Wednesday Reads: It’s a Sin

Good Morning

I’ve no clue what is going on in the world, it feels like I have checked out but still stuck in the same place. It is like I can see things going on around me, but I just don’t give a damn about it.

So for this morning’s thread, I have some links that I have saved along the way. Some of them are from a few weeks ago…anyway…

This first article is over my head…my son has tried to explain dark matter to me and I still don’t get it. Mathematicians offer unified theory of dark matter, dark energy, altering Einstein field equations

A pair of mathematicians — one from Indiana University and the other from Sichuan University in China — have proposed a unified theory of dark matter and dark energy that alters Einstein’s equations describing the fundamentals of gravity.

Sichuan University professor Tian Ma, left, and IU Department of Mathematics professor Shouhong Wang have developed a unified theory of dark matter and dark energy they believe could change our view of energy, gravitational interactions and the structure and formation of the universe.

I will just let you read that article on your own.

Now for something I can comprehend, Pre-Raphaelites as costume drama: Victorians in all their lurid glory

Dante Gabriel Rosetti's Lady Lilith, in Tate Britain's show Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

Dante Gabriel Rosetti’s Lady Lilith, part of Tate Britain’s exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde, which runs from 12 September-13 January. Photograph: Guy Bell for the Guardian

Tate Britain‘s new Pre-Raphaelites exhibition is a steam-punk triumph, a raw and rollicking resurrection of the attitudes, ideas and passions of our engineering, imperialist, industrialist, capitalist and novel-writing ancestors. The pistons are pounding, the steam is hissing, cigars are being lit and secret lives once more being concealed. The Victorians are back in town. This is as much a costume drama as a show, jam-packed with heroes and villains and innocent victims, holding up a lurid mirror to the age that built Britain.

These style of paintings have always fascinated me, maybe it is because there is something medieval about them?

Pre-Raphaelites: Ophelia by John Everett Millais Ophelia by John Everett Millais. Photograph: Corbis

The Pre-Raphaelites were painting as Karl Marx was writing his revolutionary works in the Reading Room of the British Museum. Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto in 1848, the same year the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood formed. The young artists who joined this radical band saw through the hypocrisy of the factory owners who bought their paintings. In Isabella, painted in 1848-49, John Everett Millais illustrates a medieval Italian tale about the daughter of a rich merchant family who loved a penniless young clerk. Isabella’s brothers murder her unsuitable lover. Millais suggests these brothers have incestuous designs on their sister: one of them points a white-stockinged leg phallically at Isabella. The foregrounded brothers are creepy in the extreme, but the most villainous faces in Millais’ painting belong to a row of respectable bourgeois types who share their dinner table: they radiate the cold propriety of Poor Law guardians. This is a painting about secrets and lies, and Millais makes it a psychodrama full of resonance with the Victorian period.

Beautiful. Read the entire article at the link above, they have more visual images too…real nice ones.

Monkeys in castles and lettrines of whimsy
Both this image and the one up top come from

Now, I usually love to read articles from HNN History News Network, but this has to be one subject of study I would never have thought people would take seriously. Just the title for you, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies: The Best is Yet to Come | History News Network

Damn, I feel violated, like I need to take a shower, ugh…Ayn Rand Studies? Now that is fucked up.

Here are a couple of articles that are very important, they discuss the War on Women…well, take a look for yourself. And yes, I am quoting the whole thing.

A Question That Should Be Asked of Every Political Candidate | RH Reality Check

As the most extreme anti-choice advocates push to force all politicians to accept “no exceptions” as the default position when it comes to opposing abortions, it’s stories like these that serve as a reminder of how an all out ban would effect real people.

Especially young girls.

Via The News Tribune:

The girl is not yet in her teens. Police say her mother’s boyfriend, who had a history of violent crime, raped her. He was ultimately shot dead by deputies trying to arrest him. She was impregnated. She was 11.

It bears repeating. Eleven.

