Friday Reads: Bad Boys, Bad Boys …

tumblr_mlluq8wR2x1qgn7e1o1_500Good Morning!

So, I’ve had a long week of saying “wtf is wrong with these people?”  Here’s a link to one story in Arizona that went straight straight to the top of the list.

A student holding a sign that read “You deserve rape” ignited outrage across campus Tuesday, on the same day of a sexual assault awareness event, but administrators declined requests to remove him or his sign.

Dean Saxton — also known as Brother Dean Samuel — regularly preaches on the UA Mall in front of Heritage Hill and the Administration building. On Tuesday, his sermon drew the attention of onlookers, several of whom either personally confronted him or complained to the Dean of Students Office.

The Dean of Students Office received stacks of written complaints, emails and multiple phone calls regarding Saxton’s sermon about women, said Kendal Washington White, interim dean of students.

Saxton has never directly threatened anyone in particular, and his language has been general enough that he isn’t targeting a particular person, White said. However, a university attorney was contacted to discuss the situation.

“We find it to be vulgar and vile,” White said. “However, it is protected speech. He has yet to, at this point, violate the student code of conduct.”

Saxton, a junior studying classics and religious studies, said his sermon was meant to convey that “if you dress like a whore, act like a whore, you’re probably going to get raped.”

“I think that girls that dress and act like it,” Saxton said, “they should realize that they do have partial responsibility, because I believe that they’re pretty much asking for it.”

Saxton’s sermon came ahead of the “Take Back the Night” event held Tuesday night, which aims to unite people against sexual violence. He said his decision to create the sign and display it was tied to the event and to the fact that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

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So, I guess every critter on the planet has its share of bad behavior.  Ours just seems to be so much worse.   For bees, it’s nectar robbery.

TO MOST people, bumblebees are charming, slightly absurd creatures that blunder through garden and meadow with neither the steely determination of the honeybee nor the malevolent intention of the wasp. If you are a plant, though, things look rather different—for from the point of view of some flowering plants many bumblebees are nothing more than thieves. They rob them of their nectar and give nothing in return.

Nectar robbery, in which a bumblebee carves a hole in the side of a flower as a bank robber might cut his way into a vault, was discovered by Charles Darwin. This technique lets bees get at the nectar of flowers whose shapes have evolved to encourage their pollination by insects with long tongues, which can reach down narrow tubes.

Some bumblebees do have such tongues. But some do not. Short-tongued bees are, however, unwilling to deny themselves the bounty of nectar inside these flowers. Hence the hole-cutting. By breaking in in this way, though, a bumblebee nullifies the 100m-year-old pact between flowering plants and insects: that the plant feeds the insect in exchange for the insect pollinating the plant.

The question about nectar robbery that has intrigued biologists from Darwin onwards is whether the behaviour is innate or learnt. Darwin, though he originated the idea that many behaviour patterns are products of evolution by natural selection, suspected that it is learnt. Insects, in other words, can copy what other insects get up to. Only now, though, has somebody proved that this is true.

The observations were made by David Goulson (then at the University of Stirling, now at the University of Sussex), and his colleagues. To test his ideas he had to go from Britain to Switzerland, for only there could he find a flower of the correct shape to conduct the study.

His crucial observation was that when the flowers of an alpine plant called the yellow rattle are robbed, the entry holes—because of the structure of the flower—tend to be unambiguously on either the right-hand side or the left-hand side. Moreover, preliminary observation suggested that the holes in flowers in a single meadow are often all made on the same side. This led him to speculate that bumblebees in a particular area do indeed learn the art of nectar robbery from one another, and then copy the technique with such fidelity that they always attack a flower from the same side.

9.Job seekers, men standing in front of the Chicago Daily News building, looking at newspapers

Nectar robbery still doesn’t sound as bad as a slut slamming religious studies student.  We all know the evil done by Dick Cheney, but did you watch Chris Hayes and hear about his son-in-law?

MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Thursday night explained the key role Dick Cheney’s son-in-law played in keeping chemical plants free of regulations.

Concerns were raised in 2002 that chemical plants in populated areas — like the one that recently exploded in West, Texas — were vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

The heads of Department of Homeland Security and Environmental Protection Agency had planned to regulate the security of chemical sites, but Dick Cheney’s son-in-law Philip Perry stepped in and informed them they lacked the authority to do so without congressional legislation.

At the time, Perry was serving as the general counsel of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House.

“Basically, the Bush administration from above pulled support for that bill because the chemical industry does not want to be regulated by the EPA,” Hayes said.

“Fast forward to 2007, and Philip Perry — again, Dick Cheney’s son-in-law — is at the Department of Homeland Security as general counsel. What he managed to do in an appropriations rider is slip in industry friendly language into the bill that moves the task of regulating chemical plants from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of Homeland Security. But DHS is given none of the tools it would need to do that.”

