Tuesday Evening: Darkness and Updates

Good Evening!

Today the sky grew dark early. I don’t know, with the autumn months, it does bring the night much earlier than during the summer, but for some reason…it got very dark around 5pm.

I am not in the mood for thoughtful observations and commentary tonight, so I will just post a few links and leave it at that.

First an update from Miriam, she made this comment four hours ago:

As talks of a possible pending ceasefire seem to be negotiated,- the predictable chaos ensues…lots and lots of rockets fired all day long and I feel like I’m spending more time in the shelter than out of it. I’m hopeful that we’ll see an end to all this soon. I miss my regular boring life.

I will keep you updated on her, I think it is important to maintain some kind of personal connection to the events playing out over there.

I’ve got some more updates for you all.

I wrote about this “stand your ground” case a while back, it dealt with a black man who killed a white man on a neighborhood basketball court. The dead man’s daughter was a witness and had to testify during the trial. Well, 71-year-old black man found guilty of manslaughter, jury rejects ‘Stand Your Ground’ claim | theGrio

A Tampa jury have found Trevor Dooley, a 71-year-old black man,  guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of his white neighbor, 41-year-old David James, in front of James’ then-8-year-old daughter Danielle.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the jury rejected Dooley’s claim of self-defense under the state of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

One of the jury members said the law did not apply to this case, while jury foreman Walter Joss said, “The whole silly thing was over a skateboard … and it just escalated.”

However, the Jamaican-born Dooley believes that racism played a big part in his conviction.

He told reporters, “Do you really think that if it was the other way around and the skin color would be different we would be here today? … We wouldn’t.”

Hmmmm, let’s see how this case reflects the outcome of the Zimmerman trial, which is set for June 10th of next year.

Elmo has resigned…you may have heard by now that more accusations are coming forward in the matter of the annoying red muppet created by Kevin Clash.

Elmo Puppeteer Resigns After Fresh Allegation

Kevin Clash, the longtime voice and puppeteer behind “Sesame Street’s” Elmo character, resigned on Tuesday after a new allegation was made that he had underage sexual relationships.

Announcing the decision with what he called a “very heavy heart,” Mr. Clash said in a statement, “Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work ‘Sesame Street’ is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately.”

His statement came at around the same time that a lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York accusing him of “sexual activity” with a 15-year-old. The accuser, Cecil Singleton, is now 24. The suit said that Mr. Singleton “did not become aware that he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash’s sexual acts and conduct until 2012.” It sought $5 million in damages.

Mr. Clash had no comment on the lawsuit. He was first accused last week of sexual improprieties by a man who later recanted and said they had an “adult consensual relationship.” That man has remained anonymous and has not filed a suit.

Coincidentally, Buzzfeed reports that Penn State Takes Down A Photo Of Elmo Being Given A PSU T-Shirt

Penn State University appeared to make private a photo on their Flickr feed Tuesday of Elmo receiving a Penn State T-shirt during a visit to the university in March. The rest of the photos of the event remain online.

Shame they didn’t have the…geez what is the word? The humanity? No, the consideration? The responsibility? To act as quickly to the obvious sex abuse happening under their noses…

That is all I have for you…like I said, not up for much of anything tonight. This is an open thread, a tired…apathetic open thread.


Friday Nite Lite: Oops, I forgot it was Friday!

Good Evening!

Yeah, I am running late tonight. For some reason I kept telling myself that it was a Thursday. Well anyway, I have got lots of cartoons for you tonight.

This first one is very clever…see how long it takes you to catch it. Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » General Petraeus

General Petraeus © Manny Francisco,Manila, The Phillippines,General Petraeus,CIA,sex scandal,US military,pentagon,petraeus resigns

I will stick with the Housewives of Mac Dill AFB…and the Generals and Spies who love them…

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Pants on the Ground

Pants on the Ground © Ken Catalino,National/Syndicated,petraeus,affair,pants,woman,cia,email,military,resigns,petraeus-affair,petraeus-resigns,petraeus affair, spy

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Spy Who Loved Me

Spy Who Loved Me © Cal Grondahl,Utah Standard Examiner,petraeus,resigns,woman,affair,scandal,cia,petraeus-resigns,petraeus resigns, spy

I didn’t think that cartoon was too funny, but I do love that Carly Simon tune however.

