Thursday Reads: Even the genuine rats have feelings…

4bb2bf277147d05672210dfec15596bfGood Morning

I don’t know if we should be so excited about the shocking runoff election results that put Cantor out on his ass. Don’t get me wrong…it is exciting to see the shitstorm this unexpected “fall” from the top is causing within the GOP. But this?

Did Cantor’s Loss Inspire Extra Crazy Time Today? 

Who is today’s worst person?

1. Oklahoma state House candidate Scott Esk, for being “OK” with stoning gay people to death.

2. Rep. Louie Gohmert for using a Congressional hearing to speculate about whether non-Christians go to Hell.

3. Pat Robertson for telling kids not to turn their father in to the police when he threatens their mother with a gun.


That was from Eric Loomis at LG&M…he then asked, “What is wrong with this country?”

I say, What is wrong with these fucking people?

By “these” people I mean, people like the tea party ass who beat Cantor in that runoff election. David Brat: Hitler’s Rise ‘Could All Happen Again’ – Little Green Footballs

The Wall Street Journal has some excerpts from a bizarre pseudo-libertarian essay written by Tea Party heartthrob Dave Brat, warning that Hitler’s Rise ‘Could All Happen Again’.

Raise your hand if you’re shocked that a Tea Party religious fundamentalist employs confused Nazi Germany comparisons to market victimhood. But also notice that in this quote, Brat is pretty openly establishing his position as a Christian supremacist.

Go to the link to read the quote…

Makes this image all the more enjoyable. Stanley Kubrick’s letter to James Aubrey «



Oh, if only we could shove that femur up the ass of all those tea party idiots.

Anyway. Hear are a few other long reads for you that you will find interesting…I think this may run along the lines of heavy-duty kale eaters?

Students outraged that “tranny” used in discussion about word itself

Some transgender students and allies at the University of Chicago are outraged that a word they consider a slur was used in a guest-speaker discussion about the controversy over the word itself.

At the risk of inspiring another petition, the word is “tranny,” which is longtime slang for transgender. It’s been used both positively and negatively in the past (and present).

The guest speaker was gay writer and activist Dan Savage, who is arguably America’s most effective spokesman on gay (and quite possibly trans) civil rights. Savage was one of the masterminds behind the widely-acclaimed “It Gets Better” campaign, and behind last year’s boycott of Russian vodka that put the issue of Russia’s intolerance towards its gay and trans citizens on the map.

Savage was declared public enemy #1 a few years back by a fringe coterie of vocal activists; mostly for things he allegedly said, but that when you go back to the original sources you find he didn’t actually say at all. The same activists have also attacked Savage for being an advocate of marriage equality.

I interviewed Dan Savage last year about his new book, and about his secret Mai Tai recipe.

The word “tranny” has been in the news of late, as some trans activists, but certainly not all, find the word offensive. It was a word that has long been used by pro-trans gays and straights alike. (I never used it, though I have younger friends who have and still do, and not with any animus — it’s the simply the word they use for trans people.)

Back to the University of Chicago. The pro-trans activists say the discussion that Savage had with moderator Ana Marie Cox about the controversy over the word “tranny” put them “in a state of distress,” made them “feel unsafe,” and that the discussion “made [a] trans student so distressed that they had to run out of the room in tears.”

The basic argument here is that the word “tranny” is “hate speech,” and that even in a discussion about the controversy surrounding the word “tranny,” the word cannot be used.

Like I said it is a long read…so be sure to finish it.

This is Savage’s answer to the student petition and controversy: About That Hate Crime I Committed at University of Chicago | Slog

And one more post from AmericaBlog:  The end of gay history

But hey, you know what…things are sometimes a source for musical comedy: “Don’t Say Gay” Tennessee Republican to be Lampooned in Musical

You remember state Sen. Stacey Campfield, don’t you? He’s the Tennessee lawmaker who tried to make it illegal in Tennessee for teachers to discuss anything about sexuality with their students, and then, because that wasn’t enough, tried to make it so that if schools found out a student’s orientation, the schools would be required to out the student to parents? Yeah, well, that dude is getting his own parody musical.

A Nashville theatre group, Music City Theatre Company, plans to produce an “original political satirical show” around Campfield, which will be a 45-minute, five-player revue, said co-writer/co-director Michael McFadden. The promotional materials for the show depict Campfield in a tuxedo and a large top hat made of Old Glory.