Forget for a moment a woman’s very personal right to choose, the spark for recent demonstrations at both the Republican and Democratic conventions. Here is a question for those who seem to know what’s best for the rest of the world: Can reasonable people really believe there should be no choice, under any circumstance, even in what happened to this child?

It’s a yes or no question that should be asked of every politician.  Do you believe an 11 year old pregnant rape victim should be forced to give birth if she doesn’t want to?  Because this is what no exceptions would really look like

Ugh…I thought about posting that link on the Banjoville Topix form, just to see what kind of reaction it gets, but I am afraid to read the comments. I mean, I am already depressed about things as it is. But hey, at least there is some “good” news out of Idaho: Idaho Abortion Ruling States Pregnant Women Can’t Be Prosecuted For Having Abortions

An Idaho law that bans the use of medication to induce abortion cannot be used to prosecute a woman who took the pills to abort her pregnancy, a U.S. appeals court decided on Tuesday.

Bannock County prosecutors brought a case against Jennie Linn McCormack in 2011 after she used medication that she obtained online to induce her own abortion. McCormack, a single mother of three, claims that she could not find a licensed abortion provider in Southeastern Idaho, so she had to violate a state law that requires abortions to be performed at a hospital or medical clinic.

An Idaho federal judge dismissed the charges against McCormack in September 2011 on the grounds that the law cannot be enforced. McCormack then challenged the law itself, arguing that it imposes an undue burden on women’s access to abortion in Idaho.

I’ve got two more links for you, and I have to admit, they are a bit on the selfish side. One is about a medieval woman…The Curious Case of Mary Felton

…the interesting life of a 14th century English lady: Mary Felton was at one point or another during her complex life was married to Edmund Hemgrave, Thomas Breton, Geoffrey Worsley, and John Curson, consectively, though not always exclusively; she was also ‘sometime’ widow, mistress, divorcee, nun, apostate, and mother.

Mary (born circa 1356) was the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Felton, who was Knight of the Garter and a high ranking officer in Edward III’s armies in France. By the time she was six years old, Mary was betrothed to Edmund Hemgrave, but he died in 1374, leaving Mary as a child widow, but also with some property.

However, Mary did not stay single for long – within a few months she had clandestinely married Thomas Breton. However, this marriage does not seem to have lasted, as in 1376 she had married Geoffrey Worsley in a parish church. Meanwhile, Thomas Breton died in 1380 while fighting on the continent.

The marriage with Geoffrey did not last either, as in 1381 the Archdeacon of Chester granted Mary a divorce, and the the 25-year-old lady entered a Franciscan nunnery at Aldgate, London where she was strictly cloistered.

Over the next few years Geoffrey Worsley remarried, and Thomas Felton died. Although Mary was Thomas’ only heir, as a strictly cloistered nun who had taken a vow of poverty, she was unable to own property. Her mother, Joan, set up several trustees to manage the properties of Mary, with Makowski adding that Joan was eager to maximize the profits from these various estates.

In 1385 the situation changed dramatically, as Mary left Aldgate and made a bold bid to reclaim her secular status. When the crown issued an arrest warrant against Mary for being a runaway religious, she responded by claiming that she was not an apostate because never freely joined. Mary Felton stated that she was forced to divorce Geoffrey and enter the nunnery. She also complained that she was not receiving any profits from the properties being run by her mother.

This case would spend several years in the episcopal courts, and Mary received support from some relatives of Geoffrey Worsley – Geoffrey had died in 1385 but had an infant daughter who would have inherited his estate. By Mary making a claim that she had never truly divorced Geoffrey, this daughter would be declared illegitimate, which meant that Geoffrey’s other relatives would get his inheritance.

In 1392 the episcopal court decided the Mary was indeed a secular person. This allowed her to marry for a fourth time – now with John Curson, who happened to be one of the trustees appointment her mother. Mary never did get control of her properties herself – she died in 1398 and her mother outlived her. When Joan died a few years later, the property of Thomas Felton went to Mary and John’s legitimate son, also named John.

