War is hell.
We all know that…so take a look at some Zippo lighters from hell as you peruse this link dump of massive proportions.
(I am talking a whole heap-a-dump-a-links because I found a lot of “stuff” to wade through this morning and I couldn’t help myself.)
That being said, here is where the images of the lighters can be found, along with a bit of information and history:
And with this Vietnam War connection, a story:
We follow a Vietnam war baby as she searches for her roots and finds instead a new generation of Vietnamese orphans.
Okay, on with the links:
Update on the Amtrak train wreck investigation, including the GOPs typical response when the shit hits the fan…cut spending even more.
Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian does not appear to have been using his cellphone during last month’s deadly Amtrak crash outside of Philadelphia. The latest investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board also shows he “did not access the train’s Wi-Fi system while he was operating the locomotive.” Bostian has not remembered anything that happened during the crash. His lawyer has said that all the engineer recalls is “coming to, finding his bag, getting his cellphone and dialing 911.”
Amtrak said on Wednesday that it has won government approval to test a new rail safety system between New York and Washington that federal inspectors say would have prevented the deadly May 12 derailment in Philadelphia.
But the Federal Communications Commission warned that the system, which relies on radio transmissions between trains and track sensors, could face “harmful interference” from rival freight railroad systems along another busy track between Boston and New Haven, Connecticut.
The statements were contained in separate pieces of written testimony submitted by Amtrak and the FCC to the Senate Commerce Committee ahead of a hearing on positive train control, or PTC, a new safety system that railroads are required to implement before Dec. 31.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the technology would have prevented last month’s accident, which occurred when an Amtrak train derailed on a bend while traveling at more than twice the 50 mile-per-hour (80 km-per-hour) speed limit. Eight people died and more than 200 others were injured.
But the passenger rail operator said it could have to terminate its Southwest Chief service between Chicago and Los Angeles, and its Missouri River Runner service between St. Louis and Kansas City, because a dispute over $30 million in PTC implementation costs with freight railroads for track in the U.S. Midwest.
“Amtrak can test all of its wayside base stations from DC to New York at their full designated power to be sure they communication appropriately,” D.J. Stadtler, vice president of Amtrak operations, said in written testimony.
“Once that testing demonstrates that our system setting are appropriate, we can go into full operation on all equipped trains on the NEC.”
It is not a fix by any measures, there are still problems because the railways in the Northeast are using two radio frequencies. According to Charles Mathias, associate chief of the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau,
Amtrak and freight railroads are deploying two different PTC systems that are not compatible. On May 29, he said, the railroads told FCC staff that the use of the two PTC systems would result in “harmful interference” between Boston and New Haven.
“This could degrade or disable communications on both systems, causing either both to function improperly or stop functioning altogether,” Mathias said in written testimony.
Now then, take all that in because…here comes the fuck you from GOP Congress: Republican-Controlled House Passes Bill To Cut $242 Million From Amtrak’s Budget
The GOP-controlled House passed legislation Tuesday to cut Amtrak’s budget by $242 million, though lawmakers added new funding for video cameras inside locomotive cabs to record engineers and help investigators get to the bottom of crashes such as last month’s deadly derailment in Philadelphia.
Amtrak announced last month it is going to install the cameras after years of delays. The transportation and housing measure approved by a narrow 216-210 vote contains $9 million approved last week to fund the inward-facing camera initiative in the budget year starting in October.
Amtrak is among many domestic programs whose budgets are cut or frozen by the GOP measures, as automatic spending curbs known as sequestration are again hitting federal agencies after two years of relief. Previous House GOP attempts to cut Amtrak over the years have been reversed, and Tuesday’s transportation measure is but an opening move in a longer chess match with the White House over spending levels for agency operating budgets passed annually by Congress.
New data provided to Congress shows that Amtrak’s long-distances routes are losing more money, however, while the busy, profit-making Northeast corridor route is making growing profits. Money-losing routes such as the Sunset Limited, which runs from New Orleans to Los Angeles at a subsidy of more than $400 a ticket, account for losses of more than $600 million, while the Northeast corridor is expected to contribute a $357 million profit this year.
There is more at the link, I just thought that tidbit about the Northeast making the money for Amtrak was interesting. Considering that is where the safety issues are in the most dire need of attention…
This has nothing to do with the train crash but it is about a plane crash that gives me chills:
A military plane crash in Spain was probably caused by computer files being accidentally wiped from three of its engines, according to investigators.
Plane-maker Airbus discovered anomalies in the A400M’s data logs after the crash, suggesting a software fault.
And it has now emerged that Spanish investigators suspect files needed to interpret its engine readings had been deleted by mistake.
This would have caused the affected propellers to spin too slowly.
The aeroplane crashed near Seville, during a test flight on 9 May, killing four crew members on board.
Several countries that had already accepted deliveries of the plane – including the UK – grounded them following the accident.
The latest revelations about the investigation were first reported by the Reuters news agency.
It said the focus of the inquiry was a theory that files known as “torque calibration parameters” had been accidentally deleted during a software installation process ahead of the plane’s first flight.
A source later confirmed this to the BBC.
The control systems of the A400M aircraft are heavily automated.
Each engine is run by a separate computer called an Electronic Control Unit.
The ECUs take the pilot’s inputs and make the engines they control respond in the optimum way.
Without the files, the ECUs cannot make sense of this data.
This would explain why three of the plane’s four engines did not respond properly to the crew’s attempts to adjust their power settings shortly after lift-off.
Airbus has already confirmed that its pilots had tried switching the malfunctioning engines into “flight idle” mode – their lowest power setting – in an attempt to tackle the problem.
Without the parameter files, the engines would have been left stuck in this mode.
It was not foreseen that three propellers would be affected simultaneously, making it impossible to keep the plane airborne.
“We are working closely with the official investigation, and we will act in accordance with the information that is discovered but are not able to discuss the findings,” a spokesman for Airbus told the BBC.
Spain’s Ministry of Defence, which is leading the investigation, has said it is not permitted to discuss the matter.
That is frightening, fucking horrifying.
So you have one instance where old-ass technology causing lack of communication is killing people riding in trains…and in one, an example of aviation computer tech mode that can cause a crash because it keeps the pilots from being able to be, well…pilots.
Next up, Women….Abortion….Soccer:
I am just giving the links on these, because y’all already know what I have to say on this.
After reading the story on this Georgia woman, take a look at this story in North Carolina…I wonder if this woman will be charged with Murder?
The pregnant North Carolina woman who vanished on the day of her C-section appointment is no longer expecting, her family said Tuesday.
Carrie Bradshaw-Crowther, 49, turned up Monday afternoon in Boone, a town in the Blue Ridge Mountains roughly 90 miles from her Salisbury home, nearly a week after she went missing.
9) Should Federal Concessions Be Made To Female Youths In Their Seasonal ”War On Dress Code?”
Public school dress codes may appear irrelevant to politicians in Washington, but San Mateo High School Senior Chloe Cross’s senior quote has attracted widespread media attention for good reason. In districts across the country, formal dress code statements assert that female students must avoid certain fashions to not distract their male peers and adversely affect their abilities to learn. However trivial public school dress codes may seem in the adult world, if a vast majority of female students feel that their male peers’ educational experiences are prioritized above their own, it’s in the interest of American politicians to address the issue.
This next article is good, just take a look: Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Get A Fucking Neck Tattoo
It relates to all these links on women, I promise.
And a quick recall: What the fuck? Did Jim Bob Duggar admit that fundamentalist families have a sibling molestation problem?
Okay, some links on Caitlyn…about the Transgender thing in the real world:
Just a clip?
Most of us don’t have millions of dollars thanks to a long-running show. Nor do most of us get paid to film a series about our transition or to appear on the cover of a magazine. Caitlyn’s transition is paid-for, and even if no one else will hire her, she’s not in any danger of poverty.