According to McFadden, there are several great moments in Campfield’s political history which will be depicted, not just the “don’t say gay” legislation. The Tennessee senator has also proposed tying welfare funding to children’s grades, and recently made a comparison between the Obama Administration and the Holocaust. Seems like even going by actual commentary, the production could have a very “Springtime for Hitler” vibe to it. And it would be historically accurate to the state senate record!

What is amazing to me….is that this is the “third musical and fifth production” about Campfield.

Next up, The White Right’s Impunity | Black Agenda Report

If a thousand armed Blacks had gathered in one place, pointing rifles at federal officers, and two of them later cold-bloodedly assassinated policemen, the federal response would touch every Black neighborhood in America. But the armed white Right gets a pass. Racists are resources to those in power. “The national security state’s legitimacy is based on (white) mass fear and loathing of the Other.”

Yes…that is the tease paragraph for a BAR article written by Glen Ford. He makes a big point with that opener. Go and check  out the rest.

See here: Shooters in Metro ambush that left five dead spoke of white supremacy and a desire to kill police | Las Vegas Review-Journal

And here: Military court probes ‘Dark Horse’ militia; may be intense, but it’s not ‘extremist’ | Suits & Sentences | McClatchy DC

There are some upsetting items regarding women and the rape culture too:

George Will Says Being A Rape Victim Is A ‘Coveted Status’ In College

Columnist George Will thinks that being a rape victim is now a “coveted status” on college campuses.

No, really.

The conservative titan wrote about “the supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. ‘sexual assault,'” in a piece on Friday. He put this trend down to increased political correctness on college campuses, which, he said, was proving that when universities “make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.”

Will then used the example of a woman whose experience he recounted would certainly fall under the definition of rape, and continued:

Now the Obama administration is riding to the rescue of “sexual assault” victims. It vows to excavate equities from the ambiguities of the hookup culture, this cocktail of hormones, alcohol and the faux sophistication of today’s prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults.

Why? Why is this asshole still allowed on the air?

Another rape culture one: She Accused A TV Anchor Of Rape And Got Dragged Through The Tabloids

For the first time, Maria Di Toro speaks publicly about her 2012 allegations against Greg Kelly, morning show host and son of former police commissioner Ray Kelly.

And this: Shakesville: Quote of the Day

“You have to start asking questions: Well, if evolution is true, and it’s just all about the male propagating their DNA, we had to ask hard questions, like, well, is rape wrong?”—Creationist Darek Isaacs, “author of ‘Dragons or Dinosaurs?’—which argues that ancient myths about dragons were based on human interactions with dinosaurs—and the founder of the Watchman 33 end times blog,” during an episode of the “Creation Today” online broadcast.

He said marriage would be “anathema” in an evolutionary worldview because it would limit sexual relations to one man and one woman for life.

“According to the evolutionary worldview, [if] that male is strong enough and he had wonderful genes, he should propagate his DNA as much as possible so that the species can progress,” Isaacs said. “So it redefines everything about our society.”

Makes me want to get that femur prop again…

Another good read from Shakesville: We Need to Talk About This

a woman who does public advocacy is subjected to this sort of abuse.

And it shouldn’t be. Because every single woman I know who does public advocacy is subjected to it.

That’s not a criticism of the people who don’t know. They don’t know, because we don’t talk about it. I don’t just mean we, the women who are targets, but we, the people. The readers who consume the content produced by those women. The media who refuse to have a loud and ongoing conversation about it. The law enforcement who ignore it. The lawmakers who have refused to create legal avenues of recourse for us. Our ostensible allies, who stay out of it, lest the sights gets trained on them. The harassers who silence us via more harassment.

Every person who tells us, when we, the women who are targets, try to talk about it, that we shouldn’t. That we shouldn’t give time and energy and fuel to harassers. That we shouldn’t give them our attention. That we are empowering them. That we will cause them to escalate.

Every person who tells us that if we talk about it, it makes us look weak. That we are attention-seeking. That we revel in victimhood. That this is just how the internet is. That this is just how the world is. That if we don’t like it, we should be silent.

Every person who tells us some reason that we should just shut up about an incessant stream of unrelenting abuse, because they don’t want to hear about it; because it makes them uncomfortable to know the real cost of our work, to us; because they don’t want to be made to feel obliged to do something about it.

Every person who has some inkling, but chooses not to really know. Every person who pities us, who feels impotent, who finds some reason to justify their indifference, who masks their indifference behind anger at us for talking about it.