Elizabeth Makowski, a professor at Texas State University, found this to be a very interesting case of matrimonial intrigues and legal entanglements, showing how an individual used canon law to regain her secular status.

Click here to visit Professor Makowski’s webpage at Texas State University

And the other link is about this band I loved back in the day,  Pet Shop Boys: ‘We don’t think about the old stuff’

Pet Shop Boys
The band met in an electronics shop in London, 31 years ago

After 30 years in the limelight, the Pet Shop Boys are tackling an unusual subject for a pop album – ageing and death.

The Pet Shop Boys are sprawled at opposite ends of a sofa in a perfectly white room on the top floor of their record company’s London headquarters.

Neil Tennant, professor of pop and deadpan frontman is on the right, alert and well-groomed.

His partner in crime for the last 30 years, Chris Lowe, is on the left, slouched and sardonic in jeans and a sports T-shirt.

They are here, ostensibly, to discuss their 11th studio album, Elysium.

But, as is often the case with the polymath pop group, the conversation becomes a survey of the entire music scene.

Take a look at that article, you may be surprised at just how active the Pet Shop Boys are…I know I was.  There are many favorite tunes I could bring you now from these “boys” but here is one that sort of “goes” with the medieval theme of today’s post.

So, what’s going on with your sins lately?

85 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: It’s a Sin”

  1. There are a couple of FB pictures that I wanted to put up:

    And this one:

  2. ecocatwoman says:

    I have been meaning to post this & couldn’t find a decent link. Rick Scott & the Repugs were right – there was voter fraud in Florida. Of course it was only one Canadian who voted in 2 presidential elections. But, hey, it WAS fraud. Besides the fraudulent voting, he had also purchased several guns & had a concealed carry permit as well. Personally, the gun thing bothers me much more than the voter fraud. We;re living in the land of Crazy.

    In fact, Sever has the distinction of being the only person on the Florida Department of State’s original list of 180,000 potential noncitizen voters to be charged with and convicted of voter fraud.

    Sever pleaded guilty in federal court on Aug. 30 to illegally voting in the 2008 presidential election and falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen when he registered to vote … and when he purchased guns and obtained a Florida concealed-weapons permit.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    We’re getting a pretty good idea of how Mitt Romney would handle the “3AM phone call.” I’m so shocked by his reaction to the events in the Middle East, that I really don’t know what to say except that I don’t want this man to be in control of nuclear weapons.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Thanks, I’m reading it now. President Obama is going to make a statement along with Hillary Clinton in the Rose Garden soon. Romney is going to say something before that. You’d think he’d leave well enough alone. He’s done enough damage to himself and the country.

      • Beata says:

        If nothing else, Mitt Shady should show some decency and let the President speak about this important foreign policy matter first. Lord, didn’t they teach any manners at Cranbrook other than “Haircutting By Force 101”?

      • Beata says:

        MSNBC says Romney will speak after Obama does. I’m glad to hear that.

      • bostonboomer says:

        According to Fallows, even Fox News called on Romney to cool it. He’s beyond disgusting.

        It also needs to be reported that after promising to stop negative attacks on 9/11, he spent most of the day attacking President Obama.

      • Beata says:

        Well, Mitt Shady is speaking now about the attacks. Criticizing Obama at this delicate and dangerous time. Calling Obama administration “disgraceful”. I’m truly shocked. Mitt has no decency or shame. He is not worthy of becoming Commander in Chief!!!

      • Fannie says:

        Yea, Romney wants to nuke em………………….ask yourself if Romney were elected president yesterday, and woke up to this today, want would he actually do…………….nuke em.

        I don’t know who did the posting on you tube, but they need to be in a mental hospital.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Can’t say Romney’s statement shocked me. It’s his M.O. – Obama apologizes for America. Where is the outrage over Terry Jones? He should be tried as a co-conspirator in the murders of these Americans. At least inciting to riot. That “holy” man belongs in prison.

