Posted: June 2, 2013 Filed under: Africa, Baby Boomers, children, Climate Change, Crime, Criminal Justice System, Economy, Environment, Foreign Affairs, George W. Bush, Germany, Hillary Clinton, History, income inequality, Japan, morning reads, nature, Politics as Usual, poverty, Psychopaths in charge, racism, Revisionism, science, seniors, sports, the internet, U.S. Military, Violence against women | Tags: Chris P. Bacon, DOJ, Mascots, Miami Dade Police brutality, Military sexual assault, Native American Indians, Naval Academy, Samuel L Jackson, Washington Redskins
Guess you can tell from the title of this post, animals will play a feature role in today’s reads. Right now here in Banjoville the skies are opening up and raining down cats and dogs. Loud thunder is shaking the house, and that means lightning…real bad lightning…so I best make this post short and sweet. So here are your morning reads in link dump fashion.
Well, down in Miami the police roughed up a kid who was holding a puppy because he looked at them funny. I should say not funny as in funny amusing, but as they put it….”dehumanizing.”
Police Allegedly Assault Black Kid Carrying A Puppy For Looking At Them Wrong
Miami-Dade Police allegedly handcuffed and choked a 14 year old boy while he was carrying a newborn puppy for giving them a “dehumanizing” stare. A court case over the incident will begin on July 16th.
Tremaine McMillian was, by his account, playing on a beach with a friend and his puppy on the Miami boardwalk when police came over to tell them to stop “roughousing.” Though the police later admitted the boys’ activity was neither criminal nor violent, they asked the boys where their parents were. McMillian directed the officers to his nearby mother, and that’s where the family and the police’s story diverge.
McMillian and his mother, Maurissa Holmes, say the police chased down McMillian on ATVs and attacked him essentially without provocation. “The police officers were on their ATVs, and my son was walking,” Holmes said. “They jumped off their ATVs, grabbed him and slammed him to the ground.”
You can read the police’s version at the link, you can also see video of the arrest as well…there are some discrepancies however…pointed out by Tommy Christopher…check this out.
…there’s another painfully adorable detail that was left out of that report. Here’s what Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaletatold CBS 4:
Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta told D’Oench it was just after 11:00 am on Memorial Day on Haulover Beach when officers saw McMillian slamming another teenager on to the sand.
“They told him that behavior was unacceptable,” said Zabaleta. “He walked away and officers followed him. They asked where his parents were. He said he was not going to take them to them. When he started to leave the beach area, officers had to get off their ATVs to detain him. He had closed arms, clenched fists and pulled his arm away.”
“Once he was approaching the road, the officers restrained him. Again his body language was that he was stiffening up and pulling away,” said Zabaleta. “Now you’re resisting officers at that point and when the hands are swinging and you are resisting officers, at that point you have to be taken into custody.”
“Of course we have to neutralize the threat,” said Zabaleta. “When you have somebody resistant to them and pulling away and somebody clenching their fists and flailing their arms, that’s a threat.”
He said the police report did not indicate that a puppy was involved.
“At that point we are not concerned with a puppy,” said Zabaleta. “We are concerned with the threat to the officer.”
So, the police don’t seem to be disputing that the puppy was there, just that he didn’t merit inclusion in the report. But if the puppy was there, then how do police explain this?
“How could I be clenching my fists when I was taking care of my puppy and giving him some milk with a bottle?” asked McMillian.
I mean the kid was giving the newborn puppy a bottle of milk…WTF?
Shit…with the way law enforcement authorities are reporting things lately, that bottle of milk could have been a rocket launcher and the puppy? Well that was no puppy, that was a dwarf Muslim terrorist, hey….don’t mistake that fur for the towel on his head. /snark
I want to bring this story to your attention, it is about pigs but not the real animals. U.S. Naval Academy football players investigated for sexual assault | Reuters
Three members of the U.S. Naval Academy football team are being investigated for the alleged sexual assault of a female student, the Pentagon said on Friday, the latest in a string of scandals that have thrown a spotlight on sex crimes in the military.
The alleged incident took place in April 2012, when the student attended a party at the off-campus “football house” in Annapolis, Maryland and became intoxicated, her attorney, Susan Burke, said in a statement.
“She woke up at the football house the next morning with little recall of what had occurred. She learned from friends and social media that three football players were claiming to have had sexual intercourse with her while she was incapacitated,” Burke said, without identifying her client by name.
No charges have been brought forth yet, this is still being investigated.
Burke said that one of the football players pressured the woman not to cooperate with an initial investigation into the case. She initially followed that advice, but was still “ostracized and retaliated against by the football players and the Naval Academy community.” She was also disciplined for drinking, Burke said in a statement.
In early 2013, the female student decided to seek legal help and the Navy re-opened the investigation, Burke said.
“Over time, the midshipman began to recover from the trauma, and became angered at the lack of justice and retaliation in her case,” she said.
I am sure that this investigation will eventually end up like these cases usually do. But with the congressional hearings coming up…maybe there will be a fire under the ass of these military brass and justice will finally take a front seat and not get molested like so many of these women service members.
