Denali’s name has long been seen as one such slight, regarded as an example of cultural imperialism in which a Native American name with historical roots was replaced by an American one having little to do with the place.
The central Alaska mountain has officially been called Mount McKinley for almost a century. In announcing that Sally Jewell, the secretary of the interior, had used her power to rename it, Mr. Obama was paying tribute to the state’s Native population, which has referred to the site for generations as Denali, meaning “the high one” or “the great one.”
The peak, at more than 20,000 feet, plays a central role in the creation story of the Koyukon Athabascans, a group that has lived in Alaska for thousands of years.
Mr. Obama, freed from the political constraints of an impending election in the latter half of his second term, was also moving to put to rest a years long fight over the name of the mountain that has pit Alaska against electorally powerful Ohio, the birthplace of President William McKinley, for whom it was christened in 1896.
The government formally recognized the name in 1917, and efforts to reverse the move began in Alaska in 1975. In an awkward compromise struck in 1980, the national park surrounding it was named Denali National Park and Preserve, but the mountain continued to be called Mount McKinley.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, introduced legislation in January to rename the peak, but Ohio lawmakers sought to block the move. In June, an Interior Department official said in testimony before Congress that the administration had “no objection” to Ms. Murkowski’s proposed change.
Monday ReadsPosted: August 31, 2015 Filed under: morning reads | Tags: Climate change, Denali, glaciers, Obama visit to Alaska 23 Comments
In the latest binge of white privilege hissy fits, Republicans and Fox News are up in arms about changing the official name of the tallest mountain in the country back to the name that it was known by historically. It’s also the preferred name of the mountain for the folks that live in Alaska. Denali National Park has been in existence for some time. Denali mountain was renamed Mt McKinley in 1896 in a commonly done thing to do when privileged white men discover or climb natural wonders and regions that the folks living there have done, known, and named for thousands of years. I never knew the backstory on this event. It’s a typical story of appropriation.
Here’s the history of the name Denali and what caused it to be renamed.
Numerous native peoples of the area had their own names for this prominent peak. The local Koyukon Athabaskan name for the mountain, the name used by the Native Americans with access to the flanks of the mountain (living in the Yukon, Tanana and Kuskokwim basins), is Dinale or Denali /dɨˈnæli/or /dɨˈnɑːli/). To the South the Dena’ina people in the Susitna River valley used the name Dghelay Ka’a (anglicized as Doleika or Traleika in Traleika Glacier), meaning “the big mountain”.
The historical first European sighting of Denali took place on May 6, 1794, when George Vancouver was surveying the Knik Arm of the Cook Inlet and mentioned “distant stupendous mountains” in his journal. However, he uncharacteristically left the mountain unnamed. The mountain is first named on a map by Ferdinand von Wrangel in 1839; the names Tschigmit and Tenada correspond to the locations of Mount Foraker and Denali, respectively. Von Wrangell had been chief administrator of the Russian settlements in North America from 1829–1835.
During the Russian ownership of Alaska, the common name for the mountain was Bolshaya Gora (Большая Гора, “big mountain” in Russian), which is the Russian translation of Denali. The first English name applied to the peak was Densmore’s Mountain or Densmore’s Peak, for the gold prospector Frank Densmore who in 1889 had fervently praised the mountain’s majesty; however, the name persevered only locally and informally.
The name Mount McKinley was chosen by William Dickey, a New Hampshire-born Seattleite who led four gold prospectors digging the sands of the Susitna River in June 1896. An account written on his return to the lower 48 appeared in The New York Sun on January 24, 1897, under the title Discoveries in Alaska (1896). Dickey wrote, “We named our great peak Mount McKinley, after William McKinley of Ohio, who had been nominated for the Presidency, and that fact was the first news we received on our way out of that wonderful wilderness.” By most accounts, the naming was politically driven; Dickey had met many silver miners who zealously promoted Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan‘s ideal of a silver standard, inspiring him to retaliate by naming the mountain after a strong proponent of the gold standard.
In the 1900 report of the US Geological Survey (USGS), Josiah Edward Spurr refers to “the giant mountain variously known to Americans as Mount Allen, Mount McKinley, or Bulshaia, the latter being a corruption of the Russian adjective meaning big”. The 1900 report otherwise calls it Mount McKinley, as does the 1911 USGS report The Mount McKinley Region, Alaska.
McKinley was assassinated early in his second term, shot by Leon Czolgosz on September 6, 1901, and dying of his wounds on September 14. This led to sentiment favoring commemoration of his memory. The Federal government officially adopted the name Mount McKinley in 1917 when Congress passed and President Woodrow Wilson signed into law “An Act to establish the Mount McKinley National Park in the territory of Alaska”, which singled out the area in the Mount McKinley region.
So, originally, some crazy gold bug from Seattle via New Hampshire decided to make a political statement by renaming the big mountain and it stuck. I guess it’s the Ohio delegation that’s stopped the Alaskan’s delegation’s annual attempt to put the name of the mountain back to the one given it by its indigenous peoples. So, of course, Boehner’s orange face has gone a slight shade of red with the announcement. Well, it’s just another excuse for a Republican and Fox News hate and anger fest. How dare the President do something that so many folks–mostly Alaskans–have asked him to do for so long?