I think that’s why we’re eager to celebrate her. She’s the equivalent of the fluffy gay friend character: all the diversity without any of the issues. She doesn’t make us talk about poverty or hate crimes (a trans person is murdered roughly every 12 days) or not being seen the way she wants.
Which goes to the second reason we’re so excited for her: She fits the ideal of what a woman in our society “should” look like: white, slim, coquettish, glamourous, and doesn’t “looking like a man.”. As Laverne Cox pointed out this week, not all of us will ever look like that. Not all of us can, and not all of us want to. Sure, in my dream body I’d be 6′ tall with a 6 pack and a great jawline, but no amount of hormones will ever let me look like that. I suspect many cisgender people have felt the same. It’s a problem for everyone, but it’s even worse for trans people because we not only have to justify our worth as people by our conventional attractiveness, but justify that we are worthy of being called the name and pronoun we choose based on antiquated standards.
What Makes a Woman Is Less Important Than What Makes a Feminist– Cosmopolitan Magazine
And one last link on women: President Lindsey Graham Doesn’t Need First Lady, Hos Can Just Take Turns | Wonkette
Confirmed bachelor and official ladies’ man Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is under the impression he is running for president, got asked a real tough question Tuesday: Hey, since you don’t have a pretty, doting wife, who will be the First Lady of America when you are president? Graham’s answer was very bad! No for serious, this is what he said, to the Daily Mail:
‘Well, I’ve got a sister, she could play that role if necessary.’
Chuckling, he added: ‘I’ve got a lot of friends. We’ll have a rotating first lady.’
LINE STARTS HERE, at Graham’s svelte buttocks. Does each lady (excluding his sister, GROSS) get to experience the hot presidential lovin’ we are certain will be the hallmark of the Graham White House? MAYBE!
Clearly, this should be a game show, we hope the producers of “So You Think You Can Dance Like A Fifth Grade Idol” are paying attention! It could be called “So You Think You Can Be One Of President Graham’s
The next few links are on the Texas Pool Party:
Watching a young black woman, vulnerable and almost naked in her bathing suit, being manhandled by a cop made me cry
I have one thing for this cop, he needs to take this quiz:
Two final links for you:
President Obama, who claimed when he first entered the White House to have mostly kicked his nicotine habit, may have been caught on camera holding a pack of cigarettes.
The Commander-in-Chief is seen clutching a white object in a snapshot with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi posted Sunday on Instagram by Renzi’s spokesman.
Obama and Renzi were both In Germany attending the G7 summit.
Several social media users questioned whether Obama was holding cigarettes in the pic, with one writing, “Smoking?”
The White House did not immediately respond to ITK’s request for comment on the photo and the last time President Obama had had a cigarette.
It’s not the first time Obama’s claims of being mostly nicotine-free have been questioned.
In November, ITK broke the story that Obama invited Billy Joel to have a smoke at the White House with him.
According to a source who spoke with Joel, Obama said to the “Piano Man” singer during his 2013 visit there, “I’m going out on the North Portico to have a smoke. Do you want to come with me?”
Obama said in 2009 that he “constantly” struggles with cigarettes.
“Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No,” he said at the news conference.
Who the fuck cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Next thing these people will have going is that it is a packet of Kools…
These links should hold you for a while.
Have a great Wednesday!
Ah…and how are you this Wednesday, the first Wednesday in June?
That image up top is from a few scenes in the movie Priscilla, Queen of the desert. It is the special beauty products sold by the character “Tick” or “Mitzi” aka Hugo Weaving, you can see a quick clip of a scene here:
Raucous laughter from the crowd in the bar.
38. LATER IN THE BAR. All are very drunk and Mitzi is sharing her expertise on her facial products
MITZI: Now what could be more soothing than coming home after a hard day down the mine to the wo-man in us all. Now don’t send any money..
Why bring this image and scene up? Well…I don’t know. Priscilla is in my top 5 favorite shows? Maybe…
For some reason as I was organizing the links I have for you today, that image of Mitzi on the package of Wo-Man Beauty Products kept coming to my mind.
I think for many reasons, but especially for one of the lines in the film. There is a point to all this…just follow me here.
The scene I am talking about is after this just watch this so it will set you up. The character Felicia has been beaten up by the idiot bigots in town… :
BOB: get off him you mongrel! He was joking OK? Now you leave the bugger alone.
FRANK: get out of there Bob!!!!!
BOB: Cut it out Frank.
FRANK: get the fuck out of the way, Bob, or you’ll be next
FRANK: Get out of there!!!!!!!!!
BERNADETTE: Oh stop flexing your muscles you big fucking pile of budgie turd! I’m sure your mates would be much more impressed if you just went back to the pub and fucked a couple of pigs on the bar.
BOB: Bernadette please.
FRANK: bernadette? Well, I’ll be darned! The whole bloody circus is in town. I suppose you want a fuck too? Come on Bernadette. Come on and fuck me. That’s it. Come on. Come on and fuck me. Come on Fuck me.
Bernadette suddenly knees Frank in the balls and frank falls to the ground in agony.
BERNADETTE: There, now you’re fucked.
Now this is the part I am talking about…
105. HOTEL ROOM
TICK: You stupid bloody idiot. Drugs for Christ’s sake. Well three cheers for you. I hope you’re bloody well happy now. Stupid bloody fuck witt!
Adam begins to cry and Bernadette sidles over to him.
BERNADETTE: It’s funny. We all sit around mindlessly slagging off that vile stink-hole of a city. But in it’s strange way it looks after us. I don’t know if that ugly wall of suburbia has been put up to stop them getting in or us getting out. Come on. Don’t let it drag you down. Let it toughen you up. I can only fight because I’ve learnt to. being a man one day and a woman the next is not an easy thing to do.
That is what I am talking about. That last part that I emphasized for you. For Caitlyn Jenner, not only is this “not going to be an easy thing to do” she is doing it in front of an audience, and she has admitted that she is making money on her transition as well. This month Caitlyn has a cover on Vanity Fair, photography by Annie Leibovitz. You must have seen it by now.
It looks photo-shopped, like they airbrushed the fuckarama out of her…but damn, she looks good, fantastic! As TLO says, a bit like Jessica Lange.
Now for a few links on the issue, the article is supposed to be 22 pages long, the magazine hits newsstands in a couple of days.
Vanity Fair’s 22-page cover story features stunning Annie Leibovitz photos of Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce, along with revealing new details. Here’s a preview of the story.
Speaking publicly for the first time since completing gender transition, Caitlyn Jenner compares her emotional two-day photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz for the July cover of Vanity Fair to winning the gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics. She tells Pulitzer Prize–winning V.F. contributing editor and author ofFriday Night Lights Buzz Bissinger, “That was a good day, but the last couple of days were better. . . . This shoot was about my life and who I am as a person. It’s not about the fanfare, it’s not about people cheering in the stadium, it’s not about going down the street and everybody giving you ‘that a boy, Bruce,’ pat on the back, O.K. This is about your life.”
Jenner tells Bissinger about how she suffered a panic attack the day after undergoing 10-hour facial-feminization surgery on March 15—a procedure she believed would take 5 hours. (Bissinger reveals that Jenner has not had genital surgery.) She recalls thinking, “What did I just do? What did I just do to myself?” A counselor from the Los Angeles Gender Center came to the house so Jenner could talk to a professional, and assured her that such reactions were often induced by pain medication, and that second-guessing was human and temporary.
Annie Leibovitz photograph of Caitlyn Jenner slated for the July cover of Vanity Fair — prime magazine real estate — was revealed Monday. The trumpeted publicity still is the latest and, in some ways, most dramatic step in the difficult gender transition of former Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner.
