Wednesday Reads: Put up your dukes!

a8ade4f956b30d8e6b99b03acfea9da1Good Morning

Oi! Put up your dukes and lets duke it out!

WordPress has fugged up with their editor, which means that the pictures and formatting may be a little off in this post. That said the images are all found on pinterest and are all various vintage picture of women boxing.


Because, the shit going on with the Supremes is something that makes me want to put on a pair of boxing gloves and kick some PLUB #HobbyLobby loving ass.

Justice Kennedy Thinks Hobby Lobby Is An Abortion Case — That’s Bad News For Birth Control | ThinkProgress

“Your reasoning would permit” Congress to force corporations to pay for abortions, Kennedy told Verrilli. This was not the Anthony Kennedy that worried about c65cfc1d1ec08b5d3d8a8a07be5446b8conservatives imposing their anti-gay “animus” on others, this was the Anthony Kennedy that views abortion as a grave moral wrong. Shortly after Kennedy made this statement, Justice Kagan’s face dropped. It appeared that she’d just figured out that she would be joining a dissenting opinion.

It’s worth noting that Kennedy expressed a different concern than one offered shortly thereafter by Chief Justice John Roberts. Hobby Lobby objects to four forms of contraception on the mistaken ground that these contraceptive methods are actually forms of abortion — a brief filed by numerous medical organizations explains that they are not. Roberts, however, suggested that someone’s mere belief that something is an abortion is enough to trigger an religious exemption to federal law.

More from :

SCOTUSblog: Birth control, business, and religious beliefs: In Plain English

Wednesday round-up : SCOTUSblog

Ugh….but that fucked up crap about the pill being “abortion” aside, last night Boston Boomer put up a tweet in the comments that I think needs to be shared up on the front page.

This brings up a good point, one of the tweets in this thread says that Hobby Lobby responded…

Some of the tweets mention the “myth” of infanticide and forced abortions…which is bullshit. Take a look at this from Telegraph:

Malaysia Airlines missing flight exposes tragedy of China’s ‘orphaned’ one-child parents

Much has been written about the human rights abuses associated with China’s notorious one-child policy: the forced abortions, sterilisations and even cases of infanticide as rural families sought to rid themselves of girls they thought were less useful than boys.

But the disappearance of MH370 has cast light a less well-known but equally devastating phenomenon: that of the “orphaned” parents who, through accident or illness, lost the only child the Chinese government allowed them to have.

There are an estimated one million so-called “shidu” families in China, with state media reporting that around 76,000 new families are “orphaned” each year.

“When you lose your only child, it feels like the sky has fallen in,” said one bereaved Shanghai mother, who lost her only daughter and her husband to a 2012 car accident.

“Because of the one-child policy a million families have lost their offspring forever,” added the woman, who requested anonymity because of the politically sensitive nature of the subject. “It is an ethical tragedy. Nobody can take away the pain.”

2ee90dc1af530f0f0d9815faf83b983cRecent months have seen several major Chinese cities and provinces including Beijing and Shanghai start to change the controversial birth control policy, relaxing family planning rules so parents who are both only children can now have two children.

On the subject of lost children…grown children…the numbers have gone up in the death toll over in the Washington state landslide claims up to 24, more than 100 missing.

The number of dead climbed to as high as 24 with the recovery Tuesday of two more bodies and another eight believed to have been located in the debris.

Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the dead nor did they provide details about where the bodies were found.

At least 176 people are unaccounted for. Officials have stressed those unaccounted for are not necessarily all victims of the disaster. They say they believe many names have been duplicated.

Three sheriff’s deputies who specialize in missing persons cases have begun reviewing the lists to get a more accurate count, Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said.

And if death from plane crash or mudslide is not depressing enough, how about Ebola: W Africa scrambles to prevent Ebola spread

West African nations scrambled to contain an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus suspected to have killed at least 59 people in Guinea, with symptoms of the disease reported in neighbouring Sierra Leone and Liberia as well.26392ed054c7d10c9eca5bd8d5187606

The spread of Ebola, one of the most lethal infectious diseases known, has spooked nations with weak health care systems. In Guinea’s southeast, home to all the confirmed cases, residents are avoiding large gatherings and prices in some markets have spiked as transporters avoid the area.