It’s official: Denali is now the mountain formerly known as Mount McKinley.
With the approval of President Barack Obama, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has signed a “secretarial order” to officially change the name, the White House and Interior Department announced Sunday. The announcement comes roughly 24 hours before Obama touches down in Anchorage for a whirlwind tour of Alaska.
Talk of the name change has swirled in Alaska this year since the National Park Service officially registered no objection in a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C.
The tallest mountain in North America has long been known to Alaskans as Denali, its Koyukon Athabascan name, but its official name was not changed with the creation of Denali National Park and Preserve in 1980, 6 million acres carved out for federal protection under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The state changed the name of the park’s tallest mountain to Denali at that time, but the federal government did not.
Jewell’s authority stems from a 1947 federal law that allows her to make changes to geographic names through the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, according to the department.
“I think for people like myself that have known the mountain as Denali for years and certainly for Alaskans, it’s something that’s been a long time coming,” Jewell told Alaska Dispatch News Sunday.
Every year, the same story plays out in Washington, D.C.: Alaska legislators sometimes file bills to change the name from Mount McKinley to Denali, and every year, someone in the Ohio congressional delegation — the home state of the 25th President William McKinley — files legislation to block a name change.
Members of Alaska’s congressional delegation said they were happy with the action.
“I’d like to thank the president for working with us to achieve this significant change to show honor, respect, and gratitude to the Athabascan people of Alaska,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said in a video statement recorded on the Ruth Glacier below the mountain.
Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said in an email that “Denali belongs to Alaska and its citizens. The naming rights already went to ancestors of the Alaska Native people, like those of my wife’s family. For decades, Alaskans and members of our congressional delegation have been fighting for Denali to be recognized by the federal government by its true name. I’m gratified that the president respected this.”
It seems McKinley never even visited Alaska or showed any interest in the place. Most of the National Parks and historic sites that have Presidential names actually have some relationship to that president. Like I said, I never even knew any of this before but I know it now and it’s amazing to me it’s taken this long.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said on Monday morning he was “deeply disappointed” by President Barack Obama’s decision to rename North America’s tallest peak.
Here’s his statement in full:
There is a reason President McKinley’s name has served atop the highest peak in North America for more than 100 years, and that is because it is a testament to his great legacy. McKinley served our country with distinction during the Civil War as a member of the Army. He made a difference for his constituents and his state as a member of the House of Representatives and as Governor of the great state of Ohio. And he led this nation to prosperity and victory in the Spanish-American War as the 25th President of the United States. I’m deeply disappointed in this decision.
Obama announced Sunday ahead of a historic visit to Alaska that the mountain’s name will revert back to Denali, its traditional Alaska Native name.
Frankly, McKinley isn’t one of the Presidents whose name routinely comes up with “great legacy”. He also has nothing to do with Alaska and Alaskans basically wanted the name returned to Denali.
It is the latest bid by the president to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to improve relations between the federal government and the nation’s Native American tribes, an important political constituency that has a long history of grievances against the government.
There’s more interesting, record breaking news that’s undoubtedly associated with climate change. That’s something the President will speak about
in Alaska on his visit. There are 4 category 4 hurricanes in the Pacific.
NASA’s Terra satellite just released this August 29 image of Hurricanes Kilo, Ignacio, and Jimena, all Category Four Hurricanes. According to the Weather Channel:
This is the first recorded occurrence of three Category 4 hurricanes in the central and eastern Pacific basins at the same time. In addition, it’s also the first time with three major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger) in those basins simultaneously, according to hurricane specialist Eric Blake of the National Hurricane Center.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) in Honolulu Hawaii is issuing advisories on all of the hurricanes. On Sunday, August 30, from west to east, Hurricane Kilo was located 1,210 miles west-southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, Hurricane Ignacio was located 515 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, and Hurricane Jimena was located 1,815 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.
Obama will be visiting many folks in Alaska just shortly after visiting folks here in New Orleans. His focus will be on how much lives have been changed by climate change. His trip to Lousiana focused on the amount of wetlands and Louisiana itself, lost to the Gulf and how that played into the destruction around the Gulf. Loss of Glaciers is one noticeable climate change in Alaska. I’m really confused, however, why Shell gets to drill in the Arctic when the President has visited two states whose oil and gas industry has ruined the environment while enriching oil interests. Here’s another thing I never knew. President Obama will be the first sitting president to visit Alaska.
The trip to the Alaskan Arctic — the first by a sitting president — is the culmination of an increasingly forceful climate change policy push over the past two years by the Obama administration.
The White House has honed in on climate change as a core policy priority with a domestic and international approach that has met with mixed response among both liberals and conservatives. This week alone he invoked the perils of climate change during visits to the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas and New Orleans’ storm ravaged Lower Ninth Ward to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
“No challenge poses a greater threat to our future than climate change,” the president told a crowd in Las Vegas.
With these trips, along with his trek to Alaska where he will speak at a State Department-sponsored conference on the Arctic, Obama is attempting to set the stage for a major international climate change agreement he hopes will come from a summit in Paris in December.
That agreement could help secure his legacy as the first sitting president to address global climate change in a substantive way, environmental policy experts said.
