Easter Sunday Reads

6a00d83453b09469e20120a970ee3a970b-400wiHappy Easter!

Good morning, I guess this is the time of year when flowers are starting to wake up…birds are singing and leaves are just beginning to emerge.

I have many pretty images and easy stories for you this morning. Let us start with Easter: Why is it so early this year?

Thanks to rules set many centuries ago, Easter egg time is never later than 25 April

Every year we are faced with the same question: will Easter be early or late? When can we expect Easter eggs to appear on supermarket shelves? Earlier and earlier, it would seem.

Although the imagery of Easter may remain the same – luscious chocolate eggs, fragrant hot cross buns and newborn chicks – Easter itself is a moveable celebration, and can fall anywhere between 22 March and 25 April.

But the date in which the faithful celebrate Christ’s resurrection has been surrounded in controversy from early Christian times.

Read the rest of that BBC article, it is a long one.

For a bit more on Medieval Easter Traditions, take a look at this post from a medievalist errant:

Easter is full of odd traditions when you stop to think about them for a moment—why do chocolate eggs come from rabbits, and what do they have to do with the resurrection of Jesus?–and predictably, a good deal of that is just because they’re so old we long since stopped paying attention to where they come from. There are plenty of other places on the internet that will talk about eggs and ancient pre-Christian fertility rites, but I’m just going to focus on the Middle Ages for now because let’s face it, that’s where I live.

Okay, we got the Religious Easter link, the Medieval Easter link and now the Geek Easter link. 

Bunny_Trooper-365x600This fantastic Easter themed Star Wars meets Donnie Darko cosplayer is this week’s awesome-threads-wearing host (via fashionablygeek).

Yes, that is a Death Star Egg…

Now a few vintage Easter postcards, of course you may notice a theme among these:

Vintage-German-Easter-Crdeaster-made-in-germany-carte-postale  easter_postcards_from_1898_to_2007_2easter-no-218imagesnn

What can I say…little people get me every time.  LOL I think that takes care of the midget/dwarf Easter thing.

Here is a sweet animal story for you, Man Finds Baby Squirrel In Bag Of Mulch, Cares For It In Amazing Series Of PHOTOS

Zip, the baby squirrel, is happy, healthy and energetic. But five weeks ago, he was trapped inside a bag of mulch, fighting for his life.

This week, Reddit user Nadtacular posted an amazing series of photos documenting the moment he cut open a bag of mulch and found the tiny squirrel, curled up and nearly hairless.

You need to go to the link to see the pictures of Zip as he grows older…hairy and cute.

Another easy animal tale, but this is a video:

Elephants reunited after 20 years! | Facebook

This is a great story, but a bittersweet sad endearing one,  What ever happened to Shirley and Jenny?

In 2000, The Urban Elephant brought viewers the touching story of Shirley and Jenny, two crippled elephants reunited at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee after a 22-year separation. The bonding was immediate, intense and unforgettable between the two former circus elephants. But long after the cameras were turned off, the wondrous moments would continue.

The two were inseparable. Shirley quickly assumed the role of surrogate mother to Jenny, who, though now an adult, had been a baby when they first met at the circus. Their bond was so intense, it would forever change life at the sanctuary. As Carol Buckley, Executive Director of the Sanctuary describes it, ‘that was the love that started our elephant family.’ “After Shirley’s arrival, elephants who had previously been companions and friends were now sisters and aunts in the mother and daughter relationship of Shirley and Jenny. They gave the sanctuary its future,” says Carol. These strong bonds would soon be needed. Sadly, on October 17, 2006, ten years after arriving at the sanctuary, Jenny died.

It is so sad, but…


Carol says the bond between Shirley and Jenny was never more touching than in the last days of Jenny's life.
Carol says the bond between Shirley and Jenny was never more touching than in the last days of Jenny’s life.