Health authorities in Liberia said they had now recorded eight suspected cases of Ebola, mainly in people who crossed the border from Guinea.

Five of these had died but tests were still being carried out to check if the cases were indeed Ebola, the Reuters news agency reported.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said a total of 86 suspected cases, including 59 deaths, had been reported in southeastern Guinea near the border with Sierra Leone and Liberia.

This next quote is very scary:

“People are really frightened. They have seen people die in a matter of just two or three days. They are constantly worried who is going to be the next fatality,” said Joseph Gbaka Sandounou, who manages operations for aid agency Plan International in Guekedou.

On to more “newsy” link goodness. Major Garrett has a piece up over at National Journal: Obama Tries to Put Putin in His Place—Again

Moments after deflecting a question about his diminished influence on the world stage, President Obama described Russia as a “regional power” operating in Crimea out of weakness, not strength.

Women boxing at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. LouisNoting Russia’s long-standing influence in all of Ukraine, Obama said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea “indicates less influence, not more.”

I guess that’s why Ukraine’s defense minister resigned and Ukrainian troops bugged out of Crimea, leaving it to Russian forces. This is the only “off ramp” that matters in Crimea. Ukraine and its rhetorically florid Western allies took it. Not Putin.

Even as the White House insists Crimea is not “lost” (Putin can find it without satellite imagery, after all), the grudging language of concession seeps from every corridor of Ukrainian talks here.

“It’s not a done deal in the sense that the international community by and large isn’t recognizing the annexation of Crimea,” Obama said, before acknowledging the “facts on the ground” favored Russia. “It would be dishonest to say there is a simple solution to resolving what has already taken place in Crimea.”

Obama and European leaders are rattled and resentful, thunderstruck that the wispy bonds of international “norms” could be so easily shredded. Fearful of the precedent they appear incapable of reversing, and desperate to limit Putin’s ambitions to Crimea, the G-7 nations have effectively conceded Crimea. They threatened “sectoral sanctions” if Putin further bulldozed international law by gobbling up more of Ukraine or plowing into Moldova. Weak or strong, Putin enforces the new Crimean status quo. All he’s lost is Russia’s G-8 membership pin and decoder ring.

21f8ff404ae8a0dc78db6ac4d7605447Read the rest at the link.

One of our astronauts hitched a ride yesterday. Leaving politics behind, Russian-U.S. crew blasts off for space | Reuters

Two Russian cosmonauts and a U.S. astronaut blasted off for six-month stay aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday, a partnership unaffected by the political rancor and economic sanctions triggered by Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

The Russian Soyuz rocket carrying cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev and NASA astronaut Steven Swanson lifted off at 5:17 p.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The trip to the space station, a $100 billion research laboratory that flies about 260 miles above Earth, was scheduled to take about six hours. However, an unknown problem caused the crew’s Soyuz capsule to skip two planned steering maneuvers, delaying the crew’s arrival until Thursday.

“The crew is in no danger. The Soyuz (is) equipped with plenty of consumables to go even beyond the next two days, should that be become necessary. Nobody expects that that will be the case,” mission commentator Rob Navias said during a NASA Television broadcast.


558a1149bb572582b62fb754a235f37cMy son has a sinus infection, and was home from school yesterday…so he watched the launch live.

At Least Russia and the U.S. Still Get Along in Outer Space –

NASA, however, is not worried about the Ukraine crisis taking a toll on space exploration.

“We do not expect the current Russia-Ukraine situation to have an impact on our long-standing civil space cooperation with Russia, which goes back decades, including our partnership on the International Space Station program,” said NASA spokesman Joshua Buck in a statement to National Journal. “We are confident that our two space agencies will continue to work closely as they have throughout various ups and downs of the broader U.S.-Russia relationship.”