“The president has from the beginning recognized that climate change is an existential challenge to the country and the world. It may be the issue that is the most important long-term issue of his presidency,” said Paul Bledsoe, a former adviser to the Clinton White House on climate policy. “Future generations will look back at him as the first global leader to take decisive action on climate change.”
The Obama administration’s work of lifting the issue of climate change from the periphery to the fore began in a series of fits and starts.
There will be a Climate Change Conference in Paris this coming November. The President hopes to move the United States more into line with other countries seeking to reverse the damage caused by overuse of fossil fuels. Obama has announced his desire to reduce US carbon emissions. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are committed to the cause.
Obama’s announcement of a final rule to reduce carbon emissions on Monday (03.08.2015) drew international attention to the United States. The administration appears to have responded to a growing desire for politicians to take the fight against climate change more seriously. The American public has been demanding more government action as severe droughts and forest fires ravage the western US.
The 21st Conference of Parties in Paris this December will be the real test for this seemingly renewed American environmental consciousness. World leaders will be hoping to sign a new, legally binding international agreement on reducing emissions.
Although momentum toward taking action on climate change does appear to be building in the US, whether the US can truly lead in these negotiations remains uncertain.
On the one side, Obama’s new legislation is only one sign of mounting political will on tackling climate change. Environmental discussions are taking center stage in the Democrat nominee race.
Candidate Hillary Clinton has promised that 33 percent of the country’s electricity will come from renewables by 2027. Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s opponent with a strong environmental record, has called climate change “the single biggest threat to our planet.”
For Philip Wallach, a policy analyst at the Brookings Institute, this green surge is a strategy to appease public opinion ahead of elections in November 2016.
“[Democrats] think [climate] puts Republican candidates in an awkward position, where in order to satisfy some of their voter base, they’re pressured to reject [climate] science,” Wallach told DW.
Candidates for the Republican nomination were quick to criticize Obama’s new regulations – but remained mum about plans to tackle climate change during recent debates.
Hopefully, this will start a conversation on what seems like more years of excessive heat, land loss, extreme weather, drought, and fires ahead.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Sunday Reads: “That’s All!”Posted: August 30, 2015 Filed under: 2016 elections, abortion rights, birth control, child sexual abuse, children, court rulings, Crime, Criminal Justice System, Feminists, Foreign Affairs, Hillary Clinton, History, Italy, Migrant and Refugee Crisis in Europe and Mediterranean, misogyny, morning reads, Refugees, Syria, the GOP, Women's Rights 17 Comments
Today’s post is brought to you by Annette Hanshaw.…”The Personality Girl” who’s famous sign off was, “That’s all!”
Her singing style was relaxed and suited to the new jazz-influenced pop music of the late 1920s. Although she had a low opinion of her own singing, she continued to have fans because she combined the voice of an ingenue with the spirit of a flapper. Hanshaw was known as “The Personality Girl,” and her trademark was saying “That’s all” in a cheery voice at the end of many of her records.
You can listen to 50 of Annette’s songs here on YouTube:
And I found this interesting tidbit, take a look at a larger image here Bixography Forum:
Pictures are from Pinterest and the website, The Jazz Age: Annette Hanshaw. That particular site has a plethora of information, pictures and links to a ton of 1920’s Jazz Music…give it a few hours of your time.
Also, a list of films and recordings can be found here at Red Hot Jazz: Annette Hanshaw
Since this post is so very late, I am going to share the links via dump style.
Egypt sets Oct election date, after three years without parliament | Reuters
Egypt will hold a long-awaited parliamentary election, starting on Oct. 18-19, the election commission said on Sunday, the final step in a process to bring back democracy that critics say has been tainted by widespread repression.
Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the democratically elected main chamber, dominated by the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, reversing a major accomplishment of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
The government says the election is proof of Egypt’s commitment to democracy.
In the absence of parliament, Sisi has wielded legislative authority to curtail political freedoms but also introduced economic reforms.
“The question will remain: will this parliament be an effective check and balance against the executive? There are some signs it may, due to the likely prevalence of big-business interests within it, be argumentative on issues pertaining to economic policy,” said H.A. Hellyer, nonresident fellow at the Brookings Center for Middle East Policy in Washington.
“But on issues of political reform, legislative reform, or security sector reform, there probably won’t be much appetite to affect much change from within this forthcoming parliament.”
The Migrant Crisis is building in Europe….
Calls for Action on Refugees After Austria Tragedy | Al Jazeera America
In a bid to forge a more unified stance across the 28-member union, it was agreed Sunday that a special meeting of EU interior and justice ministers would take place on Sept. 14. It is likely that more deaths would have occurred by then. On Sunday, seven more people were added to the tally of those killed trying to make it to mainland Europe after a boat carrying refugees sank off Libya’s coast.
The latest diplomatic push for a solution came as Hungarian police announced that a fifth suspected human trafficker had been arrested over Thursday’s gruesome discovery of 71 decomposing corpses in an abandoned vehicle on an Austrian motorway. Meanwhile, three children saved from another vehicle left the hospital presumably, authorities said, to join their parents as they attempt to travel on to Germany — a popular destination for refugees.
The truck tragedy, plus yet another shipwreck off the Libyan coast that claimed at least 111 lives, have served as chilling reminders of Europe’s failure to cope with the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict at home.