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Petraeus Pillow

Petraeus Pillow © Jeff Darcy,The Cleveland Plain Dealer,benghazi,coverup,petraeus,mistress,pillow,oath,cia,scandal,resign,petraeus-resigns,benghazi-coverup

Now, that cartoon is way better than that movie Pillow Talk with Rock Hudson and Doris Day.

This next one is funny…Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Afghaniscandal

Afghaniscandal © David Fitzsimmons,The Arizona Star,Petraeus,Allen,Jill Kelley,Paula Broadland,scandal,petraeus affair, petraeus resigns

On to another take on the scandal, this one is from the viewpoints of a couple of ol’ queers…Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Heterosexuals in the military

Heterosexuals in the military © John Cole,The Scranton Times-Tribune,military,david petraeus,petraeus,broadwell,kelley,gay rights,dont ask dont tell,dadt,petraeus affair

Damn, ain’t that the truth.

I’ve got a few more, Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Love General

Love General © Daryl Cagle,CagleCartoons.com,General David Petreaus, General John R. Allen, army, CIA, Paula Broadwell, medals, awards, uniform

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Sex Scandal

Sex Scandal © Nate Beeler,The Columbus Dispatch,general,david petraeus,sex,scandal,politics,cia,director,central intelligence agency,affair,extramarital,broadwell,media,news,tv,television,alien,invasion,ufo,military,petraeus affair, spy

Alright!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enough of that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There was a great post by Dakinikat today, and it had a very profound ending. This next cartoon accents her post so well.

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Pray to the Lord

Pray to the Lord © Bill Day,Cagle Cartoons,Peace,Mideast,God

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Control panel Middle East

Control panel Middle East © Tom Janssen,The Netherlands,Middle East revenge, Israel Gaza revenge, Gaza rockets Israel,

Peace and Revenge…hmmmm.

This next one is one of my favorites tonight…and it deals with the Twitter War: Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Tweet War

Tweet War © Cardow,The Ottawa Citizen,hamas,israel,twitter,tweets,social,media,war,modern

Too funny!

Ah, and what about the new Succession talk? Well, the cartoonist have been busy with that topic too. Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Government Check

I think Bill Plante used to be a cartoonist for Chattanooga’s newspaper back in the mid 2000′s, so he has first knowledge of this kind of mentality.

Government Check © Bruce Plante,Tulsa World,check,usa,money,dependent

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Cool Movement

Cool Movement © Jeff Koterba,Omaha World Herald, NE,secession,movement,lincoln

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » House Divided

House Divided © Steve Breen,The San Diego Union Tribune,lincoln,house,divided,lincoln

Wow, this is a long post…I think I will split the Friday Nite Lite into two….so let’s end with a cartoon to make us all laugh.

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones © Bill Schorr,Cagle Cartoons,rolling stones,keith richards,mick jagger,old

Well, the second batch is coming up…be sure to check back later tonight or early tomorrow morning.

This is an open thread.


Friday Morning Reads

Good Morning!

So, I’m going to start out with a story about “The Great New England Vampire Panic” and some bizarre graveyard behavior that happened as a result.  Yes, I know it’s pass Samhain but I’m just trying to forget that National Crass Consumerism Season is upon us.  BB found this for me so I have to thank her for the distraction and feeding my curiosity about the way humans create bizarre rituals around graves and the dead.

Children playing near a hillside gravel mine found the first graves. One ran home to tell his mother, who was skeptical at first—until the boy produced a skull.