Here is yet another article about shitty pay and what it does to the economy. One Walmart’s Low Wages Could Cost Taxpayers $900,000 Per Year, House Dems Find
Then you have the other side of the coin, y’all heard that Tumblr was sold to Yahoo for 1.1 billion dollars…check this out: Tumblr’s Creative Director Quits
On to something more interesting, these next two links are about different things…but deal with the same subject.
First, this article from the New York Times: Justice Dept. Reports Rise in Prosecutions on Indian Lands
The Justice Department said this week that it had increased its rate of criminal prosecutions in Indian country by more than 50 percent in the past four years, a period in which violent crime on the nation’s Indian reservations has soared and tribes have complained of lawlessness.
The data, part of a Justice Department report released Thursday, found that United States attorneys had prosecuted about 69 percent of the 3,145 criminal cases referred to their offices from Indian country last year — an improvement over 2011, when the federal government tried 63 percent of 2,840 criminal cases in Indian country.
The report comes amid a wave of violent crime on Indian lands and criticism of the Justice Department by tribal officials who say United States attorneys pursue far too few violent criminal cases on reservations.
Prosecutors say they must decline many Indian country cases — about 60 percent of the total — because of a lack of evidence.
The feds usually prosecute murder, rape and white-collar crimes, but these numbers are a bit confusing because there is a new law that went into effect which includes various other violent crimes.
Previous government data have cited violent crimes, which presented a more pessimistic picture: that the Justice Department files charges in only about half of Indian country murder investigations and one-third of sexual assault cases. The data also showed the number of prosecutions by United States attorneys of violent crimes fell by 3 percent from 2000 to 2010, even as crime on some reservations increased by 50 percent or more.
But the report released this week does not separate the number of federal prosecutions for violent crimes. Instead, the report groups them with drug cases and white-collar crime.
On Friday, Wyn Hornbuckle, a Justice Department spokesman, said the analysis did not specify figures for violent crime because the department was not required to do so by the Tribal Law and Order Act, a 2010 law that mandates that the department release prosecution rates in Indian country. (This week’s report is the agency’s first since the law went into effect.)
I guess these reports are just like any other reports out there, what the hell do they really tell us? And do they exist so people can twist these department figures to their advantage, and by doing that manipulate the dialogue to justify their own agenda. (I know the answer to that…)
The other link is this: Do Mascots Need Modernizing? « The Dish
Earlier this week, ten members of Congress sent a letter to the front office of the Washington Redskins, pushing them to select a new mascot:
In this day and age, it is imperative that you uphold your moral responsibility to disavow the usage of racial slurs. The usage of the “R-word” is especially harmful to Native American youth, tending to lower their sense of dignity and self-esteem. It also diminishes feelings of community worth among the Native American tribes and dampens the aspirations of their people. We look forward to working with you to find a solution to this important matter.
This is something that I am hesitant to get involved in. I am no fan of the Atlanta Braves, but they also have an Indian mascot. There is talk of getting the government involved, like previous strategy used by the JFK admin when the Redskins owners would not integrate the team. See the JFKs guys would not allow the Redskins on the stadium property because it was federal land…however,
Doug Mataconis disagrees with the liberal lawmakers’ strategy:
I have to wonder why this is something that Members of Congress need to be getting involved in, or why legislation is necessary to address something that is, in the end, a private business matter.
The people who don’t like the name are free to protest it. Dan Snyder and the rest of Redskins ownership are free to reject their pleas. If there ever comes a time when the public sympathizes with the protesters, then perhaps the team will feel the kind of economic pressure most likely to cause them to change positions, then we’ll likely see a name change of some kind.
Personally, I think the odds of that happening are pretty remote. The Redskins name has been in existence now since 1933 when the football version of the Boston Braves changed its name to Boston Redskins before moving to Washington, D.C. several years later. We’re not that far away from the 100th anniversary of that name. It’s going to be around for a long time to come, and I’m just fine with that.
Well, the Redskins play on the FedEx field in Maryland now…and it isn’t on Federal land. Like I said, I don’t know how I feel about this…guess we will talk about it in the comments below.
Ralph posted a link to an article about the DOJ Press Leaks by Walter Pincus last week in the comments and I thought everyone would appreciate this response from the ACLU. (I remembered the name Pincus because of Seinfeld…and Kramer, “Poor little Pincus.”) Anyway: Responding to The Washington Post’s Walter Pincus on Leaks and Shield Laws | American Civil Liberties Union
There is a rumor going round that Hillary Clinton is getting her own Twitter Hillary Clinton To Start Using Twitter: Report:This is supposed to be her handle… https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton
For some far out images, Global flight-path maps: Five interpretations Large pictures here: In pictures: Global flight paths
A bit of Manhattan History for those of you who are the nostalgic types: 1930s New York subway train makes rare trip from Queens to Manhattan
May 30, 2013: In this photo provided by the New York Mass Transit Administration, an unidentified MTA employee checks the platform from between the cars of a 1930’s era subway train in the Queens borough of New York. (AP/Mass Transit Administration)
Lucky straphangers who happened to be in the right place at the right time on Thursday got to ride in eight subway cars purchased between 1930 and 1939.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority says some of the cars were taken out of the New York Transit Museum to commemorate the opening of a stretch of subway tracks badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy.