Europe trades blame as migrants’ bodies pulled from Mediterranean | Reuters
The Balkans are now the centre of Europe’s people smuggling web | World news | The Guardian
Only a day after 71 people suffocated in a chicken lorry, three children were rescued from a crammed truck in Austria. All had been on a perilous road route controlled by criminal gangs
Migrant crisis: Syrian children disappear from Austrian hospital – BBC News
Police in Austria say three Syrian children and their families who were rescued from a minivan containing 26 migrants have disappeared from the hospital where they were being treated.
The children were taken to hospital in the town of Braunau am Inn on Friday suffering from severe dehydration.
Their discovery came a day after 71 bodies, thought to be migrants, were found on a dumped lorry in Austria.
Several European countries have called for urgent talks on the migrant crisis.
In other foreign news: News agency criticised for describing Amal Clooney as ‘actor’s wife’ in coverage of human rights trial – People – News – The Independent
A respected news organisation has come under fire after referring to human rights lawyer Amal Clooney as an “actor’s wife” in their coverage of a court case.
The Associated Press tweeted an article about three Al Jazeera journalists convicted of “spreading false news” and sentenced to prison in Egypt. They wrote: “Amal Clooney, actor’s wife, representing Al-Jazeera journalist accused in Egypt of ties to extremists.”
Ms Clooney is a barrister with Doughty Street Chambers, specialising in human rights law. She read law at the University of Oxford, before obtaining a postgraduate degree from the New York University School of Law.
She has worked for the UN, contributed to books on international criminal law and lectured at a number of prestigious law schools, a point many people on social media were quick to point out.
Vatican’s No. 1 Pervert Priest Dies Suddenly in Vatican City – The Daily Beast
That headline should be enough for you…
After raping boys and keeping child porn at the Vatican, Josef Wesolowski was set to stand trial for his sins. Now his fate will be left to a higher power.
VATICAN CITY — Josef Wesolowski died too soon. The 67-year-old former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, whose undeniable crimes of child-sex abuse ran the gamut from victimizing shoeshine boys in Santo Domingo to hoarding more than 100,000 files with child pornography inside Vatican City, died in his private room in a Vatican City palazzo overnight.An autopsy was ordered to confirm his cause of death, which was said to be from natural causes. No foul play is suspected, according to a Vatican statement no doubt meant to stifle conspiracy theorists. It read simply: “Vatican authorities quickly carried out the first investigation and have established that the death was caused by natural causes.”
Next up, stories here in the USA:
When Calling The Police On An Abusive Partner Leads To A Victim Losing Her Home | ThinkProgress
The Best And Worst States For Women’s Equality In America, Because This Country Still Has A Long Way To Go | Bustle
Kyle Jean-Baptiste, Actor in ‘Les Misérables,’ Dies at 21 – NYTimes.com
Addicting Info – Josh Duggar’s ‘Rehab’ Is Run By A Pastor Who Protected A Predator From Prosecution
Robert Reich (How the Right Wing is Killing Women)
According to a report released last week in the widely-respected health research journal, The Lancet, the United States now ranks 60th out of 180 countries on maternal deaths occurring during pregnancy and childbirth.
To put it bluntly, for every 100,000 births in America last year, 18.5 women died. That’s compared to 8.2 women who died during pregnancy and birth in Canada, 6.1 in Britain, and only 2.4 in Iceland.
A woman giving birth in America is more than twice as likely to die as a woman in Saudi Arabia or China.
These Two Cases Reveal America’s Deeply Racist Justice System
Earlier this month, Jared Fogle, the now former Subway pitchman, reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to multiple counts of commercial sex acts with a minor (see: child rape) and obtaining child pornography of twelve other children as young as 6 years old.
For victimizing fourteen children since 2007, he will serve as little as five years in prison and is currently at his home in rural Indiana wearing a monitoring anklet while awaiting sentencing.
Meanwhile, in downtown Baltimore, Allen Bullock is set to go to trial tomorrow for smashing a traffic cone through the windshield of a police car during the protests that occurred after the death of Freddie Gray. He is being charged with malicious destruction of property and rioting, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Bullock is currently free on $500,000 bail, which is more than the six police officers charged with the murder of Freddie Gray. The state is making no effort to hide it’s desire to make an example of Bullock to dissuade other citizens from engaging in acts of civil disobedience.
“I think the $500,000 he’s released on is an example of the arbitrary and capricious nature of our bail system,” said Maryland state delegate Jill P. Carter. “It’s an example of the grave disparities in our justice system.”
The comparison of how the two cases are dealt with is disturbing, take this situation too:
Young Black Man Dies In Jail After Allegedly Stealing $5 Worth Of Candy And Soda | ThinkProgress
Another young black man has died in jail, the Guardian reports, after spending four months in jail without bail for allegedly stealing $5 worth of snacks: a Mountain Dew, a Snickers bar and a Zebra Cake.
Jamycheal Mitchell, 24, had bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, according to his aunt, and was deemed unfit to stand trial after being arrested in Portsmouth, Virginia on April 22. That should have meant he would be transferred to a mental health facility, but the hospital had no beds available. Instead, he ended up in jail.
