Wednesday Reads: A Bare Chestnut Tree grows in Washington DC

Portrait by Nico Jungmann

Portrait by Nico Jungmann

Good Morning

We have a variety of links for you today, shall we just get down to it?

By the way, the images are from the Sketchbook of Nico Jungmann… enjoy them.

They have heard another series of pings, this time it lasted longer than 7 minutes, via USA Today: Official: Plane may be found in ‘matter of days’

Meanwhile: Ukraine says separatists hold hostages; activists deny charge | Reuters

Congrats to UCONN: Another National Championship for Connecticut Women’s Basketball

Out of all the news hitting the internets this past day or so, the one story that was more moving to me was this one…about the sapling that is being planted at the Capitol.

A very special sapling it is:  WASHINGTON: Sapling from Anne Frank’s “bare chestnut tree” coming to the Capitol

Congressional leaders will plant an Anne Frank Memorial Tree on the U.S. Capitol’s west front lawn April 30.

The sapling was taken from a chestnut tree that stood outside the Amsterdam annex where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II.

51RpgWALCVLIn her February 23, 1944, she talked about the tree:

“From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the sea gulls and other birds as they glide on the wind…I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”

The tree itself collapsed in 2010, but its stewarts crated saplings. Eleven have been given to sites throughout this country.

Isn’t it a pretty thought to have a connection to  a little girl who equated “solace in all troubles” to the very branches that brought forth this sapling? What I am yearning for right now is solace in all troubles, bet you are too.

Here is an picture of the tree viewed from inside the attic where Anne Frank hid, it was taken  before it fell back in 2010: Anne Frank tree knocked down by storm

In this Nov. 14, 2007 file photo the chestnut tree which comforted Anne Frank while she hid from the Nazis during World War II, as seen from the attic window in the secret annex at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Netherlands The monumental chestnut tree has fallen over on Monday, Aug. 23, a spokeswoman for the Anne Frank Museum says. Peter Dejong/AP/File

In this Nov. 14, 2007 file photo the chestnut tree which comforted Anne Frank while she hid from the Nazis during World War II, as seen from the attic window in the secret annex at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Netherlands The monumental chestnut tree has fallen over on Monday, Aug. 23, a spokeswoman for the Anne Frank Museum says.
Peter Dejong/AP/File

 

As I was saying, we could all use some solace now, with this kind of shit going on: Los Angeles Times Was Wrong to Retract Article on Rape at Occidental

 

On March 14, 2014, The Los Angeles Times issued a retraction of an article in which reporter Jason Felch stated that Occidental College failed to disclose 27 sexual assaults in its 2012 Annual Security Report (ASR). The retraction states that “Occidental representatives approached the Times early this month to seek a correction. Documents reviewed by The Times this week show that the 27 incidents did not fall under the law’s disclosure requirements for a variety of reasons.”

However, The Los Angeles Times did not perform due diligence in their investigation of the numbers, and they never should have issued a retraction. Felch had incontrovertible evidence that the College did not include anonymous cases in their 2012 ASR and had verification that the college could not lawfully account for 27 missing cases.

51HPaG-TJ5LGiven the evidence, The Times should issue a mea culpa, and especially after Occidental spokesperson Jim Tranquada recently admitted to the LA Weekly that Dean of Students Barbara Avery ignored federal Clery reporting requirements that year. “In 2012, out of concern for student confidentiality, the Dean of Students office did not always communicate to Campus Safety when a student initiated the sexual-misconduct process or otherwise reported a sexual assault.”

Harrumph…I think Jezebel is on to something there, don’t you?

Since we are talking about issues of “due diligence” or maybe somehow having the wool pulled over one’s eyes, there is an update to a little news story regarding a former Star Trek actress and a Scientist who had No Clue How He Ended up in Holocaust-Denier’s Creationism Documentary

A new documentary titled “The Principle” is the latest from creationists and geocentrists.  The film perpetuates the long disproven notion that the sun revolves around the Earth. It is narrated by “Star Trek’s” Kate Mulgrew, who starred as Capt. Kathryn Janeway in both “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Nemesis.” From the looks of the trailer, this film is the antithesis of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s scientific look at the universe in “Cosmos.”

The film was funded by the ultra-conservative, ultra-Roman Catholic Robert Sungenis, who also appears in the film. Sungenis is also known for denying the Holocaust, and for his  anti-Semitic articles, which his bishop demanded he stop writing.

