Sunday Reads: Pythons, Pooches and Dump-Blossoms

campanha_da_boa_bebida_coffee_brazil_ad_poster-p228037272153972480qzz0_400Good Morning

This past week I was watching TCM, and realized just how whacked out this world has become. Well, not this world, more specifically our world…here in the US.

Here is what I mean…while watching Anna and the King of Siam, the one with Irene Dunn and Rex Harrison, one particular scene got me thinking.

Remember when the King summons Anna one late night, because he has a question to ask her about the Bible and Moses claim of how long it took God to make the world ?

Anna and the King of Siam (1946)

King: Mem, I think your Moses shall have been a fool.

Anna: Moses?

King: Moses, Moses, Moses. I think he shall have been a fool. Here it stands, written by him: ‘The world was created in six days. ‘

[...]

King: Then what is your opinion of this thing as stated by Moses?

Anna: Your Majesty…the Bible was not written by men of science. It was written by men of faith. It was their explanation of the miracle of creation… which is just as great a miracle… whether it took six days or many centuries. I think science does not contradict the Bible. It has only made us more aware of how great the miracle was.

King: Well, I still think your Moses shall have been a fool. You may go.

 

I think the King would thing our current day GOP representatives are fools. What do you think?

Transvaginal Ultrasound: Rape Is Not A Medical Procedure

Judges split over birth control coverage and religious liberty

Birth control rules: The Catholic bishops are not impressed

Creationism Advocate Bobby Jindal Warns GOP Against Becoming ‘the Stupid Party’

Dennis Kruse, Indiana State GOP Senator, Pushes Creationism In Schools Via ‘Truth In Education’ Bill

“Intelligent design” bill in Missouri | NCSE- Local Story

Republican Bill That Would Allow Creationism To Be Taught In Colorado Schools Called ‘DOA’

A stealth antiscience bill in Indiana | NCSE

Leonard Pitts: Can GOP end the ‘carnival of the crazy’?

Howard Kurtz: GOP Swears It’s Not Stupid

I have to say, the GOP is not only “stupid” it is “crazy!”

Anyway, here are your links for today, the GOP has started blaming the Sequester on Obama…

From the Maddow Blog:  The 2011 ransom note and the GOP’s sequester

A Republican National Committee spokesperson, echoing his party’s favorite new talking point, insists this is all President Obama’s fault.

Tim Miller obviously isn’t the only one making this argument. On the contrary, every speech, interview, and press release I’ve seen from GOP officials in recent weeks includes an obligatory reference to Obama having come up with the sequester.

This next link makes me thing that perhaps the GOP are not completely “stupid” by showing they are a little frightened of Ashley Judd making a run on Mitch McConnell. From Vanity Fair:  Karl Rove, Apparently Not a Fan of Kiss the Girls, Launches Aggressive Anti–Ashley Judd Campaign

As evidenced by his embarrassing Election Night temper tantrum last fall, Karl Rove is not one to concede easily. Not when it comes to presidential elections; caloric restrictions, we guess; and completely speculative political runs by Hollywood figures. Proving the latter point, the Republican strategist’s American Crossroads Super PAC unveiled a digital ad against Ashley Judd on Wednesday. It has previously been reported that Judd is considering a senatorial run against Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, the considerably less photogenic Senate minority leader who was voted the nation’s least popular senator late last year.

Emptywheel takes a look at a new law per Homeland Security:  Every Laptop and Cell Phone in Detroit (and Dearborn) Can Be Searched at Will

I’m not really sure how Detroit is supposed to pursue an arts-based resurgence if the Department of Homeland Security maintains that it can seize any electronics along the nation’s borders — which extend 100 miles and therefore include the bulk of the population of Michigan.

This next link was very interesting, a quick look at the Dawes Act in relation to Labor Laws: This Day in Labor History: February 8, 1887 – Lawyers, Guns & Money

On February 8, 1887, President Grover Cleveland signed the Dawes Severalty Act into law. The Dawes Act created a process to split up Indian reservations in order to create individual parcels of land and then sell the remainder off to white settlers. One of the worst laws in American history, the Dawes Act is not only a stark reminder of Euro-American colonialism and the dispossession of indigenous peoples, but also of the role dominant ideas of work on the land have in promoting racist and imperialist ends.

We might not think of the Dawes Act as labor history. But I want to make the beginning of a case that it is absolutely central to American labor history, a point I will expand upon in the future. Labor history is not just unionism. It is histories and traditions of work. The Dawes Act was absolutely about destroying traditions of Native American labor and replacing it with European notions of rural work. That it did so while opening more land to white people was a central benefit.

Read the rest at the link.