The International Space Station has indeed weathered terrestrial political storms in the past. “It doesn’t appear that we are affected by what’s going on diplomatically with the Russians,” Al Sofge, director of NASA’s human exploration and operations division, has said of the conflict in Syria and Russia’s protection of American whistle-blower Edward Snowden. “I don’t know that we’ve ever even discussed it.”

After 16 years in orbit, the International Space Station is truly a bilateral effort. The station, divided into American and Russian segments, uses American solar arrays and power systems, Russian life-support systems, and a navigation system that comes from both nations.

61fb77482bb012d4afdb794135b78746The U.S. and Russia first collaborated in space in July 1975, when a Soviet Soyuz capsule carrying two cosmonauts docked with a U.S. Apollo module carrying three astronauts. In the 1990s, after the Soviet Union collapsed, the U.S. asked Russia to join its work on the International Space Station. Russia was too financially strapped to build a program of its own, BBC’s Melissa Hogenboom explained in 2012, and the U.S. was behind schedule on the project and needed help.

This “reluctant codependency,” as NBC space analyst James Oberg dubbed it, persists to this day. At the International Space Station, Russia depends on NASA’s electronics and communications technology, which are more advanced. The U.S. depends on Roscosmos, the Russian federal agency, to send its astronauts to space. After NASA retired its space-shuttle program in 2011, Russia became the sole nation with the capability of carrying astronauts and cargo to and from space. Even U.S. national security satellites are powered into orbit on an American rocket with a Russian-built rocket engine.

While Jake was watching that rocket take off, I told him the Russians would not mess up that arrangement, they are getting paid. How much?

Right now, NASA pays $70.7 million per seat to send its astronauts to space on Russian Soyuz capsules, $8 million more than a previous agreement. But by 2017, NASA officials say the U.S. should be able to send its astronauts to the International Space Station on its own, thanks to private American spaceflight companies.

bfc76f7e8d948480492ab98762023746I will put this other link here for you, Zandar Versus The Stupid: Last Call For One Hell Of A Coincidence, where an article in the Business Insider by Michael Kelley is asking the question:


U.S. officials think that Russia recently obtained the ability to evade U.S. eavesdropping equipment while commandeering Crimea and amassing troops near Ukraine’s border.

The revelation reportedly has the White House “very nervous,” especially because it’s unclear how the Kremlin hid its plans from the National Security Agency’s snooping on digital and electronic communications.

One interesting fact involved is the presence of Edward Snowden in Russia, where he has been living since flying to Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23.

In July, primary Snowden source Glenn Greenwald told The Associated Press that Snowden “is in possession of literally thousands of documents that contain very specific blueprints that would allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it.”

So it’s either a crazy coincidence that the Russians figured out how to evade NSA surveillance while hosting the NSA-trained hacker, or else it implies that Snowden provided the Russians with access to the NSA’s blueprint.

ad91d1fe340080ba3d708415fa8cd55eNo doubt Kelley’s article is going to draw a massive screed from Double G and the usual suspects.  But as the people who support Snowden’s actions remind us, we need to have a serious debate about American intelligence capabilities, and that includes debating the consequences of someone with the vast knowledge of these capabilities defecting to a foreign country.

I’ve said on a number of occasions that the actions of Snowden and his partners are not consistent with the goal of reigning in the NSA through existing means, but very consistent with the goal of taking it upon themselves to irreparably damage our intelligence-gathering abilities as a lesson to the Unites States government.

The threats have been made that if anything happens to Snowden, the full trove of information would be leaked.

Zandar asks…

It’s a reasonable question to ask if that’s already happened.

5d1338d26584ed11f5ecee7dd896309aSo, over at CNN they are looking for news since their 24/7 coverage of MH Flight 370 is coming to a close….Two CNN Producers Arrested in Sad Attempt to Break into the WTC Site

Two CNN producers were arrested today after trying—and failing miserably—to break into the World Trade Center site for a story about people who successfully broke in.