For wardrobe, Betty Grable’s ’40s bathing suit is crossed with Madonna’s white-satin ’90s bustier. Toss in the gold-ground setting from a Byzantine icon that Andy Warhol chose for his silk-screen version of Marilyn Monroe’s famous publicity still from the 1953 Hollywood potboiler “Niagara.”
Add a glamorous, cascading hairstyle lifted from somewhere between Rita Hayworth’s smoking Gilda and Bette Davis’ fearsome Margo Channing. And — voila! — a pinup for the age of Pinterest.
For all the advance buildup, the picture feels flat — a pedestrian celebrity pastiche of rather tired visual cliches. That’s too bad. Jenner’s courage in taking control of the public process of coming out as transgender is bold, and this will be the most widely seen initial image.
In recent years, the LGBT civil rights movement has been making huge strides. It has taken decades, but transgender men and women are now an essential part of the necessary equality mix. Jenner, by effectively stage-managing her transition, has largely avoided what could have been a cruel and ugly scenario.
Yet the Vanity Fair photograph seems a missed opportunity — a picture from the past rather than the present. Maybe that’s because all its conventional, glamour-girl signals weigh down the lively fluidity swirling at the center of gender identity.
Well, it is airbrushed like a picture that is on the cover of Vogue or Vanity Fair…but if I was waiting so many years to be the “real me” then I sure as hell would want to go all out and take advantage of what was available to me. Yeah, it is definitely a typical Annie Leibovitz photo shoot, but she does take a pretty picture.
Caitlyn Jenner opened up about her split from ex-wife Kris Jenner in her Vanity Fair profile, revealing their marriage fell apart because of mistreatment and not gender issues.
Caitlyn and Kris Jenner married in 1991 and were together 16 years before their home life morphed into a pop-culture phenomenon with the 2007 premiere of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” As Kris Jenner became more financially independent because of the show’s success, Caitlyn Jenner said, things changed.
“The relationship was different. I think in a lot of ways she became less tolerant of me. Then I’d get upset and the whole relationship kind of fizzled,” Caitlyn Jenner told Buzz Bissinger for Vanity Fair, per Us Weekly. “A lot of times she wasn’t very nice. People would see how I got mistreated. She controlled the money … all that kind of stuff.”
Adding: “Twenty percent was gender and 80 percent was the way I was treated.”
However, the famous momager told Bissinger that it was her ex’s social anxiety that took a toll: “He was married to me and he wasn’t who he wanted to be so he was miserable … All I was doing was working very hard for my family so that we could all have a wonderful future, and he was pissed off. At the end of my relationship with Bruce he definitely had a lot of social anxiety … That was one of the reasons we were in a struggle at the end. We fought a lot because we would go out together and before we got to the end of the block we were in a fight because he started saying, ‘When can we go home?’”
Bissinger said Kris Jenner was “very open” during the Vanity Fair interview.
“She said, ‘I didn’t know … I had no idea about the extent of his gender issues, really the severity,'” he said during a “Today” show appearance Tuesday. “I’ve got to say, I think she’s right. I think Bruce downplayed it [as] ‘It was a phase of my life, it’s over.’ It wasn’t over, and I think Kris had a sense that whatever happened in the past I can fix it.”
20% gender? Okay. I can’t say anything without reading the entire piece.
Anyway, back to that quote from the film Priscilla, about being a man one day and a woman the next…, lets look at the reverse…I thought this was an interesting read:
Quite a bit changed for me over the first couple of years I started testosterone.
My health and mental wellbeing improved, my happy button grew over an inch in length, my natural musk became so fragrant that now I gross even myself out if I don’t shower pretty much every day (no deodorant can contain this beast).
So many awesome, big-deal body changes and mind improvements flourished.
Then there were the smaller, odder things: I finally gained an appreciation for peanut butter and chocolate, my favorite color went from blue to green, my most hated school subject suddenly became a favored pastime.
I was indeed exactly the same person as I’d always been, just the 2.0 version.
In the long run, I don’t always know which things were an actual, physical reaction to the T, which were a result of getting out of a toxic environment, and which were simply my tastes naturally changing as I put on a few years.
But just as fascinating as it was to witness my mental and physical changes, it was just as equal of an adjustment to comprehend how other people were responding to me.
In short, I was being treated better by everyday America because people were reading me as a young, white, straight (?!) male. And I recognized many new privileges that came my way because of it.
For the record, this isn’t an article meant for transphobic people to share around and say, “See?! See?! Trans guys are totally reaping all the benefits of patriarchy, and WE MUST HATE THEM!”
If you think this is true, you’re not paying attention. And clearly haven’t educated yourself appropriately on trans issues. Or patriarchal issues. Or feminist issues. Or really any issue that has to do with inequality based upon this toxic culture of ours.
Rather, this article is simply meant to focus on male privilege at large, primarily owned by cis men who think they’re bestowing it only upon other cis men.
Just go and read the entire thing, I think that you will find some of the examples enlightening.
1. I’m Suddenly Funny
I’ve always been dry, sarcastic, and satirical with my humor.
In Ye Olden Times, I was considered unfunny at best – and a bitch at worst.
Now that I’m a short white guy, people automatically peg me for a comedian and laugh at the bulk of my mouth zings.
But nothing has changed. I’ve even recycled some of my old material that people didn’t find funny before just to make sure.
2. Yet I’m Still Taken (More) Seriously
I’m still amazed at the amount of people that now immediately shut their mouths the second I open mine.
Believe me, my ideas haven’t improved at all.
I’ve even tried to derail serious conversations with ludicrous stuff just to see what would happen – and I’d still be regarded highly.
I used to be interrupted so often while presenting as a woman that I in turn started to talk over people as a form of conversational survival.
Unfortunately, because it became so ingrained in me, I still find myself doing it from time to time even though it’s rarely necessary anymore.
I think after you read that article, you need to share it….
Which brings us to this next link:
“Stop interrupting me.”
“I just said that.”
“No explanation needed.”
In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My brother, on the other hand, was considered the class comedian. We were very typically socialized as a “young lady” and a “boy being a boy.” Globally, childhood politeness lessons are gender asymmetrical. We socialize girls to take turns, listen more carefully, not curse and resist interrupting in ways we do not expect boys to. Put another way, we generally teach girls subservient habits and boys to exercise dominance.
I routinely find myself in mixed-gender environments (life) where men interrupt me. Now that I’ve decided to try and keep track, just out of curiosity, it’s quite amazing how often it happens. It’s particularly pronounced when other men are around.
For a turn, lets look at tampons: Don’t Let Them See Your Tampons – The Atlantic
The key word is “discreet,” apparently.
“Tampax Compak has a smooth plastic applicator that is half the length of a usual Tampax Cardboard applicator, making it twice as discreet to carry.”
“New! Neat! Discreet!” proclaims an 80s-tastic ad for Playtex Portables.
“The original o.b. tampon … was revolutionary in the world of tampons and played to women’s need for discreet yet reliable protection.”
Tampax Compak is apparently so discreet, according to one old commercial, that a teacher mistakes it for a piece of candy, and asks his student to bring it to the front of the class when he catches her passing it to a friend.
You would think once he held it and felt the hard plastic applicator within the wrapper he would figure it out—tampons and candy bars don’t really have similar tactile sensations. But no. “I hope you brought enough for everyone,” he says, sternly.
“Enough for the girls,” the girl replies, laughing. All the boys in the class look around, confused. This is beyond their simple understanding.
In some sense, they can be forgiven. It’s entirely possible these wide-eyed naïfs have never seen a tampon in the wild, given the sometimes painstaking efforts women make to conceal them (the same efforts that products like Tampax Compak are created to facilitate). You can just palm it, or there’s the ole tampon-up-the-sleeve trick. In sleeveless weather, one can tuck it under the bra strap, or in the waistband. Anywhere tuckable, really. Or just bring your whole purse to the bathroom.My friend Mallory, a project manager for a digital agency in Nashville, used some creative strategies to carry tampons at her old job. Her office was situated at the end of a long hallway, meaning she had to walk past everyone else to get to the bathroom.
