Sunday Reads: Potpourri

194Good Morning

Today’s post is bringing you a mixture of different links, a potpourri if you will…

But before we get to the bowl of fragrant, colorful, natural, synthetic, faded, smelly, moldy, dried, limp, withered reads, let us touch on something that I find hilariously ironic.

Look at this headline:

5 People Shot At 3 Different Gun Shows On Gun Appreciation Day

I don’t think there is anything else to say about that. Except maybe add this nugget of news from TPM:

Yep, Big Liars

It seems that the Obama kids are not protected by armed guards at the Sidwell Friends School.

I would not go so far as to say that the NRA are big liars, cough, but you decide.

Another headline for you:

Obama’s Plan May Put More Guns in Schools

Personally, I think that there should be mandatory full-time armed police person inside schools…and that they should be paid from a tax on ammunition. But I feel strongly, and passionately, that these armed individuals should not be volunteers, teachers, janitors and/or any vigilante obsessed gun-toting “concerned” citizens.

Okay then, moving right along, the links today are going to be in link dump fashion, since my head is killing me and this computer screen is burning my eyes.

The first couple of links I have for you are chilling and extremely disturbing. Be sure to read them in full.

Is PTSD Contagious? It’s rampant among returning vets—and now their spouses and kids are starting to show the same symptoms. Mac McClelland | Mother Jones

After reading Mac’s article, I think it is fair to say…yes, PTSD is contagious.

Coupled with these infographics that tell a sad story: Charts: Suicide, PTSD and the Psychological Toll on America’s Vets | Mother Jones

Another post that is related to traumatic experiences: Can Eye Movements Treat Trauma?: Scientific American

Studies are showing that moving your eyes back and forth like a ping-pong ball can help deal with PTSD. The technique is called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

This next article discusses Afghanistan: The 13-Year War- As we draw closer to the withdrawal in Afghanistan promised at the close of 2014, a look back at America’s longest war.

Emptywheel takes a look at the connection between Adam Swartz and the government’s investigation into Wikileaks. The Fishing Expedition into WikiLeaks

Here is an update on the ongoing hunt for pythons in Florida’s Everglades: Florida’s python update: 21 caught so far in Everglades hunt

And another update on the story we’ve followed about those possible Spitfires in Burma: No ‘lost Spitfires’ buried in Burma-Dig near Rangoon International Airport proves fruitless but Lincolnshire farmer insists search will continue elsewhere in the country

Want to see a list of Representatives who did not vote for Sandy aid? MAP: In These 22 States, Every House Republican Voted Against Sandy Aid

Take a look at this photo, it is still a messy situation.

Almost three months after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast, the GOP-controlled House approved a bill that provides $50.7 billion in disaster relief for the storm’s victims. While passage of the bill is being hailed as a bipartisan success by some (the vote was 241-180), a closer look at how the parties voted by state lines indicates otherwise. GOPers overwhelmingly voted against funding—unless, of course, their state was hard hit.

In 22 states, every last Republican representative voted against HR 152 or abstained on the bill, which includes $17 billion for immediate repair and an amendment introduced by a Republican, New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, that tacks on another $33.7 billion for long-term recovery and prevention. These included Maryland and the Carolinas (remember Hugo and Floyd?), states that are vulnerable to seasonal hurricanes but were largely spared by Sandy.

And…in the plastic yuk department: Plastics Suck Up Other Toxins: Double Whammy for Marine Life, Gross for Seafood

Combine that with the yuk from Coke’s sugary drinks: Coke: Wait, People Thought Vitaminwater Was Good for You?

Makes you think, what the hell are we doing to ourselves?

If it doesn’t make you question our self-destructive actions, this next link will…Labiaplasty: An investigation of the most popular trend in the field of ‘vaginal rejuvenation’ surgery.

Kirsten O’Regan: Labiaplasty, Part I – Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics

Kirsten O’Regan: Labiaplasty, Part II – Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics

You may need some eye bleach and a break from reading after that article. Ooof!

Why would any woman do that to herself? I mean, that is just fucked-up.

Couldn’t they just “think” about it and get the same benefit, if you could call it that. Check this out: AsapSCIENCE Demonstrates The Power Of Imagination- Thinking About Doing Something Is Pretty Much The Same As Doing It [Video] | Geekosystem

Ready for a strange and uncomfortable fact to start your Friday morning? Sure you are, and here it is, courtesy of the fine cartoonists and deep thinkers over at AsapSCIENCE: when you think deeply about a thing — seeing the letter ‘B,’ for example, or fixing a sandwich — the same parts of your brain involved in performing that action light up. Some studies even suggest that you can improve your piano skills just by thinking diligently about playing while not actually touching a piano. Check out AsapSCIENCE’s latest video below and learn more about how your brain is just weird sometimes.