A CNN spokesperson said that producers Connor Boals, 26, and Yon Pomrenze, 35, were on assignment “but were not asked to sneak onto the WTC site.”

According to reports, the pair first tried to talk their way past security guards into the heavily guarded construction site. When that failed, they tried scaling a nearby fence. Both times officers merely turned them away.

The tipping point came on their third attempt, when they tried to forcibly push their way through a security checkpoint.

That coup de grâce got Boals and Pomrenze cuffed and booked on criminal trespass, obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct charges.

4bf0f9fa812baf0dacba764f4cdd93c8Sad…sad…sad…when all they had to do was head on over to Jersey: Body parts injure 4 after man killed by train

A man was struck and killed by a train Tuesday in a gruesome scene that left others on the New Brunswick Station platform injured.

Preliminary eyewitness accounts suggest that the man was struck after leaning into the path of the oncoming train while standing on the station platform.

As a result of the collision, at least four other people waiting on the platform were struck by parts of the man’s body, officials said.

The incident happened at about 5 p.m. EDT and involved a New York-bound Northeast Corridor train carrying about 300 passengers, NJ Transit spokesman John Durso said.

1240957702d17d444ef8d846a8420c41Three of the four people who were hurt went to the hospital with injuries…eek! Now that is a “story” those producers could have gotten into…dirty laundry there. Literally.


Back to the MH370 for a moment: Families of Flight MH370 Victims Issue Blistering Statement | Vanity Fair

The families on the receiving end didn’t take kindly to the message or the manner in which it was delivered. Families gathered in Beijing read a blistering rebuke of Malaysian Airlines and authorities on Monday:

“At 10pm on March 25, the Malaysian prime minister sent a statement to the families of MH370 passengers without any direct evidence that MH370 crashed in the south Indian ocean and no people survived. 

From March 8 when they announced that MH370 lost contact to today, 18 days have passed during which the Malaysian government and military constantly tried to delay, deceive the passengers’ families and cheat the whole world.

This shameless behaviour not only fooled and hurt the families of the 154 passengers but also misguided and delayed rescue actions, wasting a large quantity of human resources and materials and lost valuable time for the rescue effort.

If the 154 passengers did lose their lives, Malaysia Airlines, the Malaysian government and military are the real executioners who killed them. We the families of those on board submit our strongest protest against them.

cbb4858fba066dab03fa9df6171a770dWe will take every possible means to pursue the unforgivable crimes and responsibility of all three.”

Malaysia Airlines claims a representative for the company told the assembled families in person, and that phone calls and SMS messages were only sent to relatives who were not in the family-support center.

The rest of the links are in quick dump fashion:

What happens when a female student in a hot pink top walks through Cairo University? – News – Student – The Independent

A shocking video shows a female student being sexually harassed as she walks through her campus at Cairo University in Egypt.

Wearing a pink top and tight jeans, the young woman is whistled and shouted at as she makes her way through the site amongst a growing group of men following her.

54ed3e8e1cff5ddfbb033982fed1f78dUniversity guards are seen in the clip, which has gone viral on social media, escorting her off the premises after she hid in a toilet to escape the group, who were allegedly trying to remove her clothes.

The school Dean blamed the girl of course…video at the link.

From the fuckwads in my state, In Georgia, Carry a Gun, Just Not in the Capitol –

There’s a lot of concern about new legislation in Georgia that expands how people can buy, carry and use guns. It reduces some licensing requirements and provides Georgians with a stronger “Stand Your Ground” defense should they feel threatened and decide to open fire. Some critics were calling it the “guns everywhere” law. That’s so unfair. Georgia’s lawmakers are not allowing everyone’s safety to be endangered by gun-slinging people. They are deeply concerned, for example, with their own.

The bill, passed on Thursday and awaiting the governor’s signature, will, among other things, allow people to carry concealed weapons into more places — including ones, like bars, which conveniently enough are spots where they are likely to be put to use.