His family told the Guardian they believed Mitchell starved to death because he was refusing food and medication in the jail. He was found dead in his cell on August 19.
“He was just deteriorating so fast,” Mitchell’s aunt told the Guardian. “I kept calling the jail, but they said they couldn’t transfer him because there were no available beds. So I called Eastern State, too, and people there said they didn’t know anything about the request or not having bed availability.”
Why Do You Weep? Blingee Lives! Your Saturday Nerdout – Wonkette
We wasted several minutes being annoyed at the sort of zero-tolerance bureaucratic thinking that resulted in a little girl’s parents being sent a warning that her Wonder Woman lunchbox was banned by her school’s policy against violent images. Supposedly, the girl’s parents received this note regarding the lunch box:
WTF. Now, Wonkette says that they have yet to be able to verify whether the lunchbox note is real or a hoax….so take it for what it is worth.
Addicting Info – Josh Duggar’s ‘Rehab’ Is Run By A Pastor Who Protected A Predator From Prosecution
It’s about time young women get credit for their feminism | Jessica Valenti | Comment is free | The Guardian
6 Signs You Were Raised By A Feminist | Bustle
Billionaire Republican Who Mocked Hillary Clinton’s Marriage Had an Ashley Madison Account
Long-held theory on human gestation refuted: Mother’s metabolism, not birth canal size, limits gestation — ScienceDaily
I loved what Hillary said here: Shakesville: YES
Hillary Clinton went all in on the Republicans and their institutional misogyny yesterday during a speech in Cleveland:
Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States. Yet they espouse out-of-date, out-of-touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st century America. We are going forward; we are not going back.
I would like these Republican candidates to look the mom in the eye who caught her breast cancer early because she was able to get a screening for cancer or the teenager who didn’t get pregnant because she has access to contraception. Or anyone who has ever been protected by an HIV test.
This is happening all over the country, even here in Ohio. Programs and services women use to take care of themselves are being cut down.
I take it a little personal when they go after women.
Hell fucking yes.
100 homeless people were given disposable cameras, this is what they shot – News – Art – The Independent
Pat Bagley is starting a serial cartoon, check it out: Bagley Cartoon: Joe Hill, His Story (Part 1) | The Salt Lake Tribune
Did medieval people tell jokes? While it might seem that the Middle Ages was a time of being devout and serious, there was also laughter and mirth. We can find many works that were meant to be funny more than anything else, and even in chronicles you can find stories of kings and bishops who would be laughing at some foolish joke.
What did medieval people find funny? Much of the humour can be described as rude and crude: jokes about sex or bodily functions seem to be very popular. The targets of the jokes might be foolish husbands or bad wives, the local priest, a king, or even historical figures.
One of the best known joke books of the Middle Ages is the Facetiae by Poggio Bracciolini (1380-1459). Poggio was an Italian scholar who spent most of his career working for the Papacy, but he also wrote about a wide number of topics and was seen as one of the brightest minds of his time. He explains that he wrote the Facetiae because “it is proper, and almost a matter of necessity commended by philosophers, that our mind, weighed down by a variety of cares and anxieties, should now and then enjoy relaxation from its constant labour, and be incited to cheerfulness and mirth by some humorous recreation.”
A few jokes can be found at the link.
Must-see: Stunning supermoon shines in the night sky | www.wsbtv.com
More pictures at the link.
Sorry again this is so late, I over slept and then…it just took me longer to get my shit together.
Post what you like of course…..
Lazy Saturday ReadsPosted: August 29, 2015 Filed under: Crime, Criminal Justice System, morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: 5 Seconds of Summer, age of Romeo and Juliet laws, Bernie Sanders, Boston statues, Carrie Mote Craig, DNC meeting, Hannah Brewer, Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, Morgan Whitmer, nosy neighbors, Owen Labrie, rape trial, sexual assault, St. Paul's School, super delegates 50 Comments
Once again, I’ve spent my early morning hours looking at pictures–this time I have a collection of Boston statues to share–there are gazillions of them here! I’ve got news too, of course.
Last week I wrote a post about a rape trial in Concord, New Hampshire. The case highlighted a culture of misogyny and sexual assault at St. Paul’s, an exclusive private boarding school. Well, the verdict is in.
The jury found Owen Labrie not guilty of aggravated rape, but they convicted him of several other charges, which could still result in jail time. NYT:
…after about seven hours of deliberations over two days, the jury appeared to dismiss Mr. Labrie’s insistence that he had not penetrated the girl in any way, but found that the state had not proved that what happened was against the girl’s expressed wishes.
The nine men and three women rejected the more serious accusations of aggravated sexual assault, as well as a misdemeanor assault charge of biting the girl’s chest, but convicted Mr. Labrie of three misdemeanors related to the girl’s age and involving penetration with his penis, mouth and finger. He was also convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, and a felony charge involving use of a computer to lure a minor.
It seemed, one expert said, to be a compromise among the jurors.
The conviction on using a computer to abuse a child means Labrie will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Boston Globe: As victim in prep-school case feared, the jury didn’t think she did enough.
In the end, the jury believed her. Owen Labrie had sex with her when she was just 15.
But just like she feared, they didn’t think she did enough to stop him.