After the ceremony, the cars were put into regular passenger service for one quick trip from Queens to upper Manhattan.
Riders on board the train took pictures and gawked at its old-school style. Ads for Clark bars, fireworks shows on Coney Island and Levy’s Rye Bread adorned the walls.
More history for you, this is Breaking Bad meets Inglorious Basturds: Crystal Meth Origins Link Back to Nazi Germany and World War II – SPIEGEL ONLINE
Crystal meth is notorious for being highly addictive and ravaging countless communities. But few know that the drug can be traced back to Nazi Germany, where it first became popular as a way to keep pilots and soldiers alert in battle during World War II.
“Alertness aid” read the packaging, to be taken “to maintain wakefulness.” But “only from time to time,” it warned, followed by a large exclamation point.
The young soldier, though, needed more of the drug, much more. He was exhausted by the war, becoming “cold and apathetic, completely without interests,” as he himself observed. In letters sent home by the army postal service, he asked his family to send more. On May 20, 1940, for example, he wrote: “Perhaps you could obtain some more Pervitin for my supplies?” He found just one pill was as effective for staying alert as liters of strong coffee. And — even better — when he took the drug, all his worries seemed to disappear. For a couple of hours, he felt happy.
This 22-year-old, who wrote numerous letters home begging for more Pervitin, was not just any soldier — he was Heinrich Böll, who would go on to become one of Germany’s leading postwar writers and win a Nobel Prize for literature in 1972. And the drug he asked for is now illegal, notoriously so. We now know it as crystal meth.
Man, that is some fucked up shit.
Alright, since we touched on chemistry…here is a link that ties in perfectly. Molecule Chemical Bond Images From UC Berkeley | Geekosystem
Have you ever looked at a textbook diagram of the chemical bonds that make up molecules and thought to yourself, “This is just a dumb drawing — how do they know what it even looks like in real life?” Well stop it. Stop it right now. Felix Fischer of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is going to show you what it looks like with these gorgeous high-resolution images of individual carbon atoms linking together. And guess what? They look just like they do in the textbooks. Happy now?
I swear I had no idea these things really looked like this! Did you? Go to the link to read the rest. Amazing.
Back now to my own comfort zone: ‘Amazingly rare’ letter written by Robert the Bruce to Edward II found (But I gotta say, I hated the movie Braveheart!)
An unknown and “amazingly rare” letter written by Robert the Bruce at a pivotal point of the Wars of Scottish Independence has been uncovered by a Scottish academic.
In the letter, the fearsome Scottish warrior appeals to the English King Edward II for an end to “persecution and disturbance”. It was sent in 1310, less than four years before Bannockburn, the victory that paved the way for Scottish independence.
Dauvit Broun, professor of Scottish History at the University of Glasgow, found the letter in The British Library while studying a manuscript written by the monks of Kirkstall Abbey about 500 years ago. The correspondence happened to be copied by the monks into their manuscript, the original has not survived.
Professor Broun said: “It’s amazingly rare, a freak survival. There’s nothing like this that survives from around that time.”
Listen to the tone of Robert the Bruce…
Bruce wrote to “beseech” the king that “you would take pains to cease from our persecution and the disturbance of the people of our kingdom in order that devastation and the spilling of a neighbour’s blood may henceforth stop.”
Take a look at the rest of the article at the link. I wish they had printed the full letter. I would have loved to read the whole thing myself.
Real quick archeology links:
Japan’s Oldest-Known Wooden Mask – Archaeology Magazine
San “Rain Control” in South Africa – Archaeology Magazine
Earlier this week I linked to the female mammoth with flowing blood that was found in Siberia…well, this was another cool “ice age” related article that I was planning on sharing with you: Centuries-old frozen plants revived
Plants that were frozen during the “Little Ice Age” centuries ago have been observed sprouting new growth, scientists say.
Samples of 400-year-old plants known as bryophytes have flourished under laboratory conditions.
Researchers say this back-from-the-dead trick has implications for how ecosystems recover from the planet’s cyclic long periods of ice coverage. The findings appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The receding glaciers are exposing land that has not seen daylight since the mini ice age.
Bryophytes are different from the land plants that we know best, in that they do not have vascular tissue that helps pump fluids around different parts of the organism.
They can survive being completely desiccated in long Arctic winters, returning to growth in warmer times, but Dr La Farge was surprised by an emergence of bryophytes that had been buried under ice for so long.
“When we looked at them in detail and brought them to the lab, I could see some of the stems actually had new growth of green lateral branches, and that said to me that these guys are regenerating in the field, and that blew my mind,” she told BBC News.
“If you think of ice sheets covering the landscape, we’ve always thought that plants have to come in from refugia around the margins of an ice system, never considering land plants as coming out from underneath a glacier.”