      The Republican win at all costs plan has awakened The Beast & it (the fundies) is hell bent on bringing on the Apocalypse. Did the mothers of these Repugnants not teach them that actions have consequences?

  4. Beata says:

    A fascinating collection of reads today, JJ. Thank you. I love the medieval and Pre-Raphaelite links.

    I am feeling wiped out these days. Brain fog. I should have something profound to say about, well, something, but I don’t.

    I saw this “rap” against Romney from Bree Newsome. She’s a young filmmaker with a BFA from NYU. I usually don’t like rap but the video is clever. It’s good to see that twenty-something women are politically engaged. ( Warning: the video contains the “ho” word but it is used to show how the GOP wants to put women back into the June Cleaver days. )

  5. RalphB says:

    Note these results are with Obama only getting 67% of African-Americans. I doubt Romney will get 30%???

    SurveyUSA poll shows Obama up 4 in FLorida

    In pivotal Florida, Barack Obama comes out of the Democratic National Convention 4 points atop Mitt Romney, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WFLA-TV in Tampa. Romney leads among Florida’s white voters, but that lead is erased by Florida’s minorities: Obama leads by 16 points among Cubans, by 36 points among non-Cuban Hispanics, and by 67 points among African Americans.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Hillary is talking now.

  7. Pat Johnson says:

    Somebody makes a movie about Muslims featuring the treatment of young girls forced into marriage as children which causes some fanatics to object and do so by killing innocent people.

    While here at home we have the same brand of lunacy being promoted that would criminalize women who seek and abortion and jail the doctor who carries it out. Add to that some who would call for the death or exportation of gays and I would ask fro someone to explain the difference in this philosophy.

    The truth is that religious fanatacism is evident in both. People who have allowed their fantasies to overcome reason and see no harm in promoting the insanity regardless of which religious practice you happen to support.

    Sheer ignorance is coming from both sides and it does not take much to fuel the flames as long as this intolerance is accepted. We can decry the lack of critical thinking that comes from countries that foster this belief but in truth we ourselves are not far behind.

    The rape of an 11 yr old child is not a “blessing” no matter how much the Religious Right claims it to be. But how much different is that archaic belief from what happened in Libya when you sort through the rhetoric?

    Just a reminder that Dr. Teller met his death from much the same way of thinking.

    • Fannie says:

      Sam Bacile made the film, came here to publish it over a year ago………..he is from Israel and has family in Egypt.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    The Romney camp is standing by their statement last night that Obama sympathized with the extremists who murdered the ambassador and others.

    What a disgrace.

    Romney is focusing on a statement that was put out by the Libyan embassy in an attempt to calm the protesters. The Obama administration had not approved the statement.

    Romney talking now. I can hardly stand to listen to him.

  9. Pat Johnson says:

    Whispering in his ear are the neocon leftovers from the Bush administration who want nothing more than total war in the mideast.

    This is their objective and he is the perfect tool toward realization.

    Hence his statement to never criticize Israel and his comments now.

    • RalphB says:

      Jeffrey Goldberg: RNC Already Politicizing Anti-American Rioting

      Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus (@Reince) tweeted out the following before news of the murder of the U.S. ambassador in Libya, but after the sustained attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities there and in Egypt: “Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.”

      There’s no proof for this assertion, of course — the mealy-mouthed tweets coming from the Cairo (the ones seemingly sympathizing with the pre-enlightenment types who believe that blasphemers deserve to be murdered) were written by embassy staff and were disavowed by the Obama Administration.

      More to the point: Really? The president who is waging war against Islamist extremists in six or seven countries “sympathizes” with their fellow travelers in Egypt? Please provide proof, Mr. Priebus. Otherwise this is slander. And also, a question: Will Reince Priebus say anything in order to gain a moment’s political advantage?

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Hopefully, as with the financial crisis in 2008 that saw the demise of the McCain campaign, this too will force the nation into a closer examination of Romney and Company.