“I would make sure I took care of things in the morning and then always have to remember to take my purse with me to lunch,” she says. “And then one day I was in a bind, I had already gotten up to get coffee and then get water and then I came back to my desk and I realized I hadn’t changed my tampon. It feels too awkward to get up from my desk in the middle of the day and walk out with my purse and then walk back in five minutes later. Then I look at my coffee mug, it was empty. So I stuck a tampon in an empty travel coffee mug and walked to the bathroom. And that was my plan.”
Mallory also mentioned a friend of hers with an even sneakier approach—this person apparently hides tampons in the bathroom stalls at her office in the morning, and just hopes they’re still there when she returns.
Why go to all that trouble?
Secrecy is a key element of the modern period—the existence of tampons and pads in the first place allows women to “pass as non-bleeders,” as Sharra Vostral puts it in her book Under Wraps: A History of Menstrual Hygiene Technology.Barring any mishaps, the blood is only visible behind closed doors. Women’s public bathrooms have special trashcans in the stalls so feminine products can be disposed of neatly and privately.
There is more at the link, and if that isn’t enough for you:
The Tampon: A History – The Atlantic
Banjoville has a FIFA Scandal connection: FIFA Scandal Will Test Banks’ Anti-Money-Laundering Liability | American Banker
The scheme laid out in the indictment is a complex web of ties between FIFA officials and sports-marketing companies, involving bribes paid in exchange for media rights to soccer tournaments.
The payoffs were allegedly made through envelopes of cash, checks, and, especially, a massive number of bank transfers.
The indictment names 26 banks, which range from exclusive Swiss private banks and Caribbean-chartered offshore entities to major American lenders like Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, and even one community bank: the $7.6 billion-asset United Community Bank in Blairsville, Ga., where one of the defendants allegedly transferred cash to pay a swimming-pool contractor.
This one is my favorite:
Y’all have a good day, and of course…this is an open thread.
This morning I read a long article by Emily Yoffe at Slate about The Hunting Ground, a documentary about rape on college campuses, How The Hunting Ground Blurs the Truth. I haven’t seen the film, but Yoffe says that CNN plans to show it in the future so maybe we’ll all get to see it eventually. Anyway, I thought I’d present Yoffe’s arguments and some of the responses to her previous posts on the subject and see what you think.
In the article, Yoffe focuses one of the cases presented in the film, listing a number of facts and inconsistencies that she says were ignored by the filmmakers. She also demonstrates a great deal of sympathy for the man who allegedly committed the sexual assaults.
The recent documentary The Hunting Ground asserts that young women are in grave danger of sexual assault as soon as they arrive on college campuses. The film has been screened at the White House for staff and legislators. Senate Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who makes a cameo appearance in the film, cites it as confirmation of the need for the punitive campus sexual assault legislation she has introduced. Gillibrand’s colleague Barbara Boxer, after the film’s premiere said, “Believe me, there will be fallout.” The film has received nearly universal acclaim from critics—the Washington Post called it “lucid,” “infuriating,” and “galvanizing”—and, months after its initial release, its influence continues to grow, as schools across the country host screenings. “If you have a daughter going to any college in America, you need to see The Hunting Ground,” the MSNBC host Joe Scarborough told his viewers in May. This fall, it will get a further boost when CNN, a co-producer, plans to broadcast the film, broadening its audience. The Hunting Ground is helping define the problem of campus sexual assault for policymakers, college administrators, students, and their parents.
The film has two major themes. One, stated by producer Amy Ziering during an appearance on The Daily Show, is that campus sexual assaults are not “just a date gone bad, or a bad hook-up, or, you know, miscommunication.” Instead, the filmmakers argue, campus rape is “a highly calculated, premeditated crime,” one typically committed by serial predators. (They give significant screen time to David Lisak, the retired psychology professor who originated this theory.) The second theme is that even when school administrators are informed of harm done to female students by these repeat offenders, schools typically do nothing in response. Director Kirby Dick has said that “colleges are primarily concerned about their reputation” and that “if a rape happens, they’ll do everything to distance themselves from it.” In the film, a former assistant dean of students at the University of North Carolina, Melinda Manning, says schools “make it difficult for students to report” sexual assault in order to avoid federal reporting requirements and to “artificially keep [their] numbers low.”
One of the four key stories told in the film illustrates both of these points. It is the harrowing account of Kamilah Willingham, who describes what happened during the early morning hours of Jan. 15, 2011, while she was a student at Harvard Law School. She says a male classmate, a man she thought was her friend, drugged the drinks he bought at a bar for her and a female friend, then took the two women back to Willingham’s apartment and sexually assaulted them. When she reported this to Harvard, she says university officials were indifferent and even hostile to her. “He’s dangerous,” she says in the film of her alleged attacker, as she tries to keep her composure. “This is a rapist. This is a guy who’s a sexual predator, who assaulted two girls in one night.” The events continue to haunt her. “It’s still right up here,” she says tearfully, placing a hand on her chest.
You’ll probably have to read the entire article to get a full understanding of this case, but this should give you a sense of where Yoffe is coming from:
I looked into the case of Kamilah Willingham, whose allegations generated a voluminous record. What the evidence (including Willingham’s own testimony) shows is often dramatically at odds with the account presented in the film.
Willingham’s story is not an illustration of a sexual predator allowed to run loose by self-interested administrators. The record shows that what happened that night was precisely the kind of spontaneous, drunken encounter that administrators who deal with campus sexual assault accusations say is typical. (The filmmakers, who favor David Lisak’s poorly substantiated position that our college campuses are rife with serial rapists, reject the suggestion that such encounters are the source of many sexual assault allegations.) Nor is Willingham’s story an example of official indifference. Harvard did not ignore her complaints; the school thoroughly investigated them. And because of her allegations, the law school education of her alleged assailant has been halted for the past four years.
Yoffe has a history of denying the seriousness of the problem of campus rape (even though in this article she twice *says* it’s a serious issue). Her position seems to be that if college women just stopped getting drunk, rape on campus would be a minor or nonexistent problem.
I found it interesting that she refers to David Lisak’s research on campus rapists as a “theory,” and characterizes his work as “poorly substantiated.” The link to her evidence that Lisak’s work is somehow problematic goes to another article written by Yoffe in which she cites Lisak and another researcher explaining that it’s important to be aware that the (pretty large) sample of UMass students that Lisak used may not be typical of all college populations. This is a standard caveat given in most psychology research papers, because studies on human beings can rarely be representative of the population as a whole. The results need to be considered in the light of other studies and studies of varied populations. That doesn’t invalidate the findings.
Here’s the article in which Yoffe finds fault with Lisak’s research: The College Rape Overcorrection. Again, you probably should read the whole thing, because I can’t represent her arguments in a brief excerpt. Still, here’s a bit of it:
In recent years, young activists, many of them women angry about their treatment after reporting an assault, have created new organizations and networks in an effort to reform the way colleges handle sexual violence. They recognized they had a powerful weapon in that fight: Title IX, the federal law that protects against discrimination in education. Schools are legally required by that law to address sexual harassment and violence on campus, and these activists filed complaints with the federal government about what they describe as lax enforcement by schools. The current administration has taken up the cause—the Chronicle of Higher Education describes it as “a marquee issue for the Obama administration”—and praised these young women for spurring political action. “A new generation of student activists is effectively pressing for change,” read a statement this spring announcing new policies to address campus violence. The Department of Education has drafted new rules to address women’s safety, some of which have been enshrined into law by Congress, with more legislation likely on the way.