Looks like that python hunt in the Everglades isn’t doing so hot:  Florida Python Challenge Unsuccessful – Everglades Burmese Python Hunt Not Going Well

The idea for the competition — which ends on Sunday, the first day of the unloved Year of the Snake — was partially brain-fathered by Gov. Rick “I’ve ridden elephants — I’ve never tried to shoot one” Scott. The hope was to at least partially rid the land of the invasive Burmese pythons that have set up their own stronghold. The guy or team that grabs the most wins $1,500. The one who snags the longest, gets $1,000. Over 1,500 people from across the nation have waded into the park so far, and some, like the two dehydrated men, who are from Tennessee, have slept in their cars during the hunt. It costs them $25 to participate.

But even before the rescue, the competition hasn’t been going too well. As of Tuesday, only 50 had been captured. Not that it would’ve really mattered. As U.S. Geological Survey python expert Robert Reed told us a few weeks ago, “You won’t find any fewer than 10,000. But between 10,000 and 100,000? That’s anyone’s guess.”

Okay, from nasty snakes to cute puppies, Pooches on parade: man’s best dressed friend at carnivals across the world

Here’s a selection of dogs that are making a statement in dog parade sections of carnivals around the world.
AP
Click here to view the gallery

Last night on Discovery, they had their show on The Giant Squid.  This next article is also about squid, the flying kind…Revealed: the secret that makes flying squid faster than Usain Bolt

Scientists in Japan have calculated that squid can fly through the air faster than Usain Bolt can run, in a study that confirms the extraordinary aerial prowess of the edible mollusc.

A study based on photographs of flying squid in the Pacific Ocean estimates that they can reach a speed of up to 11.2 metres per second, which is significantly faster than the 10.31 metres per second that Bolt averaged in the 100 metre final at the London Olympics.

Over the past few years, a number of anecdotal accounts have emerged of squid streaking through the air above the sea for several metres and now a team of Japanese marine biologists have photographed them doing it en masse.

Be sure to take a look at that link, there are some images and diagrams that are so interesting…not only from the nature perspective, but also on  aerodynamic and hydrodynamic levels as well.

We started this post talking about stupidity and now we end it with a few links about stupidity. The first one is real, Thieves jailed after losing £2m loot

Two inept thieves who stole Chinese artefacts worth £2m from a museum but then could not find where they had stashed them were handed lengthy jail sentences.

These guys couldn’t remember where they stashed the loot. Guess in real life there are crooks that are too dumb and stupid to become successful crooks.

Earlier this week TCM also had another great film, Big Deal on Madonna Street, which if anyone has a chance to see it…needs to see it. It is hilarious. An Italian film from back in the late 50′s, in fact this link below is from the New York Times original review of the film, published in November 23, 1960.  Movie Review – Big Deal on Madonna Street – The Screen: Italian Parody of ‘Rififi’:’Big Deal on Madonna Street’ in Premiere Toto Among Bungling Burglars at the Paris –

A LONGTIME popular subject for vaudeville and music-hall farce, the butter-fingered burglar who thoroughly goofs while trying to rob a safe, is given a full-scale treatment and knocked out by a top name cast in the new Italian comedy, “The Big Deal on Madonna Street.” Directed by Mario Monicelli, one of the bright new directors on the Italian scene, this eventually explosive kit of cut-ups opened at the Fine Arts yesterday.

Obviously the film was calculated as an out-and-out parody of the French melodrama, “Rififi,” which was a bit in Italy. For the “big deal” referred to in that title (which was not the Italian title, by the way) is the contemplated burglary of a smalltime jeweler’s safe, and the fellows who conspire to do it try to lay out their plans in the same “scientific” fashion as did the robbers in that serious French film.

But, of course, they are not successful. In the first place, they have a terrible time getting all of their elements together and headed the same way. There’s that nice fellow (Marcello Mastroianni) who has a wife temporarily in jail and so has to mind the baby, which takes a lot of would-be burglar’s time. Then there’s the former prizefighter (Vittorio Gassman) who finds himself much more interested in the maid in the apartment through which the burglars will have to travel than he is in the burglary itself.

There’s the youngster (Renato Salvatori) who falls hopelessly and helplessly in love with the guarded sister of another of the conspirators (Tiberio Murgia), a Sicilian of hot and vengeful moods. There’s the little shrimp (Carlo Pisacane) who is forever concentrating on food. And finally there is the “expert,” a role that the wonderful Toto plays.

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This “expert” acknowledged as a genius in the business of blowing safes, knows all the techniques, all the laws, all the loopholes and all the slang words for the chisels and drills. He gives an exquisite lecture (which nobody quite understands). But he gracefully takes a powder when it comes time to the job.

And when that time comes, everybody—everybody who is left—becomes all thumbs. They sneeze, drop their tools with a horrible clatter, they drill holes into water pipes that jet cold streams and they set up a monstrous apparatus with which they laboriously punch through a wall—into an easily accessible adjoining room. At that point, in the cold, gray morning, they all give up and go home.

It was sooooo damn good, see a few clips at the TCM link below, you will not be disappointed.

Videos for Big Deal On Madonna Street

Well, I know this was a major link dump, but please enjoy these morning’s reads and try to stay warm. What are you reading and thinking about today?