Carol says the bond between Shirley and Jenny was never more touching than in the last days of Jenny’s life. “The day before she died, Jenny had been down and she wouldn’t get up. Shirley stood by her and insisted that Jenny get up. Jenny just couldn’t get up. Then Jenny stood up but she had to lean on Shirley to keep up. If you looked at Shirley’s face, you could see that she knew that Jenny was dying. Jenny dropped to the ground and Shirley walked into the woods.”

Jenny was on her deathbed when Shirley walked to the woods but she would give Carol and the sanctuary caregivers the privilege of one last incredible glimpse into the world of elephants before she died. “After Shirley left, Jenny started to make this rumbling noise. With each exhalation, she would rumble. It was almost like a singing. As Jenny did this, Bunny and Tara (two sanctuary elephants) came running over. We thought that was it and she was going to die. And then Bunny and Tara started trumpeting and rumbling. At a certain point, I turned to Scott (Director of The Elephant Sanctuary) and I asked him how long this was going on. He said 58 minutes! Well, she continued for another two hours. Jenny lived through the night and was even perky and silly. She passed in the morning. And when she died, she did a vocalization that I had never heard. It was like a trumpet. It was very low and got quieter and quieter. She passed very peacefully without straining or exerting herself. To experience this ritual was amazing. I had never seen anything like it.”

Shirley stayed in the woods until Jenny passed. She didn’t eat for two days. “It was very hard and especially hard on Shirley. Shirley’s whole life was about taking care of baby Jenny. It was like a mom losing her baby.”

Fortunately, Shirley has had some extended family members to lean on during the sad times. Shirley is very close with an elephant named Bunny — the two are like sisters. Bunny arrived to the sanctuary just two months after Shirley and they bonded instantly.

And that is your heartwarming Easter animal links. (Maybe I should say heartbreaking?)

I will end with a couple more vintage Easter Postcards…


That is a funky looking Easter Fairy.


When I first saw the card above, I thought the rooster was throwing the little chick towards the swinging bat…

but if you look closely, it is a little acorn.

However, take a look at the card below, yes…that is a few Easter Bunnies dressed as soldiers,

one of them is riding a chicken like a horse, complete with an English saddle BTW…

And yes, they are shooting Easter eggs out of a cannon.

EC 3

Happy Easter Everyone!

Holding White Men Accountable for Mass Shootings

whitemanThe topic of straight white male privilege and its role in shaping  US culture and policy are extremely important topics for disadvantaged others.  We continually live in a system where we have to basically beg and claw for our rights and fight to maintain what we’ve achieved. Then, there is the inevitable white male blowback that usually comes attached to some form of violence when the privileges of white males are threatened.  You can address this from a variety of viewpoints of out groups.  There is an extremely interesting op-ed up in WAPO by Charlotte Childress and Harriet Childress addressing the overwhelming evidence that spree, mass shooters that target strangers in this country are a white male phenomenon. It is also evident that the anti-gun safety and control agenda is dominated by white men.  What to do about this is difficult and even discussing the situation in policy terms is hard.

Nearly all of these kinds of  mass  shootings in this country in recent years — not just Newtown, Aurora, Fort Hood, Tucson and Columbine — have been committed by white men and boys. Yet when the National Rifle Association (NRA), led by white men, held a news conference after the Newtown massacre to advise Americans on how to reduce gun violence, its leaders’ opinions were widely discussed.

Unlike other groups, white men are not used to being singled out. So we expect that many of them will protest it is unfair if we talk about them. But our nation must correctly define their contribution to our problem of gun violence if it is to be solved.

When white men try to divert attention from gun control by talking about mental health issues, many people buy into the idea that the United States has a national mental health problem, or flawed systems with which to address those problems, and they think that is what produces mass shootings.

Each of us is programmed from childhood to believe that the top group of our hierarchies — and in the U.S. culture, that’s white men — represents everyone, so it can feel awkward, even ridiculous, when we try to call attention to those people as a distinct group and hold them accountable.

