Sunday Reads: You say “may-uh-naze” …I say “man-aze”Posted: June 9, 2013
You say “sand-wich”
I say “sang-wich”
Aw shit, let’s just get on with the morning’s reads!
Happy days…my aunt Celeste and family are up here in Banjoville visiting this week, so if my posts are lame or on the half ass side, you know why.
That being said, here are your links for this Sunday morning.
The commanding general of U.S. Army forces in Japan was suspended on Friday due to allegations he failed to properly investigate a sexual assault complaint, the Pentagon said.
The suspension came as the U.S. military seeks to crack down on the problem of sexual assault following a jump in reports of unwanted sexual contact in the services and a spate of embarrassing assault cases that have raised questions about the military’s ability to deal with the problem.
Major General Michael Harrison “was suspended … due to allegations that Harrison failed in his duties as a commander to report or properly investigate an allegation of sexual assault,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
The Pentagon did not immediately release further details on the sexual assault case in question. Army spokesman George Wright said there were no allegations of sexual misconduct against Harrison.
While a number of officers have been suspended in recent months in sexual assault-related cases, Harrison’s was the first in which an officer was suspended for failing to properly investigate a case.
Harrison is being replaced by Major General James Boozer. Yeah, you read that right…Boozer.
Also on Friday, the Air Force named Major General Margaret Woodward to be director of an expanded Air Force Sexual Assault and Prevention Office, which is charged with trying to eliminate the problem. She commanded the U.S. air contribution to the no-fly zone over Libya during the operation that toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.
She is replacing one of the officers that was charged with sexual assault a few weeks ago:
The previous head of the office, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, was charged with sexual battery in May for allegedly groping a woman in a parking lot in the Virginia suburbs not far from the Pentagon.
Meanwhile, in the Zimmerman trial…we are waiting for a pretrial decision on whether the judge will allow expert testimony regarding the 911 calls from the night when Zimmerman killed Martin. Voice analysis of 911 call is at issue in George Zimmerman case.
The trial starts this week, and the New York Times has a large section devoted to the case: With Zimmerman Trial to Open, Emotions Still Raw – NYTimes.com
Was it murder when George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin? Or was it self-defense?
That was the question 16 months ago, after Mr. Zimmerman pulled a handgun from his waistband and shot Mr. Martin once in the chest as they fought in the darkness. It was the question the initial police investigation and the first prosecutor wrestled with, an investigation shadowed by Florida’s expansive law on self-defense — Stand Your Ground — which, if imposed, could have classified the shooting as justified.
And it remains the question now, as potential jurors file into the Seminole County Courthouse in Sanford, Fla., on Monday at the start of Mr. Zimmerman’s trial on charges of second-degree murder. The selection process is likely to take a few weeks, and the media coverage of the case has been so exhaustive that Judge Debra S. Nelson has chosen to withhold the identities of the six jurors who are eventually chosen, though not to sequester them.
On another crazy ass court case that deals with someone who got away with murder…How an Insane Texas Law Made It Legal for a Man to Kill a Prostitute I am going to quote the article in full below, that is written by Meagan Hatcher-Mays is a recent graduate of Washington University Law School in Saint Louis. She does a significant amount of yelling on Twitter.
Dude, Texas, what the fuck? Earlier today, a Texas jury acquitted Ezekiel Gilbert of murdering 23-year-old Lenora Evie Frago. Frago was an escort who Gilbert met through an ad on Craigslist. Gilbert says he thought sex was included in Frago’s $150 fee. Frago tried to leave after taking the money and without having sex with Gilbert. Instead of letting her go, Gilbert shot and paralyzed Frago to get his $150 back. Frago later died of her injuries.
Texas prosecutors charged Gilbert with murder, but at trial he advanced a defense based on a Texas law that allows people to “use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft.” A nighttime theft! A fucking evening hours caper! Yes, shoot everyone who creeps around in the night nabbing your property. Sound policy decision. No problems here at all. Anyway, the jury agreed that Gilbert was justified in shooting and killing Frago, the infamous Craigslist Escort Nighttime Pilferer. And all in the greater San Antonio area slept soundly that night.