But the retreating ice at Sverdrup Pass, where the Teardrop Glacier is located, is uncovering an array of life, including cyanobacteria and green terrestrial algae. Many of the species spotted there are entirely new to science.
And from that story of new life from ancient plants to a post in The Atlantic, I will just put it here because…well, you all will see why: Why the Boomers Are the Most Hated Generation – Edward Tenner – The Atlantic (Look at the comments, some of them are funny and vicious indeed.)
While you “feast” on that, take a look at this op/ed from the LA Times…Jefferson Davis’ ‘presidential’ library - It offers a rallying point for the myth of a gentle and just South dragged into the War of Northern Aggression.
And then…think about that little island in the Mediterranean for all us Sky Dancers to escape to: The island of long life – On the Greek island of Ikaria, life is sweet… and very, very long. So what is the locals’ secret?
The island of long life – in pictures | Life and style | The Guardian
BTW, did you see my man Samuel L Jackson and his latest video? Samuel L. Jackson Quitting Acting To Pursue A ‘Life Of Vigilantism’? | Mediaite
Samuel L. Jacksonsubmitted a challenge to the Reddit community this week. “It’s simple,” he wrote, “write 300 words and the most upvoted post I’ll read out loud in monologue form.” Today, Jackson posted the winning monologue video and it was just as “bad-ass” as promised.
“Hi, I’m Samuel L. Jackson,” he began, “I’m sorry to disappoint you, Reddit, but I’ve decided to break the rules of my own competition.” From there, the actor said he wanted to “speak to you all from my own heart, in my own words” before announcing that he was “quitting acting and pursuing a life of vigilantism.” Fortunately for fans of one of America’s most prolific actors, this was all part of the winning submission from Reddit user adiddy.
I love this mutha…
Jackson set up the unconventional contest to help raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association, and revealed on Reddit that the campaign had raised over $130,000. Everyone who donated was entered to win lunch with Jackson and a trip to his UK celebrity golf tournament.
The whole thing almost got “derailed by the internet forum 4Chan”but here it is…
Whoa….ooooeeee, that dude is awesome.
Now for the animals.
Sheared Alpaca – Business Insider
Farmers shear an alpaca at a zoo in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, May 30, 2013…
Scrawny under all that fleece aren’t they. I just got one thing to say, that alpaca is not getting sheared by someone looking to spin the fiber into yarn. What a waste! Butcher of a job…
What a difference….those of you inclined to fiber fun, check out the video and watch these guys get sheared.
Shearing Movies | Cliff House Alpacas
And see how the fiber is prepared:
After we Shear we Skirt | Cliff House Alpacas
Alright then, moving on to the penguins.
So This Happened | TPM Editors Blog
To greet African leaders arriving for conference in Japan, event organizers force group of Penguins to dress up in ‘African’ costumes …
And finally, meet Chris P. Bacon: The wheelchair pig
A Florida veterinarian who fashioned a wheelchair for his pet pig has just signed a three-book publishing deal on the life and adventures of his little friend he named Chris P. Bacon.
That’ll do pig. Oh he is so damn cute.
Geez, 3360 words later, short and sweet my ass!
That should keep everyone busy, now some of you will have storms to look out for today, so stay alert: Severe Weather Warnings Page
And if you are around, stop and leave a comment or two….have a wonderful day!
Posted: May 2, 2013 Filed under: Barack Obama, corporate greed, hunger, income inequality, morning reads, net-neutrality, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, science, The Bonus Class, the internet, U.S. Economy, U.S. Politics, War on Women | Tags: archaeology, cannibalism, CEO pay, Commerce Department, DOJ, emergency contraception, FCC, fracking, Jamestown Colony, JC Penney Co., North Dakota, Obama bundlers, Penny Pritzker, Plan B, Ron Johnson, Tom Wheeler
President Obama isn’t looking so “progressive” this morning (what else is new?). Yesterday, his “Justice” department announced they will ignore science as well as the health needs of women and girls by fighting a judge’s order to make Plan B emergency contraception available over-the-counter without age limits. NYT:
The appeal reaffirms an election-year decision by Mr. Obama’s administration to block the drug’s maker from selling it without a prescription or consideration of age, and puts the White House back into the politically charged issue of access to emergency contraception.
The Justice Department’s decision to appeal is in line with the views of dozens of conservative, anti-abortion groups who do not want contraceptives made available to young girls. But the decision was criticized by advocates for women’s reproductive health and abortion rights who cite years of scientific research saying the drug is safe and effective for all ages.
“Age barriers to emergency contraception are not supported by science, and they should be eliminated,” Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement on Wednesday.
In December 2011 the secretary of health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius, blocked the sale of the drug to young girls without a prescription, saying there was not enough data to prove it would be safe. In doing so, Ms. Sebelius took the unprecedented step of overruling the Food and Drug Administration, which had moved, based on scientific research, to lift all age restrictions.
I could use some profane language here, but I’ll spare you for the moment. You may be mumbling to yourself too, after you read about Obama’s latest picks for the FCC and Commerce Department.
First the FCC. The New York Times reports: Telecom Investor Named to Be F.C.C. Chairman.