        His uninformed statements may be bringing more instability into a region that is trying to find its way into some form of democracy but this fool prefers to fuel the flames with more ignorant statements that could topple it even further.


    • janey says:

      Romney and those neocon leftovers are too stupid to understand that their objective of war in the mideast would be the end of the United States. We are too much in debt, and we have been at war for over 10 years now. Not the time or circumstance to go to war over RELIGION!! I hope people get a clue and not vote for Romney.

  10. Pat Johnson says:

    The Romney campaign: “We don’t do truth anymore”.

  11. Oh this is something big…finally: Russia and China to back Iran resolution – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

    Following days of diplomacy, Russia and China have agreed to support a US-backed resolution demanding that Iran stop activities that could be used to make nuclear arms.

    Diplomats said on Wednesday the agreement not only sends a unified message to Iran, but also convinces Israel that diplomacy is a real alternative to military force in preventing a nuclear confrontation.

    The resolution cannot be enforced by the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), even if approved by vote or consensus as expected on Thursday. But with Israel threatening war against Iran, the agreement is a significant progress after months of diplomatic deadlock.

  12. Beata says:

    Obama speaking now.

    • Beata says:

      Obama was calm, measured, and thoughtful in his remarks. Did say justice would be done in response to the attacks.

      Hillary was at his side.

  13. Pat Johnson says:

    Romney just “wrote” Rachel’s opening segment tonight.

    I hope someone has Ed Schultz on a tranquilizer about now because you can almost “feel it coming”.

  14. ecocatwoman says:

    Just watched Hillary, Rombot & the prez. 2 Class Acts & one idiot. The weight of the presidency is so evident in Obama’s face. His brow was deeply furrowed. The honest solemnity of both Hillary & Obama when addressing the nation was in stark contrast to Romney’s nearly flippant posing. How presumptuous of Romney to even make a public statement.

    • Beata says:

      It was an incredible contrast, Connie. Two statespeople and a vulture.

    • RalphB says:

      • NW Luna says:

        McCain makes a fine statement there — he commends and calms; does not inflame. That’s an example of why a protest vote in ’08 was a very different matter than protest-voting for the asinine and dangerous R/R ticket this year.

  15. Pat Johnson says:

    I know I may sound like a “groupie” but I feel good about having the presence of Hillary Clinton available during a time when the entire mideast could actually erupt into flames.

    We should be standing together in hopes that what has emerged from the ARab Spring is a positive and work with these emerging democracies to overcome this radical faction rather than to offer lies, distortions and half truths just for the purpose of political gains.

  16. Pat Johnson says:

    Mitt Romney may have just written his political obituary today.

    Commenting unjustly on statements that had never been issued from the WH when the facts had yet to be uncovered should just about “seal the deal” for a man who nobody ever wanted in the first place.

    I say send him back to La Jolla to oversee the building of that car elevator and pick out the drapes for the newest McMansion.

    Those “advisers” have done him more harm and he should be demanding a refund for all the good they have done him.

  17. bostonboomer says:

    Wow! From Ben Smith at Buzzfeed: Foreign Policy Hands Voice Disbelief At Romney Cairo Statement. “Bungle… utter disaster…not ready for prime time… not presidential… Lehman moment.” And that’s just the Republicans.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Jesus, it didn’t take long for those responses.

      I guess you can “explain away” all the lies, distortions, and flip flopping and still find those dumb enough to support you.

      But when your ignorance is finally put on display for all the world to see it becomes a little more difficult to imagine that person holding the seat of power when they have openly exposed their total lack of qualifications.

  18. ecocatwoman says:

    From yesterday’s NYT story, Eichenwald & Ari Fleischer on AC360 last night:

  19. bostonboomer says:

    I was only listening to Romney’s statement, but just saw a photo of him afterwards. He was smiling!

    • Beata says:

      Yes, he was. Disgusting display. I demand proof that Romney is human!

