while millionaires concuss each other on national television WITHOUT MOTHERFUCKING ENORMOUS BRICKS OF VELVEETA FAKE CHEESE? HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO CELEBRATE A PROPER AND TRADITIONAL DIP SEASON WITHOUT NUTRITIONALLY INFERIOR MASS PRODUCED PRODUCTS?
Have a good morning, stay warm….and please share what you are reading about this cold winter day.
Eeek….What an absolute mess we have going here in the U.S.A…Damn.
I can’t even bring myself to link to any stories on the crap in DC just yet, so I will start with a company called Fukushima Industries and a bit of “Fukushima-ed up” P.R.: Lost in translation: Japan’s ‘Fukuppy’ firm rethinks its egg-shaped mascot after online ridicule
Japan’s Fukushima Industries said Tuesday it was rethinking its “Fukuppy” mascot, after the Internet erupted in sniggers over a name that recalls the catalogue of mishandling at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
The Osaka-based refrigerator maker, whose name derives from its founder and has nothing to do with the area hit by an atomic catastrophe, has been ridiculed on social networking sites for the name it gave its egg-like mascot, which has blue wings and red feet.
“I’m Fukuppy. Nice to meet you,” the smiling character with a human face tells visitors to the company’s website. “I think I’m kind with a strong sense of justice but people say I’m a little bit scatterbrained.”
Fukushima Industries unveiled “Fukuppy” in April, blending the first part of the company name — Fuku — and the end of the English word “happy,” saying it represented the corporate philosophy of being a happiness-creating company.
But the striking moniker was mistaken for “an inappropriate word among people in English-speaking places or its meaning was misunderstood on the Internet,” the company said in a statement.
“We sincerely apologize for worrying many people and creating misunderstanding among them,” the company said, adding: “We will look into the name, including a rethink of it.”
Wow, let me tell you something….that “Fukuppy” is Fucked-uppy!
Seriously, I can understand a company that is named “Fukushima Industries” and has nothing to do with the “Fukushima Nuclear Powerplant” would want to have some kind of mascot/slogan/gimmick that would separated it from the disaster…not seemingly mock it. I mean…think of just how many “troubles” Fukushima has had, especially with their not so forward way of being “truthful” about these situations, a “scatterbrained” Fukuppy egg with wings ain’t gonna fucking cut it! (Yeah, that firm laid a big egg with that one if you ask me.)
Anyway, here is something Fukuppy (i.e. fucked up) for y’all this morning: Once-in-a-decade typhoon reaches Japan, tracking towards Fukushima nuclear plant. Yup, you read that headline correctly…why don’t you go and read it again…
Around 30 people were unaccounted for on Izu Oshima Island, which lies in the Pacific 120 kilometres south of central Tokyo, after five houses were destroyed or swept away by a series of landslides and floods according to the national broadcaster NHK.
The storm, which has not made landfall, is tracking along Japan’s east coast on a path which will take it towards the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
The operator of the plant says it has released some rain water that was trapped inside its barrages, but the radiation reading was within safety limits.
That can’t be good, can someone tell me how the hell can this be considered within safety limits?
I was out of town in Atlanta all day yesterday, so I do not know if this story was even mentioned in the comments, via the Kansas City Star: Nightmare in Maryville: Teens’ sexual encounter ignites a firestorm against family
Few dispute the basic facts of what happened in the early morning hours of Jan. 8, 2012: A high school senior had sex with Coleman’s 14-year-old daughter, another boy did the same with her daughter’s 13-year-old friend, and a third student video-recorded one of the bedding scenes. Interviews and evidence initially supported the felony and misdemeanor charges that followed.
Yet, two months later, the Nodaway County prosecutor dropped the felony cases against the youths, one the grandson of a longtime area political figure.
The incident sparked outrage in the community, though the worst of it was directed not at the accused perpetrators but at a victim and her family. In the months that followed, Coleman lost her job, and her children were routinely harassed. When it became too much, they left, retreating east to Albany.
Coleman had hoped the move would allow them to heal in peace, that the 40 miles separating the towns would be enough to put an end to their bitter saga.
Now, though, as she stared at the charred remains of her house, the distance didn’t seem nearly enough.
Oh…it is disgusting….and it is a long read. You may want to bookmark it and come back to it when you have a mindset to read it.
There are other developments in this story too:
The online activist group Anonymous said on Tuesday it would launch a “Twitter storm” and stage a rally in a Missouri town to protest the dropping of sex charges against two ex-high school football players in an incident involving a 14-year-old girl.
The Maryville, Mo., sexual assault case has taken the internet by storm, including two hasthtags on Twitter, including #JusticeForDaisy.
On Tuesday afternoon, Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder tweeted out a statement regarding the investigation.
In the statement, Kinder calls on the state’s attorney general and Nodaway County prosecutor to revisit the case.
“I hope that responsible officials will join me in this call for a grand jury to make the final call on whether criminal charges should or should not be filed,” Kinder said in the statement.
He worries the case could taint the reputation of the State of Missouri.
“Since Sunday I have read with growing dismay the media accounts of the Daisy Coleman case in Nodaway County. I make no claim to knowledge of all the facts. Still, facts revealed in exhaustive media reports, including the 4,000-word piece in the Kansas City Star, raise all kinds of questions that it is now clear won’t be put to rest.