According to  Raw Story, the film features several scientists — some without permission. Clips from the trailer show Michio Kaku, Lawrence Krauss and Max Tegmart. Krauss is incensed, and tweeted:

For all who asked: Some clips of me apparently were mined for movie on geocentricism. So stupid does disservice to word nonsense. Ignore it.

— Lawrence Krauss (@LKrauss1)  April 8, 2014

K51XDDYMu9tLrauss also wrote a piece for  Slate to explain his complete bewilderment at being included. He is also unsure the means taken to get the clips. Krauss will probably not take legal action, in order to not further stoke the publicity for the pseudo-scientific doc. He also lampoons the idea of geocentricism, saying, “The notion that anyone in the 21st century could take seriously the notion that the sun orbits the Earth, or that the Earth is the center of the universe, is almost unbelievable.”

Okay, so this in the lack of due-diligence I was referring to: OH THANK GOD: Kate Mulgrew Is Mad About the Geocentric Documentary, Too

Yesterday, we ended the day on a major bummer when we learned that Kate Mulgrew, the actor best known for playing Captain Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager, would be narrating a documentary backed by geocentrists and Holocaust deniers. Today, she’s set the record straight.

Mulgrew took to her official Facebook page about an hour ago to address growing concerns that her involvement with The Principle, a documentary about how NASA is totally trying to hide the truth that the Sun revolves around the Earth from us or whatever, in some way reflected her own views.

“I understand there has been some controversy about my participation in a documentary called THE PRINCIPLE. Let me assure everyone that I completely agree with the eminent physicist Lawrence Krauss, who was himself misrepresented in the film, and who has written a succinct rebuttal in SLATE. I am not a geocentrist, nor am I in any way a proponent of geocentrism. More importantly, I do not subscribe to anything Robert Sungenis has written regarding science and history and, had I known of his involvement, would most certainly have avoided this documentary. I was a voice for hire, and a misinformed one, at that. I apologize for any confusion that my voice on this trailer may have caused. Kate Mulgrew”

51+e-aOLdfLSeems to me that she needs to, along with her assistants…agent, be a little more diligent when it comes to accepting offers to narrate a documentary as batshit crazy as this one. Unless the producers of the documentary have fraudulently re-edited her voice over to fit their agenda…but I believe she was a voice for hire as she states and just did not do the proper homework on the matter, and only seeing a check at the end of a day.

Speaking of crazy, have you seen this? Baby Accused of Murder Plot Goes Into Hiding in Pakistan

A 9-month-old Pakistani baby accused of raiding a state-run gas company and plotting to murder police has gone into hiding following his first court appearance last week.

Alleged infant criminal mastermind Muhammad “Musa” Khan was charged with conspiracy to commit murder Feb. 1, along with his father, grandfather and around 30 others. The group was protesting an increase in gas prices and a lack of available electricity in their area.

Baby Musa was granted bail in a Lahore court last week, and has another court appearance scheduled for April 12. His family hasn’t decided whether he’ll show up.

“Police are vindictive. Now they are trying to settle the issue on personal grounds, that’s why I sent my grandson to Faisalabad for protection,” the baby’s grandfather, Muhammad Yasin, told Reuters.

I guess the reasons for his arrest are being explain as, guilt by association?

A police sub-inspector apparently claimed in a report that Yasin’s entire family beat him up during the protest. That sub-inspector has since been fired.

What else would we expect when they also will stone women for adultery when they are raped.

41MkHYQX+9LWith all the talk on equal pay these days, Researchers: More U.S. mothers staying at home because of unemployment | The Raw Story

More mothers in the United States are staying home, but the increase is linked more to unemployment and demographic changes than to choice, a study published Tuesday suggested.

In 2012, nearly one in three mothers, or 29 percent, did not work outside the home, up from 23 percent in 1999, said the study from the Washington-based Pew Research Center.

Most of the homemakers, 85 percent, indicated they stayed at home to look after their children. However, six percent said they did so because they could not find employment — up from one percent in 2000.

And another article dealing with numbers: This Map Shows The Deadly Aftermath Of War Right Here At Home

In 2008, The New York Times compiled a list of 121 cases in which veterans were charged with a killing after returning home, and Current TV, GOOD and MGMT.design collaborated to update the research in 2010. The Huffington Post collected data from these sources and more recent news articles to create the infographic below, which shows that at least 194 veterans have been charged with killings after returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. It also shows that there has been a concentration of such incidents around military bases. Our research may not be a complete tally, but these were the cases we could confirm.

Infographic at the link above.