They may also be carried in unsecured areas of airports. Even toting a gun in secured areas will merely be a misdemeanor in Georgia as long as you did it by mistake. After all, who among us has not had the embarrassing experience of forgetting they were carrying their Glock semiautomatic through airport security?

put em up (louise adler in a promo shot for the match in which she defeated joe rivers, 1926)Republican lawmakers in the Georgia House tried — and failed — to require colleges and churches to allow concealed weapons. The law bans them on college campuses (thank goodness for that, at least) and requires armed Georgians to get permission from their church before they go to Sunday services packing heat.

But, while patting themselves on the back for protecting the Second Amendment rights of their fellow citizens and dismissing any notion that guns could be a danger to the public, Georgia lawmakers were careful to continue to ban the carrying of weapons in government buildings with security checkpoints, like the Capitol itself, though guns are welcomed in buildings without screening.

aa99047510b526beb2a9c32518e0b111How thoughtful of them.

Barbara Boxer: Why no Viagra complaints? – Tal Kopan –

As the Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday about the Obamacare mandate on birth control coverage, Sen. Barbara Boxer questioned why those up in arms about the requirement have no problem with most insurance covering Viagra.

“I have never heard Hobby Lobby or any other corporation, I could be wrong, or any other boss complain that Viagra is covered in many insurance plans, practically all of them, or other kinds of things, you know, for men, which I won’t go into,” Boxer said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Jansing & Co.”

Yeah, isn’t every sperm sacred?

After 27 years, Burger King Baby finds birth mom, feels pure joy

A woman who, as a newborn, was abandoned in the bathroom of a Pennsylvania fast-food restaurant said Tuesday she has found her birth mother just three weeks after launching a search that garnered worldwide attention.

Next…another blast from 80s’ past, an interview with Boy George: Boy George Discusses New Album, Gender Identity, Madonna And More


If you’re ever given 60 minutes to sit down with Boy George, one of the most beloved pop icons of the 20th century, in a private club on the west side of Manhattan in the middle of February, take them.

In the course of that hour, you’ll not only be treated to stories about how as a teen, his brothers would cross the street so they didn’t have to be seen with him and find out if he ever considered transitioning to the other end of the gender binary, but you’ll also quickly realize that he is one of the most thoughtful — and refreshingly honest — interview subjects you’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering.

cbca6008e95235ed0e672a50a1753923Next, tales of animals…remember that zoo in Copenhagen? The one that killed the young giraffe and butchered it then fed it to the lions?

Look what the zoo did to the lions: Danish zoo that killed giraffe puts down four lions

Two lions and their two 10-month-old cubs, all from the same family, were put down on Monday to make way for a new male after the zoo failed to find a new home for the felines.

Copenhagen Zoo said in a statement: “Because of the pride of lions’ natural structure and behaviour, the zoo has had to euthanise the two old lions and two young lions who were not old enough to fend for themselves”.

The cubs “would have been killed by the new male lion as soon as he got the chance,” it added.

1a6487da34751cbe267773eaa6dcaaaeWTF? Am I right?

On the case of inbreeding and genetic defects…no I am not talking about Banjoville, Birth Defects In Last Woolly Mammoths Suggest Inbreeding May Have Led To Species’ Extinction

Scientists studying 12,000-year-old mammoth fossils unearthed near the North Sea discovered that many of them had extra ribs along their neck vertebrae. Cervical ribs, while innocuous on their own, are usually a sign that something went wrong during the animal’s development and are associated with chromosome abnormalities and even cancer.

Researchers found that cervical ribs were 10 times more common in woolly mammoths from the North Sea than in modern elephants. Scientists were stunned to find such a high rate of cervical ribs among European woolly mammoths.


c9b35a5b9b503c99e6692addb351750e“The high incidence and large size of the cervical ribs [in woolly mammoths] indicates a strong vulnerability, given the association of cervical ribs with diseases and congenital abnormalities in mammals,” the researchers noted in a study published in the journal PeerJ. “The vulnerable condition may well have contributed to the eventual extinction of the woolly mammoths.”