Over three days of testimony, the now 16-year-old girl described her encounter with one of the more popular seniors on the campus of her elite New Hampshire prep school last year. She described how Labrie, then 18, invited her to a rendezvous in a secluded St. Paul’s School building. She told of kissing him, of taking off her sweatshirt and then her shorts. And then feeling everything go way too far.
His fingers were inside her, then his tongue, then his penis. He wasn’t getting the message when she pulled her bra strap back on, held onto her underpants, pulled his head away from between her legs as she said no repeatedly, she said. She said she winced and stiffened as he penetrated her.
She should have never left her room that night, she thought, as she stared up at the ceiling and waited for it to end.
“If I had just been able to kick or yell at him,” she testified. “If I just had been able to get the point across. To push or do something. I could have stopped it.”
So they believed Labrie penetrated her when she was under the age of consent, but they still thought it was consensual? I don’t understand that.
At Slate, Mark Joseph Stern explains: The Odd Sexual-Consent Law That Explains the Bizarre Owen Labrie Verdict.
Like many states, New Hampshire has a “Romeo and Juliet” exception to statutory rape. Such exceptions allows individuals to have sex with minors if they are close in age. These laws are designed to allow teens to engage in consensual sex without fear of prosecution. Florida provides a good example: There, the Romeo and Juliet law creates a four-year bubble, so that an 18-year-old can legally have sex with a 14-year-old, but a 19-year-old cannot.
New Hampshire’s law follows this model—with a twist. It sets a hard age of consent at 13: Before then, all sex is illegal. After 13, the rules change. It isn’t illegal to engage in consensual non-penetrative sexual contact with an individual between ages 13 and 16 unless you are at least five years older than the younger person. (Think necking and fondling.) It is always illegal, however, to engage in penetrative sexual contact with any individual between ages 13 and 16. (16 is the universal age of consent in the state.)
Here, the Romeo and Juliet law only affects the severity of the punishment. If you have penetrative consensual sex with an individual between ages 13 and 16 but are within four years of age, you are guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault. If the age difference is more than four years, you’re guilty of felony sexual assault.
Labrie was 18 when he allegedly put his penis, tongue, and finger in a 15-year-old’s vagina. The jury did not find that the girl resisted, so he isn’t guilty of felony rape. But he still had penetrative sex with a girl under 16, the jury believed. Thus, Labrie is guilty on three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault, one for each form of penetration.
A couple more links:
Boston Globe: Owen Labrie and the ‘nerd defense’
Boston Globe: Prep-school rape trial: Read statements from the victim’s family, St. Paul’s School, and Harvard College.
I thought I’d share a heartwarming story with you for a change. My mom passed this one on to me.
IndyStar: Indianapolis radio contest sparks neighborhood feud in Muncie.
It wasn’t really a feud, just one nasty neighbor with no sense of humor.
High school student Hannah Brewer, with her mother’s permission, painted the garage door of their residence in an attempt to prove she is the biggest fan of the pop/punk band 5 Seconds of Summer, aka 5SOS.
“Get creative and prove you’re the biggest 5SOS fan on your garage door so the whole neighborhood can see it!” the radio station said in announcing the competition. “Color, paint, decorate … whatever you can think of! Just make sure we can see RadioNOW 100.9 … somewhere” on the door.
The winner will receive tickets to the band’s Aug. 22 concert and get to meet the four members backstage at Klipsch Music Center.
Hannah and her friend Morgan Whitmer worked on the garage door mural together “painting images of the band members, a message reading, “5SOS is kinda hot!” a skull, an astronaut and other things on the door.” An anonymous neighbor was so scandalized that she wrote the ridiculous letter:
Soon after that, an anonymous letter titled “A NOTE FROM YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD” was left in Brewer’s front door at 3305 W. Oaklyn Ave.
It said, “At first we all thought you had been a victim of vandalism on your garage, seeing how NOTHING like that has ever happened around here before … In case you haven’t noticed this isn’t LA or Chicago or Mexico and it certainly isn’t south Muncie.
“There is discussion of getting up a petition, calling the newspaper and retaining a lawyer in case you don’t do the right thing over the ghetto painting … We are all sorry we have had to do this but nobody has ever treated this neighborhood in a trashy manner!”
The author of the letter left another copy of it in the front door on another day.
Hannah’s mother Carrie Mote Craig, a teacher, called the police and learned there was nothing illegal about the painting. One police officer even came to their house and posed for a picture in front of the garage door. Craig then sent an explanatory letter to all of the neighbors and the girls ended up getting tons of support and lots of people stopping by to look at the painting.
Well, it turned out that Hannah wasn’t eligible for the radio station contest, because she doesn’t live in Indianapolis. But when the station heard the story, the girls still got tickets and a chance to meet their favorite band. Indy Star:
RadioNOW 100.9’s afternoon drive host Mike Klein and midday host Hunter personally delivered the good news to Brewer, a high school senior, at her place of work (Wendy’s) on Wednesday night.
“She didn’t actually win the contest,” Max Williams, marketing director at Indianapolis-based RadioNOW, said. “The reason why is she lives in Muncie, which is technically not part of our market. She was not even eligible to win according to the contest rules.”