It looks like wild populations of cheetahs may go extinct because of habitat encroachment.  It’s estimated that wild cheetahs may have less than 20 years left.  Here’s a heartwarming story about a good dog and a cheetah.  We’re ruining their habitat but a few folks are trying to help

It’s hard to fathom, a dog and a cheetah living together in a zoo?  But it’s true, and it works.  ”It’s a love story of one species helping another species survive,” said Jack Grisham, vice president of animal collections at the St. Louis Zoo.  Of the 19 cheetahs at the zoo, 4 have canine companions who play with them, watch out for them, and teach them to be more social.

“It is all about comforting and reassuring the cheetah,” said Janet Rose-Hinostroza, animal training supervisor at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where there are also 4 cheetahs with dogs.  Cheetahs are not social animals, which makes it difficult for them to mate, and may be their biggest threat in fighting extinction.  They are by nature skittish, so having dogs with them, who are by nature social seems to be a comfort.

“In this relationship, the dog is dominant, but we look for dogs that want to be a buddy,” Rose-Hinostroza said. “The dog always has the cat’s back, but it’s never the other way around. Dogs worry about their cats. They protect their cats.”  For that reason they are not always together, for example during mealtimes they are separated so the dogs eat kibble and the cats eat steak.  ”The dogs are the bosses in these relationships,” Rose-Hinostroza said. “If they ate together there would be one really fat dog and a really skinny cheetah.”

The cheetahs are doing their part to help the dogs too, since most of the companion dogs are rescued from shelters for their new job.  They are paired up when the cheetahs are cubs, around 3 months old.  This is idea is not a new one, in Africa dogs have been used for decades to protect sheep from cheetahs.  This in turn, keeps the cheetahs from being killed by farmers.  ”For the first time in 30 years, the cheetah population in the wild is on the rise because ranchers don’t have to shoot them anymore. They don’t need to shoot them. The dog is that effective at keeping the cheetah away from the herd,” Rose-Hinostroza said.

Austerity policies are bringing record high unemployment to Spain while unemployment is going up all over the continent.

Spain’s unemployment rate soared to a new record of 27.2% of the workforce in the first quarter of 2013, according to official figures.

The total number of unemployed people in Spain has now passed the six million figure, although the rate of the increase has slowed.

The figures underline Spain’s struggle to emerge from an economic crisis which began five years ago.

A big demonstration in Madrid is being planned against the austerity measures.

On Friday, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will unveil fiscal and policy measures aimed at halting recession in the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy.

“These figures are worse than expected and highlight the serious situation of the Spanish economy as well as the shocking decoupling between the real and the financial economy,” said Jose Luis Martinez, strategist at Citi.

That is basically the same levels of unemployment that this country endured during the peak of its great depression. I really hope that these idiots seen that the lessons we learned during the Great Depression are still valid and stop causing misery through the world.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


30 Comments on “Friday Reads: Bad Boys, Bad Boys …”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    Off to work in just a moment but thought I’d share this tribute to Bob Edgar from Bill Moyers: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/04/25-4 Here is just a small excerpt:

    He abhorred the Supreme Court’s Citizens United Decision, which he said was pulling the shroud of plutocracy over our barely-breathing body politic. Recently, he took on President Obama for his grubbing of big donations for his new advocacy organization. “It just stinks!” Bob said. He feared for the country’s egalitarian spirit if the excesses of money in politics were not curbed.

  2. RalphB says:

    Nice morning reads. That UA student should find himself with pants full of angry bumblebees.

    Now that Rogaine and Rotweillers debt study has been proven wrong, maybe the EU can use that as an excuse to pull back some of their horrible austerity policies. Maybe our own can do the same? No one should use Ren and Stempys work to discuss policy anymore.

    • Allie says:

      Don’t hold your breath. It is my sincere opinion that it doesn’t matter if the numbers were cooked and the political class does indeed see lessons in the Great Depression – and they want to replicate it. They want a permanent underclass of low-wage labor to serve them and their masters. Lowering the Western standard of living is a feature, not a bug.

  3. roofingbird says:

    I have nectar robbers in my yard.They are huge and all black. I’m little concerned for them as they were drilling their way into some nicotiana flowers last year and I haven’t seem so many of them yet this year. The other bees ignored these flowers. I know some plants, like our native buckeye are poisonous to bees. Nicotiana are in the tobacco family.

  4. janicen says:

    President Obama is the first sitting POTUS to address Planned Parenthood. He’s supposed to start at 11:10 am Eastern. Here’s the link to the live feed that I got. Hope it comes through…

    http://www.livestream.com/fviit?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_content=Obamalivestream&utm_campaign=ppactionfb

    • dakinikat says:

      That’s good news!

      • janicen says:

        He didn’t speak long and didn’t make any earth shattering announcements, but it was a good speech. In the intro Cecile said that, thanks to President Obama, women could no longer be denied coverage by health insurers in instances of sexual assault. WTF? I did not know that insurers were doing that. Geez! I guess we’re making baby steps.

  5. RalphB says:

    Rolling Stone: Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

    The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There’s no price the big banks can’t fix

    Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.

    That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world’s largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world’s largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.

    Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It’s about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

    Matt Taibbi is on the case but why do we have to find this in Rolling Stone and not the New York Times? These problems are so big and pervasive that it’s astounding.

  6. Fannie says:

    The bad, bad boys are out riding on the never ending tidal wave of war. Over, and over, and over we go, whether it stop terrorism, nobody knows. Two weeks ago Korea was on the front burner, and last week Boston Bombings, and this week Syria.

    The fireshit problems of salafist, and teh brotherhood movement was handed down to Obama, and we are made to the “KEY PLAYER” in eliminating terrorism. I don’t think it’s possible. Everywhere we look the lethal fireshit is brewing. Iran, Pakistan, Afghan, Libya, Lebanon, Saudi, Iraqi, Russia, it’s everywhere, it’s like the swamp down in south, you just can’t drain it.
    Might be able to slow it, but sooner or later “IT”S BACK”.

    Granted Osama, and Qaddafi are gone, and Assad needs to go………..but does that really help, or is that a bandaid approach? I don’t know, but the bad boys are out calling Obama’s bluff (so they say)…………..Two things about Syria, clear proof, and the target, how does he go after the target(s).

    Fitting that I should get the book “Kill Anything That Moves, the Real American War in Vietnam”
    by Nick Turse.

  7. RalphB says:

    Paul Krugman The 1 Percent’s Solution has another great editorial today.

  8. RalphB says:

    Yes, George W. Bush Was a Terrible President, and No, He Wasn’t Smart

    Jon Chait doesn’t join the Bush revisionism campaign.

    • dakinikat says:

      Good for him … the Reagan revisionism is bad enough.

      • janicen says:

        Isn’t it interesting how Republican Presidents’ histories have to be revised?

      • RalphB says:

        That idiot Donna Brazille has an article on CNN about how Bush was great after Katrina. I skimmed a couple of paragraphs and can only wonder how much she got paid for it. No link because I won’t inflict that kind of bullshit on this blog.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Thanks for not posting the link. I probably would have clicked on it.

      • dakinikat says:

        Damn Donna Brazile … what is she talking about. Rove and Bush did everything they could to drive the black middle class to Atlanta and Houston. They turned us into this freaking red state that led to bobby jindal The only damned state he helped was buddy Haley Barbour’s mississippi We still have a katrina mess here. Plus he sent carpet baggers here! The damned pumps were no bid contracts from his brother Jeb’s buds and investments and it took 4 freaking years to get the damned things to work they were so faulty. And don’t even get me started about the freaking clean up crews from virginia and texas when New Orleans people couldn’t find jobs or the damned Halliburton tents filling up the parking lots in the quarter taking business away from the French Quarter restaurants … She should stfu and get out of the beltway for a change

        grrrrrrr

      • You should see all the cartoons for tonight’s post. It is like the artist are thrilled to be able to have W back.

    • prolixous says:

      Thanks for passing that link along.

      It seems as if Chait has described Bush as the perfect poster boy for the Tea Party members of Congress, “I knows what I knows and need nothin’ more.” I would have described Bush as the poster boy for epistemic closure, but to the Tea Party crowd that would have meant he had been “revirginalized.”

  9. Juan Cole had this on his blog: Bush and the American Right Wing: Top Ten Ways they are Like the Children of an Alcoholic | Informed Comment

    It is a well-known syndrome in alcoholic and/or abusive families that the child runs to the abusive parent, and makes excuses for him or her. In fact there are a whole set of syndromes afflicting the poor adults who lived through that horror as children.

    The fawning interviews attending the opening of the George W. Bush presidential library, for the least bookish of all our presidents, struck me as having a lot of resemblance to those syndromes. America has a problem holding its high elected officials to account. A republic as the founding generation envisaged it is a collective of equals. We have no king, no one who is above the law. Some of us serve the public through elective office for a while. If we do it honorably we get thanks. If we do it dishonorably, we should be tried for our crimes or at the very least suffer opprobrium in polite society. The emergence of the imperial presidency in the twentieth century and until now is an affront to those republican values, a descent into empire and monarchy and lack of accountability. For ex-presidents everything is forgiven over time. We named the airport in our national capital for a man who sold weapons stolen from Pentagon warehouses to Ayatollah Khomeini at at time the latter was on a terror watch list, and used the black money thus gained to support right wing death squads in Central America. We let a war criminal pronounce himself comfortable with his crimes against humanity.

    you can read the ten ways at the link

  10. RalphB says:

    Charles Pierce: Things In Politico That Make Me Want To Guzzle Antifreeze, Part The Infinity

    Gaze in awe, beloveds, as the late Ms. I might say. Today, in the pages of Tiger Beat On The Potomac, we may have achieved the Event Horizon of the Beltway circle-jerk. The guiding geniuses of TBOTP, Sparky and Numbnuts, have produced another “Behind The Curtain” extravaganza, whereby they attempt to prove that the basic premise of representative democracy, as reinforced by the power of a free and independent press, is not to have the soup served cold.

    Dogpatch with dayplanners.