Scientists theorized that there are two possible explanations for the high frequency of cervical ribs in the last of the mammoths. The first is that there was rampant inbreeding among the last mammoth populations. This theory fits nicely with the idea that climate change fragmented the woolly mammoth’s habitat, isolating small pockets of the animals from each other. These groups would have lost their genetic variation through inbreeding, which would have made them susceptible to abnormalities and disease.

The second theory is that woolly mammoth mothers suffered prenatal stress due to outside factors like famine and disease.

298ffe3ca111580ab030cbe356597c34And finally, Goats are far more clever than previously thought

Goats learn how to solve complicated tasks quickly and can recall how to perform them for at least 10 months, which might explain their remarkable ability to adapt to harsh environments, say researchers at Queen Mary University of London.

Writing in the journal Frontiers in Zoology today, the scientists trained a group of to retrieve food from a box using a linked sequence of steps; first by pulling a lever with their mouths and then by lifting it to release the reward.

The goats’ ability to remember the task was tested after one month and again at 10 months. They learned the task within 12 trials and took less than two minutes to remember the challenge.

01c3b3abfac3402491e3c50d798f1a9a“The speed at which the goats completed the task at 10 months compared to how long it took them to learn indicates excellent long-term memory,” said co-author Dr Elodie Briefer, now based at ETH Zurich.

Before each learning session, some of the goats had the opportunity to watch another goat to demonstrate the task.

Dr Briefer added: “We found that those without a demonstrator were just as fast at learning as those that had seen demonstrations. This shows that goats prefer to learn on their own rather than by watching others.”

Wow, I wonder if a goat could learn that the birth control pill does not = an abortion? Yeah, they sound like they are smarter than some of the Supremes sitting on the bench.

Have a great day, and let us know what you are reading and thinking about today.

38 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: Put up your dukes!”

  1. Morning y’all…I will probably be absent most of today. My dad is being his usual pain in the ass self and refusing to go to doctor…after having chest pain all night. Anxiety…yes. He also has a tooth infection and will not go to dentist. Ugh…

    • NW Luna says:

      Ouch! Dental infections are so painful. I really hope he gets seen soon. Chest pain isn’t always heart-related. But yes, he should get seen soon.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    IMHO, Major Garrett is full of sh%t. I really liked what Obama said about Putin acting from weakness. I think it will get under Putin’s skin more than just about any threat. Because it’s true. Putin’s incursion into Ukraine was for his Russian audience, and it worked. His popularity has gone way up at home. But he doesn’t have the ability to go much further and he knows it. Strength and weakness are not just about who is most willing to be violent.

    • RalphB says:

      President Obama gave a very good speech today in Belgium. Personally, I don’t see much to complain about in his handling of this whole situation.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Those who are complaining are the ones who want to drop bombs and send more kids to war.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Media Matters: Pentagon Finds The Repetitious Benghazi Hearings Have Cost Millions

    • NW Luna says:

      You’d think that might get them to quit, since they yammer about gov’t wasting money. But somehow I doubt it.

  4. NW Luna says:

    Interesting story from a reporter who’d interviewed people living in areas which regularly flooded.

    Northwesterners are stoics about natural disaster. When you live with big nature up in your face all the time, maybe it’s not so surprising when it sometimes strikes. “If the hillsides were going to slough away, they were going to slough away,” said one homeowner who survived the Oso slide. “That’s kind of what happens around here.”

    The British call this the stiff upper lip. It helps in recovering from unimaginable tragedy, which is what Snohomish County clearly is facing now. This could be the worst natural disaster around here since Mount St. Helens erupted 34 years ago, killing 57. Horrifically, the Oso slide may exceed that death toll.

    So it’s understandable not to try to reason why. We acknowledge we’re not in charge. Nature is.
    The Oso homeowner added, people shouldn’t expect the government to prevent such disasters. They’re inevitable. “That’s like saying the river is going to flood,” he said.