All of us. We are all complicit in the silence that allows people to be surprised by what is done to us.

Not every woman who receives this abuse feels safe enough to talk about it. But I do. Or, if I’m going to be perfectly frank, I don’t feel any less safe than I already do. Every day.

And because I can talk about it, I’m going to. We need to talk about this. Those of us who can.

Have y’all seen this? From Ireland…

800 Dead Babies Discovered in Septic Tank Of Home for Unwed Mothers

Police are investigating the discovery of 800 long-dead babies found in the septic tank at a home for unwed mothers in western Ireland. The Home (that is its actual name and, yes, it does sound freakishly ominous) housed thousands of pregnant and unwed — “fallen”— women between 1925 and 1961. The women left after they’d paid for their stay in indentured servitude. Their children, reports The Washington Post, may not have been so lucky.

A housing development and playground now stand on the land where The Home once stood. And while many would like to forget the horrible things that went on there, the discovery of the 800 infants (and possibly more, once excavation starts) is dredging up many memories for the locals.

More Appalling Revelations in the Irish Mother-and-Baby-Home Scandal

The Irish radio station Newstalk has acquired records suggesting that children in this type of home were essentially used as pharmaceutical guinea pigs:

Three trials were conducted at homes at Bessborough in Co. Cork, St. Peter’s in Westmeath, St. Clare’s in Stamullen, and The Good Shepard in Dunboyne – both Co. Meath – as well as six Dublin homes.

The research was carried out between 1960 and 1976.

In one of the trials, 80 children became unwell after they were allegedly given a vaccine intended for cattle as part of an experiment run at five care homes and orphanages in Dublin during the mid 70s.

A nun from one of the participating homes told Newstalk that parents gave consent for their children to participate in the trials. But Susan Lohan, cofounder of the Adoption Rights Alliance, calls B.S.: “The mothers of the children were not consulted on anything regarding their childrens’ welfare,” adding that, “I find it, frankly, not credible, that the managers of those places would have made an exception when it came to the vaccine trials.”


Speaking of drug trials: Orexigen’s diet pill may get FDA approval this week

While here in Georgia, Lifting the lid on the debate over Medicaid expansion | Political Insider blog

Now for something funny.  The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies |

#5. Marlon Brando Demands a Bucket Hat and a Personal Dwarf

Marlon Brando is responsible for some of the most memorable performances in movie history in films like The Godfather, On the Waterfront, and Apocalypse Now, but he’s also responsible for testing the patience of pretty much every director he worked with. The man had an ego the size of a Brando. He held so much power that he could wear an ice bucket over his head and it would wind up in the finished film.

We know this because it actually happened.

“That had better be Twinkies you’re pouring in there.”

That’s a real still from The Island of Dr. Moreau, possibly the worst movie in Brando’s long career, as well as the careers of people who weren’t even in it. It was probably this realization that made Brando decide that, if his name was going to be associated with such a turd, he was at least going to have some fun doing it. And so, when filming began, Brando wore something not in the script: a random ice bucket he found. And he refused to take it off.

Brando also wore a radio earpiece that would feed him his lines, in part because the script was constantly being rewritten and in part because he was beyond giving a shit at this point in his life. The problem was that, according to his co-star David Thewlis, the earpiece would sometimes get interference from police frequencies, so Brando would end up acting out lines like “There’s a robbery at Woolworth’s!

That, or Brando was purposely doing that just to fuck with them … which is highly likely.

And that wasn’t even the most bizarre thing to happen on the set. At one point, Brando told the director that he would not perform unless a midget whom he had befriended during production appeared next to him in all his scenes, so then that happened — you know the miniature version of Dr. Moreau who accompanies him everywhere? That’s not in the book or the script. Brando forced them to add all those scenes. And that, friends, is why this happens in the movie:



The dwarf (who had a successful television career in South America) then inspired “Mini-Me” from Austin Powers, although that isn’t an accurate comparison; a mini-me version of Brando would be the size of Edward Norton. Speaking of which, Brando co-starred with Norton and Robert DeNiro in the less crappy film The Score. Did you think Brando looked more in shape in that movie than in Dr. Moreau? Well, that’s just because he refused to wear pants, forcing the director to shoot him only from the waist up.

And finally…get this, those GOP ratfinks like that Campbell, Robertson, Esk…etc. have no feelings of regret about those things they say or what their actions (or non-actions) have on people, human beings. Yet rats, the animals, Rats regret their decisions, study finds | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

New research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience this week finds that regret may not be just a human emotion. It turns out rats also experience regret.