Because this was Griswold, Connecticut, in 1990, police initially thought the burials might be the work of a local serial killer named Michael Ross, and they taped off the area as a crime scene. But the brown, decaying bones turned out to be more than a century old. The Connecticut state archaeologist, Nick Bellantoni, soon determined that the hillside contained a colonial-era farm cemetery. New England is full of such unmarked family plots, and the 29 burials were typical of the 1700s and early 1800s: The dead, many of them children, were laid to rest in thrifty Yankee style, in simple wood coffins, without jewelry or even much clothing, their arms resting by their sides or crossed over their chests.

Except, that is, for Burial Number 4.

Scraping away soil with flat-edged shovels, and then brushes and bamboo picks, the archaeologist and his team worked through several feet of earth before reaching the top of the crypt. When Bellantoni lifted the first of the large, flat rocks that formed the roof, he uncovered the remains of a red-painted coffin and a pair of skeletal feet. They lay, he remembers, “in perfect anatomical position.” But when he raised the next stone, Bellantoni saw that the rest of the individual “had been com­pletely…rearranged.” The skeleton had been beheaded; skull and thighbones rested atop the ribs and vertebrae. “It looked like a skull-and-crossbones motif, a Jolly Roger. I’d never seen anything like it,” Bellantoni recalls.

You can read about the mysterious grave sites at The Smithsonian website link above.

Here’s another one of those pro-life, family values, Republican white Congress critters that turns out to be a total hypocrite.  Yup, it’s another crazy Tea Bagger with a messed up life as well as a messed up political philosophy.

A decade before calling himself “a consistent supporter of pro-life values,” Tennessee physician and Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais supported his ex-wife’s decision to get two abortions before their marriage, according to the congressman’s sworn testimony during his divorce trial.

Obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the couple’s 2001 trial transcript also confirms DesJarlais had sexual relationships with at least two patients, three coworkers and a drug representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn. During one affair with a female patient, DesJarlais prescribed her drugs, gave her an $875 watch and bought her a plane ticket to Las Vegas, records show.

Wow.  You just have to wonder how these guys think that their karma and conduct is not going to catch up with them eventually.

Things are not going well in Gaza and Israel.   I saw this horrifying photo of a dead little girl in Gaza juxtaposed with this essay at TDB by Emily Hauzer called “For Israel–with Love and Squalor”.

The sudden roar of violence in Gaza and southern Israel divides the world in many ways, not least between those who are willing (sometimes quite eager) to criticize Israel, and those for whom love of Israel means a rejection of any and all criticism, ever. Death rains from the sky and the rhetorical fury resumes even as walls shatter and blood spills, and no one listens to anyone.

Or so it can seem. But is that really the only choice? Is it really impossible to both love a place deeply, and criticize it honestly?

Hauzer, an Israeli-American writer, describes the horrors that are unfolding as innocents on both sides get caught in the fight between leaders of Hamas and Israel and their struggle for power and control.

And so yes, when Israel decides that now’s the time to assassinate the head of Hamas’s military wing (a man who, until this weekend, served as something of a “subcontractor, in charge of maintaining Israel’s security in Gaza,” according to Israeli journalist Aluf Benn)—Israel is also responsible. When the IDF’s “surgical strikes” kill not only their targets but also civilians, including a 19 year old pregnant woman, a 7 year old girl, and an 11 month old baby, it’s also responsible. If the husband or the brothers and sisters are filled with rage and want to strike a blow for their people and their grief—can we not understand? Can we not say that we would feel the same? That we do feel the same? And would we really care who had started “the latest round”?

The single biggest difference between the two sides of the current Israeli-Gazan hostilities comes down to one word: Power.

Gazan militants (not all of them Hamas—indeed, most of them not) launch rockets from within a tiny strip of land that is physically penned in on all sides by Israel (save for one small crossing with Egypt)—when Israel retaliates, 1.7 million Gazans literally cannot even run away. On the other hand, Israel is a military super power, with battleships off the coast of Gaza, jet fighters in her airspace, and the unstinting support of the world’s most powerful nation.

I watched Democracy Now on Wednesday night and saw Noam Chomsky interviewed on Gaza.

NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s kind of amazing and inspiring to see people managing somehow to survive in—as essentially caged animals and subject to constant, random, sadistic punishment only to humiliate them, no pretext. They’re—Israel and the United States keep them alive, basically. They don’t want them to starve to death. But the life is set up so that you can’t have a dignified, decent life. In fact, one of the words you hear most often is “dignity.” They would like to have dignified lives. And the standard Israeli position is they shouldn’t raise their heads. And it’s a pressure cooker, could blow up. You know, people can’t live like that forever.

AMY GOODMAN: You described it in a piece you wrote as an “open-air prison.”

NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s an open-air prison. As soon as you—you know, we’ve all been in jail for civil disobedience and so on. The overwhelming feeling everyone gets is somebody else is in total control of you. There’s an arbitrary authority who can control anything you do. Stand up, sit down, you know, find something to eat, go to the bathroom—whatever it may be, they all determine it; you can’t do anything. Now that’s basically what it’s like living there. And, you know, there’s—people find ways to adapt, but it’s just a constant—it’s constant subjugation to an external force, which has no purpose except to humiliate you. Of course, they have pretexts—everybody has pretexts—but they don’t make any sense.

Those of us that value peace wonder why these situations just recur with no attempt at resolution other than more bombs.  Here’s one more personal story of a journalist in Gaza whose 11 month old son was killed by the bombing.  The story also comes with this heart wrenching photo.  I looked for the story after reading Hauzer’s essay.

The front page photo on Thursday’s Washington Post tells, in a single frame, a very personal story from Wednesday’s Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic journalist who lives in Gaza, carries the body of his 11-month old son, Omar, through al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

An Israeli round hit Misharawi’s four-room home in Gaza Wednesday, killing his son, according to BBC Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar, who arrived in Gaza earlier Thursday. Misharawi’s sister-in-law was also killed, and his brother wounded. Misharawi told Danahar that, when the round landed, there was no fighting in his residential neighborhood.

“We’re all one team in Gaza,” Danahar told me, saying that Misharawi is a BBC video and photo editor. After spending a “few hours” with his grieving colleague, he wrote on Twitter, ”Questioned asked here is: if Israel can kill a man riding on a moving motorbike (as they did last month) how did Jihad’s son get killed.”

Hamas rockets are now targeting Tel Aviv. Three Israelis have died so far.  An Israeli ground assault is now expected.

Palestinian militants targeted densely populated Tel Aviv in Israel’s heartland with rockets for the first time Thursday, part of an unprecedented barrage that threatened to provoke an Israeli ground assault on Gaza. Three Israelis were killed.Air raid sirens wailed and panicked residents ran for cover in Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial and cultural capital. Israel responded by moving troops and heavy weapons toward Gaza and authorizing the call-up of tens of thousands of reservists.

There was no word on where the two rockets aimed at Tel Aviv landed, raising the possibility they fell into the Mediterranean. A third rocket landed in an open area on the southern outskirts of Tel Aviv.

The fighting, the heaviest in four years, came after Israel launched a ferocious air assault Wednesday to stop repeated rocket fire from Gaza. The powerful Hamas military chief was killed in that strike, and another 18 Palestinians have died over two days, including five children. Some 100 Palestinians have been wounded.

Israeli warplanes struck dozens of Hamas-linked targets in Gaza on Thursday, sending loud booms echoing across the narrow Mediterranean coastal strip at regular intervals, followed by gray columns of smoke. After nightfall, several explosions shook Gaza City several minutes apart, a sign the strikes were not letting up, and the military said the targets were about 70 underground rocket-launching sites.

It’s just really hard to understand how these constant back and forth of rockets and missiles will solve anything.  I’ve gotten to the point where I think that solving things isn’t actually the point.  It just ruins a lot of lives on all sides of the hostilities.   You wonder if it will ever end. You also have to wonder how many people will die until the joint desire for peace is greater than the joint desire for power and control.

What’s on you reading and blogging list today?