    And yet all it took was a few Seattle Times reporters looking through records for one day to find that this was no bolt from the heavens. There had been landslides at this spot repeatedly — in 1949, 1951, 1967 and 2006. Plus there was constant flooding, in which the rambunctious Stillaguamish would “channel migrate” — jump its banks to chart a new course, often eating again at the unstable hillside.

    Geologists specifically called out the chances of “a large catastrophic failure” of the hillside. These warnings weren’t ignored by government officials so much as filed away. Perhaps with some of that “it’s kind of what happens around here” inertia.

    • NW Luna says:

      Then add clear-cutting to the situation, so the land is stripped of vegetation and roots which absorb water and hold soil in place.

      In May 1988, when a private landowner, Summit Timber, received approval to begin logging above the slope, scientists raised alarms about the removal of trees that intercept or absorb so much water, according to documents obtained by The Seattle Times.

      Paul Kennard, a geologist for the Tulalip Tribes, warned regulators that harvesting holds “the potential for a massive and catastrophic failure of the entire hillslope.”

      Others echoed his concerns. Noel Wolff, a hydrologist who worked for the state, wrote that “Timber harvesting could possibly cause what is likely an inevitable event to occur sooner.” And Pat Stevenson, an environmental biologist for the Stillaguamish Tribe, cited “the potential for massive failure,” similar to a slide that occurred in 1967.

      You can see the same story in small examples all throughout the NW in rural areas. This latest was just a huge tragedy.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Just look at ancient Pompeii. People have settled on the hills around the volcano for centuries. Same with California hillsides.

        • NW Luna says:

          Plenty of examples of California houses built in the wrong place for slides and wildfires.

  5. dakinikat says:

    The rollout of manufactured conservative outrage about insurance plans being required to cover contraception—something, may I remind you, most already did—has been a demonstration that the right wing noise machine has perfected the art of bullshit, after decades of honing their craft. Conservative leaders have learned they can train their followers to believe anything, with One Simple Trick: Lie faster than the debunkers can debunk. With the contraception mandate, there’s been a dizzying amount of lies that have been pouring out of the right, and this is no accident. Conservative leaders have learned that if you drown your opposition in lies, they are doomed. Even if they debunk one lie, audiences who are eager to buy into the anti-contraception line will simply cling to another. If you debunk that lie, conservatives just switch to another or switch back.

    I think the press really made this successful by just calling their lies “opinions” rather than calling them what they are; bald faced lies.

    • RalphB says:

      They’ve all really learned that lesson well. Science denial is the same and abetted by a massively stupid media in the exact same way.

  6. dakinikat says:

    and then there’s this kind of thing: Justice Scalia has no idea about the cost or functioning of birth control:

    Scalia said during the oral argument, “You’re talking about, what, three or four birth controls, not all of them, just those that are abortifacient. That’s not terribly expensive stuff, is it?” Is that a compelling counter?

    How out of touch do you have to be to realize that this stuff is expensive! and I bet he gets his prescript to the little blue pill all the time!

    • I am telling you those fucking goats are smarter. Or should I say more competent and compassionate..

    • NW Luna says:

      None of them are abortifacient! None!

      Did Scalia flunk Biology 201? And he wouldn’t know the average person’s “expensive” if it bit him on his genitalia.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan come out swinging against Hobby Lobby corporate religion claim

  8. dakinikat says: Kansas legislators want to create a list of every woman who miscarries, no matter how early in pregnancy.

    • RalphB says:

      Damn, that’s flat our ominous.

    • NW Luna says:

      OK, time to start mailing these guys all the used tampons and pads so they can check for miscarried clumps of eggs.

      More Biology flunkees. More than half of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions, aka miscarriages in lay terms. I believe that’s from about 6 wks onward. The rate is even higher earlier, as Mother Nature dislikes wasting much time on clumps of cells which develop something incompatible with life, so she basically arranges for them to be washed out.

