Sunday Reads: You say “may-uh-naze” …I say “man-aze”

You say “sand-wich”

I say “sang-wich”

Aw shit, let’s just get on with the morning’s reads!

eaeafd6e03018572bd9691ba785c5760Good Morning!

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.

U.S. Army chief in Japan suspended over handling of sex assault probe | Reuters

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 –

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?

Virginia LT. gov candidate E.W. Jackson becomes the latest Republican embarassment | theGrio

E.W. Jackson

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

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.

From the Independent: Who stashed the Cheapside Hoard? Exhibition sheds new light on ‘most important’ collection of Elizabethan jewellery ever discovered

Museum of London

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.

india carpets 2.jpg

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.

india carpets 3.jpg

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.

indian carpets 8.jpg

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.


39 Comments on “Sunday Reads: You say “may-uh-naze” …I say “man-aze””

  1. roofingbird says:

    Don’t they have to prove the theft first? Like with a separate trial and a live thief? Guess not.

    • I don’t know, but it really does say something about the way some people think. I mean, nighttime theft with no “assault” or weapon or threat to harm or any sense of danger that Gilbert felt the need to protect himself? WTF? And while this dude walks free, how many men have been executed in Texas who may have been sent to their death with questions as to whether they did get a “fair” trial. (Among other things like if they were guilty or not.)

      I am going to visit with my aunt and my family today, so I won’t be around to discuss this. But it really is something that should get some attention. Especially with the Stand your ground shit and the rest of the ALEC crap going on.

      Y’all have a great day.

  2. roofingbird says:

    What incredibly hard work weaving like that is. They produce the pattern out of their head-it’s not marked on the burlap or canvas base. They sit on on a low bench with their knees bent for 6 hours? They have to scoot themselves back and forth on the bench-the loom doesn’t move. Even with allowances for getting up when they want, the day in and day out repetitive activity has got to be hard. Doesn’t it take around 6 months per rug?

    • Oh, if you look at the pictures you will see the pattern on a sheet of paper. The type of weaving they do is more tapestry, which is focused on one section of the loom. And these looms the weavers are seated on the floor. It is really an art and these are artist…I would guess they are extremely proud and devoted to the craft. It is different than those who work in the t-shirt factories. When I have more time I can write a post on the weaving aspect…because it is truly fascinating. There have been times when I spent hours without even realizing it because once you get going, you forget what is going on around you.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’d love to read that post, JJ.

        • NW Luna says:

          Me too, JJ. I’ve spent who knows how long in a fascinated haze when spinning.

          If you could receive a decent wage, be able to work from home, with your kids and friends or neighbors, take a siesta during the heat of the day, now that is appealing.

          I’d love to see closeups of their tools. Look at that wicked curve on the tail of the beater(?) used by the woman in that photo of the couple. Must have a practical history, though — you could just flex the wrist to use it, I think, and bring it back up without catching on the warp threads.

  3. Beata says:

    Another great post, JJ!

    I love the linguistics map. Regional differences in dialect fascinate me. A linguistics professor at Harvard once told me I speak with “a perfect Indiana accent”. He could even pinpoint the area of Indiana where I come from by the fact that I call a sweetened carbonated beverage a “soft drink”. He said only a very small part of the country uses the term “soft drink”. That surprised me. I have always used that term.

    What do “you guys” call a “soft drink”? And what do you call “you guys”?

    • RalphB says:

      Us guys just called everything a “coke”, except at the counter 🙂

      Prices are outrageous in those expensive cities, $5 for a dozen eggs and $15 for a beer in a bar in Oslo. Wow.

    • Fannie says:

      Regarding two or more people………..called youall. What do you call a drive through liquor store…………….fking robbery………………………about that slaw, and lawyer……………’s against the slaw…………………..Mamma was always a fixin’ and settin’ out to go, and if I didn’t behave I was gonna have the fire beatin’ out of me. And she daid on occasion take a peach switch to my ass. That was the fambly way. I guess yall’ know whar I was from, over dat hill and far away.

      • RalphB says:

        Howdy 🙂

      • Beata says:

        Lol, Fannie. I’m from down in the valley ( the valley so low ). It’s at the bottom of that there hill over yonder. If you come, you can pull up a cheer and visit a while. Just don’t bust a tar gettin’ here. The roads are pret nigh impossible sometimes.

        Mama came lookin’ for me with a forsyhia switch when I didn’t mind her, sayin’ “I’m gettin’ the switch!” Daddy was borned in Kaintuck. Mama said she walked all through the woods before she picked up that crooked stick! Grandmama called us you’uns and said I sure was a pretty young’en ’cause I looked just like her, Granddaddy liked to go into town for some spuds and bring ’em home in a poke. He usually give a good price for ’em.

    • that is funny, my mil says yous she is from long island. We say coke or soda…

      I am going deep into fannin county now. This is like anti gov banjo territory. No phone recep so see y’all later…ciao.

    • bostonboomer says:

      We always called it “pop” or “soda pop” in my part of Indiana. Here in Boston, the old-timers say “tonic,” and that isn’t even on their list. A lot of people around here say it.

      I wonder if a lot New England usages are very isolated. I grew up saying “rubber band,” but here they say “elastic.” Has anyone ever heard that?

      And of course in Boston they say “frappe” instead of “milk shake” for a drink with ice cream in it and “milk shake” for flavored milk with no ice cream.

      • Beata says:

        BB, in my part of Indiana, a “soda” was a soft drink with ice cream in it, like a root beer soda.