However, “because of everything that happened and the extra exposure she got for us it is definitely worth her getting to meet the band,” Williams said. “The record label thought it was great extra attention to their band. They loved it, so we were able to secure the extra meet and greet and tickets. They won some pretty decent seats and will get to go backstage prior to the show and meet the band.”
It’s just a small story, but it gave me a good feeling, so I thought I’d share it.
How about some politics? I know, ugh. But there is some political news about Democrats today that isn’t about Emailghazi.
National Journal: At DNC Meeting, Hillary Clinton’s Quiet Moves Are the Ones that Matter.
MINNEAPOLIS—Hillary Clinton publicly bashed her Republican presidential rivals in the cavernous hotel ballroom here Friday, but her bigger accomplishment at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting was what her campaign was doing privately.
At a meet-and-greet at a nearby office tower, in small group sessions, and in one-on-ones behind closed doors at the meeting hotel, Clinton and her top staff worked the 700 or so “superdelegates” who will help choose the next Democratic nominee for firm commitments.
“They’re working really hard to solidify their count going in,” said Florida DNC member Alma Gonzalez. “It is a continual and consistent push.”
“This is really about how you put the numbers together to secure the nomination,” Clinton said at a brief news conference. She said the effort springs from one of the lessons learned from her failed run in 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign took advantage of party rules to win more delegates even when failing to win the primary vote in a particular state.
“I got lot of votes, but I didn’t get enough delegates, and so I think it’s understandable that my focus is going to be on delegates as well as votes this time,” she said. “I’m very encouraged by the kind of response that I’m getting.”
Two more links on this:
Bloomberg: Clinton Camp Says One-Fifth of Delegates Secured for Nomination.
Politico: Democratic elite rally around Hillary Clinton.
Naturally, other candidates were not happy.
Washington Post: Democratic challengers launch attacks against Clinton, party leadership.
What began as a routine forum of candidate speeches evolved into a surprisingly dramatic day at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting, as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley issued thinly veiled attacks on Clinton and the party leadership.
Speaking from the dais, with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz sitting a few feet away, O’Malley blasted the party’s limited number of sanctioned debates as a process “rigged” in favor of the front-runner. The DNC is holding six debates, only four before February’s first caucuses in Iowa, which O’Malley argued is a disadvantage for all the candidates and a disservice to Democrats generally.
“This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before,” said O’Malley, who has struggled to gain traction in the polls. He added: “We are the Democratic Party, not the undemocratic party.”
Sanders — who later told reporters he agreed with O’Malley — lamented low Democratic turnout in last year’s midterm elections and said the party must grow beyond “politics as usual” if it hopes to produce the level of voter enthusiasm required to retain the White House in 2016.
“We need a movement which takes on the economic and political establishment, not one which is part of that establishment,” said Sanders, who is an independent but caucuses with Democrats in the Senate.
Asked later whether he was speaking specifically about Clinton, he told reporters, “I’ll let you use your imagination on that.”
Tough shit. Obama was completely ruthless in 2008, and it worked. I’m glad Hillary is following his lead.
More news, links only:
Did you see Peggy Noonan’s latest word salad? Wall Street Journal: America is So in Play, and commentary from Gawker: Peggy Noonan’s Dominican Friend, Cesar, Works at the Deli Counter. Good for a laugh.
CNN: Church says Donald Trump is not an ‘active member’.
Meteor Blades at DailyKos: Clinton’s support for 50-state strategy the right move for any Democratic candidate.
Washington Post: Texas sheriff’s deputy ambushed in ‘execution-style killing’ at gas station.
LA Times: Manson family member Bruce Davis found eligible for parole.
LA Times: Bison attack: Man ‘played dead’ to escape after being gored.
From Vox, a very good long read: Tech nerds are smart. But they can’t seem to get their heads around politics.
The Independent: Study reveals that a lot of psychology research really is just ‘psycho-babble’ (um . . . not quite what the study says)
Washington Post: No, science’s reproducibility problem is not limited to psychology.
So . . . what stories are you following today? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a terrific weekend!
Friday Nite Lite: Falling asleep at the keyboard.Posted: August 28, 2015 Filed under: just because 8 Comments
No not asleep at the wheel…we are talking asleep at the keys, keyboard that is.
Or, as I read the NewsBlur RSS feeder on my iphone, which sucks because my finger is on the screen, so consequently whatever article I am touching will open up in the browser….then if my finger happens to be on another link within the feed’s article, that will open up in Safari…and the cycle continues until I snap out of my doze or my finger lands on a non-linking touchscreen area.
Here are your cartoons for this Friday night. The last Friday in August….hell, fucking, yeah!