Tom Wheeler, President Obama’s pick to be the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, knows all about the most advanced telecommunications systems — of the 19th century.
In his 2008 book “Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War,” Mr. Wheeler, an investor in start-up technology and communications companies, documents how Lincoln was an “early adopter” of what has been called “the Victorian Internet.”
Lincoln’s championing and advancement of popular uses of the telegraph are not unlike the challenges Mr. Wheeler is likely to face as chairman of the F.C.C., which is waging an intense battle to keep Internet service free of commercial roadblocks and widely available in its most affordable, up-to-date capabilities.
Mr. Wheeler’s qualifications for “one of the toughest jobs in Washington,” Mr. Obama said, include a long history “at the forefront of some of the very dramatic changes that we’ve seen in the way we communicate and how we live our lives.”
“He was one of the leaders of a company that helped create thousands of good, high-tech jobs,” Mr. Obama said, referring to Core Capital Partners, the Washington investment firm where Mr. Wheeler is a managing director. “He’s in charge of the group that advises the F.C.C. on the latest technology issues,” adding that “he’s helped give American consumers more choices and better products.”
They look happy, don’t they?
But does all that qualify Wheeler to protect consumers at the FCC? From Ars Technica:
Uh-oh: AT&T and Comcast are ecstatic about the FCC’s new chairman: AT&T calls new chairman an “inspired pick,” seeks end to “outdated” regulations.
President Barack Obama today announced his choice to run the Federal Communications Commission. As reported yesterday, the nominee is Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist who was formerly a lobbyist at the top of the cable and wireless industries, leading the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) and Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA).
The nomination continues the parade of lobbyists becoming government officials and vice versa, a trend that has favored moneyed interests over the average American citizen and consumer time and again. One can take solace in the fact that Wheeler will be tasked with implementing the communications policies of President Obama, who says he is eager to fight on behalf of consumers and to maintain thriving and open Internet and wireless marketplaces.
But the same President who said “I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over” when he was running for office has given the FCC’s top job to a former lobbyist. Wheeler donated $38,500 to Obama’s election efforts and helped raise additional money for Obama by becoming a “bundler,” arranging for large contributions from other donors after hitting legal limits on personal contributions.
Not surprisingly, the cable and telecom companies that Wheeler springs from are ecstatic about the nomination.
Gotta get rid of those nasty regulations that protect Americans from price gauging, internet censorship, and all that bad stuff.
Next up, behold Obama’s nomination for Commerce Secretary, old pal Penny Pritzker.
Making official what many Democrats have expected for weeks, President Obama plans to nominate Chicago business executive Penny Pritzker, a longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser, as his new Commerce secretary on Thursday morning.
Pritzker’s nomination could prove controversial. She is on the board of Hyatt Hotels Corp., which was founded by her family and has had rocky relations with labor unions, and she could face questions about the failure of a bank partly owned by her family.
With a personal fortune estimated at $1.85 billion, Pritzker is listed by Forbes magazine among the 300 wealthiest Americans. She is the founder, chair and CEO of PSP Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and its affiliated real estate investment firm, Pritzker Realty Group. She played an influential role in Obama’s rise from Illinois state senator to the nation’s 44th president, serving as Obama’s national finance chair in his first campaign for the White House and co-chair of his reelection campaign.
The president is expected to make the announcement at 10 a.m. at the White House.
If confirmed by the Senate, Pritzker would take charge of the administration’s efforts to build relations with business leaders who were often on the sharp end of the president’s first-term rhetoric.
Sigh . . .
This next story is guaranteed to make your blood boil. Bloomberg reports:
It’s been almost three years since Congress directed the Securities and Exchange Commission to require public companies to disclose the ratio of their chief executive officers’ compensation to the median of the rest of their employees’. The agency has yet to produce a rule.
So Bloomberg decided not to wait around any longer and figured out the ratios for us. See the chart at the above link. More:
CEO Pay 1,795-to-1 Multiple of Wages Skirts U.S. Law
Former fashion jewelry saleswoman Rebecca Gonzales and former Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson have one thing in common: J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) no longer employs either.
The similarity ends there. Johnson, 54, got a compensation package worth 1,795 times the average wage and benefits of a U.S. department store worker when he was hired in November 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Gonzales’s hourly wage was $8.30 that year.
Across the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of companies, theaverage multiple of CEO compensation to that of rank-and-file workers is 204, up 20 percent since 2009, the data show. The numbers are based on industry-specific estimates for worker compensation.
Almost three years after Congress ordered public companies to reveal actual CEO-to-worker pay ratios under the Dodd-Frank law, the numbers remain unknown. As theOccupy Wall Street movement and 2012 election made income inequality a social flashpoint, mandatory disclosure of the ratios remained bottled up at the Securities and Exchange Commission, which hasn’t yet drawn up the rules to implement it. Some of America’s biggest companies are lobbying against the requirement.
“It’s a simple piece of information shareholders ought to have,” said Phil Angelides, who led the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which investigated the economic collapse of 2008. “The fact that corporate executives wouldn’t want to display the number speaks volumes.” The lobbying is part of “a street-by-street, block-by-block fight waged by large corporations and their Wall Street colleagues” to obstruct the Dodd-Frank law, he said.