This op-ed will undoubtedly receive a lot of critical attention from the powers-that-be and from the anti-intellectual right.  Already, right wing sites--like Gate Way Pundit–are switching the conversation to inner city violence which is predominately black on black.  This, of course, misses the point of the article which is about specific mass shootings and associated weapons caches that are typical of the prepper movement and right wing militia movements that are predominately white male.  Also, pointing to the Virgina Tech shooter does not also rule out that these shooters are still predominately white male. The article was not about inner city gun violence.  It was about mass shooting of strangers in public places which is a lot like terrorists setting off bombs other places in the world.  It’s not personally aimed at any one.  This is one distinct form of spree shooting.

This societal and cultural programming makes it easy for conservative, white-male-led groups to convince the nation that an a-detail-of-a-drawing-by-robert-crumb_originalorganization led by white men, such as the NRA or the tea party movement, can represent the interests of the entire nation when, in fact, they predominately represent only their own experiences and perspectives.

If life were equitable, white male gun-rights advocates would face some serious questions to assess their degree of credibility and objectivity. We would expect them to explain:

What facets of white male culture create so many mass shootings?

Why are so many white men and boys producing and entertaining themselves with violent video games and other media?

Why do white men buy, sell and manufacture guns for profit; attend gun shows; and demonstrate for unrestricted gun access disproportionately more than people of other ethnicities or races?

Why are white male congressmen leading the fight against gun control?

I think these questions are worth discussing as is the overall topic.  I am sure there will be the usual backlash about poor, downtrodden, discriminated white men.  Also, the NRA will continue to deny that it basically behaves like a wing of the KKK or the America NAZI movement.  Afterall, we do know who still has all the power these days.

Wacky Reads for a Surreal Saturday

easter-bunny reading

Good Morning!!

Things are looking a bit surreal to me this morning. I babysat for my nephews last night and they managed to stay up until almost midnight! I sent them to bed around 10PM and they both claimed they couldn’t get to sleep. So I was up till all hours watching some strange kid show–a cartoon version of those “Survivor” reality TV programs. It was veeerrrrry strange. I slept too late, and when I checked the news headlines, I saw lots more strange stuff.

So What’s the deal with North Korea anyway? Kim Jong Un seems even crazier than his dear old dad. Supposedly North Korea is now “entering ‘state of war’ with” South Korea.

North Korea said on Saturday that it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea, following a call to arms by the country’s young leader Kim Jong Un and days of increasingly belligerent rhetoric from the isolated state.

The North’s official news agency KCNA published the joint statement issued by the government, political parties and other organizations.

“From this time on, the North-South relations will be entering a state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly,” it said.

The statement also warned that if the U.S. and South Korea carried out a pre-emptive attack, the conflict “will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.”


According to an unnamed “senior administration official” it’s all a bunch of hooey.

“North Korea is in a mindset of war, but North Korea is not going to war,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer insight into the latest administration thinking on the volatile situation on the Korean Peninsula.

The official said North Korea is doing two things that signal it is not spoiling for war: maintaining continuous and unfettered access to the Kaesong Industrial Complex six miles north of the Demilitarized Zone and by continuing to promote tourists visits to North Korea, even amid its banging of war drums.

“There is pot-banging and chest-thumping, but they have literature attracting tourists that explicitly says pay no attention to all that (public) talk about nuclear war or another kind of war,” the official said.

Kaesong is a hive of business activity and about 200 South Koreans travel there daily. It produces about $2 billion of annual trade and commerce revenue for the North. Many experts consider its fate and status the best signal of North Korea’s hostile intentions.

On Saturday, the North renewed its threat to close the complex, reportedly saying through its state-controlled news agency that references to its ongoing operation as a source of capital “damages our dignity.”

I wonder why this “senior official” felt he/she had to remain anonymous?

Some “analysts” who didn’t feel the need to conceal their identities told NBC News that North Korea[‘s] threats [are] predictable but Kim Jong Un is not.