EU and refugees by Political Cartoonist Luojie
The Great Wall of Trump by Political Cartoonist Taylor Jones
Trump by Political Cartoonist David Fitzsimmons
08/27/2015 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson
China Sneezes: 08/27/2015 Cartoon by Rob Rogers
08/27/2015 Cartoon by David Horsey
08/27/2015 Cartoon by Ed Wilson
08/28/2015 Cartoon by Bob Englehart
08/28/2015 Cartoon by Kevin Siers
Emperor Trump’s Clothes: 08/28/2015 Cartoon by Paul Fell
Katrina Anniversary: 08/28/2015 Cartoon by Rob Rogers
08/28/2015 Cartoon by Chan Lowe
08/26/2015 Cartoon by Chan Lowe
08/25/2015 Cartoon by Chan Lowe
Bruce Plante Cartoon: Jeb Bush and Anchor Babies: 08/28/2015 Cartoon by Bruce Plante
Clay Bennett editorial cartoon: 08/28/2015 Cartoon by Clay Bennett
08/28/2015 Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies
US Gun Deaths: 08/28/2015 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis
08/28/2015 Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez
08/27/2015 Cartoon by John Cole
08/28/2015 Cartoon by Randy Bish
08/28/2015 Cartoon by Ross Gosse
08/27/2015 Cartoon by MStreeter
This is an open thread….
Friday ReadsPosted: August 28, 2015 Filed under: morning reads | Tags: George Dubya Bush, Hillary Clinton, New Orleans, Republican war on everyone but white christianist men 14 Comments
Good Morning from the land of resplendent PTSD triggers!
August is my least favorite month. I basically try to slog through it. I can’t recall anything good EVER happening in August. This year is no different.
They say criminals always return to the scene of their crimes. Today, Dubya Bush returned to New Orleans to “commemorate” Katrina. But, it’s a brief hit and run before he heads off to Mississippi. That should remind every one that what they asked Louisiana to do before getting help was not what they required of Mississippi where Haley “white council” Barbour reigned. Mass Murderer Heckuva Job Brownie needs to be reminded of this fact still. This sentence from the ABC link pretty much says it all.
Bush largely took a hands-off approach, frequently saying that rebuilding was best left to locals.
All over our country, Republican government officials are refusing to do their jobs in a hissy fit of selfishness and ideology. I mean really, if you don’t like government, maybe you shouldn’t be an elected government official or a government worker. We generally call them public servants for a damned good reason.
Kim Davis is doing everything she can to avoid doing her job. Now the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk is petitioning the Supreme Court to allow her to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Davis was slapped down just yesterday by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which said that she or anyone in her office must issue marriage licenses to all couples regardless of gender.
Davis’ office just this morning again refused a same-sex couple the right to marry. Her office has until Monday to comply with the federal courts’ rulings.
Davis is represented by the founder of a certified anti-gay hate group, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel.
“Davis will appeal one more rung up the ladder, to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who can intervene in 6th Circuit cases, Staver said,” according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
“It is disappointing, certainly for our client, because the ramifications of the ruling is that there are no religious freedom rights for individuals if you can say a case is just against the office,” Staver told the newspaper. “The problem with that is, individuals who hold public office don’t forfeit their constitutional rights.”
But Right Wing Watch notes Staver is incorrect.
“While Staver claims that the clerk’s ‘constitutional rights’ are being violated when she is required to perform her job duties, the appeals court points out that this is not a case of individual free speech: ‘[W]here a public employee’s speech is made pursuant to his duties, ‘the relevant speaker [is] the government entity, not the individual.'”
She’s free to believe whatever nonsense she wants to believe on her own time and dime. She needs to comply, quit, or go to jail for breaking the law. PERIOD. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to Elena Kagan ripping her a new one.
Hillary Clinton, however, tells it like it is. “On women’s health, Clinton compares Republicans to ‘terrorist groups'”
Republican presidential candidates are striking back Friday after Hillary Clinton compared some of them who hold conservative views on abortion and women’s reproductive rights to “terrorist groups.”
During a riff Thursday where Clinton name checked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Clinton said Republicans are “dead wrong for 21st century America.”
“Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States,” Clinton said at a speech in Cleveland. “Yet they espouse out of date, out of touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st century America. We are going forward, we are not going back.”
Meanwhile, Ben Carson has women reduced to vessels with “contents”. This is yet another Republican attack on woman’s autonomy and moral personhood. How did this guy pass an anatomy course?
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is dismissing the notion that there is a “war on women,” saying the real war is on “what’s inside of women.”
“They tell you that there’s a war on women,” Carson said at a rally in Little Rock, Ark., on Thursday.
“There is no war on women — there may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country,” he continued, referring to abortion.
Democrats have accused Republicans of waging a war on women, citing efforts to limit abortion rights or access to birth control. But Republicans have pushed back on that language.
Carson said such rhetoric is only being used to divide people.
“All of those people who are trying to drive wedges between us, they are the enemy, they are not our friends, and we must learn to recognize them, and not allow them to manipulate us,” he said.
Carson’s comments come as the GOP contender’s anti-abortion-rights stance has come under fire after it was revealed that the retired neurosurgeon had co-authored a paper in which research was done on tissue acquired from fetuses aborted at nine and 17 weeks’ gestation.
“I have never actually worked with fetal tissue,” he told Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly earlier this month.
Carson also took flak when he said that RU-486, which has been dubbed the “chemical abortion pill” by some anti-abortion-rights groups, should be administered to women in cases of rape and incest.
However, some have speculated that Carson mistakenly referenced RU-486, which is administered five to seven weeks into a pregnancy, when he really meant to refer to emergency contraception known as the morning-after pill.
The man is not an ob/gyn. He needs to stfu.
Anyway, I’m making this short today. I have a blanket fort to defend for a few more days and we’re running low on our supplies of red wine and pet treats.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?