Are you angry yet? These greedheads are going to keep pushing the envelope until Americans wake up and take to the streets with pitchforks and dust off the guillotines.
My birthplace, North Dakota is changing rapidly–and maybe not in a good way. It turns out the state’s oil is even more plentiful than anyone has realized up till now.
The sea of oil and natural gas underneath North Dakota is far larger than first thought.
There are 7.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the western part of the state and extending into Montana, according to the latest estimate by the U.S. Geological Survey.
That’s more than twice the oil the USGS estimated could be recovered five years ago. What’s more, the USGS has nearly tripled its estimate of the natural gas available in the area.
The revised totals could make the North Dakota field the greatest oil and gas find ever in the continental United States, topping the fabled East Texas field that made Texas synonymous with oil wealth. And it would put North Dakota second to Prudhoe Bay as the largest oil producer in U.S. history.
And even this estimate may have to be “revised upward”:
“We think it’s even a little bit conservative,’’ said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.
The new estimate will give fresh momentum to an economic boom within the state that has made it the fastest growing in the nation in both population and incomes. Per capita income has risen to $52,000 a year, sixth-highest in the nation, and once quiet farm towns have been overwhelmed by oil field workers, creating shortages of housing and services.
The USGS said the drilling of 4,000 wells since 2008 in what is known as the Bakken formation has given geologists a better idea of the riches underground. The new analysis also highlights the rapid ascent of North American oil and gas production driven by the advent of the technique known as hydraulic fracturing.
I guess I’m happy about the new jobs and population growth, but it will be sad if North Dakota no longer has clean air and vast open spaces.
Four shallow chop marks on the top of the girl’s skull, evidence of cannibalism during the “starving time” over the winter of 1609-1610. (Smithsonian Institution / Don Hurlbert)
You may have heard about this fascinating story–it was up toward the top of Google News much of yesterday. Archaeologists have found strong evidence that Starving Settlers in [the] Jamestown Colony Resorted to Cannibalism. From Smithsonian Magazine:
The harsh winter of 1609 in Virginia’s Jamestown Colony forced residents to do the unthinkable. A recent excavation at the historic site discovered the carcasses of dogs, cats and horses consumed during the season commonly called the “Starving Time.” But a few other newly discovered bones in particular, though, tell a far more gruesome story: the dismemberment and cannibalization of a 14-year-old English girl.
“The chops to the forehead are very tentative, very incomplete,” says Douglas Owsley, the Smithsonian forensic anthropologist who analyzed the bones after they were found by archaeologists from Preservation Virginia. “Then, the body was turned over, and there were four strikes to the back of the head, one of which was the strongest and split the skull in half. A penetrating wound was then made to the left temple, probably by a single-sided knife, which was used to pry open the head and remove the brain.”
Much is still unknown about the circumstances of this grisly meal: Who exactly the girl researchers are calling “Jane” was, whether she was murdered or died of natural causes, whether multiple people participated in the butchering or it was a solo act. But as Owsley revealed along with lead archaeologist William Kelso today at a press conference at the National Museum of Natural History, we now have the first direct evidence of cannibalism at Jamestown, the oldest permanent English colony in the Americas. “Historians have gone back and forth on whether this sort of thing really happened there,” Owsley says. “Given these bones in a trash pit, all cut and chopped up, it’s clear that this body was dismembered for consumption.”
There’s much more at the link.
Now it’s your turn. What are you reading and blogging about today? Please post your links on any topic in the comment thread, and have a great day!
Posted: April 17, 2013 Filed under: Discrimination against women, education, Environment, History, misogyny, morning reads, nature, open thread, the internet | Tags: Anne Frank, Appalachian Trail, D.H. Lawrence, Justin Bieber, Maria Tallchief, Otto Wirsching, spring, standing on my own titty, Wriston Art Galleries
This is going to be exactly what the title says…nothing more to say about that.
I have saved these links over the last few days, they may be a little stale but hopefully you will still find them somewhat interesting.
And since I am completely out of it, this link dump is in no particular order.
D.H. Lawrence Righteously Rages Against Misogyny in Newly Discovered Essay
A lost D.H. Lawrence essay in which the famed author issued a major takedown to a misogynistic contemporary has been found in a library in New Zealand.
Dr. Andrew Harrison, an English professor at the University of Nottingham, discovered the essay while doing research in the online archive of the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington. The essay was buried among the papers and correspondence of John Middleton Murry, a writer and editor who was married to the New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield. Murry’s papers were recently acquired by the library. Lawrence had written the 185-word essay in a letter to his friend Murry. It was never published, and its existence was unknown to scholars until now.
You can find more information about the essay here, but check this out….
Lawrence wrote the piece some time in late 1923 or early 1924 in response to an essay published in Adelphi, a literary magazine Murry edited. That essay, which ran under the byline “JHR,” was a viciously misogynistic treatise called “The Ugliness of Women.” Its author argued that “in every woman born there is a seed of terrible, unmentionable evil: evil such as man — a simple creature for all his passions and lusts — could never dream of in the most horrible of nightmares, could never conceive in imagination.”