These questions will fester and taint the reputation of our state for delivering impartial justice to all.
“I am disappointed that the Attorney General would wash his hands of the matter through a brief statement by a spokesman. The appalling facts in the public record shock the conscience and cry out that responsible authorities must take another look. I call on Attorney General Koster and Prosecutor Rice to join me in asking that the Circuit Court convene a grand jury to review all the evidence, hear all witnesses, and issue a decision as to whether charges should ensue.
“I hope that responsible officials will join me in this call for a grand jury to make the final call on whether criminal charges should or should not be filed.”
The Missouri sheriff accused of not following up on a rape case that has drawn the ire of the hacker group Anonymous defended his department’s actions while also criticizing Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R) for joining in the call for revisit the case.
Let’s see what happens.
For the Polk County sheriff’s office, which has been investigating the cyberbullying suicide of a 12-year-old Florida girl, the Facebook comment was impossible to disregard.
In Internet shorthand it began “Yes, ik” — I know — “I bullied Rebecca nd she killed herself.” The writer concluded that she didn’t care, using an obscenity to make the point and a heart as a perverse flourish. Five weeks ago, Rebecca Ann Sedwick, a seventh grader in Lakeland in central Florida, jumped to her death from an abandoned cement factory silo after enduring a year, on and off, of face-to-face and online bullying.
The Facebook post, Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County said, was so offensive that he decided to move forward with the arrest immediately rather than continue to gather evidence. With a probable cause affidavit in hand, he sent his deputies Monday night to arrest two girls, calling them the “primary harassers.” The first, a 14-year-old, is the one who posted the comment Saturday, he said. The second is her friend, and Rebecca’s former best friend, a 12-year-old.
Both were charged with aggravated stalking, a third-degree felony and will be processed through the juvenile court system. Neither had an arrest record. The older girl was taken into custody in the juvenile wing of the Polk County Jail. The younger girl, who the police said expressed remorse, was released to her parents under house arrest.
This social media stuff…geez, these things have gone on all the time, I mean bullies and rapes go on as they did before….but with such easy ways of posting or bragging about the rapes or bullying. I just don’t know, it makes me so sick and frightened for my daughter (more so than my son) to go out anywhere with anyone…even a group of her girlfriends.
I am rambling…it is because I am tired as I write this post. The rest of the links in dump fashion:
Georgia has become the first state to charge low-income residents $5 a month for what is now free cellphone service aimed at assuring the poor have access to basic communications.
The Georgia Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to approve the measure amid a pending federal lawsuit from a national wireless telephone group. If left unchallenged, however, the fee will be implemented Jan. 31, 2014.
The controversial decision comes after reports of fraud and abuse in the federal cellphone program, called Lifeline. The program was created during the Reagan Administration and expanded in 2005 to cover mobile phones.
A U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that as many as one in six people receiving free cell phones did not meet income or other need-based requirements to receive the free or discounted phone service. The reports of fraud prompted PSC member Doug Everett to call for tighter oversight on the Lifeline program in Georgia.
“Who’s going to really take care of this program … who’s going to audit the telephone companies to make sure they are trying to do what is right,” Everett said.
Commissioners Everett, Tim Echols and Bubba McDonald voted for the measure. Commissioners Chuck Eaton and Stan Wise voted against it.
Of course a “Bubba” would vote for it. Ugh…
I guess I have to put this link in here now: Influential Heritage group urges U.S. House to kill fiscal bill
Heritage Action For America, an influential conservative group, on Tuesday urged House of Representatives Republicans to vote against their leaders’ latest bill to fund the government and raise U.S. borrowing authority.
The private group said that the legislation, which was scheduled to be voted on late on Tuesday, fails to “stop Obamacare’s massive new entitlements from taking root.”
In calling the upcoming vote a “key vote,” the group is warning lawmakers that it will look at their positions on this legislation in considering whether to encourage candidates to run against them in Republican primary campaigns next year.
Can’t Heritage be charged with Treason for fuck’s sake?
Wow, take a look at this monster fish:
Jasmine Santana, a snorkeler swimming off Catalina Island in Southern California on Sunday, came across an 18-foot oarfish that she helped drag to shore. Facebook
Lots of links on that article, be sure to check it out.
More pictures (including close up of head) and video here: Monster Oarfish, 18 Feet Long, Called ‘Discovery of a Lifetime’
Hey, turns out it wasn’t “cave man” but “cave women” who painted on walls:
Prehistoric cave prints show most early artists were women - This is a link to an NBC article…has some color pictures.
Women leave their handprints on the cave wall- This one is a more in-depth piece from a science mag phys.org…you will probably find this one more interesting.
Did y’all see this fan letter Anthony Hopkins wrote to Bryan Cranston: Anthony Hopkins’ ‘Breaking Bad’ Fan Letter To Bryan Cranston Is Awesome
And lastly, anyone looking for that perfect costume this Halloween? Are you a “ginger” aka red-haired with freckles? Then this may be the costume for you:
Ginger Bread Man
Gingers may or may not have souls, but they do have clever costumes.
Now that is “Fukuppying” Awesome!
Have a great day, and please share what you are thinking and reading about today.