Wait, hold up. How is any of this legal? It should be stated upfront that Texas is bananas when it comes to recovering property. Not every state has some weird “nighttime theft” law that gives you the right to use deadly force to recover your property. In fact, the law usually does not let people shoot and kill whomever they want to defend or recover their property alone. This is because IT’S JUST PROPERTY. It’s just $150! You don’t need to shoot, paralyze, and kill anyone over a broom or a chair or $150 or $150,000. This is because property is replaceable—the law has said, as a general matter, the value of human life is greater than whatever dumb tchotchke you care so much about. Even if that human life is stealing something from you. This is different from self-defense, where your actual bodily security or life is at stake. There, the law says, “Be reasonable, but if it comes down to you or the bad guy, better take out the bad guy,” because your life is not replaceable. So in this regard, Texas has really outdone itself.
I can’t understand how this shit can happen….well, I can…but for fucks sake.
It’s also important to note that Texas has not passed some sort of special legislation giving deranged assholes the right to shoot escorts with impunity for refusing to engage in sexual activity. The “nighttime theft” defense is an affirmative defense that deranged assholes can argue in court, but it’s up to a jury to decide whether or not the defense is believable. In Gilbert’s case, they bought it. But this is a jury made up of Texans who probably don’t much care for the profession of “escort.” Prosecuting defendants whose victims are sex workers is notoriously difficult—juries are more than willing to see the victim as unworthy of sympathy or protection or to see them as complicit in their own demise. But this same attitude—that sex workers are undeserving justice because of what they do for a living—only makes them more attractive as victims of violent crimes, and less likely to report violence when they are victims.
If you’re outraged by this verdict, you should be. Ezekiel Gilbert sounds like a right turd. Fortunately, there’s probably no need to worry that this case is the start of a new, terrible trend (although it doesn’t exactly help remedy the old trend of cultural permissiveness of violence against women). I’m going to hazard a guess that had Gilbert advanced this defense in any other type of case—nighttime cow theft, nighttime garden gnome snatching—that the jury would have rejected it outright. But because Frago was just a “Craigslist escort,” the jury decided that her life just wasn’t worth $150.
You can read a bit of what Gilbert had to say after he was acquitted here: Jury acquits escort shooter – San Antonio Express-News
The shit this guy says, it is so ridiculous.
This makes me think of that James Brown song…I don’t know Karate, but I know crazy.
And this is some crazy shit.
Want more crazy?
You heard it here first: yoga leads to demonic possession. Well, actually that’s not true, but don’t tell Reverend E.W. Jackson, the Republican running to be Virginia’s next lieutenant governor.
Jackson wrote in his book, Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life, “When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana. … The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself. … [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it.”
And if you think this is just Reverend Jackson being colorful or over the top, perhaps you missed his past statements, including the belief that Planned Parenthood is more murderous to black people as the Ku Klux Klan or that President Obama is a secret Muslim.
For all their talk of “re-branding” and reaching out to women and people of color, the “new” Republican party looks exactly the same as the old.
Being the same color as Obama is not enough
So that brings us back to Jackson, a black Republican, the type the GOP has come to love. Jackson seems to be a rising star in the mold of Herman Cain; a person of color willing to bash the Democratic party which benefits from overwhelming support from African-Americans.
But simply nominating a candidate the same color as Obama, will not give them their Obama.
The Republican party has a two-prong problem, with personnel and with policies.
Reverend Jackson is simply the most recent example of a Republican candidate with Republican ideas.
Here is a quick gallery of the twenty most expensive cities in the world, and some of them will surprise you…like #20 is Helsinki, while #4 is Juba, South Sudan: Most Expensive Cities For Expats – Business Insider
Another interesting picture for you, this time it is from space. NASA spacecraft sees tornado’s destructive swath
The rest of today’s links are all a little historical, artistic and archeological in nature…I hope you enjoy them.