Continued JHR, “No doubt, the evil growth is derived from Eve, who certainly did or thought something wicked beyond words.”
Murry invited readers to respond to JHR, and Lawrence — a regular contributor to Adelphi — did so.
Lawrence argued that JHR was projecting, basically:
The hideousness he sees is the reflection of himself, and of the automatic meat-lust with which he approaches another individual…Even the most ‘beautiful’ woman is still a human creature. If he approached her as such, as a being instead of as a piece of lurid meat, he would have no horrors afterwards.
Meat-lust! The revolutionary idea that women are human! Advice about how to approach the opposite sex that would still work today!
Ever wonder about, What Happens to Your Email When You Die? Google’s Got a Solution Google Announces Inactive Account Manager | Geekosystem
And another item from Geekosystem, this is a picture and I absolutely love it!!!!!
Pen and Paper, that dude takes my breath away! I think you could find a couple more kids using paper and pens in that picture, but the yellow shirt just stands out.
Another picture for you, the fiber artist in me had to save it:
Image of the Day: April 10 – NYTimes.com
An artisan hanging freshly dyed strands of multicolored thread used in Hindu rituals, at Lalgopalganj, a town in Allahabad district of Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking of Fiber Art: A Box of Sheep – NYTimes.com
This week, a sheep arrived in a box. Not the whole sheep, which is still, I hope, grazing happily in a pasture somewhere in northeast Washington State. Only its fleece. I’ve raised many animals but never sheep. My dad, who raised them as a farm boy, left me with a vicious prejudice against them, and the only sheep I saw as a boy did nothing to counter it. They stood — a dim, ghostly flock — in a grove they had denuded entirely of grass and undergrowth. It occurs to me now that this was the fault of the farmer, not of the sheep, who have no more interest in eating bare dirt than I do.
I bought the fleece because I’ve been away from the farm for a couple of months and because it’s just the right amount of commitment. No feeding, no herding, no vet bills; no wondering: What have I done? If I were home, it would have been all too easy to drive up the road, pick up a few lambs and turn them loose in the pasture — the beginning of another trial-and-error episode in livestock management. These episodes get easier and easier because the pigs, horses, chickens, geese and turkeys have taught me so much. Still, none of them are sheep.
I set the box on the kitchen table, opened it with a knife and folded back the newspaper inside. The scent of sheep rose like a genie from a bottle — a genie who used a lot of lanolin.
There is something so comforting and joyful and soothing in the smell of lanolin.
Of course you have to click these links to read the rest of the stories, I mean, that goes without saying.
Did you see this crap? Albany Teacher Gives Pro-Nazi Writing Assignment – NYTimes.com
Or how about this idiot? Justin Bieber at Anne Frank House: ‘Hopefully She Would Have Been a Belieber’
…Bieber wrote in the guestbook: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
I found this image on Pinterest and there was no information available. The website page it went to was no longer loading so I wrote to Lawrence University (the only clue I could sort out) to find out more about it….it was thrilling to get an email back from Leslie Walfish, Director of the Galleries, Wriston Art Galleries. I am quoting the email below with the image…
Otto Wirsching, 1919
Dear JJ Lopez Minkoff,
Thank you for your interest in our Otto Wirsching print from Vom Totentanz Anno 1915. The particular print you have asked about is part of a portfolio created by Wirsching in 1919.
The following information was previously on the website that you mentioned, please let me know if you need more information:
Born, Nuremberg, January 29, 1889; died Dachau, December 1919
While Wirsching’s life and career were short, he left behind several notable sets of graphic works that demonstrate his devotion to the tradition of German woodcut. The son of a Nuremberg pharmacist, Wirsching studied for three years at the School of Arts and Crafts there. In 1907, he came to Munich, where he worked with Hugo von Habermann (1849-1929). In the summer of that year, he walked to Italy and Corsica; during this time he made copies in the Uffizi. He continued his travels through Spain and North Africa, living as a vagabond. Despite his thorough knowledge of Mediterranean art, Wirsching’s greatest artistic inspirations were the paintings and woodcuts of the great German masters of the Renaissance; he studied these works avidly at Munich’s City Library. When he returned to Munich at the beginning of 1913, he moved to the nearby village of Dachau, since the 1980s an important artists’ colony of the naturalist school. When war broke out, he served in the artillery, but was back in Dachau by 1916. Here he painted and also perfected his skill as a graphic artist, creating a fanciful style that translated his knowledge of the German Masters into a modern idiom. He became a leading artist of the new Dachau school, which took on a more Expressionist mode. He supported himself by making woodcut ex-libris and greeting cards for members of Munich’s artistic circles. He married in Dachau the Hungarian painter, Ankara Kowatsch. Signs of the mental instability–no doubt exacerbated by the unrecognizable presence of a brain tumor–began to appear in 1916 or 1917. He continued nonetheless to produce woodcut series and illustrations for books, as well as paintings which incorporated traditionally religious and mythological motifs into contemporary settings. While placing a new print into the press, he fell dead to the ground, the victim of a stroke. A dissertation on his woodcuts was completed in 1923, evidence of the strength of his artistic vision and its influence on Munich artists immediately following World War I.