Well, I guess all of us procrastinators will appreciate that video. (I won’t even begin to try and fix the f’d up grammar in that sentence.)

I’ve got another video for you:   The deer that thinks it’s a sheep | Earth | EarthSky

Photo courtesy the National Trust, UK

You will love this video. The deer attached himself to the sheep in early December 2012. He shows no sign of leaving.

Have you all seen this bit of twisted news in the world of ballet?

Bolshoi artistic director Sergei Filin ‘blinded’ by acid attack that left him with chemical burns- The former ballet star had acid thrown in his face by a man – it is thought the attack is linked to his position

Bolshoi ballet director Sergei Filin severely injured in acid attack -Doctors fighting to save eyesight of former dancer after assailant threw acid in his face outside central Moscow home

Wow, this post is getting long, and I am very late in getting it posted. Quickly…here are the rest of the links I have saved to share with you today.

Today it is the 100th birthday of Danny Kaye. From MovieMorlocks.com – Happy 100th, Danny!

Also from Movie Morlocks, some wonderful photography:  William Edward Cronenweth: A Legacy in Photos

More science links:

Scientists shed light on the ‘dark matter’ of DNA

Innovative approach results in improved writing skills at primary school

And finally, a travel piece: Swept away by a Sicilian symphony

Have a great day…and enjoy those links!


32 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Potpourri”

  1. Can someone tell me if that Labiaplasty is just another form of female mutilation? Seems like it is to me.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Why would any woman do that to herself?

      I’ll hazard a guess. Since women are born flawed/imperfect, it’s just another way for us to reach every man’s ideal? Pretty is, as pretty does. Guess pretty is s’posed to be everywhere on our colonized bodies. Or possibly plastic surgeons are running out of breasts, eyes, tummies & noses to fix.

      • Fannie says:

        You nailed it………….it not about her body, but his fantasies.

      • RalphB says:

        I don’t think you can really put that one on men. I don’t think it’s a topic of much thought among us, course I may be out of the loop being older and all.

      • Fannie says:

        I think are the bigget trigger to how women see their bodies, and that is a reflection of all the ads, tv commericals, and the pschyological impact from them. I actually have a young neice who says it’s a fight for her to keep her husband as she ages. One Christmas she gave him a big set of breast, the story keeps going on, and on. I can’t hardly commuicated this her, she is in the beauty business, and gets her information from other women who are in the fight to keep husbands. You know, I’m with Aretha, and love being a “natural woman”.

      • RalphB says:

        Fannie, I’m with you. I see nothing wrong with the way nature made us. All the rest of it is some kind of marketing propaganda which both sexes seem to have fallen for.

      • NW Luna says:

        Fannie — I think your niece would be better off losing that guy.

    • RalphB says:

      “neatness counts” WTF is that all about anyway? I thought breast implants, unless they are reconstruction, were weird but damn. I guess that whole “body image” thing goes a lot further than I would have imagined.

  2. President Obama Inauguration – NYTimes.com

    President Obama will be quietly sworn into office for a second term just before noon on Sunday in a brief White House ceremony, a day before Monday’s far showier public inaugural events, adhering to a long tradition of doing so out of the public eye when Jan. 20 falls on a Sunday.

  3. ecocatwoman says:

    The deer video is cute. No doubt, since they said this is a male red deer, when he reaches sexual maturity his natural instincts will kick in when he smells a female red deer in estrus & he will leave the flock. I’m not sure I concur with the conjecture that he had not bonded with the herd. That would’ve meant he hooked up with the flock of sheep before he was weaned. That would have spelled certain death. More likely his mother came to an untimely end, and the sheep flock was the nearest herd he could find.

  4. ecocatwoman says:

    Time to insert my Debbie Downer link of the day. I think this piece by Chris Hedges hits the nail square on the head, better than anything else I’ve read recently: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/13891-will-we-adjust-to-life-on-a-finite-planet-or-continue-devouring-our-future

    The human species, led by white Europeans and Euro-Americans, has been on a 500-year-long planetwide rampage of conquering, plundering, looting, exploiting and polluting the Earth—as well as killing the indigenous communities that stood in the way. But the game is up. The technical and scientific forces that created a life of unparalleled luxury—as well as unrivaled military and economic power—for the industrial elites are the forces that now doom us. The mania for ceaseless economic expansion and exploitation has become a curse, a death sentence. But even as our economic and environmental systems unravel, after the hottest year in the contiguous 48 states since record keeping began 107 years ago, we lack the emotional and intellectual creativity to shut down the engine of global capitalism. We have bound ourselves to a doomsday machine that grinds forward, as the draft report of the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee illustrates.

    I don’t think unlimited growth – of anything – is a reality. And none of the planet’s resources is infinite. I also think this piece explains why those on the Right and those who vote for them choose delusion over reality.