Unfortunately, under the worthy mandate of protecting victims of sexual assault, procedures are being put in place at colleges that presume the guilt of the accused. Colleges, encouraged by federal officials, are instituting solutions to sexual violence against women that abrogate the civil rights of men. Schools that hold hearings to adjudicate claims of sexual misconduct allow the accuser and the accused to be accompanied by legal counsel. But as Judith Shulevitz noted in the New Republic in October, many schools ban lawyers from speaking to their clients (only notes can be passed). During these proceedings, the two parties are not supposed to question or cross examine each other, a prohibition recommended by the federal government in order to protect the accuser. And by federal requirement, students can be found guilty under the lowest standard of proof: preponderance of the evidence, meaning just a 51 percent certainty is all that’s needed for a finding that can permanently alter the life of the accused.
More than two dozen Harvard Law School professors recently wrote a statement protesting the university’s new rules for handling sexual assault claims. “Harvard has adopted procedures for deciding cases of alleged sexual misconduct which lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process,” they wrote. The professors note that the new rules call for a Title IX compliance officer who will be in charge of “investigation, prosecution, fact-finding, and appellate review.” Under the new system, there will be no hearing for the accused, and thus no opportunity to question witnesses and mount a defense. Harvard University, the professors wrote, is “jettisoning balance and fairness in the rush to appease certain federal administrative officials.” But to push back against Department of Education edicts means potentially putting a school’s federal funding in jeopardy, and no college, not even Harvard, the country’s richest, is willing to do that.
Again, Yoffe focuses sympathetically on one case involving a male student at the University of Michigan, Drew Sterrett. She also cites research by Callie Marie Rennison and Lynn Addington, who found that non-college women are in greater danger of rape than college women. She doesn’t address the issue that universities are entrusted by parents with protecting young people who may be away from home for the first time.
In an article from October 2013, Yoffe really gets to the point: College Women: Stop Getting Drunk. It’s closely associated with sexual assault. And yet we’re reluctant to tell women to stop doing it. Again, just a brief excerpt:
Let’s be totally clear: Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice. But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them. Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue. The real feminist message should be that when you lose the ability to be responsible for yourself, you drastically increase the chances that you will attract the kinds of people who, shall we say, don’t have your best interest at heart. That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.
Experts I spoke to who wanted young women to get this information said they were aware of how loaded it has become to give warnings to women about their behavior. “I’m always feeling defensive that my main advice is: ‘Protect yourself. Don’t make yourself vulnerable to the point of losing your cognitive faculties,’ ” says Anne Coughlin, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, who has written on rape and teaches feminist jurisprudence. She adds that by not telling them the truth—that they are responsible for keeping their wits about them—she worries that we are “infantilizing women.”
So perpetrators are “responsible for committing their crimes,” but women are the ones who should change their behavior. Why not keep criminals off college campuses and try to prevent both male and female students from drinking so much? Yoffe explains her reasoning at the end of the article:
I’ve told my daughter that it’s her responsibility to take steps to protect herself. (“I hear you! Stop!”) The biological reality is that women do not metabolize alcohol the same way as men, and that means drink for drink women will get drunker faster. I tell her I know alcohol will be widely available (even though it’s illegal for most college students) but that she’ll have a good chance of knowing what’s going on around her if she limits herself to no more than two drinks, sipped slowly—no shots!—and stays away from notorious punch bowls. If female college students start moderating their drinking as a way of looking out for their own self-interest—and looking out for your own self-interest should be a primary feminist principle—I hope their restraint trickles down to the men.
If I had a son, I would tell him that it’s in his self-interest not to be the drunken frat boy who finds himself accused of raping a drunken classmate.
She is correct that women are affected more quickly by alcohol than men, but is that a reason to focus only on college women’s responsibility for preventing sexual assaults? She actually believes that we should just hope that if women drink less, men will emulate them? Good luck with that.
I’ve found several responses to Yoffe’s previous articles. I’ll watch to see the reactions to the latest one which came out yesterday. Here are some links you can check out if you’re interested.
Emma Gray at Huffington Post: What Slate Gets So Wrong About College Women And Sexual Assault.
Alexander Abad-Santos in The Wire: Slate Forgot That the One Common Factor in Rapes Are [sic] Rapists.
Kate McDonough at Salon: Sorry, Emily Yoffe: Blaming assault on women’s drinking is wrong, dangerous and tired.
Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezabel: How To Write About Rape Prevention Without Sounding Like An Asshole.
Jennifer Baker at Psychology Today (also cited in the main post): Campus Rape Skepticism. How Not to ‘Debunk’ Research.
Josh Beitel at Medium: A Rebuttal to Emily Yoffe’s College Rape Overcorrection.
As always, this is an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread.
Do you want ever wonder what the hell is going on with politicians today and how they can get away with this kind of shit to begin with in the first place?
That is a rhetorical question…but the setup is legit.
And away we go….
In pre-taped remarks to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference over the weekend, Senator Lindsey Graham says he knows Iran’s lying because he learned how to spot a liar in his parents’ pool room.
Graham, of course, kept the focus largely on politics, talking about his background, his belief in the greatness of America, his expected 2016 run, his foreign policy chops, and Hillary Clinton.
But it was when he talked about growing up that he made the connection between his time working at the pool hall and the current Iran nuclear negotiations:
“My family owned a restaurant, a pool room, and a liquor store. And everything I know about the Iranians I learned in the pool room. I ran the pool room when I was a kid and I met a lot of liars, and I know the Iranians are lying.”
As the comic image above states, “What the fuck is this bullshit?”
Then you have the other one, Walker…the Kochsucker favorite I guess, who says… about those forced ultrasounds he makes the women in his state take who are looking to get an abortion…yeah they should just shut up about that because you know, forced ultrasounds are “lovely” and “cool.”
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker defended a bill he signed that required women to undergo ultrasound examinations before seeking an abortion, saying the medically unnecessary procedures were a “lovely” and “cool thing.”
The likely Republican presidential candidate told conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch on Friday that the law, portions of which were struck down earlier this year by a federal judge, was misrepresented by a hostile media, reported Right Wing Watch.
“The media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea,” Walker said. “Most people I talked to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time that pull out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, (and) we still have their first ultrasounds. It’s just a cool thing out there.”
Yes, there is nothing more lovelier than what basically can be described as a forced (uh, emphasis on forced for all those dumbass shitbags who don’t think the word rape is violent enough) rape on a woman by sticking a vaginal probe ultrasound stick up her v-hole to get a cool picture of a clump of “misogynist funded government up your uterus.”
…there are currently 10 candidates who are declared or all but certain to run, and another four who will probably run. But while the voters might find this an embarrassment of riches, for the party’s leaders and financiers, it looks like a recipe for trouble.
In a Saturday interview on the Larry Kudlow Show, a nationally syndicated radio broadcast, David Koch let it slip that the roughly$900 million that he and his brother, Charles, plan to lavish on the 2016 presidential race could find its way into the hands of more than one GOP contender.
“We are thinking of supporting several Republicans,” David Koch said, adding, “If we’re happy with the policies that these individuals are supporting, we’ll finance their campaigns.”
Koch said the brothers would begin writing checks to individual candidates in “the primary season, winter and next spring.”
Up until now, the Koch brothers hadn’t indicated that they’d be taking a side in the primaries. It almost seemed that they viewed that as the kind of thing amateurs like Sheldon Adelson do, throwing money at some candidate based on overly irrational personal feelings, while they keep focused on the real goal of getting a Republican — any Republican — into the White House. By saying they’re going to support several candidates in the primaries, the Kochs are pledging to accelerate the winnowing process, by which the race’s chaff can be sloughed off and the focus can stay on the serious contenders.