The Death-Dance Anno 1915/10 Pictures (Vom Totentanz Anno 1915/10) 1950
According to Theime-Becker, this portfolio was the most significant of the many “death dances” produced during the First World War. In its style, one recognizes immediately Wirsching’s international allusion to the medieval German masters of the woodcut. His choice of images, however, is distinctly modern: the figure of Death, in the traditional form of a skeleton, confronts a variety of contemporary figures who will meet their doom as a result of the devastation of this new war. The first plate shows a peasant in the field learning of the declaration of war from his newspaper; Death appears over his shoulder and steals the farmer’s scythe. In another plate, Wirsching shows Death leading a spy by a rope, depicted as the obvious Jewish stereotype of the moneylender–evidence of the prevalence in German society of this anti-Semitic view. Perhaps the most griping image is that of the corpse-fleecer, one of the vandals who ransacked the bodies on the battlefields for gold teeth and anything else of value. In Wirsching’s depiction, Death surprises the fleecer himself in the field of corpses. As a whole, Vom Totentanz is a grim indictment of the evil of war and man’s innate inhumanity to man. By alluding so directly to the hallow stylistic tradition of the German Totentanz, Wirsching’s philosophical message is all the more damning.
Director of the Galleries
Wriston Art Galleries
Last week Legendary ballerina Maria Tallchief died at 88
Born in 1925 to a father from the Osage tribe and a mother of Irish-Scottish descent, Tallchief was one of the first Native American ballerinas to achieve such prominence with major companies.
Her pride in her heritage led her to refuse pressure common at the time to change her name to a more marketable, Russian-sounding version — for example turning Tallchief into Tallchieva.
She grew up initially on the Osage reservation in Oklahoma, where her family’s life had been revolutionized by the wealth that came with the discovery of oil on tribal land.
Highly musical, she took piano and ballet lessons, and at eight, when her family moved to Los Angeles, her dancing turned serious.
In 1942, she joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, a leading touring company, and it was there that she grew close Balanchine, who was the choreographer. They married in 1946 and divorced in 1950.
She was the prima ballerina at New York City Ballet, where Balanchine was also choreographer. Her appearance in the “The Firebird” in 1949 assured her stardom.
This is video of Tallchief dancing The Firebird.
Hey, I was happy when I saw this little headline last week: The pros and cons of going braless
Scientific research on the effect on bras on the sagging of boobs backs up the old feminist call for women to ditch the harness
I don’t care if this next study is done by a male professor, I never wear bras anyway…and I could care less if they sag all the way down to the floor.
Anyway, Bras: a male professor is no expert
French professor Jean-Denis Rouillon has said ‘breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity’. Photograph: Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images
Jean-Denis Rouillon, a professor of sports science at Besançon university, has spent 15 years studying the anatomy of 330 women, and come to the conclusion that bras are a “false necessity”. So, clever him and stupid women.
Except, wait. Rouillon isn’t any kind of expert at all, because he doesn’t have breasts. He reckons that “medically, physiologically, anatomically breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity”. But women don’t wear bras for medical, physiological or anatomical reasons. We wear them for psychological, aesthetic and practical reasons. Bras stop our breasts from wobbling about in a Don’t Forget for a Second You’ve Got Breasts manner, allowing us to forget them. Otherwise we’d be cupping them in our hands every time we broke into a trot to catch a lift.
Rouillon says that his research shows the nipples of women aged 18-35 rose by an average of 7mm when they went braless. He fails to understand that one of the many comforting things about bras is that you rarely have to think about where your nipples might be. Women are encouraged to fret about their breasts enough. The last thing we need is some fool telling us that we need to think about them, and their welfare, a great deal more.
Gotta give you a link on prehistoric dwarfism: BBC News – Study backs ‘hobbit’ island dwarfism theory
Plus a little history: Speaking up for women’s voting rights: From the archive, 15 April 1892 | From the Guardian | guardian.co.uk
And, a bit of nature: Spring flowers along the Appalachian Trail | Today’s Image | EarthSky
EarthSky Facebook friend Tom Wildoner posted this photo yesterday. He wrote:
Spring flowers along the Appalachian Trail and Swatara State Park in Pennsylvania. What a great weekend for hiking in PA.
Thanks so much for posting Tom!
Last week I went to Atlanta for my EEG and on the way back we stopped at the Walasi-Yi Center, on Blood Mountain which is a stop on the Appalachian Trail…here are some pictures I took, the shoes are from folks who have put at least 500 miles on their boots. There are also some pictures of hikers just starting out on the trail:
No spring flowers yet, we must be at a higher elevation.
Since I am sharing pictures, here is one from last week….early in the morning facing east, looking out at the farm next door.
Pretty isn’t it?
Have a wonderful day….think of this as an open thread.