Alright then, the rest of the links are all dealing with shit, whether it be bullshit…fish shit, Japanese print fart shit, or GOP dipshit(s). (yes plural)

First the GOP assholes…GOP Candidate Wants To Get Elected To Keep His Daughter From Learning Evolution

I don’t know where the hell these people come from and yet…they keep getting elected or in this guy’s case, backed by those politicians already in office.

Aaron Miller, a Republican congressional candidate in Minnesota, said a big reason he’s running is to end classroom instruction on evolution, according to the Mankato Free Press.

Miller, a hospital account manager and Iraq War veteran, said during the congressional district’s Republican Party convention in Albert Lea on Saturday that Minnesota needs more religious freedom. He cited an incident in which his daughter was forced to learn evolution in school.

According to the Mankato Free Press:

He also called for more religious freedoms. He repeated his story about his daughter returning home from school because evolution was being taught in her class. He said the teacher admitted to not believing in the scientific theory to his daughter but told her that the government forced him to teach the lesson.

81xX07cI-QL._SL1500_Miller first mentioned his daughter’s evolution lesson at the Blue Earth County convention in March, according to the Mankato Free Press.

“We should decide what is taught in our schools, not Washington, D.C.,” Miller, who won the Republican endorsement for Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District on Saturday, said during his speech.

Despite Miller’s attacks on Washington’s influence on education, Minnesota’s academic standards in science are set by the state Department of Education.

Not only is this guy a dipshit, he is a dumbshit.

Eric Holder got in some good jabs yesterday, Eric Holder to Louie Gohmert: ‘Good Luck With Your Asparagus’ | The Daily Banter

Gohmert brought up the “Operation Fast and Furious” scandal (because of course he did) and reminded Holder that he was hit with contempt of Congress charges by the House two years ago for failing to turn over Justice Department documents which the House had subpoenaed. Holder warned Gohmert, “You don’t want to go there, buddy.”

But that wasn’t the really good one. At the end of Gohmert’s time, Holder got the last word. As the chair recognized a different committee member, Holder said to Gohmert, “Good luck with your asparagus.”

This was an hilarious reference to an exchange between Holder and Gohmert last year when Gohmert inexplicably said that Holder “cast aspersions” on his “asparagus.”

Yes, Louie Gohmert said “cast aspersions on my asparagus.” What?

Oh Gohmert, you round-headed nincompoop. You’re lucky that’s all Holder said to you regarding that. If I was Holder, I’d make it a point to work the word “asparagus” into every other sentence. Why? Because this is exactly how a nutbag like Gohmert deserves to be treated.

Videos at the link.

51pmFCaSmxLOh, be glad we don’t have this kind of trouble to deal with: Carnivorous piranhas found blocking sewers in Shropshire

Residents in Telford have been informed “fishy smells” erupting from sewers in the area were actually thanks to the presence of sharp-toothed, carnivorous piranhas.

The fish, which are known for their voracious appetites and are commonly found in slightly more tropical climates than Shropshire, had been blocking the sewers after a resident chose to dispose of the dead fish down their toilet.

Matt Final and Jay Slater, who went to investigate the blockage for Severn Trent said: “We’ve certainly seen some weird things in the sewers over the years but we were a little shocked to remove piranhas.

Yeah, dead piranhas down the drain is a bit strange indeed. But at least they were not let out into the local pond or river while alive…I know it isn’t much of a news story, but fish down the shitter is only a segue to the final link: Today We Learned: Japanese “Fart Battle” Scrolls Exist

Let’s talk about farts. Specifically, fart battles as depicted in these hundreds-of-years-old Japanese “he-gassen” scrolls. They’re a real thing, and they might be the best real thing we’ve seen today. Check out some more examples below.

Fart-Battle-640x426

Besides just being incredibly fun to look at, because farts being funny is as much a universal constant as the speed of light, he-gassen scrolls also served some political function in their day. They were sort of like New Yorker cartoons—but with farts. The joke, according to Dangerous Minds and The Daily Mail seems to be that at the time, Japan’s view of foreigners wasn’t a favorable one.

When I saw that headline I immediately thought of Monty Python’s….I fart in your general direction..and it seems that the person who wrote the post thought the same thing.

This, but in Japan.

 

More pictures of Japanese prints at the link, as well as more info on the artwork.

That is all I have for you this morning. Have a good day and please share your thoughts with us today.


34 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: A Bare Chestnut Tree grows in Washington DC”

  1. Well, my Bebe will be heading to Chicago tomorrow, so we are busy getting her ready to go today. Not to mention going nuts with anxiety and then she is sick again with a sinus infection. The shit never ends.