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Nite Lite: Easter Fools and Other Cartoons

Good Evening

It is Good Friday, and I have a few cartoons for you about bunnies and eggs…but first, have you seen this story out of Ohio? Ohio Landlord Who Allegedly Whipped Tenant Now Accused Of Paddling Another Man

An Ohio landlord charged with whipping an adult tenant with a belt on his buttocks for falling behind on his rent has been accused of whipping another man with a belt and a paddle, according to court records obtained Friday.

In a lawsuit filed in southwestern Ohio’s Warren County on Tuesday, Mark Neace accuses Ronald Kronenberger of spanking him on four separate occasions while Neace worked as a volunteer in Kronenberger’s grocery store in Waynesville.

The lawsuit, which describes Neace as mentally disabled, says the whippings caused him “severe emotional distress.”

Kronenberger’s home phone number does not accept messages and the number at his grocery store in Waynesville rang busy Friday.

His Dayton attorney, Lawrence Greger, declined to comment

I don’t know, that is a crazy story. There are a lot of wackos out there.

I always am leery when it comes to far out stories around the time of April Fools. I mean bacon flavored mouthwash and bacon flavored condoms? Seriously!

Anyway, this first cartoon goes along with the whipping boy story. GOP Gay Marriage Whipping Boy by Political Cartoonist Daryl Cagle

129398 600 GOP Gay Marriage Whipping Boy cartoons

Cracked by Political Cartoonist Christopher Weyant

129285 600 Cracked cartoons

Groundhog indicted by Political Cartoonist John Cole

129346 600 Groundhog indicted cartoons

Cyprus Banks by Political Cartoonist Adam Zyglis

129453 600 Cyprus Banks cartoons

Klan Klowns by Political Cartoonist Bill Day

129373 600 Klan Klowns cartoons


Stampeding cattle…

That’s not much of a crime.

…through the Vatican?

Kinky….sign here.

3/24 Luckovich cartoon: No peeking | Mike Luckovich


I love that last one.

This is an open thread.

Obama Suggests He’ll Include Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid Cuts in 2014 Budget Due in April


Thanks to Susie Madrak and Joseph Cannon for catching this White House trial balloon–naturally floated right before a long holiday weekend. From The Wall Street Journal:

The White House is strongly considering including limits on entitlement benefits in its fiscal 2014 budget—a proposal it first offered Republicans in December. The move would be aimed in part at keeping alive bipartisan talks on a major budget deal.

Such a proposal could include steps that make many Democrats queasy, such as reductions in future Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security payments, but also items resisted by Republicans, such as higher taxes through limits on tax breaks, people close to the White House said.

These measures would come as President Barack Obama continues his courtship of the Senate GOP in an effort to thaw tax-and-spending talks. The White House’s delayed annual budget is scheduled to be released April 10, the same day Mr. Obama plans to dine with a group of Senate Republicans to discuss the budget and other issues….

People close to the White House believe a proposal to slow the growth rate of such benefits would use a variant of the Consumer Price Index to measure inflation. The new inflation indicator would cut overall spending by $130 billion, according to White House projections, and raise $100 billion in tax revenue by slowing the growth of tax brackets. The White House earlier called for an additional $800 billion or so in cuts on top of those resulting from the inflation adjustments.

“We and all of the groups engaged on this are starting to feel it may well be in the budget,” said Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president at AARP, an advocacy group for seniors that opposes such changes.

According to the WSJ article, the White House would “insist” that if cuts to safety net programs are included, the entire budget package would have to get an up or down vote. I’m not sure how they would enforce that.

From Susie’s post at Crooks and Liars:

Get your dialing fingers ready. There’s a reason they let this story out on Good Friday, they’re counting on you not noticing or being too busy to do anything about it. The White House switchboard is 202-456-1414, the comments line is 202-456-1111 (be prepared to hold) or you can email here.