      Let’s have a list of every man who spills his seed on unfertile ground. All of ’em! Yeah, I mean you too, Mr. Kansas Senator. And how many times a week you do it.

      Damn I want many pairs of boxing gloves. JJ?

  9. RalphB says:

    OT but could be distressing to the glibertarian techbro culture. Adios, Bitcoin.

    The IRS has ruled that Bitcoin is an asset, not a currency. Thank a government agency for some much-needed common sense. The sound you hear right now is the crying of thousands of techie wanna-bes who thought their precious sets of digits were legal tender. They’ll be better off using seashells as payment.

    Bitcoin is now just another digital asset. Other digital assets like marketing data and intellectual property have real value because they can produce a tangible benefit for their owners. Bitcoin confers no such value. It is just another conveyance. The effort to produce it will be a nuisance at best and a tax loss at worst. Real currencies are so much more useful.

    roflmao 🙂

  10. RalphB says:

    The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously to uphold the ban on firearms for those convicted of domestic violence.

    • Fannie says:

      Yeah…….meanwhile, the state of Georgia says you can carry a gun, everywhere, anywhere, anytime, including the airport. Deal ought to carry his up his ass.

    • NW Luna says:

      Ah, a smidgeon of reasonableness. Of course, for those not yet convicted or even charged with domestic violence, ya can get your gun anywhere.

  11. Hey, hope everyone is okay…

    Don’t know what is going on in the world…but the first think I saw on my feed reader was this picture of Emma Watson looking so good and sharp. I had to share it. Everyone Wants to Be…Emma Watson in Saint Laurent on “David Letterman” | Tom & Lorenzo Fabulous & Opinionated

    • RalphB says:

      Pretty flawless all right 🙂

    • NW Luna says:

      Emma darling, get those damn triangle pinscher things off your feet or you’ll be haunting the podiatrists’ operating rooms in the future.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I agree. She looks great, but the shoes are horrible. IMHO, spike heels should never be worn with pants anyway.

  12. Okay, so Dan has brought home Wolf of Wall street. I have been afraid to see this thing because even when Dan worked on Wall street, he told me how he would loan money to his under employees so they could get hookers, cocaine and yes…they did toss midgets!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Let us know. I will probably watch it at some point.

      • Oh it was very good. Best Scorsese and DiCaprio has done in years. That was a Jonah Hills best work…I highly recommend it. (Even if I am a Scorsese fan…and may be bias, his Gangs of New York and Age of Innocence sucked ass…so I do not have blinders.) Everyone did an excellent job.

        • I should add my mom saw the movie after we did, she was very disturbed by it. She agreed it was done well, but she said the film itself glorified that kind of lifestyle…I guess it does because there are no “real” repercussions. Jordon goes to jail…it is like a country club and then he hits the sales convention circuit. I took it as being told through the eyes of Jordon, so it is all slanted toward his way of seeing things. Of course it is making things look good to him. The real Jordon Belfort is in the last scene of the movie, so it fits with the narcissistic ego trip the film is taking you on. It is all about Belfort. And in his mind, the FBI man is pathetically looking about the subway car as he ponders what could have been if he had taken that bribe Belfort offered him. Because Belfort is telling the story…

  13. NW Luna says:

    Refreshing point of view from the BBC — it’s the economy, not your fault, if you got laid off or can’t find a job.

    Experts tell the BBC that job seekers in the US are now, more than ever, blaming themselves for being out of work, due in part to misconceptions about what it takes to succeed in America. ….

    A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology last year found that the higher people perceived their social class to be, the more likely they were to believe that success comes to those who most deserve it. Perhaps more tellingly, those of lower status were viewed as unworthy.

    That can create a “very damaging” culture, says Vicki Smith, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis. When US workers fail to recognise structural problems within the current labour market or that the “deck is stacked in certain ways”, she says, they experience depression and a loss of motivation, ultimately lengthening the period of unemployment. It can also lead employers to stigmatise the unemployed.