Don’t be fooled by the line about them supporting all the ones whose policies they’re happy with. That’s because there’s almost no disagreement among the candidates, at least on the issues the Kochs care about. All of them would like to see low taxes on the wealthy (most have even advocated a flat tax, a boon to people like the Kochs), a dramatic reduction in regulations that affect corporations and a rollback of the social safety net. Where the Kochs personally disagree with the candidates (as they may on some social issues or on immigration), they disagree with all the candidates, because the candidates’ positions are so similar.
Gawd, I hate those fuckers.
The rest of today’s links below are on the quick, because the Koch Brother’s have disgusted me so…
The Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear a case that will answer a long-contested question about a bedrock principle of the American political system: the meaning of “one person one vote.”
The court’s ruling, expected in 2016, could be immensely consequential. Should the court agree with the two Texas voters who brought the case, its ruling would shift political power from cities to rural areas, a move that would benefit Republicans.
I can’t believe this: Australia wants to scrap the tampon tax – Business News – Business – The Independent
I could not bear to write a post today. So just take this one for what it is, my overzealous attempt to find a few Medieval images for the thread that reminded me of the GOP idiots who are running or announcing that they are running for Prez…in 2016. I was looking and next thing I know it is four am…go figure.
So, I decided to post the illuminations, manuscripts, marginalia, bestiary, cheeky monkeys and the like with my own various commentary. Most of which will call back to the clowns that Boston Boomer and Dakinikat have been talking about lately. The images below are found here:
and here: Pinterest: Getting Medieval On Your Ass
So the captions within the slide show are just my observations. Click on the links above for the information on the links.
Just a few that are beyond the scope of the political references that are the theme of the post today.
This reminds me of the Seinfeld episode with the marbled rye…“Seinfeld” The Rye (TV Episode 1996) – IMDb it airs tomorrow by the way on TBS.
The next image is also from a Seinfeld episode.
Little Jerry was born to cock fight! “Seinfeld” The Little Jerry (TV Episode 1997) – IMDb
Okay, now for the slide show…click on the first picture below, it should open up to the larger gallery slide show….if you cannot read the full caption under the image, use the down arrow on your keyboard, it should work to move the text so you can read the entire entry.
This is an open thread.
Just can’t seem to bring myself round to reading any news lately. I have spent most of my time immersed in episodes of Foyle’s War. What an incredible series, if anyone has Netflix….
Anyway, so for today’s news reads, it will be a lazy link dump. The latest on the Amtrak accident will be at the bottom of the post.
Just to highlight something before we get to the hard core stuff:
Remember that black man found dead, who supposedly “hung” himself from a swingset in South Carolina?
A black man who’d recently been questioned in connection with the death of a white woman was found dead hanging from a tree Monday morning in rural Greensboro, Georgia, police said. Local and state investigators said there was nothing to immediately suggest foul play.
Greensboro Police Chief Ossie Mapp told NBC News that a neighbor called 911 about 9 a.m. ET to report finding a body behind a house on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Police discovered the body of Roosevelt Champion III, 43, who Champion didn’t live at the address in Greensboro, in east-central Georgia between Athens and Augusta, Mapp said.
Champion’s body was suspended by tie-down strap similar to those used to secure cargo on the roofs of vehicles, Mapp said.
There were no visible wounds on Champion’s body, his feet were scraping the ground and his knees were slightly buckled, suggesting that he hadn’t been lifted into the tree, said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Joe Wooten, who is in charge of the investigation. Wooten and Mapp said it’s too early to determine the formal cause of death, which is pending an autopsy.
But Wooten said Champion was questioned at least twice last week in a homicide case involving the death of a white woman. In the end, no charges were filed, he said. Details of that investigation weren’t immediately available.
“I understand that there is a lot of concern” in the community because the victim was a black man who was hanged in the Deep South, Wooten said. “Because of that, we’re going to be as transparent as we can be.”
Champion’s family does not believe it was suicide: Death of G.A. Man Found Hanging Ruled a Suicide — NYMag
Many suspected foul play when a black man recently questioned in the murder of a white woman was found hanging from a tree in Georgia on Monday, but his death has been ruled a suicide. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said an autopsy found no evidence of trauma to the body of Roosevelt Champion III, and his hands and feet were not bound. However, his family refused to accept that explanation. “I’m angry, I’m angry because I don’t have answers,” Miranda Wright, one of Champion’s sisters, told NBC News. “He’d do a lot of things but he wouldn’t have harmed himself, I doubt it.”
Nine sheriff’s deputies in Georgia were fired on Friday over the New Year’s Day death of a black inmate who had been placed in restraints, officials said.
The dismissals come amid a series of killings by police in cities including of Baltimore, New York, and Ferguson, Missouri over the past year that have raised questions about officers’ use of lethal force, especially against black men and other minority groups.
The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office said its decision was based on an internal review and a separate probe by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into the Jan. 1 death of 22-year-old Matthew Ajibade.
Officials said he injured three deputies while being booked into jail on charges of domestic violence, battery and resisting arrest. Ajibade, a college student, was then placed in an isolation cell and later found unresponsive, officials said.
The local Savannah Morning News reported that area clergy members said in a letter to the sheriff’s office this week that Ajibade suffered from bipolar disorder. They also said he was handcuffed to a restraining chair when officials used a taser on him, according to the News.
The Sheriff’s office said it had turned over its findings to the county prosecutor to weigh possible criminal charges. The office said it would not make its report available unless a local court rules the findings are subject to release or the prosecutor finishes investigating.
The office did note in Friday’s statement however that among the changes instituted following Ajibade’s death and the subsequent investigations was a “clear written policy of when tasers may not be used.”
And while you are thinking about all this goings on in Georgia….‘The Nightly Show’ skewers Georgia educators | www.ajc.com
Monday night’s episode of “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” focused on three stories of racism and bigotry that have been trending in the news. Two of those stories involved Georgia educators.
“The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” has been making waves since its premiere in January. The new show, a spinoff of “The Daily Show,” focuses less on the media’s coverage of political news (that’s Jon Stewart’s job) and more on trending news topics.
Last night’s show began with host Larry Wilmore discussing the remarks made by Principal Nancy Gordeuk at the graduation ceremony of Stone Mountain’s TNT Academy. The video — of Gordeuk calling the crowd “goobers,” “cowards” and (after accidentally dismissing the crowd before the Valedictorian’s speech) yelling,“Look who’s leaving? All the black people.” — was played.
Wilmore then played the video clip of Gordeuk claiming the devil was responsible for her comments.
The show then switched focus to Nancy Perry, the Dublin, Georgia, teacher that was removed from the classroom after telling students President Barack Obama was not Christian, if their parents voted for Obama they were not Christian, and the President is an “evil Muslim.”
Here are the best quotes from Wilmore’s monologue:
“The devil? First of all, everyone knows the devil hasn’t been back in Georgia since he lost that fiddling competition.”
“A Georgia teacher tells her students Obama is an evil Muslim. In a related story, she’s now the front-runner for the Republican primary!”
“Hey Georgia educators, can I talk to you for a sec? If people wanted their kids to learn coded racism, false truths about the president and be talked down to, they would homeschool them. And leave them watching Fox News all day.”
“They (parents) have their kids in a Georgia public school to learn actual facts. You know, like the Civil War should actually be called the ‘War of Northern Aggression.’ So teach them what’s right and leave your half-baked, unsubstantiated opinions where they belong: Thanksgiving dinner.”
The best quotes from the roundtable:
“It’s weird, it’s almost like black people can’t do anything right now. Everything we do is stereotypical. We like chicken, that’s bad. We like watermelon, ‘Ehh, they like that watermelon’. They leave when you dismiss them? ‘Look at these Negros, just doing what we tell them to do.’” – Mike Yard
“If you look, it was the black people leaving … But here’s the thing: If you were a student or parent and had to be subjected to this crazy racist principal all year and finally you graduate? You would get the hell out of there too!” – Will Packard
“People always blame the devil too. I thinks it’s okay, like if you murder your kids, blame the devil, but not for casual, everyday racism.” – Rachel Feinstein
Put this is perspective…or context with the rest of the shit going on in the US of late.