  5. Fannie says:

    Thanks JJ, there is alot of information to read, and I intend to print out the PSTD stories…….We know what happened in Vietnam, it was on tv every day, you saw the death, you saw Mylai, and then you asked what did happen to the men charged with the mass killings, what happened to those investigations? And how did it affect the families? Back then everybody ended up with a case of “BAD NERVES”. I don’t know if aging helped us.

    I woke up this morning to CNN, and there is Candy Crowley, interviewing some republican motherfucker, who says he’s been coming to inaugrations since he was 8 (he look to be 70)…and is a member of congress. He started out saying how he and his Dad enjoyed all the inaugrations whether they were republican or democratic, because our country was the best, and they wanted what was best for the country. Then in the next fucking sentence all hell broke loose, Obama is wrong, he’s overspending, all the country folk are not happy, nobody wants to vote for gun control, and on and on he went to bash our President. I tell you what, that fucking gave me a flash back to BAD NERVES. The fucking nerve of him on this day, just hours away from swearing in. I ask myself, WHY did she even put the motherfucker on air? He wasn’t there to heal a fucking thing, and had nothing nice to say about the president. And Candy did nothing to induce a good picture of Obama on this here day of celebration. Breeders of hate that is all the republicans are doing, they want to bring this country down, and blame it on Obama. It’s sick.

    • RalphB says:

      Those fucking Republicans are onto Abram’s strategy in Vietnam. Gotta burn the hamlet down in order to save it. May they rot in Hell!

    • Fannie says:

      That was John Barrasso (Wym) on Candy’s State of the Union interview this morning. He is got a “Gold Award – A” from being a member of the NRA. He was an orthopedic doctor before taking office after the death of Craig L. Thomas……..he was known as the “rodeo cowboy doctor”……………..and he voted for prayers in school, against gay marriage, and the sanctity of life, and he goes along with everyfucking thing the tea party says.

      Then Candy had 5 others up there, including big ass Newt Gingrich who took up more than half the screen, saying this is what happened, this is gonna happen, and we are………..I’m like why doesn’t Candy just come and say yes, and that is why you lost,because of all the damn disrepecting and hate you been preaching.

  6. RalphB says:

    Prairie Weather: The toll on Barack and Michelle Obama

    It’s a rotten job but somebody’s gotta do it?

    Trouble is, that’s true.

    A take on Jodi Kantor’s piece in today’s NYT.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Thanks for sharing that Ralph. It made me tear up. Regardless of his flaws, I don’t think any reasonable person can say that Obama doesn’t care about real people and especially children. The President must make such horrible decisions at times, and for someone who does have empathy and emotion it has to be soul rending sometimes. Obama, in this way at least, stands in stark contrast to GWB & the soulless Dick Cheney.

      • Fannie says:

        True enough………….complicates the hell out of solving problems. But this here is OUR DAY and OUR PRESIDENT, and we are the Champs ————-we won the election.

      • RalphB says:

        I believe he is a stark contrast to the soulless Bush crime family. It’s one reason I like him, even when I might disagree.

  7. RalphB says:

    Good analysis by Kathleen Geier of a great piece by Stiglitz in the NYT.

    Political Animal: Joseph Stiglitz: Inequality is preventing a recovery

  8. RalphB says:

    Paul Krugman’s Blog: Obama and Redistribution

    Putting this together, we have a roughly 6 percent hit to the 1 percent, around 9 to the superelite. That’s only a partial rollback of these groups’ huge gains since 1980, but it’s not trivial.

  9. RalphB says:

    In today’s America, this would be a fine legacy. I wish him good luck.

    AP: Obama eyes a legacy: ‘You can make it if you try’

    “Presidential terms are measured by sweeping laws and stirring events, but legacies are about enduring ideas. The one Barack Obama has in mind will drive most everything he tries to do in the next four years: assuring that America is a place where anyone can make it.”
    […]
    “This is the playbook of a Democrat who thinks the basic compact between a nation and its people has been broken, who sees government as more of an aggressive force for good than a bureaucratic menace to society.”

  10. NW Luna says:

    National health care, paid parental leave, much lower CEO pay, now gun registration. Those Europeans have some great ideas:

    Imagine a vast registry that details every legal gun owner in the country, along with information about all of their firearms. Now imagine the gun lobby not making a fuss about it.

    That’s what has happened in Germany, where a new gun database went into service at the beginning of the year. Until recently, some records were kept on index cards across what used to be 551 separate local registries. Now, law-enforcement officials can use their own computers to scroll through lists of owners and their guns in seconds.

    Hunting is popular in Germany, and gun manufacturers are plentiful and powerful. But the push toward increased regulation and oversight, spurred by a string of school shootings in recent years, has come with little opposition from gun groups. Many gun advocates say that if cars can be registered and regulated, so can weapons.

    http://seattletimes.com/text/2020173041.html