Researcher David Redish at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis set up a “restaurant row” for his lab rats. The “restaurants” consisted of four stops where the rat could receive one option of his favorite flavor foods — banana, cherry, chocolate and a fourth unflavored food. The rat stops at the entrance and presses a button, which made a sound. The pitch indicated how long the rat needed to wait for food, anywhere from one to 45 seconds. If the rat was impatient, it could walk to the next stop and try again. However, each rat had an hour to get through the course, so it needed to be efficient.

To watch how these decisions manifested in the brain, Redish and his colleagues wired electrodes into the rats’ brains, so they could monitor the neural activity in the orbitofrontal cortex. Specific neural patterns indicated which foods the rats were thinking about at the time.

The experiment replicates a common human dilemma, Redish said. You go to a restaurant, discover it has a long wait and decide to go somewhere else, only to find your second choice restaurant has an even longer wait.

To the researcher’s surprise, when the rat got a “bad deal” it immediately turned around and looked back at its first choice. It’s neural pattern changed, and it thought of the first-choice food.

“That’s the regret,” Redish told National Geographic.

But regret is not just wishfully thinking about the past. Redish found that the regretful rats were more likely to wait longer for a “bad deal” than they would normally. They also ate their less-desirable treat more quickly. A few of the rats learned from their mistake and their neural activity showed them planning their next food stop.

Have a good day. What are you reading today? See ya around the comments…

39 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Even the genuine rats have feelings…”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Looks as if the Bush/CheneyRumsfeld cabal has succeeded in turning Iraq into another inferno that is predicted will spread far and wide in the Middle East thus destabilizing that region even more so since our invasion under false pretenses.

    Look to the GOP to insist that Obama take action by sending in troops to quell the violence by seeming to forget that we spend billions on training an Iraqi army and police force who have thrown down their weapons and stripped off their uniforms then running away.

    That momentous decision to invade has repercussions we never expected at this stage and what follows this disaster has yet to be seen.

    Time once again for McCain to step forward to denounce Obama but conveniently forgetting that it was Bush who sent the troops into a battle that has led to these massacres that we cannot control.

    • Fannie says:

      You nailed it Pat……..McCain is on tv, blaming Obama that Iraqi is coming apart. “If I sound angry he says, it’s because I am angry”.

      I mean he’s saying Glory be to Bush, and to hell with Obama.

      Let’s hold people responsible, Bush/Cheney/Rumsfield…….but not a mention of their names, or the nightmare they have caused us, not too mention the lost of lives, and the COST, trillions of dollars.

      If we get involved with Iraq, we will get more involved with Syria.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        It just ticks me off that the people responsible for the debacle that is Iraq are still running free, tracing pictures and trying to pawn them off as Art or whoring themselves out to FOX as political or military experts. Bush went there for the oil and as soon as he got big petroleum’s foot securely in the door he declared “Mission Accomplished” he never gave a damn about all of the lives HE TOOK in the process. If not for Obama we would still be asshole deep in the Iraq ethic/tribal/religious muck droppings. The problem in Iraq is the leadership. It is weak and they’d rather have our money than take our advice. Unfortunately the truth is we broke it and now we’re probably going to have to do something to help them fix it, but I hope that doesn’t include boots on the ground. We’ve already paid a high enough price. As for McCain. He’s lost his fucking mind. I think the guy is totally unhinged, I’m beginning to suspect some sort of dementia.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Never heard this before.

    The Troubling Case of Chris Hedges: Pulitzer winner. Lefty hero. Plagiarist.

    Hedges even plagiarized Hemingway. I was already pretty fed up with him; now I’ll never read him again.

  3. Fannie says:

    Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton

    Page 3

    “We were both lawyers who got our start as grassroots activist for social justice. Early in my career I worked for the Children’s Defense Fund, registered Hispanic voters in Texas, and represented poor people as a Legal Aid attorney. Barack was a community organizer on the the South Side of Chicago. We have very different personal stories and experiences, but we share the old fashioned idea that public service is a noble endeavor, and we believed deeply in the basic bargain at the heart of the American Dream: No matter who you are or where you come from, if you work hard and play by the rules, you should have the opportunity to build a good life for yourself and your family.”