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Romney is such a slimey guy. Everything is political to his mind. Did he not get it after 911? Did he not understand that when these sort of events happen you don’t demagogue for your selfish political advantage? He, nor his family has ever put even a cell of skin on the line for this country and it’s security. He needs to just STFU and crawl on back to his monuments to excess. Ryan is going to speak next, who can’t guess what that lying sleaze ball will say? Both of these guys are just brown streaks in the underwear of life.

  20. RalphB says:

    MaddowBlog on Romney’s TV appearance.

    Romney digs deeper after Libya debacle

  21. bostonboomer says:

    Even Republican shill Mark Halperin disapproves:

    Unless the Romney campaign has gamed this crisis out in some manner completely invisible to the Gang of 500, his doubling down on criticism of the President for the statement coming out of Cairo is likely to be seen as one of the most craven and ill-advised tactical moves in this entire campaign.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      If you have lost Mark Halperin then you have lost.

      This is the guy who called Obama a “dick” on national t.v. to give you an idea where he is coming from.

      But I just watched the clip of Romney addressing the media and I have to say that “smirk” on his face reminded me so much of how Nixon used to look when he had to address them.

      • pdgrey says:

        That smirk, my sister and I both saw him glance up and that little smirk came, almost like “Now watch me say this, it’s really good”. Thou infectious, boil-brained, lout.

    • RalphB says:

      Halperin – Weathervane of the Establishment has spoken. 🙂

  22. pdgrey says:

    Did anyone else notice, at one point, Romeny glanced up and almost smiled? Thou is a artlesss, earth-vexing, maggot pie.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Oh my – I just flashed on an episode of Buffy. One of monsters that was trying to kill her was a bunch of maggots that formed themselves into a human. Honestly – thinking of the actor, his demeanor was so Romney-like. Gonna go look for a picture online.

    • pdgrey says:

      I really enjoyed JJ’s Shakespeare insult kit. Is it ” Thou are an, or Thou is a”? hehe.

      • NW Luna says:

        It’s “thou addle-pated loutish hedge-pig.” Or, “thee ist an addle-pated loutish hedge-pig.”

        Hmmm. I think hedge-pig is hedgehog.

        I enjoyed the Shakespeare insult template too! But then, my first degree was in English.

  23. Pat Johnson says:

    When the tyrants of Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and Syria were in charge they managed to tamp dowm the outbursts -or free speech if you will – of the opposition by force.

    Now that they have been toppled and some form of democracy is emerging, this too opens the door to the crazies who have been unleashed. The fact that they are hardcore religious nuts doesn’t help but it is a factor that cannot be ignored.

    We have our own brand of lunatics over here and with just the right “nudge” are quite capable of performing the same thing.

  24. pdgrey says:

    After the Cairo embassy’s initial statement, as a mob protest outside the embassy heated up, even entering the compound, and commentators in the U.S. suggested the embassy condemn the protesters, the embassy responded through its Twitter feed: “Of course we condemn breaches of our compound, we’re the ones actually living through this.”

    The embassy added: “Sorry, but neither breaches of our compound or angry messages will dissuade us from defending freedom of speech AND criticizing bigotry.”

    The diplomats in Cairo survived the assault on their embassy. When the protests spread to Libya, diplomats there weren’t so lucky: Four U.S. State Department officials, including Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, were killed in an hourslong assault. Romney responded by attacking the diplomats in Cairo.

    “The embassy in Cairo put out a statement after their grounds had been breached, protesters were inside the grounds,” said Romney at his press conference. “They reiterated that statement after the breach. I think it’s a — a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values.”

    Did Romney expect the Cairo diplomats to retract their defense of religious tolerance in the face of the attack? Or did Romney expect the Obama administration to denounce the diplomats who were under siege?

  25. dakinikat says:

    Fox News Reluctantly Apologizes For Completely False Stats Used To Attack Obama On Unemployment

  26. dakinikat says:

    Gen JC Christian ‏@JC_Christian

    Breaking: Reince Priebus calls on Obama to explain why presidential limo doesn’t have plastic Jesus on it’s dashboard