    But, tonight: Earth Will Line Up Directly With the Sun and Mars Tonight – ABC News

    Should be something to look forward to…

  2. This is good: Dear Parents, You Are Being Lied To | Jennifer Raff

    In light of recent outbreaks of measles and other vaccine preventable illnesses, and the refusal of anti-vaccination advocates to acknowledge the problem, I thought it was past time for this post.

    Dear parents,

    You are being lied to. The people who claim to be acting in the best interests of your children are putting their health and even lives at risk.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    I don’t know how Eric Holder can handle dealing with those morons in the House. He has more patience than I would, I know that.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    School Stabbing Spree: 20 Hurt in Pittsburgh-Area Attack

    As many as 20 students were stabbed when a classmate went on a rampage through the classrooms and hallways of a high school outside Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning, authorities said.

    The student suspect was in custody and being questioned by police, Dan Stevens, a Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman, told WPXI, the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh. He said that the motive was unclear and that the injuries did not appear life-threatening.

    Victims, as young as 15, were taken to four Pittsburgh-area hospitals. Two were in the operating room and a third was on the way, Dr. Chris Kaufmann, a hospital trauma director, told CNN. One hospital reported that it had patients as old as 60.

    The stabbings were reported at Franklin Regional High School, in the suburb of Murrysville. Ambulances swarmed the parking lot.

    • bostonboomer says:

      High school stabbing leaves four seriously wounded

      A doctor says some victims of a multiple stabbing at a high school near Pittsburgh have suffered injuries classified as life-threatening, though all are expected to survive.

      Dr. Chris Kaufman says two victims were in the operating room and one was awaiting surgery at Forbes Regional Medical Center, a few miles from Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.

      • Just woke up and saw this in the news. What is interesting, I’ve been keeping track of the school shootings, movie shootings etc since Newtown…as they are reported on Drudge. Or should I say NOT reported on drudge. But this stabbing is getting the full deluxe treatment…

        • NW Luna says:

          all are expected to survive.

          Horrible about the stabbings, but at least far less lethal than if a gun had been used.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Russian ‘plans for war on Sweden’ cause concern

    “The most serious threat we see right now is war preparations,” Säpo chief counter-intelligence analyst Wilhelm Unge said at a press conference on Monday.

    While stressing that such preparations did not necessarily mean anything dramatic, he said: “It’s no secret that Russia is engaged in this. It’s a little bit worrying.”

    Unge said Russia’s intensified interest in Sweden was evidenced by simulated flight attacks on Swedish targets as well as attempts to recruit spies, increased signals intelligence, and the purchase of a significant number of maps.

    • bostonboomer says:

      WSJ: Swedish Security Service Sees Increasing Threat From Russia

      Wilhelm Unge, chief analyst at Sweden’s domestic intelligence agency Säkerhetspolisen, told Swedish public radio later Monday that the situation was worrying.

      “Without going into details we see increased Russian intelligence activity at the moment because of what is happening in Ukraine and in Crimea,” Mr. Unge said.

      He said electronic attacks had increased and that these attacks were focused on areas of society that the Swedish state needs to protect, without being more specific.

      Mr. Unge said that Sweden had long seen Russian attempts at agent recruitment in Sweden as well as other attempts to access sensitive information.

      “It can involve signals intelligence, penetration of defense infrastructure, large-scale buying of maps as well as intelligence activities in the field,” he said. “And everyone remembers the simulated air attacks against Sweden last year. It is part of a pattern.”

  6. Fannie says:

    Fannie Obama here! Was on the phone to Pat Robertson’s this morning. There he was on national tv saying that he prays that God will TAKE OUT president Obama. I cannot believe that his CBN stations get away with this of verbal abuse, and emotional abuse. I told his clerk that the FBI ought to be showing up any minute with handcuffs, and takes him away for a long, long time.

    I hope the President doesn’t mind me using his name. Called the FCC, they need to help stop this kind of abuse on national tv.

  7. ANonOMouse says:

    “What I am yearning for right now is solace in all troubles, bet you are too.’

    Ditto. And thanks for the great morning reads.

    As for the artwork, have you seen the story of George Bush and his artwork? What do George Bush and George Zimmerman have in common as artists? Both have the first name George, and neither is capable of an original. It looks to me that Zimmerman is much better at tracing, or maybe George Bush is much better at making his tracings look not traced. But Bush has his own special; museum to exhibit his “art”, Zimmerman only has EBay and nutbag websites!