    One of the reasons that I so admired Hillary Clinton early on, is because she went door to door, to find disabled students (blind, deaf, mentally challenged, etc) to help those kids enroll in mainstream public schools. That was a time in our society that the disabled were kept lock in homes, and not allowed into classrooms with other children. For that I will always have the utmost respect for her. I would love for her to tell us more stories about this aspect of her life dealing with the disabled.

    • Beata says:

      I would love to hear those stories, too.

      I hope Hillary and Bill go to Virginia to campaign for Jack Trammell, the Democrat running for Cantor’s seat in Congress, who is an expert on issues that affect the disabled. I plan to send him a little money for his campaign.

  4. Beata says:

    “Seriously, don’t fuck with me. Best regards, Stanley”

    Seriously, I want that on my gravestone even though my name isn’t Stanley.

  5. dakinikat says:

    South Park also has a “tribute” to the Brando character and his mini me.

  6. RalphB says:

    Following up on the piece about Dan Savage, the witless activists don’t only target white men.

    AmericaBlog: That trans Navy SEAL who nearly caught bin Laden? Apparently we hate her.

  7. RalphB says:

    This is gonna be a tough, maybe fun, race to watch,

    tpm: Poll: Grimes Holds Slim Lead Over McConnell

    Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes holds a slim lead over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), according to a new poll.

    A Magellan Strategies poll released Thursday found Grimes leading McConnell 49 percent to 46 percent in the 2014 race. Five percent of respondents were undecided.

    The poll also found that 58 percent of respondents would be more likely to oppose a candidate for U.S. Senate that supports the Obama administration’s new carbon emission regulations, which seek to reduce emissions by 30 percent from existing power plants by 2030. …

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Wow, Chris Hedges is getting raked over the coals on Twitter. Hedges even plagiarized from the article author’s wife. And he says he may not be able to get published in Salon, The Nation, etc. now that he outed Hedges. Someone needs to go back over Hedges’ NYT articles.

    • dakinikat says:

      I saw that. They interviewed the factchecker from Harper’s and he said some paragraphs were taken whole from the articles and that hedges lied about getting author okay for the info,

      • bostonboomer says:

        It’s far far more serious even than that. I linked to the article up above.

  9. ANonOMouse says:

    “Oklahoma state House candidate Scott Esk, for being “OK” with stoning gay people to death.”

    Just when I thought it was safe to give my Kevlar body suit away. You think Oklahoma is flat now, this monkeyass is begging for an Asteroid visit.

    “Pat Robertson for telling kids not to turn their father in to the police when he threatens their mother with a gun.”

    Of course don’t turn your daddy in for only pointing the gun at mommy, wait until daddy pulls the trigger, only then do we know whether or not daddy really meant it.

    Fork Robertson and Esk

    • Fannie says:

      The media allows them to be abusers. I’ve complained time and time again about Pat. Nothing is ever done to stop them.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Two priests shot in Catholic Church in Phoenix, Ariz. One dead.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    Seymour Hersh in a speech today.

  12. Ruby Dee, acclaimed actress and civil rights activist, dies at 91 – Los Angeles Times

    When Ruby Dee was in high school, she couldn’t get a part in the drama club’s upcoming production.

    Nothing personal, the club’s head explained: There were just no roles for maids.

    “I never inquired again,” Dee later wrote. “And I never went to see any plays there either.”

    A Harlem girl who wrote poetry but waded into a few street fights, Dee bounced back quickly. Over more than seven decades, she became one of the most highly regarded performers in American drama, even while struggling to carve out roles deeper than the eye-rolling maids and long-suffering, all-forgiving mother figures that were the industry standard for black actresses.

    Dee, who with her late husband Ossie Davis emceed Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington and was celebrated for her civil rights activism as well as for her powerful performances, died Wednesday in New Rochelle, N.Y. She was 91.
    Ruby Dee
    Ruby Dee in 2007 promoting the film “American Gangster,” for which she was nominated for a supporting actress Academy Award. (Vera Anderson /

    Her death from age-related causes was confirmed by her Los Angeles agent, Michael Livingston.

  13. ANonOMouse says:

    If you can’t pray away the gay, confront away the gay or talk the gay out of them, turn them over to satan

  14. bostonboomer says:

    It sounds like Bergdahl was more of whistleblower than Snowden.

    Exclusive: Bergdahl Explains in Prison Letters Why He Vanished

  15. Luckovich…spot on:

  16. RalphB says:

    The Onion has a parody site of click-bait like buzzfeed and upworthy that is wonderful. See for yourself…