        • bostonboomer says:

          We had those too in Muncie too, and they also have them in New England. That’s different from a milkshake though. I see that Muncie is in the part of Indiana that uses “soft-drink” and I heard that too. But I didn’t move to Muncie until I was 10, so I may have gotten the “pop” expression from Kansas where I spent my early childhood.

      • Beata says:

        In the rural areas of Indiana, you still hear people using old English and Scotch-Irish words. My Scotch-Irish grandfather ( who was from Hoosier pioneer stock going back to the early 1800’s ) called a chimney, a “chimley”, which is a old word also found in Scotland. These regional speech patterns can be amazingly long-lasting.

  4. RalphB says:

    Bob Cesca: NSA Bombshell Story Falling Apart Under Scrutiny; Key Facts Turning Out to Be Inaccurate

    But with new contravening information emerging since the original stories were posted by Greenwald and the Washington Post, it’s clear that the reporting by each news outlet was filled with possibly agenda-driven speculation and key inaccuracies.

    Greenwald told CNN, “It’s well past time that we have a debate about whether that’s the kind of country and world in which we want to live.”

    Canonizing bad reporting as a means of inciting a debate is as bad as no debate at all. Attachment to empirical reality must remain a central trait of the left, otherwise the progressive movement is no better than the non-reality based propagandists on the right who will say and do anything to further the conservative agenda. So perhaps some positive changes on domestic spying are eventually achieved, but at what cost? Greenwald, who doesn’t really care about “left and right,” isn’t concerned with anything other than his personal agenda and clearly he’s willing to do whatever it takes in pursuit of those goals. Specifics presently.

    Fucking shoddy journalism has caused lots of exploding heads and done damage that will be hard or impossible to undo. This is obviously agenda driven bullshit.

    • RalphB says:

      Because of smartphones, tablets, social media sites, e-mail and other forms of digital communications, the world creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data daily, according to I.B.M.

      The company estimates that 90 percent of the data that now exists in the world has been created in just the last two years.

      • NW Luna says:

        I hate to think of the electricity and the $$$ which go to sustain capture and storage of all that data. And 90% (at least) of that data is trash.

  5. ecocatwoman says:

    Interesting topics JJ. When I saw the jewelry piece it made me think of the story of Radio Lab yesterday. A trash pit in Egypt, used for something like 10,000 years, had been transported to England about 100 years ago. Fascinating texts on paper found in the pit, including sayings of Jesus that don’t appear in the bible:

    The linguistic differences, also interesting. Apparently I was greatly influenced by my friends growing up in Miami. Most of my language matches people from NY, where I’ve never been. However, at the time I grew up most “immigrants” were from NY. My parents, from OH, didn’t have as much influence on how I speak. I will say that having spent the last 40 years or so in Orlando, I do say ya’ll now.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I was interested to see that only in one small part of Ky do people say “you-all.”

      • Beata says:

        My KY-born relatives always said you’uns, not you-all.

        • bostonboomer says:

          If you look at the map, there’s a very small area of KY where people say they use “you-all.” Very interesting.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      My mother always said Warshington & warshing machine. It drove me nuts. And I’ve noticed that Diane Rehm (NPR), who was born & raised in DC, also says Warshington. Just wondering what area of the country that comes from.

      • Beata says:

        “Warsh” is a very common word in Indiana and Ohio. My mother didn’t allow us to say it because it wasn’t “proper English”.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Yup, in Muncie and surroundings, they say “warsh,” “poosh” (for push) “boosh” (for bush), etc. Also deesh (for dish), feeshing (for fishing) and do on.

      • NW Luna says:

        Oh, I thought that “warsh” instead of “wash” was a West Coast dialect. Expect it’s more “wersh” here. Or so I heard from a grade school teacher — so I’ve since been very careful to make sure I leave that “r’ out. But I’ve heard that adding an extra “r” such as “idear” instead of “idea” is a New England-ism.

        In England they say “brook,” on the East Coast they say “stream,” on the West Coast we say “creek,” as the saying goes. I forget where “crick” is from.

        • bostonboomer says:

          The only people in New England who say “idear” are the Kennedy types. I’ve never heard anyone else say it. Everyone in the Boston area leaves out their “r’s,” but other than that there are very distinctive differences in accents from town to town. It’s quite fascinating.

          • ecocatwoman says:

            I totally agree – I think it’s fascinating how the pronunciation of words varies so widely across the country. Probably not as much today (tv, radio, etc) as it was when we & our parents were kids. In many ways Americans have become more homogenous than they were “back in the day.”

            I was visiting a friend in Kentucky many years ago. At my request he took me to Churchill Downs in Louisville. There was a bus stop enclosure with a pronunciation guide to how the city’s name should be pronounced: Loo-uh-vul. I’ve never forgotten that – I got such a kick out of them even doing that. I won’t pronounce it any other way now.

        • ecocatwoman says:

          Thar’s cricks & hollers in Kentucky. My mom & her family were Ohioans but with Diane Rehm saying warsh as well, I didn’t think it was limited to Ohio.

        • Beata says:

          My Scotch-Irish grandfather ( born in Indiana ) always said “crick”. Lots of people in Indiana do. I would guess it’s found mostly in the Upland South.

  6. Lahana says:

    Here in south central Wisconsin we say soda, but we also have “bubblers” (water fountains which you drink out of) and (I believe from a grammer construction from German) say “are you coming with?” (Are you going to be coming with us?) My mother in law also refers to the “zink” (sink).