    Apparently all of his “original” paintings of world leaders were lifted from Google.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/09/george-bushs-paintings-bear-uncanny-resemblance-to-google-images

    At least Bush is still good for a laugh

    • RalphB says:

      Hi Mouse. Bush never had an original thought in his miserable life, imho,

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Hi Ralph!!!!

        I agree that Bush “never had an original thought”. I suppose that’s why they called Rove “Bush’s Brain”.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Just knowing that Bush’s “paintings” are on exhibit at his Presidential Library/Museum makes me want to fall on the floor in laughter. Maybe his 1st grade teacher didn’t put his finger paintings on the board for parent teachers night, or maybe mommy & Poppy Bush forgot to buy him a paint by the numbers kit or an etch-a-sketch at christmas. Whatever happened I just can’t believe the arrogance that allows this crap to go on exhibition as “art”.

      An art critic takes a look at George W. Bush “artwork”:
      ” I would just like to point out they are basically very simple-minded as paintings,” Solomon explains, stressing the fact that Bush likely projects photographs onto a panel and copies them, a process known to the masses as tracing. Although Solomon clarifies this technique is a “completely legitimate method” for postmodern contemporary artists, she notes that Bush doesn’t transform his imagery in any way beyond simply copying it. (It’s also unlikely that Bush is partaking in a postmodern exploration of the proliferation of images.)”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/07/george-bush-art-review_n_5105501.html

    • NW Luna says:

      I suspect Bush will be good for many a laugh still.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        He probably took up painting as some sort of therapy to get his mind off of the NEEDLESS wars he started and the tens-of-thousands of lives lost in those wars. I don’t see how he puts his head on a pillow at night and sleeps.

  8. RalphB says:

    Texas Observer: Evangelical Pastors Offer a Grim Message at Texas Summit

    … Hundreds of pastors have traveled from all over Texas to the conference, which, according to the invitation penned by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, aims to address the fact that ”our Judeo-Christian heritage is under attack by a force that is more destructive than any threat America has faced in decades.” There are speakers, and information sessions, though one suspects that for many the appeal of the event is a weekend in Austin with the wife. I stand in the back, where a stern-looking man unhappy with the offerings of ice tea and water sips on whiskey from the lobby bar. The woman in front of me picks away at her slice of bread, leaving the crust.

    The message on offer is grim and fearful. This is a room full of people that are falling out of love with their country. It used to be a place that held promise for them and their cohort. But it’s changed, dramatically and for the worse, and the pastors don’t know if they can get it back in time. …

    A disturbing look inside the mindset of evangelical right-wing nutjobs.

    • NW Luna says:

      Those pastors could simply go back to ministering to the sick and the poor, feeding the hungry, like it says in their Good Book.

  9. RalphB says:

    tpm: Poll: Republican Guvs Trail Dem Challengers In 5 Races

    A new set of polls by Public Policy Polling finds Republicans on the defensive in a number of governor’s races.

    The polls, conducted by the Democratic-leaning PPP on behalf of MoveOn.org found the Democratic candidates in Maine, Kansas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Florida leading the Republican candidates.

    Decent news.

  10. RalphB says:

    California bill offering free preschool passes first hurdle amid budget skepticism

    SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) – A proposal to offer free preschool to all California four-year-olds passed its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday with support from Democrats but facing skepticism from Governor Jerry Brown and some educators that could doom its chances this year.

    The $1.5 billion program is being pushed hard by the state senate’s Democratic leader, Darrell Steinberg, who is leaving office at the end of this year and views it as key to his legacy in the most populous U.S. state. …

    This bill is gonna have opposition from Republicans, maybe Jerry Brown, and not least private pre-school operators. I wish Sen Steinberg the best of luck!

  11. bostonboomer says:

    The Braves Set The American Flag On Fire At Their Home Opener

    http://deadspin.com/the-braves-set-the-american-flag-on-fire-at-their-home-1561423700/+Tom_Ley

  12. RalphB says:

    Driftglass: On This 149th Anniversary Of Appomattox

    “So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves.”
    — Jim DeMint, former Republican Senator, current head of the odious Heritage Foundation, and committed lifetime hateful deranged bastard.

    Here is your gentle reminder that a staggering number of American Conservatives have still not gotten the fuck over the “War of Northern Aggression” and that the entire modern Republican Party has been built on a strategy of pandering to people like Jim DeMint so relentlessly that they long ago turned the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Jefferson Davis. …

    Good post and swell video at the link.