Which brings me to this: Shakesville: And Again
In March, 19-year-old Tony Robinson, a black man, was killed by Madison, Wisconsin, Police Officer Matthew Kenny following an altercation, according to police. Today, the prosecutor announced that Kenny will not face charges.
“I conclude that this tragic and unfortunate death was the result of a lawful use of deadly police force and that no charges should be brought against Officer Kenny in the death of Tony Robinson Jr.,” Ismael Ozanne, the Dane County district attorney, announced Tuesday afternoon at a news conference.
…Robinson’s death on March 6 prompted days of sustained, peaceful demonstrations in Wisconsin’s second-largest city. Police say they were responding to multiple calls about a disturbance involving Robinson, including calls that said he had assaulted other people and ran into traffic.
In a brief statement after the shooting, police said that when they found Robinson, “a struggle ensued” and he was shot and killed. Kenny was placed on paid administrative leave, and the police chief apologized for the shooting and asked for patience during the investigation.
…Ozanne, who was appointed in 2010, is a lifelong Madison resident and the first black district attorney in Wisconsin history, according to his office. He said that he viewed his responsibilities through this lens as “a man who understands the pain of unjustified profiling” and described discussions he has had recently with community members who are distrustful of the criminal justice system.
“My decision will not bring Tony Robinson Jr. back,” Ozanne said Tuesday. “My decision will not end the racial disparities that exist in the justice system, in our justice system.”
Robinson, of course, being dead, was unavailable to tell his version of events. But, according to Kenny, he chased Robinson into a building, where Robinson hit him in the head and so he “opened fire after he feared that he would be hit again and his gun taken and used to shoot him or others. Kenny fired seven shots in three seconds, and all of the shots hit Robinson on the front of his body.”
Toxicology shows Robinson was high, but what the fuck? Shoot him over repeatedly killing him? Dead? I don’t get it.
The rest in of it in dump format:
And the latest on the Amtrak Derailment:
This is an open thread…
Just a side note, most of the links today are items I had saved for Sunday. But with the earthquake in Nepal, and then the quick Goodfellas post, I just decided to share them with you today.
Now, on Monday….we had to go to our local Banjoville courthouse to visit the tax office and take care of the car tags. Well, what do you think happened? The damn place was closed.
Why was it closed?
Because we live in the fucking South were they don’t forget and they hold grudges forever. The kind of grudges that get laws passed so that they make it illegal NOT to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day.
Yup, it is against the law to work on Confederate Memorial Day.
Check this out:
In Cullman County, Alabama, a local government vote stirred up 150 years of angst when Revenue Commissioner Barry Willingham wanted to keep the local courthouse open on Confederate Memorial Day.
For years, on the fourth Monday in April people showed up to the courthouse to buy car tags and fishing licenses, unaware that it was closed for the state holiday, which is officially observed in Alabama, Willingham explained. Businesses, schools and even offices in neighboring counties stay open, Willingham said, so people complained about the local government not doing the same. He understood their frustration.
“It’s not a prominent holiday,” said Willingham, who was born and raised in Cullman County, about 50 miles north of Birmingham. “I don’t think Microsoft adds Confederate Memorial Day to my Outlook.”
Usually, the holiday passes largely unnoticed, even by the local press.
But that didn’t happenthis year. County officials voted to stay open on Confederate Memorial Day and instead close Cullman County’s government doors on Good Friday, a day when there’s less demand for county services. After that vote, people told Willingham and his colleagues that they “ought to be ashamed of dishonoring our Confederate veterans,” he explained.
Alabama closes its government offices today in observance of Confederate Memorial Day, along with Mississippi and Georgia. On May 10, South Carolina government offices will close in observance of the state holiday.
Of the 11 Southern states that made up the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, few agreed on what date was best for remembrance once the war officially ended in 1865. Shortly after the war was declared over, a group of women in Columbus, Georgia, gathered for the first Confederate Memorial Day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers and rededicate themselves to the memory of those men and the war they fought.
I mean, how many generations have to pass before the regular memorial day will do? You know the one that covers all the wars?
Today, dates of state observance are scattered from April to June and are loosely associated with the Confederacy’s surrender to Sherman on April 26, the death of Stonewall Jackson on May 10 or the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis on June 3. This year, Texas celebrated Confederate Heroes Day on Jan. 19. That also happened to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
In Mississippi, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann issued a proclamation to tell state employees and officers they had the day off, in accordance with a 1972 state statute.
“I believe observance of Confederate Memorial Day is set by statute,” said Nicole Webb, spokeswoman for Gov. Phil Bryant, referring to the 1972 measure. “Elected lawmakers at that time would have voted on the issue. I know other states also observe it.”
This year, Georgia’s government officials have prioritized Confederate Memorial Day as a state holiday, along with Christmas Day and Thanksgiving. However, there seems to be more reluctance to talk about why the Capitol and state agencies close in observance of the holiday 150 years after the end of the Civil War.
When the NewsHour asked Brian Robinson, the communications director for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, via e-mail for comment about why it was important for Georgians to remember Confederate Memorial Day, Robinson simply wrote “no thanks.”
Can you believe this shit? Confederate Memorial day has the same fucking priority as Christmas and Thanksgiving?
I have no words, other than the flowery ones that have been spewed above.
Naming your kids after John Wilkes Booth. Now that takes some hate.
Dozens of Lincoln’s enemies honoured his assassin in the same manner as the Devrees family. A quick search via the Federal census records on the Ancestry website reveals roughly a hundred American families who appear to have named children after Booth in the post-war years. Unsurprisingly, about 90% heralded from the southern states, but a small handful, like the Illinoisans, were northerners – probably ‘Copperhead’ opponents of the Union cause seeking solace in small acts of defiance. Most of the northern Booths came from counties close to slaveholding areas – places where sympathies for the Confederate cause ran deep – and I haven’t found a single instance of a postwar New Englander (citizens of the old antislavery heartland) sharing a name with Lincoln’s killer. Notably, in borderlands like Missouri – where neighbour clashed with neighbour and the Federal government fought to contain dissent – the practice was particularly common. Some of the records leave little to the imagination when it comes to the parents’ political loyalties (John Wilkes Booth Sharp, born in Georgia, circa 1871), but others (Washington Booth Stamton, born in Baltimore, circa 1871) hint at an attempt to induct Booth into a pantheon of American heroes. The true heir to the father of the republic, the latter implied, was the actor-assassin, and not the martyred president.
These families, in preserving the memory of Lincoln’s killer, were writing a history of the Civil War in which liberty was the victim rather than the victor. As late as the 1890s the odd new-born in the South was given Booth’s name, though the practice seems to have become less common after the restoration of white supremacy in the 1870s. This may be a result of changing enumeration practices, but it might owe something also to the late nineteenth-century “reconciliationist” remembering of the Civil War as a noble struggle between two valiant adversaries, and not as an ideological conflict over slavery, race, and citizenship. The first professional historians writing around the turn of the century cast Lincoln as a magnanimous commander-in-chief whose slaying served as an excuse for the imposition of a supposedly Carthaginian peace on the Confederacy. Booth here was no longer the defender of liberty but a man whose rash crime ushered in the phantom horrors of Reconstruction. It might have been unwise to use his name.