Just over a century after the “world’s most important” hoard of Elizabethan jewellery was discovered by chance in a cellar in London, experts have uncovered important information that may lead to unravelling the mystery of who put it there and why.
The collection of 500 pieces of jewellery, which is being brought together for the first time by the Museum of London, may have been hidden by goldsmiths heading off to fight in the Civil War which started in 1642 or fleeing the conflict abroad. It also links the treasure trove to an individual for the first time.
So interesting to read about how they pieced the mystery together. Read the rest of the story at the link above.
From the Atlantic: Photos: The Rug Weavers of India
A new type of social venture allows rural artisans to make rugs at home for export to foreign markets.
Jaipur Rugs is the type of social venture Gandhi might have set up. Nand Kishor Chaudhary, who started the weaving business in the late 70s, was more interested in working with poor, relegated, and tribal communities than setting up a massive factory.
Jaipur Rugs is a social business with a for-profit mission. “I cannot get help other people get out of poverty if I don’t address my own poverty,” Chaudhary says. He explains that while a business approach is key, the workers come first. Jaipur Rugs has also set up a foundation that helps the families of the weavers get medical care and access to education for their children.
These pictures are wonderful…
Chaudhary started working with rural communities more than three decades ago. He realized that they needed a skillset to make a living. Rug-making was his answer. Jaipur Rugs became a formal company only in 1999 and is now a family business that sells their products globally. Chaudhary is out in a field visit, meeting with his “staff” — a network of 40,000 artisans across India.
The artisans work from their homes. Much like the Gandhian philosophy of cottage industries that linked villages together, Jaipur Rugs keeps its artisans at home, where they determine their own schedules. For instance, in Rajasthan, as the summer heats up and working during the day is unbearable, the artisans are able to work in the early hours and late at night when it’s cooler.
A mother cradles her child while she weaves. It’s common to see children running around the family as they work. Given that they work from their homes, a significant number of their artisans are women (more than half, actually). Here, four women are working alongside each other — another tactic that aims to give people a sense of community while they work.
That image with the baby is something special.
The husband and wife duo who were featured in the newspaper (above) work together, side by side. They spend at least 6 hours a day weaving.
See more images at the link.
I know this next link reads more like a travel piece, but the pictures are beautiful. On a Road Trip in Sicily, Churches Everywhere
Kathryn Ream Cook for The New York Times
Rays of sun sneak through the clouds to illuminate a church in Buscemi.
It happened each time we drove into one of southeastern Sicily’s hill towns. It could be a village or a big town, run-down or fixed-up, but as we drove uphill toward the historic center, the vision ahead was always roughly the same: a stunning Baroque church, honey-colored or pale white, decorated with columns or curves, angels or Cupids, shells or leaves, urns or shields, sometimes all of the above. A bell tower might be missing or there might be grass growing between the paving stones, but each of those churches exemplified what unfolds all across this corner of Sicily: an exuberant style that played itself out on facades of churches and palazzi in the wake of a devastating earthquake in 1693.
And finally, a bit of linguistics? Is that what you would call this? Well it has some sociology involved too.
I found these info-graphics via the Paris Review – You’re Saying It Wrong, Sadie Stein
This series of infographics, illustrating how different parts of the country say different things, is fascinating. Below: mayonnaise.
Which brings me to the very beginning of this post. My family is know for pronouncing words in their own peculiar way. Take cousin Irene, she has a tendency to add a g sound in many words that don’t have any g in them. For instance…sandwich becomes sangwich. That isn’t all, my mom will speak her own special way as well. Michigan becomes Mitchagain. School turns into skooo. Like in the infographic up top, my family says man-aze. Anyway, check the way different people in different areas of the country say similar things.
Have a great day, and if you feel up to it….leave a comment or two.