But the baseball games are being played in an empty stadium…A Brief History of Pro Sports Played in Empty Stadiums | Mental Floss
On Monday and Tuesday, the Orioles canceled their scheduled games at Camden Yards against the White Sox due to safety concerns related to the protests in Baltimore. But making up games over the course of the long and crowded MLB season schedule is difficult, and so, yesterday, the team announced an unusual solution—one that has never been used in the history of the game. Wednesday’s game at Camden Yards will still be played, but no fans will be permitted to attend. That’s right, the teams will play today in front of an empty stadium—intentionally.
According to a tweet from MLB’s Official Historian John Thorn, this is the first time such a solution has been used to accommodate extenuating circumstances. But thanks to the wacky promotional tactics employed in the Minor Leagues, it’s not the first zero attendance game.
Hours after being called out by a Ferguson activist, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was the butt of the joke on the Daily Show on Tuesday night, as Jon Stewart hammered him for acting shocked about the unrest in Baltimore.
“Elvis leading a herd of orthodox Jewish unicorns through a city street — that would be hard to believe,” Stewart said. “This sh*t happens all the time. Ferguson was just a few months ago, and you were talking about it.”
“I am worried about you,” Stewart said. “Do I need to get [Adam] Sandler to go over to your house and just run sh*t by you every morning?”
Overall, Stewart said, reporters have failed to pick up on the recurring nature of urban protests in the US, with Baltimore and Ferguson taking their place among manifestations of turmoil like Watts, Los Angeles, and Miami, among others.
“These cyclical eruptions appear like tragedy cicadas,” he said. “Depressing in their similarity, predictability, and intractability.”
Which brings me to this image someone posted on Facebook:
Tacky yes, but it sure as hell makes a point.
- More than 5,000 are confirmed dead and 6,500 injured
- Nepal’s PM says death toll could more than double
- Foreign Office investigating reports of British death
- Authorities struggling to cope despite aid efforts
- Jason Burke in Kathmandu: what the victims share is poverty
- Read the latest summary
All the talk of earthquakes, this article from a couple of weeks ago seemed to be foretelling, even if it was discussing our country. Half the US Faces Earthquake Risk
This hazard map by the U.S. Geological Survey reveals earthquake ground motions for various probability levels across the United States.
PASADENA, Calif. — Earthquakes threaten roughly half the U.S. population, a new study finds.
More than 143 million Americans live in earthquake-prone regions in the Lower 48 states, according to research presented here Wednesday (April 22) at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America. If you include Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, that number rises to about 150 million U.S. citizens, said lead researcher Kishor Jaiswal, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) contractor.
In a previous estimate prepared in 1991, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said 75 million people in 35 states were at risk of earthquakes.
Now, more people are living in quake-prone areas than a quarter-century ago, Jaiswal said. The USGS has also learned more about earthquake hazards. The nation’s most recent national seismic hazard maps are much more detailed than the 1996 version, Jaiswal said. [Image Gallery: This Millennium’s Destructive Earthquakes]
Some information on the horrible situation in the Mediterranean:
A look at same sex marriage vs. women’s reproductive rights: Why the U.S. Is Going Forward on SSM and Backwards On Reproductive Rights – Lawyers, Guns & Money
Many great points from Pollitt here. Two points are particularly worthy of emphasis. First, the extent to which SSM meshes better with traditionalist conceptions of the family:
Marriage equality is about love, romance, commitment, settling down, starting a family. People love love! But marriage equality is also about tying love to family values, expanding a conservative institution that has already lost most of its coercive social power and become optional for millions. (Marriage equality thus follows Pollitt’s law: Outsiders get access when something becomes less valued, which is why women can be art historians and African-Americans win poetry prizes.) Far from posing a threat to marriage, as religious opponents claim, permitting gays to marry gives the institution a much-needed update, even as it presents LGBT people as no threat to the status quo: Instead of promiscuous child molesters and lonely gym teachers, gays and lesbians are your neighbors who buy Pottery Barn furniture and like to barbecue.
Reproductive rights, by contrast, is about sex—sexual freedom, the opposite of marriage—in all its messy, feckless glory. It replaces the image of women as chaste, self-sacrificing mothers dependent on men with that of women as independent, sexual, and maybe not so self-sacrificing. It doesn’t matter that contraception is indispensable to modern life, that abortion antedates the sexual revolution by thousands of years, that plenty of women who have abortions are married, or that most (60 percent) who have abortions are already mothers. Birth control and abortion allow women—and, to a lesser extent, men—to have sex without punishment, a.k.a. responsibility. And our puritanical culture replies: You should pay for that pleasure, you slut.
More on Women’s abortion rights: I am pro-abortion, not just pro-choice: 10 reasons why we must support the procedure and the choice – Salon.com
On the 2016 Election front:
When a black female decides to “support the candidate who supports the Constitution,” it’s pretty obvious where she’s getting her ideas, especially when that candidate supports the right to discriminate against her. The camaradarie of other young Rand Paul supporters who like the idea of the Libertarian “hero,” must be pretty awesome.
Somehow, 19 year old Zuri Davis, has been brainwashed to believe that her constitutional rights are being “taken away.” Fox and Friends has to show their diversity, and Zuri, as an African-American Rand Paul supporter, fills that niche. This girl, who doesn’t want to be put in a box, said,
“It’s sad that we’re still getting caught up on subjectivity.”
The subjective nature of a candidate with a well-known history of White Supremacy is of no concern to Davis. She wants to defend the Constitution, while ignoring those trivial matters of equality for both women and minorities.
Encouraging her to agree with his insane rhetoric, Carlson throws out this zinger:
“Well, the modern tribalism of the Left demands that each person choose a group and then agree with everything that group agrees with. Then, anyone who leaves that group, is STONED to death. (Do) You reject that?”
Gee, Tucker, does she reject the notion of punishing someone to death by biblical savagery? Since when has the Democratic Party employed such tactics? Zuri says that she just wants diversity of thought. You know, that G.O.P. diversity? It’s the collective idea of denying that there’s ever been an issue of White Supremacy. Apparently, she also wants someone who’s not afraid to deny science and who has no problem shushing a woman who is getting out of line. Should a woman be raped, probably because she was asking for it, she should be have no rights if she wants an abortion. Mr. Small Government wants to control all the uteri, Zuri Davis’ body included.
Did you see Hillary’s speech this past week? Addicting Info – Hillary’s Fiery Speech: Religious Beliefs Must Change For Social Justice (VIDEO)
And I guess there was some squawk about The most troubling thing about Russian hackers reading Obama’s unclassified emails – Business Insider
And while at BI: What it’s like to live on food stamps – Business Insider I will give you a hint, Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t know how to do it….big surprise there.
This next link is interesting, an essay on putting an innocent man in jail. Alabama man convicted of wife kill with bogus evidence – NY Daily News
The film Goodfellas is not the only thing celebrating its 25th anniversary this year: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope celebrates 25th anniversary | Uncover California
Someone asked me what my thoughts were on the Atlanta teaching scandal. I have to say I think it was a shitty thing, and wrong on so many levels, but I also feel that Jon Stewart hit it just right. You can see his segment here:
Video clip direct link here: http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/x4vg3f/fraud-city
Let’s end this with pictures of rainbows, but no Elvis or Jewish unicorns: Manhattan rainbow | Today’s Image | EarthSky
…and how about a video of a Monkey dropkicks young man after the guy flashes the finger – NY Daily News
Newly posted security camera footage, purportedly from the monkey-laden city of Shimla in Northern India, shows a primate teaching a young man a lesson: Animals don’t like being flicked off, either.
A couple of guys walk past the monkey in a market area of the capital city of the Himachal Pradesh state and the former British Raj summer capital in the video.
The simian bears its teeth at the young man, who, undeterred, appears to raise his middle finger at the animal. That’s when the monkey leaps toward the human and lays him out with a swift push and two-legged primate kick to the torso — an attack the video shows once in real time and again in slow motion for good measure.
Now that is one smart ass monkey!
What are you all reading about today?
Here are more images of relief posters…